Thankful For 4 Generations

Just wanted to share some of the fun we had at Thanksgiving this year with four generations under one roof. It was our daughters idea to gather the family together which we do every Thanksgiving, but this time to do it under one roof. So we had family from the age of 10 to soon to be 97 for Thanksgiving.

We all decided that an airbnb would be the best way to go, and it was my assignment to find the perfect one that was not too far from home, but far enough. Our selection was Shepherd Lodge in Kingston, Oklahoma. From the pictures we were in love with it, and had our fingers crossed that it would live up to expectations–it did and more.

There were four generations that would be staying under the same roof for three nights. Like most people we were hoping there would be enough to entertain everyone, enough space so that we wouldn’t feel crowded and other things. There was nothing to worry about, our airbnb had everything we wanted and needed from board games, card games, pool table, ping pong, three fireplaces with two being outside, televisions in each bedroom and one in the great room plus so much more including a piano. Everything for preparing Thanksgiving dinner was there–there was even fresh ground coffee in the kitchen.

If someone had wanted to gamble there was a casino down the road, and a lake that my grandson did get to see. Take a look at a few more pictures of our four generation Thanksgiving.

Enjoy family because there is nothing better. Remember “thisisyourbestyear” and give thanks every day.

Christmas Parade–Making Memories

The one sure way to know that it’s the Christmas holiday season is with marching bands playing, floats coming down the street with lights and Santa Claus waving to everyone along the parade route. We’ve listed a few that are in the North Texas area. We’re sure there are more. Take a look at these and you might be able to make a couple. If you do, you have to decide how to tell your children and/or grandchildren why Santa looks a little different at each parade.

Take a look at these parades–enjoy!

November 24, 2019 @ 6:00 PM GM Financial Parade of Lights: Downtown Fort Worth 76102 

The Parade of Lights in downtown Fort Worth is the brightest Christmas parade around with everything and everyone lit up with Christmas lights. The shops will all be open for a little bit of shopping before the parade, and of course you can enjoy the 65 foot Christmas tree in Sundance Square. There is reserved seating available.

December 7 @ 10 AM Holiday Parade: Downtown Dallas 75202 

This is year 33 year for this event that features marching bands, cartoon characters, holiday floats, larger-than-life balloons and so much more. Premier tickets are available.

December 7 @ 6 PM Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting: Bakersfield Park, Flower Mound 75028 

Join the town in celebrating its 30th annual Christmas Parade! This year’s theme will be “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” After the parade, there will be a tree lighting ceremony with choirs singing, Santa Claus, family activities, vendors, food trucks, and much more!

December 14 @ 6 PM Arlington Holiday Lights Parade: Downtown Arlington 76010 

Enjoy the annual Holiday Lights Parade in downtown Arlington.  Come see and hear the sounds of Christmas, and then enjoy the lighting of the Christmas tree on the steps of City Hall. There will be family activities including music, food, vendors, and a screening of the movie “Elf”. 

Honey’s baby amd I had a great time last year at the Parade of Lights in Fort Worth. Remember “thisisyourbestyear” Christmas parades make memories that last a lifetime.

Have Luggage Will Travel

Many of you have cards that give you frequent flier miles on the airline of your choice. Most of us now select our cards by what they can give us. So I want to see how many miles my cousin and I have accumulated or at least our luggage has.

When I purchased my Samsonite luggage many years ago I was told that it would travel the world. Little did I know that it would, but it would go without me.

On June 9, 2019 with our perfectly packed luggage we arrived at DFW International Airport at the appropriate time to catch our 2:30 pm flight to Atlanta, Georgia with a connecting flight to Rome, Italy on Delta Airlines. Did I say our luggage was perfectly packed? It was.

At about 5 pm we were still waiting in the lounge at DFW International when this very nice person by the name of Mr. Okello who worked at Delta Airlines found us a flight on American Airlines that would be leaving soon. We would then fly to Paris, France and then onto Rome, Italy. We gladly accepted. He assured us that our luggage would be put on the American Airlines flight.

The American Airlines flight boarded at the stated time, but decided to try and wait on others who would miss their connecting flights. We all understood this. After almost an hour wait and no other passengers boarding we were on our way to Paris. Since no other passengers boarded we had room to spread out. I hit the mother lode with an entire row to myself–first class at coach prices.

Since we were about an hour late leaving, we arrived in Paris late. Then we taxied for what seemed like forever. We got off the plane and promptly boarded a bus that dropped us at customs with a long line. According to our watches, there was no way we were going to make our connecting flight so after clearing customs we walked (fast) to our terminal and gate and asked to catch the next flight on Air France to Rome.

We were lucky they had just closed the door and opened it for us. At that time my cousin, sister and I all said together, “our luggage will not make this flight”. Sure enough, we were correct.

Air France was given the information about our missing luggage by all three of us. My sisters’ luggage arrived on day 3 of our trip. Seems kind of strange since we all started out together.

There were exploits with not having luggage as you can imagine. Since we are from East Texas, Longview and Tyler we knew to pack extras in our carry on, and we did. We may have had a detour with lost luggage, but we were determined to get back on the road of vacationing.

After a wonderful trip to Italy where we were in Rome, Florence, Tuscany, Pisa, and Venice we were waiting at the Venice airport when they called and said our luggage was located, and it was waiting for us in Rome. After a good laugh, we informed them that we were on our way back to the states, and they said they would send our luggage to us. We should get it in about a day. The three of us arrived back in Texas on Monday, June 17, 2019. Our luggage arrived June 22 courtesy of Mr. Humphrey.

Since I wanted to see my cousin I decided to take her luggage to her, but life got in the way so on July 3, 2019 I sent her luggage by FedEx which meant it would arrive on Friday, July 5, 2019–but they were closed that day. So hopefully, she will have her luggage on Monday, July 8 almost a month to the date.**

Upon looking at the tags, our luggage was expedited–not sure what they meant by that. It also went to JFK Airport in New York. To top it all off Air France says it will have to review our case which may take up to three months because of the complexity of our case. Complexity??

The luggage looks like it had a good time and should have a lot of frequent flier miles. Everything is still perfectly packed. Since I have another trip in a few weeks, I just put the luggage in the closet until needed. Samsonite was correct–their luggage will travel the world. Remember “thisisyourbestyear”. Even with lost luggage, we had a great time exploring Italy with new friends and family.

**My cousin’s luggage is finally home in Tyler, Texas. It should have a few more frequent flier miles than mine. The picture says it all.

What I Gave Up For Lent

Yep, I’m fasting–not eating meat from Monday through Friday, and only a small amount on Saturday and Sunday. You know for Lent you are asked to give up something, and most people give up some form of food. Does it bother me, not really, but kind. You know what I mean when you give up something then you tend to want it even more. I even went to the world famous Primanti Bros. in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with their huge sandwiches, and ate a green salad. Who knew they put French fries on their salad and name it a Pittsburgh salad–there is justice in the world.

Our visit to the world famous Primanti Bros
in the Strip District.

I not only gave up some form of food I decided to give up something else. Something that I have been talking about for years. I decided to give up self-doubt and second guessing myself. Even as a woman of a certain age I still have self-doubt and continue to second guess myself.

Not eating meat has led to some changes in my diet and in my overall health. Has the cutting back on the consumption of meat (in this case it does include fish and poultry) caused me to have weight loss–no, but I haven’t gained any either. I’m still maintaining.

But the elimination of self-doubt and second guessing has made a major difference in my life and attitude. It’s a freeing feeling, one that is hard to explain. It’s a good feeling.

Some people have given up shopping, eating sweets, eating fried foods, eating carbs–food, food, food. This guy told me he was going to give up exercising. The problem being he doesn’t exercise. Years ago a minister said maybe we should give up something other than food–something like maybe gossip so I tried giving up self-doubt.

Will I ever have self-doubt again? I’m sure I will, but it will quickly disappear because I’ve learned to control it. Will I ever eat meat again on Monday through Friday–you betcha. But I really don’t miss it.

As women of a certain age, we need to be in control of our lives to make them better. What are you giving up to make your life better? By the way in addition to giving something up, you are to pray/meditate more. Maybe that’s the reason I can conquer self-doubt and second guessing myself.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”. Instead of saying what’s the worst that could happen, ask yourself what’s the best that could happen–then make it happen.

A New Tradition–Holiday Tea

*Guest post from Tea Lover CYCooper

Is it me or do the holidays seem to pass by quicker every year?  Christmas 2018 has come and gone, but even with all the hustle and bustle the holiday season brings, yours truly managed to travel across Highway 30 for a small staycation at the the MAGNFICENT Adolphus Hotel In Big D (that’s Dallas, Texas for some of you who don’t know).  I’ve stayed at the Adolphus  on a number of occasions, but this legendary hotel recently completed a 3 year renovation.  Yes, it’s more up to date but it hasn’t lost it’s old world charm and elegance.  Built in 1912 by “The King of Beers” Adolphus Busch, The Adolphus has hosted notable visitors including Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, U2, Maya Angelou, Madonna, Whitney Houston and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of England.  

Besides being a top tier hotel, The Adolphus is also noted for its Afternoon Tea Service or High Tea which it serves throughout the year.  However, during the Christmas season the hotel offers its famous Holiday Tea. This tea is extremely popular and sells out quickly each year.  So, when reservations opened up on Monday, October 1st, @ 11 am, I got on my phone and called.  Let me tell you, it actually took me over 1 1/2 hours to get through and make my reservation.  

My sister and I attended The Adolphus Holiday Tea earlier this month and YES it was definitely worth spending that 1 1/2 hours on the phone to get that reservation.  The Holiday Tea takes place in the SPECTACULAR French Room Restaurant of the hotel.  The French Room, included in the recent renovations, has been restored to its original glory.

The Holiday Tea starts with a glass of Rose Champagne, followed by the first course of finger sandwiches, scones and a light delicious tea from China. The second course of tea cakes & sweets is accompanied by a slightly bolder tea which compliments the desserts.  Looking around The French Room on that December day, we saw women/girls of all ages (and some men) enjoying this delightful and refreshing experience.  The food, tea and service were EXCELLENT.  Much like attending the Texas Ballet Theater’s production of THE NUTCRACKER, having Holiday Tea at The Adolphus may become an annual Christmas tradition.  

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.

thisisyourbestyear–2019

It’s about to be 2019. 2018 was a wonderful year for “thisisyourbestyear”. We hope that you have enjoyed the ride. The ride tried to inform, educate, give you laughter, keep you engaged and more. It is our hope that you are ready to continue this journey.

In all of these activities, events, seminars and other things we have always wanted to inform you. Being women of a certain age, we wanted to show you that the world is now ours to do with as we wish. Sometimes we couldn’t believe what we talked about.

In 2018 we expanded our social media outreach. Not only are we on Facebook and Twitter we finally made the leap to Instagram plus we even do Instagram TV. We’ve tried to post to at least one of these outlets on a daily basis. We even did our first podcast this year–it was great (Inspired to Greatness with Matt Blake). We were excited that Dallas Voyage Magazine labeled us an “Influencer” (April 25, 2018).

As we enter 2019 we are excited to see what it will bring. As we have previously found out there is so much to do, see and learn. So 2019 should be even better. We are here for you.

We’ve already started on our review of Clark’s Botanical Skincare. It is a review that will take us approximately six weeks to conclude. You can find out more about the beginning of this review on our Instagram TV channel (thisisyourbestyear) or on our Facebook Page (thisisyourbestyear).

Here are some of the things we talked about in 2018

We are looking forward to sharing even more with you in 2019. Let us know what you would like for us to talk about, events that you would like for us to cover and more. We will try our best to meet your request.

Thank you for voting us Best Blog/Blogger 2018 in the Star-Telegram’s Fort Worthy Contest.

Please follow us on our social media sites at Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”. Happy New Year. 2019 is going to be great. You are not too old!

5 Simple Steps For Landing A Seasonal Job During The Holidays

*guest post by Erica Francis

seasonal employment

5 Simple Steps for Landing a Seasonal Job During the Holidays

Interested in a little extra cash this holiday season? A seasonal job is a great way to buffer a period of unemployment or offset your spending on gifts. It might even be just what you need to get your foot in the door for a more permanent position of employment. Check out these tips to help you land the perfect position this holiday season!

1. Consider if a Seasonal Job Right for You

Before you start searching for seasonal work, go over the pros and cons with yourself. On top of making some extra money, seasonal jobs can get you big discounts on holiday purchases and help you build up your resume for future job searches. But the work doesn’t come without its drawbacks. Many seasonal jobs offer low pay and little training so they may not be great options if you’re looking to advance your career. Additionally, you have to be ready to accept a tough schedule, which may involve working during evenings and weekends. This can conflict with travel plans and reduce your free time to spend with friends and family,

2. Take a Look at Your Options

Not all seasonal jobs are retail positions. Although you may be happy to fill in at the mall during the holiday rush, you have other options. Customer service representatives, social media assistants and seasonal recruiters are in high demand during the holiday season. Additionally, seasonal decorators and event planners are highly sought after by stores, offices, and homeowners alike. You may even want to consider personal gift shopping or working as a professional Santa. If you aren’t interested in a holiday position, pet sitting might be a great option for you. Many people travel during the holidays and need someone who can tend to their pets while they’re away.

3. Start Searching for Opportunities

Care.com recommends seeking out work that you enjoy rather than taking the first job that comes along. You can find hidden career opportunities by looking for entry-level positions in a field that you enjoy. If you’re interested in fashion, try applying for work in a clothing store. If you like journalism, start with a job at the library. Try to network as much as possible by talking to friends, family, and even strangers who may be able to help you get a lead on a job. Reach out to people online and be sure to meet them in person to establish valuable relationships. Volunteering in your community during the holidays is a great way to make connections, gain references, and test out your field of interest as well.

4. Polish Your Resume

Seasonal work is competitive, so make sure you apply with an eye-catching resume to set yourself apart. Personalize your resume for each job you apply for, paying close attention to the skills and experience required by the position. If you have gaps in your work history or many seasonal jobs, try switching up your resume format to focus on skills and experience rather than past employment. Consider putting your related skills near the top of your resume so managers can see that you would be adept at the position. Have a separate section on your resume for any past temporary positions labeled either “holiday” or “seasonal” so recruiters don’t think you frequently hop between jobs.

5. Ace the Interview

Although the job you’re applying for is temporary, recruiters will still put you through a thorough interview. Be prepared to answer questions about your flexibility, why you’re interested in temporary work and what your plans are for when the season ends. Don’t forget to do your research on the company and have a familiarity with their products and services.

Although the holidays are rich in employment opportunities, start looking for work early. According to Snag, over half of employers have already filled their seasonal positions before the busy seasons starts. You’ll have more options to choose from if you get a head start. That way, you’re more likely to land a job that you can actually enjoy.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  Let’s get that job!

*Erica Francis has an important mission: to help people prepare for successful careers in today’s tough job market. At ReadyJob.org, Erica helps develop lesson plans and other educational resources, all geared toward helping the site’s visitors build the skills needed to excel in any workplace.

Best Dad Ever Giveaway

It’s almost Father’s Day.  The time when we honor the father figures in our lives whether it is our father, uncle, grandfather, the father of our children or a male figure who stepped up–we want to give them credit for being “the best dad ever”.

This year “thisisyourbestyear” has teamed up with The Boardroom Salon For Men. The Boardroom gives men more than just a haircut; it gives them the ultimate grooming experience in an elegant country club-like atmosphere.  Complimentary beverages, a pool table, a chess board along with plush leather chairs and a great atmosphere will make the “best dad ever” in anyone’s life have a great Father’s Day to remember. We will be giving away a gift certificate for the “best dad ever” in your life.  The gift certificate will entitle the holder to a great service from the Boardroom–their Signature Cut. It’s more than just a haircut.

The Boardroom’s Signature haircut service, The Benchmark, which is valued at $60 includes:

  • Personal consultation
  • Tailored cut
  • Pressure-point facial massage
  • Precision neck shave
  • Rejuvenating paraffin hand dip
  • Energizing shampoo and conditioning
  • Scalp massage
  • Steamed towel
  • Stress relieving hand massage
  • Cleansing rinse
  • Finishing touch styling

In order to win this great gift for the “best dad ever” you must do at least 2 of the following items (the more you do, the more chances you have)

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  Don’t you think that you know the “best dad ever”–I do.

The winner will be announced on Monday, June 11.

Find out more about the services and locations of The Boardroom here.

 

Enjoy Yourself–You’re Worth It

by CY Cooper

It seems like it was only a day or so ago we were all enjoying the sights and sounds of the Christmas season.  It’s really hard to believe that we are now moving toward the middle of January 2018 and getting set for the next BIG holiday, which is Valentines Day.  It didn’t take the retail stores long to move forward as they were putting up hearts and flowers the day after Christmas.

You know it’s not a secret that the holiday season is just plain busy for everyone. Whether it’s family, friends, co-workers, church or other organization functions, most of us find ourselves so busy we don’t have time for ourselves or to just look around, sit for a quiet moment and ENJOY the season.

Well during the holiday hustle and bustle I did a couple of activities for yours truly.  I registered for a total of (3) cooking classes.  Two of the classes took place at the Fort Worth Cooking School at Central Market and the other at Sur La Table in Fort Worth.  Let me tell you, all (3) classes were hands on, educational and a lot of FUN.  Besides taking home the recipes and instructions on what we accomplished in class, all participants took home a nice sampling of our finished baked goods.  Now I’m sure you’re probably thinking that you want to do anything but cook/bake, BUT as stated earlier it was FUN, a lot of FUN. It was an activity where you could go with a friend or by yourself and meet other people with an interest in cooking/baking.  Plus, for about 1 1/2 – 2 hours you were away from the holiday rush.  I learned to bake everything from buttermilk biscuits in a cast iron skillet, Parker House rolls to eggnog cranberry swirl bread just to name a few.

I didn’t just stop with the cooking/baking classes.  My sister and I attended the Texas Ballet Theater’s THE NUTCRACKER at the wonderful Bass Hall.  It’s become a family tradition and it’s a MUST SEE.  If you’ve never had the chance to see this ballet, you should.  It just may become one of your Christmas traditions.

carol 3

And finally, yours truly is a fan of tea, and The Ashton Hotel in downtown Fort Worth starts their Holiday Tea Service the day after Thanksgiving.  This was my first time attending but I can tell you it won’t be my last.  I tried to reserve a couple of seats for the week before Christmas but they were all booked up.  I made a reservation instead for a date after Christmas and even then there wasn’t an empty seat to be found.  Holiday Tea at The Ashton Hotel runs through the end of the month of December.  The tea was EXCELLENT and so relaxing.  DEFINITELY put this activity on your TO DO list for the 2018 Holiday Season.  

The Christmas of 2017 was busy and it sped by quickly, but I can truly say it was FUN and memorable.

It’s 2018.  Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.

Christmas In Songs

As a child the songs of Christmas and the holiday season were always some of my favorite tunes.  At that time they always made me happy.

Even today some bring back memories of times gone by.  While in elementary school I was a member of the choral club, and doing one performance I actually had a solo.

Once I entered fifth grade I was made a member of the famed girls group at school–the Charmettes. This group sang on the two annual school programs. The winter program was called “Winter Wonderland”, and we always closed the program with it. Every time I hear it now I call my best friend and we break into song and laughter.

While working at a high school, the choir would do caroling through the halls. A lot of us would follow them to hear our favorite song.

I remember the great Christmas celebrations on Della Lane at home.  How much fun we had decorating the tree.  It seemed that everyone had a picture window where they displayed their tree.  The memories of home always come to mind.  I can’t go back to that time, but each year I do go home for Christmas–if only in my dreams.

Merry Christmas to all.  Remember “thisisyourbestyear”. What’s your favorite holiday song?