Living Magazine January 2018

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Local happenings, community events, and more...


Our 2018 tips for picking the best pro for the job

THE JOY OF JUICE Freshly squeezed recipes

COME SAIL AWAY Cruise into January






Serving our community for over 30 years


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Your Guide To


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2016 & 2017


Amy Beck Patient of Dr. Sandi Hamm

THERE’S A STORY BEHIND EVERY SMILE Everyone wants to have a smile they feel good about,

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The Refreshing Issue


on the cover 16 I EPIC GRAND PRAIRIE in the spotlight


PG. 35



Refresh your Boredrobe


Updating the essentials in your wardrobe



120 Superb Bowl

PAGE 108

124 Rebecca Carrell

A few ideas for hosting a watch party

Help your kids put their best feet forward

in every issue

A few ideas for hosting a watch party





















After the craziness of the holidays,


Misty Daniels, Brandon Daiker, Todd Collom, Don Beene Lisa Landry, Anna Charles, LaRue Novick, Meredith Knight, Derek Gower, Dustin Doskocil, Lauren Medean, Diana Raines Intern Bree Maurin


it’s refreshing to have January blow in, untouched and new, like a calming breath of fresh air. Before us lies an entire year, just waiting for what will happen. What memories will we make? How much will our children and grandchildren grow? What will we check off the old bucket list? Take a deep breath in anticipation. “This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24) If you’re like most, you’re starting off the year resolving to do some things better. Good for you! Living Magazine is here to help with articles on a new year renovation hit list, no-nonsense wellness information, tips on booking and enjoying the perfect cruise, clever beauty tips, and advice to get the second half of the school year off to a good start. Hey, we’ll even help you pull of the ultimate Super Bowl party. From all of us at Living Magazine, may I wish you and yours a blessed and prosperous 2018! “Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31


Donny Stevens Nicole Crenshaw, Van Ngo Jenefer Grady





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Local happenings, community events, and more...


The Refreshing Issue

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Get the January 2018 issue now.


The Epic



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The New Year is a wonderful opportunity to start anew. The calendar and the clock reset offering us renewed energy and spirit. This year will be a pivotal moment in our city’s history. Major projects that have been years, and in some case decades, in the making will come to fruition. However it isn’t just that these projects will be completed that galvanizes this moment. It is the impact these improvements will have that makes them important. The renaissance of historic downtown continues. But with each new piece to the revitalization puzzle, its future as a destination for both residents and visitors becomes clear. The concrete will barely be dry on the new Pond Branch trail before work begins on improvements to both North Main and South Main. The dramatic result will transform Historic Downtown Mansfield. Drivers will take to the new SH 360 South in late spring, improving the commute for residents and opening this vital corridor to new development. It took more than 30 years for its completion, but once SH 360 is open, we expect the southeast

corridor of our city will grow quickly. With a new and more dynamic development plan in place, the Shops at Broad will soon transform the U.S. 287 retail corridor. New retail along with new public facilities and open spaces will infuse our community with an exciting energy and more opportunities for shopping, dining and entertainment. Revitalizing a piece of Mansfield history, opening a major state highway and building a significant commercial development that will positively impact the quality of life in our city and, more importantly, grow and expand our local economy – a benefit for all residents. We look forward to 2018 and what it will mean for our city. Happy New Year!

Mayor David L. Cook Mansfield


Grand Prairie is looking forward to great things in 2018: • A full year of shopping at IKEA Grand Prairie • Opening of Epic Waters Indoor Water Park mid January • Opening of Epic Life Center – a life-changing mega recreation and entertainment venue for all ages – spring 2018 • Opening of PlayGrand Adventures inclusive playground for people of all abilities – summer 2018 • Construction of I-20 frontage roads from SH 161 to Beltline • Opening of the SH 360 extension to US 287 In addition, our Parks Department recently won its second Gold Medal, anointing it best in nation by the National Recreation and Parks Association. ranked Grand Prairie in the top 50 Best Places to Raise a Family in the Nation and ranked us a Safest City in Texas (in top 20 of population 50,000+). Fun, affordable, friendly living with more amenities than most, Grand Prairie is where we… Live Life Grand,

Ron Jensen Mayor, Grand Prairie


The City of Arlington has some of the most beautiful and welcoming neighborhoods in the country. The Neighborhood Matching Grant program was established to make them even better. What could improve your neighborhood? Public art, landscaping, sidewalks, or neighborhood entrance signs? Maybe you’d like to set up tiny free libraries or a community garden. The Neighborhood Matching Grant exists to help beautify and enhance the public spaces in neighborhoods throughout The American Dream City. Neighborhoods can apply, between November 1, 2017, and February 15, 2018, for up to $25,000 to help turn your great ideas into reality, in your neighborhood. Guidebook and applications are available online at Submit your winning idea today. If you haven’t yet caught an episode of Dream Builders on MyArlingtonTV, take some time in the new year to watch as they highlight some of the amazingly talented children growing up in Arlington. Links to recent episodes are available at And as we move forward into 2018, I’d encourage each of you to discover something new about our fabulous city. Visit one of our parks, attend one of our many cultural events, dine out at a restaurant you’ve never visited before, or shop at a store you’ve driven past but never taken the time to explore. Then invite your family and friends from elsewhere to come visit Arlington and discover why this truly is The American Dream City.




STYX This live concert featuring Dennis DeYoung and a six piece band showcases all of the greatest hits from STYX spanning the 70s, 80s, and 90s, including “Lady,” “Babe,” “Come Sail Away,” “Too Much Time On My Hands,” “Best Of Times,” “Mr. Roboto,” “Renegade,” “Blue Collar Man,” “Suite Memories,” “Madame Blue,” “Rockin The Paradise,” and more. All the classic hits, all the memories, one unforgettable evening, one original voice.





Kay Graham (Streep), publisher of The Washington Post, and editor Ben Bradlee (Hanks) pit journalism versus government in 1971 as they struggle with the publishing of excerpts of the Pentagon Papers, which disclose the true history of United States involvement in Vietnam. JANUARY 12


The particularly polite Paddington returns in an already critically acclaimed sequel to 2014’s equally critically acclaimed live-action/animated film. Paddington 2 sees the namesake bear set out to prove his innocence after he is wrongly accused of shoplifting a pop-up book he intended to purchase as a gift.



Liam Page (Roe), a country music artist who left his bride (Rothe) at the altar in pursuit of music stardom, returns home to the small community he abandoned a decade ago for the funeral of a high school friend, and is forced to face the world he left behind. JANUARY 19


Based on the non-fiction novel Horse Soldiers, about U.S. Special Forces sent to Afghanistan in the wake of 9/11, 12 Strong tells the story of their tense partnership with the Northern Alliance to fight the common threat posed by Taliban soldiers and their al-Qaida allies.






From #1 New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury comes a Baxter Family novel about a beloved high school principal who starts a Bible study to improve the lives of his struggling students, only to become the national focus of a controversial lawsuit. This book is inspiring and relevant!











While we check the accuracy of event information prior to press, details can change. Please check with the venue before hitting the road! Still from the trailer for The Post (2017), DreamWorks/Twentieth Century Fox/Amblin Entertainment. All imagery is presented for non-commercial illustrative purposes.





12TH ANNUAL JIGGLE BUTT RUN 5K The Jiggle Butt Run is a certified 5k run/walk for women. Its sole purpose is to promote fitness, well-being, and a healthy and positive attitude in women of all ages and abilities. Approximately 2,000 women participate each year. Proceeds go directly to SafeHaven of Tarrant County, and collection stations on race day collect much needed supplies for the Arlington and Ft. Worth shelters. Celebrate your jiggle with women of all ages and abilities. Get an AWSOME start to a healthy 2018. Visit for details and registration. UT Arlington - University Center


MAGICAL WINTER NIGHTS Come see this spectacular, largerthan-life festival that presents a fresh multicultural take on the traditional light shows at Lone Star Park. There is a Chinese Acrobatic Performance included. Visit for show times. 1000 Lone Star Pkwy. Grand Prairie

JANUARY 8 - 12

2018 ANIMAL ESSAY CONTEST Children in grades 3-6 choose the topic for your grade level and write about those lovable playful fun pets! Winners receive great prizes. Presented by the Arlington Animal Services. Visit





Holiday in the Park is back at Six Flags Over Texas! 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. Our breathtaking winter wonderland features a variety of delightful and interactive activities to help capture the holiday spirit. Arlington



registration needed. Cost: $1 per person at the door. 109 N. Main St. Mansfield

BLUES BROTHERS - TRIBUTE Dan Aykroyd, Judy Belushi and musical director Paul Shaffer present The Official Blues Brothers Revue. Come and hear all of the classics at the Arlington Music Hall. 7:30pm-9:00pm. Visit for details. 224 N. Center St. Arlington



Come join us for a fun movie night! We will be showing “Snow Day”. Doors open at 6 pm, so come early to get a good seat. Movie starts at 7 pm. Concessions will be available for purchase. Limited seats available; first come first served. No

Performance at Theatre Arlington. Appropriate for ages 16 and up. Adult language. Visit for details and show times. 305 W. Main St. Arlington




SNOWMAN RUN The Snowman Run is a 5k race geared towards kids but open to all ages. Special prizes are awarded for best dressed snowman. The race concludes with hot cocoa, s’mores and a huge fire pit. It’s the perfect way to keep your family active and healthy in these cold winter months. Four-legged friends are also invited to join the fun, and can walk or run alongside their owners but must remain on a leash. Dogs are also eligible for the Snowman Costume contest, so grab your pup and his corncob pipe! Katherine Rose Memorial Park, 303 N. Walnut Creek. Visit Mansfield


1920’S MURDER MYSTERY DINNER FUNDRAISER Come out for a roaring good time at our 1920’s Murder Mystery Dinner Party! The night will be full of good food, mystery, photo booth, raffle, cash bar, music and more! This event is a fundraiser to benefit the Diamonds of Distinction organization and the life changing mentorship to young girls that it provides. So come in your best 1920’s threads and be ready to

party with a purpose! Adults only. $40-$60. 7pm. Victor’s Event Room, 1502 Houston St. #100. Grand Prairie


RUN WITH HEART Step out for your health and a good cause. Choose from a half marathon, 5k or one mile fun run/walk. Methodist Mansfield Medical Center. Visit for registration and event details. 2700 E. Broad St. Mansfield


2018 DADDY DAUGHTER DANCE You’re invited to be our guest at the Royal Daddy Daughter Ball! We will have a magical night for you and your daughters to spend an evening together. The Bob Duncan Center will be transformed into an enchanted ballroom for dancing and making memories. Individual tickets include a corsage, refreshments, dinner, dessert, punch, a parting gift/keepsake and a professional photograph. Event will be held your choice of February 9 or 10. Visit for details. Arlington Parks and Recreation


Less Pain, Less Risk, Shorter Recovery. The Surgical Associates of Mansfield are the largest robotic surgery practice in the area, With a whole new level of robotic surgery precision, they are not afraid to tackle complex cases, and take pains to insure each procedure is as minmally invasive as possible, For our patients, this means less pain, shorter recovery, less risk of inection, and less scarring.

Gary K. Alexander, MD, FACS

Jeremy P. Parcells, MD, FACS

Getting you back to enjoying life is our number one priority.

David M. Rutledge, MD, FACS

Surgical Associates of Mansfield

Named Best General Surgery 2016,2017 Named Best Bariatric Surgery 2017 - Dr. Parcells

Winston Chan, MD

Alexander Medical Pavilion 2975 E. Broad St. Suite 200 Mansfield, Texas 76063 (682) 518-8619 15





hether you define the fun you have in Grand Prairie as “recreation” or not - the people, programs, places, and partnerships are redefining what parks, arts, and recreation are in America by showcasing two new label-breaking facilities: The Epic and Epic Waters Indoor Waterpark. Mayor Ron Jensen had a vision. He wanted to give Grand Prairie’s citizens a new place in the middle of the city where people could gather and pursue their interests. The city’s national award-winning Parks, Arts & Recreation Department already boasts over a dozen award-winning parks and recreation centers, but Mayor Jensen felt the city was ready for something even bigger. When he shared his vision with the citizens at his first State of the City after his election, they were more than eager to make it a reality. Grand Prairie’s new facilities, however, are not just the creation of the city officials. Before moving forward, The City of Grand Prairie opened the floor to the citizens, holding dozens of meetings across town


to find out exactly what they wanted. As the people shared their desires, the dream grew. The result, opening to the public soon, is like nothing you’ve seen before. One of the new facilities, aptly named “The Epic,” will give the community everything it needs and more. It has something for all the city’s citizens, no matter their age or interests. The Epic, located at Grand Central just off of Hwy 161, is redefining recreation in America, and includes many “firsts” for North America. Among the amenities are a basketball and futsal court, teen room, yoga room, raised adventure track inspired by American Ninja Warrior, and and over a million dollars’ worth of fitness and CrossFit equipment. Once Grand Prairie citi-

zens have had their fitness fix, they can visit The Epic’s stunning two-level concert venue or the culinary arts cooking theater and classroom, stroll over to the internet radio station, or peek into the recording studio and the artist-in-residence studio loft. Those amenities would be enough to keep any town busy for a while, but the fun at Grand Central doesn’t stop there. It’s also the proud home to Epic Waters, a colossal retractable-roof indoor waterpark for year-round fun that includes Texas’s first double FlowRider surf machine, America’s longest indoor lazy river, and the tallest indoor water ride in North America. Grand Central, which is also the home to The Summit, America’s first baby-boomer facility, will also feature PlayGrand Adventures, an all-inclusive playground for people of all ages and abilities, and the incredible Grand Lawn Amphitheater, which has a capacity of up to ten thousand people. While continuing development at Grand Central, the Parks, Arts & Recreation Department has also been working hard on another project. Grand Prairie’s oldest park, Turner Park, is a beautiful outdoor space complete with creeks, ponds, and other natural amenities. The Department is redeveloping the park so it will qualify as one of Texas’s Legacy Parks. Between these two

Our mission has always been simple: to enhance the quality of life and to create community through people, programs, places, and partnerships.

projects, the Department continues its trend of bringing the citizens together in old ways and new, to honor the city’s past and celebrate its future. The Epic 2960 Epic Place Grand Prairie, Texas 75052 Epic Waters 2970 Epic Place Grand Prairie, Texas 75052 PlayGrand Adventures The Summit 2975 Esplanade Grand Prairie, Texas 75052


TALK OF THE TOWN WALK OF GRATITUDE Alley Cats in Arlington hosted a Walk of Gratitude for children and spouses of fallen soldiers from all over our country. American Airlines donated chartered flights to transport over 1,800 of these Snowball Express participants to enjoy 4 days of fun, relaxation, and entertainment in the Arlington, Fort Worth, and Dallas areas. Alley Cats had the pleasure of hosting 350 of these heroes. A few of the attendees were Mayor Jeff Williams, State Representative Tony Tinderholt, Miss Texas, firefighters, police officers, Sam Houston High School drumline and cheerleaders, the Texas Rangers mascot, and many many more. For more information, go to




TALK OF THE TOWN A DAY AT BOLES JR. HIGH It was an exciting day at Boles Jr. High when we spent the day with these amazing and talented 8th graders for Career Day! Giving these kids a glimpse into the world of publishing a magazine was my pleasure and I enjoyed seeing what type of magazines they would publish if they had the chance.. They were asked to draw the cover of their magazine and here were a couple of our favorites. Thank you Ms. Stone for sharing your classes with us!






TAKING A TEAM APPROACH Those who walk through the doors of Gaydos Duffer, P.C. are on the brink of life-altering changes. Since Lauren Duffer launched her family law practice, she has committed herself to helping ease the difficulty of family transition. “We specialize in all aspects of family law,” she said, “and we welcome all families with compassion, whether creating their family through adoption or assisted reproduction or restructuring their family through divorce. A law career was a natural for Lauren. Growing up with a father who is an attorney, she felt early on that she was fit for the profession and it was a fit for her. In law she has found a career that’s both challenging and rewarding. And with her knack for engendering creative solutions and her passion for helping, family law has been a perfect fit. Encouraged by the growth of her firm, Lauren looks forward to expanding the practice areas that Gaydos Duffer, P.C. handles. The Gaydos Duffer team work together to create a caring and client-oriented environment. All members of the staff play crucial roles and stay up-to-date on developments in clients’ cases. Legal assistants Lindsey Reynolds and Amanda Crowder are always available to help. Lauren’s fellow attorneys at the firm include Brooke Wilson, Courtney Walker, and recently, her earliest professional role model, her father, Larry Gaydos.


Unlike his daughter, Larry never considered a legal career growing up. After graduating from West Point in 1973, he followed his father’s footsteps into the Corps of Engineers, but joined the army-funded legal program a few years later to become a military criminal lawyer. Thereafter, at Haynes and Boone for thirty years, Larry handled white collar and antitrust matters, which is what he continues to handle today. He couldn’t be happier to be partners with his daughter. “We strive to help our clients control their own destiny,” Lauren said, “and we give them as many resources as we can before we consider taking a case to court.” Together, the staff of Gaydos Duffer, P.C. do everything they can to ease the burden of the challenges their clients face. When they are not working hard for other

“Things are happening that are critical to their future and anxieties are running high. By providing our clients with the knowledge and guidance they need, we can empower them to make the best decisions people’s families, Lauren and her father can’t get enough for all involved. We can of their own. They love family time of all types, and take help them help regular family vacations to Aruba and other warm-weather themselves.” destinations. They also share a love of sports. Lauren’s passions lie with her alma mater, Baylor University, while her father’s interests range from the big scale to the small. “I have season tickets to the Texas Rangers and Dallas Cowboys,” Larry said, “but my favorite sporting events are the soccer, baseball, basketball, and football games played by my two grandsons.” Larry and Lauren both reside in Arlington and are past Presidents of the Arlington Bar Association. Together this father/daughter team serves as educators, providing clients with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions for their own wellbeing. “Clients often feel a loss of control and vulnerability, during the litigation process,” Lauren said. “Things are happening that are critical to their future and anxieties are running high. By providing our clients with the knowledge and guidance they need, we can empower them to make the best decisions for all involved. We can help them help themselves.” 1521 North Cooper Suite 710 Arlington, Texas 76011 (817) 548-5643





simple directive painted in black on a small tin background framed in wood sits on my shelf, shouting a much needed reminder. Oh, joy, you have been so elusive. Born with a melancholy personality and an over-analytical mind, true joy has never come easy for me. While some enter the world more carefree and contented, all of us struggle to remain joyful at all times. Yet we are instructed to do so. Practicing Christians often lament to know God’s will, thinking it is some ethereal, mysterious something that takes constant seeking and striving to know and do. We want a rhema word from God, assuming it will be better than His logos. Does God choose to reveal specific life direction before we follow the plans He’s already outlined? I


Does anyone else find these directives challenging? This time of year many of us make New Year’s Resolutions, either consciously or subconsciously, hoping to have a better year than the one before. More often than not, we make too many resolutions and few of us achieve the lifestyle changes we desire. This year, I plan to focus only on God’s plan for my life as stated in His Word. I will choose joy. I will pray unceasingly. And by his grace (His power given to me to do His will) I will give thanks, in ALL things. How will this be accomplished? Through the renewing of my mind. You’ve heard the sayings, “What you think about you bring about” and “Where the mind goes the man follows.” One thought becomes many, then actions follow, propelled by emotion. Life’s tumultuous journey tosses us about and we lose our way to a landslide of untimely circumstances and hardship, again finding ourselves wearied and gasping for air. In 2018, let us be presence-driven, not purpose-driven. May our waking thought be of Him and His name on our lips as we slip into blessed sleep. May we live each hour thankful, aligning ourselves with Christ through heartfilled gratitude. May our lives be a prayer, an aroma of sacrificial incense to the one-deserving King of kings and Lord of lords. Let us pursue joy and not let it escape us as we focus intently on the feast He sets before us. Days, hours, and even minutes present us with choices needing to be made. As the New Year beckons with hope and promise, let us be singularly focused on His plan for our lives. May we turn deaf ears and blind eyes to every distraction, learning in His presence to subject our soul to our spirit and CHOOSE JOY!

To contact Lisa or follow her blog, visit or connect on Facebook: Thessalonians 5:16-18 tells us: “Let joy be your continual feast. Make your life a prayer. And in the midst of everything be always giving thanks, for this is God’s perfect plan for you in Christ Jesus” (TPT). We are given very precise direction for God’s will for our lives. Scripture tells us the perfect plan of God for our lives is to: 1. Continually feast on joy 2. Pray without stopping 3. Always give thanks





hillip Anthony is a bit of a renaissance man. Whether he’s creating dynamic branding for his diverse client base, jamming on any one of a dozen musical instruments, volunteering his time to reach out to homeless individuals, or speaking to a room of doctors and medical professionals, Phillip sees the world with a unique perspective. It’s that perspective that helps him conceive and capture unforgettable video and print media for clients as varied as hotel chains, churches, realtors, publishers, dry cleaners, construction companies, and others.


“MARKETING IS ABOUT VALUES. IT’S A COMPLICATED AND NOISY WORLD, AND WE’RE NOT GOING TO GET A CHANCE TO GET PEOPLE TO REMEMBER MUCH ABOUT US. NO COMPANY IS. SO WE HAVE TO BE REALLY CLEAR ABOUT WHAT WE WANT THEM TO KNOW ABOUT US.” -STEVE JOBS We slowed Phillip down just long enough to pick his brain about his Fort Worth media production house and what motivates him to take such a revolutionary approach. LM— WE CAN’T HELP BUT NOTICE YOU’RE BREAKING ALL THE MOLDS, WHEN IT COMES TO COMPANY BRANDING AND ESTABLISHED MARKETING RULES. TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT THE JOURNEY THAT BROUGHT YOU TO WHERE YOU ARE TODAY. PA— “For one thing, I’ve been lucky enough to work in a dozen different countries. That should expand anyone’s thinking. I also started learning television broadcast production young—at age 14. I guess I was young enough not to have a bunch of preconceived notions. I started out learning on studio cameras and then learned linear, tape-to-tape based editing. I’ve done video production for almost 30 years now and it’s still exciting to me. I’ve done everything from concert video, documentary work, promotional videos to high-end instructional design/ training videos.” “Today my media group caters to everyone from small businesses and start-ups to medium size businesses and large corporations. That helps keep things fresh for me, top. In addition to being a director of photography, I’m also a speaker, who’s passionate about people and driven to help others change their mindset, and be set free from limiting beliefs. It’s a great time to be alive and a great time to work in media.” LM— “DID YOU HAVE A ROLE MODEL GROWING UP? PA—“I was very blessed to have Robb Thompson, a pastor in Chicago, and Paul Wilbur, an international worship leader, both invest in me as a young man. I’m always looking for ways I can do the same for younger guys coming up in my industry.” LM— “WOW, YOU HAVE YOUR FINGER IN A LOT OF PIES. WHERE DO YOUR REAL PASSIONS LIE?” PA— “In addition to media creation, I really enjoy public

“I’M COMMITTED AND DRIVEN BY A DESIRE TO SEE PEOPLE LIVE THEIR LIFE TO THE FULLEST…TO WRITE THEIR STORY THAT WILL CARRY ON A LEGACY, WHEN THEIR TIME IS FINISHED ON EARTH.” -PHILLIP ANTHONY EXCITE MEDIA GROUP speaking and training. I love helping others discover who they are, what their purpose is, and what their unique message is to the world; to help people and companies find their purpose and their identity—in their lives and in their industry.” LM—“WHAT ARE SOME OF THE WAYS YOU PAY IT FORWARD?” PA— “I serve on the board of the LegUp Program, a nonprofit based in Fort Worth that helps the homeless find their footing and put their life back together, to find a life of fulfillment and purpose.” At his Excite Media Group, Phillip offers a variety of unique solutions for video production, video marketing, social media ad campaigns, instructional design, product roll-out, and promotional media. Visit to find out more and to browse an exciting selection of his work. 817-879-0909



Pieces available from Dillard’s.

It’s January, and with a new year comes a new opportunity to look at the world around you with renewed resolve—both inside your home and while you’re out and about! We’ve selected a few new updates on some classic wardrobe essentials that are sure to leave your fashion situation feeling renewed and refreshed.

The Blouse Vince Camuto 28

Rumple Satin blouse, $89

The Tee Free People Knit Lilly tee, $38


The Sweater ASTR Shasha Shaggy sweater $120


The Black Dress Alex Marie Elisa A-Line Lace Detailed dress, $129


The Jacket

Steve Madden Notch Collar Velvet Moto jacket, $119


The Jeans

KUT from the Kloth Diana Kurvy Skinny jeans, $94

Lauren Jeans Co. Super Stretch Slimming Classic Straight jeans, $89.50


s! We have a pictures like thi n’t get many do utique with u bo yo t ing gif “I’m think alpacas and a ranch with 14 Such fun!” ts. 7 acre alpaca uc od pr e alpaca fleec - Laurie M.

“This is my sweet Pom eranian Be He loves go ntley! ing for wal ks and cudd les.” - Caitlin K.

PET FACT: Dalmatians are born without spots.

“Here’s our beautif ul

calico Buttercup.” - Debbie N.


Zuke’s dog treats from!


Every month, all Living Pet Club members are automatically entered to win our giveaway! To join the club and become eligible for our regular prize drawings, and to receive a free membership magnet for your pet, send your pet’s name, your name, your address, and a clear photo of your pet to






performed, as quantity in this realm will often equal quality. Ask for literature showing patient testimonials—the more positive testimonials, the better, when it comes to choosing a well-qualified provider of LASIK.

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 complex 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 thinking about Lasik, we encourage people to consider the 3 Ts: Technology—does the practice offer industry leading? Tenure—are the surgeons some of the most experienced in the field with great surgical outcomes? Time—are they able to work around YOUR schedule with convenient exam and follow up appointments? JAMES TANNER DIRECTOR OF PATIENT EXPERIENCE, KLEIMAN EVANGELISTA EYE CENTER


When it comes to finding well-qualified LASIK providers, referrals from your general practitioner or optometrist will be a good starting point. difference between a house of horrors and 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

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 patient in answering your questions? 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? Are temporary eye glasses or contacts required following the surgery, and are they included in the price? How long will you have to wear corrective lenses if needed? Make sure the physician addresses all your concerns, especially LASIK’s risks, 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. That way, you can just keep your eye on finding the best doctor in the field without having to focus on going over budget. For some 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.

ARLINGTON 817.784.0222 350 East I-20, 76018

DALLAS 214.692.6220 5494 Glen Lakes Dr., 75231

GUN BARRELL CITY 903.887.7623 505 N. Gun Barrel Lane, 75156

PLANO 214.440.5200 3645 Dallas Pkwy., Suite 545, 75093

SOUTHLAKE COMING SOON 1825 E. Southlake Blvd., 76092

MOUNT PLEASANT 903.572.6655 2007 N. Jefferson Ave, 75455



Dentists with accreditation are at least guaranteed to be professionals have gone the extra mile (or three) in training and education to become a master of the craft.

A Cosmetic Dentist Make no mistake, cosmetic dentistry is an art form. If you are in need of a smile makeover, then you want a master artist who can create the most perfect, natural-looking smile that fits you. Just because someone says they are a cosmetic dentist doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true. Do your due diligence to find a true craftsman who is experienced and has undergone the necessary training to be an expert in their field. It’s your smile. Don’t settle. If you take the time now, you’ll have something to smile about for years to come!


When narrowing your search, consider doing a consultation with your top two or three picks and ask all the questions you want. Ask about their education and experience. Ask how often they perform smile makeovers (you want someone who does them all the time). Ask how they will guarantee their work is what you asked for. A great cosmetic dentist will take the time to answer questions, educate you, and make you feel comfortable. Even though accreditations are a sign of dedication, they don’t make a dentist great—experience and artistry do. So, it is imperative that you look at the dentist’s before and after portfolio of real patients. Be critical when looking at the images. Look closely at the teeth. Do they look natural, realistic, and aesthetically pleasing? Definitely ask to see photos of someone with similar issues as yours to see how that person’s smile turned out. Be skeptical of cosmetic dentists who don’t have before and after photos.

Cosmetic dentistry focuses on improving the aesthetic appeal of your smile, which means things like veneers, implants, teeth alignment, and your gum line.

Before you go to your first appointment, make a wish list of everything you want to happen for your smile makeover. Gather photos of smiles you like so you can show them to the dentist for reference. Keep in mind, however, that you are unique—and someone else’s smile might not work for your mouth, so have realistic expectations. The art of creating smiles means the dentist can take your “wish list” and integrate them into their own anatomical and scientific design.

Because cosmetic dentistry is not a specialty recognized by the American Dental Association, any dentist who performs cosmetic dental procedures can be referred to as a cosmetic dentist. But that’s not to say cosmetic dentists aren’t skilled—far from it, in fact! When looking for a qualified practitioner, you might start with accredited members of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD).

“You are never fully dressed without a smile,” as the common adage goes. Finding a qualified cosmetic dentist you can trust is just the first step to getting fully dressed. If you’re willing to invest in yourself, your confidence, and those “pearly whites,” take the time up front to find the right expert for you and enjoy the satisfaction of a confident smile—the feeling is tough to match.

Your FAMILY & COSMETIC Dentist Meeting All Your Dental Needs.

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


100 Carlin Road • Mansfield, TX 76063



American Board of Cosmetic Surgery must complete an advanced 12-month fellowship exclusively in cosmetic surgery, where the surgeon receives comprehensive training in procedures of the face, breast rejuvenation, and body contouring, plus non-surgical aesthetics.

A Cosmetic Surgeon Most of us have something about our physical appearance we’d change if we could. With the latest advancements in cosmetic surgery, now is the time to do just that -- making subtle and natural-looking changes. Whether you desire complete body transformation with a mommy makeover or dream of facial rejuvenation, cosmetic surgery can be a positive, life-changing experience that boosts self-confidence and may even advance your career. Choosing the right cosmetic surgeon is the key, so educate yourself on all available treatment options, and then select a cosmetic surgeon that’s right for you. You’ll be glad you did.

“Board certification from the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery demonstrates the highest standard in cosmetic surgery training, knowledge, and expertise. I love cosmetic surgery…and it shows.” MICHAEL L. THORNTON, DO, FACOS


First and foremost, schedule a consultation with a qualified, experienced, and “Board Certified” cosmetic surgeon. Being “Board Certified” means the surgeon has completed an approved surgical residency or cosmetic surgery fellowshiptraining program and passed rigorous written and oral examinations that test the surgeon’s knowledge, skill, and surgical competency necessary to provide safe patient care in cosmetic plastic surgery. Looking for someone specifically board certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery (ABCS) provides assurance they’re accurately trained and experienced, focusing their practice strictly on cosmetic surgery. Diplomates of the

In addition, when interviewing potential cosmetic surgeons ask them: How did you train for this procedure? Did you have successful and reproducible results? How many surgeries have you performed? Furthermore, make sure you receive straightforward answers to your questions, as you should feel at ease and comfortable. Remember, you are going to be spending quite a bit of time with your cosmetic surgeon, so make sure you have a positive and encouraging connection. Now, look carefully at the before and after photos of previous patients. Be sure the photos represent actual clients versus stock photos used for marketing purposes. Additionally, pay close attention to patients who have similar qualities as you. Look for someone with a similar figure or facial structure, age, and body frame. Next, ask your cosmetic surgeon where they perform surgery and whether it is an “accredited” facility. This could be at a hospital, an outpatient surgery center, or a private office. For a facility to receive accreditation, it must adhere to strict standards in personnel, sanitation, emergency equipment, patient care, anesthesia, and inspections. Therefore, look for symbols of national accreditation including, AAAASF, AAAHC, or JCAHO, as a competent cosmetic surgeon will proudly discuss their accreditation as a symbol of excellence and patient safety. Lastly, you want to be sure you are being well treated by the office staff. Was the staff friendly and helpful during your visit? Did you receive supportive materials and office pamphlets during your consultation? Were the fees clearly stated on the quote in a non-confusing manner? Remember, you will be living with the results of your surgery for years. So, take time finding the cosmetic surgeon and staff that’s right for you




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

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


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 550 N. Walnut Creek Dr., Suite 120 Mansfield, TX 76063 Office hours by appointment only


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


seven years. Some specialists also secure fellowships that provide an extended period of additional training in the treatment of vein disease.

A Vein Specialist An estimated 30 to 60 percent of adults suffer from leg discomfort from vein disease, especially varicose veins, spider veins, leg swelling, skin darkening, or discoloration of the legs, to open leg ulcers. Varicose veins appear as swollen, twisted clusters near the surface of the skin, they are often thought of as a cosmetic affliction. But they may be far more than that. Not only are they embarrassing and painful, they may also signal serious health issues such as dangerous blood clots. Only a vascular specialist can properly diagnose the source of your symptoms and determine the type of treatments that will be most effective in correcting your problems.

Varicose veins and spider veins arise from venous disease, “This is a very common medical condition that is easily treatable and is covered by most insurance companies including Medicare and Tricare.” DR. ERIC EIDSON


a complex condition that should be treated by a highly-trained and experienced vein specialist. Choosing the right provider will ensure that your condition is properly diagnosed and treated, and to help you find the right specialist, we offer the following guidelines. First, treating vein disease should be the physician’s area of specialty. Any doctor can offer vein treatment, but that doesn’t mean this treatment is their specialty. A vein specialist must be a physician, either a medical doctor (MD) or doctor of osteopathy (DO). Both have a bachelor’s degree followed by four years of medical school and then a residency lasting four to

Along with specialized training, board certification is also crucial. Board certifications from a professional organization such as the American Board of Surgery or the American Board of Venous and Lymphatic Medicine indicate that the physician you choose is committed to the highest standards of care and ongoing education in the field. Much of this information can be found online, and physicians will usually have their professional certificates on display. And along with the physician’s qualifications, you might want to ask if they use registered vascular technicians (RVTs) to assist with treatment. The physician’s equipment is another factor in your choice. The vein specialist you choose should have state-of-the-art equipment that diagnoses and treats a wide range of vascular conditions in the least invasive way possible. Ultrasound equipment is commonly used to diagnose vein conditions these days, and laser and radiofrequency technology are often the treatment options of choice for either varicose or spider veins. Both of these minimize discomfort and downtime. A variety of treatment options ensures that the specialist can tailor treatment to your specific needs. You might also seek out references and referrals. Comments and recommendations from past patients are readily available online, though be careful not to let the complaints of one dissatisfied patient influence your choice. Remember that no matter your field, you’ll never satisfy everyone. You can also ask your primary care physician which vein specialist they would choose for treatment of their own vein conditions. Don’t overlook insurance coverage. Your vein specialist can tell you if your treatment is considered medically necessary or cosmetic, and the physician’s staff should be willing to contact your insurer to ask if your procedure will be covered. Finally, qualifications aren’t everything. You and your doctor should be a good match in personality, which helps greatly with both effective communication and treatment.

ARE YOUR LEGS CAUSING YOU PROBLEMS? These symptoms can be caused by a very common medical condition that is easily treatable and is covered by most insurance companies, including Medicare and TriCare. Ask us how we can help you by scheduling a consultation today!



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ATLASVEIN.COM 817-795-VEIN (8346) 2701 MATLOCK ROAD # 103 ARLINGTON, TX 76015

2017 *Almost all of the symptoms above are a medical condition and we promise that you will be seen by a doctor on your first visit, with the exclusion of spider vein symptoms. Insurance companies consider spider veins to be a purely cosmetic condition and you may or may not be seen by a doctor for spider vein consultations and treatments. Unfortunately spider veins are purely cosmetic and are not covered under insurance.



A Dermatologist Ever had a weird rash that needed attention? Are you worried some of your moles might be changing in size or shape? Is your hair thinning on top? According to the American Academy of Dermatology, a dermatologist, who is trained in treating hair, skin, nails, and mucous membranes (the lining inside your mouth, nose, and eyelids), can diagnose and treat these types of issues plus up to 3,000 others, including eczema, acne, skin cancer, psoriasis, and nail infections. Dermatologists can help diminish wrinkles, age spots, and scars, too, and can provide solutions for thinning hair. It’s important to have a great dermatologist in your corner.

“Choosing the right dermatology team 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 a team with experience and the expertise to carry out the procedures in a safe manner with exceptional outcomes.” JEANNINE HOANG UNITED DERMATOLOGY ASSOCIATES


Before you try to find a qualified dermatologist, make sure you’re looking in the right places. If all you want are chemical peels, laser treatments, Botox, or fillers, then you might consider a dermatologist who specializes in cosmetic dermatology. For other issues, such as acne, rashes, rosacea, mole checks, and thinning hair, maybe you’d prefer a general dermatologist. Ask for referrals from your friends, family, co-workers, or your insurance company, depending on what you’re looking for. Check the physicians’ bios on their websites to see what kind of background and education they have and how long they’ve been in practice. Board certification

by the American Academy of Dermatology is important. Look for online reviews of the doctors in question and see if they’ve published articles anywhere. The more you can find out about the doctor before hand, the better. Next, book a consultation with the dermatologist on a busy day, such as a Monday or Tuesday. Go in early and talk with the other people in the waiting room. Ask specific questions about the doctor’s personality and bedside manner (if that’s important to you), their method of treating patients, how they handle questions and concerns, and if they takes his time. If you have to book your consultation a few weeks out, that could be an indicator that this doctor is in high demand, so don’t let that alone be a turn-off. While in the consultation or on your first appointment (if you chose not to book a consult), ask as many questions as you’d like. Pay attention to whether or not the staff is listening to you and shows signs of caring for you and your needs. They should ask you about your entire health, not just the condition being presented. Personality isn’t everything, but expertise and the ability to provide the right solutions are paramount. It’s always a little off-putting if you go to a dermatologist who quickly looks at your issues, doesn’t ask many questions, and just as quickly reaches for the prescription pad. A great doctor will take the time to answer your questions, dig deeper into what the problem could be, and provide well thought out solutions. Bottom line? Take your time. Do your research. And choose accordingly. It’s your skin and it deserves the best care you can get.



A Hair Salon Finding the right salon and stylist for your hair can be nerve-wracking. Your last stylist knew you so well and never chopped off too much hair or dyed it fire-engine red when all you wanted was a hint of crimson (or maybe they did, and that’s why they’re your last stylist now). For whatever reason, you’re in the market for something new. Maybe you’ve tried a salon near you for the sake of convenience, only to walk out with a hairstyle that leaves you in tears. But you can’t cut your own hair, and applying color from a box is oh-so-tedious. The bottom line is that you’ve got to find a qualified professional, STAT. Here’s how.

“If you’ve found a salon you’d like to try, the most important part is how they handle your phone call. They should ask about your hair (length, texture, past color treatments), your lifestyle, and your goals so they can best match you with the right stylist vs. anyone available.” DAIRED OGLE OWNER, DAIREDS SALON & SPA PANGEA


One of the best ways to find a salon and stylist is by looking at the people around you. Have a co-worker who could give Jennifer Aniston’s famous tresses a run for their money? Do you have a friend whose coiffure you envy? Does the barista at your fave coffee shop boast lustrous locks you wish to emulate? Don’t be shy. Ask them where they go. Chances are they’re going to gush about their stylist and recommend them. Nothing beats a glowing recommendation! Don’t have anyone around you like that? Or did you just move to a new area where you don’t know that many people? Don’t worry. The web is your special friend.

With a multitude of search engines at your fingertips, you can get dozens of hits within seconds. Be as specific as you need to be when searching, and include your community. Whether you need someone who’s great with color or who specializes in extensions, you’ll be able to find a few suggestions. Tech savvy stylists have social media accounts like Instagram and Twitter as well as personal websites where they post pics of their work. So be sure to check these out as well. You want to find a hair stylist who has experience working with hair like yours. Call ahead and see if you can take a few minutes to talk shop with someone who knows how to do what you’re looking for. Do they seem experienced and knowledgeable? Or have they never heard of what you’re asking for in their life? As far as the salon goes, there are some things to look out for. Cleanliness is a big one. If hair is piled up on the ground and hair dye dots the walls, don’t go. Professionalism is another. Is the receptionist courteous and knowledgeable? Is the stylist attentive and does he listen to your needs? You can find out a lot about a salon by scheduling a consultation before you get anything done. Don’t just trust anyone with your hair. Do your research, take your time, and make an educated choice. If it doesn’t work out, don’t beat yourself up. Just try again. Eventually you’ll find that rare stylist—the one you hope you won’t be needing to replace any time soon.



helpful? Do you feel welcome and at ease? Did you encounter any “hard sell” tactics? Does the med spa specialize in anything, such as injectables or laser treatments? If those specialties line up with what you want, it’s a positive sign.

A Med Spa When you look good you feel good. Sure, it sounds cliché, but there’s truth in these words. Looking your best boosts self-confidence and self-esteem, and those are just a couple of the myriad benefits. With all the advantages, no wonder the demand for quality medical spa services has grown. Thanks to new technology, products, and techniques, it’s easier than ever to look younger, more rested and refreshed, and even slimmer. In the hands of an experienced, welltrained med spa team, your results can look natural and noticeable, delivering real value for your money.

A med spa is a hybrid between a medical clinic and a day spa. One or more medical doctors are typically involved, but the extent of their involvement varies. Some med spas are overseen by a medical director or a physician owner who offices across town. Others have a physician onsite who may perform several of the services him or herself. Because these scenarios and variations exist, it’s important to know the differences and choose what you’re comfortable with. The best way to become acquainted with a med spa is to schedule a complimentary consultation. This will give you a feel for the overall vibe and for the staff. Is the atmosphere serene and pampering or bright and upbeat? Is the staff attentive, friendly, and


During your consultation, understand who will be performing the recommended procedure or procedures. Ask about training, certification, and other credentials, and find out how long the individual who will be treating you has been performing the procedure. Request to speak with him or her and ask questions, including how many treatments it takes to see results. Everyone is different, but they should give you an average expected treatment period. Also request to see actual before and after pictures of their work. This way, at the time of procedure, there should be no second guesses. Because new technology is introduced and products evolve rapidly, ask if the med spa’s equipment and products (injectables, peels, serums, etc.) are state-of-the-art and ask specifically why they have chosen them. Avoid getting caught up with your own indepth evaluation of technology and products (leave it to the experts), but having the med spa explain what they use and why is a valuable component of your decision process. Answers that anyone could give (e.g. “It works the best!”) should raise an eyebrow. Be aware that some med spas offer services such as IV hydration/nutrition, medical weight loss, and hormone replacement therapy in addition to aesthetic services. Consider the scope of services offered and whether you want a specialized med spa or a “one stop shop.” Once you find an outstanding med spa, you are likely to become a customer for life. The time you spend up front during the selection process will pay off.


Restylane/Perlane/Juvederm • Botox/Dysport • Medical Facials/Peels IPL Photorejuvenation • Microdermabrasion/Microdermapeel • CoolSculpting®

Accent On You Cosmetic Surgery Center and Medi-Spa Y. Anthony Nakamura, M.D., F.A.C.S., P.A., Board Certified, American Board of Plastic Surgery

817.417.7200 • 3030 South Cooper St., Arlington Come meet our Experts and discover the latest advance in Cosmetic Aesthetics



When contacting potential landscapers, one of the first questions you’ll want to ask is whether a firm is licensed and insured for the type of work that you’re requesting. Ask about their training, any certificates or degrees they hold, as well as their membership in professional landscape associations. Before you hire anyone, ask for a copy of their insurance binder and license.

A Landscaper Lush or skimpy, verdant or dreary, your landscaping offers the first impression of your home. If your yard doesn’t compliment your house—or your lifestyle— installing new landscaping or making improvements to existing features can be a major financial investment. But it can also increase your home’s value and your family’s outdoor enjoyment. Choosing a landscaping company to help make it happen can be challenging, especially if you don’t yet know what you want. But the right firm will know what plants, trees, and hardscaping are appropriate and how to help it all flourish for years to come.

“When it comes to landscaping, you get what you pay for. If you are looking for the cheapest solution you may end up with an unprofessional, unqualified landscaper. Having a budget in mind can help contractors to develop a solution for you that fits your needs and doesn’t give you sticker shock when you see the price.” RICARDO BALDI


Begin by considering your goal for your property. Most contractors specialize in certain areas, whether hardscape or plantscape, decking, patios, driveways, fences, retaining walls or lawns, Japanese gardens, edible gardens, and others. The American Society of Landscape Architects Firm Finder at can help you determine who in your area specializes in what you want. You might also ask friends and neighbors who they recommend, especially if they’ve done the type of project that interests you. Keep your eyes open for newly installed landscaping as you drive around town. Often, the landscape company will post a sign in the yard they have just completed advertising their phone number and website. Local nurseries may also recommend reputable contractors.

Contractors generally will meet with you at least once free of charge to discuss your project and many give free estimates. Try to find three or four contractors to come for an initial consultation to discuss your needs and explain their services. Ask them to bring a portfolio of photos of past landscape projects and prepare a list of questions in advance to ask each potential firm. Remember, contractors who’ve been in business for decades have experience and reputation behind them, while new contractors may have fresh ideas and may charge less. Find out the contractor’s experience level with the type of project you have in mind. The more specialized your project, the more important it will be. Ask for a final budget and timeline in writing (at least a good ballpark). Ask about permits for decks and fences, sheds, gazebos, and pools. Their familiarity with these details is a good sign of how experienced they are. Ask about warranties for defects in craftsmanship and improper installation of decks, patios, and irrigation systems. Ask whether they offer continuing maintenance of your landscaping (although this isn’t a deal breaker). And call a few former clients. Ultimately, you’re looking for the lowestpriced, best-qualified candidate with solid references, professional integrity, and an artistic eye. Good luck!


We don't just sell Landscaping with a guarantee, we sell outdoor solutions with peace of mind.











817-860-0905 | BALDIGARDENS.COM



vibe like? Do you feel warm and welcomed when you walk in the front door? Do patrons seem to be having a good time? You’re less likely to work out if you’re miserable. Miserable gyms create miserable retention rates. Don’t be afraid to ask the membership team about their retention rates! This could be very telling.

A Gym or Fitness Facility Every year—usually in January when most of us are feeling a little more health conscious after stuffing our faces for the entire holiday season—thousands of Americans flock to the gym, resolving to get back on track before swimsuit and vacation season rolls back around. We happily sign our lives and our disposable incomes away, in the hopes of finally making some kind of real and lasting change. Unfortunately, not everyone who joins a gym will stick it out to see results. In fact, studies have shown that most won’t. So how do you choose the right gym for you, and avoid buyers’ remorse?

“A good fitness facility should offer their members more value than just a place to work out and swim. It should present opportunities and tools to improve your family’s health and well being, give you a place to nurture the development of your children, and create ways to support the community.” DAISON LYKEN DIRECTOR OF MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS ARLINGTON-MANSFIELD AREA YMCA


Ask yourself: am I looking for a gym, or am I looking for an experience? Am I simply looking for a place to work out, or am I looking to make a total lifestyle change? Do I want to join a traditional gym, or am I more apt to attend classes at a local barre or cycle studio? Do I need access to a pool? Do I want to join a country club, where I also have access to sports like tennis and golf? Questions like these are a great starting point. There’s a gym experience for everyone, you just have to know what you are looking for. Once you’ve narrowed down the field of contenders, you’ll want to make an in-person visit. Checking out the gym’s website and talking to friends will only get you so far. The ultimate goal is to find a gym you like, a place where you can feel comfortable. What is the

Location, location, location—the philosophy isn’t just for real estate. Sweat local! Find a gym located near where you live and play, one that you won’t dread heading to. Be mindful of what times of day you are most likely to work out—is this first thing in the morning? At lunch time? After you get off work? This may also eliminate some candidates. Look for easy parking, and any other potential deterrents that might keep you from attending regularly. Make sure you visit during your preferred workout time. This will give you a better feel for what your own workout experience might look like. Is it super packed? Is there a line (seven people deep?) waiting to use the treadmills? You may want to choose a different gym. Ask about gym reciprocity, especially if you travel a lot and this is something that is important to you. Take a look at facility and machine cleanliness—gyms are germ factories. Just think about all the sweat (and other bodily fluids) slinging around from sun up to sun down, gross! Yes, a fitness facility should employ a daily cleaning crew, but you should also take note as to whether or not you see employees wiping down equipment. If this isn’t the case, you will probably want to choose another gym. Or at least come prepared with your own wipes and a giant bottle of hand sanitizer! Ask about the gym’s emergency plan. Are staff members CPR certified? Is the gym equipped with an AED, and do employees know how to use it? Don’t wait until you have a cardiac event to find out the answers to these questions! For the most part, the answers to these questions will be yes. But that shouldn’t stop you from asking. Always, always double check your contract. Read the fine print. Look for any extra charges or fees. Keep an eye on your account, especially if your gym automatically charges your account every month. Make sure all promises made at the time of sign up are in writing. Never, ever sign something without reading it through in its entirety first! And don’t be afraid to ask “dumb” questions. When it comes to your money or your health, there is no such thing as a dumb question.



An ENT If you’ve never suffered with disorders of the ear, nose, and throat, consider yourself extremely lucky. If you have, you know they can severely impact your quality of life. People who suffer from chronic sinusitis experience painful headaches, facial pressure, and congestion for months on end. These symptoms can prevent you from carrying on daily activities, drastically impacting your productivity and your relationships. If you find yourself missing out on work or important social events due to ear, nose, and throat problems, it’s probably time to consult with an ear, nose, and throat specialist called an otolaryngologist or ENT.

Begin by asking family, friends, and coworkers whether there’s an ENT they’d recommend (or discourage you from seeing). You can also visit or for a list of ENTs in your area and visit their websites to ascertain their qualifications. Once you have a short list, it’s time to call and gather more information on each. Or better yet, schedule a visit with your top candidates so you can get a feel for their bedside manner and communication style. One of the first factors to consider when choosing an ENT is board certification. The largest international certification organization for the treatment of the ear, nose, and throat is the American Board of


Otolaryngology (ABO). To qualify for ABO certification, physicians must complete a four-year college degree, four years of medical school, and at least five years of additional specialty training. Next, they must pass the ABO examination. Board certifications tell you a doctor put in the extra time to become an expert in their field and upholds best medical practices, to maintain their certification. The next thing to consider is how long they’ve been in practice. The more experience a physician has, the more expertise and options they’ll be able to offer you. Their website should list awards and recognition they’ve received and publications in which they may have been published. Any public involvement or recognition speaks to the expertise of the doctor and their commitment in the field. A quick search online will reveal whether a doctor has a presence outside of his or her practice, which could indicate dedication to staying abreast of the latest research and techniques. Publications can also indicate the doctors’ credibility as well as willingness to share their knowledge for the benefit of the medical field and community. Find out if the doctor is involved with any types of medical organizations. A bonus is if the doctor has been featured in national and international medical publications as a medical expert on a variety of subjects. Any medical mission trips they may have taken or non-profits they support speak to their heart and character. Visit sites such as HealthGrades and WebMD to read real-life patient reviews. In summary, if you suffer from allergies, sinus pressure and pain, or any other ENT related problems, find the right ENT for you and get your quality of life back.

Where caring and compassion meet

Our mission is to provide the highest quality treatment for all ear, nose and throat problems. By emphasizing patient education, incorporating the latest technology and making your individual needs a first priority, our team of ENT specialists and support staff aims to deliver the best patient experience.

Left to right: J. Mark Palmer, M.D. | Chris T. Lee, M.D. | Stuart N. Thomas, M.D. Rene M. Peña, M.D. | Dana B. Gibbs, M.D. | Tyler W. Scoresby, M.D. Arlington | 409 Central Park Dr., Arlington, TX 76014 • (817) 261.9191 Dallas | 4300 N. Central Expry. #110, Dallas, TX 75206 • (972) 884.5606 Ft Worth | 800 Eighth Ave. #618, Ft. Worth, TX 76104 • (817) 335.6336 Mansfield | 221 Regency Pkwy. #111, Mansfield, TX 76063 • (817) 592.8408 •



Before selecting a chiropractor and beginning treatment, you should either “interview” the potential chiropractic candidates over the phone, or (ideally) schedule an in-office consultation. This will give you a chance to learn more about the chiropractor, the practice, and the techniques or treatment methods used, which can vary widely. You may also want to consider office waiting times, ease of scheduling, and location, as these may affect your overall experience. Because of the nature of chiropractic treatment, you will want to feel very comfortable with the chiropractic clinic you select.

A Chiropractor Are you experiencing chronic muscle pain? Have you noticed that you are wearing out your shoes differently? Maybe you suffer from regular headaches, or you’ve recently been in an accident. There are many reasons to visit a chiropractor for an adjustment—these are just a few of the more common complaints chiropractors tend to hear from their patients on a daily basis. Whatever the reason for scheduling an appointment, you want to make sure you are selecting the right chiropractor for your specific needs and symptoms. So how do you do that?

“I recommend a person find a doctor that takes a comprehensive approach to not just helping one get out of pain, but also one that can find the cause of the problem. Getting to the root of the problem saves a lot of pain, time, and resources in the long run.” GEORGE H. BOBBITT, DC MANSFIELD CHIROPRACTIC CENTER


Chiropractic treatment is a physical procedure. Experts say consideration should be given to both doctor-patient rapport, as well as joint manipulation style. You’ll want to ask your current healthcare providers for recommendations. You want to select someone competent and trustworthy. You can also ask friends and co-workers for recommendations also, but remember that one person’s definition of the “best chiropractor” may look entirely different than the next. The goal is to find the best fit for your individual chiropractic needs. Multiple referrals for the same chiropractor is usually a good sign, and probably something worth checking out. You’ll probably want to find out who takes your insurance.

Is the chiropractor friendly and courteous? Do you feel comfortable talking to them? Does he or she fully answer all of your questions? How many years do they have in practice? Do they have a specific undergraduate or postgraduate specialty? (Not a requirement by any means, but some chiropractors decide to pursue postgraduate programs in related specialties that could be useful in treating your issue.) Has she treated many patients with conditions like yours? You’ll definitely want to ask about treatment plans and cost. Some chiropractors perform joint manipulation with their hands only, while others use instruments. Some treat using quick and firm manipulation, while others employ a lighter touch. Treatment is largely derived by the individual preferences of both the healthcare provider and the patient, so make sure to choose someone who listens to your concerns, and takes into account your wishes. You may need to do additional research on any techniques the chiropractor says will be used before making up your mind. You should check with your state’s Chiropractic Regulation and Licensing Board—verify potential chiropractic candidates are in good standing and without disciplinary action. Selecting any healthcare professional is a big deal. Don’t feel like you have to choose the very first chiropractor you meet with. Feel free to interview many candidates before making your decision. The chiropractor’s role is to make recommendations for treatment. Ultimately, you choose whether or not to accept.

George Bobbitt, D.C.

About Mansfield Chiropractic Mansfield Chiropractic exists to lead people in our community away from needless pain and suffering and away from the use of unnecessary drugs and surgery. Through Chiropractic, we provide a route and the means to many to attain improved health, vitality and happiness.

Mansfield • 1071 Country Club Drive Suite 101 Arlington • 2401 West Pioneer Parkway Suite 145 Kennedale • 405 W. Kennedale Parkway

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A Plastic Surgeon Has breastfeeding and childbirth ransacked your body, leaving behind crepe paper skin, sagging and deflated breasts, and a permanent pooch that no amount of diet and exercise can fix? Do you have a flat derriere and long for a curvy one—but find squats aren’t doing the trick? Does the way your nose hook a little to the side make you feel super self conscious? These things and more can be fixed by a qualified plastic surgeon. Finding the right one may take some time, but it’s the first and most important step toward achieving the look you’ve always wanted.

Whether you want a mommy makeover, liposuction, body contouring, “Your body is a blank canvas. How it’s transformed depends on the canvas and the surgeon.” DR. ANTHONY NAKAMURA

a tummy tuck, or any number of other cosmetic procedures, you have to find a qualified surgeon. One big question to ask: is the physician board certified? Let’s clarify. For plastic surgeons, there’s really one organization that stands out: the American Board of Plastic Surgery. A second place to check is with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Board certification in plastic surgery means several things. It means the physician has undergone rigorous hours of education, three years of general surgery training, two years of plastic surgery training (which is very competitive to get into) after medical


school, and more. They must pass a written exam, as well as an oral exam. Next, check the surgeon’s body of work. It is exemplary? It better be. Peruse patient before and after photos. Make sure the after photos are several months postsurgery, as most results aren’t fully realized for 6 to 12 months. Make sure you like the physician’s style and results. Also, look for photos of patients with similar features as you so you can get a real feel for what your results might be. Experience is a must. If you want a breast lift, you need to find a doctor who does them at least once or twice a week as opposed to a couple a year. The more experience the better. It is important to understand that every person is different and every doctor’s sense of style and artistry is different. So, results won’t be exactly the same for anyone. This is where communication and realistic expectations come into play. You could find the most qualified physician out there, but when you meet them, it’s possible that you won’t click at all. Don’t stop looking until you find a physician you feel comfortable with, one who will take the time to explain everything and offer their insight. They should answer every question no matter how silly you think it is. Plastic surgery is not a light decision. It’s very serious. Taking the time to find the right doctor is imperative.

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2013, 2015, 2017

2013, 2015, 2017


Beyond your doctor, ask around among family members, friends and colleagues at work. There’s nothing like first-hand information when trying to find a health care provider that’s right for you. Podiatrists, like other doctors, have their areas of specialty, and before making a choice it’s good to know what specific kind of treatment you need. Sports podiatry concentrates on sports-related injuries and implementing a plan of action to get you “back in the game.” Bio-mechanical podiatry specializes in knowing exactly which way the foot should move in everyday life. Surgical podiatrists focus on fixing foot problems through surgery, and they are usually the last resort. Whatever your foot problem, it’s crucial to choose a podiatrist who best fits the problems you are having.

A Podiatrist A podiatrist is a doctor of podiatric medicine (DPM), also known as a podiatric physician or surgeon. Podiatrists complete four years of training in a podiatric medical school, followed by three years of hospital residency training similar to that of other doctors. Podiatrists are qualified to diagnose and treat conditions of the foot, ankle, and related structures of the leg. The specific services offered include treatment of heel pain, flat feet, sports injuries, diabetic-related foot care, reconstructive foot and ankle surgery, and providing customized orthotics. Frankly, when your feet are really hurting, there’s no substitute for the care they provide.

It’s no exaggeration to say that when your feet hurt, your entire body hurts, and during those times it’s a good idea to seek out the services of a podiatrist, a doctor of podiatric medicine (DPM) who specializes in problems related to the feet, ankles and related areas of the legs. When seeking a podiatrist, apply the same techniques used when looking for other healthcare providers. First, ask for the advice of your primary care physician. Most have a circle of doctors they know and are connected with, and asking for their advice is an excellent way to start.


You can also look for patient reviews on the internet, but you should be careful. Sometimes patients only leave reviews when they are dissatisfied with their treatment, and this can skew the search results. So, use online reviews with caution. Additionally, websites like FootHealthFacts. org and the American Podiatric Medical Association can help you locate recommended podiatrists in your area. Look for the letters FACFAS, which stand for Fellow, American College of Foot & Ankle Surgeons. Those letters mean that a physician has completed years of rigorous foot and ankle training in podiatric medical school, a hospital-based residency program, and a board certification exam, making him or her uniquely qualified to take care of this part of your body. Finally, at your first appointment, consider the style and bedside manner of the physician, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Most doctors are happy to answer any questions, and if the doctor becomes upset with your questions, they’re probably not the physician for you. Medicine works best when the physician educates their patients to make the right decisions. This helps reduce reoccurrences and allows for quicker recovery. Finding the right podiatrist can be an involved process, and it’s important to find one who’s qualified and willing to answer your questions. Don’t settle for less. Find a podiatrist you can trust to give your feet the best possible care.



In addition to your general dentist, ask friends and colleagues at work for their recommendation.

An Orthodontist Treatment by an orthodontist is not just for children and teens. While the majority of those seeking the services of an orthodontist are still young people, close to 30 percent of all orthodontics patients are adults. Whatever your age, an orthodontist can help you in many ways. An orthodontics specialist can protect your bite, maximize your teeth’s effectiveness in performing their functions, and create a well-aligned smile, a huge confidence booster. Today’s treatments involve repositioning of the teeth and underlying roots, providing better support for the crown of the tooth. Finally, well-aligned teeth make oral hygiene easier to maintain.

“Adults are so lucky— Invisalign trays straighten teeth that have shifted slightly in just a few months and there is no hardware or metal. A simple four minute digital tooth scan is all that is needed now to get a perfect smile. WOW!!” DR. JED HILDEBRAND HILDEBRAND ORTHODONTICS


Finding a qualified orthodontist used to be a fairly easy thing to do. Your general dentist, who was probably the one who recommended realignment, simply gave you a referral. Today, however, with a greater variety of straightening procedures, and with an increasing number of nonspecialists offering orthodontic treatments, the choice can be more difficult. In your search for the right orthodontist, your general dentist’s recommendation is still valuable. General dentists often work with orthodontists in coordinating patient care, and in their own practice often see the results of realignment procedures and can pass their recommendations on to you. Ask them if their children had braces, and if so, which orthodontist they used.

Before setting a first appointment, go to their website and check to make sure the orthodontist is a member of the American Association of Orthodontists, an organization that maintains very strict ethical and training standards. Members of this organization have not only graduated from dental school but have gone through an additional residency program lasting two to three years in which they have received specialized training in orthodontics. In contrast, a general dentist offering orthodontics procedures may have only attended a few training seminars. While you’re online, you might also check out reviews left by their previous patients. Another consideration is the technology available in the orthodontist’s office. The more progressive and up to date an office is, the more likely that the orthodontist is taking the time and money to upgrade and keep his or her practice at the forefront of modern orthodontics. It’s also important to make sure they are using the latest technology in braces. The days of the old “railroad braces” are gone, and newer, smaller metal or ceramic braces mean better treatment outcomes and less time in the orthodontist’s office. Finally and very importantly, there are the charges for services. Most orthodontists will offer a comprehensive fee covering all their treatment services as well as a monthly payment plan that fits your budget. But before signing any paperwork, make sure there are no hidden fees at the end of treatment for things like retainers or X-rays. In the end the investment in orthodontic treatment will be well worth it, as repeated studies have shown the benefits in both selfesteem and job opportunities that come with a great smile.

DR. JED HILDEBRAND Orthodontic Specialist

Dr. Hildebrand has been voted TOP Orthodontist by readers and voted on by his colleagues several years in a row.




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An Insurance Agent Selecting an insurance agent may seem like a mundane task. But it’s more than just another of life’s administrative chores. Insurance agents are easy to find, and most of them can get the job done, but if you end up with the wrong one, the results can be stressful and irritating. Choosing the right person to lead you through the maze of options makes all the difference when life throws a wrench your way. Good coverage can mean the difference between picking up where you left off and starting from scratch. But there’s no need to worry if you’ve got the right agent on your side. Here’s a bit of friendly advice.

Take the initiative. Ask the kind of probing questions you might ask if a catastrophe had just occurred and you were trying to find out what was and wasn’t covered by your insurance policy. It’s better to find out now, while you have the power to make decisions, than after the fact. After all, it’s your family, your money, and your property at stake. What are some wise questions to ask when choosing an insurance agent? Try these: What are your areas of expertise? What is your reach? Are you local? Statewide? Nationwide? What is your experience in my industry? How many years have you been writing this type of insurance? Do you have any client references? How long have you been in business? How many companies do you represent? Which ones? Trust your gut. Make sure you actually like the agent you’ll be working with. If worst comes to worst, you may be spending a lot of time meeting or speaking on the phone with them!

“Careful consideration needs to be applied when selecting your insurance. What coverage do you need for your protection? Understand what is covered in the policy contract so you don’t have a huge unexpected out of pocket expense on a claim. Is there a professional who will educate and review options and be there in your time of need? The consequences can be huge.” AL CLARK


First, know what you’re looking for. Are you seeking personal or commercial insurance? Home, auto, other vehicles, or all of the above? Each agent specializes in different products. Some may lack experience in the type of insurance you need. Agents should expect you to ask about their credentials, qualifications, certifications, and experience. There are different types of insurance agents, or writers. Direct writers are hired by their company as sales people. Independent agents work for you, rather than a company. Be sure you know whose interests an agent has in mind.

There are a few simple things you can do to check the background of an agent or agency. The simplest thing you can do is to look them up on Google. Search for the name of the person in question, the agency, and any customer reviews you can find. Look for any mention of lawsuits. See what their website looks like. Every aspect of their online presence should be professional looking. Eventually, you’ll have to choose. Be a tough customer. Once you find a likely candidate, ask for a quote based on your unique situation and needs. Ask how quickly they can get it for you. The agent should be willing to work with you to thoroughly explain every aspect of the coverage they offer. Expect courtesy and professionalism. If they don’t have time for you now, what makes you think they’ll have time for you later?


focus on art, reading, math, or science? How does the school handle discipline? Is parent involvement required or encouraged? Consider logistics. Is the cost of the preschool within your budget? Is it located near enough to your home or work that you can conveniently drop off your child there each morning and pick them up each afternoon?

A Preschool Your little one is toddling, talking, and taking on the world. Filled with curiosity and creativity, your child needs the level of stimulation and structure that preschool provides. Studies show early education to be a key stepping stone to academic achievement, as well as social and emotional development. Preschool ensures a head start on critical thinking and fine motor skills, plus the basics like ABCs and 123s. It teaches your child how to function in a school setting and play well with others. With so much at stake, it’s important to select the right preschool for your child.

Start by writing down everything that matters to you. Your list might include teacher-to-student ratio, daily naps, healthy snacks, ample free play, an outdoor environment, safety, classroom instruction, or toilet training. You may also consider the school’s curriculum, rules, schedule, diversity, cost, religious affiliation, and educational philosophy. From there, craft the questions you will ask and the boxes you need to check before feeling certain you’ve made the right choice. What is the educational background and experience of the teachers and staff? How much playtime do the children have each day? Does the school offer music and foreign language lessons? Is there a strong


Research all of the preschools in your area. Look at school websites for more information and scout online communities for reviews from other parents. Arrange site visits and arrive prepared with your list of questions. Be sure to take careful notes. Plan to do the initial visits without your child. Investigate whether the school offers play areas for blocks, puppets, drawing or coloring, and tactile materials such as sand or water. Find out how much time the children have to spend at these play stations, and consider whether this would suit your child. Be sure to peruse the school’s selection of books and other learning materials. Talk to the director and the teachers. Are they experienced and qualified? Do they enjoy their work? Tour the entire facility. Does the school look and feel inviting, clean, and safe? Observe children in the classroom and at play. Do they seem engaged, or are they bored? Imagine your child there. Would your son or daughter adapt and thrive? Would he or she be challenged and happy? All of this work and research should narrow your choices to two or three schools. Now, schedule follow-up visits with your child. Watch their interactions with other children and teachers. Observe your child at play, in classroom settings, and at outdoor areas. Spend enough time to determine whether it’s right. Then, give preschool a try. Your careful planning will give your child a place to learn and grow, preparing for kindergarten and beyond.



property, while general liability insurance covers your actual property.) Don’t take their word for it. Ask to see proof of insurance for both.

A Roofing Company Installing a new roof is one of the most important home improvement projects you’ll run into as a homeowner, and an expensive one. While several variables go into determining the cost, a replacement roof routinely runs into the tens of thousands. The average lifespan of a roof in the Lone Star State—depending on the material type and workmanship—is 15 to more than 30 years. Well-maintained stone, tile, and metal roofs can last longer. Considering the cost and value of a new roof, it’s important to follow a few basic rules when searching for a roofing contractor.

First, be aware there aren’t any official licensing requirements for roofing contractors in the state of Texas. Anyone wanting to call themselves roofers or roofing companies can do so and start taking on projects. Your best bet is to look for local roofing companies with a good reputation and longevity in the business. Cheap roofing deals may be tempting, but buyer beware. Before obtaining written estimates, ask a few questions to steer you in the right direction. Insurance is a must. Make sure a contractor has valid, unexpired worker’s compensation and liability insurance. (Workman’s compensation covers the employees on your


Once you’ve narrowed your selection down to two or three contractors, get estimates. During this process the roofer should discuss different types of roofing materials with you and provide good, better, best estimates. Inquire if the estimates include removal of the old roof and all trash material associated with the project. Ask about the cost of plywood if rotten roof or soft roof decking is discovered, and about how the contractor will protect the job-in-progress in the event of bad weather. Always take time to get a description of the manufacturer’s warranty from the contractor, then get it in writing, read it, and understand the inclusions and exclusions. Do they match what the contractor explained to you? Some of the best cover material cost, labor cost, and even roof removal cost. Manufacturer warranties cover a material defect that caused the roof failure, but they don’t cover an improperly installed roof. Reputable roofing contractors often offer a workmanship warranty in addition to the manufacturers’ warranty because they trust the quality of their installations. Ask your contractor what they offer. Before you sign on the dotted line, check your city to determine if your project needs a permit. If so, it should be pulled by the contractor, not you, the homeowner. If the contractor balks at this, keep looking. Also ask the contractor for references from customers who have the same type of roofing system installed that you’re considering. Contact them to see if the contractor completed the job satisfactorily. Being confident you’ve selected the right roofing contractor will help you feel comfortable and certain that you have a quality roof overhead—and that your hardearned money has been wisely spent.



















We've been proudly serving the Metroplex since 1989.

• 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.


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Consider where your pet will sleep. Be sure there is enough room in the kennel for your dog to stand up and turn around. For cat kennels, survey the space between the food bowl and the litter box—they shouldn’t be too close together. Assess the temperature, lighting, and ventilation. Look for solid kennel partitions as privacy will help your pet relax and rest. Ask whether you can provide bedding from home.

A Pet Boarding Facility Your fur baby is an important member of the family, a constant companion who brings you joy and unconditional love. It would be wonderful to take your cat or dog with you on every vacation or business trip. Unfortunately, there are times you must travel without them. On such occasions, they need a comfortable, safe home away from home. Pet boarding facilities provide this, along with supervision, care, and interaction. While you’re away, Fido will get his daily exercise and Fifi will receive her scheduled dose of medication. And you can call each day to make sure your pets are safe and sound.

“Never leave your dog or cat any place where they won’t let you see exactly where he or she will stay. Owners should take their pet into the kennel when dropping off. This helps your pet realize that it’s OK. When picking up, do the same thing. If they won’t let you go into the kennel—go someplace else.” DON PRAEGER COUNTRY ACRES KENNELS


Look at the other boarded pets. Do they have fresh water and clean kennels? Do they seem happy or depressed? Are they protected from weather conditions such as rain, snow, or intense sun? Ask about health requirements to make sure the other boarded pets will be current on vaccinations and free of fleas or ticks. Talk to the staff. Are they experienced and caring? Find out if the facility has a connection to a local veterinary office. What is the procedure if your pet needs medical attention? Will you be able to call each day to check on your furry friend? And if so, what are the hours you can expect someone to answer the phone?

Leaving your cat or dog behind while you take a trip can be a stress-free experience, if you choose the right pet-boarding facility.

Think about how your pet interacts with others. Is he confrontational or shy? Is she territorial or friendly? Ask the staff how they treat rambunctious and aggressive cats or dogs—will they be kept separate from your pet? Is playtime supervised?

Start by contacting several kennels and other pet boarding options in your area. Look online for reviews and recommendations. Then schedule a visit to those most likely to meet your needs and the needs of your pet. While there, inspect for safety and cleanliness. How does it look and smell? Are the fences secure? Are the dog runs clean?

Once you’ve decided on a location, you may want a trial stay. Board your pet there for just one night while you’re nearby. Let staff know about your pet’s personality and special needs. Give your pet extra cuddles before and after you drop them off, but avoid an emotional goodbye. See how your pet enjoys the experience, and then you’ll know if you’re both ready for a longer stay.

Determine what a typical day will be like for your pet. What is the exercise schedule? How much time will they spend indoors and outdoors? What food will they eat? Are there additional services such as grooming?

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they’ve voluntarily devoted extra hours and performed extra research to obtain board-certification. They also submit to continuing education and peer review to maintain that certification.

A Cardiothoracic Surgeon If you’ve been diagnosed with coronary artery disease, lung cancer, or esophageal cancer, you’re probably feeling overwhelmed right now. Take a deep breath. The next step is to find the right cardiothoracic surgeon to partner with your cardiologist, oncologist, or pulmonologist and coordinate your care. A cardiothoracic surgeon specializes in surgical procedures of the heart, lungs, esophagus, and other organs in the chest. Choosing the best one for you and your family can make a critical difference in your overall health and recovery.

“My goal is to offer advanced treatment to my patients and do so in a way that minimizes pain, risks, and recovery time. I want to improve their quality of life. With that in mind, I work closely with my patients and their physicians to tailor a treatment program designed specifically for each individual patient.” DARIEN BRADFORD MD CARDIOTHORACIC SURGEON


Your cardiologist, oncologist, or pulmonologist will likely offer you a short list of cardiothoracic surgeons whose work they respect and with whom they work well. When narrowing down your choices, education is the first thing to consider. A cardiothoracic surgeon is a doctor was has completed an additional two to threeyear residency program in cardiothoracic surgery, after traditional medical school. Additionally, you can look for someone who is fellowship trained, giving them additional experience in their field or who is board certified which tells you

Before meeting with potential surgeons, it’s helpful if you ask your cardiologist, oncologist or pulmonologist what questions you might ask, based on the specifics of your case. Some questions you might be prepared to ask are: What can I do to best prepare for surgery? How long should I expect to be in the hospital following my surgery? What should I expect as far as recovery time, and what limitations should I be prepared for during recovery? Any potential surgeon should complete a thorough exam to confirm your doctor’s findings and help you to feel comfortable about the upcoming procedure. They should take the time to answers your questions fully and ask enough questions themselves to understand your unique condition. The right surgeon will not only provide clear solutions for your medical problem, but will explain those solutions in language you understand and will make sure you’re comfortable with your choices regarding surgery. You should also feel comfortable with his staff. If you have a preference as far as hospital, make sure any potential surgeon holds privileges there. Look for a surgeon who treats you like an individual and makes you feel at ease; one with the expertise, experience, and empathy you want, who thoroughly explains your options, outcomes, and recovery period. If you’re having trouble deciding between qualified candidates, let your referring doctor be the tie-breaker. As you ponder the prospect of a major surgery, it’s comforting to know you’re in the most experienced hands possible, and that the surgeon truly care about you and your health. Knowing you’ve found the right, best qualified surgeon will ease some of your anxiety which medical experts agree can have a direct, positive effect on your recovery.

Advanced Surgery

For Diseases of the Heart, Lungs and Chest

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


Learn how Dr. Bradford can help you today! 515 W. Mayfield Dr. #404 | Arlington, Texas 76014 | 817.465.5311 73


through either a shared or dedicated support team, for example, helps you determine if an agent may be a good match.

A Real Estate Agent A home is often your largest investment, as well as a place to put down roots. Something this important in your life requires finding the right real estate agent to help you buy or sell. Large or small, condo or ranch, old or new. Yet how do you choose, with so many real estate agents vying for your attention through online advertising, direct mailers, and signs? By spending a little time up front and following a few easy steps, you can cut through the hype and hire an agent you can trust and work with.

First, consider the kind of experience you desire. Are you interested in a personalized boutique group experience, or do the broad resources of a big brokerage firm appeal to you? Once you have an idea, do some sleuthing. Review current listings for the area in which you are buying or selling. Are there a few agents that stand out in the market? Do their listings mirror the kind of property you want to buy or sell? Like many professionals, real estate agents have their market niche. It should align with what you’re trying to accomplish. Keep in mind that while an agent with several listings indicates a healthy business, you also want someone with enough bandwidth to serve you effectively and efficiently. Understanding how an agent can provide the level of service you desire,


Once you’ve narrowed your list down to two or three real estate agents, check them out. Most have websites with extensive information about their background, experience, listings, and area sales. Also, verify licensing. When you feel comfortable, schedule a meeting. If you leave a message, notice how long it takes them to return your call. When you meet, request a list of what the agent has listed and sold in the past year with contact information. As you talk with past clients, inquire about their overall experience. Remember to get specific details, including how the agent communicated with them and how often, and about the asking versus the final sales price. As a seller, notice if an agent’s previous properties were like yours in price, location, and other salient features. Ask about current homes on the market that are similar to yours. A good agent should know about other properties that are available off the top of his or her head. Make sure the agent provides a detailed plan of how your home will be marketed— via Multiple Listing Service (MLS), sending your home “fact sheet” to the agent community, print advertising, online promotion, a video tour? Ask if they routinely follow up and provide feedback after all showings. A real estate agent that works hard, knows the market, and is looking out for your best interest is an asset from both a personal and financial perspective. Listen to what they tell you, then follow your instincts. And if the agent you choose doesn’t perform as expected, discuss your concerns with him or her.



Peruse the real estate section of your local newspapers or magazines for builders active in your desired areas. See what types of homes they’re offering, and the prices you can expect to pay. Local real estate agents, family, or friends may also offer recommendations. Ask about builders with whom they’ve dealt directly.

A Home Builder Building a home is exciting—and terrifying. For most of us, our home is the largest investment we’ll ever make. If you’re ready to build, there will be dozens of decisions to make—large and small—between now and the first night you sleep in your new home. But the first decision, selecting the person or people you choose to head up the project, will be the most important. You want to find a home builder who communicates in a style you understand, with a solid track record of honesty and integrity. After all, you’ll be living with the decision you make for years to come.

You want to know you’ll end up with a good quality home. That goes whether you’re buying a condo, townhouse, or subdivision home, or constructing a custom house on land you’ve purchased. you want to know you’ll end up with a good quality home from a reputable builder. Begin by considering the type of home, lifestyle, and neighborhood you desire and what you can afford to spend. Contact your local home builders’ association, share that information with them, then obtain a list of builders who construct the type of home you want in the areas you like. The National Association of Home Builders at is a good place to start.


One you have a list of potential builders, visit their recently built homes and subdivisions. If you can, drive by on a Saturday morning, when you may find homeowners outside doing chores or heading off on errands. Inquire about their experience with the builder, whether they’re happy with the home, whether any problems were fixed promptly and properly, and whether they’d work with this builder again. At the very least, drive by and see if the homes are appealing to you. You should also visit any show homes, model homes, or open houses the builder may have and look at the quality of construction including cabinetry, carpeting, trim work, and paint. Now it’s time to make appointments to interview your top choices. During that interview, you’ll want to find out their policy on service after the sale and how long they guarantee their workmanship. Does that guarantee include sub-contractors? How much say will you have in materials and style, and what happens if you change your mind after the project is underway? Find out whether a completion date is guaranteed, and how. Ask about licensing, insurance, liability, and workman’s comp, and how long they’ve been in business. Ask to see an example of the contract and specification sheet you’ll be asked to sign. Ask whether clean-up is included in the bid, and what it will include. Building a new home can be a complicated process. The time you put in now in order to choose the right builder can make all the difference down the line.



plan. Or it may require a referral from your primary care provider in order to cover the services. Look for an audiologist who’s been in practice awhile, but who embraces the latest in hearing correction technology.

An Audiologist As human beings, we’re hardwired to socialize with others. But hearing loss can make social situations difficult, because hearing and understanding others is just too much work. Self-imposed social isolation can lead to depression and a decreased quality of life. To make matters worse, when the brain is deprived of auditory stimulation for a long time, it becomes harder to correct hearing problems. Fortunately, the field of audiology has grown by leaps and bounds. It’s important to take time to find the right audiologist sooner rather than later, and let them get you back to your family and friends, doing the things you love again.

“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

A licensed audiologist can determine your degree of hearing loss as well as ensure that the specific hearing device you use will be the best option for your condition and your lifestyle. If you have a family member or friend that has visited an audiologist, ask him or her for advice on whom to see. You might also ask your primary care doctor or other specialist they recommend. Be sure to check your insurance. It may only cover audiologists who are within the


Check local audiologists online and read some patient reviews. Sites like ZocDoc, Yelp, WebMD, and Healthgrades can help. But remember to take occasional complaints with a grain of salt. People with negative experiences are more inclined to leave comments than those who left completely satisfied. Pay attention if you see a pattern of complaints, but make sure to do your own research. Visit their website and read their professional bio to determine their level of education and time spent in the industry. Professional credentials are important, too. The letters AuD after someone’s name means they obtained their doctor of audiology degree. You may also see MS for master of science, MA for master of arts, BC-HIS for board certified hearing instrument specialist, or CC-A for certificate of clinical competence in audiology. Depending on where you live, you may not have many options for audiologists in your area. However, you probably don’t want to travel too far to find someone. Your hearing aid may need adjusting to get it working right for you initially, and will certainly need some attention from time to time. And you won’t want a long trek each time it needs tweaked or checked. A good audiologist should love what they do and enjoy helping people regain one of their five senses. If you visit an audiologist and feel like the sale is more important than caring for you and your hearing, you’ll probably want to reconsider other options. Hearing devices can be costly, but more than worth the investment, if it means you can enjoy spending time with your friends and family again. Finding the right audio professional should be worth all the time it takes searching for them.

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

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



level of cardiovascular care and puts in the extra time to stay abreast of the latest technology, with continuing education in their field.

A Cardiologist In the United States each year, one of every four deaths results from heart disease—an astounding 600,000 men and women each year (according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Even if cardiac disease doesn’t run in your family—but especially if it does—it’s important to find the best cardiologist available in your area. A cardiologist is a heart doctor who specializes in diagnosing, monitoring, and managing conditions of the heart. Should surgery become necessary, your cardiologist will refer you to a cardiac surgeon, will follow up after surgery and continue to monitor your condition.

“When choosing a cardiologist you should look for a board certified, fellowship trained physician with a convenient location and who is quick to respond to your questions. A cardiologist who listens to their patients and practices within the American College of Cardiology guidelines will benefit not only the patient but will also help with trying to control the rising cost of healthcare.” DR. LEVI A. RICE, JR. CARDIOLOGY PARTNERS, MANSFIELD, TEXAS


It’s a good practice to look for a cardiologist who’s affiliated with or certified by the American Heart Association or the American College of Cardiologists. But do keep in mind that there’s no standardized referral program for cardiologists through the AHA. Board certification lets you know a cardiologist spent additional years after medical school being supervised in their practice, passed a strenuous written exam, and successfully passes periodic re-certification requirements. A board certified cardiologist adheres to a certain

There are a few different types of cardiologists. A non-invasive cardiologist examines patients and orders tests, such as a stress test or electrocardiogram, to diagnose, treat, and prevent heart problems. A noninterventional cardiologist performs the same exams and tests and can also perform minor operations, such as catherization. An interventional cardiologist undergoes one to three years of additional training after the three-year residency, and can perform more advanced surgeries, such as valve repairs, atheroectomy (plaque removal), balloon angioplasty, and mesh stent placement to relieve blockages. Most of their time is spent in the hospital, with some office hours for follow-up and consultation. Lastly, an electrophysiology cardiologist studies the electrical stimulus to the heart, looking for irregular heartbeats and other problems that could cause cardiac arrest. They also perform tests such as an echocardiogram (EKG), a painless, non-invasive test that uses sound waves to view an image of the heart. Ask your primary care physician to steer you toward a cardiologist who’s experienced with your specific condition or who specializes in the treatment you need, having dedicated additional time studying your exact heart problem and garnered experience in treating it. Fortunately, innovative developments in cardiology care are happening every day. Look for a cardiology practice that’s known for its innovative and progressive approach, pioneering the latest treatments for heart disease and heart management. You also want to choose a cardiologist who places an emphasis on proactive wellness care, heading off problems before they occur. Look for a practice that offers extensive diagnostic and preventative tools, such as heart rhythm assessments, tilt table testing, carotid doppler ultrasounds, aortic duplex ultrasound, heart halter, event monitoring, lipid and cholesterol management, and more. Once you find a forward-thinking cardiologist with a stellar track record, you’ll have a partner in your journey toward optimum heart health—for life.

Cardiology Partners has been caring for hearts for over 40 years. The practice of six cardiology specialists offer the latest advancements in the diagnosis and treatment of heart and vascular disease. The result is a comprehensive approach to the most sophisticated cardiac care available in the area. If your family's medical needs call for cardiac care, stay close to home with Cardiology Partners. New patients are always welcome. Call to schedule an appointment today!

851 Highway 287 N • Mansfield, TX 76063 • 817.842.2500 •

Meet the Doctors of Cardiology Partners

James A. Richardson, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.C

Alan M. Taylor, II, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.C.

Shoaib H. Saya, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.S.C.A.I.

Michael Venincasa, M.D.

Levi A. Rice, Jr., D.O., MBA, F.A.C.C.

Danny D. Le, D.O., F.A.C.C.



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 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


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.


where your obstetrician delivers, and how experienced each hospital is with special situations regarding birth and delivery. If you require surgery, choose your physician based on their specialty and where they have hospital privileges. Choosing a hospital with the most up-todate technology and equipment can make a difference in your care. Be certain to ask specific questions regarding the care you will receive.

A Hospital When you’re struck with a health crisis, you have choices as to where you will recuperate, gain strength, and receive the highest quality of care. Whether you’re bringing a new life into the world, choosing an elective surgery, or suffering from a chronic condition, deciding on a hospital that is right for you can be easier than you might think. You need a hospital that fits you and your health needs. Choosing topquality healthcare doesn’t have to be complicated if you do your research first. That way, when you’re in a crisis, the decision has already been made.

The right hospital is more than brick and mortar. It’s peace of mind.


Which hospitals offer the surgeons, specialists, and staff best tailored for your needs? The right hospital for you will not only have the best facilities, but will also have the right team for you. A caring staff of nurses, specialists, and physicians can provide everything you need to recuperate from illness or surgery. Which hospitals work with your insurance provider and with Medicare or Medicaid? Consider your financial situation and your insurance provider. You’ll want your physician, your insurance, and your hospital to all be working together to facilitate the best coverage for your specific needs.

In an emergency, an ambulance will take you to the nearest hospital. But for planned surgeries or procedures, the hospital closest to your home may not be the right fit for you. It’s important to research hospitals in your community to determine the best fit. Speak to your primary care physician to see where they have privileges, and then ask questions.

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.

Which hospital in your area is the best fit for your primary healthcare needs? By knowing what care you require, you can significantly narrow your choices. For example, when choosing where to deliver your baby, you’ll need to know which hospital has the best neonatal unit,

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. A hospital stay can be a stressful and difficult time, but asking financial questions first can save you from surprises later.



as membership in the AAPD, and continue to sharpen their perspective through seminars and continuing education courses.

A Pediatric Dentist As a caring parent, you want to protect your child’s teeth. Many families visit a general dentist. However, a pediatric dentist is better suited for taking care of your son or daughter. This type of dentist, a specialist entirely focused on children’s teeth and gums, is used to helping kids feel relaxed so they aren’t fearful of a checkup. The equipment at a pediatric office is designed and optimized for children. The environment will usually offer toys and a bright color scheme. Finally, prevention is a central mission—laying the groundwork for a lifetime of solid oral health.

“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


Pediatric Dentistry is important. After you recognize the need to find a good one, the next step is to review the available options. Here are a few pointers to find one who will expertly protect your child’s teeth while keeping them at ease. Know where to look. You can ask loved ones and others in your social networks for their suggestions, or you can get referred through your pediatrician. Local magazines and websites provide ideas as well. Another way to search is through providerfinder portals, such as the one from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD). Check for credibility. You want to know that your choice of pediatric dentist is a proven professional who is active in the field. They should have accreditations, such

Go see for yourself. When you think you have found a strong candidate, it is time to scout the location physically. The ambience in the office should be comfortable and welcoming. Colors should be warm, and toys or manipulatives should be available. These familiar elements of a kid-friendly space will both help your son or daughter feel at ease and take their mind off the appointment. Furthermore, the dentist and staff should be friendly and accommodating to the distractibility and anxieties of children. When you visit, stay a little longer in the waiting room, checking to make sure that the dental team excels at engaging and treating children. Get answers to a few questions before you book the appointment. Does the dental office have an answering service for offhour emergencies? Is your dental insurance accepted? What else is important to you? Make sure all your questions are answered before you proceed in booking a first appointment. After an initial visit, you want to evaluate whether this practice met your expectations. Did your child get seen by the dentist at the scheduled time? Did they ask for full dental and medical records? Was the examination both careful and comprehensive? Did you get updated on the development of your son or daughter’s teeth? Finally, to what degree did members of the staff discuss oral health with your child? A competent and concerned pediatric dentist will inform your child about the influence of diet on teeth, go over proper brushing and flossing habits (including a demonstration), and set a timeline for the arrival of your child’s permanent teeth. Through your initial research and postappointment questions, you should be able to find a great pediatric dentist to safeguard your child’s current and lifelong health.

Start 2018 off

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


An Attorney You’ll want to choose the best lawyer for your specific needs. There are plenty of good attorneys out there—but many of them specialize in a very specific area of law. What kind of lawyer do you need? And how do you choose the right one? The nature of your legal problem will help to determine what kind of lawyer you need. Most attorneys concentrate their practices in a few legal specialties like family law, criminal law, employment law, personal injury law, bankruptcy, or civil litigation. Don’t just hire a friend or family member— especially if this person does not specialize in the area of law your problem requires!

“In choosing an attorney, look for a firm that desires a long-term relationship with you. Welcome and open communication is key. When an attorney is invested in your success, you can be confident that you are not just a number, but a valuable part of the team and family.” NORRED LAW

You’ll want to conduct your own thorough research before making a decision. Start by securing referrals from family and friends—make sure these referrals are for attorneys in the appropriate practice area! Carefully research each candidate. Check with your local bar association. Most county and civic bar associations offer lawyer referral services to the public—but take these recommendations with a grain of salt, as the bar association might not screen for qualifications. The American Bar Association also offers a searchable database for consumers seeking legal counsel. You can also ask other lawyers for referrals. The legal community tends to be small enough that even when that friend or


family member can’t help you personally, they can almost always point you in the direction of someone who can. Lawyers tend to be aware of other lawyers’ reputations in a particular practice area, and can hopefully help steer you towards someone who is both knowledgeable and reputable. Keep in mind, many lawyers receive a referral fee when they refer out a case, and this may or may not influence their decision when referring out your specific case. Once you’ve narrowed down the field of contenders, you should interview the attorneys to see who will be the best fit for your specific needs and legal issues. Most attorneys will provide an initial consultation (usually an hour or less) at no charge. (The process can differ from firm to firm, and depends on their current caseload and priorities.) Ask the attorney you meet with about your specific area of need; what percentage of their caseload is dedicated to your type of legal matter? How long has he or she been in practice, and what is their rate of success? Do they have any special skills or certifications? What are the fees and how are they structured? Do they carry malpractice insurance? Will anyone else be working on your case, and what are their rates? How will you be billed? How will they inform you of developments in your case? Is the attorney someone you would feel comfortable working with—and are you confident they possess the skills and necessary experience to handle your case? Look into any disciplinary actions against potential candidates. Keep in mind that more expensive does not necessarily mean lawyer “X” is any more or less qualified than lawyer “Y.” You have to do your research, and then follow your intuition.


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Navigating through legal issues can be highly stressful. Assistance from an experienced attorney can mean the difference between expensive frustration and peace of mind. Some of our services are available to clients all over the world. Whether you have a new idea that needs a patent, you are starting a business, in financial trouble and need to file bankruptcy, or you are involved in a lawsuit, Norred Law will work hard to help you achieve your goals. Some of our services include Estates and Probate, Intellectual Property, Bankruptcy, Business law, Internet Defamation, Litigation, and Wills. In choosing an attorney, look for a firm that desires a long-term relationship with you; welcome and open communication is key. When an attorney is invested in your success you can be confident that you are not just a number, but a valuable part of the team and family.


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in pediatric orthopedics can bring peace of mind. Similarly, if you’re considering spine surgery, look for a board certified orthopedic surgeon who has completed a spine surgery fellowship program.

An Orthopedic Surgeon Although you may be referred to one or more orthopedic surgeons by your primary care doctor or another physician, it’s good to know you have a choice. You want the best results possible because you will likely have to live with them the rest of your life. The right orthopedic surgeon can help you avoid medical complications and a poor outcome, and possibly hasten your recovery and make it more comfortable. This can be dependent not only on the surgeon’s skill and experience, but the techniques used, such as minimally invasive surgery, and the advanced treatments provided, like platelet-rich plasma injections.

“When surgery or pain treatments are recommended, select a hospital or medical center that fits your needs. A specialty hospital for orthopedic and spine patients will better understand why the treatment is needed, how you should feel afterwards, and will help you prepare yourself before surgery to achieve the best possible outcome.” BAYLOR ORTHOPEDIC AND SPINE HOSPITAL AT ARLINGTON


Start your search by deciding whether you require an orthopedic surgeon who subspecializes. Some of the most common subspecialties in orthopedic medicine are joint replacement, sports medicine, and hand surgery. After completing four years of medical school plus a multi-year orthopedic surgery residency, those who decide to subspecialize complete a fellowship after their residency. Determining whether to seek out a subspecialist depends on your case and preferences. For example, choosing a surgeon for your child who subspecializes

As you narrow down your list, call each surgeon’s office and ask for a consult appointment to meet and interview the surgeon. He or she should take time to get to know you, educate you about your condition, make specific treatment recommendations, and review various therapeutic options while comparing relative risks, upsides, and limitations. Discuss what’s likely to happen and how your condition could progress if left untreated. Ask how many patients with your specific condition the orthopedic surgeon has treated. If surgery is recommended, will it be performed using minimally invasive techniques? If not, why? Ask how many procedures like yours the doctor has performed and what complications he or she has encountered, as well as your own risk of complications. All surgeons should be willing to share this information with you and answer questions to your satisfaction, including those about their credentials (such as board certification). Consults are also a great way to decide whether you sense a trusting connection with the orthopedic surgeon. Aside from your “gut feel,” mindfully evaluate the communication style during your consult. Does the surgeon make you feel at ease? Are your questions welcomed and answered in ways you can understand? If a surgeon pushes back, is distracted, or tries to rush you, keep looking. Finally, find out what hospital or hospitals a surgeon is affiliated with. Check out the quality of care at the hospital or ambulatory surgery center where your surgery will be performed. Hospital quality matters because patients at top-rated hospitals typically have fewer complications and better survival rates. Undergoing orthopedic surgery can be a stressful time in your life. Few things are more important than health, so spend enough time to make the correct healthcare decision. Do research and ask questions until you’re confident you’re making the right choice.



found someone who is experienced with those issues?

A CPA Though some choose to prepare their own taxes, many would never dream of undertaking such a task. Instead, these folks decide to hire a certified public accountant (CPA). Though the IRS doesn’t require businesses or individuals to hire a CPA or other tax preparer, many are so busy with the daily ins and out of running a business or living their lives that they simply don’t have the necessary time to sit down and analyze their own financial data. If this sounds like you, it’s probably time to look into calling a professional.

“Businesses are tapping CPAs to not only manage finances and taxes, but also to determine profitable new product lines, help diversify investments, and provide a variety of other consulting and business services. Many small business will most likely need a good bookkeeper and a tax advisor or enrolled agent. As you grow, a CPA may become more important to you. Knowing your numbers to make good business decisions and minimize your tax liability is vital to small businesses to help them grow.” TODD COLLOM


Did you know that hiring an accountant or a CPA to handle your taxes could lead to financial growth opportunities you may have never even imagined? It’s true, but you’ve got to choose wisely. You’ll want to prepare a list of questions that you can bring to a financial advisor. A little food for thought: would you like help improving your cash flow? Do you need guidance in applying for a loan? Is financial planning for your business or estate a concern? Are you considering any sort of upcoming financial changes that might have a big impact, and if so, have you

Identifying the answers to these questions is important, because nowadays many accounting firms provide advice. Once you’ve identified your priorities (in addition to tax preparation), you’ll want to look for a firm that can provide these services, assuming they are important to you. Do a little digging on the prospective firm’s websites. Ask family and friends for recommendations of accountants who prepare taxes, and who offer any of the other services you’re interested in procuring. The American Institute of CPAs and the National Society of Accountants are another great resource, and link to directories and state accounting associations. You should be aware that some firms will already be too busy with their current clients, and may tell you no. You should be prepared to contact several firms. Schedule meetings with the prospective accountants. Prepare a list of questions for these meetings. Find out what degrees, professional certifications, or training they have. (Not all accountants are CPAs.) Ask about experience working with businesses or individuals in your line of work. Some accountants may be able to provide industry comparisons to your financials, or may have useful professional contacts in your field. Find out who will be your main point of contact—accounting firms vary widely in size and staff. You’ll probably want to know upfront whether you’ll be working with a partner or a junior staffer. Another very important question to ask: how are fees structured? Hourly? By project? Or does the firm require a retainer for advisory services? Some firms provide different levels of services based on monthly fees. This is information you will want to have in hand when making a decision. At the end of the day, you want to make the best, most informed decision for your specific needs—and this won’t look the same for everyone.

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An Interior Designer Moving from a small house into an expansive multi-bedroom residence? Do you know what to do with all the new space? Building your own home and want to make sure the crown molding and cabinet selections work well with the floors and window treatments? Maybe you’ve lived in the same place since the 80s and realize it’s long overdue for a decorating facelift? An interior designer can help with all this and more—as well as steer you clear of committing decorating or design disasters that at best will make things less appealing and at worst could negatively impact your home’s value.

“Choosing a designer is one of the most personal choices one can make, as you will be collaborating on your living environments, so trust and respect are key elements. It’s important that it’s a good fit for both the designer and the client to come up with amazing, personalized spaces.” LISA LANDRY LANDRY DESIGNS


Choosing the right interior designer Is critical. difference between a house of horrors and a polished home that reflects your tastes and is comfortable and inviting to others. One easy place to quickly look for one is to search for members of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), an organization that educates and tests interior designers. Other apps and websites have lists of vetted experts to choose from as well. When you find a few designers you like, ask to see their portfolios. Don’t just look at photos, though. See if they have a model home or studio to walk you through so you can get an excellent sense of their ability. Keep in mind your tastes and preferences

when looking at portfolios. If you like pale hues and country chic, don’t go with a designer whose body of work is full of bright colors and modern decor. If you’re not sure what your style is, gather photos of home interiors you like. Your designer may also ask you to show them things that inspire you, such as clothing, a piece of fabric, a painting, or the sunset in your wedding photo. Designers worth their weight can take it from there. Cost is important. Interior designers charge one of three ways: by the hour, by the project (flat rate), or cost-plus (where they will purchase materials and furniture at their discount and pass them onto you for the retail cost). Some may say they are free of charge, but in that case they may only be selling certain product lines, which can be limiting. Hourly rates may offer the most flexibility. If you pay a flat fee and aren’t happy, then you can’t get your money back. If you go with cost-plus, you’re not guaranteed you’re getting the best prices for products and furniture. If you go hourly, you can cancel service at any time. But every project and situation is different. Be sure you know your budget upfront and that you discuss all of this with potential designers. If you’re building a new home, it is important to find an interior designer who knows about construction and deadlines, and can work with the architect and contractor. Communicate clearly who is doing what and who reports to whom. Schedule regular meetings with everyone involved and this way there won’t be any major surprises or setbacks. If all goes well, your place will transform from drab to fab with little hassle.





a bariatric surgeon, it’s wise to look for those who offer more than one surgical option. This way, the surgeon can help you select the surgery that will help you best meet your weight loss goals, versus trying to force-fit you into a solution that may not be optimal for you.

A Bariatric Surgeon Obesity is a major epidemic of our generation, with one-third of adults in the United States suffering from this disease. More than just a problem of “girth control,” obesity puts people at increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, certain types of cancer, and more. As the rate of obesity has grown in the U.S., so has the multi-billion-dollar diet industry. Yet with all the diets, diet plans, and pseudo-diets available, millions of Americans continue to struggle to lose weight and keep it off. For a growing number of Americans, bariatric surgery, also known as weight loss surgery, offers another option.

If you think bariatric surgery might be for you, start by finding weight loss surgery programs in your area and doing some research. There is a great deal of free information available on credible websites, social media, and weight loss surgery forums. Attend free informational seminars in person (often led by a weight loss surgeon) where you can listen, ask questions, and gather detailed information on that specific program. Keep in mind that we now have more types of weight loss surgery to choose from than ever before. Each will affect you differently, so when searching for


Other considerations include the surgeon’s experience and credentials, and where the surgery is performed. Bariatric surgeons are often fellowship-trained today, although many excellent surgeons with a proven track record and extensive experience began their practice before these fellowships were generally available. Facility accreditation also helps ensure quality of care. Studies have shown that those who undergo weight loss surgery at accredited facilities typically do better than those who don’t. The Metabolic Bariatric Surgery and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP) is the gold standard in accreditation. In addition, carefully look at the ancillary and follow-up services provided by the program a bariatric surgeon is associated with. Weight loss surgery itself is a tool, not a magic wand. During your weight loss journey, you will likely need emotional support, guidance with exercise, and information about nutrition and making the right food choices. A comprehensive surgical weight loss program will offer these things and possibly more. Be sure to gain an understanding of what services will be available to you before you undergo surgery. Finally, plan to establish a lasting relationship with your bariatric surgeon and his or her staff. How you feel about the program staff is important, because you will likely interface more with the staff than with the surgeon for ongoing support, questions, and general followup. If you believe you can develop a good rapport with them, it’s a good sign. Ultimately, your success depends on your commitment to making lifelong lifestyle changes. Choosing a surgeon and program that’s a good fit for you will ultimately help you achieve your weight loss goals.



A Urgent Care Facility When we have an urgent, but non-critical need for care, an urgent care facility may be the best choice. Terms such as convenient, immediate, urgent, and walk-in care all refer to this class of medical facility. They’re designed to serve people whose healthcare needs range between illnesses and aches, and emergencies such as threats to life, limb, or eyesight that we normally associate with an ambulance ride to a traditional hospital emergency room. The challenge is in choosing the right one.

“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


In an area as developed as our community, there are probably several nearby urgent care centers to choose from. A facility’s proximity is key when you or a loved one is suffering from, say, an unusually high fever or a kitchen knife accident, but there is more to consider than drive time. It’s a good idea to put a moment’s thought into where you might turn for help in the event of a non-lifethreatening emergency. Waiting to choose the right facility until you’re in need of immediate attention could turn the decision into a frantic Google Maps drill with uncertain results.

So how do we choose during normal moments of peace and quiet what we won’t want to take precious time to research when our health and safety may be at risk? Accreditations are a good place to start. According to the Urgent Care Association of America (UCAOA), there are two criteria by which urgent care facilities are recognized. The first is the USAOA Accreditation Program. The other certification program recognized by the UCAOA is the Certified Urgent Care (CUC) program. The CUC is used to recognize urgent care facilities that meet all the criteria that are standard in the United States for demonstrating an urgent care facility’s accessibility to all patients, the capability of the staff to treat a wide range of injuries and illnesses, and the clinic’s capacity to respond to an outbreak of disease in the local community. These facilities operate with a sense of, yes, urgency. It’s for this reason that it might take a few tries to pin a person down on the phone long enough to get the details. With a little patience and an extra portion of politeness, you can find someone with a few free minutes to provide you with the answers you’re looking for. To start with, ask about the certifications mentioned in this article. You might also inquire about services a clinic provides above and beyond primary care, such as occupational, physical, or weightloss therapy. Ask about standard rates, supported insurance programs, average wait times, and if they have any limitations on care that’s provided. If you get a moment, check them out in person and get a feel for what the process looks like. An urgent care facility can be a nice alternative to a preplanned appointment with a doctor or a more involved trip to the ER. Make sure you have one in mind in case somebody has an exceptionally bad day.




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tenants? Is construction innovation using sustainable development techniques and environmentally conscious products important to you? Also consider your ongoing property management needs once you move into your new office. If you’re not interested in doing your own property management, there are developers who offer professional property management as part of a turnkey solution. This appeals to many business owners because it allows them to focus on their core business and its success versus branching out into property management.

A Commercial Builder/Developer Investing in yourself and your future prosperity as a business owner often involves buying your own office space instead of leasing. Businesses that have purchased land may choose to construct a standalone building and occupy all of it, or occupy part and rent out the extra office space as a source of additional income. Others may look to buy office space in an existing office park or a mixed use commercial development. Whatever the case may be, commercial real estate ownership can help you build wealth and equity and enjoy the tax benefits associated with owning your office space.

When considering commercial property ownership, start by determining your basic requirements and what you are willing to consider. Just as your needs as a business owner are unique and varied, so are the products and services offered by commercial real estate builders/developers. Do you want a developer who will build to suit on property you own, or are you looking for someone with available commercial office sites you can choose from? Are you interested in owning space in an existing or pre-planned office park, or in a multi-use development with high visibility anchor


Once you have an idea about your general needs and requirements, begin your search for a commercial builder/developer. Although it might sound cliché, experience and reputation matter. A commercial builder/developer with longevity in the market will be able to acquire the right permits, organize engineer visits, converse with architects, and manage the trades needed to complete new construction on time and on budget without unexpected delays. Lengthy experience within the industry and market will also help your commercial builder liaise and negotiate with local authorities, and provide an overall experience that is as smooth and seamless as possible. If you wish to buy office space in an existing or soon-to-be constructed development, a commercial builder/ developer with in-depth local market knowledge and a proven track record of success is a great asset. This can eliminate any guess work on your part about office location, visibility, and accessibility. Additionally, hiring a company that offers turnkey, integrated services from the initial design phase through move-in and property management gives you options and minimizes the likelihood of any unexpected office ownership surprises. Whether you’re on the fence about owning your office space or it’s something you thought was out of reach, it’s wise to consult with a reputable commercial builder/developer to see if ownership is right for you. What do you have to lose besides those monthly rent payments?


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A Patio and Deck Company It’s time. Your aging deck, too-small patio, and outdated outdoor space have got to go. Rotting, sun-damaged wood and stained and cracked patios aren’t the inviting spaces that they can be, so why not start now in planning for your dream update? If you don’t know where to start, don’t worry. By taking some simple steps, you can plan your ideal deck, get quotes from multiple contractors, and choose which one suits your vision, your calendar, and your budget. Finding a trusted and well-respected outdoor contractor doesn’t have to be daunting. Do your research, and get started on creating your dream!

“When choosing a company to build your patio or deck, be sure they have general liability coverage. This will cover anything damaged on your property and is essential for a good contractor. Also ask what kind of warrantees they offer. Most companies should have a 5-10 year warranty on their work including labor.” ROD MULLHOLLAND OWNER, UNIQUE PAVING DESIGNS


Finding a decking and patio contractor when you don’t know where to start can cause you understandably to procrastinate. You can’t know if they’ll meet your expectations unless you ask, so start by researching outdoor contractors in your area. How are their online reviews? Better yet, what do your own neighbors say? Ask around. Look for contractors who have experience, skilled teams, and are licensed and insured, but also look for contractors who have satisfied customers.

Think about the design challenges of your outdoor space. Do you want to replace the exact footprint of your existing deck and patio, or are you ready to expand and re-shape your spaces? If you have your own ideas for doing something different, it’s important to have a contractor who’s willing and able to work with you and your vision. However, sometimes we want something different but can’t put it into words. Finding a contractor who is patient, creative, and has the design expertise to bring your hopes to reality is a true gift. You might want a contracting firm with designers on staff who can implement exactly what you want. Get at least three estimates, and ask each contracting firm what sets them apart. You’ll want a deck builder that you can trust, and that will be able to complete the job in a timely and professional manner. If you’re interested in intricate detail work, gazebos, bridges, or hot tub enclosures, then by all means, find a contractor with the experience that matches your desires. Make sure your contractor knows which materials will hold up the best, whether it’s redwood or Tyvex. Take their advice, but remember: you are the one who will live with the final product. Make sure that you and your contractor are on the same page and that they are listening to your concerns. As with any other home project, set your budget, but remember to be flexible with upgrades that can really pay off in the long run. Sometimes a surprisingly different outdoor living space can go a long way in the resale value of your home, so don’t shoot down good ideas out of fear of going over the budget. The important thing is having a contractor who can meet your expectations but can also offer creative solutions and beautiful designs that meet your short-term and long-term needs. What are you waiting for? Start now in contracting the deck of your dreams!



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the technology a dentist utilizes. Use of advanced technology can save you time, improve your personal comfort level during diagnosis and treatment, improve safety (digital X-rays and imaging) and help your dentist deliver high-quality dentistry.

A General Dentist Finding the right general dentist to help keep your smile in tip-top condition is valuable from both a health and a personal perspective. Great looking pearly whites can enhance your life, but there’s more to a beautiful smile than meets the eye. We now know that our oral health is linked to our overall health. Untreated or undertreated gum disease can indicate a cause and effect of systemic inflammation and chronic disease. Plus, by examining oral tissues, a vigilant dentist may detect signs of microbial infections, immune disorders, diseases such as diabetes, and even some cancers.

“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


Start with fundamental requirements. Location and office hours are a good place to start. It’s easier to keep appointments if you don’t have to drive a long distance to get to your dentist. And if you require extended weekday or Saturday appointment options, seek a dentist who can meet your scheduling needs. While these things are important, they shouldn’t be your only considerations. Especially if you feel anxious about visits to the dentist, a comfortable, stress-free experience may be even more critical. Amenities such as noise cancelling headphones, the ability to watch TV or listen to music in the dental chair, or even just warm blankets can boost your comfort, as can as the option of sedation dentistry. Also, pay attention to

Concerning the scope of specialized services offered, general dentists widely differ. Be aware of what’s available and then decide what will best suit you and your family. Some general dentists strive to perform as many services as possible themselves. Specialty services can include root canals, dental implant placement, periodontal therapy, orthodontics, and more. Others bring dental specialists into the office when needed, practice in a group that includes specialists, or refer patients to specialists with whom they have developed a close relationship—and may co-manage complex cases. Once you’ve identified a dentist, stop by the office to get a feel for it before scheduling an appointment, if possible. Does the office appear clean, neat, and orderly? Is the staff helpful and friendly? If the reception area is filled with patients griping about a long wait, you may want to look further. During your appointment, notice how you were greeted and if information is provided about fees and payment plans before treatment is scheduled. Inside the treatment room, note how your dentist, hygienist, and other staff members treat you. Are they pleasant, attentive, communicative, and compassionate? Are diagnoses and treatment recommendations or options well-explained? Your dentist should also review steps you can take that will help you prevent and improve your dental health. If the dentist you select doesn’t work out, avoid complacency and keep looking. A general dentist who makes you feel comfortable and treats you and your family with care and attention is an asset that’s worth your search time—and there’s sure to be one in your community.






Research the memory care facility extensively online and possibly also by phone, collecting some basic information. Check for cases of neglect and abuse, along with any negative press. Once you feel you have a few strong candidates, it is time to set up tours at each of them. While you are taking the tour, pay attention to how responsive and friendly the caretakers are, and ask about their training program. You also want to know how long staff members have been at the facility, both because high turnover reflects poorly on the center, and because it represents potential instability for your parent’s environment.

A Memory Care Center Issues with memory and a gradual loss of certain intellectual abilities naturally accompany the aging process. Some memory loss, though—such as that associated with Alzheimer’s disease, to name one example—does not fall within the normal range, and can become dangerous to the individual and their loved ones. If an elderly parent has been forgetting to turn off their stove, is getting lost on walks, or may be unable to respond correctly in the event of an emergency, their safety may depend on placement within a residential memory care center.

“Ensure the community can serve the specific needs of your loved one experiencing dementia. Trained professional staff and licensed nurses should be on site 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Communities should be committed to bringing dignity, respect, and the highest standards of service.” MARGARET DIXON MEADOWBROOK MEMORY CARE COMMUNITY


If you think that this option is right for your loved one, it is necessary and important to carefully make a decision that will give you and your mother or father support and peace of mind. Here’s a little info on how to go about the selection process. Start by looking for someplace nearby. You want the memory care center to be excellent, of course, but it is critical to ongoing health that you see your loved one regularly, according to Ruth Drew of the Alzheimer’s Association. If you choose someone further away, make sure you’re able to visit frequently, despite the distance.

Care is not just about the staff, but also the environment. Is everything clean? Is the food tasty and varied? Are there plenty of caretakers to help feed anyone who needs assistance? Are any residents not getting the attention they need? The above questions tie into a specific key characteristic of a memory care center that you should request: the staff-to-resident ratio. If it’s too high, residents start to get stuck in front of TV sets simply to keep them occupied. Check the activities calendar. Are there activities that will interest your loved one? There should be a broad array of options, with exercise, art, and music events or groups each convening at least once per day. Are holidays celebrated at the center? Make sure care is individualized. Will the community play a certain familiar song on a resident’s headphones to help them focus on finishing their meal? Once you start to feel more confident about a specific center, go back to the location. Make an unscheduled visit to the facility on a weekend or in the evening, when there are fewer staff members present. The above steps should help you choose a memory care center that will be an excellent choice for your loved one. If you do not feel that your questions are sufficiently answered, or for any reason feel unsure about the facility, back out and continue your research.





Most kids spend nearly 1,500 hours in school each year. As parents, there are a lot of things we can do to assure that time is well spent.


If your kids are like most, it can be hard to get them to talk about their school day. Some kids are more reluctant than others. But most can be coaxed to open up, with parenting tips like these. 1. Follow Their Lead Some kids aren’t ready to talk immediately after school, but will open up just fine once they’ve had time to process their day, have a snack, and touch base at home. 2. Ask Open-Ended Questions Rather than, “How was school today?” which is sure to elicit a monosyllabic response, try asking about specific things like, “Tell me about the game you played at recess today” or “What are y’all doing in gym now?” 3. Use their Take-home Work to Generate Conversations Showing interest in a child’s work can increase their self-esteem. Offering to help study with an older child or commenting positively on the artwork of a younger child can establish a link school and home. 4. Listen, Listen, and Listen Once your child gets started talking about her day, hold off on questions and let them talk. And don’t let their sharing turn into lecture time, or they may not share the next time.


PRODUCTIVE PARENT/TEACHER CONFERENCES Attending parent–teacher conferences is one way to let your kids know school is important to you and vital to them. A parent–teacher conference is an opportunity to: • discuss your child’s progress, • and work with the teacher to help your child do well in school. These tips can help you make the most of a parent/ teacher conference: 1. In the weeks before the conference, review your child’s homework, projects, tests, quizzes, report cards, or progress reports. 2. Ask your child if there are things they’d like you to discuss with the teacher. 3. Share your child’s interests, strengths, and favorite subjects to help the teacher know your child better. 4. Come with prepared questions you’d like to ask or topics you’d like to discuss.

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A RESOLUTION TO STICK WITH Resolve to keep your other resolutions by caring for yourself first BY STEVE HOWELL

Many of the best New Year’s resolutions are never followed through on. Life offers a lot of resistance when we try to change deeply ingrained habits. We want to improve ourselves for the benefit of those we love, but it’s difficult when we don’t feel well or lack energy. That’s why the most important thing you can do in life is to take good care of yourself. That sounds awfully selfish, doesn’t it? If you’ve flown on a major commercial airline in the past half-century, you’re probably familiar with the idea that if the oxygen masks drop, you’re supposed to put yours on first before helping anyone else. You’re told for good reason to do this—if you’re incapacitated, you can’t help anybody, including yourself. Although taking care of yourself sounds obvious, it sometimes takes a conscious effort.


short on prep time, cook on the weekends and freeze portions to enjoy later. If you simply can’t cook, a good rule of thumb is to seek out food with real-food ingredients. Recent studies show that Americans sit too much. Many of us have jobs that place us in a chair for many hours each day. Sitting for long periods puts us at a health risk, so get up and move around once in awhile. The Mayo Clinic recommends aiming for a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity every day. Regular exercise can reduce stress and fight depression, and aids in weight loss.

Possibly the best thing you can do is to adopt a lifestyle that includes a healthy diet and regular exercise. Crash diets don’t last, and fitness requires being active.

Another part of self care is getting enough sleep. It’s hard for some to get the recommended eight hours per night, but there are ways to improve the quality of sleep. Try going to bed and waking up at the same times each day. A regular sleep schedule is more restful. Take a 20 minute nap when possible to feel energized. If you still don’t feel well rested, talk to your doctor about it.

Healthy eating consists of fresh, quality ingredients. Spend more time in parts of the grocery store where you can see the actual food rather than carefully designed packaging. If you’re

You’re a busy person, but once you make time to take care of your own mind and body, you’ll have more energy and motivation to conquer life’s responsibilities, and to care for others.

APPROACHING DISORDERS DIFFERENTLY Dr. Laws has a special interest in the treatment of ADD and ADHD not only for the children, but for the adults as well. If your child is struggling in school, has low grades or is spending too much time doing homework, let us help you. We will be glad to discuss medical treatment as well as alternative treatment modalities.


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A little morning activity might be the best thing for you BY DAVID BUICE

Your friends hustling off to the gym might not believe it, but a morning walk or jog lasting 20 or 30 minutes will give you many of the same benefits of that gym workout at a fraction of the cost. Just invest in some comfortable walking or jogging shoes. A few laps around the neighborhood can work wonders!

WEIGHT LOSS Take a brisk walk before breakfast and you’ll burn about 100 calories for every mile covered. The morning is an especially good time as your glucose levels are lower and you’re burning fat.

HEALTHY HEART Walking 3 to 4 miles per hour can reduce the risk of a heart attack by about 40 percent, and a morning walk reduces the risk of a second heart


attack for those who have already had one.

IMPROVED MOOD A moderately-paced walk can instantly boost your mood as your body produces endorphins in the brain that trigger a positive feeling in your body—getting you ready for the day.

INCREASED ENERGY People who walk just 20 minutes a day report feeling more energetic and less fatigued as walking increases blood flow and enhances the body’s ability to produce energy.

REDUCED CANCER RISK Walking or jogging reduces the risk of cancer through oxygenation of the entire body. Cells not getting an

adequate supply of oxygen tend to mutate more vigorously and often turn malignant.

LOWER RISK OF DIABETES Walking can help lower blood sugar and reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes, especially for those considered prediabetic.

STRONGER MEMORY People who walk have a larger hippocampus, the area of the brain responsible for memory and learning, and studies show that a daily walk reduces the risk of dementia.

LONGER LIFE Regular walking can reduce your risk of a premature death by a whopping one-third! Since many early deaths are due to inactivity, any increased activity can have a positive influence on your life.

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Our Favorite Fundamentals The inside track on looking refreshed BY AUDREY ASHE

CURLED LASHES ON THE GO Want to make your eyes pop with a capital P? Use the Go Curl Pocket Curler by Japonesque in the morning and anytime during the day when your lashes need a little pick-me-up. This eyelash curler is the perfect travel size, and fits snugly in the palm of your hand. You can find it online or at beauty stores such as Ulta Beauty.

REVITALIZE WITH DIY TONER Fill a mini spritzer with cooled green tea and a few optional drops of Vitamin E oil. Use this antioxidant-rich spray after washing your face in the morning and whenever your skin needs a refresher during the dry, cold months.

DETOXIFYING GINGER BATH SALTS Homemade bath soaks are inexpensive and easy to make. Add a little zest to your bath with this aromatic ginger recipe. ½ cup Epsom salt ½ cup sea salt 3 tablespoons ground ginger ½ cup apple cider vinegar



When applying creams or serums around the eyes, pat it on in delicate upward motions to help get circulation going and reduce puffiness.

When washing your face, remember to always use lukewarm water. Hot water will only strip your skin of natural oils, and a cold water rinse, contrary to popular opinion, isn’t proven to tighten pores.

FRAME YOUR FACE Groomed eyebrows create a more put-together look. Trim away flyaways on a regular basis and lightly fill in sparse patches with a pencil. Panasonic’s compact facial trimmer does a nice job with eyebrow trimming if you’d rather not DIY it with scissors.

CRUELTY FREE LIP BALM Shea Moisture has a wide line of products from


bath and beauty to makeup. I’ve been especially obsessed with their Coconut & Hibiscus lip balm for dry or chapped lips. Products are available at most drugstores, and are guaranteed not tested on animals.

CLEAN MAKEUP BRUSHES, MADE EASY Makeup blenders and brushes should be cleaned weekly to reduce the amount of breakout-causing oils and bacteria exposed to your face. The good news—you don’t need to break the bank on cleaning products! Washing with a dollop of baby shampoo should kill any nasty microorganisms and leave brush fibers soft and hydrated. Make sure to rinse and let air dry.

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The sea plays a focal role in Ashley Maddox’s home in Cape Town— and not only because it features a 180-degree view of the ocean. Each of the upstairs rooms has been painted to match the spectrum of blues and greens seen in the sea.

In the kids’ bathroom, the ‘Itawuli’ towel is by Mungo in South Africa and the shell necklace is from Madagascar.

“When we bought the house, it was all white everywhere—very stark with big, white, shabby-chic couches. You can create so much personality just with color,” says Ashley. The cerulean shade in the couple’s bedroom was inspired by a studio visit to South African artist Paul Senyol (a large painting of his hangs in the entranceway downstairs). “From France, before we moved here, I was looking for inspiration in South African design and there were two artists that I really loved. One was Paul and one was Andrzej Urbanski. I had no idea that not only are they both in Cape Town, but they’re represented by the same gallery, they’ve exhibited together and they’re best friends. And I found them from totally different sources.”

The plastic and wire ceiling light that looks like a giant hat is by French furniture designer Constance Guisset. It’s soft to the touch and was delivered coiled up in a (hat) box, before being untwirled and attached together. The ‘knot’ tiles in emerald around the fireplace are by Popham Design. The Tuareg leather and grass woven carpet is from Mauritania; the Bamileke stool from Cameroon; the throws and ottoman from Malawi via Ashanti Design; and the pillows from Malawian social enterprise, People of the Sun.


HOMESTEAD The chairs on either end of the table are by French furniture designer Constance Guisset and the patterned wax print school chairs are by South African fashion designer Sandalene DaleRoberts. The chandelier is Atelier Areti and the bowl topped with citrus fruits is by Wonki Ware, from George in South Africa.

Linen sheets in the turquoise guest bedroom are from La Redoute; the throw and pillows from Ashanti Design in Cape Town; Danish 1960s table from a French flea market; Binic Table Lamp; vintage 1950s French industrial lamp; vintage 1960s wicker chair from Fresh and Vintage in France with a pillow by the Keiskamma Art Project in South Africa.



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Superb Bowl Host a memorable get together for that big football game BY MIMI GREENWOOD KNIGHT

Wow, there have been 52 of these games already? Doesn’t look a day over 40… If you’re having a crowd over to celebrate the game (and why shouldn’t you?) here are some ideas for making it a time you won’t soon forget. We all know the go-to football party foods: chicken wings, potato skins, nachos, mozzarella sticks, deviled eggs, sliders, chili and on and on. But don’t forget your party guests who are watching their waistline. Offer them these healthy snacks that are low on fat, but high on flavor.

PEACH BRUSCHETTA WITH GOAT CHEESE, BASIL, AND HONEY 1 baguette, sliced at a diagonal into ½ inch thick slices olive oil for brushing bruschetta 4 ounces goat cheese 4 ounces cream cheese ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon cracked pepper three ripe peaches, wedged 10-15 basil leaves, ribboned honey


HEALTHY BUFFALO CAULIFLOWER BITES 6 cups of fresh cauliflower florets 2 teaspoons garlic powder pinch each of salt and pepper 1 tablespoon butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice baguette into ½ inch slices at a diagonal. Brush both sides with olive oil and bake for 15 minutes, or until crisp. Soften cream cheese and goat cheese in microwave until just soft enough to combine easily with a fork. Mix until smooth. Spread a little goat cheese mixture on each bruschetta and top with a peach wedge. Garnish with basil ribbons, then drizzle with honey, and sprinkle with cracked pepper.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix garlic powder, salt, pepper, melted butter, and hot sauce in a small bowl. Add cauliflower into a large gallon-sized bag, and pour the buffalo sauce into the bag. Shake until the cauliflower florets are fully coated. Spread on a baking sheet coated with cooking oil. Bake for 20 minutes. Serve with ranch or blue cheese dressing.



¾ cup hot sauce





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SAIL INTO WINTER It might just be the best time to take a cruise BY ANNETTE BROOKS


ondering what to do after the holiday excitement has waned? A cruise can be the perfect antidote for the winter blahs. Visit multiple destinations, unpack once, keep yourself (and the kids) entertained, meet new people, enjoy some nightlife, get pampered, and simply chill out—what could be easier?

Oh, the Possibilities Cruise through the destination options—there are plenty. An obvious consideration is the general destination and ports of call. While a cruise to the Caribbean or Mexico from a Texas port of embarkation might seem like a slam dunk, keep an open mind and do some exploring


before you decide. What you discover may surprise you, especially if you’re up for a little adventure. Do you love wildlife spotting and unique experiences? Cruise the Galapagos Islands, a volcanic archipelago in the Pacific Ocean that is a province of Ecuador. During our winter it’s summer in the Galapagos, which usually means calmer seas and excellent underwater visibility. Plus, the mating/nesting/egg hatching season for several species occurs from January through April. Another winter option in a warm environment is an exotic Southeast Asia river cruise. A Burma (Myanmar) cruise takes you into the heart of a country that has been inaccessible for decades. The rivers—

part of Myanmar’s lifeblood—are inseparable from Burmese spiritual life. Expect to see pastoral scenery and temples, and glimpse people who are far removed from western civilization going about their daily lives. Does witnessing the greatest natural light show on earth tickle your fancy? Take a northern lights cruise from Norway. View quaint fishing villages with buildings painted in primary colors, bustling commercial ports, and austere tundrascapes from the comfort of your ship. Onshore, you can snowmobile, dog sled, cross-country ski, and take cultural tours. Or remain on board and pamper yourself with soothing spa treatments and gourmet cuisine.


Cruise through the destination options —there are plenty The “B” Word Cruises can be a good value for the money and there’s practically a cruise for every budget, but be sure to understand what is included in your cruise rate and what is not. Unless you book an all-inclusive cruise, extra fees are often involved. Mandatory crew tips (service fees), Internet access, fitness club classes such as yoga or spinning, and even bottled water for your cabin can cost extra. There’s usually a charge for laundry service, which you will likely need on a longer voyage, and meals in the ship’s higher end restaurants can boost the price, too.

Depending on your desires and habits, consider adding optional packages before your voyage begins. This is when the best deals are typically available. If you enjoy drinking wine, for instance, consider paying for a wine package offered by some cruise companies. Or select a cruise where a choice of wines come with lunch and dinner, and free 24hour room service. Expenses that don’t pertain to the cruise itself should also be factored into your budget, such as visas (if required), pre-trip vaccines (check the CDC for recommendations or requirements if traveling outside

the USA), getting to and from your port(s) of embarkation, and group or private shore excursion tours. A cruise is what you make of it, whether you want to explore the world, have fun with the kids, or ensconce yourself in a world of floating luxury. As someone who was once a cruise skeptic, my first cruise was a wonderful experience that whet my appetite for more. Right now, I’m eying a winter cruise from Argentina to Chile around Cape Horn. Maybe I’ll see you on board!




en years ago, Pastor Mike Ashcroft issued his church a challenge: forget the resolutions and focus on one word. The sermon caught fire, became a movement, and ultimately resulted in the book, called My One Word: Change Your Life with Just One Word. Ashcroft says the premise is simple: Lose the long list of resolutionsall your sweeping promises to change-and do something about one thing this year instead of nothing about everything. Choose just one word that represents what you most hope God will do in you, and focus on it for an entire year. This single act will force clarity and concentrate your efforts. As you focus on your word over an extended period of time, you position yourself for God to form your character at a deep, sustainable level. Growth and change will result.


A friend of mine has been practicing the concept for some time, so last year I gave it a shot. I asked the Lord for one word; something He wanted me to focus on for the next twelve months, and the word that hit me was prayer. I knew I was hearing the Lord correctly. I feel the deepest connection to God when I wake up before my family, light a candle, open my Bible, and journal my prayers, cares, and concerns. However, when you wake up at 3:30 am five days a week, morning Bible and journal time is rare. I would attempt to pray on my way to work, but it wasn’t the same. I knew God was calling me to make some adjustments. This year my word came early. Integrity: 1. firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values: incorruptibility 2. an unimpaired condition: soundness

3. he quality or state of being complete or undivided: completeness Initially, I wasn’t sure if this was the right word. It was the first thing that popped into my mind when I asked the Lord if He had a word for me, and quite honestly, I wasn’t expecting an answer just yet. Also, if I’m to be perfectly transparent, I didn’t think I needed a total overhaul in this area. Tweaks, absolutely, but a year spent working on my integrity? Years ago someone told me, “Integrity is who you are when no one’s looking,” and I took the words to heart. God is there even when no one else is, and I want a clean conscience before the Lord. I try very hard to be honest and trustworthy and admit my shortcomings when I fail. Integrity, like most words, has more than one definition. Biblically speaking, integrity describes a state of uprightness, blamelessness, and honor. But the word, as reflected in Merriam-Webster’s definition,

Moses came to give the letter of the law; Jesus, in His sermon, explains what it looks like to live in the spirit of the law. “Get the log out of your eye before you call out a speck in your brother’s (Mt. 7:5); ask, seek, and knock with persistence (Mt. 7:7-8); enter through the narrow gate(Mt. 7:14); you’ll know good people by the good works they do (Mt. 7:20).” His final charge in this iconic sermon challenged us to consider our foundation. The integrity of a building begins and ends with its foundation, and our foundation begins and ends with obedience to the Word of God. Note that the integrity is not in the hearing, nor is it in the knowing. Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on the rock (Mt. 7:24).

also depicts completion, soundness of structure, and unity. When an architect speaks of the integrity of a building, he or she is referring to strength and trustworthiness of the framework. That hits home for me and reminds me of a story Jesus told about the wise and foolish builders. Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on the rock. The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn’t collapse because its foundation was on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of Mine and doesn’t act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, the rivers rose, the winds blew and pounded that house, and it collapsed. And its collapse was great! This story is the capstone on the famous “Sermon on the Mount.”

Integrity—the security of our very structure, the soundness of our minds—lies in the doing. It is the process of hearing the Word, processing the Word, and doing the Word that we become people of biblical integrity. Yes, we are to be honest, authentic, and trustworthy and I have not arrived. My character needs more work. But we are also called to persevere, push through, and build out the Kingdom of God, and that requires strength. That calls for integrity of structure. The tallest building in the world is the Burj Khalifa, towering over half a mile high over the deserts of Dubai, India. Engineers had to account for two major factors when designing the foundation—earthquakes and wind. Because Dubai sits on a seismically active area, the Burj Khalifa must be able to withstand significant ground shifting. Because the building is 160 stories tall, it must be built to withstand major gusts. Architects solved the problems by digging over 165 feet underground to construct the foundation, and designed a special

spiral pattern to “confuse the wind.” Essentially, the integrity of the structure enables it to withstand the greatest of storms. So it is with you and me. The integrity of that which we are built upon determines how we will weather the storms that come our way. To build our lives on a spouse, a job, a role, or a position is to build our life on a fault line, for any of those things can disappear at a moment’s notice. That is the recipe for anxiety, insecurity, and instability. Jesus came that we might have eternal life in the future and abundant life now—a life of purpose, passion, and peace. He is the truth on which we stand, the way in which we walk, and the light to lead our steps. To hear, know, and obey His word is the key to security and stability in a world ever-bending to the constant winds of change. I am asking the Lord to make me a woman of great integrity in 2018— both in behavior and structure. I want to walk in grace and truth, spreading the love of Christ and sharing the good news of the Gospel. What are your hopes for the New Year? Let’s forget the lists and resolutions and ask God to do a lasting work through a single word. Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out. —Proverbs 10:9 NIV MIKE ASHCROFT AND RACHEL OLSEN, “MY ONE WORD: CHANGE YOUR LIFE WITH JUST ONE WORD,” (GRAND RAPIDS: ZONDERVAN, 2012. HTTPS://WWW.AMAZON. COM/MY-ONE-WORD-CHANGE-YOUR/DP/0310318777/ REF=SR_1_1?IE=UTF8&QID=1513097761&SR=81&KEYWORDS=MY+ONE+WORD+BOOK HTTPS://WWW.MERRIAM-WEBSTER.COM/DICTIONARY/ INTEGRITY MATTHEW 7:24-27 HCSB HARRY G. POULOS AND GRAHAME BUNCE, “FOUNDATION DESIGN FOR THE BURJ DUBAI—THE WORLD’S TALLEST BUILDING,” AT THE 6TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON CASE HISTORIES IN GEOTECHNICAL ENGINEERING, (ARLINGTON, VA, AUGUST 11TH – 16TH, 2008). HTTP:// WWW.GEOMARC.IT/POULOS_&_BUNCE_2008.PDF HTTP://WWW.SOM.COM/PROJECTS/BURJ_KHALIFA__ STRUCTURAL_ENGINEERING




Fresh fruit juice is a versatile ingredient that can be put in practically everything! From fruity smoothies to healthier cocktails to desserts with a pop of bright flavors, you are going to have a hard time resisting these freshly squeezed recipes!






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