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CELINA’S COMMUNITY MAGAZINE SINCE 2014 December 2016 | | $2.50












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Featured St ories

10 CISD December Activities 12 Celina Gift Tour

14 Safe & Sound During the Holidays 16 Santa’s Modern Day Helper

20 Save Time On Holiday Decorating 22 Preserving Holiday Traditions

Celina’s Community Magazine Since 2014

December 2016 VOL III, Issue 9 Published By Cedarbrook Media Group, LLC Editorial/Marketing Director Heather Reynolds Production/Creative Director Jason Reynolds Senior Account Executive Michele Vasquez Contributing Writers Rick DeMasters | Jill Roza | Heather Reynolds Lisa Ferguson Photography Contributors Cedarbrook Media | Chris Fritchie Studios Holly Farrow Photography Production/Design Cedarbrook Media Group, LLC Editorial Please send editorial considerations to

Our Family Would Like To Wish You A Very Merry Christmas!

In Every Issue

8 CISD News 18 In Good Taste

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT Celina! For up to date news, events and web-exclusive content visit


CELINA TM | December 2016

Advertising Information For media kits, contact Advertising at


or email us at Visit our website at Celina Magazine P.O. Box 405, Prosper, Texas 75078 972.347.6231 | A Cedarbrook Media Group, LLC Publication

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Celina Magazine is wholly owned and published by Cedarbrook Media Group, LLC. Celina Magazine is published 12 times a year. No portion of this publication may be reproduced or copied whole or in part without expressed written permission from the publisher, Cedarbrook Media Group, LLC. © 2016. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. The title and all material are protected by international copyright laws and are reserved. Although the greatest of care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this magazine at time of going to press, neither Celina Magazine nor Cedarbrook Media Group, LLC can be held liable for omissions, inexactness or errors.


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From the Desk of Mr. Rick DeMasters Celina ISD Superintendent of Schools

The month of December can be a navigational nightmare as the calendar begins to fill the days and evenings with multiple family, school, and community activities. It is also a time to witness the spirit and generosity of those in our district and community that model their passion with an unbridled desire to spread goodwill. This is the time of year that reminds us of what makes Celina such a special place to learn, to live and to work. It is also that time of year when our students and faculty give of their time to others in our community and surrounding areas. Students can be found on the first and third Saturdays of the month helping families at GraceBridge load boxes of much needed necessities, which were partly provided for by our campuses that held food drives to support our local nonprofit organizations. Bikes and Bibles is another nonprofit that is designated for children living at home that will be entering grades kindergarten through 8. Our faculty and campuses also help with the Gotcha Cover’d campaign held on the third Saturday of December that provides much needed diapers, jeans and coats to those in our community. December also has many of our students involved in extracurricular activities to include playoff games and basketball tournaments that actually continue throughout the Christmas break. Along with the numerous

8 | December 2016

athletic activities, over three hundred students in grades 2-8, will compete in the UIL Academic competition scheduled for December 9, 2016. The Anna Independent School District will be hosting the academic contests for our district schools. The elementary contest for students in grades 2-5 will be held at Joe K. Bryant Elementary and the middle/junior high contest for students in grades 6-8 will be held at Sue Rattan Elementary. The students selected to participate have been putting in many extra hours of study and practice and will represent our district well. Our Middle School One Act Play actors and actresses will showcase their acting skills on Saturday, December 3rd at Princeton High School. You are more than welcome to attend the One Act Play performances, and you might just see the next big Hollywood star in the making! Although we live in Texas and our weather has not been exactly what “winter weather” usually feels like, we have some activities that will get you in the holiday spirit. Our Celina Elementary School first graders will kick off the season with “Holiday Wishes,” a musical program on Monday, December 5th at 6:00pm and 7:00pm in the elementary cafeteria. The Celina High School Christmas Concert will feature performances from sixth grade through high school on December 6th, in the CHS Auditorium starting at 7:00pm. The band department will also be hosting a spaghetti dinner and silent auction prior to the concert from 5:00-6:30pm. The City of Celina will host “Christmas on The Square” with the annual tree lighting on December 7th from 5:00-7:00pm. And last, but not least, the Celina High School Choral Department, including grades sixth through twelfth will perform their annual Christmas concert on December 8th starting at 6:30pm. I have no doubt that these programs will have you energized with holiday spirit!

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There are never enough days during the month of December to showcase our students, our faculty and our community who through their actions are a true testament to what it means to have found their purpose and committed their passion to helping not only those in our community and surrounding areas, but throughout the world. Whatever your passion, I urge you to share it with others. Let’s continue making a difference in those that call Celina home, for it’s not the gifts received, but the gifts that are given and shared that make a lasting impression. Believe It! Breathe It! Be It!

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CELINA ISD December Events December 1:

CIS FCA Meeting/7:25am

December 1-3:

JVB/Varsity Basketball Tournament/Sanger

December 2:

JVG/Varsity Girls Basketball vs. McKinney Boyd/Home/5:00pm

December 3:

C.A.R.E. Jingle Jog/CHS/8:30am

Middle School One Act Play/Princeton HS/All Day Event

December 5:

CES First Grade “Holiday Wishes” Music Program/6:00 & 7:00pm

CIS Book Fair Week Begins

UIL Grades 2-8 Academic Writing Contest/CISD Admin. Bldg/8:30-12:00pm

7A/8B, 8A/7B JH Girls Basketball vs.Melissa/Home/5:30pm

7A/8B, 8A/7B JH Boys Basketball vs. Melissa/Away/5:30pm

December 6:

CES Donuts with Dad/PreK and Kindergarten

CIS Beach Club/3:30pm

Band Spaghetti Supper/Silent Auction/CHS cafeteria/5:00-6:30pm

CHS Band Christmas Concert/Beginning Band

Junior High/HS/CHS Auditorium/7:00pm

December 7:

CES Donuts with Dad/1st Grade

December 8:

CES Donuts with Dad/2nd Grade

Christmas Open House/3rd Grade Music Program

CHS Choir Concert/Choir 6th-12th grades/CHS Auditorium/6:30pm

Varsity Basketball Era Tournament/Away/2:00pm

Varsity Basketball Aubrey Tournament

December 9:

UIL Academic Competition/Grades 2-8/Anna/All Day

JVG/Varsity Girls Basketball vs. Newman Smith/Away/5:30pm

December 10:

ACT Exam/CHS/8:00am

December 12:

7A/8B, 8A/7B JH Boys Basketball vs. Princeton/Home/5:30pm

7A/8B,8A/7B JH Girls Basketball vs. Princeton/Away/5:30pm

December 13:

JVG/Varsity Girls Basketball vs. South Garland/Home/5:00pm

9B/JVB/Varsity Boys Basketball vs. Pilot Point/Home/5:00pm

December 14:

CMS Theatre Club/3:30pm

December 16:

CMS FCA Meeting/7:25am

End of 2nd Quarter

9B/JVB/Varsity Boys Basketball vs. McKinney Christian/Away/5:00pm

December 17 – January 2: Student Holiday/Christmas Break December 17:

JV/Varsity Girls Basketball vs. McKinney Christian/Home/10:30am

December 20:

JVB/JVG/VG/Varsity Boys Basketball vs. Collinsville/Home/10:00am

December 21:

9B/JVB/Varsity Boys Basketball vs. Commerce/Away/10:00am

December 28 – 30: VG/Varsity Boys Basketball McKinney Christian Tournament/Away

10 | December 2016

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Celina Christmas Gift Tour A Hometown Holiday Tradition

Shoppers can explore city’s burgeoning retail scene during fourth annual event

ABOUT C.A.R.E. Founded in 1992, Celina Association for Renaissance Excellence (C.A.R.E.) is a 501(c) 3 tax-exempt nonprofit organization that supports academic excellence at all Celina ISD campuses. The organization is fully funded by contributions and relies on businesses and families in and around the community for financial support. For more information about the 2016 Celina Christmas Gift Tour, visit

12 | December 2016

Nearly two dozen area retailers, restaurants and businesses will offer free gifts and exclusive merchandise sales to ticketholders during the fourth annual Christmas Gift Tour, scheduled from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 10 in Celina. Presented by the Celina Main Street program and the Celina Association for Renaissance Excellence (C.A.R.E.) organization, tickets for the tour are $25 and can be purchased at As in years past, the 150 tickets available for this year’s Christmas Gift Tour are expected to sell out.

Another new stop on the Christmas Gift Tour will be at Annie Jack Design and General Store, which opened earlier this year on West Walnut Street in Celina’s historic downtown square. Owner and stalwart community volunteer Rachel Baty had a hand in helping organize previous installments of the tour. “It’s fun. It feels like you’ve kicked off the holiday shopping season. All of your friends are going store to store and enjoying fellowship and camaraderie,” she said adding that ticketholders will receive a “surprise” gift and refreshments upon visiting her store.

“This is the beginning of the Christmas season, and the tour gives women a chance to have a great time in Celina,” said Celina Main Street Director Bridgette Bise. “The ladies in this town love to get together, visit and enjoy some retail therapy.” Sponsored by Celina’s Light Farms community and Lucy’s on the Square restaurant, the self-guided Christmas Gift Tour will commence with a special brunch, featuring a gourmet coffee bar. Santa Claus will be on hand to pose for holiday photos with ticketholders, who will receive a customized tote bag for use while they visit stores, eateries and other businesses throughout Celina.

Eden Hill Winery & Vineyard has long been a popular stop on the annual tour. Owner Linda Hornbaker said participants stop by to claim their complimentary wine tasting and often linger to explore the picturesque property located in northern Celina. “A lot of them come toward the end of the day because they just want to sit and have a glass of wine and enjoy the day,” she said.

Retailers scheduled to participate in this year’s Christmas Gift Tour include: Annie Jack Design & General Store, A Country Girl’s Retreat, Willow House Boutique, Grace Bridge Resale, Brookshire’s Food & Pharmacy, D&L Farm and Home, Carmela Winery, Eden Hill Winery & Vineyard, Mogio’s Gourmet Pizza, Keller Williams North Country, TIN Chariot Fashion Truck, Celina Drug, Preston Trail Farms, Toasted Walnut Farm, Celina Flowers & Gifts, Cherry’s Antiquibles, Celina Spirit Shack, Lucy’s on the Square and Papa Gallo’s Mexican Grill. This is the first year that Keller Williams North County will participate in the tour. Staffers at the real-estate office on Preston Road will treat tourgoers to hot apple cider and a complimentary mug. However, “Our biggest gift will be (providing) information about the community,” particularly the explosive population growth and land development that Celina is experiencing, said Realtor Georgina Hennen. “We’re a service-oriented business, and we want to make sure that our community is supported.”

Proceeds from Christmas Gift Tour ticket sales will help support the numerous programs and events hosted throughout the year by Celina Main Street, as well as assist in funding scholarships and other educationrelated gifts awarded annually by C.A.R.E. to Celina ISD students and campuses. “We really enjoy being able to … join forces” with Celina Main Street for the tour, said Roxanne Flores, a C.A.R.E. board member who cochaired this year’s tour. The event also “helps local businesses by bringing more awareness to who they are and what they do and what they offer. … It’s a ton of fun.” ABOUT CELINA MAIN STREET The nonprofit Celina Main Street Program uses the Main Street Four Point Approach system to revitalization - organization, promotion, design, economic restructuring - to encourage reinvestment and preservation, and to entice businesses, customers, visitors and downtown residents to Celina’s historic district.

December 2016 |


SAFE AND SOUND DURING THE HOLIDAYS How to manage noise aversion in dogs and strengthen the human-animal bond The holiday season seems to last longer and get more hectic every year. Whether cooking the Thanksgiving feast or doing last-minute gift shopping, everyone can get a little stressed out. Most people don’t know that their dog may also experience anxiety during these celebrations. According to an online survey conducted by Harris Poll and commissioned by Zoetis, 46 percent of dog owners reported their dog showed symptoms of stress during the holidays; that stress could be due to noise aversion. The survey also found that 44 percent of dog owners said their dogs suffer from noise aversion. Noise aversion is the set of fear-based behaviors that dogs display when subjected to “noise triggers.” During the year-end holidays, such noise triggers might be the doorbell, boisterous family gatherings, children playing with loud toys or New Year’s fireworks. During the busy holiday season, common behavioral signs of canine noise aversion include: panting, trembling or shaking, pacing or restlessness, vocalizing, hiding, owner-seeking behavior, cowering, refusal to eat, excessive vigilance or hypervigilance, and escape behaviors. Although noise aversion is common, dog owners often do not seek help from their veterinarians. One reason may be that pet owners recognize their dogs overreact to noise, but do not recognize that these behaviors are a demonstration of fear. This fear can disrupt the human-animal bond by causing anxiety for the dogs and stress for their humans. Therefore, it is important to seek treatment for your dog if he is displaying signs of noise aversion. Not only are these dogs distressed and suffering, but when left untreated, noise aversion can progress to a more severe state. “It is crucial to understand the level of physiological suffering that occurs with the stress and anxiety of noise aversion,” said Dr. Lynn Honeckman, a Florida veterinarian. “Ignoring the fearful pet during a noise event or using prescription medications as a last resort is not the standard of care as outlined by the American Board of Veterinary Behaviorists.” A new medication called SILEO® (dexmedetomidine oromucosal gel), the first and only FDA-approved treatment for canine noise aversion, is available via prescription from your veterinarian. It can be easily administered at home to calm your dog without sedating him for the duration of a noisy holiday event. The first dose can be given as soon as the dog shows signs of anxiety and fear, or approximately 30-60 minutes before a known fear- or anxiety-causing noise stimulus. There are additional ways to make your dog with noise aversion feel more comfortable. Dogs always need a safe place to call their own, and that can be especially true when they need comfort from loud celebrations. Sometimes a dim, quiet room or crate can provide comfort, while soft music can soothe other dogs. Don’t suffer through the holiday season with a fearful and anxious dog and a stressed family. If you think your dog is showing signs of noise aversion, consult your veterinarian for guidance on a solution that allows you and your dog to enjoy the holidays together. For more information about treating noise aversion in dogs, including prescribing information and important safety information, visit IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION: Do not use SILEO in dogs with severe cardiovascular disease, respiratory, liver or kidney diseases, or in conditions of shock, severe debilitation or stress due to extreme heat, cold or fatigue, or in dogs hypersensitive to dexmedetomidine or to any of the excipients. SILEO should not be administered in the presence of preexisting hypotension, hypoxia or bradycardia. Do not use in dogs sedated from previous dosing. SILEO has not been evaluated in dogs younger than 16 weeks of age or in dogs with dental or gingival disease that could have an effect on the absorption of SILEO. SILEO has not been evaluated

14 | December 2016

for use in breeding, pregnant or lactating dogs. Transient pale mucous membranes at the site of application may occur with SILEO use. Other uncommon adverse reactions included emesis, drowsiness or sedation. Handle gel-dosing syringes with caution to avoid direct exposure to skin, eyes or mouth. SILEO has not been evaluated for aversion behaviors to thunderstorms. For full Prescribing Information, visit

Santa Paws 2016

Survey Methodology This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Zoetis from May 23-25, 2016, among 2,136 adults ages 18 and older (among which 887 are dog owners and 395 whose dog has experienced noise anxiety). In the survey, noise anxiety was defined as trembling, shaking, clingy, hiding, panting, pacing, whining or whimpering, cowering, escape behavior, or property destruction when exposed to loud noises. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, contact Lindsey Goodman at

Dr. Allison Stead Dr. Allison Stead, veterinarian and owner of The Animal Hospital of Celina, has always believed in a philosophy of combining excellent patient care and exceptional client communication. Dr. Stead and her veterinary and assistant staff, have always strived to build trusting relationships and friendships with pet owners, and continue these relationships through the many years of their pet’s lives. The Animal Hospital’s services include medical and surgical procedures for dogs and cats. The practice offers state of the art treatments such as digital radiography (x-rays) and cold laser therapy. The medical staff also has the ability to run in-house blood testing on some of the most current lab equipment available. The facility offers extensive boarding services. Canine guests enjoy large climate controlled runs and access to a large outdoor play area multiple times per day. Cats relax in their separate boarding area in custom made Kitty Condos. A full time groomer provides a complete array of grooming services. Dr. Stead opened the practice in January 2004. She and her husband, Doug Stead, live in Celina along with their two dogs, Sammy and Tucker, and two cats, Howard (pictured) and Bunny. They have two daughters and one son. Kaylyn received her Bachelor’s degree from Baylor University in May 2016, and is currently in graduate school at Baylor. Lauren, a 2016 Celina High graduate, is a freshman at the US Military Academy at West Point. Travis works in the field of finance and lives in Baton Rouge, LA. Dr. Stead is a graduate of Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine. Allison M. Stead DMV 972-382-4433 or 972-382-VETS (8387) 400 N. Preston Rd. | Celina, TX 75009 December 2016 |


Santa’s Modern-Day Helpers


rom running his workshop to delivering toys around the world, the holiday season is a busy time for Santa. To keep himself going, Saint Nick relies on some essential gadgets to stay connected, organized and entertained throughout the holidays. This year, make your own holidays a little less hectic or someone else’s holiday a little more merry. With the help of U.S. Cellular, you can give some of Santa’s favorite gadgets. Drones: To keep an eye on who’s been naughty or nice, Santa depends on his Parrot Mini-Drone Rolling Spider. The Spider flies smoothly in all directions with its sophisticated stabilizing autopilot system, and a free app with touch controls makes it easy to pilot. Thanks to the “swipe” control feature, you can execute rapid, agile aerobatics, including 90 degree and 180 degree turns, as well as forward, backward and sideways flips. An embedded vertical mini-camera lets you take snapshots from the unique vantage point. Mobile devices: Santa’s Apple iPhone 7 and Samsung Galaxy S7 help him stay connected, organized and entertained. With the iPhone’s new and advanced camera system, you’ll be able to capture memories all season long, and immersive stereo speakers will have you rockin’ around the Christmas tree – all with the strongest battery life ever in an iPhone. If admiring holiday lights is a tradition you hold dear, you’ll appreciate the Galaxy S7’s exceptional low-light image capture, and the smartphone’s expandable memory makes it easy to grab all the photos and videos you can snap. Alarm systems: While Santa is away delivering presents around the world, the Nest Cam provides home security. A crisp, clear, high-quality glass lens, image sensor and 8x digital clear zoom let you see every detail in full 1080p HD right on your phone, where you can also receive alerts so you know if creatures start stirring – perhaps a jolly old elf? The camera allows you to both talk and listen, and with eight infrared LED, you can see the whole room, even when the night is dark. Music: What’s a sleigh ride without Christmas music? Santa jingles all the way with the UE Roll 2 Bluetooth Speaker. The speaker pumps out crisp sound with deep bass in every direction to spread holiday cheer all around. A rechargeable lithium-ion battery allows for up to nine hours of playtime, so you can keep the festivities going strong late into the night. Using the UE Roll app, you can take advantage of additional features to tune it, alarm it, personalize it and double up the sound by pairing with another UE speaker. Health trackers: After all the countless cookies and glasses of milk, Santa takes charge of his health with the Samsung Gear S2 smartwatch. The built-in S Health app empowers your active lifestyle and continuously challenges you to practice healthy habits. Effortless navigation, personalization options and features like calendar notifications make it easier than ever to keep everything you need at your fingertips. Wireless Bluetooth: Santa relies on the Plantronics Voyager Legend Bluetooth Headset to communicate with his elves while he navigates the world on his sleigh. The device intuitively directs calls to phone or headset, pauses music for incoming calls and allows you to automatically answer by simply placing the headset on your ear. Dual-microphone noise-cancelling technology retains the natural sound of your voice while three layers of WindSmart technology help block intrusive noises. Keep up with loved ones in comfort this holiday season with a pivoting mic boom that lets you wear the headset on either ear. Santa doesn’t have to be the only ultimate gift giver. You can find the items that keep Santa super-charged during the busiest time of the year at, where you can also locate a store near you.

16 | December 2016

Jill H. Sentlinger DDS Lara T. Coseo DDS, FAGD Cara Kessler DDS

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There is no time like the holiday season to get together and make memories with family and friends. Nothing brings people together quite like an elegant meal featuring a standout main dish – an exceptionally prepared entree that pays true homage to the season and all that you celebrate. This focal point dish should not only look delightful, but needs to also be a masterful presentation of mouthwatering flavor to keep your loved ones gathered around the table. Creating this perfect dish begins with choosing a premium cut of meat. Take the guesswork out of this year’s meal with a selection from Omaha Steaks, a leading provider of premium beef and gourmet foods. You can select the right cut of meat, flash-frozen to capture freshness and flavor at its peak, from the comfort of your home and have it delivered directly to your door. Invite elegance to your holiday table with this recipe for a succulent prime rib roast and find more inspiration at Prime Rib Roast with Rosemary and Thyme au Jus Serves: 10-14 Prep time: 30 minutes Total cook time: 3 hours, 50 minutes

6 pound Omaha Steaks Bone-In Prime Rib Roast

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup Omaha Steaks Private Reserve Rub

5 carrots, chopped into 1-inch pieces

5 celery stalks, chopped into 1-inch pieces

1 medium onion, chopped into 1-inch pieces

1 1/2 cups red wine

3 cups low-sodium beef broth

1 1/2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme, finely chopped

18 | December 2016

Thaw roast completely (3-4 days for 6-pound roast) in refrigerator before cooking. Heat oven to 250 F. Remove roast from packaging and pat dry with clean paper towels. Coat outside of roast with olive oil and liberally season with rub. Place carrots, celery and onion in even layer on bottom of large roasting pan to catch beef drippings. Place roast in roasting pan on elevated wire rack. Sprinkle any leftover rub on roast to ensure generous coating. Roast until roast reaches an internal temperature of 125 F (for mediumrare), approximately 3 hours for 6-pound roast. Remove roast from oven and let rest 20-30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat broiler to high, with rack positioned for roast to sit about 4 inches from heating element. After roast has rested, place in oven under broiler, fat side up, about 5 minutes to brown roast. Remove pan from oven. Remove wire rack with roast from pan and place on carving board. Skim fat from pan, if necessary. Place pan on top of stove over two burners set on high heat. Add wine to pan drippings and cook over high heat until reduced by half, releasing drippings on bottom of pan with wooden spoon or whisk. Add beef broth and cook until reduced by half again. Whisk or stir in rosemary and thyme. Strain out vegetables and pour au jus into serving vessel. Slice roast and serve with au jus.

New Ways to Love Leftovers This year, when the holiday feast is over, reach for the leftovers to whip up a flavorful meal that will let your taste buds celebrate all over again. For example, leftover turkey can be repurposed into other classic, seasonal entrees, like a turkey melt or a warm, flavorful soup. Turkey Melt with Cranberry Pesto Sauce

4 slices sourdough bread, cut 1/2-inch thick

4 tablespoons butter, softened

1/4 cup prepared pesto

1/2 cup whole berry cranberry sauce

4 thin slices roasted turkey breast

4 slices fresh mozzarella cheese

Heat heavy skillet over medium heat. Spread one side of each bread slice with butter. Spread other side of each slice with pesto.

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Place 2 bread slices in skillet, butter side down. Top each with cranberry sauce, turkey, cheese and remaining slices of bread, butter side up. Cook, turning once, 6-8 minutes, or until golden brown and cheese is melted. Turkey Noodle Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup sliced carrots

1 tablespoon Omaha Steaks Garlic & Herb Rub

1 package (32 ounces) no-salt-added chicken broth

1 cup dry egg noodles, uncooked

1 cup chopped roasted turkey

Very Betty 1170 N Preston Rd., Ste 110 | Prosper, TX


In large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, carrots and rub. Cook 5 minutes until onions are softened, stirring occasionally. Stir in chicken broth and noodles. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 10 minutes until noodles are tender. Stir in turkey; cook 2 minutes until heated through. Start with Something Sweet

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Satisfy the sweet tooth of all your guests with a sweet glaze on a juicy ham, another flavorful option to be the centerpiece of a holiday celebration. With Apricot Ham Glaze or Cranberry Orange Ham Glaze, you’ll know that you’re bringing the best flavor out of a premium, delightful ham, and pleasing the palates of those around the dinner table.

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December 2016 |


Save Time on Holiday Entertaining With each holiday season comes joy, laughter and celebrations with family and friends. However, all that revelry takes time. Fortunately, there are ways to keep the planning and preparation for holiday entertaining from infringing on your enjoyment of all the holidays have to offer. This year, make it easier to minimize your time spent preparing and maximize your time entertaining guests with these simple tips. Clean efficiently. Get all hands on deck so you aren’t trying to clean the entire house alone. Whether you assign each person a task such as dusting or vacuuming that they do through the entire house, or each person tackles a room from top to bottom, the extra hands will make the worktime shorter. Before your big cleaning day, be sure to take inventory of your cleaning supplies and ensure you have everything you need on hand. Menu shortcuts. A successful holiday host knows how to simplify meal preparation without sacrificing taste. Idahoan Signature Russets Mashed Potatoes – which can be made in only five minutes – are packaged mashed potatoes worthy of being served during a holiday dinner. With a nice, smooth taste and just a hint of butter and cream, they taste as good as if you peeled, boiled and mashed them yourself. Prep in advance. Rather than rushing around the morning of the gettogether, take care of as much of the party setup as you can the night

20 | December 2016

before. For example, you can set the table, put up decorations and adjust furniture for easier movement and conversation before the big day arrives. Pay attention to the details, too. Don’t wait until your first guest arrives to make space in the coat closet or figure out where the ladies can store their purses. Keep decorations simple. It’s easy to get carried away in the holiday spirit, but less really can be more when it comes to decorating. Focus on your entryway so guests arrive to a festive setting, but round out the decor with small touches that make a big impact, such as table centerpieces, mantle ornaments and seasonal bouquets or stacks of empty boxes wrapped in pretty paper scattered about the home. Another trick for trimming: elevate your look and make it pop by limiting your decorating theme to just one or two colors. Create a staging area. As the party unfolds, you’ll undoubtedly need to access an array of items that you’d rather not leave sitting out. Designate a nearby area (such as the laundry room) where you can stash things like extra trash bags, stain remover for spills and other necessities. Find more deliciously simple holiday entertaining ideas at

Merry Christmas from our families to yours

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December 2016 |


Preserving Holiday Tradit ions Holiday traditions come in many forms – from decorating the tree and shopping for loved ones to movie nights and your favorite festive foods. However, there is no holiday tradition quite as enjoyable and rewarding as giving back. Here are several ways that you can create and preserve this important holiday tradition with your family. Write a Letter to Make a Difference It’s simple to give back during the holidays through Macy’s annual Believe campaign. Children of all ages can drop off their letters to Santa at the big red letterboxes in-store or send online through For every letter collected through Dec. 24, the retailer will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million, to help grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. Macy’s has given $100 million in total to Make-A-Wish since 2003, with nearly $13 million donated through the Believe campaign. Keep the tradition of letter-writing alive and support the cause by spending time as a family writing letters to Santa.

22 | December 2016

Take Part in Acts of Kindness – Big or Small Encourage your family to participate in the season of giving by taking on charitable activities. Projects could include volunteering at a food pantry or soup kitchen, coordinating a caroling group for a nursing home or collecting care packages for deployed soldiers. There are also plenty of ways to show children how easy it is to give back in small ways – whether it’s paying for a stranger’s coffee, creating a feel-good holiday playlist for a friend or leaving a treat for the mail carrier in the mailbox. By preserving these kinds of holiday traditions, you’ll help make others’ days brighter and instill the importance of giving in a younger generation.

Spread the Spirit of Believing Belief in Santa builds family traditions such as writing letters, setting out cookies and milk, and hanging stockings by the tree. Part of this year’s Believe campaign is The Santa Project, a nationwide movement to fill the internet with positive affirmations of belief. Macy’s is calling on people of all ages to post a photo, video or message using #SantaProject via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or YouTube. Everyone can play a role in keeping the magic of the holidays alive and ensuring that the internet is a place where Santa lives on for future generations. To learn more about the Believe campaign and The Santa Project, visit

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Merry Christmas



Wayne Bartley, REALTOR RE/MAX Performance Group


McKinney 972.547.0811 700 N. McDonald Street

Prosper 972.346.5150 430 Business Park Drive

Garland 972.272.8821 2054 Forest Lane Suite 450


/ProsperCelinaHomes December 2016 |



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December 2016 | CELINA Magazine  
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