Archive | November, 2013

November/December 2013

November/December 2013

Here is your November/December 2013 issue of Lifestyles of Denton County magazine!

This issue we highlight Healthy Winter Skin Care, how to Spice Up Your Home for the holidays, and we focus on Operation Christmas Child.  Happy Holidays Denton!

Click here to download this month’s issue.

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Miss Rodeo Texas

Stephanie Revels, 22, of Corinth has put one more check mark on the list of her “must do” list of accomplishments.  In June she was crowned Miss Rodeo Texas.

“It was like stepping out of my dream as I heard my name announced and then walked forward on the stage to receive the most coveted crown in Texas for a rodeo queen. I was trying to hold the tears back as I realized that all I had prayed for and worked toward was happening before my eyes. I have been looking up to Miss Rodeo Texas since my first competition at age 15 and today I am truly humbled to be the one blessed with this honor. I am beyond thrilled!” Stephanie shined when she said.

Miss Revels attends has completed her associates degree and will be attending UNT pursuing a degree in Marketing with the goal of concentrating in the western fashion industry. Stephanie exclaimed, “As the newly crowned Miss Rodeo Texas, I am excited to support and promote some of the things I am truly passionate about our incredible state of Texas, professional rodeo, western fashions and the western way of life!

One of my goals as Miss Rodeo Texas is to reach out to families with special needs children and introduce them to horses, rodeo and the western way of life.  I have seen the difference it has made in the lives of two of my special friends as well as my own special little brother.  I would love to offer those opportunities to other children across our Lone Star state.”

Along with winning the Texas title, Stephanie earned $18,000 in scholarship awards, as well as a trophy saddle, trophy buckle, and many additional prizes. Her list of awards also included winning the MRT awards in the pageant’s Horsemanship and Speech categories.

The inaugural Texas crowning was in 1959 and is a true Texas tradition. Holding to our usual Texas Proud status, the Miss Rodeo Texas Pageant has produced seven Miss Rodeo Americas spanning those five decades.   Stephanie and her family have hopes to continue the tradition by bringing the Miss Rodeo America title home to Corinth when she competes for that title in Las Vegas, Nevada The pageant will be held in conjunction with the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (PRCA) in early December 2013.

Since the inception of the Miss Rodeo Texas Pageant, Miss Rodeo Texas has served as a vibrant, colorful goodwill ambassador of rodeo, the official sport of Texas, working closely with professional rodeos, rodeo associations and community organizations to preserve our western heritage and keep the western industry alive and flourishing in today’s society. Stephanie said, “I am honored to follow in the boot steps of so many amazing women who have held this crown in the past.  These ladies have been phenomenal role models and representatives for the sport of Rodeo as well as our state and I am excited to ride the same rodeo trails that they have.”

Stephanie notes that she is thankful to, parents Jason and Karen Gray and Mitchell Revels, family, friends and sponsors for their support.  She emphasized, “I am truly blessed because I could not have achieved this dream of becoming Miss Rodeo Texas without an excellent support team of family, friends, coaches, designers, trainers and others who have offered their time, talent and support. “ I have heard it said that it takes a village to raise a family – well I say it also takes a “FAMILY” to make a queen!”

Please view the Miss Rodeo Texas website, missrodeotexas.com
for more information

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From the Spice Rack

From the Spice Rack

by Kathe Kitchens, Bestemor Herb Farm

Sage

Wise, learned, knowledgeable – all synonyms for the name bestowed on this broad use herb related to the mint family.  There are nearly 1,000 varieties, from low growing shrubs to colorful annuals native to the Mediterranean, central and South America and central Asia. Garden sage, clary sage, blue, red, white and pineapple sage are all commonly grown in the US.

Pineapple sage is one of the most beautiful, with brilliant crimson flowers and lush, heart shaped leaves.  A favorite in southern gardens where trumpet shaped flowers attract butterflies, bees and hummingbirds, it is a sweet sage.  We have several!

Garden sage (salvia officinalis) is the familiar plant of the kitchen garden, an evergreen undershrub native to the northern shores of the Mediterranean.   It has been cultivated for culinary and medicinal purposes for many centuries, capable of surviving most northern winters.  Ever popular in the US, sage is a staple herb for stuffings, dressings, sausages and soups, and is found in literally every type of recipe including desserts, liqueurs and soft drinks. The sage in our traditional Thanksgiving meals was originally included for flavor, but also acts as protection from food poisoning and to preserve the food.  On our farm, we grow Berggarten sage as a culinary variety that has a deep pungent flavor and rich aroma, so less is needed for full flavor.  It grows well year round in our climate and yields a bountiful harvest we use in dishes of all kinds.  It also makes a lovely tea.

Clary (white) sage is native to the southwest US where Native Americans used it as a ceremonial incense, treatment for coughs and colds, general tonic and fever relief. We make an essential oil spray with this essential oil that is great for restful sleep, hormone balance and great dreams.  Smudge sticks made from their limbs are often used by mediums or psychics during a ceremony to cleanse a house of spirits. You’ve seen it on countless paranormal programs.

Women who seek ease from PMS or menopause will find its hormone balancing effects helpful.  While the benefits are many, sages should be avoided during pregnancy as it stimulates uterine contractions.  The compounds found in sage include camphors, cineole, linalool, oestrogenic substances, flavonoids, phenolic acids, and tannins.  Teas and tinctures are commonly used to treat ringworm, eczema, psoriasis, gingivitis and dental infections.  Sage is a natural treatment for scalp health and hair growth and essential oils are included in body wash & balms for body odor.  Its astringent, antiseptic and deodorant qualities make it ideal for controlling the microbes that are the source of body odor problems for both humans and their pets. Products containing sage are readily available in US markets.

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Healthy Winter Skin Care

Healthy Winter Skin Care

By Jennifer Warner Dharamsi, MD
Precision Dermatology

Fall has officially arrived!   Football games on the patio, trick-or-treating and pumpkin patches, celebrating with family and friends during the holidays… many would say we are entering the “most wonderful time of the year.”  However, along with the change in season comes one major downside – the onset of dull, dry skin.  During the winter months, your skin struggles to produce its natural oils as effectively, which can lead to dryness, cracking, and sometimes an itchy, scaly rash known as eczema.  Below are several tips to help keep your skin looking and feeling healthy during the colder months to come.

1.  Change your bathing routine
Think about the way you wash a greasy dish pan – the hotter and soapier the water, the better the grease washes away.   Unfortunately, the same concept applies to the skin – hot water and soaps with strong surfactants can melt the natural oils out of our skin, leaving it dry and scaly, especially during colder months.  Try switching to a moisturizing soap (Dove and Cetaphil are a few good ones), turning down the dial on the water temperature, and limiting your shower time to five minutes.

2.  Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize
Combat skin dehydration by applying a moisturizer to your full body at least once or twice a day.  The skin is especially good at absorbing moisturizer if it’s applied within five minutes of getting out of the shower.  Which product should you choose? As a rule, creams are more hydrating than lotions, making them a better choice during the winter. Cetaphil cream and Cerave cream are both nice options. If your skin is especially dry, you may do best with an ointment-based moisturizer, since ointments are even more hydrating than creams.  Petroleum jelly (Vaseline) or Aquaphor are both very effective. Don’t forget places like your hands, which are often left exposed to the cold, dry air and therefore are more prone to getting chapped. It’s a good idea to limit excessive hand washing this time of year and to apply a hand ointment or cream several times a day – consider keeping a small tube in your purse or your pocket for easy access.  Also, don’t forget about your feet – stash a tube of Vaseline or Aquaphor on your nightstand to apply before you hit the sack.

3. Invest in a humidifier
Heaters and fireplaces are great at keeping us toasty, but they tend to zap air moisture and can contribute to major skin dryness.  Consider placing several small cool mist humidifiers throughout your home to replace some of that missing air moisture.  Of course, be careful to follow the manufacturer’s maintenance instructions to make sure it stays clean and pathogen-free throughout the winter.

4. Keep your face and lips glowing
Remember that the sun doesn’t stop shining in the winter, so continue to use a facial sunscreen with at least SPF 30, every single day.  Wind and dryness can make your skin more sensitive to products, so consider limiting your use of harsh toners, masks, and peels during the winter.  And don’t forget to moisturize – use a hydrating face cream at least twice a day.  The same thing goes for your mouth – banish cracked, dry lips by applying a moisturizing lip balm with SPF 15+ several times throughout the day.

5.  Consult an expert
If your skin is not looking or feeling its best despite trying these measures, it may be time to consult your local dermatologist, who can prescribe you any necessary medications and can help you design a personalized skin care regimen.

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Thigh Gap and Other Teen Eating Disorders

by Shaina Owens, High School Student

I was born with a kangaroo pouch. No matter how many stomach crunches I do, my pouch will not go away. It’s hereditary. Thanks mom. LOL.  It’s cool. I know inside and out, I’m healthy. I eat right, I exercise and I get plenty of rest. Well, most of the time I get plenty of rest. Let’s face it, not everyone has a flawless physique. If all teens could accept that, then maybe they wouldn’t try to achieve the impossible. Instead, they look in the mirror and loathe what they see. They could weigh ninety pounds and consider themselves fat. Ridiculous. I know.

The latest body craze is “Thigh Gap.” It’s a term that references the space between one’s thighs. To some girls, if their thighs touch, then they think their legs are imperfect, as well as the rest of their body. Because of this belief, they take extreme steps to shed the pounds so they can obtain the perfect shape. What they need to know is that Thigh Gap has more to do with biology and less to do with bulk. The position of the pelvis within the frame of the skeleton decides if a person will have a Thigh Gap or not. Starving yourself will not achieve a Thigh Gap.

Anorexia and Bulimia are other forms of eating disorders and they effect 2 out of every 100 teens, ages 13 to 17. Teens who suffer from anorexia skip meals, exercise excessively, sometimes use laxatives, force themselves to vomit and are in constant fear of gaining weight. And despite being bone-thin, they still perceive themselves as obese. Bulimia is just as serious as anorexia. People with bulimia binge eat to the point that they’re about to explode, then force themselves to throw-up. Gross. But, they too have a distorted image of their bodies and are never satisfied with the way they look.

All eating disorders are dangerous. Many experts call them silent killers because people with eating disorders deny their body of the nutrients needed to feed their organs. Overtime, the body deteriorates. The heart and other major organs mal-function and eventually shut down. If caught in time, the damage can be reversed. Unfortunately, most cases go undiagnosed, which in the end, can lead to death.

Some signs of an eating disorder could include any of the following: feeling fat all of the time; skipping meals; becoming thin too fast; lack of energy; a fear of food; stepping on the scales every day; excessive exercising; avoiding special events that serve food; using laxatives, diuretics or enemas more than twice a week; scarf and barf; constant bathroom breaks; and, always unhappy with your body. These are only a few red flags. If you think you suffer with an eating disorder, get help. Tell your parents, a trusted friend, or a school counselor. With the help of medical professionals, eating disorders are treatable.

Depriving your body of food is not the answer to your problems. We’re all made special and unique. No one is perfect. Adopt a healthy mindset and learn to love yourself and love your body. It’s okay if your thighs touch. Mine do.

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Going Green in a Whole New Way

Going Green in a Whole New Way

Tom O’Brien, owner of Lone Star Turf (ForeverLawn of North Texas)

Who doesn’t dream of a perfect yard? Unfortunately, this can take a lot of time and work to achieve, especially as summer comes to a close and fall is upon us. To achieve this perfected look, a growing number of home and business owners are considering the idea of replacing their natural grass with synthetic turf.  Homeowners tend to over-seed their lawns in the fall and winter months and use up to an average of 8 gallons of water per square foot. In fact, nearly half of all the water that homes use, is used outdoors.  In today’s “all-natural” approach to satisfy consumer interests, synthetic lawns are raising the interest of consumers and here are some of the leading reasons.

Water conservation
According to the Synthetic Turf Council, every square foot of natural grass replaced saves 55 gallons of water per year. Water savings are enhanced dramatically when considering the size of personal lawns in the North Texas region draining more than 1,000 gallons per day on average.

Time saving
By installing artificial turf, which requires little-to-no maintenance, families can spend more quality time together on activities they thoroughly enjoy.

Money saving
While natural yards may need re-sodding every year or two due to dead spots, artificial grass has a lifespan of 15-plus years.

Resembles real grass
Synthetic turf is available with a softer feel and realistic appearance making it a viable alternative to real grass. Gone are the days of  the Astroturf, first installed in the Houston Astrodome in 1966. There are a variety of styles available depending on personal preference, including short and long lengths, multi-colored blades and one that looks like a fresh-cut lawn.

Look at your options and consider synthetic turf possibilities for your home…save some water and yard work time!

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