Tuesday, December 1st


by GMT


Posted on December 1, 2009 at 1:49 PM


Dallas author Jennifer Pickens will present Christmas at the White House, drawing from her new book by the same title. Christmas at the White House gives a personal look at holiday celebrations in the White House from Jackie Kennedy to Laura Bush, with remembrances from the First Ladies and Letitia Baldridge, Social Secretary to Jackie Kennedy.
Tea reservations are $65 per person. New this year, raffle tickets are for sale for $15 each or six for $50. Winners do not have to be present to win. To purchase tea reservations or raffle tickets, call 214-521-2003 or log onto www.arlingtonhallatleepark.com to reserve space on-line. All proceeds benefit the Lee Park & Arlington Hall Conservancy. For more information about “Christmas at the White House” log onto www.ChristmasattheWhiteHouse.net
Holiday Tea at Arlington Hall
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.


Nearly three months after wrapping up her “Little Black Dress Experiment” fashion blogger Valerie Elizabeth unveils her little black dress again in her final look in the BlueFly.com and AOL StyleList.com search for “America’s Most Stylish Blogger.”
Valerie Elizabeth, founder of www.SocietyStylist.com, is one of eight fashion bloggers— selected from a national search— competing for the title of “America’s Most Stylish Blogger.” The five-week competition has come down to one final week of voting and Valerie sits in second place with just votes between her and the grand prize; a fashion column on AOL’s StyleList and a blogger Shop at BlueFly.com.
Valerie Elizabeth gained notoriety in the fashion blogosphere for her “Little Black Dress Experiment” when she spent an entire month creating unique styles and looks utilizing a simple, little black dress as her canvas. She was very successful in proving to women that they can be stylish and create new looks without having to give their closets a complete overhaul.
The “Little Black Dress Experiment” was a huge success and because of the popularity, Valerie Elizabeth brought back her little black dress to create one more stylish look for “America’s Most Stylish Blogger.” Each week, BlueFly.com has provided the competitors with an identical item that the bloggers have to incorporate into their own unique look. Each blogger has been required to create, photograph and blog about the look they have styled.
Visit www.SocietyStylist.com to see the final outfit and find out what Kate Davidson Hudson, Elle Magazine's Executive Accessories Editor, had to say about the look.
“This Little Black Dress is what got me in this competition,” said Valerie Elizabeth, owner of www.SocietyStylist.com, “I am hoping this Little Black Dress will help me secure the number one spot and give me the opportunity to become the newest fashion writer for AOL’s StyleList.com and the creator of BlueFly.com’s newest blogger store.”
Followers can pledge their support for Valerie Elizabeth by visiting her blog at www.SocietyStylist.com, there is a link on Society Stylist that allows visitors to vote daily. With each vote they will be entered for a chance to win a $1,000 shopping spree at Bluefly.com. In addition, fans can spread the word on Twitter for a chance to win a Rock & Republic Handbag, information is available on her website.
For a complete list or rules, visit: http://www.americasmoststylishblogger.com/official-rules/  
The winner of the “America’s Most Stylish Blogger” Award will be announced December 1, 2009.
Valerie Elizabeth, owner of Society Stylist, is available to speak at local and national engagements about her experiences styling for both “America’s Most Stylish Blogger” and “The Little Black Dress Experiment” and give advice to women looking to create their own unique looks. Her blog, The Diary of Elizabeth Hearst and “The Dress Diaries…31 days in my LBD,” chronicles her adventure in “The Little Black Dress” experiment can be found at www.societystylist.com.
About Valerie Elizabeth
Valerie Elizabeth, founder of Society Stylist www.societystylist.com and creator of The Little Black Dress Experiment— as seen on ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and online at Yahoo, AOL and The Today Show— is a fashion stylist, spokesmodel, ambassador for GLAMOUR Magazine, LUCKY Magazine Alpha Shopper, author of The Dress Diaries and blogger behind The Diary of Elizabeth Hearst. In June 2009, she was announced “Face of Dallas” by Max Factor and D Magazine. Elizabeth’s love for fashion developed at a young age; she learned to style unique looks with very limited resources. Elizabeth went on to graduate from Malibu’s Pepperdine University, with a degree in Public Relations and Business Administration. She is an avid philanthropist and lives with her family, in Dallas.


The Trains at NorthPark is a favorite holiday attraction for the young and young-at-heart.  Now in its 22nd year, the trains exhibit features a journey across America with vintage trains and handpainted trains.   For more details log onto www.rmhdallas.com  or call 214-631-7354


For more details log onto www.corinthianspa.com.


The Dallas Flea (www.thedallasflea.com), a unique upscale flea market, will be taking place at South Side on Lamar December 5, 2009 from 9AM to 4PM. Admission is $5.00 and most major credit cards will be accepted.
Forget the mall this holiday season. In-the-know Dallas writer Brittany Edwards delivers The Dallas Flea, a grassroots shopping concept inspired by years of combing through some of the famed So Cal and NYC flea markets.
The Dallas Flea is a curated market composed of Texas-based businesses, designers and entrepreneurs ranging from chocolate makers and abstract painters to jewelry artists and interior decorators. Not only will shoppers be supporting local creatives, but they will also be leaving The Dallas Flea with one-of-a-kind treasures that are impossible to find at mass retailers. Some items to expect include costume jewelry, large-scale oil paintings, cake balls, gourmet popcorn, mid-century modern furniture, glam mirrors, farm tables, children’s clothing, and handmade stationery.
“For the past six years, I’ve written about tons of talented designers, artists and entrepreneurs in Dallas,” says Edwards. “Although they might land 15 minutes of fame, they’re not always easily accessible to the public and typically don’t have the means for a storefront or big marketing firm. That’s why I wanted to create The Dallas Flea – to give them a platform while creating a unique shopping experience for locals.  South Side on Lamar couldn’t be a more perfect venue; it’s been a home to artists for years.”
Sponsoring such an event is exciting to Jack Mathews, CEO of Mathews Southwest. According to Mathews, he was immediately on board when he heard The Dallas Flea pitch.
“Art has always been a passion of mine, and over the years I have been devoted to nurturing local artists of all categories. We are excited for The Dallas Flea to take place at South Side on Lamar and it is my hope that the event builds upon the already strong reputation of the area as an artistic community promoting and encouraging creativity in the Dallas metroplex.”
If Dallas responds positively, many more dates for The Dallas Flea are in the cards for 2010!
What:                    The Dallas Flea
Where:                 South Side on Lamar
                            1409 South Lamar St.
                            Dallas, TX 75215
When:                   December 5th
                             9 AM- 4PM
Cost:                     $5 admission fee
                             Most major credit cards accepted 


Peter L. Stavinoha, Ph.D., is a Clinical Neuropsychologist in the Center for Pediatric Psychiatry at Children's Medical Center of Dallas and Associate Professor in Psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.  He received a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Notre Dame and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin.  Dr. Stavinoha completed a residency in Clinical Neuropsychology at the Medical College of Wisconsin.  Dr. Stavinoha was named a University of Notre Dame Scholar and was awarded a University of Texas Fellowship.  He was named Distinguished Psychologist for 2005 by the Dallas Psychological Association.  Dr. Stavinoha specializes in the cognitive, behavioral, and emotional aspects of developmental disabilities and acquired brain injury in children.  He is also an expert in general parenting, and is a regular guest on WFAA-TV's Good Morning Texas where he gives parenting advice about common issues facing children and families.  Dr. Stavinoha has particular expertise in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and he has presented research findings as well as practical workshops on children with ADHD at the state, national, and international level.  Dr. Stavinoha has lectured extensively on topics including ADHD, dyslexia, learning disabilities, autism and pervasive developmental disorder, traumatic brain injury, the effects of childhood cancer on learning and behavior, the effects of epilepsy on learning and behavior, brain development in children, and general parenting.  Dr. Stavinoha is a member of the American Psychological Association, the International Neuropsychological Society, and the National Academy of Neuropsychology. 
For more information check out his website, www.dfwdrpete.com or contact Dr Pete at drpete@dfwdrpete.com.
Dr Pete is also the co-author of "Stress Free Potty Training".  Find out more at www.stressfreepottytraining.com.
Blended families and divorced parents and the holidays

Children whose parents are divorced have a potential additional stressor that can interfere with the enjoyment of the holidays.  These children may have to travel between locations more often, and they may have to continue to deal with ongoing tensions between ex-spouses.  They may also have to deal with relatively unfamiliar new family members and the stress and anxiety of spending the holidays with people they don’t know well.  However, the holidays can still be a joyful time for kids (and even the parents) if a few key pointers are kept in mind and if the parents can remain civil and flexible for the sake of their children.

Be civil and cooperate – this may require parents to swallow their pride at times and compromise, but remember that your joint effort is to provide a loving and satisfying celebration.  Some kids end up dreading the holidays because they foresee the tensions that will arise.

Communicate – even if tensions are high, parents need to be able to communicate with one another in order to create specific schedules for visitation and transportation.  Once those schedules are agreed upon, put them in writing so everything is clear.  If you can get along with your ex, try to be flexible and try to allow the child ample time with each parent

Stick to the plan – whatever the agreed upon plan, stick to it.  This is not a time for surprises that might catch your ex off guard and lead to unnecessary tension.  If you and your ex just cannot communicate well, stick to the visitation schedule in the divorce decree.  Sticking to the plan leaves less room for last minute negotiations that could lead to arguments.

Create new traditions and routines – this can be anything from creating a “traditional” visitation schedule that will be adhered to from year to year, to having traditions and routines that are followed during holiday time no different than most families have (e.g., decorate the tree on a certain day, having Thanksgiving dinner with grandparents, etc.).

Avoid negative comments – the better the parents and step parents get along, the smoother things will be for the children.

If there are disciplinary issues or other areas of disagreement, deal directly with your ex – not your ex’s new partner.

During the holidays, have plenty of fun activities available for everyone.  Sometimes, activities can take the pressure off of having to interact so much.  Be flexible with activities and schedules in order to deal with inevitable changes that might be an unnecessary source of tension.  Understand that children who are blending with step-siblings may not be very warm to the idea – each may feel like she has to protect her own turf and her family’s way of doing things.  Thus, trying to force interactions may actually backfire and create more problems than if you just let the step-sibling relationships evolve over time.  Also, recognize when your children are unhappy or overwhelmed, and have an escape activity ready for them if they need it (something they can do by themselves for a short time).

Understand that altering a child’s pattern at the holidays may lead to a child feeling anxious or insecure.  Try not to change everything at once – try make changes slowly and prepare the kids in advance for the new routines and schedules.


MATT LEE and TED LEE grew up in Charleston, South Carolina, and in 1994 founded The Lee Bros. Boiled Peanuts Catalogue, a mail-order source for southern pantry staples. Their first cookbook, The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook, received the James Beard Award for Cookbook of the Year in 2007. They are contributing editors for Travel + Leisure and the wine columnists for Martha Stewart Living. Log on to www.simplefreshsouthern.com for technique videos, bonus recipes, and a schedule of where you can catch the Lee Bros. in person.
Visit the Lee Bros. on the web at www.simplefreshsouthern.com

carrot pickles with shallots and dill
makes 1 quart • time: 10 minutes preparation, 30 minutes cooling, 1 hour refrigeration

Crunchy and cool, these carrot pickles have a mellow natural sweetness. If you can’t find fresh dill, substitute fresh cilantro or the Mexican herb epazote for an aromatic, caraway-like zip. Superb on sandwiches and tucked into tacos.

1 1⁄2 pounds carrots, trimmed and peeled, sliced on the bias 1⁄8 inch thick
8 ounces shallots (about 2 large shallots), thinly sliced
6 sprigs fresh dill, cilantro, or epazote
1 cup distilled white vinegar or white wine vinegar
4 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon celery seeds
2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns

Combine the carrots, shallots, and dill in a quart-size glass container with a lid. In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup water with the vinegar, garlic, salt, sugar, celery seeds, and peppercorns, and heat until it simmers. Pour the brine over the veggies, cover loosely, and let cool to room temperature. Seal the container and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour before serving. The pickles will keep in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks.

Step 1 : Sliced raw carrots, shallots and dill are already pre-loaded (3/4 full) into a quart-size container. Lee Bro slices 1 carrot on the bias on the mandoline to demonstrate an easy way to slice, says you could use a knife just as easily, says we slice the carrots thinly so the brine permeates the vegetables readily. Lee Bro transfers the sliced carrots, remaining sliced shallots, sprig of dill to the quart-size container to fill.

Step 2: Saucepan is loaded with 1 cup water and 1 cup white vinegar, warm. Lee Bro says start the brine with equal amounts, a cup each, of water and white vinegar, says could use white wine vinegar or even cider vinegar, but want to keep the carrots looking their brightest, so use a light-colored vinegar. Lee Bro adds 4 cloves crushed garlic, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds, and 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns to the brine. Lee Bro. turns on flame to high and brings to a simmer. Says we put the spices and the garlic in with the brine because the heat will activate them, make their flavors bloom.

Step 3: Lee Bro pours brine into quart-size container packed with vegetables up to rim, says as easy as that. Says we cover loosely, let cool to room temperature, then seal the container and let chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour before serving. Says will keep in the refrigerator 2 weeks or more.