Archive | January, 2014

February / March 2014

February / March 2014

Here is your February/March 2014 issue of Lifestyles of Denton County magazine!

In this issue we highlight a healthy and happy new year with Denton’s Rails and Trails, sprucing your house with Home Maintenance, and discovering history with Land Arrows and Beacons. Happy New Year!

Click here to download this month’s issue.

Posted in Featured0 Comments

Denton’s Rails and Trails

Denton’s Rails and Trails

According to the Journal of Clinical Psychology, this year’s list of top ten New Year’s resolutions includes spending less money, spending more time with family, and staying fit. Fortunately for Denton families, there are over 4,000 acres of parkland, 23 parks, and 20 miles of trails to help achieve and maintain those goals. Make Denton’s Rail Trail part of your family’s resolutions.

One of the best of these is the eight-mile Denton Rail Trail, built on the right-of-way of the former MKT Railroad between Denton and Lake Dallas. This 8-foot-wide concrete trail parallels the Denton County A-Train and I-35, passing among schools, shopping centers, medical facilities, manufacturing plants and urban residential areas. The trail extends from the Denton Downtown Transit Center on Hickory Street to Swisher Road in Lake Dallas.

There are trail access points at public streets, MedPark Station, and the recently completed Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Pedestrian Bridge over Loop 288. Other major points of access include the Golden Triangle Mall area at Loop 288 near Target Department Store, North Central Texas Community College at Corinth Street and 15 other public street crossings as shown on the map on the opposite page.

The rail trail is ideal for bicycling, jogging, inline skating, wheelchair use, and most importantly walking, the most popular form of physical activity. Being outdoors and making the most of Denton’s trails requires no fees, no contracts, and offers quality family time year-round.

In addition to the eight-mile rail trail, is the newly constructed Quakertown Park trail in downtown Denton, adjacent to Denton Senior Center.  This trail provides families the opportunity to combine playground fun, trail use, picnics, and other open space activities which can all help achieve New Year’s resolutions.

Families looking for more unique outdoor trail adventures can use Denton’s greenbelt, a wilderness area connecting Ray Roberts Lake and Lake Lewisville. Through a joint project with the Army Corps of Engineers and the Cities of Denton and Dallas, a trail has been established where outdoor enthusiasts will be able to hike and bike the entire length (about nine miles) of the Elm Fork of the Trinity River.

Horseback riders can start their ride at FM 428 and continue all the way around the east side of Lake Ray Roberts, through the state park at Isle du Bois, and on to Jordan Park, near Pilot Point. Canoeists and kayakers can take advantage of the three access points located at FM 455 (just below the Lake Ray Roberts dam), FM 428, and US 380 for put-in and take-out points.

Online users can discover a complete list of Denton’s parks and trails by visiting the “Parks and Trails” page on the City of Denton Parks and Recreation website, The site provides the option to explore the parks and trails with photos, directions, and a list of amenities.

Taking advantage of Denton’s free trails is an easy way to maintain a healthy lifestyle because they are constructed with varying distances and can be trailered to different levels of fitness. Families can make realistic fitness goals and experience a change of scenery as longer distances are achieved, thus spending more time together while exploring new parks and trails.

Popular Denton trails and distances:
Avondale Park Trail Bridge    0.40
Bowling Green Park    0.29
Carl Young Park    0.29
Cooper Creek Trail    1.55
Cross Timbers Park    1.62
Denia Trail Project    1.63
Denton Rail Trail    8.00
Fred Moore Park    0.85
Lake Forest Park    1.74
Nette Shultz Park    0.56
North Lakes Park    4.01
North Pointe Park    0.68
Quakertown Park    0.50
Sequoia Park    0.19
South Lakes Park Phase 2    3.76
Unicorn Lake/Briercliff Park    1.46

Posted in Featured0 Comments

Twisted Bodies

Twisted Bodies Pilates & Yoga is a unique fitness studio offering Pilates, yoga, pole fitness and other work out alternatives. Owned by Carissa Kniss and Khristen Pahler, these moms came together and out of their boredom with the typical gym atmosphere created a studio focusing on small classes with individualized training and a strong supportive atmosphere. Twisted Bodies builds both physical and emotional strength, all while sharing in a love of giving back. Both Carissa and Khristen are certified in the Stott Pilates method and have extensive backgrounds in dance, yoga and other fitness modalities. Twisted Bodies is also the first studio in Denton to offer Pink Ribbon training to women and men who have battled breast cancer.

Upon opening the doors to their new studio, Carissa and Khristen made a promise to give back to the community and in doing so have partnered with Susan G. Komen of North Texas.  Helping to further breast cancer research and education was a natural step for Twisted Bodies after Khristen’s personal experience with her mother’s battle and several of their clients and friends.

On January 18-19 they will be hosting their first annual Pin-Ups with Purpose event at their studio and will be joined by Kiss FM’s Billy the Kid. Women around the metroplex will participate in a Pin-up style photo shoot which includes hair, make up and costumes. Free for breast cancer survivors/patients, non-survivors/patients are asked to donate $150 to reserve their spot. All proceeds will be given to Susan G Komen of North Texas for the treatment, education and early detection of breast cancer.  This event was made possible by donations from local businesses such as Photo Xpressions by Lisa, Sugar Queen Cupcakes, The Mane Beautique, and Rose Costumes.  For more information visit or call 940-465-6595/972-345-0992.

Posted in Business Focus0 Comments

Clean Up and Ca$h In!

Buying and selling through consignment has become increasingly popular in recent years.  The trend was catching on even before the economic recession hit, but in 2008, with numerous families dealing with layoffs, cutbacks, and the stock market downturn, even more families became fans of consignment stores and events.  Bargain hunters realized they could rack up the savings by purchasing new and gently used items at a fraction of the price of typical retail. Even with the upturn in the economy, consignment has remained a popular avenue for shoppers.

Savvy folks have found that unused and outgrown clothes, toys, sports and gaming equipment, musical instruments, baby equipment, books, furniture, and other household items can be turned into cash by selling through consignment stores and events.

There are several models for selling through consignment. Consignment stores usually specialize in a particular type of item such as furniture, children’s clothing and equipment, sporting goods, or books/videos and often are quite selective in which brands or types of merchandise they will accept from consignors (sellers) since they often have limited floor space.   Consignment sale events typically draw several thousand shoppers, are held in very large venues for only a few days once or twice a year, and often accept and sell a wide variety of brands and types of items for one-stop shopping. So that consumers don’t take home potentially hazardous or dangerous new treasures, shoppers should ask if items being sold have been screened by knowledgeable product safety experts to ensure that items recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission are not on the sales floor. Since it is illegal for consignors to sell items that have been recalled for safety issues, yet most people are not aware that their items may be on the CPSC recall list, consignment events typically have at least one safety expert thoroughly review consigned items. It is usually left up to each consignment store owner to be thoroughly up-to-date on safety recalls.

The percentages and processes for consignment may vary by type of item consigned, as well as between the storefront and event models.  Consignment sale events typically offer consignors 60%-70% for each item sold, regardless of the type of item (books, furniture, clothes, etc.), less a small fee of $10-$15 to ensure a slot as a consignor.  As Laura Valerius, organizer for Just Between Friends of Denton, a childrens’ and maternity consignment sales event, points out, “Consignors who help for a few hours at some point during the week-long event receive the higher percentage (70%), so it pays to carve out a few hours to help sale organizers run the event. Last fall, the average gross sales per consignor was almost $350.”  Consignors set their own prices for items sold through consignment events, ensuring sellers are satisfied with the amount of the sale of each item.  Consignors selling through events, as well as some stores, retain full ownership of their items and can chose to pick up any unsold items at the end of the event, or to donate them to a local charity for a possible tax write-off.

Consignment stores often purchase selected items directly from the consignors, typically offering the seller 10%-50%, depending on the type and brand of item.  Some consignment stores may choose to offer consignors a certain percentage if paying cash and a slightly higher percentage if trading for store credit.  Often, consignment stores specializing in larger items such as furniture may contract with the consignor, who maintains ownership of the item, to place items on the sales floor for only a specified length of time with the consignor’s percentage decreasing if the item is not sold within certain time periods.

Consignment has become a fashionable avenue for bargain savvy shoppers to stretch their dollars and for people to recoup some cash as they de-clutter, clean out, and pass along new and gently used items from their closets, living spaces, garages, and storage units. Still have questions about consignment? Ask questions at to help you navigate the budget-conscious option of consignment.  Consignment shopping, selling, and saving add up to SMART money management!

Posted in Editorials0 Comments

Suffering a Concussion is Serious

by Shaina Owens, High School Student

My basketball career started when I was six years old. I played five years of elementary ball, three years of junior high ball, one year of high school ball, five years of select ball, seven years of summer camps, three years of spring, summer and fall ball, and half a year of private skills training with the retired Head Coach for the West Texas A&M Girls Basketball Team. I’m in my second year of high school ball and I recently suffered my first concussion. The blow to my head was a blow to my heart. I couldn’t imagine not playing the game I love so much. But, according to my doctor, I would have to avoid all contact sports until my brain fully healed.

Being diagnosed with a grade two concussion was a shock. At first, I didn’t even realize what had happened. All I know is that I and a player from the other team charged after a loose ball. Her head banged into my face. I went to the floor and when I came to, I had a black eye. No one suspected a head injury, not even me, until I told my parents about the headaches and having no memory of the ref helping me off the court.

Two weeks on the bench and still another two weeks of not fully participating in the games was the price I had to pay to get well. It’s been hard not being on the court, but in the end it’s what was best for me and my head. Suffering a concussion is serious. I understand that now. Many times an athlete doesn’t even realize that they have one. They get a hit to the head and simply dismiss the symptoms that follow as something else. Or, they don’t report the symptoms because they know it will cost them time away from their sport and perhaps a starting position on the team.

Schools have become stricter about their concussion rules. All athletes are required to complete UIL forms and take an IMPACT test before they can play school sports. If a player sustains a concussion, then they cannot return to their sport until they’re released by their physician and the school trainer. Depending on the concussion grade, that could take anywhere from two to six weeks. Maybe longer.

Keep in mind, concussions don’t always come with cuts and bruises. Something as minor as a hard jolt to the body can cause a concussion.  Some signs of a concussion might include the following: headaches, blurry vision, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, inability to concentrate, sensitivity to light or noise, balance problems, feeling tired, easily angered, depressed, sleeping problems and possibly passing out at the time of the injury. If you’ve endured a bump to your brain, consult a doctor. All concussions are not the same. Rest, Tylenol for the headaches, and time-off from physical activities was my prescription. Your treatment might be different.

I’m back on my feet and back on the court. It was a trying journey, but it was also a lesson learned. I guess my head isn’t as hard as my parents claim it to be. LOL 

Posted in Teen Life0 Comments

Home Maintenance

Home Maintenance

By Reese Gray

As home owners we all want, heck need, to be thrifty about the money we spend for household maintenance.  But be on alert, delaying some of those need be items can end up backfiring and costing you more money and more time and headaches than you ever anticipated.

Here are a few ways to take preventative actions to help avoid or at least lessen costly repairs around your home:

Look up – those gutters need to be cleaned
Those out of sight, out of mind places can cause so much trouble if left unattended.  Clogged gutters can divert water to places that it shouldn’t and you don’t want it to go, like the wood trim and the roof of your house.

Trim back tree and bush limbs that overhang at/on the roof.   These limbs can create a bridge for crawling animals and insects that you don’t want to have in your home plus they also give extra opportunity for added leaves and debris.

Peeling Paint
Small cracks, patches of exposed wood and even strips of paint hanging loose from your home’s exterior is your alert button that it is (past)painting time. Your homes paint covering not only serves as an aesthetic expression, it helps to seal the wood and keep it in good shape.

Repair areas that have rust or rotten wood, scrape and sand all loose paint and use a good primer.

Leaks, Yikes!
Leaks, even small ones are such a hassle but ignoring them has a high potential to cost you big dollars later on. A small drip overtime can cause mold, mildew and damage to drywall, cabinets and flooring.  So many of these pesky little leaks can actually be handled with a very inexpensive washer replacement or tightening a nut.

It may end up with a call to the plumber but I can’t tell you how many of them can be fixed easily and often with a quick Google search. Give it a shot to see how to make a small repair yourself. There is a sea of videos telling and showing how to make all types of repairs.

Dust is a Must
For the most part we think of the dust in our home as harmless, but it can lead to costly damage.  Check those refrigerator coils periodically.  Dust build up on the coils can cause the unit to overwork. That overwork costs you in your electric bill and it also shortens the life of the unit.  Vacuum the coils a couple of times a year for best optimization and at a minimum of once a year.

Also vacuum behind your washer and dryer, and the coil connected to your dryer. Besides lowering the energy performance, dust and lint in the coil can be a potential fire hazard.

Ceiling fan dust buildup is downright
amazing. I can’t remember a time doing
it that I didn’t mentally say, wow.  Most people
run their fans all the time so you may not notice
how much is actually up there. And that dust can get in the motor and movement system to give you trouble, so keep it vacuumed or dusted.

Home maintenance is often a ‘pay me now or pay me
later’ situation, just keep in mind that later is often
more expensive. Get a jumpstart on your spring cleaning now, and you will also have less to worry about later.

Posted in Featured, Home and Garden0 Comments