LIFTING HEAVY WAITS

March 24, 2016 by  
Filed under Blogs, Hot Button / Lynn Ashby

 

THE KITCHEN – Not again. My ice dispenser doesn’t seem to be working, I’ll will have to call the repairman, although I’d rather go to the dentist for a root canal. Not only is he usually on time, he’s cheaper. A repairman — or delivery person — coming to your home is no big deal, except that it’s a big deal when there seems to be a parade of them. In recent weeks I have had the cable people visit, the burglar alarm folks, the yardman with countless problems including something about the Border Patrol — I couldn’t understand him — the a/c guy and the refrigerator repairman four times.

Our story goes like this: An appliance breaks or a sink starts making funny noises or maybe it’s just time for the monthly or yearly checkup. So you look for the phone number for Jake or LeRoy or the Fly By Night Plumbing Co. (“Press 1 if your shower is overflowing, press 2 if your toilet won’t flush … press 45 if your….”) Or you may be put on hold even though your call is very important to them, and all their associates (two) are busy with other customers, so you listen to some Sirius music (the love theme from “Patton”) until Gloria or Jose or more likely Akmed, who goes to the same English as a Second Language class as my yardman, gets on the line. Then you try to make an appointment. Akmed asks what day you want, adding, “This is 2016, right? March? April?” You can tell this may be a problem. We settle on the next Friday, sometime between Thursday and Saturday. “Let’s say noon. I’ll be fully awake by then.”

You know how tiring you can get just sitting in an airport terminal waiting for your delayed flight to leave? You aren’t doing a thing but killing time reading the paper, watching TV on the wall, with no sound, maybe hitting the bar, except it’s 10 a.m. The wait can be exhausting. Well, so is sitting around the house all day, keeping an eye on the clock and the front curb, waiting for the white van with the side panels reading: “May The Pest Man Win – our killin’ is thrillin.’” And you can’t leave the house even to take out the garbage (the garbage disposal is broken, which is why you are awaiting the repairman). You were told he would call 30 minutes before arriving. So what if he calls while you are taking out the garbage, and you miss the call? He draws a line through your name and the whole drama begins again.

The guy comes to fix your broken doorbell, rings the doorbell, no answer because the doorbell doesn’t work. Mine doesn’t work because a woman wire worker running lines for my burglar alarm – the neighborhood has a Viking problem – drilled a hole in a wall and cut the power line to the doorbell. I figured the reason she made a mistake was that she couldn’t see where to drill because she was wearing a ski mask. Do you ever wonder about people who install burglar alarms, then ask if you’ll be taking any out-of-town trips in the near future? The only solution to my broken doorbell wire was to tear out the wall, and by then the alligators were nibbling on my rear and the swamp was still full. So we have a doormat reading: “Doorbell broken – yell Ding! Dong! Real loud.” It works.

The only thing worse than a repairman arriving late is one who arrives early. Last week I was awakened by a phone call. “Hi, this is Cosmo with What’s Watt Electrical, and I’m running early. Can I come by now?” I inquired, “Where are you?” He replied, “Parked in front of your house.” This segues into one of the mysteries of our fix-it warriors. The truck pulls up to your curb, as usual, its sides plastered with signs so your neighbors know your vodka still isn’t working. You go to the door, and no one is there. The van just sits out front. And sits there. No driver’s door opening, no back of the truck opening either. What’s he doing, eating lunch? Playing games on his smartphone? Probably trying to figure out which is a wrench and which is a screwdriver.

At this point we must consider the warranty. A warranty is something you pay extra for in case what you just bought doesn’t work. This makes no sense, but a warranty can come in handy if, say, you are peeling the legal labels off your new dishwasher (“Do not use for clothes, plants and small pets.”) and it falls over or blows up. But note that most appliances, computers and anything with moving parts breaks the day after the warranty expires.

This is not to criticize all those who fix our problems. The electricians, plumbers, roach stompers (I use a very cheap pest control company) and deliverers of our furniture, kitchen equipment and wet bars, are a necessity. Some even accept my advice. “I think that gizmo goes into that thingamabob,” I say wisely. She nods in agreement. “Yes, this lightbulb screws into this lightbulb socket.” Another repairman solved my mechanical problem by showing me the On and Off switch. Have you escorted a workman out of your house, only to go back to the work spot and discover a hammer or wrench or needle? We must be careful which strangers we let into our house. A friend in the neighborhood had some carpets installed. After the crew departed, he noticed one of them had left his wallet. Searching through it to find a phone number or address, he came upon a court order for the owner’s appearance – in a criminal court.

It is now Friday and I am still waiting and still no repairman. I don’t care what time it is. I need a drink.

 

Ashby is under warranty at ashby2@comcast.net

 

 

 

 

Paul Vitenas, Jr., MD, FACS

1272_R9A5708WEBVitenas Cosmetic Surgery

Dr. Paul Vitenas has built a practice based on “The Fine Art of Natural Cosmetic Surgery,” which is unique and unlike many other top plastic surgeons. His goal is to provide a superior level of natural surgical results, service and care throughout the patient’s entire cosmetic surgery journey.

Delivering natural results in cosmetic plastic surgery requires a combination of rigorous training, years of experience and an artistic eye, which understands proportion and beauty.

Nearly 25 years ago, Dr. Vitenas established the renowned Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery, and this past September, unveiled a brand-new stand-alone clinic, inspired by his commitment to safety, quality and service. Not a single detail was overlooked. The state-of-the-art three-story building features a private surgical center and a luxurious overnight recovery-suite as well as drive up covered parking. There is a secluded rear elevator for discretion and secret passages so patients can maneuver unseen throughout the clinic.

On the lower level of Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery is the beautiful Mirror Mirror Beauty Boutique, conveniently offering non-invasive medi-spa services, including CoolSculpting, laser hair removal, Botox Cosmetic and dermal fillers, Titan Skin Tightening System, Ulthera and 3D Rejuvenation, as well as Fraxel Dual. A beauty counter features the area’s largest selection of Skin Medica products.

EDUCATION: Tulane University, BS; Tulane University School of Medicine, MD; Tulane Medical Center, Residency in general and plastic surgery; University of Miami and Paris, France Fellowship

AWARDS: Patients Choice Award, 2010, 2011, 2102, 2013; distinguished member National Council of Leaders in Breast Aesthetics; RealSelf.com 100 Award 2013; Angie’s List Super Service Award Winner, 2012 and 2013; Vitals.com – Most Compassionate Doctor, 2012 and 2013

Paul Vitenas, Jr., MD, FACS
Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery
4208 Richmond Ave.
Houston 77027
281-617-1838
www.drvitenas.com

The Aesthetic Center for Plastic Surgery

Aesthetic-Center-4L3C2465CombinedWEBPlastic Surgery

Since its establishment in 1996, The Aesthetic Center for Plastic Surgery (ACPS) has risen to become one of the largest, most respected private cosmetic plastic surgery practices in Texas. With its own in-house research center, ACPS has been at the forefront of introducing innovations which have transformed the art, science and safety of plastic surgery.

Consistently voted by their peers as some of Houston’s top plastic surgeons in numerous magazine surveys, ACPS’s six plastic surgeons have attained a distinguished list of awards and achievements among them. This includes invitations to teach and present their expertise at plastic surgery conferences around the world and on television, a best facial rejuvenation award at a European conference in Paris on anti-aging, best paper awards at plastic surgery meetings, and editor’s choice and article of the year awards for their contributions to plastic surgery journals.

ACPS surgeons combine their expansive collaborative surgical expertise to deliver impressive, natural-looking, long-lasting aesthetic results using the most advanced surgical techniques and stringent safety protocols. ACPS’s highly-trained staff members work together to ensure every patient receives the best outcome possible and an unsurpassed level of comprehensive care to optimize patients’ satisfaction and comfort. This includes such concierge services as postsurgical therapeutic massage to support and speed healing following surgery and a visit to patients’ homes one to two days after surgery from an ACPS medical professional to monitor patients’ recovery.

As a testament to its solid track record of success and patient satisfaction, ACPS recently expanded its reach throughout Texas with the opening of a third office, located in Katy. With the addition of its sixth and first female plastic surgeon to the group, Dr. Kristi L. Hustak, the group is pleased to expand its broad array of surgical and nonsurgical procedures to include cosmetic female genital rejuvenation, one of the fastest growing areas of cosmetic plastic surgery.

The Aesthetic Center for Plastic Surgery
713-799-9999
www.mybeautifulbody.com

Memorial/Town & Country
12727 Kimberley Ln., Ste. 300
Houston, TX 77024
713-799-9999

Galleria/River Oaks
4400 Post Oak Parkway, Ste. 2260
Houston, TX 77027
713-799-9999

Katy
750 Westgreen Blvd., Ste. 100
Katy, TX 77450
713-799-9999

Aldona J. Spiegel, MD

The Center for Breast Restoration

spiegelDr. Spiegel is as a dedicated, compassionate surgeon. She focuses on providing her patients with the best possible aesthetic outcome, while responding to their emotional needs. Recognizing each patient is unique, she tailors their treatment, taking into consideration their medical needs and the results they want to achieve. Dr. Spiegel provides her patients with the education and tools needed to be proactive about their care; she offers hope and inspiration, improving their outlook and their aesthetic outcome builds self-esteem and confidence ultimately improving overall quality of life and well-being. She skillfully guides her patient as surgeon and advocate through treatment and recovery. Never forgetting the importance of their journey, Dr. Spiegel created the Pink Sisters Support Group for breast cancer patients to connect.

Dr. Spiegel is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons and is the Director of the Center for Breast Restoration at the Institute for Reconstructive Surgery. Her expertise in microvascular breast reconstruction and restoration offers patients more choices and better outcomes than ever before. Dr. Spiegel’s main surgical focus is breast reconstruction for cancer patients. She utilizes the most sophisticated innovative techniques and approaches in composite breast restoration, sensory nerve regeneration, and fat-grafting. Additionally, Dr. Spiegel performs aesthetic surgery for post-operative corrective breast surgery, congenital breast defect correction, breast lift, symmetry, reduction, and augmentation.

Aldona J. Spiegel, MD
Center for Breast Restoration at Houston Methodist Hospital’s Institute for Reconstructive Surgery
6560 Fannin St., Ste. 2200
Houston, TX 77030
713-441-6102
www.breastrestoration.org

Safe Haven

March 23, 2016 by  
Filed under Blogs, Community

Crime Stoppers of Houston breaks ground for Houston’s First Public Safety and Crime Prevention Block, honoring Dave Ward in the process.

by Laurette M. Veres

Houston media icon Dave Ward of ABC13 is the only news anchor to stay almost 50 years in one anchor chair, on one station, in one city, in one state, ever.

Ward efficiently delivers the nightly news and uses his celebrity status and creative ingenuity to benefit local charities and agencies. It was Ward’s idea to film crime reenactments and air the spots on the news for Crime Stoppers. The results were tremendous, and Crime Stoppers now uses the reenactments nationwide.

Ward was recently honored at the Building the Block Crime Stoppers of Houston Gala. The annual benefit raised more than $510,000 for Crime Stopper’s Tip Line and crime-prevention programs. Chairs Joella and Steve Mach, along with auction chairs Courtney Zubowski Haas and Dr. Eric Haas, led the event. VIP guests were able to mingle with best-selling author, Emmy Award–winning journalist and featured speaker Ted Koppel.

Koppel

Laura and David Ward with former dateline anchor Ted Koppel

The smooth-talking Ward was rendered speechless when it was announced that the new Crime Stoppers building would be named The Dave Ward Building, Crime Stoppers of Houston. The next morning, dignitaries gathered at the 3000 Block on Main Street, donned hard hats and shovels, and broke ground for the new facility.

The new home of Crime Stoppers of Houston will be a state-of-the-art facility serving as a hub for crime prevention. Centralized operations, staff, volunteers, law enforcement, safe school, safe community and media teams will be housed in the 28,000-square-foot structure. Outside the facility, a 12,800-square-foot Harris County Sheriff’s Officers Memorial Garden will pay tribute to heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Crime Stoppers of Houston is Houston’s only nonprofit dedicated to public safety and has remained committed to its mission since 1981. They solve and prevent serious crimes in the Greater Houston Area with the help of citizens, media and the criminal justice system. Through close collaboration with local law enforcement agencies and the citizens of Houston, Crime Stoppers of Houston has successfully solved nearly 33,000 felony cases and arrested more than 25,000 felony fugitives through its 713-222-TIPS Tip Line Program. To make a donation, visit www.crime-stoppers.org.

An Act of Faith

March 23, 2016 by  
Filed under Blogs, Community, Features

by Matt Bartlett

West End Baptist Church has experienced better days. Founded in 1906, the church dwindled from 2,000 members in the ’60s to just 18 in the summer of 2015. The windows of the sanctuary were boarded and the upkeep of the buildings located at 802 Shepherd Drive was too much for the congregation to handle. After pressure from the city to make repairs and an offer from a third party to buy the land, the church’s future was uncertain. Then the congregation decided to do something truly remarkable: Rather than sell, the members voted unanimously on August 28, 2015 to donate the land and buildings, valued at 10 million dollars, to River Pointe Church of Richmond, Texas.

Renovations on the West End Baptist Church building are well underway.

Renovations on the West End Baptist Church building are well underway.

Led by Pastor Patrick Kelley, RPC was born 19 years ago inside a residential home in Richmond. Growing quickly, the church soon met at a local clubhouse, then two different high school auditoriums, before settling in to a 96-acre campus. RPC launched a Missouri City campus in 2012 and more recently, a West Houston campus at the beginning of 2015. Named the 25th-fastest-growing church in the United States by Outreach Magazine, more than 1,500 members attend weekly services in Richmond, Missouri City and West Houston.

By the summer, the West Houston campus had grown so quickly that church staff began considering a permanent building rather than continuing to rent the Moran Fine Arts Center for services. It was then that Pastor Kelley noticed the nearby West End Baptist Church and reached out to WEBC’s part-time pastor Michael Quintanilla. Through their discussions, the idea of a merger grew into a reality. Ultimately for the members of WEBC, the decision to join forces came down to their desire to “honor the legacy of their grandparents and great grandparents who, in 1954, sacrificed a great deal to build that building. They wanted to see it continue as a church,” recalls Pastor Kelley. In an effort to preserve that legacy, the campus adopted the name West End Church.

Construction is set to begin in the spring, with a grand opening tentatively scheduled for December 2016. Renovations will include a neighborhood coffee shop, a prayer garden, a children’s building and an extensive remodeling of the sanctuary, complete with new air conditioning, electricity and plumbing. During the renovations, the church will return to the Moran Fine Arts Center. For now, they are holding “pre-renovation” services inside the sanctuary.

When asked about what the new church would be like, Pastor Kelley described the merger as a “partnership” in which “the best of both congregations [would combine] to create a really effective ministry.” The people of WEBC have a long history of caring for the community in the heart of West Houston. River Pointe brings an effective ministry model, some great musicians and a large congregation excited about joining in with the good work already underway. Pastor Kelley calls the newly formed church a safe place to “process your doubts [without] feeling any pressure.” Come see for yourself.

Brent Longnecker

March 23, 2016 by  
Filed under Longnecker, Brent, Top Prof

Consulting

longneckerFor more than 28 years, Brent Longnecker has been a thought leader in strategy, corporate governance and compensation consulting. Author of more than 470 articles and 15 books on strategy, ethics, compensation and business, his expertise is nationally recognized. Mr. Longnecker was selected as one of the Top 25 Consultants in the U.S. by Consulting Magazine.

Currently, Mr. Longnecker serves on the board of the National Association of Corporate Directors (Tri-cities), two Houston based companies, and is the Chairman and CEO of Longnecker & Associates (L&A), a Houston-based strategy, corporate governance and compensation consulting firm. Along with his partner, Chris Crawford, and their team of highly specialized consultants, L&A has become one of the most widely-respected independent consultancies in the southwest. Their skills and expertise help private, public and not-for-profit companies proactively solve the key issues around corporate strategy, governance and pay. Through Mr. Longnecker and Crawford’s leadership, L&A has been selected as a Best Place to Work by Texas Monthly for four straight years.

Mr. Longnecker proudly obtained his BBA and MBA from the University of Houston and continues post-graduate study at Harvard in the concentration of governance, and holds several accreditations including CECP, CCP, CCC, CBP and GRP.

In his spare time, Mr. Longnecker is a mixed martial arts Sensei and a competitive amateur dancer in both ballroom and country western genres. In addition, his fiancé, five daughters and four grandchildren keep him busy as well.

To find more information regarding Mr. Longnecker and his team at Longnecker & Associates, visit their website at www.longnecker.com.

Brent Longnecker
Longnecker & Associates
11011 Jones Rd., Ste. 200
Houston, TX 77070
281-378-1350
www.longnecker.com

Wine-ing Down at Tapatio Springs

March 23, 2016 by  
Filed under Blogs, Travel Blog

Forget Napa Valley! Texas Hill Country is ripe with vineyards—and one gem of a resort perfect for swirling away that stress.

by Nicholas Nguyen

Our great state boasts more than 46 wineries, many of them close by in the San Antonio region. Luckily, for us Houstonians, there’s a magnificent place just 40 minutes away from the Alamo that makes the perfect base camp for a weekend in wine country. Tapatio Springs Hill Country Resort in Boerne, TX, is a treasure surrounded by an emerald golf course, with an amazing restaurant, miles of hiking trails, and recently updated guestrooms and spacious suites. The resort is perfectly situated if you want to work your way back east to Houston as you follow a trail of wineries.

AMENITIES

The resort’s ranch-style accomodations are cozy, but it’s worth splurging on a George Strait Suite with a king-sized bed that just envelops you. The large rooms feature a wet bar and an entertaining area with a separate seating space. The patios and balconies are peaceful places to have breakfast and plan the day with a view of the lush hills.

The large resort pool has a waterslide for the kids and is just the thing for afternoon lounging surrounded by Hill Country. Aside from golfing (more on that later), Tapatio Springs offers other nearby activities, like fishing at Joshua’s Creek, horseback riding and kayaking down the Guadalupe. The perfect ending to an active day? S’mores with the family at the fire pit; it’s in front of the golf course, with another serene view of the hills.

DINING

Winner of the 2015 Open Table Diner’s Choice, Tapatio Spring’s La Cascada has southern fare down. I’m still having withdrawal from the honey fried chicken served with smoked cheddar grits I had for dinner the first night. For lunch, be sure to get the loaded fries—brisket, cheddar cheese and grilled green onions over crispy fries topped with a sunny-side up egg. And it doesn’t get any more comforting than cast-iron chicken fried steak served with buttermilk mashed ‘taters. Just note that the menu changes seasonally, highlighting regional specialties.

If weather permits, dine outside on the patio to take advantage of the amazing view, or chill out there for happy hour and live music in the evening. After a day of wine tasting, cocktails are a nice change of pace; for those inclined toward spice, try the Spiced Piña, a tequila and pineapple mix with a hint of jalapeño. The namesake Ta’Patio Smash is a better option for whiskey and berry lovers.

GOLFING

Even if you’re a novice like me, the resort’s 18-hole golf course can’t be missed. The award-winning green recently underwent a $2 million renovation and sparkles with trees, ponds and streams, surrounded by some of the tallest hills in the area.

The view alone is inspiring, and in my case, inspiration enough for me to forget how bad my swing is. Tapatio Springs offers plenty of golf lesson packages, some in a group setting or one-on-one with a pro. There are also junior lessons for the kids to learn how to fall in love with the sport. Book a session at the Pro Shop, where you can also pick up name-brand apparel and accessories.

RELAXING

The Pure Sol Spa near the pool and hot tub offers a wide range of massages and beauty treatments, like deep-tissue massage, hot stone therapy, micro-peels and detoxing scrubs.

The most unique and memorable experience I had was in the Halotherapy Salt Caves. The man-made “cave” is completely covered by pink rock salt of all sizes; it’s minimally lit by warm lights, creating an otherworldly atmosphere. Even the air felt different because of the sheer amount of salt in the room, adding to the transcending effect.

Tapatio_FirePit

enjoy the spectacular sunset by the fire pit on the course

The salt cave is supposed to be purifying and cleansing, and help with respiratory illnesses and other sinus conditions while reducing stress. Sessions can be purchased in 30- or 45-minute increments, but if you’re looking to go zen privately, the cave can also be reserved. Jury’s still out whether the therapy had any impact on my physical health, but it was an incredibly calming experience, and for that alone, I’d go back.

 get rejuvenated at the halotherapy salt caves

get rejuvenated at the halotherapy salt caves

EXPLORING

Nearby—less than 20 minutes away—is the Boerne Wine Co. and the Wine Bar in Welfare, where you can sample a selection of Texas wines with expert guidance. Both places are good spots to try a variety of offerings and discover something new. Want to visit a winery in the flesh? Head to Sister Creek Vineyards, Singing Water Vineyards, Bending Branch Winery or Kerrville Hills Winery, all great, rustic spots about 30 minutes away.

If you visit over the weekend, Boerne has market days on Main Street, showcasing local goods and arts. The small town is big on charm and personality, and as a bonus, is totally walkable. I loved perusing the, assortment of specialty stores, ranging from wine to chocolate to antiques and more.

For more information and to plan your trip, visit www.tapatioresort.com.

Ike Eni, MD

March 23, 2016 by  
Filed under Eni, Ike, MD, Top Docs, Top Prof

IKE ENI, MD
Internal Medicine

copy-Dr.-Eni-Pictures-055Finding the right Internal Medicine/ Primary Care Physician who’s equally experienced and compassionate isn’t always easy. That’s why Dr. Ike Eni and his team at Eni HealthCare are renowned for consistently providing excellent, individualized, comprehensive, whole patient care—something patient reviews continually emphasize. From preventative screenings, hypertension, diabetes, cholesterol, weight management, allergies, acid reflux and anxiety disorders, their goal is to help you achieve optimal health.

It is no surprise that Dr. Eni is a recipient of numerous coveted awards including Physician of the year nominee by CHI St. Luke’s The Woodlands, Houston’s Top Professional 2016, Houston’s Top Doc 2015-2016. Dr. Eni is Board Certified and has more than 26 years of experience making patients enjoy a healthy life. Let us be your primary care physician.

IKE ENI, MD
9319 Pinecroft Dr., Ste. 120
The Woodlands, TX 77380
936-321-1946
www.doctoreni.com

 

Wilberto Cortés, MD

Wilberto Cortés, MD
Cosmetic Surgery

DSC_8304aDr. Cortes, also known nationally and internationally as Dr. Hourglass, is a top Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in Houston. His practice not only serves the Houston area but he routinely see patients from all around the world that are seeking his expertise. “The key for a successful and beautiful result is attention to detail,” says Dr. Cortés, and he is very critical of his own work. For this reason, he has developed unique cosmetic procedures that provide consistent results. Among some of those procedures are the hourglass tummy tuck, hourglass hips, hourglass butt augmentation, the wonder breast lift and the wonder breast reduction. He is not only a plastic surgeon, but also a lipoSculptor.

Wilberto Cortes, MD is also well known for his expertise in buttock sculpting procedures. His practice has expanded over the years by applying a simple principle: provide the best surgical results for his patients. He has earned respect among his peers and admiration from his patients through his outstanding surgical results and patient care.

According to Dr. Cortes, “about 40 percent of his practice is from out of town patients.” His philosophy is to ensure the utmost results expected by his patients and provide them the best patient care service.

Dr. Cortes has one office in Texas located in the Galleria area of Houston. He specializes in restoring the women’s hourglass shape and also performs other cosmetic procedures including facial, breast, and body, as well as buttock enhancement, which is one of the most highly demanded surgeries today.

WILBERTO CORTÉS
Rejuvenus Aesthetics, PA
50 Briar Hollow Lane, Ste. 100
Houston, TX 77027
713-234-6244
www.rejuvenusaesthetics.com

Weight-Loss Tips Worth Making All Year Long!

March 22, 2016 by  
Filed under Blogs, Features, Health & Wellness

by A.J. Henley

The weather’s getting warmer, and beach season feels like it’s just around the corner. It’s that time of year again…when you pledge to overhaul your diet for the sake of your waistline and your well-being. You’re a paragon of virtue to start, but just a few weeks (or even days) in, your motivation begins to flag. Feeling “hangry”—hungry and angry about all that deprivation—you scarf down two pieces of sheet cake at an office birthday party, and then scrap your evening salad for Mexican takeout and a heaping bowl of ice cream.

HTX_diet

Before you blame a lack of willpower (or those cake-loving co-workers!) for your poor follow-through, look at your goals with a critical eye. Ask yourself if they can really be accomplished within the time frame you’ve allotted and what you’ll do specifically to support them on a daily basis. “Without an attainable, detailed action plan in place, you won’t make it to the finish line,” says nutritionist Lisa Jubilee, MS, CDN, a cofounder of Living Proof Nutrition Strength Pilates in New York. “It’s also important that the strategic steps be things that you’re willing and able to work into your schedule.” If you spend long hours on the job, for example, telling yourself you’ll cook every night will only set you up for failure. “It’s more effective to be consistent,” she says, opting for modest vows you can live with (say, two home-cooked meals a week) rather than lofty ones you can’t.

To inject momentum into your best intentions, Jubilee and other experts came up with 11 very doable goals. Adopt a few to start, adding more as the first ones stick. By staying flexible and being patient, these good-for-you behaviors will soon become second-nature, helping you make those weight-loss ambitions a reality.

1. Picture a slimmer, stronger you.
“Like any work project, you should have an idea of what the end result will be” before you begin, says Katherine Tallmadge, MS, RD, the author of Diet Simple: Lose Weight & Get Healthy Without Dieting (LifeLine Press, 2011). She suggests visualizing your life when you’re at your ideal weight at least once a day, be it walking into a party looking fabulous, or clad in workout wear, killing that spin class. The ritual will help boost your confidence, she says, which is a proven prerequisite for success.

2. Commit to three squares.
Consuming small, frequent meals might seem like a no-brainer for keeping hunger and energy dips at bay, but it’s not necessarily the best way to slim down. “It depends on your personality and schedule, but I find mini meals make people more obsessed with food,” Tallmadge says.

There’s a physiological downside to grazing as well: “When you continually eat throughout the day, your body has no reason to tap into fat reserves for fuel,” Jubilee explains. “For most people, consuming moderately sized, nutrient-rich meals less frequently will give the body a greater chance of reaching glycogen depletion and enable fat loss to occur.”

3. Eat more consciously. Multitasking—say, munching while watching TV, reading or texting—can be a recipe for overindulging. Instead, sit down to eat. Clear your desk of distractions and make your dinner table a tech-free zone so you can focus solely on your meal. “Chewing each bite of food until it’s almost liquefied forces you to slow down and allows the body to absorb more nutrients,” says Joel Fuhrman, MD, author of The End of Dieting: How to Live for Life (HarperOne, 2014). “It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to receive signals from digestive hormones that you’re full.”

4. Allow yourself a daily treat. Nothing not to like here! If chocolate, a bag of chips or a glass of wine is calling your name, go for it—within reason, of course. “Banning foods is not sustainable,” says Susan Moores, MS, RD, a nutrition consultant in St. Paul, MN. “A ‘forbidden fruit’ becomes a bigger draw and a point of focus.”

“A healthy diet is about balance, not extremes,” adds Jubilee. “That’s why I tell my clients to first feed their body what it needs, and save a little room for what it purely wants.” Many successful weight losers and maintainers follow the 80/20 rule, making sure 80 percent of their calories consumed are healthy and saving the remaining 20 percent for an indulgence. Others simply factor a portion-controlled 100- to 150-calorie snack into their daily calorie tally. But be sure to make that treat count; for a sweet or salty snack to truly satisfy, it should be something you’re craving, whether that’s a cup of fruit-flavored Greek yogurt or a few squares of dark chocolate. And if you’re tempted to go back for seconds? Keep in mind that you’ll have another chance to partake tomorrow—and every day after that.

5. Keep tabs. Writing down everything you put in your mouth may be annoying and feel like a lot of work, which is why many people don’t do it. But journaling can up your chances of following through with the changes you need to make, Tallmadge says. In addition to keeping you accountable, jotting down what you eat, as well as your motivation for losing weight and the feelings surrounding every meal and milestone, is a process that’s vital to staying confident and strong.

But don’t shy from documenting the little slips along the way as well. “Negative reinforcement is sometimes just as important as positive reinforcement,” she says. If you’re reading about the stomachache you had after a junk-food binge, you may think twice about polishing off a box of doughnuts or a big plate of fries.

6. Institute Fish Fridays. “Like the concept of Meatless Mondays, this is a clever way to include seafood on your menu,” says Moores. Ounce for ounce, fish contains fewer calories than beef and even poultry, and provides an important dose of omega-3 fatty acids—nutrients linked to a healthier heart and brain. “Still, it’s not a blanket pass,” she cautions. “It hinges on the way the fish is prepared, what it’s eaten with and many other elements.”

There’s one other catch, too: You can easily cancel out the benefits with seafood that’s contaminated with mercury, antibiotics or harmful chemicals like PCBs. To play it safe, look for sardines, mackerel, wild Alaskan salmon, pole-caught albacore tuna and Arctic char. For additional options, check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s “Super Green” list at www.seafoodwatch.org; you can find the best picks for your state or download its free app to your smartphone.

Lasting Impression: The Scholibo and Henry Brashear Buildings (circa 1880, 1882)

March 22, 2016 by  
Filed under Features

Post-Reconstruction remnants.

The Scholibo Building and the Henry Brashear Building

The Scholibo Building and the Henry Brashear Building

In 1880, when former president Ulysses S. Grant visited Houston by rail to celebrate the opening of Union Station, our city’s population was but some 16,000 people—slightly smaller than that of Galveston. In the ensuing decade, however, the growth of the railroads, combined with our state’s cotton- and lumber-based economy, would help the Houston economy to thrive.

Two neighboring landmark buildings from our post-Reconstruction boom still survive today, on the 900 block of Prairie Street: the two-story Scholibo Building (1880) and thew three-story Charles Brashear Building (1882). The former, at 912 Prairie, is named for the family of German-born baker Charles Scholibo (1844–1900). Over the course of the 20th century, the structure, marked by its Italianate architecture, would be home to many businesses. Restored and renovated in the 1990s, it now houses the Fryar Law Firm.

Banker Charles Brashear (1839–1911), born a Houstonian in the era of the Republic of Texas, was the scion of a locally prominent family; one cousin, Sam Houston Brashear, served as mayor of Houston in the late 1890s. The Victorian building at 910 Prairie that bears his name was designed by noted architect Eugene Heiner (1852–1901). Heiner’s other work includes Houston’s old Cotton Exchange Building (1884), at 202 Travis, and a number of courthouses throughout the state of Texas.


Read more in the 2016 Spring H Texas issue, available soon on newsstands and digitally.

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT US

March 21, 2016 by  
Filed under Blogs, Hot Button / Lynn Ashby

 

WITH SANTA ANNA — Day after day I march through soggy fields, open salt grass, past farms and villages burned to the ground by fleeing Texians. Man, this victorious conquest of a rebellious northern province is the pits. But the General says our brilliant victories should end just ahead, at a place called San Jacinto. Viva, Santa Anna! OK, so I’m drawing up the rear guard, but the Napoleon of the West and his army did pass right through what is today Houston 180 years ago – so did the Texas Army -= and even today various belt buckles, bullets, bones and, perhaps someday two cannons, turn up in someone’s backyard. Armies are notoriously messy, so when thousands of Mexican soldiers packed up and left for the next camp, “Don’t Mess With Texas” was not yet a bumper sticker on most ox carts.

The reason we are discussing this now is that these are Texas’ High Holy Days, that period between the fall of the Alamo on March 6, the Runaway Scrape and the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21. We have so many newcomers around, with more arriving daily, we need to bring them up to speed on what happened before they arrived. I mean, Texas may be greatly improved by the new arrivals, but a few things happened earlier. At the beginning, the first foreigners to come were the Spanish conquistadors looking for the Seven Cities of Gold, although rumors had it there were actually four more, giving us the expression, “Seven come eleven.” Finding nothing but oil, the conquistadors left for a weekend in South Padre Island, but they were soon followed by snowbirds.

Mexico won its independence from Spain only to find its northern provinces were the target of U.S. intensions, so the Mexican government wished to place a buffer between the U.S. and Mexico. Settlers were invited to build towns, suburbs and high school football stadiums in Tejas, which is a Comanche word for “scalps,” Bad blood developed between the Mexican central government and the new arrivals over freedoms, tyranny and whether beans belong in chili. By 1835, the first shots were fired at Anahuac when the Texian cooks raised their flag, “Come and Get It.’’ (Some misguided historians say the flag actually read: “Come and Take It,” referring to a cannon the Texians had that Mexican troops had been ordered to seize.) When Mexican soldiers discovered beans in their chili, combat ensued. It was then that Santa Anna proclaimed; “Read my lips. No new Texas.”

Every Texas school child knows the story of the Alamo, but there are still myths about the saga. No, Travis did not draw a line in the sand. It was dirt. They don’t call it Sand Antonio. Yes, there was a backdoor to the Alamo. That’s why there’s an Oklahoma. One defender did actually refuse to cross the line and left. His name was Moses Rose, but, no, he is not the Yellow Rose of Texas. No, Davy Crockett did not surrender, as he said many times afterwards. An update: There were plans to restore the mission to its original form, but officials couldn’t find any Spanish padres or converted Indians, so they settled for restoring the area to the way it looked at the time of the battle in 1836. No, Ben and Jerry’s is not opening a shop in the plaza called Remember the A La Mode.

This brings us, and two armies, to San Jacinto. (Sam Jacinto was a cousin.) The battle lasted only 19 minutes, 13 without commercials. Among the Texian troops, 30 were led by Don Erasmo Seguin, whose father was the alcalde of San Antonio. Since none of the Texian troops wore a uniform, and since most of the Tejanos didn’t speak English, Gen. Sam Houston was afraid in the fog of war they would be mistaken for Santa Anna’s troops, he (Houston, not Santa Anna) ordered them to stay back and guard the supply wagons and ambulances. Seguin replied: “We certainly did not join your army, General, to ride herd on sick folks. We men from Bexar have more grievances to settle with the Santanistas than anyone else, for we have suffered the most from them. We want to fight!” Houston replied, “Spoken like a man.” They took their place in line. True story. To differentiate his troops from the enemy, Sequin had his men put a playing card in their hat bands, although he didn’t have enough to go around. Seguin told the captured Santa Anna afterwards, “Never take on anyone not playing with a full deck.”

This quote may be a myth, but it is not true that the official state song is “The Eyes of Texas,” although it should be. No, Texas cannot secede from the U.S. at any time. That is a myth spread by the other 49 states. It is also a myth that only Texas can fly its flag at the same height as the U.S. flag. It is true we can divide Texas into as many as five different states. That would give us five Texas legislatures. No thanks. Another point: West, Texas, is not in West Texas. The official state slogan is “”Friendship,” not “Shoot Friendly.” There is a difference in the Tea Party and Teasips. One group wears funny costumes, chants mindless slogans and beats up opposing teams. The others are college students. While on higher education, Bevo is not one of the Marx Brothers, but all are dead. We have two organizations called Texas Rangers. One encourages stealing home. The other makes you sacrifice. Both are known to use bats.

Marching on, as we are nearing San Jacinto to claim

HOOKED BY THE HORNS

March 14, 2016 by  
Filed under Blogs, Hot Button / Lynn Ashby

Amidst the internal turmoil at The University of Texas at Austin, we now have a new battle involving the entire UT System and the University of Houston System, with hot letters going back and forth, accusations of “inaccurate” statements which “need correction or clarification.” That’s ivy towerese for “you dirty rotten liar.”

In case you’ve been too busy running the Donald Trump School of Humility, let me bring you up to speed. Out of the blue, or burnt orange, UT Chancellor Bill McRaven announced that The (it’s capitalized because The is part of the name) University of Texas System is buying 332 acres of choice land near the Texas Medical Center for about $450 million over the next 30 years. The UT System will pay about $450 million over the next 30 years for its largest land purchase in recent history with money borrowed from the Permanent University Fund. Why? In McRaven’s words, to create an “intellectual hub.” I think that means a think tank. UH thinks it means an invasion.

Although UH is no longer disparaged as Cougar High, it is still desperately trying to become a First Tier school. A large UT operation on its doorstep wouldn’t help because the Longhorns might well syphon off state funds for higher education, along with federal money and grants from rich guys who don’t know a molecule from a monocle but like to see their names on buildings. UT might steal profs and bright students, even worse, cheerleaders.

UH, caught off guard, sprang into action. The UH Board of Regents passed a resolution against the expansion, and boycotted a meeting with UT and others to discuss the matter. Angry alumni wrote stinging letters and op/ed pieces to the newspapers. Houston lawmakers expressed concern. Thirty-five former UH regents said the proposal would “dilute higher education in Texas.” In their letter to Texas politicians, the regents thundered: “We believe that the Texas Legislature and THECB (Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board) should conduct a thorough and transparent examination of UT’s plans and ultimately prevent this expansion.”

McRaven fought back, a task not viewed lightly considering that the chancellor, a UT alumnus himself, was in charge of the raid that sent Osama bin Laden to the Land of 72 Virgins (that, incidentally, is not UT). In his own letter to the biggies, MvRaven wrote that many of the points raised by the UH regents’ letter “need correction or clarification,” and that much of what was in the letter is “inaccurate.”

(In all of this brouhaha, Rice University has remained quiet, since the Owls don’t have to deal with state appropriations and turf wars, but Rice does compete for federal grants, gifts from fat cats and local attention, so we must suspect there is some concern behind the ivy walls of Main Street.)

Because we are Texas taxpayers, we have a dog in this fight. For instance, what will this new campus be called? The University of Texas at Houston, or UTAH? Talk about confusing. National sportscasters have enough trouble with Sam Houston State and the University of Houston, Texas A&M at (fill in the blank), the same with UT-(San Antonio, Dallas, Tyler and some day Marfa, Pampa and College Station), Stephen F. Austin and Austin College, UTEP and OPEC. Also, what will this new school take as a mascot? The Fightin’ 300 Acres Next to UH? Dress the student as a big sod. The Brain Drains? What a costume. How about the 50 Shades of Gray Matter?

The biggest question is what, exactly, will this new institution do besides consume huge amounts of money? McRaven is as opaque as his orders to SEAL Team 6 (“Call on Tall Raghead with extreme prejudice.”). This is what he wrote to the state leaders: “My vision for this property is the creation of an intellectual and innovative hub that will propel Houston to serve as a national and global epicenter of collaboration for researchers, industry, and entrepreneurs.” I shall have that decoded at once, admiral.

To help the chancellor, school and taxpayers understand the possibilities, here are a few suggestions for the Nobel Prize winners to work on for the betterment of all mankind, or at least Texas and Houston: Archeologists have reported that the Great Pyramids were originally supposed to be square, but it was a union job, and each shift did a little less work than the previous one. True? In these days of PC, shouldn’t Arlington National Cemetery change the inscription to: “The Unknown Soldier and His Wife”? Houston is in Harris County but Harris County is in East Texas. Austin is in Travis County but Travis is in Falls County. Question: How much corn mash were Texas’ Founding Fathers who named those places drinking that night?

Researchers, start close to home: How many shootings do you predict will take place on college campuses now that hormone-saturated young Texans can take their guns to class? Husbands want to know why, after three hours of their group chatting at a restaurant, wives still stand out at the curb talking. What’s left to say? Also, why do old, senile Congressmen have anything to say about women having an abortion? Since we hear a constant drumbeat from right-wing talk radio hosts that the American press is the worst, what country should we move to for a better press? And if we can think of one, why are we still here or at least listening to Radio Havana or checking out Putin.com?

What do you researchers do all day? Go to your blackboard and figure out if X equals 3 Y, and W is less than X, then Y did the chicken cross the road? To your laboratory and determine why people order a margarita with salt around the lip, then sip the drink through a straw? Finally, after you’ve discovered a cure for cancer, eliminated acne and brought peace to all mankind, above all, find a decent quarterback for UT.

 

Ashby researches at ashby2@comcast.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rockport Beach offers a free admission day -April 3rd

March 10, 2016 by  
Filed under Blogs, Travel Blog

FREE day at the Beach

Rockport-Fulton Texas (March 8, 2015) – SundayApril 3, 2016 has been designated by the Aransas County Navigation District as a “ Free Beach day” for all to enjoy. Visitors and locals alike are invited to take advantage of this free offering. After all who doesn’t love to get something for free?
Rockport Beach was labeled Texas first Blue Wave Beach and remains one of only three in the state. The beach has something to offer the entire family. Visitors will, get the opportunity bask in the sun, stroll along the beachfront and splash in the clear water of the bay.

For the youngsters, the beach offers shallow water without strong waves and children’s play areas with playground equipment. For the sports minded,  a volleyball net and walking track are available  for land-lubbers, but the opportunities for watersports are endless from water-skiing to fishing and everything in between. The entire family will enjoy the beach palapas, the covered picnic cabanas and the clean restrooms with indoor showers. For those who wish to swim, there is a saltwater lagoon at the far end of the beach, with beautiful views of the Key Allegro community.

Rockport Beach has two pavilions that can be rented for business meetings, reunions or other special occasions: The Beach Pavilion with indoor and outdoor meeting space or the Saltwater Pavilion.

Pets are not allowed on the beach, but there is a special section just outside the beach area for pets to play in the water. Admission to the beach is normally $5 (per vehicle) daily, a yearly beach pass can be purchased for $20.

For more information on Rockport Beach www.rockportbeach-texas.com .For information about Places to Stay visit www.rockport-fulton.org or call 1 –800 242-0071 or email tourism@1rockport.org.

Directions from San Antonio and Houston

If you are traveling from San Antonio take IH-37 south to Corpus Christi, and then take U. S. Highway 181 to Gregory; at Gregory take State Highway 35 into Rockport.

From Houston, take U. S. Highway 59 to Victoria, take U. S. Highway south to State Highway 239, and then, south to Tivoli, and at Tivoli, take State Highway 35 to Rockport.

 

 

 

 

PERRO DE MAYO FUNDRAISER PLANNED TO BENEFIT BARRIO DOGS

March 9, 2016 by  
Filed under Blogs, Events

Volunteers are busy planning the 2nd Annual Perro de Mayo fundraiser that will take place Sunday, May 15, 2016, from 3:00 to 7:00 PM at the Continental Club, 3700 Main, Houston, TX. The event will benefit Barrio Dogs and is open to the public. It will feature live music, food and a silent auction fundraiser. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the door or in advance on Eventbrite.

This year’s host will be Rick Heysquierdo of KPFT’s Lone Star Jukebox. The musical lineup includes Zenteno Spirit, Gal Holiday & the Honky Tonk Review and Mike & the Moonpies. DJ Jason will spin classic vinyl and local artist Carlos Hernandez is creating more unique Perro de Mayo merchandise. Original artwork and other items will be sold via silent auction and a delicious barrio dinner will be available for purchase.

 

Barrio Dogs is a community-based nonprofit that has been working in Houston’s East End since 2010 to educate and empower residents to improve conditions for the animals in their community. Stray and roaming animals are a big problem in the area with 61% of residents citing it as their biggest public health concern.1 Contributing to the situation are owners who do not spay or neuter their pets and allow them to roam the streets and breed, creating more unwanted animals.

 

Founder Gloria Medina Zenteno is grateful for the support from Perro de Mayo. “We rely heavily on our friends and volunteers. Their support is invaluable to us and helps us continue our work in the community, where much remains to be done”, said Zenteno. “Sadly, despite our best efforts, you see still dogs roaming the streets, pregnant mamas, chained dogs. More than ever, we believe education is the best solution to the problem and with everyone’s help, we’ll continue trying to make a difference.”

 

Barrio Dogs focuses on community and educational outreach at schools, businesses, neighborhood centers and civic association meetings where volunteers make presentations and distribute literature on topics like low cost spay neuter options, proper pet care and reporting animal abuse and neglect. At community outreach days at East End parks, pets belonging to nearby residents are signed up for free spay and neuter. To date, Barrio Dogs has fixed, vaccinated and vetted over 2,000 animals, all paid for with private funds raised at events like Perro de Mayo.

 

The organization began when native Houstonian Zenteno returned to the East End after years away and was horrified to see so many homeless, neglected and mistreated animals. Zenteno first worked with rescue groups but realized that the community lacked a humane solution addressing the root of the problem. With that belief, Barrio Dogs was born with the message that: 1) pets are a lifelong commitment and must receive proper care and treatment, 2) education and spay neuter are the most humane and effective methods of controlling animal overpopulation, and 3) zero tolerance for animal mistreatment and neglect will create safer, healthier, higher property value communities.

 

Barrio Dogs is a proud partner with community leaders and residents in their East End community. Despite popular belief, Barrio Dogs does not have a physical location nor a full-time staff; the core team is comprised of a handful of volunteers, most of them concerned residents with full-time jobs, who dedicate their free time to the organization. To learn more, visit Barrio Dogs at www.barriodogs.org or email inquiries to info@barriodogs.org

¹ Health of Houston survey 2010, sph.uth.tmc.edu/research/centers/ihp/health-of-houston-survey-2010

SINGAPORE AIRLINES LAUNCHES BOOK THE COOK SERVICE

March 9, 2016 by  
Filed under Blogs, Travel Blog

Singapore Airlines has launched Book the Cook service in Houston, offering First and Business Class passengers flying from George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) the convenience and control of pre-ordering their meal before they fly, and introducing local flavors to their inflight dining experience.

Part of Singapore Airlines’ prestigious culinary program, Book the Cook gives passengers the flexibility to select their choice of main course online or through the reservations office up to 24 hours before flight departure. Book the Cook menus include dishes featuring innovative international fare, as well as signature dishes with regional influences comprising its World Gourmet Cuisine.

The new menu was designed specifically with Houston travelers in mind, incorporating local favorites such as BBQ Beef Brisket with Spanish Rice, alongside SIA traditions such as the popular Lobster Thermidor. Book the Cook is now available in each of SIA’s four U.S. gateways: New York (JFK), Los Angeles, San Francisco and Houston.

First Class passengers also enjoy their choice of Dom Perignon or Krug Grande Cuvee Champagne, while Business Class passengers are served Taittinger Prelude Grand Crus—in addition to Singapore Airlines’ international wine list carefully selected by a roster of expert sommeliers.

Singapore Airlines serves the Houston area with flights five times a week from IAH to Moscow (DME) and Singapore aboard the B777-300ER. For more information, visit Singaporeair.com for more details. Join us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/singaporeair and follow us on Twitter, www.twitter.com/singaporeair.

 

 

Seared lamb loin with jus served with crushed pea with mint, leek and olive oil mashed potatoes. Designed by Singapore Airlines International Culinary Panel Chef Alfred Portale.

 

A high resolution version of this image can be downloaded here.

 

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New Year, New You

March 4, 2016 by  
Filed under Beauty & Fashion, Blogs

by Carla Menendez

Innovations in skin care and look-at-me makeup will make you more radiant than ever.

GET GLAM!
Give your makeup a makeover, one for day and another for night.

Going out? Butter London Night Shift Smoke Stick Duo (1) has matte black shadow on one end and a soft gold highlighter on the other for sexy smoky eyes in a flash ($20; www.butterlondon.com).

Change up your look with the blink of an eye. Too-Faced Le Grand Palais (2) comes with 18 eye shadows, two blushes, a bronzer, a highlighter, mascara, a lipstick and shadow insurance, so you can experiment to your heart’s content ($58; www.sephora.com).

Stay smudge-proof all day with Urban Decay 24/7 Waterline Eye Pencil (3). Balmy spring weather, take that ($20; www.urbandecay.com).

Don’t underestimate the power of a perfect pout. Exfoliate with The Lip Scrub by Sara Happ in Midnight Blueberry (4) ($24; www.nordstroms.com). Then go bold with Clarins Joli Rouge in Joli Rouge ($27; www.clairinsusa.com).

HTEXAS-beauty

LOVE THE SKIN YOU’RE IN.
Stretch out your facials with skin-care devices designed to deep clean, exfoliate, even prevent wrinkles. Speaking of staying young, don’t neglect your hands, neck and more.

Men need a good skin-care device, too! Clarisonic Alpha Fit Men’s Cleaning (5) features two settings: Clean-Shaven cleans and preps skin for a closer, smother shave while Bearded deep cleans without tugging. The kit also comes with a cleanser ($189; www.clarisonic.com).

Foreo Luna Mini (6), made with antibacterial silicone, works wonders no matter your skin type. Three zones cover the gamut of skin care, unclogging pores, gently exfoliating, removing makeup and more. Low-frequency pulsations help to diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles ($139; www.sephora.com).


Read the rest of this article in the 2016 Spring H Texas issue, available soon on newsstands and digitally.

Houston PetTalk’s Doggy Party on the Plaza April 2

March 3, 2016 by  
Filed under Entertainment, Events

Houston PetTalk’s 7th Annual Doggy Party on the Plaza, a free, family fun rescue benefit will be held April 2, 2016 from Noon to 5:00pm at Houston’s City Centre complex, 800 West Sam Houston Parkway North. It’s a great way to spend family (and Doggy) time including loads of activities, games, free prizes, contests, along with 13 Rescues participating in the annual “Rescue Me!” Parade. Mayor Sylvester Turner will join the fun as this year’s Grand Marshal and channel 11’s Deborah Duncan & David Paul are returning as the event emcees. The event includes Rescue Row,  The Bow-Wow Kids Craft Area, face painting, photos with you and your pet, artists, and so much more. Find out the details at www.doggypartyontheplaza.com.

Jet-Set Hobby

March 3, 2016 by  
Filed under Blogs, Travel Blog

by Laurette M. Veres

Southwest Airlines has brought international travel back to Houston Hobby Airport after a 45-year hiatus. Southwest has been flying out of Hobby since 1971, when they famously flew the “Texas Triangle”—San Antonio, Dallas, Houston. In 2012, the City of Houston approved Southwest’s proposal to expand Hobby and bring international travel back to Houston’s in-town airport. The airline made a multimillion-dollar investment in a new international terminal. According to the Houston Airport System, this expansion brings 1.6 million passengers to Hobby Airport annually. More importantly, Houstonians can easily plan Mexican/Caribbean vacations to new departure cities, including Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico City, Liberia, San Jose, Belize City, Cancun and Montego Bay.

punta-mita

This past winter, we hopped a flight to the paradise destination of Puerto Vallarta, arriving at the Four Season’s Punta Mita just in time for our 2:30 p.m. tee time on the famous Pacifico Course. This Jack Nicklaus–designed golf course has eight seaside holes bordering the Pacific Ocean or Banderas Bay. The very memorable Hole 3B is called “the Tail of the Whale”; depending upon the tide, you can either ride to the hole in an amphibious vehicle, or miss the hole altogether due to high tide. It’s the world’s only natural island green—and it’s spectacular. The hot tropical sun beat down on us the last couple of holes, making our respite to the spa all the more welcome.

Just steps from our suite, the relaxation area at the Four Seasons Apuane Spa is inviting with individual seats separated by hanging crystals and beads. Apuane, Spanish for “healing waters,” is an oasis of serenity in scenic Mexico. We opted for the Punta Mita massage, an overall rubdown utilizing tequila, indigenous sage oil and traditional Mexican healing techniques.


Read the rest of this article in the 2016 Spring H Texas issue, available soon on newsstands and digitally.

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