Living Magazine April 2018

Page 1

The Outdoors Issue PLUS!

Local happenings, community events, and more...

GET OUTSIDE It’s good for you

A NEST IN NATURE A look at life in the lake house

CAMPFIRE COOKING Easy eats for outdoor outings

APRIL 2018 ARLINGTON MANSFIELD GRAND PRAIRIE EDITION

SUPER DESIGNER LISA LANDRY

INTERIOR DESIGN NEVER LOOKED SO GOOD


HOPE IS HERE. SETTING A NEW STANDARD FOR ONCOLOGY CARE.

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The Outdoors Issue

APRIL 2018

on the cover 20 I LANDRY DESIGNS in the spotlight

24 I KIDCREATE STUDIO

FEATURES 42 I Time for a Test Drive

There’s more to it than kicking the tires

46 I Jeans + Scenes

Designer denim for a day out

52 I Rebecca Carrol 62 I Digging into Earth Day in every issue

Tidbits about the other green holiday

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10 FROM THE PUBLISHER 12 SOCIAL CALENDAR 13 BEST BETS 14 TALK OF THE TOWN 22 FRUIT OF THE VINE 60 LIVING PET CLUB 65 LIVING LIKES

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WELLNESS WEAR AND TEAR

30

AESTHETICS

34

HOMESTEAD

BE YOURSELFIE

LAKE HOUSE LIFE

WRINKLE AND WORRY FREE

THE OUTDOORS, INSIDE

44

ADVENTURE WILD BLUE RIDGE YONDER

54

CUISINE A CAMPING WE WILL GO

BALDI GARDENS LANDSCAPE

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

PUBLISHING

PUBLISHER EDITOR SENIOR ADMINISTRATOR EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTORS PHOTOGRAPHY CONTRIBUTORS

“For as the soil makes the sprout...

Misty Daniels, mdaniels@livingmagazine.net Brandon Daiker, bdaiker@livingmagazine.net Todd Collom, Don Beene Lisa Landry, Anna Charles, LaRue Novick, Meredith Knight, Derek Gower, Lauren Medean, Diana Raines

PRODUCTION

come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, So the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.” Isaiah 61:11 Hasn’t spring been amazing? Even though I’ve lived through my fair share of springtimes, it never ceases to astound me and make me think of the Creator who orchestrates it all. To watch a brown and barren tree suddenly burst out in green, is a miracle on the scale of the Grand Canyon. If you’re one of the lucky few this spring, you might find a bird’s nest somewhere and can watch that empty nest welcome first eggs, then helpless chicks who can barely support their own heads but who are covered with fluff, then birds leaving that nest, all in a matter of weeks. Astonishing! Our world and our God are always remarkable. But never more so than in spring! We’re happy to be sharing another glorious month with you with articles on living the Texas life we love. From items on making our home the warmest and most welcoming it can be to others on venturing out and discovering new vacation spots; from wellness tips and fashion fun to healthy recipes and much more, we hope you enjoy Spring 2018. May God bless you and the ones you love.

SENIOR ART DIRECTOR GRAPHIC DESIGNERS CLIENT SERVICE MANAGER

Donny Stevens Van Ngo Jenefer Grady

ADVERTISING/SALES

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE VP OF SALES SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM MANAGEMENT COMMUNITY MAGAZINE GROUP NORTH TEXAS

SOUTH TEXAS

Kami Anderson, kanderson@livingmagazine.net Theresa Mayser, tmayser@livingmagazine.net Grant Lindsey, glindsey@livingmagazine.net Scott Daniels, sdaniels@livingmagazine.net For advertising/distribution information call 682-556-1246. Lindsay Clark, lclark@livingmagazine.net ARLINGTON/MANSFIELD/GRAND PRAIRIE ROCKWALL/ROWLETT/HEATH FRISCO/PLANO MCKINNEY/ALLEN THREE-EIGHTY NORTH NORTHEAST TARRANT COUNTY COPPELL/LAS COLINAS KELLER FLOWER MOUND N. RICHARDSON/MURPHY THE WOODLANDS/SHENANDOAH/MAGNOLIA SPRING/CHAMPIONS CY-FAIR

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

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

The Outdoors Issue PLUS!

Local happenings, community events, and more...

APRIL 2018 ARLINGTON MANSFIELD GRAND PRAIRIE EDITION

A partner of Chansen Media Group

Get the April 2018 issue now. livingmagazine.pub

GET OUTSIDE It’s good for you

A NEST IN NATURE A look at life in the lake house

CAMPFIRE COOKING Easy eats for outdoor outings

10

SUPER DESIGNER LISA LANDRY

INTERIOR DESIGN NEVER LOOKED SO GOOD


Letters

from our

Mayors

MAYOR DAVID COOK

MANSFIELD

MAYOR RON JENSEN

GRAND PRAIRIE

The second week in April is traditionally National Library Week. In Mansfield we have much to celebrate when it comes to our public library. It is considered by many as a community treasure and the number of visitors checking out the library grows year after year. The American Library Association has designated Mansfield as a Literary Landmark in honor of the work of Mansfield author John Howard Griffin, author of “Black Like Me,” one of only five Literary Landmarks in Texas. Mansfield Reads! is in its 15th year of bringing residents together to read one book during April. Just like the 14 authors before him, Texas author Carlton Stowers, who wrote this year’s selection “On Texas Backroads,” will visit Mansfield for the “Evening With the Author” event. We are grateful to the Friends of the Mansfield Public Library for producing Mansfield Reads! each year and for their continuous support of our library and its efforts. Please join us on Friday, April 27, at the library to welcome Mr. Stowers to our community.

Grand Prairie was recently ranked the 2nd Happiest City in Texas and 10th Happiest City in the U.S. by WalletHub.com, an online financial management company. Their analysis was based on 28 indicators, ranging from emotional and physical well-being; income and employment; to community and environment. I’m so glad others recognize our funderful philosophy. In fact, in April, fun starts springing up all over Grand Prairie. Farmers Market opens on Saturdays. Lynn Creek Park on Lake Joe Pool welcomes people to beach, swim and boat. Main Street Fest, April 20-22, features rides, games, artisans, crafts, KIDZONE and concerts by Josh Turner, Bradley Banning, Micky and the Motorcars, Wade Bowen, Tejas Brothers, Monica Saldivar and La Mafia. Inside Epic Waters Indoor Water Park, enjoy summer all year. Lone Star Park thoroughbred racing kicks off. Cyclin’ with the Mayor starts spinning. It is no surprise to me we are one of the happiest cities in the U.S.

MAYOR JEFF WILLIAMS

ARLINGTON

Kindness is contagious. This past year we’ve witnessed an epidemic of kindness spreading across our American Dream City. From elementary classes collecting food for families in need and teens surprising firefighters with thank-you notes and goodies, to seniors volunteering time in any number of ways, random acts of kindness are all around us. Last year, as part of the new “Experience the Kindness of Our Dream City”, the Arlington City Council, Community Relations Commission, and I established The Arlington Kindness Initiative encouraging citizens to report any random act of kindness they witnessed. As I knew you would, the people of Arlington rose to the challenge, letting us know about small and not so small kindnesses all across our area. Those acts of kindness ranged from students at The Oakridge School singing “You are My Sunshine” to a beloved cafeteria worker and making get-well-soon messages for sick classmates to Arlington Animal Services recognizing Bob Meister as Volunteer of the Year for going above and beyond for our local dogs and cats; from Butler Elementary students writing notes to local veterans to countless unsung but equally selfless acts. Hopefully this is only the beginning. Keep on reporting the good you see. And look for ways you can make a difference yourself. And we’ll see Arlington continue in it’s tradition of kindness and love.

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SOCIAL CALENDAR ARLINGTON - MANSFIELD - GRAND PRAIRIE

APRIL 7

YAPPY HOUR Spend some quality time with your furry friend and have some fun at the 2018 Dog Social! Live music, local, food trucks and dog contests. 5:30-8:30pm. Rush Creek Dog Park. Pre-register is $10 or $15 cash at event. To register visit naturallyfun. org/yappyhour or call Eunice Activity Center 817-277-8091. Arlington Parks and Recreation,

APRIL 1 - 30

2pm. Tierra Verde Golf Club. Visit arlingtongolf.com. Arlington Parks and Recreation

Visit naturallyfun.org for sports listing. Register online at coapar.siplay.com. Arlington Parks and Recreation

APRIL 14 AND 28

YOUTH SPORTS REGISTRATION

APRIL 8

2018 ARLINGTON MARATHON, HALF MARATHON & 5K Come and participate with others from all over the community. UTA Mavericks Stadium, 1307 W. Mitchell St. Visit arlington.org/event/2018arlington-marathon-half-marathon%26-5k/19520/ for race details. Arlington

APRIL 13-14

CFW FESTIVAL: CRAFT BEER, FOOD & WINE The inaugural CFW Festival, a craft beer, food & wine event. Entertainment, cooking demonstrations every hour and live music for everyone. Visit cfwfestival. com/event for additional details and to purchase tickets. Globe Life Park

APRIL 14

GOLF DEMO DAY Test out the latest clubs from all the major manufacturers at our FREE Demo Day. Enjoy food and drink specials from Ventana Grille. 10am-

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MOBILE PET ADOPTION EVENT Adoptions will be at the Petsmart® in South Arlington, 203 E. I-20 (Arlington Highlands) 10:30am-3:30pm. Arlington

APRIL 20

FIT4MOM 11TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION Free Stroller Strides/Stroller Barre class at Bicentennial Park, 3206 Smith Barry Rd, Pantego. Swag bags for the first 40 moms. Registration starts at 9am and the class starts at 9:30am, Door prizes, snacks, coffee at 10:30am. Email laurengalipp@ fit4mom.com with any questions. Arlington/Mansfield

APRIL 20-21

MOM & SON OVERNIGHT AT THE REC Moms get the sleeping bags, cot, blow-up mattress and anything else you need to be comfy for a night with your son. The night will be filled with dinner, games with friendly mom and son competitions, crafts and more. 5pm-7am. Cost is

$12. Cliff Nelson Rec Center, 4600 W. Bardin. Call 817-561-2819 for information. Arlington Parks and Recreation

APRIL 21

29TH ANNUAL CARDBOARD BOAT REGATTA The Cardboard Boat Regatta challenges amateur boat builders to design, build and navigate boats made entirely of corrugated cardboard as they compete for trophies. For details visit riverlegacy. org/cardboard-boat-regatta. Six Flags Hurricane Harbor

APRIL 21 AND MAY 19

LACROSSE CLINIC Learn in a fun environment through different games and challenges. 9am-12pm. $35 per person. Ages 7-12. Equipment will be provided and space is limited. Call 817-459-6443 to register or visit coapar.siplay.com. Arlington Parks and Recreation

APRIL 22

INTRO TO FISHING This class is for junior anglers ages 3-16. Equipment and bait will be supplied. Pre-registration is required. 6pm. Elmer W. Oliver Nature Park. 1650 Matlock Rd. To register visit apm. activecommunities.com/mansfield/ Activity_Search/intro-to-fishing-316y-sp18/7908. Mansfield

APRIL 22

PAINTING IN THE PARK Class is geared toward ages 5 and up and no prior experience required. All materials will be supplied. 4pm. $28 early/$30 late. Pre-registration required. Elmer W. Oliver Nature Park. To register visit mansfieldtexas.gov/event/7034/ painting-at-the-park. Mansfield

APRIL 28

EARTH DAY Free Festival and free parking! Children’s area, kid’s fishing tournament, Rain Barrel Auction, music, dancers, natural product vendors, tiny house and smart car displays, environmental education, food trucks, beverages and more! 10am4pm. Chris W. Burkett Service Center, 620 S. Wisteria. Presented by Keep Mansfield Beautiful and Mansfield Water Utilities. Email or call kmbc@ mansfieldtexas.gov- 817-975-3197. Mansfield

APRIL 28

GOSPEL MUSIC CELEBRATION Starting at 1pm in the Big Red Patio. Enjoy a variety of gospel music entertainers. Free admission and parking is $4. 2602 Mayfield Rd. Visit tradersvillage.com/grandprairie or call 972-647-2331. Grand Prairie


While we check the accuracy of event information prior to press, details can change. Please check with the venue before hitting the road! Foo Fighters perform in 2015, photo by Scott Murry/Dig Boston/Flickr.com: CC BY 2.0. Still from the trailer for Disneynature’s Dolphins (2018), The Walt Disney Company. Table by Joanna Gaines (2018), HarperCollins/Morrow Cookbooks. All imagery is presented for non-commercial illustrative purposes.

BEST BETS SATURDAY, APRIL 7 @ 7PM VERIZON THEATRE GRAND PRAIRIE

EDITOR’S PICK

APRIL 20 DISNEYNATURE’S DOLPHINS

APRIL 13

RAMPAGE

NARRATED BY OWEN WILSON DIR. ALASTAIR FOTHERGILL (PLANET EARTH)

This dolphin documentary follows a little dolphin named Echo as she attempts to become a member of the dolphin society while aching for oceanic adventures--and it’s out just in time for Earth Day.

DWAYNE JOHNSON, NAOMIE HARRIS DIR. BRAD PEYTON (SAN ANDREAS)

Rampage (peculiarly based off the 1986 arcade game) stars Johnson as a primatologist trying to stop three animals who grew to enormous sizes due to a genetic experiment from destroying the world.

THERE IS MORE TOUR FEATURING HILLSONG WORSHIP Hillsong Church shows how, with God’s power, you can believe and achieve a life that exceeds every earthly expectation. When you surrender control and follow God’s guidance, you become empowered and equipped to do the impossible, reach higher, and go further than you could have ever imagined—giving Him all the glory.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11 @ 7:30PM ARLINGTON MUSIC HALL

APRIL 6

APRIL 27

A QUIET PLACE

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR

EMILY BLUNT, JOHN KRASINSKI DIR. JOHN KRASINSKI (THE OFFICE)

JOSH BROLIN, ROBERT DOWNEY JR. DIR. THE RUSSO BROTHERS (YOU, ME AND DUPREE)

This unusual thriller follows a family of four as they conduct unorthodox lives in total silence while being hunted by strange creatures that track their targets based on sound.

Close to fifty returning superheroes from eighteen movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe team up—several for potentially the last time—to stave off a threat from intergalactic nuisance Thanos (Brolin).

RHONDA VINCENT SATURDAY, APRIL 14 @ 8PM VERIZON THEATRE GRAND PRAIRIE

POSTMODERN JUKEBOX 2018 SATURDAY, APRIL 14 @ 8PM ARLINGTON MUSIC HALL

KISS ALIKE - THE ULTIMATE TRIBUTE TOUR SATURDAY, APRIL 21 @ 7:30PM ARLINGTON MUSIC HALL

BILL ANDERSON WITH OPENING ACTS: BURK COLLINS & JOYCE MAREK EDITOR’S PICK

APRIL 10

MAGNOLIA TABLE: A COLLECTION OF RECIPES FOR GATHERING

JOANNA GAINES

From the popular television show to the new Waco restaurant Magnolia Table, tastemaker Joanna Gaines delivers her first cookbook packed with personal family stories and recipes from the notable eatery, which opened early last month. APRIL 3

VARINA

CHARLES FRAZIER (COLD MOUNTAIN)

THURSDAY, APRIL 26 @ 7:30PM ARLINGTON MUSIC HALL

SEVEN BRIDGES - THE ULTIMATE EAGLES EXPERIENCE FRIDAY, APRIL 27 @ 7:30PM ARLINGTON MUSIC HALL

ARRIVAL FROM SWEDEN THE MUSIC OF ABBA SATURDAY, APRIL 28 @ 8PM VERIZON THEATRE GRAND PRAIRIE

MAKS, VAL & PETA LIVE

APRIL 24

SHATTERED MIRROR

IRIS JOHANSEN (EVE DUNCAN SERIES)

SATURDAY, APRIL 28 @ 7:30PM ARLINGTON MUSIC HALL

DONNY EDWARDS - AN AUTHENTIC HEART & SOUL TRIBUTE TO THE KING

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TALK OF THE TOWN ARLINGTON - MANSFIELD - GRAND PRAIRIE

BILL AND SHARI BOWIE COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP AWARD PRESENTED TO MAYOR JEFF WILLIAMS By Meredith Knight Long before Jeff Williams was elected Mayor of Arlington, he had his finger in a lot of pies around the community. There was rarely a non-profit that didn’t benefit from his time, talents, and treasures. Taking on the role of running the 18th fastest growing city in the country hasn’t meant he stopped looking for ways to give back to those around him. If anything, it’s just opened more doors for him to give, give, give. All that philanthropy and leadership hasn’t gone unnoticed and, at an event scheduled for April 18, Mayor Williams will become only the second recipient of the Bill and Shari Bowie Community Leadership Award presented by the Arlington-Mansfield YMCA in recognition of his legacy to our community. “I hesitate to even use the word ‘legacy’ because (Mayor Williams is) still working forward to better our community,” said YMCA Board Chair Aaron Perales, at a recent meeting announcing the Mayor’s selection. He went on to say that in Arlington it’s not uncommon to find citizens involved in giving to multiple non-profit organizations and the Y wanted to find a way to recognize individuals who are leaders in volunteer outreach adding to the synergy of Arlington. It was with this in mind that the Bill and Shari Bowie Community Leadership Award was instated last year with Bill and Shari as its first recipients.

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Like the Bowies before him, Mayor Williams is being recognized for not only exemplifying the YMCA principles of Christian faith and community support but for doing so in many different facets of our community, offering support and help wherever he can. A YMCA nominating committee spent the past year receiving and evaluating nominees for the award and, from the beginning, Mayor Williams was an obvious choice. “He stood out to us for his collaborative spirit, his volunteerism, his work ethic, and the impact he’s had—and continues to have—on Arlington/Mansfield”, Chairman Perales said. “He’s been an ardent supporter of our school system, serving on numerous school board committees, and the Y and many other non-profits for many years.” Mayor Williams says he’s humbled to be nominated and to be counted among people like the Bowies who he considers to be inspirational in their desire to just keep giving. “The Y means a great deal to my family,” he said. “This is an interesting time in Arlington’s history with so many non-profits finding creative ways to make a difference. As always, the YMCA mission fits in well with all we’re hoping to achieve.” He will be accepting the award at the YMCA’s annual Better Together luncheon on April 18th, 2018.


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TALK OF THE TOWN ARLINGTON - MANSFIELD - GRAND PRAIRIE

BARKS AND REC Getting in shape is doggone hard, but this year Mansfield residents had a little extra motivation from a new program with the city’s parks and recreation department. The Barks and Rec Running Club followed a couch-to-5k training method, but their weekly group runs had a pawsome twist; each participant was paired with a dog from the Mansfield Animal Shelter. The dogs got a day to enjoy the fresh air of the park and the socialization, while the humans got a running partner who they couldn’t bear to let down. The class, which filled two sessions in less than a day, was a huge success by all counts; all 32 participants completed the entire program and over 22 dogs were adopted. On March 24, those new runners were joined by another 200 or so people from across the area for the Barks & Rec 5k and Festival, a fun run and full day doggy extravaganza at Katherine Rose Memorial Park. Anyone registering for the race had the option to run alone, bring a dog from home or run with a dog from the shelter. Dogs were brought in from not only Mansfield Animal Care & Control but also Cleburne, Grand Prairie and Tri-Cities Animal Shelters to accommodate all the runners. Other activities included demonstrations from Canine Agility teams, puppy petting zoos, dog photo booths, shopping from pet boutique vendors and tasty treats for everyone—even puppy sno cones from Bahama Bucks! Most importantly, dozens of sweet dogs found their forever homes that day and the event raised much-needed funds for the Mansfield Animal Shelter.

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TALK OF THE TOWN ARLINGTON - MANSFIELD - GRAND PRAIRIE

TALK OF THE TOWN—CORI BROWN We’ve all been at a football or basketball game and held our breath as a precious child is launched into the air, suspends for a moment, then plummets back to the waiting arms of her fellow cheerleaders. (Exhale) If you were attending a MISD Elementary School game, that little sprite may have been third-grader, Cori Brown. Nine-year-old Cori is a “flyer”, the name for the cheerleader at the top of the pyramid who takes those harrowing flights. And although she also plays softball, her sun rises and falls around cheerleading. At a recent competition in Garland, Cori and her team garnered Grand Champion and Best Stunts awards, coming in first and receiving jackets for every cheerleader on the team. As with any sport, Cori and her fellow cheerleaders sustain injuries, from time to time. They have lousy days but have learned to “take one for the team”, shake it off, and push through the pain (both physical and emotional). Working as hard as they do and for the number of hours they do each week has been character building for young Cori. “She’s learned she’s not the only one out there,” said her mother. “She can’t just stop and get upset if something doesn’t go her way. The awards are secondary to the life experience which is worth more than anything else; learning to work together; taking the wins along with the losses.” Congratulations, Cori. We’ll be watching for big things from you in the future.

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ON THE COVER

Landry Designs LUXURY LIVING, HOME STAGING, AND SO MUCH MORE

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ince 1998, Lisa Landry and her award-winning team have been transforming spaces to the delight of homeowners and business owners throughout the metroplex. Their commitment to excellence and unparalleled design has garnered them 34 international design awards, and their design work has been published 28 times. At Landry Designs the customer is always a vital part of the process, as gifted designers help their clients select from thousands of options of furniture, window treatments, flooring, area rugs, bedding, and accessories, working together directly in the space. The Landry Team offers a

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wide variety of budget ranges and styles, even incorporating client’s existing pieces into the new design, when requested. EXPERT AND INNOVATIVE HOME STAGING Landry Staging has become an

integral part of the booming local real estate market with professional home staging to optimize the appeal of each home, while allowing potential buyers to envision their own personal touches on the property. • Staging is a cost-effective way to improve the odds of a quick home sale. • Staging a home often increases the purchase price.


• Staging ensures the decor is on-trend and updated. • Staging helps sellers declutter and depersonalize their home, enabling potential buyers to envision themselves living in the space. Landry Staging helps you emphasize the best qualities of your home and attract the largest pool of buyers, allowing you to sell your home faster and for a higher price. In fact, staging a home can increase the sales price by 10-17% over a non-staged home. FIRST IMPRESSIONS MATTER Statistically, most buyers decide within 15 seconds of being introduced to a property whether it’s a good fit for them. Landry Staging pays attention to every detail and creates a space that appeals to the masses with proper space planning, tasteful accessorizing, color neutralization, and more. They offer a complete range of options including vacant property staging, comprehensive consultations, decluttering, and space planning. FULL-SERVICE INTERIOR DECORATING Whether you’re staging to sell or dreaming about transforming some of the spaces in your home, the Landry Team offers over 20 years of satisfied customers (and a portfolio of to-die-for finished projects and enthusiastic testimonials at LandryDesigns.com). They’ll collaborate with you to develop a vision and a design, considering even the smallest details, and then during the Big Reveal transform your home into a space you can’t wait to return to each night. Call (817) 835-3100 or visit LandryDesigns.com or LandryStaging.com to book your free, onsite consultation. Landry Designs offers a complete onsite interior decorating service including: FURNITURE FLOORING AREA RUGS WINDOW TREATMENTS ACCESSORIES BEDDING WALL ART OUTDOOR WALL COVERING BUSINESS INTERIORS Landry Staging offers full-service staging Studies show that 95% of staged homes sell in an average of 11 days versus 90 days for an unstaged home.

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FRUIT OF THE VINE

Good Friends God Friends BY LISA JENKINS-MOORE

A

recent book release has spurred conversations regarding good versus God. Decades ago, my wise mother warned me, “Good is the enemy of best.” Her advice rings in my ears from time-to-time as I prayerfully consider choices in my life. Last year was a challenging one. My family and I endured the loss of several puppies in one of our litters, the death of our beloved almost 11-year old Goldendoodle, and a substantial financial set-back as well. Personally, I continued to deal with health issues and lost the friendship of someone dear to me. I have learned in the

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past decade to hold relationships with open hands; I allow God to bring friends in and take them out, knowing some friendships are seasonal. Rather than seek connection with someone, I try to be spirit-led. I ask the question, “Is this a good friend or a God friend?” In this strategic season of alignment, we need to discern which things are “good” and which things are “God.” Even our relationships must be evaluated. Know the difference between good friends and God friends. A good friend will identify deficiencies in your life; a God friend will identify


hands and open hearts. Jesus said, “I have not lost one of those you gave me” (Jn. 18:9). He gives and takes away. Through prayer, we are able to determine how God would have us engage in relationships in our lives. At times, we are to be givers. Other times, we are to receive. And the most satisfying friendships are usually those where we comfortably give and receive. The best way to fill your life with God friends is to lay every relationship on the altar before the Lord. As He directs you, you follow. However, there are also practical questions you can ask of yourself and your friendships when determining the type of friend you want AND want to be: • Do we listen well? • Do we always have a need that must be met? • Do we have unrealistic expectations of our friendship? • Do we talk about other friends with each other? (If so, know we’re talking about each other to others, too). • THIS ONE IS VERY IMPORTANT: Do we have friends who have been in our lives for years, even decades? Longevity indicates faithfulness as well as conflict resolution skills. Don’t think just because you hit it off with someone that the relationship is God ordained. Like spirits are drawn to one another (rejection, pride, control). The best friends are those drawn together by the spirit of God.

issues, pray for you and with you over them, and walk with you through the resolution. Good friends have fun and enjoy one another. God friends are drawn to go deeper, challenging one another to become all they are intended to be in Christ. I am not called to be a God friend to everyone. Neither are you. Don’t cling to relationships you know aren’t part of your destiny because of your need for acceptance. Remember rejection is often times protection. Good things (and people) steal time and energy from God things. There is no condemnation when we hold relationships with open

As we navigate through life’s challenges and learn how to interact with others in a healthy way, may we realize that even the pain is invaluable. We are training for reigning with Christ, and He is teaching us through experience. Hebrews 5:14 reminds us, “But solid food is for the mature, whose spiritual senses perceive heavenly matters. And they have been adequately trained by what they’ve experienced to emerge with understanding of the difference between what is truly excellent and what is evil and harmful.” (TPT) Lisa is a freelance writer and speaker. To contact Lisa or follow her blog, visit LisaJenkinsMoore.com or connect on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ljenkinsmoore

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SPOTLIGHT

Giggles, Grins, and Good Times at

KIDCREATE STUDIO IN MANSFIELD

Y

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BY MEREDITH KNIGHT

oung children are sensory learners which means they learn best by seeing, smelling, hearing, tasting, and feeling. The more of themselves they can throw into a project, the more they can take away from it. They’re also born with limitless creativity just waiting to be expressed.

with hands-on and imaginative art activities. Kidcreate Studio on Highway 287 is a place where parents and kids can explore the world of art together or where parents can drop their kids off, knowing they’ll be happily making friends while they paint, shape, play, and imagine. All that fun can begin as young as 18-months.

Lucky for Mansfield area kids (and parents) there’s a place where all that burgeoning creativity is celebrated

British author and journalist, Arthur Koestler, described a child’s pursuit of art as “a type of learning where

“Art has the role in education of helping children become like themselves instead of more like everyone else.” – Sydney Gurewitz Clemens teacher and pupil are located in the same individual”. But don’t tell the


“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” – Maya Angelou kids they’re learning. All they know is they’re having a blast and can’t wait to come back. With weekly classes, date nights, time with Mom or Grandma and “No School Days”, there’s always something being created at Kidcreate Studio. You can celebrate your child’s birthday party at Kidcreate, sign them up for workshops or weekly classes or summer art camp, or even have the on-the-go studio come to you. You can book a private class for your moms group, play group, scout troop, or homeschool group. Classes are broken into Kiddoodler, Kidartist, Kidcreator, and Kidmaster, so the activities your child enjoys are always tailored toward their age level. Visit mansfieldtx.kidcreatestudio.com to browse the calendars for pictures, class descriptions, dates and prices. (“Messiest Art Camp Ever” anyone?)

try, Vanessa was looking for a way to give back to the community she loves while also being more accessible for

“Art is as natural as sunshine and as vital as nourishment.” – MaryAnn F. Kohl her growing family. When she heard about Kidcreate Studio, it checked all her boxes. “I’ve been blessed to accomplish a lot in my career,” she said. “Teaching and development of people has always been my passion. My mission has always been to treat each person as an individual and to contribute in such a way that our lives are better for having known each other. I’m still doing what I love, just closer to home and with a different audience.”

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25


WELLNESS

WEAR AND

TEAR Watching out for common outdoor injuries as you get back to nature this spring BY DAVID BUICE

It’s already April, and many of us who have largely hibernated during the winter are again venturing outside to engage in our favorite forms of exercise and recreation. Unfortunately, no matter what you’re up to, there’s always the risk of injury. Fortunately, a little awareness can help keep you both active and injury free. As we all get outdoors this month, we’re taking a look at some of the more popular forms of exercise in Texas—and some of the most common afflictions that come with the territory. Many of these injuries can be treated at home with rest, anti-inflammatory medications and improved exercise form. But if the pain persists, don’t hesitate to get professional medical help.

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RUNNING AND WALKING • Shin splints are small tears in the muscles around your shinbones, and are common among new runners or after a long layoff from running. • Runner’s knee is an irritation under the kneecap that can flare up while descending stairs or hills, or leaning too far forward while exercising. • IT band syndrome involves the iliotibial (IT) band, a tendon connecting the knee to your hip. It occurs when the tendon becomes inflamed, creating the feeling of being stabbed on the side of the knee.

inflammation at the bottom of the foot which can lead to excruciating pain and is often caused by tight calf muscles.

CYCLING • Achilles tendinitis is an overexertion injury that for cyclists can also be caused by a poor bike fit and improper position of shoe cleats. • Patellar tendonitis is similar to runner’s knee and is an inflammation of the patellar tendon located just below the knee, and can be caused by a seat that’s too low or riding too long using big gears.

• Achilles tendinitis is an inflammation of the tendon just above the heel, often caused by overexertion and tight calf muscles.

• Saddle sores are skin irritations caused by your bones rubbing against your bicycle saddle. Old shorts and a saddle that’s too high are common causes.

• Plantar fasciitis is an

• Lower back pain can be

caused by a poor bike fit and long hours in an aggressive riding position.

SWIMMING • Swimmer’s shoulder is caused by the repetitive motion of swimming and can lead to pain and inflammation in the shoulder joint, especially in cases of incorrect technique or overwork. • A labrum tear, a more severe form of swimmer’s shoulder, is a tear in the labrum fibrocartilage that helps keep the ball joint in place. If left untreated, surgery may be required. • Breaststroker’s knee is very common among those using this stroke. Due to the wide kick and over rotation of the knees, inner parts of the knees can become inflamed, leading to chronic pain.


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WELLNESS Tips to Prevent Sports Injuries You may be familiar with the old adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” With that wisdom in mind, here are some preventive measures favored by sports medicine experts at Johns Hopkins University and the New England Baptist Hospital. Plan and prepare. Before starting an exercise routine, get your doctor’s approval. Next, especially if you’re trying something new, learn the proper techniques for your sport or activity. Working with a personal trainer or signing up for a class is often a fun way to learn a new sport. Set realistic goals and take your time. It’s important that your exercise goals be realistic and achievable. Set an obtainable goal and gradually work to achieve it, giving your body time to adjust to added stresses on bones, joints, and muscles. Warm up and cool down. Take the time for both of these, as research shows that a heated muscle is less likely to be strained. Warm up with some light walking or jogging before you exercise and then again afterward to allow your muscles to cool slowly. Stay hydrated! Keeping hydrated is a great way to keep your muscles working efficiently. If you’re dehydrated, you’re more likely to have cramps or pull a muscle. Listen to your body. Adjust your program if your body shows signs of stress. While mild and short-lived muscle aches are usually not too bad, joint pain is a clear sign of your body telling you that you need to cut back.

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AESTHETICS

Be Yourselfie SHINE ON SOCIAL WITH A SUPER SMILE BY AUDREY ASHE

Knock knock, it’s the great outdoors calling! With the weather warming up and the trees starting to show some cheeky green, it’s tempting to go out and snap some pics. A walk in the park? The first BBQ of the season? Taking up kayaking? The list of outdoor adventures to document goes

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on. You don’t have to be a professional photog to give yourself a glamour shot on a beautiful day, but nothing can ruin a springtime selfie like a dull or crooked smile. Thankfully, there are procedures available to give you the confidence to get out there and strut your stuff.


BRIGHTENING Teeth brightening addresses one of the most easily fixed cosmetic dental problems. Teeth are naturally porous, and easily absorb dark pigments from things like coffee, red wine, berries, and tobacco products. Professional teeth whitening is achieved with the use of a bleaching gel. This can mean your dentist makes a custom mold of your teeth that you fill with whitening gel and wear at home, or you can opt to have it done in-office, where your dentist will be able to use a much stronger gel and aid it with the use of a blast of UV light. In less than an hour, your teeth could be multiple shades whiter.

VENEERS OR BONDING Some issues aren’t easily resolved with alignment or whitening alone. This is where veneers and bonding can save the day. But what is the difference? Dental bonding is the use of shaded composite material applied directly onto the teeth to address imperfections like chips or gaps. It is non-permanent and may need to be touched up over time. Veneers are often a good option for excessive staining, cracking, severely misshapen teeth, and even crooked teeth. The front of the tooth is reshaped and the veneer fits over the top. Porcelain veneers are sent to special labs to be created and sculpted to fit your teeth. They are generally longer lasting and more lifelike than dental bonding.

RELAX A LITTLE Avoid the robot look by closing your eyes and relaxing your face. Right before you press the shutter button, slowly open your eyes and grin for a more natural-looking smile.

USE YOUR TONGUE Lift your tongue up against your hard palate, just behind your front teeth, for a wider and less toothy grin and an instant lift for your chin.

CHANGE IT UP Take multiple photos with both a closed and open mouth, with some smirks and pouts in between. This prevents your facial muscles from becoming cramped and gives you options when choosing the winning shot.

SELFIE BOOT CAMP: TRICKS TO TRY 1. Lighting is crucial. Make sure your back is never facing your light source—slowly spin around with your camera open to see how different lighting positions highlight your face. 2. Find your best side. Photos taken head-on often look austere and unflattering. Turn your head to the side and take multiple shots as you slowly turn toward the camera. Repeat with the other side. Chose the angle that is most flattering and practice striking that angle for future photo-ops. 3. Keep it natural. Cropping a shot for better composition or using a filter to bring out the best colors can be great, but be careful not to over-edit. Harsh filters may be hard on the eyes and too much smoothing, blurring, or sharpening will give you a mannequin-like, plastic look.

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AESTHETICS

WRINKLE & WORRY FREE

Minimizing those pesky little lines BY LARUE V. GILLESPIE

Sure, wrinkles are just part of the aging process, and yeah, we should probably learn to live with it! But if we aren’t necessarily ready to… fully embrace them, there are at least a few things we can do to minimize their appearance. Wrinkles happen when collagen, hyaluronic acid, and elastin begin to break down and lose their ability to keep the skin’s surface smooth and firm. Certain things exacerbate and increase the number of wrinkles appearing on our faces, including age, genetics, sun damage, and smoking. So what to do? First things first, you’ve got to have a quality care process in place to help prevent wrinkles. Make sure you moisturize daily, use sunscreen, wear sunglasses (so you’re not squinting), consume superfoods, and drink lots of water each day. Aside from good living, if you want to tend to those wrinkles without undergoing surgery you might check out a few of these popular cosmetic treatments. 1. Botulinum toxin: Botox blocks nerve signals to the injected muscles, creating a smooth and wrinkle-free look. Common areas treated include frown

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lines, crow’s feet, and forehead wrinkles. About 7 million people opted for Botox in 2016, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Dysport and Xeomin are other kinds of Botox on the market. 2. Dermal fillers: Injectable fillers add volume to an area on the face that has experienced fat loss due to aging or extreme weight loss. Fillers can soften facial creases and wrinkles. Common types of fillers include Juvederm, Restylane, Belotero, Radiesse, Sculptra, and Belafill. 3. Dermabrasion: If you have fine facial wrinkles, a dermabrasion session can help by “refinishing” the surface of the skin through the use of a vacuum suction device paired with a chemical crystal. 4.Chemical peels or laser resurfacing: These types of treatments remove the uppermost layer of your skin, stimulating collagen production, tightening sagging skin, and smoothing out your complexion. Life is short, so don’t feel needlessly insecure about your appearance. Take care of yourself and don’t be afraid of getting a little help.


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HOMESTEAD

The Outdoors ,

INSIDE Bridge the gap between nature and nest Whether it’s the smell of pine trees, the sound of crashing waves, or the feeling of grass beneath bare feet, the natural world has the power to calm and refresh us. It’s what Henry David Thoreau called “the tonic of wildness.” In Japan, the practice of forest bathing—reconnecting with nature by spending time in the woods—is even part of the national health program.

unconventional, such as a terrarium inside a punchbowl, or a wreath of rosebuds and herbs.

While there’s no replacement for the genuine deep breaths of the great outdoors, we can get some of the same benefits by adding touches of nature to our homes. Here are some ways to enliven your senses and ease your mind.

START A COLLECTION

GO WITH GREENERY Plants and trees inside your home bring a lush, green, appeal—and keep the air clean. Opt for indoor varieties that are easy to grow such as ferns or philodendrons. Try making something

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LIGHTEN UP When possible, light your home with the sun. Open curtains or replace heavy blinds with more sheer window dressing. Consider finding a local contractor to install a skylight so you can catch as many rays as possible.

Decorate with pinecones, seashells, branches, and other items from a sojourn into nature. Seeing them will take you back to a time when you felt connected with the earth. Pair these souvenirs with photographs of some of your favorite outdoor locales.

PLAY IT BY EAR Bring the sounds of nature into your home as soothing background noise. Download one of the many free apps

that provide sounds of the ocean, a babbling brook, or bird songs to get you feeling in tune with the outside world.

USE GOOD SCENTS What we smell can be just as important as the sights and sounds of our home. Diffuse essential oils such as lavender or eucalyptus. Stack your fireplace with fragrant dried cedar or apple wood. Fill a bowl with fresh potpourri or just-picked lemons and oranges.

TRY EARTHY TEXTURES Surround yourself with natural fibers such as bamboo flooring topped with a hemp rug and wicker chair. Use ecofriendly towels and bedding in natural hues of blue, green, or yellow. You may even want to select kitchen or bathroom fixtures with designs inspired by nature.


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HOMESTEAD

BALDI GARDENS LANDSCAPE

ASK THE EXPERT What are some exciting trends in home landscaping today? “We’ve seen a big demand for firepits and fireplaces, xeriscape gardens, artificial turf, and outdoor living areas.”

BY MEREDITH KNIGHT

O

ver two decades in the landscaping business, Ricardo Baldi, has never lost his passion for horticulture or his thirst to learn more about it. It all began when he started gardening as a hobby. Although busy raising his family and working fulltime at Frito Lay, Ricardo started tackling gardening jobs for a handful of clients. As his skills and experience grew so did the demand for his landscaping and eventually he left his secure job to grow his landscaping company. And Baldi Gardens Landscape was born.

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Over the past two decades, Ricardo and his crews have provided landscape design and installation, hardscaping, landscape maintenance, outdoor lighting, and state-of-theart drainage systems for families and businesses across the Greater Arlington area. Ricardo has been joined by his son, Giuseppe, who shares his father’s philosophy of giving the customer more than they expect on every job every time. “We’ve never stopped seeking more knowledge about what we do,” Giuseppe said. “We do weekly training with


LANDSCAPE DESIGN, INSTALLATION & MAINTENANCE We don't just sell Landscaping with a guarantee, we sell outdoor solutions with peace of mind.

ASHS-Certified Horticulturist Texas-Certified Landscape Professional (#638) Licensed Pesticide Applicator (TPCL0580445) Licensed Irrigator (LI22098) Texas-Certified Water Smart Professional (#110) Water Efficient Recognized Green Professional Angie’s List Super Service Award our teams to ensure they have the knowledge necessary to perform their work at the highest standard. We also encourage our employees to earn industry certifications and licenses.” Ricardo learned early on that, if he took care of his employees, they’d take care of his customers. And his Baldi Garden customers are the beneficiaries of all that experience, knowledge, innovation, and hard work. As their website says, “We don’t just sell landscaping with a guarantee, we sell outdoor solutions with peace of mind.” Baldi Gardens, Inc. 817-860-0905 giuseppe@baldigardens.com

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HOMESTEAD

LAKE HOUSE LIFE PROJECT BY PHOTOGRAPHY BY COURTESY OF LOCATED IN

JEFF JORDAN ARCHITECTS LLC JEFF GARLAND JEFF JORDAN ROSCOMMON, MICHIGAN

Many families in Michigan share a tradition of spending weekends and vacations in cottages adjacent to the state’s collection of lakes. Higgins Lake is considered one of the most spectacular of the inland lakes, and the empty-nesters who commissioned this cottage wanted to be able to share this resource with their large family and many friends.

ABOUT THE DESIGNER: JEFF JORDAN ARCHITECTS LLC IS A FULL SERVICE ARCHITECTURE PRACTICE FOCUSED ON DESIGN EXCELLENCE AND PROJECT EXECUTION. THEIR PROJECTS RANGE IN SCALE FROM MODEST INTERIOR REMODELS TO COMPLEX NEW BUILDINGS, AND IN LOCATION FROM THE CITY TO THE COUNTRYSIDE. THEIR WORK IS CHARACTERIZED BY CONCEPTUAL INNOVATION, A COMMITMENT TO SUSTAINABILITY, A STRONG UNDERSTANDING OF THE CONSTRUCTION PROCESS, AND ATTENTION TO DETAIL. EVERY PROJECT IS SEEN AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO PROVIDE DYNAMIC AND UPLIFTING RESPONSES TO THE NUANCES OF THE SITE, PROGRAM, AND CLIENT. JJARCHS.COM

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In order to host plenty of guests, the owners requested a large gathering area for cooking, eating, and relaxing. The living quarters have a large expanse of glass facing the lake, and a deck on the lake-facing side of the house provides beautiful views and extends living space in the warmer months.

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HOMESTEAD The central positioning of the large house on a narrow site ensures substantial amounts of light and air can fill every room in the house, which can comfortably accommodate twenty people.

Even standard elements such as this staircase feature thoughtful design flourishes, and many of the bedrooms are partially set into the ground to diminish the apparent size of the large house while emphasizing the natural views.

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FEATURE

TIME FOR A TEST DRIVE

Get behind a different wheel this month BYBRANDON DAIKER

Here’s a stat that might surprise you. Only one out of every three people who go out to test drive a car know what they want ahead of time, and more than half of all test drivers buy the first car they take for a spin. People are actually more likely to try on two or three pairs of shoes than test drive two or three cars before bringing one home.

But the truth is that there is more difference between pretty much any two cars than there is between a couple of average pairs of shoes. And if the wear and tear of winter has you feeling like it’s time for an upgrade, don’t be discouraged. With a little preparation, you might find a few test drives to be quite enjoyable— and be ready to pull the trigger when you really fall in love with a new ride. Do some reading. Check out information on the product lines of a few manufacturers you’re interested in. Familiarize yourself with the differences in model year and trim level (and what features are added as you move up). You should be able to make a list of three or four specific vehicles that meet your needs that you’d like to check out in person. Plan ahead. Schedule appointments with specific

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dealerships for exact cars. Make a day of it, instead of spacing all your drives out over several days. This way each vehicle will remain fresh in your mind and you’ll be able to more accurately compare them to one another. Open it up. Don’t just putter around the lot or around the block. Hop on the Interstate and see how the car feels when accelerating, at speed, when changing lanes, and when coming to a stop. You want to see how it will perform in normal usage. Take notes. After each drive, take a minute to sit in your own car and jot down your quick impressions. Did you like the way your hands rested on the wheel and the positioning of any arm support? Was the car quick to speed up or did it feel laggy? Did it seem to be the right size for you, your stuff, your garage, your passengers? Sleep on it. Good dealerships will give you some time to consider your decision. You’ll feel better about your purchase after you’ve thought it over—meaning it’ll be all smiles once you drive it home, instead of a sinking feeling that you’re stuck with something you don’t really want.


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ADVENTURE

WILD BLUE RIDGE YONDER An unforgettable weekend in the mountains BY ANNETTE BROOKS

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Our desire to escape “citified” life and get immersed in nature set us on a mission to find a place we had yet to explore. Banner Elk, North Carolina quickly rose to the top of the list. Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains between ski resorts, and on the edge of the Cherokee National Forest just a few miles from the Tennessee state line, Banner Elk offers a great assortment of outdoor activities. From mountain biking and hiking to snow skiing, fishing, rafting, and zip lining, there’s plenty for everyone in the family to do. Banner Elk also offers decent lodging and dining options—sometimes absent in far-flung locations.

HIKING AND DINING We arrived in North Carolina with bicycles secured to our car rack and walking sticks in the trunk. After unpacking, we headed to Grandfather Mountain State Park for a hike, which has 11 trails of varying difficulty. Our afternoon trek included traversing the park’s onemile high swinging bridge. The breathtaking scenery was well worth the effort of pushing through my fear of heights to walk the bridge. Based on the comments I heard other bridge walkers make as they passed by, many did the same, and were equally thrilled with their resolve. After a couple of hours hiking in the fresh, mountain air, we cleaned up and went to dinner. A foodie friend described Artisanal Restaurant as “insanely good” and we made reservations in advance as recommended. We loved the cozy, upscale atmosphere in this rustic barn house turned restaurant. The service was equally stunning. We dined on duck and steak, both expertly prepared, and a side of caramelized okra that has been aptly described as “candy in a cup.” The sommelier’s suggested wine pairings were also superb. It was a perfect end to a grand first day in and around Banner Elk.

CASTING AND BUTTERFLIES We met up with our fly fishing guides bright and early the following morning. Boone, North Carolina, just 30 minutes from Banner Elk, is home to some of the finest trout streams in the eastern United States. After gearing up and running through a few basic fly casting instructions, our guides drove us to a prime trout fishing location. I was practically oblivious to the mist that had started to come down as as my guide, Eddie, and I trudged along the stream bank. After several tries (and snags which Eddie took care of for me), I landed a nice brown trout. Fishing up and down a couple of

streams, I even caught a few more browns and some rainbows. Rain—what rain? I was on fire! After about three hours, we reconnected with my husband and his guide. My spouse was a bit envious that I caught more trout than he did. I downplayed my success, but I think he could tell I was secretly gloating. Back at the condo we dried off and grabbed some lunch. Then, with the sunshine reappearing, we drove to Wiseman’s View in Pisgah National Forest. Our German luxury sedan did just fine on the four miles of remote, gravel road that ended at a parking lot. A short walk on a paved path to the observation areas yielded astounding, panoramic vistas of Linville Gorge, looking across Hawksbill Mountain and Table Rock. Words cannot describe the sheer beauty that unfolded before us. You must see it for yourself. As incredible as Wiseman’s was, our drive afterward, when we allowed ourselves to “get lost” and meander around on back roads, was most remarkable. At one point we pulled off the road to take in an unspoiled view of mountain tops that went on for miles. As we emerged from our car, dozens of butterflies fluttered into the air. The scene—with the butterflies and mountains as a backdrop—was one-in-a-million. If only we had time to grab our camera before the butterflies landed elsewhere.

ZIPPING AND SHREDDING An active day made for a sound night’s sleep. The next morning, we were up and at ‘em early again. First, we stopped at Hawksnest Zipline in Seven Devils. Ziplining was new for me. Thankfully, they start you off on a short run pretty close to the ground, so you get the hang of it before you begin zipping through the tree tops. By the end I felt like a zipline pro. In the afternoon we went mountain biking in Boone’s acclaimed Rocky Knob Mountain Bike Park. Taking the beginner-friendly trail called Rocky Branch was a wise decision given our age and skill level. (OK, I admit, we didn’t shred it!) We had a ridiculously fun but somewhat rocky ride. Sugar Mountain is another popular biking destination in the summer months when cyclists and their bikes can take a chair lift to the summit for an exciting descent. That evening, we relived our whirlwind adventure in the Blue Ridge Mountains while swilling a few microbrews and enjoying North Carolina barbeque. With our “nature fix” complete, we were ready to head back to the burbs for a spell.

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FEATURE

If outdoor expeditions are in the mix, odds are that you’re going to reach for a trusty pair of durable jeans. But we’ve come a long way from the workhorse denim of the past. From road trips to nature walks to a day at the ranch, these punched-up pairs will leave you feeling confident that your look is all buttoned up.

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Pieces available from Dillard’s.


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Blue Bunny REBECCA ASHBROOK CARRELL • @REBECCALSS • KCBI.ORG

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” —Matthew 22:36-40 NIV Do you remember your favorite childhood comfy toy? I don’t remember it well, but my parents tell me I had a blanket that I called my “mackey.” Mackey was my constant nighttime companion. No mackey, no sleepy.

One of my sisters had a doll named Baby Beth. In the hectic chaos of packing for three little girls and herself, my mother didn’t notice when Baby Beth got left behind on a three-week trip to Florida. My sister noticed. When bedtime came with no Baby Beth to be found, my father heard my little sister’s tantrum all the way up in Minnesota. I suppose it helped that he was on the phone with my mom at the time. Ever the hero, my dad packed up the worn and tattered doll and overnighted it to Florida the next day. My two children also had their comfy toys. A girlfriend of mine gave Caitlyn a beautiful, plush, pink blanket when she was born. At eighteen months, my daughter named it “pink blankey.” Another friend gave my son a soft, baby blue bunny. I can still see it—my sweet,

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chubby two-year-old boy toddling around, plump fingers wrapped around the velveteen ears, dragging that bunny around the house.

I wonder how many hours my husband and I logged frantically searching for blue bunny and pink blankey; how many panicked calls to my mother or sisters, trying to figure out where their comfy toys got lost.

to Nick. My eyes filled with tears as memories flashed before my eyes. Me, cradling my son, rocking him to sleep as he clutched his stuffed toy in his arms. Nick, crying out in the middle of the night that he couldn’t find blue bunny. Mike, running back in the house before we left to visit my sisters in Kansas City because a little boy forgot his rabbit.

Blue bunny and pink blankey are still around, though they’ve lost their status in my kids’ eyes. The baby blanket has seen better days. The rabbit’s fur, once softer than silk, is now matted worn, thanks to countless trips through the laundry. The delicate blue is now closer to a grimy gray. No longer nighttime companions, the comfy toys have been relegated from the bedroom to a toy chest somewhere.

That bunny wasn’t grimy; it was loved. It had been lavished with the pure, unfiltered love of a little boy; the kind of love that won’t let go.

Some time ago I was on a laser-focused mission to declutter the house. It was an all-out assault on excess—if we didn’t need it, didn’t use it, whatever “it” was had to go.

—1 John 3:1 NIV

I attacked each room with feverish intensity, stuffing things into boxes and garbage bags. No room for mercy. No time for sentimentality. A store-wide going-out-of-business sale where all items must go. And then, there it was. Stuffed back in a far corner on the floor, beneath the bottom shelf of our hall closet, a glimpse of grimy gray-blue. My fingers closed on what once had been soft, velvet-like fur, and I pulled out blue bunny. At that moment my resolve melted away. I sat there on the floor staring at what had once been irreplaceable

The kind of love that leaves a mark. See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. It was bizarre, what happened to me there on the floor. All of a sudden my heart swelled with love for that wornout stuffed animal, and there was no way I was letting it go. Not because it had any inherent value. Not because it was aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Simply because my son loved it, and I love my son with all my heart. When you love someone wholeheartedly, you also love what they love. Could it be that we don’t love each other well because we don’t love our Heavenly Father as we should? Jesus instructs us to love God with our whole heart, soul, and mind. John, the


beloved Apostle, wrote that God has lavished us with love. Not simply an emotive, warm and fuzzy love, but a determined love; a purpose-filled love. It’s a love that sets its face like flint, a love that won’t swerve from its course. It’s a love that wrings itself out, a love that spends itself, a love that sacrifices. Love without boundaries or borders; love that lasts, that never fails, that won’t let go. The kind of love that leaves a mark. Not matted fur or tattered ears, but whip-lashed skin and a pierced side. Thorn marks. Scorn marks. Nail marks. If we are loved with a love like that, how much more so should we love? Our culture doesn’t need more lectures or laws; it needs more love. But the kind of love we need can’t be mustered up by bearing down and trying harder. That’s not love—that’s behavior modification that only works until the next person offends us, or cuts us off in traffic, or makes us feel marginalized. I’ve heard it said that we become what we behold.

If that’s true, and I believe it is, then the answer isn’t trying harder. It’s beholding the scars of our Savior.

you in His warm embrace. We cannot repay Him, and until He returns, there is only one way to love Him back.

It’s gazing upon the face of Christ and finding Him lovelier than our right to be right. It’s spending time in the Word of God and allowing it to change us, one degree at a time, into His image.

By loving those He loves. By cherishing His image-bearers, serving His children, and seeking out those who don’t know Him yet.

It’s allowing His love for us to turn us upside-down and inside-out. It’s asking Him to help us love Him more and to love His own through us. It’s giving Him all access to our hearts and minds so that we can be His hands and feet.

Let’s not kid ourselves. We are broken people living in a broken world, and we tend to break almost everything we touch – including each other. But Christ has committed to finishing what He started on the cross, and that is reconciling His people to His Father through the hearts of you and me.

Blue bunny and pink blankey were irreplaceable to my children, priceless items worth more than silver or gold. They loved their comfy toys, and so do I. I wouldn’t sell them for anything, wouldn’t part with them no matter what. It makes no sense, other than I love my children, and because I do, what is precious to them is precious to me. You are irreplaceable to Jesus. He bought you at a high price and holds

Is it difficult?

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. —1 John 3:16-18 NIV

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CUISINE

PHOTOS AND RECIPES BY MEGHAN BASSETT

The weather is changing and the great outdoors are calling! Take your cooking outside this spring with these easy-to-make (and even easier to eat) recipes that taste better when cooked over the hot flames. The only other things you need are the stars. All recipes serve 4. TIPS & TRICKS

CAMPFIRE SAUSAGE AND VEGETABLES 2 1 1 1 2 1½ 3 2 1

links of smoked turkey sausage, cut into rounds red bell pepper, sliced green bell pepper, sliced yellow bell pepper, sliced small yellow onions, sliced cups button mushrooms, halved tablespoons olive oil tablespoons salt tablespoon pepper

In a large bowl, add peppers, onions, and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Add sausage to the bowl and stir to combine. Cut four sheets of aluminum foil, approximately 18 inches long each. Evenly divide the sausage and vegetable mixture between the four pieces. Fold up the sides of each piece of aluminum foil to create packets. When ready to cook, heat up a grate over the campfire or grill. Place packets seam side down on the grate. Cook for 30 minutes, flipping throughout.

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Make your packets a day or two in advance of your camping trip! Simply keep them in the refrigerator and transfer to your campsite in a cooler.


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CUISINE CAMPFIRE SKILLET CORNBREAD 1¼ ¾ ¼ 1 2 ½ 1/3 1 2 9

cups coarsely ground cornmeal cup all-purpose flour cup granulated sugar teaspoon kosher salt teaspoons baking powder teaspoon baking soda cup whole milk cup buttermilk eggs, lightly beaten tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Prep a 9-inch skillet by greasing it with one tablespoon of the melted butter. Cover with aluminum foil and place on a preheated

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grate directly on the campfire. If using a grill, close the lid and allow the pan to reheat. In a large bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Then add in milk, buttermilk, and eggs, whisking to combine. Finally, add in seven tablespoons melted butter, whisking to combine. Carefully remove the hot skillet from the campfire. Remove aluminum foil and coat the pan with another tablespoon of butter. Pour the batter into the skillet and place it on the grate or the grill. Cover with aluminum foil and bake until the center is firm, approximately 15 to 25 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes and serve.


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CUISINE TIPS & TRICKS Don’t have time to go camping this weekend? That’s ok! Light up your backyard fire pit and camp in your backyard for the same outdoorsy feel.

BERRY CRUMBLE FOIL PACKETS 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 teaspoon granulated sugar ½ teaspoon salt 1 cup fresh blueberries, rinsed and drained 1 cup fresh raspberries, rinsed and drained 3 tablespoons brown sugar 1 teaspoon cornstarch 1 cup of your favorite sweetened granola vanilla ice cream (optional) In a small bowl, stir together butter, ½ teaspoon granulated sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside. In a separate medium bowl, toss blueberries and raspberries with brown sugar and cornstarch until coated. Cut four sheets of aluminum foil, approximately one foot long each. Lightly spray one side of the foil with cooking spray. Add two ladles of the berry mixture to each packet. Top with granola and the butter mixture. Fold up the sides of each piece of aluminum foil to create a packet, leaving space on all sides to allow for heat and expansion. When ready to cook, heat up a grate over the campfire or grill. Place packets seam side down on the grate. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, turning the packet once, until berries burst and butter is melted. Optional: serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

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FUN FACT

Every dog has its own unique “noseprint,” like a fingerprint, and no two noseprints are alike!

“Meet our boys, Jules and Verne!” - Peggy K.

“My puppy, Panko, would like to join the club!” - Ting Y.

“This is our chocolate lab, Pennie!” - Jennie B. THIS MONTH’S GIVEAWAY: ORIJEN freeze-dried treats for dogs and cats, made with 100% fresh meat, free-run poultry, or wild-caught fish, from ChampionPetfoods.com! Every month, all Living Pet Club members are automatically entered to win our giveaway! To join the club and 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 pets@livingmagazine.net. They might just turn up in a future issue of Living!

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FEATURE

Digging into Earth Day Picture it. The year was 1970. Elvis Presley visited President Richard Nixon in the White House. Vietnam War protests raged. The Beatles broke up. PBS began broadcasting. And, on April 22, just five days after Apollo 13 splashed down safely, the first Earth Day celebration took place (though the original Earth Day was more of a series of antipollution demonstrations than a celebration).

EARTH DAY TRIVIA THAT’S FAR FROM TRIVIAL • Earth Day was the brainchild of Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. Senator from 1963 until 1981.

• The date of April 22 was selected because it fell between spring break and final exams. • The original Earth Day served as a catalyst for the passage of the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and the Endangered Species Act. • Earth Day is now observed in 192 countries. According to EarthDay.org, it is the largest “civic-focused day of action in the world.” • Plans are already in the works for the global golden anniversary celebration of Earth Day in 2020.

WHAT’S A CELEBRATION WITHOUT A THEME? This year’s Earth Day theme is End Plastic Pollution. The Earth Day Network is launching a global campaign to put an end to single-use-plastics, which injure marine life,

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disrupt human hormones, and overwhelm our landfills. Recycling one ton of plastics saves around 2,000 pounds of oil. So put on your party hat (made from recycled paper, naturally) and check out some easy ways you can get involved! • If you haven’t done so already, commit to using cloth grocery bags. Americans still use approximately 102.1 billion plastic bags annually. While you’re at it, invest in cloth produce bags. Just be sure to wash them frequently. • Ditch the single-use plastic water bottles for a reusable bottle made of stainless steel or BPA-free plastic. Americans used approximately 50 billion plastic water bottles in 2017. With a plastic recycling rate of 23 percent, that means more than $1 billion worth of plastic was wasted. • Take your own mug to coffee shops. • Make your own cleaning products. Never underestimate the power of vinegar. • When given the option, buy boxes over plastic bottles. Cardboard is more easily recycled. • Stop using plastic straws. Reusable, stainless steel, or silicone drinking straws are available at a variety of retailers. • Embrace the trend of packing your lunch in Mason jars instead of plastic containers.


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I am with you Always, to the very end of the age. Matthew 28:20


LIVING LIKES

A smattering of stuff that’s making us say “we like it!” this month SOLE MIO NATURAL WOOD TRIPOLINA CHAIR Originally designed in 1855, this iconic Italian handmade collapsible chair from Telami makes a super stylish and versatile travel buddy for a day at the beach or a trip to the park.

$369, AHAlife.com

RECORD STORE DAY Streaming and digital music are great, but there’s still an appeal to taking home a physical album from your favorite independent music shop. Hundreds of bands will even put out special releases for the occasion.

Saturday, April 21, locations at RecordStoreDay.com

BONTERRA 2017 ROSÉ Like drinking a fresh bouquet, this pale rosé brings aromas of key lime and rosewater with notes of ripe peaches, watermelon, and pomegranate— perfect for your first spring picnic or to stash for Mother’s Day.

$16, Bonterra.com or at local retailers

LOST IN SPACE Netflix revives the 1960s sci-fi series that made the phrase “Danger, Will Robinson” part of our cultural heritage, replete with the streaming service’s big budgets and expansive running times.

Friday, April 13, streaming on Netflix

SPRING SHADES FROM FACE ATELIER Super pigmented satin shades from FACE atelier deliver the perfect spring look—Jolie, a vibrant salmon pink, Kona, an enticing tropical red, and classic Red Fuchsia.

$24 each, FACEatelier.com

Totally in love with a product, exercise, fad, TV show, or anything else? Send a note to us at Living Likes! Just sound off at bdaiker@livingmagazine.net with the subject line Living Likes.

Robby the Robot image by DJ Shin/it.wikipedia.org: CC BY-SA 3.0. Record store by Jamakassi/Unsplash.com.

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I watched Julie raise her hand. She knew the answer and this time wasn’t afraid to say it. Audiology isn’t just our job, it’s our privilege.

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