2013 Greek Food Festival of Dallas

24 Sep

This coming weekend you’ll find ‘nothing bundt Greek’! (Watch the video snippet to get the joke..) The 2013 Greek Festival of Dallas is September 27, 28 & 29 hosted by and held at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Dallas. A couple weekends ago it was Oprah. This time it’s “OPAAAAA”!!!

At the Greek Food Festival of Dallas you’ll find cooking demos, music and dancing, a Greek marketplace, art gallery and most importantly, Greek FOOD.



The Dallas Greek Festival is one of the FEW places where you can go smash plates at your own leisure and not get in trouble for it. The only consequence will come if you decide not to wear shoes that day. Other than that you’ll just move on to the cooking demos, tavern-style music offered by a live band and traditional Greek folk dancing. Just imagine a “Big Fat Greek Wedding” without the bride, the groom and the nuptials.

Witness the Holy Trinity Hellenic Dancers shake their “Golos“. The Greek dance group plays a big role in preserving the traditional Greek dance customs so you’re sure to learn some moves and witness a part of history, as traditional dance moves are passed down from one generation to the next.

gyro-topThe Agora has everything you would like to find in an international marketplace. The Pantopolion (festival grocery store) has everything you’ll need to get that Greek flavor in your food, including cookbooks. To keep the food thing rolling, locate all your decadent sweet temptations in the pastry shop!

By the end of the day you’ll be breakin’ dishes, but not for the same reason as Rihanna! It would’ve been the lively and spontaneous culture infused into your head (and belly).

ADMISSION: $6.00 Adults | FREE for Kids 12 and Under


PARKING: Free parking and Shuttle service is available by Brinker International and Commerce Plaza on the other size of LBJ Freeway. Self Parking is available for $5 at Temple Shalom, and On-site valet is $10 per vehicle.

FRI: 9.27 4PM-11PM | SAT 9.28: 11AM-6PM | SUN 9.29: 11AM – 6PM

Host of the Greek Food Festival Dallas

Host of the Greek Food Festival Dallas

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church | 13555 Hillcrest Road, Dallas 75240

Burger Fest Dallas 2013 – Deep Ellum

17 Sep

burgerfestSink your teeth into not just one juicy burger, but two! In fact, let’s make it a BurgerFest this Saturday in Deep Ellum! True Texans know how to make or better yet, EAT a big flavorful burger, whether it’s made of beef or beats. (We definitely have some vegetarians and vegans who know how to work in the kitchen and have given beef-only burger bars a run for their money!) Whether you’re after the cow flesh or the farmed alternative they can all be found at the 2013 Burger Festival in Deep Ellum of Dallas. If it comes between two buns with lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, onions, pickles, ..then it’s available. Anything BURGER-related, minus the “King”, is festival friendly on this day.

The 2013 BurgerFest is brought to you by the same genius foodies of the first ever North Texas Taco Festival which took place back in April 2013! (Shout out to Entree Dallas and Taco Trail.) Some of the vendors who will be at BurgerFest in Deep Ellum on Saturday, September 21st include:



Maple & Motor, Ten Bells Tavern, Rodeo Goat and Whiskey Cake just to name a few. While bite size burgers are the focus of this festival, dessert and ice cream vendors will also be on location along with a beer garden, “VIP lounge” and live music. You can find the “Festival of Burgers” event right along the Deep Ellum Outdoor Market on Main Street in Deep Ellum.

BurgerFest is this Saturday, 9/21 from 11am to 5pm at 2800 Main Street, Dallas!

After you’ve stuffed your face with some burgers, walk it off in the Deep Ellum Fall Gallery Walk also taking place this Saturday between noon and 8pm. Click here to see the map for Galleries.

National Guacamole Day at Uncle Julio’s – September 16

10 Sep

We love guacamole! Yes we do! We love guacamole! How bout you?? If you haven’t noticed already, some legendary foodie in America (or just some coalition within the restaurant industry) is somewhere coming up with all these “national holidays” that honor almost every single food item. You’ve got every day from Apple Pie Day, Ice Cream Day, Chilli Dog Day and Fried Chicken Day to GUACAMOLE DAY! This year, on Monday, the 16th day of September, all avocado eaters will rejoice in the next “made up holiday” that promotes a favorite dip of all kindreds and tongues.

Photo from chillipeppermadness.com

Photo from chillipeppermadness.com

If you’ve heard of good Mexican food in Dallas, then you’ve heard of Uncle Julio’s. Now HERE is a place you want to celebrate Guacamole in all its zestiness. September 16th is also Mexican Independence Day, the anniversary of the Grito de Dolores (“Cry of Dolores”). In celebration of Guacamole Day, Uncle Julios will be serving up its special house guacamole (along with chips and salsa) for only $2! This guacamole is made FRESH with Haas avocados and quality ingredients. That day the ‘ritas will be only $4 all day long!



According to The Produce News, over 1.5 billion pounds of avocados were consumed by Americans in 2012, and I’m sure a major part of them were North Texans! I know one of them for sure, was me. We could eat sliced avocado with dinner – steak & rice, breakfast meals, sandwiches, etc. Then mash it up when you want to eat it with chips. In fact, Uncle Julio’s has been kind enough to provide us with a delicious recipe. Stop by Uncle Julio’s Monday, 9/16 or, if you live to far from the restaurant, take advantage of the exclusive recipes found below and the saying “Holy Guacamole” will take on a whole new meaning:

Recipe Yields 6 cups

• 6 avocados
• ¼ tbsp olive oil
• 2 lemons, juiced
• 1 tsp salt, to taste
• ½ cup chopped tomato
• ¼ cup chopped white onion

AvacadoChrisStock Directions:
1. Halve and pit the avocados. With a tablespoon, scoop out the flesh into a bowl.
Using the same bowl, mash the avocados using either a fork or potato masher, leaving them a bit chunky.
2. Stir olive oil into avocado.
3. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Salt to taste. Serve with tortilla chips.


Uptown Dallas | 4125 Lemmon Avenueunclejulios
North Dallas | 16150 Dallas Parkway
Fort Worth | 5301 Camp Bowie Blvd.
Grapevine | 1301 William D Tate Avenue
Allen | 190 East Stacy Road, Building 3400

For hours, please visit http://www.unclejulios.com/locations/.

Now dip, baby dip!!

DFW Happenings Spa Experience at Massage Envy Cedar Hill

8 Sep

It was a sunny Sunday afternoon in September…

I had a 4:00pm appointment with Shannon at the Massage Envy that just opened on August 1st, 2013 in Uptown Village at Cedar Hill. IMG_9152For those of you living in Southwest Dallas you can probably appreciate a nearby massage location and with services at an affordable price in case you need a last minute fix. Located next to Black Eyed Peas, Massage Envy Spa Cedar Hill has very inviting entrance where the therapists/front desk will greet you with a smile. The greeters as well as the therapists make it a point to ask what brings you in and understand your needs.

Upon arrival I filled out a form that one of the therapists sat down and explained to me. This sheet is to help the Massage Envy therapists get a full glimpse at the client’s needs and note any important health information or medical issues. Laura was quite helpful in walking me through it. Once that was all filled out I was taken into the relaxation room and in no time was headed to my massage room! They ask that you arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment because of this (the paperwork).

305 W. FM 1382, Suite 110, Cedar Hill 75104

305 W. FM 1382, Suite 110, Cedar Hill 75104

My friendly therapist, Shannon, whom I highly recommend, was very warm and sweet. She walked me back to the room where we’d be for the next 50 minutes, talked to me about my massage needs and went over my form. Then I was left to strip down to my “birthday suit” or what I was “most comfortable with”. (The massage beds are heated, by the way.)

I got all comfy under the cover with my face situated in the cushioned face cradle and laid there until the specialist came back in. A couple of knocks at the door and we were ready to begin! I won’t say the entire experience was painless, but that’s all a part of working out the kinks, and boy did I have some kinks! Shannon did a very good job at working out all the knots and pressure points in my neck and back where most of the tension was, and where it is for most women. I never realize just how much stress my body is carrying up and down I-20 until I go get a massage. Deep tissue methods, massage oils, heated beds, some water to sip on, dimmed lights and relaxing music is all you need to set the tone. IMG_9140Oh, and of course a great massager! You’ll have the chance when making your appointment to give your preference if you want a male or female – I wasn’t partial to either. With just the right kneading and rubbing done to the muscles you won’t be either. Aside from the pressure points (emphasis on pressure), while I laid in that room covered in a very calming dark lilac paint, I quickly went from passing the neighborhoods of Pleasant Run to a mellow “Japanese Oasis”. The music helps take you there.

At one point – about midway through – I may have come close to falling asleep, but I’m a light sleeper AND this was a full body massage. Not to mention, I had knots, and I could tell that Shannon had already made it her goal to get those suckers broken up! It’s not always the easiest road but well worth it in the end. Intense is one way to describe it, if you’re in similar shape as I was. My therapist’s arm became the rolling pin and my muscles were the dough. She was very attentive and communicated with me exactly how I was feeling and whether or not to ease up. She covered the back, neck, arms, legs, hands, shoulders…just about anywhere you have muscle. By 4:59pm right on the dot she finished me up and gave me a time to gather myself and switch out any “birthday suits” for public Sunday afternoon attire. As I stepped out of the room, my therapist was there patiently waiting for me and encouraged me to drink plenty of water.

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Following my 50 minutes of massage ministry, the young ladies at the front ask how it all went and then review your therapist’s recommendations with you. They sent me home with a little booklet the goes over what was done in today’s visit, what is recommended and then your therapist’s schedule and other contact information for the spa.IMG_9143

If you don’t like to drive far and are on a budget, but would like to have monthly massages or facials to enhance your body’s health and wellness, consider Massage Envy for the most affordable and thorough treatments this side of the Trinity. It may not be the ritziest of Dallas spa’s and you can’t get $10 champagne, but you’re paying for mostly for the medical services more than the luxurious ambiance at America’s favorite spa chain. Get the attention your body needs and at a cost your bank account want! For $49 you can get a 1-hour introductory massage session or an introductory 1-hour Murad Health Skin facial session for just $10 more ($59). On top of that I was informed that, once you have membership, for only $10 extra your friend or family member can use your account to go get a massage or facial one month in your place.

To set up your appointment at the newly opened Massage Envy Spa in Cedar Hill call 469-272-3689.

IMG_9142It was no secret that Massage Envy’s nationwide event, Healing Hands for Arthritis benefiting the Arthritis Foundation, was coming up on September 18th. The balloons, signage and flyers posted in the lobby reminded clients of the 3rd annual one-day event to build awareness and raise funds to fight arthritis. All of the 32 DFW Massage Envy spas will donate $10 from every one hour massage or facial to the Arthritis Foundation.

2013 Celina Balloon Festival – Sept 13-15

8 Sep


There’s only one direction to look when attending this year’s Celina Balloon Festival – UP. Besides just balloons, the 8th Annual Celina Balloon Festival is a fun family event packed with lots of activities like bumper boats, zip lines, helicopter rides and more. Special guests, the Emerald City Band will provide live upbeat music – including some of your favorite pop songs. Some of the most colorful balloons will fill the sky, floating across Celina at 5pm Friday, 7am and 5pm on Saturday and 7am on Sunday – pending weather conditions.

The top featured balloons can be seen here. For those of you looking forward to the Balloon Glow, a number of balloons will light up the night at sunset on both Friday and Saturday night .

Performing LIVE

Performing LIVE

TICKETS: A single ticket to the Celina Balloon Festival 2013 is just $5.00 and can be purchased here. Check out the family packs also!

To enjoy a Balloon Tether ride you only have to pay $20 for adults and $15 for kids. Balloon flights are $200 per passenger and occur in the morning and afternoon. You must arrive no later than 6:30am on Saturday/Sunday and 4:30pm on Friday/Saturday. Click here for more info on Balloon Rides.

On Saturday, the Faith and Family entertainers will hit the stage featuring the Celina High School Choir, hundreds of choir singers from across Collin County and the Relevant Life band! Sunrise service, sponsored by Lifeway Church, will take place on Sunday morning in the Balloon Fields.

Here are a few other family activities at Celina Balloon Festival 2013:

  • Inflatable insanity
  • Carnival
  • Zip line
  • Classic car show
  • Ponies and pals petting zoo
  • Coconut Climb
  • Helicopter rides
  • Adoption Alley
  • Hamster Balls
  • Bumper Boats
  • Kite Expo from DAKO
  • Home Depot Kids Pavilion
  • Baseball Tournament

Parking is available at $5 (cash only) at the Old Celina Park


Friday 9/13…………..5pm – 10pm
Saturday 9/14…………7am – 11pm
Sunday 9/15………….7am – 5pm

Click here if you’d like volunteer information for the 8th Annual Celina Balloon Festival.

Old Celina Park | 12670 FM 428, Celina TX 75009

Paint Nite Dallas | 2013 Paint Nites Across DFW

28 Aug


The coolest new activity to strike the canvasses in DFW only require a brush, a brew and a creative point of view. Become an “arteest” in just one night at one of the many Paint Nite Dallas events hosted across the metroplex. Paint Nite Dallas will unlock the “Picasso” within that you may have never realized you had. If it doesn’t do that, then you still have fun trying and sipping on other kinds of “creative juices”.

Remember me?

Remember me?

The PBS Legend

The PBS Legend

Whether you have more of a Bob Ross style or a Pappy Drew-It stroke, Paint Nite Dallas is the perfect spot for you and your friends to hang out and try something a little different. Unwind after a long day at the office or surprise your better half with a new Date Night! You’ll both design masterpieces or at least bond for two hours at a desperate attempt. Don’t let the name fool you either! Paint Nite Dallas hosts art sessions all across North Texas from downtown Fort Worth to Lewisville to Addison! You’re bound to find an event near you.


Choose your Paint Night Date night according to:


Paint Nite Dallas is always open to new local artists who have a flair for teaching aspiring painters and wanna-be’s. Click here if this sounds like you!


Set aside a couple of hours one night and about $45 to dibble and dabble your brushes into some acrylic paint as you attempt to recreate a popular piece along with a room full of other adventurous Texans in one of your favorite neighborhood bistros. Paint Nite provides all the supplies. Go hard in the paint and make not only Bob Ross proud, but you would’ve done yourself a favor by simply trying on your own and adding your own style in the process. At the end of your DFW Paint Nite, you’ll get to take home the masterpiece you created on a 16″ x 20″ canvas. The awesome thing about Paint Nite Dallas is no experience is required! Catch you at the next PND!

Movies On Main Rowlett – September 2013

25 Aug

Lights, camera..….Rascals! The 2013 Movies On Main movie series in Rowlett return September 6th with family-friendly flicks like the classic film Little Rascals, Paranorman and Hotel Transylvania. Starting in September North Texans can gather on the lawn of downtown Rowlett’s city library. Seating begins at 6:30pm as the movies begin at dusk!

M.O.M. Attendees are invited to bring their blankets, lawn chairs and picnic baskets. Free popcorn and sno-cones are available at showtime! School is back in session so reserve your Friday nights with the family at Movies On Main relaxing under the stars in downtown Rowlett. Make it a movie night with complimentary sno-cones and popcorn for the kids!

    September 6 ……….ParaNorman
    September 13………The Little Rascals
    September 20………Hotel Transylvania


Parking is worry-free at Rowlett’s Movies On Main also! Free parking can be found at Coyle Middle School located at 4500 Skyline Drive. On Sept. 6th be sure to use the back parking lot of the school as previous school program is scheduled that evening. Should the weather get rainy or stormy check http://www.rowlett.com to find out if Movies On Main has been moved inside the community center where it was last summer. See you at 6:30pm!

Massage Envy Now Open in Cedar Hill

25 Aug

Massage Envy Spa officially opened their doors for business the week of August 1st 2013 in Cedar Hill, TX! Offering all massage and facial services, the spa has a total of 15 rooms – 2 spa rooms for facials and 13 massage rooms, including two couples/dual purpose rooms.

An introductory one-hour massage at Massage Envy is only $49 and one hour Health Skin facial session is $59. The introductory session involves a 50-minute massage and time for consultation and dressing. Membership to Massage Envy is only $59/month including a one-hour massage session. Massage Envy members enjoy unlimited one-hour massage sessions at a $39 member rate or the one-hour Healthy Skin facial session for only $49.

Massage Envy Spa Cedar Hill is located in Uptown Village at Cedar Hill shopping center at 305 W. FM 1382, Suite 110. For more information or appointments call 469-272-ENVY (3689).

A spa is just what Uptown Village Cedar Hill could use! And what better spa than Massage Envy’s chain, with over 800 locations across the U.S. There are 32 DFW locations in total, open 7 days a week. Click here to see the other Massage Envy Spas in DFW.


MASSAGE ENVY SPA | 305 W. FM 1382, Suite 110 | Cedar Hill, TX

2013 Labor Day Jazz Explosion

18 Aug

So you LOVE jazz, but you’re always missing the concerts or hearing about the festivals AFTER the fact? Lucky for you the Labor Day Jazz Explosion in Cedar Hill is still 2 weeks out! On Saturday, August 31st, some of the hottest jazz artists in the country will come together at the Valley Ridge Amphitheatre for an evening of dynamic music and dancing. Headlining the Labor Day Jazz Explosion is: multi-platinum selling guitarist Mark Harper who has recorded with artists like Dav Koz, Gerald Albright, Kirk Franklin, Wayman Tisdale and more. Also featured in the Cedar Hill jazz festival is Forth Worth’s Tatiana Mayfield, Dean James of the Bay area, soulful saxophonist Don Diego and Vandel Andrews from the City of Who Dat fans.

Here’s a taste of what you can expect from popular jazz guitarist Mark Harper’s this Labor Day weekend..

This event is in support of the charity Operation Finally Home, whose mission is to provide American s the ability to honor and thank America’s wounded and disabled veterans and the widows of the fallen who have sacrificed to defend our country in the global War on Terror. All active military and veterans can receive $10 admission (half price) by showing their military ID.

Speaking of admission, you can click here for information on tickets to the 2013 Labor Day Jazz Explosion!

    VIP Admission (exclusive seating, free buffet & beverages) : $40
    General Admission: $20
    4-Pack General Admission: $70


Labor Day Jazz Explosion 2013 in Cedar Hill is Saturday, August 31, from 6:00pm to 11:00pm.

Valley Ridge Amphitheater
2850 Park Ridge Drive, Cedar Hill, TX 75104

Feel free to bring you lawn chairs and picnic blankets as no seating will be provided to this outdoor concert, but leave any alcoholic beverages at home as well as snacks. Food and drinks will be provided on site. Also lawn seating is first-come, first serve so get there early! Sail into the holiday with smooth jazz that’ll relax and invigorate the whole family for a great cause at the 2013 Labor Day Jazz Explosion!

MegaFest 2013 Dallas

17 Aug

Oh Lord Jesus, it’s a MegaFest!!

You know it’s big when Sweet Brown’s got time for it! Sweet Brown is coming to town! Oprah’s Life Class is coming to town! The biggest names in gospel music and preaching are all descending upon Dallas for this year’s MegaFest. There’s something for every member of the family, and this year has morphed into a Mega-Ministry minded festival.

Together Again

This year’s mega ministry event’s theme is beyond appropriate: Manpower, “Woman Thou Art Loosed”, “Mega-Kids”, “Mega-Youth” and entertainment and empowerment for the whole family! There’s something to do at all times of the day and the events will give positive perspective as well as round up revenue big for the BIG city of Dallas!


Bishop T.D. Jakes of the Potter’s House and his team of organizers have put together one of the largest church events to ever be hosted. This mega-festival will bring together believers and unbelievers alike under the guise of fellowship and family. I had the privilege of sharing a few words with event organizer Marcus Dawson of The Potter’s House Dallas. Marcus Dawson is an award winning producer and has earned awards and accolades while lending his gifts and talents to Potter’s House and numerous other artists and ministries.

August 29th

August 29th

It begins and ends with Megafest

According to Dawson, this year’s event is something for the whole family. It will encompass the family and will benefit the entire city of Dallas. “Big D” pales in comparison to the magnitude of this year’s MegaFest. “Oprah’s Life Class” is the kick-off event and last leg of the 2013 McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour wraps up at MegaFest. As if that’s not big enough, the Woman of Purpose Concert is the next night at the American Airlines Center. Music, ministry and so much more this is bigger than big, it’s mega!

Personal Impact
The Woman of Purpose Concert is a labor of love for Dawson and his family. The concert will benefit Autism Speaks, an organization dedicated to outreach and the advocacy of autism research.

Screening of Winnie Mandela starring Jennifer Hudson & Terrence Howard

Screening of Winnie Mandela starring Jennifer Hudson & Terrence Howard

Dawson has for years been a staunch advocate for autism research, his son is autistic. Dawson has sponsored concerts across the country entitled “The Journey” and has partnered with Autism Speaks to increase awareness in the minority/church community in regards to autism. There will be screenings for autism as well as education to learn the signs of an autistic child. Dawson says that in the minority community, many children are screened for autism too late as opposed to their non-minority counterparts.

mega-comedyA mega man with a mega mind

Bishop Jakes continues to serve beyond the ordinary scope of excellence in civil and ministry ventures. Bishop Jakes has extended preaching invitations to the likes of Pastor Joel Osteen, Bishop I.V. Hilliard and Pastor Creflo Dollar, men who rival his mega ministry status. Up and comers like E. Dewey Smith also have a following and are increasing in visibility online and on television. Attendees are sure to be mega-beneficiaries; as each of these preachers command top billing on their own, yet they will share the platform that Bishop Jakes has created at this year’s MegaFest.

On TBN last week, Bishop Jakes shared a glimpse into the ministry mind of this year’s MegaFest. The show was highly touted amongst gospel industry heavies as well as stalwarts in the church. You’ve got to go, this is the year. If you’ve ever attended or viewed “Woman Thou Art Loosed” or “Manpower” then you know what to expect on a slight scale. This year’s MegaFest is exponentially greater than all the previous T.D. Jakes/Potter’s House conventions and will minster to you to the nth degree!

Devon Franklin of Produced by Faith - MegaFest panelist

Devon Franklin of Produced by Faith – MegaFest panelist

In the words of Sweet Brown: “oh Lord Jesus, it’s a fire…er, MegaFest!
For all things MegaFest, please visit http://www.mega-fest.com and make sure you have everything you need to get your face in the place. Marcus Dawson had one other note, Oprah’s “Life Class” convenes at 9 am on Thursday August 29 so be sure to get there in time to be a part of this phenomenal opportunity!

So much to choose from:
What are anticipating most: Manpower, Woman Thou Art Loosed, Oprah’s Life Class, Just Churchin’ Comedy Show, McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration, Woman of Purpose Concert, The Code Concert or the Ball Up Championship Game and Slam-Dunk contest!



Gospel Music writer for the Examiner, Win Willis, is a musician and sound engineer from Fort Worth, Texas. Win Willis is a lover of all styles of music and loves to share and discuss music with other avid music lovers. Click here to see Win Willis’ full interview with Marcus Dawson of Potter’s House.

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