Herbs Paint and Body
Skippyjon does not disappoint!

Photo by Karen Almond featuring Ivan Jasso and Zak Reynolds.

Skippyjon to the rescue!

Lauren Walker with Skippyjon at the show.

A very funny Siamese cat has brought his whimsical imagination to the Dallas Children’s Theater.

Skippyjon Jones, a new musical commissioned in collaboration with the Oregon Children’s Theater, celebrates the gift of the imagination.

Skippyjon (played by Zak Reynolds) is a big dreamer who often wishes he was anything other than a Siamese cat!

His rambunctious behavior lands him in time out, but that’s not a punishment for Skippyjon.

After catching a glimpse of himself in the mirror, he realizes his ears are a tad bit too big for his body. He is convinced he is NOT a cat, but a Chihuahua named El Skippito Friscito, a super hero, sword fighter from Mexico!

Donning his mask and cape, Skippyjon steps inside his bedroom closet to take the audience on a fun adventure as he strives to the save the local Chihuahuas from Buzzito Bee who scares the Chihuahuas and eats all of their beans.

"We can see that this is the world inside Skippyjon’s mind, made up with his toys playing the characters," shared Nancy Schaeffer, DCT Director and Artistic Associate.

Best-selling author Judy Schachner is delighted to have DCT bring her best-selling book series to the stage.

"Huzzah to Dallas Children’s Theater for not only connecting children to the literature they love, but to reinforcing that connection with the glue of imagination."

Will Skippyjon (El Skippito Friscito) save the day? Will he prove he is actually the top dog and leader of pack?

Don’t miss your chance to see this super hero in action!

Skippyjon Jones runs through Sunday, February 22nd.

A sensory friendly performance will be held on Saturday, February 21st at 4:30 p.m.

Filled with Spanish accents, infectious humor, great musical numbers (bow chicka bow wow), Skippyjon Jones is sure to encourage kids to explore their imagination and believe in their dreams.

The Dallas Children's Theater is located at 5938 Skillman Street in Dallas. Visit the DCT Box Office online here.

Now through Sunday, February 22nd, when you bring a canned food donation, benefiting Vickery Meadow Food Bank, or a dog or cat toy for Operation Kindness, DCT is offering free youth tickets to the Adventures of Flat Stanley, debuting this summer.

For more details about the month-long "Act of Kindness" Campaign, click here.
Healthy lawns with less water

A beautiful lawn, the right way – with eco-friendly tips.

Residents of Dallas are encouraged to attend an upcoming lawn care seminar geared toward conservation and ecology.

In a free class, hosted by Dallas Water Utilities, homeowners can learn how to maintain a healthy lawn and turf with less frequent watering.

To discover the most effective and earth-friendly ways to care for your lawn, mark your calendar for Saturday, February 7th at 9:00 a.m.

Patrick Dickinson, a horticulturalist with the Urban Water Program at Texas A&M AgriLife Research in Dallas, will share expert lawn tips and tricks of the trade.

Subjects covered will include basic care for your lawn, common turf problems, how to water most efficiently and much more.

The seminar is free to attend, but reservations are required.

Space is limited, so please register online at Save Dallas Water or by calling at 214.670.3155.

This seminar is sponsored by City of Dallas Water Conservation and Texas A&M AgriLife Research.

The Texas A&M AgriLife Research & Extension Center Auditorium is located at 17360 Coit Road in Dallas.

The class will be held Saturday, February 7th from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.
Open for fun!

Open Monday through Thursday for indoor play.

Lake Highlands North Recreation Center

Lake Highlands North Recreation Center is located at 9940 White Rock Trail.

Open to the public, starting today, is a brand new indoor children's play area at the Lake Highlands North Recreation Center on White Rock Trail.

The first of its kind in a City of Dallas recreation center, this new Fun Zone is a 20x28 customized, soft playground with two activity levels and a toddler area.

The Lake Highlands Junior Women's League raised $80,000 for the play area's design, construction and installation with proceeds from the group's 2014 Run the Highlands race.

"We are so fortunate to have the Lake Highlands Junior Women's League as community partners," says Robin Norcross, Dallas Park and Recreation board member who represents the Lake Highlands communities.

"How exciting to see their idea for an indoor play area become such a wonderful and beautiful reality that will be enjoyed for years to come."

Kelly Musgrave, LHJWL philanthropy chair, says children ages 5 and younger will enjoy the new area because it provides plenty of options for crawling, climbing and exploring in amenities including a tube slide, tube maze and power ball room.

The special toddler area has an interactive play panel and sculpted pieces such as a tree stump slide, flowers, mushrooms, log crawl and caterpillar.

It's important to note the two moonwalk ADA accessible entrances. Play pieces are also coated with natural antibacterial materials to inhibit most germs.

The play area opens to the public today, Monday, January 26th.

Indoor play area hours are 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays.

There is a $3 fee for children to enter the play area for a 1 ½ hour session.

Park and Recreation staff is working to complete Internet capabilities for online reservations, private parties, and other special occasions.

The LH North Recreation Center is located at 9940 White Rock Trail in Lake Highlands and can be reached at 214.670.7794.
Find a treasure for a song

Saturday, January 31st at Lake Highlands High School

There are two dates you need to know about to help out our Lake Highlands High School choirs.

Friday, January 30th and Saturday, January 31st.

For donations (i.e., closet clean-outs and post-Christmas purges) it's next Friday.

Volunteers will be on site to accept deliveries from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the high school cafeteria.

Gently used items that are acceptable for sale include furniture, clothing, electronics, and various household goods.

For shoppers, mark your calendars for next Saturday, January 31st. The sale will be held in the LHHS cafeteria.

Proceeds from the garage sale will help fund the choir's spring trip to Corpus Christi for competition and performances.

Head over to find a treasure and help our 'Cats get to Corpus!

The LHHS Choir Garage Sale will take place Saturday, January 31st from 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Lake Highlands High School is located at 9449 Church Road.

To make donations of large items, please contact Bill Zukoski at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) in advance of Friday, January 30th.

General event questions can be sent to Karen Zukoski at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or Deena Peterson at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).
Pet Peeve: Scoop the Poop

No pooping here please! Signs at Lake Highlands Elementary have helped.

I walk my neighborhood a lot...so much so that I've had a few people ask me if I own a car.

While I walk, I appreciate the beauty of our tree-lined streets, and I enjoy watching birds and other wildlife.

However, I always try to watch where I step. Unfortunately, there's a frequent problem with dog feces on sidewalks and nearby sections of grass.

Most dog owners are very responsible and pick up after their pet, but unfortunately there are a few who aren't, and it doesn't take many dogs to make a mess. On average one dog produces approximately half a pound of waste in a single day!

Dog and cat waste, when not properly disposed, has the potential to pollute our waterways.

Pet waste left in open spaces and even in backyards can end up in waterways after it rains, and the health of humans and pets can be affected by the use of these polluted waterways.

A success story with a funny twist

A couple of years ago, a few parents at Lake Highlands Elementary decided that they had had enough of the poop-lined strip of grass along the side of the school.

Two PTA board members collaborated, placing permanent signage on the fence as well as some temporary "Scoop the Poop: School Kids Step Here" signs. The signage helped tremendously.

In the month before the new signage was installed, an LHE dad acting independently approached the school's art teacher about having some students make signage to reduce the problem. When the dad saw the new signage, he thought the art teacher had taken the action, so he sent her some cake balls as a thank you.

Other neighbors' "Pet Peeve"

I've seen a few neighbors with signs on their trash cans asking pet owners to refrain from disposing of pet waste in their can.

In my neighborhood, trash is removed from the gray trash cans manually; the City's sanitation worker reaches into the can to remove each individual, large bag of trash.

That means small bags of poop are usually not picked up and end up getting stuck to the bottom of the can, causing contamination and foul odors.

It's important for pet owners to pick up after their pets and to dispose of waste inside a larger trash bag that will get collected by sanitation workers.

Thank you to all the dog owners who do their part to make Lake Highlands a cleaner, more sanitary, and more beautiful place to live!

Post Notes

For more information about city codes regarding animal care and control, click here.

Save the date!

Lake Highlands Elementary is having its annual Recycling Event on Saturday, April 25th from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Acceptable items include electronics in any condition, documents for destruction, and household items such as clothing, sporting goods, toys and games, books, and musical instruments.

Let's keep Lake Highlands green!
Book Fair returns for 33rd year

Support the RISD Council of PTAs Used Book Fair in February.

The RISD Council of PTAs Used Book Fair began in the early 80s as a fundraiser benefiting the PTA Scholarship Fund in memory of Dr. J.J. Pearce.

As of 2013, the event had raised over $800,000!

Council Delegates at local units will be busy the next few weeks coordinating the collection and delivery of books and other mutli-media donations.

If you have kids in an RISD school, it's likely you've heard the pitch and will soon be seeing the collection bins at your campus.

Once collected, the donations will be sorted and made available for sale beginning Thursday, February 12th.

Mark your calendars for the four-day sale:

Thursday, February 12th through Saturday, February 14th from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Sunday, February 15th the sale will run from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The location for the sale is Dal-Rich Village in Richardson at the southeast corner of Belt Line and Coit.

Shoppers can expect to find books, CDs, and DVDs for children, teens, and adults.

Most items are priced between 50¢ and $2.00. You're sure to find a bargain!

You can read more about the RISD Council of PTAs on the group's website.
In his honor: Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


the night falls into
brightly colored light

that streams down the
mountain passes, rolls

along the city streets and
touches people he never

knew, while each radiant
moment turns hate into stone

with the weight of simple
words that tell the truth.

beloved, you all the people
in his dream, the sorrow of

a daily gaze, the immense
images deeply felt that steered

his step along a different
path, must echo now the

righteous dream. shout
even in the places you

cannot reach, scream on
this road so long ago begun

the magnificent sound of
free at last, free at last.

h.j. Recinos

Dr. Harold Recinos is a professor at Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology and an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church.

He is a published author whose books include Hear the Cry! A Latino Pastor Challenges the Church (Westminster John Knox Press, 1989);

Jesus Weeps: Global Encounters on our Doorstep (Abingdon Press, 1992);

Who Comes in the Name of the Lord? Jesus at the Margins (Abingdon Press, 1997); and

Good News from the Barrio: Prophetic Witness for the Church (Westminster John Knox Press, 2006).
Get out your ballots

Sunday, February 22nd

Starring Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller

An intense, realistic 12-year journey

In wide release nationwide

If you're anything like us, each year you sit down to watch the awards shows and think, "wish I'd seen more of these movies."

Too late for the Golden Globes (those were awarded Sunday evening) but if you'd like to make a list and see a few you have a little time until the Oscars.

The 87th annual Academy Awards will air Sunday, February 22nd, and this year's nominees were announced this morning.

Top categories (most people's favorites) include:

Best Supporting Actor

Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash
Robert Duvall, The Judge
Edward Norton, Birdman

Best Supporting Actress

Meryl Streep, Into the Woods
Laura Dern, Wild
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Emma Stone, Birdman
Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game

Best Actor

Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Michael Keaton, Birdman
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Bradley Cooper, American Sniper

Best Actress

Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Reese Witherspoon, Wild
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl

Best Original Screenplay

Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Dan Gilroy, Nightcrawler
Dan Futterman and E. Max Frye, Foxcatcher

Best Adapted Screenplay

Graham Moore, The Imitation Game
Anthony McCarten, The Theory of Everything
Damien Chazelle, Whiplash
Jason Hall, American Sniper
Paul Thomas Anderson, Inherent Vice

Best Director

Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game
Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher

Best Picture

The Grand Budapest Hotel
American Sniper
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything

Stop by and see our friends at T Hee Greetings & Gifts to pick up some party Oscar ballots and other assorted cute things if you're going to host friends.

Then get to the dollar movie, or even Red Box, for a few of the older titles. Newer movies, like American Sniper and Selma are currently in wide release.

For a complete listing of all the Oscar nominated films, click here.

The 87th annual Academy Awards airs Sunday, February 22nd at 6:00 p.m. (CST) on ABC.
Food Forward: Smart Resolutions

The best resolutions are those that are practical and sustainable

Well, it’s January so there is no shortage of discussion about New Year’s resolutions – what types of resolutions people make, how fast they break them, and tips for sticking with them.

We’d like to suggest taking another look at those resolutions, especially if you’ve already broken them.

We all tend to be very optimistic at the New Year, choosing lofty goals to rework our lives. But the best resolutions are those that are practical and sustainable.

The resolution to walk for 20 minutes a day is better than the one to go to the gym for an hour every day… if you stick with the walks all year versus giving up on the gym by February. In this example, you would be getting a total of 120 hours of exercise walking versus 30 hours in the gym.

Adding fresh fruit to your breakfast every morning could be better than a goal of eating 7 servings of fruits and vegetables every day… again if you do it all year instead of for a couple weeks.

You can always add on once you’ve mastered the smaller goals, and you get the benefit of whatever small changes you make all year long and hopefully forever.

Studies indicate that the healthiest people are those who maintain good habits (and a healthy body weight) over long periods of time, rather than fluctuating back and forth.

From a food perspective (our favorite topic), here are some ideas for reasonable goals for 2015:

• Cook one entire healthy meal each week – including at least 2 servings of vegetables and 1 of whole grains. Bonus for cooking extra so you can eat it for lunch the next day.

• Eat fruit instead of dessert 6 out of 7 days a week.

• Replace your current breakfast with one that’s made up of whole grains (like oatmeal) and fruit. Or drink a smoothie with leafy greens mixed in (if you add a frozen banana, you will not even taste the greens.)

• Replace creamy salad dressings with lemon juice and spices. Lemon juice and tahini make a great dressing. Replace the cheese on your salads with nuts or seeds.

• Take your lunch to work 4 days per week and eat out 1 day.

• And we would love to see more people participating in Meatless Monday which is a great way to explore healthy eating options without making a huge commitment or change.

Of course, Nature’s Plate is an option for supplying healthy, fresh plant-based meals if that’s on your list!

Happy, Healthy New Year!

Check out the Nature’s Plate website by clicking here or "like" their Facebook page.

Annette and Marianne love to hear feedback and suggestions and are happy to answer questions anytime.

Comment below or email them at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).
Sneak peek at gorgeous Dallas homes

Hitting newstands in March of this year.

Whether professionally trained in the interior arts, or a budding do-it-yourself decorator, the launch of a new FD magazine by the Dallas Morning News is something to squeal about.

Hitting the stands in March, FD House is a new quarterly magazine that will cover home design, furnishings, exteriors and luxurious living in North Texas.

Lindsay Jacaman, group publisher of FD, and Mary Poe, associate publisher, will lead the launch and growth of the new title.

"The magazine will feature elegant Dallas houses, decor and design, with substantive coverage that maintains the signature FD wit and intelligence readers enjoy," said Poe.

Celebrated News critics, including architecture critic Mark Lamster, as well as reporters and award-winning designers and photojournalists, will contribute to FD House.

Readers can also look forward to essays and trends from architects, designers, and homeowners focused on enjoying the best Dallas and North Texas have to offer.

"With the reputation of FD and the tremendous talent of our contributors and partners, FD House will have unparalleled access in the luxury home design industry," said Brinkley.

Have a taste for fine living and luxurious lifestyles, including fashion, art, design, food, and culture?

This is one magazine you'll love!

FD is the 10-times-yearly publication dishes exclusive content on ultra-high-end fashion, art, dining, design, travel and more.

To learn more about the FD family of publications, click here.
New twist on fundraising

Mattress Palooza comes to the LHHS band hall.

This Saturday, January 17th beginning at 10:00 a.m.

Weekend sale benefits Lake Highlands High School band programs.

The Lake Highlands High School band hall is getting a new look.

This Saturday, January 17th it will become, of all things, a mattress showroom.

Parent volunteer, Celeste Martin, explains.

"This fundraiser for the band is a mattress sale."

"The band hall will be set up as a showroom and name brand, new mattresses with full factory warranties will be available for purchase for 40% to 50% off retail pricing."

"It is a little unusual, but by using our facility and just word of mouth type advertising on our part, it creates very little overhead and we can pass the savings along to the purchaser."

Event organizers tell us that other groups in the metroplex have had great success with what they've dubbed "Mattress Palooza" in the past three years, raising thousands of dollars for band programs.

Shoppers will be able to choose from all sizes of mattress, with prices ranging from $219 to $2,499.

"The Wildcats are very excited to host this event," says Martin. "Every mattress sold benefits the LHHS Band!"

"Mattress Palooza" will take place Saturday, January 17th from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Lake Highlands High School.

Local pick up and delivery will be available.

Payment is accepted in cash, check, Visa, M/C, Discover and layaway. 24 different mattress models will be on display.

LHHS is located at 9449 Church Road.
London Calling Lake Highlands

46 Lake Highlands High School students, all members of the elite country and western dance team known as the Wildcat Wranglers, recently enjoyed the opportunity of a lifetime by traveling to England.

The group was asked to perform in London's New Year’s Day Parade, which draws hundreds of thousands of spectators and a television audience of several million viewers.

The 2-mile parade route runs though the heart of historic downtown London, beginning on Piccadilly, passing Trafalgar Square, Whitehall and Parliament Square, before ending at Westminster Abbey and Big Ben.

The Wranglers made the most of their seven day trip, visiting many historic sites while in London including a river boat ride on the Thames, a tour of the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, and a visit to the Tower of London.

They also caught a performance of Wicked, in London’s beautiful theatre district and spent one day outside of London touring Oxford University and Windsor Castle.

The Lake Highlands Wildcat Wranglers are a group of high school students that performs high flying stunts and dance, Texas style.

Decked out in western attire and cowboy boots and hats, the Wranglers just say "Texas!"

The team performs about 50 times a year throughout the DFW area at community, charity, business and sporting events.

To add some Texas-style flair to your next event, contact the Wranglers Community Service Coordinator, Robyn Maxwell at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).
Earthquake 101

Photo: AP file

The City of Dallas has released what it's calling "tips and advice" for use during Northeast Texas earthquakes.

This is based in part on Tuesday's biggest quake, of eleven now reported, that registered a 3.5 magnitude on the Richter scale.

While earthquakes remain relatively rare in our part of the country, 17 small quakes have occurred in Irving since last September, near the former Texas Stadium site and Balcones Fault line.

Representatives for the city say Dallas is prepared based on training exercises and earthquake scenarios involving infrastructure and utilities.

So the city's prepared, but are you?

Rocky Vaz, Office of Emergency Management Director for Dallas, shared the following suggestions via the city's Public Information Office early yesterday.

1. Have an emergency kit that includes items such as bottled water, several days' worth of food, a flashlight, a first aid kit, pet food, and a battery powered radio.

2. Make sure shelves are securely fastened to walls, while placing large or heavy objects on lower shelves.

3. Locate safe spots in each room under a sturdy table or against an inside wall.

4. Hold earthquake drills with your family members: Drop, cover and hold on!

DROP to your hands and knees.
COVER your head and neck with your arms and only move if you need to get away from the danger of falling objects.
HOLD ON to any sturdy shelter until the shaking stops.

During an earthquake:

DO stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls.

DO NOT get in a doorway.

DO stay inside until the shaking stops.

DO NOT use the elevators.

If you're outside, DO move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires.

The Red Cross has additional information here on how to prepare for and respond to an earthquake.
Wildcat Wrestlers make history with wins

There was no rest for our Lake Highlands wrestlers over the Winter Break, and it was one impressive holiday!

Just before Christmas the LHHS Varsity Wrestling team placed second out of 24 teams at the EMS Tournament in Saginaw.

Seniors Reid Curnutt and Seth Villasana both earned individual championships and seniors Connor Bosch and Kendrell Willis made the finals and placed second.

The Wildcats then rang in the New Year by placing second out of 20 teams in the highly regarded Grapevine Duals on January 3rd.

The team went 6 and 0 by beating Hebron, Ardmore Oklahoma, Frisco Wakeland, Shreveport Airline, Flower Mound and Keller to make the finals.

In the finals the team fought to a 33-33 tie before falling 33 to 39 to Harrah, Oklahoma. This is the highest finish at the Grapevine Duals in Lake Highlands history.

Going undefeated for the tournament were LHHS seniors Connor Bosch, Seth Villasana and Kendrell Willis.

Others top competitors included Lake Highlands seniors Evan Hayter, Reid Curnutt, Juan Castro and Anthony Maldonado.

Next up, the team travels to Houston for the Texas State dual championships.

Christmas tree hanging around?

Procrastinators score! Recycle with a little help from Home Depot.

The City of Dallas and Home Depot are back at this year – so there's still time to dispose of your Christmas tree if it's hanging around your house.

(It might be in the backyard. Bulk trash bound perhaps?)

There's a better way.

City of Dallas Christmas Tree Recycling continues through this Wednesday, January 7th.

You'll need to remove all tinsel, ornaments, lights, nails and tree stands before dropping it off.

The nearest Home Depot to Lake Highlands is located at 6000 Skillman Avenue, just around the corner from Dallas Children's Theater.

For more information on how to recycle your tree, click here or call the Waste Diversion Hotline at 214.670.4475.

Keep it green, Lake Highlands!
Tornado Alley 3D opens at Perot Museum

Storm Chaser's Tornado Intercept Vehicle (TIV)

The Perot Museum of Nature and Science will present Tornado Alley 3D, a new film exploring the origins and evolution of these fascinating, yet devastating weather systems beginning Friday, January 9th.

Featuring Sean Casey (star of the Discovery Channel's wildly popular Storm Chasers series), the new 20-minute film is narrated by Bill Paxton, star of Twister and Titanic.

Saturday, January 10th will feature Family-Fun Discovery Day, which has been themed “Wild World” in honor of the film.

Throughout the day, visitors will have the chance to meet Casey and consulting research scientist Don Burgess while getting a close-up look at the 14,000 pound Tornado Intercept Vehicle (TIV) specially created by a team of scientists to withstand 200mph winds.

At 10:15 and 11:15 a.m. Saturday morning, Casey and Burgess will introduce two screenings of the film and then be on hand to answer questions about the TIV, which will be in the Perot Museum parking lot.

Admission to the theater is $5 for the 20-minute short film and $8 for the 40-minute long film for adults, students, seniors and children.

Perot Museum members pay a reduced rate, and all children under 2 are free.

The Perot Museum is located at 2201 N. Field Street in downtown Dallas.

For more information, click here or call 214.428.5555.

Photos courtesy of Giant Screen Films.
Reaching your 2015 Fitness Goals

Resolving to set realistic goals in 2014.

If you're one of the many people thinking of starting a post-holiday fitness program, you may be approaching it with excitement, or – more likely – with a bit of dread.

Many well-intentioned New Year’s "resolutioners" start that fitness program with a bang. Gyms get crowded in January as new members rush in, filling up the treadmills, weight machines, and group fitness classes. Regular gym-goers just roll their eyes and wait for February to arrive, when the newness, commitment, and dedication has worn away from most of the newbies, leaving only the most perseverant behind.

Here are some tips to make sure YOU are one of those still working out in March:

Set up an exercise program that you have a possibility of enjoying.

If you begin an exercise activity that you know you're going to hate, you will not stick with it, so if you hate running, find something else to do! Walking, swimming, biking, rowing, taking a fitness class, playing sports or taking dance lessons are all great options to get your heart rate up. Dallas has even more options to take advantage of: mixed martial arts, TRX Suspension Training, pole dancing, cirque arts, barre classes, Pilates, and yoga are just a few of the free-standing studios available around the metroplex.

Start small. Build big.

If you join a gym or get a studio membership, try out a variety of their offerings, but don’t overdo it. Going from zero to two hours at the gym daily is generally not the best way to stick with it, as your body and your mind will burn out quickly. For health and even weight loss, a healthy eating plan and regular moderate to vigorous activity should be enough. That said, you want to progress from month to month by adding time or intensity to your workouts. A personal trainer or a good fitness blog or book (written by an exercise physiologist, not a celebrity) can help you progress your workouts from good to better.

Take your mind off the pain.

Working out with friends or with music, a book, magazine or movie is FINE. Some trainers will say that you don’t get as good a workout with distractions as you do when concentrating on every move, but my feeling is that if you need to beat the boredom, then go for it. Why? Because if you love working out with your friends and talking your way through it, but you show up daily for years, you are getting a much better overall quality of life than if you show up, concentrate on every move you make, get bored, and quit.

Set a goal beyond losing weight.

Most of us want to drop a few pounds, or maybe more than a few, but those truly committed to their health usually have other goals as well. Over the years, my non-scale goals have been different, but always present: recover strength lost in pregnancy, run a 5K, run a half-marathon, tap dance in the adult recital, build a strong core, become more flexible, learn to cycle, etc.

These goals are life-affirming, goals I can reach regardless of what the scale says, goals that keep me healthy and steadfast in my workouts.

Take time to think about your non-scale goals as you make your resolutions this year. I hope to see you fit as a fiddle by summer.

Mallory Mansour Cislo is a Cooper Institute Certified Personal Trainer with additional certifications in nutrition and other areas of wellness and fitness including the TRX® Suspension Training.

She lives in Lake Highlands with her husband and three sons and owns Positively Fit Lake Highlands, a private group exercise and personal training studio devoted to spreading the joy of exercise and health to Lake Highlands, Dallas, and beyond.

Click here to "like" Positively Fit Lake Highlands on Facebook.
Our favorite Siamese star comes to Dallas

SkippyJon Jones, ©Puffin

Photo by Karen Almond featuring Zak Reynolds as Skippyjon Jones.

In collaboration with Oregon Children's Theater, the crew at Dallas Children’s Theater has announced it will premier Skippyjon Jones next month!

Skippyjon Jones is a celebration of the unbridled imagination of the very young as seen through the eyes of a Siamese kitten who longs to lead the life of the swashbuckling Chihuahua Skippito Friskito!

This production of author Judy Schachner's popular book has been adapted for the stage by Linda Daugherty and Nick Martin.

"We can see that this is the world inside Skippyjon’s mind, made up with his toys playing the characters, says DCT director Nancy Schaeffer.

"We can all remember getting lost in our own world playing, and that’s what we’re going to show – the wonder of a child’s mind. This group of actors and designers and the original score are all going to bring that to life and it will just be delightful."

While raucous and full of infectious humor, the story also demonstrates a child’s ability and need to explore all aspects of their identity.

When faced with loneliness and self-doubt, the determined young Skippyjon retreats to his toy-strewn closet to find adventure and become a hero.

Peppered with joyous wordplay and colorful language, this will be an invigorating exploration of the imagination.

Opening night is scheduled for Friday, January 23rd and will begin in the lobby of the Rosewood Center for Family Arts with live music from DFW’s all-female Mariachis, Rosas Divinas.

Guests will use their dancing imagination as they enjoy this fun and uplifting music that immediately puts you in an inspired mood.

Opening night will also include many hands-on activities, a balloon artist, face painting and treats. Guests are encouraged to come dressed in a favorite costume.

Throughout the show's run, DCT will collect items for two local organizations that can always benefit from community support – the Vickery Meadow Neighborhood Alliance Food Pantry and Operation Kindness animal shelter.

If families bring something for one group, they'll receive one free youth ticket good for the summer production of The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley. If they choose to bring something for both groups, they can receive up to two tickets to the summer show!

Skippyjon Jones will run at Dallas Children's Theater from January 23rd through February 22, 2015.

And as part of DCT’s ongoing commitment to making live theater accessible for all children, there will be a specially adapted version for children with sensory challenges on Saturday, February 21st.

For tickets or more information, visit the DCT website or contact the Box Office at 214.740.0051.
Celebrating New Years Dallas Style

Wednesday, December 31st at 7:00 p.m.

Polyphonic Spree ©Karlo X. Ramos

Get read to celebrate New Years Eve with 40,000 of your closest friends.

Big D NYE, held downtown for the last eight years, returns to Victory Plaza this Wednesday, December 31st.

Headlining this year’s show is The Polyphonic Spree with a performance scheduled to begin around 10:30 p.m.

Two stages will actually feature a number of musicians and bands, including The Suffers, The Orbans and Level Ground. For a comprehensive list of the New Years line-up, click here.

The free celebration, which organizers bill as "family-friendly" will conclude with a fireworks show at midnight.

Prefer to stay home and enjoy the revelry remotely? The live broadcast begins at 10:30 p.m.

Big D NYE begins at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 31st.

All ages are welcome at this free, public event produced by WFAA-TV and American Airlines Center.

For details about street closures, transportation and parking click here.
Baylor Bears in Lake Highlands

Who's ready for the New Year and some football?

Beginning this afternoon, and continuing through Wednesday morning, in preparation for their New Year's Day Cotton Bowl appearance, the Baylor University Golden Wave Band (BUGWB) is rehearsing at the high school.

Lake Highlands band parent, Kristi Marsh, shared the details with us. Her daughter is 2013 Lake Highlands alum, Jourdan Marsh, who currently attends Baylor and plays in the band.

The public is welcome and invited to any practice this week.

Monday, December 29th from 3:00 to 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, December 30th from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Wednesday, December 31st from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Pack a blanket and some hot chocolate and head out to see a rehearsal!

Sic 'Em, BUGWB!

Lake Highlands High School is located at 9449 Church Road.

All practices will take place in the Wildcat/Ram Stadium.

Photos courtesy of Kristi Marsh
Celebrating the season by giving back

Remembering the reason for the season.

Students and their parents working at the North Texas Food Bank.

6th Annual Crusader Club Cares Day

More than 100 St. John’s students and their parents facilitated three large-scale community service projects this month as part of the 6th annual Crusader Club Cares Day.

Every year, this morning of service organized by the school’s dads’ organization, the Crusader Club, provides meaningful volunteer experiences that make a lasting impact.

This year, the Crusader Club identified three projects as the focus of the event.

After gathering at school for breakfast and assignments, the teams of Pre-K through 8th graders and their parents disbursed to project sites.

Younger students and their parents assembled more than 800 bags of cookies with personalized notes and pictures that were donated to SoupMobile, a mobile soup kitchen that feeds and shelters the homeless. The faith-based SoupMobile serves more than 200,000 meals per year and operates nine group homes.

Another large group traveled to Buckner Children’s Home where they wrapped donated Christmas gifts to be given to foster children and created thank you notes for the gift donors.

The team also prepared hundreds of ornaments that will be given to foster parents. Since 1879, Buckner has provided support to orphans, vulnerable children, families and senior adults through a variety of programs locally and internationally.

Middle School students and their parents worked in the North Texas Food Bank distribution center, sorting and packing nearly 10,000 pounds of food. The nonprofit hunger relief organization will distribute the food to its network of more than 250 partner agencies in 13 counties.

"Crusader Club Cares Day is a tremendous opportunity for our parents and children to represent St. John’s in giving back to the community." said club president Chuck Sharpe.

"Reaching out to those in need teaches us all to be thankful for everything we have, and will hopefully be a reminder for continued service to others."

Stay up to date on all the latest neighborhood school news on the LH Today Schools Page.

Want to share your good school news, too?

Email us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with an update about your campus and student activities.
12 Days of Christmas enters final weeks

Photos courtesy of Dallas Arboretum

25-foot Victorian gazebos filled with costumed characters and whimsical animals still grace the grounds of the Dallas Arboretum.

The winter wonderland exhibit has been wonderfully received by Dallas crowds and out-of-town visitors alike.

During the day, visitors can tour the lavishly decorated DeGolyer House, stroll the gardens, and enjoy a variety of family-friendly activities.

During special extended evening hours live carolers and holiday treats are included.

General garden admission tickets include the price of the exhibit when viewed during daytime hours. An additional ticket purchase is required, along with advance registration, for nighttime viewing.

On Tuesday, December 23rd visitors can enjoy one last visit from Santa's reindeer before they make their journey back to the North Pole!

The 12 Days of Christmas Passport to Adventure in the Children's Garden also runs through the New Year.

For complete details, including options for holiday teas and dining opportunities, be sure to visit the Dallas Arboretum website.

The 12 Days of Christmas is on display throughout the garden through January 4, 2015.

Daytime public admission starts at $10, plus parking, and is free for members.

Nighttime admission starts at $9 for members to $20 for adult non-members. Advance ticket purchase is required.

Active and retired military members and first responders with identification receive free admission during the day and night on December 22nd & 29th.

Wednesdays are "buy-one-get-one" during the daytime hours only.
5¢ bag fee begins with the New Year

Changes take effect January 1, 2015.

Are you ready for the change? A new way of thinking and 5¢ per bag to be exact.

Back in March the Dallas City Council passed an ordinance that will hopefully encourage more folks to use reusable bags, instead of the plastic (or paper) single-use variety, when they shop.

The City's Green Dallas Initiative has put together a punch list to help folks get ready.

Here's what you need to know:

• The new ordinance goes into effect on January 1, 2015.

• Businesses will be required to collect a 5¢ environmental fee for every single-use bag used by a customer.

• This fee can be avoided by bringing your own reusable bags.

• Feel free to still use paper or plastic bags when you shop, but you will be charged 5¢ for each one you take.

• Money generated from the fees will be used to pay for enforcement of the ordinance and for public education efforts. Stores keep 10 percent to help offset administrative costs.

• The new ordinance applies to all Dallas retailers that offer single-use carryout bags.

• Exemptions to the definition of single-use bags include:

Laundry, dry cleaning or garment bags
Biodegradable door-hanger and newspaper bags
Bags for trash, yard debris or pet waste
Plastic bags used for produce, meats, nuts, grains and other bulk items inside grocery stores
Recyclable paper bags from pharmacies or veterinarians for prescription drugs
Recyclable paper bags used by restaurants for take-away food

There are a few more details on the City's website, which you can view here.

Any additional clarification can be addressed by calling 3-1-1 or by emailing .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).
LHHS Wrestling continues to dominate

More wrestling wins for Coach Pete Grieder and the Wildcats

The Lake Highlands High School Varsity Wrestling team had a great weekend as they beat Highland Park 49 to 25 on Friday, December 12th.

Seniors Seth Villasana and Tyler Hughes, junior Josmark Juarrez and sophomore Robert Harris all pinned their opponents.

On Saturday, December 13th the Wildcats went on the beat Berkner 81 to 0, Richardson 70 to 3 and Pearce 71 to 6, securing the RISD City Championship.

Senior Seth Villasana and junior Josmark Juarrez lead the team in wins so far with 18 each.

Lake Highlands also topped the list at this month's Tri-State Wrestling Tournament.

The Wildcats are now 11 and 1 in dual meets and looking great heading into the holidays!

Next up, the team will travel to the EMS Tournament in Saginaw on the December 19th and 20th.


Stay up to date on all the latest neighborhood school news on the LH Today Schools Page.

Want to share your good school news, too?

Email us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with an update about your campus and student activities.
Winter fun at the YMCA

Photo courtesy of LH YMCA

For parents looking to squelch the cries of boredom and cabin fever during the holiday break, the Lake Highlands YMCA has got just the ticket.

Or maybe you have last minute Christmas shopping and wrapping to pull off.

Either way, the Y has lined up some fun activities for the kids to keep them happy and keep mom and dad sane.

Check it out:

Parent's Day Out
Friday, December 19th

Session 1: 12:00 to 2:00pm
Session 2: 2:00 to 4:00pm
Members pay just $10 per child; Non Members pay $20. Discounts are available if you register for both classes.

Frozen Camp
Monday, December 22nd & Tuesday, December 23rd

Session 1: 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. (3-4 years)
Session 2: 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. (5 years& up)
Members pay $35 per child; Non Members pay $50.

Participants will sing, dance, play games and do arts and crafts. Snacks included.

Two-Day Basketball Clinic
Monday, December 29th and Tuesday, December 30th:

12:00 to 3:00 p.m.
For ages 6 through 12 years
Members pay $35 per child;Non Members pay $50.

Space is limited, so advance register is recommended. For more information please contact Lynzee Tavizon at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

The Lake Highlands YMCA is located at 8920 Stults Road off Greenville Avenue.

Watch for more program updates and offerings on the YMCA Facebook page.
Marilyn Hailey named Valentine Tea Honorary Chair

Honorary Chair, Marilyn Hailey, with Women’s Council President Marena Gault.

Lake Highlands resident, Marilyn Hailey, has been named Honorary Chair for "A Writer's Garden Valentine Tea" at the Dallas Arboretum on February 10th of next year.

Hailey was a former model for Neiman Marcus and will be honored with a tribute of her early days at the event.

Presented by the Women's Council of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, the tea will feature guest speaker Michael Devine at the Arboretum’s Rosine Hall.

"A Writer’s Garden" literary series is chaired by Dorothea Meltzer, with Margaret La Rocca serving as day chair for the Valentine Tea. Marena Gault is President of the Women’s Council.

Michael Devine is a tastemaker who has an internationally recognized line of hand-printed fabrics. His textiles and garden have appeared in numerous print and on-line magazines, including House Beautiful, Elle Décor, Traditional Home, World of Interiors, and the Peak of Chic.

He is a weekly columnist for Lonny magazine and resides in the upstate village of Kinderhook, New York, where is love of gardening began.

Funds raised from "A Writer’s Garden" benefit A Woman’s Garden.

Individual tickets for the February tea are $85.

Patron and sponsorship opportunities can be discussed with Carol Nelson, reservation chair, at 214.528.8039.

"A Writer's Garden Valentine Tea" will take place Tuesday, February 10, 2015 at 1:30 p.m.

Since 1986, the major goal of the Women’s Council has been the design, construction, funding and endowment of A Woman’s Garden, the centerpiece garden of the Arboretum.

A Woman’s Garden is the only public garden in the nation conceived by women, funded by the efforts of women, and dedicated to the spirit of women.

The support of over 600 members of the Women’s Council make possible the continued expansion and improvement of A Woman’s Garden.

To learn more about the Women's Council or purchase tickets for the tea click here.

Photo by Deborah Brown
New name, new options at the gym

New name, same familiar faces

New workouts in a community-based environment

CrossFit Lake Highlands has made a big change.

You'll find the same familiar faces and fitness leaders, and the affiliation with CrossFit remains, but the gym is now operating as Lake Highlands Strength & Conditioning.

"We feel this change helps identify all the fitness options we currently offer, and plan to offer, the community," says owner Lisa Schmiedeke.

Specifically, a new Lake Highlands Cardio Class is a combination of interval training and running, rowing and light weight exercises. Participants can expect better overall conditioning, increased energy and weight loss.

"This new cardio class is ideal for people who don’t want to lift heavy weights but are still looking for an intense workout that will challenge them in a community-based environment."

Unlike local boot camps, these classes are offered consistently throughout the year, and several times a day including morning and evening.

Lisa says it appeals to the Lake Highlands community specifically, which is known for bringing like-minded people together.

"The people who interact at school, the soccer fields, PTA meetings and baseball games are also part of the fitness community and all pulling together to help each other get the most out of the program."

On a countdown to New Years resolutions, the new class is now being offered at a special introductory rate, too.

Through February 2015 the monthly rate is only $100 and the first class is free for anyone wanting to try it out.

Morning classes are being held Monday through Friday at 5:30 a.m., 6:15 a.m. & 9:30 a.m.

Evening classes are Monday through Thursday at 6:30 p.m. and Fridays at 5:00 p.m.

For more details, you can visit the gym’s website or swing by and ask for Lisa.

Lake Highlands Strength and Conditioning is located at the southeast corner of Walnut Hill and Audelia.

You can reach the gym at 214.989.7545 or by email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).
What’s up this weekend?

©Ronald McDonald House of Dallas

©Dallas Arboretum

©White Rock Local Market

©Trinity River Audubon Center

Holiday Extravaganza Local Market
Saturday, December 13th
8:00 a.m.
Green Spot at Buckner & Northcliff

The December version of the White Rock Local Market, you can expect organic seasonal produce and hand-crafted goods in addition to special holiday shopping with more than fifty unique arts and crafts vendors.

Community Blood Drive
Knights of Columbus Hall
Saturday, December 13th at 8:30 a.m.

Benefiting Christopher Bowen, a Lake Highlands student at White Rock Elementary, who is battling the terminal condition, Arteriovenus Malformation.

Stop by the KC Hall to donate blood on Saturday and offer support.

Second Saturday Habitat Restoration
Trinity River Audubon Center
Saturday, December 13th at 9:30 a.m.

Volunteers are needed to help clear and expand existing trails, remove invasive species and restore prairie and wetland habitats.

This event is open to all volunteers11 years and up, with adult supervision.

Learn more on the Audubon Center website.

Christmas with The Chorale
St. Barnabas Presbyterian Church
Saturday, December 13th at 2:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.

St. Barnabas is located at 1220 W Belt Line Road in Richardson.

The Chorale Christmas Concert features two shows on Saturday. Tickets are $20 each with advance purchase.

Holiday Market at Vickery Meadow
Half Price Books, 5803 E. Northwest Hwy.
Sunday, December 14th at 9:00 a.m.

In addition to local, organic seasonal produce, shop from more than fifty unique arts and crafts vendors.

Check the LH Today Green Page for details.

This is the final event of the season for White Rock Local Market.

12 Days of Christmas
Runs through January 4th at the Dallas Arboretum

The special garden-wide holiday display is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Daytime admission starts at $10 and is free for members of the Arboretum. Nighttime admission starts at $9 for members; $20 for non-members and parking is included.

Details on the Dallas Arboretum website.

Trains at NorthPark
Runs through January 4th at NorthPark Center

Presented by Ronald McDonald House
Exhibited at NorthPark daily beginning at 10:00 a.m.

Ticket prices are $7 adults; $3 children; ages 2 & under are free. Plan you visit in advance on the RMH Trains website.

For a comprehensive listing of activities in and around Lake Highlands, be sure to bookmark our Community Calendar page.
MHE project exceeds expectations

(From L to R:) Beta Club officers Carson Brockette (VP-Special Projects), Dylan Kirkpatrick (President), Zoe Rose (Vice President-Service) and Ainsley Stewart (Secretary)

Parents, alumni and the Lake Highlands community all kicked it into high gear recently – when a group of Moss Haven students launched a campaign to raise funds and awareness to help combat Ebola.

Together we're stronger, yes?

Absolutely! To the tune of $10,300!

The National Junior Beta Club chapter at Moss Haven Elementary actually began its project with a $5,000 goal. After only a week, they revised it (aka doubled it) and then proceeded to knock it out of the park.

It's all part of their service project, "Help Fight Ebola: Dollars for Doctors Without Borders," and parent volunteer, Jenny King, says it was an important cause that also served as a good life lesson.

"This really makes the kids feel good and shows them that they can take an idea, implement it and make a positive difference in this global healthcare fight!"

"We love using our Facebook page as a vehicle to update folks on our fundraiser and on Ebola facts."

"We also love to click on the Doctors Without Borders page, and see that we've surpassed our fundraising goal."

Media coverage was far reaching, including national outlets and radio spots.

Marianella Orlando, a graduate student at Columbia University's Journalism School in New York, contacted the group via Facebook and offered to help spread the word.

Orlando featured the MHE group in her Columbia photojournalism project, helping to brand the campaign with the hashtag, #CarePackageEbola.

Combined with the Beta Club's "We are the World" video on YouTube, which is nearing 5,000 views, it all translated to a fantastic outcome – perfectly timed, too.

Zoe Rose, 12, Beta Club vice president, says the club intentionally timed the project to end during the holiday season.

"We want to give thanks for those who are working to improve the health of others sick with Ebola."

Nicely done, Mustangs.

You can connect and stay in touch with the group via their Facebook group or through the Doctors Without Borders page.
Deck the halls or deck the potty?

The porta-potty in question on Faircrest Drive

Family photos with an interesting backdrop

They're not decking the halls in one Lake Highlands neighborhood. They're decorating the porta-potty.

Neighbors in the Royal Highlands area say it's nothing more than making the best of a frustrating situation. A long forgotten, or ignored, port-a-let has now graced Faircrest Drive nearly six months.

Resident Joe Clifford says enough is enough.

When asked about the length of the project that triggered the delivery of the porta-potty in question – initially a streets project started over the summer, and why it still remains – Joe summed it up as finger pointing between the city and contractors.

"The contractor says the city hired them, the city says the contractor. Blah, blah, blah."

"They left pipes, garbage, and pallets for months. We all complained, and they finally removed all that stuff."

"Yet the porta-potty has been there since at least July."

So what's a man to do?

Get out the lights, of course!

In something of an ode to Cousin Eddie, the porta-potty now sports multicolored strands of lights, wreathes, and a special welcome sign for Santa.

Neighbors are stopping by to add decorations. There's talk of Christmas card photos.

It's all in good fun Joe says, but he is hoping this might get the city's attention.

"There hasn't been a worker here for at least two months."

But according to a couple Facebook posts shared among neighbors, it's rumored that the postman is making use of it occasionally.
Local boutique goes up for sale

An opportunity to own in Lake Highlands.

Local entrepreneurs and partners Tony Doles and David Farris have decided to sell their popular boutique, T Hee Greetings & Gifts.

Most Lake Highlands folks are familiar with the store, just a short walk from what used to be Highlands Cafe – now Neighbors Casual Kitchen in Lake Highlands Plaza.

"David got a new job earlier this year that has changed a bunch of stuff including adding a ton of travel to his schedule," says Tony.

"The new job has the potential to relocate us at some point, and we want to be ready should that happen."

The pair says the store has never done better than its doing right now, so they figure this is a good time to sell. The hard part will be finding that perfect buyer.

David says ideally that will be someone who loves to entertain, loves people, and loves the holidays.

"We have seen some very successful stores run by a couple people working together, like two friends – each with their own strengths."

"At the same time, it's an easy business to run so one person can run it alone if they choose. Personally we would love to find someone who has kids in the local schools because that's just such a great combo."

For now customers shouldn't expect anything different when they visit T Hee.

"Nothing will change as long as we own it," says David. "We love the store and will run it exactly as we have for the past seven years."

"We're in no hurry to sell, so we can wait to find the perfect buyer that will continue the dedication to the community and will continue to operate the store in the manner that Lake Highlands wants it to be run."

"Honestly, we really don't see this as our store. We see it as Lake Highlands' store because the community has been the reason for its success."

Interested in learning more? Email Tony Doles at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call the store at 214.747.5800.
What’s up this weekend?

Weekend activities: Home tours to tree lightings Courtesy of LH Women's League

Courtesy of White Rock Local Market

Courtesy of Dallas Arboretum

Courtesy of Klyde Warren Park

Holiday in the Highlands Home Tour
Friday, December 5th
10:00 a.m.

Tour four Lake Highlands homes, enjoy the holiday market and luncheon.
Tickets are $15 in advance; $20 at the door. Luncheon tickets are an additional $20.

Luncheon and Market at Highland Oaks Church of Christ

The tour runs from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and, new this year, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. for evening viewing.
Homes will be closed from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Details on the Lake Highlands Women's League website.

Holiday Extravaganza Local Market
Saturday, December 6th
Lakeside Baptist Church at 9051 Garland Rd.

Special hours for the holiday market are 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

In addition to local, organic seasonal produce, shop from more than fifty unique arts and crafts vendors.

Check the LH Today Green Page for details.

27th Annual Dallas Children’s Health Holiday Parade
Saturday, December 6th at 10:00 a.m.
Downtown Dallas

Free sidewalk seating is available along the parade route, or purchase tickets online here to sit in the bleachers.

The Lake Highlands Highlandettes and Wildcat Wranglers are scheduled to perform at the parade.

Reliant Lights Your Holidays
Saturday, December 6th at 5:30 p.m.

Includes free music and fireworks at the AT&T Performing Arts Center

The PAC campus will come to light with hundreds of thousands of lights outlining venues and trees along with photos with Santa.

Details are here.

12 Days of Christmas
Runs through January 4th at the Dallas Arboretum

The special garden-wide holiday display is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Daytime admission starts at $10 and is free for members of the Arboretum. Nighttime admission starts at $9 for members; $20 for non-members and parking is included.

Details on the Dallas Arboretum website.

For a comprehensive listing of activities in and around Lake Highlands, be sure to bookmark our Community Calendar page.
Food Forward: How Super are Super Foods?

Super Greens ©secretmyth

We’re back to address another trendy nutrition topic… super foods!

You may have heard about chia seeds, acai berries, maca, or many of the other “super foods” creating a lot of buzz on social media and elsewhere.

So, is it worth it to spend the money on these items? Are they as good as they sound?

Well, there’s no doubt that these foods are rich in nutrients and that they are health-promoting… no doubt at all. And they can definitely promote health as part of a reasonably clean diet.

But there are two caveats that we would like to discuss:

1. Eating super foods (or any particular food) will not make up for a diet that is otherwise lacking in nutrients.

So no, it probably does not make sense to add kale, cacao, maca, chia seeds, and spirulina to a smoothie in the morning and then eat fast food or primarily “beige” foods lacking in nutrients for the rest of the day.

Is it better than just eating fast food? Sure, but your body deserves better than that anyway.

2. There are plenty of everyday, accessible foods that pack large amounts of nutrients and promote health in a big way.

For example, broccoli, asparagus, and all green vegetables are good sources of calcium, Vitamin A, folate, fiber and many other phytonutrients.

Even potatoes (which have a bad reputation) provide potassium, Vitamin C and fiber.

Kale has gotten a lot of attention lately, and there’s no doubt that kale is a wonderful food and one of the most nutrient dense foods around.

But this doesn’t mean we should ignore all of the other wonderful greens out there… chard, spinach, collard greens, and even green leaf lettuce.

If you don’t like kale, move on – you’ll get the same benefits from eating other greens, especially if you eat more since you actually like what you’re eating!

All plant foods – the more colorful the better – are rich in nutrients, promote health, and fight disease. This applies to fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and nuts/seeds.

Yes, superfoods are a wonderful addition, but your regular grocery store or farmers market (White Rock Market!) has plenty of nutrient-dense, familiar options, and you don’t have to spend a ton of money.

A healthy diet always comes down to eating a wide variety of whole, plant foods and minimizing (preferably avoiding) processed foods.

Check out the Nature’s Plate website by clicking here or "like" their Facebook page.

Annette and Marianne love to hear feedback and suggestions and are happy to answer questions anytime.

Comment below or email them at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).
Tis the season for the Wildcats

2014-15 Highlandettes ©Southern Images

Photo courtesy of Lake Highlands Highlandettes

Make plans to head downtown this Saturday morning and watch your Lake Highlands High School Highlandette Drill Team perform!

The girls are marching in this year's 27th Annual Dallas Children's Health Holiday Parade ​on Saturday, December 6th.

The Highlandettes will give a very special pre-parade performance in front of Dallas City Hall with the LHHS Wranglers.

The groups are performing a dynamic dance number together. It promises to be a very special and exclusive opportunity – one not to be missed.

Afterward they will all join the parade and march the full route along with many other spectacular groups.

Last year the team was set to perform until bad weather resulted in the cancellation of the parade.

So, the 40-member, 53rd line of the Highlandette team is very excited to participate this year!

Hope to see you there!

For complete details on Saturday's parade, including times and route information, click here.
Snowy holiday with a heart

Photo credit: Dallas Children's Theater Frosty & Friends

LH Today's youngest arts critic, Lauren Walker, with master puppeteer, Becky Burks Keenan.

The holiday season is in full swing and the Dallas Children’s Theater has your ticket to holiday bliss.

Kathy Burks Theatre of Puppetry Arts has created a world of friends at the North Pole with its new musical revue, Frosty & Friends.

"This is fun. This has always been fun," says Burks.

The fun that comes from creating the musical is evident as the characters come to life on stage.

Frosty turns blue (yes blue), ornaments jump off the tree and dance (really dance), and there are frolicking kittens (because that’s what kittens do, of course.)

Sadly, Frosty starts to feel alone as his friends are all busy due to the bustling holiday season.

His elf friends – Barry, Curly, and Zoe – are busy making presents for Santa to deliver on his big night.

Frosty starts to question himself and sets out to find his purpose. He meets a snowy owl who helps him along this journey and soon learns his history and purpose from Santa.

In a heartwarming conclusion, Frosty realizes that as long as there is snow, there will always be Frosty!

"I’ve always liked what I do," says Burks. "And I hope the children are going to like it too!"

The production is short and sweet. There is great joy and laughter throughout the musical that will surely be enjoyed by kids of all ages.

Frosty & Friends runs through December 21st at the Dallas Children's Theater Rosewood Center for Family Arts.

Check ticket prices and showtimes at the online box office here.
Eating local at Best Thai Diner

Owners Booney and Jess Virattanajun

Now open at 635 and Greenville Avenue

Featuring a lunch buffet that consists of 25 food items from four regions of Thailand

The largest Thai food buffet in Texas has found its home in Lake Highlands!

Best Thai Diner opened its doors to the public on Saturday, November 29th, which was coincidentally Small Business Saturday.

Housed in the building that once occupied Ole Whiskers, at 635 and Greenville, Best Thai Diner features a lunch buffet that consists of 25 food items from four regions of Thailand, as well as made-to-order soup and noodle stations.

A full a la carte menu will be available during lunch and dinner; however, the buffet is only open in the afternoon.

Teresa Nguyen, who handles publicity for the new restaurant, visited with me at last week's soft opening.

"We want to keep the food as fresh as possible, which is why we are only having the buffet open during lunch."

During my visit, I found the atmosphere very inviting and classy for a buffet style restaurant. The food was absolutely tasty and delicious!

Customer Amy Cobb was there enjoying her first Thai food experience and said she was impressed. I agree.

The first Best Thai restaurant opened at Preston and Royal in 1996 by owners Booney and Jess Virattanajun. They love opening their doors to greet and serve their "extended family members."

How appropriate for them to choose Lake Highlands, a family friendly community, for their new restaurant home!

Let's all show them that Lake Highlands love and support!

Best Thai Diner has a private dining room available for family and small intimate events such as rehearsal dinners and business mixers.

In addition, the restaurant features a gift shop that will carry authentic Thailand items such as lotions, teas and treats.

Best Thai Diner is located at 9170 Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway at Greenville Avenue.

You can "like" them on Facebook for updates and specials.
Tree project seeks volunteers

Individuals, neighborhood groups and businesses are welcome to participate.

Friends of Santa Fe Trail (FoSFT) is calling on volunteers to help plant trees during a January trail project along the trail from Mt. Auburn Avenue to Valencia Street.

The project is spearheaded by Junius Heights resident Todd Smith.

Volunteers will be part of a team making a difference beautifying the trail and their community for many years to come.

Currently FoSFT is working with the Dallas Parks Department about the best placement and tree species for the different locations along the trail.

All of the trees will also need to be irrigated to insure the will survive extreme Texas summers. Irrigation will be the most expensive, and necessary, part of the tree planting project.

FoSFT is currently raising the needed money to pay for all these improvements.

FoSFT will also be partnering with The Texas Trees Foundation which will be providing the trees and assisting with the planting.

Friends of Santa Fe Trail is inviting neighborhood groups, local businesses and anyone interested in helping.

In addition to volunteers needed to plant the trees, donations are needed to pay for the maintenance costs and make additional improvements a reality.

For more information or to sign up to volunteer, please contact Todd Smith at 214.803.0955 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

To learn more about the Friend of the Santa Fe Trail click here.

Read more about the Texas Trees Foundation here.

The event is scheduled for January 24, 2015.
The Prayer

Photo Credit: Reuters/Jim Young

The Prayer

Lord, I pray this ordinary moment
reaches up to you and talks as I do
about these streets that know how

longing is really a heaven day with
no screams, or weeping, or freezing
hearts, or agonizing dread to steer

us away from your gaze. I hold
my head in my hand waiting now
for your warming Sun to cast its

yellow light across the avenue
that smells of peeled oranges and
talks to us beneath a singing sky

with birds in flight you made. Lord,
save us in your memory like water
in your hand that never spills, include

all the simple corners that make us
us happy, the hot whispers in the
failing light that seek your open arms

always. Lord, on this ordinary day
take time to listen to those the world
will never grace with monuments,

closer to their tender and patient minds,
their stumbling steps, their wearied days,
and hear when they choking ask: how



Dr. Harold Recinos is a professor at Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology and an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church.

He is a published author whose books include Hear the Cry! A Latino Pastor Challenges the Church (Westminster John Knox Press, 1989);

Jesus Weeps: Global Encounters on our Doorstep (Abingdon Press, 1992);

Who Comes in the Name of the Lord? Jesus at the Margins (Abingdon Press, 1997); and

Good News from the Barrio: Prophetic Witness for the Church (Westminster John Knox Press, 2006).
Wrapping up the year with organic celebrations

All three holiday markets are local and organic!

The sixth annual White Rock Local Market Holiday Extravaganza is on the horizon!

We've come to love the weekly Saturday markets that alternate between the GreenSpot and Lakeside Baptist locations.

A new third option at Half Price Books now rounds out the offerings – the Vickery Meadow Local Market opened in September.

None of the three are far from Lake Highlands, so the organic goodies and homemade crafts are convenient and good for us!

The holiday extravaganzas promise lots of fun options for gift-giving, too.

During these three weekends in December shoppers can expect to choose from things like:

• Natural skin care products
• Handcrafted jewelry
• Hand-poured candles
• Bird-feeders and houses
• Art and photographs
• Unique housewares
• Hair accessories
• All-natural dog treats
• Repurposed books
• Vintage bikes
• Ecofriendly apparel and accessories for kids and adults

More than fifty unique arts and crafts vendors are lined up for the special holiday markets.

Enjoy the holiday locally, Lake Highlands!

The Holiday Extravaganza markets take place over three weekends in December.

Saturday, December 6th from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Lakeside Baptist Church at 9051 Garland Road.

Saturday, December 13th at the GreenSpot, 702 N. Buckner Blvd. at Northcliff, from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Sunday, December 14th from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Vickery Meadow Local Market at Half Price Books at 5803 E. Northwest Highway.

You can stay up to date on 2015 events and happenings on the White Rock Local Market website.
Families welcome at Advent workshop

Lake Highlands Presbyterian welcomes all to weekend workshop

Lake Highlands Presbyterian Church will offer an Advent Family Workshop Sunday, November 30th at 4:00 p.m.

This event is free and open to all.

The workshop will offer a variety of activities for families to share and work on together and will also offer information on advent activities that can be done at home.

Activities offered at the workshop include making an Advent wreath and ornaments, decorating Christmas cards for the home-bound, cookie decorating, and caroling. Refreshments will be provided.

At 5:00 p.m. on November 30, Lake Highlands Presbyterian Church will also host its annual Hanging of The Greens Worship service, “His Name Is…..”

All are invited to participate in this event and join in the decorating of the Christmas tree.

Lake Highlands Presbyterian Church is located at 8525 Audelia Road.

Learn more on the church's website and Facebook page.
The future of Fair Park

The iconic Texas Star at Fair Park.

Big Tex welcomes millions each year during the fair.

December will mark two years since the Perot Museum of Nature and Science opened in downtown Dallas.

Its success in the new building, and new location, has been overwhelming, as evidenced by record attendance and membership sales.

The void it left in Fair Park, however, was one of the most widely felt, especially when combined with the departure of the Museum of the American Railroad and the closing of the Women’s Museum.

When Summer Adventures, a product of the State Fair of Texas, opened in the summer of 2013, hopes were high the venture would draw crowds back to the area.

Unfortunately, the experiment did not prove successful enough to warrant a repeat.

The three-week long State Fair, however, set new records at Fair Park in October this year.

Despite Dallas Ebola diagnoses, as Mayor Rawlings reminded the public, "you can't catch if from corny dog!"

Crowds responded, to the tune of 2.6 million visitors, once again earning it the distinction of the largest and most well attended state fair in the United States.

So what happens now?

Development in Fair Park and its surrounding neighborhoods remains less than stellar, and the mayor still wants to see attendance in the off season increase.

The Mayor's Fair Park Task Force has a few ideas, which will be presented at three community meetings beginning next week.

The closest meeting to Lake Highlands will take place at the Churchill Recreation Center in North Dallas on December 10th.

Two additional meetings are scheduled on December 9th and December 11th.

The Dallas Park and Recreation Department, which is manages and operates Fair Park, is encouraging the public to attend one of these meetings.

Tuesday, December 9th
Janie C. Turner Recreation Center
6424 Elam Road
7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, December 10th
Churchill Recreation Center
6906 Churchill Way
6:30 p.m.

Thursday, December 11th
Kidd Springs Recreation Center
711 W. Canty Street
6:30 p.m.

Learn more about the Dallas Park and Recreation Department here.

You can also follow Fair Park on Twitter and the State Fair of Texas on Facebook.

Photos courtesy of the State Fair of Texas.
Dallas United wraps successful season

Dallas United Crew’s (DUC) competitive rowing and dragon boat teams have officially wrapped up their fall racing seasons, bringing medals back to Dallas both on the regional and national scale.

Here’s a recap for both teams!

Head of the Oklahoma Regatta Festival on the Oklahoma River (Oct 3rd-5th)

DUC finished in first place in the medal count for all Texas youth teams, including sweep and sculling teams, making them the top Texas Youth Team at the event. Ten DUC boats medaled - 6 Varsity and 4 Novice - earning a total of 78 individual medals. And for the first time ever, DUC fielded a boat of Master rowers (adults) in sweep racing. The Masters did a terrific job, earning 4th place in the Mixed Masters 4+.

Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston (October 17-18)

The Charles is the largest two-day regatta in the world with over 2,000 boats competing, including Olympic rowers, from the U.S. and abroad. DUC’s Women’s 8+ traveled to Boston to compete, and this was DUC’s first time to field a boat at The Charles. Their goal was to hold their own among world-class athletes and they succeeded, representing DUC, their schools and the City of Dallas with a strong showing at this prestigious competition.

Head of the Colorado Regatta in Austin, Texas (October 25-26)
affectionately referred to as “Pumpkinhead” for its proximity to Halloween each year

Dallas United Crew medaled in all but one of their events. Director and Head Coach Jonathan Stevens gave this recap: “While our Varsity Men's 8+ stayed home to train, our JV Men’s 8+ performed well, taking 2nd place by under 10 seconds off first. Our Varsity Women’s 8+ won gold in their race, proving that they are the fastest girls' youth 8+ in Texas. The first Men's Novice 8+ earned a silver medal, three seconds off first place. The Novice Women’s 8+ placed second as well. In all, we entered 9 events and medaled in all but one of them.”

Head of the Hooch Regatta (November 1-2) in Chattanooga, Tennessee, one of the largest regattas in the United States.

Despite high winds and the cancellation of many key races, DUC rowers once again raced well against national competition.

The DUC Delite Dragon Boat Team
19th Annual San Francisco International Dragon Boat Race (September 20-21)

Competing against more than 140 teams and 3,500 paddlers, the Delite placed in the top twenty teams overall and took first place in the Competitive B Consolation Final.

OKC’s Paddlefest Night Races in Oklahoma City (September 27th)

The Delite took first place earning a gold medal in the 200m 20-man boat and earned a bronze medal in the 200m 10-man boat against competition including the OKC teams and the Gulf Coast Alliance teams.

11th Annual Gulf Coast International Dragon Boat Regatta in Sugarland, Texas (October 19-20)

Racing against more than 30 teams from Texas, Louisiana, California, and Canada, the DUC Delite stood out to take home the bronze medal. Their times in both the 250m and 500m heats qualified them for the Division A Finals, and the Delite had the second fastest time of the day in the 250m at 1:04:39.

Congratulations to all DUC rowers and paddlers on a VERY successful fall racing season!

Stay tuned for more exciting results when the spring competitive season opens in March.

For those interested in getting out on the water at White Rock Lake, in addition to competitive teams, DUC also offers a full range of recreational rowing and dragon boat programs.

Since 2002, Dallas United Crew has been building community, fostering leadership and teamwork, and having fun through oar and paddle sports on White Rock Lake.

With a variety of rowing and dragon boat programs for adults and youth age 11+, we welcome both novice and experienced rowers and paddlers.

DUC’s programs challenge, strengthen and empower people both mentally and physically.

With fall racing over, the youth team moves indoors to CrossFit Lake Highlands for ongoing strength training workouts to prepare for the spring racing season. CFLH has been a great partner of DUC’s since 2012.

Visit Dallas United Crew for more details.

Photos courtesy of Donna Swanson and Dallas United Crew.
In support of firefighter Jeff Patterson

DFR firefighter, Jeff Patterson, and son, Bryce. Photo courtesy of Angry Dog Facebook page

In May of this year Dallas Fire & Rescue Engine 44 firefighter Jeff Patterson ran into a burning building in the line of duty.

The two-alarm fire caused the roof to collapse, trapping Jeff, who suffered third-degree burns over nearly half his body.

His recovery has come at considerable expense to Jeff – physically, emotionally and financially.

So the gang at Angry Dog, the well-known spot in Deep Ellum, are rallying to support Jeff and the Patterson family.

Now through Saturday, November 29th, 100% of the proceeds from soft drink sales at the restaurant will be applied to a fund established for Jeff.

Additional individual donations will also be accepted during the 10 day campaign.

All funds raised will be directed to the ongoing care and long-term treatment Jeff needs, including rehabilitation and out of pocket expenses.

Get yourself to Deep Ellum by November 29th and help fill the boot!

Angry Dog is located at 2726 Commerce Street.

Questions about the event can be directed to Todd Dickerson at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).
November 19th is World Toilet Day



According to Water.org, when it comes to saving lives, toilets win.

Statistics point to proof that no other invention has saved more lives than a toilet, and regrettably 2.5 billion people in the world don't have one.

The non-profit group is working to give people access to toilets, which in turn means access to better health, increased safety and brighter futures.

You can watch one story here.

People around the world can join the Water.org community by subscribing to monthly updates or making a monetary donation to support the effort.

Water.org is dedicated to providing people with access to safe water and sanitation.

For more than twenty years the group has worked with local partners and communities to solve the world water crisis.

Water.org is based in Kansas City, Missouri.

Read more about the group on Facebook, and support their social media campaign with the hashtag #toiletsWIN.
Lady ‘Cats set sights on Florida

Lake Highlands High School Lady Wildcats

Lake Highlands Girls Basketball is raising funds to help the team make it to Florida this year.

The Lady 'Cats are hoping to play in the ESPN Wide World of Sports Tournament at DisneyWorld in December.

Coach Justin Matthews has helped organize a fundraiser with Picasso’s to cover team expenses.

The local restaurant has a great track record of supporting academic and athletic initiatives, so all week Picasso's is giving 15% of proceeds back to the team when people mention "Lake Highlands Basketball."

Thursday evening, November 20th, the team will also host a silent auction at Picasso’s from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Make it a take-out (or dine-in or delivery) night this week and remember to mention the 'Lady Cats when you order.

For those who prefer give directly online, click here.

Picasso’s Pizza and Pasta is located at 7215 Skillman at Walnut Hill in Lake Highlands.

For more information about supporting the team or getting involved in the fundraising initiative, contact Coach Matthews at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).
Sneak peek at 12 Days exhibit

Event co-chairs Sharla Bush and Terry Irby with Women’s Council President, Marena Gault.

Chris and Katie Long with Susan Scullin.

Marsha and David Dowler with Carolyn and William Seay.

The Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum had a private preview night on November 10th for the 12 Days of Christmas Exhibit, beating the cold weather only by a few hours.

Chairmen Sharla Bush and Terry Irby could not have planned a more perfect evening for Monday night’s event which included beautiful weather for a seated dinner outside on the patio of the DeGolyer Estate – not a coat or jacket in sight.

Hours later, the arctic cold front had blown in and Tuesday morning was greeted with frigid temperatures.

"The timing was almost a little too close for comfort," said Bush. "It turned out to be a beautiful evening and over 200 people enjoyed the private viewing."

The perfect weather allowed guests to enjoy a leisurely stroll through the gardens to view the 12 gazebos, each elaborately decorated to illustrate the song that is so well known.

The exhibit features an elaborate collection of 25-foot Victorian gazebos filled with the charming costumed characters and whimsical animals made famous by the beloved Christmas carol.

Each gazebo is encased in glass and extravagantly decorated on all sides to provide a dramatic, three-dimensional experience, and features mechanical parts and festive music that help bring the characters to an even more life-like state. The illumination of the exhibits is stunning at night.

Proceeds from the event benefited A Woman’s Garden at the Dallas Arboretum.

The exhibit is now open to the public through January 4, 2015.

Photos by Chuck Clark
Light it up in Lee Park

Light Up Lee Park is a free pulic event in Turtle Creek.

Mark your calendars for a family-friendly event that's celebrating its tenth year this holiday season.

The 10th Annual Light Up Lee Park is an amazing light display that will include music and fireworks this year.

The event is free and open to the public and will include a lights display on Green Lawn at Lee Park, free hot chocolate, and holiday favorites performed by the Salvation Army Brass Ensemble.

Light Up Lee Park will conclude with a spectacular fireworks display at 7:00 p.m.

Join the fun on Monday, December 1st at 5:30 p.m.

Robert E. Lee Park is located at 3400 Turtle Creek Blvd. in Dallas.

The mission of the Conservancy is the continued conservation, preservation, further development and maintenance of Lee Park and Arlington Hall.

Learn more on the group's website.

You can also follow news and get event updates on Facebook.
Celebrate the holidays with Old 97’s

Photo courtesy of The Old 97's

Saturday, December 13th at the Majestic.

The Old 97’s have announced their Hometown Show at Majestic Theatre!

The band is coming home in celebration of the 20th Anniversary of their classic album, hitchhike to rhome.

They've planned a four city Texas tour – visiting San Antonio, Austin, and Houston, and then concluding in Dallas at the historic Majestic Theatre.

The tour coincides with the release of Omnivore Recordings’ expanded reissue of hitchhike to rhome on 2-CD, digital, and for the first time, on LP in vinyl.

Included in the reissue is a treasure trove of never before heard out-takes and demos.

hitchhike to rhome was first released in 1994 – the first studio album by Old 97’s. The title comes from the song, “Stoned,” and refers to Rhome, Texas.

The Saturday, December 13th concert at the Majestic will feature the band performing hitchhike to rhome in its entirety, as well as a second set of tunes from their extensive catalog.

It promises to be an evening of nostalgia and revelry as the band weaves their way through their 20+ year history of songwriting and music.

Friend and local honkytonk hero, Matt Hillyer, is scheduled to open.

The “Hitchhike to Home: 20th Anniversary of hitchhike to rhome” tour will visit four Texas cities during early December 2014.

• December 10th in San Antonio at Sam’s Burger Joint

• December 11th in Austin at The Parish

• December 12th in Houston at legendary Fitzgerald’s

• December 13th in Dallas at the historic Majestic Theatre

Tickets are on sale now at PreKindle.

For the most up-to-date information visit the band's website or "like" them on Facebook.
Moss Haven students fundraise to fight Ebola

MHE raising funds and awareness in the battle against Ebola.

Moss Haven Elementary Beta Club

Recording in the studio.

There's a pretty cute cover of We are the World floating around YouTube this week. You can take a look (and listen) here.

The goal for these pint-sized philanthropists, all members of the Moss Haven Elementary Beta Club, is two-fold.

The group is out to raise $5,000 for Doctors Without Borders while helping better educate the public about the Ebola virus still raging in Western Africa.

Suzanne Gentry Flodin, Lake Highlands resident and Moss Haven parent, says that when one local elementary school had three students identified as potentially exposed to the virus, and following the death of Thomas Duncan, kids at Moss Haven became acutely aware of the crisis.

"In an effort to fight back against Ebola, as well as conquer the fear and helplessness it created, the Beta Club students and sponsors created this service fundraiser project."

In step with the Beta Club creed, they're out to show that one person (or in this case one group of friends) can make a big difference.

What can you do to help support their effort?

Connect with the group via Facebook or through Doctors Without Borders, share the video, and donate.

While the students' initial goal of $5,000 has been reached – the fund currently stands at just over $6,300 – there's still time to donate.

Zoe Rose, MHE Beta Club vice president, says they hope to wrap up the project by Thanksgiving.

"We can give thanks for not only our own health but all those working to improve the health of others."

Absolutely! Way to go, Moss Haven!

View and share the We are the World cover via YouTube, and make your donation here.
What’s up this weekend?

Friday Night Lights: LHHS (4-6) v. Skyline (10-0)

Uncle Calvin's Coffeehouse ©Ira Hantz

5K & 1 Mile Fun Run at Dallas Academy

12 Days of Christmas at the Dallas Arboretum

6A Bi-District Football Playoff
Friday, November 14th at 7:30 p.m.

Lake Highlands High School vs. Skyline
Forester Field, 8233 Military Parkway

Tickets on sale Friday morning in the LHHS lobby from 8:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Uncle Calvin's Coffeehouse
NorthPark Presbyterian Church
Friday, November 15th at 8:00 p.m.

Eliza Gilkyson performs live. Allie Farris opens.
$18 advance tickets/$22 at the door

Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Details and online ticket sales here.

White Rock Local Market
Saturday, November 15th 8:00 a.m.

Lakeside Baptist Church, 9150 Garland Rd.
Local, organic seasonal produce from area growers.

Read more about the market here.

Fall Recycling Roundup
Saturday, November 15th 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Richland College
12800 Abrams Road

Celebrate America Recycles Day by dropping off your hard-to-recycle items at Richland College this Saturday.
For a complete list of accepted items, click here.

6th Annual DAWG 5K Run and 1-mile Family Fun Run
Saturday, November 15th at 8:00 a.m.

Dallas Academy
950 Tiffany Way

8:00 am: 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk start time
8:45 am: 5K start time
9:30 am: Solar dedication and Flipping the Switch ceremony
9:45 am: Awards ceremony

Kickin’ it in the Highlands
Saturday, November 15th at 6:30 p.m.

Lakewood Theater, 1825 Abrams Parkway
Lake Highlands Elementary School fall fundraiser and silent auction

Tickets are available at the door for $25/person. Ticket price includes dinner catered by Lombardi Family Concepts. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Auction tables open and dinner begins at 7:00 p.m.

12 Days of Christmas
Opening Sunday, November 16th at the Dallas Arboretum

Featured evening viewings of The 12 Days of Christmas include Victorian inspired carolers and holiday festivities.

The exhibit will be open November 16th through January 4th, and advance ticket purchase is recommended via the Dallas Arboretum website.
Bookmarks to help green your online searches

Earth Day Texas is a great website

The City of Dallas has helpful green links and information.

Save Dallas Water lists everything from ordinances to lake levels.

Looking for information on where to take unwanted items? Know when you are allowed to water your lawn? Want to take advantage of the increasing number of bike trails? Interested in taking a free class on composting?

Read on for a list of helpful sites that provide insight into those topics and much, much more.

Dallas City Hall
Covering a lot more than just “green” business, the city's site includes information on trash and recycling collections and where to take electronics and hazardous chemicals.

Green Dallas
The main website for “going green” in Dallas, it includes information on green events (such as City of Dallas Recycling Roundups), the “Green Times” monthly newsletter, event requests, and “green” City ordinances such as the carry-out bag ordinance.

Save Dallas Water
Among other topics, this site provides tips on saving water, updates on lake levels, City ordinances related to water usage, and programs such as “New Throne for Your Home” and free irrigation system checkups.

Where Does It Go
This Stormwater Management site explains what stormwater is, why we should care about it, and what we can do as citizens to help care for our water supply. Water quality reports are found here.

Cease the Grease
This City website’s goal is to proactively educate the community about proper grease disposal to help protect our homes, businesses and environment from the nasty effects of Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSOs). Learn where to drop off your grease, which can be converted to an energy source such as biodiesel fuel.

Don't Waste Today
Waste diversion helps Dallas residents keep as much out of the landfills as possible through education and events such as the upcoming Recycling Roundup event at Richland College on Saturday, Nov. 15th. Learn more about the 3 R’s (reduce, reuse, and recycle) and composting.

Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) transports residents to their destinations by bus, light rail, or a combination of both. Use the DART trip planner, view fare and schedule information, find out about fun events and locations that DART services, and more.

Bike Friendly Dallas
“Bringing Dallas Together – On Bicycles”
Dallas currently has 115 miles of off-street trails that are in use today. Learn more here about the Dallas Bike Plan, view maps of current and future trails, “gear up” for upcoming biking events, and more.

Reverse Litter
Reverse Litter brings awareness to the consequences that littering can have on Metroplex waterways. Join the movement to clean up Dallas area communities and prevent litter from clogging and polluting our waters.

Green Source DFW
Green Source DFW’s goal is to advance the environmental movement in the Dallas-Fort Worth area by promoting: green living, sustainable practices, nonprofit environmental organizations, eco-friendly green businesses, environmental education, scientific information, public policy discussions, and socially responsible investing.

Earth Day Texas
Formerly Earth Day Dallas, it's an annual festival seeking to elevate environmental awareness and influence the way Texans think, live and work. This free, family-friendly event allows leaders in the corporate, academic and non-profit worlds to unite and show Texans how green lifestyle choices can lower their cost of living, improve their health, and help save the environment. Their next event will take place April 24-26, 2015 in Fair Park.

Don't forget!

The City of Dallas is hosting its semi-annual Recycling Roundup this Saturday at Richland College from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

For more information, click here.
Girl Scouts honor local community leaders

L to R: Gene Jones; Jennifer Bartkowski, CEO of Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas; Meredith Burke, Cameron Wicks, Regina Montoya, Nancy Ann Hunt

Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas (GSNETX) will honor two deserving women and exceptional Girl Scouts at the Women of Distinction Luncheon on November 19th at the Hilton Anatole.

Gene Jones, member of the Board of Directors for the AT&T Center for Performing Arts and the Texas Cultural Trust, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for her lifelong pursuit of helping others.

Former Girl Scout and teacher Nancy Ann Hunt, will receive the Woman of Distinction Award.

The Women of Distinction Luncheon recognizes outstanding women leaders and Girl Scouts for their service to the community.

Funds raised during the luncheon help provide leadership programming to more than 33,000 girls in Northeast Texas in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), financial literacy, healthy living, and outdoor leadership.

"Gene and Nancy are incredible examples of women making a difference in the Dallas community through their everyday commitment to help others," said Jennifer Bartkowski, chief executive officer for the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas.

"At Girl Scouts we believe every girl has an important role to play, and we want girls to be inspired to lead."

"Gene and Nancy Ann are exceptional community leaders who show our girls that they too can connect with their community and take action to make the world a better place."

The luncheon will be held Wednesday, November 19th at 11:00 a.m. the Hilton Anatole in Dallas.

Presented by AT&T, the keynote speaker is Alison Levine, team captain of the first American women’s Everest expedition and author of the New York Times best-seller, On the Edge: The Art of High-Impact Leadership.

More information about tickets is available by clicking here.

To learn more about the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, visit the group's website.
Playoff action for LHHS Wildcats

Lake Highlands (4-6) vs. Skyline (10-0) this Friday at 7:30 p.m.

LHHS takes on Skyline Friday night. ©Jeff Bargas

Recent wins by Lake Highlands High School against North Mesquite and Richardson have earned the team a spot in the District 6A Bi-District Playoffs this Friday night.

The 'Cats will take on Skyline Friday, November 14th at 7:30 p.m. at Forester Field in Dallas.

Advance tickets will be for sale on Friday from 8:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the high school.

Playoff tee shirts will also be for sale for $15 each.

For more information about purchasing shirts, please email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Forester Field is located at 8233 Military Parkway in Dallas.

LHHS v Mesquite photo is courtesy of Jeff Bargas.

To see more game photos, available for viewing and purchase, visit Jeff Bargas Photography.
Veterans Day Salute

Veterans Day 2014 ©DVIDSHUB

2014 Dallas Veterans Day Parade
Downtown Dallas, Reunion Arena site

Tuesday, November 11th
11:15 a.m.

The Dallas Veterans Day Parade, the second largest Veterans Day parade in the country, will take place in downtown.

The parade route begins at the intersection of Houston and Young Streets and will precede north on Houston Street then east on Main Street, south on Ervay Street, west on Young Street, south on Akard Street, east on Marilla Street, south on Ervay Street to Canton Street.

Plan for street closures and expect delays.

An aerial view of the parade route can be viewed HERE.

Celebrating our Heroes Among Us: A Tribute to WWII Veterans
Hosted by: Daughters of World War II

Hilton Anatole, 2201 N. Stemmons Freeway
Tuesday, November 11th from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Daughters of World War II brings together daughters, veterans, family members and friends through educational programming and specials events that are designed to raise awareness of World War II and its veterans.

At Tuesday's luncheon, H. Ross Perot will receive special recognition as the inaugural recipient of DWWII Legacy Award for Lifetime Service to US Military and Veterans.

Learn more about the Daughters of World War II on the group's website or call 214.649.1773.

Thank you to all who have served and those currently in service to our country.

Countdown to the holidays

9276 Cliffmere Drive, White Rock Valley

September Kick-Off Party ©Chris Dishman

2013 Holiday in the Highlands Home Tour

The Cheatham residence at One Vanguard Way

A Lake Highlands tradition is returning Friday, December 5th.

It's time to get your tickets to the Lake Highlands Women's League Holiday in the Highlands Home Tour!

The tour, market and luncheon will once again take place at Highland Oaks Church of Christ – for the holiday market and luncheon – and feature four fabulous area homes.

• The Smith Residence at 9425 Estate Lane

• The Cheatham Residence at 1 Vanguard Way

• The Mackenzie Residence at 9276 Cliffmere Drive

• The Jeffery Residence at 9332 Forestridge Drive

The tour runs from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. for evening viewing. Homes will be closed from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Tickets are $15 if purchased in advance or available at the homes on day of tour for $20 each.

This year's holiday market will take place Thursday, December 4th from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. and Friday, December 5th from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Reservations are required for the luncheon, and tickets are an additional $20 per person.

Tickets can be purchased from any LHWL member or by emailing .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Don't delay! Make your plans to attend today!

Highland Oaks Church of Christ is at 10805 Walnut Hill Lane, just east of Plano Road.

Read more about the home tour on the LHWL website and the group's Facebook page.
Speaker explores complexities of Mental Health

Audelia Road welcomes Amee Nash November 13th.

In the wake of actor/comedian Robin Williams passing, Audelia Road Library’s ongoing speaker series shines a light on mental health with its November speaker, Amee Nash, LPC.

As executive director of inpatient psychiatric services, Green Oaks hospital, Amee Nash has worked as a Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Texas for 15 years.

During that time, she has worked with individuals living with mental illnesses and substance use disorders in various stages of their illness and recovery, as well as with their family members.

Amee will discuss information about mental illnesses and brain disorders and touch briefly on the different categories of illness and what has been found to be most effective in the way of treatment and recovery.

Stigma and awareness are also important issues to cover, and the passing of Robin Williams has brought great awareness to this difficult condition, prompting important dialog as to how individuals and families can identify conditions, and seek a path to wellness.

Bring your questions, as Ms. Nash plans to allow for an ample question and answer session.

This free event will take place Thursday, November 13th. Refreshments will be available at 6:00 p.m.

Presentation begins at 6:30 p.m.

The Audelia Road Branch Library is located at 10045 Audelia Road in Lake Highlands.

For more information, call 214.670.1350
What’s up this weekend?

Lake Highlands High School Bell Boys ©Jeff Bargas

White Rock Local Market at the Greenspot this Saturday

Faith on Tap, this Sunday at Greenville Bar and Grill

LHHS Wildcats v. Mesquite Horn
Friday, November 7th
Wildcat/Ram Stadium

Senior Recognition takes place at 7:00 p.m.
Kick-off at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are available for purchase at Lake Highlands High School on Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and at the gate Friday night.

Shoreline Spruce-Up at White Rock Lake
Saturday, November 8th at 8:00 a.m.
For the Love of the Lake, 1152 N Buckner Blvd.

Volunteers meet at the FTLOTL office and go to White Rock Lake for two hours of shoreline and lake clean-up.

Learn more about volunteer needs and lake events here.

White Rock Local Market
Saturday, November 8th from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Green Spot, Buckner at Northcliff

Local, organic seasonal produce & hand-crafted goods. This "everything market" includes non-food items & music as well.

Learn more on the WRLM website.

Craft Fair at Central Lutheran Church
Saturday, November 8th from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
1000 Easton Road

Vendors include Pampered Chef, Mary Kay, Tawanda! jewelry, Becerra's TexMex tamales & salsa, KimNettie Designs, Crazy about Beads.

Proceeds benefit church youth programs.

Powder Puff Flag Football
Saturday, November 8th at 2:00 p.m.
Lake Highlands High School

The freshman, sophomore, junior and senior girls will compete in this fun event to raise money for the senior class.

Tickets are $5 at the gate. Concessions will be available, and the Clawset will be open with Wildcat spirit items for sale.

Lake Highlands High School and Wildcat Stadium are located at 9449 Church Road.

Faith on Tap
Sunday, November 9th at 5:30 p.m.
Greenville Bar & Grill
2821 Greenville Avenue

A non-denominational speaker series focused on the search for divinity in music, TV, movies, art, literature and the routine of everyday life. Guest speaker on November 9th is Jared Warren.

Free and open the public. Learn more here.
Come out and cheer your Wildcats!

Last week's game against N. Mesquite ©Jeff Bargas

Our Wildcat Football team had a great win against North Mesquite last Friday!

The Wildcats play Mesquite Horn this Friday, November 7th at Wildcat Stadium in Lake Highlands at 7:30 p.m.

It is also Senior Recognition Night, where the senior football players, cheerleaders, Highlandettes and band members will be recognized.

The pregame Senior Recognition begins at 7:00 p.m.

Advance tickets are on sale at Lake Highlands High School Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The community is encouraged to come out and cheer on the 'Cats and support the seniors.

Bring your family, neighbors, and noisemakers. Let's help the Wildcats defeat Horn!

Remember to wear your Lake Highlands colors and get loud!


Saturday, November 8th the annual Powder Puff flag football games will take place at Lake Highlands High School at 2:00 p.m.

The freshman, sophomore, junior and senior girls will compete in this fun event to raise money for the senior class.

Tickets are $5 at the gate. Concessions will be available, and the Clawset will be open with Wildcat spirit items for sale.

Lake Highlands High School and Wildcat Stadium are located at 9449 Church Road.

Questions? Call the school at 469.593.1000.

Photos courtesy of ©Jeff Bargas
Dallas Academy fires up solar power

DA Headmaster, Jim Richardson, consults with installers from Native, Inc.

Solar panel installation at the school.

Dallas Academy’s quest to become a green leader in Texas began over a year ago when Dallas Academy Parent Club president, Eileen Moore, approached school administration about applying for a solar grant from the Green Mountain Energy Sun Club to install solar panels on campus.

Dallas Academy pursued the opportunity and, much to the school’s delight, was awarded $30,000 in December of 2013.

The Sun Club is a program which allows Green Mountain Energy residential customers, employees, and supporters of renewable energy to donate solar power to sustainably minded non-profit organizations.

This grant sparked Dallas Academy’s desire to not only install $30,000 worth of panels, but to begin a fundraising campaign to cover all available roof space with solar panels.

The generosity of the school community and east Dallas community helped the DAPC raise over $100,000 in just a few short months. This money, along with an Oncor Utility Solar Rebate and the initial Sun Club donation, helped the school’s vision become a reality.

In August, builders from Native, Inc. were on campus installing Dallas Academy’s new solar array and the school was connected to the grid by October.

Dallas Academy installed a 289-panel, 73 kilowatt solar array which will produce 118,280 kilowatt-hours of solar power annually which, according to estimates, will eliminate 79.25 tons of CO2 emissions every year.

As one of the largest arrays of any private school in the state, it will not only power Dallas Academy but will also support neighborhoods surrounding the school.

Dallas Academy looks forward to reducing its carbon footprint and investing the money saved back into the unique programming that Dallas Academy provides students with learning differences.

Conservative estimates show that Dallas Academy’s solar panels will save an estimated $1,500 monthly from energy bills and more than $620,000 over the lifetime of the array.

That savings will allow Dallas Academy to purchase upgraded classroom technology and materials. Dallas Academy science teachers are also excited for the educational opportunities that this project will provide.

An online monitoring system has been installed on campus providing real-time data on energy produced by the solar array, energy consumed by the building and its inhabitants, and pollution offsets. Students will build environmental and social consciousness through their studies of the solar array and its effect on the environment.

Dallas Academy looks forward to dedicating their solar array on Saturday, November 15th during its 6th Annual DAwg Run 5K and 1-mile Fun Run.

Representatives from the Sun Club will be leading the “flipping of the switch” ceremony taking place at 9:30 a.m.

Dallas Academy invites members of the community to join the school for the race and for the solar ceremony.

Dallas Academy is located at 950 Tiffany Way in Dallas. You can learn more about the school and its solar initiative by visiting the school's website.
Police seek help locating missing Lakewood girl

Destiny Ripka, missing Lakewood student

A 16-year-old girl, last seen Monday afternoon near White Rock Lake, is missing.

Police say the teenager, Destiny Ripka, is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and left a suicide note in her home.

The last known contact came from Ripka's cell phone around 2:00 p.m. Monday.

Teams are searching in the areas surrounding Lakehill Preparatory School according to police.

Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to contact the Dallas Police Department at 214.671.4268.

Destiny is 5' 6", approximately 190 pounds, and attends Lakehill Preparatory School in Lakewood.

She was last seen Monday, November 3rd after school.
Looking ahead with LHAIA

November 10th at 7:00 p.m.

The Lake Highlands Area Improvement Association (LHAIA) is hosting its general meeting next Monday, November 10th.

Local residents are encouraged to attend and offer input.

This month's session will feature a panel of community leaders, "focusing on the bright future of Lake Highlands."

Participants include:

• Dr. Theresa Daniel, County Commissioner, District 1

• Ted Hill, Founder, LH Chamber of Commerce

• Tipton Housewright, Chairman, LH Public Improvement District

• Kathy Stewart, Director, LH Public Improvement District

• Susan Morgan, Skillman/LBJ Intersection Project

The LHAIA is the umbrella group for Lake Highlands homeowner, crime watch, and business groups and works to encourage community building and communication among residents and volunteers.

The November 10th meeting will take place at the Dallas Children's Theater at Northwest Highway and Skillman at 7:00 p.m.

To learn more about the LHAIA, visit the group's website or Facebook page.
Positively Fit: Moderation

Read Mallory's latest column here.

Moderation, or the avoidance of extreme behavior, is a concept that most of us agree is a sound principle. It’s also one that we find incredibly difficult to put into practice when it comes to our health.

Extreme fitness and nutrition plans that lead to overnight results are so tempting. But do these results last?

When it comes to diet and exercise, many people have an “all or nothing” mentality which results in predictable behaviors and outcomes.

Saying to oneself, “I ruined my diet by eating a slice of pizza, so I might as well eat a few more slices” turns into a self-fulfilling prophecy; a reasonable 300 calorie indulgence becomes a 1200 calorie food-fest. As one of my clients told me, “It’s as if I have a flat tire on my car, but instead of fixing the tire, I slash all the other tires.”

Thinking, “I already missed exercise three times this week, so I’ll just wait until Monday so I get a fresh start” or “I only have 20 minutes left to exercise today, so why bother?” is self-defeating as well. Our bodies don’t comprehend or care about the beginning of a new week on the calendar!

Our bodies don’t care that we only have 20 minutes to exercise. In fact, recent research has shown that we can get a lot accomplished in 20 minutes of vigorous training. And we mustn’t forget that 20 minutes a day of “found” time is 140 minutes a week!

On the flip side, some go to extremes in these areas – kicking off that diet and eating far too few calories or slashing entire food groups in hope of drastic weight loss. Others try to exercise to the point of overtraining, either working out multiple times a day, every day, until being sidelined by injury – or quitting quickly due to frustration.

Many of us feel we’ve failed if we don’t meet the impossible standards of perfection set forth by the media. There is a middle ground, of course, but it’s a difficult place to find for one accustomed to such extremes.

Why is moderation such a challenging concept for those of us who struggle with weight? Most of the people I know who maintain a healthy weight have been known to (gasp!) drink a margarita or have a slice of wedding cake on occasion.

Most move around throughout their day and exercise regularly, but not compulsively. Most take a day off if they are sick or a week off for vacation.

Take a look at the people in your life who maintain a healthy weight. Besides good genetics, what habits do they have that might contribute to their success in this area? Can they have a few tortilla chips and stop without fanfare?

Because here’s the thing: most of us are not going to be able to maintain an extreme for very long. Life gets in the way, and Herculean willpower usually fades. When we get used to living a moderate lifestyle, we may find freedom in the knowledge that nothing is really off limits, that being less-than-perfect can lead to more happiness.

Though we may never fit beautifully into that 15 year old wedding dress or tuxedo again, a moderate diet and exercise plan will also keep us from seeing extreme numbers on the scale or tape measure as well. And we’ll be healthy, well-rounded, and well-adjusted to boot!

Mallory Mansour Cislo is a Cooper Institute Certified Personal Trainer with additional certifications in nutrition and other areas of wellness and fitness including the TRX® Suspension Training.

She lives in Lake Highlands with her husband and three sons and owns Positively Fit Lake Highlands, a private group exercise and personal training studio devoted to spreading the joy of exercise and health to Lake Highlands, Dallas, and beyond.

Click here to order a copy of her book, Positively Fit: 25 Do-Everywhere Workouts for Busy People, which contains five workouts each for the home, office, playground, street, and minimally-equipped gyms.

Click here to "like" Positively Fit Lake Highlands on Facebook.
Have a Happy & Safe Halloween

Happy Halloween! ©FredericBrown

©Timothy Clary

We’ve all seen the articles and news stories warning about poison in Halloween candy (which by the way is something never actually documented in the USA), but that should be the least of our worries as we celebrate this spooky holiday.

You also might be worrying about the wrong family member…although young children face Halloween health and safety hazards, teens and adults and our beloved pets do too.

Here are a few real things to be cautious about as you head out tonight to trick-or-treat.

Cars and drunken drivers

Halloween is the most dangerous day of the year for young pedestrians, with twice as many deaths as on a typical day, according to auto insurer State Farm. Most at risk are kids ages 12 to 18 because they are often walking the streets without parents and with distractions like friends and cellphones.

Drunken drivers are another hazard for everyone on the streets. The percentage of fatal crashes involving drunken drivers rise from the usual 30% to nearly 50% on Halloween. About 20% of pedestrian deaths on Halloween involve a drunken driver.

Safety officials say they are especially worried about drunken driving this year because Halloween falls on a Friday. If you drink, don't drive.

Halloween related injuries

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, thousands of people are injured carving pumpkins each year, more specifically, about 4,400 people visited emergency rooms in 2013 for Halloween-related injuries. More than half of these were adults.

The most common injuries are pumpkin carving injuries…56% to be exact. One tip for pumpkin artists: Use tools designed for the job, rather than ordinary kitchen knives.

Falls are another common injury, often related to tripping over costumes or putting up decorations. So be careful when walking around in those bulky costumes!

Sticky dental mishaps

Sticky types of Halloween candy may do more damage than soft chocolates, dentists say. Next week may be especially busy for dentists and orthodontists, who will be putting crowns and fillings back in and dealing with damaged braces and other dental work.

Of course, dentists do worry about the sugar. One suggestion from dentists is for parents and children to go through the candy haul together, pick out a few relatively tooth-friendly favorites — like chocolate bars – and then give away the rest.

Poisoned puppies

We all know that dogs and chocolate don't mix. That's one reason calls to the poison control center at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) go up at Halloween.

Chocolate contains a compound that can cause vomiting, diarrhea and even seizures and death in dogs, she says. And dogs do have a sweet tooth — meaning left alone with a pillowcase full of candy, they might get in trouble.

Raisins and the artificial sweetener xylitol can also sicken dogs, experts say. So it's best to keep all sorts of human treats far away from our furry friends.

And as far as pet costumes go, don't give in to pressure to put your pets in costumes if they are not happy about that situation. An irritated pet could chew through the costume and choke on fabric or other parts.

Stat safe this Halloween and have a spookily fun time!
Food Forward: Plant-Based Eating

What the big deal about veganism? Nature's Plate fills us in. ©Sarsmis

Annette and Marianne, owners of Nature's Plate

Perhaps you’ve heard the buzz about plant-based eating, veganism – the health benefits, environmental impact, etc.

You may also be thinking that a plant-based diet and the avoidance of animal products (meat, dairy, eggs) is really extreme if not impossible.

So what’s the best way to incorporate the many benefits of all those nutrients and fiber in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes… and experience the health benefits including lower rates of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer without completely giving up all the traditional foods you love?

Well, as the Meatless Monday and Vegan Before Six concepts show, many people are finding ways to balance all of this out. Any movement in the direction of adding healthy, whole plant foods (as opposed to processed, vegan products) into our routine helps us by adding all the good stuff while also minimizing the less healthy food.

There are plenty of reasons to clean up our diets – weight/fat loss, improved fitness, general health, increased energy levels – and adding more whole plant foods can help with all of this and more.

Kaiser-Permanente (a leading health care provider and not-for-profit health insurer) now recommends plant-based diets saying “Healthy eating may be best achieved with a plant-based diet, which we define as a regimen that encourages whole, plant-based foods and discourages meats, dairy products, and eggs as well as all refined and processed foods.” But they also state “A plant-based diet is not an all-or-nothing program…”

Mark Bittman, author of Vegan Before Six: “We hear ‘You can only eat this way and if go off, you’re bad.’ With this, if you go off it, don’t worry. But live mostly that way forever. That doesn’t mean that if you’re dying for a slice of pizza you don’t have it; it means that’s not your everyday.”

Since we started Nature’s Plate, we’ve learned that most of our customers are using our meals to do exactly this – increase the healthfulness of their food in a convenient way. But most are not giving up animal products completely.

And Juliana Crawford, a long-time weekly customer of ours says: “My husband and I have loved adding Nature’s Plate to our weekly meal plan. Before discovering these meals we had been trying to plan out a few meatless meals per week just to add more veggies to our diet, but were running out of creative ways to do it. … We have also learned that you really can get a completely balanced nutritious meal that is entirely plant-based – something I had not quite realized before.”

The bottom line is however you choose to do it… adding more plants to your family’s meals has a long list of benefits, and it doesn’t mean you have to avoid animal products all the time.

Check out the Nature’s Plate website by clicking here or "like" their Facebook page.

Annette and Marianne love to hear feedback and suggestions and are happy to answer questions anytime. Email them at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

References: The Permanent Journal
Holidays at the Arboretum

Tickets are selling fast. Get your's now! Photo courtesy of the Dallas Arboretum

Can you believe we’re already talking Christmas?

The Dallas Arboretum has announced that tickets for its newest $2 million exhibition, The 12 Days of Christmas, are selling fast with some nights almost selling out.

You want to see this spectacular exhibit? Guests are encouraged to purchase tickets now for nighttime viewing of this magnificent holiday exhibit that will be Dallas' newest holiday tradition.

Unique in the world, the exhibit will open on the botanical garden grounds on November 16th and run through January 4th of the new year.

Dramatically designed 25-foot-tall gazebos have been built for each day of the popular carol and include either life-size Victorian-costumed mannequins or whimsical animals, with music accompanying each gazebo.

"Just like our popular Chihuly exhibit, the Dallas Arboretum will feature evening viewings of The 12 Days of Christmas, with Victorian inspired carolers and holiday festivities," said Brian Shivers, Dallas Arboretum chairman of the board.

"So far, we have sold more than 16,000 tickets for nighttime viewing, so those who want to purchase tickets should do so before all are sold out. Also, if you are a Dallas Arboretum member, you receive a 40% discount on evening tickets."

Building upon the audience appeal of the Chihuly installation, which the Dallas Arboretum showcased three years ago, and the infrastructure of outdoor lighting that was created in the garden for it, the Arboretum has conceived and commissioned this gift to the city with support from Amegy Bank of Texas and some of the garden's major donors.

Two years in the making, the idea originated with a board member's wife who knew the garden wanted a holiday exhibit for families that could be beautiful and dramatic by day and sparkling when lit at night.

Reservation dates may be selected at any time after purchase but will be subject to availability.

Individual evening tickets include parking, and more information can be found on the Arboretum website.

For inquiries regarding discounted tickets for groups 15 or larger, please call 214.515.6520 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).
Get to baking!

Enter the White Rock Local Market's 6th annual pie contest.

Photo courtesy of White Rock Local Market

Can you make a mouth-watering pie that people talk about at parties? If so, then get to baking!

The 6th Annual Fall Pie Contest is coming up on Sunday, November 9th at the new Vickery Meadow Local Market (VMLM) held at the northwest corner of the Half Price Books flagship store in Dallas.

White Rock Local Market (WRLM) recently received a grant for over $78,000 from the USDA to support the launch of the new market in the Vickery Meadow neighborhood.

Fall pie contestants will provide samples at a public tasting from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. where market attendees judge the competition and decide winners within the categories of Fruit, Nut, Chocolate, Cream/Custard, Savory and Youth.

Pie crusts and fillings must be homemade, and the winners in each category will receive gift certificates to be used at VMLM or WRLM.

How do you enter?

Contestants pay $10 per entry and bakers must provide two pies per entry. Deadline for registration is Friday, November 7th.

Proceeds will benefit programs offered by the Vickery Meadow and White Rock Local Markets, including Love Your Farmer volunteer days, Sprouting Healthy Kids (a hands-on gardening and nutrition after school program) and White Rock Local Garden.

Vickery Meadow Local Market is located at 5803 E. Northwest Highway in the Half Price Books parking lot.

For more information on the Vickery Meadow Local Market or to register, click here or call 214.797.4989.

Tasting tickets can be purchased for $5 each at the market information desk.
Suds Up: Untapped Dallas

Photo courtesy of Untapped Dallas

Are you a lover of craft beer and music? If that’s the case, then Untapped is where it’s at this weekend.

The Untapped Dallas music and craft beer festival features an extraordinary beer list of more than 300 high-quality, specially selected brews. You’ll also enjoy a vibrant lineup of bands and musicians, a local artisan village with artists and vendors, and plenty of other entertainment.

“It all started with a love of high-quality, craft beer and a passion for emerging local and national bands,” said Matthew B. Harber, Untapped CEO and Co-Founder. “Untapped was specifically designed by us as an event equally focused on both, an uncommon balance rarely found at festivals and events.”

“The aim never will be about the quantity of selection, but rather about curating the best in must-taste brews and must-hear music… a few of our favorite things, so to speak! The addition of local artisans, quality food vendors, dynamic sponsors and unique locations adds texture to each event and creates a vibrant village of activity.”

“What started as a self-serving shindig designed to showcase our personal interests turned out to be something that resonates in a way that is meaningful to us and our supporters! Cheers!”

When is Untapped?
Saturday, November 1st starting at 3:30 p.m. (general admission) with the VIP “Preferred Tasting” Session from 2:30 to 3:00 p.m.

Where is the fun?
Gilley’s which is located at 1135 S. Lamar Street.

When does the music start?
Bands start playing at 3:30 p.m. with the event wrapping up around 10:30 p.m.

Why should you attend Untapped?
Why not? Basically we’re passionate about great beer and great music and felt like there were thousands of like-minded people who would want to come hang out with us in a great spot and sample a wide range of amazing beers and tunes. If that doesn’t sound like a good time then this probably isn’t for you.

Can I purchase Admission Tickets the Day of the Event?
Pending availability, Beer Admission & General Admission Tickets may be purchased at the event. However, the smart people will be buying them in advance because it’s much easier and costs less. To buy your tickets click here.

What payment methods will be accepted?
Be sure to bring cash. ATMs will be available.

Is this an all ages event?
Yes, but keep in mind it’s a beer festival. As the day progresses it’s likely to be less and less kid friendly (duh).

What kinds of beers will be available at the festival?
In short, only really good to out of this freaking world awesome beers. The event is limited to Craft & Import Breweries only. You will not find any giant macro brews at Untapped. There will be a wide range of options for the hardcore beer geek and the newbie.

So get your taste buds ready and be prepared for some great brews and good music!

For more information on Untapped Dallas, visit the website or check out their Facebook page.
Greenville Bar & Grill returns

Read more about Greenville Bar & Grill's grand re-opening. Image courtesy of Greenville Bar & Grill

It's rumored to have one of Dallas's oldest liquor licenses, granted immediately after the end of Prohibition. Decades of fun followed at this Dallas landmark on lower Greenville Avenue, and even a well-publicized fire.

But while the times and ownership may have changed, the sign never did. As of October 23rd the historic sign is aglow again – this time over a revived Greenville Bar & Grill.

The bar and restaurant dining destination makes its return debut, welcoming Dallas back through its doors to relive favorite memories and make all-new ones.

"We are really excited to shine this landmark up and put it back in its rightful place in Dallas's trophy case," said Shawn Foley, whose card names him as "Chief Bottle Washer," but who is, along with his wife, Stacey, the new owner responsible for bringing Greenville Bar & Grill back to its original destination.

"My dad was in the restaurant business when I was growing up, and I know how valuable a great restaurant can be to a community. Some of my fondest memories are riding in the backseat of the car to visit one of my dad's Taco Tico locations. I also have great memories of Greenville Bar & Grill from my time as a student at SMU. We had to help bring it back to life – only better."

While the moniker is well-known, diners will find the menu at Greenville Bar & Grill something all-new.

Executive Chef Richard Sipovic (formerly of the Bellagio in Las Vegas and Libertine in Dallas), brings what he calls "low-country Southern" to the menu he developed for lunch and dinner service. Drawing on his love of good country fare (he is a country boy at heart, after all), Sipovic takes the farm-to-table concept and twists it to include a drip of Southern drawl.

"It's good comfort food that anyone can eat," said Sipovic. "My philosophy is that it's for everybody. Everyone should be able to experience this style of food, love it and enjoy it as I do."

Greenville Bar & Grill's menu includes Southern favorites you didn't even know you had – with a twist that Sipovic's high-end culinary experience brings. Appetizers include Fried Chicken Skins (yes, the skins, the 'verboten' part that is everyone's guilty favorite) with sweet jalapeno glaze, house made corn dogs made by hand, deviled eggs and hand cranked sausages.

Entrees at Greenville Bar & Grill satisfy that need for Southern food goodness, and are available at lunch or dinner, and if guests can manage to save a little space for dessert (or for the late-night drinks-and-dessert fix!), they will find an unbeatable seasonal crisp that changes with the fresh fruits Mother Nature makes available at the time, a special root beer float made with Henry's vanilla ice cream and handcrafted root beer, or even a piped-to-order funnel cake served with bourbon sauce.

When sidling up to the bar like so many Dallasites have done decades before, guests will find a full traditional bar with all the reliable draft beers people come to expect, complemented by a wide selection of American and North Texas craft beers.

Greenville Bar & Grill will feature a few import finds, but will center its selection on the best of the local craft beer movement, giving Dallas a chance to taste what's really going on in all those back rooms and basements.

The roof or mezzanine can even be reserved for corporate events, meetings, wedding receptions or proper Irish wakes.

History comes alive at Greenville Bar & Grill, making for a comfortable, tasteful, high-quality experience for any event.

Greenville Bar & Grill is officially open in its original location at 2817 Greenville Ave.

Lunch and dinner will be served from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. daily. Weekend brunch is served Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Check out the Greenville Bar & Grill website or find them on Facebook.
The importance of composting

Learn how to compost for free! ©Steve Schug

Is your trash can full at the end of the week?

Did you know that you can reduce the waste carried to landfills by composting more and throwing away less?

Dallas Water Utilities Conservation and the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center are sponsoring a composting class so you can learn how to get started.

This program will teach the composting process, the different types and methods of composting, as well as how to compost and its importance.

Join Patrick Dickinson, a Program Coordinator with the Urban Water Program of Texas A&M AgriLife Research, to find out all about composting.

Here’s the scoop:

Composting Class
Tuesday, November 11th
6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center
Building C (Pavilion)
17360 Coit Road
Dallas, TX 75252

Space is limited, so register online here or by calling 214.670.3155.
Cheerleaders Flower Sale

Fall Flower Sale supporting the LHHS Cheerleaders

The Lake Highlands High School Cheerleaders would like to invite you to participate in their Fall Flower Fundraiser.

Each year, they sell flowers from a local provider who supplies them with the most beautiful and healthy flowers available.

You can order from your favorite cheerleader or contact Deena Peterson at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) directly.

Orders are due Friday, October 31st at 8:30 a.m.

The cheerleaders will deliver the flowers on Saturday, November 8th.

Have questions about the plants for sale? Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call 972.754.4888.

What a fun year the Cheerleaders have had cheering for the Wildcats, and they thank you for your support!

Click HERE to view the plants for sale.

Click HERE to download an order form.
Ascension Trunk or Treat
Have a safe and happy Halloween! <i>©SafeKids.org</i>
Join your neighbors for a fun and safe Halloween event for kids and the whole family to enjoy at the Episcopal Church of the Ascension on Sunday, October 26th from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Ascension will be opening up the upper parking lot to host first annual ‘Trunk or Treat’ for families in the North Dallas area.

Ascension youth, Sunday school and outreach organizations, as well as the Ascension Day School will offer games, candy, and fun for all ages.

What is a ‘Trunk or Treat’? It's a fun Halloween event where children wear their costumes and trick or treat from car to car in a designated parking lot. The ‘Trunk or Treat’ is a way to have a safe and controlled environment for fun and games during the Halloween season.

There will be games and candy, and it's free for all ages. Food will also be available for purchase.

What sort of games and fun, you ask?

Zombie Bowling
Monster Toss
Pumpkin Fishing
Spooky Hoops
Porkula pig racing
Face Painting

Come enjoy the fun at Ascension!

Episcopal Church of the Ascension is located at 8787 Greenville.

Please contact Episcopal Church of the Ascension at 214-340-4196 or visit their website.
What’s up this weekend?

Lake Highlands vs Pearce at the Boneyard tonight! ©Jeff Bargas

It's a weekend of church and school carnivals!

Join in on the Moss Haven Madness!

Join Woodbridge NA for a lovely evening and art.

Enjoy some Wallace Carnival fun!

Lake Highlands Wildcats vs Pearce Mustangs
Friday, October 24th
7:30 p.m.

The Boneyard

The Lake Highlands Wildcats take on Pearce High School at the Boneyard. Bring your noisemakers to the Boneyard and BE LOUD!!

Kick-off is set for 7:30 p.m. GO 'CATS!

White Rock Local Market
Saturday, October 25th
8:00 a.m.

Green Spot at Buckner & Northcliff

Get your local, organic seasonal produce and hand-crafted goods. Enjoy non-food items and music too.

For more info, visit the website or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Moonstruck at Woodbridge
Saturday, October 25th
2:00 p.m.

Join the Woodbridge Neighborhood Association for their annual outdoor exhibition including two-dimensional and three-dimensional art created by Richland College’s art students.

The event will take place at Shadow Way and Woodlake Drive. Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for more information.

Wallace Elementary Country Fair & Carnival
Saturday, October 25th
3:00 p.m.

Wallace Elementary
9921 Kirkhaven Drive

Enjoy a live band, bounce houses, pony rides, petting zoo, hay rides, face painting, cake walk, field races, and much more!

Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with any questions. Wristbands are $20 at the door.

Brahms’ Magnificent
Saturday, October 25th
3:00 p.m.

Dallas Museum of Art

Enjoy the Bancroft Family Concert Series – enjoyable for all ages. Free admission, and no reservations or tickets required. Doors open at 2:30 p.m.

For more information, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call 214.520.2219.

Moss Haven Madness
Saturday, October 25th
4:00 p.m.

Moss Haven Elementary
9202 Moss Farm Lane

Wear a costume and enjoy food, games, cake walk and much more family fun! You won’t want to miss the madness!

To find out more, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Klyde Warren Saturday Activities
Saturday, October 11th

Klyde Warren Park
2012 Woodall Rodgers Freeway

• Tai Chi with El Centro College from 8:00 – 9:00 a.m.
• SWEAT in the Park Boot Camp from 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.
• Yoga from 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
• Family Yoga with the Crow from 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
• Balance and Harmony with Dogfit Dallas from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
• Food Trucks from 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
• Klyde Warren Park Anniversary Celebration from 12:00 - 5:00 p.m.
• Skyline 360 Tour with DCFA from 2:30 – 3:00 p.m.

For more information on the individual classes, click here.

Vickery Meadow Local Market
Sunday, October 26th
9:00 a.m.

Half Price Books
5803 Northwest Highway

Get your local, organic seasonal produce and hand-crafted goods. Enjoy non-food items and music too.

For more info, visit the website or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

MPE Fall Carnival
Sunday, October 26th
3:00 p.m.

Merriman Park Elementary
7101 Winedale Drive

Come have a spooky good time at the MPE Fall Carnival. Food, bounce houses, games, zipline, and more fun for all ages!

Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) to find out more! Wristbands are $15-$25 depending on age.

Ascension Trunk or Treat
Sunday, October 26th
5:00 p.m.

Episcopal Church of the Ascension
8787 Greenville

Children wear their costumes and trick or treat from car to car. Fun for the whole family!

For more information, call 214-340-4196.
LHHS Choir Poinsettia Sale

Place your poinsetta order before October 28th!

‘Tis the season for the Lake Highlands High School Choral Department to sell its Holiday Poinsettias.

These poinsettias are available in red, white or pink for $10 each.

If you would like to purchase poinsettias to support our award-winning choir program, please place your order with any LHHS Choir student, or email Deena Peterson at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), by October 28th. Orders will be delivered Tuesday, December 2nd.

If you would like to place a large order for your business, school or church, please email Deena Peterson at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for information about price breaks for large volume orders.

Lake Highlands High School choirs set a standard of success for school choir programs around the state and country.

Together, as the tradition continues, help the LHHS choir make 2014-2015 the best year ever.

Also, mark your calendar for the Holiday Concert on Thursday, December 4th at 7:30 p.m. in the LHHS Auditorium.
Expanding senior care in Lake Highlands

Martins Landing apartments will be included as part of Presbyterian Village North’s expansion plans. ©Pi Architects

Presbyterian Village North recently hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for phase one of a $93 million expansion project that will enrich the lives of residents now and down the road.

With the “re-greening” of Lake Highlands and more of our senior residents moving into assisted living, this will offer even more living space for them close to our community.

The project includes the addition of two independent living buildings, assisted living units, memory care apartments and services, a lifestyle fitness center, a transitional care unit, a chapel and a central park with a water feature and a pavilion.

“We are thrilled to bring more amenities to our campus while enhancing the type of care we provide,” said Ron Kelly, executive director of Presbyterian Village North. “This project will allow us to add assisted living memory care to our campus.”

“In addition, a new transitional care unit will enhance our quality rehab services in a specially designed area that focuses on helping patients transition from the hospital to their homes. Our community has a bright future ahead, and I am excited to see our vision become a reality.”

The expansion project will add 350,000 square feet to the Presbyterian Village North community satisfying the needs of an 200 seniors each year, and it will also provide at least 150 new full-time jobs.

“I came to Presbyterian Communities and Services for the opportunity to make this campus a national model of excellence,” said Ric D’Amico, director of project development for Presbyterian Communities and Services.

“We are making deliberate choices in the design and development to ensure that we create a community where the residents will thrive and truly live life to the fullest.”

There will be a new lifestyle fitness center at the center of campus with an additional swimming pool, Jacuzzi spa, locker rooms, and an expansion of the group exercise area. The fitness center will also include a spa suitable for massages and other spa-like activities, a clinic for physicians and other clinicians, and a café.

The newest part of the community will have a green space with a water feature and pavilion.

The new transitional care unit will include 60 beds available to residents and the community which will include a second HydroWorx 3500 therapy pool.

The expansion will also include the Leonard Rose Villas and the Martins Landing which will accommodate independent living for over 100 residents. Joyce Hall, Presbyterian Village North’s current assisted living building, will add another 71 new apartments on three floors.

“We are thankful for the support that we have from the surrounding community and from the government officials representing our district,” said Godwin Dixon, chief executive officer of Presbyterian Communities and Services. “Our organization prides itself on making a positive impact on the lives of others, and we are eager to start the expansion, as it will create exceptional opportunities for seniors, their families and members of the public who need our services.”

Presbyterian Village North is located at 8600 Skyline Dr. just south of Forest Lane and west of Greenville Ave.

For more information, visit the Presbyterian Village North website.
Saving from a Rainy Day

Make your own rain barrel! ©Baronoskie

Are you a City of Dallas Water Utilities Customers and want to learn to make your own rain barrel?

You can save your rain - divert it, save it, use it!

Come learn the basics and benefits of rainwater harvesting and the effects stormwater has on the environment.

Participants will learn how to collect and utilize rainwater at home and have the opportunity to construct their very own 55-gallon rain barrel.

Here’s the scoop:

Making a Rain Barrel
Thursday, October 30th
6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.


Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center
Building C (Pavilion)
17360 Coit Road
Dallas, TX 75252

There are only a few spots left, so hurry and register!

For more information or to register for the workshop, click here.
Moss Haven Madness

Wes and Brooklyn pose at last year's Carnival.

Photo courtesy of MHE

Photo courtesy of MHE

It's going to be Madness! The Moss Haven Madness Carnival, everyone's favorite fall family event, is back on October 25th from 4 to 7 p.m. with an event that will have your little superheroes and fairy princesses jumping for joy.

Everyone is invited (and encouraged to wear costumes!) to this event, which raises funds for the Moss Haven Elementary School PTA to support a variety of school initiatives. The event is open to all families, not just those attending the school.

"Moss Haven Madness is a favorite Lake Highlands tradition that people all over the Dallas area come to enjoy," said Stephanie Stevens, PTA volunteer and co-chair of Moss Haven Madness.

"It's the kind of unforgettable family fun that we loved when we were kids! All families are welcome to come and join the fun."

The highly-anticipated event -- which takes place at Moss Haven Elementary but is open to anyone and everyone -- features kid-friendly games, activities, food and more that make for a great family outing. Activities will include a bounce house, obstacle courses, inflatable slides, Euro Bungee, a zip line, Zorb ball racing and a child-appropriate haunted house.

Kids can try their hand at fun carnival games including a cake walk, hockey slap, putt-putt and more.

Families can jam to the sounds of a DJ, kids will enjoy candy and mystery grab bags full of trinkets and treasures, and they can also learn about the kid-friendly farm that Moss Haven Elementary school students tend as a way to learn about agriculture, fresh food and more.

Adults and kids alike will enjoy fresh food from their favorite restaurant on wheels, as several of Dallas's favorite food trucks will be at Moss Haven Madness. Got a picky eater? No worries, as there will be something your little ones will be "goblin" down, along with the adults.

Moss Haven Madness will have food trucks including: BellaTrino Neopolitan Pizzeria & Cucina, Samson's Gourmet Hot Dogs and Ruthie's Rolling Cafe. Concessions will also include snow cones and popcorn.

For more information about the event or to purchase raffle tickets (to win $500 in Northpark Gold) contact Stephanie Stevens at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call 214.402.7646.

Moss Haven Elementary is located at 9202 Moss Farm Lane.
A Bicycle Superhighway

The recently approved bike highway Credit North Central Texas Council of Governments

Have you heard?

Transportation planners are putting $7 million dollars toward a commuter bike and pedestrian trail reaching from downtown Fort Worth to downtown Dallas.

That’s a huge deal for cyclists all over North Texas!

This recent approval will go toward building another 10 miles of connecting trails.

This "superhighway of bicycles" will be 64 miles in all, with the trail running most of the way along the Trinity River.

It will start from existing bike paths in downtown Fort Worth through Arlington, then loop through Irving and Grand Prairie and finish off on the new Trinity Skyline Trail in downtown Dallas.

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, a cyclist herself, came up with the idea after hearing that more folks would get on their bikes if there were more trails.

"Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to connect the whole Metroplex – to encourage people to get out, to use the trail, to see the beauty, to see different cities," Price asked.

Hence, the Fort Worth to Dallas Trail Connection idea was born.

Planners hope the full 64 miles of the Fort Worth-to-Dallas trail will be linked up in four years, allowing North Texas cyclists to journey easily between these two great cities.

You can read more about the project on the North Central Texas Council of Governments website.
DART rail interruptions

Photo courtesy of DART

Beginning next Saturday, October 25th, and concluding Sunday, November 30th, DART Rail in Downtown Dallas will be discontinued each weekend to allow track replacement along Pacific Avenue and Bryan Street.

The DART shuttle buses will connect the affected stations however, so passengers can still use DART.

Passengers traveling on these weekends are strongly encouraged to allow plenty of extra time, especially if rail-to-bus transfers are involved.

Fans attending weekend events at American Airlines Center, as well as participants in the Capital One Bank Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day, may also be impacted by delays.

Here’s what you need to know about interrupted rail segments:

• Red and Blue lines - between Union Station and Pearl/Arts District Station

• Green Line - between Victory Station and Deep Ellum Station

• Orange Line - between Victory Station and LBJ/Central Station (only Red Line will operate on the Pearl/Arts District-LBJ/Central portion of the Orange Line on these days.)

DART shuttle buses will serve the affected stations. Buses will load and unload at the red "Rail Disruption" bus stops located near each station.

Five separate routes will be in operation, including express service between Pearl/Arts District and Union Station. You can see the bus shuttles route map and boarding location maps here.

The good news is that normal weekend service is scheduled to resume in time for the annual Children's Medical Center Holiday Parade.

For more information on service and project updates, visit the DART website.
Wallace Country Fair & Carnival

The Wallace Country Fair & Carnival is next weekend!

The State Fair of Texas is coming to an end, but Wallace Elementary has next Saturday’s Lake Highlands family fun covered!

Grab the family and head over for an afternoon at the Wallace Elementary Country Fair & Carnival.

Enjoy a live band, bounce houses, pony rides, a petting zoo, hay rides, face painting, a cake walk, field races, carnival games, amazing silent auction and food and fun for all.

And you definitely won’t want to miss ice cream from Lake Highlands Creamery, the most delicious local ice cream you’ll taste.

Get your Access Band for just $15 in advance or $20 at the gate.

Want everyone to join in on the fun? You can invite friends through Wallace’s Facebook event by clicking here.

All proceeds support the Wallace PTA, so head on out and enjoy some Wallace Country Fair & Carnival fun!

The Wallace Elementary Country Fair & Carnival will take place Saturday, October 25th from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. at 9921 Kirkhaven Dr.

For sponsorship opportunities or advance Access Bands, please contact Amy Range at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).
Dallas Sample Sale

Find out more about the Dallas Sample Sale.

The Dallas Sample Sale is set for November 6th – 9th and has something for everyone including gifts, apparel, jewelry, toys, children’s clothing, holiday decorations, home accessories, and furniture from hundreds of booths to kick off the holiday shopping season.

Shoppers can get ahead of the crowds at Preview Night on Thursday, November 6th from 6- 9:30 p.m. for the widest selection of products.

Tickets can be purchased at the door or online with a portion of the proceeds benefitting The Salvation Army DFW. It is free to attend on November 7th- 9th.

Here’s the scoop:

Location: Market Hall at Dallas Market Center, 2200 Stemmons Fwy. (I-35 & Wycliff)

When: Thurs., Nov. 7 at 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m; Fri. & Sat., Nov. 8-9 at 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sun., Nove. 10 at 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Questions? Contact Lauren Grey, Communications Manager at (214) 749-5405 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Want to know more about the Dallas Sample Same? Here is a recap from last year.

For more information, visit the website or check it out on Facebook.
Christopher’s Crew

Christopher Bowen, a WRE Kindergartener

Christopher Bowen has a lot of friends, especially for someone who is only five years old.

Christopher, a kindergartner at White Rock Elementary School, is at the heart of a fundraising effort that has brought together people across the Lake Highlands community.

Neighbors are rallying behind a shared goal: to help young Christopher and his family as they struggle against a disease that is slowly ending his life.

Christopher is battling a severe case of Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) in his lungs, kidneys, liver, heart and brain.

Diagnosed at the age of two, the congenital condition is slowly taking the wind out of the sails of this bright and active boy.

His sparkling eyes and ready smile belie the fact that his arteries and veins are no longer working as they should to deliver oxygen-rich blood throughout his body.

Christopher’s family sees to it that he lives as normal a life as possible: learning to read and write at school, playing soccer with his friends, going to church with his family, and attending his 10-year-old sister’s sporting events. The only difference is that he has to do it with breathing tubes and an oxygen tank in tow.

On Saturday, October 25th, some of Christopher’s friends – calling themselves “Christopher’s Crew” – are organizing a kids’ bike ride and family-friendly festival to celebrate Christopher and raise some much-needed funds to offset the staggering medical expenses his family faces.

Everyone is invited to join the fun and “Ride with Christopher’s Crew” down at the Lake Highlands Town Center. The celebration includes a children’s bike ride, bike decorating contest, bounce houses, great music, hot dogs, and fun for all ages:

Ride with Christopher’s Crew is open to all ages with a suggested $10 cash donation per person at the event or online at Christopher's Crew.

All proceeds will benefit the Christopher Bowen Trust Fund. Volunteers from the Lake Highlands community are managing the event.

“No question, seeing Christopher suffer is a sad and painful experience for our family,” says Kaylene Bowen, Christopher’s mom and a Lake Highlands native and alum.

She noted quickly that his two siblings have been sheltered from fully understanding the terminal nature of his condition.

“But sometimes in the midst of a dark time, you receive unexpected blessings when your community and your church rally around you to lift you up.”

Ride with Christopher’s Crew will take place on Saturday, October 25th from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Lake Highlands Town Center

To donate money to Christopher's Crew, click here.
Moonstruck at Woodbridge

Find out more about Moonstruck at Woodbridge on October 25th.

The Woodbridge Home Owner’s Association is happy to announce a new collaboration between Richland College and the Woodbridge neighborhood.

Woodbridge will host “Moonstruck at Woodbridge,” an annual outdoor exhibition with this year’s program including two-dimensional and three-dimensional art created by Richland College’s art students.

The outdoor exhibit, hosted by the Woodbridge, is free to the public and will run on Saturday, October 25th from 2:00-5:00 p.m. located near Shadow Way and Woodlake Drive, a quaint and wooded area within Woodbridge.

This exhibition is in conjunction with the 2014 Richland Arts Fest occurring November 3-7 at Richland College.

The theme of the festivities is “Moonstruck” and will focus on cultural celebrations of the full moon as well as the madness that the moon inspires.

The artwork highlighted at the Woodbridge neighborhood will be created by Richland art students enrolled this semester involving painted wood surfaces and clay and wood sculptures.

A jury of Woodbridge residents will award three scholarship prizes to participating students who show exemplary achievement in the 2D and 3D art categories.

This annual festival marks the beginning of a fruitful relationship between the college and the Woodbridge community.

Please join the Woodbridge HOA in this celebration of creativity that connects the community and the college!

To remain in touch with the event’s programming, follow Woodbridge on Twitter @WoodbridgeHOA or for more information about the Woodbridge community, visit their website.
“Big Hero 6” at the Pumpkin Patch

Meet the Big Hero 6 promotion crew at St. James this Sunday! ©Disney

Enjoy St. Jame's Pumpkin Patch while you're enjoying the Disney crew.

Want to meet some “Heroes?”

This Sunday, October 19th from 2-4 p.m., the Disney promotion crew will be at the St. James Pumpkin Patch to promote their upcoming movie, Big Hero 6.

Families are welcome to come and learn more about the movie, and the crew will be handing out cards, stickers and kites to the kids.

What is Big Hero 6?

From Walt Disney Animation Studios, the team behind Frozen and Wreck-It Ralph, comes Big Hero 6, an action-packed comedy-adventure about the special bond that develops between Baymax (voice of Scott Adsit), a plus-sized inflatable robot, and prodigy Hiro Hamada (voice of Ryan Potter).

When a devastating event befalls the city of San Fransokyo and catapults Hiro into the midst of danger, he turns to Baymax and his close friends adrenaline junkie Go Go Tomago (voice of Jamie Chung), neatnik Wasabi (voice of Damon Wayans Jr.), chemistry whiz Honey Lemon (voice of Genesis Rodriguez) and fanboy Fred (voice of T.J. Miller).

Determined to uncover the mystery, Hiro transforms his friends into a band of high-tech heroes called Big Hero 6.

Inspired by the Marvel comics of the same name, and featuring breathtaking action with all the heart and humor audiences expect from Walt Disney Animation Studios, Big Hero 6 is directed by Don Hall (Winnie the Pooh) and Chris Williams (Bolt), and produced by Roy Conli (Tangled).

The film hits theaters in 3D on November 7th but you can meet the crew in person, which is an experience you won’t forget.

St. James Episcopal Church is located at 9845 McCree Road. Visit their website for more information about St. James.
Free classes at Studio 6

Don't miss the free classes this weekend at Studio 6's new location.

There is a new Studio 6 Pilates at the Shops at Park Lane, and they're offering free classes this weekend!

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Studio 6 is offering free pilates, yoga and barre on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, October 17-19.

Studio 6 offers high intensity, low impact workouts that fuse Pilates, strength training and cardio to provide the most effective full body workout in less than an hour.

Give it a try and visit Studio 6 this weekend.

Studio 6 is located at 8180 Park Lane, Suite 343. Visit their website for more information.
A haunting good time

LH kids are invited to the Exchange Club Halloween Carnival at the LH North Rec Center. Photo courtesy of ECLH

Photo courtesy of ECLH

As ghosts and goblins get ready to trick-or-treat, the Lake Highlands Exchange Club is working hard as a sponsor to prepare for the Halloween Carnival at the Lake Highlands North Recreation Center.

This spooky event will take place on Thursday, October 30th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Lake Highlands children are invited to have a howling good time.

As always, there will be game booths, bounce houses, a disc jockey and food for area
Kindergarten through 6th grade children.

VIPs who attended last year’s event included Spiderman, one of the three bears, Vampires, Spiderman, Little Miss Dragonfly, Michael Jackson, Pirates and even a Ladybug.

Horrifying screams will definitely haunt the halls of the Rec Center – most likely from kids going down the giant slide. Music presented by the DJ will rock the gym with teenie boppers dancing in costume.

Halloween is always special at the Lake Highlands North Recreation Center!

For more information on the Exchange Club of Lake Highlands, visit their website.

Please contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with any questions.
Fall is in the air

Enjoy amazing choral music on October 20th by LH Area choirs.

Get ready for the Lake Highlands area choirs to sing their hearts out at their annual Fall performance in the Lake Highlands High School auditorium on Monday, October 20th.

The concert will be the first performance of the year for most of the ensembles, so you won’t want to miss it!

“Each choir will give just a quick sample of the songs that we have been working on to begin our singing together this school year,” said Kari Gilbertson, who heads up the LHHS choral department.

“And, as always, we will end with our moving and patriotic mass choir performing God Bless America.”

The show will feature the Men’s, Women’s and Mixed Choirs from Forest Meadow Junior High, Lake Highlands Junior High, Lake Highlands Freshman Center and the High School.

“The choirs are so excited to share what they’ve been working on and are ready to move on to our holiday repertoire for the next concert!”

The show on Monday, October 20th is free, and the curtain goes up at 7:30 p.m.

Lake Highlands High School is located at 9449 Church Road.
RISD community meetings

RISD will address the secondary growth plan for Lake Highlands in community meetings.

A few weeks ago, we reported on RISD Board of Trustees’ September 22nd study session in which they heard a comprehensive presentation from district staff about long range plans to accommodate academic programs and student growth at the secondary level (grades 7-12).

It’s obvious RISD has experienced enrollment growth during the last several years, especially at the elementary level in Lake Highlands.

Today a letter was sent home with Lake Highlands students regarding an upcoming meeting about how the District hopes to accommodate this growth as the primary grade students proceed to higher grades.

Here is what the letter said:

RISD’s response to accommodate this growth has been to construct 49 additional classrooms at eight Lake Highlands-area schools over the last three years. The new classrooms are being used, the number of students unable to attend their neighborhood school due to lack of space has dropped, and this year we are requesting only one class size waiver from the state for a single classroom after reaching a high of 291 class size waivers in 2012.

We truly appreciate the support from parents and community members as we have managed our growth. Parents are choosing Lake Highlands and RISD, and that’s extremely positive.

As the enrollment growth moves through grade levels, and in preparation for a potential bond election in 2016, we have begun the process of planning for the impact on Lake Highlands High School (LHHS).

In addition to planning for growth, we are evaluating program and equipment needs at the secondary level as we implement options aligned with the new state graduation plans, additional Career & Technical Education offerings and enhance other efforts related to college & career readiness of RISD graduates.

At a Board of Trustees meeting on September 22, district staff presented an initial idea of moving ninth graders from Lake Highlands Freshman Center (LHFC) to LHHS, making LHHS a comprehensive 9-12 school.

Simultaneously, a portion of the LHFC building could be used to open RISD’s first early college high school for students who want to accumulate college credit and potentially earn an associate’s degree while completing their high school graduation plan.

Over the last three weeks, the idea has been discussed with focus groups of staff members from LHFC and LHHS, a focus group of current students, a focus group of Lake Highlands parents and community members, and then meetings with the entire staffs of both schools. The meetings have resulted in excellent feedback, ideas and questions, and reaction has generally been supportive of formally adding ninth graders to LHHS and implementing an early college high school.

To view some of the questions and answers from the focus group and faculty meetings, please visit the RISD homepage. Our next step includes broader informational meetings for parents and community members to learn more, provide feedback and ask questions.

You are invited to attend one of three identical parent and community informational meetings to learn more about how transitioning ninth graders to the high school might work, what it means for students and staff, what an early college high school is, and how it might operate as an option for LHHS students.

The meeting info is as follows:

Thursday, October 16th at Lake Highlands High School 6:30pm

Tuesday, October 21st at Forest Meadow Junior High 6:30pm

Thursday, October 23rd at Lake Highlands Junior High 6:30pm

Parents and community members are welcome to attend, learn more, ask questions and provide feedback.

Visit the RISD website to view the FAQ section.
Tagging the Monarchs

Visit Texas Discovery Gardens and tag some monarchs during the Fair.

While you’re walking the State Fair of Texas, the folks at Texas Discovery Gardens (TDG) are enjoying seeing thousands of monarchs fly through the TDC grounds.

The monarchs always seem to hit Dallas just after opening day of the State Fair, and they last through the first few major cold fronts, which means they are still around enjoying the Texas weather.

According to the TDG staff, it's the best kept secret of the Fair, and they say it's worth the price of State Fair admission and parking just to witness!

If you visit TDG during the Fair, enjoy half off Texas Discovery Gardens admission and schedule your trip to coincide with the daily Monarch Tagging Demonstrations at 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.

For more information, visit the Texas Discovery Gardens website.

Texas Discovery Gardens is located on the Fair grounds, so paid parking and State Fair admission is required.
Market in the Meadow

Get ready for Market and the Meadow this weekend!

This year's Market in the Meadow has over 160 vendors to shop.

There will be plenty of entertainment in between your shopping.

There will be plenty of goodies to choose from this weekend.

Lake Highlands Today is a proud sponsor of Market in the Meadow.

The countdown is on until you can check off those hard-to-shop for folks on your holiday shopping list.

Market in the Meadow is only a couple of days away, and if you thought last year was amazing, wait until you see this year's selection of vendors!

For 31 years, this holiday gift sale, which brings merchants and shoppers to the Forest Meadow Junior High campus, brings a better and better shopping experience each year.

Market in the Meadow will present over 160 booths offering upscale items such as unique apparel and accessories, holiday décor, candles, gourmet food, home accessories, and much more.

The Charger Cafe, featuring delicious food, will also be open for business as usual. And stop by the Bake Shoppe early to purchase baked goods prepared by volunteers because they go fast!

Don't forget to buy your raffle tickets for a chance to win wonderful items donated by the vendors, too.

Enjoy live entertainment provided throughout the day by the bands, choirs, cheerleaders, drill teams, and dance teams from Lake Highlands junior highs and high schools.

All proceeds from the event will be returned directly to the classroom for the benefit Forest Meadow Junior High students.

Get ready for a fabulous shopping experience, and plan on joining your friends and family at the 31st Annual Market in the Meadow!

Market in the Meadow will take place Saturday, October 18th from 9:00 a.m.to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, October 19th from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Admission is FREE!

For more information, visit the event website or "like" the Facebook page.

Forest Meadow Junior High is located at the northwest corner of Abrams Road and Whitehurst Drive.

Don’t forget to observe street signs when parking your car as failure to do so may result in a citation.

Lake Highlands Today is a proud sponsor of Market in the Meadow.
Tacky Box ends bullying

The Tacky Box set helps kids make good choices. Photo courtesy of Tacky Box

Chris Kent Phelps, mother of two and inventor of the Tacky Box and crusader for kindness has a dream.

“I have a dream, and I have a plan,” she said. “I believe we can collectively make the world a kinder place, one child at a time, by celebrating love and kindness at an early age, before bullies are made.”

“We must reach each child before the fear of rejection has been introduced and reinforce love and kindness. When the heart is filled with love instead of fear – words, actions and thoughts will be congruent and unkindness will be eradicated.”

How does Phelps hope to achieve her lofty goal?

She discovered how to work with children to turn negative behavior, like bullying, around into positive life-long habits.

The Tacky Box Set is an effective tool that encourages and teaches children to make positive choices in language and behavior.

It includes an authentic Tacky Box, a copy of Silver Nautilus Award-winning book Max’s (or Margo’s) Magnificent Choice and a notepad.

The story of Max and Margo is a fun way for children to see the positive rewards of choosing kindness. Whenever children hear tacky words or see tacky behavior, they write the actions down, lock them away in their Tacky Box and remove that action/word from their heart.

When the book and box are used together, children are provided with both a visual and hands on lesson.

“Children are not born to be mean – they observe behavior that becomes acceptable to them,” Phelps explained.

“If we can help our kids identify the power of their words and actions at an early age, then maybe, just maybe, we can help prevent children from turning into bullies.”

According to the Federal Government's Stop Bullying Campaign, there are three types of bullying – verbal, social and physical:

Verbal bullying is saying or writing mean things. Verbal bullying includes:

• Teasing
• Name-calling
• Inappropriate sexual comments
• Taunting
• Threatening to cause harm

Social bullying, sometimes referred to as relational bullying, involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships. Social bullying includes:

• Leaving someone out on purpose
• Telling other children not to be friends with someone
• Spreading rumors about someone
• Embarrassing someone in public

Physical bullying involves hurting a person’s body or possessions. Physical bullying includes:

• Hitting/kicking/pinching
• Spitting
• Tripping/pushing
• Taking or breaking someone’s things
• Making mean or rude hand gestures

Phelps believes that to truly reduce bullying, it needs to be an everyday effort.

“It is our goal to see the Tacky Box Classroom Set in every classroom across the country. I have a plan to encourage both corporate and individual sponsors to help make this happen.”

For more information on the Tacky Box Set, visit the website or check out the Facebook page, Twitter, YouTube or Pinterest.
Vickery Meadows Local Market

Read about the grant that White Rock Local Market recently received for Vickery Meadows Local Market development.

White Rock Local Market was recently recognized by the USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program and is the recipient of $78,565 to support the development of the new Vickery Meadow Local Market.

The USDA has announced the awards of over $52 million in support of the growing organic, local and regional food systems through five grant programs.

Dallas’ newest local farmer’s market at the Half Price Books flagship store on Northwest Highway sets up every Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. through December 14th and will resume in March 2015.

White Rock Local Market will work with Vickery Meadow Improvement District and other organizations to create a market reflecting the rich cultural diversity of Vickery Meadow, bringing healthy foods and local crafts while developing new opportunities for urban and rural food producers.

The USDA grant will help to facilitate access to healthy locally raised food in the diverse Vickery Meadow neighborhood.

“Local and regional food systems are one of the pillars of our efforts to revitalize rural economies,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

“Consumers are increasingly demanding more local and organic options. Investing in local and regional food systems supports the livelihoods of farmers and ranchers, especially smaller operations, while strengthening economies in communities across the country.”

The Vickery Meadow Local Market sets up every Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Half Price Books located at 5803 E. Northwest Hwy.

For more information, visit the WRLM website.
Meliza Family FUNdraiser

Allison and Baron Meliza

Lake Highlands resident Baron Meliza was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and has begun treatments.

He, his wife, Allison, and their two daughters are determined to fight the cancer and pursue every avenue to improve his chances against the disease.

The Melizas are surrounded by friends, family and a loving community who are willing to stand alongside them in their battle. One of those individuals is Farrel Chapman.

Farrel has organized a fundraiser and wants all of Lake Highlands to know about it!

She is a certified Jazzercise instructor and has planned an awesome FUNdraiser that includes dancing, fun music, door prizes, karaoke and dessert!

This fun event is on Saturday, November 1st at 11:00 a.m. and will last a little over an hour. Please make plans to join Baron, Allison and friends to help support this special family.

If you can’t attend the event, you can donate HERE to help offset their medical expenses.

You can also purchase a locally designed t-shirt in benefit of the family.

The proceeds from the FUNdraiser, medical fund, and t-shirt sales will help cover costs associated with Baron's treatment.

Put on your workout clothes, dance it out, sing it out and get your sweet tooth fix!

The Meliza Family FUNdraiser will be Saturday, November 1st at 11:00 a.m. at the Lake Highlands United Methodist Church Gym ate 9015 Plano Road.
Night of the Living Dead

Night of the Living Dead opens Oct. 17th. Photo courtesy of DCT

You can’t keep a good zombie down!

Dallas Children’s Theater’s (DCT) Halloween tradition rises again! They’re back…they’re dead…and they’re hungry. The cult classic returns to the DCT stage!

Radiation from a fallen satellite transforms the dead into flesh-eating zombies, and no one is safe. It’s the 1968 black and white, B-movie horror classic brought to life (figuratively speaking.)

Full of thrills, chills, and dark satire, Night of the Living Dead is intended for an audience of teens and adults, 13 years old and above. The production contains strong language and situations and is not suitable for young children.

An ensemble of all-teen actors will tackle the heightened horror in this apocalyptic tale that is the inspiration for such recent hits as Shaun of the Dead, World War Z, and AMC's The Walking Dead. It all started with this unassuming, low-budget 1968 independent film that broke new ground in the horror genre and has continued to terrify audiences to this day.

Don’t miss this gripping terror-filled play that brings the cult classic to life. A blend of thrilling horror laced with touches of humor envelopes the audience in the action and unfolds into a shocking theatrical ending.

Come see what makes Night of the Living Dead an intense story of ghastly, yet outrageously fun proportions.

“They’re coming to get you!”

Night of the Living Dead opens October 17st and runs through October 31st at DCT located at 5938 Skillman Street.

Visit the DCT website for more info and to purchase tickets.
What’s up this weekend?

Lake Highlands vs Richardson at the Boneyard tonight! ©Jeff Bargas

Get your recycling on at Lake Highlands United Methodist Church's Recycling & Shredding event.

Enroll your little dancer in the Dancing with the Dettes clinic.

Kids of all ages will love watching Eddie Coker at the Dallas Arboretum.

Get your fresh produce at the White Rock Local Market or Vickery Meadows this weekend.

Lake Highlands High School Homecoming Game
Friday, October 10th
7:30 p.m.

Lake Highlands High School
The Boneyard

The Lake Highlands Wildcats take on Richardson High School at the Boneyard. Kick-off is set for 7:30 p.m. GO 'CATS!

The State Fair of Texas
Now through October 19th
10:00 a.m.

3921 Martin Luther King Jr.

Don’t miss out on all the fun at the State Fair of Texas

Running today through October 19th, this 24-day showcase of entertainment, exhibits and competitions will thrill folks from all over the country.

For more information, visit the State Fair website or call 214.565.9931.

Lochwood Library Fall Book Sale
Friday, October 10th
10:00 a.m.

Lochwood Branch Library
11221 Lochwood Blvd.

Come find hardcovers, paperbacks, movies, audiobooks, magazines and more! The sale takes place Friday, October 10th & Saturday October 11th.

For more info, emai .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call 214.670.8403.

White Rock Local Market
Saturday, October 11th
8:00 a.m.

Green Spot at Buckner & Northcliff

Get your local, organic seasonal produce and hand-crafted goods. Enjoy non-food items and music too.

For more info, visit the website or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Recycling & Shredding Event
Saturday, October 11th
9:00 a.m.

Lake Highlands United Methodist Church
9015 Plano Road

Bring your electronics, sporting goods, toys, multimedia, books, and clothing to recycle. A shredding truck will also be available for $5 per box.

Click here for a list of items that can be donated. Email Cindy Engel at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call 214.348.6835 for more info.

Klyde Warren Saturday Activities
Saturday, October 11th

Klyde Warren Park
2012 Woodall Rodgers Freeway

• Tai Chi with El Centro College from 8:00 – 9:00 a.m.
• SWEAT in the Park Boot Camp from 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.
• Yoga from 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
• Family Yoga with the Crow from 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
• Food Trucks from 12:00 - 3:00 p.m.
• Skethcing in the Park from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
• Skyline 360 Tour with DCFA from 2:30 – 3:00 p.m.
• Kirtan at Klyde Warren from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

For more information on the individual classes, click here.

Vickery Meadow Local Market
Sunday, October 12th
9:00 a.m.

Half Price Books
5803 Northwest Highway

Get your local, organic seasonal produce and hand-crafted goods. Enjoy non-food items and music too.

For more info, visit the website or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Dancing with the Dettes
Monday, October 13th
9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Lake Highlands High School

The Highlandettes are hosting their annual community dance clinic for kids in grades K-9.

Get your little dancer moving and grooving, then watch them perform at the end of the clinic and even before a LHHS football game! It’s not too late to register your child.

Visit the Highlandettes website for more info, and click here to download the registration form.

Eddie Coker Columbus Day Children’s Concert
Monday, October 13th
11:00 a.m.

Dallas Arboretum
8525 Garland Road

Everyone wins with this event! Kids can enjoy the petting zoo, face painting, and arts and crafts while the adults enjoy the Pumpkin Village.

Eddie Coker begins playing at 11:00 a.m. on the Martin Rutchik Concert Stage. The concert is free with admission to the Dallas Arboretum.

Visit their website for prices and more info.
Special needs playground at Stultz

Stultz Road Elementary PPCD playground dedication

Playground dedication plaque

Exchange Club president Greg Duval with Board of Trustee Kim Caston and Superintendent Dr. Kay Waggoner

Stults Road Elementary cut the ribbon recently for its new playground for PPCD (Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities) students.

The playground was made possible through the hard work and dedication of the Stults Road staff, its PTA, the Lake Highlands Exchange Club, and Jessie Torres.

"Our staff and PTA worked tirelessly to raise money, but it wasn’t enough," explains Principal Amber LeBlond.

"Brent Basden, one of the members of the Lake Highlands Exchange Club, saw an article in the paper and contacted me about applying for a grant through their organization."

"We never expected that we would receive this generous grant which covered the rest of the cost."

"We are so excited about what this playground means to our students."

The dedication contained bittersweet moments as the late Jessie Torres, a dedicated volunteer who raised funds for the playground, was remembered by PTA’s Sherry Griffin.

Jaylen Cook, a child who passed away while a student at Stults, was also remembered.

"The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Stults Road Elementary Pre-K playground was a touching reminder of how much a school is its own community," said Tate Hemingson, the Exchange Club liaison to Stults Road Elementary.

"The sincere efforts of those in that community, such as Mr. Torres, to better the school for the benefit of the children was on full display."

"Seeing the excitement on the children's faces at the sight of the new equipment ‒ even with the rain! ‒ is a true testament to those efforts."

For more information on the Exchange Club of Lake Highlands, visit the group's website.

Photos courtesy of the Exchange Club
Primo Brothers dough tossing contest

Primo Brothers owner, Luan Vraniqi Photo courtesy of SGPR

Image courtesy of SGPR

How are your pizza dough tossing skills?

Lake Highlands pizzeria Primo Brothers is celebrating National Pizza Month by offering a complimentary whole pizza of any choice to the guest who tosses the best dough in their daily dough lesson.

Each day that Primo Brothers is open in October (Monday through Saturday) guests can arrive at 11:00 a.m., receive a quick lesson on how to toss pizza dough, and then compete for a complimentary whole pizza of their choice.

The best pizza dough toss is conducted and judged by Primo Brothers owner, Luan Vraniqi, who has more than 30 years in the pizza industry.

"A skilled dough toss is key to a great pizza as well as making dough fresh, which we’ve done daily since we opened in 1982."

"If you want to throw dough like a pro learn from a bro," he jokes.

First observed in 1984, October is the official National Pizza Month. It was the returning American soldiers of World War II that brought such a fierce hunger to the US for the Italian dish.

More than five billion pizzas are now sold each year, according to the 2013 Pizza Power State of the Industry Report by PMQ Magazine.

In addition, October continues the six months of international pizza campaign at Primo Brothers.

Luan kicked off the internationally inspired pizza campaign to celebrate and further embrace the diverse nationalities and culture of the city that inspires their New York pizza style.

The Punjabi pizza (an October special) and any other menu item can be enjoyed in person or via delivery.

Head on in this month and try your hand at the Primo Brothers’ pizza tossing contest!

Primo Brothers Pizza is located at 9310 Forest Lane, Suite 334.

For more information, call 214.241.4414 or visit their website.
Columbus Day at the Arboretum

Kids of all ages will enjoy Eddie Coker this Columbus Day at the Arboretum. ©Hoffman Estates Park District

Enjoy music all weekend at the Autumn at the Arboretum festival. ©Dallas Arboretum

Looking for some outdoor fun this upcoming Columbus Day? You’re in luck!

The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden's fall festival, Autumn at the Arboretum, features the nationally acclaimed Pumpkin Village and a family friendly concert on Monday, October 13th.

Folks of all ages can enjoy the annual Columbus Day children's concert with family favorite Eddie Coker with performances at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on the Martin Rutchik Concert Lawn.

A native of Highland Park and a SMU graduate, Coker has been writing, composing and performing children's music since 1989.

He has composed for television shows such as Barney & Friends. He will perform children's songs, including well-known favorites The Happy One and The Woo Woo Song.

"We invite you to pack a picnic and a blanket and make it a day for you and your families to enjoy this concert," said Mary Brinegar, president and CEO of the Dallas Arboretum.

"We also invite children and adults to stroll through our 66 acres of garden, and to visit Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden where you can learn about science and nature in 17 indoor/outdoor galleries with 150 interactive games."

Families with small children can also take part of Mommy & Me Monday, which includes a petting zoo, nature arts and crafts and face painting from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m in the Pecan Grove.

Guests can also take advantage of live musical performances over the holiday weekend starting on Saturday, October 11th.

On Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., families can relax on the Martin Rutchik Concert Lawn while enjoying festive melodies to celebrate the Columbus Day weekend.

All concerts are free with entry fee or Dallas Arboretum membership.

For more information on the weekend’s festivities, visit the Dallas Arboretum website.
Storm debris pickup schedule

Click here to find out about your bulk trash pickup after the recent storm.

If you hadn’t noticed, there were trees down all over Lake Highlands. And now they are being cut to pieces and put on the curb.

What next?

Dallas Sanitation Services started collecting storm debris in Week 1 areas this past Saturday, October 4th.

Any areas that were collected on Saturday will be re-run this week during the normal scheduled collection period for Week 1.

Sanitation Services will be working 6 days a week and utilizing additional resources from other City departments, as well as outside contracted resources in the collection efforts.

The department’s goal is to maintain the established weekly collection schedule for the month of October 2014, but this could change based on the volume of debris.

Residents can put out their storm debris now, but the City has asked that you be patient as collections may not occur until your scheduled collection week.

Additionally, they’re asking citizens to please limit bulky item set outs during this collection cycle to assist with collection efforts. Residents should expect collections to take several weeks due to the volume of debris.

Here is the bulk and brush collection schedule for October (Dates could change based on debris volume):

Week 1 – Scheduled Collection for Bulk/Brush & Storm Debris (Oct. 6-11)

Week 2 – Scheduled Collection for Bulk/Brush & Storm Debris (Oct. 13-18)

Week 3 – Scheduled Collection for Bulk/Brush & Storm Debris (Oct. 20-25)

Week 4 – Scheduled Collection for Bulk/Brush & Storm Debris (Oct. 27- Nov. 1)

Code Compliance will suspend issuance of citations for early set out of storm related brush/debris only through the month of October.

To find out what Bulk Trash week you are, click here and enter in your street address.
Seriously germy places you’re not cleaning

Learn how to clean unsuspecting dirty places during a time of high germ alert. ©Foshydog

Need to know how to clean your kitchen sponge? ©Greatist.com

Do you know what's growing in your toothbrush? ©Greatist.com

Change out your bath mat regularly to prevent bacterial growth. ©Greatist.com

With the first case of Ebola in the United States being diagnosed right here in Dallas, folks are being super cautious of germs.

You know it’s bad when you make your regular trip to Target, and you witness people wearing masks and plastic gloves.

It’s safe to say that your chances of getting Ebola are slim, however this is the time of year that germs seem the happiest, with the common cold and strep at the top of the list.

People avoid touching the obviously dirty things - toilet bowls, garbage cans, anything in a public restroom.

But for every well-known vile surface, there are a plethora of under-the-radar threats we put in our mouths, roll around on all night, and regularly rub on our faces.

In an effort to keep clean, happy, and healthy during this season of sneezing and coughing, here are 21 surprisingly dirty things that were researched and published by Yahoo Health with tips on what to do about them.

Kitchen Sponges
It's easy for bacteria and food particles to get trapped in the crevasses of sponges, creating ideal conditions for bacteria to breed [1]. Moist, dark - what else could bacteria ask for?!

What to do: Try antibacterial sponges and dish soaps to limit the lesser of bacteria evils - but neither are very effective at controlling the spread of big name baddies like E. Coli and Salmonella Be sure to disinfect sponges at least once a week by soaking in a bleach solution for 5 minutes, or microwaving on high for two minutes.

Kitchen Buttons, Knobs, and Handles
A a lot goes into cooking in your kitchen, including any bacteria from that raw chicken or unwashed produce that gets on various appliances and surfaces.

What to do: To minimize the risk, some experts recommend using a disinfectant on any frequently used kitchen surfaces several times a day, especially before and after preparing a meal.

Cutting Boards
This hotbed for cross-contamination is essential to keep clean. Scientists debate whether wood or plastic makes for a better board.

What to do: Keep plastic boards clean by regularly running through the dishwasher. Consider microwaving wooden ones to get the bad guys out, but be careful - some folks have managed to catch their cutting boards on fire. Let both boards air-dry completely before storing to minimize potential bacteria growth.

Drip Coffee Maker
Coffee itself actually has some antimicrobial properties, but the coffee makers still need to be cleaned. Most home coffee makers don't get hot enough to kill anything growing in the wet, dark environment of the water reservoir or the machine's internal piping.

What to do: Run a 50/50 mix of water and white vinegar through the machine once a month to help stop the growth of mold and some bacteria. Let half the mixture run through the machine, then switch it off for an hour before finishing the cycle.

Pillows aren’t just packed with feathers, but in fact they can also be host several types of allergy-inflaming fungi. They are also the ideal home for dust mites, another potential allergy trigger.

What to do: In addition to regularly laundering bedding, anti-allergen covers can help protect pillows from outside germs getting in and keep the sneezy stuff inside.

We can sweat up to one liter per night…gross. Add the fungi and bacteria potential growths and dust mites and it’s even dirtier.

What to do: Washing and drying everything on the highest heat available is a good policy, but regular bleaching is a good idea, too.

Bath Mat
Bath mats sit there, soaked with shower water and pressed up against the floor, slowing evaporation and providing the dark, damp environment mold and bacteria love. Add to that the fact bathroom floors have been shown be one of the most contaminated parts of the bathroom (toilet bowl excluded, of course) and it’s obvious why we should regularly clean that bath mat.

What to do: Launder mats once per week on the highest heat and with bleach and keep separate from any bedding or clothes.

Laundry Basket
All the grime from sweaty workout gear, underwear, and bedding sits in that laundry bag, soiling the hamper itself.

What to do: Try using one bag for dirty clothes, and one for the clean stuff, and wash the dirty bag along with the clothes. For hard plastic hampers, use any hard surface disinfectant, but be wary of anything with the potential to discolor.

Makeup and Makeup Brushes
Cosmetics have been known to foster bacterial growth with eye makeup being the greatest cause for concern. One study found that within just three months of use, 40% of tested mascara tubes were infested with bacteria.

What to do: A good rule of thumb is to replace eye makeup every season. Throw out lotions and liquid foundation every six months, and get fresh power-based products, lipstick, and nail polish every two years.

Studies have found that flushing the toilet can spew bathroom-related bacteria into the air. So it’s obvious to say that it’s a good idea to store that toothbrush far away from the potential contaminants.

What to do: Make sure to rinse toothbrushes thoroughly after use, allow them to dry completely, and replace every three to four months. And did you know you can run your toothbrushes through the dishwasher?

We shower to get clean, so it’d be silly to get dirty drying off. But reusing damp bath towels could be doing just that!

What to do: The risks are low if towels are changed out about once a week and are allowed to dry completely between uses.

Contact Lenses
One study found that more than 80 percent of tested contact lens cases were contaminated with bacteria, regardless of the system used to clean.

What to do: Start by wiping out contact lens cases after each use and replace it every month (or at least clean by soaking in near-boiling water for a few minutes).

Using them for just one hour has been shown to coat headphones with bacteria from the ear.

What to do: Using water with electronic accessories is usually a no-no, but audiophiles can clean detachable rubber ear pieces by soaking them for 15 minutes in a vinegar and water solution and letting them sit for 10 more minutes in water before drying. For the un-detachable kind, a gentle mixture of soap and water should be used on the plastic exterior, and a clean toothbrush can remove any lint from the grill.

Even if you don’t need a key for your vehicle, you most likely still carry a set of keys for your home or office. They can be harboring germs too.

What to do: The fact that many keys are made of brass, a copper alloy, offers some protection because it’s naturally antibacterial, but scrubbing keys with soap or using a disinfectant probably won’t hurt every now and then.

A study of office workers found that women’s purses were one of top three dirtiest things they touched throughout the day.

What to do: Obviously don’t rest it on the bathroom floor and regular cleanings are enough to minimize risk. Wipe leather purses with a disinfectant wipe every few days, and put washable ones through the laundry once per week.

Studies have repeatedly shown that mobile phones as risk factors for infection, and we largely have our own unwashed hands to blame.

What to do: The clean up is simple: Power down the device once per week (more during cold and flu season) and wipe with a disinfectant cloth.

TV Remote
A hospital hygiene study found that the remote controls were three times dirtier than anything else in the room, while another study found that nearly half of the remotes tested positive for antibiotic-resistant staph.

What to do: Wipe down remote controls with any hard surface disinfectant or a handy dandy antibacterial wipe regularly, and especially if it’s been used by a sick person recently!
Walk to End Cancer

Light The Night Walk is on November 2nd. Photo courtesy of LLS

Lauren Maurer, the cutie behind the Maurer Power team.

Lauren Maurer is a beautiful pre-school girl here in Lake Highlands who is undergoing treatment for leukemia at Children's Hospital in Dallas.

She was diagnosed with the cancer in February 2013, and over the course of this past year, Lauren has received multiple blood products including red blood and platelets numerous times.

Her family and friends have formed a team and will be walking in her honor at this year’s Light the Night Walk, a Leukemia and Lymphoma Society event.

The 2014 walk will be held at Addison Circle Park this year on November 2nd starting at 5:00 p.m.

This annual event brings together families and communities to honor blood cancer survivors, as well as those lost to the diseases, and shine a light on the importance of finding cures and providing access to treatments for blood cancer patients.

Funds raised through The Light The Night Walk are vital:

• Fund breakthrough therapies for blood cancer patients.

• Provides Free educational materials, support programs and events.

• Powers advocacy to ensure access to treatments.

• Helps provide personalized assistance through our Information Resource Center.

“Last year, we had a great team and we raised over $7,000 for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society,” said Lisa Maurer, Lauren’s mom. “We all know someone who has been affected by cancer so please join the team and ‘walk the talk.’”

“We will also be having another lemonade stand prior to the walk with all proceeds benefiting our Maurer Power team so stay tuned for further details,” Lisa said.

Every walker who raises $100 or more will be a Champion For Cures and will be recognized on Walk night with:

• A Light The Night t-shirt

• An illuminated Light The Night balloon in red (supporters), white (survivors) or gold (in memory of a loved one)

• A wristband which entitles the wearer to an array of food and refreshments

Patients and survivors will receive these items regardless of fundraising levels.

Register today and let's walk to the end of cancer!

The 2014 Light The Night Walk will take place on November 2nd at 5:00 p.m. at Addison Circle Park located just north of Arapaho Dr. and west of the Dallas North Tollway.

Click here to register for Lauren’s team or to donate.

The Hardt Group The Store in Lake Highlands Christy Norcross Thomas Group