Living Magazine December 2020

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contents | LIVING MAGAZINE inside this issue DECEMBER 2020 | f i n i s h

on the cover 30 I AVANTE SALON & DAY SPA

features

34 WARM & FUZZY

Snuggle up with a new sweater

58 SC EN TS OF T HE SEASON

Craft ideas for a warm holiday home

60 MERRY M OM EN TS

Staying connected and making new memories

64 THE SPIRIT OF G IV ING

Cocktails that care

66

WRAPPIN G & RAM PING U P

Finishing strong and back-to-school prep

52 in every issue 14

PUBLISHER'S LETTER

40 WELLNESS

18

SOCIAL CALENDAR

20

BEST BETS

46 AESTHETICS

22

TALK OF THE TOWN

28

LIVING PET CLUB

32

FRUIT OF THE VINE

52 HOMESTEAD

68 ADVENTURE

HEALTHY HOLIDAYS

ABOUT FACE

COMFORT & JOY

JOYFUL RIDES

USE IT OR LOSE IT

GET THE WRINKLES OUT

UNDECK THE HALLS

december 2020

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LIVING LIKES

70 CUISINE FILLING FESTIVE

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letter from the publisher

publishing PUBLISHER Misty Daniels EDITOR Heather Witherspoon

“As for me and my house, we will praise the Lord.” Joshua 24:15 What a challenging year it’s been. But our God is faithful to bring blessings out of even the most difficult and confusing circumstances. As those in power scrambling to evaluate—and reevaluate—the COVID19 threat and construct guidelines to keep us safe, it helps to remember God is still on His throne. None of this took Him by surprise and He has a perfect plan to work the turmoil of 2020 for His good—and ours. This month, we look at finishing strong. So, as we reconfigure the holidays and innovate to keep our loved ones safe while pulling them close—even if it’s only emotionally close—let’s finish the year rejoicing over the greatest Christmas gift we ever received. The same tiny lips Mary kissed in the manger are the lips that spoke the world into existence. The tiny feet she swaddled would walk across the water, be bathed by another Mary’s tears, transfigure on Mount Tabor, and be pierced for our transgressions. No pandemic or political campaign can change that. This year more than any other, let’s keep Christ in our Christmas. Blessed CHRISTmas from the Daniels family to you and yours.

contribution EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTORS Lisa Landry, Anna Charles, LaRue Novick, Meredith Knight PHOTOGRAPHY CONTRIBUTORS

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Lauren Medean, Diana Raines

ART DIRECTOR Kelsey Higham

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Living Magazine is published monthly. 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 its agencies assume all liability for advertising content. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted with our the permission in writing from the publisher.



letters from

O U R M AYO R S mayor

RON JENSEN

My 70th birthday is Dec. 27, 2020, and to help me celebrate, we’ve created 70 days and 70 ways you can support our community, all of which can be found at gptx.org/70for70. From a scavenger hunt to photos along the trail of murals, to pics with my avatar located throughout town, to helping out your favorite charity, to free desserts at participating restaurants on my birthday weekend, thank you for helping me turn 70. If you make social media posts as part of the celebration, be sure to use #MayorJensen70for70. And, we’ve got lots of family fun to make your holidays Prairie and bright! Prairie Lights opens Nov. 26-Dec. 31 in Lynn Creek Park, delighting guests with its two-mile drive through light displays. This year, because of the pandemic, we will not have Holiday Village or the walk-through Lighted Forest. Kids and families can enjoy a virtual Snow Ho Ho at the libraries on Thursday, Dec. 17, at 4:30 p.m. via the city of Grand Prairie

mayor

JEFF WILLIAMS

Nobody does Christmas quite like the people of Arlington, Texas. Even during this uncertain time, we’ve watched our town come to life with holiday decorations and seasonal celebration that—though they’re a bit modified this year—remind us why we all love living, working, worshipping, and playing in The American Dream City. Happiest of Holidays to all of you from the Williams family. There’s nowhere else we’d rather spend it than right here. I want to join the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation (NMOHMF) and the citizens of Arlington in thanking local author J. Kirk Davis for donating his father’s WWII medal of honor to The National Medal of Honor Museum. Last month as we collectively turned our hearts toward honoring those who’ve served our country, Mr. Davis added Major Charles W. Davis’ medal of honor to the ever-growing collection as well as

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GRA ND PRAI RI E Libraries Facebook Live. Join us as we celebrate the holiday by exploring the season across the globe. We will have fun, educational and multicultural activities throughout the hour. Program kits will be available at all three branches beginning Dec. 7. Farmers Market features fresh fruits, veggies Dec. 5 and 12. Fill your stockings with treasures found at IKEA, Living Spaces, the Premium Outlet Mall and any of the many new retail stores along SH 161. If it is cold outside, splash in the tropics at Epic Waters Indoor Water Park year round. Stay fit at the Epic arts, entertainment and recreation center, now open for work outs. Have a masked, socially distanced, safe, happy and festive holiday. Seasons greetings to you and your family. Live Life Grand,

A RLINGTON letters exchanged between his parent related to the award. In his book, "The Hero & the Beauty", Mr. Davis recounted how his father earned the medal of honor for heroic actions in the Battle of Guadalcanal in 1943 and was presented the award by Lieutenant General Millard Harmon, Commanding General of the Army Forces in the South Pacific, in a battlefield ceremony. I’m sure, when the National Medal of Honor Museum is completed in 2024, this priceless family heirloom and the story of Major Davis’ service and valor will serve as an inspiration to many.


final letter from

M AYO R DAV I D C O O K Change can be bittersweet. But can also be exciting. Next month I will say goodbye to serving as your Mayor, an honor I have been fortunate to have for the last 12-plus years. However Mansfield will stay close to my heart, as not only my hometown and place of residence, but as your State Representative in the Texas Legislature. I am grateful to those who supported me in my campaign for State Representative in House District 96, representing not only Mansfield but parts of Arlington, Kennedale, Burleson, Crowley and Fort Worth. But even as I move forward to help guide the future of Mansfield, I can’t help but reminisce my years as Mayor. From major transportation projects like U.S. 287 expansion and the opening of the 360 Tollway to economic development wins like Klein Tools, Shops at Broad and two hospitals, Mansfield has grown into a community of more than 75,000 where residents embrace the high quality of life, where celebration of our heritage is a priority and where caring for neighbors is a privilege. We have new parks – Oliver Nature Park and expansion of the linear trail – and a revitalized Historic Downtown Mansfield. There are dozens of

MA NS FI ELD

new retailers and restaurants. We have two hospitals: Methodist Mansfield, which has expanded five times since it opened, and the newly constructed Texas Health Resources Mansfield. We’ve been honored for our parks system and named multiple times as one of the Best Places to Live in America. And thousands of our residents have volunteered their time over the last four years to the Mansfield Volunteer Program, making a difference in the lives of others and bringing national recognition to our community. It has been a privilege to serve as your Mayor. I am grateful for the councilmembers I have served with over the last 12 and a half years and their dedication to our city. Thank you to the city management and city employees who have drawn upon their substantial expertise to grow Mansfield into a quality, thriving community. I look forward to serving you in Austin and continuing the successes we have achieved. Sincerely,


MANSFIELD / ARLINGTON / GRAND PRAIRIE

community | SOCIAL CALENDAR

december

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HOLIDAY HOTCAKES

A r l i n g to n P a r ks a n d R e c re a t i o n

Come and help us celebrate the Christmas Season by joining us for some Christmas Hotcakes with Sausage! Dress your best so we can take pictures next to our beautiful Christmas tree. We will play bingo and have prizes! 55 years and up. Begins 9:30 am. Cost is $5. To register visit our website. Senior Rec Center New York, 2015 Craig Hanking Dr. N AT U R A L LY F U N . O R G

NOW - DECEMBER 23

THE TEXAS CHRISTKINDL MARKET – VIRTUAL A r l i n g to n

The Texas Christkindl Market, one of the largest open ¬air holiday markets in the Southwest, is excited to announce the 10year tradition will continue, although a little differently this year, by moving to an all-digital format online. We hope you join us at txchristkindlmarket.com and our social media channels from November 27th through December 23rd, where everyone is invited to experience the German tradition of our Texas Christkindl Market! Free.

strolling holiday entertainers, Old Saint Nick and his elves booths with food and so much more! Hurry, tickets will sell out fast. Globe Life Field. For more information visit our website. Brighten up your holidays surrounded by millions of dazzling lights. Enjoy 65 ft. Christmas tree, train rides for the kids, strolling holiday entertainers, Old Saint Nick and his elves booths with food and so much more! Hurry, tickets will sell out fast. Globe Life Field. For more information visit our website. L U M I N O VA H O L I D AYS . C O M NOW - JANUARY 3

HOLIDAY IN THE PARK Six Flags

NOW - DECEMBER 31

PRAIRIE LIGHTS G ra n d P ra i r i e

Prairie Lights is the premier holiday light park in Texas! The safety of our visitor and employees is our number one priority. Prairie Lights 2020 will be a complete in car event to provide guests with the safest experience possible during your visit. Lynn Creek on Joe Pool Lake. Visit our website for details, times and pricing. P R A I R I E L I G H TS . O R G NOW - JANUARY 3

LUMINOVA A r l i n g to n

Brighten up your holidays surrounded by millions of dazzling lights. Enjoy 65 ft. Christmas tree, train rides for the kids,

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It’s the most magical time of the year filled with enchanting experiences that will help create those special family fun outings again and again. Features a variety of interactive activities to help capture the holiday spirit. BEGINNING WEEK OF DECEMBER 18

WINTER BREAK CAMP

A r l i n g to n P a r ks a n d R e c re a t i o n

This is a great way to spend Winter Break. Come join us for a week full of fun games and activities. Please bring a sack lunch and we’ll provide the afternoon snack. Rates starting at $26.25/day. Cliff Nelson, Dottie Lynn and Elzie Odom Rec Centers. Visit our website for specific dates, ages and times for each center. N AT U R A L LY F U N . O R G

december 2020

DECEMBER 4 AND 5

HOMETOWN HOLIDAYS M a n sf i e l d

Come to Historic Downtown Mansfield for live musical performances, food trucks, crafts, petting zoo, ice slides and new this year carnival rides including a 40 foot tall Ferris wheel in the middle of Main Street. The official City of Mansfield tree is moving to The LOT Downtown, Main and Broad and will be lit on Friday at 6:30pm. December 4, 5pm-9pm and December 5, 12pm-8pm. Visit our website for additional details. M A N S F I E L DT E X A S . G O V / 78 9 / H O M E TO W N - H O L I D AYS DECEMBER 12

MOBILE PET ADOPTION EVENT A r l i n g to n

Adorable adoptable pets looking for new homes will be available at the mobile adoption unit for immediate adoption! Visit with adoptable cats available inside PetSmart! Adoptions will be at the Petsmart® in South Arlington, 203 E. I-20 (Arlington Highlands) 10:30am-3:30pm. Scheduled events are subject to cancellation without notice due to weather conditions (heat, cold, storms, etc.) for the safety and protection of adoptable pets, volunteers, and staff.

see more e vents in your area on LIVINGMAGAZINE.NET



our picks | BEST BETS

H O L I DAY E DIT IO N

DECEMBER 4 // THE GREAT BRITISH BAKING SHOW: HOLIDAYS (SEASON 3)

THIS M ONTH IN M OVIE HISTORY

NETFLIX Paul Holly wood, Pr ue Leith, Sandi Toksvig, and Noel Fielding host this delightful holiday version of one of the sweetest reality shows on television. Bakers from seasons past and the cast of the Derry Girls compete for the coveted title of Star Baker.

DECEMBER 16, 1977 // THE NUTCRACKER MIKHAIL BARYSHNIKOV, GELSEY KIRKLAND DIR. TONY CHARMOLI (GYPSY IN MY SOUL) Released as a television movie in 1977 on CBS, this version of The Nutcracker was conceived, choreographed, and stage directed by Mikhail Baryshnikov. Magical sets, along with Baryshnikov’s athleticism and Gelsey Kirkland’s grace, f low beautifully in this ethereal adaptation. This instant classic stands the test of time and is an excellent choice for the whole family to enjoy this Christmas.

S E AS O N AL S O U N DS

W H AT TO R EA D

THE POLAR EXPRESS 30TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION BY CHRIS VAN ALLSBURG

PUTUMAYO PRESENTS: BLUES CHRISTMAS VARIOUS ARTISTS

A VERY SHE & HIM CHRISTMAS SHE & HIM

COME ON CHRISTMAS DWIGHT YOAKUM

A VERY SPECIAL CHRISTMAS VARIOUS ARTISTS

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Take a ride aboard the Polar Express in this award-winning, classic holiday story about a young boy, lying awake one Christmas Eve, who is welcomed aboard a magical train to the North Pole. The Polar Express makes its way to a city where the boy will make his Christmas wish. In this special edition, the inimitable artistry of Chris Van Allsburg is highlighted with a new jacket design and expanded interior layout. The book includes an author’s note, ornament gift, and downloadable audio read by Liam Neeson. Imagery from The Great British Baking Show: Holidays (2020), Netflix. Poster from The Nutcracker (1977), CBS, MGM/ UA Home Video. Book cover from The Polar Express 30th Anniversary Edition by Chris Van Allsburg (2015), Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, with description excerpt from the publisher. Album covers and all other materials are presented for non-commercial illustrative purposes.


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2018

best of

ARLINGTON & MANSFIELD READERS’ CHOICE

2013, 2015, 2017, 2019

TOP

TO P

2018


community | TALK OF THE TOWN

ARLINGTON/MANSFIELD/GRAND PRAIRIE COURTESY: LEGACY PR AND SUSAN G. KOMEN || PHOTO: ERIN KINSEY

HOPE SINGS

N O R T H T E X A S N AT I V E P E N S S O N G I N S P I R E D B Y T H E F I G H T A G A I N ST B R E A ST C A N C E R

ERIN KINSEY GREW UP IN NORTH TEXAS AND BEGAN SINGING AND PLAYING GUITAR at the young age of 11 before eventually learning to play seven dif ferent instr uments. Shortly after graduation, Kinsey moved to Nashville to pursue her career in music. For the past several years, the Rockwall native and her band have been wowing audiences across the country and beyond, headlining noteworthy venues in Texas, London, and Nashville. In October of this year, she made her Opry debut on the Grand Ole Opry’s 12th Annual Opry Goes Pink show. Erin performed alongside seasoned song writers and musicians Lauren Alaina, Little Big Town, Rita Wilson, and Victoria Shaw during the special show in support of the fight against breast cancer. Recently, Dolly Parton, Monica, Jordin Sparks, R it a Wilson, and Sara Evans released the song “PINK” that benefits Susan G. Koman. Each artist shares a connection to the fight against breast cancer through the love for friends and family that have been impacted by the disease. The song was co-written by Erin Kinsey, Jodi Marr, and Victoria Shaw — who also serves as a producer — and is being released by Brighter Day Records. The songwriters were inspired to write the song to honor women close to them who have survived the disease, including Erin’s manager Amy Fish. The moving lyrics and vocals provide listeners with hope for a future where no one loses someone they love to breast cancer. As one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their lifetime, many w ill be touched by this disease that kills more than 42,000 women and men in the U.S. each year.

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WATCH THE OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO HERE AT TINYURL.COM/YXVUURU4. FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO DONATE VISIT, KOMEN.ORG.



ARLINGTON/MANSFIELD/GRAND PRAIRIE

community | TALK OF THE TOWN

PHOTOS: JOHNATHAN DODSON AND HIS SONS || SHANNON WEISHUHN

be able to help someone with a donation of her bone marrow one day. Fast forward to 2004. Johnathan Dodson was just 19 years old and fighting for his life w ith acute myeloid leukemia in Pennsylvania. Af ter exhausting all treatment options, his recovery outlook was grim. His parents were told to bring him home for his final days, but at the last minute, they learned about a treatment involv ing a bone marrow transplant. Johnathan was placed on the registry with Be The Match, and soon after, he learned that he had a DNA twin in Texas. It wa s on ly a m at t er of d ay s b efore Johnathan was able to receive the lifesaving treatment. “It was like winning the lottery,” said Johnathan. B e c au s e of S h a n n on’s s e l f l e s s a c t , Johnathan went on to become an ICU nurse and a father. Due to his work in the medical field, Jimmy Kimmel Live! wanted to make him “Hero of the Week,” but he wouldn’t accept the title without celebrating his own hero — Shannon.

Perfect Match Local bone marrow donor meets recipient 16 years later on Jimmy Kimmel Live! BY AMANDA BLAIR

W

just an ordinary day. As she browsed the shops, she noticed a kiosk for Be The Match, a bone marrow donation registry. Although she worked in the medical field as a nurse, she didn’t know much about it. Intrigued, she approached the booth to find out more. “I learned that all I had to do for registration was a simple cheek swab. I thought it was the coolest thing ever, and I was able to give a DNA sample and register that same day. It was so easy.” Shannon knew that matching to a patient in need would be slim, so she prayed that she would

WATCH THE VIDEO REUNION AT TINYURL.COM/Y2J4HGTY. FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT JOIN.BETHEMATCH.ORG/KIMMEL.

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HEN ROWLETT RESIDENT SHANNON WEISHUHN WENT TO THE MALL ONE AFTERNOON IN THE EARLY 2000S , it was

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Johnathan said, “After the transplant, there was a waiting period before I could learn who my donor was. Over the years, I tried to find her, but life sort of got in the way.” It wasn’t until the producers of Jimmy Kimmel Live! reached out to Johnathan that he got to meet Shannon and finally thank her and let her know how many lives she had changed. “One self less act of reg ister ing and donating can change the life of more than just the recipient. Shannon came along and saved my life. The ripple effect saved my parents from losing their son, and I got to start a family of my own. I urge people to register,” said Johnathan. “It’s been life’s greatest honor to be able to donate bone marrow to Johnathan. I had no reservations at all,” said Shannon. “It’s my heart’s desire to spread the message of hope that anyone can be a donor to match with a patient whose life could be changed forever.” Today, it’s easier than ever to join Be The Match’s donor registry. All you have to do is order a free kit from Be The Match, swab your cheek, and send it back. Of course, you have to promise to answer the call if you’re someone’s match!



community | TALK OF THE TOWN

ARLINGTON/MANSFIELD/GRAND PRAIRIE

HAPPY HOLIDAYS May this joyful season bring you nothing but fond memories, happiness, and laughter. From all of us at Living Magazine we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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IT’S ALMOST HERE…

IN THE ARCHIVES

You know it, you love it, and it’s back again for 2021! Our annual Best Of Readers’ Choice voting opens on January 1, 2021. It’s your chance to recognize your favorite businesses, healthcare providers, restaurants, and other community hot spots by making your voice heard. Set your browsers to LIVINGMAGAZINE.NET/BESTOF2021 and cast your votes in the new year!

Did someone in your family forget to save an issue of Living before you could read a story you had your eye on? Not to worry! Head over to LIVINGMAGAZINE.NET/EDITIONS/ where you can find past issues and read to your hearts content.

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our picks | PET CLUB

PET CLUB SAY WHAT?

Smitty “He is a Jackshund (Jack Russell Terrier/Dachshund mix) with a big personality who loves to chew everything, go on long walks, and sleep in.” - HELEN S.

Walruses can slow down their heartbeat to withstand chilly water temperatures and help them stay underwater for as long as ten minutes.

TRIVIA QUESTION!

ONE OF THE FOLLOWING FACTS IS INCORRECT. WHICH ONE? A) Polar bear fur is translucent and appears white because it reflects visible light B) Eastern gray squirrels have a horrible sense of smell

Buddy

C) Black bear cubs stay with their mother for one to three years

“His favorite thing to do is play with our youngest cat, Blueberry.”

D) Male geese fight one another to win a particular female with soft, downy feathers and a straight bill

- MICHELLE A.

PET CLUB MEMBERS

“Leo is a 2-year-old Samoyed who loves lounging by the pool when the weather turns cool.” - DONNA B.

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B. Eastern gray squirrels have an excellent sense of smell, which they use to help locate food that they’ve hidden away.

Leo

Living Pet Club members are automatically entered to win our pet-related giveaways! To join the club, visit LivingMagazine. net/pet-club. Send your pet’s name, your name, your address, a clear photo of your pet, and a little info about them. They might just turn up in a future issue of Living!


Three Dog Bakery opened the world’s first bakery for dogs in 1989 and has been making tails wag ever since! We’re excited to share the same over-the-top experience with you in Mansfield. Bring your dogs and come see what all the fuss is about!

We have checked and we are all on “Santa’s Good List” so please fill our stockings with all the goodies from Three Dog Bakery!!!

NORTH ARLINGTON 817 E. Lamar Blvd. 817-795-3135 MANSFIELD 3300 E. Broad Street Ste 142 817-592-3531

ThreeDog.com Follow us:

Visit us at our Arlington location or our new Mansfield location for some awesome treats. Your humans are welcome!!

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ON THE COVER

AVANTE SALON & SPA ST R U G G L ES A N D P E R S O N A L STO R I ES F R O M T H E TO P CONTACT 1223 EAST DEBBIE LANE MANSFIELD, TEXAS 76063 (NEAR MATLOCK ROAD) (817) 477-4040 BESTSALONMANSFIELD.COM

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hile interviewing the owners and managers of Avante Salon & Day Spa, we asked them to write a testimony of their personal experiences. We’d love to share with you what they had to say.

OWNER JACQUELINE HUGHES “Opening Avante in 2004, a lifelong dream had come true. Even with 15 years of advanced education and experience, it was still one of the toughest mountains we had ever climbed. When we received the call on March 21st, 2020, that we would have to shut down, a huge stream of emotions flooded. I just sat down, cried, and prayed. We were responsible for the livelihood of so many amazing employees. Many of them single moms and head of households. Taking deep breaths and thinking WWJD, we rolled up our sleeves, reached out to every single person and helped each one work through whatever personal struggle they were facing.” “We knew to get through we had to just stay strong. We went into action ordering thermometers, masks, disinfectants, plexiglass and hired extra cleaning personal. Placing stations six feet or more apart and utilizing private rooms and areas was a must. These over-thetop precautions have kept all of our team and our guests safe. Today, we’re still scared of the future, yet we stay positive and focused on the blessings we have. We have the absolute most talented group that we have ever had. Now we have specialists in every area—from Icey Blonding to intricate haircuts and everything in between. It’s really awesome to have all this talent in one building. Our spa is also

PHOTOS BY LAUREN MEDEAN

"The girls here are my family. They have supported me through so many different phases of my life, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.”

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"Our guests are so loyal to us and that brings me so much pride. I know I must be doing something right. I will be forever grateful for the opportunities that have been given to me and the many things they’ve done for me.”


the best we have ever had. Last January the spa hit its all-time record. It’s been a struggle getting back to that after the shutdown and we all have a tough mountain to climb. We are ready, we have the Lord and our best boots on.”

MANAGER FALAN WALKER “At the age of 19, applying for a receptionist position, I never dreamed of the career that was in store for me. I trained side by side with Jacqueline and Danny on how to run a business. I was shown how honesty, integrity, and passion leads to success. I love running the company and mostly I love all my staff. I have always been a hard worker and every day I look forward to whatever the day brings. Our guests are so loyal to us and that brings me so much pride. I know I must be doing something right. I will be forever grateful for the opportunities that have been given me and the many things they’ve done for me.”

ASSISTANT MANAGER NICOLE GLENN “I started at Avante when I was in cosmetolog y school. I was g iven a m a zing

opportunities to grow in marketing, escalating our social media and now being an assistant manager all with the support of Jacqueline and Danny. I honestly don’t know what I would have done had I not found Avante seven years ago. The girls here are my family. They have supported me through so many different phases of my life, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.”

LVL 6 TOP STYLIST/OWNER JAMIE BUNTON “I've been in my career at Avante for 15 years and have been blessed to have this family. The guests have loved and blessed me with their trust and their loyalty. My team helps me, builds me up and catches me when I fall. The precious company coaches me and will never let me fail. They truly believe in me to be bigger than I ever dreamed. When I came to Avante, I needed more out of my career than just cutting hair and I found more than I ever could have imagined. The life I have, would not be without this team of people. I drive to work every day and take a breath of blessedness. It humbles me to the core to be a part of something so big in this community.”

LVL 6 TOP STYLIST/OWNER EMILIE WOODWARD “Coming into this amazing industry at 18 years old, I had no idea all the opportunities I’d be blessed with simply by choosing Avante as my salon home/family. I’ve been able to grow my guest base very quickly by making them each feel beautiful. I’ve been so blessed to expand my leadership skills and grow other young stylists into this industry through educating and coaching. I became a partner of the salon company at the age of 26. I’ve had my own coaching thru my entire career with our passionate owners Jacqueline and Danny. They helped me goal set, achieve personal development, and held me accountable to my goals. I have had the opportunity to travel, have babies, go out of state for education, have insurance and paid vacations all in the support of the salon company. I have my dream career, balance, support, and most importantly, I have the best salon family. Avante has provided me with a life I never dreamed possible.”

E M I L I E , FA L A N , N I C O L E , J A I M I E

"We have the absolute most talented group that we have ever had. Now we have specialists in every area—from Icey Blonding to intricate haircuts and everything in between. It’s really awesome to have all this talent in one building."

"I have my dream career, balance, support, and most importantly, I have the best salon family. Avante has provided me with a life I never dreamed possible.”

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community | FRUIT OF THE VINE

welcome to THE BATTLE! ( S P O I L E R A L E R T – YO U A R E GOING TO WIN!)

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here is a coming-of-age for fruit-bearing Jesus-followers. At some point in your growth in the faith, you will face a drought or a plague or a blight of some kind. That’s when you will discover what your fruit is made of — and

if it can withstand the elements that rail against it. Of course, anyone can face the threat of losing it all, but I’m specifically talking to those who are doing what it takes to bear fruit for the gospel and paying the price. I’m talking to those who are in this Jesus-serving thing up to their necks, whether in secular or religious spaces. Unless we’re bitten by rabid self-ambition, our contribution doesn’t have to be big. All our meaning-craved souls really need is for it to be fulfilling, to feel like we’re actually working with God instead of trying to coax Him into working with us. But this coming-of-age isn’t typically marked by a personal sense of thriving. Rather, it’s marked by a harrowing suspicion that somebody out there hates you. Somebody . . . big and powerful and vicious and patient and deceptive and alluring and beautiful and terrifying

You might be tempted to think that God tricked you into something and then refused to support you. Or that He talked you into something beyond your natural abilities and then abandoned you, leaving you to fend for yourself.

If this reads like your present season, it’s likely you are awakening to the war. Your eyes just

and knowledgeable.

LIVINGMAGAZINE.NET

If the devil is doing his best work, you will think the somebody in question is God. There will be times you’re convinced to your bones that God Himself is opposing the very thing He called you to do. Rather than believing that the One who called you is faithful to perform it (1 Thessalonians 5:24), you may feel like the One who called you is systematically, frustratingly keeping you from performing it.

When the devil is doing a superb job, you may feel like God called you and then changed His mind about you, as if He didn’t know who He was getting when He chose you.

and mean

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Somebody who knows your secrets. Your effective fruit bearing imposes the biggest threat to his agenda. His primary interest in your secrets is in leveraging them most effectively to stifle, smear, or stop your successes.

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haven’t adjusted to the darkness yet. See if any of these statements have a familiar ring to them:

You didn’t know serving God would be like this.

W hen you sur rendered to Jesus, you had no idea what you were stepping into.

You figure you must have done something wrong for it to be this hard. It wasn’t like this when you started.

You must have been too prideful. Maybe you enjoyed serving too much.

Your previous fruit must have all been a fluke. You’re a one-work wonder.

You’re too embarrassed to tell anyone about the battle you’re in. They’ll think you brought it all on yourself.

If you’re single, the challenges you’ve navigated with minimal effort before now loom over you like a tidal wave. Methods you’ve sworn by and shared with others no longer seem to be working. If you’re married, your marriage, which you’ve boasted about publicly, now looks like it’s about to go up in smoke. If you’re a parent, your kids, who up until now have been obediently fulfilling your own dreams and making you tremendously proud, look like they’re coming unhinged. The remarkable blessings of God on your job, your serving life, or your ministry now seem bafflingly absent. Your rising star feels like a sinking stone. Half the time, you may think you’re losing your mind, and you hope nobody has noticed. You’re getting criticized. You’re attracting a lot of opposition. You daydream about quitting and moving to a remote island, wearing loincloths, drinking milk out of coconuts, and swimming with dolphins. At night, you have nightmares that you hung in there in your calling and it slaughtered you. Congratulations. You have come of age. What you’re going through is how it goes for nearly everyone who’s serious about serving Jesus. Now that you’ve come of age and had the faith and the audacity to bear much fruit, you have come of notice to the devil. Simultaneously, your unstoppably faithful God, who loves you immeasurably, has made a covenant at the Cross not only to save you but to conform you to the image of His Son.

and business, platform and position, notoriety and name making, marketing, carnality, self-importance, celebrity, and branding? After the fiercest battle of your life, when you are no longer naive, what will you do? Will you just go with the current and figure degeneration naturally follows regeneration? Or will you fight to get a pure heart back? Will you delegate to someone else the fight for the ground God entrusted to you? Or will you fight with everything you’ve got until you’re bloody and bruised? Coming of age is the most critical intersection of your calling. It’s the place of Spirit and slaughter. It’s the corner where you take one of two turns: either your fruitfulness will be devoured by the devil or your own flesh, or you will allow God to crucify your ego, fear, and lethargy and raise you to be immensely fruitful for His gospel. If you’re in a season of pestilence, fight it out. If you’ve gotten sloppy, tighten it up. If you’re neck deep in sin, repent. Go back on your face before God. Open a Bible and plant your nose in it. Memorize Scripture. Learn how to fast and pray. Quit talking about Jesus more than you talk to Him. Quit letting your mouth overshoot your character. Become that person you’ve made fun of for taking Jesus too seriously. Live and love valiantly. Give generously. Help the poor. You’ll come out on the other side of every well-fought fight with something far better than an immense quantity of quality fruit. You’ll come out knowing Jesus in a way you formerly believed He couldn’t be known.

Out of His exquisite grace, His obligation is to grow you up. And there is anguish in growing up. Among other things, growing up forces us to face the deceiver and pretender in our own mirror. If this is the season you find yourself in, I can fairly confidently assure you it won’t always be this brutal. It will always be hard. At times it will be horrific. But this season of eye bulging, nobody-ever-said-it-would-be-like-this pestilence won’t last forever. Much of the war against the devil is about whether you’ll quit. Or whether you’ll get sloppy. Or whether you’ll hang on to what drove you in the beginning: Jesus. Scripture. Godly passion. Holiness. And it’s not just about hanging on to these things but about pressing further into them, with fresh faith. Questions like these have particular relevance in the culture surrounding us: Will we resolve to do what it takes to become a bona fide, tested-and-tried disciple of Jesus Christ — bearing what we have to bear, learning what we have to learn, denying what we need to deny, and embracing all there is to embrace? Or will we slip into the seductive black hole of busyness

Taken from Chasing Vines: Finding Your Way to an Immensely Fruitful Life by Beth Moore. Copyright © 2020. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved. Beth Moore (@BethMooreLPM) is a dynamic teacher whose Bible studies and conferences have taken her across the globe and reached millions. A wife, mother, and grandmother, Moore lives in Houston, where she leads Living Proof Ministries with the purpose of encouraging and reaching women to know and love Jesus through the study of Scripture. Her first book with Tyndale, So Long, Insecurity, reached the New York Times Best Sellers List, with over one million copies of the book and associated products in print since 2010.

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WARM

Fu zz& y As temperatures drop, the need to take the chill out of the air rises. Whether your style calls for a classic turtleneck, elegant ruffles, or a Nordic twist, it’s easy to find a flawless fit to snuggle up with this winter.

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KAREN KANE Drop Shoulder Long Sleeve Colorblock Slouchy Sweater // $89

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PRICES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE AT ANY TIME. PLEASE VISIT DILLARDS.COM FOR CURRENT PRICING INFORMATION.


1.STATE Ruffle Shoulder Long Sleeve Sweater // $79

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ELAN Criss Cross Front Slouchy Turtleneck Sweater // $89

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GIANNI BINI Dani Slouchy Cropped Mock Neck Sweater // $89

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FREE PEOPLE Jupiter Cowl Neck Long Sleeve Cropped Pullover Sweater // $148

FREE PEOPLE Snow Globe Mixed Media Pullover Sweater // $148

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wellness

USE IT OR

lose it

T H E C O U N T D OW N H A S B E G U N F O R S P E N D I N G YO U R F S A P R E -TA X D O L L A R S BY PE TE ALFAN O

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he countdown has begun for spending your FSA pre-tax dollars Flexing is not something that is done only in

gyms or in front of a mirror when you think no one is watching. In the healthcare industry, flexing means having a Flexible Spending Account, or FSA, which contributes pre-tax dollars for goods and services not covered by an employer’s comprehensive group medical plan.


NEED A DOCTOR? thedocguide.com A comprehensive guide to the area’s healthcare professionals

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wellness | USE IT OR LOSE IT

FSA Coverage People may be surprised to learn about the items and services that can be paid for with an individual FSA account and family account (HCFSA.) Here are a few. For a comprehensive list, visit FsaStore.com.

In 2020, employees could designate a maximum of $2,750 to an FSA account or HCFSA, which covers a family. If there are two wage earners in the family, each could contribute $2,750 to an individual FSA but claim $5,000 as a family. The primary benefit of using pre-tax dollars is lowering your tax burden with the IRS and paying for things that are not part of your medical coverage. This enables you to save several hundred dollars on federal taxes, depending on your tax bracket. And the list of things you can buy and the eligible services under an FSA is wide-ranging. Everything from aspirin and over-the-counter cold remedies to sunscreen, wheelchairs, and in special cases, daycare and airfare are included. FSA plans were introduced in the 1970s and adjusted to include over-the-counter drugs in 2003. But it can be tricky. Vitamins are not deductible unless used to treat a specific health issue, such as iron deficiency or prenatal vitamins. Perhaps that is why even though more than 80% of large employers (500 employees) offer an FSA, and 33 million Americans enroll in one, a significant majority don’t completely understand what is and is not an eligible deduction. The plan is based on a calendar year with a use-it-or-lose-it provision. You must use the money contributed to an FSA by December 31st. Any balance cannot be carried over, although the IRS has granted employers the option to add a two-and-a-half-month carryover period, essentially right up to March 15th when income tax returns are due. But that is at the discretion of the employer. What are the drawbacks of an FSA? If you contribute to an IRA or 401k retirement plan that also involves contributing pre-tax dollars, you can be leaving yourself short on takehome pay with an FSA. If you leave for another job, you lose whatever balance is in your FSA, and you cannot change your plan unless there is a qualifying event during the year, such as a change in employment status, marital status, or the birth of a child. In the past, employees would have to submit receipts for FSA expenses and be reimbursed by their employer. Now, an FSA debit card is issued and can be used like a bank debit or credit card. But keep your receipts, anyway, for verification if Uncle Sam comes calling. So, if you have an FSA, now is a good time to use whatever balance remains and to doublecheck on what is deductible.

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Co-pays (medical, dental, and vision)

Aspirin

Cold remedies

Cough drops

Antihistamines

Substance abuse treatment

Acupuncture (with a letter of medical necessity)

Infrared forehead thermometer and pulse oximeter (helpful during a pandemic)

Adhesive bandages

• Reading glasses or contact lenses •

Sunscreen (SPF 15 and higher)

Canes, walkers, and crutches

• Exercise equipment (with a letter of medical necessity) •

Batteries (if needed to power medical device)

Airfare (if needed to see an out- of-town doctor)

Daycare, extended care, or after school care (if a parent(s) require it to be able to work)


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wellness

H E A LT H Y Holidays ‘TIS THE SEASON TO TAKE CARE OF YOU BY DAVID BU ICE

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ver 2,000 years ago, Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine, wrote, “If someone wishes for good health, one must first ask oneself if he is ready to do away with the reasons for his illness.”

As a new year approaches with the usual number of resolutions, many based on a desire for better health, a health self-assessment might well be in order. Here are three fundamental questions to ask yourself if you’re ready for a healthier and more fulfilling life in the coming year.

Am I eating a healthy diet? In our fast-paced age, most Americans are consuming far too much food that’s not good for us – burgers and fries, pizza, sugar-laden sodas, and highly caffeinated drinks. We could be much healthier if we slowed down a bit, taking the time to prepare our meals with large quantities of fresh fruits and vegetables and lean meats. Beyond better health, a side-effect is that you’ll probably save money as the cost of fast food adds up quickly.

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Am I getting enough exercise? For many of us, the answer is a resounding “No.” Most exercise experts recommend a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week for good health. And the activity doesn’t all have to be done at one time. It can be broken up into 10 to 15-minute segments, or even less. It helps to take frequent breaks from the computer screen and move around for a minute or two. Every step and every minute of movement contributes to better health. Am I taking time to relax? Many of us believe

if we’re not doing something “productive,” we’re wasting time, and that conviction makes it difficult to relax. In reality, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to slow down and take time each day to relax. Listen to your favorite music or settle in for a while with that novel you’ve always wanted to read and give your mind and body time to rest and restore themselves. Once you’ve answered these questions, set one realistic goal, and work to achieve it. When that’s accomplished, move on to another and then another in pursuit of a healthier, happier life in 2021.


join our team WE'RE GROWING

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aesthetics

A B O U T Face B AT T L I N G T H E B R E A KO U T S BEHIND THE MASK BY C H R I S T I BL E VIN S

s if 2020 hasn’t given us enough to worry about, now our complexions must contend with the dreaded maskne. Maskne is a cutesy name for acne or rashes caused by wearing face masks, but there is nothing cute about it. If it makes you feel any better, the medical term is acne mechanica, which doesn’t even register on the cute meter.

A

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ABOUT FACE

Maskne tends to occur on your chin, cheeks, and across the bridge of your nose. This is not a new phenomenon. Surgeons have dealt with it for years, as have athletes who wear helmets with straps, but COVID-19 has brought it to the masses. Best practices for avoiding maskne • Wear cotton masks when possible. Cloth masks should be washed after every use. You can wash them by hand or toss them in the washing machine. • If you wear disposable masks, get a fresh mask at least once a day and do not reuse them. • Your mask should be snug, but not overly tight. • Take this opportunity to skip the makeup on your chin, cheeks, and nose. You can apply makeup only to the areas not covered by a mask, and no one will be the wiser. Think of your skin as an ecosystem There’s a lot going on with your skin. Estimates are that one square centimeter of skin plays host to about a million microbes, including good and bad bacteria, yeasts, and fungi. When you wear a mask, you increase the humidity level within that ecosystem, much like a terrarium from an elementary school science class. While a thriving community of organisms is cool in a terrarium, it’s not ideal for your chin. There are some

• Put on a clean mask. If you must wear a mask

things you can do to keep your skin’s ecosystem in

for long periods, consider slipping into a fresh

balance.

mask after a meal.

Be kind to your skin by hydrating inside and out. Drink

• When you remove a mask, clean your face.

plenty of water, and don’t skip applying moisturizer.

Many dermatologists recommend keeping

Drinking water is a no-brainer since dehydration can

facial wipes in your car so you can do a quick

cause dry skin, which can trigger breakouts. Make a

swipe as soon as you take off your mask.

conscious effort to up your water intake during the

• When selecting products, look for things

times you aren’t wearing a mask. Applying moisturizer to acne-prone areas may seem counterintuitive, but the right, lightweight moisturizer can provide a shield for the parts of your face covered by a mask. Make a clean break from breakouts • Gently cleanse your face. • Apply moisturizer and wait about 10 to 15 minutes before donning a mask.

that are gentle and soothing. • Avoid touching your face as much as possible. • Don’t forget to change your pillowcase frequently. Everything that comes in contact with your face should be as clean as possible. • If these steps aren’t enough, schedule a consultation with a dermatologist and say, “Take that, 2020!”

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aesthetics

GET THE wrinkles out BEAUTY BOOSTING OPTIONS FOR THIS HOLIDAY SEASON BY S A M A N T H A GLU CK

e’re in the midst of the holiday season, and the air is buzzing with excitement, plus maybe a little uncertainty because, you know, the pandemic. One thing’s for sure, though, you want to look your best even if the holiday party circuit is thinned out or moves online this year.

W

There’s nothing wrong with a little self-care, but this holiday season, in particular, treating yourself is close to essential. Check out these powerful wrinkle smoothing treatments:

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aesthetics | GET THE WRINKLES OUT

Botox

By now, most people have heard of BOTOX and how it temporarily smooths out wrinkles and fine lines right at their source. You’ll have to endure a few injections in the target areas, but the needle is minuscule, so it’s doable, even if you hate getting shots. It takes one to five days to see results, and they can last for three months or more.

Chemical face peels use specially formulated chemical solutions to eliminate damaged skin and are typically available in light, medium, and deep strengths. A light peel will exfoliate your skin’s surface. But if you need help with wrinkles and age spots, opt for a medium or deep peel since those and other issues originate in the skin’s deeper layers.

SkinPen

T he medium and deep peels require some downtime, so you’ll want to plan this a couple of weeks before any holiday engagements. These treatments are safe for almost all skin types and textures, but you may want to choose another option if you have extra sensitive skin.

SkinPen, also called microneedling, uses a pen-like device with multiple hair-like needles that gently glides over the skin on top of a layer of serum, erasing fine lines and promoting collagen production. The treatment takes about 30 minutes, and most people experience little to no downtime. You’re likely to notice some localized redness resembling a sunburn and some minimal swelling. This can last two to four days, over which you shouldn’t wear makeup, so plan your appointment at least a week before any holiday festivities. After swelling and redness subside, you’ll notice an immediate result, with maximum results visible three to six months post-treatment, which can last up to a year.

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Chemical Peel

Skincare Products

Invest in medical-grade skincare products. Some formulations require a doctor’s prescription, but, with regular use, they result in an overall smoother texture and promote healthy skin cell turnover. Whether you’re partying at home this year or sipping your champagne during an unconventional Zoom video party, you deserve to be beautiful.


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homestead

C O M F O R T & Joy MERGE CHRISTMAS DÉCOR WITH EXISTING THEMES TO SET THE STAGE FOR THIS HOLIDAY SEASON BY C OU RTN E Y WARRE N

News flash: you don’t have to decorate for Christmas with red and green. Now, for some of you, this is old news. But for others, this revelation is completely liberating. I mean, red and green are what Christmas is “supposed” to be, right? Your grandma, maybe even your mom, TOLD you so. Or at least they never had any other combo. From the cross stitch red stockings on the mantel to the red and green Christmas tree place settings on the table, the message was — don’t mess with traditional Christmas colors.

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Courtney Warren is a Dallas area interior designer whose award-winning design work has been featured in numerous national magazines and media and whose clients span the North Texas area.


COMFORT & JOY PHOTOS BY MICHELLE THURGOOD PHOTOGRAPHY

But that was then, and this is now. Go ahead and hit the reset button because you can decorate for the holidays with colors that coordinate with the decor you already have in your home. Here are some tips and examples on how to pull out the stops and create your most fabulous and welcoming Christmas decor ever. Start with the right tree // My unswerving counsel about the Christmas tree is “go big or go home.” Once you’ve chosen colors that optimize your home’s decor and you’ve picked your tree, you’ll want to use oversized ornaments and fill it with an extravagant variety of shapes, sizes, and textures. A good rule of thumb is, if you can see much of the tree, you don’t have enough ornaments! To achieve an over-the-top look that coordinated with my client’s home decor, we used a rose gold, copper, and silver scheme. Glass finials, bulbs, and ball ornaments fill every inch of this gorgeous tree. Don’t forget the ribbon, especially the big, wide, glitzy ribbon — it’s my holiday secret weapon. I love the wide metallic mesh ribbon that curls and swirls around and between large ornaments. Wide satin ribbons are another option — metallic plaids or a black and white awning stripe, as well as shimmering organdy, rich velvets, and beaded anything. Look for an alternative to the single star at the top of the tree and opt instead for a knock-your-socks-off topper. Don’t be shy about large clusters of shiny, sparkly, ribboned elements of all kinds that crown your tree in the lavish manner it deserves.

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homestead | COMFORT & JOY PHOTOS BY MICHELLE THURGOOD PHOTOGRAPHY

Match your gift wrap to your holiday décor // Do you want a real designer touch? Consider gift wrap color. Would you conjure up fabulous blush and metallic trees and then place red or green packages under them? Of course not! This is a simple detail that makes a significant impact on the look of the overall room. Now, this doesn’t mean that humble kraft paper need not ever apply. For example, if your home’s decor says, “vintage cottage” or “classic farmhouse” or even “modernist minimal,” and you love subtle colors of nature, artisanal objects, and wood tones, your tree will, of course, reflect that aesthetic. So have fun embellishing it with your natural or woodland theme and then match your papers to your tree. Wrap those packages in brown kraft paper and insert a sprig of rosemary in the twine bow with my blessing. For more fun, have the kids decorate the paper. Make it magical // There’s never a better time to bring dazzling, unexpected elements to your interiors than during the holidays. Whether it’s a 10-foot tree, a colossal wreath of shimmering glass balls, or an extravagantly sized floral creation on your table, dive in and style like a boss. We brought in a stunning oversized sleigh bedecked with garlands of rose gold and silver ornaments and then filled it with wrapped gifts. Go ahead, be inspired to create something truly elaborate and unforgettable in your home. It is the most wonderful time of the year. Embrace non-traditional colors // I’ve given you permission to forego red and green in favor of the colors that are already in your home. Navy? Grey and white? Blush and bashful? How exciting to create a holiday theme in your favorite colors! Just add some greenery (which could be white or metallic) and some glitzy accents, and you’re halfway there. In my client’s home, blush tones and mixed metallics were already in play. Her festive decor is an extension of that theme, but of course, with more shine and

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glamor. And why have just ONE tree? I like to carry the joy (and color scheme) throughout the house and having multiple trees is one trick I use to accomplish that. The holidays mean food and gathering around the table, so these special days are a perfect opportunity to set a festive spread with plenty of sparkle. To bring in the winter wonderland, we didn’t spare the wow factor — we used plenty of mixed metals, from rose gold to champagne to silver. For a centerpiece, shimmery fruits dazzle in large footed silver bowls surrounded by silver and pearl stylized Christmas trees. All the reflective surfaces bounce the light around the room. I love the gold magnolia leaf chargers under the striking geometric black and white plates. We finished off this sophisticated setting with rose gold flatware and an extra-large gold jingle bell tied with a delicate organdy ribbon. 2020 has been a crazy year, right? If the prospect of decorating for the holidays brings out only a sigh or a groan, it may be time to shake up your approach. Set those boxes of old, tired things aside for donation. Go out on a limb by looking around your house and asking yourself, “What do I really like?” When you’ve answered that question, you’re on your way to creating a vibrant new holiday look in your home. It may be red and green — but then again, it might not! And that personal touch is what will make your holiday decor special.


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MERRY Christmas

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homestead

UNDECK the halls TIPS FOR STORING YOUR HOLIDAY DÉCOR BY C H E RY L A L E X A N DE R

any times, undecking the halls after a jolly, happy Christmas is less Fa-LaLa-La and more bah humbug. However, with a packing plan, you might just leave the holiday with some of your cheer intact. Here are some storage tips to prevent your precious ornaments from getting smashed and make it easier to set up next year.

M

STEP ONE: Throw stuff away Start by getting rid of: • Items with broken pieces • Items that you no longer display • Lights that no longer work • Anything that no longer looks good with the rest of your decorations If a decoration is still in working order but just doesn’t fit with your style any longer, donate it to a local charity. STEP TWO: Separate items by use and type For this step, you’ll want to create a separate pile for each of the below groups of items: • Indoor string lights • Outdoor string lights • Outdoor • Ornaments and ornament holders • Christmas trees • Wreaths • Garland • Tinsel • Village houses • General Christmas décor • Gift wrapping supplies

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Ready to start packing now? Here are more storage ideas to consider: 1. USE CLEAR RESEALABLE BAGS To keep ornaments sorted by color, use clear gallon bags from your kitchen so that next year, assessing your stash will be super easy. 2. ARTIFICIAL TREE STORAGE If you store your artificial tree in the garage, shrink wrapping it with saran wrap will keep it clean and protected. Next year, slice up the side of the wrap with scissors and fluff the branches into shape. Another idea is to use dust sheets to create bags for the top, middle, and bottom pieces of your artificial tree. You can still store them in your garage all year long without worrying about them getting flat or dirty. 3. SAVE MONEY WITH SALVAGED CONTAINERS If plastic storage is not in your budget, then procure a few wine boxes with cardboard dividers, which you can fold and cut as needed. Layer two to three ornaments wrapped in tissue paper into each slot, placing heavier ones on the bottom. Use egg cartons for tiny trinkets, plastic produce containers or shoeboxes for bigger baubles, and paper-towel tubes for tinsel garlands.

Organize within these groups as necessary. For example, if you have multiple trees, each with a designated set of ornaments, group together the ornaments that go on the same tree and keep each tree and group separate. STEP THREE: Untangle strings and strands Don’t simply pile your string lights. Prevent any tangles by using hangers, plastic wrap, cardboard, or cord reels, and if you’re tight on space, choose the method that keeps your lights as condensed as possible. STEP FOUR: Separate out fragile and breakable items Within each of your groupings, separate the fragile while keeping like items grouped together, i.e. all your breakable village houses together, all your breakable general décor together, etc. Remember that something doesn’ t have to be glass or ceramic to be considered f rag ile. Many Chr istmas decorations have tiny, intricate pieces, so if you’re worried it could get broken, separate it into a breakables pile. STEP FIVE: Gather your storage containers and boxes Use separate containers for each of your organized piles. Keep in mind that plastic provides environmental protection from moisture and dust and can be used year after year. The time you invest this season in organizing and protecting your holiday décor as you pack up will undoubtedly make decking your halls for next year even more joyful than usual.


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SCENTS OF THE

SE A SON

SIMPLE YULETIDE CRAFTS FOR A WARM, WELCOMING HOLIDAY HOME BY AUDRE Y AS HE

What comes to mind when you think of the December holidays? The comforting taste of a secret family recipe, the twinkling baubles around the house, the flickering shadows and crackle of a warming fire? But wait, isn’t something missing? Familiar, nostalgic holiday scents, of course! There’s something about December’s sweet, woodsy, and spicey scents that have the power to send everyone back to the magical, cherished moments of childhood. Take a walk with me down memory lane as we explore some fun, crafty, and delectable ways to cap off your year and fill your home with classic holiday scents.

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Handmade Non-edible

Cinnamon Cookie Ornaments That’s right, cookies aren’t just for eating. These craft cookies make cute ornaments to keep for yourself and give to friends. And they’re a fun way to keep the kids busy for a while. In a bowl, mix together: 1 cup cinnamon ¾ cup applesauce 1 Tbsp. cloves 1 Tbsp. nutmeg 2 Tbsp. Elmer’s glue Roll the dough out to one quarter inch thickness. Cut into your favorite holiday shapes, punch holes in the tops with a straw, and transfer the pieces to parchment paper. Dry them slowly in a 200° oven for 1 ½ to 2 hours until they are dry but not cracked. Alternatively, set them out to dry in a sunny spot for four to five days. When dry, adorn them with glitter glue, paint pens, you name it! Or go the traditional route by gluing on sprinkles and candies. Hang them on the tree or in any room as an aromatic ornament. String them up in a kitchen or across the mantel as a fragrant garland.

Homemade Slow-cooker

Mulled Cider What better to entertain your friends’ and family’s noses and tastebuds than with a sweet, spicy elixir?

Sweet, Refreshing Evergreen Scents

Bring the Outdoors Inside

Nothing is more timeless, versatile, and st ylish than an arrangement of evergreen boughs. Look for fresh, fragrant, flexible boughs with bright needles and slightly sticky to the touch. Try combing pine, cedar, fir, spruce, and other wintry trimmings to blend and maximize the scent of the outdoors. Tie boughs together and arrange safely around a candle centerpiece. Attach them to a wire hoop to make a wreath and embellish it with different pinecones for a natural look. Wrap them around to your bannister and railings. Create garlands and swags to hang over doorways. Drape a bough over your mantel for a simple, rustic look.

For this delicious drink recipe, you will need: 1 gallon unfiltered apple juice 1 medium orange, slices cut into one quarter inch pieces 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, cut into quarter inch slices 4 to 5 cinnamon sticks 1 Tbsp. cloves Add all ingredients into the slow cooker and simmer on low for a minimum of 4 hours. Serve and garnish with orange peel. Not only will this fill your home with one of the most classic Yuletide scents, it will satisfy your sweet tooth and warm you up on cold winter nights. For a mature kick, add a nip of dark rum or bourbon before serving.

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STAYING CONNECTED, HONORING TRADITIONS, AND MAKING NEW MEMORIES THIS CHRISTMAS BY JENNY TIMBERLAKE BELLAMY

t Christmastime, my mind swirls with a lifelong collection of sights, scents, sounds, and flavors that are unique unto this season. I remember childhood Christmases when our table was crowded with many family members now long gone. I vividly recall the first time I was old enough to hold my own flame in the sanctuary at midnight service on Christmas Eve, the way my father tipped his candle to mine, sharing his light with me, the most tender smile spread across his face. Now that I have children of my own, my dear parents elderly, under my roof and in my care, my three sisters’ children grown and launching lives, I find myself smack in the middle of the generations, holding guard over the time spent, the time remaining, keeping old memories alive, eager to make more, all the while keenly aware that this Christmas, like everything else in 2020, will be different. Finding ways to still share special traditions and make memories is more important this year than maybe ever before. To be together, even apart. Looking to the past for ways to mark the present is an easy way to do just that. When my sisters and I found ourselves grown, we rang Marmie, our mother, incessantly for her recipes.

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Finding ways to still share special traditions and make memories is more important this year than maybe ever before.


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And so, began The Daughters’ Dish Directions Diary. It started one Christmas with binders for each of us filled with eighty pages of family recipes. My mother gifted us with stories, memories, bits of wisdom, pro tips, and inside jokes sprinkled between the ingredients and directions for our most favorite foods, from our grandfather’s icebox cookies to my botched sweet potato Mackey. The following Christmas, Marmie added to it, and now every year for more than twenty Christmases, my sisters and I find our pages stacked neatly, bound with ribbon and a sprig of rosemary from our mother’s garden, and we add them to our now bulging binders. This year, we might not be together traditionally, but we will no less all pull from these same pages, and know that we are together in spirit, sharing the meal we would have enjoyed together across the miles, knowing all the good, bad, and hilarious of what they’ve meant to us all. Typically, my sisters and I have a bake off each holiday, and force our father to choose between us. The winner takes bragging rights and makes it into next year’s pages. Even though there will be no taste tests this year, we compete no less. The next best thing is picture perfect presentations, may the best sister win. These are the ways that we can be together and use our memories to create something still special in these uncertain times. This is how we share our light. I encourage you to go back to gifts of the heart, dig into your family traditions, find a way to adapt them to whatever circumstance you find yourself in, and share them however possible, however safely. I wish you all the thrill of hope that can be found this season.

MARMIE’S CHRISTMAS GOOSE INGREDIENTS: One good goose – eight to ten pounds will do One orange, one apple – quarter them both One orange – sliced nice One pomegranate – halved Three stalks of celery and two small bundles of flat-leaf parsley One entire stick of butter, plus a pat or two for the slather Healthy pinches, a few of each - salt and pepper Bacon INSTRUCTIONS: Preheat your oven to 350°. Rinse your goose good. You’ll need to pat it dry but do not use your best dishtowel, get the ugly one — salt and pepper inside the cavity. Pack with the quartered orange and apple, then put your parsley and that whole stick of butter in there, too. Cross the ankles and tie them together with kitchen twine. Place in a baking pan, slather the outside in butter, then sprinkle with salt and pepper, rub it in. Put your goose in that preheated oven (or wait with regret for skipping my first instruction, tsk), and bake for two hours. After two hours, pull out and dress the top up with your strips of bacon, don’t be lazy, make it pretty. Return to the oven for 30 minutes. Remove your goose, allow it to rest for 15 to 20 minutes. Place on a platter, festoon with the nice sliced orange and pomegranate, tuck the remaining parsley underneath and feel just so festive and fine. It’s delicious every time.

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RAISE A GLASS TO BRANDS THAT ARE STIRRING UP SUPPORT FOR GREAT CAUSES

THE SPIRIT OF GIVING We have drifted from autumn to winter, and now it’s time to prepare for the joyful season ahead. Whether you’re untangling the tinsel or trimming your tree, get shaking and try one (or all) of these festive cocktails. Every pour gives back a little more! BY TERRIS BRICKER AND HEATHER WITHERSPOON

THE CINNAMON STICK

THE CINNAMON AND CLOVE notes add warmth, but the charred oak stave in the bottle is what really gives this bourbon its exceptionally smooth taste. Big Stick Bourbon isn't just passionate about crafting quality bourbon — they're also passionate about giving back to several military and law enforcement charities that help support the families of fallen heroes. A mission we can all cheers to! Find it at BigStickSpirits.com. INGREDIENTS: 2 oz. Big Stick Bourbon 1 Tbsp. brown sugar simple syrup 3 dashes citrus bitters BROWN SUGAR SIMPLE SYRUP: 1 cup light brown sugar 1 cup water 1 tsp. vanilla extract ¼ tsp. cinnamon Combine sugar, water, vanilla, and cinnamon into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 10 minutes until thick. Set aside and let cool. INSTRUCTIONS: Place the bourbon ice or ice sphere in the glass. Combine ingredients and shake with ice — strain into glass. Garnish with a toasted cinnamon stick.

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THE PECAN PIE MARTINI

NATURALLY CRAFTED vodka made in small batches with Mississippi pecans, and Louisiana cane sugar, this southern treat is sure to please any crowd. Just as pecan pie is deeply rooted in holiday tradition, Cathead Distillery aligns itself with foundations that help keep southern culture alive. So, sit back, relax , and “support live music”… one sip at a time. Find it at CatheadDistillery.com. INGREDIENTS: 1 oz. Cathead Pecan Vodka 1 oz. Irish cream liquor 1 ½ oz. heavy cream INSTRUCTIONS: Combine ingredients and shake with ice — strain into glass. Rim the glass with caramel syrup and dip in chopped sugared pecans. Garnish with whip cream and sugared pecan.

THE MISTLETOE MEDLEY

GRAY WHALE GIN’S ingredients are inspired by California’s coastline, making their Mistletoe Medley cocktail as merry and bright as the state it comes from. A portion of profits supports Oceana, an organization that helps protect and restore the world’s oceans and marine life, including the California Gray Whale. Find it at GrayWhaleGin.com. INGREDIENTS:

CRANBERRY SIMPLE SYRUP:

2 oz. Gray Whale Gin

1 cup fresh cranberries

1 oz. cranberry simple syrup

1 cup sugar

1 oz. lemon juice

1 cup water

1 egg white Combine cranberries, sugar, and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 10 minutes until thick. Set aside and let cool. Add to food processor and blend until smooth. INSTRUCTIONS: Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice — strain into glass. Garnish with lemon twist or a few frozen cranberries and a rosemary sprig.

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BY MIMI GREENWOOD KNIGHT

EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION Wrapping and Ramping Up

Finishing the first semester strong and preparing for a solid return back-to-school Look how far we’ve come. This time last year, few of us knew anything about remote, hybrid, distance, or virtual learning,

Take a family trip to the library

homeschooling,

Don’t let time away from school be time away from learning. Look for library story times. If you are traveling, check out a family-friendly audiobook for the car. Expand kids’ reading skills by challenging them to read books on new topics. Encourage immerging readers to practice reading out loud to you or even a pet. Or read a book together and hold a family book club meeting.

telecommuting, or social distancing. It’s been a huge learning curve all around. Let’s give ourselves an “A” for effort, take a big breath, and finish out this year strong. Winter break can be a great time to

Get out in nature

relax and regroup by

We may not have ski slopes beckoning with fresh powder, but winter is a great time to take family hikes and explore the wonders of nature together. Pack snacks, chronicle your explorations, and remember, a family hike

investing in a little family time.

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isn’t about the destination but enjoying the journey together. Break out the board games Family game night is about connecting. Board games also teach kids to problem solve, strategize, and think critically. They help them bone up on spelling and language, engineering, or other skill sets. And if your kids are lucky enough to have grandparents nearby, game night is a great way to bring generations together. Explore the arts The holidays are the perfect time to cultivate your child’s interest in music, dance, drama, and visual art. Check your community for a


Before your child heads back to school, give their backpack , lunchbox, shoes, coats, sports equipment , and technology a good cleaning according to the manufacturer ’s recommendations. performance of The Nutcracker or a little theatre holiday production. Plan some age-appropriate craft projects such as ornament making. And by all means, don’t forget to do some caroling. Starting back to school strong Has there ever been a year like 2020 where time seems to fly and stand still simultaneously? Yet before we know it, we’ll be packing the kids off to school or settling them back into a routine of home learning. Here are some strategies for starting back strong.

EXTRA TIP The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends kids 6 to 12 get 9 to 12 hours of sleep each night, and kids 13 to 18 get 8 to 10 hours.

Set up a back-to-school routine More than anything, kids crave structure and routine. Sit down together and write out a list of things that need to happen each morning, like eating breakfast, feeding the dog, packing lunches, and dressing. Break chores down by what you can do for them and what they’re ready to do for themselves, then post the list where everyone can see it. Establish good sleep habits The National Sleep Foundation recommends establishing consistent bed and wake times starting a week or two before the first day of school. Young bodies need that time to get into a good sleep rhythm. Talk about returning to school Especially if your child deals with stress or anxiety around schooling, talk to them about their thoughts on returning to their learning routine. Depending on their age, you might construct a story together about going to school and what that will look like. And more than anything, let your child know they can talk with you about anything they’re feeling. Guard your words Our children take their cues from us. If we’re stressed, they’re stressed. If we’re discouraged, they’re discouraged. Show an interest in their schoolwork and facilitate positive attitudes about school with the words you choose. Acknowledge that this year is challenging but let them know you’ll get through it together.

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adventure

J OY F U L

rides

S TA R T YO U R ENGINES FOR SOME FESTIVE FUN BY ANNET T E BRO O KS

“T

he stars at night. Are big and bright. Deep in the heart of Texas.”

And so are the holiday lights in the Lone Star State. From dazzling Christmas displays to twinkling winter wonderland scenes that spread messages of joy, peace, and love, Texans go all-out to celebrate the season. A lthough 2020 may not be chockful of big holiday parties and large family gatherings as years past, let it inspire you to find different ways to spend time with family and create new lifetime memories. One easy way is to hop in the car and take a drive to view holiday light displays. We’ve put together a few ideas for you to consider, but there are so many more to discover. Search online for holiday lights and events in Texas to get a more complete picture of what’s available and updates on any schedule changes RUDOLPH’S LIGHT SHOW IN HOCKLEY

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or cancellations.


JOYFUL RIDES

North Texas FRISCO’S CHRISTMAS IN THE SQUARE Frisco stakes claim to have “the largest choreographed holiday lights and music show in North Texas.” The holiday lights and music display are free to the public and will run daily from 6 PM to 10 PM through January 4, 2021. With over 175,000 lights, 11.5 miles of wiring, and eight miles of extension cords, Christmas in the Square confirms the saying, “Everything is bigger in Texas.” Visit FriscoSquare.com/cits-overview for more information.

RUDOLPH’S LIGHT SHOW IN HOCKLEY

DALLAS ZOO LIGHTS This year, the Dallas Zoo will create a spectacular drive-thru event featuring more than one million sparkling lights and lighted displays. On select nights, between now and January 3, 2021, guests can drive through more than a mile-long route that will include areas of the Zoo rarely open to the public. You will need to purchase a timed ticket in advance from the zoo website. Visit DallasZoo.com/zoolights for more information and ticket pricing per car.

F R I S C O L I G H TS

D A L L A S ZO O

G I F TS O F L I G H TS

H O U STO N ZO O

GRAND PRAIRIE’S PRAIRIE LIGHTS This year’s in-car event runs through December 31, 2020 and will feature four million lights set along a two-mile path. Hundreds of displays will line and arch over the roads with a new light tunnel as the second half of the drive. Ticket prices are per car. Visit PrairieLights.org for details.

TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY GIFT OF LIGHTS IN FORT WORTH Rev up your engine and drive through millions of sparkling lights at the Texas Motor Speedway from now until January 3, 2021. For information about special event days with discounts, visit GiftofLightsTexas.com.

South Texas HOUSTON ZOO LIGHTS Take a ride to the Houston Zoo, then stroll through the grounds and experience the 125-foot-long Infinity Tunnel of Light, marvel how dragons seem to come to life in the 4D Enchanted Forest, and experience “snow” in Texas. The spectacular displays run through January 10, 2021. Visit HoustonZoo.org for more information, to check out special events, and to buy tickets in advance. Tickets will not be available at the door.

RUDOLPH’S LIGHT SHOW IN HOCKLEY Houston’s original Christmas drive-thru is coming to town again until January 3, 2021. Experience the magic of the season as you drive through light tunnels and past giant Christmas trees and snowmen set on acres of land. Open daily from 6:30

PM to 11 PM, the display features over one million lights synced to holiday tunes. Visit RudolphsLightShow.com for tickets. Hockley, Texas, just a few minutes northwest of Cypress.

PRESTONWOOD FOREST NITE OF LITES Houston has so many neighborhoods that pull out the stops for Christmas, it’s not easy to choose which one to highlight. One of the longest-running neighborhood holiday decoration destinations in Greater Houston, Nite of Lites in Prestonwood Forest (Harris County) has been going strong for more than 40 years. Around 700 residences participate annually.

WOODFOREST MERRY & BRIGHT TOUR OF LIGHTS Not to be outdone, the Woodforest community in Montgomery, Texas, is kicking off its tour of lights on November 28, running through December 31. The three-mile drive-thru tour, which begins at Christine Allen Nature Park, will dazzle you with more than 70 light displays. Listen to their prepared Spotify playlist as you enjoy the displays, then stop by Santa’s Workshop for photos and to drop off letters to good ol St. Nicholas himself. The workshop will offer take-home cookie decorating kits, jingle bells, hot cocoa, and more on Saturdays.

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cuisine TIPS AND TRICKS Cranberries will float to the top of the ice cube compartments before they’re frozen. If you want your cranberries to be in the middle of the ice cubes, place them in the tray and only fill each compartment halfway with water. Once the cubes have frozen enough to be stable, fill the remaining area with water and place back in the freezer until frozen.

FILLING

festive

END THE YEAR WITH YO U R G L A S S H A L F F U L L BY M E L I S S A TAT E

HOLIDAY SPRITZER WITH CRANBERRY ICE CUBES MAKES: 4 BEVERAGES INGREDIENTS: 1 cup whole cranberries | 3 cups cranberry juice | 3 cups ginger ale | White wine (if desired) SUPPLIES: Ice tray, any size DIRECTIONS: MAKE cranberry ice cubes several hours before serving. PLACE two to three cranberries in each cube compartment and top with water. If using a large ice cube tray, place four to five cranberries in each cube compartment and top with water. PLACE in the freezer until frozen. PLACE cranberry ice cubes into a glass and add equal parts of liquid. If not using wine, use equal parts cranberry and ginger ale. GARNISH with fresh rosemary and serve.

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FILLING FESTIVE

CHARCUTERIE FOR ONE MAKES: ONE SERVING INGREDIENTS: Snack mix | Mixed nuts | Dried salami | Fruit | Olives | Sliced cheese | Gherkin pickles SUPPLIES: Toothpicks | Cocktail skewers | Wine glasses or other small clear glasses | Star or other shaped cookie cutters DIRECTIONS: LAYER mixed nuts, snack mix, and dried salami in a glass, filling the glass about 2/3 full. PIERCE olives and pearl onions onto a skewer. LAYER mozzarella cheese balls, basil, and grape tomatoes for a Caprese skewer. CUT sliced cheese into fun shapes using the cookie cutters. FILL the remaining 1/3 of the glass with gherkin pickles and small fruit. PLACE assorted skewers into the glass and garnish rim with fruit or shaped cheese.

TIPS AND TRICKS Use microgreens to add a pop of color.

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cuisine | FILLING FESTIVE

TIPS AND TRICKS These trifles can be made with any jam or compote and are perfect for changing with seasonal fruits.

BLACKBERRY TRIFLES MAKES: 8 SERVINGS INGREDIENTS: 1 Small box instant vanilla pudding plus milk for pudding | 1 Premade angel food cake | 1 Jar blackberry jam, jelly, or compote SUPPLIES: Glass jars DIRECTIONS: PREPARE pudding as directed and set aside. CUT angel food cake into cubes and set aside. LAYER jars with angel food cake, pudding, and jam. Layering until the jar is full. END with jam on the top layer and use a toothpick to make swirls in the pudding and jam mixture. SERVE immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to two hours.

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PHOTOS & FOOD BY

MELISSA TATE To follow her cooking adventures visit MelissaTateTX .com or find her on Instagram at

@MELISSATATETX



PINT FULL OF PRIDE

A SMATTERING

of stuff

THAT’S MAKING US SAY “WE LIKE IT!” THIS MONTH BY HE ATHE R WI T H ERSPO O N

From Austin to South Bend, Well Told Designs College Town Pint Glasses are an excellent gift for your family or friends who love to share their team spirit. The 16 oz. pair of glasses are printed with crisp details in the home team’s colors and are designed and made in the USA. $30, WELLTOLDDESIGN.COM THE JOY OF JAZZ I get all the festive feels the minute I hear the musical musings of the great Vince Guaraldi Trio. That’s why I am so jazzed about the possibility of the Peanuts Greatest Hits vinyl spinning on our vintage record player. The album includes 12 of the most memorable recordings from the beloved animated Peanuts television specials and liner notes by Peanuts historian and Guaraldi biographer Derrick Bang. $22, AMAZON.COM TRASH TO TREASURE

P IN T F U LL OF PRI DE

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure is more than just a saying with this Upcycled Puffy “Trash Bag” Tote. Made in Los Angeles out of upcycled puffy jackets, it supports The Open Outdoors for Kids Program, creating pathways for kids to connect with nature with experiential learning and cultural heritage exercises. Each tote sold funds the opportunity for one child to visit a National Park. $54, PARKSPROJECT.US SPREAD SOME CHEER

T H E JOY O F JA ZZ

T R ASH TO TRE ASURE

Chocolate Advent calendars are so last Christmas. Add a little twist to your countdown with the Bonne Maman Preserves Advent Calendar. It’s festively filled with 24 mini spreads, including preserves, jellies, and honey, all made in France using traditional recipes. $40, WORLDMARKET.COM DAILY REFLECTION

SP RE A D S O M E CH EER

DAILY R EFLECTI ON

Start the new year off on January 1st with Daily Devotions for a Great Life by Claudia Williams. This devotional offers 365 themes, like Grace, Practicing Peace, and Serve God by Serving Others. Each day is accompanied by relevant scripture and an area to journal and reflect on your observations. $25, AMAZON.COM

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