Lake City Living Magazine December 2021

Page 1


LINNYBIRD Bakeshop takes the


Corinth - Hickory Creek - Shady Shores - Lake Dallas


at FLOWER MOUND’S River Walk


ell, fellow Flower Mounders... we’ve been waiting a long time for this moment and we are so happy to report that the first restaurant located in the River Walk at Central Park here in Flower Mound is officially open! And we couldn’t think of a more perfect restaurant than Sfereco to be the inaugural restaurant in this long-awaited development. Sfereco was created by Refined Hospitality Concepts, who own The Statler hotel in Dallas. In fact, the first Sfereco location is inside of The Statler. You probably heard about their second location opening in Old Town Lewisville a few weeks ago. And now we’re honored to have their third location right here in Flower Mound. When you visit Sfereco, think “Spaghetti Western.” It’s classic Italian food with a

little bit of a Texas twist. And that unique concept is all thanks to RHC’s owner, Robert Hall and their Corporate Executive Chef, Jason Tilmann. So, what does a “Spaghetti Western” menu look like? Think menu items like Brisket Meatballs, their version of a Supreme pizza called the 6 Shooter, and an Italian-style chicken fried steak which is a ribeye topped with meatballs, broccolini, and a mozzarella salad. But Sfereco has a lot of traditional Italian dishes on the menu as well including an incredible eggplant parmesan, shrimp scampi, calzones, and lots of delicious pizzas. Sfereco also has a full bar where they have some great signature cocktails,

wines, beers, and frozen drinks. Visit them for Happy Hour Monday-Friday from 11:00am-7:00pm to enjoy some of their Happy Hour beers, frozens, and House chardonnay and cabernet by the glass.

As you can tell, Sfereco came to play. And like we mentioned, we couldn’t imagine a better first restaurant to open its doors in the River Walk. So, make your reservation to visit Sfereco as soon as possible! (They are asking for reservations, especially when they’re first open.) Enjoy the ambiance of looking out over the water, combined with Sfereco’s incredible food. Sounds like a recipe for success to us! 4120 River Walk Dr. Flower Mound, TX 75028 469.993.1201

972.724.2540 |



15 Travel with Terri Guthrie ARTICLES 02 Foodie Friday DFW: Sfereco 08 10 Hot Places To Spend New Year’s 11 Merry Christmas From

Bobbie Mitchell

16 Inside Community and Education 18 Merry Mantels 19 5 Things To Do 20 5 Creative Ways To Re-gift 22

Sheriff’s Corner with Sheriff Tracy Murphree

23 Holiday Cocktails With The Locals 24 Fashion Guide 2021



28 A Heart For The Community


30 When The Holidays Are Over


26 The History of New Years


takes the

Cover Image: Lisa Britten, Owner of Linnybird Bakeshop


Publisher of Murray Media Group, Publisher & Editor Scott & Kelly Murray


Managing Editor Jana Melton




s I sat at the kitchen table to go over a few lastminute details before giving the OK to publish this month’s issue, I couldn’t help but peer over at my husband, Scott. We were in Utah celebrating his 50th birthday and had just finished a big meal with friends and family. He had this huge smile on his face — like a kid in a candy store. “What are you smiling about?” I asked with a laugh. “It was just a really good night,” he said. “Now we’re both hard at work again.” We were just kids when we got married and started our publishing journey all those years ago. And I can’t tell you how many times this same scenario played out where one or the both of us would be burning the midnight oil at the last minute, desperately trying to make sure everything was perfect before going to press. I wouldn’t change any of it. And neither would Scott. I bring this up because, well, it’s the holiday season, and I’m feeling extra grateful. I’m grateful for my 50-year-old hubby, who has been the best business partner I could ask for — and an even better husband and father. I’m also grateful for the friends and family who refuse to miss a single celebration. No matter how busy we all get with “life,” we never let anything get in the way of holiday traditions.

Lastly, I’m grateful for the ability to reflect on so many great memories. It’s been a fun ride, and the best part is that it is far from over.

Sub-Editor Bobbi Byrne

Editor & Writer Steve Gamel


Caylie Howard, Diane Ciarloni Jade Kensington, Jean Eisenmann Leena Duwadi, Mark Miller

Advertising Inquiries


Graphic Designers Michele Cunningham-Scott Cayla Thompson Arynn Tomson Caleb Tynes


Miranda Longoria Photography Your Candid Memories Photography What’s That Guy’s Name? Photography by Guy T Live Beautifully Photography


Lake Cities Living invites reader feedback, story suggestions and general comments. Email All submissions become the sole property of Murray Media Group.

Editorial Inquiries Call 972.899.3637 or email Address: 3513 Yucca Dr., Ste. 200 Flower Mound, TX 75028 Lake Cities Living is published monthly by Murray Media Group. Some articles and/or content may be sponsored by advertisers. Opinions expressed in articles or advertisements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the publisher. Lake Cities Livings is not responsible for omissions or information that has been misrepresented to the magazine. Advertisers and its agencies assume all liability for advertising content. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted without the permission in writing from the publisher. © 2021 Murray Media Group

Thanks for reading our latest issue!

Sincerely, Kelly Murray






Luckenbach is a fun place to dance your way into the New Year. At the Luckenbach Dance Hall, you can enjoy the town’s New Year’s festivities, such as live music, dancing, and even a midnight toast! 2. SOUTH PADRE ISLAND If you’re looking for an exciting New Year’s Eve experience, look no further than South Padre Island. With the small town’s fireworks that light up the sky along with their many events and parties, you’re sure to have a fantastic New Year’s. 3. AUSTIN Our state’s capital always rings in the New Year in style. You can experience the amazing fireworks over Ladybird Lake. And Gatsby House at the Omni has a roaring 20’s party! It’s always a good New Year’s Eve when you choose Austin.


4. GRUENE The famous Gruene Hall is a must when it comes to ringing in the New Year. They have live music, dancing, food, and champagne to toast. However, due to New Braunfels liquor laws prohibiting alcohol sales past midnight, Gruene celebrates the New Year at 11 pm.

5. GALVESTON Galveston always shows up to impress on New Year’s Eve. From the Downtown Lanterns to Lights in Saengerfest Park you’re sure to have a rocking good time. And you can’t

forget the fantastically good times at Midnight in the Gardens New Year’s Eve Gala at Moody Gardens! 6. DALLAS Dallas is full of lights and good times on New Year’s. Unfortunately, it looks as if the city’s

annual celebration Big D NYE won’t be making its grand come back. But there’s no need to worry. Dallas is known for its amazing parties and festivities on every corner. 7. SAN ANTONIO If ‘Celebrate San Antonio’ isn’t on your bucket list to experience, it should be. The festival offers live music, amazing entertainment, as well as the best food that San Antonio can offer. And you won’t want to miss their midnight firework show! 8. FORT WORTH Fort Worth always offers a cowboy good time on New Year’s. Billy Bob’s Texas and Bar

Louie always go all out with their New Year’s Eve parties. Fort Worth is the best place to ring in the New Year with all of your favorite people.

10. GRAPEVINE Kick-off the New Year Gatsby style at Hotel Vin in Grapevine. You can enjoy a five-course meal, drinks, and a night of “gambling”, with wonderfully fun live music to dance to. And you can’t forget the champagne toast at midnight! You’ll have a ball in Grapevine for New Year’s Eve!

9. HOUSTON Houston is a sure-fire way to have a good time ringing in the New Year. With all of the parties, galas, and festivities that take place all over the city, you’re sure to find the perfect place to watch the ball drop with all of your favorite people!



These thoughtful gifts from those you love are important, not only because of who gave them but also because they took

time to choose or create the gift especially for you.

It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving by Denton County Commissioner Precinct 3 Bobbie Mitchell photo courtesy by Commissioner Bobbie Mitchell


s we begin the hurried rush to prepare for Christmas with gift buying, tree shopping, decorations, family gatherings, and holiday events, one message occasionally gets lost in the mix.

"It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving."

That simple statement, courtesy of

Mother Theresa, gets to the heart of what Christmas is all about – showing our love

to family, friends, and those who support us in the many areas of our lives.

We are so fortunate, in times of need, to be surrounded by individuals who take the opportunity to sit and listen, offer a

helping hand, or tackle tasks on our everexpanding “to do” lists.

Those people in our lives often do not realize how much they mean to us.

The holidays are a perfect time to do

something simple to show them how thankful we are for what they do.

A Christmas card with a special message

Our small businesses across Denton

County can provide those special gifts or the supplies to create your own.

Like the much-loved Christmas special,

“A Charlie Brown Christmas,” we can find

that forlorn, last tree in the lot and, with a

bit of love, can turn it into something that

brings us all together to share in the joy of this season.

“Christmas time is here Happiness and cheer Fun for all that children call Their favorite time of year

thanking them for all they do can mean

Snowflakes in the air

so much more than an expensive name-

Carols everywhere

brand purse or the latest technology musthave available online. Remember the hand-drawn holiday cards

Olden times and ancient rhymes Of love and dreams to share

from your children and grandchildren that

Sleigh bells in the air

you would not part with for anything?

Beauty everywhere

Or how about the quilt sewn by your

Yuletide by the fireside

grandmother that has a place of honor in

And joyful memories there

the guest bedroom? There’s the extra-large bottle of perfume your loved one bought just because it is your favorite; the comfy pair of house

Christmas time is here Families drawing near Oh, that we could always see

slippers your friend picked up because

Such spirit through the year.”

they know your feet hurt after a long day

Merry Christmas to all of you and may

at work.

your holidays be blessed.


If you have any questions or comments, please let me hear from you. 972.434.4780 | | | Twitter @DentonCountyTX



takes the Cupcake by Caylie Howard


innybird Bakeshop in Lake Dallas has mastered the ingredients of success. Owner, Lisa Britten, has been an expert in baking since 1997 but says that her love for the art goes as far back as she can remember. However, Lisa’s baking success has dated back long before Linnybird Bakeshop was born. Prior to opening Linnybird, Lisa owned 4 separate bakery locations, along with owning a food truck.

down the piping bag and stepped away from the bakery to focus more on her children. However, once the pandemic came into effect, things ended up turning around for Lisa. Lisa had been employed as a Director of Catering but was laid off once COVID hit.

But Lisa’s baking wasn’t just famous locally. Lisa went on to win Best Cupcake in Texas in 2011. “It’s an award that is very special to me. It was a once-in-alifetime experience. I got to go to our capital building and stand on the State Senate floor as they awarded me the Best Cupcake of Texas,” Lisa said.

While being forced to stay home due to the shut-down, as well as being without a job, Lisa found that boredom had started to set in. “I swore that I would never touch a cupcake again,” Lisa said. But the boredom she felt led her to pick back up right where she left off. “I started baking unique cupcakes and posting them on Facebook and they were a hit. My friends wanted to start buying them from me and it kind of blew up from there. I was selling 100 dozen cupcakes a week out of my house,” Lisa said.

But the road to Lisa’s success wasn’t always smooth sailing. In 2016, Lisa set

In August of 2020, Linnybird Bakeshop was born. “The name came from my mom


Photography by What’s that Guy’s Name? Photography by Guy T

I started baking unique cupcakes and posting them on Facebook and they were a hit. My friends wanted to start buying them from me and it kind of blew up from there.

and daughter having the middle name Lynn. My aunt would call them her little Linnybirds.” Lisa said. And from there, Linnybird’s fastgrowing success has been undeniable. In a little over a year, Lisa and her bakery baby have outgrown their original location and have now opened a new location. But don’t worry, Linnybird won’t be going far. They will still be in Lake Dallas just off South Stemmons Freeway. And with their new location comes new and exciting changes. “We will now be open seven days a week and will be offering an extended menu,” Lisa said. Such items include pies by the slice and extended cookie and cake options.


Lisa and her entire staff at Linnybird have gone above and beyond to make this new location shine like a diamond and it’s safe to say that they’ve been successful in that. With their delicious treats and their hearts to serve the community, it’s easy to see how Linnybird Bakeshop holds their elite status in the communities of Denton County. 5006 S. Stemmons Frwy Lake Dallas, TX 940. 497.2727

Linnybird is still offering their 8-core cupcake flavors; wedding cake, strawberry, chocolate, red velvet, childhood birthday cake, coconut cream, and the awarded Best Cupcake of Texas flavor berry pecan, as well as 4 rotating new flavors every week. But sweets aren’t the only thing that they offer on their menu. They are serving graband-go lunches, as well as adding catering to their repertoire that will include brunch, appetizers, and light menu items. This new catering venture will come in handy as their new location will also be home to an event room. The event room will be ready for bookings in February and will hold up to 20 people. “It’s going to be an impactful room. There will be custom tables and arrangements as well as a beautiful flower selfie wall. It will be very esthetically pleasing,” Lisa said. However, the event room isn’t the only new addition to Linnybird. “When you walk in the door, you’ll be met with a beautiful 11-foot glass case right in front that swings around to add another 12 feet,” Lisa said. You’ll also be able to sit and enjoy your treats with their indoor and outdoor seating. 14 | LAKE CITIES LIVING | DECEMBER 2021

Travel: Ask The Expert




by Terri Guthrie | photos courtesy of Terri Guthrie

n beautiful Branson, Missouri, experience world-famous live entertainment, thrilling attractions, outdoor beauty, delicious food, and genuine Ozark hospitality that will make you feel right at home!

The Branson community is really

Lodge. Here at Osage Restaurant, we have

values like patriotism, faith, courage,

and it’s one of our favorite restaurants.

refreshing…as it embodies American and generosity that is truly genuine and heartfelt. And, there’s no place more festive at Christmastime!

had countless special occasion meals

The food, ambiance, architecture, natural beauty, and iconic views are simply

magnificent. The restaurant's lower level

I’m sharing my ‘Top Picks’ about my

houses the Buffalo Bar and the All-

Mountain Christmas Experience.’

My ‘Top Pick’ for Best Entertainment - An

favorite places to have a true ‘Ozark My ‘Top Pick’ for Best Christmas Show “JESUS” at the Sight & Sound Theatre!

American Wine Cellar.

Old Time Christmas at Silver Dollar City! One of America’s most family-friendly

This is where they produce Bible Stories

Christmas festivals, An Old Time

Christian theater in the world. In this

Christmas traditions. Celebrate the season

live on stage and is the most famous

year’s show, you’ll witness the magic and

inspiration behind every aspect of Jesus' life. It comes to life with special effects, live animals, and an original script and music score. Don't miss out on seeing one of the most amazing theatrical performances on earth!

Christmas is filled with your favorite

with the theme park's 6.5 million lights. There is also an 8-story, state-of-the-art

Christmas tree reaching 80 feet into the

night sky, with an impressive combination of high-resolution lights, music, imagery, and 1,000 other Christmas trees

throughout the park - all sitting atop one

My “Top Pick” for Best Restaurant - Osage

of Missouri's deepest caves! We love

at Top of the Rock!

this place.

For an outstanding meal and an epic view

Christmastime in Branson will surely leave

Lake, head to Top of the Rock at Big Cedar

the Spirit of Christmas!

of the Ozark Mountains and Table Rock

you feeling merry and bright and full of



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COVID-19 VACCINE REGISTRATION OPEN FOR CHILDREN 5-11 YEARS OLD The FDA and the CDC have now authorized and recommended Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccinations for children ages 5 through 11 years old. Denton County is now allowing parents and guardians to register their applicable children for their COVID-19 vaccination at a Denton County Public Health (DCPH) clinic. Photo Courtesy of

DENTON IMPLEMENTS IMPROVED ECOMMENT FEATURE FOR MEETINGS Denton has now implemented an improved electronic comment feature for its public meetings. This streamlines the process for commenting on individual agenda items. This new and improved system is extremely user-friendly and can be accessed on the Public Meetings & Agenda page at Photo Courtesy of


FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK @LakeCitiesLivingMagazine

LAKE DALLAS DRUMLINE PLACES 3RD The Lake Dallas Falcon Drumline finished in third place at the Lewisville Drumline Invitational. In addition to the drumline’s amazing third-place finish, they were also awarded the title of “Best Bassline”. The students in the drumline started to work on their show in July. Photo Courtesy of

LAKE CITIES SCHOOL BOARD RECOGNIZES SUCCESSFUL BAND SEASON The Lake Dallas Independent School District’s Board of Trustees recognized the Lake Dallas Falcon Band for their successful season. Attending the meeting was the Director of Bands, Denise Kennedy, the Associate Director, Frankie Burke, Assistant Director, Dallas Bayless, and Senior Drum Majors, Saige Johnson and Meagan Chandler. The Falcon Band began rehearsing for their competition season in late July and their hard work paid off. Photo Courtesy of Lake Dallas High School Falcon Band Facebook Page


GIVE YOUR FEEDBACK TO THE CITY OF CORINTH The city of Corinth wants to hear what its local residents think about Communications in Corinth. The city is conducting a survey for the people of the community to aid in evaluating the types and methods of communication that work best for the community as a whole. You can fill out the nine-question survey by visiting mycorinth. com/communication. Photo Courtesy of City of Corinth Tx – Government Facebook

PAY YOUR UTILITY BILL THROUGH TEXT MESSAGE Paying your utility bill just became a whole lot easier. Now, residents of the local community can view their account balance and pay their utility bills through a text message. And there are no additional credit card fees to use this new form of payment. To activate this new community service you have to first call (940) 498-3200 and follow the prompts by selecting Option 3, then Option 1. Photo Courtesy of City of Corinth Tx – Government Facebook

LAKE CITIES CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ANNOUNCES TEACHER OF THE MONTH The Lake Cities Chamber of Commerce announced their Teacher of the Month, Kami Tipps. Kami is the Gifted and Talented Teacher at Shady Shores Elementary School. This award is well deserved. She has been an educator for 13 years, all of which were spent in Lake Dallas ISD. Mrs. Tipps was recognized for her dedication to the students and staff of Shady Shores Elementary. Photo Courtesy of Lake Cities Chamber website

TASA/TASB DISPLAYS LDHS STUDENT’S ARTWORK Every year, TAEA presents an exhibit of artwork from students that are Pre-K through 12th grade from across the state at the Texas Association of School Administrators & Texas Association of School Boards (TASA/ TASB) Fall Conference. This conference brings in school board members, superintendents, and district administrators from all over the state of Texas. This year, Lake Dallas High School senior, Tru Duy’s colored pencil artwork “A Drop of Serenity” was displayed. Photo Courtesy of LDISD Website


MANTELS by Caylie Howard

With stockings hung by the chimney with care, it’s safe to say that the mantel is a centerpiece for all things Christmas décor. There are so many different ways and styles to make your mantel merry and bright this holiday season. A staple in all things Christmas decorating is the classic holiday garland. There are so many different types of garland to choose from. No matter what is in your color wheel for the holidays this year, you can be sure that there is a garland that will fit perfectly into your theme. Garland is commonly used to be wrapped around your banisters, however, it’s also


a fantastic way to spruce up your mantel and bring the spirit of Christmas to the room. Having the festive Christmas garland as your base of mantel décor really helps to add dimension to your display. By adding differently sized and shaped décors such as elves, trees, nutcrackers, ornaments, and candles, you bring a bright and joyful essence to your space.

One fun way to dress up your mantel is by adding lighted garland. This is a great option to add ambiance to the room in the evening. With the lights shining from your festive mantel as you relax by the fire watching your favorite Christmas movie,

you are sure to truly feel the spirit of Christmas. Having a jolly and joyful holiday mantel truly helps to tie your holiday space together. And with holiday garland, you’re sure to impress with your merry mantel this Christmas season. But no matter how you choose to decorate your mantel this Christmas, remember to give, love, and be thankful for the year’s blessings with your family and friends during this Christmas season. Have a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Things 5TO DO

UGLY CHRISTMAS SWEATER CONTEST A great way to spice up a Christmas Party

is by adding in an ugly Christmas sweater contest. Each guest can either buy new, use an oldie but goodie, or even create their own. And the uglier the sweater the funnier it is. This is a fantastic way to liven up any party. You could even have a festive prize for the winner.



A fun Christmas Party activity to do with your friends is to decorate Christmas cookies. Everyone at your party is sure to have a ball designing the festive treats. Not to mention the delicious snacks they’ll make after. If you’re not a baker, no worries! There are tons of local businesses that will sell them to you to decorate.

Do you ever debate on the best gifts for your friends to exchange at a party? Why not make it a game and do an ornament exchange. Each guest can pick out a cute ornament that they’d like to bring and add to the fun of the party. It’s always fun to play and everyone leaves a winner.

WRAPPING PARTY Is there anyone out there that waits until the very last minute to wrap their Christmas gifts? Why not have a lastminute wrapping party? Have all of your friends get together for an evening of food, drinks, and last-minute gift wrapping. Having fun with your friends will make the task much more enjoyable.

CHRISTMAS MOVIE MARATHON Who doesn’t love a good Christmas movie? And there are so many to choose from. Whether you’re a fan of the classics, animation, or even the newer releases, with a Christmas movie marathon everyone will enjoy the party. Don’t forget the festive holiday movie theater snacks!







and Happy Holidays T

he holiday season is often an opportune time for crime. The Denton County Sheriff’s Office urges you to take special safety precautions during this holiday season. If you are traveling or away from your home, leave some lights on or consider an automatic timer for your lights. It’s always a good idea as a neighbor to watch your home or park in the driveway if you are going to be away for a while. Also, make sure to keep wrapped gifts out of sight.

WE ARE HIRING If you are interested in a career in Law Enforcement, join our family and be a part of a great organization. Detention Officer I positions start at $38,752.00 per year. Visit our website to apply. careers/dentoncounty

If you are out shopping, stay alert and aware of what’s going on around you. Park in a well-lighted area, lock your car and hide shopping bags or gifts in the trunk. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash while you are out. Whenever possible, walk to your car with someone or ask a security officer or store employee to walk with you after dark. Criminals sometimes pose as couriers delivering gifts. If you are expecting

packages to arrive, monitor when your

packages are expected to arrive. Don’t let

your packages sit for criminals to see. Talk to your neighbors or have your packages delivered to an alternate address if you are not going to be home.

The holidays are a time of celebration. Drinking and driving is a danger to

everyone on the road. If you choose to

drink during your holiday celebrations, don’t drive! Have a designated driver or have an Uber or other service drive you home. Have fun, but celebrate responsibly. Don’t forget to download the new Denton County Sheriff’s Office smartphone app. The app is designed to keep the citizens within Denton County safe by providing the latest updates and information from the Denton County Sheriff’s Office. Some of those features include an inmate

search, general jail information, a map of sex offender locations, the top ten most wanted list, Sheriff’s Office contacts, the ability to submit a tip to Crime Stoppers and current job openings with links to apply. The app also provides users with alerts and notifications on emergencies or events that may impact their area. Search Denton County Sheriff, TX in the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store to download this free app today.



with the locals by Caylie Howard





I will be at Mi Dia every day during the holidays for their famous Mistletoe!

My go-to holiday cocktail is always a hot toddy!

I love eggnog during the holidays, so making it into a cocktail is always a win for me!

I’ve recently fallen in love with spiked apple cider and now it’s my go-to drink for the holidays!

2 oz Clase Azul Tequila 1 oz Fresh Lemon Juice 1 Egg White ¾ oz Strawberry Infused Agave 2 Frozen Cranberries 1 ¾ Rosemary Sprig

1 Cup Boiling Water 1 Shot Whiskey 1 Tbsp Honey 1 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice 1 Star Anise

6 oz Eggnog 2 oz Irish Whiskey Stout 1/3 oz Vanilla Extract

Apple Cider Fireball

Grated Nutmeg

4 Cloves

Powdered Sugar


FASHION GUIDE 2021 photos courtesy of each respective business


972.899.4060 4081 Waller Creek, Ste. 160 Highland Village, TX 75077 Festive for the upcoming season, this rose gold chevron dress designed by Veronica M, is one our favorites. The flattering neckline, long sleeves and above the knee cut makes this the perfect party dress. The dress can be worn with or without the belt tied at the waist and with a fun pair of boots. This beautiful print is also available as a top. Megan’s Lifestyle Boutique offers its patrons everything from party to casual chic clothes to lounge wear. Plus we have the perfect bags, shoes and jewelry to match. Located in The Shops at Highland Village. Come see us! Thank you for shopping small and local!





817.581.2743 2451 Lakeside Pkwy., Ste. 160 Flower Mound, TX 75022

972.539.4800 5801 Long Prairie Rd., Ste. 810 Flower Mound, TX 75028

817.965.0648 400 S Oak St., Ste. 110 Roanoke, TX 76262

Ahh, Winter! This season brings us lasting memories with the holidays, playing in the snow (if we are lucky!) and getting cozy by the fireplace. Your fashion choices can also bring you joy! If you look good, you feel good! Our Texas weather is perfect for layering as shown here. Stay on-trend while not sacrificing comfort in this tie dye pullover. Style with buttery soft black denim from our exclusive brand, Mac and Me and a trendy, chunky bootie. Don’t forget to throw on that cute pom pom beanie before heading out the door for that effortless girl-on-the-go look! Come visit mother-daughter team, Susan and Maddie, for all your winter wardrobe needs!

MadiJaks is a women’s clothing and gift boutique conveniently located in Downtown Roanoke.

The Model is wearing our Claudette Jacket, which features a removable collar for a more sleek feel and who doesn’t love a piece that’s two looks in one. We paired her gorgeous jewel green jacket with black skinny jeans and the Hearts On Fire Necklace. Skip the mall and support local for all the best pieces this holiday season. Stylish tops, custom jewelry and great gifts. Shop local, shop Briesly’s Boutique.

We offer a collection of unique, affordable, and on-trend items that are handpicked with our customers in mind. We strive to bring our customers captivating, fashionable pieces that encourage them to live with confidence. Our Adeline wrap dress is style and comfort all wrapped into one! The loose fit, wrap waist, and mid-thigh length allows you to be comfortable for your entire event and looking great while partying the night away! Pair with a pair of our white boots or heels to accent the details in the dress! DECEMBER 2021 | LAKE CITIES LIVING | 25


eople from all around the world have been celebrating New Year’s for at least four millennia. In today’s society, most of the New Year’s festivities begin on New Year’s Eve which falls on December 31st and continue on into the early hours of New Year’s Day, which is January 1st.

by Caylie Howard

People ring in the New Year in different ways around the globe,

but the most common celebrations and traditions are attending parties, eating special New Year’s foods, making resolutions for the New Year, and watching the ball drop at midnight in Times Square. The earliest recorded New Year’s celebrations date back almost 4,000 years ago to ancient Babylon. The Babylonians marked the occasion with a huge religious festival called Akitu that consisted of a different ritual on each of its 11 days. Many people participate in the New Year’s tradition of enjoying food and snacks that are believed to bring you good luck in the New Year. In Spain, people eat a dozen grapes right before midnight. This symbolizes their hopes for the months ahead. Some New Year’s traditional food is more commonly known and practiced throughout the world such as legumes. They are thought to resemble coins and are believed to bring you financial success in the New Year. Some examples of these legumes include lentils in Italy and black-eyed peas in the southern United States. In some worldly cultures, pigs represent progress and prosperity. Because of this, pork is a common New Year’s tradition in places such as Cuba, Austria, Hungary, and Portugal. In places such as the Netherlands, Mexico, and Greece they celebrate by eating ring-shaped cakes and pastries, while in Sweden and Norway they enjoy rice pudding with a hidden almond inside. It’s believed that whoever finds the almond will receive a year’s worth of good fortune. With so many different traditions and ways to celebrate the New Year, it’s safe to say that this holiday’s history and festivities are special all around the world. 26 | LAKE CITIES LIVING | DECEMBER 2021

CHRISTMAS TREE COOKIE STACKS INGREDIENTS Cookies 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature 1 1/2 cups Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar 2 teaspoons vanilla 1/2 teaspoon almond extract 2 eggs 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour* 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt Marshmallow Butter Cream Frosting 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature 1 (7 oz) jar marshmallow creme 2 cups Imperial Sugar Confectioners Powdered Sugar 2 teaspoons vanilla Pinch salt Green gel food coloring Red, white, green sprinkles Gold star candies *Spoon & Sweep method: Use a spoon to fill measuring cup with flour until required amount is obtained. Scooping measuring cup directly into flour bag will firmly pack flour resulting in too much flour required for recipe.

Local Holiday Events Flower Mound

Highland Village





A Heart

for the Community

by Caylie Howard | photos courtesy of Rob Veal, President and CEO of Heart of the City


t’s not uncommon for people to fall on hard times, especially in the last two years. No matter what the circumstances may be, the struggle is still the same. In times of need, it can be difficult for people to reach out and ask for help for themselves and their family. Many people have a fear of being judged or being looked down upon simply because of their difficult situations. At Heart of the City, they truly do care for the people of their community and they make it their mission to treat every person that walks through their doors as a valued member of society.

Heart of the City truly does try to meet all of the community’s needs. They offer food supply, clothing, and life counseling on how to get out of the situation


these people are in and better their lives. “Heart of the City is a big umbrella and under that are three different major programs. One is the Farmers Market Food Pantry, the second is Graham’s

Totally Free Clothing, and the third part is called Thrive where we do life skills coaching.” Rob Veal, President and CEO of Heart of the City, said.

Heart of the City truly does try to meet all of the community’s needs. They offer food supply, clothing, and life counseling on how to get out of the situation these people are in and better their lives. Heart of the City was born in 2019 and the nonprofit just celebrated 2 years of giving quality help service to the community in need. However, the idea of Heart of the City came to be in 2009. “It took me, personally, about 10 years to be able to get into a position where I had the time to do this. So in January of 2019 I stood in front our church and said, ‘God’s leading me to start this and I need two people to help’ and a couple of senior adults in their seventies say ‘we’ll plug in and help’,” Rob said. The first thing that Heart of the City did was hold a free clothing giveaway. “Everyone has extra clothes in their closets, so everyone brought clothes and we gave them to the community and that’s how we began to establish links in the community,” Rob said.

A couple of months after their free clothing giveaway, the nonprofit began to raise funds for an office expansion. “In four different dinners we raise $42,000 to remodel our building and make the food pantry,” Rob said. “October 28th, 2019 was our first day to serve,” Rob said. The goal for the Farmers Market Food Pantry was to serve around 200 to 300 families a month. But then COVID hit. “The whole world shut down, but we never did. We actually reprogrammed everything and started serving at people’s cars, and when we did that, we serving an excess of 250 families every Saturday. We exponentially grew,” Rob said.

Heart of the City has designed their facility to make each person that walks through their door feel like they are getting a true, high end shopping experience. When you step into the Farmers Market Food Pantry, you truly feel like you are walking through a grocery store. When you walk through the Door of Hope in Graham’s Totally Free Clothing, you feel as if you are strolling through a local boutique. Every experience you have at Heart of the City is made to make you feel valued and important, which is just one of the things that make Heart of the City such a special part of our community.

They serve all of south Denton County. To learn more about Heart of the City and how to volunteer, visit

Heart of the City Lewisville is located at 2021 N Mill St, Lewisville, TX 75057. DECEMBER 2021 | LAKE CITIES LIVING | 29



IT’S TIME TO CLEAN UP! by Debbie Sardone

fter all the excitement of the holidays — spending quality time with family and friends, enjoying

delicious food and drink, and giving and

receiving presents — your happy glow can

and you have to deal with the cleanup.

Hopefully, you’ve been cleaning as you

go, so that this tip isn’t a surprise for you.

received replacements for.

a trip and get rid of old items that you

When you take down a string of lights,

Hire a professional service to clean your

or a piece of cardboard to keep them

Let’s face it — all the spills in the kitchen and

wrap them around a paper towel tube


can be challenging, but these tips will help

Clean as you go

time you spend decorating next year.

untangled and easy to unravel next

Getting your home back into tip-top shape

you’re left behind with the mess.

Goodwill with unwanted gifts, save yourself

phone. The images will cut down the

quickly disappear when guests are gone

when your guests and gifts are gone, and

save the pictures to an album on your

Label your holiday bins with the specific room or area where you use those

decorations and lights. Pack and unpack them accordingly.


increased traffic through the bathrooms

left your home a mess. Instead of bravely

facing the task of cleaning this by yourself, hire a cleaning company like Bucket & Bows Maid Service to deep clean your house.

Let the professionals tackle cleaning kitchen cabinets, stove, oven, countertops, floors,

Deal with holiday cards

dusting and vacuuming the living areas,

pots, utensils, dishes, and cutting boards

Collect all the holiday cards that arrived

house back in shape. What a great way to

or glasses on the counter, put them in the

received cards from. You can use this as a

As you prepare the holiday meal, wash the as you go. Instead of stacking dirty dishes dishwasher immediately.

in the mail and make a list of who you

starting point for next year’s holiday card list.

Take down the holiday lights

Then toss those cards in the recycling bin,

Make next year easier on yourself when you

and counters from the festive clutter.

and decorations

clean up this year’s decorations. •

Take pictures of your lights and

decorations. Then print them out

and put them in your holiday bins, or

immediately clearing your mantle Get rid of unwanted gifts

Don’t feel guilty if you received a gift

that you don’t want. Return it, donate it, or

re-gift it. And since you’re already headed to

cleaning toilets and sinks, and getting your usher in the new year! Smile ... and Relax

Remember how great it feels when the

holidays are over and the cleanup is done? When you aren’t sidestepping twinkling

Santas in the foyer, and you realize how big

your rooms really are? Get the whole family involved. Order in some pizzas or subs and

dance to some happy music. Happy holidays, and don’t sweat the cleanup!

Debbie Sardone is the president and owner of Buckets & Bows Maid Service and a popular national speaker on all things cleaning. 30 | LAKE CITIES LIVING | DECEMBER 2021

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