Nothing says Memorial Day weekend like firing up the grill and splashing around in the pool! So this week, we are putting the spotlight on three Dallas Open Houses, each with luxurious interiors and backyards that are perfect for summer entertaining.

Park Lane Perfection


16 Mabank drive ext

If you, like me, are stuck in Dallas this weekend, put an end to that right now with this stupendous listing at the Island at Pinnacle Club on Cedar Creek Lake. Truly one of the most extraordinary homes out there I have seen.

But wait, there’s more!

So yes, I am in Dallas for the weekend, which of course means a trip or two to Cooper Aerobics Center. Who do I see there on the elliptical? Luke and Owen Wilson, in town visiting their parents who still live on Strait Lane, for the Memorial Day weekend. Which got me to thinking about close in lake retreats — you can get to 16 Island Drive in Mabank on Cedar Creek Lake, in less than two hours. Mabank is, of course, the deepest end of Cedar Creek, where Long Cove is sited: best, deepest water and hilly topography.

What does this have to do with Luke and Owen? The folks who own 16 Island Drive are dear friends, former neighbors, and our daughters went to school together. Our girls used to hide in the kitchen cabinets of their Preston Hollow home and spy on their older daughter when she was in high school and dating Owen Wilson, who was a St. Mark’s student. Oh the stories we got! Thank God this was before iPhones, or I’m sure there would have been photos!

So when I saw 16 Island Drive, I couldn’t believe how perfect this home is for having family at the lake, especially their old boyfriends!

16 Island drive mabank ext front




With Memorial Day coming up on Monday, we wanted to take time to recognize some of the mortgage professionals at Guardian Mortgage that have served our nation. What you may not realize is that the values instilled by military service translate easily to mortgage lending. Integrity, service, and respect are characteristics instilled in all branches of our nation’s armed forces, and you can find them in the staff at Guardian Direct as well.

So thank you, Guardian Direct, for giving us a chance to shine a light on the former servicemembers on your staff. To find out more about these amazing men and women that make up this month’s Guardian Angels, read on for our Q&A with Jeff Guthrie, Vice President of Sales at Guardian Direct.


IBB Memorial Day Sale

We know you love a good sale, so when we heard about IBB Design’s Memorial Day Weekend warehouse and tent sale, we had to give you guys a heads-up. It runs Friday, Saturday, and Monday, and you can score amazing furniture and accessories at up to 90 percent off retail.

You can shop the 40,000-square-foot retail showroom at 5798 Genesis Court in Frisco, and the adjoining warehouse to find amazing decor and furnishings at up to 60 percent off. Deals under the big top can land up bigger savings, with discounts up to 90 percent off. All sales of discounted items are final, though, so you better love it!

We’ve been eyeing some trendy gold and glass side tables that we hope are on sale. What about you?


Lubbock Home For Troops

Veteran Reas Axtell holds his daughter, Kyra (4) as Homes For Our Troops begins framing his family’s new house in Idalou, Texas. (Photo: Lubbock Avalanche-Journal)

When a veteran comes home from deployment, assimilation is a long, rocky road. Now imagine the challenges that an wounded veteran faces. In some cases, injured veterans have limited range of motion or mobility that makes living in their previous home near impossible, and the costs to upgrade a house to accomodate a wheelchair or other disabilities is immense.

That’s where Homes For Our Troops comes in. This 501 (c)(3) charity builds homes for wounded veterans at no cost to the recipient family. Think of what a blessing that is, to not have to worry about having an adequate place to live, to have a roof over you and your families head, free and clear, after coming home from war.

It’s a great program, and it’s a four-star rated charity by Charity Navigator. Honestly, I’m surprised this organization doesn’t get more press with all of the good work it does. In Texas alone, Homes For Our Troops has built 17 houses for wounded veterans — more than any other state in the U.S.

If you’re still looking for an amazing charity that strongly supports wounded veterans returning for war in a direct, meaningful way, please consider Homes For Our Troops. There is nothing quite as amazing as the gift of a home for a family in need.