Happy National Meatball Day!
Did you know it was a holiday? Or did you just think that today was just the day to spring forward and lose a precious hour of sleep? You're in luck my friends. It's an actual food holiday.
Where can you celebrate the meatball? Check out Kenny's Italian Kitchen in Addison. I learned the secrets of making great meatballs and they even have a $1 meatball special!
Read more about Kenny's Italian Kitchen.
(Photo by Angela Patterson)
March 4th is Fat Tuesday and Dallas is ready to party! Mardi Gras is the time of year for beads, seafood, boiled crawfish, hurricanes and King Cakes.
Here are just a few ways to get your Fat Tuesday on without hopping a 737 to Nawlins. Party on amigos!
(Photo courtesy of Bread Winners Café).
It was 80-something degrees on Saturday, March 1. Oh what a difference 24 hours makes. By Monday morning, North Texans will see a 70-degree drop in temperatures -- with wind chills below zero.
Below. Zero. Degrees.
That's insane. Sunday's thundersleet (thunder + sleet) storm made travel difficult, shut down schools and businesses, and canceled flights at local airports.
Here are some photos from the weekend's crazy Thundersleet Storm.
(Photo by Angela Patterson)
I. Love. Barbecue.
I love everything about it. The smell, the taste, the experience. It's mandatory to love it if you're a good native Texan like myself. But if you're new to the area, it's something you just have to embrace.
It's our culture y'all.
Barbecue may be a noun -- but in Dallas it's the verb that means grill, smoke or prepare one of the best meals you'll ever eat! Low and slow is how it's done. In Frisco it means head on over to 3 Stacks Smoke and Tap House and let Trace Arnold, the Rib Whisperer, take control of the smoker and prepare a feast for kings and Texans alike.
3 Stacks just got a little facelift -- taking away the typical barbecue experience of weaving in and out little lines like you're waiting for a ride at Six Flags. Full service is now available by friendly wait staff who want to bring on the BBQ baby!
Living in Frisco, I can tell you a couple of things. I don't love standing in line. I do love barbecue. And I LOVE just about everything at 3 Stacks -- especially the new menu. They had me at brisket-stuffed, bacon-wrapped jalapeno peppers. Yeah man, that's the real deal. They call it a Jalapeno Fire Cracker. But that's been on the menu for a year already -- and I'm here to celebrate the newest items.
In a word: Brisket Tacos. That's all you need to know. Well, the Mahi Tacos were mighty fine too. Depends on what you're in the mood for that particular day. Loved 'em both. I also enjoyed the BBQ Cuban sandwich.
Here is a slideshow of 3 Stack Smoke & Tap House New Menu items . If this doesn't make your mouth water, you must have already eaten too much for lunch and are in a fog.
Here is my original review of 3 Stack Smoke & Tap House
You'll find them at 4226 Preston Road, Frisco TX 75034. 469-287-9035
There's more to March than basketball, beer and Lucky Charms.
Want to have some real fun? Check out the
March Calendar for DFW.
There are some really great things about Plano hot spot Mexican Sugar.
Location: Shops at Legacy.
Food: Not your typical tacos. Pretty tasty.
Drinks: Not bad if you order the right one.
And then there is one epic fail: customer service.
I have been there three times. The first was opening week. I know to cut people slack on your fourth day of business. My second visit was a late lunch with a friend. Who's busy at 2 p.m. on a Tuesday? Not many.
My final visit (and I do mean FINAL) was at 6 p.m. last Friday. Here's the deal. My friend and I were seated at a nice table in the back room-- yes, an incomplete party. Three others would be joining us soon. Our waiter (who was awesome) visited us and took our drink order. The manager then visited us and said if our friends weren't there soon (like 15 minutes) then they would need to reseat us.
After nine minutes, the same manager came back around and said that 20 minutes had passed and we would need to move. Friends were parking the car. We had ordered drinks and Queso Blanco on the first pass and still hadn't gotten them. I pulled out my cellphone to show the manager than in fact 9 minutes had gone by because I sent a text as he walked away from our table.
We are not the only two to complain about the bad service at Mexican Sugar. I've had friends that visited recently who said they waited an hour for their drinks. An hour.
So my suggestion, dear Mexican Sugar, is that if you're going to seat incomplete parties, don't try to move them. Or just don't seat incomplete parties in the first place. Management mistakes like this could lead Mexican Sugar to fail as quickly as its predecessor. My recent experience was anything but sweet.
Here is my full review of Mexican Sugar. I would still get the Queso Blanco or the Elotes to go. Note: I rarely write negative content.
(Queso Blanco: Photo by Angela Patterson).
Leave it to two 13-foot peacock topiaries to kick off Dallas Blooms 2014 at the Arboretum. NBC has got to be loving this.
I attended a sneak peek last week to check out the peacocks, which showcase the "Birds in Paradise" theme for 2014.
Check out the 2014 Arboretum photo gallery here.
Dallas Blooms runs through April 6, 2014.
(Photo by Angela Patterson)
February 22 is National Margarita Day! How will you celebrate?
Here is my list of the Best Margaritas in DFW. Do you agree? Have something to add? Email me. (Photo by Angela Patterson)
No one loves sneak previews more than I do and I'm off to visit "Dallas Blooms" at the Dallas Arboretum today! This is the time of year when I get really excited about spring in Dallas. When it's time for "Dallas Blooms," I know that winter is almost over and warmer weather is just around the corner.
And blooming flowers are the best promise that all that ugly weather is almost behind us. What a winter it was in DFW!
"Dallas Blooms" boasts over half a million tulips, daffodils and other blooming bulbs and 2014 marks its 30th year at the Arboretum. I feel kinda bad because I have a bag of tulip bulbs in my garage that never got planted. Oops.
So make plans to do what I do each spring. Visit "Dallas Blooms" at the Dallas Arboretum. Take your camera and capture the most vibrant colors in the Metroplex, post them on social media and pretend it's just a patch of flowers in your back yard.
The Dallas Arboretum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. "Dallas Blooms" runs from February 22 - April 6, 2014. More details to follow after today's visit!
The Dallas Arboretum is located at 8525 Garland Road, Dallas, Texas 75218. 214-515-6500.
(Photo by Angela Patterson)
On February 15th families across the Dallas-Fort Worth area are joining the world in the second-ever International Angelman Day. This day recognizes individuals and families who live with Angelman Syndrome, a life-long disability in which abnormalities in the 15th chromosome or the UBE3A gene cause global developmental delays, lack of speech seizures, sleep issues and the inability to carry out some of the simplest activities of daily living.
What Is Angelman Syndrome?
Is it kinda like autism? Sort of -- and no -- it doesn't fall under the spectrum. There are similarities and some forms of each disorder overlap. Previously A.S. received no major publicity like autism -- but in recent years Hollywood actor Collin Farrell has talked about it extensively because his son James has it. Here's where you can find more info on Angelman Syndrome.
Is There a Cure?
Absolutely! I'm very hopeful. Phenomenal research efforts are taking place right now and forms of the syndrome have been cured in mice. Cured! Families who are affected by this syndrome have so much hope and faith that this will be eliminated during their child's lifetime.
How Can I Help?
There are two organizations that would love your support whether it's money, volunteering or donating food or other items to their fundraisers. They are the Angelman Syndrome Foundation (Angelman.org) or Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics (cureangelman.org). Email me Dallas@AboutGuide.com for more opportunities and information.
Angela Patterson Unplugged
Receiving the news that your child has Angelman Syndrome is devastating. Beyond-words devastating. One of the first things that went through my mind was that perhaps my daughter wouldn't be able to graduate from Texas Tech. Then all I could think about was not being able to teach her all my grandmother's fabulous recipes. As a Mom, that was one of the things I most looked forward to doing with my girl.
You are crushed. You learn to move forward. I never said it was easy. And it does not happen overnight.
Today my goals are different -- like getting my daughter through the day without having a bathroom accident and to finding a solution to her whining. Sleeping through the night is usually not even an option -- but it's still a goal. Getting six hours of uninterrupted sleep for myself is often a dream!
You clean. Do laundry. Repeat. And that's multiple times in a day because your angel will get into everything. Ask me why I have a gate in my kitchen. Housework is never ending.
As a parent of just about any special needs child, you must possess psychic powers. You have to be able to guess what your child needs (usually food, drink or the iPad) and why she's whining, crying or having an all-out meltdown. You must predict what she might do because you have to protect her from harm. And protect the breakable object you forgot that you left on the kitchen table.
Right now my daughter is sitting on the sofa next to me, grabbing at me because I won't hold her hand (I need two to type). She wants breakfast and I want to finish this article. My husband is in the kitchen making me coffee. Coffee is very, very important. But you have to keep your angel happy. That's what it's all about. I'm going to stop this article, make breakfast and enjoy the silence. (I have to admit that eggs with tomato, potato, zucchini, fresh mozzarella and basil was worth the break).
I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends
The support system for people affected by Angelman Syndrome is amazing. But it doesn't always come from within their families. It comes from social media. There are Facebook groups galore. I belong to several including two with international reach, one for DFW Moms, and another for just Sassy Women who have children with Angelman Syndrome. I'm sassy; that works for me. Each group offers a different level of support, humor, wisdom and it's just a place to vent day-to-day activities or complain about the school system.
The people in these groups just "get it" and we all appreciate that so much.
I'm definitely one of the lucky ones. I have friends who really "get it." I'm lucky enough to have several BFFs from college that have known me for 30 years and they are an incredible support system. I have neighbor friends who have been with us when my daughter has had seizures. They get it. They love and don't judge. I wish I could say everyone is that supportive and that all the Angelman Community had such wonderful resources available to them. I have family members who get it, some who are getting it and some who will probably never get it. And few offers of free babysitting.
Grin 'n Bear It
I'm usually the happy comedian with a big smile. The lady where I bank told me recently "You always have a big smile when you come in here." I try but occasionally I have a bad day. I'm cranky. I have hormones. I'm exhausted because I didn't sleep or have time to exercise. Maybe I have too much on my mind. Some people act as if I'm not allowed to have a bad day ever. Maybe your kid can tell you they love you. Mine can't -- verbally -- right now. So I think that I have an excuse to have a bad day every now and then. Cut me some slack. I'm overworked and under-caffeinated. I'll be nicer tomorrow. Maybe.
Using the "R" Word
I've dealt with a lot of adversity like the alleged incident in which a special needs bus driver slapped my daughter in the face to get her to be quiet. It was reported by my daughter's teacher. The driver still works for Durham Transporation too because I spoke to a supervisor this week. Again, you move forward.
But one real pet peeve of mine is when I hear people using the "R" Word.
Yeah. Retarded. That's retarded. You're retarded.
That's not funny. I love it when people say, "That's so retarded," look at me and say, "Oh sorry. No offense." Offense taken because mental retardation is not even a diagnosis anymore. There are a few extremes in political correctness. This is not one of them. Spread the Word to End the Word. Their special day is March 6th. Be respectful.
I contacted my favorite TV station's medical reporter to see if we can get our day recognized with a story. I'm still waiting to hear something. The flu season is almost over. Maybe we will get our day -- even if it isn't on OUR DAY. That's OK. The annual walk in DFW is May 17, 2014 at Bethany Lakes Park in Allen.
So February 15th is International Angelman Day. If you know a person who has a child with A.S., give 'em a hug today. Buy them a cup of coffee (or bottle of wine!). Babysit for them. Or ask how to make a donation to their favorite charity. They will thank you for it. I guarantee it.
So How Will We Celebrate February 15th?
Besides making a great breakfast and cruising in our golf cart, we may take our daughter out to Hope Park in Frisco this weekend. It's a playground built to suit the needs of all children, at any age, with a focused consideration for children with special needs. Play equipment is really interactive and meets their sensory play needs -- engaging children at different developmental levels. Hope Park, 8000 E. McKinney Road, Frisco, TX 75034.
So happy International Angelman Day. Trust me, we deserve more than a day. Perhaps a month.
(Many "angels" love swimming/water. My 8-year-old daughter is an avid swimmer and loves water parks. Photo by Angela Patterson)