Breaking News: Highland Belles Director Christie Crummel Resigns

Posted by    |    April 1st, 2011 at 9:47 am

It could be an April Fool’s joke but an email that just arrived in my box says this:

Dear Highland Park High School Families,

 Highland Belles Director Christie Crummel will resign at the end of this school year to pursue other career opportunities. We greatly appreciate Ms. Crummel’s seven years of leadership at Highland Park High School. Under her direction, the Belles have continued to achieve at the highest levels and to enjoy a reputation as one of the top dance and drill teams in the nation. Ms. Crummel will always be a part of the Scot family, and we wish her well in the future.

 In the upcoming days, we will begin searching for the next Highland Belles Director. We will work together with the Belles and their families to establish the criteria that will guide us in the hiring process.

 Thank you for your continued support of the Belles and Highland Park High School.

 Respectfully,

 Walter Kelly

Principal

Highland Park High School

5 minutes. 20 slides. What would you have to say?

Posted by    |    February 24th, 2011 at 10:19 am

Five minutes, 20 slides. What would you say? 

Last night at Ignite Dallas, 16 artists, technologists, thinkers, and personalities took the stage to answer this challenge.

They describe their event this way, “Ignite is fast-paced, fun, thought-provoking, social, local, global. It’s a high-energy evening of 5-minute talks by people who have an idea—and the guts to get onstage and share it with their hometown crowd. Presentations are a mix of serious vs. fun presentations, and are often about geeky activities…”

Curious onlookers gathered at the Granada Theater to hear a random presentation of ideas and philosophies from seasoned professionals to virgin speakers.

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Helmet Headache

Posted by    |    January 5th, 2011 at 2:02 pm

We all know that  in the Park Cities football is the sport of kings. Or maybe just little princes.  We also know that football is a rough, high-contact sport and players need to have excellent equipment to protect their bodies from injury. Especially their noggins. Head injuries in sports, particularly football, have been a major topic of discussion these past few months.  The National Federation for High School Association’s Football Rules Committee strengthened guidelines prior to the 2010 season to reduce the risk of players getting serious head injuries by having more stringent testing on players before the season and after a blow to the head.  Concussions are very top of mind (see how I did that?) for coaches, trainers, players and parents – regardless of the sport.  Which is why I, along with many other HP football parents, bought a very expensive Riddell Revolution helmet for my son.  Riddell claims that its helmet reduces concussions by 31%. 

Now Riddell is under investigation by the FTC because, apparently, these claims are completely unsubstantiated.  How does that make me feel?  Angry and scared.  I spent a fortune on a helmet thinking it was going to protect my son’s head in a football game.  Now it sounds like a bunch of hooey.

Anyone care to weigh in on this?

Pam’s Annual Sugar ‘N Bubbly Holiday Party

Posted by    |    December 22nd, 2010 at 10:12 am

“An invitation like none other”

That’s what the invitation read, so expectations were high as I headed out to this soiree on Saturday!

The hostess provided the champagne and wine and guests brought a dessert.  This party was for ladies only.  I thought this was super cute idea for a party.

The genius in this idea is that women LOVE to eat sweets but we always feel we have to be dainty in front of men.  Get us alone and we women can hoark down a pie in 2 minutes flat.

And let me tell you, there were some happy tummies at the end of this sugary affair.

The only bad thing is that once all the guests leave, what do you do with all of those left-over desserts!?

About the Author

Cynthia Smoot is a very busy girl: She spends her days developing social strategies for clients with Gangway Advertising, is the Vice President of the Social Media Club of Dallas, and Contributes as a Social Media expert for The Examiner. Cynthia and her husband are the proud parents of a 10 year-old son , dog, cat, betta fish and a colony of Sea Monkeys. She is Dallas-based Mommy Blogger who writes at Oh So Cynthia about the people and events that make Dallas (Park Cities especially) such a great place to live.. You can follow her on Twitter @OhSoCynthia and @GangwayAdv

Now Open: La Fiorentina

Posted by    |    December 20th, 2010 at 10:11 am

I was lucky enough to run into Alberto Lombardi last week at Taverna (my favorite restaurant) who gave me a sneak peak at his new restaurant, La Fiorentina: A Tuscan Steakhouse.

It occupies the old Chip’s Burgers on Cole Ave.Pictured is Carlo Alessina holding up the biggest shrimp I have EVER seen and a Branzino fish from Greece.

Alberto says, “Our latest creation transports you to a timeless Tuscany. Located in an iconic Church dating back to the 1800s, La Fiorentina unveils a warmly authentic Tuscan Steakhouse menu. In this ideal setting recalling the atmosphere of a small Tuscan Village, our attentive staff will make you feel at home while our Italian chefs use only the best seasonal ingredients to blend Italian and American flavors with uncompromising results.” (more…)

The Sound of Music

Posted by    |    November 10th, 2010 at 4:41 pm

It’s the 45th anniversary of the release of The Sound of Music, my favorite movie of all time and the inspiration for my middle name, Maria.  I’m not sure if it’s my long-time infatuation with Austria or my desire for adventure and mild chaos but, this year, my family and I are hosting a foreign exchange student from Austria.   His name is Flo and he attends HPHS, as does my son, and will remain with us until May.  He’s been a wonderful addition to our family and we absolutely love having him with us.  Seems to my husband and me that Flo’s pretty much stepped into a dream life in Highland Park, complete with with pretty girls, Belles, parties, American football, new friends, Belles and the best host family a fella could ask for. 

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Great Story in Today’s Dallas Morning News

Posted by    |    October 28th, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Read it here. A retired doctor who graduated from Highland Park High School in 1939 but never received his diploma, received it today.  Great story.

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/102910dnmetolddiploma.1d50c94ce.html

Parkie Pic of the Week

Posted by    |    August 20th, 2010 at 9:31 am

I’m a big fan of the English Tudor/Manor look.  So, naturally, I was attracted to this charming cottage.  It’s very romantic in a Robin Hood kind of way.

When I look at this window, I fully expect to see Rapunzel sitting there combing her long locks gazing out this little window, waiting for her prince…

For those of you who live outside the area, University Park and Highland Park are together called Park Cities. Citizens of these fabled Texas towns are called “Parkies”. Hence, my weekly fun feature which I call “Parkie Pic of the Week” in which I like to highlight an unusual or spectacular feature of my neighborhood.

About the Author

Cynthia Smoot is a very busy girl: She spends her days developing social strategies for clients with Gangway Advertising , is the Vice President of the Social Media Club of Dallas, and Contributes as a Social Media expert for The Examiner. Cynthia and her husband are the proud parents of a 10 year-old son , dog, cat, betta fish and a colony of Sea Monkeys. She is an in-demand resource for many sites on the subject of Mommy Blogging and life in Dallas and Park Cities. You can follow her on Twitter @OhSoCynthia and @GangwayAdv

Parkie Pic of the Week

Posted by    |    August 13th, 2010 at 10:31 am

Just look at this incredible home I discovered on Crescent Street in Highland Park, Texas.  It looks like a Southern Castle where a modern day Scarlet O’Hara would live. Except instead of wearing hoop-skirts, she’d be in Oscar de la Renta and Christian Louboutin stilettos. I mean, have you ever seen a castle with a wrap-around porch? Divine. And you can tell there’s a basement because of all the half windows on the bottom of the house. Who has a basement in Texas?!

Nouveau riche to the gaudy extreme – and I LOVE IT.

For those of you who live outside the area, University Park and Highland Park are together called Park Cities. Citizens of these fabled Texas towns are called “Parkies”. Hence, my weekly fun feature which I call “Parkie Pic of the Week” in which I like to highlight an unusual or spectacular feature of my neighborhood.

Click on either  photo to enlarge it and enjoy its grandeur in greater detail.

About the Author

Cynthia Smoot is a very busy girl: She spends her days developing social strategies for clients with Gangway Advertising , is the Vice President of the Social Media Club of Dallas, and Contributes as a Social Media expert for The Examiner. Cynthia and her husband are the proud parents of a 10 year-old son , dog, cat, betta fish and a colony of Sea Monkeys. She is an in-demand resource for many sites on the subject of Mommy Blogging and life in Dallas and Park Cities. You can follow her on Twitter @OhSoCynthia and @GangwayAdv

Park Cities? It’s a Jungle Out There!

Posted by    |    June 28th, 2010 at 8:06 pm

Crikey! You just never know what’s going to hit your inbox. Today, I got this e-alert from a neighbor on Purdue, who got it from a neighbor on Hanover, and by tomorrow I’m sure it will have worked it’s way over to Beverly Drive.

Dear All,

…I had a wonderful encounter with nature this afternoon in my back yard.  I went outside to check on my orchids, which are hanging in pots along my east fence …  I noticed that there was a squirrel on the fence, that was not at all worried about me and then looked up and about had a heart attack.

I was about to grab an orchid that had a new bloom when I looked up and saw this snake sitting on our fence.  I ran to my back porch and ran inside… to make sure that her boys were not playing a joke on me.  I quickly realized that it was not a joke and called the UP Police department -not 911 – but the 363 number and they sent over two officers.

Well, it was a 5-6 foot rat snake perched on my fence about to get that squirrel.  I was hyperventilating and about to go nuts as the police officers decided what to do.  They brought nothing to the call so they tried to get it with a shovel and rake that I had.  They got him down in my yard and he got away by scurrying along the fence…  We have not seen him again.

He is not poisonous but is mean – as told by the exterminator.  We called Critter Catchers and they told us that they could come out, but that Rat snakes are nomads and wander, so he had probably moved on.  No telling what that means.  SOOOOO – here is the number to Critter Catchers – 817-222-1101.  Call them immediately if you see him as the UP police were obviously not that in charge.  Apparently the animal control officer is off on Mondays!!!

Rat Snake on Hanover

A rat is bad enough… but a rat snake? (Shudder) This is why I left the country and moved to the city.  Well, one of the reasons, anyway.  There’s just never a dull moment in Park Cities, I tell you.

About the Author

Cynthia Smoot is a very busy girl: She spends her days developing social strategies for clients with Gangway Advertising , is the Vice President of the Social Media Club of Dallas, and Contributes as a Social Media expert for The Examiner. Cynthia and her husband are the proud parents of a 10 year-old son , dog, cat, betta fish and a colony of Sea Monkeys. She is an in-demand resource for many sites on the subject of Mommy Blogging and life in Dallas and Park Cities. You can follow her on Twitter @OhSoCynthia and @GangwayAdv