Easter's Lilly

Saturday, November 25, 2023

 The Family Table

Farmersville, Texas

Everyone is Welcome at Their Table

We walked into The Family Table, and a welcoming hostess with a bright smile greeted us. Everyone there was cheerful and friendly. I was happy to be there just because of the atmosphere. 

The restaurant has a unique concept. There are many large tables, as well as a few private ones. If you see some friends enjoying their meals, there is an opportunity to join the party. It is also a great way to make new friends and socialize. In our case, we sat at the end of the table, and another couple sat at the other end. That also worked. The atmosphere was still great. 

Jarod was our server. He was so personable and expressive. He was friendly and knowledgeable about the menu. He even brewed a fresh pot of coffee for us. Everything on the menu is homemade. I ordered a Croque Madame with an egg on top. It came with a salad. The salad had homemade ranch dressing and homemade croutons. It was simply delicious. When the meal came out, I thought, "I can never eat all of this..." but I did. It was amazing. Even though the drive was a bit much for us, we will certainly be back. I have nothing negative to say about this place. I highly recommend this restaurant to anyone and everyone who loves homemade food. Did I mention that even the coffee was outstanding? The restaurant is right outside Farmersville High School. So, make some time to take some time at The Family Table. You'll be glad you did. 



Rosini Vineyards

Rockwall, Texas

Everyone likes a good vineyard. I heard about a place called Rosini Vineyards in Rockwall, Texas. I heard they had live music, and I thought it would make a great date night. I made reservations, and they saved a table for us by the music. We couldn't wait to go.

When we pulled up, the property was eye-catching. Beautiful grounds, the building was pleasing, and the parking was effortless.

What I liked: The live music was actually a man playing his guitar. I was hoping for a band, but in their defense, I didn't ask. The music was traditional country music, which I personally enjoy. 

What I didn't like: When we got there, we sat at the table for quite a while before we realized we had to go to the bar to order. There is a sign over the bar, but we didn't notice it right away. We finally ordered a wine sampling. We get one glass at a time, so we had to consistently get up, and walk to the bar. They did not rinse the glass if it was the same color. I didn't like that either. I realize that I am a bit of a snob when it comes to wine and food, but not rinsing the glasses is just lazy. We ordered the chicken tortilla soup. It was good at first, but there was way too much chicken in it. I know that sounds ridiculous, but it was shredded and there was very little broth. It gave us both heartburn. I didn't finish mine. I would have loved some recommendations. We noticed a smores set later on, but we were not told about it before we ordered. 

I didn't care for the wine. I am a dry wine person, and the wine was a dark yellow. I didn't remember it being so yellow the first time I tried it, but it must have been mixed with whatever the previous wine was.

I do not recommend this place. We are planning on looking for a different winery to try next time. It looked like a Cheers, where everybody knows your name, just with wine.  

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Hair... It's your crown


  • Do. Not. Go. To. This. Place! It is in Quinlan, Texas. I requested Kendall. She has a reputation for doing a great job with color. My son's wedding was a week away, and Kendall was highly recommended. I honestly don't know what happened. Kendall did my hair for 15 minutes and disappeared. She had another client who was apparently more important than I was. The owner came and took over. Keep in mind that I spoke with Kendall about my expectations, not the owner. She had no idea what I wanted. I told Kendall I needed to leave there as a blond, but I left there as a dark brunette with the back of my hair almost black. I expressed my concerns twice during the whole event, but the owner insisted that she knew what she was doing. She trained Kendall, after all. Her hands were super shaky, and at one point she told me she wasn't sure she could finish my hair because of her hands. When she was done, three hours later, my hair was brown. Brown. Then she threatened to call the police if I didn't pay her ... wait for it ... $150. I refused. I did pay $75, although I have no idea why. I am going to have to pay someone, probably $200 to fix this mess. She told me that she was planning on doing my hair from the beginning because Kendall was booked. I had an appointment. I spoke with Kendall two weeks prior, and it was clear that a substitution was not an option. The owner was rude, and unreasonable, and she stole my money. She did offer to put highlights in my hair, but there was no way. She did such a terrible job, and was so rude, why would I trust her? Anyway, she asked me not to review her, but I asked her if she could make me blond, so turnabout is fair play. If she didn't charge me, this review would never have been written. She said she was sure I was going to give her a ... we'll say bad review, so she wanted her money. If there was a lower star than one star, she would get it.

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Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Review: EveryPlate Meal Kits

Trying new things during crazy times might just add a little spark to an otherwise darkening sunrise. During these "times of uncertainty," we are all staying home a lot more and trying to find dinner solutions that suit our needs. Some of the grocery stores still have empty shelves, and there is no telling when things will actually get "back to normal." With jobs and hours both changing, shopping can be inconvenient, to say the least. I did a lot of research on meal kits, and I read a lot of reviews trying to find the perfect fit. 

For me personally, my hours at work got longer. Twice a week, I have to wake up at 4:15 just to get to work on time. By the time I get home at 5:30, the last thing I want to do is go grocery shopping. My husband and I are empty-nesters, so with our children out of the roost, I figured that this might be a good time to try something new. If you're like me, and most of you probably are, you may have assumed that meal kits are more expensive than they're worth. This is actually not the case. My husband and I settled on EveryPlate, and we stuck with it for a few months. Here are my pros and cons to help you make a better decision. 

Things I liked: 

EveryPlate is very affordable. We spend $58 to $68 dollars a week for five complete meals. This was a pretty good deal since the meals arrived at my doorstep, and there were no leftovers to spoil over time. Most of the other meal kits were at least double the price.

Next, the meals were really good quality. They tasted good, they were different than what we were used to, and we enjoyed the variety. My husband and I enjoyed cooking together, and at first, we really looked forward to it. If you and your husband are finally alone, or you just have someone you enjoy spending time with, this could be a new and exciting thing to do together on the daily.

Things I didn't like:

There is a lot of cooking involved. Some of the meals took 40 minutes to prepare, and after a long stressful day, this became tiresome. 

The next challenge we encountered was adding our son to our plan. He just graduated from college and moved back home. We loved our new routine and didn't want to end it, so we tried to add him to our account. Here's the kicker ... you cannot add one person to an account. You have to add two people or no people. This addition would have completely defeated our main reason for doing this to begin with. It would have doubled our bill.

Finally, I recommended two people to jump on board with us and order EveryPlate. We were promised a $20 credit for each person, and we never got it. I made continued phone calls for money owed and was promised I would see it soon. Never happened. 


If you use a meal kit, five days a week is probably too many days. If we were tired and wanted to skip a day, our food would spoil. The delivery days were inconvenient (there were no Monday or even Tuesday deliveries) so the food sat around a lot if you were not planning on using them over the weekend. Personally, if I were to do it again, I would order it for two or three nights a week. 

I would also suggest that you keep an eye on the money. Besides the referral issue that I mentioned, sometimes we were missing the meat to our recipe, and we never saw the credit. I would have to call and remind them to credit me, which shouldn't happen. 

All and all, EveryPlate was a good experience. If you are looking for a meal kit, EveryPlate is your best "bang for your buck" as far as comparative pricing goes. Choosing from the menu, trying new meals, and spending quality time with your partner are all perks of this wonderful opportunity. If you love to cook and have the time to devote to it, EveryPlate is the way to go. 

Thursday, April 30, 2020

The New Normal

Social distancing appears to be our new normal. As a result, our gyms are closed. As Texas is opening back up, gyms and hair salons are on the bottom of the list of importance. For me, this has been tough. Although I can live without getting my hair done for a while, I am a slave to routine. I used to wake up early, go to work, and stop at the gym on my way home. I lost 30 pounds, was feeling great, and was loving my schedule.

I worked out at Planet Fitness. We had the nicest staff. They greeted me by name every day and congratulated me when they noticed I was working harder or looking thinner. The positive vibe when I walked in the door motivated me to get my workouts done. Now, it is up to me to become intrinsically motivated. This could be a problem.

I started running outside. Fortunately, I had weights and a sit-up bench at the house from when I was a stay at home mom and writer and was unable to get to a gym. Now, I get my work done, (I am a teacher), write in my book, and head outside to run. Sometimes this means I get a little wet, and sometimes it means I have to wear a sweatshirt. I get it done, but it is certainly harder on my body.

If this is you, I have some advice. If you can’t run, or just don’t feel up to it, walk every day. Find a place where there aren’t a lot of people and make it a routine. It is important to keep our minds and bodies healthy as we try to discover our new normal. If you find that you cannot get yourself to exercise, find a buddy. Call a friend and ask them to keep you accountable. For me, it is my sons. They push me out the door when I don’t feel like moving, and they are role models for me on the daily. You can use cans of food for weights, or even watch a video. My gym sends me workout videos once a week. They are certainly more popular than ever, so they should be fairly easy to find.

Remember that we are all in this together and to be friendly to people we may see when we are out and about. Let’s not radiate fear because most people are already afraid. Let us exude love, hope, and follow the rules of social distancing. Let us embrace our new normal and continue to be grateful for our blessings.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Hoarders Stay Home

The reality is that there is no food, no paper products, and there are only a few people wearing masks. It is hard to remain strong in times like these, especially if you still have a face-to-face job. I can teach from home, but I still must go to the school for people who need extra help. I am not going to lie; it scares me a little.

There are four of us in my household; so far. Two of us have jobs. My boys are desperately trying to finish college, and with everything now online, the curriculum is more difficult than before. I don't want them to work. I want them to finish school because we all know that things are going to become more difficult quickly. We have to feed everyone, try to keep the panic to a minimum and remind ourselves of our daily blessings. Although spending time with our family has been such a huge blessing to me, I worry that when we do run out of supplies, we won’t have many options. So, what do we do?

Let us encourage those around us to have faith. There are no atheists in fox holes, someone once told me, and I believe we are all sitting in a fox hole right now. Be the light in our dark times. Remind people that they don’t need a garage full of toilet paper because God will provide. He always does. Sing in times of discouragement, and make sure that the people around you are really doing okay. Sometimes, the strong ones on the outside are actually the ones holding it together for everyone else. Let us lead guide and direct those with little faith, and remember that God is in control.

Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge to Him, and He will direct your path.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

The Pandemic Panic

While I am walking through the grocery store with a mask secured around my face and tears filling my eyes, the reality of the empty shelves fills my soul with trepidation. Suddenly, things that used to be important to me mean almost nothing as the world reevaluates truth versus denial. Losing an extra five pounds, worrying about the well-earned lines on my face, the makeup that I wear that is probably too expensive for me to afford, and the cream in my hair that isn’t working anymore are all things that I used to manage with way too much significance. Now, with half the world under some kind of quarantine, two of my boys, my husband and I are “trapped” inside our house until we need to venture out to look for toilet paper, which doesn’t seem to exist anymore. Playing board games is a new normal for us, and we play them almost every night, having fun, laughing, and of course one of my sons is taking videos of me going crazy over a Friends’ trivia question that I should have known the answer to without a thought.

As I drive up to Costco and see all the people standing outside, not practicing social distancing, by the way, the reality of our situation suddenly resonates within me. This could get a lot worse before it gets better if we all don’t take social distancing seriously. My family appears to be the only people with masks on our faces, and although masks may be hard to find right now, anything over the face would probably be helpful. I see on my social media that some of my former students are out on road trips instead of staying home. All we need to do is look at the statistics in other countries to know how serious this situation is.  

In closing, I would like to suggest that we make good use of the opportunity we now have with our families while we are cooped up together. Watch movies, pop some popcorn, play games together, and slow down. Reacquaint yourself with your family, find out how everyone is feeling, and try not to get involved in risky behavior that could put you and everyone around you in danger. So, look for the good, look for the joy, and trust that spending a little extra time with family may be something to take advantage of while you are asked to stay at home as much as possible.  

Romans 12:2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.