Articles by

Shelby Skrhak

Shelby is a journalist, podcaster and content strategist turned full-time freelancer based in Plano. She comes to CandysDirt.com after 12 years with SUCCESS magazine as digital content director before its closure in January. After hosting two top rated iTunes Top 200 podcasts, she launched her own podcast called the Secret to My Success. She's a southpaw and her handwriting should be a font.

08/10/18 9:00am

I could be bitter about my home decorating fail, or I could learn a lesson from it. Maybe both.

I’m hobbling to this week’s CandysDirt.com column with both a bruised toe and bruised ego after a home decorating fail taught me a lesson or two. With all the personal development books I’ve read, I’ve learned that done is better than perfect. But when all you’re doing is procrastinating, it’s time to rethink that strategy. I learned my lesson last week when I took a detour from writing and ended up cursing myself on the floor.

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08/02/18 8:00am

Financial site WalletHub ranked 182 of the largest U.S. cities to find the most stressful places in America, and found that Plano is the least stressed city in Texas. Houston was ranked the most stressful city in the state. Oh, and the sky is blue. These are things we already knew.

Based on data, WalletHub found the three most stressful cities in the U.S. were Detroit, Newark, and Cleveland. What makes a city stressful? Citywide factors you’d expect such as high rates of unemployment and underemployment, long commute times, and lack of affordable housing. There’s more personal factors that cause stress like personal bankruptcy, foreclosure, poor health, and divorce.

Then, there are the quirky factors that WalletHub evaluates like percentage of binge drinkers (yes, that’s you with your box wine-a-weekend habit), median credit score, obesity rates and share of adults getting inadequate sleep that make writing about WalletHub’s lists so interesting.

People in Plano report lower levels of stress at work, less financial woes, happier families and better health and safety than any other city in Texas, according to the July 2018 study. The new ranking comes after Plano was named one of the happiest places in the United States.

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07/27/18 9:00am

Ahh Bra creator Rhonda Shear has two pieces of advice: One will help your confidence. The other will ensure you never get stuck in a sports bra again.

Gather in closely ladies, we’re going to talk about bras. Specifically, a little piece of life-changing seamless fabric called the Ahh Bra. (I could hear your “I know!” shriek all the way from here.)

The woman who created and manufactured this wildly popular undergarment is a former beauty queen, actress, and stand-up comedian by the name of Rhonda Shear. You might have seen the curvaceous blonde while flipping through HSN one night. Actually, the one-time Dallas resident would still fit in perfectly if only she adopted a drawl.

Shear designed her intimate apparel line “after years in Hollywood of being stuffed into all kinds of really uncomfortable garments,” she tells me during an interview for my podcast.

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07/20/18 11:11am

Could your pooch be bathing more luxuriously than you? It’s possible in the latest pet design trend.

Imagine installing your dog’s own shower or designing a custom bed for your cat. It’s not as far-fetched as it sounds. Dallas interior designer Kim Armstrong says when her clients begin home renovation projects, they’re including pets into their interior design schemes. Here are some of the best pet design trends she’s seeing here in the Dallas-area.

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07/13/18 9:15am
Photo credit: Patrick Emerson/Flickr

A beautiful rainbow only comes after a storm, so when marketing your business, don’t forget to be authentic and acknowledge your struggles.

My freelance career as a marketing writer isn’t looking very promising right now. I’ve often been accused of writing too tight and too newsy when it comes to marketing copy. “Fluff it!” I remember one editor told me. “And that’s why I don’t do marketing copy. I write editorial,” I muttered to myself. But she was right, it’s a whole different kind of writing that I lack. So, my resume as a marketing copy writer remains scant after I was commissioned to write a corporate brochure for a locally based company and then decommissioned after they saw what I wrote. Naturally all of this has been bothering me for weeks.

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07/10/18 9:30am

Don’t let the quaint exterior of this Frisco home fool you into thinking this is a small house. This DR Horton-built home at 7920 Southmark Drive is long and narrow, but it’s a huge two-story with four bedrooms and three full baths coming in at 2,635 square feet. It’d be a perfect home for a family with kids, perfectly situated at Preston and Rolater in Frisco, the city most recently named the best city in Texas for families.

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06/30/18 9:10am

Clint Haggard with his father Rutledge Haggard, aunt Linda Haggard Brookshire, and cousin Jeff Lamun at the Collinwood House. Photo courtesy: Collinwood Consortium

Will the historic 1861 Collinwood house get a happy ending after all? Descendants of the Collinwood house’s original owners, the Haggard family, will save the city’s oldest home from demolition if a recently approved plan by the Plano City Council comes to fruition. The city council on Monday unanimously approved Haggard Enterprises’ bid to move Collinwood off the future site of a city park and take ownership of the troubled house that’s been on the verge of destruction.

The city will subsidize the Collinwood’s relocation, pitching in $250,000 in previously approved funds to move the home off the city’s property at the Dallas North Tollway and Windhaven Parkway, which is the future location of Windhaven Meadows park.

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06/27/18 8:30am

Frisco was named the best city for raising a family, closely followed by Allen, and Southlake as part of a new 2018 “best Texas cities” list, ranking the best and worst Texas cities for families. Wallethub, a D.C.-based personal finance site, compiled the new June 2018 report that ranked the 117 largest cities in Texas based on family life, fun, education, health and safety, affordability and socioeconomic environment.

What makes a city good for raising a family? Plenty of attractions such as museums and theaters, a quality school system, high graduation rates, number of playgrounds per 100,000 residents and a whole lot of pediatricians were all factors that Wallethub took into account when it named the best Texas cities for families.

While the weighted scores and rankings provide a holistic view of cities, a look at the raw data we requested provides some interesting headlines as well. Missing from the list is Highland Park, which did not rank among the largest cities in Wallethub’s data.

Eagles vs. Dragons

Turning to education, Allen had the number one highest graduation rate in Texas – 96.6 percent, according to Wallethub’s data. Frisco, the overall number one, has a 91.8 percent graduation rate, and Southlake, overall number three on the list, had a 87.3 percent graduation rate, according to Wallethub. (more…)