Sneak peek at the new #WholeFoodsAddison!

It was bittersweet to find out that our Richardson Whole Foods was finally closed down, but I knew that meant that the brand new Whole Foods Addison was about to open! I am excited for our new nearest Whole Foods to have a larger footprint, meaning that it will carry more items that I have formerly had to drive 5-7 miles to another location to get (I know, I know, I am still spoiled…). The Whole Foods Addison at Beltline and the Tollway will open to the public on July 16. However, I was graciously given a media preview tour this morning and snapped the following pics!

Whole Foods Addison
“Flying banana” display – see the black wire grid? Bananas will be hanging off of it!
Whole Foods Addison bulk food section
There are actually 2 aisle of bulk foods at this Whole Foods location, you can bring your own container to conserve plastic bag waste!
Whole Foods Addison wine section
The wine section, where you’ll be able to find suggested wine pairings from local chefs, celebrities, and even local bloggers!


Whole Foods Addison cheese shop
Cheese Shop! Need I say more?!


Whole Foods Addison personal product aisle
Personal products aisle — I always end up here!
Whole Foods Addison beer cases
Quote from Kinky Friedman on the beer case “Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder”


Whole Foods Addison in-store bar
In-store bar with many beers on tap, even root beer! Have a drink while you shop!
Whole Foods Addison Buy Me A Beer
Did you know you can pre-purchase a drink from the bar for a friend who isn’t with you? The next time they visit, they’ll have a free drink on you! My name is spelled “J-E-N-N-Y”…if you were wondering…
Whole Food Addison meat department
Meat department with sustainable meats and the Whole Foods Animal Welfare Rating System


Whole Foods Addison bakery
Bakery section! Cupcakes and treats with no artificial colors or HFCS, yay!
Whole Foods Addison pre-prepared food area
Pre-prepared food area. At this store, the grab-and-go meals are in enclosed refrigerator cases because that is more energy efficient.
Whole Foods Addison upstairs cafe area
Upstairs cafe area, great for holding small, intimate meetings.


If you’d like to take a sneak peek too, there is a special preview tomorrow (Friday, July 12) from 4-7pm open to the general public. Word is that there will be food samples!


Earth Day Lesson: Recycling in Richardson

For the second part of my Earth Day series this year, I’m going to share some fun we had this weekend locally at the Richardson city Trash Bash. It’s an annual event here in our town (which is adjacent/connected to Dallas) where citizens can learn about the environmental services that the city offers, learn about local businesses and organizations that provide additional services, and have an opportunity to recycle large items that might not fall within our regular curbside recycling pickup, such as e-Waste.

Most of the exhibitors were set up in the main hallway of the city hall/civic center.

Richardson Trash BashWe walked from booth to booth learning about water conservation, mosquito prevention, brushing our teeth, keeping our homes safe (Richardson Police Department), how to garden using fish poop (yep!), and other fun things.

Outside near the fountain, there were other exhibits and a bounce house! My son got to tour the inside of the Fire Department’s ambulance while my daughter and I stood next to huge bales of materials ready for recycling at the Richardson Waste station.

Richardson Recycles
Plastic to be recycled
Metal cans to be recycledJust as we were about to leave, we realized that free pizza was being served in the Great Room, where the door prize raffles were also being read! We didn’t win anything, but the kids enjoyed the pizza and we got to meet mayoral candidate Amir Omar. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture.

LS eating pizza
LS can eat pizza despite being dairy intolerant, if we remove the cheese first

On our way out the door, we stopped by the kids’ activity room which turned out to be a lot of fun! So much fun that I wish I had taken more pictures. They have an awesome landscape display that shows how run-off water is affected by various pollutants. I would just love to own one of those! All I got a picture of was this Pinterest-worthy upcycle project using empty water bottles and macaroni with toys hidden inside. I just might try and recreate this one!

LL upcycled water bottle macaroni craft

All in all, we had a fun day and the event (and pizza!) was free. We also got to take home a free tomato plant, which I’ve put in our garden and am sincerely hoping not to kill. We learned more about recycling and conserving, just in time for Earth Day. Thanks, Richardson, for caring about our environment!



All the Drama: on the Internets and IRL Episode #4

All The Drama On The Internets

I have not posted this week yet because there has been so much drama and sadness, and then a little anger thrown into the mix, both on the internets and in real life. As you know, I am typically a very peaceful person so it has all been inside my head. I’m going to give you a bulleted list of things that are currently bringing me down so that I can clear my head and focus on hope.

Petty Nutrition Mis-information

#KFCKidsMeals. I am going to start with the most petty drama on the Internets and I am going to make this one quick. KFC paid for a bunch of bloggers to come out and try their new kids meals and tweet about it. They decreased the overall calorie count of the kids meals to 210, and that was a main talking point. Nevermind that the meals are still nutritionally vacant, fried, and full of PHO’s, artificial colors, and nothing resembling a real chicken. Some people got mad that bloggers would even pretend these meals were good for people. Other people defended the bloggers. Arguments ensued.
Hope: Let’s all just agree that if you are convinced by the hashtag #KFCKidsMeals that fried meat-composite is a good nutritional choice for your kids, you are gathering your information from the wrong sources, my friend.

Blows to Feminism

Steubenville. Specifically, the reaction of the city and the media to the verdict. Instead of confirming that justice had been served in the conviction of two young football players who raped a 16 year old girl and posted photos of the rape on social media, or at the very least remaining neutral, I was horrified and depressed that the reaction seemed to be sympathy for the men. It was all, “Oh, they were such good football players and now their careers are ruined! What a shame!”. There was also a huge backlash on Twitter blaming the victim of the rape. What a shame?!! Shame on HER?! Are you kidding me? What a shame that our country has so little value for that 16 year old girl and such an apparently low value for women’s sexuality in general. What a shame that women are still seen to be at fault for sexual attacks. Shame on us for raising boys that still believe that women are objects to be used and tossed away. They had an awful lot of confidence to post those pictures and it not even occur to them that anyone would have a problem with it.
Hope: I was encouraged by this post from A Holy Experience about 25 Things Our Sons Need To Know About Manhood. Oh look, I have a son that I will be raising to fight against this kind of treatment of women.

Pycon. As a woman who worked in IT and programming throughout my corporate career, I was often the only woman in my department. I went to conferences in my early 20’s. I feel that, as a woman, I have the right to raise a complaint when I am sexually harassed (and I am…we all are, constantly). But the thing that depresses me is that Adria was fired from HER job for raising a complaint. Not just the man who made the remark, but the woman who was insulted was fired. What is this, 1960? The last time I worked in corporate America I had to sit through 2 days of sexual harassment training videos and exercises. Everyone did. Those videos told us that it was OK to report sexual harassment. I think we all know that we can be fired for what we blog, but Adria’s company knew she blogged at But You’re A Girl before they hired her. I feel like this case just exemplifies how women are really treated in the workplace. We want to think we are equals, but then something like this happens and I have to think that maybe we’re just wishfully thinking.
Hope: Sometimes when I get discouraged about women in the workplace, I read tweets from my friend Blessing @ThinkFeminist on Twitter. She is a huge encouragement! And there’s also the #workingmomchat at 7pm CST on Twitter.

My own perception of safety

In the last few weeks there have been 3 aggravated sexual assaults on women in our neighborhood. Not the kind that comes from domestic violence, but unexpected attacks from a single rapist (same perpetrator of all three, confirmed with DNA evidence) who had apparently been closely watching the women’s patterns and following them to find them alone. Two of these women also go to my church. One I knew personally. I am not full of fear because I still have a trust in God that whatever He allows for me is His plan. But I am discouraged because this seems to bear out the kind of feeling I got from the news stories regarding women. I know that in the Congo and in Uganda, rape is the #1 tool of violence. Are we heading in that direction here, even in Dallas?
Hope: Our pastor wrote a blog post addressing fear. Some of my friends organized a prayer walk in the neighborhood where all three rapes occurred.

Walmart is moving across the street

I know, it is petty of me to even write about Walmart in the context of rape and discrimination. Don’t worry, friends on Facebook have pointed out that they don’t agree with my outrage. But let me ‘splain. To me, this is a moral issue. Sure, I am concerned about our property values. Yes, I am concerned about the crime rate in our neighborhood. I am annoyed that Walmart didn’t have to ask anyone before deciding to build a 90,000 square foot store less than a 1,000 feet from my door. The traffic is going to be killer. But in the larger picture, to me Walmart is symbolic of things that corporate America is doing wrong which I refuse to support with my consumer dollars. I wish that no one supported Walmart for this reason. The culture of “cheap” that Walmart has created into a religion exploits workers in their U.S. stores and in the manufacturing plants that it supports overseas (since at least 60% of Walmart’s products are imported from China and other overseas locations). Child labor, injustice, discrimination, profitting from the poverty of the underprivileged and less educated… I could rant on and on about this, but instead I have created a Pinterest board on My Problems With Walmart. Check it out. Let me know if you have additional articles to Pin.
Bottom line, this is probably about my own weakness. I am afraid that if they build that giant store within walking distance of my house, I am going to be tired and hungry one day and I am going to cave in and go to Walmart. Then I will feel guilty for days for supporting Walmart. I don’t want that temptation.
Hope: If you do live near me, please sign our petition. We need the 2,000 signatures by April 4. Honestly, it might do nothing at all, but it’s our only shot.

Thanks for letting me get all this off my chest! Supportive and encouraging comments welcome. Flaming comments, probably going to be deleted.

Happy Independence Day 2012!

I hope you are all having a wonderful Independence Day being thankful for all the great privileges we have in this country, and remembering that we must all be conscious of how we use these gifts to honor others, the earth, and our own bodies!

Last night, we attended KaboomTown in Addison, which is my absolute favorite fireworks display EVER! If you have never been, put it on your calendar for next year!
KaboomTown Addision 2012

I wanted to let you know about some of the great posts I’ve found (and written) elsewhere, both patriotic and not-so-much:

And here, to end our day, are randome pictures of cuteness courtesy of my kids and our HOA’s annual 4th of July parade and party at the park!
4th of July 2012

RHOA 4th of July

Our weekend at Cottonwood Art Festival in Richardson

While we were walking around Cottonwood Art Festival this morning, I overheard a man saying to his companion: “It’s neat that we live in a town that puts on events like this, y’know?”

I have to say that I agree with that gentleman. Even though it’s usually getting hot outside already by May and in October (when the Festival will come back again), it’s always cooler by the lake and there’s plenty of shade and cool treats!

We put the kids in the wagon and walked to Cottonwood Park from our house. Here we are entering the main cafe and pavilion area!

Entering the main pavilion area

ArtStop for the Kids was our first…stop.

ArtStop, Cottonwood Art Festival Spring 2012

Little Sir and his friend Zane were pretty good about sharing the chalkboard.

ArtStop - collaborative chalk art

Even though he is old enough this year, Little Sir wasn’t really that interested in participating in the paid craft activities. I really thought he would like this huge painting opportunity, but he was too distracted:

ArtStop Kids "Big Picture" project

I love the huge mural idea and I wonder what they do with it when the festival is over?
Next, we took a quick run through some of the artist booths and displays…

Art on display Art booth Yard art

Sculpture "Talking To Myself" Artisan jewelry Kinetic sculpture

…on our way to one of our favorite stops: “fair” food!

Food court Kona Ice shaved ice truck Carnival style lemonade

Soon the kiddos were worn out, and we headed home. For more photos that I didn’t include in this post, take a look at my Cottonwood Art Festival set on Flickr.

It does occur to me that this would be a great place to go and hang out peacefully on the pavilion, listening to live music, without kids!

The Pavilion with live music

Remember, the festival has extended hours this season – it will be open until 8pm tonight as well as tomorrow (Sunday) at 10am until 6pm. It’s not too late! Come out and see our favorite festival!