February 2015 - Absolutely Memorial Magazine

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Dec My Room: Creating Places To Heal

How Do You Spell


FITNESS Motivation


Valentine's Day GIFT GUIDE



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GALLERIA AREA McCue Road | $330s 2/2 - ±1,415 sf tastefully updated unit in The Bristol | desirable area balcony | hardwoods | modern day amenities

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A hop, skip and a jump. We’re right here in West Houston and ready to partner with you in the health care of your child. With a dedicated pediatric emergency room, pediatric intensive care unit and more than 20 pediatric subspecialties conveniently located on site, we offer top care for kids, close to home. From sports medicine to cardiology to ophthalmology, our specialty clinics are staffed by experts in their fields using the most advanced technology, in facilities designed specifically for children. Texas Children’s is ranked #4 in the nation by U.S.News & World Report and is the highest ranked children’s hospital in the southwest. The next time your child needs medical care, come to us. We’re all about kids. For maps and information, visit westcampus.texaschildrens.org.

Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus 18200 Katy Freeway Houston, TX 77094 832-227-1000

© 2015 Texas Children’s Hospital. All rights reserved. Texas Children’s Hospital is the only children’s hospital in Texas on U.S.News & World Report’s 2014-2015 Honor Roll. WC420_110114

WE’RE LEADING HEART CARE SO YOU CAN LEAD A HEALTHY LIFE. Our world-class cardiologists have been pioneering innovations in heart care ever since Dr. Michael DeBakey revolutionized heart treatment at Houston Methodist more than 60 years ago. We have built a legacy of leading cardiovascular medicine by providing patients access to the most advanced procedures, no matter how routine or complex the condition. Take your first step toward a healthier heart. Visit houstonmethodist.org or call 713.790.3333 for a physician referral at one of our seven locations. • Central – Texas Medical Center

• Southwest – Sugar Land

• East – San Jacinto

• West – Katy

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• North – The Woodlands (opening in 2017)

• Southeast – St. John


F E AT U R E S 16 MEMORIAL SWEETHEARTS Don and Mary Kay Coleman


absolutely! Memorial team members share their love stories.


The nation’s number one school dropout program helps students stay on track.

54 VALENTINE’S DAY FOR THE KIDS Explore clever crafts and activities for children to share in the festivities.


Find the perfect gift for that special someone.

COLUMNS Susan and Kendall Plank.

Photography by Hallie Keller.

12 DEC MY ROOM: CREATING HEALING PLACES FOR CHILDREN IN NEED Susan and Kendall Plank created the Houstonbased charitable organization to transform the hospital rooms of kids who are in for an extended stay. By providing warm and welcoming spaces, the mother-daughter duo and their team have brought something unexpected to pediatric hospitals across the country – smiles!



Love Is a Many Splendored Thing


Top Ten Tips for Post Divorce Survival: How to Create the Life You’ve Imagined

FEBRUARY 2015 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelymemorial.com


IN HEART Setting the pace in cardiovascular care. Across Memorial Hermann, affiliated heart and vascular physicians performed more than 50,000 procedures last year alone. Break that down and you’ll find Memorial Hermann’s lifesaving expertise extends from heart rhythm disorders and heart attacks to treatment for advanced heart failure, including the most complex vascular surgery and heart transplant. Their groundbreaking work puts this program at the forefront of advancing heart health, and that means patients have a better chance of recovering faster and returning to the things they enjoy sooner. So for true strength in cardiovascular care, turn to Memorial Hermann Heart & Vascular Institute – Memorial City.

Learn more at heart.memorialhermann.org





NEWSWORTHY 19 INTERFAITH MINISTRIES FOR GREATER HOUSTON Hosts Best Friends Brunch Benefiting aniMeals on Wheels Program




absolutely! H E A LT H Y L I V I N G

Dedicates SPARK Park

18 Steve Kursar Auto Enthusiast Page 20

20 Myles Mellor Contributor Page 25

46 FITNESS MOTIVATION 52 absolutely! Q & A

Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus Answers Your Questions on Child Life Specialists

with a Legend”


Debbie Clemens absolutely! Fabulous Finds Page 18

25 Jennifer Espey Contributor Page 32


absolutely! DELICIOUS

Jan Glenn Journalist Page 36



Hosts Third Annual Sporting Clay Tournament






62 absolutely! DELICIOUS LISTING


Donation and Community Garden

Nancy L. Rommelmann Family Law Attorney Page 43

This Valentine’s Day

Stephanie Valtasaros Contributor Page 44

With Fun and Flavors of Winter

44 Suzanne Stiles Memorial Mentions Page 48

Announces Fall Grants

absolutely! AUTO REVIEW 20 2015 TOYOTA CAMRY








Purcell Law Firm: A Memorial Hidden Jewel

ON THE COVER: Susan and Kendall Plank. Photography by Hallie Keller.


FEBRUARY 2015 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelymemorial.com

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Vol. 11 No. 2 February 2015 4655 TECHNIPLEX DR. STE 700 STAFFORD , TX 77477 281-690-4242

Associate Publisher, LARA BELL When I sat down to write this month’s Publisher’s Preview, I reread the story we did for Valentine’s Day and how each couple met. When I am at a party, a question that typically comes up is “How did you meet your husband?” When I realized I didn’t know how many of the girls I work with here at the magazine met their spouses, I resolved to find out their love stories! Also in this issue, you’re going to meet a Memorial mother and daughter duo who created a non-profit called Dec my Room. They go into Texas Children’s Hospital, as well as other hosBrent and Lara Milam pitals, and decorate rooms for children who are looking at an extended stay. You’ll also meet Memorial’s Light family, who are the honorees for the upcoming Texas Children’s Cancer Center 10th Annual “An Evening with a Legend” Gala, where former President George W. Bush will be honored. The Heart Ball, along with Mardi Gras, school auctions and the beginnings of the Rodeo are all on the way, not to mention Spring Branch Education Foundation’s Sporting Clays Tournament! In closing, we once again would like to give our condolences to the family of Kobi Isabella Pickett. Kobi was a beloved 10th grader at Memorial High Kobi Isabella Pickett School who died unexpectedly on January 11th in a tragic accident. We at absolutely! Memorial Magazine are praying for the family and friends of this sweet girl. Have a lovely Valentine’s Day! Absolutely! yours,


Lara Bell-Milam lara@absolutelymemorial.com


PUBLISHER E D I T O R- I N - C H I E F Patti Parish-Kaminski A S S O C IAT E P U B L I S H E R Lara Bell M A NA G I N G E D I T O R Sarah Bearden SENIOR AC C OUNT EXECUTIVE Jessica Kij AC C O U N T E X E C U T I V E S Stephenie Cox Jennifer Elliott Molly Ellis Kay Garrett Juliet Hubbell Andrea Rigamonti Suzanne Stiles Bonnie Bell Woodrow A RT D I R E C T O R Grace Belleza GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Camille Hay Erin De Veyra WEB DESIGNER Joey Belleza O F F I C E A D M I N I S T R AT O R Adrienne Boring PHOTOGRAPHY Hallie Keller CONTRIBUTORS Debbie Clemens Jennifer Espey Jan Glenn Steve Kursar Myles Mellor Nancy L. Rommelmann Suzanne Stiles Stephanie Valtasaros INQUIRIES 281-690-4242 E D I T O R IA L S U B M I S S I O N S Lara@absolutelymemorial.com


READER FEEDBACK I love the happenings around town articles.

Lauren Gonzalez

I read absolutely! Memorial because it is full of great information!

I teach at Stratford, so it’s great to read about the neighborhood kids’ activities and accomplishments.

Kim Counts Lynch

Moni A. Ecellence


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Subscription requests are free to all Memorial and Galleria addresses. Annual paid subscription of $25 required outside the Memorial/Galleria area. absolutely! MemorialTM Magazine is published by absolutely! focus media, 4655 Techniplex Dr., Ste. 700, Stafford, TX 77477. Copyright © 2015 by absolutely! focus media. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited. absolutely! MemorialTM Magazine does not knowingly accept false or misleading advertising or editorial, nor do the publishers assume responsibility should such advertising or editorial appear. absolutely! MemorialTM Magazine welcomes editorial submissions from its readers.

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In 2007, Memorial residents and mother-daughter team Susan and Kendall Plank created the first healing place by decorating a family friend’s hospital room. J.B.’s emotions were changed from anxious and unsure to joyful and happy with his room’s new décor. Dec My Room’s co-founder, Kendall, 11 years-old at the time, said to her mother, “We’ve got to do this for every child who is admitted to the hospital for a long stay.” Susan and Kendall never looked back.

A Caring Team

Susan and Kendall Plank.

Photo by Hallie Keller.

Dec My Room: Creating Healing Places for Children in Need


n pediatric hospitals across the country, you might notice something unexpected: smiles! Dec My Room, a Houston-based charitable organization that transforms pediatric hospital rooms into “healing places,” is responsible for many of those smiles.


FEBRUARY 2015 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelymemorial.com

Susan is the president, and her leadership has propelled Dec My Room to the global and sustainable organization it is today. With eight pediatric hospitals around the country, Susan works with Courtney Barta, Kathy French and her board of directors to grow the organization. When asked about Dec My Room, Susan said, “It’s all about the kids!” Susan is close to her cause. She handles day-to-day decisions, meets with leaders in the community and reaches out to new pediatric hospitals across the country. “We know that a pediatric patient benefits from their hospital room being transformed from a plain space to a comfortable, cozy room. We train our volunteers on how to enrich the patient’s room with bright pops of his favorite colors and interesting themes like Hello Kitty, super heros and SpongeBob SquarePants.” Dec My Room works closely with the certified child life specialists at each pediatric hospital. One might even say that Dec My Room is an extension of the healthcare the patient receives.

Bringing Smiles

“I have seen, when decorating a room, a positive change in the patient. They become so happy, engaged and interactive. We have a lot of fun with the

“I have seen, when decorating a room, a positive change in the patient. They become so happy, engaged and interactive.” - Kathy French patients, whether creating a bracelet on a loom or finding the perfect spot on the wall for a super hero sticker,” said French. Many times, the team has heard the patient’s parent say that their son or daughter hadn’t smiled for days until Dec My Room came to the room with their gifts and decorations. Other times, child life specialists have revealed that after Dec My Room completed a patient’s room, the patient ate a meal, which they hadn’t felt like doing lately. The changes the decorated room makes extends beyond the patient to the parents and visitors and even to the healthcare professionals. So, how much does it cost to decorate a room? “Volunteers are given a $300 tax-exempt budget for each hospital room they decorate. I’ve seen some wonderful and creative decorations with that budget!” explained Courtney Barta, Dec My Room’s treasurer and coordinating director. Once the child life specialist conducts a patient interview, the information is forwarded to Barta. An e-mail then alerts around 125 volunteers to see who can shop and decorate within three days of the request. Once the room has been “dec’d,” the patient is so appreciative. Furthermore, volunteers hold great memories of the way the patient received the gifts and decorations. Once the patient is released from the hospital, he can take all of the decorations home.

Volunteers and Fundraising

Naturally, Dec My Room looks to donors, sponsors and other organizations for funding and financial support. Dec My Room conducts two fundraisers each year, and the annual Ladies Lunch last fall was hosted by Martha Turner and

Dec My Room volunteer Ashlina Kaposta putting the finishing touches on a new healing place.

“Tootsies Love’s in Fashion” Benefiting Dec My Room Wednesday, February 11th 6:30 – 9 pm Tootsies 2601 Westheimer Road Houston, TX 77098

Alex and Kasey French celebrated Alex’s new Batman themed room courtesy of Dec My Room.

If you are looking for a way to support Dec My Room, purchase a ticket for the 2015 Tootsies Love’s in Fashion event! This year’s co-chair couples are Joanna and Brad Marks and Hannah and Cal McNair. The fashion show will feature 20 local philanthropic couples who support Dec My Room’s pediatric cause and share the organization’s vision. Tickets may be purchased at www. DecMyRoom.org. www.absolutelymemorial.com l FEBRUARY 2015


Kiki Wilson. Dec My Room is also lucky to have generous community host parties and grand openings benefiting the organization. One wonderful and most recent example is last fall’s Cheers 4 Charities Event, a premier party that raised thousands of dollars for four Houston-based children’s charities. Other recent shopping parties include events at Ralph Lauren, Internum and Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams. In Houston alone, Dec My Room has over 185 total volunteers who are involved in transforming a patient’s hospital room into a cozier, more personalized room that is filled with items to comfort the patient during his stay. Dec My Room’s Junior Volunteer program includes The Girl Scouts of America Gold, Silver and Bronze Award candidates and recipients, The University of Houston, Phi Mu, The St. Agnes Dec My Room Club, Episcopal High School, St. John’s School Varsity Basketball Team, St. Francis Episcopal Day School and numerous community groups and neighborhood organizations. In June 2014, Dec My Room worked with approximately 75 volunteers at Shriners Hospital for Children in the Texas Medical Center. Stacy Carraro of AMLI in River Oaks enthusiastically spearheaded “AMLI’s Day of Giving” in June 2014, when all 75 of the AMLI Houston associates dedicated a full day of service to Dec My Room. Twenty-five patient rooms were decorated in the morning, and that afternoon the AMLI family created get-well cards and journals for the patients. This past holiday season, AMLI volunteers sponsored a toy drive at each of the six luxury apartment locations for Shriners patients, where nearly 100 patients received a toy. Sponsors of Dec My Room give in various meaningful ways. Martha Turner Properties recently added an


Susan and Kendall Plank. Photo by Hallie Keller.

In Houston alone, Dec My Room has over 185 total volunteers who are involved in transforming a patient’s hospital room into a cozier, more personalized room that is filled with items to comfort the patient during his stay. option for their realtors to donate a portion of the proceeds of their commission to Dec My Room. Under Gary Peterson’s leadership, Houston-based EnCap Corporation is another Dec My Room sponsor. Emergent, a Biotech company in Maryland, is looking to start a workplace chapter of Dec My Room at John Hopkins Children’s Center. This year, Dec My Room has received grants from local and national organizations.

A Bright Future

Dec My Room currently serves four Houston hospitals: Texas Children’s Hospital, M.D. Anderson Children’s

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Cancer Hospital, Shriners Hospital for Children in the Texas Medical Center and Shriners Hospital for Children in Galveston. Other hospitals that are served by Dec My Room around the nation include L.A. Children’s Hospital, Mattel Children’s Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital and Dallas Children’s Medical Center. Dec My Room is growing! Their 2015 expansion includes San Francisco, Austin, Pittsburg and more. Dec My Room is located in Memorial at 720 North Post Oak Road, Suite 275, in Houston. Visit www.DecMyRoom. org or call 832-538-1201 for more information about Dec My Room.

Two names you know well. Now working together in five locations. Now expert breast radiologists from MD Anderson Cancer Center are interpreting mammograms and performing diagnostic procedures at five Memorial Hermann breast imaging locations. The same breast centers you count on for a great experience, leading-edge 3-D imaging technology and advanced diagnostic tools are now staffed by MD Anderson doctors. Isn’t it time you had your mammogram? Visit memorialhermann.org for convenient online self-scheduling with ScheduleNow or call 877.70.MAMMO.


Memorial Sweethearts Don and Mary Kay Coleman

Mary Kay and Don Coleman on their honeymoon.


on and Mary Kay first met more than 50 years ago in 1962, when both were members of the original faculty at Memorial High School. Don was head basketball coach and Mary Kay was a history teacher. However, it was 10 years later that a mutual friend and colleague thought they would be a perfect couple and convinced Don to make the telephone call that would change their lives in an unexpected way. Don and Mary Kay shared in their own words why they believe their marriage has been a successful one.

Common Values, Beliefs and Vision “Not only did we find ourselves mutually attracted to each other as sweethearts, but we discovered that we had in common those things that are the bases of an intimate relationship: common values, a common devotion to our Christian faith and above all, a common vision for what we desired in a marriage,” said Mary Kay. “At the heart of that vision is a firm belief that God designed us to be the perfect mates who consciously strive to honor and serve each other every day under all circumstances.


“Another key aspect of our vision was a decision to establish roots in the Memorial/Spring Branch Community, a community we treasure like a member of our family. This meant that Don would forego opportunities to coach in college. We moved into our home on Taylorcrest in Hedwig Village when we married in 1973 and have made it our home without one regret. We cannot express too strongly how much community has contributed to our happiness and identity as a couple.

Family First “Because ours is a second marriage, we have always embraced each other’s children as our own,” shared Mary Kay.

Accommodate Differences and Embrace Changes for the Sake of the Other “While we had much in common from the start, we also had to embrace changes to accommodate our differences,” said Mary Kay. For example, Don’s life centered on athletics, and Mary Kay’s life involved many charity and social events. Mary Kay embraced the role of coach’s wife with enthusiasm and rarely missed a game from 1972 until Don retired in 1992. “We still attend Memorial’s home games,” said Mary Kay. “Don embraced his new role with the same enthusiasm and even looked forward to wearing his tux and graciously dancing with all of the ladies at the table.

Mary Kay and Don Coleman in 1972.

FEBRUARY 2015 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelymemorial.com

Don and Mary Kay’s blended family 40 years later: Kevin, Brandon and Scott Coleman, Barbara Lovingfoss Mayfield and Don and Mary Kay Coleman.

Keep Romance Alive – Never Lose That Loving Feeling “Without a doubt, Don has always taken the initiative to keep romance in our marriage in so many ways: flowers for no particular reason, romantic cards, hundreds of them, with the most tender words lovingly underscored; coffee brought each morning to wake me up; a smile, a wink and a nod across a crowded room that tells me I am his touchstone; handwritten letters expressing his deepest emotions, holding my hand in the movie, opening the car door and so much more.”


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s u o l u Fab inds F BY DE B B I E C L E M E N S @debbieclemens

Mimi So New York Bow Collection The Bow Collection was created to remind everyone to have a playful attitude. These rings are soft, beautiful and romantic and come in many different color combinations. I have the rose gold one that I love! www.mimiso.com

You may know me as a Memorial mom of four fabulous boys and wife to Roger Clemens, but what you may not know is that I love finding cool and unique products because, let’s face it, in a house full of boys, a girl needs her girl stuff! So, here are some things I absolutely love... and hope you will too!

Rockstud Chevron Cage Multicolor Sandal Spring is just around the corner, and what a beautiful sandal to have. I like the two-and-ahalf inch heel with a buckle vamp strap. These are very comfortable and pretty and will be great through the summer as well. I love all of the colors! www.neimanmarcus.com

Glamorous Laundry Wash For all of you who have delicates and are in need of a good, gentle detergent, this is a product worth trying. There are several choices of scents to choose from. I like the Eucalyptus Glamorous Wash because it is fresh, crisp and clean, but you can choose what you like. Be the diva you are, and go get this! www.tylercandlestore.com

Anya Hindamarch Sticker Bag I had to preorder when I saw these! I’m very excited about the hottest new bag in London headed to the USA. From clutch bags to totes, designer Anya Hindmarch has it going on! She is truly unique and shows her true creativity. www.anyahindmarch.com

Butterfly Guy Known as “The Butterfly Guy,” Tony Delia is on a mission is to educate people about the plight of the monarch butterfly. You can order a Butterfly Guy pop-up butterfly house and have it delivered, or you can book a presentation. It’s great for gifts or birthday parties! www.butterflyguy.org


FEBRUARY 2015 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelymemorial.com


UT Physicians Women’s Center at Memorial City

Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston Hosts Best Friends Brunch Benefiting aniMeals on Wheels Program Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston (IM) will host its Best Friends Brunch benefiting the aniMeals on Wheels program at 11 am on Saturday, February 14th at the Omni Hotel Houston. Banfield Charitable Trust has been selected as the honoree for the 2015 event. Brunch chairs include Teena Davis and Wendy and Kristy Phillips, along with chairs of the host committee, Bruce Padilla and Shelby Kibodeaux. Guests will enjoy a pet treat snack bar, reception and silent auction, followed by a brunch and pet fashion show in which one pet will be awarded the title of “aniMeals on Wheels Top Dog/Cat.” Serving as silent auction chair is Kim Padgett with 10 fabulous fashion forward auction packages. In addition, a stay in Belize will be raffled. One raffle ticket may be purchased for $20 or six tickets for $100. Founded seven years ago, aniMeals on Wheels helps homebound seniors currently on Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston’s Meals on Wheels program feed their four-legged friends. The program was established so that seniors would not feel compelled to share their limited resources with their “best friends.” The program relies completely on monetary and pet food donations. “The brunch helps us increase awareness for the hungry pets of Meals on Wheels homebound seniors. Our goal is to raise enough funds so seniors can keep their pets and their own meals,” said Warren Wenner, Director of Meals on Wheels at IM. Sponsorship opportunities range from the $150 Companion level to the $10,000 Best Friends Presenting Sponsor level. For more information or to register for the 2015 Best Friends Brunch, visit www. imgh.org/events/best-friends-brunch.

Physicians: Tiffany Tarrant, MD; Merrill Sue Lewen, MD; Barbara Schroeder, MD and Jenny Van Winkle, MD UT Physicians Women’s Center at Memorial City offers Comprehensive Care for Women of all ages with a personalized touch at our premier location in Memorial City. Our board certified OB/Gyns, Dr. Barbara Schroeder, Dr. Tiffany Tarrant, Dr. Merrill Sue Lewen and Dr. Jenny Van Winkle are affiliated with UT Health and are able to provide the most comprehensive medical care available in a private, personal and compassionate environment. For your first gynecologic exam through childbirth, for complex gynecologic issues, for easing the transition through menopause and for staying healthy whatever your age, UT Physicians Women’s Center at Memorial City is uniquely poised to be with you every step of the way. • • • • •

Well Woman Care and Preventative Health Screening General & Complex Obstetrics & Gynecology Adult & Adolescent Gynecology Minimally Invasive Surgery/Robotic Surgery Reproductive and Pelvic Health Issues

UT Physicians Women’s Center at Memorial City

713-486-6600 for Appointments www.UTPhysicians.com

929 Gessner, Suite 1300 – 13th Floor • Houston, Texas 77024 Memorial Hermann Medical Tower – Garage 5 www.absolutelymemorial.com l FEBRUARY 2015


absolutely! absolutely! AUTO REVIEW AUTO REVIEW By Steve Kursar


he Toyota Camry is the bestselling car in the country, and it holds that distinction for a reason. It’s simply a very well designed and made car. But it has also suffered from the reputation of a car that was boring to drive and bland as plain vanilla. The 2015 Toyota Camry blows that reputation away with an all-new design that will turn heads and change minds. The new car looks more like a sports sedan than the family mover that has been a mainstay on the American highways for decades. The credit for this transformation goes to Toyota’s race car enthusiast, President and CEO Akio Toyoda, for recognizing that the family sedan deserves to be as exciting as a roadster. But it wasn’t always that way. The Toyota Camry first made its appearance


on American highways back in the early 1980s, and it was boxy, relatively underpowered and pretty undistinguished. It caught on with U.S. car buyers because it was remarkably reliable, especially compared to its American competitors. This new Camry is very different from past generations at first glance. The big, aggressive grill reflects the Toyota family resemblance with its luxury cousins at Lexus, as well as its sportier cousins at Scion. The bold exterior design carries through to the interior, where the driver is the star. The steering wheel has a more contemporary, thicker feel, and the stick shift hints at being a sporty manual transmission even though it’s an automatic. These design cues cleverly combine to enable this new Camry to throw off the boring characteristics that bedeviled past iterations. The base 2015 Toyota Camry comes with a MSRP sticker price of $22,970 and is equipped with a 178 hp, 2.5 liter four-cylinder engine that

FEBRUARY 2015 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelymemorial.com

delivers EPA fuel economy ratings of 25 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. It’s not the peppiest engine on the road, but the reward is impressive gas mileage. And for those of you who need a bit more zip, the Camry’s 268 hp, 3.5 liter V6 engine gives it some of the best acceleration of any car in its segment and makes for a fun ride every time you get behind the wheel. The 2015 Camry’s makeover may shock some Toyota owners who in the past happily traded dull design for engineering reliability. This new car is sure to win over families who realize they can have it all. Follow Steve Kursur at KursarOn Cars.blogspot.com.


Odette Arredondo, MD Family Medicine

Lizabeth Riley, MD Family Medicine

Elissa Love, PA-C Family Medicine

Same Day appointmentS available!

Sarah Pike, PA-C Family Medicine

Houston Methodist Primary Care Group provides patient-centered, compassionate care to the Memorial community. Our health care providers are experts at guiding you through the process of treating and preventing a wide spectrum of health issues. They enjoy getting to know you and will develop personalized health plans to meet your needs. Our practice offers:

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Schedule online: houstonmethodist.org/primarycare or call 713.266.9955. 7575 San Felipe Street, Suite 155 | Houston, Texas 77063

Preview Party

Tuesday, March 3, 5:00 - 8:30 p.m., cost $15 Tickets may be purchased at the church office or at the door.


WEDNESDAY, MARCH 4 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. THURSDAY, MARCH 5 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Enjoy a meal with friends at Betty’s Tea Room Luncheon

Lunch tickets are available each day for $10. Lunch is served from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

www.absolutelymemorial.com l FEBRUARY 2015


By Lara Bell

Will You Be D

o you ever wonder how people met? That question often pops up in conversations, so when I sat down to write for our Valentine’s issue, I thought – wait a minute – I don’t even know how my staff met their spouses. So, I asked my co-workers to send me their stories. No love story is the same, but all are cute!

Lara Bell

Jennifer and Andrew Elliott

Jennifer Elliott



had just turned 33 years-old and recently returned from a two-week vacation in Venezuela with friends. My best friend Roseann Rogers and I always celebrate our birthdays together. We are weeks apart and have the same friends, so while my actual birthday is May 30th and hers is mid-July, we celebrate together mid-June. My Brent and Lara date to the party was someone running Milam for office, and he had to leave for a political fundraiser. After the party, I was going to head home, but all of my friends encouraged me to go out. I did, and that is when I met Brent Milam. I was hosting a television show called Tube Talk on KTBU-TV. He didn’t know me, which was pretty annoying (lol). He was so shy and quiet, so I gave him my number. We started dating, and little serendipitous things kept popping up that made us realize we were supposed to be together. We had only been dating a few months when 9/11 happened, and Brent rushed to the station, where we stayed all day just watching in disbelief. We got engaged soon after that and married March 29, 2003. I think what makes us a great couple is the fact that we are totally opposite. Brent slows me down, and I add spunk to his step! Plus, I can’t imagine two me’s in one house. By the way, the guy I was on a date with at my party the night I met Brent lost the election…and me!


FEBRUARY 2015 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelymemorial.com

Account Executive and Contributor


ndrew and I met over 20 years ago on a blind date. I was fresh out of college and working for an advertising agency in Houston. One of my co-workers was dating Andrew’s father, and she set us up. We met on the patio at Lake Longhorn Grill on Richmond for lunch one sunny day in April. I think we were both unsure about going on a blind date, but we hit it off immediately and started dating. After three years of dating, Andrew proposed. We celebrated that night with an Italian dinner and then went to a Rockets game. We got married in Fort Worth in November of 1997. We have been blessed with two wonderful daughters. We love living in Memorial and raising our girls here, and we continue to enjoy outdoor dining, anything Longhorn related and spending time with family and friends.

Jan Glenn

Pawsitively Purrfect


onderful things happen as a Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo volunteer for the World’s Championship Bar-B-Que. You just might meet your new best friend and future husJan and Gene band. I did! That was 16 years Haynes ago, and after being together for 14 years, we finally married about two years ago. Gene Haynes was already on the publicity subcommittee for the World’s Championship Bar-B-Que when I became a member of the same subcommittee. He was sweet, funny, dependable and caring. After hanging out with the Bar-B-Que group and hearing all of Gene’s stories and escapades, we began dating. He graduated from the University of Arkansas, and I cheer for Texas Tech University, my alma mater. We get along fabulously, except when Arkansas and Texas Tech play each other in football. After the killing they gave us this year, it was

very quiet around the house for a couple of days. I have an art degree, and Gene has a structural engineering degree. This is how those two come together: After playing golf and cheating for 30 years, I have a game plan. Gene doesn’t play golf, so he drives the cart. He tells me how to play and all of the things I do wrong. I creatively hang pictures on the walls at home for that artistic effect. Gene thinks they need to be hung in a row with equal space all around. Get the picture? I am an avid collector and can tell you where I got something, who gave it to me and the year. Gene doesn’t care about material things, and it is hard for him to remember what the gift was that someone gave him the day before. I have been in radio and television for 45 years. Gene struggles with understanding how “the media folk” operate, and I can’t comprehend the engineering world. It is a match made in heaven! Gene says, “Opposites attract, and likes repel.” The judge who married us, Judge John Donovan, was another member of our publicity subcommittee group. It was a one-minute ceremony at the 1910 Courthouse, and as they say at the World’s Championship Bar-B-Que, “We’re done!”

Amy Gross Vine Sleuth


grew up in Memorial but moved to Florida after the eighth grade. Even then, I knew I’d be back. After college, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to live in Washington, D.C. or go straight back to Houston, so I took a job at a sports bar to test Houston again in 1994. The Rockets were in the playoffs, and the chance of them making it to the finals was pretty good. I was to work on game nights at the bar while I pursued a job in my field during the days. My first night on the job, which was my second night back in Houston, I noticed a guy at a table next to my station and found a few excuses to talk with him throughout the evening. He was out with his British soccer buddies who all had super thick accents, making them a bit challenging to understand. I had no problem understanding him, though. After the game ended, the bar cleared out, and he invited me to go across the street to his place for a drink. I thought it was bit too soon for something like that, so I took his phone number. Days later, I was still too intimi-

dated to call until one of the other waitresses told me he had been in the bar another day. I mustered up the courage to call this “older man,” and the crazy dating whirlwind of four and a half years began. I remember getting Amy and Gary ready for our first date. As I Gross had just graduated college and Gary was six years older, I wanted to appear somewhat sophisticated. I wasn’t sure what to drink on such a date. My friend Kristy and I decided I should drink wine, Chardonnay to be specific. And so, not only did this begin the relationship with the man I would marry, but it also launched another relationship – my love affair with wine. Both relationships have yielded some crazy adventures! www.absolutelymemorial.com l FEBRUARY 2015


Debbie Clemens

absolutely! Fabulous Finds

I went to Spring Woods High School and was a year younger than Roger. Roger went to Dulles and moved over to Spring Woods High School to attend school, play baseball and be coached Debbie and Roger by Coach Charlie MariaClemens no. Roger was new at our school, and I was already dating someone else. I remember seeing Roger in my history class and a lot from watching the baseball games. Fast forward. Roger went on to the University of Texas, and I went to work for Pennzoil and studied at night school at Houston Community College. I still lived at

home, and my mother worked with one of Roger’s friends’ mothers. After Roger found out that I was no longer in a long-term relationship, we casually reacquainted. He asked me out to go to a wedding, and I did! That was our first date in January of 1984. We got engaged in April and married in November. It was quick, and we were only 21 and 22 years-old! Roger was in the minor leagues at that time but made his major league debut on May 15th that same year. We just celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary and have four amazing sons. It is a wonderful, whirlwind life! We are still busy bees, healthy and happy. My advice for marriage is to make sure to balance and nurture your relationship and family. Love is the key. Enjoy each other, and make sure you pick someone you love sharing time with and having fun with. Then, enjoy the journey!

Tammy Hampton

Spring Branch Sports Spotlight


he year 1996 was a difficult one for me. I was at a crossroads in my life. I was stuck at a dead-end job, ending a long relationship and just not really happy in general. Something was missing. I needed a change. I decided to move to Seattle and start a fresh life there. I packed my car and hit the road. I had plenty of time to think about life, and I decided that I needed to go back to Houston and concentrate on my future. I needed a fiveyear plan. I was hired at a realty company in Downtown Houston, and things started looking up. I was making new friends and moving right along with my career. One day, our sister company needed help in their accounting department, so I was sent over. I arrived after lunch to get started and knocked on the door. The next thing I said was, “There you are!” Everything I was wait-


ing for was standing right in front of me. It was crystal clear. This was exactly where I was supposed to be at that exact moment. In just three short weeks, Ken and I were dating exclusively. Five Ken and Tammy months later, we were Hampton engaged, and five months after that, we were married. I have found my soul mate and could not imagine my life without him.

FEBRUARY 2015 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelymemorial.com

BRAIN TEASER By Myles Mellor

Crossword by Myles Mellor

How Do You Spell

Suzanne Stiles










Memorial Mentions 10




16 19



15 18







32 35

14 17



Adam and Suzanne Stiles









40 43


39 42


45 46


dam and I met in the summer of 1993 before our junior year at Southern Methodist University (SMU). We both were attending the SMU-in-Taos Cultural Institute summer school program at Fort Burgwin to fulfill our science credits at SMU. At the time, I was dating someone else, but Adam quickly grabbed my interest and became my close friend. My mom often says that when she arrived to pick me up from summer school, she wished she had paid better attention to the cute blonde friend I introduced her to since he was later to be her son-in-law! Adam and I graduated from SMU in May 1995 and got engaged by the fountain in front of the steps of Dallas Hall on the SMU campus in June 1996. Seventeen years of marriage and three beautiful girls later, I am still thankful I headed to Taos to take geology!





51 52



Across 35 Cleopatra’s valentine? 12 1 “____ believing in just one 39 Long for 13 Across mind” Phil Collins (2 40 Date 15 words) Award one mind" Phil Collins17 1 "____ believing in41just 5 Rose holders 43 Sweet Valentine’s day gift 19 (2 words) 9 “I ___ you” Bob Dylan 45 MJ’s sweetheart, in film 10 Dream the future 47 Boldly 20 Rose holders 5 for (3 words) 49 Diamond or heart, e.g. 21 "I ___ you" Bob Dylan 14 Main9squeeze 50 Average name 22 16 Toni Morrison’s 52 “Casablanca” pianist 27 Dream for the future (3 words) 10Baby” “___ 53 Actress who plays 18 Girl’s name in Hawaii that Spiderman’s love squeeze 14 Main means “beautiful” 54 Coyly 29 19 “Come Me” 30 Toniwith Morrison's "___ Baby" 16 Away singer, first name Down thatbeau means "beautiful" 32 18 Girl's 21 Aragorn’s love in name “The in Hawaii 1 Katie’s Lord of the Rings” 2 Yellow ribbon location? Away with Me" singer, first name 19 "Come 23 Armand Hammer art (2 words) museum is here 3 Longoria of “Desperate Lord of the Rings" 36 21 Aragorn's love in "The 24 Ego’s pals Housewives” 37 25 Well-kept secret, for Hammer some 4art International 38 museum isBollywood here 23 Armand 26 “__ of a Woman” movie star (last name) 42 pals 28 For24 ever Ego's Valentine’s Day 5 Kilmer of “At First Sight” 43 gift 6 Any day now 44 secret, for some 25 Well-kept 31 Hospital show 7 Time for love messages 46 33 “What was ___ think?” (3 words) 48 26 "__ of a Woman" movie (2 words) 8 Celebs’ cute daughter 51 34 Haul 11 Day Cheyenne giftlocale 28 For ever Valentine's See answers on page 63. Hospital



Bering, e.g.: abbr. Romantic island Down “Bambi” character Boat races1 Katie's beau What an eskimo kisses 2 Yellow ribbon locat with Will Smith romance movie 3 Longoria Oakland baseball players of "Desper Lost fish 4 International Bollyw Film about racism and tolerance 5 - that won anof "At First S Kilmer Oscar in 2006 6 Any day now Juan starter Gotten to fall in love with, Time for love messa 7 words) in a way (2 Nicole Kidman’s 8 Celebs' cute daughte character’s lover in “Cold Mountain” 11 Cheyenne locale Keanu Reeves role Bering, e.g.: abbr. Sherlock12 Holmes, for short To this day Take off13 Romantic island Celebration items? 15 "Bambi" character Gazed amorously Keats’ creations 17 Boat races Bottom line Hot 19 What an eskimo kiss

20 Will Smith romance

21 Oakland baseball pla 25

www.absolutelymemorial.com l FEBRUARY 2015

Coming March 2015


Special Advertising Section

Home Is Where the Heart Is • • • • • •

Banks Developers Financial Institutions Furniture Home Builders Home Improvements

• • • • • •

Texas Children’s Cancer Center Presents “An Evening with a Legend”

Insurance Interior Designers Landscape Architects Pool & Spa Services Real Estate Yard Maintenance

Mano DeAyala, David and David Light, Jr., Melissa DeAyala and Susan and Carolyn Light.

To Advertise: 281-690-4242 absolutelymemorial.com 26

FEBRUARY 2015 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelymemorial.com

When Texas Children’s Cancer Center began planning for the 10th anniversary of their major annual fundraiser, “An Evening with a Legend,” they were looking for two things to create a successful event: a strong group of honorary chairpersons and a big name as this year’s guest “legend.” They accomplished both, announcing that former President George W. Bush would be the official legend and that the Light family, consisting of Carolyn and David Light, along with their children Susan and David Light and Melissa and Mano DeAyala, would support the event as honorary chairs. The highlight of the sold-out evening, set for February 25th at the Hilton Americas, will be an insightful onstage discussion with President Bush conducted by CBS Host Bob Schieffer. The Light family has been patrons of Texas Children’s Hospital for more than 30 years. It wasn’t long after the hospital was founded in the 1950s that Carolyn began volunteering there as a provisional member of the Junior League. She was a go-to volunteer for Dr. Ralph Feigin, the

former physician-in-chief of Texas Children’s Hospital, since he arrived in 1977, and was a founding member of the Texas Children’s Cancer Center Advisory Board, serving until her son David assumed the role several years ago. Throughout their time as Texas Children’s donors and volunteers, Carolyn and David wanted to make sure their children understood the importance of philanthropy and the impact it can have on an institution and the people it serves. Today, both Light children and their spouses donate their time and resources to Texas Children’s. “David and Melissa spent several of their summer breaks at Texas Children’s with me as I volunteered, and they loved interacting with the patients,” said Carolyn. “Our whole family understands the impact Texas Children’s has on countless lives, and we want to give back so more children can have the opportunity for long, healthy lives.” The Light family will be among the invaluable Texas Children’s supporters celebrating the 10th anniversary of “An Evening with a Legend,” which has grown to be one of the most popular, most successful fundraising events in Houston. In just nine years, the event has raised over $45 million for Texas Children’s Cancer Center, thanks to distinguished names like Robert Duvall, Dr. Denton Cooley and the Apollo Astronauts. “The work we do is made possible by the generosity of those who donate to improve pediatric cancer outcomes,” said Dr. David Poplack, director of Texas Children’s Cancer Center. “We are so grateful to the Light family for their continued support of the hospital and this year’s Legends event.” Raising such a significant amount of money in a relatively short period of time speaks volumes to the awareness in the community that Texas Children’s Cancer Center is a leader in its field. As the largest pediatric cancer and blood disease center in the United States, Texas Children’s Cancer Center conducts more studies on cancer medicines in children than any other pediatric cancer program in the world. Visit www.texaschildrens. org/legends for more information on the event.

Love the body you’re in... Layton

Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Memorial Hermann Tower 929 Gessner, Ste. 2200 Houston, TX 77024



• Breast Augmentation,

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Lift & Reduction • Tummy Tuck • Face Lift • Liposuction • Arm & Body Lift • Skin Products, Laser, Ultherapy

Dr. Ernie Layton is a board certified plastic surgeon who operates a successful practice and medical spa in the Houston area. From initial consult to final result, his easy going personality makes patients comfortable, confident and secure.

Don’t miss work!

Saturday Morning Breast Augmentations

KALEIDOSCOPE studio of interior design

Your Neighborhood Interior Designers Call for a FREE Consultation

713-827-1282 Judy Buchanan

Christine Cook

Furniture • Window Treatments Upholstery • Bedding • Accessories Rugs • Lighting • Art

8558 Katy Fwy. • Ste. 119 Houston, Texas 77024 I-10 @ Bingle


www.absolutelymemorial.com l FEBRUARY 2015


S E E N on the Scene

Houston Baptist University’s Spirit of Excellence Gala Benefiting Student Scholarships

Janice & Bob McNair

Erik & Nancy Littlejohn

Hope Johnson, Madeline Collier & Jean Johnson

Diane & Stanley Williams

David & Karla Stutts

Bryce, Archie, Linda & Cary Dunham

Dora Cantu & James Smelley

Catherine Shoppa & Jordan Taylor

Where your pets are like our family!

• Affordable Rates • Excellent Customer Service • Small & Large Dog Day Care • Dog & Cat Boarding • We Support Area Thank you Dog Rescues for supporting a Veteran owned small business.

Come Tour Our Renovated Facilities. 9513 Yupondale • Houston, TX 77080 Located off IH-10 and Bunker Hill, just past Costco and HEB


713.464.9852 www.fritzkennel.com

FEBRUARY 2015 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelymemorial.com

Photos by Kim Coffman.

November 11, 2014 • The Hilton Houston Post Oak Hotel

Corbin Robertson & Robert Sloan

Eduardo Huerta, Kacie Wall, Hope Johnson & Patrick Mulvey, Jr.

Scott & Soraya McClelland

Jaci & Jim Smith, Jr.

William & Sharon Morris

Linda Davis & Bruce Williams

Lisa & Jerry Simon

Sherry & Jim Smith

Rachel & John Rosson

Rebecca Hove & Joanie Haley

Treatment in Half the Time! Only Dual Sculpt in Memorial


Photos courtesy of Grant Stevens, MD, FACS




Second CoolSculpting® Session


First CoolSculpting® Session


Second CoolSculpting® Session Photos courtesy of Flor A. Mayoral, MD

NO DOWNTIME • NO NEEDLES • NO LASERS Photos courtesy of John B. Fasano, MD


Call Today



CoolSculpting® Session

14441 Memorial Drive, Suite 5 Houston, TX 77079 (Located between Kirkwood and Dairy Ashford)

www.skinscriptionsbymelissagibbens.com www.absolutelymemorial.com l FEBRUARY 2015


S E E N on the Scene

Magical Musical Morning: Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

Matt & Major Matthews

Carolyn & Sophia Mohsenzadeh

Tyler Shen with Santa

Sasha & Vivek Subbiah

Matthew Gonzalez with Santa

Ting Bresnahan & Audrey Cochran

Josh, Danielle & Coulson Batchelor with Mila Burrow & Beckett Batchelor

Marshall & Ava Wood with Santa




Paul S. Metz, DDS, MD • Shelley Seidel, DDS, MD John Orfanos, DDS, MD

Photo by Simon Gentry. Pictured is Brit Wallis.



We can help.

Tooth Extractions • Dental Implants • Computer Guided Implant Surgery Teeth in a Day • Bone Grafts • IV Sedation • Facial/Dental Trauma Repair Orthognathic/ Reconstructive Surgery • Oral Pathology

WWW.STEVEBERGES.COM Berges Investment Group 11757 Katy Freeway, Ste. 1300, Houston, TX 77079




8800 Katy Freeway, Ste. 210 • Houston, Texas 77024

FEBRUARY 2015 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelymemorial.com

Photos by Catchlight Group.

Benefiting the Houston Symphony’s Education and Community Programming • December 14, 2014 • River Oaks Country Club

Alex Neuhaus Viviana, Daniel, David, Jack & Charles Denechaud

Marshall & Nicholas Mosing with Santa

Betsy Garlington, Sybil Roos & Betty Tutor

Kim Lucas, Vicki West & Lilly Andress

Christina, Mark, Christopher, Andrew & Nicholas Hanson

Cynthia & Taliana Onstott with Frosty the Snowman

James & Kathleen Jennings

www.absolutelymemorial.com l FEBRUARY 2015


By Jennifer Espey

Communities In Schools: Building a Community of Support at Spring Branch Middle School


ommunities In Schools (CIS), the nation’s number one school dropout prevention program, has been serving the needs of Houston area/ Spring Branch ISD (SBISD) students for nearly 40 years. CIS boasts an impressive 94 percent graduation rate among students who stay with CIS all the way through school. SBISD is such a believer in CIS that at least one on-site CIS project manager is present on every Title I SBISD school campus. But what if your SBISD school isn’t classified as Title I? Case in point is Spring Branch Middle School (SBMS). SBMS has always been unique within the district with its diverse student population. It is not a Title I school. However, nearly 40 percent of its students attended SBISD Title I elementary schools, and many are considered atrisk for dropping out for a variety of reasons, including difficult financial situations, unstable home lives and language obstacles. So, imagine what it must have been like for these kids to enter a school with no CIS program available as a safety net. The need to fill this void of vital services did not go unrecognized. Four years ago, a collaborative partnership of SBMS parents, some of whom are former SBMS Bears themselves, along with Chapelwood United Methodist Church, local community and civic groups and SBISD and CIS Houston officials, got together to explore the possibilities of bringing CIS to SBMS. Everyone wanted to make it happen, but the catch was how to pay for it.


CIS Running Club members Bo Espey, Dominic Paredes, Marc Viera, Cristobal Gonzalez, Jason Munoz, Jonathan Jandres, Kimberley Franco, Mariana Fernandez and Roberto Aparicio at the 2014 Conoco Rodeo Run. Getting the word out was imperative. A fundraising breakfast was held, and a campaign was created to educate the SBMS community about CIS. Donations were made, and CIS was put in place at SBMS for the 2011-2012 school year. Flash forward four years, and the impact the program has had on the SBMS community has been overwhelmingly positive. Having CIS on campus allows teachers to teach and the school counselors to focus on the academic needs of SBMS students. Nelda Zuniga, the CIS on-site project manager at SBMS, serves as an important liaison between teachers and parents. Many parents do not speak English, so Zuniga keeps the lines of communication open, which before CIS, would have been closed or hampered due to language barriers. Zuniga’s job isn’t easy. She currently has 60 students on caseload, those recognized as being most at-risk for dropping out, but her enthusiasm and focus have been instrumental in building the program. In addition to her caseload, hundreds of students are benefiting from the after-school tutoring sessions Zuniga has implemented. She has partnered Nelda Zuniga with parents, men-

FEBRUARY 2015 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelymemorial.com

tors, SBMS students and the Memorial Mustangs Outreach Bunch (MMOB) to come in and help students with a variety of subjects. Zuniga has also brought in girls’ and boys’ groups to work with the kids, started a chess club and regularly organizes educational field trips, such as visits to local college campuses and attending student tech conferences. The SBMS community has embraced the program as well. Many students are now study buddies with CIS students, and a variety of healthy lifestyle groups meet during the week, including soccer, basketball, running and yoga. SBMS Girl Scout troops lead book clubs, summer camps and outings with their fellow Bears. Additionally, CIS is actively involved with school-wide events, such as the recent Thanksgiving food drive, where over 100 turkeys and food items were donated and given to SBMS families in need, plus the cafeteria and custodial staff. Creating a community of support is what the CIS program at SBMS is all about. It’s referred to as “Bears for Bears.” By helping to remove the obstacles that stand in the way of staying in school and respecting and looking out for one another, CIS at SBMS believes all Bears will stay on track to graduate and be successful in life. To find out more about the unique story of CIS at SBMS, visit bears4bears.org or contact cisatsbms@gmail.com.


With Dr. Kasia Lindhorst

Caring for women with pelvic floor disorders...

Urogynecology Center at

Memorial Hermann

Dr. Kasia Lindhorst

Memorial City

Dos and Don’ts of Preparing Your Kids for Dental Visits Parents are our greatest allies in treatment of their children and in making first visits successful and easy. However, they could also sabotage those visits accidentally by trying too hard to prepare the kids with too much information. Here is what we recommend in order to make that visit successful!


Read kids friendly books about visiting the dentist. Make the visit exciting, and connect it with something else they might be looking forward to. Most pediatric dentists will let you come in for the first visit to just walk around the office, play in the reception area, visit for fun and to meet the team. If your little one is particularly anxious, you can split the first visit into small steps. At Smiles For Kids, we often do one procedure at a time to earn kids’ trust.


Do not use the dentist as a punishment or threat for other actions. Do not take them to an adult dentist for your own cleaning as adult cleanings are often longer, use “scary” instruments and sometimes draw some blood. Do not share any of your own fears of the dentist with the kids or tell them how terrible it was “when I was a child…” You want to make their expectations positive and exciting to lead them to success.

Apurva B. Pancholy, MD

Dr. Apurva B. Pancholy

Common conditions treated:


Loss of bladder or bowel control Pelvic organ prolapse Emptying problems Sexual dysfunction Painful bladder problems

is fellowship-trained and board certified in Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery (FPMRS) and Obstetrics & Gynecology. Urogynecology combines expertise in urology and gynecology to provide women with a holistic approach and comprehensive care for conditions that cause pelvic pain and often limit activity.

Dr. Pancholy and his compassionate staff will allay your fears and educate you about the latest technology in testing and treatments so you can get back to living your life. Services include:


Urogynecology Center 929 Gessner, Ste 1300 Houston, TX 77024 Garage 5

Multichannel Urodynamic Testing Cystoscopy Pessaries Pelvic floor physical therapy Sacral and peripheral nerve stimulation Botulinum toxin bladder injections Interstitial cystitis therapy Surgery for pelvic organ prolapse Surgery for bladder or bowel incontinence

Conveniently located in the Medical Tower Memorial Hermann Memorial City

Appointments and Information:


1-888-4UT-DOCS | www.UTPhysicians.com


Cypress 8800 Katy Fwy., Ste. 220 Houston, Texas 77024 713.461.1509 www.smiles-for-kids.com

Todd J. Swick, M.D., P.A.




www.sleepandneurology.com www.absolutelymemorial.com l FEBRUARY 2015




Cousins Cooper Berg and Carter Masraff enjoyed a day at the ranch.


MEMORIAL absolutely! Memorial Magazine was honored to be a sponsor of the 2014 Theta Charity Antiques Show, which was recognized as one of the top three in the nation. Since its inception in 1952, the Theta Charity Antique Show has raised over $6.5 million to medical research, cultural arts education endeavors in the Houston Area.

Former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent, creator of the Bureau’s Art Crime Team and author Robert Wittman. American historian and author William Seale.

Jana Philips and Cornelia Guest.


Barbara Pierce Bush, Lisa Schwartz and Jenna Bush Hager.

FEBRUARY 2015 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelymemorial.com

Cancer Fighters of Houston held their Silver Tea this past December with over 100 people in attendance! Enjoying the event were Pat and Suzie Wilkes with Mary and Ron Florence.

The Christmas Eve service at Chapelwood United Methodist Church had a nativity scene where Joseph was played by Travis Booth, Lily Johnson and Patricia Lynn were angels, Kimberley Perez was Mary, Jordyn Lewis played baby Jesus and Cole Johnson was a king.

Jeff and Jacob Jones made a winning father-son hunting team! Three new Eagle Scouts from Boy Scout Troop #641 were recently honored at their Eagle ceremony. Congratulations to Mason Walker, Benjamin Crawford, Jr. and Christopher Stewart! www.absolutelymemorial.com l FEBRUARY 2015


Jan Glenn’s Pawsitively Purrfect

Love Is a Many Splendored Thing


have always loved animals. They were everywhere on our farm, and they all seemed to get along with each other. Horses, cattle, pigs, chickens, rabbits and an occasional skunk or raccoon were the norm. I loved all living creatures except for the rattlesnakes, which showed up without warning. Mother always hollered, “Be careful, and watch out for snakes! Remember, they come in twos!” I talk a lot about animals, but I also talk to them…or with them. They might not understand the lingo, but they understand the tone of a voice. They know the difference between angry yells and love chats. Speaking of chatting, conversations about pets can always break the ice at parties. It is almost the same as talking about grandchildren. At a party, ask someone if they have a pet, and watch out. If they do, the “yap yap” door will open, and you have a new best friend. Animal people are crazy about their Fido and Garfield, and most have pictures to share.

Ms. Samantha enjoying her afternoon nap. The bond between children and their pets has become a classic cliché around the world – a boy and his dog or a girl and her horse. Pictures of animals with children riding their dogs or sleeping with their cats are all over the Internet.


Tammy Whynot watching The Texans, her favorite team. Notice how children talk to their pets and not down to them. That is because they haven’t learned to treat an animal as anything other than an intelligent, living being. Some famous folks in show biz are known for their compassion for fourlegged pals, and they don’t mind sharing their time and energy to help animals. Mention animal enthusiast, and Doris Day pops up at the same time. She has the Doris Day Pet Foundation and pours a lot of heart and money into it. Betty White has served in leadership positions in multiple animal organizations. For 40 years, she has urged animal lovers to support the Morris Animal Foundation, which helps fund medical and health research for animals. Bob Barker, former host of The Price is Right, always spread the good word for animal welfare during his time on the show. He closed each show with a plea to viewers to spay and neuter their pets. Ellen DeGeneres has launched a Facebook game called Joy Kingdom where players can choose to donate earned currency to their favorite animal charities. Mary Tyler Moore supports ani-

FEBRUARY 2015 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelymemorial.com

mal causes and went to Washington to testify at a congressional hearing against steel leg traps. Jimmy Stewart almost brought Johnny Carson to tears on The Tonight Show when he read a poem he wrote about the death of his dog. It was a love poem and tribute to his best canine friend. Hillary Swank, a two-time Oscar winner, was executive producer and co-host of The Great American Dog-a-Thon. Her pet mantra is a simple one: “Animals just make my life richer, and it wouldn’t be the same without my dogs.” Oprah Winfrey is the ideal foster mommy. All of her pets are fed by a chef and have their own nanny. Winfrey will leave $30 million in trust for them when she dies to make sure they are taken care of. Whoa! Locally, there are many personalities who love their animals and use their clout to help raise money for animal causes, including Channel 11’s Mario Gomez, Channel 2’s Frank Billingsley, Channel 13’s Casey Curry and Rob Landes. Doris Day said, “Pets are here to teach us what love is all about. I have never found in a human being loyalty that compares to that of a pet.” As a baby boomer, I realize that there are fewer years ahead of me than behind, but one thing is certain. My love for animals will be a part of those years! They are not my whole life, but they make my life whole.

The Alexander Kitty Kats.

D&S Antiques & Collectibles Mall •in Historical Downtown Rosenberg•

Enjoy The Sights & Sounds While You Shop Around!

D&S Refinishing & Restoration • Caning • Weaving • Some Reupholstery • Complete Repair and Refinishing Shop • Sewing Machine Repair • Scissor Sharpening Full Line of Howard Wood Care Products Like Us or Follow Us

Wed-Sat 10-5 Sun 12-5 • 801 2nd Street 281-232-0035 or 832-595-9600 Come shop with us, then explore Historic Downtown’s 3 restaurants and 12 other antique & boutique shops.

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Spring Forest Middle School (SFMS), with the help of Principal Dr. Kaye Williams, recently dedicated its newly installed SPARK Park. In just under 18 months, the school has been transformed into a vibrant, colorful and warm campus. As expressed best by a student, “The outside now looks like the inside makes me feel.” In attendance at the dedication were County Attorney Vince Ryan, City Councilman Jack Christie, Spring Branch ISD (SBISD) Associate Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Blaine and SPARK Executive Director Kathleen Ownby, as well as parents, community and SPARK board members and SBISD representatives. Dr. Williams accepted an American flag presented by Emily Taylor from U.S. Representative John Culberson’s office, a Texas flag presented by Wendi Lojo from State Senator Dan Patrick’s office and a certificate of recognition presented by Deanna Harrington from State Representative Jim Murphy’s office. Highlights of the new SPARK Park include native Texas landscaping, benches and gathering areas for kids and families, a multi-use sport court for exercise and play, signage and maps, as well as beautiful public art-

Spring Forest Middle School Dedicates SPARK Park along with kids from the SFMS after school program, painted two bobcat sculptures. The SPARK Park is a welcoming space for the whole community to enjoy, and those involved couldn’t be more proud of the way it turned out. For more information about the SPARK School Park Program, visit www.sparkpark.org. A painting of the school’s mascot.

work that is most definitely the star of this project that brought together students, parents, faculty and community. Artist Rose Toro created the mosaic work and, with the help of SPARK cochairs Jennifer Bradshaw and Alison White, engaged the students to help. Amazingly, every student in the school had an opportunity to piece together either a flag on the diversity wall of 190 flags from around the world, one of the many giant sports balls at the north entrance facing the fields or a letter for a positive affirmation word. The school also enlisted two former students, who now attend Stratford High School, to create artwork. Andrew Ford painted a welcoming bobcat – the school’s mascot – for the north entrance, and Maddie Harms,

The SPARK Park giving tree.

Dr. Carin Domann

Dr. Angela Orfanos

There’s nothing sweeter than a beautiful smile.

Happy Valentine’s Day! Call today for a complimentary exam.



788 West Sam Houston Pkwy. North, Ste. 201, Houston, TX 77024


FEBRUARY 2015 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelymemorial.com



Purcell Law Firm: A Memorial Area Hidden Jewel

Nancy Lerner and Linda Elliott, Owners

Proud Supporter of the Zina G arrison ACADEMY

Auto Repair & Maintenance State Inspections H Air Conditioning Alignment H Tires H Computer Diagnostics N



lD rive


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N. Eldridge Pkwy.

For more than 28 years, Tim Purcell has been a respected name for lawsuits involving serious injuries and wrongful death, as well as insurance and business disputes. Purcell has tried scores of cases to jury verdict and settled hundreds more short of trial. Many of these resulted in seven figure recoveries for his clients. He has successfully prosecuted appeals before the Texas Supreme Court. A native Houstonian, Purcell graduated from Memorial High School in 1978. He obtained his undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University with honors and his law degree from the University of Houston in 1985. After practicing with a large Houston firm for many years, Purcell opened his own law practice in 2001, the same year he was elected by his peers as Chair of the Houston Bar Association Litigation Section. Purcell has been board certified in Personal Injury Trial Law continuously since 1992. Less than 10 percent of all Texas attorneys are board certified in any specialty, and less than two percent are board certified in Personal Injury Trial Law. Purcell was also elected to membership in The American Board of Trial Advocates, an honor bestowed on only a small, select group of accomplished trial attorneys. Purcell has been married to his wife, Hilary, for 25 years, and they have three children. He believes in client relationships built on trust, integrity and total dedication to his client’s cause. The nation’s leading legal directory awarded Purcell its highest rating for legal ability and ethics. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured, contact Purcell, an experienced trial attorney with proven results. As always, the initial consultation is free. Visit www.PurcellLaw.com or call 713-465-8888 for more information.

“We Build Kids’ Self Esteem” West Houston’s Oldest & Most Experienced Karate & Martial Arts School

46 Years

Personable & Safe Instruction Back row: Ms. April Cunningham 9th Black, Zoe Hetman, Michael Brumme, Bradley Koecurek and Luis Garcia, 7th Black. 2nd Row: Michael Chen, Jasmine Casarez, David Casarez, Leo Tran, Nate Carpenter, Jake Hetman and Lea Tran. 3rd Row: Pablo Chapellin, Dylan Sedlar, Bennett Martin, Carter Keene, Riley Wells and Winston Ooi. 4th Row: Katrina Hartman, Conner Thorsen, Jasper Hartman, Lea Tran, Annie Jones, Sarah Tesarek, Si Ooi and Alejandro Aponte.

10321 Katy Freeway

Jason’s Deli strip center Between Beltway 8 and Gessner, Off I-10

713-464-7937 • www.houstonkarate.com www.absolutelymemorial.com l FEBRUARY 2015


FREE SUBSCRIPTION www.absolutelymemorial.com

Coming in June

Real Weddings Remember the day you said “I do” like it was yesterday.


Spring Branch Education Foundation Hosts Third Annual Sporting Clay Tournament

12 Issues a Year Delivered Free absolutely! Memorial Magazine wants to provide readers with the best community feature magazine possible. We want to focus on our READERS and mail exclusively to residents who invite us into their home. Requests are FREE to all Memorial and Galleria addresses*.

Co-chairs Kirk Guilanshah, Pat Zadow and David Pruitt.

* Annual paid subscription required outside Memorial and Galleria areas. Call 281-690-4242.

Got Tickets? Join us on Facebook Facebook.com/Absolutely Memorial

“Like” Us Today!

Win ticket giveaways to area attractions and events!

Have your wedding details and photos published in print and online in our magazine! If you or your children have recently married and you would like to enter for a chance to be featured in our Real Weddings, all you need is at least ten high-resolution photos of the ceremony and/or reception. It doesn’t matter where the wedding took place, as long as it was in the last year and you or your parent(s) reside in the Memorial area. Photographers are also welcome to submit photos – all absolutely free!


www.absolutelymemorial.com 40

FEBRUARY 2015 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelymemorial.com

Spring Branch Education Foundation (SBEF) is gearing up for its third annual Sporting Clay Tournament. The event, a favorite for Memorial residents, raises funds for grants and scholarships for Spring Branch ISD (SBISD) students. The tournament is Thursday, February 19th at American Shooting Centers, located at 16500 Westheimer Parkway, and is chaired by Kirk Guilanshah of Memorial Hermann, David Pruitt and Pat Zadow. “Not only will participants have the opportunity to enjoy an exciting tournament, they will be contributing toward a good cause,” Guilanshah said. “The Foundation does an outstanding job of providing valuable programs to enhance the education of every student on every SBISD campus.” Novice shooter or expert, there’s a place for everyone at this tournament. Registration, lunch and games begin at 11 am, followed by a safety briefing at 12:30 pm. The 1 pm shoot concludes with a raffle and awards ceremony. Registration begins at $250 for individual shooters; team sponsorship is $880 for four shooters. To register, visit sbef. ejoinme.org/sportingclay or download a brochure at www.springbranchisd. com/SBEF/sportingclay. Call 713-2512381 for more information.

LAW OFFICES OF JOHN VONG, PLLC • Personal Injury (Auto & Truck Accidents, Wrongful Death) • Business (Entity Formation, Contracts) • Commercial Litigation • Divorce & Custody • Criminal Defense • Wills & Power of Attorney

John H. Vong Managing Attorney

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Keith W.T. Edwards Associate Attorney

WWW.VONGLAWFIRM.COM Two Office Locations 2900 Woodridge Drive, Suite 307 Houston, Texas 77087 (Inside Chase Bank building)

9950 Westpark Drive, Suite 304 Houston, Texas 77063 (Westchase District Close to BW 8 & Memorial)

Kevin Q. Phan Associate Attorney

Brad Jennings, DDS, MDS

(281) 497-7920

2014 2013 Texas Texas Monthly Monthly Super Dentist Dentist


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Memorial Drive Donation and Community Garden Natural Cafe & Health Food Store

Dine-In or Take-Out • NEW Fresh Juicing Menu • Vitamins & Supplements • Bulk Herbs & Teas • Natural Body Care • Knowledgeable Staff Serving Houston Since 1971 9341 Katy Fwy @ Echo Ln. (I-10 Exit 759/759A)

713-365-0368 Open Mon. thru Sat. 9 am - 9 pm


The Memorial Drive Donation and Community Garden began in 2014 to provide organic produce for local food banks. After two successful harvests, a third bed was added to increase the varieties of plants grown for the winter season. This year, the organization invites the Memorial community to grow their own organic produce in the garden beginning with spring planting. In the coming months, beds will be added for interested parties on a first-come basis. Come grow with the Memorial Drive Donation and Community Garden! For more information or to sign up, visit www.mdlc.org or call 713-468-9443.

Remodeling and Construction

Refresh your space for the new year!

Making Days


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Additions Custom Bath and Kitchen Remodeling Flooring Painting Outdoor Kitchens

Request your free estimate today! Contact us at: (713) 205-7134 or (832) 248-5899

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hen you need in-home assistance, you can trust us! We provide compassionate and caring services all day, every day. Our services include: light housekeeping, personal care, medication reminders, transportation, shopping, errands and more!

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Call today to learn about our New Year specials!


Top Ten Tips for Post Divorce Survival:

How to Create the Life You’ve Imagined By Nancy L. Rommelmann, Family Law Attorney Divorce is a significant milestone in a person’s life, and that is no doubt an understatement. How does one navigate through the uncharted waters of life after divorce? Allow yourself to create and embrace a brighter, happier life…the life that you’ve imagined!


Re-energize your job skills/career. Take courses if need be to sharpen your existing skills. Do what you have a strong interest in, or even better, a job that you have a passion for!


Think “outside of the box” when considering new relationships, friendships and neighborhoods to move to. Reinvent yourself! Try something new. Make certain the “new” is emotionally healthy for you…not destructive.


1811 Bering Drive, Suite 250 Houston, TX 77057 713-714-8500



Become an obsessive accountant of your personal finances. Know where every penny goes. There is a lot of online information and free financial counseling available through a multitude of companies to help you with your finances and financial planning for your future.


Lean on those you trust. Make time to maintain your most important family relationships and friendships.



Don’t hold a perpetual “pity party” for yourself. Allow yourself to feel your emotions, but then move on quickly from the negative ones.


You are your children’s most important role model. Be mindful of this in all that you do or say, particularly to your ex-spouse in the presence of your children.


Try new hobbies, go back to school or volunteer for a charity you are interested in. Actively seek to broaden your world and experiences. Reevaluate how you spend your time, and seek activities that give you joy and a sense of satisfaction. Don’t allow past routine to restrain you.


Maintain certain traditions for the sake of the children, but also purposefully create new ones.

9 10

Attend worship services regularly – even if you feel like God isn’t being fair. Take care of your body. Eat properly and exercise regularly.

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new.” – Socrates

Investment products and services are offered through Wells Fargo Advisors Network, LLC (WFAFN), Member SIPC. J.D. Joyce Investment Management Group, LLC is a separate entity from WFAFN.


• Divorce Planning • Divorce (Contested or Uncontested) • Child Custody • Child Support • Complex Property Division • High Net Worth Divorce • Parental Relocations • Post Divorce Modifications • Paternity and Parental Rights • Visitation Rights • Grandparent’s Rights • Pre- and Post- Martial Agreements • Adoptions • Collaborative Law • Alternative Dispute Resolution (mediation and arbitration)

Nancy Rommelmann is regularly consulted by local media for her on-air analysis about family law.

Straight Answers • Strategic Thinking Compassionate • Experienced

Nancy L. Rommelmann Family Law Attorney

Memorial City Plaza – Tower Two 820 Gessner, Suite 1630, Houston, TX 77024 (across from Memorial City Mall)

ph 713-622-3000 www.attorneynancyrommelmann.com Call us today for a consultation! www.absolutelymemorial.com l FEBRUARY 2015


EVENTS By Stephanie Valtasaros

February 6th and 7th

February 6th – February 15th

The Society for the Performing Arts presents a musical telling the true story of Buddy Holly’s meteoric rise to fame from that moment in 1957 when That’ll Be the Day hit the airwaves until the day the music died less than two years later. Armed with a Fender Stratocaster guitar, his signature specs and a charismatic blend of rockabilly swagger, Buddy explodes onto the stage in a jukebox musical fully loaded with classics. The performance will be held at Jones Hall, located at 615 Louisiana Street. For tickets, visit spahouston.org or call 713-227-4772

Watch your favorite Marvel Super Heroes come to life in an action-packed arena extravaganza. Produced by Feld Entertainment, Marvel Universe LIVE! will perform at NRG Stadium, located on Reliant Parkway. The show is hailed as the most technically advanced live show ever, with cuttingedge special effects, pyrotechnics, aerial stunts, martial arts, motorcycles and more. For tickets, call 832-667-1400 or visit www.marveluniverselive.com.

The Buddy Holly Story

Marvel Universe LIVE!

February 22nd, 3 pm Rob Landes in Concert

Pianist Rob Landes will perform “Music You Love.” His broad following will fill the seats, so come early. Tickets are $10 at the door, and proceeds will benefit the Restorative Justice Ministry of Memorial Drive United Methodist Church (MDUMC). The concert will be at MDUMC’s Wesley Hall, located at 12955 Memorial Drive. For more information, call 713-468-8356 or e-mail mdumc@mdumc.org.

February 26th

Houston Ballet Presents Romeo and Juliet It’s been 28 years since Houston Ballet staged a new production of the well-known love story. Set to Prokofiev’s breathtaking score, Welch’s classic production weaves the poignant tale of the star-crossed pair exquisitely. With lavish sets and costumes by acclaimed Italian designer Roberta Guidi di Bagno, the production pays tribute to Renaissance Italy. The theme is classic, and the choreography is fresh. Visit www.houstonballet.org for more information, tickets and additional show dates.


E-mail lara@absolutelymemorial.com. Include the event date, time, location and a short description of the event.

A gift sure to sweeten their day.

Treat your loved ones this Valentine’s Day.

FREE Bundtlet with purchase of a bundtlet

Houston Uptown

5000 Westheimer Road, Ste. 108 (713) 552-9100 Expires 2/28/15. Limit one offer per guest. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Redeemable only at the bakery listed. Must be claimed instore during normal business hours. No cash value.


FEBRUARY 2015 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelymemorial.com

Timothy M. Purcell Board Certified Attorney at Law Medical Malpractice Legal Malpractice Dangerous Rx Drugs & Medical Devices Serious Personal Injuries & Wrongful Death Insurance Claim Denials Business Disputes • 28 Years Litigation Experience • American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) • Past Chair of HBA Litigation Section • Highest Rating for Legal Ability & Ethics • Vanderbilt University with Honors & University of Houston Law

Call for a free consultation


Patriot Bank Building 7500 San Felipe (at Voss), Ste. 600 Houston, Texas 77063


Partners in Health Pediatrics Dedicated to the Health of Children and Youth

Care we provide includes: Well child visits from birth to 18 years of age Sick visits Routine childhood and youth immunizations

We accept all types of health insurance plans including Medicaid.

School / sports physicals

Walk-ins are welcome.

ADHD consultation and much more

Call us to schedule an appointment today.

Sonober Umair, MD, FAAP


Diplomate American Board of Pediatrics

Dr. Umair is fluent in Spanish, Hindi and Urdu languages as well. Come and experience our personalized care for your child.

902 Frostwood Dr., Suite 179 Houston, TX 77024 (Medical Plaza One)

Fax: 713-255-0404


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By Lara Bell

absolutely! HEALTHY LIVING

FITNESS Motivation T

hey say February is the busiest time of the year for gyms, weight loss products and trainers. Many people start off the new year with strong intensions of weight loss and fitness but blow their New Year’s fitness resolutions by the third week of January. Check out these cool gadgets and gear to keep you motivated through spring break!

techGLAM Many fitness gurus received a Fitbit for the holidays, but some are reluctant to use it due to the limited looks of the rubber bands. The Etsy company techGLAM combines designer Joann Mantovani’s passions and being inspired by all of the colors, images, people and places that surround her every day. The Bohemian style leather wrap bracelets are made of genuine leather cord, as well as stone, czech glass, semi-precious and Swarovski beads in a variety of colors. Dress up your look with this beautiful piece instead of wearing the traditional rubber wrist band that seems to clash with dressy outfits. In addition to this bracelet, Mantovani has also designed pendants and bracelets that store the Fitbit Flex, Fitbit One and Fitbit Zip devices, as well as beaded sliders for Up Band by Jawbone. Visit www.techGLAM. net to see the full collection.


Power Shower Refreshing Wipes Who doesn’t love feeling clean? When you’ve got to squeeze a run into the middle of the afternoon, these portable wipes can help make it so you’re not grody for the second half of the day. Ideal for a quick refresh after a group run, they are safe to use on the entire body and perfect to carry to the gym or keep in your car. Now, go break a sweat! Find them at www.nathansports.com.

FEBRUARY 2015 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelymemorial.com

Glass Water Bottle with Built-in Fruit Infuser

HAPIfork Eating too fast leads to poor digestion and poor weight control. The HAPIfork is an electronic fork that helps monitor and track your eating habits, as well as coach you into healthier eating habits. Pair the tool with your smart phone or tablet over Bluetooth to see your eating stats, such as how long it took to eat your meal, the amount of fork servings taken per minute and intervals between fork servings. Then, upload your eating data for analysis and coaching on an online dashboard. For more information, visit www.hapi.com.

One of the best ways to stay healthy and flush toxins is to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Motivate yourself to consume more water by adding a splash of freshness with this handy water bottle that boasts a built-in flavor infuser. Simply add fresh fruit or your ingredients of choice to the infuser for a dose of fun flavor throughout the day. Find a variety of fun colors at www.adnart.com.

PortionMate™ Monogrammed Yoga Mats Are you looking to improve your core strength, posture, balance and flexibility by taking up yoga this year? Don’t forget to acquire a cute mat first! These high-quality foam mats designed by Sassy Southern Gals Boutique are perfect for yoga, Pilates or meditating. They offer superb grip, amazing durability and premium graphic designs that are printed directly onto the mat. Visit www. sassysoutherngals.com to choose a pattern, color, monogram style and more.

PortionMate is a set of six color-coded cylinders with volumes from largest diameter to smallest diameter: green is one cup, yellow is 3/4 cup, orange is 1/2 cup, blue is 1/3 cup, red is three ounces and purple is one ounce. The purpose of these products is to help you lose weight and stay on track with portion control as you measure foods directly into your plate or bowl. Brilliant! These measuring tools work with any diet plan. Each set includes a detailed 64 page Nutrition and Meal Planning Guide, which contains carbohydrate and calorie counts for over 500 whole foods. Visit www.portionmate.com for more information.

www.absolutelymemorial.com l FEBRUARY 2015


Mentions Memorial

Spring Branch Middle School moms Liz Rotan, Fiona Guinn, Helen Schmidt and Katie Nance hosted a beautiful holiday party at the home of Rotan to raise money for the upcoming school auction.

BY SUZANNE STILES suzanne@absolutelymemorial.com

Memorial High School freshmen Ellie Rotan, Kaylin Willet and Maddie Moudy prepared for the Freshman Garage Sale scheduled for February 18th through 21st at the corner of I-10 and Benignus Road at 10303 Katy Freeway in the Jason’s Deli parking lot. Happy shopping!

Bob, Victoria, Caroline, Trey and Boston Vaughan celebrated the New Year in South Beach Miami, Florida.

Meadowood Elementary School friends Collin McKnight, Duncan Fry, Mac Konitzer, Ellie Grizzell and Avery Cooper enjoyed some free time together on the playground.


FEBRUARY 2015 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelymemorial.com

Garrett Green, Brooke Kearns and Will Strock had a blast at the Bunker Hill Elementary first grade character day. Kakki, Renee and Emily Lange attended Houston Alumnae Club of Pi Beta Phi’s Holiday Tea.

Tracy Barkley-Ackerley and Jennifer Carmichael attended a general meeting of the Houston Alumnae Club of Pi Beta Phi.

Daniela Maarraoui as the Sugar Plum Fairy and Catherine Stiles as Clara performed in The Nutcracker with City Ballet of Houston and Margo Marshall School of Ballet.

Riley Smith helped make 2,200 sandwiches at Kids Meals, a meals-on-wheels program for hungry preschool-age children.

The Junior Varsity Tackle “Aggies” were the Tully Bowl Champions! The team had an undefeated season of 11-0. Pictured are Head Coach John Denson, Assistant Coaches Kevin Ferworn, Doug Schick, Drew Yoder and Jon Muska and players Judge Azios, Benjamin Brady, Chase Cole, Jerome Conkright, Diego Denson, Spencer Dunbar, Jason Ferworn, Josh Hyland, Mac Konitzer, Luke Lovoi, Harrison Mansfield, Truman Muska, Daniel Poteet, Dylan Schick, Ryan Smith, Charlie Williams and Anthony Yoder.

www.absolutelymemorial.com l FEBRUARY 2015


Mentions Memorial

Bunker Hill Elementary girls Cate Zenner, Adaire Cramer and Caroline Thomas enjoyed “snow much fun” at Lakeside Country Club.

Congratulations to the Terminators Soccer team on repeating as the 2014 Season Champions in the Spring Branch Memorial Sports Association (SBMSA) Senior Boys Division. On their way to winning the SBMSA Championship, the team finished the season and the playoffs undefeated! Pictured are coaches Allen Teague, Jim Kueser and Martin Buscher and players Raul Barralaga, Thomas Teague, Henry Zaleski, Javier Paredes, Alec Zavala-Corso, Thomas Neyland, Charles Buscher, Evan Quan, Jerry Wei, Roger Pineda, Alex Gomez, Colin Meyer and Jack Kueser.

Rummel Creek Elementary second grader Sarah Haywood attended an event at River Oaks Country Club.

Owen and Westy Bennett are proud of their Ole Miss Rebels this year!

Celebrating Canon’s 14th birthday at Pirates Beach were J.P. Graham, Andrew Plant, Preston Witt, Canon Culver, Hayden Allen, Tyler Ziegenbein, Reagan Mansfield, Kyle Schleinschok, Zamar Salas, Leah Mullins, Laura Powell, Taylor Krosby and Isa Moreno.


FEBRUARY 2015 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelymemorial.com

! y l e t u l o s b a Let our awards speak for us HERMES •

2014 Platinum Winner: Fort Bend Focus 100 Most Fascinating Things About Fort Bend

• 2014 Gold Winner: Fort Bend Focus First Annual Focus Favs • 2014 Honorable Mention: absolutely! Memorial Memorial’s Model Gardener Kelly Emberg • 2014 Honorable Mention: absolutely! Brazos Lunches of Love


2013 Platinum Winner: Fort Bend Focus 100 Most Fascinating Things About Fort Bend

• 2013 Gold Winner: Fort Bend Focus Fort Bend Focus Honors the 2012 Jewels of Fort Bend • 2013 Gold Winner: absolutely! focus media Marketing/Promo Campaign/Branding Refresh


2013 - 2014 Platinum Winner: absolutely! Brazos Media of the Year Award


www.absolutelyfocusmedia.com 281.690.4242

• Hermes Creative Awards is an international competition for creative professionals involved in the concept, writing and design of traditional materials and programs, and emerging technologies. • MarCom Awards is a creative competition for any individual or company involved in the concept, writing and design of print, visual, audio and web materials and programs. • Texana Center’s Media of the Year Award received at the organization’s 4th Annual Reaching for the Stars Awards Ceremony.


& QA

equipment on a teddy bear or learning a new deep-breathing exercise, it is clear that each child feels much more at ease with their treatments, procedures and surgeries. Keeping children informed about what is happening has a huge impact on their outcome. Even the ability to make small decisions themselves, such as choosing their flavor of anesthesia or which toy they want to conduct medical-play with, can make all the difference by giving children a sense of control.


Child Life Specialists at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus

Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus. Photo by A. Kramer.


First and foremost, our knowledge of child development and understanding of the effects of hospitalization on children are the best tools we have as Child Life Specialists to help children through their treatments. Many times, it is more fear of the unknown – not knowing or understanding what health complications they face, not knowing what types of treatments they will have to undergo, not knowing where Mom and Dad are through the whole process – that leads to a child’s unease. If we can help children have a better understanding of all of these things by explaining it in ways and words they grasp and allowing them the opportunity to ask questions, we find that children are more comfortable, more compliant and more confident with their health care. A Child Life Specialist can assist your child during procedures by teaching breathing techniques and allowing children to make small decisions in the treatments they undergo. All specialists are trained in a number of distraction techniques to help children get through the treatments. Based on our developmental assessment, the child’s anxiety level/interest and previous experience, we may use iPad play, I SPY books, toys with lights or sound, bubbles, music, comfort touch or guided imagery. Visit westcampus.texaschildrens.org or call 832-227-1180 for more information about Child Life services at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus.

Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, located at I-10 and Barker Cypress, houses 19 subspecialty outpatient clinics, inpatient hospital services and the only 24/7 dedicated pediatric emergency center in the West Houston area.

EXPERT: Rachael Walker, Child Life Specialist at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus.



Child Life Specialists are known for their dedication to making a child’s trip to the hospital a friendlier one. Each specialist promotes coping in these stressful environments through play, preparation, education and self-exploration. Whether this means going step-by-step through a procedure with pretend

Texas Children’s West Campus’ third floor playroom. Photo by A. Kramer.


FEBRUARY 2015 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelymemorial.com


Spring Branch Education Foundation Announces Fall Grants This spring, Spring Branch ISD (SBISD) students will build robots, till gardens and master graphing calculators, thanks to grants from Spring Branch Education Foundation (SBEF). SBEF recently awarded $82,228 in grants to fund education enhancing projects throughout SBISD. Superintendent Duncan Klussmann referred to SBEF as the district’s “research and development arm.” Fall grants, district-wide: • SBISD Council of PTAs – Scholarships are underwritten for SBISD college-bound students. • Operation Graduation – A facilitator will guide students who are at risk of not graduating. • Early Childhood – Kindergarten teachers at Spring Shadows, Hollibrook and Edgewood Elementary Schools will receive additional instruction on early reading. Fall grants, SBISD campuses: • Bendwood Elementary – SPIRAL

students will build and program functional robots. • Hollibrook Elementary – Students will benefit from portable labs for handson science exploration. • Hunters Creek Elementary – Students will learn good citizenship as they maintain campus gardens and a schoolwide recycling program. • Landrum Middle and Northbrook Middle – Graphing calculators will help students master higher math reasoning tasks. • The Lion Lane School – Toddler siblings and parents will participate in a young reader program and receive books to begin a home library. • Memorial High – Language Arts III students will use iPads and apps for advance placement and college-level coursework. • The Panda Path School – Staff development for Pre-K teachers will focus on science activities involving water,

structures and young naturalist projects. • Pine Shadows Elementary – An action-based learning lab will support physical and academic growth for K-2 students. • Rummel Creek Elementary – iPads will be used in the music classroom to teach creative techniques. • Sherwood Elementary – The art classroom will receive a drying rack. • Spring Forest Middle – A multi-sensory lab will provide Life Skills students with stations and activities to help improve motor and social functioning. • Stratford High – Each student will receive an academic planner. • Westwood Elementary – Third graders will use Netbooks for research and project-based learning. To make a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation or for more information, visit http://springbranchisd.com/sbef or call 713-251-2381.


absolutely! focus media is currently accepting resumés for

Graphic Designer and

Account Executive For a detailed job description, and to submit your resumé, visit www.absolutelyfocusmedia.com www.absolutelymemorial.com l FEBRUARY 2015



Valentine’s Day For The



lthough Valentine’s Day may be geared toward adults, children are quite drawn to the celebration as well. Perhaps it’s the promise of candy or chocolate that gets their attention, but Valentine’s Day annually appeals to the younger set. Some couples opt to leave children in the capable hands of a babysitter come Valentine’s Day and enjoy the evening solo. But for those who want to include youngsters in their fun, they can explore the many enjoyable and clever crafts and other activities available.

Learning Games Valentine’s Day can be turned into a learning opportunity for children. One idea is to create an “Attracting Love” game that illustrates the power of magnets and the laws of attraction. Fill an empty glass jar with various items made into heart shapes. These can include small pieces of pipe cleaner, paper clips, paper and even aluminum foil hearts. Put the top on the jar and shake up the contents. Let children guess which items will be attracted to a magnet, then have them test their theory with a strong magnet rubbed on the outside of the jar. See which hearts are attracted to the magnet.

Other learning games can include matching or finding the differences between pictures, counting paper hearts or making recipes of modeling dough.

Dessert Fun Invite youngsters into the kitchen to try their hands at different recipes, making sure that they have a chance to sample their handiwork afterward. Faux chocolate truffles made with chocolate sandwich cookies can be a tasty treat for little hands. Start by mashing up some Oreo® cookies, then add them to a bowl with one 8-ounce package of cream cheese. Mix until everything is incorporated into a sticky batter. Truffles can be made into balls or heart shapes. For children celebrating winter fun, turn the truffles into edible snowmen. Dip the truffles into melted chocolate or colored candy melts to coat. Place on a wax paper-covered cookie sheet and refrigerate for an hour, or until the truffles are firm.

Children can have fun cutting out cupids, making coloring pages or doing just about any other Valentine-inspired craft, like making their own cards. Another craft idea is to write secret love notes with invisible ink. Lemon juice can be used as invisible ink. Have children write a message by dipping a cotton swab or their finger in lemon juice and then writing words on a white piece of paper. Once the papers have dried, an adult can reveal the message by placing the paper in front of a heat source, such as an iron or a light bulb. The message will magically appear and reveal those secret sentiments. Children can get crafty by making gifts for the special people in their lives. Combine the concept of valentines with the ambiance of a candle. For an even safer alternative, opt for an LED-flame candle instead of traditional candles. Kids can glue foam conversation hearts, sold at many craft stores, to the outside of the candle. Wrap the middle of the candle with ribbon, and they’ve just created an easy, heartfelt gift.

Kids’ Dinner Encourage the next generation of chefs to create culinary masterpieces, which they can then serve to family members or friends. Children can even prepare dinner as a token of appreciation to their parents. Plan recipes with kids in advance, but look for age-appropriate menu ideas, particularly those that will not require much use of the stovetop or other dangerous kitchen appliances. Kids can always do the prep work and then ask an adult to put the food into the oven for cooking. One easy idea is to create heart-shaped hamburger sliders and Valentine-colored mashed potatoes. Use red potatoes with the skin on to create the potato mash. The sliders can be shaped by hand or using a heart-shaped cookie cutter. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and presents many opportunities for children to share in the festivities. Source: metrocreativeconnection.com


FEBRUARY 2015 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelymemorial.com



things we



Dr. Shel’s Advanced 14 Day Detox Kit is a comprehensive, science-based nutritional program designed to support safe and effective detoxification. Everything you need is consolidated into daily packets to ensure that you don’t miss any necessary nutrients! Dr. Shel Wellness and Medical Spa, 1437 Highway 6, Suite 100 in Sugar Land. Call 281-313-7435; www.drshel.com.

Mention absolutely! Memorial and receive a Valentine's discount on a special product, BG Ethanol Fuel System Defender and Drier, that will keep the heart of your car running efficiently. Memorial Drive Tire & Auto, 14715 Memorial Drive. Call 281-497-0830; www.memorialdrivetireauto.com.

VALENTINE’S TREATS FOR PETS Locally owned and located at Lantern Lane Center, Natural Pawz is Memorial’s newest pet destination. Stop by with your pet and sample some favorite treats, or find a Valentine’s Day treat or toy. Natural Pawz, 12512 Memorial Drive in Houston. Call 832-428-4325; www.naturalpawz.com.

RIDE IN STYLE Give your sweetheart a hot new ride this Valentine’s Day from TexasDirectAuto.com. With thousands of vehicles in stock, you’re sure to find a ride that you will love! Texas Direct Auto, 12053 Southwest Freeway in Stafford. Call 281-499-8200; www.TexasDirectAuto.com.

A CUSTOM OUTDOOR LIVING SPACE Surprise your sweetheart, and give a gift that will add value to your home. Cuddle up in a new outdoor living space! Call Texas Custom Patios today. Texas Custom Patios. Call 281-265-1994; www.TexasCustomPatios.com.

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY FROM SUGAR LAND PLASTIC SURGERY Don’t know what to get your loved ones for Valentine’s Day? Avene Cold Cream Lip Cream is the perfect gift for soft, subtle kissing lips, in combination with the all-in-one day cream Journee, for a complete rejuvenated look. Purchase both in February and receive 10% off with a free makeup bag. Sugar Land Plastic Surgery. Call 281-980-8000; www.mybodysurgeon.com.

www.absolutelymemorial.com l FEBRUARY 2015


absolutely! DELICIOUS

Show Off Your

Sweet Side This Valentine’s Day T

reat family, friends

and co-workers to something they will all love this Valentine’s Day by making easy and impressive cookies. Start with your favorite rollout cookie recipe, or simply dress up store-bought ones by adding some simple details with icing. From the cupids at Wilton, here are three ways to leave them smitten with sweets this Valentine’s Day.

Stackable Ombre Heart Cookies Each stacked cookie serves 1.

Favorite Roll-out Cookie Recipe Heart Micro Mini Icing Decorations Royal Icing – Recipe on wilton.com Rose Icing Color • Prepare and roll out cookie dough following recipe directions. Use the three smallest cutters from four-piece heart nesting cookie cutter set to cut out shapes. Bake and cool cookies. • Divide royal icing into three equal portions, and tint three shades of rose. Thin a portion of each shade following recipe directions. Use tip three and full-strength tinted icing to outline cookies. Use thinned tinted icing in cut decorating bag to fill in cookies; gently tap to smooth icing. Let dry overnight. • Use icing to attach cookies, stacking largest to smallest; place icing decoration on top.

• Desserts with dimension. Triple your treats by stacking three decorated cookies in different sizes together and attach them with icing.

• Complement with color. A simple piping technique looks stunning when piped in different colors on your cookies.

• Get to gifting. Wrap your finished treats in a Valentine’s Day treat bag or box. For more fun and delicious Valentine’s Day recipes, baking tips and inspiration, visit www.wilton.com.

Source: Family Features


Scalloped Heart Cookies Each cookie serves 1.

Favorite Roll-out Cookie Recipe Ready-to-Use White Creamy Decorator Icing Icing Colors: Burgundy, Red-Red and Christmas Red • Prepare and roll out dough following recipe directions. Use largest cutter from the four-piece heart nesting cookie cutter set to cut out shape. Bake and cool cookies. • Divide icing into four equal portions. Tint one of each portion light burgundy, dark burgundy and combination of red-red/Christmas red. Reserve last portion white. • Starting from top edge of heart, use tip 102 and icing in dark burgundy, light burgundy, red and white to pipe V-shaped groups of two petals, one piped from left and one from right, to create row of petals in alternating colors. Repeat with second row between petals in first row. Continue to repeat pattern until cookies are covered.

FEBRUARY 2015 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelymemorial.com

Give her a gift she can use all year long...Grocery Delivery!

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Coming in our March Issue Special Advertising Section

Summer Fun Guide

Contemporary American Memorial & Kirkwood | 281.531.7550 14008 Memorial Drive, Suite F Houston, Texas 77079 www.urbankitchenhouston.com

Gorgeous Hill Country Home Site Waterfront Lot in Comal County Just 20 minutes from San Antonio and minutes from the Guadalupe River in Spring Branch, this 1.72 acre lot is your Hill Country dream come true! Amazing views on the hillside lot that features a meadow with waterfront along Spring Creek, The Crossing at Spring Creek, an acreage home site community, is the perfect place to build your Hill Country getaway. The community offers all underground utilities, paved, county maintained roads, plus a beautiful 10+ acre owners-only park with scenic hiking trails, a swimming pool and pavilion and a playground.


To advertise, call 281-690-4242.

For Sale By Owner

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inter is a great time to experiment with new culinary creations that incorporate the bold flavors of wine for delicious results. Nothing pleases the senses quite like a comfort food dish on a chilly evening. If you’re planning a menu for just you and your mate, a small group of close friends or a full-blown dinner party, stock up on great wine selections to complete the menu.

Winter & Wine

Classic Roast Chicken and La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay Fresh oregano, fragrant garlic and buttery Castelvetrano olives star in this traditional chicken dish, which pairs wonderfully with vibrant La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay. Just as in the Burgundy region of France, these vineyards offer an unusually long, cool growing season, so grapes develop complex flavors. The Sonoma Coast Chardonnay is beautifully aromatic, with an intriguing interplay of lively citrus and subtle toasted oak, laced with just a kiss of butterscotch.


Chicken Thighs with Potato, Lemon and Castelvetrano Olives Recipe created by Tracey Shepos on lacrema.com

Servings: 4 8 sprigs oregano, leaves picked (1/2 cup packed) 5 cloves garlic 2 lemons, one zested and one cut into eight wedges 2 teaspoons cumin 3 tablespoons olive oil

8 chicken thighs (1 1/2 pounds), bone in, skin on 2 large Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch circles 4 teaspoons kosher salt 1 cup Castelvetrano olives, pitted and drained

Preheat oven to 350°F. In food processor, combine oregano, garlic, lemon zest, cumin and two tablespoons oil. Process until chopped. Place mixture in large bowl and toss with chicken thighs. In 10 inch cast iron pan, layer one tablespoon oil and top with potatoes and sprinkle with two teaspoons salt. Place chicken thighs on top and sprinkle again with two teaspoons salt. Scatter lemon wedges in between chicken thighs. Place pan over medium heat, cook for five minutes or until edges start to brown. Immediately place pan on top rack in oven and bake for 10 minutes. Adjust oven temperature to 400°F and cook for another 25 minutes or until chicken is browned and internal temperature reaches 160°F. Scatter olives on top and serve.

FEBRUARY 2015 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelymemorial.com

Toasted S’mores and Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Pinot Noir

Smoky Chili and Murphy-Goode Homefront Red Just as a robust chili calls for a blend of signature ingredients, so does the perfect wine to complement it. The smoky flavors of seasoned steak cubes and dried chili pods will please the palate when united with Murphy-Goode Homefront Red – a blend of syrah, merlot, petite sirah and zinfandel. This wine is comfort food friendly and fruit forward. Plus, for every bottle sold, the winery donates 50 cents to Operation Homefront, a national non-profit that provides assistance to service members and their families.

Take the traditional fireside treat to a new, gooey level with homemade, wine-infused marshmallows served with a glass of Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Pinot Noir. Please your sweet tooth and palate with lively berry pie notes defined in wild strawberry and black cherry, with hints of vanilla and earthy aromas.

Chili with Pepato Cheese

Pinot Noir Marshmallows

Recipe created by Dirk Yeaton on murphygoodewinery.com

Servings: 10 – 12 6 Dried chili pods, seeds and stems removed Salt and pepper, to taste 1 1/2 pounds top round cut into cubes 1 1/2 pounds chuck steak cut into cubes 1 cup vegetable oil 1 Medium onion, chopped 3 Small cloves garlic, minced 1 1/2 ounces chili powder 1 tablespoon paprika 1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder 3 tablespoons cumin 2 cups beef broth 2 tablespoons oregano steeped 10 ounces stewed tomatoes in 1 cup of red wine 1/2 cup grated Pepato cheese 1 tablespoon cider vinegar

Recipe created by Molly Yeh on mynameisyeh.com

Servings: 16 1/4 cup powdered sugar 1/4 cup cornstarch 1/4 cup Kendall Jackson Grand Reserve Pinot Noir 1/2 cup water 2 packets unflavored gelatin powder 3/4 cup sugar 1/2 cup light corn syrup 1 pinch salt

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Toast dried chilies over medium heat for about two minutes. Add two cups of water and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain out chilies to cool, then chop and reserve. Season meat liberally with salt. Heat oil over high heat in a large, heavy bottom pot until it begins to smoke. Carefully place beef into pan and brown on all sides until moisture cooks out and light brown film forms on bottom of pan. Reduce heat to medium. Drain meat of oil and fat. Add onions and garlic, cooking until soft. Add chili powder, paprika and cumin. Cook until fragrant. Add reserved chopped chilies and rest of ingredients except for cheese and stir well with wooden spoon, scraping browned bits off bottom of pot. Reduce heat to low and simmer for one hour, occasionally stirring. To serve, place in bowl and sprinkle with grated cheese.

In a bowl, combine powdered sugar and cornstarch. Grease two loaf pans or one 8 or 9 inch square pan and dust with half of powdered sugar mixture. Pour out any excess mixture back into bowl. In bowl of stand mixer with whisk attachment, combine pinot noir and 1/4 cup water. Sprinkle gelatin over liquid. In small saucepan, combine remaining 1/4 cup of water, sugar, corn syrup and salt. Clip on candy thermometer. Heat mixture over medium heat until it reaches 240°F. Turn mixer on low and drizzle sugar mixture in slow and steady stream down side of bowl. Once entire mixture is in, increase speed to high and let it mix for 10–12 minutes, until lukewarm and fluffy. Using greased spatula, scrape mixture into pans and spread out evenly. Dust tops with remaining powdered sugar mixture and use hands to flatten mixture out completely. Set for one hour, cut into squares and dust squares with remaining powdered sugar mixture. Source: Family Features

www.absolutelymemorial.com l FEBRUARY 2015


absolutely! DELICIOUS

Embrace Childhood with Fun and Flavors of Winter Rocky Road Hot Chocolate Servings: 2 2 cups TruMoo Chocolate Marshmallow milk or TruMoo Chocolate milk


s a kid, the winter season was always a special time of year filled with iceskating, favorite movies and fun board games. Bringing back carefree moments from winters past can be as easy as gathering together family and friends for game night and sipping your favorite wintertime drink – hot chocolate. Nearly 70 percent of Americans agree that hot chocolate is the drink that most reminds them of their childhood, according to a new survey by Wakefield Research. This winter, while the weather is brisk, warm up by taking a flavorful walk down memory lane with these fun takes on the classic hot chocolate. The Rocky Road Hot Chocolate and Gingerbread Hot Chocolate are heartwarming treats that ward off winter chills and satisfy sweet, nostalgic cravings. The rich, velvety-smooth milk combines your favorite chocolate and marshmallow flavors into a drink that’s delicious when enjoyed cold and equally good when tried hot. For more recipe ideas, visit www.TruMoo.com.

1/4 cup coarsely broken graham crackers 2 teaspoons vanilla extract Chocolate chips, graham cracker pieces, mini marshmallows and toasted almonds for garnish • In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat chocolate marshmallow milk, graham crackers and vanilla until milk is hot. • Pour into mugs. Garnish with chocolate chips, graham crackers, toasted almonds and mini marshmallows if desired. • To heat in microwave, combine milk, graham crackers and vanilla in large glass measuring cup or bowl. Heat on high one minute or until warmed through. Garnish as above. Tip: For an extra toasty flavor, broil mini marshmallows until lightly browned before garnishing.

Gingerbread Hot Chocolate Servings: 2 2 cups TruMoo Chocolate Marshmallow milk or TruMoo Chocolate milk 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger Dash ground cloves, Cinnamon sticks and gingerbread cookies for garnish • In a small a saucepan over medium heat, heat chocolate marshmallow milk, cinnamon, ginger and cloves until just boiling. • Remove from heat. Garnish with cinnamon stick and favorite gingerbread cookies if desired. • To heat in microwave, combine above ingredients in glass measuring cup or bowl. Heat on high one minute or until warmed through. Garnish as above.

Source: Family Features


FEBRUARY 2015 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelymemorial.com

taste the MoDern siDe of Mexican cuisine new Pollo Mango Mole

Sip the finest margarita Savor fresh seafood, enchiladas and more with sauces from scratch Join us for drinks, dinner, lunch or Sunday brunch

11129 WestheiMer & Wilcrest houston, texas 713.952.3287 cantinalaredo.com

Join us for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Dinner February 14, 2015 three-course prix fixe menu with amuse-bouche du chef 90.00 per couple 45.00 per additional person

(tax and 20% gratuity not included)

complimentary valet parking reservations required call 281.501.4350 or visit www.024grille.com www.absolutelymemorial.com l FEBRUARY 2015




MASRAFF’S 1753 Post Oak Blvd. 77056 713-355-1975 www.masraffs.com

024 GRILLE 945 Gessner 77024 281-501-4350 Facebook.com/024Grille

Hands on proprietors, Russell and Tony Masraff, recognized premier Houston restaurateurs, offer affordable elegance, attentive yet unobtrusive service and exquisitely fresh American cuisine prepared with the best ingredients from around the world. Located in the heart of the Galleria, Masraff’s features the perfect ambience for business and social gatherings. Whether dining in one of the elegant dining rooms, stunning bar area with the elevated fireplace or The Patio on the Boulevard by the waterfall, Masraff’s impeccable service is sure to offer a dining experience to remember.

024 Grille combines the atmosphere of a local bistro and the classic tradition of a Texas steakhouse. This contemporary restaurant provides a full menu of locally-inspired foods for freshness and classic dishes with a twist. Complete with four intimate private dining rooms, a sophisticated wine list and a signature cocktail menu, 024 Grille is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.



THE WYNDEN 1025 South Post Oak Lane 77056 281-768-6070 www.thewynden.com

A MOVEABLE FEAST 9341 Katy Freeway 77024 713-365-0368 www.amoveablefeast.com

Masraff’s has long since been known for excellence and uncompromising quality, and this tradition continues with our event venue, The Wynden. Nestled in the center of the prestigious Galleria area, The Wynden features a picturesque courtyard along with a Tuscan setting for indoor events. Perfect for corporate or social, wedding or fundraiser, Masraff’s exquisite cuisine and impeccable service will ensure that your next event will be a memory made to last a lifetime.

Family owned since 1971, A Moveable Feast remains the gathering place for foodies of all tastes. The delicious food is prepared in a healthy way, using only the freshest ingredients. Enjoy seafood, Texas bison and grass-fed beef burgers, Tex-Mex, vegan entrées, hummus, fresh juices, many wheat-free choices and more, all served up counter-style in a funky atmosphere. Enjoy wine and cold beer on the patio surrounded by unique gardens. Good vibes abound in this unusual café inside a health food store.



URBAN KITCHEN 14008 Memorial Drive, Ste. F 77079 281-531-7550 www.urbankitchenhouston.com

KUU RESTAURANT 947 Gessner, Ste. A180 77024 713-461-1688 www.kuurestaurant.com

This casual yet classy neighborhood restaurant is tucked in a centric shopping center located at the corner of Memorial and Kirkwood, just blocks away from the Energy Corridor. Urban Kitchen features the perfect ambience for business and social gatherings. The terrace is surrounded with beautiful planters providing a perfect setting for those who enjoy the outdoors. Regardless if you visit during lunch, dinner or Sunday brunch, Urban Kitchen offers a dining experience to remember.

Situated in the new Memorial Gateway complex, Kuu Restaurant has now opened to bring upscale Japanese dining to West Houston. Executive chef Adison Lee, formerly of Nobu, has brought his talent and passion for Japanese fusion cuisine to the Memorial area. Focusing on artistry and complementary flavors, Kuu has a constantly changing menu featuring locally raised ingredients. With an extensive wine list and private dining area, Kuu is well equipped to handle any event.


FEBRUARY 2015 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelymemorial.com

Natural Café and Health Food Store


MEXICAN CANTINA LAREDO 11129 Westheimer 77042 713-952-3287 www.cantinalaredo.com Cantina Laredo specializes in authentic Mexican dishes in a sophisticated and upscale a t m o s p h e re . The entire lunch, dinner, Sunday Brunch and Cantina menus are all available for take-out, some delivery and catering. Selections such as Ensalada de Cilantro y Pollo, Cascabel Ribeye and Tacos al Carbon are divine, not to mention the Mexican apple pie that is served with a warm brandy butter and choice of cinnamon or vanilla ice cream.

Southwell ’s

Skip the line, ORDER ONLINE! www.fiveguys.com There are over 250,000 possible ways to order a burger at FIVE GUYS®. We use only fresh ground beef and peanut oil. There are no freezers in FIVE GUYS® locations, just coolers. Nothing is ever frozen.


9668 Westheimer #300,Houston, TX 77063 (Located in the Randalls shopping center)



Be amazed! Meet Magician

Joshua Jay

Hamburger Grill Buy one hamburger, fries and drink, get another hamburger for F R E E !

Monday, February 16th at 5 pm 281-497-8675

14532 Memorial Dr. @ Dairy Ashford Details at www.bluewillowbookshop.com


Answers to puzzle on page 25.







Limit 1 coupon per customer. Expires April 1, 2015 Limit 1 coupon per customer. Memorial Expires February 1, 2015Galleria

713-464-5268 9410 Gaylord TX 77024

713-789-4972 5860 San Felipe TX 77057

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Paper Money in the Republic of Texas


hen the new government of the Republic of Texas was organized, one of its first challenges was paying the military expenses and debts for the war the Texians had just fought with Mexico. On June 9, 1837, Congress authorized the first circulating paper money of Texas. It was called “Star Money” because of the prominent five-pointed star in the center of the bill. They were printed by Cruger & Moore in Houston and were designed only to be a temporary issue. To provide higher quality bills, the Texas government issued its first series of engraved notes in 1838. They were marked “Government of Texas” and featured several allegorical figures. These notes also listed the City of Houston as the location of the seat of government. The Government of Texas notes were printed in denominations of $1, $3, $5, $10, $20 and $50 by the private firm of Draper, Toppan, Longacre & Co. of Philadelphia and New York. These notes were initially signed by Henry Smith as Treasurer and William G. Cooke, who signed the name of Sam Houston as President. As noted by James P. Bevill in his book The Paper Republic, Congress passed an act allowing Houston’s personal secretary to sign his name on the bills. The practice was continued by Texas’ second President, Mirabeau B. Lamar. The allegorical figures on these notes are examples of the intricate art of 19th century engraving and provided the Texas government with a level of quality that would be difficult to counterfeit. The images were painstakingly engraved by hand with customized details. The god-


desses of liberty, justice and agriculture were combined with Texas scenes like buffalo hunting to create unique bills for the new republic. There were small variations in the designs. For example, all denominations of these notes depicted a seated portrait of Lady Liberty with a shield or an eagle, except the $5 note, which pictured her standing.

The “Republic of Texas” $1 change note.

Permanent Collection of The Heritage Society; Gift of Mr. Henry David.

ters T-E-X-A-S surrounding a five-pointed star. These were issued concurrently with the change notes and were printed by the firm Rawdon, Wright, Hatch & Edson of New York and New Orleans. The front of these notes featured a host of new allegorical figures and vignettes. They also included portraits of Erastus “Deaf” Smith, famed scout of the Texian Army, on the $5 redback and Stephen F. Austin on the $50 redback.

The “Government of Texas” $5 bill featured the standing Liberty goddess. Permanent Collection of The Heritage Society; Estate of John Corley Silvey, Jr.

The second issue of notes, authorized by Congress on December 14, 1838, coincided with the seat of the government moving from Houston to Austin. The change, or small denomination notes, featured allegorical vignettes reflecting wildlife and western themes of Texas. The printing quality of these $1, $2 and $3 Republic of Texas notes was impressive. They included intricate designs of Native Americans, a cowboy on a white horse roping a longhorn and a cotton plant, the primary cash crop of Texas. Printed in New Orleans, these bills were signed by the comptroller and treasurer. New bills were authorized by Congress on January 19, 1839 in larger denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50, $100 and $500. The printing of these Republic of Texas “redbacks” marked the first time a design appeared on the reverse of a Texas note. They had a distinct reddish or burnt orange color with the let-

FEBRUARY 2015 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelymemorial.com

The “Republic of Texas” $50 noted featured the portrait of Stephen F. Austin. The reverse “redback” is also shown. Permanent Collection of The Heritage Society; Gift of Mr. Henry David.

The value of Texas paper money depreciated almost immediately after it was dispersed, simply because the government did not have the gold or silver to back it up. Overprinting money, along with the fact that the United States experienced a bank panic in 1837, crippled the Texas economy. Although it is not helpful for those who lived in the time of the Republic, Texans today place great value on these bills for their artwork and the tangible piece of Texas history they represent.


Where ver life takes you, C A L L O N U S

Lacey Cannon 281.582.3992


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H E R I T A G E T E X A S .COM Memorial: 14340 Memorial Drive, 281.493.3880 • Royal Oaks: 11689 Westheimer, Suite C, 281.679.0101