The Christmas Countdown is Well Underway. How Can We Help?

November 30, 2012

Photo by Bob Jagendorf

This year, be sure the holidays are less frantic and more fun with one phone call or email to My Personal Valet. Here are just a few ways we can smooth out the bumps in the season.

  • Putting up (and taking down) the tree.
  • Calling the caterer, the valet parking service, the house cleaners, and being sure everything is in place before the party starts.
  • Shopping for gifts–and wrapping them. (We can even give you some suggestions for those hard-to-shop-for people on your list.)
  • Getting packages boxed up and in the mail so faraway recipients get them right on time.
  • Making arrangements for the holiday feast and delivering it when you want it.
  • Helping you get guests (or yourself) to and from the airport.
  • Finding interesting things to keep your out-of-town guests entertained, then getting the tickets you need for those events (we even offer discounts on some tickets, so add “saving you money” to the list!).
  • Making hotel reservations and reserving rental cars.
  • Addressing and mailing Christmas cards.
  • Getting your car washed, picking up the dry cleaning….doing all those little things that add up to no time to take care of holiday tasks.
  • And lots more.

Pretty much, if you need it done, we’ll find a way to do it. So make your list. Check it twice. Then give it to us. (And if you can’t even find time to make that list, we can handle that, too. Just give us a call.)

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Perot Museum of Nature and Science

November 19, 2012

In the last five years, My Personal Valet has been lucky enough to meet a lot of interesting people and take part in some amazing experiences. Since everything is more fun when it’s shared, we thought we’d loop you in on a few of our encounters. And since it’s fresh on our mind, we thought we’d start with the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. We got a preview of this awe-inspiring space last week, and wow! Dallas, we are exceptionally lucky to have this kind of facility. We can only give you a glimpse of it here—you’ve got to experience it for yourself to get the full effect. And you can do that beginning December 1st.

Just seeing the building from Woodall Rogers on your daily commute has probably made you realize this is no ordinary museum. And it isn’t. It’s designed to really engage you and make learning, well, not like learning. With lots of interactive exhibits and activities designed for all ages from toddlers to adults, its mission is to “inspire minds through nature and science,” and it does just that. The building itself is an example of sustainability with built-in conservation strategies like a rainwater collection system and all kinds of proof of the power of engineering.

Photo by maryfrancesmain

Inside, five floors house 11 permanent state-of-the-art exhibit halls, a 3D digital cinema (first up for that is Meercats!), a café, and a gift shop. For the little kids, there are, among other things, child-size replicas of various Dallas landmarks, waterplay tables, an art lab, and a dino dig. Older kids and adults can create music in a sound studio, build robots, use brain waves to launch a ping-pong ball, touch a tornado, take a 3D-animated journey through the solar system, experience a full-body flight simulator, and a whole lot more.

Hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. During opening weekend, the museum will have extended hours from 10 a.m. to midnight December 1 and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. December 2. Tickets range from $6-$20 depending on age, membership status, and what you want to do. Call us for details and tickets, then go immerse yourself in the experience!

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Dallas Does Thanksgiving: Easy Options for a Happier Holiday

November 13, 2012

Photo by CarbonNYC

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and you know what that means: hours (or days) in the kitchen cooking, then more hours cleaning up while the rest of the family watches football. Or not. This year, why not start some new traditions?

  • Family Affair. If Grandmother wants to rule the kitchen, let the kids break up bread for the stuffing, stir the gravy, or set the table. Dad can show everyone his cool carving moves—and then the son-in-law can take over the knife for a slice or two. Share some recipes, divvy up clean up, use cooking and cleaning time for storytelling where everyone is involved and Mom isn’t alone in the kitchen.
  • Potluck and proud of it. You provide the turkey. Everybody else provides the sides and desserts, showing off their skill with a pie crust or making the best green bean casserole on the block. Have people sign up beforehand just to be sure all categories are covered, but welcome “signature dishes” and the stories they’ll bring with them.
  • Order in instead. Everybody loves traditional recipes and mom-made food, but if time is tight or you just don’t feel up to facing the kitchen, take advantage of our great resources in the metroplex. Central Market, Whole Foods, and Tom Thumb will all prepare a delicious feast that’s ready to heat and serve. Central Market’s holiday guide shows you lots of options, and you can even order online, as you can at Whole Foods. Both cater to a variety of tastes, including vegan. Or try Bolsa Mercado’s Turkey Feast with sausage, fennel, and apple dressing and bourbon chocolate pecan pie. Don’t have time to place your order and/or don’t think you’ll be able to make it to the market to pick it up? My Personal Valet can help. Call us for the complete Bolsa Mercado menu and price list, give us your choices for any of the other options, or just tell us to handle it (wouldn’t that be an easy solution?!).
  • Eat out. Skip both the cooking and the clean up and take your show on the road. Bucca di Beppo, Cadot, Charlie Palmer at The Joule, Cool River, III Forks, and The Old Warsaw are just a few of the Dallas restaurants offering special Thanksgiving menus. Call My Personal Valet for menus and suggestions, then let us make the reservations.
  • Extra servings. Want to skip the feast altogether but still want to get together with family and friends? Have your crowd help feed the crowds at an area soup kitchen.

Many of these options – and others – are available for your Christmas celebrations, too. And, of course, My Personal Valet is always on hand to help you have the happiest of holidays (and every days!). Call us and let us show you how.

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Get Moving

November 5, 2012

Photo by Victor Bezrukov

Looking for a quick and easy way to work some exercise into your routine? Try walking. You probably already do more than you realize, and even a few extra minutes each day can help. Always consult your doctor before you start a new exercise program, but here are a few suggestions to get you up to speed.

  • Buy a pedometer. You don’t need to spend a lot, but this will help you keep up with what you’re accomplishing.
  • Try to walk 10,000 steps every day. You may already be close, and small changes, like parking a little further away from an entrance, can add steps in a hurry.
  • Start by walking 2-3 times per week for 20-30 minutes at a time. Don’t have 20-30 minutes? Try 10. Sometimes finding small windows of time shows you where you can have bigger ones. (And you know My Personal Valet can always help you create a little free time, too!)
  • Invest in some good walking shoes. They should be lightweight and breathable, shouldn’t slip on your heel, should have good shock absorption for your heels and the balls of your feet, and should offer good support. Try the shoes on with the socks you’ll wear and walk around the store for several minutes to be sure they fit the way you want them to—immediately (don’t think you’ll be able to break them in). To be sure you get the best fit, shop in the afternoon.
  • Warm up and cool down before and after your walk by doing some simple stretches.
  • Wear comfortable clothing.
  • Carry an ID and your cell phone with you, and tell someone where you’re going and when you plan to be back.
  • Drink lots of water before, during, and after your walk.
  • Know your skill and energy level. Start slowly and build up over time.
  • And enjoy yourself. Take a friend (two-legged or four-legged) along, see what’s going on in the neighborhood, use the time to come up with creative solutions to problems or just as an escape from your usual “what’s got to be done next?” mode.
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