Monday, November 29, 2010

Holiday Events around Lake Ray Hubbard

In case you didn't know, it's time for all the Christmas Festivities to begin! One of the greatest things about living in Garland TX, Rowlett TX, Rockwall TX, or Heath TX is that no matter the season, there is always something going on! Between these sister cities around Lake Ray Hubbard, there are some fun-tabulous holiday events that are sure to get you in the Christmas spirit!

*Now thru December 24th: the Bass Pro Shop in Garland, TX will once again have their Santa's Wonderland that includes a free 4x6 Professional Picture with Santa, free Games, Activities, & Crafts!

*Thursday, December 2nd at 7pm: the City of Rockwall, TX will have their 27th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting at City Hall. There will be live entertainment, Craft Making in Santa's Workshop, Cookies, & visits with Ol' Saint Nick! More info at

*Friday, December 3rd at 7pm: the City of Heath, TX will have their annual Heath Holiday in the Park (towne center park behind City Hall). Festivities included the lighting of the Christmas Tree, Christmas Carols by Elementary School Choirs, Hot Coco & Cookies, rides on a miniature Christmas Train, and of course visits with Santa Clause! More info at

*Friday, December 3rd at 7pm: Firewheel Towne Center in Garland TX will have a complimentary Holiday Lakeshore Symphonic Winds Concert in the Park (across from Dessertapalooza & Nestles Toll House Cafe).

*Saturday, December 4th from 5-8pm: the City of Rowlett, TX will have their annual Light Up Main at the Downtown Square! Everyone will enjoy Holiday Games, Crafts in Santa's Workshop (sponsored by Home Depot), building Gingerbread Houses, as well as visits with St Nick and the traditional reading of "The Night Before Christmas" by Mayor John Harper! There will also be a Canned Food Drive going on to support the Rowlett Neddy Children's Fund. More info at

*Saturday, December 4th & 11th: Firewheel Towne Center in Garland, TX will have complimentary Carriage Rides around the Park (across from Dessertapalooza & Nestles Toll House Cafe).

*Wednesday, December 8th from 4-6pm: The Center in Rockwall (108 East Washington St) is hosting a Gingerbread Making Event for children ages 5-12yrs! The "houses" are ready to be decorated so bring your holiday cheer, creativity, & a bag of assorted candies to create your edible masterpiece! More info at

*Saturday, December 11th from 9-11am: The Center in Rockwall (108 East Washington St) has arranged for Santa to Come to Town! Stop by & let him know what you want for Christmas while the folks snap a cute picture! Donuts, Orange Juice & Activities will be provided. More info at

*Saturday, December 18th from 10-1pm: The Center in Rockwall (108 East Washington St) will have a Santa's Workshop for children 5-12yrs old. There will be an assortment of crafts that can be made! More info at

Friday, November 12, 2010

Holiday Hilarity with the Nutty Nutcracker

Now I know we're not even at Thanksgiving yet, BUT, I just wanted to spread the word of this Holiday Hilarity!   Each year we have a family tradition of going to the Nutcracker Ballet. However, last year we opted for something a little different and attended the Nutty Nutcracker. Oh my goodness, it was so wonderful! Laughter and clapping was non-stop by the audience and you could see the dancers were really having a blast as well.  I have no idea how they came up with all the parodies and translated it into a) Ballet & b) the Nutcracker story line. All the major headlines from the news and gossip magazines were in it! 

The performance is only done once a season so the tickets go fast. This year it's Sunday, December 19th at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth. It might be a drive from Rowlett but it's well worth it and great for men, women, and teens!

Texas Ballet Theater

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day

Today is Veterans Day ... the day we, as American Citizens, honor all men & women who have selflessly served our great country. Their sacrifices and bravery have been honored since 1938, when legislation passed "Armistice Day". This day was to celebrate the servicemen of World War 1 who had "dedicated themselves to the cause of world peace". However, in 1954, Armistice Day was changed to Veterans Day to celebrate and honor all individuals who served in ALL wars or during peacetime.

There's a number of Community Ceremonies that you can attend. The City of Rowlett will have a Veterans Day Ceremony at Veterans Park on Main Street from 4:30 pm.   City of Rowlett

Please take a moment to give a heartfelt THANK YOU to all the servicemen & women you know who dedicated their time to serve our country.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Living in Rowlett, TX

Rowlett Texas ... the City on the Water - the City on the Move!

In August 2010, Money Magazine ranked Rowlett #24 as one of the Best Places to live & KaBOOM!, a national non-profit organization, selected Rowlett as 1 of only 118 cities to be named "Playful City USA". Rowlett is clearly a community that works to engage its citizens and create a sense of community. Along with these 2 honors, Rowlett is experiencing growth with the extension of the George Bush Turnpike/Toll Road and the Rapid Transit Light Rail (blue line).

It's easy to see why over 55,000 people call Rowlett home. Life in Rowlett offers a relaxed atmosphere and a quiet escape from the weeks hussle & bussle! Rowlett is just north of Dallas & has over 30 miles of shoreline on Lake Ray Hubbard. The school system in Rowlett is serviced by the Garland ISD which is rated Expemlary by the state of Texas Education Board. Though life is relxed in Rowlett, there's always something to do ... whether it's a Special Event on Main Street or a Community Event, a fun family time is sure to be had!

The Housing Market in Rowlett is on the rise. Through the summer peak months, the average sales price was between $154,000 which was up ~ 3% from last year. Houses in Rowlett are staying on the market ~ 63 days which is about 10% less than they were in 2009.  There are currently around 335 houses for sale and range from $849,000 - $100,000. There are numerous Subdivisions and HOA's for you to chose from.
Rowlett Subdivision Map 

I'm not just a Realtor who specializes in Rowlett Homes but I'm very happy to call Rowlett HOME myself. If you're interested in owning a home in Rowlett, I'd be happy to show you around! Or if you need to sell your home, I'd love to work with you to find the right buyer!

Samantha Smith, Realtor

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Ristorante Nicola

Have you been to Ristorante Nicola at Park Cities in Dallas?!? Oh my, if not, You Need To! What a beautiful restaurant that has such a relaxing & welcoming atmosphere! This is not your ordinary Italian Restaurant ... every dish is a genuine Italian dish that is made from scratch, which includes handmade pasta & their signature Focaccia Nicola bread that is baked in a wood-burning oven. The executive chef, Luigi Iannuario, is actually from Milano, Italy and boy does he create serious delicious-ness straight from authentic recipes! 

I haven't been there since it 1st opened and can kick myself for not going more! Tonight I joined some friends for a "Martini's & Manicures" happy hour. We had such a great time at the bar, sippin' on our yummy Pomegranate Martini's, devouring our Pizza Margherita, & admiring our shinny fabulous nails! As we were there, I kept thinking to myself ... this is such a great place to meet after work ... Lucky for me, they're continuing their "Martini's & Manicures" every Thursday in November & December!

So the best kept Park Cities secret is out of the bag - Ristorante Nicola is the place to be for a great relaxing happy hour! and Ristorante Nicola is the only Italian restaurant for this lil' gal! 
Ristorante Nicola
Facebook Ristorante-Nicola

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Collin County's Samaritian Inn

As I've blogged about before, the d+b Real Estate agents are hosting a Charity Event for the Samaritian Inn. We're very excited about our Inagural Chili Cook Off and to be supporting an organization that's near & dear to us. Agents at d+b Real Estate are passionate about helping people in our communities (Collin County, Dallas County, & Rockwall County) & about our profession in real estate. With that being said, it was an obvious choice for us to select the Samaritian Inn as our Philanthropy since it combines both our passion for helping people and our profession. ... ... So what is the Samaritan Inn you ask? Simply put, it's a Homeless Shelter, but, it not only provides a place to sleep & meals for the residence, they also provide a program to help "individuals and families before, during, and after a homeless situation". 

Join us to help others in need and for a day of family fun (doggies welcome)! The Chili Cook Off will be this Saturday, Nov 6th, from Noon to 3pm at Town Lake in McKinney. A Can Good or an item off the Samaritian Wish List is the entry to the festivites & to taste/judge all the Chili! For a monetary donation of at least $1, you can enjoy a bowl of your Chili of choice. We'll also have games,a raffle, & of course Awards for the Chili contestants!

Samaritan Inn

Needs List

Hope to see you & your family there!