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I found it at Seton Medical Center Austin. I asked all my friends and read every book on delivery. After researching how to have her, I learned that where to have her is just as important. For example, the maternity teams at Seton Medical Center Austin pioneered the nationally recognized Seton Safety Initiative and earned the Ernest Amory Codman Award for delivering healthier babies. They’ve also been recognized by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and Childbirth Connection for their commitment to the safety of mothers and babies. In Austin and across the country, more babies are delivered safely because of these practices. That’s the kind of care I was looking for. To learn more about the maternity services available at Seton Austin, please visit

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Girl Next Door






Contents A PR IL

72 On the Cover LAURA HUFFMAN Texas’ top conservationist is a woman with a plan, and she’s determined to preserve the resources of the state she loves. By Robin Rather / Photographs by Cody Hamilton.

78 Features PAM HART Austin’s queen of jazz on nerves, Billie Holliday and the friendliness of Austin. By Molly McManus / Photographs by Rudy Arocha.



Ten years after the first issue went to press, we get an update from Kendra Scott. By Deborah Hamilton-Lynne.

Contents A PR IL


Green Living



46 RUNWAY REPORT Fall previews direct from New York Fashion Week.

opposite sex 86 RELATIONSHIPS Improve your dating allure.



88 MEMO FROM JB Venus talks to Mars.

26 PHILANTHROPY Red Hot and Soul.

48 FOODIE ALERT Chef Elizabeth Winslow brings new life to community-sourced produce.

savvy women

52 GIRL WALKS INTO A BAR Where to get a

90 YOU SHOULD KNOW Women on Their Toes.

fair-trade caffeine fix.


28 AROUND TOWN Party photos from Austin’s top events.

30 HOROSCOPES Happy birthday, Aries.

must list

to your health


56 FITNESS Get your workout outdoors.

36 CURRENT CHIC Bring your spring look to life

58 WELLNESS The benefits of everyday superfoods.

with these bright pieces.

38 ACCESSORIES Finish your outfit with these slick wood accessories.

40 AW STYLE Our art director shares her favorite

green living 62 WHAT’S IN STORE TreeHouse takes home improvement in a new direction.

pieces that highlight one of spring’s fun trends.

64 REPURPOSING Living outside (and inside) the box.

44 BEAUTY Your guide to a green makeup routine, in

68 ECO-FRIENDLY FINDS We found more than just

all senses of the word.

12   Austin Woman A P R I L 2 0 1 2

the usual suspects when it comes to creating a green home.

Use local produce to keep your family healthy, wealthy and wise.

94 ENTREPRENEURIAL LIFE A local fashion designer with a eco-friendly line.

96 LAST WORD Different shades of green living.

on the cover Photo by Cody Hamilton. Makeup by Lauren Lumsden, Rae Cosmetics,; hair by JC Ramos, Blo Blow Dry Bar, Diane Von Furstenberg dress, available at Saks Fifth Avenue, 9722 Great Hills Trail, 512.231.3700. Previous page: Jack by BB Dakota top available at Co-Star Style. Prada wide belt and nude pumps available at Saks Fifth Avenue.

Photo by Chris Cooper.

on the scene


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Christopher Garvey CO-FOUNDER


Deborah Hamilton-Lynne ART DIRECTOR

Victoria Millner AD DESIGNER

Collette Mengden ART ASSISTANT






Arielle Levy, Kimberly Sanderson, 512.328.2421 ASSOCIATE EDITOR


Julie Tereshchuk COPY EDITOR

Chantal Rice

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Rudy Arocha, Sadie Barton, Cheryl Bemis, Nicole Carbon, Jill Case, Joy Casnovsky, Carol Eckelkamp, Jane Field, JB Hager, Cody Hamilton, Christine Imperatore, Chrissie Jarrell, Molly Keith, Caleb Kerr, Eric Leech, Deborah Mastelotto, Molly McManus, Rachel Merriman, Joelle Pearson, Sarah Quatrano, Robin Rather, Helen Thompson, Erica Todd, Natalie Yerkovich INTERNS

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512.328.2421 • 1213 W. 49th St., Austin, TX 78756 AUSTINWOMANMAGAZINE.COM

Austin Woman Magazine is a free monthly publication of AW Media Inc. and is available at more than 1,150 locations throughout Austin and in Lakeway, Cedar Park, Round Rock and Pflugerville. All rights reserved. For submission requirements, contact No part of the magazine may be reprinted or duplicated without permission. For copies of articles, call 512.328.2421.


From the Editor

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markable woman. Born in 1907 in Springdale, PA, she went on to study at the Pennsylvania College for Women and the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory, and received her master’s degree in zoology from John Hopkins University in 1932. She was a writer, scientist and ecologist. Fifty years ago, her commitment to the environment changed the world with her book Silent Spring. In it, she challenged the use of harmful pesticides such as DDT, and took on farmers, chemical companies and the government. Attacked by all three, she courageously testified before Congress in 1963, calling for policies to protect both human health and the environment. The book sold more than 500,000 copies, was published in 24 countries and is credited with sowing the seeds of the modern environmental movement, the founding of Earth Day, the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency and the banning of harmful pesticides. My first-edition copy of Silent Spring is one of my most treasured possessions. With Carson in mind, we set out to find a remarkable woman, one who was also changing the world with an eye on the environment. Laura Huffman fit the bill. This native Austinite and graduate of the LBJ School of Public Affairs is determined to protect and preserve the land, water and wildlife of her beloved Lone Star State. Read Huffman’s op-eds and you know that Ms. Carson is smiling down benevolently, knowing that her legacy and cause lives on. Through the years, as our understanding of the interconnectivity of all living things grows, we have become better informed as consumers, demanding ecofriendly products and foods. In this issue, we take a look at “green” makeup, the benefits of superfoods, eating locally using CSAs (community-supported agriculture), repurposing of fabrics and housing, and free-trade coffee bars. As I walked through the beautiful wildflowers this morning, I paid homage to Mrs. Lady Bird Johnson, another remarkable woman and dedicated environmentalist whose legacy pops up each spring as the wildflowers paint our landscape. I recalled one of my favorite Rachel Carson quotes: “If a child is to keep his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.” This month, rediscover that sense of wonder and pass it along. Spend a day planting trees, picking up litter, volunteering at Lady Bird Lake. Bask in the glory of Austin’s natural wonders: Barton Springs, Hamilton Pool, the hike-andbike trail, Wild Basin and the Barton Creek Greenbelt. Commit to carrying on the legacy of the remarkable women who have gone before us. As I listen to the symphony of birds from my back deck overlooking Wild Basin, I give a nod and a wink heavenly. Thank you, Rachel Carson and Lady Bird Johnson. Thank you, Laura Huffman and all of the women in Austin who work on our behalf. How will you be going green this month and throughout the year? We look forward to hearing from you.


Photo by Korey Howell.




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The Life Improvement Store™

Contributors RUDY AROCHA is a native Texan who moved to Austin eight years ago to pursue his education in fine arts as a sculptor. He later rediscovered his passion for photography when his grandfather gave him a camera as a gift. He now attends the Art Institute of Austin and is months away from graduating with a degree in photography. Rudy specializes in portrait photography with his main focus being musicians and artists. In his free time, Rudy enjoys music, the outdoors and spending time with his longtime girlfriend, Maggie. If there’s one thing you need to know about SADIE BARTON, it’s that she’s not a “professional” photographer. Rather, she’s a writer, a design-dabbler and a human with a passion for photography. She’s not a Photoshop whiz, she’s not masterful at crafting the most obscure yet weirdly meaningful photo shoots, but she loves what she does. And she loves it well. Having recently moved to Austin, she is elated to be surrounded by such an artistically nurturing community. Sentimental moment: over.

Mastelotto photo by Vic Napiorkowski.

ROBIN RATHER is a fifth-generation Texan and Austin environmentalist who wrote this month’s cover article out in the wide-open spaces of the Davis and Guadalupe Mountains. Rather served as a three-time chair of Save Our Springs, and was one of the founders of the Hill Country Conservancy, Envision Central Texas and Livable City. She is on the advisory board for the Sustainable Food Center and serves as the CEO of Collective Strength, a research firm that specializes in sustainability (


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DEBORAH MASTELOTTO is a pathological entrepreneur with a lowboredom threshold, an obsessive remodeler, a minor student of quantum physics and an unapologetic observer of human nature. She opened Portfolio, her first salon in Austin in 1987, followed by Astarte and Pink. In 2009, she opened Pink West in a 100-yearold farmhouse, where she also hosts art openings and writing workshops. Deborah writes the horoscopes for Austin Woman as a research member of the American Federation of Astrologers. Find her online at

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25TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE OLD SETTLER’S MUSIC FESTIVAL April 19–22 Austin Woman has the scoop on Grammy Award-winning performers scheduled for this Americana music festival, featuring 30 artists, camping, arts and crafts, and children’s activities all in one of the most laid-back atmospheres you have ever seen.

The POWERHOUR workout!

GOING GREEN RECOMMENDED READING b Going Green 101: A Guide to Organic Living b Going Green and Saving Green: Money Saving Tips for Green Living b Going Green: 101 Ways to Save a Buck While you Save the Earth




CELEBRATE b The 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts and the 42nd anniversary of Earth Day (April 22) with the list of Central Texas scheduled events.

Regardless of your fitness level, you can actively participate in the POWER HOUR workout and burn up to 1000 calories. GET GUARANTEED RESULTS with the POWER HOUR workout!





FOODIE ALERT b Farm-fresh recipes from Elizabeth Winslow of Farmhouse Delivery. CMY


ENTREPRENEURIAL LIFE b Renee Trudeau’s Empowered Visioning Retreat

Photo by John Grubbs.

BEST OF THE BLOGS b From Devon Bijansky: Green House, Good Life (greenhousegoodlife. began in 2009 after the author purchased a fire-damaged house and tore it down to build a five-star green-built home. The blog features posts on topics including solar-panel installation, drought-tolerant landscaping and the beginnings of a rainwater-collection system. b Are you a blogger? To be considered for Best of the Blogs, please submit a sample of your best work to PLUS b Concert and theater reviews. b Complete horoscopes and April calendar. b Tenth anniversary update featuring Austin Woman’s fourth year. To find these articles, visit the table of contents page at

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GIRL SCOUTS WOMEN OF DISTINCTION April 5 at 1:30 p.m. at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center at UT Austin

UMLAUF GARDEN PARTY April 26 at 5:30 p.m. at Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum Join the lovers and admirers of late sculptor Charles Umlauf for the 14th annual Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum Garden Party. Umlauf, an internationally acclaimed sculptor and resident of Austin, created works varying from realism to abstract expressionism to lyrical abstraction. Examples of his work will be featured at the Garden Party, which doubles as an outdoor fundraiser. Guests stroll through the sculpture gardens sipping wine and sampling food provided by 20 local restaurants, and are also welcome to dance to live music provided by the Nash Hernandez Orchestra and bid competitively at a silent auction. Tickets are $100 in advance, $115 at the door and can be purchased at

AMOA-ARTHOUSE’S ANNUAL 5X7 FUNDRAISER April 4 - 22 at the Jones Center If you want to begin building your art collection, start small. How about 5x7 inches small? For $150—or $100 if you’re an AMOA-Arthouse member—you can own a one-of-a-kind compact work of art by an emerging or established artist with strong ties to Texas. With more than 1,000 pieces to choose from, we’re pretty sure you will find something that fits your taste, even if that something is a Lorax-like cluster of rainbow colored pompoms, vibrant portraits reminiscent of Mary Cassatt or a simple black-andwhite desert landscape. To get the best selection, attend the opening-day party, 5x7 SPLURGE, April 4. (We hear Ranch 616 and Bombay Sapphire will also be there.) All proceeds benefit AMOA-Arthouse and its programs. Visit for a full list of artists or to purchase SPLURGE tickets.

22   Austin Woman A P R I L 2 0 1 2

Now-grown Girl Scouts remember our time in the troop as a mix of adventure, curiosity, friendship and, yes, even cookies. In Girl Scouts, we learned that we could do anything with a little diligence and elbow grease. At this year’s Women of Distinction luncheon, several of Austin Woman magazine’s favorite ladies are being honored for those qualities, including Lisa Copeland, Alex Winkelman, Wilhelmina Delco and Kendra Scott. Come celebrate 100 years of Girl Scout memories with a little Champagne, a few good laughs and maybe even your private stash of chilled Thin Mints. Visit to register.

UT FASHION WEEK April 26 at 8 p.m. at the Frank Erwin Center What’s more spring than fresh, innovative fashion? The University of Texas Fashion Group presents more than 120 original designs on the runway from university apparel design students. More than a senior showcase, the UT Fashion Show is an inspiring, professional presentation of original bridal gowns, active wear, menswear, evening wear and more. This year, the focus is on contours. Presenters must imaginatively engage the theme and incorporate it in to their designs. The silhouettes found on this runway are guaranteed to be as diverse as UT’s student body itself. The event is free and open to the public. Visit universityfashiongroup. com for more information on presenters.

FUNKY CHICKEN COOP TOUR April 7, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Various locations Believe it or not, it’s possible to renovate a child’s playhouse in to a spacious, eccentric chicken coop without worrying about violating city ordinances (or putting too much effort in to construction). The fourth annual Funky Chicken Coop Tour is a self-guided tour where everything from inexpensive cages to the most unusual coops are on display, whether to pique interest or to boost creative fodder for your own backyard creation. Beyond the tour, presenters will also offer tips on raising chickens, composting and integrating these feathered friends in to our lives to help build a more sustainable community. The tour takes place rain or shine. Visit for more information. Information center located at Buck Moore Feed and Supply, 5237 N. Lamar Blvd.


TURANDOT Get ready for the captivating tale of the icy princess and the succession of suitors vying for her hand in marriage; only one will solve all three of her riddles and secure her love. This month, soprano Lise Lindstrom will portray the title role for the Austin Lyric Opera in the iconic Turandot. Don’t miss your chance to see Puccini’s final opera and his masterful combination of a dramatic story set in early China with a spectacular score, including the aria Nessun dorma, popularized by Luciano Pavarotti. To purchase tickets, visit or call 512.472.5992. Shows run April 14, 20 and 22 at The Long Center for the Performing Arts.

24   Austin Woman A P R I L 2 0 1 2

B For more events, see the complete April calendar at

Photo by Cory Weaver.




Red Hot and Soul Gala Have an outrageously good time while benefitting the Austin arts community. By Christine Imperatore What indicates the start of spring better than bright colors, catchy music and laughter in the air? ZACH Theatre’s Red Hot and Soul gala proves to be one of the highlights of spring every year in Austin, and this year is no different. “We’re producing an event that will knock Austin’s socks off, and get them into a pair of roller skates,” event co-chair Bobbi Topfer says. Topfer is referring to this year’s exciting and colorful theme, inspired by Xanadu the Musical. The production is set to ignite the stage at ZACH this summer, but gala attendees will get a sneak peak at the hilarious show based on the 1980s film starring Olivia Newton John and Gene Kelly. The play tells the story of a muse sent from Mount Olympus to ultimately inspire a Venice Beach artist to create the world’s first roller disco. “There is no end to ZACH’s magic in transforming the space with incredible colors, dancers, skaters and costumes in this ’80s roller-disco wonder,” co-chair Larry Connelly promises. The annual gala raises money to help continue the artistic endeavors and education that ZACH Theatre has offered to the community since its founding in 1933. This year’s gala will also celebrate the much-anticipated Topfer Theatre, set to open this fall, enhancing ZACH Theatre’s

ability to wow Austin as it has for so many years. “We promise guests are going to have an outrageously good time while helping to raise critical funds to support all the great works of this cherished Austin institution,” Topfer says. The gala is set to rock Austin’s roller skates April 21 at

7:30 p.m. There will be a VIP party at 5:30 p.m., with the pre-show reception set to begin at 6:30 p.m. Individual tickets are available for $300 each. Tables are also available for groups of eight to 10 patrons. For event and ticket information, contact Eric Scott at 512.476.0594, or

Austin Woman Sponsored Events Girl Scouts of Central Texas: Women of Distinction April 5, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. AT&T Conference Center This year’s luncheon honors six female gogetters, including former Austin Woman cover ladies Alex Winkelman, Jo Anne Christian, Lisa Copeland and Wilhelmina Delco. Tickets are $150 and available through Women on Their Toes Luncheon April 10, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Hyatt Regency Austin The Ballet Austin Guild hosts its 18th annual luncheon in honor of outstanding volunteers of Austin nonprofit organizations. Tickets are $100 and available through

26   Austin Woman A P R I L 2 0 1 2

BiG idea day Award Luncheon April 20, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum BiGAustin continues to make it happen for small businesses with the organization’s 12th annual fundraising luncheon. Tickets are available through for $60. Wonderball Daddy Daughter Dance April 28, 6 to 9 p.m. Palmer Events Center Wonders & Worries hosts its annual dance where every girl is a princess and daddies can spend a magical night with their daughters. Tickets are available through The cost is $100 per father and up to three daughters.

Austin Heart Ball April 28, 6 p.m. Hilton Austin The American Heart Association celebrates another year of innovation in cardiovascular care, with the help of live entertainment by the Courtyard Hounds. Tickets are sold in pairs for $1,000 and can be purchased through Hill Country Ride for AIDS April 28, 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Reunion Ranch Cyclers of all ages will ride for up to 100 miles to support 10 local organizations that provide lifesaving assistance to Central Texans living with HIV/AIDS. Registration and donations are collected through

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Dan Graham at Austin Under 40. Photo by Melanie Tipps.


Tara Barnes, Brittany Hoeft, Brooke Beaty, Christy Cook & Meredith Vitek at CharityBash Masquerade Ball. Photo by Jeff Loftin.

Supporters playing blackjack at JDRF’s Deal for a Cure.

Ronnie Taylor, Aledia Taylor, Todd Foulds, Crystal Stevenson & Brian Stevenson at JDRF’s Deal for a Cure.

CharityBash Masquerade Ball. Photo by Jeff Loftin.

Turk Pipkin, Suzi Sosa & Christopher Garvey at the spring launch party. Photo by Sadie Barton.

Gerry Flynn, Lennald Henry & Erin Bracken at the spring launch party. Photo by Sadie Barton. Danielle Pruitt & Sigrid Goerndt at the spring launch party. Photo by Sadie Barton.

Dr. Stanley Wang, Mary Mandel, Erika Holland, Sarah Bird & Melissa Gale at the Go Red for Women luncheon. Survivor speaker Mary Mandel at the Go Red for Women luncheon.


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Happy Birthday, Aries March 21 - April 20 YOU: You hate rules, love challenges and sometimes race in to situations without thinking them through. You’re like a racehorse that won’t let other horses pass him; you make adjustments quickly because you’re in it to win it. But your interest wanes quickly too. Most of the fun of being on top is getting there. You need constant change to keep your attention or you lose interest. You push yourself in your career (or anything you pursue) and you’re an experiential learner, meaning you prefer to learn things the hard way. THIS MONTH: Last year, a major disruptive force (Uranus) entered your sign and kicked up all kinds of dust. This year, a major beneficial force (Jupiter) entered your income sector and smoothed all kinds of paths. Suddenly, you’re different. You want different things and need your life to be different, better.

People in your life may think you’re crazy, but you’re currently undergoing a re-invention. Look for unexpected opportunities—they are the path to individual re-definition, so be sure you’re taking enough risks. What seems crazy and perhaps inconsequential now is actually important, even if it doesn’t look familiar (especially if it doesn’t look familiar). This is the real deal, so pay attention. SOME FAMOUS ARIES TEXANS: Joan Crawford, Lefty Frizzell, Robin Wright Penn, Aaron Spelling, Sandra Day O’Connor, Debbie Reynolds, Jim Parsons, Jennifer Garner, Ann Miller, Dennis Quaid, Selena, Jill Goodacre Connick, Don Meredith, Marcia Ball, Jim Hogg, Pat Green, Earl Campbell. —Deborah Mastelotto, For all horoscopes, visit

SYMBOL: The Ram ZODIAC WHEEL ORDER: First (of course!) HOUSE RULES: The self, personality, appearance, attraction, first impressions, early childhood experiences ELEMENT: Fire QUALITY: Cardinal (bossy) PLANETARY RULER: Mars (the war planet) BIRTHSTONE: Diamond KEY CHARACTERISTICS: Impulsive, charming and energetic STRENGTHS: Adventurous, enthusiastic, confident CHALLENGES: Selfish, quick-tempered, changeable, impatient, no good at finishing COLORS: Red, orange

Aries Austinites

April 4

April 6

April 8

April 9

April 17

AMPARO GARCIA-CROW Writer, Actor, Playwright

JOSH FRANK Owner, Blue Starlight Drive-In

KAREN FROST Frost Media Relations

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MUST SEE Dragon Boat Festival Originating more than 2,000 years ago, the 14th annual Dragon Boat Festival is a celebration rooted in ancient Chinese folklore. As the story goes, royal Qu Yuan is exiled during China’s warring states period and jumps into the river in distress. The villagers leap into their boats in an attempt to save him and, even though it is too late, their collaborative efforts bring them together during a time of political upheaval. It’s a similar cooperative exercise to race the 40-foot-long dragon boat, which requires 20 people to paddle. After the race, enjoy traditional dances, music, martial arts performances, authentic food and face painting. April 28 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Festival Beach at Lady Bird Lake.


Barton Springs "Treeathlon"

Don’t worry; this low-key “treeathlon” doesn’t require swimming the length of Barton Springs Pool or running miles around Lady Bird Lake. Participants will instead swim the width of the pool, bike a short loop through Zilker Park, then finish with a short run around the polo fields. After working up an appetite, runners will gather at the Zilker Rock Garden for refreshments from local vendors and music by percussion group Rhythmic Force. The family-friendly event is hosted by Friends of Barton Springs Pool, an organization dedicated to preserving and improving Austin’s urban oasis. Funds raised from this year’s event will be used to restore the bathhouse to its original 1947 location. Other short-term projects the organization will undertake in the next three to five years include algae control, renovations to the south entrance and maintenance of the oak trees surrounding the springs. For more information, visit


Eco Clean

The crisp look of freshly pressed clothes from the dry cleaner might seem innocent enough, but Eco Clean lets us in on a little secret that might ruin this everyday pleasure: the chemicals used in dry cleaning today are the same ones used in the 1940s. One of these commonly used chemicals, perchloroethylene, is classified as a carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency. You can be exposed to perc simply by breathing in the fumes, and new studies indicate the cancer-causing chemical leaves a residue on your clothes that can easily be absorbed through the skin. Eco Clean’s gentle wet-cleaning method uses biodegradable detergents that aren’t toxic to you or the environment, offering delivery services or pickup within 24 hours. Eco Clean also gives back to the local community by donating 5 percent of sales each Wednesday to a different nonprofit organization every month. So far, they have successfully raised funds for Theatre Action Project, Country Conservancy, SafePlace, Austin Lyric Opera, Save Our Springs Alliance and Keep Austin Beautiful. 2915 Guadalupe St.

MUST HAVE Raised Garden Bed from Austin Urban Gardens Carla Crownover, founder of Austin Urban Gardens, hasn’t set foot in a grocery store in more than two years. She’s got the right idea; growing your own food is one of the best things you can do for the environment and your health. It takes Austin Urban Gardens about a day to install a raised garden bed of any size filled with organic soil, or you have the option of assembling the planter yourself if you’re feeling adventurous. You’ll enjoy the convenience of having fresh produce readily available just a few steps from your back door, and also reduce your carbon footprint by cutting emissions produced from a weekly grocery store trip. A backyard garden allows you to eat what’s fresh and in-season, and organic gardening practices ensure your produce remains pesticide- and GMO-free. Planting suggestions for April include lettuce, radishes, carrots, beans, squash, cantaloupe, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, watermelon, corn and eggplant. Visit for more information.

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MUST TASTE Hillside Farmacy Known for her farm-to-plate focus in her dishes at East Side Show Room, Chef Sonya Cote opened the much-anticipated Hillside Farmacy last month. The concept is a play on the old-school pharmacy, which evokes memories of penny candy and soda fountains, but the offerings here go far outside the range of any typical drugstore. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, the eatery is also a coffeehouse and grocery store by day and neighborhood bar by night. The food—delicate pastries from Elizabeth Street Café and La Patisserie, charcuterie, cheese plates and oysters—is almost surpassed by the variety of drinks. In addition to a soda fountain, the coffee bar serves famed Stumptown Coffee from Portland, while the bar features a variety of local spirits and Belgian ales. For the ever-expanding East side, Hillside Farmacy is just what the doctor ordered. 1209 E. 11th St.

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Over the Rainbow

Add a touch of happiness to your wardrobe with these bold, bright hues and prints.

By Erika Cerda and Christine Imperatore, Photos by Caleb Kerr

Even the smallest drop of color can make a big statement this season. Try this Madewell midnight drop pendant, $48, available at Madewell, 11501 Century Oaks Terrace, suite 121, 512.821.1593.

Celebrate your first rainbow sighting of the year with this Stella McCartney top. Then give thanks in part to the designer for keeping her brand as eco-friendly as possible. Elaine top, $725, available at By George, 524 N. Lamar Blvd., 512.472.5951.

Beat the blues with these Ann Taylor shorts. Whoever decided blue was the color of sadness clearly never anticipated this hot item. Cotton sidezip shorts in blue lapis, $48, available at Ann Taylor, 9722 Great Hills Trail, suite 350, 512.345.8307.

Use this Ann Taylor leather strap clutch to stylishly store the contents of that pot of gold at the end of your rainbow, $158, available at Ann Taylor.

Combine two bold looks with this bright animalinspired Ann Taylor embossed python cuff, $58, available at Ann Taylor.

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Sneak in a flash of red at your feet with these Sam Edelman Yelena heels, $135, available at Stella Says Go, 500 N. Lamar Blvd., 512.524.5020.

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Into the Woods Add a hint of neutrality and nature to a colorful spring outfit with these woody accessories.

By Erika Cerda and Christine Imperatore, Photo by Caleb Kerr Gucci bamboo-handled bag, $2,030, available at Saks Fifth Avenue, 9722 Great Hills Trail, 512.231.3700. Marni T-strap heels, $762, available at By George, 524 N. Lamar Blvd., 512.472.5951. C. Jane bangles, $28 each, available at C. Jane, 2346 Guadalupe St., 512.236.1435. Gold & Wood B13.1 wood-frame glasses, $761, available at Santa Fe Optical, 1601 W. 38th St. suite 108, 512.451.1213. Ann Taylor ring, $48, available at Ann Taylor, 9722 Great Hills Trail, suite 350, 512.345.8307.

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Don’t be afraid of commitment. Austin Water can help you meet your water conservation goals. Use our handy, online water use calculator to determine how much water you use and where you can save. If everyone in our area reduced their water use by 10%, we’d save over 13 million gallons of water per day! It’s easy with the 3Cs: commit, calculate and conserve. Learn more about how you can certify your commitment to water conservation at

Studio 54 meets the ultimate disco roller rink in XANADU at ZACH’s 2012 Red Hot & Soul Gala! The party erupts with ZACH divas belting out discos hits, spectacular exhibition roller skating and an exclusive sneak peek at ZACH’s musical XANADU starring the heavenly Jill Blackwood! Cocktails Seated Dinner Silent & Live Auction Dance Party with DJ Manny Xanaduish attire welcome!

Red, Hot & Soul Gala Co-Chairs: Bobbi Topfer and Larry Connelly

Saturday, April 21 • 6:30 p.m. Hilton Hotel, Austin Buy tickets at

For info, contact Eric Scott: (512) 476-0594 x260 or

Jill Blackwood. Photo:


Avian B I’ll admit I’ve never been a huge lover of cougar-, zebra- or leopard-print products. Thankfully, there is a new take on animal prints that I’ve come to adore: birds. Designers Jill Stuart, Carolina Herrera and Marc Jacobs incorporated the feathered creature into their spring collections. And this trend isn’t limited to one specific look. We’ve seen it go abstract or literal, pastel or bold, and casual or formal. Here are a few inspired fashion and home items I’d love to get my hands on. -Victoria Millner, Art Director

g Feather your nest, couch or bed with this charming vintage blossom persimmon pillow, $72, available at Loft Home, 3306 Esperanza Crossing, 512.377.6857.

a This distinctive Jonathan Adler bird bowl is sculpted in stoneware and dipped in stunning gold glaze, $138, available at

b Write Everyday Agenda. Those who know me would not be surprised to find one (or six) of these books lying on my desk. Full of checklists, address pages and blank pages for jotting, this pocket notebook keeps you thoroughly organized instead of just winging it. $18, available at

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e Though a subtle incorporation of my avian friend, the shiny metal bird adds a playful side to a vintage-inspired Marc by Marc Jacobs Petal to the Metal crossbody bag, $248, available at Nordstrom, 2901 S. Capital of Texas Highway, 512.691.3500.




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Going Green Picking up tips and trends from the runway is always inspiring, but sometimes tricky. In order to avoid that “why did I think I could pull that off?” moment, we’ve brought in makeup afficianado Jenny Lin to give us the right tips to a runway-inspired spring look, great for adding a pop of color to an everyday outfit. Follow her steps for a green-eye makeup application that is quick and simple enough for any occasion.

This fragrancefree and certifiednatural firming EYE CREAM BY WELEDA will soften and smooth while protecting delicate undereye areas from the elements. Available at Whole Foods, 525 N. Lamar Blvd., 512.476.1206.


I like to start by spreading Urban Decay Primer Potion over the lids. It will hold your eye shadow down for 12 hours; it’s great when I’m doing all-day shoots.

3 Roberto Cavalli

Grab a neutral matte shade for the crease and take a fluffy dome-tipped brush and blend into your crease so there are no hard edges. Shadows that shimmer or sparkle are great for the main color, but always go with a blending neutral that’s matte.


Next, use a fluffy brush to apply your green shade of choice. The fluffier the brush, the less-saturated the color. So unless you are going for a dramatic look, stray from the stiffer brushes, especially in the spring and summer months. Deposit the color from the lash line to right before the crease.


Finish with a brown or black liner and your everyday mascara.

To mimic this natural, beach-ready hairstyle, create a center part and apply Redken’s Nature’s Rescue Radiant Sea Spray from mid-lengths to ends. Scrunch hair for extra waves, then let hair air-dry naturally. The spray adds light texture while covering your locks with a delightful ocean scent. Spray available at Cobalt Blue Salon, 4220 William Cannon Dr., 512.453.4140.



Keep your color vibrant and breathe easily knowing that the revamped packaging for PUREOLOGY COLOURCARE SHAMPOO uses less energy and water to produce, and utilizes recycled materials. Available at Urban Betty Salon, 1206 W. 38th St., 512.371.7663.

Take advantage of the neutrals you already own by pairing them with these green shades.

LIGHT GREEN AND NUDE: Pair a pastel shade of green with a light beige or nude shade for a subtle hint of color, perfect for the spring and summer months. OUR PICK: Chantecaille Lemongrass iridescent eye shadow, $30, available at

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Let your pretty pout shine with MIRABELLA LUXE LIP GLOSS while jojoba oil, pomegranage extract and a multitude of vitamins keep your lips hydrated and toxin-free. Available at

LUSH GREEN AND SAND: Go granola with an earthy look by matching a leafy green with a sandy nuetral. OUR PICK: Rae Cosmetics Bamboo eye shadow, $16, available at Rae Cosmetics, 1203 W. 38th St.

MOSS GREEN AND GOLD: Match a mossy green with gold pigments for a highlighted summer look. OUR PICK: MAC Sumptuous Olive eye shadow, $15, available at

Text by Victoria Millner and Christine Imperatore; eyeshadow images by Caleb Kerr; Cavalli photo courtesy of Redken.



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FALL PREVIEW Diane von Furstenberg

Venexiana Collection

Joanna Mastroianni Collection

Live from New York Fashion Week Fashionably Austin’s sneak peek in to fall’s hottest fashions. By Cheryl Bemis The question I receive most often after returning from Fashion Week in New York is, “What is it like to actually be there?” You would think the question would be, “What are the next big trends?” But that conversation typically comes later. Fashionably Austin has been credentialed for Fashion Week since 2009 (gaining access is a whole other article). Our credentials allow us to attend any show in the tents (hundreds of shows also take place throughout New York City), so planning the day is

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Farah Angsana Collection

important because fashion show burnout is commonplace and typically happens by about day four. All the clothes start looking the same, your stamina starts to fade—you know the drill.   We stand in the press pit at the end of the runway, squeezed next to someone who hopefully took a shower, speaks English and is flexible so everyone can get “the shot.” It’s a controlled chaos that gets orchestrated beautifully for the eight minutes the collection comes down the catwalk. After that, it’s off to pursue a celebrity interview, get backstage and then off to the next show. To see firsthand a designer’s collection at Fashion Week is quite special. Trends are set right before our eyes and it’s a thrill to share it with our Fashionably Austin readers. We’ve narrowed down our top five trends for fall 2012 that stood out from our vantage point at the end of the runway. Pick your favorite and enjoy this sevenmonth jump on fall’s hottest looks. The first trend I immediately recognized came from the accessory category: GLOVES. Long gloves, short gloves, gauntlet-style gloves, fingerless gloves, gloves with fur, colored gloves and crocheted gloves. This was a trend we actually noticed when we covered Paris Fashion Week last spring, so I had anticipated that it would be coming our way soon.

Ready for some color? RED and shades of mulberry will be key colors for fall 2012. This was another trend we saw in Paris last February and won’t be a problem for color-loving Texans. Pair these with bright blues in any shade and you’ll be ready for fall. While it rarely gets cold enough to wrap ourselves in FUR in Austin, fur was certainly at the forefront of several collections. Fur was featured as trim on gloves, shoes and coat sleeves, and in long scarfs that draped to the floor. Enjoy this trend with real fur or fake it all the way. This fall, you can take the chill off with one of my favorite trends. CAPES, PONCHOS AND SWING COATS were draped beautifully and are typically lighter weight than traditional coats, perfect for the mild Austin winter. Fall 2012 will be the season for you to accentuate your face. COLLARS featuring ruffles, feathers, shoulder accouterments, bows and high necklines will give you plenty to choose from with this trend. Now that we’ve brought you fall’s top trends from New York Fashion Week, you can add that special Austin spin to what you’ve seen on the catwalk and make it your own at Austin’s vast collection of local fashion boutiques. We’ll keep our fashionable running shoes on and continue bringing you the latest looks each season at

Photos by Cheryl Bemis & Britten Bishop.

Joanna Mastroianni Collection

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Eat Local with Chef-inspired Recipes Chef Elizabeth Winslow offers new uses for locally sourced produce. By Joelle Pearson For some, a box full of vegetables can be daunting. What exactly can I do with a suitcase of collard greens? However, there’s a good reason why thousands of Austinites subscribe to community-supported agriculture programs (CSAs). These programs allow individuals to purchase produce directly from local farms for a monthly or seasonal fee, and farmers pre-bundle selections for pickup, or, in some cases, delivery. With a CSA box, you’re not only supporting the local economy and saving money by eating in, you’re also guaranteeing that you get your three to five daily produce servings. Elizabeth Winslow is a CSA believer. She’s a lifelong chef, food writer and co-founder of Farmhouse Delivery, a CSA service that works with more than 15 farms throughout Central Texas. Winslow thinks the hardest part of cooking isn’t the act itself, but the work of finding recipes and shopping for food—two things you can actually eliminate when you subscribe to a CSA and do a bit of homework. Once the ingredients are delivered, easy recipes can bring them all together. Austin Woman visited Winslow in her home, where she walked us through a simple meal prepared from her CSA box and shared some advice on how to make the most of your subscription.

STEP OUTSIDE THE SAUTÉ Think of vegetables as a focus, not a complement, and approach them creatively. “If you’ve never cooked, teach yourself a few basic


Original ingredients delievered to Winslow.

techniques,” Winslow explains, chopping carrots. Learn the difference between roasting, braising, baking and frying, and how each method affects the taste of a food. Roasting, for example, is a hands-off way of bringing out buttery warmth in carrots and giving them a crisp yet chewy mouth feel.

KEEP IT REAL (AND SIMPLE) Winslow’s recipe is remarkably simple: She tosses the few

In spring, expect lots of leafy green vegetables like spinach, bok choy, collard greens, cilantro and lettuces, as well as carrots or beets, artichokes and a few fruits. Chef Elizabeth Winslow enjoys the anticipation that comes with seasonal eating: “When you wait all year to have a peach, that first bite is more delicious than you can imagine!” ingredients together like an afterthought. “My favorite recipes are greater than the sum of their parts,” she says. If you’re new to cooking, try recipes that have about five ingredients; they’ll feel more manageable. Some CSAs include such recipes with your box.

OTHER CSAS IN TOWN Farmhouse Delivery: Subscribers have the option of customizing orders, and boxes are assembled from multiple farms and artisan cooks. Deliveries come with recipes and storage advice.

Greenling: Greenling offers home deliveries and flexible contracts. Subscribers can build custom boxes, or buy preassembled boxes and recipe boxes with everything you need for a great, local meal.

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Urban Roots: This CSA’s foods are grown by youth volunteers and paid interns. Your purchase ensures that kids continue to learn about local, sustainable foods.

Tecolate: Texas’ oldest CSA and certified organic grower that was once waitlisted for produce. A resounding community favorite.

Field Fresh: Notifies members in advance about box contents and allows for modifications. Extremely flexible membership options, from a few weeks to a year.

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Savory oven-roasted carrots.

HELPFUL BLOGS FOR RECIPES AND MORE Farmhouse Blog: Winslow’s own, including hundreds of simple recipes by course and storage tips. Full and Content: An Austinite’s omnivore recipe blog, built with CSA in mind.


[Continued from previous page] When the carrots are finished, Winslow returns to the box and plucks a few leaves of lettuce from a stalk, over which she shaves onions and drizzles olive oil. The dish, when cooled, has a mouth-numbing complexity: It’s smoky and lightly salted, with a sweet foundation. Winslow believes CSA foods have a richer flavor, compared with conventional choices, bringing unexpected dimension to dishes. It’s why restaurants like Uchiko and Olivia are also subscribers.

If you want to commit to a CSA, Winslow recommends a box every other week. “You may feel a little overwhelmed if you start with a box every week, especially if it’s just for one,” she explains, adding that she uses one box to feed her family for a week. Proper storage and freezing are invaluable for CSA subscribers. Lots of vegetables can be chopped and frozen without affecting their taste: onions, peppers, tomatoes, even leafy greens (if you plan on stewing or baking them later). Storing vegetables improperly will cause early expiration, or worse, tastelessness. Take it from a chef: Think again before you chill a potato! A full list of storage tips can be found on Winslow’s blog (see list). Winslow uses a few ingredients more than others, and recommends you keep them on hand as a foundation: a good olive oil (she likes Texas Olive Ranch), lemons or vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic (always fresh) and parsley. Don’t forget to compost the leftovers too. Winslow uses Green Thumb Composting, a flexible curbside pick-up service in the Austin area ( Visit for recipes from Chef Elizabeth Winslow.

Gilt Taste: recipes More daring recipes that inspire Winslow.

…AND BOOKS Tender, Vol. I, by Nigel Slater A gorgeous index of vegetables and specific recipes for them. How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, by Mark Bittman A comprehensive guide to cooking techniques. Jamie at Home, by Jamie Oliver How does The Food Network’s favorite chef eat? Very, very simply.

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Caffe Medici

For local coffee shops, it’s all about being green. By Nicole Carbon In honor of Earth Day on April 22, and in my everincreasing effort to be more “green,” I took a deeper look at where I choose to get my coffee, my second drink of choice after cocktails. I learned that fairtrade coffee not only promotes superlative labor standards, but it is also good for the environment. Any product labeled “fair trade” must meet a set of standards determined by the Fairtrade Label-

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CAFFÉ MEDICI Caffé Medici may just be serving the very best coffee in Austin. It was started in 2006 by Michael Vaclav and his wife, Alison. The original location is on West Lynn Street in the quaint Clarksville neighborhood. Two years later, they opened a second location across from campus on Guadalupe. Their third and newest location opened last year at the base of the posh Austonian condominium tower. Caffé Medici’s mission is to provide exceptional customer service (which they do) and to continue to learn and educate about the highest-quality coffee-making practices possible. The quaint coffeehouse in Clarksville is one of my favorite escapes, and I have also had some great dates there,

sitting outside watching the neighborhood dwellers pass by. The newer location has more of a loft-like feel and provides the perfect perch for a quick shot of espresso to keep up with the hustle and bustle of downtown. Caffé Medici is committed to practicing a sustainable business model and their coffee selections include single-origin, sustainable, direct-trade coffees. They “strive for the highest quality in every cup,” and it shows in each sip. 1101 W. Lynn St., 512.609.9899; 2222 Guadalupe St., 512.474.5730; 200 Congress Ave., suite 2B, 512.827.2770;

RUTA MAYA I have known about Ruta Maya for years and have wanted to go there for the complimentary yoga classes offered Monday through Saturday. For some reason, I hadn’t made the trek far enough down South Congress Avenue to stop in for a class and some coffee. It was when I visited the Hops & Grain Brewery and learned about their newest brew, Ruta Maya Dark, made with cold-brewed Ruta

Photo by Manuel Nauta.

Fair-trade Grinds

ing Organizations International. This organization ensures that pesticides are banned, minimal water is used for irrigation and organic waste is disposed of sustainably. Here’s a list of some of my favorite fair-trade Austin coffee houses.

Spring is the time to RENEW friendships, Thank our MOTHERS, Praise the GRADUATE, and enjoy Our GREEN city! Easter, Bridal & Baby Showers, Mother’s Day, Birthdays, Anniversaries, Graduations.


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[Continued from previous page] Maya Coffee, that I knew I had to taste the coffee on its own. We walked into the vast space with tables and chairs scattered about. In all honesty, the interior looked more like a dancehall than a coffeehouse, but I wasn’t complaining, especially once the double espresso hit my lips. One sip and I was hooked. We decided on a pound of the dark roast to go. The burlap sack it is packaged in now replaces my beloved PLU 323, aka extra dark French roast from Whole Foods Market. Needless to say, this is my new favorite drink, next to cocktails, of course. 3601 S. Congress Ave., 512.707.9637,



Houndstooth Coffee is located in the ultramodern building that also houses famed Uchiko in North Central Austin. It was started by the brother duo of Sean and Paul Henry, and serves up some serious java alongside a healthy helping of superb service. They are committed to hiring only the best in the biz, those dedicated to serving as long-haul coffee professionals.

“Being a Barista [Yes, he spells that with a capital “B”] is a title to be earned,” Paul Henry explains. “This is not a part-time job.” Indulge in one-of-a-kind coffee drinks such as the Twofer—two double-shot expressos served side by side. Paul Henry is also an advocate of the Coffee Beer Repeat—two servings of coffee and two beers. Now that’s surely a method to getting your buzz and brew on. 4200 N. Lamar Blvd., suite 120, 512.531.9417,

Photo by Rudy Arocha.




When you walk into Bennu, you feel as though you are walking into a lounge or someone’s living room, and the design was purposeful. This 24-hour coffeehouse serves only fair-trade coffees, and the barista will ask you if want it “high caffeine,” aka Bennu house blend or bold in flavor, the Bolivian dark roast. They serve only small and large sizes, and the large is served in a clear glass beer mug. Plentiful and thoughtfully placed power outlets are suspended from the ceiling. Here, you’re sure to be comfortable and you’ll want to stay awhile. If you get hungry, there are copious menu options available, including tempting pastries, sandwiches, wraps, pizza and healthy salads. The scene here is as varied and unique as the ambiance. Even though it’s located on the edge of campus, you’ll find executives, families and coffee lovers both young and old. Bennu provides just the right atmosphere and food and drink items to get the fix you need. 2001 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 512.478.4700,


Come and bid on the Top 10 Wines in the World! Plus 100 live and 50 silent auction lots of collectable wines, amazing trips and delicious dinners

The 27th Annual Rare & Fine Wine Auction Saturday, April 14, 2012 The Four Seasons Hotel, Austin Purchase Tickets AT


Congratulations to the outstanding community 

volunteers selected as our 2012 Honorees! 


Women On Their Toes Fundraising Luncheon & Fashion Show  Benefiting Ballet Austin 

April 10  Hyatt Regency Austin  For tickets or to learn how  you can become a member of  the Ballet Austin Guild, visit Proudly supporting Ballet Austin and the arts through educational programs,  fundraising, and special events since 1975 


FOURTH ANNIVERSARY GALA You’re invited to a very special event with a charming Mediterranean flair. Our fourth annual Healthy Woman Gala will feature Deborah Kern, Ph.D. Known as “The Daring Diva,” she’ll entertain as she presents, Discovering Your Divine Feminine Power. So be sure to join your friends for a gourmet dinner, music, shopping, inspiration and much more. Proceeds from the gala, which celebrates the opening of our Level 2 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, will benefit the March of Dimes.

Thursday, April 26, 2012 • 5:30-9 p.m. Cedar Park Regional Medical Center • 1401 Medical Parkway Dinner • Motivational Speaker • Silent Auction Music by Oliver Rajamani • Exclusive Boutiques • Complimentary Photos Event Painting by Charleen Carden Tickets are $25 for Healthy Woman members, $35 for non-members. Purchase tickets online at


1890 Ranch • Community Impact • Flat Creek Winery • March of Dimes mcqphoto • Posh Art Studio • Tropical Sensations • YMCA

Keynote Speaker Deborah Kern, Ph.D.


Take a Class in the Grass Outdoor workouts to get your booty in shape. By Chrissie Jarrell & Natalie Yerkovich Spring is in the air and to celebrate the green issue of Austin Woman, we decided to step outside the gym and into the grass for great workouts that allow you to enjoy the amazing weather, beautiful scenery and change of pace from your typical routine. Here are a few activities we’re excited about this spring: OUTDOOR BOOT CAMPS One of the most popular ways to get fit outdoors is through strength-training boot camps. Boot camps are typically a mix of strength training and cardio, giving you an efficient and well-rounded workout. They tend to be high-intensity, but can be easily scaled to any level. Workouts are about an hour long, led by an instructor and you’ll be sweating it out with a group of five to 20 other boot campers. You can find outdoor boot camps taking place throughout town at almost every time of day, making it a convenient way to get out and enjoy the outdoors.

You’ll love outdoor boot camps if... B You like the idea of enjoying the sunshine and amazing Austin springtime weather while getting fit. B You love exercising outdoors, but want instruction and structure to get the most out of your YOGA IN THE workout. PARK SCHEDULE B You want schedule (Check and location options. for updates) There are literally hundreds of class APRIL: Wednesdays times offered during from noon to 1 p.m. at the week at parks the park at City Hall throughout town. Plaza MAY: Wednesdays from noon to 1 p.m. at Republic Square Park JUNE: Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Barton Springs SEPTEMBER: Wednesdays from noon to 1 p.m. at Republic Square Park

Outdoor boot camps may not be for you if... B You don’t like to get dirty during your workouts. Most classes are in parks, meaning you’ll be getting sweaty and rolling around in the grass. B You don’t like the fact that Austin weather in the spring-

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FITNESS time can be unpredictable. You never know if class will be in the cold or rain. Likewise, if you’re the type to skip class because of less than ideal weather, the consistency of indoor workouts may be best for you.

Here are a few to try: B Austin Adventure Boot Camp ( B Camp Gladiator ( B COREFit ( B Heat Boot Camp ( B Relentless Training Systems Boot Camp ( OUTDOOR YOGA Swap the studio for the park from April through November with Yoga in the Park, presented by Yoga Yoga ( in partnership with the Austin Parks Foundation ( and Save Our Springs Alliance ( Yoga classes are free, led by certified Yoga Yoga instructors and appropriate for all levels. Wear comfortable clothes and bring your own mat and water.

You’ll love outdoor yoga if... B You enjoy hearing birds chirping and wind blowing through the trees during your yoga practice. B You like to challenge yourself to focus despite new noises (like traffic, kids playing, dogs barking) and outdoor elements (like an uneven mat surface).

Outdoor yoga may not be for you if... B You don’t want to get your yoga mat dirty. B You need a consistent environment to focus. The outdoors can be unpredictable: Leaves can fall on you, there could be twigs under your mat and there isn’t any air conditioning. TRAIL RUNNING Mix up your usual road-running routes and treadmill jogs with trails and challenging terrain. Trail running gives runners a nice change of scenery and a softer surface to lighten your impact load. Plus, there are so many beautiful trails throughout Central Texas that are perfect for running.

You’ll love trail running if... B You are looking for a more challenging run. Trail running requires you to pay close attention to your footing and make side-to-side movements in addition to forward motion. B You like the idea of ditching the pavement for a more

forgiving surface. Natural trail surfaces are softer than pavement, putting less impact on your joints.

Trail running may not be for you if... B You like the smooth, uniform surfaces so you can zone out during your run. B You need to run at specific paces. Trail running often forces you to slow down a little to be able to safely navigate terrain. It is less reliable when it comes to pacing than a flat, smooth running surface. B You like for your running shoes to stay clean.

Trail running groups to try: B Women on the Trails Program by Trailhead Running ( B Rogue Running ( B Hill Country Trail Runners (hillcountrytrailrunners. com) However you chose to be fit this spring, we hope you enjoy the parks and outdoor spaces you already know about and discover a few more to love. Chrissie Jarrell and Natalie Yerkovich, the gals who created, do the grunt work for you. Well, the organizational grunt work, anyway. They work hard to connect people with the fitness groups, information and resources they need so they can grunt, sweat and tone to achieve their personal goals.

Romeo&Juliet MAY 11-13 ~ THE LONG CENTER

Choreography by Stephen Mills ~ Music by Sergei Prokofiev

Tickets starting at $15

Musical Accompaniment by Austin Symphony Orchestra

Visit or call 512.476.2163

A spectacle that speaks to heart, mind and soul, this timeless and unforgettable tale of young love is given new life in Ballet Austin's original interpretation of this Shakespearian classic.



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This project is funded and supported in part by the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin's Future and by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art. Visit Austin at

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Foods that Pack a Punch Use superfoods as a shortcut to a healthy lifestyle. ByJill Case According to, a superfood is “a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial to health and well-being.” Numerous studies have proven that certain foods that have a high antioxidant, vitamin and/or nutrition content can improve your health by reducing the risk of disease, strengthening your immune system, boosting your metabolism and much more. There have been many books and articles written about superfoods in the past few years, and it continues to be a highly touted idea because it’s a natural way to improve your health. While there are many superfoods, here are some of most highly recommended. THE MAIN INGREDIENTS Beans: (All types of dry and canned low-sodium beans.) A great source of fiber and a low-fat source of protein, beans also contain magnesium, potassium, iron, folate and vitamin K. They can help to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and stabilize your blood sugar. Beans may also reduce the risk of cancer and diverticular disease. Blueberries: One of the most powerful superfoods, blueberries are rich in antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins and lutein, a substance that improves night vision and helps prevent macular degeneration. They also promote heart health, help control blood sugar and may help prevent cancer. Studies show blueberries may even help to reduce the effects of age-related dementia. (For similar benefits, try any fresh, frozen or freeze-dried berries, as well as purple grapes.) Broccoli: Loaded with nutrients and low in calories, just one cup of broccoli provides you with a full day’s supply of vitamin C. It also helps to prevent cancer and to keep the immune system strong, and it’s good for the digestive system. The folate in broccoli is also good for pregnant women. (For similar benefits, try cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, brussel sprouts and cauliflower.) Walnuts: You only need about 1 ounce of walnuts to get the many wonderful benefits, which include reducing your risk for many diseases, such as coronary artery disease, Type 2 diabetes and cancer. Walnuts are an excellent source of omega-3s, which can help reduce cholesterol and reduce the risk of blood clots and heart

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WELLNESS attacks. (For similar benefits, try almonds, peanuts, pecans, pistachios, and sunflower and pumpkin seeds.) Oats: Most people consume their oats by eating oatmeal, but oats can also be added to many recipes. Oats have been proven in many longterm studies to help reduce cholesterol and heart disease. Studies have also shown that consuming oats (or whole grains) can reduce the risk for Type 2 diabetes. Fiberrich and low in calories, oats are very filling. (For similar benefits, try whole-grain foods like barley, brown rice, couscous and quinoa.) Salmon: Salmon is the best source of omega-3s, which is so important to your heart health. Omega-3s help lower cholesterol and triglycerides, and help reduce blood pressure. The magnesium in salmon has also been shown to reduce inflammation in the muscles. Salmon is a wonderful, low-calorie source of both protein and iron. (For similar benefits, try canned albacore tuna, sardines or herring.) Spinach: Dr. Steven Pratt and Kathy Matthews state in their book SuperFoods HealthStyle: Proven Strategies for Lifelong Health that “calorie for calorie, spinach provides more nutrients than any other food.” Spinach, with its many antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients has been shown to help prevent cardiovascular disease and many cancers, as well as eye problems like cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. (For similar benefits, try kale, Swiss chard, bok choy, arugula and turnip or mustard greens.) Tomatoes: Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. Lycopene has been studied for its ability to help lower the risk for cancer, particularly prostate cancer. Lycopene also acts as a powerful preventative in fighting cardiovascular disease. Low-sodium tomato juice is an effective way to get your daily supply of lycopene. (For similar benefits, try pink grapefruit or watermelon.)

Yogurt: Not all yogurt is created equal. SuperFoods HealthStyle recommends looking for the “live active cultures” seal on yogurt containers. This ensures that you are getting the important pre-biotics and pro-biotics that make yogurt a superfood, one that helps promote healthy digestion and bowel function. Yogurt is also a good source of calcium, which helps to maintain healthy, strong bones and prevent osteoporosis. THE ADDED INGREDIENTS Add the following items to your recipes for even more benefits. Cinnamon: Studies have shown cinnamon is particularly beneficial to people with Type 2 diabetes, due to its positive effects on blood-glucose levels. Just half a

Hi-tecH dentistry in a Home-like setting.

teaspoon daily may help lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels. Garlic: Alliicin, an amino acid found in garlic, is just one of its powerful ingredients. Garlic helps fight cardiovascular disease by helping lower blood pressure, triglycerides and bad (LDL) cholesterol. It may also help increase good (HDL) cholesterol. (For similar benefits, try leeks, onions or shallots.)

Our mission is to provide you, our patients, with comprehensive, state-of-the-art dental care in a home-like setting where you will be treated like part of our family.

Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: Full of healthy, monounsaturated fats, olive oil has been proven to help lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and lower blood pressure. It is also a rich source of vitamin E. Olive oil, as well as canola oil, are healthy substitutes for corn, safflower and sunflower oils in your recipes. Turmeric: Curcumin, found in the pigment of turmeric, has been found to have powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which can be beneficial to people with arthritis. It also has antioxidants that may help prevent cancer. Pregnant women should consult their doctors before using turmeric, as it may trigger uterine contractions. THE PERFECT DRINK Tea: Black, green or oolong teas are no-calorie drinks filled with flavonoids, particularly catechins. Numerous studies have been conducted that show tea-drinkers enjoy benefits like improved blood-sugar levels and lower blood pressure. The antioxidant properties have also been shown to help prevent cancer. Just don’t add too much sugar or honey.

SUPER INDULGENCES Fine Living That’s Good For You Red Wine: Although doctors do not encourage you to start drinking if you don’t already do so, if you do like a glass of wine with dinner, go ahead and enjoy it. Studies have shown the resveratrol in red wine may help reduce cholesterol and keep blood vessels healthy, which may help prevent heart attacks and strokes. Doctors recommend one serving a day, which is about five ounces. Dark Chocolate: Just 1.5 ounces of dark chocolate per day is enough to help lower blood pressure and improve insulin resistance. The flavonols in dark chocolate have antioxidant properties that help keep your heart healthy. For the best health effects, look for dark chocolate that has at least 70 percent cocoa solids. For superfood recipes, visit healthy-recipes/super-foods. | 512.506.9430 8430 Spicewood Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78759


Dr. Angela Davidson

Dr. Davidson considers it a true honor to be of service to her patients. A mother to three children, Dr. Davidson values the importance of family. “I like to think of my patients as my extended family and I want to provide them with the same quality care I would provide for my own.” Dr. Davidson is known to have a soft spoken tone and gentle manner that relaxes those in her care. She values the importance of quality dentistry and is committed to helping Austin achieve beautiful, healthy smiles.

giving HOW AREman YOU GOING TO PAY IT FORWARD? pledge “My GivinG Man PledGe is to contribute funds to ‘first descents’. They are a group raising funds to send people who are going through cancer treatments on challenging outdoor activities like kayaking, rock climbing and more to help renew their ‘I can do this attitude’ and give them a break from the rigors of treatment schedules.” -Robert Strait


the giving man pledge POWERED BY ATXMAN.COM

Let everyone know how you plan to make the city a better place. It’s easy, it’s fast, and, of course, it’s free! The Giving Man Pledge is all about showing your gratitude by paying it forward. What do you stand for? What could you do? Visit an elderly home. Volunteer with a local charity. Pay for a stranger’s coffee. Can’t think of anything? Then find out what your neighbors have pledged online at Sign up, get your wristband and leave a mark on your hometown!


“My GivinG Man PledGe is to raise funds to support the Austin Sunshine Camps, helping to send underprivileged youth to summer sleep-away camp.” -David Levy “My GivinG Man PledGe is to have our nonprofit provide Heal In Comfort post operative equipment for Austin’s breast cancer patients.” -Cherie Mathews

“My GivinG Man PledGe is to dedicate time to Austin Angels and help our non-profits grow!” -Tavia Hrabovsky

“My GivinG Man PledGe is to help 100 families in need learn about the services of Wonders & Worries: A unique non-profit that helps children cope when their parent has a critical illness.” -Jason Lavender To see your pledge here go online and share with us by submitting at

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Hope Ball Kick-Off Party

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www.jdrf.ORG/toastthecure or Toast-the-Cure-at-Saks-5th-Ave-Print-Ad.indd 1

Presenting Sponsor:

3/5/12 11:33 PM

15th Annual Heart Ball of Austin April 28, 2012 Hilton Austin, 500 East 4th St.

Premier Sponsors:

Join the American Heart Association for an evening celebrating another year of progress and innovation in the field of cardiovascular care, right here in Central Texas. Enjoy gourmet dinner and dancing, live and silent auctions and great live entertainment.

Bill & Pat Munday

Featuring a special tribute to Kenneth I. Shine, MD, Executive Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs, The University of Texas System. Live music by Court Yard Hounds, featuring Martie Maguire and Emily Robison of the Dixie Chicks.

For sponsorship or event information, contact or 512.338.2442 Or visit



TreeHouse features products that conform to their four principles: health, sustainability, performance and corporate responsibility.


Austin-based alternative home-improvement store encourages smart and sustainable living. By Molly Keith, Photo by Caleb Kerr In the lighting section of TreeHouse, there’s a sign nailed next to a cluster of offbeat lamps that reads, “Let there be light! Just don’t forget to turn them off when you leave!” The home-improvement store, a local Austin business, isn’t trying to be Mom. Instead, it’s being what Jason Ballard, co-founder and vice president of sustainability and product stewardship for the store, calls “smart,” striving to provide not only green and recycled products, but also to educate

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homeowners on the benefits of using supplies that meet high standards of health, sustainability and performance. The alternative home-improvement company adheres to its corporate credo with the philosophy of helping create Austin companies that encourage responsible communities and educating the people within. “A lot of homeowners have a lack of awareness about what we bring into our homes,” Ballard says. “Many products are toxic and inefficient.” He adds that the biggest mistake he sees homeowners make is ineffectively valuing a product. With this mindset, Ballard and his co-founders created a store that focuses on the value and longevity of every variety of home-improvement product, such as lighting, flooring, insulation, building materials, and kitchen and bath goods. But why build the TreeHouse in Austin? “Austin is the birthplace of green building,” Ballard says, paying homage to the city’s penchant for

environmentally conscious businesses. Charming kitchen displays are the highlight of TreeHouse. With crystal cabinets, eco-friendly polished countertops, luxurious Kohler sinks and maple wood flooring that is natural, renewable and durable, customers are going to look for excuses to stay busy in the cookery. In addition to inside-the-home products like kitchen sets and funky lamps, TreeHouse also offers outdoor specialties like organic chicken coops and feed mills. Many products are made locally and all are designed to consider the well-being of the environment. “TreeHouse is different due to the thoroughness with which we curate our products,” Ballard says. “We’re attentive.” TreeHouse is located in the Westgate Shopping Center at 4477 S. Lamar Blvd. Visit, or call 512.861.0712 for more information.

Your journey is changing

Let us be your guide…

Caregiver U

CaregiverU presents an education program that equips family caregivers with effective tools that make caregiving less stressful, and teaches families how to successfully manage the demands of caregiving.

Upcoming Classes - Georgetown -

- Dripping Springs Dripping Springs UMC Thursdays Mondays April 26 - May 31 April 30 - May 11 Community Resource Center

- South Austin St. Catherine Church Wednesdays Sept 4 - Oct 10

More class locations and dates available online, including North Austin, Bastrop, San Marcos, and more.

For more info, contact Faith Unger: (512) 451-4611 x244 or Visit us online at Austin Groups for the Elderly

Made possible with generous support of

Let Us Bring Spring Into Your Home!

(512) 327-4000 Area Franchises Available

We work with YOU to create the look you have in mind. From custom window treatments to an entire room makeover, give us a call. You’ll love us!

Spring is Here! Window Treatments | Furniture | Rugs & Flooring | Bedding | Lighting & Accessories | Remodels

Austin Fire Department Hiring Soon! “After all, Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels.” —Ann Richards, Former Governor of Texas

ter all, Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels.”

To fill out a candidate interest card and learn more, visit


Living Outside (and Inside) the Box Clever planning brings new life to shipping containers. By Helen Thompson It would be hard to contain your enthusiasm for a guesthouse like the one Stacey Hill asked architect Jim Poteet to design. The San Antonio entrepreneur, artist and

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The rooftop garden is built inside a steel frame and held up off the roof, providing an insulating air space and shade for the container. Recycled telephone poles are laid horizontally to support and raise the structure.

co-owner of the hip gastro pub The Monterey lives on a lot near the bar. Her house sits on a former light industrial site next to the King William Historic District in San Antonio, but her residence isn’t big enough to accommodate long-term visitors. Hill needed a place to stow her guests. The restaurateur had an idea that was both eco-friendly and inexpensive, and she asked Poteet if he was willing to go along with the experiment. “She said,” recalls the architect, “‘Hey, I want to do something with a shipping container. You want to?’” Hill had picked the right partner for her venture: Poteet is partial to renovations and has rehabbed centuriesold dwellings, industrial buildings and ornate Victorians in San Antonio and beyond. Repurposing Hill’s container would be the smallest of his projects, but it packed a lot of punch. Poteet couldn’t resist Hill’s invitation. Since Hill is used to locating products and materials for

her other endeavors, she quickly figured out a simple and nearby place to buy the container: She sourced it from the Port of Houston. There were plenty of other options, but none quite so convenient (they are researchable online under “shipping containers”). Containers are the multitasking option for anyone looking for a cheap and green alternative to predictable building choices. Because these modular wonders are structurally sound and easily available, they are admired as a flexible method of construction. Containers are easy to move and can be relocated or stored for later use. In fact, this trait proved to be a bonus for Hill and Poteet, who were not sure exactly where they wanted the guesthouse to be sited on Hill’s lot. Poteet’s team was able to move the container around the site until they found the perfect permanent spot. Containers are also stackable. An exuberant example of the possibilities is Container City I and II at Trinity Buoy

Photos by Chris Cooper.


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[Continued from previous page] Wharf in London. Brightly colored and stacked five stories high in a ziggurat pattern, Container City II connects to its predecessor by a bridge, and houses 22 studios. The standard size is 8 feet by 8 feet by 40 feet, which is what Hill bought for her guesthouse. Both client and architect liked the container’s original color—blue—and they decided to preserve it, as well as the original lettering and numbering on the side. Poteet made subtle changes to the exterior, such as cutting out part of the wall and replacing it with a sliding glass wall. Hill’s goal was to re-use and repurpose as much as possible in the construction process, and Poteet came up with imaginative solutions. The deck is framed with steel and made from 4-foot by 4-foot equipment pads built from recycled soda caps. Just visible underneath the container are recycled telephone poles laid horizontally that support the container a foot above the ground. It was a strategy that solved other problems. Because the soil in this part of San Antonio is expansive, the undergirding of telephone poles was Poteet’s solution for protecting the container from shifting and settling. The architect also

figured out ways to introduce his solutions attractively. Balanced at the west end of the support poles, a vinecovered, wire-mesh trellis hides the HVAC system. A couple of inches of spray foam were pumped between the new walls and the pre-existing ones for insulation. The same considerations applied overhead too. The rooftop garden is built inside a steel frame that holds it above the roof a foot or so, providing an insulating air space, as well as shade for the container. But the architect saw other possibilities for the garden frame, and extended it above the bathroom window for shade. The frame also serves to support exterior lights, which are suspended from the grid. And even the lights had a prior life. Brett Freeman, an architect in Poteet’s office and also a welder, manufactured the stylish lights using agricultural-machinery disc blades for the shades. The overhang is highly durable blue polycarbonate. The attitude inside the container is just as inventively hip and eco-friendly as the exterior. Floors and walls are bamboo plywood; the sink cabinet is fashioned from the same bamboo plywood and topped with sheet metal. In the bathroom, red-painted sheet metal wraps from the

bathroom on to the wall behind the sink, where it serves as a backsplash. An electric composting toilet is regally ensconced underneath the round-domed skylight; the floors are epoxy; a shower curtain runs on a hospital track and adds privacy in this bathroom, which is basically a shower and designed to get wet. All water is captured and pumped to the rooftop garden. For client and architect, the goal was always simple: to repurpose and reuse. Neither Hill nor Poteet anticipated the sensation their idea would create. “This project was the most modest I’ve ever done,” Poteet says about the 320-square-foot guesthouse. “I’ve been shocked by all the attention it’s gotten.” The architect gets requests from throughout the world to build other container projects. At home, the guesthouse is in constant demand by a steady stream of Hill’s guests. But there are the rare occasions when all the guests have gone home and the blue container is unoccupied. Even then, though, it’s not sitting idle; Hill has a creative side and her container does double duty as her artist studio. For more information, contact architect Jim Poteet at 210.281.9818 or The interior is lined in bamboo plywood; the sink cabinet is fashioned from the same bamboo plywood and topped with sheet metal. Red-painted sheet metal wraps from the bathroom onto the wall behind the sink, where it serves as a backsplash.

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Modern Homes Go Green Austin architects and designers share ideas for creating environmentally friendly living spaces. By Erica Todd Lady Bird Johnson, one of Austin’s most treasured advocates for preserving the beauty of nature, once said, “The environment is where we all meet; where all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share.” Earlier this year, the Modern Home Tour in Austin

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showcased some functional and innovative homes that would have made Mrs. Johnson proud. Architect and design teams behind three of the stunning homes on the tour shared some of the innovative ideas and unexpected materials that went in to their green constructions: Rose Cardona, on behalf of the team at Cottam Hargrave who built the Redbud Trail home; Morgan Penix, designer at DeWitt Architects for the West Live Oak Street home; and Richard White, architect at Abode Modern Homes and homeowner of the house on West Elizabeth Street. All three teams share a passion for creating ecofriendly dwellings through carefully considered designs, recycled and environmentally sustainable materials, and tailoring their ideas to the local geography and climate. Their creative decisions are a testament to the fact that choosing to go green when building or renovating can not only help save the planet, but it can be cost-effective as well.

Making the Most of Daylight Another bright idea, according to these designers, is to take advantage of the sunlight that streams through the windows and in to the house; this is an initiative that is especially effective in a sun-drenched place like Austin. Penix fitted north-facing clerestory windows to maximize daylight without adding too much to the heat load. Similarly, the Cottam Hargrave team chose to emphasize proper sun orientation of rooms and overhangs in their projects, continuing in their unique design aesthetic and remaining practical at the same time. With a design that takes in to account the extremes of the Austin summer, coping with all of those intense rays can become much easier.

Thank You to our

2012 Women of Distinction Sponsors

The ABE Charitable Foundation Inc. / The Serra Family

Laurée and Jim Bob Moffett

Suzanne and Luci Baines Marc Winkelman Johnson

Elizabeth Christian & Associates Public Relations • Wells Fargo • Mary and Bill Keienburg


ECO-FRIENDLY FINDS [Continued from previous page]

Concrete What’s eco-friendly or exciting about concrete? Plenty, according to the three architect and design teams. “People don’t realize this is a recycled product made with fly ash from power plants,” White says. What’s more, to reduce landfill waste, there are a range of places to utilize concrete throughout exteriors, interiors and landscaping. Each team employs concrete in different ways, from wall and water features to flooring with no added surface material.

Environmentally Friendly Countertops A stylish countertop can be an essential focal point of any kitchen or bathroom. One material is Silestone’s natural quartz, which White explains is 75 percent recycled with greater density than granite. Penix praises Avonite, a solid-surface countertop product that is made in the U.S. and is Greenguard-certified. Richlite countertops, which are made from recycled paper, are another fresh option, according to Cottam Hargrave.

Unique Tiling and Flooring The choice for flooring surrounding eco-friendly countertops can really finish off the design. Penix has used fireclay tile for a kitchen backsplash, which is made in the U.S. with a sustainable manufacturing process using recycled materials. For flooring, he aims to go carpetless where possible, which can draw the focus to other features. Another choice is a rubber and cork mix that White uses in his construction, which comes in an array of colors from “raisin” to “bay leaf.”

Energy-Saving Appliances and Plumbing Perhaps the greatest area for environmental benefit is the long-term boon from resourceful use of energy. The team at Cottam Hargrave uses an energy-efficient geothermal system in some of their designs, and White prioritizes tankless and solar water systems. Penix installed a Big Chill Retropolitan refrigerator in the kitchen of one of his designs. Despite its vintage appearance, the stylish fridge has modern advantages with environmentally friendly paint and efficient energy consumption.

Reflective Roofs While it’s great to be stylish inside, come rain or shine, it is important to have a sturdy roof overhead. In fact, modern homes are taking advantage of the different weather elements that have traditionally been known to wear down roofs. Reflective, white roofs for heat are a central part of modern, environmental designs, according to the architects and designers. TPO roofs have a longer warranty than traditional shingle roof systems and allow for rainwater collection, according to the team from Cottam Hargrave.

Special Framing and Windows White constructs his houses with Ecosteel, which means no wood framing. This product comes in a package, precut at the factory and is assembled with bolts, reducing waste and construction time. He, as well as the team at Cottam Hargrave, uses spray-foam insulation within the framing, which is better than batt-insulation. For windows, Cottam Hargrave uses low-emission, insulated glass with solar film, while Penix uses Millgard aluminum windows, which are made in the U.S. and contain up to 25 percent pre-consumer recycled content.

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Concrete photo courtesy of Andrew Pogue.

Consideration for the Landscape and Outdoor Environment Owners of eco-friendly homes may find that the grass is in fact greener on their side of the fence. As the architects and designers accentuate, being environmentally friendly extends to the actual outdoor landscape, not just the materials and appliances on and within a home. In his design, Penix promoted a native drought-tolerant landscape and made sure to work around a large palm tree that was an existing feature of the backyard. Likewise, the team at Cottam Hargrave stresses connectedness to natural green space when possible, as it can provide the perception of a larger space and allow the owners to appreciate the outdoors as much as possible while living within their home.

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Water's Keeper

Texas’ top conservationist, Laura Huffman, is a woman with a plan, and she’s determined to preserve the resources of the state she loves.


BY ROBIN RATHER PHOTOGRAPHS BY CODY HAMILTON Makeup by Lauren Lumsden, Rae Cosmetics,; hair by JC Ramos, Blo Blow Dry Bar, Shot on location at Barton Creek Habitat Preserve.




Laura Huffman is in love with water. “I like swimming in it. I like working on the policy around it. And I like to see it protected,” she says. Watershed protection has been a constant, deep undercurrent driving her career. And now that Texas is in the midst of its worst drought in 60 years, Huffman’s role as a strategist, an innovator and highly disciplined public servant has never been more important. The drought has spawned out-of-control wildfires, left farmers with no irrigation for their crops, killed millions of trees and even changed the migratory patterns of birds. Huffman is the latest in a long line of Texas women who have stayed calm and determined in the midst of natural disaster. Her plan is as straightforward as a line painted down I-35: “Drive water use down,” she says. “Our state is counting on each and every one of us to use less water. We’re going to have to stop asking, ‘How much can I have?’ and start asking, ‘How much do I need?’” These are strong words coming from a representative of The Nature Conservancy, an organization that prides itself on science-based solutions and a pragmatic, non-confrontational operating philosophy. Huffman’s latest op-ed (statesman. com/opinion/insight), which outlines her plan, was well received and re-posted widely on the Internet throughout the state. She has a way of

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saying things that are true without making people this is part of an epiphany I had one evening about go crazy. public service, but the truth is I find it’s a practical Huffman’s no-nonsense style, say her friends approach. If all you ever focus on is the big picture, and co-workers, defines her success. you can’t guarantee that vision is being operational“Her views are always so well-researched and ized. That means your results will be interesting so logical,” Cookie Ruiz admiringly says. “She’s ideas that went nowhere. On the other hand, if you done her homework, looked at all the options; stay in the weeds and only focus on the details, you she’s run all the traps. She can aim the right level can never know if it added up to anything. And of detail at the right crowd. So many people are chances are it won’t. We need big ideas. They are imstrong at the 100,000-foot level but then get three portant. They animate and energize communities.”  detailed questions and are utterly stumped. Not Big ideas seem to come easily to Huffman. She’s her. I’m always stunned at her innate intelligence been involved in some of the most innovative waterand ability to persuade using common sense conservation strategies in the country, ones that and logic. I’m very interested in people who can have become models for many regions in the U.S. change the world, and Laura is very interesting to and internationally. In terms of big ideas, Huffman me right now.” is inspired by another big thinker and one of her Huffman agrees that a big part of her effectiveheroes, Teddy Roosevelt, who said in 1907, “The ness as an executive both in city management and conservation of natural resources is the fundamental in her role as state director for the Conservancy is problem. Unless we solve that problem, it will avail to find what she calls “the alignment between the us little to solve all others.” big picture and the details.” The roots of Huffman’s deep understanding of “One without the other will not work,” she says. LAURA'S ADVICE ON FINDING FULFILLMENT “How did I come You have to figure out the best version of yourself and what makes you happy. That up with my style might mean full speed ahead on a career and it might mean taking some time off to of focusing on raise a family. I do think it is helpful to think about your career not just in terms of the both the big picjob, but the job conditions. What kind of people will you be surrounded by and under ture and the dewhat circumstances? And I really do think that some form of public service adds an tails as part of my enormous amount of meaning to a person’s life. Of course, there’s nothing like sisters, job? I’d love to say and girlfriends that treat you like a sister, to keep everything real.

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conservation come from parents who she says were “granolas before it was hip. We were harvesting rain water in metal trashcans and mulching in the back-

yard when it was probably a code violation.” Huffman’s mother baked bread, canned vegetables and made jam from vegetables and fruit grown at a family farm outside of Luling. “My first job was selling tomatoes in the neighborhood,” Huffman remembers. Laura Huffman on the Importance of Preserving Texas' Natural Resources She credits her mother with instillWhether it’s the lush Piney Woods of East Texas or the striking plains of the Paning a deep sense handle, every Texan has a landscape they can relate to. That, in fact, is one of the of respect for how wonderful things about Texas: We are large enough to encompass nearly every limited our natural type of major ecosystem known to man. At The Nature Conservancy of Texas, our resources are and work on land is a large part of our legacy. the need to not waste anything—especially But protecting our land is about more than ensuring biodiversity. The best way to protect our state’s fragile freshwater resources is to protect the acres of land under water. Huffman’s which that water flows. Our projects benefit nearly a dozen different waterways father was a profesthroughout the state, including the Devils, Blanco, Brazos, Frio, Guadalupe, Nueces, sor of public adminSabinal and Pedernales rivers, Barton Creek and Caddo Lake. We’ve helped protect istration at the Unialmost 100,000 acres in and around the Edwards Aquifer, the sole source of water versity of Texas at for San Antonio and a critical source of groundwater for two million Central Texans. Austin, and he gave her a love of how We encourage Texans to get involved in a variety of ways: Become a member of government service The Nature Conservancy, donate or volunteer! We also urge you to join the convercan make people’s sation via Facebook, follow me on Twitter (@laurajhuffman) or just get outside and lives better, and a enjoy the beauty of Texas. method for looking for the best of the big ideas. Together, her

The Mission


parents instilled in her a love of nature, organizing trip after trip on classic vacations to national parks throughout the United States. Huffman recalls being mesmerized by the redwood trees in the Muir Woods outside San Francisco. That family vacation may have sealed her destiny as much as anything else. Huffman is the youngest of five siblings and she proudly recalls being expected to complete a 10-mile hike without sitting on anyone else’s neck, starting at a very early age. Being part of a big family left an indelible mark on her career; Huffman loves the thrill of competing with both men and women, thrives in all kinds of chaos and her unfailing sense of teamwork is legendary. “Laura really knows who she is,” says Kristen Vassallo, who worked closely with Huffman for the City of Austin and now at The Nature Conservancy. “She’s a great teammate and it is all about the team. She knows what her strengths are and recognizes the strength of others. She is great at assembling the best minds in a room and getting us to work together to find solutions to problems. She gives us a lot of rope. She does not micro-manage, but she is available when we need her. She gives very clear guidance and is also willing to say, ‘I haven’t figured this out yet. Please help me get there.’ She truly values the ways different people approach issues in different ways.” Vassallo also admires Huffman’s toughness, her inner composure and a confidence that is not arro-


gant, simply resolute. “She is very sure about the direction we are going in and she is very certain about the importance and the meaning of public service,” Vassallo says. Huffman’s storybook childhood wasn’t all a bed of roses. “I didn’t love high school and I graduated early,” is about all she’ll say about her years at Austin’s

her, as it was not a topic for dinnertime conversation at home, and she wanted a major she didn’t know much about. She continued her education, entering graduate school at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at UT Austin, where she fell in love again, this time with public service and learning how government is put together and how it really works. After obtaining her degree, her first job was with the City of Austin in the Office of the City Auditor. The job helped solidify her sense that the mechanics of issues are important to understand, and to honor the idea of being a real expert. “Budgeting and auditing give Founded in 1964, The Nature Conservancy of Texas has been a real bird’s-eye view,” she says. working for nearly five decades to protect the lands and waters “It makes you ask the questions, on which all life depends. One of the most biologically diverse ‘Are you doing the right things?’ states in the nation, Texas is rich in natural treasures. But the Lone and ‘Are you doing things Star State is losing its undeveloped land faster than any other right?’” state. With a commitment to conserving Texas’ native animals, She rotated through the plants and landscapes, The Nature Conservancy now owns 38 City Manager’s Office for a few preserves and conservation properties, and maintains more than months before landing a dream 100 conservation easements through collaboration with private landowners. With help from public and private partners, and using job with the City of San Marcos conservation grounded in science, The Nature Conservancy has as an assistant city manager. protected 840,000 acres of land and water in Texas, including “San Marcos reminded me nearly 100,000 acres in and around the Edwards Aquifer. of the Austin I grew up in. It’s a small town dominated by a beIn her current position as state director for The Nature Conserloved water feature. It was also a vancy of Texas, Laura Huffman heads a team of more than 80 city that embraced innovation,” scientists, conservation experts and support staff whose work Huffman explains. affects every corner of the Lone Star State, from the Davis MounThe mayor of San Marcos at tains in West Texas, to the borderlands of the Rio Grande and the the time was Cathy Morris, who coastal marshes of the Gulf of Mexico. During her tenure at the became very concerned about Conservancy, the organization has expanded its Barton Creek growth in San Antonio and how Habitat Preserve, and purchased more than 38,000 acres within it might affect water availability the highly sensitive Edwards Aquifer recharge zone, ensuring in San Marcos during a drought. the protection of Barton Springs Pool, Austin’s favorite watering Huffman’s first major project hole. Her leadership has helped secure valuable habitat for the was helping the city move to endangered golden-cheeked warbler, safeguarded water quality surface water, away from relying at the Hill Country’s iconic Hamilton Pool and extended publicly strictly on the Edwards Aquifer, accessible lands on the banks of the Pedernales River, just west of and building a water-treatment the city. For more information, visit plant that was sized for the whole region, not just the town. Huffman worked on an openspace conservation plan with The Nature Conservancy and The Trust for Public Land as McCallum High School. She was a strong competipartners. They jointly developed a vision for water tive swimmer who trained with the legendary UT conservation that science, at the time, indicated Aquatic Club, which gave her a different set of was necessary, although few in Texas had ever friends and a chance to push herself physically. tried it. Today, those policies are considered best During her junior year, she began dating a boy practices and regions throughout the world are she had known since kindergarten, and they have replicating the early Central Texas innovations. been together ever since. Kent’s father was also a Eight productive years later, Huffman yearned professor at UT and their parents were friends. In to return to Austin, where her husband worked fact, their mothers were in the same bridge club and commuted to each day. She jokes that she while they were pregnant with the children who left for San Marcos as a newlywed in a Mustang would later marry. Huffman was the proverbial convertible and returned in a minivan with three girl next door. kids and one on the way. She returned to work Huffman went on to Texas A&M University and for the City of Austin as an assistant city manager majored in political science. Politics was new to overseeing public safety, including the fire and

A Brief History


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police departments, using her communication and logical debate skills to win over an initially skeptical staff. Later, she was moved to oversee the critical departments of economic development and environmental protection, and planning/zoning, where her reputation as a skilled negotiator and visionary was taken to even higher levels of accomplishment. The highlight of those days was working on open-space issues, taking what she and others had implemented in San Marcos to a greater scale. Austin voters, by large margins, approved bond packages that included millions of dollars for protecting open space for water-quality protection. “Open space was such a positive expression of how Austin wanted to look and feel. It was so supported. Open-space protection is so meaningful and is a long-lasting legacy for the city that will last for generations,” Huffman says. Again, The Nature Conservancy was a key partner on this issue, giving assistance by identifying the land and aiding in the completion of the transactions. Asked how she could possibly accomplish all this while raising four children, Huffman laughs and says, “A sense of humor is essential. Kent and I have a shared set of values about what is and isn’t important. Raising children is one giant highlight of my life so far. I love the noise level and chaos of a big family like the one I grew up in. And it helps that the kids’ grandparents live nearby. Everybody pitches in.” “Kent is not the kind of father who has to be given a list when she’s out of the house,” Huffman’s sister Judith adds. “He really is an equal partner in the family and being responsible for the children.” A sense of humor also helped when Huffman lost her very public bid to become Austin’s city manager. Huffman, for the first time, had to deal with a potentially devastating professional setback. Not getting the job meant she would virtually have to leave Austin city government. “No one wakes up thinking they’re not going to get what they want,” she says. “At first, it felt like a loss. But it didn’t stay that way. I worked out a lot and I did a ton of running and yoga. My friends and family wouldn’t let me make it be that big a deal. I have learned how to stay positive and not to torment myself with all the what ifs.” In order to get re-energized, Huffman made a list of what she wanted in her next challenge. She wanted to stay in Austin, so applying for citymanagement jobs in other cities was out. “I wanted my world to include Austin but to be bigger than Austin,” she says. “I was interested in getting out and about around the state of Texas,

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which is as dynamic as it gets. Exploring the state personally would be like a playground. I wanted to work with very smart people—that is critical. And I wanted to remain in public service.” Not long after restructuring her goals, Huffman became the first female state director for The Nature Conservancy of Texas. Her office overlooking Congress Avenue in downtown Austin is one of the “greenest” in town, and from that vantage point, she is asked what she misses about city management. “I don’t miss anything! Everything I loved about it I still get to do versions of. And I definitely don’t

HOW TO LAND YOUR DREAM JOB, ACCORDING TO LAURA People have to see themselves in your issue and to see what they do matters. Humor is essential. Mentors are essential. Communicate in a straightforward way. Be very bottom-line focused. It is not enough to have a good job; you want to have a job that is meaningful and joyful too. It is important to be articulate. The only way to be articulate is to have your own style. You can’t read your way in to it. You can’t watch others. You have to want other people to understand and realize we are all separate recipes. To me, communication is the key. You want to have creativity and graciousness in problem solving, not arguing. A victory is not complete until everyone involved agrees it’s a victory. Leave only footprints. Do important things, but tread lightly.

miss worrying so much about the inside politics,” Huffman says. If anyone can help Texas move forward in the 21st century with enough water, energy and clean air, it may very well be Laura Huffman. This driven, good-natured, logical, sisterly mother of four has the right mix of brains and humor to motivate the Lone Star State to conserve as much as possible and enjoy doing it. If the 15 op-eds she’s already published, the hundreds of volunteers

and funders she’s inspired, and acres of land already conserved are any indication, Texas is well on its way.





PHOTOGRAPH BY RUDY AROCHA page 78 78   Austin Woman A P R I L 2 0 1 2


amela Hart was five years old when she began singing. Her school didn’t start until the middle of the day, so in order to know when it was time for her to leave, she followed the same radio show each day, anticipating its close. “This is Brad Pride, Jr. recording. … Have a ball!” This was the DJ’s sign-off, which led in to Nancy Wilson’s song I Hope You Had a Ball. The song was Hart’s signal to get to school, as she was the last one left in the house; her five older siblings were already in school and her mother was at work. Hart recalls listening to the wonderful jazz singer and trying to mimic Wilson’s melodies, phrasing and overall sound. “I would really try to make my vocal chords do what hers did, in terms of texture, whether she was belting it out or singing high falsetto notes,” Hart says. Her mother heard her singing in the house one day and began coaxing her to sing in front of guests when they would come to visit. Singing came naturally to Hart and, at that young age, she had no fear singing in front of others. She gave it everything she had, choreographing dances to go along with her performances. This, however, drastically changed in the years to come. Growing up in Los Angeles, Hart had music connections everywhere. It was the ’70s, the music scene was booming and everybody was trying to get a slice of it. Hanging out in the city at various stores, Hart had friends and acquaintances trying to set her up with people who might be able to get her a record deal or singing gigs. When she was 13, an opportunity came her way. “I remember being in front of someone who may have been able to make a difference in my life and it just couldn’t come out,” Hart reminisces about her voice. She was so nervous that literally no sound came out. The opportunity—gone. I had a very hard time believing this after seeing her perform last summer. This woman did not seem to have a nervous bone in her body. Performing at the Paramount Theatre in downtown Austin, it was like she was singing in her living room to close friends, intimately connecting with the audience, even in such a large venue. For those who have not had the opportunity to

hear this amazing jazz musician, I’ll put it plain and simple for you: You are missing out, big time. Her voice is as smooth as velvet, as bold as dark roasted coffee and as luxurious as fine silk, and she sings in a way that appears effortless. She demands all your attention, not because of showy riffs or belting out high, loud notes, but because she has perfected her sound, style and delivery, keeping you excitedly anticipating her next musical move. In a lot of ways, Hart has remained under the radar, mainly because she has a lot on her plate; it’s practically overflowing: She balances her time between her job, her family, her nonprofit and her singing. Hart’s “day job,” as she calls it, is working for the State of Texas as a manager in the application development section. I was lucky enough to catch her on her lunch break, meeting at her favorite South Austin restaurant, Enoteca, over spaghetti and meatballs. This was not the woman I had seen in concert eight months prior. At her show, she filled the Paramount with her powerful sound. At the restaurant, Hart was soft-spoken, and a few times certain words were lost in the loud chatter surrounding us. At her show, she wore a billowy, bright peach-colored top that flowed over a tight black mini skirt, emphasizing her toned, slender legs, which ended in a pair of killer pumps. At the [FROM TOP] PAM HART, FOR A TRIBUTE TO BILLIE HOLIDAY. HART WITH JAMES POLK. restaurant, she was modestly dressed in dark colors, coming from work. However, she was as fashionable and beautiful as I had remembered. I mean, the woman holds several degrees, includI honestly expected Hart to be a bit of a diva. ing a master’s degree in business, sells out shows, On the contrary, she is far from it. She’s down to had success with her debut album (May I Come earth, extremely humble and an absolute pleasure In?), released in 1998, and has entertained audiencto be with. Hart’s knowledge of jazz is impressive. es with some of jazz’s most esteemed performers. (There were about 20 things I wanted to look up Furthermore, Hart started and runs the inclusive as we were talking.) She’s amiable and engaging, and much needed nonprofit Women in Jazz with quick to laugh and very detailed in each story she her husband, Kevin. At its core, Women in Jazz tells, never one to brag about her accomplishments. provides exposure to female jazz performers and


fosters the appreciation of jazz in Austin. Hart was not always the jazz connoisseur she is today. While her mother played jazz at their house, Hart preferred folk music, listening to the likes of The Beatles, Carole King and Roberta Flack. It wasn’t until she moved to Austin that her appreciation of jazz began to blossom. At age 22, Hart packed up and left California after graduating from the University of California, Los Angeles. Living at home while attending college, Hart didn’t really have an adult life in L.A. Upon moving, she was awakened and invigorated with her first time of truly being on her own. “I immediately loved Austin, how safe it was, how clean it was, how friendly it was,” Hart says of her first impressions of the city. “And then I learned how giving it was, because the community accepted me.” During this time, Hart began doing research on jazz music, becoming transfixed with the legendary Billie Holiday. “I was like, 'Who is this Billie Holiday anyway?'” Hart laughs. “I went down to the Austin Public Library and they had everything on Holiday. I checked out albums, learned who the real Billie Holiday was and fell in love with her.” So at age 25, jazz became Hart’s life. For about two years, all she played and sang was Billie

Holiday. Hart’s love for jazz continued to blossom through her 20s and 30s, and she began to take a more active role in its future in Austin. She joined the Black Arts Alliance, participating on its board of directors. During a programming meeting, Hart suggested starting a black women in jazz group. After a couple years, she left the board and learned they weren’t going to continue to apply for funding for the group. Hart decided to pick up the project herself, proposing an all-inclusive organization. “Once I learned about the City of Austin Cultural Contracts, I applied and they liked the idea of Women in Jazz. The support here is just amazing,” Hart raves. Women in Jazz operated under the umbrella of Women and their Work from 1994 to 2006, when Kevin and Pamela Hart applied for nonprofit status. They continue to direct the organization with dedication and drive to this day, always looking to improve and expand. The nonprofit is comprised of a few different elements. Each year, a concert showcases the talents of female jazz musicians in Austin. However, being in line with the all-inclusive nature of Hart, the event usually showcases the talents of males as well. Last year, the Women in Jazz Concert Series hosted Summer Jam, which featured Austin saxophonist Charmin Greene, as

well as Grammy Award-winning guitarist Norman Brown and saxophonist Richard Elliot, with Hart opening the show. Hart also featured the talents of 17-year-old vocalist Shanice McKissick, who sent the crowd in to a frenzy with her radiant sound. The exposure McKissick and Greene received is exactly aligned with the mission of Women in Jazz, which strives to provide spaces to nonprofessional and professional female vocalists who are not regularly featured in Austin venues, as well as provide a promotional opportunity for professional female vocalists who are ready for the recording industry. Women in Jazz also attempts to grow jazz appreciation among Austinites who may not be familiar with the American tradition. This month, Women in Jazz is presenting something exceptional. April 14, Hart will perform with an all-female jazz band, the All Star Ladies of Jazz in Pink, at the Stateside at the Paramount Theatre. This is the first time Women in Jazz has hosted an all-female concert since 1998, when a group called Straight Ahead was featured, playing classic jazz music only. “That’s our ultimate goal: to perpetuate classic jazz, the American art form jazz,” Hart says of her preference for straight-ahead jazz. At the All Star Ladies of Jazz in Pink, however, you will hear some straight-ahead (think Miles

LADIES OF JAZZ MASTERS’ WORKSHOP ALL-STAR LADIES OF JAZZ IN PINK CONCERT Pamela Hart met Gail Jhonson at last year’s Summer Jam. Jhonson is the music director and keyboardist for Norman Brown, and the two set to organizing an all-female show through Jhonson’s project, Ladies of Jazz in Pink. The Women in Jazz Concert Series will present All-Star Ladies of Jazz in Pink, featuring flautist Althea Rene, violinist Karen Briggs and keyboardist Jhonson, with Hart on vocals. Each of these performers will take the stage and become a unit of harmony, grace, soul and grooves. The entire band will consist of female artists, including guitarist Darlene Moreno, bassist Robin Bramlett and drummer Danielle “Pockett” Brown. Showtimes are 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. April 14 at the Stateside at the Paramount, 719 Congress Ave. Tickets are $34 and $42. For more information, visit


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The morning of April 14, a Jazz Masters’ Workshop will be held, preceding the All Star Ladies of Jazz in Pink concert. Bring your instrument or voice and learn how to blend in and make great music using the tools and techniques of great jazz masters at the All-Star Ladies of Jazz Masters’ Workshop. Gail Jhonson, Althea Rene, Karen Briggs and Pamela Hart will take your playing and singing to another level by offering practical guidance and proven techniques that will leave you more confident as a performer. Darlene Moreno, Robin Bramlett and Danielle “Pockett” Brown will offer their rhythm-section expertise. Whether you are a jazz instrumentalist, a jazz vocalist or a jazz composer, these ladies have put together a truly unique jazz experience that will challenge, excite and inspire you. Topics include Improvisation Techniques, Good Performance Practices, Life in the Rhythm Section: Maintaining the Pulse, Lead Singer as the Front Man, Taking the Solo, Tools of the Trade: What’s in Your Toolkit, Personal Coaching and Jam Session. The Ladies of Jazz Masters’ Workshop will be held at the Stateside at the Paramount Theatre, April 14, at 11 a.m. Registration is $35. For more information and to register, visit


Davis, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday), mixed in with smooth jazz, the softer contemporary sound (think Kenny G and Norah Jones), along with some neo soul and perhaps a jazzed-up version of Ladies Night or Beyoncé’s Déjà Vu. It’s important for Hart to reach the different audience members attending so they connect with the music and everyone leaves the event feeling fulfilled. I know I did after jamming out to my favorite Marvin Gaye song last year at Summer Jam. In addition to coordinating concerts throughout the year, Hart also hosts vocal performance workshops in which she shares with aspiring vocalists her wealth of knowledge on the jazz performing arena. It was through a workshop that she happened to meet McKissick before inviting her to perform with her at Summer Jam. “In jazz, you can do anything you want within the framework of the melody,” Hart explains, meaning that there is a lot of freedom. However, there must be structure so each musician is on the same page, so to speak. Hart explains that, as a singer, it is important to know the tune you’re singing, the rhythm, so as to know how to count it off, how many measures you want up front, how to build rapport with the audience and how to communicate with the other musicians nonverbally and verbally. “It’s so important for us to teach that because if a singer wants to be respected, they have to

become a member of the band, not just an add-on that the guys have to deal with,” Hart says. “As a singer, you become the lead instrument and you have to know how to direct the band.” Through the Women in Jazz Concert Series and the Vocal Performance Workshops, Hart has seen the appreciation of jazz grow. She continues to become connected with more female jazz musicians, her hard work paying off. Last year, she was surprised to meet six young female jazz musicians who all knew who she was. They have stayed in touch and some of them have continued to help her out with the workshops, also volunteering their time at the events. The mentorship Hart provides to aspiring and established musicians can be attributed to the lessons she’s received from great jazz teachers, such as James Polk and Sandy Allen. Along with the mentorship, Hart’s greatest reward is being able to perform on stage. “It’s my utopia place, my freedom spot. You know how you think you know someone and then they enter their thing and they seem like a totally different person? It’s like that—totally free,” Hart says. It’s funny to think the woman who had stage fright in to her 30s is now as cool and calm as ever about performing. She still gets nervous before a show, but once she steps out onto the stage, all of that becomes a memory, drifting away behind her. She attributes her comfort with performing to the maturity she’s developed in her voice and with her life. After she had a baby, who is now 17 years old, she became more confident, letting go of her fears. “Things that you used to sweat, you don’t because you have to have all your attention somewhere else,” Hart expresses, accrediting her courage to the life lessons and the experience she’s gained throughout the years. Hart’s support she receives from husband Kevin also helps, as well as support from her fans, who continue to attend the Women in Jazz events throughout the year. Although her singing gets the short end of the stick, due to her “day job,” maintaining her marriage and raising her daughter, Hart has been able to sustain a level of balance in her life, making her the incredibly captivating performer and person that she is today. Remember the little girl who listened to Nancy Wilson on the radio before going to school each day? In 2000, Hart received the opportunity of a lifetime: performing with Wilson at a Women in Jazz concert, one of Hart’s all-time favorite performing moments. “She’s the one who tells the story best,” Hart says of Wilson’s singing. And that’s what jazz is all about. It’s about the story and how it’s told. That’s why Hart fell in love with it. And that’s why you will undoubtedly fall in love with Hart and Women in Jazz.


10 YEAR anniversary

AUSTIN WOMAN MAGAZINE 2005-2006 Making a difference with an eye on the future. By Deborah Hamilton-Lynne The fourth year of Austin Woman magazine brought recognition for the difference the publication was making in the lives of Austin women. It was an exciting year, with Austin Woman garnering notice locally and nationally, winning the Austin Chamber of Commerce Community Advocate Award, the Big Austin Big Ideas Award for Most Creative Company and Publisher Melinda Garvey receiving the Office Depot Business Woman of the Year Award. “It was a year of celebrations and pride that the community and beyond was recognizing the impact Austin Woman had made in just three short years,” Garvey says. “It was always our goal to celebrate women making a difference in Austin, and 2006 was the year we really felt we had not only arrived, but had become part of both Austin’s history and its future.” The fourth year also saw the changing of the original guard, with Mary Anne Connolly assuming the position of editor. Bringing vitality and a producer’s eye gained from both public relations and television production stints in the Big Apple, University of Texas grad Connolly returned to Austin brimming with ideas and began a career that would shape Austin Woman for six years to come.

“In that first year, I was able to span ages and interests from that of legendary icon Lady Bird Johnson at age 90, to a pivotal figure in both American legal history and women’s reproductive rights, Dr. Sarah Weddington, to the curator of the Blanton Museum, Jesse Otto Hite, to two women under 35: fitness exec Liberty Harper and jewelry designer Kendra Scott,” Connolly recalls, “We also featured our first shared cover duo of local chefs and caterers Quincy Adams Erikson and Karen Farnsworth, and the amazing Pebbles Wadsworth at the Performing Arts Center. Talk about a great cross section of Austin’s movers and shakers!” The September 2006 cover woman epitomized that vision. Kendra Scott was dynamic and active in the community, and her story of starting a jewelry business at her kitchen table with $500 and growing it to a multi-million dollar enterprise was both amazing and inspiring. In 2006, Scott was a recently divorced mother of two small boys with 15 employees. “My children were the motivation for starting the business and my family is definitely part of it. The work environment we have here is family first and flexible scheduling,” Scott said then. Foreshadowing the next six years and the growth of her business, Scott offered the following advice: “Be aware. So much of life is based on being at the right place at the right time. Notice that and be present.” On a sunny spring morning in her corporate office atop her Congress Avenue retail store, Kendra Scott is again

the epitome of a brilliant, amazing Austin woman. Relaxed after a weeklong idyllic family vacation spent with her sons and husband in the Virgin Islands, Scott is upbeat and animated. Life is good and she has stayed true to her founding philosophies: family, fashion and philanthropy. The ability to be aware and seize opportunities has led Scott on an unbelievable journey resulting in three retail stores—the Austin flagship, one in Beverly Hills and one in Dallas—as well as opening a New York showroom. Her business has grown from strictly wholesale to include e-commerce, retail and a thriving boutique and high-end wholesale business with the likes of Nordstroms and Henri Bendel. Her jewelry has been seen in hundreds of magazines and has become a celebrity favorite for the runway, the red carpet and everyday wear. The jewelry lines have also expanded to include the core brand (fashion-forward and affordable), the couture line (more detailed with elements done by hand and larger, hand-cut stones) and the fine line (diamonds and precious stones set in 14-karat and 18-karat gold). Scott recently struck a deal with Neiman Marcus and her designs are selling out as quickly as they hit the stores. “In the years since 2006 with all of the ups and the downs in the economy, I have focused on the things I had control over,” Scott says of the phenomenal growth. “In 2008, we made a pivotal move and decided to focus on our brand. All I could do was make the best and most beautiful products I could create, present them in a way that was appealing and innovative, and find a way to stand apart


2006 FREE





FREE September 2005

Vol. IV, No. 1

OctOber 2005

VOl. IV, NO. 2

November 2005

vol. Iv, No. 3

December 2005

Vol. IV, No. 4

3rd Anniversary Issue

GIrl poWer Scouts CEO Etta Moore

Vol. IV, no. 5

February 2006


Women Behind the Wheel 6th Annual Texas Conference for Women

Cruising, Spas, Books + ACL Fest 2005

Fashion, Film, Fitness, Food + Forensics

The Junior League of Austin Holiday Shopping


Sarah Weddington

Deborah Carter SoCo

Ann Graham



INSIde: Stars of Education, Music, Theatre + Dance How To Fight Like a Girl

Vol. IV, No. 6


The Legendary Lady Bird Johnson

Capitol Chevrolet’s Nancy Harper

January 2006


celebrate NPR’s Terry Gross The Dalai Lama Garden + Home Design Fashion + Jewelry Fitness, Food + Wine, Travel

new year’s







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valentine’s GIFT GUIDE

romantic pairings B+B’S, FOOD + WINE



es pag k pin 06 20 DE SI IN







Etta Moore

Nancy Harper

Lady Bird Johnson

Ann Graham

Sarah Weddington

Deborah Carter

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Kendra Scott, of Kendra Scott Jewelry.

from my competition in a really significant way.” On her customers, Scott says, “I listen to our customer, find a need and fulfill it. My business model is reflected in the customer my jewelry appeals to. She is positive, fun, fashionable, has an outgoing personality and values personal expression. She has a good core and is philanthropic. My customers are yes people and they make things happen. We treat our customers like family.” Scott continues her commitment to philanthropy, chairing the board of LEAP and the White Party for Lifeworks, and serving as the chair for the Austin Go Red Summit in 2013, in addition to working with the RISE School and the Center for Child Protection, among others. Look for an exclusive Kendra Scott Christmas ornament at the 2012 A Christmas Affair as well. What’s next? The core line will go tribal in 2013 and Scott is looking to expand the brand to include fashion and home décor. The retail stores and e-commerce will grow. “While I will always have a wholesale business, I have a clear vision for this company and see it becoming an international brand,” Scott says. On appearing in Austin Woman, Scott says, “2006 was a tough year for me. I was going through a divorce and the AW cover was a highlight of that year for me. It gave me a boost and made me remember who I was and what I was committed to accomplishing personally and in business. Interestingly, my current husband saw that cover and asked friends, ‘Who is that woman?’ When we were dating, I saw the magazine in a drawer in his house and he said, ‘I kept this magazine because I had my eye on you.’ So thank you, Austin Woman. My company and AW share a 10th anniversary; this is my 10th year of jewelry design and I am excited about the new look for Kendra Scott and AW. We’re both growing and I love the changes you have made. What I continue to love about the magazine is that AW is a cheerleader for women. We’re lucky to have a magazine that provides such a thoughtful, encouraging voice for women.”

B Save the Date Tenth anniversary event, Sept. 7. Presented by H-E-B and sponsored by Land Rover and Jaguar.


May 2006


Vol. IV, No. 9

July 2006

The Blanton Museum of Art’s

Jessie Otto Hite

Vol. IV, No. 11


August 2006

Vol. IV, No. 12




Kendra Scott


Tosca Gruber

also inside

Texas Writers Month HEALTH

REAL WOMEN, REAL LIFE Women of Real Estate + Construction


Impact Austin Seton’s Pat Hayes Elizabeth McQueen Bill Clinton Anna Deavere Smith A Weekend to Change Your Life

Women + Infertility


Trapeze + Tri 24 Hours in Gruene milk + honey Taverna Women in Wine

Austin Fashion’s Femmes Fatales

Mama Mandola Cool Summer Wines Lakeside Luxury Single in the City


Gifts for Mom


Exclusive Interview: Liz Carpenter + Helen Thomas





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July 2006 • austinwoman 1







Sylvia Acevedo

Quicy Adams Erickson and Karen Farnsworth

Jessie Otto Hite

Liberty Harper

Tosca Gruber

Kendra Scott






Austin Woman Magazine proudly presents our tenth and finest year. Join us in celebration at the 2012 Luncheon Gala at the Westin at the Domain. The festivities include exclusive shopping and discounts throughout the Domain, small business grant, inspiration from Austin Woman cover panel, networking and a grand prize drawing. For event details, visit

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Improve Your Dating Allure Subtle cues play a role in others’ perception of you. By Eric Leech The mystique of a sexy woman is in the way she walks, holds her head and smiles. You will notice there was no mention of long legs, flowing blond hair or bleached teeth. A man’s attraction to a woman is not just in her appearance, but the self-image that stands behind her actions. The body is one of your most potent methods of communication while on a date. The way you grace a sidewalk speaks a thousand words about your passion, faith and values. It may not describe them with any great detail, but it will tell enough of the story to make a man want to find out more. Here are a few tips to improve your dating allure from the inside out. MIRROR MIRROR ON THE WALL When a mirror becomes your enemy, so does the person standing in front of it. You may avoid looking at your reflection because it reminds you of the things you dislike about yourself. However, what you are really doing is fostering a negative impression. A poor self-image is difficult to hide. A man will pick up on the fact that you don’t completely like yourself, and have a hard time liking you. Instead, I recommend this simple exercise: Try standing in front of a full mirror and looking deep within yourself. Don’t focus on any specific weakness, but rather the entire picture. Practice seeing yourself the way a good friend or loved one would. By the end of the week, it should no longer be difficult to look because you will have finally made friends with the woman within. MISS B. YUTIFUL Self-haters feel ugly and disliked, bringing that very image to life through the magic of their own will. Motivational speakers talk a lot about the power of one’s mindset. If you perceive yourself as a beautiful person, others will see it too. The problem you may have is finding a way to see that side when you’ve been dragging your image through cow patties for the past couple years. I recommend you try this exercise: Close your eyes and think back to a moment when you were the happiest you’ve ever been. Take notice of the image you created. This

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is the positive you. This is the person you should take out with you on every date. Now open your eyes and try to maintain this image as you go about your day. If you start slipping back in to the old, just excuse yourself and find a quiet spot to reconnect with your positive half. CLOSET APPROACH Another method to improve your self-image is to slip into an outfit that makes you feel fantastic. Clothes can’t change who you are, but they can change the way you perceive yourself. This is why it is important to take extra care when picking out an outfit for a first date. You want to ensure that you are meeting your expectation of what an alluring woman should look like. You’ve probably seen the glow that comes after a woman has gone through a $15,000 makeover on television. While her pearly veneers may make her smile bright and her boob job may add some perk to her step, the real difference is within her renewed image of herself. It doesn’t take a lot of money to create an improved self-image when you’ve got a credit card, good friends and a retail stylist who knows their way around a fashion boutique.

MOTIVATION TO GIVE AND ACCEPT LOVE Men are drawn to happiness, so an alluring woman must be content within herself. Some women find the motivation to be joyful through their achievements in life. This so-called motivating factor can be self-defeating because the mind has a way of coming up with reasons why you shouldn’t be happy. Researchers claim that what makes you most felicitous is the quality of your relationships (friends, family, etc.) and not the quality of your life (career, net worth, etc.). If you’ve labored under the belief that your ability to find love rests on the accomplishments that have made you deserving of it, perhaps it is time to envision a dating approach in which your success is more dependent on giving love than proving yourself worthy of it. Successful dating is not just about loving yourself. It is about learning how to love through the direction of others. You will never know your potential for love until you discover a partner who will demonstrate just how much love you truly deserve!

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Venus Talks to Mars Is hoarding really a cost-effective investment in soon-to-be priceless nostalgia? By JB Hager / Photo by Rudy Arocha My wife has now resorted to calling me a hoarder. I’m sure you’ve seen the reality show based on this subject. It features interviews with people who can’t get rid of anything and often are obsessed with one particular thing, like newspapers, broken lawn mowers or Kardashians. My wife is a minimalist in the truest sense. The fewer items placed throughout the house, the more relaxed she is. If it’s not nailed down to the floor or wall, it’s heading to the Tarrytown Goodwill, without my consent. The story of my life has transitioned through that store, one item at a time. I contend that I am in no way a hoarder. I’m merely nostalgic. I know all too well that things cycle back around and what seems of no value today will be sought after 20 years from now. You would think that my wife would be on this same page with me. After all, our home is mostly filled with ’50s and ’60s mid-century classics. Had it not been for moderate hoarders hanging on to these classics all these years, our entire décor wouldn’t exist. There are two factors working horribly against me right now. Maybe you can relate. We did what we said we would never do: A few years ago, we got a storage unit and yep, we’re living the American dream. It’s mostly filled with some classic vintage furniture we can’t part with, like an original ’60s-era tulip breakfast table and chairs. We don’t have a breakfast room, we’re not likely to ever have one, but I can’t part with that slice of Americana. A real sticking point with the storage unit is that there are more than a dozen large plastic tubs filled with CDs. This perplexes my wife. She doesn’t understand why we have all of these, given the fact that we don’t even have a CD player in our home. Almost every guy my age (early 40s) regrets getting rid of all their vinyl and doesn’t want to repeat that mistake. I’m sure she’ll get the last laugh, but those thousands of CDs mean a lot to me. They tell a story of everything I loved during the last 25 years. Maybe my daughter will be a hipster 30 years from now with a rare vintage CD player in her living room. Who knows? The other thing working horribly against me is that we moved about a year and a half ago in to our first home with a garage. The problem is there are no cars in our garage and there are more than a dozen bikes, every book I ever read, motorcycles, tools I don’t have a clue how to use and an assortment of outdoor lifestyle devices hanging from the ceiling. It’s pretty much an upside-down REI. To see our

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The problem is there are no cars in our garage and there are more than a dozen bikes, every book I ever read, motorcycles, tools I don’t have a clue how to use and an assortment of outdoor lifestyle devices hanging from the ceiling. It’s pretty much an upside-down REI. garage in disarray completely puts my wife over the edge. She’s pleading with me on a daily basis: “Can we get rid of the kayak; you haven’t used it in six years?” This is a typical request, with the item of concern on a rotator. I contend that I’m going to get back out on that thing any day. I got a text from her the other day that read (I’m not making this up), “Why do you have two black Surly Bicycles that look exactly the same?” I quipped back, “Congratulations, I bet you were very good at playing Concentration.” Not the response she was looking for. The problem moving forward is that my wife is right. She’s always right. Just as architect Frank Lloyd Wright was on target with his disdain of attics and basements. He said, “Nothing worthwhile goes in there anyway.” She’s right in the way my grandmother was right. She

passed away at 94 years old. When she sensed that her health might decline after 90, she cleaned out every closet in her home and neatly labeled who should get items of value. She didn’t want to inconvenience anyone, even after she was gone. The daily heckling from my wife is going to continue and the name-calling will ensue until the day I concede. At some point, I will give in. Thirty years from now, I’ll be sitting in our kitchen, which by then will have a breakfast room addition, looking on eBay, bitching about how much everything we used to have is worth.

JB Hager can be heard as part of the JB and Sandy Morning Show on Mix 94.7 Austin weekdays 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.




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Women on Their Toes The Ballet Austin Guild honors volunteers who supersede expectations. By Joelle Pearson Anyone who sacrifices time to help an organization should be applauded. Volunteering is demanding, emotional and, at times, thankless. Most volunteers aren’t looking for recognition; there is inherent satisfaction in their deeds more rewarding than any speech or award. The women being honored at Ballet Austin’s 2012 Women on Their Toes event are extraordinary examples of community volunteers at their best. Some devote themselves to volunteering full time, some have expanded funding with a CEO’s precision and some are spokespeople who tour the country. They are integral contributors to their chosen organization’s success and development. Austin Woman would also like to honor these women by sharing their inspiring stories. We’ll be there April 10, tipping our hat from the crowd and giving these phenomenal women some longoverdue applause. MISTY O’NEAL Texas Hearing and Service Dogs Diagnosed with muscular dystrophy as a child, Misty O’Neal was told she wouldn’t live past the age of 4. Thirty years later, she’s helped to break a world record, had a ballet choreographed for her and dedicated nearly 10 years to Texas Hearing and Service Dogs. She has become an integral speaker and representative for the organization while actively producing fundraisers for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. “Misty has always done her personal best at everything she encounters,” says Sheri Soltes, the organization’s president. “It’s inspiring for all individuals, and encourages them to live a life without limits.” AMRITA MOOR The Amala Foundation Amrita Moor has braided herself inseparably in to the Amala Foundation. She has been there since the group’s inception 12 years ago. Now, her East

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Jenny Eversole, Kerri Morrison, Mary Ann Parker and Amrita Moor.

Austin store, Nectar, donates 100 percent of its profits to the organization. But beyond financial help, Moor supports the foundation’s programs in small ways, such as facilitating community discussion groups, and in much larger ways: traveling to India to work at the foundation’s school in Bhatti Mines. “What can I say about Amrita?” asks Gabriela Masala, an advisor at Amala. “She is beautiful. She has a sense of authenticity and exuberance that shines through everything she does.” The best way to get a feel for Moor is to visit her in person at her store. “She can see in to the heart of people and match them with a piece that almost remakes them,” Masala says.

LAUREN ESPINOZA Badgerdog Literary Publishing The coordinators at Badgerdog don’t label Lauren Espinoza a volunteer, and the word “intern” falls short. For more than a year, she’s shown up full time to help the publishing and literacy program in any way possible. “She helps teach, she works with writers, she’s integral to many of our events. … It’s hard to think of something she hasn’t had a hand in,” says Jess Stoner, Badgerdog’s coordinator. Espinoza, who was published in 25 Poets Under 25 while still in college, has internalized the value of writing and Badgerdog’s work. She hopes to recreate a similar organization in her native Rio Grande Valley, where low literacy rates serve as an obstacle for many students.

KERRI MORRISON New Milestones Foundation “A force of nature.” “A one-woman powerhouse.” “A born connector.” These are a few modest terms that Kerri Morrison’s associates use to describe her. Morrison’s three years of dedication to the New Milestones Foundation, which serves the mentally and intellectually disabled in Austin, has resulted in the creation of some of the most innovative fundraisers in the organization’s history. (Recently, Morrison coordinated the Princess Leia look-alike contest with guest speaker Carrie Fisher.) “Kerri [has] a professional decorator’s sense of style and an astute business sense, but she’s also one of the kindest and most nurturing people I know,” says Susan Sager, NMF’s president-elect. “It’s a combination guaranteed to bring out the best in people.” JENNY EVERSOLE Hospice Austin Can a volunteer be recognized when no one at their organization can tell you exactly what they do? Those at Hospice Austin think so. For the past seven years, Jenny Eversole has been “all over” the agency. Eversole does a bit of everything, from arranging flowers, chauffeuring patients, leading support groups and presiding over the Les Amis de Hospice group. “She was the first volunteer I met when I came here,” says Gayle Smith, who’s now the volunteer coordinator at Hospice Austin. “She made such an impression. … I wish we had 400 more like her.” MARY ANN PARKER The Assistance League of Austin Sue Vasser, president of the Assistance League of Austin, lets out a sweet giggle. “Was I surprised that Mary Ann won this award?” she asks. “Oh no, not at all!” Vasser has known Mary Ann Parker during the six years she has volunteered, explaining that the now president-elect started as a worker with Operation School Bell and the Thrift House. As vice president of strategic planning, Parker has conducted groundbreaking work developing comprehensive plans that benefit the entire organization. Vasser says it’s hard to keep up with Parker: Outside the AL she’s an active participant in many other organizations, including directing her church’s children’s choir. “I wish I could remember every organization she supports,” Vasser laughs. “She’s just everything that you want in a leader.” The Women on Their Toes luncheon will take place April 10 at 10 a.m. at the Hyatt Regency on Lake Austin. For registration and information, visit


Sustainable Food Center and The Happy Kitchen How to use fresh, local produce to keep your family healthy, wealthy and wise. By Rachel Merriman and Joy Casnovsky Founded in 1993, Sustainable Food Center creates healthier communities by strengthening the local food system and improving access to nutritious and affordable food through its many programs. One of these nationally recognized programs, The Happy Kitchen, gives families the tools to make lasting dietary changes by teaching them how to cook healthy meals and shop for nutritious foods at grocery stores and farmers markets. Below, The Happy Kitchen Program Director Joy Casnovsky shares the benefits of eating local and participating in community gardens, and offers tips for smart grocery shopping. WHAT DO YOU TELL FAMILIES TO LOOK FOR WHEN MAKING SELECTIONS AT A GROCERY STORE? A large portion of what we buy goes to waste, so first make sure you’re purchasing things in quantities you’re realistically going to use. Before going to the grocery store, not only make a shopping list, but make a meal plan for what you’re going to do with those ingredients. While shopping, shop around the perimeter of the store. All the items that are going to be very highly processed and have a lot of fats, sugars and refined carbohydrates are in the center aisles. Around the edge, you have the fresh stuff: fruits, vegetables, fish, meat and dairy. Really try to stick to that perimeter. Lastly, buy whole, unadulterated ingredients. There’s no reason to buy pre-packaged oatmeal because it’s going to have more sugar in it than plain oatmeal, which you can add nuts and fruit to. Not only will it taste better, but it’s going to be healthier and cheaper as well. WHY IS SEASONAL, LOCAL PRODUCE A BETTER OPTION, HEALTH AND BUDGET WISE? Seasonal and local produce, in the grand scheme, travels less. At the farmers market, you’re going to find things that you won’t necessarily find at the grocery store, and they’re going to have more nutrients because they haven’t

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ALL THE RIGHT QUESTIONS been sitting on a truck for two weeks. If something is picked at its height of season, it’s going to have the most nutrients and it’s going to taste better. Economically speaking, the middle section of the American population can afford to shop at the farmers market if they just cook more often. If you go to the farmers market and buy raw ingredients to make meals yourself, it’s more economical than getting fast food or premade food. WHAT KINDS OF MEALS DO YOU ENCOURAGE FAMILIES TO MAKE? We encourage people to fill half their plate with colorful fruits and vegetables, a quarter with protein and a quarter whole grains. Make your vegetable dish the main centerpiece then fill in your meat or protein dish around it. Substitute some animal-based protein for some plant-based protein, like lentils, black beans, pinto beans, refried beans or chickpeas. Not that you shouldn’t ever eat meat, but eating a little less animal protein and more plant-based protein is going to be a lot more economical. A bag of black beans costs around 80 cents, and it has much less cholesterol and lots of fiber and antioxidants. We recommend people eat mostly whole grains such as brown rice, oats and corn. Even popcorn is a whole grain. WHY DOES IT HELP PEOPLE, THE HAPPY KITCHEN PROGRAM DIRECTOR JOY CASNOVSKY ESPECIALLY KIDS, TO BE INVOLVED IN COMMUNITY BE PREVENTED THROUGH FOOD CHOICES GARDENS? AND PREPARATION?  Community gardens are about 20 percent garden, 80 Our food system is a large part to blame. We aren’t doing a percent community. It’s really about organizing those community members and having them come together to lot of the prevention on a large public-health scale, though decide how they’re going to use the garden. As far as get- we’re starting to get healthier food in school lunches and ting children involved, you’re teaching them where their there’s more talk about children being active rather than sedentary. On an individual level, it’s all about the neighfood is coming from. So many children don’t know that food comes from the ground. Sustainable Food Center is borhood you live in, what’s culturally and socially acceptable and if parents know what’s healthy and not healthy. partnered with the University of Texas School of Public Sustainable Food Center is working to change the food Health, which has found evidence that when children are exposed to a relationship with their food by growing system by teaching children where their food comes from, teaching families healthy ways to prepare favorite meals it and meeting farmers, they’re more likely to choose like spaghetti and introducing them to new foods. There healthy foods. When they have a relationship with is a cultural shift going on right now. People are waking up something they grew that they can recognize, they’re and saying, “I care what my family is eating,” and “What going to be much more willing to actually try that food can I do as an individual feeding my children?” and like it. WHAT ARE THE FACTORS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO CHILDHOOD OBESITY, AND HOW CAN IT

For more information or to purchase The Happy Kitchen Cookbook, visit



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Material Girl Designer Kellie Lewis revamps vintage, creating modern styles with classic fabrics. By Jane Field, Photo by Sadie Barton Kellie Lewis, a young Austin designer, starts all sorts of projects by evaluating what she’s got to work with. When planning a meal, she avoids grocery shopping, instead looking inside her refrigerator and asking, “OK, what kind of meal can I make from this?” She aims to utilize everything in the fridge before making her next trip to the store. No recipes, just resourcefulness. Her business, Material Clothing, operates with the

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same ingenuity. Lewis takes vintage fabric—donated or bought from suppliers and thrift stores—and works without patterns to construct one-of-a-kind dresses in modern styles. When I met Lewis, she was wearing a red and blue plaid shirt, form-fitting with a slight ruffle in front. There was a little Levi’s tag on the pocket. Added to the obvious craftsmanship, the tag misled me, but upon asking, Lewis—who is down-to-earth and charming when discussing her success—admitted she had made it from a large Levi’s brand men’s shirt. She cut several inches from the bottom, which became the ruffle, and took in the sides and shoulders to create a fitted women’s top. Listening to Lewis describe the creative process would make anyone with the slightest urge to do it herself want to try her hand at sewing and attack a pile of her own discarded clothes. The truth is, however,

that Lewis has a unique artistic bent with an eye for styles and trends, in addition to her talented stitches. Her designs are inspired fusions of multiple materials not easily re-created. Even in her own work, she shies away from suggestions that she produce more than one of the same dress. This would require lots of the same fabric, probably bought straight from the factory. She cannot recreate outfits that she has sewn together with limited amounts of vintage, one-of-a-kind material, sometimes using mere scraps. She tries to incorporate every piece of cloth she has. It’s a challenge. Lewis is always striving to meet challenges. She does custom work, in addition to her own designs. Clients can bring Lewis clothes that no longer fit but have sentimental value or are made with beautiful cloth, and she will make a dress for her (or a shirt for him) in a style they like. This option swiftly ended any

impulse I had to D-I-Y, and is really how Lewis’ business began eight years ago, when she was a communicaGraphic, bold tions and business major at prints and strong Texas A&M. colors are popular A friend of her mother’s with Lewis. She gave her a 45-minute lesson appreciates color on a sewing machine—how blocking and addto thread a bobbin, etc.—and ing a splash of she began taking apart old neon to neutral clothes she no longer wore, colors. She also using the material to create loves seeing the new dresses. Suddenly, other trends of stripes students were asking her to and polka dots— make skirts out of old shirts we talked about and game-day dresses out Natalie Portman’s of worn-in college T-shirts. red polka-dot OsA friend who had a store in car dress (vintage College Station began selling Dior!)—and has her designs, and when empty enjoyed making space in his building opened shorts and rompup, Lewis made plans. She ers as they’ve opened her shop just after become more graduation. prevalent. She spent six years there, but moved to Austin a year and a half ago after deciding she wanted a little more freedom. She felt burnt out and that she had hit a plateau, so she began selling more clothes in other stores. She was already coming to Austin regularly to meet with shop owners who carry her dresses, so after closing her College Station location, the decision to move was easy. Eventually, Lewis believes she might open another storefront, this time in Austin. She liked having a storefront and interacting with her customers directly. She envisions a place selling home décor, children’s clothes and menswear, in addition to her traditional women’s dresses. She’s already begun to branch in to the children’s market through her custom designs, and she makes bowties for men out of vintage ties, often for groomsmen. I listen as she tells me about her future plans to take snippets too small for any outfit and turn them in to woven rugs. Her studio is full of these saved fragments, which she stores in milk crates. She also saves vintage tags, if she removes them. She prefers they stay in the clothes, not to preserve the aura of a brand name, but to give the outfits one more unique touch. “I like to just leave the original tag and then just put my tag over it, because then you can see that it had another life, that it started off as something else,” Lewis says. See Lewis’ designs on her website, material-clothing. com. (Dresses are not available to purchase online at this time due to each dress’ unique sizing.) Check out Lewis’ work at Austin shops Parts & Labour, Lovely, Hello Lucky and Northgate Vintage. LEWIS’ STYLES OF THE MOMENT



Illustration by Sarah Quatrano.

Shades of Green TRY AS YOU MAY, SOMETIMES YOU’RE JUST A SHADE OFF. I have tried, truly I have. My green-living attempts started 10 years ago when I bought my Central-East Austin home. My sense of green living in my 6-decades-old house is really a shade off. I live simply and quite comfortably with my old-fashioned heating and air-conditioning units. Some days I don’t use much gas or electricity because the windows are thrown open and the laughter of the neighborhood children can be heard. In my last energy audit, an overzealous salesperson wanted to replace my old, beautiful wooden double-hung windows with new energy-efficient, double-paned aluminum windows and my custom-welded screen doors with some rather generic-looking, energy-efficient storm doors. Replace 22 windows? Oh joy, matchy-matchy windows and doors. He didn’t realize the artistic sunburst design on my front screen door makes me smile when I drive up the driveway. When I told him that I must be able to open the windows so my whole-house fan (attic fan, as my grandma called it) could suck in the gorgeous fresh air in spring and fall, his pen went right off his clipboard as he wrote his comments. I really think he had never seen an attic fan in his 30-plus years of life. My old house seemed to rebel from all efforts to go green. At no time was this clearer than when our neighborhood became part of the Pecan Street Project, a pioneering smart-grid research and demonstration program based in Austin’s history-setting Mueller development. Our 65-year-old neighborhood’s involvement in this project was announced right in my living room at a monthly neighborhood meeting. They needed to add a few of us to

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their research program since the brand-new Mueller residences were built to be the ultimate in energy-efficient homes. My home wasn’t digitally connected enough, as became obvious when someone mentioned putting in a thermostat that would read our habits in energy consumption. My thermostat only controls the old wall furnace that keeps my house toasty on our mild Central Texas winter nights. Never mind that the AC units are in major rooms, set in old windows and each is controlled by thermostats on the units themselves. Wow, how disconnected can I be? I’ll just enjoy my utility bills that average $170, which includes proper watering of my beautiful Central Austin landscape filled with flowers, vegetables and herbs. The windows will be thrown open at the first hint of spring breezes and I will gaze out through a few panes of glass that prove glass making was not a perfect science in the early 1950s. My attempts to go green are semi-successful, more beautifully described as a shade off, perhaps more turquoise than green.

–Carol Eckelkamp

June’s Last Word topic will be “The ups and downs of growing old gracefully.” To be considered, email a 500-word submission by May 1 to

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April 2012 Austin Woman  

The Green Issue