January 2017

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Don’t just choose. Choose wisely!

Clear Vision is a Reality


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30 International Dream Room Awards

WITHOUT GLASSES There are no eyes like yours, and there is no cataract procedure like customized laser cataract surgery for your eyes. Ford Eye Center is pleased to offer Bladeless Laser Cataract Surgery and Premium intraocular lens technology. This brings a new level of customization to cataract surgery leading to glasses free outcomes.

Photographed at the home of Robert and Marsha Gleason

FROM INSPIRATION TO REALITY Don’t leave home. We come to you! Our extensive product assortment allows us to work with your lifestyle and budget.

Arlington Office 801 W. Randol Mill Rd. Suite 201 • Arlington, TX 76012 817-277-6433 Mansfield Office 2300 Matlock Rd. Suite 35 • Mansfield, TX 76063 817-477-0223



Franchises available to talented individuals throughout the U.S. and Canada. Extensive training provided. Each franchise is independently owned and operated.

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Painting Effects on Walls, Furniture • Interior Design • Paint/Stain Furniture Refurbishing/ Repurposing • Re-do Kitchen/Bath Cabinets • Baby Rooms Fireplaces using Faux Brick/Stone/Paint • Bannisters/Staircases Wood Panelling/Molding • Front Doors • Faux Wood look on Ceilings Color Washing/Glazing • Wrought Iron/Outside Furniture

Amy's most popular services include redoing old cabinets in

bathrooms and kitchens, painting murals and paint effects in babies, children's and teenagers rooms, concrete pots and fireplaces, updating and modernizing dated wood paneling, sanding and staining furniture to give it new life.


Serving Arlington/Mansfield since 1998

Amy's Paint Effects

817.313.9064 • AmysPaintEffects@yahoo.com

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John E. Bauer, DDS Cody Bauer, DDS Terri Bauer, RDH


100 Carlin Road • Mansfield, TX 76063 www.MansfieldDentistry.com

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Special Section!

Healthy, beautiful skin

Don’t just choose. Choose wisely!

doesn’t happen by accident.

PG. 29


DermOne Dermatology Associates of Texas, P.A. is proud to welcome board-certified dermatologist Dr. J. Kevin Pidkowicz to our Arlington location. With over 20 years of experience, Dr. Pidkowicz specializes in all aspects of medical and surgical dermatology, focusing on a wide spectrum of skin related issues for adults, teens and children.





Dr. Pidkowicz is now welcoming new patients at our Arlington office and looks forward to serving you. BONUS FEATURE

Arlington 1200 Florida Drive Call 800-Derm-One (337-6663) or visit DermOne.com to schedule your appointment today!





22 I A New Spin

120 I Winter Comfort, Texas Style



102 I Out of Sight

IN EVERY ISSUE 10 14 15 12 16


104 106 107

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124 I A Chat with John Tesar

We sit down with the bad-boy Dallas chef

127 I Precious Metals

The newest neutrals for winter and spring

108 I New Bathroom for the New Year


AESTHETICS 114 I Bottoms Up!

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Warm from the inside out!


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PUBLISHER Misty Daniels, mdaniels@livingmagazine.net EDITOR Brandon Daiker, bdaiker@livingmagazine.net SENIOR ADMINSTRATOR Todd Collom EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTORS Lisa Landry, Anna Charles, LaRue Novick, Meredith Knight, Lisa Jenkins-Moore, Lisa Pedersen PHOTOGRAPHY CONTRIBUTORS Derek Gower, Dustin Doskocil, Lauren Medean, Diana Raines

Don’t you love having a do-over every January?


If your best intentions fell short in 2016, you’re not alone. But with the new year we each get another chance to live the life we want to live and make the impact we want to make. Matthew 6:33 says, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all this shall be added unto you.” My prayer for each of us in 2017, is that we will focus on God’s Word and His call on our lives and let Him worry about all the rest, as He so wants to do for us. In the spirit of new beginning, we’ve filled this issue with advice on starting a new eating plan, preventing shin splints, and treating glaucoma and cataracts. There’s some food for thought on hot water heaters. We’ll even tell you everything you ever wanted to know about butt augmentation and aesthetic dentistry. Thank you for making Living Magazine a part of 2016. We look forward to sharing 2017 with you. A blessed New Year to you all.



MISTY DANIELS, PUBLISHER mdaniels@livingmagazine.net 682-556-1246

CORPORATE OFFICE — LIVING MAGAZINE PUBLISHING PARTNERS 4101 W. Green Oaks, #305 - 594 | Arlington, TX 76016 682-556-1246 | Fax: 817-572-3232





Get the January 2017 issue now. LivingMagazine.net

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Don’t just choose. Choose wisely!

Clear Vision is a Reality


Living Magazine is published monthly by Chansen Media Group, Inc. Opinions expressed in articles or advertisements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the publisher. Living Magazine is not responsible for omissions or information that has been misrepresented to the magazine. Advertisers and their agencies assume all liability for advertising content. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted without the permission in writing from the publisher.


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Cowboys Give Back The Dallas Cowboys made their annual visits to local children’s hospitals to spend time with patients seeking treatment through the holiday season. The event, presented by UnitedHealthcare, divided the teams into groups, with Dallas Cowboys players and cheerleaders all simultaneously visiting Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas, Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, Children’s Health Children’s Medical Center Dallas and Medical City Children’s Hospital. Under the guidance of Mrs. Gene Jones, the Cowboys team has been conducting visits to area hospitals for 28 years. Each child received a “game sock” loaded with goodies from the Dallas Cowboys and a special toy provided by the UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation. The UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation (UHCCF) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charity that provides medical grants to help pay for medical treatments, services or equipment not covered, or not fully covered, by a family’s commercial insurance plan. Qualifying families can receive up to $5,000 to help pay for medical services and equipment such as physical, occupational and speech therapy, counseling services, surgeries, prescriptions, wheelchairs, orthotics, eyeglasses and hearing aids. PHOTOS: DUSTIN DOSKOCIL

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JANUARY 16 PAINTING IN THE PARK Join us for a painting class at Oliver Nature Park! Our artist will guide you in an easy to follow, step-by-step process to create a masterpiece! Open to all skill levels, all materials supplied. Preregistration required. $27/participant with early registration, $32/participant for late registration. Supplies included in fees. Cottontail Rabbit (ages 5+). Elmer W. Oliver Nature Park, 1650 Matlock Rd. 10am-11:30am. Mansfield




A series of eight games will showcase top players from the United States, Canada and Japan. More than 500 top U.S. high school and junior high athletes will represent their country on the football field. First game starts at 10am. Visit internationalbowl.com for more details. AT&T Stadium Arlington

The Rangers want to thank you for a great 2016 season. Tickets to the 2017 Texas Rangers Fan Fest are on sale now! Last year fans enjoyed autograph sessions from top players, tours of the clubhouse, and question and answer sessions with coaches. Get your tickets today and mark your calendars for January 21st! Globe Life Park Arlington

JANUARY 1 - 31 SPRING YOUTH SPORTS LEAGUES 2017 We look forward to being your sports provider. Arlington Sports – Where players win and winners play! Our Mission is to enhance the sports experience by advancing the values of participation, teamwork and physical well-being! Team fee $105.. Ages 7-11. Season starts February 18. City of Arlington-Athletics Program

JANUARY 1 - FEBRUARY 11 WINTER ADULTS SPORTS LEAGUES 2017 - INLINE HOCKEY Inline Hockey leagues are for men ages 18 and up. All teams must provide their own uniforms and game equipment. The league will follow the rules and regulations set by the City of Arlington Parks and Recreation Department. Team fee $400. Season starts February 26. Arlington Parks and Recreation

JANUARY 7 JIGGLE BUTT RUN Celebrate your jiggle on a 5K run for women of all ages. Supporting SaveHaven! Visit jigglebuttrun.com for details. E.H. Hereford University Center - UTA

JANUARY 13 - 29 THE COMPLETE WORKS OF WILLIAMS SHAKESPEARE (ABRIDGED) All 37 plays in 97 minutes! Three madcap men in tights weave their wicked way through all of Shakespeare’s comedies, histories and tragedies in one wild ride that will leave you breathless and helpless with laughter. Visit theatrearlington.org for performance times and details. Theatre Arlington

JANUARY 14 AND 28 MOBILE PET ADOPTION EVENT 10:30am-3:30pm. Petsmart® in South Arlington, 203 E. I-20 (Arlington Highlands). Arlington

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Joshua Jenkins (Christopher) and the cast of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. UK Tour 2014/2015, The Lowry, Salford. Photo by BrinkhoffM+Âgenberg, Flickr.com/photos/thelowry. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. Reformatted from the original. Still from the trailer for Hidden Figures (2016), 20th Century Fox, reprinted for non-commercial illustrative purposes. Book cover from Food, Health, and Happiness: 115 On-Point Recipes for Great Meals and a Better Life (2017), by Oprah Winfrey. Flatiron Books, image reprinted for non-commercial illustrative purposes.





THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME Author Marc Haddon’s award-winning novel for adults and children finds itself adapted for the stage. Christopher John Francis Boone, a teenaged amateur detective math genius on the autism spectrum, ends up a suspect in the murder of his neighbor’s dog. To clear his name, he sets out on a cross-country investigation. The highly-regarded Broadway production won five Tony Awards in 2015, including Best Play. TUESDAY, JANUARY 3 AND WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 4, 8 PM GRANADA THEATER





The true story of a three-woman team of African-American mathematicians who provided critical calculations to help NASA gain ground in the space race with Project Mercury and the 1969 flight to the moon with Apollo 11. Based on the nonfiction book by Margot Lee Shetterly. A contender for some Oscar nods (nominations to be announced on the 24th of this month). JANUARY 13





Las Vegas police detective Vincent Downs (Foxx) stars as a corrupt cop caught stealing from a powerful drug lord, putting his son’s life in danger and sending Downs into a tense, one-night confrontation with the mob. A remake of the 2011 French action-thriller Sleepless Night.

Ben Affleck pulls triple duty as writer, director, and star Joe Coughlin in this adaptation of a novel by Dennis Lehane (Mystic River, Shutter Island, Boardwalk Empire). Set in the roaring Jazz Age of the prohibition 1920s, the film follows Coughlin, the rum-running son of a Boston police chief, as he pairs the thrill of organized crime with the fear of being caught.








A mysterious man named Kevin (McAvoy) suffers from a dissociative identity disorder that creates 23 distinct personalities. As one of them, he kidnaps three girls. While they attempt to mount their escape, they gradually witness these personalities… and a mysterious 24th one that threatens their safety.








Media maven Oprah Winfrey shares 115 of the recipes that have allowed her to be joyful instead of stressed when it comes to eating. Prepared with her favorite chefs, the cookbook offers a backstage glimpse into Oprah’s kitchen with classic favorites and fresh new takes on satisfying, healthy meals. JANUARY 10





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A Life of Significance BY DOROTHEA SHIELDS


rowing up, I wanted to be a famous rock star. But my expectations were left unmet. After years of trying to be something I wasn’t and experiencing chronic dissatisfaction and disappointment with my life, I came to understand my burning desire for fame was really a craving for significance. Eventually, I came to understand fame and significance are two very different things.

I learned that the longing for significance is actually a God given desire; it is a seed planted by the hand of God to cause us to seek the One who can grow and cultivate it into a life that bears fruit for His glory. A significant life isn’t one that is always noticed by many, but one that has meaning and purpose. Significance does not come from natural abilities, gifting, or talent, but from who He is in us. Humans are made in the image of God and each one carries a unique expression of God. The image of Himself that He has breathed into each individual is needed for one to exercise his or her area of influence within the culture. Each life is so significant that a portion of God’s plan for the earth rests upon that individual’s unique expression of Him. Can you imagine anything more significant? Significance is not as obvious to the world as fame because it is often reserved for those we encounter in quiet places of hurt, desperation, and hopelessness, and for those with whom we walk closely. To the ones who receive our particular expression of God, the effects can be life changing. Culture has handed us a skewed understanding of significance. It has trained us to expect drama, shooting stars, and Technicolor rainbows any time something extraordinary happens. But the reality is that God’s extraordinary work is often quiet, deep, and internal. It is easy to miss the real miracles that take place in life each day because we are looking for the dramatic and obvious. We have to train ourselves to perceive what God is doing around us and THROUGH us; if we will look, we will see. Never underestimate the power of a simple act of kindness or an encouraging word. I used to think that because I didn’t stand out in the crowd that my life wasn’t all that amazing. I believed only the obviously significant ones made a difference. Then I read what John the Baptist said about Jesus: “but there stands One among you whom you do not know.” (John 1:26b) The word used for “know” means “to perceive.” Though the greatest and most significant man ever born was standing among them, He didn’t stand out—and the people who were around Him didn’t perceive who He was. That same man today has literally changed the world, not with drama and theatrics, but with subtle power, humility, and obedience. It’s interesting that Jesus had less than obvious significance for most of His life. Miraculously conceived, He was born into obscurity. And the least significant people of all—the shepherds in the field tending the stinky dirty sheep—were given a birth announcement. Born to two outwardly normal young people, nobody saw the true origins of Jesus, conceived in a virgin by the Holy Spirit. That extraordinary miracle took place in a private setting without any fanfare whatsoever. It just was.

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Miraculously conceived, He was born into obscurity. And the least significant people of all—the shepherds in the field tending the stinky dirty sheep— were given a birth announcement.

Its existence was significant but not obvious. Even the place of His birth belied the impact His life would have on humanity. His childhood for the most part was so uneventful that we only have mention of one episode in the whole narrative of the New Testament.

Fame is not an indicator of significance, thank God! I am so glad I came to the realization that I don’t have to be famous in order to be significant. All of those unmet expectations that plagued me have now been brought to the foot of the cross and left there. Life on the resurrected side of the cross brings deep satisfaction and fruitfulness and He often exceeds my expectations. Like Jesus’ life, our lives can seem insignificant because we don’t stand out in the crowd. You may not perceive anything extraordinarily significant about your life, but when you gaze through the eyes of the Spirit, your perception is adjusted to the truth. Each one of us is masterfully designed by God to be significant. Embrace your unique design with boldness and confidence knowing the Lord delights in His creation. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)

To connect with Dorothea, visit Surrendered Ladies Bible Study on Facebook. 17 1/3/17 8:58 AM

ON THE COVER David Kleiman, MD In practice for 34 years, Dr. Kleiman’s experience and expertise in LASIK (Laser Vision Correction,) cataract and corneal surgeries, glaucoma, and strabismus surgeries is extensive. Both Dr. Kleiman and his partner, Dr. Evangelista, share their vision to provide patient-centered care, coupled with state-of-the-art equipment, administered by skilled ophthalmology specialists. “Regardless of your visual needs, we are your ‘go-to’ clinic for comprehensive eye care and surgery,” Dr. Kleiman said. “We offer an option for everyone from 18 – 90 years of age,” he said. “This includes LASIK, corneal inlays, Dysfunctional Lens Syndrome (early cataract) treatment, and multi-focal and specialty lenses.”

See it. Believe it. Experience it.

Anthony Evangelista, MD He joined Dr. Kleiman almost 20 years ago, and admits that their

Clear vision is a reality at Kleiman Evangelista Eye Center



here is nothing better than seeing clearly for the first time in years. If you or someone you know has cataracts, eye diseases, or needs refractive surgery, clear vision is now a dream come true. Best known for their expertise in LASIK corrective vision and cataract surgery, Kleiman| Evangelista Eye Center provides impeccable surgical expertise and comprehensive care that patients have come to know and trust. Dr. David Kleiman, founder, head surgeon, and medical director of Kleiman-Evangelista Eye Center, has assembled a top team of surgeons that delivers outstanding results when it comes to customized procedures and complete eye care.

Exciting Advancements in Eye Care

and state-of-the-art equipment to stay current with that technology.”

“Cataract surgery has improved tremendously since I first started practicing,” Dr. Kleiman said. “It usually required a long recovery period and hospitalization. Now, we’ve progressed to a 10-minute, inoffice procedure that only requires a tiny incision to remove the cataract, and the addition of lens implants, and multi-focal lenses, if needed.” Dr. Evangelista added, “The technology is constantly evolving. Our practice has great physicians

The team is excited about a relatively new corneal inlay procedure. “Everybody loses their capacity to see up close once they hit their forties and beyond,” Dr. Evangelista explained. “A device called a corneal inlay is placed within the cornea of just one eye, allowing them to see up close without the need for reading glasses.” Dr. Kleiman added, “We’re one of the few practices in the metroplex that offers this procedure.”

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shared vision of outstanding patient care by the experienced surgeons with advanced equipment brought them together to start a practice. “Laser-assisted, and no-drop cataract surgeries, as well as corneal inlays and Lifestyle Lenses, are advanced developments in ophthalmology that enhance patients’ eyesight and quality of life,” he said. Dr. Evangelista specializes in LASIK, cataract surgery, glaucoma surgery, corneal surgery, and strabismus surgery.

The surgeons and staff at Kleiman|Evangelista Eye Center are proud of their concierge care and continue to put patients’ needs first. “I want to treat my patients as if they were family, and find out as much as I can about them,” Dr. Frasier explained. “In doing so, it allows me to choose the best treatment option and lenses for their lifestyle.” This respectful and responsive patient care results in thousands of very satisfied customers. “It’s a gratifying experience,” Dr. Ramsey said, “To know that I can change someone’s life with a simple procedure.”

Kelly Frasier, MD “I had laser-corrective surgery in college, which sparked my interest in ophthalmology,” Dr. Frasier explained. “I operated a private practice in Lubbock for eight years prior to joining the Kleiman|Evangelista team.” Dr. Frasier was attracted to the team’s excellent reputation for comprehensive and surgical eye care, and knew that Kleiman|Evangelista would be a perfect place for him to practice. “I view each patient as a family member, and put their needs and lifestyles first when recommending treatment or lenses,” he said.

Kleiman Evangelista Eye Center LasikSurgery.com

Loan Ramsey, MD Before joining the Kleiman|Evangelista team in 2015, Dr. Ramsey

350 East I-20 Arlington, Texas 76018 (817)784-0222

worked in private practice in New York for five years. While there, she earned her Glaucoma Fellowship training at Mount Sinai Medical Center. She loves working at Kleiman|Evangelista because, “Everyone here is happy. We all work well together and we’re a great team.” Dr. Ramsey specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases and performing laser refractive and cataract procedures.

3645 Dallas Parkway, Suite 545 Plano, Texas 75093 (214) 440-5200 4633 North Central Expressway, Suite 300 Dallas, Texas 75205 (972) 993-2900 L I V I NGMAG A Z IN E . N E T

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SPOTLIGHT unique, spectacular little person they were born to be intellectually, emotionally, spiritually, and socially? For thousands of parents across our area the answer has been The Children’s Courtyard. At The Children’s Courtyard, they understand that education is not a one-size-fits-all experience. That’s why they empower parents with educational options to create the most fitting path for each unique child and to ensure they’re prepared for elementary school—and for life. In every program, and every classroom, Children’s Courtyard staff and teachers address the specific needs of children based not only on age, but on individual pace of development. Their curriculum has been designed to ensure that all children reach—and master— significant milestones and indicators.

Professional Teachers, Academic Setting


The Children’s


One of the toughest decisions any parent can make is who to trust with their infant through school-age child. It’s a decision that involves your heart, mind, and gut. Who will love them and value them as an

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individual the way that you do? Who will comfort them, when they’re sad, laugh at their burgeoning sense of humor, and revel in every new accomplishment? Who will empower them to become the

A solid educational foundation begins with teachers. That’s why Children’s Courtyard teachers are highly-trained, highly- motivated, and highly-responsive professionals. Your child’s time at Children’s Courtyard begins with a customized assessment developed to select the most competent teachers and care staff for your unique child. All Children’s Courtyard staff and personnel adhere to a strict background and reference check, based on state and/or local licensing requirements, including fingerprinting and appropriate criminal background checks, and verification of educational credentials. All staff members study at one of Children’s Courtyard’s unique Master Schools where they’re mentored by Master Teachers and taught effective best practices. That support continues throughout their careers with ongoing assessments, continuing education, and training. L I V I NGMAG A Z IN E . N E T

Spaces That Inspire Learning and Creativity Children’s Courtyard schools feature large, window-filled classrooms and state-of-the-art, age-appropriate equipment, creating a dynamic, vibrant, active environment. Classrooms feature: • Developmentally appropriate activities for each age group • State-of-the-art technology to support and enhance curriculum • Activities that stimulate varied learning styles • Authentic work displayed that highlights our curriculum

Clean Spaces

Cleanliness is vital, so Children’s Courtyard takes significant precautions to prevent the spread of germs. • In the infant areas, all teachers and staff wear booties to limit outside germs. • All spaces children come in contact with are regularly disinfected. • All toys are disinfected on a regular basis

Safety & Security At Children’s Courtyard providing a safe, secure environment is a priority. Every effort is made to keep children safe, happy, and healthy including strictly enforced procedures and standards including: • Secure lobby and classrooms. Every entrance is equipped with an electronic lock. All parents must know the PIN number. All visitors are greeted at the door to sign in and be assisted. • Visitor precautions. Photo ID is required from all unfamiliar visitors, even a visitor listed as authorized to pick up a child, if they’re not familiar to the school director and/ or assistant director.

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Meet Alex

Teacher Alex Chinery is another devoted Children’s Courtyard “graduate”. His dream of working with kids as a music therapist is what brought him back to The Children’s Courtyard where he now works with school-age children, in the after-school program. “Children’s Courtyard is a big family,” he said. “Coming to work each day is fun and it gives me a chance to make a difference in the kids’ lives.”

Technology Resources for Busy Families We all know parents want to be with their children as much as possible. Children’s Courtyard is working to assure you won’t have to miss a single precious moment of your child’s day. With their mobile app for parents, you’ll receive real-time photos and updates throughout the day, wherever you are. You can choose to receive updates via email, including a daily Email Digest, or summary of your child’s day. Highlights of the mobile app include: • Parents can share access with other people, such as grandparents • Love It button: Let teachers know you appreciate their dedication to your child

Meet Samantha

Preschool Manager Samantha Buentello is happy to say she’s a “Courtyard Kid”. Having attended the school herself, she says her time there offered her many great experiences and memories. “They inspired me so much as a child and they still inspire me,” she said. “The Children’s Courtyard exposes children to different types of learning experiences. We teach children it’s okay to be part of a group, while still being a unique individual. Our teachers don’t look upon their time here as ‘coming to work’ but as a chance to show children they are loved and safe and valued.” • Easily share photos through text messages and emails • Past updates don’t expire; simply scroll down to relive favorite memories • A high level of security, so parents can know their updates are private, visible only to them and any other recipients they choose If this sounds like the safe, nurturing environment you want for your child, find out more at ChildrensCourtyard.com. The Children’s Courtyard on Broad 3701 E. Broad St, Mansfield, TX 76063 817-477-8037

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A New Spin Classic American travel destinations from fresh perspectives BY ANNETTE BROOKS

From the misty mountains of the Pacific Northwest to Boston’s legendary harbor and the open skies of Texas, there’s something about exploring America that makes you long for more. So why not kick off the New Year by rethinking some of our country’s most popular travel spots? Look beyond the obvious attractions and you just may be surprised at what you discover. Here are a few examples to get the ideas flowing.

NIAGARA FALLS Natural wonders make great vacation destinations, and Niagara Falls lives up to its breathtaking reputation. After taking the Maid of the Mist boat ride and picking up a few souvenirs, head across the bridge to Canada, passport at the ready. The view of the falls is even more spectacular on the Canadian side, and our neighbors to the north have created a micro Las Vegas meets Times Square-type of experience to entertain tourists. So, what’s the new twist? If you enjoy wine and exploring wineries, you’re going to love Canada’s Niagara Peninsula. Nearly 100 wineries dot this fertile swath, roughly running from the Canadian border at Niagara Falls to Hamilton, Ontario. Plan to spend a couple of days meandering through the Niagara wine country, which is similar to California’s Sonoma Valley but more affordable. Visit both modern and Old World tasting rooms where you can sip the region’s famous ice wines, supple Chardonnays, elegant Pinot Noirs, and Rieslings that range from bone dry to fuller-bodied and off-dry. The Niagara Peninsula is also home to several innovative restaurants that feature locally sourced menus created to compliment the wine. Kitchen76 at Two Sisters Vineyards is a must-try. You won’t want to miss Vineland Estates Winery, which rests on a former Mennonite homestead with structures dating back to the 1840s. The winery’s beautiful backdrop includes undulating vineyards and a unique cluster of carefully restored historic buildings.

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ADVENTURE CAPE COD Instead of running from one air conditioned space to another during the sweltering Texas summer, escape to Cape Cod’s windswept barrier beaches. Sit back and watch colorful kites darting about in the sky, check out off-road trails, schedule a day trip to Martha’s Vineyard, get your fill of handmade ice cream, and enjoy some of the best lobster rolls ever. But did you know it’s also a destination for baseball lovers of all ages? Even if you’re not a baseball enthusiast, going to a Cape Cod League game is the ultimate small town America experience. Teams play almost every day in 10 different towns across the Cape from mid-June through mid-August, so it’s always easy to find a game nearby. What makes the Cape Cod League special is that it draws players from top collegiate baseball programs across the country. The best-of-the-best come to play summer ball by invitation. More than 200 players in each of the last six Major League Baseball entry drafts have played Cape ball. Numerous big league Hall of Famers, All-Stars, MVPs, Cy Young Award winners, and Rookies of the Year have spent a summer or two honing their skills in this premier amateur baseball league.

Credit: Alec Windle

NEW ORLEANS There’s more to The Big Easy than Cajun and Creole food, cocktail lounges and daiquiri-to-go stalls along Bourbon Street, French Quarter voodoo shops, and late night music venues. NOLA can also be a great place for families, offering a variety of kid-friendly activities that are fun for moms and dads, too. New Orleans is home to one of the top zoos in the country, a world-class aquarium, and Storyland at City Park. Huff, puff, and blow the little pig’s house down, then pose for a family photo before a centuries-old live oak, and ride the antique wooden carousel. Take a streetcar to the historic Garden District or book a guided tour to Honey Island Swamp.

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There are several tour companies to choose from. See alligators and wildlife up close and personal as you explore the beauty of the wetlands along narrow slews, and hear all about the swamp and its natural inhabitants. Create a lasting family memory when you take an evening cruise along “Ol Man River” on the paddlewheel Steamboat Natchez. Or, sit on the Mississippi river banks and listen to tunes emitting from the Natchez’ 32-note steam calliope. Today, only four steamboats operating on the Mississippi River have steam calliopes. The Natchez’ calliope is an exact copy of the original instruments built 100 years ago. L I V I NGMAG A Z IN E . N E T

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Give your child their best start as early as 6 weeks old!

It’s What You Know!

T We invite you to schedule a tour to see why TLC Schools are the best child care facilities!

Making decisions about your child’s education

In School Choice, public funds are diverted to private schools so that lower income families can have the same choices as economically advantaged families have. This can give families more options, but there are still questions as to whether the

• Teacher/Student Ratio—smaller classroom sizes mean more one-onone attention for your child • Innovation—private schools’ curriculums focus on learning styles and student interaction • The Christian option—if you’d like

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Do these tutoring sessions and workshops work? Both kids and parents alike give a resounding YES. With a focus on math basics, critical reading skills, and tricks-of-the-test tips, enthusiastic tutors and leaders can give the one-on-one attention your child deserves. Private tutoring and test prep companies are often extremely affordable, and allow your student the immersion in a specific area of study that they desperately need.

Viridian Community

Tri n


1401 NE Green Oaks Blvd, Arlington, TX 76006 • 817-801-5228 5200 Hedgcoxe Rd, Plano, TX 75024 • 972-378-4100

tlcschools.com & /tlcschoolsdfw


Lake Viridian



ve r


G Elzie Odom Athletic Ceneter




Finding Tutoring and Test Prep Assistance As public after-school tutoring programs decline because of lack of public funding, private companies have stepped in to fill the gap. Private educational tutoring is expected to be a 13.9 billion dollar worldwide industry by 2018, according to Forbes. In addition, test prep companies that prepare students for the rigors of the ACT and SAT are growing exponentially, with weekend workshops and afterschool study groups at the core.


• In the U.S., parents spend $8.2 billion on back to school clothing each year and $1.6 billion on books! • The average U.S. public school spent $10,700 per child per year in 2012. • Texas spends $9,242 per student in 2011, and ranks 40th nationwide, according to the Dallas Morning News. • There are 4.9 million children enrolled in Texas schools. • There are an estimated 100,000 home schooling families in Texas, according to the Texas Homeschool Coalition Association.



Changes in Texas legislature may make it easier for you to make these choices, with the help of school choice initiatives. As a parent, you have new options, so arm yourself with facts! To determine what’s best for each child, parents must educate themselves on the facts surrounding education options.


religious education for your child, a private school is the way to go!

Collin s

You have options when it comes to your child’s education, and making the best choice for each child doesn’t come easy. Public school? A private institution? A Christian school, or home schooling? What about tutoring centers and test prep? With choices like these, it’s best to know the benefits of each.

lack of oversight and regulations make this a quantifiable option. Follow your local legislature regarding school choice at EdChoice.com.






Visit our Arlington location!


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JA N UA RY 2 01 7

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Your Family & Cosmetic Dentist

If your general dentist doesn’t do a lot of cosmetic work, he or she may refer you to someone who does. You may also ask your friends and coworkers for recommendations. Once you’ve gathered a few names, visit their websites and browse their online portfolio of before and after photos of patients. Do you like what you see? Evaluate their post-graduate education. Are they members of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry? Did they put in the extra time, work, and study necessary to obtain accreditation?

A Cosmetic Dentist Indulge your imagination for a minute, and think about some of the most attractive people you know. What are some of the traits that come to mind? Chances are good that one of the main features you’re picturing is an appealing, natural white smile. There’s little doubt that a healthy, all-American smile makes a winning impression immediately. Whether you’re hoping to nail a job interview, garner the attention of someone you’re interested in, or just go confidently about your day, you want the smile you broadcast to be confident and welcoming. If there are things you’d like to improve about your smile, there’s never been a better time than now to do something about it—with the help of a cosmetic dentist.


A COSMETIC DENTIST CAN DO MUCH MORE THAN MERELY WHITEN AND BRIGHTEN YOUR SMILE. They can close gaps, repair chips, replace missing teeth, and even perform a complete smile makeover. Choosing the right cosmetic dentist is the first step toward creating your ideal smile. Begin by considering your own family dentist. How much cosmetic work does he or she do? Ultimately you will want someone who’s made cosmetic dentistry a focus in their practice, as a large volume of experience on the dentist’s side will better your chances of achieving the outcome you want.

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Meeting All Your Dental Needs.

If their website offers patient testimonials, look for some patients who’ve undergone the procedures you’re considering. How were their experiences before, during, and after treatment? Were they pleased with the dental professional, the staff, and the facility? Take a look at any new or cutting edge technologies that the practice offers. Many cosmetic procedures aren’t covered by dental insurance. If that’s an issue, are there various financing options available? Schedule a visit with the practice you’re considering, but before you do, make a list of the things you’d like to change and what you’d like to ask about. Evaluate your smile compared to the one you’d like. Once at the office, interact with the staff and see how you’re treated. Was your appointment time honored? Were your questions met with adequate answers? Did their communication style work well with your own? Did you get a good vibe from the cleanliness and look of the office, and were they able to tell you about any new procedures or updated technologies they use in treating patients? When you see the dentist, ask about your “wish list” and ask for a proposal of treatment options. Tell them you’d like pricing on their ideal treatment proposal, as well as a variety of other options. From there, the dentist should respect your wishes and proceed with the treatment options you select. Once you’ve found someone who meets all your criteria, you’ll be well on your way toward that radiant smile you’ve always wanted.

• • • • • • • •


• • • • • • • •


John E. Bauer, DDS Cody Bauer, DDS Terri Bauer, RDH


100 Carlin Road • Mansfield, TX 76063 www.MansfieldDentistry.com


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Now Serving Arlington & Mansfield Many but not all are open 24/7. You don’t want to lose time showing up when the doors are locked. Figure out which hospital or hospitals a freestanding ER has transfer agreements with, in case you require hospital admittance. Are they hospitals you trust, and can your doctor practice there? The next time you visit your primary care physician, ask where his or her privileges are, and also what facilities they’d use if a family member had a medical emergency and why.

An Emergency Room Every year in this country, millions of people find themselves in a hospitalbased or freestanding emergency room. Whether you call 911 and ride in an ambulance or a friend or relative rushes you there, the right ER can make all the difference. Of course, if your condition is sudden and can mean life or death, the nearest emergency room is your best option—and most ambulance services are staffed by EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians) trained to know enough about your medical problem to know where to take you. In a true medical emergency, let them make that call.


IF YOU’RE IN AN ACCIDENT, FOR INSTANCE, YOU’LL WANT TO CHOOSE A HOSPITAL WITH A GOOD TRAUMA CENTER. If you think you’re having a stroke, you’ll want to find the nearest facility that knows how to care for stroke patients. EMTs will have that information. But if your emergency is less time-sensitive, do some research about your ER options beforehand to make the best choice so that you’re ready when you need one.

For a hospital-based ER or a transfer from a freestanding, it’s best to use a hospital in your health plan’s network. While health plans must cover emergency care no matter where you’re treated, unless your health is endangered your health plan may only cover follow-up care in a network hospital. At either type of facility, ask about whether the physicians on staff are board certified in emergency medicine. It’s not necessarily a deal breaker if they’re not, since emergency medicine is a relatively new specialty. But if they are certified, that’s a point in their favor. Does the facility you’re considering have, at a minimum, diagnostic X-ray, CT scan, laboratory services, MRI, and ultrasound? Having such tools onsite will help avoid the need to be sent out for specialist tests. Keep in mind that in some areas law dictates that EMTs in an ambulance situation take you to the hospital they deem the best to treat you. In other areas, they may ask you whether you have a preference. But EMTs have access to information you don’t, such as which hospitals are already overcrowded and not accepting new emergency patients. In other locations, even if the EMTs tell you a specific hospital is closed to emergency patients, you may still choose to go to that hospital. This might be important if you know your doctor is affiliated with a specific hospital, or if you know something negative about a hospital’s reputation. In any case, the time to decide on an emergency facility is long before you need it.

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Open 24/7 With Almost NO WAIT! • Personalized Emergency Treatment Staffed By Emergency Physicians • State-of-the-Art Imaging On-Site Lab • Pediatric & Adult Care We understand the importance of accessing timely medical care in the case of emergencies, which is why we offer a 24-hour emergency care facility that is conveniently located in Arlington, Texas. You can rest assured that you will receive expert quality care without having to wait longer than expected. We strive to deliver personalized and focused medical care to every patient that walks into our ER center.


If you’re considering a freestanding ER, be sure to know their hours of operation.



5912 S Cooper St, Suite 110 • Arlington, TX 76017 682-323-8899 • www.pcec247.com • facebook.com/PrimeCareEmergency L I V I NGMAG A Z IN E . N E T

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the surgeon has the knowledge, skill, and surgical experience necessary to provide safe patient care in cosmetic plastic surgery. During your consultation, talk openly with the cosmetic plastic surgeon and his or her staff. In addition, ask plenty of questions and make sure you receive straightforward answers. You should feel at ease and comfortable. Remember, you are going to be spending quite a bit of time with your cosmetic plastic surgeon both before and after surgery, so make sure you have a positive and encouraging connection. Make sure to review quality before and after photos or inspect photos from the cosmetic plastic surgeon’s website. Be sure the photos represent actual clients versus stock photos used for marketing purposes. Furthermore, make sure the surgeon’s results look similar to how you want to look.

A Cosmetic Surgeon Whether you desire improvement of your body with a mommy makeover or dream of facial rejuvenation, cosmetic plastic surgery can be a positive, lifechanging experience that boosts self-confidence, improves your social life, and may even advance your career. Choosing the right cosmetic plastic surgeon can help ensure the look you desire. Do your due diligence and educate yourself on the various treatment options that are available, then select the cosmetic surgeon that’s right for you. You’ll be glad you did.


“Certifications from the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery demonstrate the highest standards in cosmetic surgery training, knowledge, and expertise, and are a good indicator that your surgeon enjoys and is dedicated to their work.” — MICHAEL L. THORNTON, DO, FACOS

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FIRST AND FOREMOST, SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION WITH A QUALIFIED, EXPERIENCED, AND BOARD CERTIFIED COSMETIC PLASTIC SURGEON. Being a “Board Certified” Diplomate means the surgeon has completed an approved educational residency or fellowship training program and completed a rigorous written and oral examination process to test that

An experienced cosmetic plastic surgeon isn’t likely to say “yes” to everything you desire and may offer alternative surgical options based upon your unique personal circumstance and body type. You shouldn’t feel rushed or pressured to make a decision or that you’re being talked into doing something more than you are ready for. Ask your cosmetic plastic surgeon where they perform surgery and whether it is “accredited.” This could be in a hospital, an outpatient surgery center, or a private office surgery suite. For a facility to receive accreditation, it must adhere to strict standards in support personnel, sanitation, emergency equipment, patient care, anesthesia providers, and inspections. Therefore, look for symbols of national accreditation including, AAAASF, AAAHC, or JCAHO, as a competent cosmetic plastic surgeon will proudly display their accreditation certificate in their office as a symbol of excellence and patient safety.

BREAST COSMETIC SURGERY Breast Augmentation Breast Lift – Mastopexy Breast Reduction Breast Implant with Mastopexy Breast Implant Revision Mommy Breast Enhancement Gynecomastia Male Breast Reduction

MOMMY MAKEOVER Breast Augmentation & Lift

Tummy Tuck

BODY CONTOURING SURGERY Brazilian Butt Lift Tummy Tuck – Abdominoplasty Mini Tummy Tuck Mommy Makeover Liposuction – Laser Lipo – VASER Brachioplasty – Arm Lift After Weight Loss Skin Removal



FACIAL COSMETIC SURGERY ThermiRF – ThermiTight Face Lift – Neck Lift Brow Lift Blepharoplasty Facial Fat Transfer Torn Earlobe Repair Surgisil Permalip Implant

Make sure to inquire about the cosmetic plastic surgeon’s anesthesia provider. For the utmost in patient safety, you should seek an accredited facility that uses either a Board Certified Anesthesiologist (MD or DO) or a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). Lastly, you want to be sure you are being well treated by the office staff. Was the staff friendly and helpful? When you contacted the practice, did you receive a friendly and prompt reply? Did you receive supportive materials and office pamphlets during your consultation? Were the fees clearly stated on the quote in a nonconfusing manner? L I V I NGMAG A Z IN E . N E T

Michael L. Thornton D.O., FACOS Board Certified Cosmetic Surgeon American Board of Cosmetic Surgery


Botox - Xeomin Juvederm - Voluma - Radiasse CO2 & Erbium Laser Skin Resurfacing ThermiVa - Vaginal Rejuvenation IPL Photofacial HydraFacial MD Dermapen 3

817-477-9000 MansfieldCosmeticSurgery.com 550 N. Walnut Creek Dr., Suite 120 Mansfield, TX 76063 Office hours by appointment only


Monday-Friday: 9am – 5pm (Closed for lunch 12pm – 1pm)

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“I don’t let back pain keep my family out of the game.” with and gets referrals from medical doctors. Conduct a search for some local chiropractors—convenience is important. Visit the provider websites and touch base with friends or family members about anyone they’ve had good experiences with.

A Chiropractor We all know someone who’s received chiropractic care after an accident or injury. But did you know that chiropractic care can be beneficial when done on a regular basis? Not only used for treating injuries, chiropractic is an integral part of an overall healthy lifestyle and is used to treat several ailments ranging from neck to joint pain and other musculoskeletal conditions. Chiropractic is a great tool to assist you in achieving your optimal well-being, so it’s important to educate yourself before taking a crack at choosing an experienced chiropractor near you.


EXPERIENCE MATTERS. Just like medical doctors, doctors of chiropractic often specialize. Specialties vary from chiropractic pediatrics and therapeutic rehabilitation to chiropractic acupuncture, neurology, and more. Consider your primary area of concern. It’s important your chiropractor has the know-how to safely and effectively treat your specific condition. Chiropractic methods can also vary, and often include physical manipulation of the spine, certain exercises, focused massage, or a combination of these techniques. It’s important to find a chiropractor who matches your comfort level. Because chiropractors are considered primary care providers, you won’t need a referral from your doctor to see one, though they may suggest one. Look for someone who has good relationships

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Take time to learn about the education, licensure, and credentials of chiropractors on your list. Texas requires chiropractors to complete a doctor of chiropractic degree on top of a traditional undergraduate program, followed by extensive handson training. Reputable DCs will also be current with continuing education hours to maintain their state licenses. Also, be sure to visit the Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners online to find out if any disciplinary actions have been taken on doctors you are considering. Once you narrow your list, request an initial consultation with a few before you commit, especially if you plan on regularly receiving chiropractic care. Tour the facility and chat with the doctor. Do you feel comfortable? Does the doctor listen attentively, or does he or she talk over you or try to give you a hard sell? A doctor’s behavior at an initial consultation is a reliable indicator of what to expect as a regular patient. Look for a chiropractor who will be able to accurately diagnose your problem by taking a thorough history, conducting a comprehensive exam, and getting the right tests ordered. They should also explain this diagnosis in an understandable manner. (Visual aids or images are often a great way to convey this information). Finally, make sure they’re able to detail all the options for treating your condition, including any referrals to other physicians for co-management or services that might be useful but aren’t provided by your chiropractor. In today’s healthcare arena, some of the best options for treatment may not be covered by your insurance. Your doctor should explain this to you before rendering any non-covered services, so you can consider all your options regardless of your insurance coverage. Don’t sign the dotted line before you have a thorough evaluation to determine your treatment plan. Making a good decision when it comes to your chiropractor and treatment options can get you feeling better and help you avoid further remedial costs in the future. L I V I NGMAG A Z IN E . N E T

Check out our new Arlington location! Arlington Chiropractic Center 2401 W. Pioneer Pkwy Suite 145 Arlington, TX 76013 682-276-1532

Chiropractic care is helping millions achieve optimal health and continue doing the things they love.

We can help. Call us today!


(817) 330-3600 | KennedaleChiropractic.com | 405 W Kennedale Pkwy | Kennedale, TX 76060


(817) 453-3999 | MansfieldChiropractic.com | 1071 Country Club Dr, Ste 101 | Mansfield, TX 76063

Dr. George Bobbitt D.C.

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Advanced Surgery

aortic valve disease, mitral valve disease, lung cancer, esophageal cancer, and atrial or ventricular septal defects. Because you will most likely be referred to your surgeon by your cardiologist, oncologist, or pulmonologist, the relationship between your physician and your cardiothoracic surgeon is critical.

A Cardiothoracic Surgeon If you’re suffering from coronary artery disease, lung cancer, or esophageal cancer, finding the right cardiothoracic surgeon may feel like an overwhelming task, especially when you are newly diagnosed. Yet choosing the best surgeon to meet your needs doesn’t have to be a daunting task. There are several key factors to look for when choosing a surgeon. In conjunction with your cardiologist, oncologist, or pulmonologist, your cardiothoracic surgeon will be a part of your medical team, assisting you through a difficult time in life. Choosing the best surgeon can make a critical difference to your overall health and recovery.

“A good surgeon should offer advanced treatment to their patients and do so in a way that minimizes pain, risk, and recovery time, with an eye on improving quality of life. With that in mind, look for a surgeon who works closely with patients and their physicians to tailor a treatment program designed specifically for each individual patient.” — DARIEN BRADFORD, MD

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A CARDIOTHORACIC SURGEON OPERATES ON A WIDE RANGE OF CONDITIONS AND DISEASES. These generally involve the heart, lungs, and other organs of the chest cavity. Following General Surgery residency, they complete an additional two- or threeyear residency program in cardiothoracic surgery. Some cardiothoracic surgeons are fellowship trained, giving them additional experience in their field.

Before meeting with your surgeon, it’s helpful if you ask your cardiologist, oncologist, or pulmonologist what questions you should ask the surgeon based on the specifics of your case. What can you do to best prepare for surgery? How long will you be in the hospital following your surgery? What should you expect as far as recovery time, and what limitations should you be prepared for in your recovery?

For Diseases of the Heart, Lungs and Chest

Once your meet with your surgeon, they should complete a thorough exam and help you to feel comfortable about the upcoming procedure. It’s also important that your surgeon answers your questions fully and understands your concerns leading up to your surgery. The right surgeon will not only provide clear solutions for your medical problem, but will explain those solutions with details you need and will make sure you are comfortable with your choices regarding surgery. Understanding your procedure and what you need to know before going under the knife can help properly set your expectations for recovery and can help you heal faster.

Darien W. Bradford, MD Cardiothoracic Surgeon

Some common cardiothoracic services & treatment: Minimally Invasive Heart and Lung Surgery Coronary Artery Bypass • Aortic and Mitral Valve Repair/Replacement Pacemaker Placement • Atrial Fibrillation Video-assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery (VATS) Lung Cancer Lung Resection Malignant & Benign Tumors in the Chest Deformities of the Chest Hyperhidrosis Diseases of the Esophagus to include GERD and Achalasia

A surgeon who best explains your options, outcomes, and recovery period can be the best fit for you. When your surgeon has the expertise, experience, and empathy to treat you as an individual and not just a patient, you know you’ve found the right surgeon for you and your future. If you are faced with the difficult prospect of a major surgery, it’s comforting to know that you are in the most experienced hands possible, and that the surgeon is a good fit. Knowing what to ask and developing a relationship with your surgeon can move you that much closer to a speedy recovery. 2016

Education and experience are critical when choosing the right cardiothoracic surgeon. This surgeon is highly trained in surgeries necessary for coronary artery disease,

Learn how Dr. Bradford can help you today! 515 W. Mayfield Dr. #404 | Arlington, Texas 76014

www.bradfordmd.com | 817.465.5311 L I V I NGMAG A Z IN E . N E T

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use Invisalign to correct the alignment and give you a great smile. In more complicated cases an orthodontist can use braces to help correct bad bites. Utilizing new 3D technology, some orthodontists are able to scan your teeth with a digital scanner and produce the clear aligners that are virtually invisible and move your teeth for those adults that want the latest treatments available. With the metal or clear braces there are wires developed by NASA that help move teeth faster for better results, producing less tooth soreness. Orthodontists complete four years of dental school, followed by three years of specialized study in orthodontics. If you find yourself in need of braces you should go get a free consultation with an orthodontist to receive the best care possible, at an affordable price.

An Orthodontist Are you “that person,” the one who refuses to show your teeth in photos? Why go through life ashamed of your smile? It doesn’t have to be this way. Orthodontists are dentists with advanced training in making teeth move—also known as the “pretty smile” doctors. Because let’s face it, crooked teeth are embarrassing. But beyond the aesthetic component, did you know that there are potential health issues associated with shifting teeth? Crooked or crowded teeth, overbites, and under bites can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and even tooth loss—and overlapping teeth can be tough to clean. Orthodontists work to correct these issues and make it easier to care for your teeth.


THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF ORTHODONTISTS RECOMMENDS... That your child get a check-up with an orthodontist at the first sign of an orthodontic problem—no later than age seven. However, they are quick to point out that you are never too old to benefit from orthodontic treatment. In fact, they say one in five orthodontic patients is an adult. But how do you decide which orthodontist is best for you?

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Ask family and friends for recommendations. It never hurts to check out their websites and bios to make sure they are orthodontic specialists. You may also want to check out online google reviews and customer satisfaction ratings. You will then want to meet with the potential orthodontist for an initial consult. You may want to ask which dental school he or she attended, and where he or she completed orthodontic residency. Ask about the scope of the proposed treatment plan, and possible consequences of not taking action immediately. Does the doctor perform all of their own procedures, or do other associates assist on occasion? If so, what is their level of expertise? Obviously, you will want to find out whether or not this orthodontist accepts your insurance— you may also want to ask about treatment costs and billing options. Ask about posttreatment follow up—find out what resources are available (outside of regular practice hours) in the event of an emergency.

2016 Now Offering: New Digital Teeth Scan Technology • Faster Treatment • No Impressions • Better Results

Braces (and other orthodontic treatment plans) mean making a big commitment to one orthodontist for many years. You want to make sure you really like this person, and are comfortable with the care you will be receiving! Are the hygienists and office staff friendly and knowledgeable? Is the office conveniently located? Are they flexible about scheduling? The right orthodontist can make the process almost stress-free. Don’t be afraid to shop around for the right fit—both for you and your teeth.

The main reason many people see an orthodontist? Crooked teeth that cause their smile to be not ideal. For most of these issues an orthodontist can




Dr. Jed Hildebrand L I V I NGMAG A Z IN E . N E T

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The particular oncologist you choose will depend on what type of cancer you’re suffering from, so pay close attention to the oncologist’s specialty and only choose one that has a good track record. Ask the doctor about his or her success rate of treating patients who have survived your type of cancer. Try to select an oncologist with a high success rate. Also ask about the number of cases the oncologist treats annually in relation to patients having your particular cancer. Remember, you want a doctor who’s experienced.

An Oncologist When it comes to treating cancer, it practically takes a village. Cancer treatment involves a team of specialists known as oncologists who are trained to combat cancer through surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. The oncologists recommend types of treatments and discuss side effects. These physicians will help make the pain resulting from cancer more bearable as well as treat other symptoms. Your care team will more than likely be made up of a medical oncologist, a surgical oncologist, and a radiation oncologist. Other specialists in this field include a gynecologic oncologist, pediatric oncologist, or a hematologist-oncologist who deals with blood related cancers like leukemia. Choosing the right oncologist will be instrumental in making your treatment as smooth as possible.


“The diagnosis of cancer carries with it for many patients and their families profound emotional and physical challenges. My goal is to help my patients understand that they are not alone in their difficult journey. With compassionate, personalized, comprehensive, and cuttingedge cancer therapy, we can battle the cancer together.” — DERRICK D. NGUYEN, MD, MEDICAL ONCOLOGIST, THE CENTER FOR CANCER AND BLOOD DISORDERS

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THE PHYSICIAN WHO DIAGNOSED YOU WITH CANCER WILL MORE THAN LIKELY BE THE PERSON TO RECOMMEND AN ONCOLOGIST. You can also get recommendations from cancer survivors you know. Check with your insurance to determine if the referred doctors will be accepted by your plan. Only choose board certified oncologists. Also, find out how many years of experience the specialist has in cancer care, and select the most qualified one.

Look on websites or literature available at the practice to review patient testimonials. What they say about the oncologist’s compassion and bedside manner is definitely an important factor, as you will need to remain calm and relaxed during this process. Select a physician who you feel will treat you as if you were a member of the family. See how comfortable you feel with this doctor at the consultation, and make sure all your questions are addressed thoroughly and logically, without jumps to conclusion or judgment. Make certain that the practice has a sufficient support team to meet your needs. This support team may consist of a registered nurse, social worker, nutritionist, pharmacist, and counselor. You will need medical and emotional help during your treatment. Knowing exactly where you will be receiving your cancer care is vital. Ask if you will be seeing the doctor at the office only or if your treatment will also be in a hospital or other location. A comprehensive treatment plan is what you should be watching for. In case you need to reach an oncologist during non-office hours or holidays, make sure you understand the contact procedure as well as who will be communicating with you during off hours. Is it your physician or an associate? Knowing the doctor’s protocol will give you peace of mind. Lastly, does the specialist conduct research or clinical trials? Choosing a medical professional who is proactive in finding new ways to battle cancer is a positive sign that you’re getting the best medical care possible. A cancer diagnosis can be one of life’s more frightening trials. Making sure you have the right support team is the first step of many on the road to recovery. REFERENCE: Cancer.net


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of your pet and may have some good recommendations. You might also want to ask your friends and coworkers who they’ve used and how their experience was.

A Pet Boarding Facility You look forward to your family vacation all year long, right? After all, you’ve earned it! If only it wasn’t so hard to leave some of the most treasured members of your family behind—your pets. Being distracted with wondering if they’re upset by your absence can make it hard for you to relax and enjoy your time apart. But take heart. A really great pet boarding facility can make all the difference for both of you. What you want is a place where your four-legged family member is appreciated and nurtured. And as with most things you either need right now or don’t need at all, it’s best to have one lined up ahead of time. Take a little time now and make sure your fur baby enjoys their next vacation as much as you’ll enjoy yours knowing they’re in good hands.


“For your own peace of mind, and for your pet’s safety, you need to be able to trust your pet’s boarding facility. Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions, especially about the less fun aspects, like their protocol for treating pets that become ill while boarding.” — DR. MAURI KARGER, OWNER, I-20 ANIMAL MEDICAL CENTER

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WHEN YOU’RE GETTING YOUR SEARCH STARTED, YOU MIGHT CONSIDER ASKING YOUR FAMILY VETERINARIAN ABOUT WHERE TO START. Often, they will have first-hand experience with local pet boarding facilities, and failing that, might have heard stories or comments from other clients about their own experiences. Let your vet know what type of facility you’re looking for, how long you plan to leave your pet, and the level of luxury your pet is used to. Your vet will also understand the unique needs

Once you have a short list of facilities to consider, try to find a little time to go for some visits. A tour of the facility will tell you a lot. Once there, trust your gut. Talk to the staff. Ask how often they interact with the pets or if they use more of a handsoff approach. If they seem put off by your visit or reluctant to answer your questions, there’s no problem with scratching them off the list and continuing on. The staff should be eager to answer any questions. After all, if they’re animal lovers, they should be just as anxious as you are for your pet to have a positive experience. Look around. Is the facility clean? How does it smell? Do the animals seem happy? Are they anxious and nervous or satisfied and relaxed? How loud is the facility? You know your own dog or cat and whether the volume level will upset them or not. Is the facility— and especially the areas where pets are housed—well ventilated? Or is the air stale and foul-smelling? Scan the facility for potential hazards such as damaged fencing, jagged edges, or scummy water bowls. Be sure to ask about any extra services your pet may require. Do they charge extra for administering medication? If your pet is older, are there any sorts of special processes in place to accommodate their age? Is grooming important to you, and if so will a session be included in the boarding cost? Don’t hesitate to ask as many questions as you need. Your pet’s comfort and your peace of mind may depend on it. Some facilities offer a way to check in on your pet remotely via webcam and even set up special schedules for activities. If these are of interest to you, get a little info! Once you’ve chosen a facility, talk to the staff about your pet’s unique characteristics. The more Fido or Fluffy’s caretakers know about them, the better your pet’s experience will be. Mention any quirks your pet may have— trouble interacting with other animals, an aversion to loud noises, or difficulties walking on a leash. This can help head off conflict, prevent headaches for both you and the staff, and keep your pet happy and healthy until you’re back together again.


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body created in the endocrine glands and secreted directly into the blood stream to tissues or organs.

A Bioidentical Hormone Center If you have experienced the symptoms of diminished hormones, there’s one thought that may come to mind—how much you miss them! Starting as early as age 30, hormone levels begin to drop in both men and women. The symptoms can be devastating—chronic insomnia, fatigue, anxiety, low libido, difficulty concentrating, hair loss, and weight gain—just to name a few in a long list. Wouldn’t it be great to reverse your internal clock? Hormone replacement therapy may be the answer, and many people choose “natural” bioidentical hormones. Derived from soy and yams, they are considered to be molecularly identical to the hormones your body produces.


ALTHOUGH AGING IS A MAJOR CULPRIT... Hormonal imbalance may be the result of exposure to toxins, or an effect of a serious, undiagnosed medical condition, such as diabetes. While it may be tempting to try one of the many do-it-yourself home remedies that promise miraculous results, it’s a dangerous proposition that you would probably do best to avoid. Instead, choose a hormone replacement center that is under the direct supervision of a physician, or a private practice physician who is experienced in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). Hormones are a complex cocktail of chemical messengers in the

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Once you have narrowed down centers or doctors to see for a consultation, make a list of questions to take with you. It will help you remember exactly what you should ask, and jotting down the answers will help ensure that you make the best comparison among providers before you make your final selection. For example, ask where the physician completed his or her hormone training and the duration of the training. A weekend course is different than more extensive training. Also ask how long he or she has been treating patients with hormone deficiencies. The more experience the better. Hormonal balancing is not always an exact science, and no two patients are the same, as hormone levels vary between people. As you compare, look for BHRT providers who offer customized treatments based on your individual symptoms and hormone levels. A quality center will look at your health history and perform a medical exam as well as a blood test, saliva test, urine test, or all three, to determine your current hormone levels. These tests allow providers to tailor a program specific to you instead of using a one-size-fits-all approach. They should also rule out any diseases or serious underlying conditions that may be causing your hormones to become unbalanced or low. Treatment without testing should give you caution. Another consideration is the BHRT delivery methods offered. BHRT doses may be administered via patches, pills, gels or creams, sublingual tablets, injections, and tiny time-released pellets placed in the fatty tissue under the skin. Recently, patches and pellets have come into favor because they are designed to consistently release small, physiologic doses of hormones around the clock, which helps you experience steady hormone levels. A generation ago, men and women had no alternative but to live with feeling tired, run down, unsexy, and worn out due to hormonal deficiency. Not today. BHRT has helped countless people feel younger, healthier, and more full of life.


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Joseph M. Caruso, M.D.

Board Certified Vascular Surgeon

and you can trust a vascular surgeon to be concerned about your long-term health and to take into consideration all of your options. Choosing a vascular surgeon can depend on practical matters like insurance coverage, treatments available, and the location of your physician’s practice, however, you should also take into account the procedures and technology advancements that can make your treatments less invasive and more successful.

A Vascular Surgeon Are you experiencing pain, cramps, tightness, or heaviness in your calves or thighs during walking or exercise? Do you have coldness in your lower legs and feet? Foot or toe pain at rest that often disturbs your sleep? Or wounds on the feet that are slow to heal? You may have a condition called Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) in which fatty tissue called plaque builds up on the inside walls of the arteries of the legs. This buildup causes the arteries to narrow, reducing blood flow to the legs and feet. PAD often goes undiagnosed. This can be dangerous because PAD can lead to painful symptoms, wounds that don’t heal, and limb loss. PAD is also an indicator of an increased risk of heart disease. Finding the right vascular surgeon will be key to learning your options for treatment and will allow you to make the best choice for your overall vascular health.

A VASCULAR SURGEON SPECIALIZES IN... “The key for a good vascular surgeon is to have the knowledge to know which surgical option is better, having the training to do both, and the skill to deliver the best result for the patient.” — JOSEPH M. CARUSO, MD, BOARD CERTIFIED VASCULAR SURGEON, COMPLETE VASCULAR CARE

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Managing veins and arteries in every part of the body except the brain and the heart. Vascular surgeons perform several different types of surgery, but they also see and treat many patients who don’t require surgery. Many vascular issues can be treated with medication, diet, and exercise.

In addition to finding a board certified and experienced physician, you should also look for a doctor who listens to your concerns and understands your goals for treatment. Have a list of questions prepared for the doctor regarding your concerns for treatment options. How many treatments like the one you’re about to undergo has your prospective doctor performed? How frequently do patients encounter complications from a particular treatment and who manages them? These questions can help you better understand your doctor’s experiences with cases similar to yours, and can give you a fuller picture of their abilities. Remember that your physician works for you, and asking questions regarding your vascular health isn’t intrusive. Finding the right fit for you is what’s best for your longterm health, so be sure to research the physician, their practice, and the hospital where they perform procedures for your own peace of mind and for the best possible outcome to your surgery.

A vascular surgeon is able to perform both open, complicated surgery and minimally invasive endovascular procedures. Some minimally invasive specialists perform one or two vascular interventions and that is all they are able to offer the patient. However, vascular surgeons are trained in a broad range of surgical modalities and can offer the patient the best treatment for their particular need. A vascular surgeon usually has long-term relationships with patients,

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types of warranties they offer. A solid deck or patio should hold up for years, and a reputable company should be willing to back that up in writing. Warranties usually come in the form of manufacturer warranties (from the manufacturers of the materials) and a warranty from the contractor on their workmanship. Ask which materials are warrantied and which aren’t. And ask for all warranties, bids, and guarantees in writing.

A Patio and Deck Company

Ask what materials the contractor uses or recommends and why. Then do a little research about those materials and their manufacturers to see if they look like a good fit for you. Check reviews and ask friends and family if they’re familiar with the materials or manufacturers. Online research shouldn’t take more than 10 or 15 minutes.


If you’re looking for a custom deck or patio, be sure all the companies you’re considering offer custom projects. What are some of the company’s specialties? Do they perform any unique services that might set your deck apart from the rest? Ask if they can put you in touch with any of their clients so you can ascertain how quickly and satisfactorily any problems they may have had were corrected. Make notes of the questions you want to ask, and if the clients seem receptive, you might consider whether you may come look at their completed project. The deck or patio company may also have some sample projects nearby or on site that you could take a look at. Check out the construction and make sure things look clean and well built.

Several websites, such HomeAdvisor. com, will allow you to list your project specifications and conduct a very specific search for contractors in your area, peruse their reviews, then receive preliminary quotes on the job. Considering local outfits is a good idea, since contractors in your area will already be aware of local building codes, as well as unique terrain and weather conditions that impact the designing and building of an outdoor living space where you live. For your own safety, look for contractors who are licensed and insured and are willing to provide written proof of both.

At last it’ll be time to review some bids. Be very careful that you’re comparing apples to apples, meaning that all materials in the bids are the same and that they’re bidding on the exact same design. Lastly, take your time. If your ideal outdoor living space is beyond your current budget, ask your contractors about the option of building it in stages. You might begin with a patio, for instance, then add an outdoor kitchen and fireplace, when your budget allows. With a little luck and the right patio or deck company, you’ll soon have an outdoor oasis that’ll keep you relaxing outside for hours.

The rooms inside your home exist for different reasons—cooking, sleeping, bathing, working. But a deck or patio outside your home is there for living! It’s there for entertaining, for connecting with family, for relaxing, for leaving the world behind. If you’ve been dreaming of a deck or patio, or if the one you have has seen better days, design options are almost limitless. You can put together anything from a simple seating area to an outdoor room with a kitchen, fireplace, and huge television, all surrounded by luscious landscaping. Finding the right company for the job is the first step toward making your outdoor living dreams come true. And there’s no time like the present!


Once you have a list of companies to consider, inquire with each about the

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accommodate various treatments, and able to explain complex procedures and terminology in a way that’s easy to understand. The more experience your surgeon has, the better the outcome—or so the wisdom goes. Find out how many successful surgeries the potential doctor has performed—especially on patients with a condition similar to your own. Ask about potential complications, and how they might be addressed. Though it might seem unusual, you might also consider that some orthopedic surgeons are specializing in treatment of a specific sex, as there are growing areas of treatment that work around anatomical differences between men and women.

An Orthopedic Surgeon According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, an orthopedic surgeon is a physician devoted to the diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and rehabilitation of the body’s musculoskeletal system—think bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, nerves, and tendons. Finding the right orthopedic surgeon will help to ensure you have a successful surgery and recovery. You will most likely be referred to an orthopedic surgeon by your primary care physician. Family and friends are also useful in the recommendation department. Once you have a few names, research their credentials online—then schedule a consultation to “interview” the potential docs. Surgery is always a big deal. Make sure you do your homework and you’ll be in a great position to find the right orthopedic surgeon for you.


“While orthopedic surgeons specialize in the musculoskeletal system, many gear their practice toward one orthopedic area— hips and knees, hands, the spine, and others. Read up on surgeons you are considering and learn more about their specialties. Look for a doctor that takes their time with patients, and you’ll be happier with the outcome.” — BARRY HOWELL, CEO, ARLINGTON ORTHOPEDIC ASSOCIATES

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MANY ORTHOPEDIC SURGEONS SPECIALIZE IN CERTAIN AREAS— LIKE THE FOOT AND ANKLE, HAND, SHOULDER AND ELBOW, SPINE, HIP, OR KNEE. You’ll want to choose an orthopedic surgeon you are comfortable with. The surgeon you choose should be board certified. A good orthopedic surgeon will be dedicated to their work and patients, calm and collected under pressure, willing to work with patients flexibly to

Which hospital is your surgeon associated with? Is this a hospital you are happy with? Consider the quality of care. Toprated institutions tend to have fewer complications, and better survival rates. The hospital should be conveniently located, as frequent follow-up and rehabilitation visits are commonplace after an orthopedic procedure. You will want to choose an orthopedic surgeon who listens and communicates well, explaining in depth the process and effect of any procedure you’re considering. You should be able to make this determination in an initial consult. You want to pick someone who shows interest in you, your concerns and treatment preferences—and who allows you adequate time in your decision making process. And always check out patient satisfaction surveys, when available. They’re not the end-all be-all, but can sometimes remind you of issues or considerations you might not have weighed mentally before. Another important factor to consider: what does your insurance cover? You may need to choose a physician that contracts with your insurance provider. Talk to the potential surgeon about his or her recommended treatment plan. Ask any questions you might have about this process—will you need an implant or device? What will post-surgery recovery look like? Are minimally invasive techniques a possibility? What are the benefits and risks? Take note of the physician’s bedside manner, as well as the office staff — are they friendly? Efficient? Knowledgeable? These are all factors that should play into your final decision. Take your time, and do your research. Don’t be afraid to meet with several different surgeons before deciding, and with the right choice you’ll be back on your feet in no time. L I V I NGMAG A Z IN E . N E T

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damage hearing. An audiologist can help you identify where you are at risk and assist, should the need for amplification arise. Some audiologists specialize in treating children. While all children can exhibit selective hearing problems (especially when asked to clean their rooms), if you have real concerns about your child’s ability to communicate, especially speech delays, hearing difficulties might be the cause. Talk to your pediatrician about getting a referral. When it comes to finding an audiologist, as with any medical professional, it doesn’t hurt to check your insurance directory, making sure that the audiologist you choose works with your insurance plan. Audiologists are specialists, so under some plans you might need to first consult with your primary care provider to get a referral.

An Audiologist When you hear the word “audiologist,” you might think back to the hearing tests you went through in elementary school. But that is hardly the limit of what these highly trained professionals can do. They do test hearing ability, of course, and if you have hearing loss they provide treatment—but you don’t need to wait until you can’t hear a thing to go to an audiologist! These professionals will work with you to prevent hearing loss, and they are the go-to experts for all things related to hearing, balance, and tinnitus (ringing in the ears).

“Hearing loss that is untreated is associated with poorer memory for speech, longer processing times for making decisions, and excessive load on working memory. These effects tax the cognitive system of the aging brain, putting people at risk for conditions like dementia.” — DR. LISA B. FELL, AUDIOLOGY EXPERTS

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HEARING LOSS AFFECTS MORE THAN JUST THE AUDITORY SYSTEM. Consulting with an audiologist about early identification and hearing loss prevention could definitely be worth your time. Hearing loss is often gradual, and you might not notice it right away, until several years have passed and it has worsened to the point that it is impacting your everyday life. An audiologist can help you preserve your hearing before it gets to that point. Unaddressed hearing loss can affect mental processing and memory as the brain has to work harder to understand language. Audiologists play a role in helping to identify and treat hearing loss and educate the community. Extended exposure to excessively loud sound, as well as aging, can

To practice in the United States, audiologists must have an advanced degree and be licensed by the state. While most audiologists earn a Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) degree, there are some other degrees that can be obtained from accredited universities with special training in the prevention, identification, assessment, and treatment of hearing disorders. Look for membership in leading professional organizations like the American Board of Audiology, American Academy of Audiology, and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. These organizations offer professional development and continuing education, and indeed require a certain amount of continuing education every year for membership. They also offer access to the latest research. Membership is voluntary, so doctors of audiology who choose to join these types of professional organizations are likely to be passionate about their specialty and keep up with the latest developments in the field to be able to offer you the best and most up-to-date care. Finally, one of the most important things to do when looking for an audiologist is to find someone that you feel comfortable with. A good medical professional will treat you with respect, take your concerns seriously, and create an environment where you can feel comfortable asking questions. Audiologists have an expertise that can better your quality of life. With a good audiologist on your side, you can become more proactive in your hearing health! References: American Academy of Audiologists: www.audiology.org American Speech-Language-Hearing Association: www.asha.org

Kristin Robbins, Au.D.

Lisa B. Fell, Au.D.

Expert Care for your Hearing I have worn hearing aids for over 30 years. My attitude and experience with hearing loss, taking hearing tests and wearing hearing aids was negative and extremely stressful to the point I would be in tears. I have never heard as well as I hear now! I would not be successful with my hearing loss and hearing aids without the caring, loving, gentle and trusting support I receive from Audiology Experts. Lisa and Kristin at Audiology Experts are ready to assist you in whatever you need. They will ensure your success. You will feel “Special”. They love what they do! I know they love being my audiologist! Call them today. They will love being your audiologist! - Patricia C., Arlington

1261 W. Green Oaks Blvd, Ste. 105 Arlington, TX 76013 817-451-4818 AudiologyExperts.com

Audiology Services • Comprehensive audiological evaluations by an experienced audiologist • Providers for many insurance carriers for diagnostic testing and hearing aids • Cerumen removal (ear wax cleaning) • Tinnitus evaluations and consultations • Access to hearing aid manufacturers with the latest in technology • Competitive pricing and a 30-day adjustment period for hearing aids • Financing options available • Expert Hearing Care package available for care and maintenance for keeping the devices at optimum performance • Hearing aid batteries, supplies and assistive listening devices • Custom ear molds and hearing protection, musician's earplugs, sleep molds and swim plugs


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Family Law • Business Law Real Estate • Wills • Criminal Defense Personal Injury


yours. Always get together with an attorney for an initial consultation to talk about the details of your situation and gauge their approach to determine if you think they’re a good fit before you sign any form of engagement agreement. Additionally, there are many referral and rating sources available when trying to find an attorney. Browse online resources like FindLaw or Avvo. Widely respected directories provide descriptions, extensive biographical articles, and other details on law firms and attorneys all over the world, including peer ratings, which are a reliable indicator of a lawyer’s ethics and degree of skill.

An Attorney There comes a time in everyone’s life that calls for help from the experts. Just as you would not attempt a medical procedure without proper training, you should likewise not attempt navigating legal issues without the expertise of an attorney at your side. An attorney is invaluable for all sorts of scenarios—from drafting and reviewing legal documents to helping with insurance claims, wills, business formation, and family law matters, among others. It’s best to have one ready when you need them. Here are a few methods you can use to select an attorney who is well-suited to you and your circumstances.

“Complex legal matters require an experienced, knowledgeable attorney who isn’t afraid to take on a challenge head on. Choosing an attorney with these qualifications to effectively represent your interests will enable you to establish a longterm professional relationship for you, your family, or your business’ needs.” — DAVID L. COOK, HARRIS COOK, LLP

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FIRST, CONSULT WITH LOCAL FRIENDS, BUSINESS ASSOCIATES, AND FAMILY, AND ASK FOR THEIR RECOMMENDATIONS. The best referrals come from folks in your area who have faced first-hand issues of similar legal concern. Another great way to find referrals is through civic and business organizations. For instance, a small business association or chamber of commerce would be a great place to start. Keep in mind that recommendations from a single person or organization only represent one perspective, so the more people you talk to the better. The style of a particular attorney could be right for one individual’s matter but not for

It’s always a good idea to learn about an attorney’s number of years in practice and areas of expertise. It is also critical to ask about the specific practice areas to which they’ve committed the majority of their time. Specialized areas of the law are best handled by those with experience and education in those specialized areas. For example, if your legal issue has to do with adoption, you want to pinpoint not just family law attorneys, but rather those family law attorneys who have successful trackrecords with adoption cases.




Always perform a general check of the attorney’s background. Prior to agreeing to work with an attorney, it’s wise to reach out to the State Bar of Texas, which handles disciplinary proceedings. Also perform a general web search to get a sense of the attorney’s professional and civic activities. If you have any concerns, request a list of references and reach out to those references and others you may find who have worked with or against the attorney. Finally, keep in mind that a lawyer is not just an advisor on your legal rights and position, they are a counselor and provide general guidance on strategy and possess specialized training to approaching legal challenges on a go forward basis. The best situation is when you have a trusted relationship with a lawyer who is willing to give you valuable guidance and point you in the right direction to increase your chances of success. Choosing the right attorney can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be stressful or confusing. Selecting the right one is a great first step to a valuable long-term relationship.

309 E. Broad Street, Mansfield, TX 76063 817-473-3332

709 E. Abram Street, Arlington, TX 76010 817-275-8765

Please contact our office now to set up a FREE consultation.


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Start 2017 off

Smile with a

professional is a board certification in pediatric dentistry. This certification assures that the dentist is knowledgeable about the latest studies and treatments in the specialty.

A Pediatric Dentist When it comes down to it, the bottom line is that if you have a child, you need a pediatric dentist. Healthy teeth and gums are a critical part of youth wellness and can shape self-esteem and dental health for years to come. While general dentists may see patients at any age, a pediatric dentist is one that specializes in treating young people from childhood through adolescence. Wouldn’t you rather have someone that has experience and training focused on children as opposed to a more general practice? Your kids will thank you. Maybe not now, but when they’re grown up and have attractive, healthy pearly whites. Pediatric dentists offer both preventive and therapeutic oral health care from annual exams with cleanings and fluoride treatments to X-rays. Other services include fillings, crowns, and sedation.


“A pediatric dentist is a specialist dedicated to the oral health of children. They are trained in dealing with behavior through different approaches, from early on through the teenage years. A pediatric office is designed to treat children from infancy through adolescence, as well as medically and physically compromised children.” — DR. RANDY HAMILTON, IKIDS PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY & ORTHODONTICS

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WHEN THAT FIRST TOOTH APPEARS, IT’S TIME TO SCHEDULE THE INITIAL CHECKUP FOR YOUR CHILD, ACCORDING TO THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY. Doing so will help prevent dental problems like tooth decay. When it comes to choosing your pediatric dentist, start by looking at their experience. Another good indicator of selecting a skilled medical

Remember to call your insurance provider to learn about board certified pediatric dentists in your area that accept your insurance plan. If you have young children, a visit to the dental office prior to making your choice is a good idea so that you can see if the waiting room has a play area to keep the kiddos occupied while they wait for their appointment. If your children are like most, things such as LEGO tables and building blocks will be favorites that keep them busy and quiet before seeing the dentist. Ask to see before and after photos of treatments of patients’ teeth. A word of caution—these photos may not always be particularly appealing, so make sure you don’t have an overly sensitive stomach. Choosing a pediatric dentist that has successfully treated serious oral problems is a key indicator that the doctor is skilled in the profession. Children can sometimes be pesky so make sure the dentist has patience and is gentle when tooling around your kid’s mouth. Friends with little ones are an ideal resource for learning how the doc interacts with patients. You don’t want your child to fear going to the dentist or cry during the cleaning. Obviously one of the most critical traits of a good pediatric dentist is his or her ability to keep children relaxed and comfortable. The ones who are often the most childfriendly are the ones that reward good behavior. You may recall a fond childhood memory of going to the dentist for an appointment, during which if you behaved well—opening the mouth when prompted and not fidgeting in the seat—you’d be justly rewarded with a trip to the treasure chest at the end of the visit. Tricks of the trade like this are a quick way to a kid’s heart, and demonstrate the intangible compassion that is critical among pediatric dentists, in addition to their technical skills. A good pediatric dentistry experience for your child now will ease them into not fearing dental treatment in the future— make sure you select one that is skillful as well as tactful.



Drs. Blane, Randy and Ross Hamilton


Dr. Randy Hamilton III, author of

3801 S. Cooper St., Suite 109 • 817-467-9089


1756 Board Park Circle North, Suite 100 • 817-453-2800


3807 E Broad St #101, Mansfield, TX • 76063 • 682-222-1605

iKidsDental.com 1/3/17 8:59 AM


head and neck injuries, moderate to severe burns, severe abdominal pain, and complications with pregnancy.

An Urgent Care Facility Think quickly: if your otherwise healthy child were suddenly covered in a rash, or you were to develop flu-like symptoms in the middle of the workday, where would you go for fast, efficient, and affordable medical care? If you don’t have an immediate answer, you’re not alone. The best time to choose an urgent care center isn’t necessarily when you are in a crisis: it’s best to be prepared well before you’re struck with sudden illness or are injured. That’s why choosing an urgent care center before an emergency matters for your own health, and the health of your family.

“When choosing an urgent care facility, find out how long it’s been in operation and how long the providers have been practicing there. Longevity means they are familiar with you and your family. Also, a facility that has two providers per shift allows them to spend more time with you and offers the patients more choices, such as a male or female provider.” — DR. JEFFREY FISHER, MANSFIELD URGENT CARE & FAMILY MEDICINE

THE FIRST FACTOR TO CONSIDER BEFORE INJURIES OCCUR OR ILLNESSES STRIKE... Is what constitutes an emergency, and when to seek urgent care. Urgent care facilities treat accidents and falls, sprains and strains, moderate breathing problems, fever and flu, severe sore throats or cough, skin rashes, and other non-life threatening illnesses and injuries. Emergency rooms treat more serious conditions (or conditions that can quickly become lifethreatening, like chest pains). Other health emergencies meant for the hospital’s ER and not for urgent care facilities are compound fractures, knife and gunshot wounds, poisoning, severe

When you are ready to start exploring urgent care facilities, it’s important to find clinics with locations that are close to home, close to your children’s school, and close to work. Most likely, there is a facility that is convenient to all three. In times of emergency, it’s important that your quick thinking isn’t hampered by concerns about routes to get to the clinic, so map the quickest routes—being mindful of traffic— to the clinic of your choosing. Location is the most urgent factor when choosing a clinic, but, of course, that’s not all. Make sure you know their hours, and if they are open at the times convenient for you.



Whether or not an urgent treatment center accepts your insurance is something you need to know before you go, so factfinding is important. Check with both the clinic and with your insurance to know what type of facility is best for you. In addition, it may be worth a visit to take care of necessary paperwork with the clinic so that you and your family are patients on file. There’s nothing worse than struggling with paperwork and insurance while you are in the middle of an urgent situation, so take care of these things beforehand. Of course, location, convenience, and insurance considerations aren’t the only factors: quality of care is extremely important. You can take a look at the websites for urgent centers near you and research the physicians’ qualifications, education, and experience. How many years of urgent or emergency care do the doctors on site have? How many Physicians Assistants (PAs) do they employ? The larger the staff, the more able they may be to treat you or your loved one as quickly as possible. The true strength of a good urgent care facility is right there in the title—urgency. With the right planning, you’ll be able to be treated in an expedited fashion without the red tape of an ER visit. That means you’ll be ready to get back on your feet, and back to work, with a minimum of hassle.





MON - FRI 8:30 TO 8:00 PM SAT 8:30 TO 6:OO PM.

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Nolan Catholic High School is a ministry of the Diocese of Fort Worth providing a college preparatory education and evangelizing students to be tomorrow's servant leaders through: Think in terms of culture. The school’s website or administration should be able to comment on the school’s values. You should hear the school described in the same basic way by parents and teachers. One other key aspect is whether or not the school incentivizes a strong academic track, as can be achieved by giving extra weight for advanced placement or international baccalaureate (AP/IB) courses. Take a look at the school’s current accreditation survey report and any similar analyses they have on file, such as student and parent satisfaction polls.

A Private School When it comes to your children’s education, you want them to have the very best. Options abound, with private schools offering some of the most rewarding and enriching opportunities available. Private schools come in diverse forms: large and small, co-ed and same sex, secular and religious. Educational approaches also vary to serve students of different abilities and backgrounds. Obviously, the choice you make deserves a fair amount of consideration, as you are entrusting an institution to help lay the groundwork for your child’s future. Whatever your decision, make it while armed with knowledge. Your child may just end up thanking you for it!

“When looking for a private school for your child, you are looking for a return on your investment, so you need to find a school that aligns with what you think is most important for your student. Having those priorities clear in your mind can really narrow down the search.” — ERIN VADER, PRESIDENT, NOLAN CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL

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THINK ABOUT THE VALUES AND OPPORTUNITIES YOU WANT YOUR KIDS TO GLEAN FROM THEIR SCHOOL EXPERIENCE. Are Biblical principles a priority? Is a topnotch athletic program at the top of your list? Maybe your child is a math genius or artistically inclined. Make a list of your wants and begin your search. Seek the experience of parents with kids like yours enrolled in private school. Do an online search and explore school websites. Also, avoid too many preconceived notions about price or distance, which can unnecessarily limit your possibilities before you consider all the factors.


Find out the student-teacher ratio. You want to know the extent to which your son or daughter will be able to get the focus of instructors. Ask about class size and the school’s use of aides or assistants. As a basic guide, this ratio shouldn’t be over 22:1 without an aide for kindergarten through third grade, while you never want more than a 30:1 ratio for fourth grade and above unless there’s a full-time assistant. If you’re looking at high schools, talk about college acceptance. It’s important that a sizable percentage of graduating seniors continue on to impressive secondary environments, as opposed to only a few students getting Ivy League acceptance, for instance. Ask for the previous 5-10 years of acceptance rates. If your student wants to go to a specific university, ask about any students who have been accepted there. Consider working with an educational consultant. You may think it’s a waste of time and money to hire a professional, but these individuals make their living as experts in the field and can help you compare and contrast options. One place to look for these individuals is through the Independent Educational Consultants Association, online at IECAOnline.com. It’s important to visit the school, as you’ll get a good sense of the culture and feel in a way that stats and numbers won’t necessarily allow. Are the grounds well maintained, and do students and teachers seem to interact in positive ways? Are the facilities newly constructed, and if they’re older, do they seem well-maintained? Your child will be spending a lot of time here, so you’ll want to make sure they feel comfortable. We all want what’s best for our kids, so the choice of a private school is understandably important. The above steps can help you conscientiously approach the process to make an informed choice.


Join us February 25th at River Ranch Stockyards for our Mardi Gras Fun-raiser!

Founded in 1961, Nolan Catholic High School is co-educational, with approximately 850 students in grades 9 through 12. Nolan Catholic High School is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Texas Catholic Conference Education Department. Our school is an educational ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Forth Worth and students receive religious instruction and participate in religious services. More than 50 percent of our faculty has advanced degrees.

Mardi Gras is Nolan Catholic’s largest fund raising event featuring a traditional dinner, dance, and auction. Mardi Gras has a long history as the most beloved parent and alumni driven fundraiser and community builder at Nolan Catholic High School. Dollars raised at this special event benefit the educational endeavors of NCHS. For sponsorship/ ticket information: krhadigan@nchstx.org. NCHS is a 501(c)3 organization

• A faith-based co-ed college preparatory school with a long tradition of excellence • 99 percent of Nolan Catholic graduates attend college

The NCHS academic curriculum is college-preparatory, with many students taking Advanced Placement, Dual Credit, and Honors courses. NCHS requires 30 Carnegie units for graduation. 99 percent of Nolan Catholic graduates attend college.

4501 Bridge Street Fort Worth, Texas 76103-1198

817-457-2920 NolanCatholichs.org


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The statewide place to check is the Texas Dental Association, online at TDA.org. You can also conduct your search through local dental societies specific to your city or county. Look into their education and training. A good place to start is by visiting the websites of various dentists you are considering, which often offer short bios. In order to stay licensed, a general dentist must receive a certain amount of continuing education. Dentists who go to classes or seminars above and beyond their legal responsibility are demonstrating their commitment to excel in their field and continue to learn. You can also ask about membership in professional dental organizations.

A General Dentist Good oral hygiene is a crucial cornerstone to good personal health. And getting regular checkups with a general dentist you trust is an important part of keeping your dental health up to par. But did you know general dentists offer a range of procedures beyond standard checkups, X-rays, and cleanings? From dentistry for children to cosmetic and restorative procedures, general dentists offer all-around services. With a little time and consideration, you can feel confident that you are choosing a general dentist who will best meet your needs and keep your smile sparkling.

“Look for someone who has been practicing for several years with plenty of continued education. The office needs to be inviting and comfortable. The service in all aspects has to be excellent, and if there are challenges, they need to be addressed and resolved accordingly. It is only the service that separates any office in any industry!” — DR. STEVEN THOMAS, COSMETIC & RESTORATIVE DENTISTRY

BEFORE YOU BEGIN YOUR SEARCH, IT’S IMPORTANT AS ALWAYS TO FIRST THINK ABOUT YOUR NEEDS. Are you looking for someone who’s comfortable working with kids? Are you wanting to get your teeth whitened? Perhaps you want to repair a chipped tooth. Keep these priorities top-of-mind, then ask for recommendations from people you trust. You can speak with loved ones or colleagues, talk with your physician or pharmacist, or even ask your own dentist if you’re headed to a new city. As you gather leads, research them with a professional group of dentists.


“Happy New Year”

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Get evidence of their skill. Typically, a dentist will have photos on file showing before-andafter pictures of the dental services they offer. Ask to see these patient photos or visit their website to view their photo gallery and patient testimonials. Online reviews will also reveal a dentist’s reputation and customer satisfaction rating. Speak directly with the dentist. Before booking an appointment, it’s always a good idea to talk with the dentist directly at an initial consultation. Find out where they earned their degree, their years of experience, types of dentistry they perform, number of people on-staff, and the amount of time personnel have been working at the dentist’s office. Also take note of the facility and equipment. Is the office clean? Does the equipment appear to be in state-of-the-art and in good condition? Is it well-sanitized? Confirm that the dentist is right for you. People have different needs when it comes to deciding on a general dentist. Some people are most comfortable with a big practice where they can feel less known and receive standard services. On the other hand, some may be more interested in a practice that is smaller and has a slower, more individualized approach. Choose the one that fits your needs and your personality—comfort is extremely important when it comes to your dentist. Selecting a general dentist who will meet your needs and help you feel comfortable can take a little time. However, the aforementioned steps can guide you through the process so you know you’re making the right decision. 2015





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A Dermatologist Got skin issues? Virtually everyone can benefit from seeing a dermatologist— a doctor who specializes in the body’s largest organ, its skin! Dermatologists can assist with a wide variety of problems. Though they help teens and adults suffering from embarrassing acne, there’s more to dermatology than just that. Want to improve the appearance of your skin in general? Or do something more permanent about those wrinkles? Dermatologists can help with that. Regular visits can even help to prevent skin cancer. But how to choose the right dermatologist to fit your needs?


“Choosing the right dermatologist is so imperative. A good dermatologist will look you over from head to toe, scanning your skin for potential cancers. Early detection is essential. For cosmetic procedures, it is very important to find a dermatologist who listens and understands your goals. Choose one with experience and the expertise to carry out the procedures in a safe manner with exceptional outcomes.” — JEANNINE HOANG, UNITED DERMATOLOGY ASSOCIATES

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DID YOU KNOW THAT THERE ARE TWO KINDS OF SKIN DOCTORS? There are both general and cosmetic, and choosing the right one is crucial to addressing your concerns. A general dermatologist will treat rashes, the aforementioned embarrassing acne, and conditions like rosacea. They also perform skin exams (to check for questionable moles), and can even help with issues like thinning hair—who would have thought? General dermatologists can also prescribe anti-aging medications like Retin-A. But if you’re concerned about deep wrinkles, scars, or persistent discoloration (anything that requires more intensive measures like a peel, injection, or laser), you might want to consult a cosmetic dermatologist.

Once you’ve decided what kind of dermatologist you should see, check out the potential doctor’s bio. You will want to find out if he or she is certified by the American Academy of Dermatology. Scoping out the practice’s website will help you determine his or her focus, and give you a better idea of who the doctor is and what their specialties are. Always schedule a consultation first. Know that if it takes weeks to get in, it can often mean that the doctor is in high demand, and probably worth the wait—unpopular doctors generally aren’t as busy. And don’t worry, most doctors who charge a consult fee will ultimately put the money toward the desired procedure once you go through with it. You may also want to make sure that the dermatologist you are considering has no history of malpractice claims or disciplinary actions. And though it isn’t a dealbreaker for everyone, some people also consider a dermatologist based on whether they’re male or female. After all, you need to feel comfortable discussing very personal issues and information, not completely unlike choosing an OBGYN or other similar medical providers. Try this in the initial consultation: be somewhat vague in discussing your issues. Don’t bombard the doc with everything you’ve read and researched online. Allow the doctor to share their ideas for addressing your concerns, which will give you a sense of how they work. Is the doctor hurried or aggressive? Do they seem like a good listener and deliver wellreasoned responses to your questions? Do they seem to be up to date with all the latest procedures? Allow the doctor to talk while you focus on listening. Make sure that when you do ask questions, they are the right ones. You might ask about how often they perform a particular procedure, such as the one you’re contemplating. Find out just how “hands on” the doctor is—it is preferable to have the dermatologist perform any treatments as opposed to supervising someone else, like a nurse. Finding a doctor who will listen and work with you when it comes to your skin is the most important thing. Above all, you should feel heard. Nobody knows how you feel about your skin better than you do!


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technician, how much experience do they have? One treatment that is of special concern is laser hair removal, since there is the potential for severe burns if the procedure isn’t performed correctly. Check whether they have before-and-after pictures available. The most fundamental factor is that you will be treated expertly. It probably goes without saying, but verify that the med spa is clean. Many people visit popular spas on a daily basis. Manicures, massages, facials, and body wraps can all lead to infection. It’s critical that the environment is sanitary. Go to the spa before your appointment, get a tour, and specifically ask about efforts to keep the facility sterile. The spa should be stocked with towels, robes, and sandals for each visitor. And things should feel cozy and comfortable—is there an effort to really make the place feel personal?

A Med Spa With all the products and services out there, the options seem endless when it comes to ways to help you look and feel your best. To really be pampered with longer lasting, comprehensive results, though, a med spa is the way to go. Whether you’re wanting laser treatments, body contouring, injectables, specialty cosmetics, or one of any of a number of other services, you want to make sure the spa you select is appropriately managed and the message you’re getting from the staff is forthright. At any rate, it’s nice to be able to pamper yourself and improve your appearance at the same time. Do a little research and find a med spa that works for you!

LOOK INTO THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN OWNERSHIP AND OPERATIONS AT THE MED SPA. Some facilities are owned by a physician who ideally spends significant time on-site managing treatments. Often a med spa will be under a doctor’s supervision on paper, but they will rarely be at the location. One isn’t necessarily superior to another, but it’s worth understanding how things work at the facility. Determine who will be treating you. Ask about the level of training of the person who will be providing your service, especially if the doctor is absent. If it’s a

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Know that the spa staff isn’t exaggerating treatment claims. In other words, you should sense trustworthiness and integrity. You want the doctor or technician to offer both the positive expected results of the treatment as well as possible negative side effects. They should also help you differentiate between various procedures. If there is anything that makes you nervous about the service, the doctor or staff should discuss your misgivings and give you a reasonable outcome and typical recovery time. Whether you’re speaking with a doctor or technician, they should be pleased to inform you about the treatment so that you can relax. If they’re heavily pushing a particular treatment over another, ask why, and educate yourself on the advantages and drawbacks to both. Understand the medical spa’s aftercare. It’s important that the staff isn’t just trying to interest you in their services but is also dedicated to your comfort and health following the visit. Ask whether the doctor provides complimentary post-treatment phone calls to briefly discuss results. It’s a good sign that they are committed to a trusting relationship and are concerned with the effectiveness of the service. When you evaluate various med spas, location and cost are important, but the quality of treatment is paramount. You want to understand the extent of the doctor’s involvement and that you will be treated in a sterile environment. A good med spa can give you a mental and emotional boost, while also improving your physical appearance. It’s a medical procedure, but you are also there to enjoy it. Make sure you’ve got the right one, and you’ll leave with a smile on your face! L I V I NGMAG A Z IN E . N E T

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your parent could get in touch with staff immediately if there is an urgent problem. Get a list of other safety elements on-site. Ask about staffing hours so you know who is available around the clock. Does the community employ registered nurses? How is medication handled? Take note of staff and resident demeanor. Do employees seem engaged and responsive? Do residents seem well-cared for and listened to? Caring for the elderly is demanding work, but if you sense a negative vibe, trust your gut. It’s important you entrust your loved one’s well-being to those that will demonstrate the utmost respect and care toward them.

An Assisted Living Community Carefully looking into assisted living is critical if you think it’s the right choice for a family member or loved one. It’s a process that is often uncomfortable, so it’s easy to procrastinate. However, beginning your assessment a few months prior to the move will prevent you from rushing a decision that will have a huge impact on your loved one’s quality of life. Your options for assisted living are plentiful, so it’s important to take your time and weigh the options. Here are some basic guidelines to help you and your loved one choose a community to call home.

CONFIRM THAT THE COMMUNITY HAS A LICENSE AND IS NOT A SUBJECT OF FREQUENT COMPLAINTS. To be sure that the options you’re considering conform to Texas assisted living regulations, consider the U.S. Administration on Aging’s website at Eldercare.gov. You may also search online, specifically checking the Better Business Bureau grade and reviews.

Have a bite to eat. Your loved one won’t have easy access to outside dining, so confirm there is good food available from the kitchen. It’s not just about how things taste. Talk about the variety of meal options available each day, when they are served, and the general process. Sit down and eat a meal with your parent. Ask about the policy for special dietary or religious requirements. If your loved one can’t get to the dining area, will their meals be brought to them? Set up a meeting with the residence administrator. Look at license and inspection papers at this meeting. Discuss any inspection problems and what was done to remediate them. Look over the contract and rules. When you ask for these, you want a sense that the administration is not hesitant to provide them upfront. The agreement will include costs, services, and the rights of those residing there, as well as management of medication, and how often conditions are reconsidered. It will also cover situations in which a resident might need to go elsewhere because their needs can no longer be met. Choosing an assisted living community can be stressful, but the above tactics can help you make the right decision so you know your parent will be safe, secure, and happy in their new home.

Know that the assisted living community prioritizes safety and security. As we age, we become more vulnerable. Check the restrooms to ensure they are spacious and outfitted with grab bars. Find out how

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which offer a large selection of tints so you can walk out with the exact color you’ve been longing for. Or maybe they use a specially formulated product known for its superior gray coverage. Also try to get a handle on pricing in your first visit and make sure it will mesh with your budget.

A Hair Salon Choosing a great hair salon is pretty much non-negotiable for most of us. When you have a fantastic stylist or colorist, you can look fabulous and love your mane. The wrong one can leave you with a bad “do” and in tears for weeks. Then there’s the dreaded, heart-wrenching problem of frizzy, over-processed hair that often leaves no option except a long and tedious grow-out period. Fortunately, with a little time and effort up front, it’s possible to find a salon and hair stylist that works best for you, and with whom you can develop a fruitful, long-term relationship.


“Beautiful hair begins with a great stylist. Be sure when selecting a stylist that they are continuing their education and can give you good professional advice.” — JACQUELYN HUGHES, AVANTE SALON & DAY SPA

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SUBMITTING YOUR LOCKS TO A STRANGER WITHOUT KNOWING WHAT YOU’RE GETTING INTO IS TANTAMOUNT TO PLAYING ROULETTE. If you’re interested in a certain salon, stop in and ask to speak to someone who can talk to you in depth about the services they offer. Stopping by versus calling will also give you a feel for the salon itself. If you relax or color your hair, ask about the professional product brands they use and why they prefer them. For example, perhaps their colorists use Wella products,

If you have thinning, naturally curly, or uniquely textured hair, find out if the salon has extensive experience with it. You want to eliminate as many of those dreaded bad hair days as possible! There are even special types of methods used by certain salons to deal with these unique types of hair. If your hair is curly, for instance, you may want to consider a Ouidad-certified stylist who is trained in Ouidad’s curlspecific cutting technique called Carving & Slicing. Or look for someone educated in other specialized techniques who is knowledgeable about products for curly hair, such as DevaCurl. Remember to ask questions that will help you determine the stylist’s competency. If you have aging, thinning hair, for example, someone who recommends significant layering is probably a bad sign. Or, let’s say you have a high forehead. The stylist should talk with you about hairstyles that compliment your facial structure. Look for honest answers and assessments that truly work for you versus someone who just wants to move you along quickly.

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A salon worth your trust and loyalty should be willing to spend time with you before you commit to getting a cut or treatment. The stylist should ask specific questions about your likes and dislikes with current hairstyles and any chemical treatments you may have had—including both salon and home coloring or relaxing—and show you images while respectfully reviewing any pictures you’ve brought along. Remember that time in the salon chair can whiz by when you “click” with your stylist. Feeling connected also helps you talk constructively and honestly, if you end up with a style or process that doesn’t work for you. Relationships go both ways. Open, trusting, respectful communication with your stylist can make all the difference.

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have a network of specialists, such as an oncologist, for referrals? When you’re in the office, look for positive signs such as educational materials for pet owners. Check that the clinic smells and looks clean, organized, and wellmaintained. In addition, do you see any award plaques on the walls, or evidence of community involvement? How about their office hours? Are they available at times that are convenient to you? Are they able to be there for you if you need them unexpectedly during nonconventional hours or days? What other pet care services do they offer? Besides veterinary care, most pet parents will have the need for boarding, grooming, or day care services from time to time, if not regularly.

A Veterinarian Simply finding a veterinarian isn’t all that tricky—there are probably several in or near your community. Choosing the right one, however, will require a little work up front. A good match, for example, should generally be able to address special needs your pet may have. Do you have an aging cat that requires geriatric care? Maybe Fido, a rescue dog, feels more comfortable with females. By taking some time to select a veterinarian that you’re confident can provide for your needs as an owner—as well as the medical, and even the emotional needs of your pet—you will establish a satisfying and rewarding partnership.


“Routine wellness exams are so important for keeping our pets healthy. They allow your pet’s veterinarian to spot disease and illness quickly, making their lives much happier and healthier. Your veterinarian is your partner in your pet’s care.” — DR. MAURI KARGER, OWNER, I-20 ANIMAL MEDICAL CENTER

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SCHEDULE A MEETING WITH PROSPECTIVE VETS WITHOUT YOUR PET IN TOW TO GET ACQUAINTED, AND ASK SOME QUESTIONS. For example, what range of medical services is provided? If Spot, for instance, swallows a foreign object that gets lodged somewhere, will the vet perform an in-office procedure or automatically refer your dog to an emergency center? If you own an exotic or non-traditional pet, is the veterinarian able and willing to provide care for your it? Does the vet

Looking for a packed waiting room has its pros and cons. On the upside, a busy waiting room shows that plenty of people trust the vet with the care of their pet. The downside? Unless it’s a multi-vet practice, the veterinarian may be rushed or attempt to speed up routine exams in order to clear out the backlog. When you meet with the vet, ask about his or her training, participation in continuing education, and the approach taken to treating pets. Request a quick tour of the office and observe how the veterinarian and staff interact with you, the animals, and other people. Try to get a look at the overnight facilities as well as the exam and operating rooms, and back office. If you like what you see, schedule a get-toknow-you visit with your pet. Watch closely how the vet handles your pet. Does he or she smile, appear upbeat, and comfort your pet? At the same time, observe how your pet reacts. It’s important for pets and vets to get along well enough to perform a basic exam. As with many service providers, the best time to choose a veterinarian is when you don’t need one right away. So call ahead and tell the staff you would like to drop by and introduce yourself. A worthwhile vet will be happy to accommodate you—and eventually Fluffy too. L I V I NGMAG A Z IN E . N E T

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experiences in the same life situation as you can also reveal a lot. Do you want a face-to-face relationship with someone, or are you more at ease on the phone or online? Your personal needs will help determine the kind of advisor you select. Ask yourself a few questions, and try to determine the personality of your potential financial advisor. They should listen well and not rush you into making any decisions. Respect their experience and expertise, but make sure you clearly communicate your needs and wants.

A Financial Advisor It’s never too early or too late to consider your finances. Perhaps you are looking to save for retirement or make a large purchase, such as a home. Maybe it’s time to put away for your children’s college education. In any event, it pays to invest in expert help from the outset. Whether you are just getting started and are new to the game or you are just looking for new investment opportunities, working with an expert in the field is the only way to go. Here are some basic pointers on how to choose an ethical financial advisor and determine if they are right for your circumstances.

CONSIDER YOUR GOALS. Financial advisors come in all shapes and sizes, offering a variety of services. Some planners focus on retirement planning. Some even can help with life insurance packages. Understand your own needs so you can locate a financial planner that’s relevant to you. Are you completely new to financial planning? Do you have a specific agenda in mind when it comes to investing? Do you want to buy a home (or a second home)? Perhaps you just need some general advice. Write down your objectives and consider them as you delve in to your search. Touch base with family members, friends, and colleagues in similar stages of life as you. Ask about their personal experiences with their own financial advisors. Online research can also be helpful in weeding out the options. Ratings from real client

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Be aware of recent industry changes. You may see some places online that note you need to determine the standard used by the planner, which could be the fiduciary standard or the suitability standard. In actuality, that changed with new Department of Labor rules announced in early 2016, which effectively makes the fiduciary version the law of the land. Despite this change, the Wall Street Journal recommends against using financial planners with commission structures. Credentials are everything. Check online with professional organizations or societies. The ethical guidelines of these organizations keep members honest and hold them accountable. The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards is one major such organization. Their mission is to benefit the public by granting the CFP certification and upholding it as the recognized standard of excellence for competent and ethical personal financial planning. For a CFP to earn and maintain the CFP designation, she/he is required to consistently provide integrity, objective advice, competence, fair treatment, privacy, professionalism, and diligence to his or her clients. Choosing a financial advisor is a huge decision, since the recommendations you receive could make a major impact on your stability and quality-of-life in the decades ahead. Systematically consider your options to make an informed choice, and start building your nest egg. Your future self will definitely thank you for doing your research!


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10 Great Reasons To Call

An Interior Designer Your home speaks volumes about your personality and values, whether you want it to or not! Visitors are often summing you up after only a step or two across the threshold. What does your home say about you? Are you trendy? Timeless? Eclectic? Well-traveled? Or are you a total and disorganized mess? (We sure hope not!) Copying an image verbatim out of a popular home furnishings catalog tends to show a lack of creativity. Likewise, filling your house with unnecessary clutter says other, less positive things. When it comes to designing the space you’ll spend much of your time in, you’d be well-served to seek the advice of a pro.


“Working with a designer is a very personal process. You’ll be spending a lot of time together, and a great relationship helps to ensure an amazing finished product that you’ll enjoy for years to come and that the designer can be proud of. A fun and collaborative experience makes the best projects!” — LISA LANDRY

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WHEN YOU ARE READY TO HIRE A PROFESSIONAL INTERIOR DESIGNER, THERE ARE A FEW ITEMS YOU WILL WANT TO CONSIDER. First and foremost, you must determine a budget. Most interior designers are not looking to donate their time—this is their livelihood. So you have to do some research. What is the typical going rate in your area? Some designers will charge you an initial consultation fee. Others may not.

It just depends. Many will charge you for their shopping and arranging time. This is something you will want to ask about up front. What’s your budget for furniture, accessories, and any necessary painting or professional installation? (Think hanging of heavy fixtures, installation of doors or mirrors, painting, mounting, or installation of new flooring.) Keep in mind your designer will be able to tell you what he or she thinks you need, and give you an idea of what this might cost. Most designers are willing to work with you in phases— attacking one or two areas of your home at a time, and then returning when you are ready to tackle more. Find out whether or not this is an option! It’s possible you won’t have the cash in hand to decorate an entire house, from top to bottom, in one fell swoop, so developing a relationship with a designer you can return to is important. Seek out a designer that understands your tastes and desires. One way to do this is to take a look at some of their previous work. Is it a style you like? Do you love what you see? Does the designer come highly recommended? If yes, then perfect! If not, you may want to keep looking. A good designer will want to see examples of what you like. It’s helpful to keep a Pinterest board of ideas to share—but realize that your own home may not look exactly like the picture (or a magazine). Budget, space, and orientation limitations are all factors that should be taken into consideration, and a good designer will let you know what’s going to work and what isn’t. Regardless, with the right help, you are sure to be pleased with the final product!

For Professional Decorating Services 1. CONVENIENCE: We come to you! No more running around from store to store. Busy people love the fact that we can help with everything, from concept to delivery. 2. QUALITY: Our products are among the highest quality in the decorating industry. You can take pride and have confidence in your purchases from Decorating Den Interiors. 3. SERVICE: We do it all! From our initial design consultation to final product installation, we will handle every detail of redecorating your home or business. 4. SELECTION: We have shopped the world to offer an extensive, diverse line of high quality furnishings, including custom window treatments, fine furniture, wall and floor coverings, custom bedding, lighting, and accessories. 5. GUARANTEE: Your satisfaction with our products and workmanship is guaranteed. We stand behind each and every one of our decorating projects.

6. LIFESTYLE: Because each client has unique tastes and lifestyle, we will custom tailor your interiors to your individual needs and desires. 7. AFFORDABILITY: We work within your budget – without compromising quality. Our strong relationships with our manufacturers allow us to provide customers with the best value. 8. CONSULTATION: Our initial in-home consultations are always complimentary. 9. REPUTATION: We’ve been in business since 1969! With over 250 interior decorators throughout North America, we decorate thousands of homes each month! 10. ME: That’s the best part! Not only do we come to you with the finest products available, but you get the exceptional design services of trained professionals that know how to make your house a home.

Hiring an interior designer is a great way to get everyone in the family on the same page. Does your spouse have an opinion about how things should look? Is he or she the one footing the bill? It might be nice to include them in some of the decision making. Unless they couldn’t care less, of course. Discuss with your prospective designer how much input you or your partner want to have in the process. And of course, communicate your expected timeline when interviewing candidates. Then kick your feet back and enjoy your newly refreshed digs.


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positive testimonials, the better, when it comes to choosing a well-qualified provider of LASIK. Once you are ready to schedule a consultation, make your office visit a factfinding mission to assure that you have selected the right LASIK surgeon. Knowing that the doctor uses the latest state-ofthe-art technology is vital to the success of your procedure. There are several variations on the LASIK procedure, like custom wavefront LASIK, “bladeless” LASIK, and others. Talk to your doctor about the various procedures, how they work, and what is best for your situation. Are they eager to answer your questions?

A LASIK Procedure Provider Tired of wearing contacts or glasses? Do you suffer from nearsightedness, astigmatism, or farsightedness? If you’ve had enough of the hassle, it’s probably time to consider finding a doctor who can help you out with the LASIK procedure. This ophthalmologist will evaluate your vision to see if you are a good candidate for the procedure. The doctor may also offer IntraLASIK, a more advanced procedure, which also uses lasers to correct your vision. The physician will handle the surgery and follow up visits. After your recovery, the ophthalmologist will examine your eyes to assure that they have healed properly and are healthy without any signs of infection. This doctor will also check your vision after the procedure. It’s hard to argue with the benefits of being able to let contacts and glasses no longer be something you need to focus on.


WHEN IT COMES TO FINDING WELLQUALIFIED LASIK PROVIDERS... Referrals from your general practitioner or optometrist will be a good starting point. Then, contact your insurance provider and check to see that the recommended ophthalmologists accept your plan. Call their offices or look online to make sure they are board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology. Find out how many years of experience they have and how many LASIK procedures they have performed, as quantity in this realm will often equal quality. Ask for literature showing patient testimonials—the more

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Ask about price and if the practice offers payment plans. Not having to pay in a lump sum is always a plus, especially if your insurance isn’t covering the procedure. However, if you are interested in a payment plan, ask if an additional fee will be charged. Be cautious of only basing your selection on the cheapest procedure available. The low price may be a warning sign that you may not be getting the highest quality doctor or cutting edge technology. Also keep in mind that if your eye problems are severe, that higher level of vision correction could increase the price of LASIK. Learn exactly what’s included in the price. Does it include post-procedure visits, and if so, how many? Make sure the physician addresses all your concerns, especially possible, discomfort, and recovery time. Ask about any medications that you will be required to take following the procedure, any side effects, and how long you will be required to use the pharmaceuticals. Find out if the medications are included in the price discussed. Lastly, always ask for a written quote. For most people, LASIK can be literally life-changing. Making the right choice when it comes to a provider will help you make sure it’s life-changing for the better.


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Complimentary Weight Loss Consultation, Assessment & Strategy Session

The weight loss plan should also be based on a balanced diet. In other words, you shouldn’t have to entirely remove carbohydrates or stock your refrigerator with huge amounts of meat or grapefruit. You shouldn’t need an overload of vitamins or supplements either.

A Weight Loss Program If you’ve tried to lose weight on your own, you know how challenging it can be. Setting relevant goals in a healthy, long term way is especially challenging. A proper weight loss program can give you the tailored strategy and support you need for success. But with all the programs and fads out there, how do you make sense of it all? The fact is that there are numerous plans that can help you lose weight in a healthy and sustainable way. The critical focus is selecting a plan that best fits your lifestyle and the goals you’re looking to achieve. Whether you’re looking to lose 10 pounds or 100, a good weight loss program can help you find the progress you’re looking for.

SAFETY SHOULD BE THE TOP PRIORITY OF ANY PROGRAM YOU ARE CONSIDERING. Respectable weight loss plans will recommend that you discuss plan details with your doctor prior to beginning to make sure they are right for you. Your doctor can give you a checkup and any notes of caution that might apply before you start in on any program. Next, reputable weight loss programs should be offered by highly qualified providers. Examples include doctors, nurses, therapists, certified personal trainers, nutritionists, and dieticians.

The program should include exercise as a key component. Getting physically active while reasonably modifying your calories will naturally expedite weight loss. Plus, working out will make you healthier in various ways, elevating your mood, providing better circulation, and limiting your chances of developing type 2 diabetes. Plus, if you get used to exercising and make a habit of it, it will be much easier to keep the weight off after you’ve lost it. Overall, the program you select should emphasize positive, repeatable behavior and a healthy body image, not just losing weight or getting thin. It’s critical to change your thought patterns, and in turn your lifestyle. A strong weight loss plan will be partially focused on developing a more positive mentality so that you want to stay active and stick to a healthier diet as a way of life, not just a temporary fix. The most effective weight loss programs aren’t just one-size-fits-all. If the plan has extraordinarily strict parameters in terms of either workouts or food, it’s unlikely that you will achieve success. You must instead strike a compromise. While your lifestyle might change, a workable plan should provide some leeway and variability. In fact, a strong weight loss plan should be centrally focused on treating you as an individual, appreciating your needs and even your personality. Is social support important to you? Are you highly motivated in groups? Would it help you to learn how to make nutritious meals via a video or class? Should your plan be tightly structured or more relaxed? Deciding what weight loss program is right for you is about stepping aside from the hype and realizing you have to change your behavior. The above steps can help you choose a program that will lead you to a healthier future.


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someone who works with businesses of your size or who handles personal financial issues similar to your own. Once you have a list of potential CPAs, make some appointments to sit down and clearly explain why you need their assistance and what results you expect. Ask each about their qualifications and their availability. Ask to see profiles of their typical clients. If you have deadlines for work to be completed, ask whether they can meet them. Depending upon the size of the firm, ask who will be handling your work—the CPA you’re meeting with or someone else in the firm. If others will be involved in your work, take the time to meet them as well, and learn about their professional credentials and experience. How often would you like to meet or speak with them? If you’ll want to touch base once or twice a week for instance, will they provide that kind of access?

A CPA There are many reasons you might find yourself looking for a certified public accountant, or CPA. You might need one to develop an estate plan, launch your own small business, upgrade your computer systems, or help to reduce your yearly taxes. In all these areas, a CPA can help. Business owners turn to CPAs for advice on developing effective accounting systems, resolving management issues, and maximizing operations. Beyond preparing taxes, individuals rely on CPAs for personal financial planning, such as building college funds, planning for retirement, and creating estate plans. It’s not hard to see that you’ll want to have a good one in your corner.


WHATEVER YOUR REASONS ARE FOR ENGAGING THE SERVICES OF A CPA... How much they can help will depend upon clearly communicating your goals and objectives to him or her. Ask friends, neighbors, and co-workers, especially anyone who’s using a CPA for the same reasons you’re seeking one. Ask your lawyer or personal banker for referrals. Your local chamber of commerce, small business association, or other professional groups might also be able to make recommendations. Additionally, you can find referrals on websites such as CPA2Biz. com and TACPA.net. Look specifically for

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Look for a CPA with whom you’re compatible, as you’ll be working closely with this person and they’ll have exposure to your personal finances. This should be a person you trust and whose communication style works well with your own. If you’ve been financially conservative and risk-averse, will the CPA help you develop a more balanced investment strategy? If you’re looking to venture into some new territory, does your potential CPA have experience in that area? Don’t be afraid to ask about fees, as rates for CPAs can vary widely and will depend upon the services you need, the complexity of your financial situation, the experience of the CPA, and your area of the country. If you plan to work with a firm that employs CPAs at various levels, find out how much you will have to pay for staff accountants, managers, and partners, so you can compare apples to apples when evaluating other firms. Establishing a relationship with a CPA will be a mutuallybeneficial partnership that will grow over time and adjust to your changing financial needs. Making the right choice the first time will allow your CPA to become more knowledgeable about your own financial history and experience as you progress through life.

Having the right CPA means you can have more moments like these. Start a relationship today with our tax advisors that could last a life time. What makes us DIFFERENT? • We file all Personal and Business, Nonprofit, Estate, S-Corp, Corporation and Partnership Returns and relevant forms. • We offer Legal assistance with Creating and Closing Companies, Tax Audit Representation, IRS Representation, Tax Account Monitoring for every year and Tax Planning • Full Payroll services with Direct Deposits for employees. • Bookkeeping Services and Bookkeeping setup catered to your company. • Customize QuickBooks to mirror your business processes, creating forms and reports to help you manage in a more efficient manner.

6517 Brentwood Stair Rd. | Fort Worth, TX 76112 | Phone: (817) 457-1182 | Fax: (817) 451-8743



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to interview a potential OB-GYN before making a health-related appointment. Schedule an appointment to meet a prospective OB-GYN and get to know him or her. During the meeting, ask questions that are important to you as well as basic questions, such as how long it usually takes to get an appointment for a routine exam, and how much time the doctor typically spends with each patient. If the doctor practices obstetrics and is a sole practitioner, inquire how appointments are handled in the event he or she is out of the office delivering a baby. If you have specific issues, such as infertility or ovarian cysts, ask about his or her approach, and what treatment options are available. At the same time, note if you feel rushed or think the doctor isn’t sympathetic to your feelings. This is a sign that you should keep looking.

An OB-GYN Few patient-doctor relationships are as special as the one a woman has with her OB-GYN. You will share some of your most sensitive information and personal issues with him or her, and if you’re planning on having children, your OB-GYN will care for you and your unborn child, and then help you welcome a precious new life into the world. Just as important is the fact that as you age and face bodily changes along with the health issues that come with menopause, such as the risk of osteoporosis and urinary problems, your OB-GYN will continue to play an important ongoing role in your health and well-being. It’s important to have someone you can confide in and trust on your side.


CHOOSING AN OB-GYN THAT PROVIDES QUALITY HEALTHCARE, LISTENS INTENTLY TO YOUR CONCERNS, IS EASY TO TALK WITH, AND SEEMS GENUINELY INTERESTED IN YOU IS A GREAT ASSET. Above almost anything else—setting credentials and board certification aside for a moment—you want someone with whom you can forge a trusting, long-lasting relationship. This is why it’s important

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Another important set of questions involves the OB-GYN’s medical approach and treatment philosophy. Ask if the physician is able to provide bio-identical hormone pellet therapy. Dramatic improvements in the quality of life and the relief of symptoms for patients who receive this type of hormone replacement therapy are possible. Or perhaps you don’t wish to take medication for birth control. Will the OBGYN work with you on natural methods? It’s always better to find a doctor who shares your mindset so that expectations and results are clearly defined from the outset. If you are predisposed to certain risk factors or problems, such as high-risk pregnancies or pelvic prolapse, take the doctor’s expertise in these areas into account when making a choice. Typically, a doctor with more experience treating your particular condition will be aware of the latest research and treatments to help you. Surgical expertise also matters. If you require a procedure to address a condition such as endometriosis, or a hysterectomy, you should know up front whether or not your physician offers minimally invasive surgical options. Also consider the technology the doctor uses. Does he or she offer laser treatment for conditions such as vaginal atrophy or endometriosis? Women give so much of themselves to others, yet often put their own health on the back-burner while prioritizing their family. Finding a great OB-GYN can give you the peace of mind that you’re being well cared for as a woman.

Offering bio-identical hormone pellet therapy.

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looking for half-day or full-day? How many days a week? During your tour, notice the ways staff members interact with kids. Observe a few different classrooms, while school is in session, and pay close attention to the language used and the friendliness of the staff. Are parents encouraged to be involved in the school and in the classroom? How does the school communicate with parents and how often? Observe how discipline problems are addressed. Ask for particulars on their curriculum.

A Preschool Child development experts agree that the first five years of a child’s life are fundamentally important. What happens during these early years will profoundly affect any child’s physical, emotional, cognitive, and social development, and have lasting effects throughout life. For many kids, preschool is the first experience in a structured setting with teachers and groups of other children. It’s in preschool they will begin learning to follow instructions, take turns, and share. And preschool is where the stage will be set for a lifetime of learning. Selecting a preschool where your child can thrive is important—and with the right approach, maybe not as hard as you think.


“The first five years of a child’s life are the most formative in terms of brain development and learning. Find a preschool that uses a curriculum designed to maximize learning while focusing on the whole child. Nurturing character development alongside academic lessons is necessary for every child to reach their greatest potential.” — PRIMROSE SCHOOL

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BEGIN YOUR SEARCH AT LEAST A YEAR AHEAD OF TIME, IF POSSIBLE. Ask friends, coworkers, and neighbors for recommendations. Your town may also have preschool fairs where you can find out about local options. As a practical matter, you’re going to want a school that’s close to your home or job and within your family budget. Once you have a list of preschools, schedule some tours. You can attend an open house to hear about the philosophy and admission process, but ideally you want to tour the school while classes are in session. Some schools even allow you to bring your child to spend time in the classroom. Know ahead of time how often you’d like your child to attend school. Are you

Aside from traditional or progressive preschool curriculums, you might also encounter schools using other philosophies. There are several, including Montessori, which is child-centered and focused on work that is self-corrective, Waldorf, with its unique stance against traditional grading systems and academic work, and Reggio Emilia, focusing on helping students become better citizens and emphasizing a project-based approach. There are also schools based on religious curriculum, and others like HighScope, Creative Curriculum, and Bank Street. Do your research and understand the school’s philosophy before you get too deep into the process, as this is a fundamental decision. As you visit schools, look around the classrooms. Are they spacious, clean, and cheery? Are there designated centers or play areas? Is socialization prized as much as academics? Find out the school’s policies on potty training. Do they require all children to be potty trained? If so, how do they handle accidents? The National Association for the Education of Young Children recommends a teacher-to-child ratio of 1-to-10 for a preschool classroom, with no more than 20 preschoolers per class. Ultimately, know what is important to your family and trust your gut. Variables such as distance from home or work, your specific childcare needs, and tuition costs may narrow your options. If a school is out of your price range or too far away, you might not need to take a tour. The most important factors in any preschool are that they treat your child with respect, that their values are in line with your own, and that the environment is a place where your child can thrive. If you picture your child in this school feeling happy, loved, and flourishing, then you’ve probably found the right place. L I V I NGMAG A Z IN E . N E T

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Looking -00,*/( 'for 03 a" 3real &"- estate &45"5& team 5&". to50 exceed &9$&&% your :063 expectations? &91&$5"5*0/4 certain unique situations, they can prove their specialization through certifications. To establish their niche knowledge, agents must get training that goes beyond a standard license. One type of certification that should be particularly compelling is the Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) distinction. Other specialties include focuses on older adults, military families, and those planning for short sales. If you’re interested in buying or selling a home of a particular style or in a certain enclave— like Craftsman or Mid Century Modern architecture for example—you might have success partnering with a real estate agent specializing in those types of houses.

A Real Estate Agent Houses are typically the largest possessions consumers own in their entire lives. Choosing an experienced and ethical real estate agent you trust is paramount when buying or selling a home, as they will guide you through the process, advocate for you, and negotiate on your behalf. While your choice is critical, there are plenty of ways the decision can become confusing, with agents vying for your attention through yard signs, postcards, Internet advertising, and various other means. Don’t despair—the process doesn’t have to be intimidating. Whether you’re looking to buy your first home, sell your current home to upsize (or downsize), or are interested in investment properties, it’s important to have a real estate agent on your side that you know you can trust.

LOOK AT THE AGENT’S LEVEL OF EXPERIENCE. You don’t just want to determine how long they have been active, but try to get a feel for the number of clients they’ve helped who have objectives and parameters similar to yours. Also consider that many realtors are only working part-time. You may have a more cohesive experience partnering with someone who is more heavily invested in their role as a full-time profession. Consider designations. First and foremost, most real estate agents belong to the National Association of Realtors. Membership in the association allows you to be referred to as a Realtor, and obligates the Realtor to conform to a strict code of ethics set forth by the organization. Also, when agents want to focus on specific types of real estate buyers and sellers, or

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A good question for sellers involves a simple litmus test—how close was the home’s sale price to the asking price? Whether you’re buying or selling, it helps to know if the client’s properties were in the same area and price range. Other considerations, especially when selling, are whether the real estate agent gives recommendations to prepare your home for sale or helps stage your home for maximum appeal. For buyers, your real estate agent should be willing to provide listings from the MLS (Multiple Listing Service), which real estate brokers and agents exclusively are willing to access. They should also be readily willing to prepare and provide comps, which show real sales prices for comparable homes in a particular area.



Discuss communication expectations upfront. If you’re unable to connect with your realtor even for a matter of hours, it could determine whether an offer gets accepted or not. You want to have an agent in your corner who is not just responsive but will get back to you promptly, whether it’s via phone call, email, text message, or fax. It’s particularly important that communication doesn’t suffer if you are looking at homes from a distance. In these cases, tools such as instant messaging apps and FaceTime can be powerful. Would the realtor use these? Would they make videos of homes and post them privately on YouTube? Know what’s in their toolset. While selecting a realtor can be challenging, the above tactics can help you find someone with the skills you need to happily buy or sell your home. L I V I NGMAG A Z IN E . N E T

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in certain areas. ConsumerReports.org even rates hospitals according to patient experience, patient outcomes, hospital practices, and safety scores. Family and friends, online reviews, and the word on the street can tell you a lot about a certain hospital’s reputation in the community. As with any situation where you may be exposed to a vocal minority, take critiques with a grain of salt, especially when what you hear varies wildly—like someone saying it was the best hospital experience ever while another says it was the worst experience of their life. Consider the source, and add it to your mounting evidence for or against different facilities.

A Hospital It’s fair to say that most of us hope to avoid needing to choose a hospital. But things happen. If you find yourself in need of hospitalization, whether for an emergency, an elective procedure, the glory of childbirth, or ongoing care for a chronic condition, it’s far better to have made a decision beforehand regarding which hospital you’d prefer as opposed to trying to make a decision when you’re already preoccupied with the stress of a difficult health situation. The good news is that in an effort to bring more accountability and transparency into the United States healthcare system, federal and state government agencies, along with employer groups and non-profit foundations, have begun compiling a range of data on hospital quality. And much of it is easily accessible to help make your decision an informed one.


WEBSITES TO HELP CONSUMERS COMPARISON SHOP FOR CARE ARE PLENTIFUL ON THE INTERNET. These sites can help you judge the quality of hospital care at a particular facility, especially for common procedures such as cardiac bypass. They list infection rates of patients and provide information on how well hospitals adhere to recommended guidelines. Sites such as LeapFrogGroup. org, QualityCheck.org, HealthGrades.com, WhyNotTheBest.org, and Medicare.gov/ HospitalCompare calculate how various hospitals stack up to the national averages

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You’ve probably heard the real estate adage that the three most important variables when buying a home are location, location, location. Location is also an important factor to consider when choosing a hospital. Particularly if you’re going to be there for an extended stay, or if ongoing treatment will have you traveling back and forth to the hospital, choosing a facility a reasonable distance from your home and the home of your primary caregivers will make life easier on everyone. You also want to consider where your own doctor has privileges or other affiliations, and make sure your insurance company will cover your time at a given facility. If you’ll be using a doctor other than your primary care provider, ask them for recommendations, then check to see at which hospitals they operate or which hospitals they recommend for your specific treatments. Once you’ve decided on a hospital, call over to ask questions or visit their website to pre-register and inquire about what you can do beforehand to make your stay more pleasant. On the off chance your condition requires you to go to a specialized hospital a distance away, your health insurance might not cover travel and lodging. But the costs could be tax-deductible as medical expenses—and the hospital’s social service department, local charities, or diseasespecific support groups may be able to advise you about free or low-cost lodging for yourself and your family members. At any rate, the key here, as with your own health, is preventative action. Get a hospital lined up now so you’re ready when (and if) it’s time to go.


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will have a track record of quality work and standing behind their installs. It’s always a good idea to choose a local roofer with an established reputation in the community. Ask for bank references and supplier references, and make sure you choose a company that is well-established and pays their bills. These references will be able to give you this info. Ask for referrals from some recent customers who are willing to speak to you by phone and perhaps let you visit their home and inspect the job. Call a few and ask whether the job was completed on time, whether the contractor honored his original bid, how quickly their questions were answered, how neat the work site was kept, and whether they’d use this company again. You might also check with the Chamber of Commerce for recommendations.

A Roofer If it’s time to reroof your home, brace yourself for a learning curve. There’s a lot to investigate about which products to use and what procedures best meet your individual roofing needs. That makes it vital that you find a roofing contractor who’ll offer solid advice about what will work best, look best, and last longest for your home—then provide quality installation at a price you can afford. The good news is, by doing a little work upfront, you can assure the job is done right. And you won’t have to worry about your roof again for many years.


WITH SUCH A LARGE INVESTMENT AT STAKE, VET YOUR ROOFING CONTRACTOR CAREFULLY. Treat the process as though you’re selecting a doctor or lawyer. Look for someone experienced, dedicated, and reliable, with plenty of satisfied customers in their wake. Determine going in that you will gather quotes from several different contractors, and conduct an extensive interview with the ones you’re considering. Ask how long each prospective company has been in business, as good companies

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We've been proudly serving the Metroplex since 1989.

Never let price be your sole consideration. Consider the different types of materials that are available, and make sure your roofer is able to offer you honest pros and cons without pushing a particular product that doesn’t suit your needs. Good contractors take pride in their work, and should be knowledgeable about every aspect of the job. Going with the first lowball bid might end up costing you in repairs later on. Make sure any roofing companies you’re considering carry comprehensive liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance (even if it’s not required in your state) to protect you in the event of a roofing accident. Ask to see current certificates of insurance for both before any work is begun. Roofers who don’t carry insurance might give you a lower bid but end up costing thousands if a worker is injured working on your home. Ask about the company’s workmanship warranty, which should be for one year or longer. Ask for a copy of the manufacturer’s warranty pertaining to the specific materials you’re considering. Estimates and proposals should be thorough but easy to understand, should comply with all local codes and ordinances, and should include a good, better, best option. Ask whether permit costs are included and who will obtain the permits. And make sure the proposal includes a start and completion date. Finally, be wary of roofers who show up after storms going canvassing door to door. Your roof is the initial line of defense between your home and the elements, and it makes sense to make an informed decision. Your roofer should be communicative, responsive, established, upfront, and honest.

• New Roof Construction • Roof Repair / Replacement • Commercial Roofing • Skylights


When having work done on your roof - it is VERY IMPORTANT that homeowners ALWAYS ask for proof of insurance, bank references, supplier references, as well as customer references whether using WR Roofing or not.

We work closely with you to ensure we understand your every need. We take pride in knowing that we consistently take care of our clients. We believe that the best materials along with a well tenured and well trained staff, is the key to our success. We dedicate ourselves to satisfy and exceed your expectations.


At WR Roofing...Expect the best. Licensed & Insured

Commercial & Residential Locally Owned & Operated

1836 Lone Star Rd. Mansfield, TX 76063


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to hear stories from current and former patients. Many clinics offer seminars monthly, and larger practices sometimes offer them even more frequently. This is your first step: gathering information and forming opinions about your options. With any elective surgery, bariatric surgery is very much your decision, and choosing a physician and clinic that suit your needs most completely should be your initial goal. If the first weight-loss seminar you attend doesn’t offer what you were looking for, don’t hesitate to find another one to attend. After all, nothing is more important than your health!

A Bariatric Surgeon Is your lifestyle restricted by your weight? Is your mobility compromised? If your weight has risen to a critical point and you feel your options are limited, bariatric surgery might be right for you. When it’s time to make this significant decision, you want to make sure that you’re placing your health in the best hands. The choice to have bariatric surgery isn’t something to take lightly. With the help from the right doctor and team, you can successfully achieve a healthy weight and resume a more active lifestyle and a healthier future. With the right help, you can do this!

THERE IS NO ONE RIGHT CHOICE WHEN IT COMES TO THE PERFECT DOCTOR FOR YOU. It’s a decision you alone can make based on personal relationships, the physician’s qualifications, and your specific weightloss needs. When you’re ready to explore your options, start by asking questions and gaining as much information as you can about the requirements before and after your surgery. Many clinics offer weight-loss seminars, which are a low-pressure way to explore options and to get to know the surgeon and team. They will give you information about specific procedures, introduce you to their staff and facility, and allow you

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There are also big choices to be made regarding which procedure fits your individual weight loss needs. There are a wide variety of solutions in bariatric surgery, ranging from the lap band to a gastric bypass or a gastric sleeve. There is also a procedure known as a duodenal switch, and experimental surgeries, like a mini-gastric bypass, which are also sometimes an option depending on your surgeon and hospital. In addition, insurance concerns should also be a factor in making your choice. Do you qualify for weight loss surgery, and what are the steps required to comply with your insurance coverage standards? Look into recovery times, restrictions or special notes on physical activity, “prerequisites” for the surgery, and anything else that you can think of that might have an impact on your daily life. Bariatric surgery isn’t an instant cure-all or a one-size-fits-all solution—it is a personal decision that accompanies a period of personal change and starts a new journey of health. The most important thing you can do is gather plenty of information and consider all of the options and decisions that you’re about to make. A weight-loss seminar will guide you through many of these decisions so you can narrow down your search for the right surgeon. Don’t be daunted by the steps required to find a healthier you. Finding the right physician and support team that will guide you through the questions, concerns, and steps to take before and after surgery are the key to your success. Overall, making sure you are ready for the commitment to change is a huge part of preparing for bariatric surgery. With the best surgeon for you, you’ll know that you have a team rooting for you from the sidelines as you make your way back to the healthy, active lifestyle you deserve.

Better Living Through Bariatric Surgery

At Methodist Mansfield Minimally Invasive Surgical Associates, our bariatric surgeons perform the safest and most effective weight loss surgery procedures. Our program is patient-focused, because we understand that losing weight is often not as simple as it sounds. Learn how to say "good-bye" to high cholesterol, diabetes, sleep apnea, and joint problems and said "hello" to a better life. The Methodist Mansfield Minimally Invasive Surgical Associates team can help you.

Call today to schedule a consultation today!

2800 E. Broad Street Suite 304 • Mansfield TX 76063 (817) 225-0560

Joshua Trussell, FACS, MD Andrew Standerwick, MD

Methodist Family Health Centers and Medical Groups are owned and operated by MedHealth and staffed by independently practicing physicians who are employees of MedHealth. The physicians and staff who provide services at this site are not employees or agents of Methodist Health Systems or any of its affiliated hospitals.


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past your insurance provider and also check with the receptionist for details on coverage, availability, and co-pays.

Call and schedule your annual exam today!

Learn more about the doctors by viewing their websites to review credentials, experience, and patient testimonials. Although you may not think you’re going to the doctor for a serious condition, remember that this physician will be the first medical professional you see. He or she could test and diagnose you for an unexpected illness that will require you to see a specialist, so choose someone that’s well qualified. If it turns out that your treatment will require another doctor, the physician will refer you to a specialist.

A Primary Care Physician Everyone needs a primary care physician (also called a primary care provider or general practitioner, though the terms fall in and out of favor over time). It doesn’t matter if you’re doing well or feeling ill—you have to have a doctor who serves as your go-to medical professional, someone who will handle your annual physical as well as your sick visits. As the name implies, the primary care physician can test, diagnose, and treat you and your family for many basic illnesses which could either be viral or bacterial. Some examples of conditions you might head to your doctor for include headaches, infections of the ears, throat, or sinuses, upper respiratory infections, hives, rash, or injuries.


AS A MATTER OF CONVENIENCE, IT NEVER HURTS TO START YOUR SEARCH FOR A PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN BY LOOKING FOR ONES CLOSE TO HOME. The last thing you want is to be battling an awful illness with your doctor way across town. As always, check with neighbors or friends for recommendations, and get your insurance provider to tell you about board certified family physicians in the vicinity. If you go with a personal referral, run them

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You’ll run into doctors that specialize in being family doctors or general practice doctors, usually with a particular specialty but a broad base of knowledge. You may also encounter doctors who focus on internal medicine, with sub-specialties in certain organs or diseases—though they are qualified to provide general care. Make sure you ask questions and select a doctor that you feel you can strike up a good partnership with. Choosing a family doctor who is patient and gentle is an important quality, especially if this physician is going to be caring for your children. Make sure your prospective medical professional is a good communicator with all age groups. You’ll want to be certain you and your kids understand your regimen for getting better while the doc explains it. Select someone who clearly discusses and explains medications, the dosage, the length of time you will be taking the pharmaceuticals, plus any side effects. When selecting your care giver, pay close attention to office hours. The availability of early morning, evening, or Saturday appointments is a huge convenience so that school and work schedules are not disrupted. Since illness and injury can occur anytime, having a doctor who sees patients on weekends is a huge plus. After all, life happens. With the right primary care physician in your corner, you can face it without fear or worry.


THE STRENGTH OF A TEAM At Pleasant Ridge Internal Medicine, our experienced team is committed to building relationships with adult patients ages 18 years and older, and providing them with the highest level of service within a warm and friendly atmosphere.


1806 W. Pleasant Ridge Rd. Arlington, TX 76015

(817) 635-6363 PleasantRidgeMedicine.com L I V I NGMAG A Z IN E . N E T

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A Mortgage Lender Most of us don’t pay for our homes in cash, although doing so would definitely save us big bucks by allowing us to avoid interest. With rare exception, the reality is that we need a mortgage to finance a home, and the financial institution you choose could either help you save a ton of cash or lock you into a bad deal for decades. Enter the mortgage lender. This person or group is who you’re entrusting with what is more than likely the biggest investment of your life. The mortgage lender will answer your questions, explain the process, run a credit check, and draw up the paperwork.


COMMON SENSE MIGHT DICTATE THAT YOU START WITH YOUR CURRENT FINANCIAL INSTITUTION. After all, you’ve given this place your money, so it seems natural that as a mortgage lender they’d offer you the best deal in town. Right? Well, not necessarily. When it comes to choosing a mortgage lender, it’s best to shop around. However, do ask your banking center what it can offer you as a loyal customer. Then, compare your bank or credit union’s rates and loan terms with others. You can search online for the hottest deals being offered.

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Then make an appointment with mortgage lenders at those institutions to learn more. If you’ve gotten a trusted real estate agent already, they could be another ideal resource for getting referrals on lenders, so work them into the mix. As you talk to different financial centers, make sure the person who’ll be handling your mortgage answers your questions quickly, clearly, and thoroughly, without either talking down to you or bombarding you with terminology you can’t get clarified. Get everything in writing before your next appointment. If you’ve already found the lowest interest rate online at another financial center, be bold and ask the lender if he or she can beat that rate. Do keep in mind that rates fluctuate daily. Examine your proposals carefully, and ask about anything you might not understand, like whether PMI, homeowner’s insurance, and property taxes are rolled into your monthly payment estimates. Make sure you never allow anyone to talk you into a monthly payment you can’t afford. Choose a mortgage lender that will actually listen to your financial obligations and help you select terms that are realistic and affordable for your budget. Just because they might be willing to offer you the high end of your range doesn’t mean you need to borrow everything they’ll give you. The last thing you want to do is to be over your head in a monthly payment that’s so high you won’t be able to enjoy life because you won’t have any money left. The interest rate and terms you choose should put you at the advantage—not the mortgage lender in terms of his or her commission. So don’t choose one who is pushy in trying to talk you into a loan that will be difficult to repay on time. If you’re just looking to refinance an existing home, make sure the mortgage lender explains carefully how this refinancing will save you cash either by lowering your rate and or speeding up your payments with a shorter term. If you are looking to have more cash available for other wants and needs and just want to refinance by lowering your monthly payment, then make sure the mortgage lender offers you a deal you can live with as well as one that meets your financial needs. Choose someone you feel is trustworthy and getting you the best deal available. Doing so will lessen life’s headaches, and help you enjoy your home even more. REFERENCE: BankRate.com

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New Smile



990 US Highway 287 North Ste. 112 Mansfield, TX 76063

Happy New Year from Lauren Duffer and her Staff



(Value of $250.00)

Complete Exam, Full Mouth X-rays & Professional Cleaning

Out of Sight Take your vision seriously— even what you can’t see No symptoms, no pain, no warning. Over 3 million Americans have it, yet only half of those know it. Sometimes, the loss is so gradual that if left unchecked, the result can be total blindness within a few years time. It’s incurable, and yet treatable. And it’s the leading cause of adult blindness in the United States. With treatment, doctors can now stop its progression at best, and at the minimum, slow progression significantly. WHAT IS THIS FRIGHTENING CONDITION? GLAUCOMA.

It’s the New Year, and there is no better time than now to have an eye exam. Avoiding eye exams can have disastrous consequences, especially as you age. Glaucoma can sneak up on a person, and if you’re one with normally strong vision who avoids regular check ups, now is the time to consider the best ways to care for your vision.

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Must present coupon on day of service. Offer cannot be combined with Dental HMO or PPO plans. Not valid if certain dental conditions exist. Offer valid for new patients only.

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Glaucoma occurs when increased pressure in the eye gradually damages the optic nerve, causing blind spots, loss of peripheral vision, and low vision. Although incurable, treatments can dramatically slow the permanent damage caused by this pressure. That’s why checkups can be life changing. A comprehensive eye exam can detect glaucoma, cataracts, and vision loss or changes in vision. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends vision checks every five to ten years for those under 40, and more frequently as you age.

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Cataracts are another leading cause of blindness and are a clouding of the lens. Aging is the primary cause for most cataracts, although other causes include certain diseases, like diabetes, prolonged exposure to sunlight, and lifestyle behaviors like smoking and excessive alcohol use. The loss of vision with cataracts, like with glaucoma, can be very gradual. Cataracts can be detected by way of a visual acuity test, a dilated eye exam, and via tonometry, as with glaucoma.

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In initial phases, cataracts can be treated with new eyewear, anti-glare sunglasses, brighter lighting, or magnifying glasses. Cataracts may also be treated with surgery, unlike glaucoma. Your doctor will be able to assess your cataracts and give you the best treatment options for you at the time of diagnosis. The important thing is to know whether your vision is diminishing, and why, so that you can make educated decisions about your eye health.

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With both glaucoma and cataracts, the key is early diagnosis so that your optometrist or ophthalmologist can recommend the best treatment for you going forward. With both, the earliest stages of each condition may not come with severe symptoms. That’s why regular eye care and vision testing is critical. What are you waiting for? Start the New Year out right! L I V I NGMAG A Z IN E . N E T

Free 30 minute consultations at our Arlington offic e during the mon th of January!

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Barrettes are used on daily basis on children’s hair. Parents/Grandparents should always adjust the tension, to ensure it is not too tight. If the hair is wet or dry, your can contribute to hair breakage when using hair barrettes incorrectly. Sometimes, parents unknowingly use barrettes incorrectly on their child 0-2 years old on fine, sparse hair textures. Pulling the hair too tight they attach 5-20 hair barrette(s) to let everyone know she is a girl! Stop it! Another option is a stretch headband. Give your child’s hair time to grow.

also cause damage to naturally textured tresses such as curls, waves, kinks and coils. The little links in the chains can become embedded in delicate curls or coils, causing major tangles. If you must wear hair chains, be very careful to inspect the hair accessories before attaching them to your delicate strands.

Hair chains have been popular since 2012. Celebrities began this trend. Unfortunately, the small links in the chains may snag, pull, tear and rip delicate strands. They inadvertently can pull at fragile hair strands; create split ends and potentially cause serious snarls, tangles and other hair related loss. If hair chains snag, pull, rip and damage her extensions, it’s not as serious a matter as if hair chains cause damage to natural hair. Hair chains may

Rubber bands should not be used on the hair. Uncovered rubber bands can be very damaging to the hair! Hair breakage is a common result when using uncovered rubber bands, tangles, snagging, ripping and pulling. Always, choose covered ponytail holders or cloth ponytail bands to keep hair in place. Parents, this is a must for your child’s/grandchild’s hair care.

Banana clips are still worn by consumers. Always use caution. The metal springs can ruin your hair when used incorrectly, as well as hair breakage and thinning is commonly visible.

Head Bands are popular, however, avoid wearing hair bands on a daily basis. There are several options on the market,

stretch, non-flexible, etc. Parents, you really need to pay closer attention to the one size fits all. Your child may have a larger head (no offense) and the chosen headband may be too small for your child’s head size. Most commonly, if you or your child’s hair is dry, damaged, or chemically over-processed. You may be contributing to limited hair restoration. Clip in hair extensions added to fine, fragile hair textures will cause additional hair breakage, and hair thinning. In conclusion, most female consumers/ children love the options available in hair accessories. Parents also love to see their baby girl’s hair enhanced with ribbons, elastic balls, jewels, headbands, flowers, bows, etc., but do not go overboard! Yes image is important. In reality, there are also dangers of damaging your hair or your child’s hair if accessories are used frequently and improperly. Bottom line, stop putting so much emphasis on what is on your child’s hair and focus on the importance of what is in their head.


Hair loss from Hair Accessories BY DR. LINDA AMERSON

Hair accessories are a billion dollar industry. Accessories are meant to enhance the hair, conceal fine, limp, sparse, damaged or broken hair strands. When consumers are informed, they understand the importance of proper usage. Daily enhancements may damage your hair and contribute to alopecia

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and cicatricial alopecia when used improperly. Bobby pins & Hair pins should have rubber tips on the ends. If you have been reusing your hairpins and the protective nylon coating is no longer visible, it is time to throw them away. Check the closures to make sure they offer the right amount of tension. Exposed ends

may scratch delicate scalps, cause hair tangling and snagging or ripping of hair. Furthermore, some consumers may develop an allergic reaction to the nylon coating on bobby pins and should discontinue usage. Lastly, if you feel any scalp pain after inserting a bobby pin or hairpin, remove or reposition it. This recommendation also applies for your Hairstylist, who may use a hairpin or bobby pin for your up do style. Tell him/ her it is too tight. Hair clips should be used with caution. Adjust tension on the hair if it pulls the hair. There are so many options available on the market, such as snap open, clips with closures on the end, various colors & shapes, etc. L I V I NGMAG A Z IN E . N E T

Call Dr. Linda Amerson TODAY for a hair and scalp analysis Itchy Scalp? Hair Loss?

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Dr. Linda Amerson JA N UA RY 2 01 7

www.hairandscalpessentials.com • 1-817-265-8854 2304 W. Pioneer Pkway., Suite 6 Arlington, TX 76013

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Shin Splints



ots of people take up running at the beginning of a new year. It is a wonderful hobby, but many new runners are plagued by shin splints, which is pain that appears after or during a run in the front or sides of the shin. Shin splints are an injury, mainly to the bones of the lower leg, that occurs when they are not yet strong enough to withstand the high-impact effects of running. It is important not to “run through” shin splints; it will only make them worse, or may even result in a stress fracture. The best way to cure shin splints is to prevent them by following these simple principles:

1. Don’t do too much too soon. It’s during rest periods that your body rebuilds itself stronger and better in response to the stress of exercise, so rest is an essential part of any training regimen! 2. Increase slowly. Whether you run for time or distance, increase about 10% a week, and drop your mileage back down one week in four. 3. Go slow. Most training runs should be at pace where you can still have a conversation. Often called “base mileage,” these runs build a solid foundation for a long and healthy running career. 4. Strengthen your lower legs. Walk for about 100 yards on your heels and toes daily, and do sets of calf raises twice a day. Sit down with your legs straight out in front of you and draw the letters of the alphabet with each foot. Use a foam roller all over your legs and start a stretching regimen.


Reward yourself—Once you set achievable goals, decide on some “mini goals” and reward yourself as you reach each one. If you lose five pounds or make it to the gym five days in a row, or if you go a month without soda or other taboo foods, do something nice to pamper and reward yourself.

If you still end up with shin splints, the first step is to rest. Either stop running entirely, or drastically scale your training back. While frustrating, it’s much better to take a short break now than be forced to quit later because the shin splints have worsened into a stress fracture or chronic injury. Second, use ice, anti-inflammatory painkillers (NSAIDs), and possibly compression socks to treat the pain of shin splints when it occurs. Make sure to do the strengthening exercises listed above at least once a day (twice is better). For more comprehensive advice, visit your doc or a sports medicine specialist. Finally, be cautious coming back. Rest until running no longer causes pain, and then start back slow and small. Gradually build back up to where you were before your injury and soon enough you’ll be back on the road and better than ever. Good luck!

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Begin with the end in mind— Are you attempting to lose weight or live a healthier lifestyle? Have you got longevity in mind or are you trying to eliminate something that’s causing you problems (like lactose or gluten)? Knowing where you’d like to go with your new eating plan will help get you started and keep you on track when the going gets tough.

Let change be gradual—There are many great and healthy diet options: paleo, vegan, vegetarian, heavy-protein, gluten-free, low-calorie, low-sugar. Rather than trying to make a drastic change, begin by educating yourself. Then increase healthy foods while decreasing unhealthy, highly-processed ones as you develop better eating habits.

Set realistic goals—Setting initial goals too high can be a recipe for failure. If losing weight is your goal, for instance, the recommended rate of healthy weight loss is only one to two pounds a week. Realistically, losing 5 or 10 percent of your body fat is an admirable and attainable goal.

“How Do I Start A New Eating Plan?”





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Enlist a buddy—Find someone who’s interested in making some changes too, and commit to hold each other accountable. Find a walking partner. Text a picture of your bathroom scale to a friend every Monday. Exchange vegan or paleo recipes with a group. Knowing another set of eyes is watching may be enough to ward off temptation.


Eat what you like—If you don’t enjoy what you’re eating, your new plan may be doomed from the start. Whether you’re eliminating meat or another category of food; whether you’re eating only raw or only locallygrown produce, look for food that satisfies and excites you. And vary your menu to keep things interesting!

Forgive yourself—Know going in that you will slip up. When you do, a good motto is “do the next right thing.” Forgive yesterday and do better today. And take note of when your slip-ups occur so you know when you’re most vulnerable—then decide how you’ll avoid temptation the next time.

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New Bathroom for the New Year?

Marie’s Mantle




Ah, the bathroom: a spa-like escape, a personal sanctuary, and a little respite from cruel, real-world responsibilities. As a Realtor, I can tell you that it’s one of the first things a prospective home buyer is going to want to see on a home tour, and for good reason. Admit it, we’re all a little busier than we really ought to be; so

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when we’re ready to relax, we want (and deserve) to do so in style. And for many folks (myself included), the shower (and bathtub) are often the focal point of both design and desire. Unfortunately, many of us won’t find “the perfect bathroom” or even “the perfect shower” in our otherwise ideal home. Especially if we (like most of

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Texas and the rest of the country), are currently obsessed with clean and modern bathroom design—while also interested in older, established homes full of character and charm. But there’s no need to get too grim. The good news is that your dream bathroom could be just a quick renovation away. L I V I NGMAG A Z IN E . N E T



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A RealLife Texas Renovation When Tracy and her husband Christian first toured their northwest Houston home, they had no plans to remodel the bathroom. While a bit dated, Tracy says it looked fine on the surface, and she figured it would suffice once decorated. She described it as a standard master bathroom, with a double vanity, a giant tiled-in tub, and framed shower. But upon closer inspection, the couple realized not all of the bathroom’s flaws were cosmetic. The place needed a brand new bathroom, and so they got to work!

Current Trends and Innovations According to experts from the Remodelers Council of the Greater Houston Builders Association, “Houston homeowners are opting for innovative uses of space, creative lighting effects, and technological touches to update their bathrooms this year.” People want a modern look with clean lines. They desire simple and classic elegance. They also want cost-effective improvements that are easy to maintain, the Remodelers Council says. Some homeowners are opting to remove their bathtubs entirely to create large, luxurious showers— with plenty of room for two people, benches, and multiple shower heads. And oh, the technology! Did you know that you can now watch your favorite shows from the comfort of your fancy-pants modern shower? (Try a super sleek, flat panel television mounted in your toocool-for-school bathroom retreat.) From water saving options that don’t sacrifice water pressure to showerready surround systems and gadgets that allow you to start and control

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your shower right from your bed, the possibilities are truly endless! What a day and age we live in.

For inspiration, they spent a lot of time browsing Houzz. They wanted to think of a design plan that was both aesthetically pleasing but also functional, Tracy says. They decided to increase the size of their shower— and by going frameless, they were able to double its original size.

Those that do want bathtubs are starting to look for alternatives to jetted spa tubs, and moving toward “soaker” tubs—which are basically regular bathtubs, just bigger and deeper. And when it comes to walls and floors, many people are opting for complex tile patterns. Custom is in! The “stone look” is also very popular right now, eliciting the feel of a natural, spa-like sanctuary—and this look can also be achieved with tile, which doesn’t require the sealing that traditional stone does.

They added a hand shower, so that they could more easily wash their dog indoors. And they also decided on a freestanding, Japanese-style soaking tub, which are both smaller and deeper than traditional tubs “It’s better for soothing aching backs without feeling like you’re in a small swimming pool,” Tracy says.

When you’re ready to remodel, you will want to think about design, function, and of course budget. You will probably want to hire outside help, unless you are a weekend warrior and simply planning to re-tile your existing shower. For anything else, it’s probably best to seek a professional! As much as we’d sometimes like it to be, real life isn’t HGTV, and odds are good that you’re not a contractor.

The resourceful couple did the demolition work themselves, and decided to hire professionals to tile the floors, install the custom shower pan, and put in new shower glass. Professional local plumbers installed the tub, the sinks, and other bathroom L I V I NGMAG A Z IN E . N E T

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hardware. The entire renovation took about five weeks to complete. Tracy says they were very pleased with the professionals they hired, as well as the outcome of the project. “I cannot put into words how much joy that remodel gave us. It didn’t take very long. We saved where we could, and splurged where we needed to. My soaking tub was my escape, and I use it nearly every day,” Tracy says. “I cannot stress enough that you get what you pay for. Do your research, get bids and referrals. Any home improvement project can turn into a nightmare without the right person for the job.”

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Your Hot Water Heater


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It’s easy to forget what a luxury a hot bath or shower is until the water coming out of the tap seems to have been piped in from Antarctica. With temperatures outside rapidly dropping to match, there’s no better time than now to make sure your hot water situation is squared away. The average hot water heater has a lifespan of somewhere between 10 and 15 years, so if it’s getting up there, it’s probably time to replace it. But if you’re just not sure how old it is, there are a few signs to look out for that might signal it’s about to give up the ghost. 1. The first and most obvious sign is clearly a lack of hot water. It might be as simple as an extinguished pilot light or tripped breaker. But more likely is that over time, mineral deposits have settled inside your tank, reducing the efficiency of the burner gradually. Water that heats less efficiently means a heater that runs more often and accomplishes less, leading to increased energy costs, less hot water, and rapid wear on the system—none of which are tolerable for all that long. 2. You might also start to hear some noises ranging from rumbling to creaking to banging to popping. This is generally caused by that sediment being heated and cooling repeatedly, causing it to harden and fatigue the metal. This can mean that leaks aren’t far away.

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3. Speaking of leaks, these are a clear red flag that it’s time to get your hot water heater replaced. Uncontrolled water release can be one of the most catastrophic events when it comes to your home, and can damage flooring, electric systems, drywall, and the very foundation of your house. If there’s water dripping from valves and connections, or settling in your drain pan or around the heater, get a pro out stat. Squeezing another year or two out of the thing isn’t worth risking your home. 4. Finally, you’ll want to keep an eye out for hot water that is sandy, muddy, or rusty in color. This is a telltale sign that you’ve got sediment build-up, which can lead to all the other good stuff we’ve just mentioned anyway.

References: AngiesList.com, Wikipedia.org, HomeDepot.com, ConsumerReports.org, FamilyHandyman.com.

WHAT’S UP WITH TANKLESS WATER HEATING? Popular in many European and Asian countries due to their smaller footprint, tankless water heaters heat water on demand as it passes through the unit. There are a variety of pros (no limit on hot water, no need for a bulky tank, a potential reduction in energy costs) and cons (more expensive unit cost and complex installation, lower potential output, special venting requirements). Tankless water heaters make sense for some people, while traditional water heaters are better for others. Be sure to ask a local pro what will work best for your own situation. L I V I NGMAG A Z IN E . N E T

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Achieving a bodacious booty through plastic surgery BY LARUE V. GILLESPIE


orma Morales had a decent derriere in her late teens and early 20s. But something happened in her 30s. She found herself staring down 40 with two “popped balloons” on her backside. “They were like pancakes,” the South Florida resident said. “It made me feel uncomfortable.” Norma opted for butt augmentation surgery to perk up her pancaked posterior. Really! And she’s not the only one. According to the American Society for Plastic Surgery (ASPS), 20,713 butt augmentations were performed in the United States last year, a 20.7 percent increase from 2014. Even men are doing it! “It’s the power of the booty,” said Constantino G. Mendieta, a member of the ASPS practicing in Miami

who has performed more than 3,400 butt augmentations, including Norma’s. “It’s an incredibly empowering procedure. Even I have done it. Best thing I ever did.” A butt augmentation is achieved either through the surgical insertion of silicone implants or through harvesting a patient’s fat cells and injecting them into the muscle and fat layers of the tush (a procedure commonly referred to as the Brazilian butt lift). For those dealing with a little sag, a lift might be sufficient. Silicone implants can provide quite a bit of volume and are ideal for patients with a low body mass index, but implants have a higher complication rate (infection, rupture, or extrusion). Today, implants aren’t near as popular as the Brazilian butt lift. In fact, in 2015, fewer than 2,300 butt augmentations were done with implants; the others were fat transfers.


Doctors like it when you bring in a photo of a tush you’d like to have. “Having a point of reference is a great starting point,” said Dr. Daniel C. Mills, President of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. “It’s our job as physicians to tell [patients] whether or not it’s realistic, but yes, photos are a great idea.” John Zannis, a New Bern, N.C. board certified plastic surgeon, seconded that opinion, adding, “it is best to choose someone with a similar body type, height, and frame.”

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“Fat was the most hated and dreaded organ in the world. Now, it’s what we call ‘liquid gold’ in plastic surgery,” said Dr. Mendieta, who learned how to do a Brazilian butt lift in Brazil from the original creators of this procedure. “Fat takes on the property of where it is implanted,” thereby making muscle appear and feel bigger. It is not lumpy, bumpy, or unsightly. For the Brazilian butt lift, plastic surgeons take unwanted fat from your thighs, love handles, belly, and hips, and transfer that fat (after it has been cleaned and purified) to your derriere. That means you not only get a bigger backside but you also reap the benefits of body contouring, which can make your new curves even more curvalicious! As far as how much fat can be injected, docs realistically can transfer anywhere from 500 to 1,000 cc (sometimes more) of fat into each buttock. Dr. Mendieta said he injects until he runs out or the fat starts coming back out, meaning the area is “full.” Between 60 and 85 percent of the fat cells injected survive. That’s why the downtime is so crucial. Not only will you will need to take at least 10-14 days off of work, but because prolonged sitting could damage the fat cells, you won’t be able to sit on your rear without a special pillow under your thighs for up to two months. You’ll need to sleep on your side or your stomach during this time. You’ll also be required to wear special compression garments to help heal the areas treated with liposuction. JA N UA RY 2 01 7

Total recovery and results won’t be fully realized until about three to six months, maybe even up to a year. The results are permanent, although weight loss or gain could change the look and shape of your butt. But is it safe? “As with any surgical procedure, you have risks,” said Dr. Daniel C. Mills, President of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. “Our job is to tell the patients what those risks are. The more we know about a procedure, the safer we can make it. The more experienced a physician is—and the more knowledgeable they are about detailed anatomy—the safer the procedure is.” Patients who don’t have enough fat cells to harvest may be required to gain 10 to 15 pounds before getting a Brazilian butt lift. Patients with a tiny hiney who want a J.Lo or Kim Kardashian booty might need to change their expectations or possibly undergo more than one session. In rare cases, asymmetry might occur, requiring a touch up procedure. But overall, Dr. Mendieta said the satisfaction rate of butt augmentations is very high. Three years after her Brazilian butt lift, a gift to herself for her 40th birthday, Norma said she loves her butt and would do it all over again because it transformed her life (it even brought passion back into her 20-year marriage!). “It was money well spent,” she said. (Butt augmentations can cost anywhere between $4,500 and $10,000 depending on what all you have done and where you go). “You have to invest money in yourself once in a while.”

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Amy Beck Patient of Dr. Sandi Hamm


TOP COSMETIC DENTAL PROCEDURES A movie star smile can be yours in 2017 with porcelain bonded veneers, Dr. Shannon Roberts’ top pick for pearly whites this year. If bleaching isn’t enough to get your whitest white, then consider this procedure. Dr. Roberts—of UT Health Science Center San Antonio School of Dentistry—states that the materials used will depend on your bite and degree of teeth darkness. Your teeth will be shaped, then a master impression or scan will be made.

uses barely visible clear plastic tooth aligners that are custom fabricated. Delight your bite with sticky, crunchy treat—since these aligners are removable. Forget the fear of finding a loved one’s false teeth in a glass. Folks with missing or cracked teeth can get rescued with dental implants. The implants are made from titanium, in most cases lasting a lifetime.

Not smiling because of cracked or broken teeth? Porcelain crowns could improve your smile with natural looking beauty. If you don’t tell, then who will? Now that’s something to smile about.

Want instant gratification? Imagine getting a crown ready in 24 hours. Cutting edge technology of computeraided design and manufacturing of CEREC crowns makes this dream a reality. Many practices have already put this technology into use.

If a mouth full of metal isn’t your idea of a sexy smile, then Invisalign tooth straightening could be your solution. This modern way of straightening teeth

If the clatter in your mouth during your dental visits drives you nutty, then sedation dentistry will offer you some seriously relaxing relief.

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2017 may be the perfect year for you to consider cosmetic dental procedures, since technology continues to progress. “Dental schools are now teaching the use of digital impression techniques which consist of using a camera inside the patient’s mouth to make either a series of photos or a video to digitally submit to the lab. This technology has been perfected in recent years,” Dr. Roberts says. Regardless of what type of cosmetic procedure you need, maintaining excellent oral hygiene is key to keeping your smile looking sensational for years to come.

This stress-free solution will keep you conscious enough to open and close your mouth on demand, but that’s about all you’ll remember about sitting in the dentist’s chair. Just remember to get someone to chauffer you back home. L I V I NGMAG A Z IN E . N E T

Everyone wants to have a smile they feel good about,

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no matter their age, gender, profession, or circumstance.

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1/3/17 9:00 AM

May Your New Year be “Mary” and Bright Rebecca Ashbrook Carrell LoveServeShine.com Twitter: @RebeccaLSS 90.9 KCBI/ kcbi.org

But Martha was distracted by her many tasks, and she came up and asked, “Lord, don’t You care that my sister has left me to serve alone? So tell her to give me a hand.” The Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has made the right choice, and it will not be taken away from her. —LUKE 10:40-42 HCSB

Another Christmas season is in the books. Each year around the holidays I usually receive a few invitations to share at various women’s ministry events; invitations I accept eagerly and with deep gratitude. I just love to talk about Jesus. Honestly, He’s my absolute favorite. I start praying for the event well in advance, and those prayers usually go something like this: So what do you want to talk about, Lord? Clock’s ticking. Sure could use some insight. There are the usual passages of Scripture preachers like to teach on around Christmas, like Isaiah 9:6, which states “For unto us a child is born, unto is a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders, and He shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” The Lukan narrative of Jesus’ birth is another popular place to go, but this year, I couldn’t tear myself away from the story of Mary and Martha. The story is small, buried deep in the heart of the book of Luke, in the middle of our Savior’s journey to Jerusalem, but it carries big implications for us that we can apply year-round. Luke’s Gospel divides neatly into four sections, comprised of Jesus’ birth and baptism (1:1—4:13),

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His ministry in Galilee (4:14—9:50), the journey to Jerusalem (9:51—19:44), and the Passion week leading to His crucifixion and resurrection (19:45— 24:53). Each section has a theme, and the theme of the Jerusalem journey is this:

~ Jesus Offers a New Way ~ What is the new way? God the Father told Peter, James, and John when they were alone with Jesus on a mountaintop. “This is My Son, the Chosen One. Listen to Him.”

~ Listen to Him ~ What God did in that simple statement was to turn the old way on its head—upside down and inside out. Backward front and frontwards back. A completely new way of approaching the God of Israel.

The “do” was put in place to point us to a “Who.”

~ The old way was about the Do. The new way is about the Who. ~ Martha learned that first hand, late one afternoon when a scraggly band of brothers came knocking at her door. They weren’t strangers, far from it. Scripture indicates that Martha, her sister, Mary, and her brother, Lazarus, were dear friends of the Rabbi they called the Christ. In Biblical times it was a great honor to offer your home to travelers and hospitality was expected. Still, can we all just agree that Jesus and His disciples pulled a total pop-in? Maybe you keep your pantry stocked and your home pop-in ready, but as for me and my house, make a reservation. Another thing that occurs to me is that in 30-or-so A.D. when this likely took place, there was not a kosherKroger open twenty-four/seven. A meal was a big deal. They made their own flour. They butchered their own cows. These things, I’m told, take time. So I find it completely normal and natural that Martha would be scurrying around, scraping together a meal to feed at least thirteen hungry men. Martha, as a matter of fact, was doing exactly what Jewish society would have expected her to do. Mary, on the other hand, was downright scandalous. Women did not sit at the feet of teachers—that was the position of a disciple, and women were not disciples. In fact, men would not talk to their wives in the public square, and neither would they walk next to them in the street. The women followed behind. Women were allowed no further in the temple than the outer court, along with the Gentiles. Surely as the disciples watched the scene play out, they too, anticipated a scolding.

You see, the old way was about the “do.”

They got one, but not the one they expected.

It was about the “thou shalls” and “shall nots,” the “cans” and “cannots,” the “do’s” and “do nots.” It was about an ever-ascending ladder of laws that no man could hope to fulfill.

How their eyes must’ve widened when Jesus, lovingly but firmly told Martha that she, not her sister, was in the wrong, and in fact, Mary had chosen the better thing.

Ah, but that was the whole point.

Sweet Mary, who anointed her Lord with oil and wiped His feet with her hair, who would watch in stunned silence when the Lord commanded her four-day-dead brother to stop being dead and come out of the tomb already, was all about the “Who.”

The commands, the “thou shalls” and the “do’s” were never meant to save the poor Israelites or anyone else. They were intended to show them how far they were from holiness, how great was their capacity to sin, and how desperately they needed a Savior. L I V I NGMAG A Z IN E . N E T

Martha was still stuck in the old way, the way of the “do.”

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She sat at His feet. She leaned in. She listened. She chose the better thing, and it would not be taken from her. And suddenly, what society said she should or shouldn’t do didn’t matter anymore, and neither did the world’s expectations because her Lord was in front of her and she was hanging on every single word. As a student at Dallas Seminary, we are taught to examine the text in a very-Mary-kind-of-way. I do think it’s worth noting that Jesus did not correct Martha’s busyness. He didn’t scold her for serving or chasten her for huffing and puffing about her sister. He ever-so-gently reprimanded the posture of her heart. You see, the new way doesn’t throw out the “do.” The Bible is clear on this point. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only (James 1:22). What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can his faith save him (James 2:14)? And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works (Hebrews 10:24). The new way changes the order of things. If we attempt the do without the Who we’ll end up just like Martha, frustrated and grumpy that no one is helping. The new way isn’t a list; it’s an invitation to spend time with our Lord in the Scriptures and wait on Him to speak. It’s about leaning in and listening. It’s choosing to live in a love that stepped off the throne, into skin, and climbed on a cross to bear your sin. As we embark on a fresh slate and a new year, let’s make it first and foremost about the “Who,” and trust that He will tell us what to do. But your Teacher will not hide Himself any longer. Your eyes will see your Teacher, and whenever you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear this command behind you: “This is the way. Walk in it.” —Isaiah 30:20b-21 HCSB

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It’s time again...

SLOW COOKER BRISKET Serves 4 to 6 Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 6 hours Total Time: 6 hours 15 minutes 1 (2-3 pound) brisket 1/2 teaspoon chili powder 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon paprika 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper 2 cups of your favorite barbecue sauce


In a small bowl, stir together chili powder, garlic powder, paprika, ground mustard, salt, and pepper.

Cast your vote for your Best Of 2017 picks.

Apply the dry rub evenly on all sides of the brisket. Place brisket in the insert of a slow cooker. Pour over BBQ sauce.

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Cook on high for 6 hours, or until tender. Remove from the slow cooker and let rest 10 minutes before slicing against the grain. Return the sliced brisket to the sauce in the slow cooker. Toss to coat and remove to serving platter. Serve warm.


Winter Comfort, Texas Style


Straight to the healthy stuff in the New Year? To each his or her own, but there’s nothing right with getting back to our roots and enjoying some classics that we all know and love. This month I’m cooking up three big classics that you and the entire family can fall in love with any night of the week. Previously reserved for Sunday night suppers, you can do these as weeknight friendly meals. Whether you have a slow cooker or less than an hour to spare to make dinner, you’ll find something to enjoy.

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Valentine's Day Weekend HOMEMADE CORNBREAD Serves 6 to 8 Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 25 minutes Total Time: 30 minutes

Add a diced jalapeño to the cornbread for a spicy kick!

1 cup cornmeal 3/4 cup all-purpose flour 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon agave 2 large eggs, lightly beaten 1 1/2 cups buttermilk 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425 °F. Grease an 8” square baking dish. In a large bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate medium bowl, stir together agave, eggs, buttermilk, and melted butter. Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring until combined. Pour batter into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and center is set. Cool for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

The Power of Love




With Loving Tributes to Prince, Michael Jackson, & Luther Vandross.


Friday, February 10





Come Experience our FOOD & FUN!

1 teaspoon olive oil ½ yellow onion, diced 1 pound ground beef 1 16 ounce can hot chili beans 1 16 ounce can kidney beans 1 16 ounce can diced tomatoes ½ can Italian seasoned tomato paste 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon pepper 1½ teaspoon dried oregano 1½ teaspoon dried basil 1 teaspoon chili powder 1 teaspoon paprika ½ teaspoon garlic powder ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

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In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, brown onions until soft, approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Add ground beef and brown, approximately 3 to 4 minutes.


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Stir in chili beans, kidney beans, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, pepper, oregano, basil, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for approximately 30 to 45 minutes, until reduced by one third.

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Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

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BEST EVER BEEF & BEAN CHILI Serves 6 to 8 Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 2 hours Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes





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Come see us!

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The famously hotheaded Dallas chef stays relevant, but what goes into making one of Dallas’ most influential figures in food?

knowledges it was easy for the viewer to see it during his appearance in the 10th season of Top Chef five years ago.


Whether they love him or hate him, nobody walks away without an impression. John Tesar—the outspoken chef who is also a three-time James Beard “Best Southwest Chef” semifinalist and has been a repeat guest on Top Chef—is as complex as one of his multilayered dishes. Indeed, what are the ingredients that make up the recipe that is John Tesar? Once regarded as the most hated chef in Dallas, time has carefully aged the components a little bit. A dash of temper, a cup of passion, a New York upbringing with a touch of school in Paris, and a dose of humor and experience. Stirred and simmered, of course. “I’m a bit of a hothead because I care about my work,” Tesar says. “Every chef is that way. I am 59 years old and still relevant—because I do the things that younger chefs do, not the older chefs. And I think that is what makes me different.” He has certainly had a tumultuous time in Dallas since arriving to helm the kitchen at the Mansion. Regardless, Tesar compares himself to a phoenix rising out of the flames each time something goes wrong. A bit of a smile plays across his face as he sets about solving a problem, turning around to ask “well, are you going to follow me or not?” Follow him, and more often than not you will find his reinvention spells success. Right now that success is at his restaurant Knife, which opened in 2014 in The Highland Dallas Hotel. L I V I NGMAG A Z IN E . N E T

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Knife serves up modern American cuisine prepared with classic European techniques. In hushed tones, folks around town suggest that Knife has reinvented the steakhouse experience. Perhaps primed to expect an egotistical, arrogant, self-absorbed man, instead I find an almost Zen-like character in Tesar. “I think I’m an accomplished cook and chef, and I have had a lot of critical acclaim,” he says. “Knife is just the latest thing I have done—and with that comes a lot more calm. Things run their course, and if you don’t see ahead and have the strength and the guts to try new things and walk away from something that is perceived to be pristine and perfect you will fade away. Everything fades away—we live to die.” While the Zen state radiates from him upon first meeting, you can still feel a brisk intensity. That ire can also be mustered when up and coming chefs who have not paid their dues get a little too big for their britches. Tesar acJA N UA RY 2 01 7

“I was much older than they were, and they will try to take your life away from you,” he says. “On the show I am 54 years old, and having to yell at those kids, and having to defend myself from what was building off set. I’d had enough of these two rabble-rousers telling me they know everything. These kids get a fourstar review and they want to open their own restaurant across the street and have their own television show and they want a book deal. These are things I’ve waited 30 years for. I don’t want to be the old man who is screaming get off my lawn,” he says, “but sometimes it seems like this generation wants to erase the past so they can become somebody in the future—and it’s the biggest mistake, because without the past you really have no future.” Tesar’s decision to get into the world of restaurants in the Hamptons, where he grew up, was mainly based on his desire to be able to surf during the day and work at night. At the time, the Hamptons were more artist colony beach resort than trendy wealthy hangout, but he still managed to meet the big names. “I started washing dishes and putting lettuce and tomato on the plates and I learned how to make hamburgers and cook steaks,” he says of the meager beginnings. Over time he fell in love with the social aspect of the restaurant business, which eventually led him to buy a restaurant of his own.

“I became the chef and then I bought the restaurant,” he explains. “I worked there seven years and owned it for ten, and over time got three stars from the New York Times and lots of media attention. That molded who I was because of the response to what I was doing.” Fast forward to a number of ups and downs— from sleeping on a friend’s couch to being at the right place at the right time— and you can see the phoenix continuing to rise. With his rise came his passion for the work and that notorious temper, which he has fortunately learned to channel, resulting in 20 restaurants built from scratch over the years. Tesar is the epitome of what happens when you grow up in the world of cooking. You find your own way and you listen to your instinct instead of the constant outside chatter. “When everyone thinks they know you, and they are so negative, or there is this urban legend reputation, I think it’s hilarious,” Tesar says, “because I know who I am. But if that bad-boy, difficult, blunt New Yorker image is going to bring people to Knife out of curiosity, the reward is that they’ll have the best steak the ever had—and they’ll learn that guy isn’t me.” Despite the chatter, he has retained the natural ability to anticipate trends and navigate the restaurant business in Dallas. “I feel like a fish out of water here, but I will never leave,” Tesar says. “I’m enjoying my life here because I appreciate the fact that it allows me to be better at what I do. Folks can get so caught up in each other’s nonsense and self-promotion and adulation and hype, and I just try to look at it realistically.” In short, he tunes out the white noise, which is where Knife comes in. “I’m a lifer. You have to be able to stand alone and be independent, stand up to people, and not let the mob take you over, because then you are lost—you sold out. You have to be willing to look back at the mistakes to continue to reinvent for the future.” Much like that phoenix from the flames reinventing itself, Tesar continues to rise. We’ll just enjoy tagging along for the ride.

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Free People sequin tank top, $68, Macy’s. Tinseltown Double Stacked Skinny pants, $49, Macy’s. INC jacket, $159, Macy’s. Ralph Lauren stud earrings, $24, Belk. Betsey Johnson bracelet, $45, Belk. Steve Madden shoes, $99, Belk.


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Kensic sweater, $79, Macy’s. Halston sequin skirt, $245, Tootsies. Vince Camuto bracelet, $78, Belk. Coach bag, $350, Belk.

BCBG Max Azria Leora top, $228, Belk. BCBG Max Azria Zana skirt, $158, Belk. Carolee earrings, $75, Belk. Model’s own shoes.

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