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ciao bella! January 2014

Get inspired.

Mayim Bialik A shining Star Nicole Miller Rebel With A Cause

Helping the Homeless

Tina Knowles at Prescription: Paint PLUS!

Start 2014 Clutter-Free, Complimentary HADA Tickets, Beauty Tips and Tricks Houston

The Power of Your Metabolism!

ciao bella!

ciao bella!

Get inspired.

January 2014

Get inspired.

Mayim Bialik A shining Star


18 A Bright and Shining Star

nicole miller Rebel With A Cause

Helping tHe HomeleSS

The Power of Your Metabolism!

tina Knowles at prescription: paint PLUS!

Start 2014 Clutter-Free, Complementary HADA tickets, Beauty tips and tricks

In an exclusive interview Mayim Bialik discusses her SAG nomination, her new cookbook and her busy, meaningful life. By Emily Feinstein Photo Credits: JSquared Photography, Hair & Makeup: Kelsey Deenihan, Styling: Alison Kahn





9 Nicole Miller Rebel With A Cause

The design icon shows her beautiful spring collection in Houston. By Lesley Saenz

14 Prescription Paint: 2013

Designer and philanthropist, Tina Knowles is helping Houston's homeless and hungry. By Hollis Hood

28  The Power of Your Metabolism

Learn why metabolism guru, Frank Suarez and his niece Julianne De Armon, AKA Weight Loss Jules, both say diets don't work. By Nema D. Bloom

departments 4 Editor's Note Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, Heidi Suprun 5 The "Must" List January Editor's Picks for Fashion, Food and Fun 6 Beauty Buzz Beauty Tips & Tricks by Michael DeMarse and OPI Nail Lacquer News 11 Health Holistic Flu Elixir by Dr. Sunita Kotecha 17 Humor My New Year's Non-Resolutions by Arlene Nisson Lassin 21 Beauty Confessional Mayim Bialik confesses her secrets to Emily Feinstein 22 Home Getting Organized for the New Year by Katrina Teeple


26 Bell-A-Strology January Horoscopes by Nan Hall Linke, M.A.

12 January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month Park Plaza Hospital

29 Caring: Make a Difference in the Community Volunteer Opportunities by Walter R. Black, Ph.D.

13 Controlling Urinary Incontinence by Christopher Jayne, M.D., FACOG, Park Plaza Medical Associates

30 Caring: Bell-Adoption Adopt a lovable pet through The Forgotten Pets Advocate

21 How to Celebrate Your Birthday in Style by Samara Beth Hurley, Celebrations By Samara, LLC

31 Classes Learn Something New This Year 33 Paparazzi Photos from the Ciao Bella! Launch Party and other events 

editor's note

ciao bella!


Get inspired.

Ciao Bella! : An informal Italian expression that means “hello and/or goodbye beautiful”

Volume 1 • Issue 2

© 2013 by Ciao Magazine. Ciao Bella! Publisher andBella! Editor-in-Chief ® and Ciao Bella! Get Inspired ® are Registered Heidi Suprun Trademarks. All Rights Reserved. Ciao Bella!

Art Director/Graphic Designer reserves the right to edit, reject or comment Tanya Bäck editorially on all submitted material. We do

Happy New Year! from

responsible for the advertised products and

Contributing Writers services. Reproduction in whole or part without permission of the publisher is strictly prohibited. Walter R. Black, Ph.D. Nema D. Bloom, Emily We welcome your ideas, articles and feedback. Feinstein, Hollis Hood, Samara Beth Hurley, Contact us at or Christopher Jayne M.D., Dr. Sunita Kotecha, call 832.652.9268. Arlene Nisson Lassin, Nan Hall Linke, M.A., Ciao Bella! is published and delivered monthly Lesley Saenz, Katrina Teeple and to homes to women-centric businesses

by Heidi Suprun, Editor-in-Chief


ello 2014 --you bright shiny new year, you! In keeping with our tagline, we are excited to ring in the new with mega-inspiration for all! We are honored to present Mayim Bialik on this month's cover. A brilliant, multitalented woman, Mayim has been nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award and is launching a cookbook, Mayim's Vegan Table, next month. Read Emily Feinstein's interview to learn about this inspiring woman and find out some of Mayim's Houston connections! ciao bella! was excited to catch up with design icon, Nicole Miller at Fashion Houston. Lesley Saenz interviewed the lovely and talented designer at her Neiman's trunk show. We love her gorgeous spring collection! ciao bella! was also thrilled to visit with designer and philanthropist Tina Knowles at Prescription: Paint 2013. Writer, Hollis Hood found out the beautiful things that this beautiful woman (who is Beyonce's mother) is doing to help Houston's hungry and homeless individuals. Ready to take off a few pounds this year? We interviewed the inspiring Frank Suarez, metabolism guru and author of The Power of Your Metabolism and his niece, Julianne De Armon (née Christoffel) a Houston native. Following his simple protocol, Julianne lost 48 pounds and became known as Weight Loss Jules to 20,000 Instagram followers. Find out the secrets to Julianne's success and why she and her uncle, Frank Suarez say “diets don't work.” January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month so schedule your annual pap smear ladies! And on that note, let's all ink in time to do things that are important not only for our physical well-being; but also, for our mental, emotional and spiritual selves this year. We manage to be there for everyone else so let's make time for ourselves in 2014, because you know as well as I do what happens when “Mama ain't happy.” We also have great tips to help you start the new year off right. Celebrity organizational expert and productivity coach, Katrina Teeple offers concrete ideas to overcome your clutter and get organized! And if are thinking about throwing yourself a birthday party this year, premier event specialist, Samara Beth Hurley shares expert advice on how to celebrate your birthday in style. And finally, ciao bella! is excited to share the work of talented local writer, Arlene Nisson Lassin. Arlene has a popular blog called Hot Flashes “hot topics with a wink and a nod to that time in life” and she has recently been added to the HuffPost Blog team. For a good giggle be sure read Arlene Nisson Lassin's article “My New Year's Non-Resolutions” and check out her blogs to stay entertained! Here's wishing you everything you wish for yourself this year! Happy reading!

Heidi P.S. Be sure to enjoy the two complimentary tickets on page 8 to the Houston Antiques Dealer's Association (H.A.D.A.) Show, February 14 at the George R. Brown Convention Center! 4 | January 2014

Photo by Nicole Kestenbaum for

ciao bella!

not necessarily endorse views expressed in Assistant Editors the articles and advertisements, nor are we Jennifer Heath, Hollis Hood, Steve Wiley

in a two-month rotated circulation. Ciao Bella! Photographers is also available digitally each month at www. Alexander’s Fine Portrait Design, Jenna Barrett/Anthem in Art, Larry Fagala, Genesis Photographers, Hollis Hood, JSquared Photography, Nicole Kestenbaum for, Kraitman Photography, Brock Lawson, Rhonda Lindholm, Yvette Llorance/Pinqshue Photography, Art and Design, Julie Soefer

Published by ciao bella! Magazine 4660 Beechnut, Suite 214 Houston, Texas 77096 Email: Website and Digital Version: Facebook: Ciao Bella Magazine Phone: 832.652.9268 • Fax: 713.218.0402 PLEASE RECYCLE THIS MAGAZINE

To advertise your business in Houston's most targeted women's lifestyle magazine designed for intelligent, affluent, stylish and health-conscious readers, call ciao bella! at 832.652.9268 or email: ads@cioabellamagazine. Download a media kit at © 2013 by ciao bella! Magazine. ciao bella!® and ciao bella! Get Inspired® are Registered Trademarks. All Rights Reserved. ciao bella! reserves the right to edit, reject or comment editorially on all submitted material. We do not necessarily endorse views expressed in the articles and advertisements, nor are we responsible for the advertised products and services. Reproduction in whole or part without permission of the publisher is strictly prohibited.

We welcome your ideas, articles and feedback. Contact us at or call 832.652.9268. ciao bella! is published and delivered monthly to to homes and businesses in River Oaks, West U, Bellaire, Tanglewood and Memorial.



“MUST” List! The best places to go, things to see, products to try, and more!


Newest Churrascos

Celebrating its milestone 25th anniversary, Cordúa Restaurants has opened a sparkling new Churrascos at The Gateway Memorial City. The 8,400 square foot restaurant features rustically elegant design including floor-to-ceiling windows, Cordúa’s first-ever open kitchen, and a 22-seat horseshoe bar where you can sip on craft beers and artisan cocktails. The new menu includes Nicaraguan or criollo, incorporating Latin American comfort foods. Make reservations now for their fabulous three-course Valentine’s Day dinner which includes wine-pairing for $69 (plus tax and gratuity). The fourth and newest Churrascos is located at 947 N. Gessner. For more information call (713) 231-1352 or visit


The Apparel App

Ever been in that spot, where you are second-guessing your choice of outfit? To the rescue is app creator and Houstonian, Kathy Harrison, who has created What We Wear Where, an interactive mobile app and wardrobe guide for iPhone users that opens up endless possibilities for an authentic view on what others are wearing all over the world. Explore apparel etiquette by browsing categories including workplace, event, restaurant and school. Key features include a virtual closet to log posts and favorite looks, a messaging tool that facilitates social media and #fashtags providing a way to catalog photos and search within categories. Download it for free in the iTunes Store. For more information visit


Concert and Conversations

Julie Soefer

The Brilliant Lecture Series sponsored by Tenenbaum & Company Classic Jewelers kicks off on January 10 at the Wortham Center with legendary, award-winning theater, film and television actress Betty Buckley. Deemed “The Voice of Broadway” by New York Magazine she will appear in Exclusive Concert performing songs from “Chicago,” “Oklahoma” and other well-loved musicals. On January 23 the series presents A Conversation with Robert Duvall, the award-winning actor, director and producer known for his television performance in “Lonesome Dove” and such film classics as “To Kill A Mockingbird,” “Apocalypse Now” and “Crazy Heart.” The series concludes on February 6 featuring A Conversation with Diane Keaton, the award-winning actress, screenwriter, producer and director, well-known for her many memorable film roles including those in “The Godfather, “Annie Hall” and “The First Wives Club.” For tickets and to learn more call (713) 974-1335 or visit

January 2014 | 5

beauty buzz

beauty buzz beauty tips & tricks by Michael DeMarse CEO Instant Glamour Co. Styling Remove as much water as quickly as possible before styling your hair. Hair will not hold a curl or stay straight until most of the water is removed. Start by towel drying your hair thoroughly. Begin blow drying, pointing the dryer downward on your hair. Pointing the blow dryer upwards encourages tangles. Take two-inch sections of hair and direct the dryer with a nozzle or flow director close to the hair. A flow director concentrates more heat onto the hair. Eye Shadow Stay with neutral tones such as taupe, mauve, auburn and gold. Blend with a brush (not a Q-Tip). Stay away from cool tones such as blues, greens, teals, gray and colors with a cool base. Cool tones tend to cast a dark shadow under the eyes and can make you look tired.

Color Me Carrie Nicole by OPI has launched 14 new nail lacquers inspired by award-winning recording artist Carrie Underwood. This collection features a colorful mosaic of hues in a variety of finishes including pink, red and coral crèmes, chunky and textured glitters in gold, silver and white, and rich eggplant and khaki green shades. “Carrie is the perfect partner for Nicole by OPI. Her music evokes powerful emotions in its listeners, and we wanted to give fans a way to express their feelings through color,” explains Suzi WeissFischmann, Nicole by OPI Executive VP & Artistic Director. The Carrie Underwood Collection includes colors with fun names including: Carrie’d Away, Lips are Dripping Honey, Southern Charm, Sweet Daisy, Carnival Cotton Candy, Goodbye Shoes, Backstage Pass, Sing You Like a Bee, Party Bus, Love My Pups, Color Me Country, Some Hearts, American as Apple Pie and Fisher Queen. Nicole by OPI formulas are long-lasting, fast-drying, and salon-quality. This limited edition collection will be in newly designed bottles featuring the NEW Nicole logo. These shades are available in January 2014 for $7.99 each. For more information visit Follow Nicole by OPI on Twitter @NicoleByOPI and become a Facebook fan! • 6 | January 2014

Eyeliner Wear black or brown eyeliner on the top lid and only brown eyeliner on the bottom lid. Black liner on the bottom lid has a tendency to create an illusion of closing the eyes or making them appear smaller. Lipstick Your lip liner shade should be close to your lipstick shade and applied over the entire lip. Lip liner has more pigment and will not wear off as quickly as lipstick. Try this and when your lipstick wears off you won't be left with a ring around your lips. • Renaissance man, Michael DeMarse is an internationally renowned makeover artist, inventor of the Instant Glamour® five minute makeover system and author of 37 Sexy Makeover Secrets for Success. Michael is also musically gifted and has just produced his first new age-jazz genre CD which is perfect for relaxation or meditation.You can listen to tracks at For a hair or makeup appointment call Michael DeMarse at (281) 222-3062, email him at or go to to learn more.

January 2014 | 7

0 5 Since 1964





George R. Brown Convention Center, Hall A3 1001 Avenida De Las Americas • Houston, TX 77010


8 | January 2014

Nicole Miller

Rebel With A Cause

by Lesley Saenz


he iconic American designer with international reach, Nicole Miller, premiered her spring 2014 collection at the 4th annual Fashion Houston at Wortham Center in November. The following day the Texas native appeared at her Neiman Marcus (Galleria) trunk show. Born to a French mother, Miller mastered the classic techniques of haute couture at the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture in Paris. Her bright, colorful spring collection beckoned to her French roots. On a recent trip to Versailles Miller was creatively inspired by the spectacular gardens and geometric mazes there. In her mind's eye, Miller envisioned furious peasant women storming a chandelierilluminated chateau, angrily shattering mirrors and royal china into broken shards. Models adorned with loosely braided crowns strutted the runway wearing romantic, yet edgy looks from Miller's “Rebels With A Cause” collection which she describes as “Power Meets Pretty.” When asked how her shows had changed since her early years in the business, the veteran designer answered, “It’s more perfection.” Thinking back on her very first fashion show in the 90s she smiled at the Talented and business savvy, Nicole Miller turned her design dreams into a fashion empire.

January 2014 | 9

memory of not having enough shoes for the models. In those days Miller says she always struggled to get the looks just right. “In retrospect, you can see all the little things that were wrong. This show, I looked at it over and over. The clothes fit the girls perfectly. It went very smoothly. With experience, we make fewer mistakes,” she said. Juggling multiple roles one might wonder how Miller manages to make time for herself. “I put in a lot of time at the office. If there’s something I really need to do there, I do it. I question why all decisions can’t be answered the same way. “Together with her husband, Kim, and son, Palmer, Miller divides her time between her homes in New York City's Tribeca neighborhood and her weekend home in Sag Harbor, NY. When she's not working Miller said, “I go to my spin class.” Miller also loves the great outdoors. “I do a lot of different sports. I snow ski. I water ski,”

Pinqshue Photography, Art and Design

Strappy Stilettos from Nicole Miller's Spring 2014 Shoe Collection

she said. A strong believer in protecting the environment, Miller actively supports the Rocky Mountain Institute and Robert Kennedy Jr.’s Riverkeeper. Loved by many, in 2012 Miller was honored with the Fashion Group International (FGI) Lifetime Achievement Award for her 30 plus years in the fashion industry. The non-conformist glamour of her creations has earned Miller many fans in Hollywood including Angelina Jolie, Halle Berry, Beyonce, Joss Stone, Jordin Sparks, Felicity Huffman and Alicia Silverstone. After years in the business Miller continues to keep her line fresh and relevant. One way she achieves this is by surrounding herself with young people. She also says that turning things upside down and breaking the rules helps. Miller gains inspiration not only from her travels, but also from old movies, art and “the crystal ball,” she said while laughing. •

On a recent trip to Versailles Miller was creatively inspired by the spectacular gardens and g eometric mazes there.

Brock Lawson Brock Lawson

Pinqshue Photography, Art and Design

ABOVE: Nicole Miller at her Neiman Marcus trunk show. Her “Rebels With A Cause” prints mimic mazes and shards of broken dishware scattered among flowers at Versailles. Miller worked with crushed paper, spray paint and masking tape to create original prints for the collection. RIGHT: Impeccably tailored dresses stole the show. 10 | January 2014

Brock Lawson

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January 2014 | 11

Inspiring Promotion

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month E

ach year, more than 12,000 women in the United States learn they have cervical cancer and nearly 4,000 women die from the disease. These numbers have dropped over the past 40 years, largely due to more women having regular Pap tests to check for cervical cancer. The cervix is the lower, narrow part of the uterus. Cancer of the cervix occurs when cells begin to grow abnormally – dividing at a faster than normal rate. The human papillomavirus (HPV) causes most cases of cervical cancer. Women who smoke, have HIV, reduced immunity or who don’t get regular Pap tests from their doctors are more likely to develop cervical cancer. Women are more likely to become infected by HPV if they have multiple sexual partners. HPV, which is a type of sexually transmitted disease, is spread through vaginal or anal contact with an infected person. You can have the HPV virus without having any symptoms. A vaccine, Gardasil®, has been developed to prevent spread of the HPV virus. Doctors may

recommend the vaccine for females between the cells from inside and outside of the cervix are taken during a pelvic exam by your the ages of 9 and 26. The vaccine must be given in three doses over a six-month period. doctor or nurse. You should not have a Pap test during Who Needs to Be Screened? your period because it is harder to detect The American College of Obstetricians and abnormal cells. Other activities can alter the Gynecologists (ACOG) has issued recomresults of your test, so two days before the mendations for cervical cancer screenings. exam you should not: The guidelines state that women should begin • Have sex screening at age 21 and that screenings should • Use tampons occur every two years. After age 30, any wom• Douche an who has had three consecutive negative tests • Use vaginal lubrication can begin screening every three years. Anyone • Insert creams, suppositories, or with HIV or a weakened immune system medication into the vagina should still receive a Pap test every year. • Use vaginal sprays or powders After age 65, women who have had three negative tests in the last 10 years should talk to their After your Pap test, your doctor’s office doctors about stopping the Pap tests. Women will let you know the test results and whether who have had a hysterectomy for benign reasons any other tests will be required. • do not need to continue screenings.

The Pap Test The Pap test or Pap smear checks for changes in the cells of the cervix. Samples of

12 | January 2014

To learn more about cervical cancer screenings or to find a doctor and schedule your cervical cancer screening, call Park Plaza Hospital at 866-724-2362.

Inspiring Promotion

Controlling Urinary Incontinence by Christopher Jayne, MD, FACOG


ou can talk to your doctor about anything – really. Even urinary incontinence. You may not feel comfortable discussing bladder control problems, which is perfectly understandable. But there’s no reason to be embarrassed about a common health concern that, in most cases, can be treated and often cured. Short-term incontinence can be caused by alcohol, overhydration, dehydration, caffeine, bladder irritants and certain drugs. Long-term urinary incontinence may occur due to pregnancy, childbirth, aging, hysterectomy, inflamed or enlarged prostate, bladder or prostate cancer, bladder stones, an obstruction or neurological disorders. Treatment for bladder control problems depends on the cause, severity and type of incontinence. The different kinds of urinary incontinence include: • Stress incontinence, which causes urine leaks due to pressure on the bladder. • Urge incontinence, which occurs when there is a sudden, strong urge to urinate followed by an involuntary loss of urine. • Overflow incontinence, which is an inability to completely empty the bladder. • Functional incontinence, which is a physical or mental impairment that prevents getting to the bathroom in time.

Treatment often starts with lifestyle changes and behavioral techniques. Bladder retraining involves lengthening the time between urges to go to the bathroom by either going on a clock schedule, such as every two hours, or waiting a few minutes after the urge to urinate. Eventually, you can urinate every three to four hours without leakage. Kegel exercises may be recommended to help strengthen the muscles that control the bladder. Other helpful measures may include reducing liquid consumption, avoiding alcohol and caffeinated beverages, losing weight, monitoring blood sugar levels if you have diabetes and increasing physical activity. Medications may be prescribed to treat incontinence by relaxing the bladder, increasing bladder muscle tone or strengthening the sphincter muscle. Several medical devices also are available just for women who experience incontinence. A urethral insert can help prevent urine leaks from the urethra, or a pessary can be put in the vagina to help hold up the bladder and prevent urine leakage. Interventional therapies that may help control urinary incontinence include: radiofrequency therapy, which uses radiofrequency energy to heat tissue in the lower part of the urinary tract; injections of botulinum toxin type A into the bladder; injections of bulking materials into the tissue around the urethra to

help keep it closed; or a sacral nerve stimulator that stimulates the nerve in the spine that is important in bladder control. Surgical options for urinary incontinence include implanting a fluid-filled ring around the neck of the bladder to keep the urinary sphincter closed until ready to urinate. Other surgical procedures may be done to relieve an obstruction or deformity of the bladder neck or urethra. Pads or protective garments also can be worn, and in some cases a catheter can be inserted several times a day to drain the bladder. It is important to seek help for urinary incontinence before skin rashes develop or you start to avoid friends and family due to fear and embarrassment. • Dr. Christopher Jayne is Board Certified in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive surgery, he is certified by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists and he holds a faculty appointment with the Scott Department of Urology at Baylor College of Medicine. In his primary practice with Park Plaza Medical Associates, he has extensive experience treating sexual health issues and pelvic pain in women and specializes in minimally invasive treatments of urogynecologic disorders in an advanced facility with outstanding professional staff. To make an appointment with Dr. Christopher Jayne, please call 713-526-4263.

Holistic Flu Elixer by Dr. Sunita Kotecha

My family and I used to religiously fall sick during the winter months until I was reminded of an ancient ayurvedic method of preventing the flu and the common cold. We now take it regularly and the children never miss a day of school. Ingredients: 4-5 small inch long pieces of Ginger 2 tablespoons lemon juice 2-3 teaspoons honey ½ teaspoon turmeric powder Place pieces of ginger in a blender with as little water as needed and grind well. Next place the ground ginger into a sieve and collect all the juice in a separate bowl. To the ginger juice add lemon juice, honey and turmeric powder. Mix well. Take a teaspoon (or more) of this twice a day. The mixture be taken by itself or steeped like tea for a warm soothing drink. • Read Dr. Kotecha's blog at

January 2014 | 13



Healing for Houston's Homeless and Hungry story and photos by Hollis Hood


ounded spirits can develop new visions for their lives through creative expression and there was no better place to observe the results of this process in action than Prescription: Paint, 2013 held recently at the Knowles-Rowland Center at St. John’s Downtown. “I love Houston,” said fashion designer Tina Knowles, who, with interior designer Anita Smith, were Honorary Chairs of the annual event. “I travel a lot all over the world and I have found that there is no place like Houston. It doesn’t exist. Houston is a place of vision. There are real visionaries here.” Two of those visionaries are Anita and Moody Rasmas, co-pastors of St. John’s

14 | January 2014

Downtown United Methodist Church. Since their arrival in 1992 they have transformed the spiritual landscape and face of poverty in Downtown Houston. Their ministry began with nine people and has grown to more than 9,000 (3,000 of which are or were formerly homeless). St. John’s is one of the most culturally diverse congregations in the country where every week people of every social and economic background share the same pews. They attribute the success of the church to a compassionate congregation which embraces a vision of tearing down walls of classism, sexism and racism by creating bridges of unconditional love and universal recovery. Their tireless work with the homeless, hungry, underserved and victims of HIV resulted in the Bread of Life, Inc. with an array of services

from a health center, food bank, recovery programs, a variety of classes and the “largest interactive paint party in the City of Houston.” The idea for the Prescription: Paint events came to Anita while battling cancer. She found solace in the long periods of inactivity by the contemplative nature of painting and came to believe that creation of art would help others in their search of recovery from life’s traumas. Thus, The Art Project was born by encouraging homeless persons to find meaning and purpose in their lives through art. The results? People who had given up are now making choices and decisions to regain power over their lives, define and implement life changes, deal with negative patterns, express their creativity and enjoy enriching relationships. “God has given us jewels in Anita and Moody,” said Knowles. “They have warmth and love and the best spirit, an untapped diamond mine. It’s always about respect, acceptance and making worship a great experience. “When we were young, we were very, very poor,” said Knowles. “We could never understand why my mother would insist on tithing at church when we had so little. But as I became an adult, I began to understand it perfectly. God has blessed us tremendously and we should be glad to give back to help others. When I heard about their work here, I called my daughters and told them we needed to help.” Thanks to the generous donation from Kelly Rowland and Beyonce Knowles, formally of Destiny’s Child, there is the Knowles-Rowland Center for Youth, a $1.2 million multipurpose recreational center for youth. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Phase 1 began on the $4 million

Temenos Place Apartments, a 43-unit single-room occupancy development which provides permanent accommodations for women and men who are taking significant steps in improving their lives. The housing development is the result of collaborations with House of Dereon founders Tina and Beyonce Knowles-The Survivor Foundation and the City of Houston. Knowles’ involvement has increased over time, as has the success of Prescription Paint. This year the weekly classes partnered with students at Lovett Elementary School. The students wrote descriptions of a scene, event or animal and the adult artists would illustrate the concept in paint returning the piece to the student. Mounted pieces of prose with illustrations were on display. Every seat in the house was filled at the 2013 paint party with renowned watercolorist Joe Synan, who donates his time to the weekly painting classes as well. Everyone had a canvas and paints and the greatest model to paint for people in transition: a lighthouse. It is said that man (or woman) cannot live by bread alone, because they must have art. Prescription: Paint is a part of The Art Project, Houston, a therapeutic art and empowerment program, a part of the Bread of Life, Inc. which facilitates the recovery and discovery of the creative self for hungry, homeless and transitioning individuals ultimately aiding in becoming productive members of society. •

PHOTOS FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: 1. It was standing room only at the 2013 Prescription: Paint. 2. Tina Knowles, Melanie Lawson, and Halcyon Sutton Paint for a Cause 3. On the podium to give appreciation and recognition were Lovett School art teacher Rickey Polidore with Lovett Elementary School student Matthew Wynne with parents, Halcyon Sutton, friend of Knowles and longtime supporter of humanitarian events, artist Joe Synan, St. John's co-pastor Juanita Rasmas, Tina Knowles and Melanie Lawson. 4. Painting was a family affair for the Vessels as mom Kunisha and children Ariel and Javin brought their brushes to canvas. BELOW: Laura and Roy Nichol and Julia Fox of Re-Imagine attended to experience the diverse populations that came together in one common cause to lift the spirit and re-imagine their lives through creating art.

For more information on the Art Project, to purchase items online (the famous BELIEVE t-shirt) or just to find out more about the Bread of Life, Inc. (501c3) go to Prescription: Paint also goes on the road. Book a party and help the homeless.

January 2014 | 15

Inspiring Promotion

How to Celebrate Your Birthday in Style by Samara Beth Hurley


ronically, I’m a 37-year old event planner who has not had a birthday party since my Sweet 16. Call this inspiration to throw myself a party in March. Join me ladies in celebrating your birthdays with these quick tips. Don’t wait for your significant other to plan an epic surprise party. Some of us simply have to make it happen or ask a friend to throw that memorable birthday bash. You don’t have to be joining the new decade club for a party. Every year you live should be a celebration. Life is short – enjoy!

Tip 1: Decide what you want. An

intimate gathering of friends and family, a big blow out or a trip-- house, restaurant, bar, club, beach / ski house, spa, cruise or Europe? The venue sets the tone for your overall goal. Details will vary of course, i.e., pot luck party or catered, mimosa or martini, bar crawl or intimate dinner party, bomb fire on beach or costume party--the options are endless.

Tip 2: Do not tell your significant other and family that you do not want a celebration if you actually do. Mind games do not belong here. You either want it or you don’t. Because you will be super disappointed if they actually listen to you. Same goes with the gift-giving game. Tip 3: Be careful with a surprise party

guest list! The challenge with surprise parties is that the host may not know all your friends. If you leave someone out, you

Limousine transfer

Conspiracy Party at Hotel Zaza Genesis Photography

could seriously offend. So, make sure you leave that handy “if I were to plan a party list” somewhere for someone to see a month before your birthday, in case there is a chance a party is in the works. It’s not worth losing a friend or dirty looks at work.

Tip 4: It’s not a proper birthday party

without an incredible cake and a wish to make. Try one of my favorite bakers Who Made the Cake or For Heaven’s Cake for a memorable dessert.

become part of your party. Check out Pedal Party in Houston for a bar crawl or progressive dinner party. Some parts of town (i.e., Washington Avenue) can take advantage of Houston Wave shuttle system to bar hop and get home. The Hailacab app comes in handy on your phone. Save your feet for dancing. There are a lot of fun party busses in town too.

Tip 7: Watch out for social media. Going crazy for your birthday can lead to some serious blackmail photos on Facebook and Tip 5: Book that babysitter far in advance Instagram. So don’t do anything you and have a backup plan if they cancel. don’t want photographed and viewed by Even better – overnight the public. babysitter! Enjoy that Tip 8: Can we say Aspirin and water by the recuperation time and bedside? Crashing at a friend’s? Throw the breakfast in bed if you are hangover cure in your handbag, along with lucky. breath spray. • Tip 6: If it’s not at Samara Beth Hurley is an event planner your house, make and the owner of Celebrations by Samara, sure transportation is LLC. With more than fourteen years of event coordinated. It’s more fun production industry experience, contact for everyone if you don’t Samara when you’re ready to “be a guest at have to rely on a designated your own event.” To learn more about her driver. Splurge on that town services go to car, party bus or limousine. or call Samara at 832.731.2054. Transportation can even

Kraitman Photography

16 | January 2014

My New Year’s



by Arlene Nisson Lassin


his year, instead of making my usual list (mental or written) of New Year’s Resolutions, I am writing my New Year’s Non-Resolutions. I am sharing them here as a public service, because I believe we all need to be freed from the shackles of resolutions. For starters, resolution means that we are declaring intent. And therein lies the problem. As soon as you announce your best intentions, some temptation comes along too great to resist. I dare say by the time the first month of the New Year is completed, most of these earnest resolutions are broken. You know those FAIL websites? We should start a “Resolution Fail” subsection on it. It would be extremely heavily trafficked So unlike previous years, I will not resolve to go on a diet or lose weight, because who am I kidding? This resolution for many of us usually lasts as long as the first doughnut or other sweet temptation is offered. Or the first time afterwards that we are in a restaurant and see someone with a Mojito that looks absolutely yummy. (And contains about a million calories.) Inevitable calories in, diet and resolution down the drain. Here’s the scoop: we don’t do deprivation or denial well, which is likely why these resolutions are doomed to fail. Besides, I have to give myself a reason to keep several sizes in my closet, and buy just about everything I see in the color black - it's very slimming you know- and not dieting helps me justify those purchases. Speaking of justifying purchases, see my next Non-Resolution. I seem to have a teeny bit of a problem with impulse purchasing. Did I really need that 50th pair of black pants or the 30th little black dress? It seems as soon as I resolved to do less impulse buying in past New Years Resolutions, the real great January sales start, so why punish myself with guilt, anxiety, and buyer’s remorse? There’s just something about a deal that I can’t pass up. Never mind if I need it or not. Never mind if it is practical. Never mind if it is not even my size- it may be eventually if I ever resolve to diet. I actually might be called a hoarder if I didn’t tuck everything away so neatly, and didn’t have space for all this stuff. I can only hope to stop buying those Made for TV products that look so alluring when pitched but turn out so bitterly disappointing when you actually purchase them. My kitchen cabinets are stocked full of the best gadgets for lots of different functions, except most of them are too much trouble to use. Take the electric potato peeler. You have to apply pressure and scrape it along, so you might as well do this manually and save yourself about half the time. Unlike most people making resolutions, I will not resolve to exercise more or go to the gym. This is because the key to torturing yourself with exercise is finding something that does not

resemble hard work, where you can see the effects fast. We can all find a million reasons not to get in the car and go to exercise, so it absolutely has to be something that you can auto-pilot your mind and body to propel you there. Luckily I found this in my Bikram Yoga. Somehow being reduced to a puddle of sweat in a 105 degree room for 90 minutes while contorting my body into impossible poses is actually enjoyable for me. Don’t ask me how or why twisting myself into pretzel shapes while in a sauna of a room is a better alternative to hitting the gym, but it’s working and I auto-pilot there a few times a week. It’s very Zen and non-judgmental, especially because there are all sizes in there, including mine with the butterball midsection. Who knows though, it is possible that those polite Yoginis have funny nicknames for us all and are giggling in the break room afterward with these conversations: “Did you see Arlene/Butterball trying to get in the toe tree pose today, giggle, giggle!” • Arlene Nisson Lassin has been published in national, regional, and local publications including the Houston Chronicle. Five years ago Arlene started her popular blog Hot Flashes, “hot topics with a wink and a nod to the middle years” Recently, Arlene was added to the Blog Team at the Huffington Post where she continues her humorous musings and serious think pieces

January 2014 | 17

Cover Girl

Mayim Bialik

Photo by JSquared Photography, Hair & Makeup by Kelsey Deenihan Styling by Alison Kahn 18 | January 2014

A Bright & Shining Star by Emily Feinstein


ecently nominated for a Screen Actor’s Guild award for her role on the hit sitcom The Big Bang Theory, and launching a vegan cookbook next month, Hollywood celebrity, Mayim Bialik is as dynamic as the universe. Mayim Bialik began making her way into America's heart at the age of 12 when she played the role of the young Bette Midler in the1988 movie Beaches. After gaining recognition from her performance she landed the lead role in the NBC series Blossom. “I never thought I would have my own TV show, which I feel happened accidentally” said Mayim, who claims she started acting as a hobby. Five years later, Bialik left the acting world to attend college at the University of California, Los Angeles.“I always wanted to go to college,” she said. “I’m the grandchild of immigrants from Eastern Europe. College was really emphasized in my home no matter what.”

Neuroscientist Bialik fell in love with science when she was 15 and pursued that passion at UCLA. Along the way she worked with a female tutor who mentored her and helped her to build the confidence and the skill set required to pursue a degree in neuroscience. After 12 consecutive years of study, concentrating in neuropsychology and neuropsychiatry, Bialik earned a PhD in 2007. She wrote her thesis on Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in adolescents with Prader-Willi syndrome and taught neuroscience on and off for five years. “To me a degree in neuroscience is a fantastic education. My perspective of the universe is broadened” said Bialik. “No

matter if I never used it again, that kind of appreciation and understanding of the scientific world can never be taken away from me.” Bialik home-schools her sons ages five and eight and continues to express her love of science. In 2012 she was named as the brand ambassador and spokesperson for Texas Instruments Education Technology. In that capacity she meets with educators and students around the nation to inspire young people to pursue science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in their studies and future careers.

Screen Actors Guild Nomination A PhD in neuroscience coupled with her acting talent made Bialik the perfect choice to play Amy Farrah Fowler in The Big Bang Theory, a role for which she has twice received Emmy nominations and was recently nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award. On the show, her character's love interest is Sheldon Cooper, played by Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning actor Jim Parsons (a Houston native.) “Being nominated (for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series) means a tremendous amount. And to be nominated alongside the cast and alongside Jim Parsons is very exciting” said Bialik. The SAG awards ceremony is slated to air January 18 on the TNT and TBS networks.

LEFT: Mayim Bialik arrives at the 2013 Screen Actor's Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, CA RIGHT: Mayim Bialikat the 2012 Primetime Emmy Awards Arrivals, Nokia Theater, Los Angeles, CA

January 2014 | 19

“One of the things that I tried to do was create a very approachable cookbook,” she said. “I didn’t want to put out a cookbook that’s a bunch of fancy ingredients no one has ever heard of. I really tried to present the fact that I cook for my kids, my friends, and for people who are not vegan, who actually like it and ask for more. I’m not a chef, I’m just a person who enjoys cooking and really wanted to share it.”

ABOVE: Fillled with healthy, delicious recipes, Mayim's Vegan Table launches in February. BELOW: Photo by JSquared Photography, Hair & Makeup by Kelsey Deenihan. Styling by Alison Kahn

From Mommy Blogger to Author Bialik’s writing career coincided with her reemergence into the acting world. When she was a new mother, she said mommy blogs became “a thing.” Bialik has been writing twice a week for almost two years for, a web site that portrays contemporary, if not humorous, Jewish views on parenting issues. Bialik, who was raised in a kosher household, most closely aligns with Modern Orthodox Judaism. Known for her intuitive and outside-thebox parenting style, Bialik serves as the celebrity spokesperson for the Holistic Moms Network™. “I started writing about being a mom and my personal adventures in attachment parenting. It was actually my writing there (on Kveller. com) that led to my first book (Beyond the Sling, published in 2012), which was about attachment parenting.” Bialik would often write on about the ways that she transformed traditional Jewish recipes into vegan dishes. Her fans responded positively, and that was how the idea to write a cookbook originally emerged.

Mayim's Vegan Table Bialik's new cookbook is called Mayim’s Vegan Table: More Than 100 Great-Tasting and Healthy Recipes from My Family to Yours, published by DeCapo Press. It consists of recipes that Bialik has adapted and created which she cooks for her family. One of Bialik’s friends, who she refers to as “Chef Ali,” helped her to fill in some blanks with vegan recipes. Preceding the recipes are four text chapters that cover vegan cooking choices and include nutritional facts from Jay Gordon MD, a world-reknowned pediatric nutritionist, teacher, lecturer, author and columnist. From dispelling myths about a vegan diet to tackling the food pyramid, the book is a comprehensive guide which outlines fuss-free ways in which parents can set the foundation for eating healthy, delicious foods for a lifetime. 20 | January 2014

One of Mayim's favorite recipes in the book is the Baked Ziti – made with pureed tofu and cashew cream, which mimic mozzarella and ricotta cheese. Another favorite is the Shepherd’s Pie, which was originally Chef Ali’s recipe that Mayim modified. Instead of using meat, Mayim combines lentils, vegetables and spices.“I’ve never had Shepherd’s Pie as a nonvegan so I didn’t know what to expect and it’s just one of the things that one of my sons and I absolutely love,” she said. “One of the things that I tried to do was create a very approachable cookbook,” she said. “I didn’t want to put out a cookbook that’s a bunch of fancy ingredients no one has ever heard of. I really tried to present the fact that I cook for my kids, my friends, and for people who are not vegan, who actually like it and ask for more. I’m not a chef, I’m just a person who enjoys cooking and really wanted to share it.” Always a lover of animals, she never felt right eating meat. Growing up from the ‘70s and into the ‘90s, the notion of being a vegan was not part of her consciousness.“There weren’t a tremendous amount of options for vegans and it was seen as a very weird, fringe thing” said Bialik. She became a vegetarian at the age of 19 and cut out dairy in college as a suggestion to prevent her chronic sinus infections from flaring up. She hasn’t had a sinus infection since. “About five years ago I read Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer,” said Bialik. “That was the last step for me. That helped me go completely vegan.” She believes adhering to a vegan diet is not difficult to maintain and can actually be an easy transition for children, “if it’s presented reasonably and with appropriate alternatives.” For Bialik, choosing to go vegan is one of the many choices she has made in her life that she says, “just fits.” • To learn more about Mayim Bialik visit www. and to pre-order a copy of Mayim’s Vegan Table go to



Cover Girl, Mayim Bialik Skin Care: Bialik likes to use Murad products and although she is not the pampering type, Murad is one of the only places she will go to get a facial. Bialik also likes to use Votre Vu – they have a few select products she buys, including a tonic and some body lotions. “They make this body cream that smells like cake, it’s delicious,” she said. Hair Care: Bialik likes Aveda. Since she eats only vegan, she seeks out products that are also vegan, that don’t test on animals and that tend to be herbal-based. “I’m allergic to anything that is scented heavily so that’s why I like Aveda,” she said. Fitness: Bialik took up running about a year ago. “I love running, not on a treadmill, but out in the world,” she said. She also likes weight lifting (machines and free-weights). Sometimes Bailik will use the elliptical machine, especially if she is in the studio. On average, she will try to do something physical three times per week. Personal Style: Bailik likes vintage and retro clothes and says she still wears army boots and dresses on her own time. For public appearances, she leaves the choices to her stylist, Alison Kahn (a Houston native). “I don’t have a personal interest in trends. I don’t understand why some things are trendy and I don’t understand colors” Bailik said. “I’m really grateful that I have a stylist. She gets that I don’t need to be as interested as she is, and wants me to feel good and comfortable in what I wear.” Bialik doesn’t wear sleeveless, strapless or anything above the knee and she admits there’s a bit of a challenge with that, but she likes being a modest dresser. Her preferred designers include Oliver Tolentino – he designed her Emmy’s dress, Tadashi Shoji, Rebecca Miller and Karen Millen. Stress Management: Besides running to relieve stress, Bialik also plays piano. She said she plays music often to get out emotions. She is a strong proponent of psychotherapy and religious faith. “I do seek a lot of comfort in stressful times from the formal Jewish learning I do and the understanding of the universe in general, as a place where everything will be OK somehow,” she said. •

January 2014 | 21


Getting Organized



by Katrina Teeple, CEO and Founder of Operation Organization.


ew Year’s Resolutions are very likely to be forgotten or broken, so it’s fair to say that most people who decide that they want to get organized in 2014 aren’t going to get it done. But not you. You’re going to learn a few tricks, take some advice, and make some changes that will last well into the future. Why do some people find it easier to stay organized? Most likely, they’ve trained themselves to avoid certain mistakes that are all too common. The first mistake people make is assuming that they are not capable of staying organized. It can’t be said too many times: you can teach yourself new, tidier habits. This is not a skill that anyone is born with. Here are some steps to take in order to start yourself off on the right foot in 2014.

1. Break Down the Problem It’s hard to schedule time for anything during the holidays and most likely you’ve let things get a little out of control. That’s perfectly normal. But now it’s quiet January and you can take it all on, in a big way. Schedule time for the work you’ll need to do. Give yourself an hour that is only for organizing. Your first task will be to document where the problem areas are in each room. You’re making a list of places in your home where you’re bothered by the clutter or disorganization. Be very specific. You can turn the bigger problem of clutter and disorganization into many smaller problems that will feel easier to solve. Don’t do anything else yet! The temptation may be strong to start cleaning up as you survey problem areas, but the last thing you want to do is start a project that you won’t have time to finish.

2. Schedule Time for One Project at a Time Once you have a list of projects to work from, make more appointments with yourself, one for each project. So many of my clients are stymied before they begin because they have unfinished organizing projects. Each time they see their half-effort they feel bad about themselves, and that bad feeling becomes associated with getting organized. Avoid creating that kind of negative feedback loop by giving yourself enough time to complete each project.

3. Make Each Solution Permanent: A Bedroom and Closet Example Let’s say you are frustrated by the pile of tried-on-but-not-dirty clothing that seems to grow on your bedroom floor. By the time you get to it, the clothing is wrinkled and kind of dirty. But what a waste and what a mess! You’ll come up with a solution, perhaps hooks on the wall, a separate laundry basket, or a chair that you can drape things over as you test out outfits. Take the time to come up with the right solution for you and then implement it 22 | January 2014

Deer Lake Lodge & Spa

A few Operation Organization "after" photos.

Organic Wellness Resort

completely. Buy yourself a few hooks or a coat rack and make this problem go away for good.

Be Our Guest!

4. Don’t Be Hard On Yourself and Don’t Give Up This might take some time. If you’ve never organized things before, you can expect each project to take an hour or two at least. That means you’re not going to completely organize your whole house in a day, a week, and possibly not even in a month. That’s okay, as long as you’re taking steps to create permanent solutions. Always have a day in the future when you’ve carved out the time to organize, and then keep those appointments with yourself.

Pamper yourself in our tranquil, secluded setting and enjoy our recipe for a healthier you!

5. Daily Maintenance

TheraPeuTic SPa TreaTmenTS

Nothing organizes itself, right? So you should also make sure you’ve got a bit of time each day, possibly about 15 minutes each morning and evening, when you can set things back to organized. Take the time to put those clean clothes back in the closet where they belong. Your systems will keep things from getting out of control temporarily, but the long term goal is to change your habits, so start today. •

SuPerviSed FaSTS & cleanSing mediTaTion & Yoga STreTching & Walking holiSTic healTh & raW Food

Katrina Teeple, an Organizational Expert and Productivity Coach, is founder and CEO of Operation Organization, Inc., a Los Angeles-based professional organizing company. Her client roster consists of individuals and small businesses as well as Fortune 500 companies, A-List celebrities and professional athletes, Katrina is committed to researching and utilizing the best resources, products and technologies. With an eye on the future, Operation Organization is committed to implementing an environmentally responsible approach to cleaning, packing, disposing and recycling/repurposing items. For Katrina, organizing and finding simple solutions to routine problems is her passion, and she takes joy in inspiring people to live less complicated lives through better organization. To learn more visit www. Katrina Teeple

claSSeS & PrivaTe SeSSionS

10500 Deer Lake Lodge Rd. Montgomery, Texas 77316


January 2014 | 23

Author, Frank Suarez shares the keys to permanent healthy weight loss



of Your

Metabolism by Nema D. Bloom

Frank Suarez struggled with extra weight most of his life. A yo-yo dieter, he tried every popular diet on the market to lose weight until a diet-induced health scare put him in the emergency room. Frank who was prediabetic, made a decision to learn all he could about dieting, nutrition and metabolism. For eight years, Suarez read and experimented, finally discovering the keys to permanent, healthy weight loss. He lost 60 pounds and lowered his blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides. His depression lifted as well. Suarez’s successful weight loss prompted inquiries from friends, and a new career was born. Using his storehouse of knowledge and personal experience, Suarez wrote, The Power of Your Metabolism, a book which has sold more than 150,000 copies worldwide. Suarez is also the founder/owner of RelaxSlim metabolism centers located throughout 24 | January 2014

Puerto Rico, in Mexico and in Clearwater, Florida. Over the past 15 years his book and metabolism centers, have helped more than 50,000 people to lose weight and regain their health.

Not a Diet Book

Suarez says, “The book is not a diet book. People are fed up with diets. They try every fad. They lose weight for a little while and regain the weight -- most times gaining more than they lost in the first place. Dieting is an unwinnable battle because as we age, our metabolism continues to slow down.”

LEFT: Frank Suarez, author of The Power of Your Metabolism lost 60 pounds and has helped thousands of others to do the same. RIGHT: Julianne De Armon, AKA WeightLossJules, lost 48 pounds using the principles she learned in the book.

Pinqshue Photography, Art and Design

A consummate educator Suarez explained, “The metabolism is defined as the actions and movement that it takes the body to convert food into energy for life.” He believes that it is essential for people to read and understand the reasons they gain weight so they can make the necessary changes. He marks some of his chapters with “This is Vital Information” to ensure they are read and absorbed. To help explain the difference between diet and metabolism he uses the analogy of a car, “Food is like the body’s fuel or gasoline. The metabolism is like the body’s motor. If your car is having difficulty making it up a hill, you wouldn’t want to replace the fuel, you would want to repair the motor.”

Three key metabolism boosters

1) Drink plenty of water. Suarez explains, “The metabolism slows down when the body is dehydrated. By drinking water you are taking in the oxygen necessary for fat-

Pinqshue Photography, Art and Design

burning combustion.” Suarez stresses the importance of drinking clear, unflavored water. To determine how many glasses of water you need each day he says to divide your body weight by the number 16. 2) Eliminate Candida albicans overgrowth. To do this Suarez recommends a candida cleanse. He explains, “Candida is a yeast that lives in the body that can slow the metabolism. The estrogen that women produce encourages an overgrowth of candida.” Suarez says that yeast creates toxins in the body which may cause 22 physical symptoms such as headaches, fatigue and sinusitis which are listed in the book. He recommends limiting carbs before going on a candida cleanse to ensure its effectiveness, since yeast thrives on carbohydrates. 3) Limit refined carbohydrates. Suarez explained that refined carbs stimulate glucose production which

produces high levels of insulin. Excessive insulin causes glucose to turn into stored fat. He recommends instituting a “2 x 1 Diet TM” or a “3 x 1 Diet TM”. Foods are categorized as “Slimming” foods, and “Fattening” foods depending on the level of insulin reaction they produce. A meal should include two or three Slimming foods with one Fattening food. He also recommends calling the RelaxSlim metabolism center for a free metabolism evaluation. Utilizing proprietary software a specialist can determine whether your nervous system is considered “excited”(yang) or “passive”(yin) and with that information the they are able to make helpful dietary recommendations.

Weight Loss Jules

Frank Suarez’s niece is Julianne De Armon (née Christoffel), originally from Houston, who now resides in Glendale, January 2014 | 25

“Over the past 15 years his book and metabolism centers, have helped more than 50,000 people to lose weight and regain their health.”

Julianne De Armon chronicled her progress online to stay on track.

California. In August, 2012 Julianne who is a petite 5'3" found herself weighing in at 176 pounds. It was then that she decided to read The Power of Your Metabolism, and put the principals into practice. By August, 2013, De Armon had lost a total of 48 lbs, going froma size 16, down to a 6/8. De Armon’s husband was in love with her and proposed to her before she dropped the weight. She was thrilled to fit into the wedding dress of her dreams when she and

Pinqshue Photography, Art and Design

On her wedding day, Weight Loss Jules poses with her dog, Peanut. They are seen together in many of her educational and entertaining YouTube videos. 26 | January 2014

Michael DeArmon exchanged vows in November 2013 at a romantic ceremony at The Grove in Houston. To motivate herself De Armon says, “I would force myself to look in the mirror daily, usually in my underwear or completely nude. It helped put things into perspective and remind me why I started on this weight loss journey. To keep myself accountable, I created an Instagram account to share my progress. To my surprise, I discovered a huge community of women and men who shared my goal of improving my health and losing weight. Seeing that others had been successful gave me hope that I could reach my goals. It was immensely helpful.” Now known as Weight Loss Jules (@ WeightLossJules) to 20,000 Instagram followers, bloggers and Facebook followers, De Armon can be seen with her lovable mini dachshund, Peanut, by her side in her educational, motivational and funloving YouTube videos. “What I’ve started has become a lifestyle - not just a diet that I’ll fail at over and over again,” said De Armon. I love the food I can eat and I love how my body is shaping up. I have much more energy and best of all, I’m happier and much more confident!” Along the way, Julianne De Armon like her uncle, Frank Suarez discovered a new career. She is now a RelaxSlim Certified Metabolism Specialist and assists individuals via telephone consultation. Her personal journey continues to inspire others to make healthy choices and reach their goals. As the new year begins DeArmon recommends, “Take it one day at a time. It can take time to lose the weight - but like they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day! Read the book and learn how your metabolism works. And practice until it doesn’t feel like a ‘diet’ anymore because honestly, diets don’t work. Lifestyles do.” • You can purchase The Power of Your Metabolism online at www.thepowerof and locally at Barnes and Noble. Learn more about the RelaxSlim Center at and find Julianne De Armon at

January Horoscopes by Nan Hall Linke, M. A.

Bell-A-strology January is a month which contains two Super-

moons. The first is a New Moon in Capricorn on 1/1, which magnifies the potency of our intentions for 2014. The second occurs in Aquarius on 1/30 and illuminates our capacity to reinvent ourselves. The Full Moon on 1/15 illuminates our awareness of how far we have come in our life and how far we have to go. The Full Moon in Cancer asks us to nourish ourselves before we give to others so we don't become depleted. The Moon in Cancer is also pulling us toward balancing our masculine and feminine energies. In January, eight of the ten planets are involved in a powerful Cardinal Cross which will pull us forward whether we are ready or not. This is a time of major change which most of us will welcome after the challenging events of 2013. Mars moves into Libra until 7/28, which enlivens us all and gets the ball moving once again. At the Winter Solstice on 12/21/2013, Venus began a backward retreat which ends on 1/31. That is a date to mark on your calendar so you can plan to feel more loving and loveable. After such a long time of deconstruction, the reconstruction begins in earnest in January.


(December 22-January 19) Your friendships will deepen this month as events will show you who your true friends are. You are stronger than you know and you are integrating new ideas about yourself into your life plans. Jupiter is balancing and growing your relationship sector in amazing ways, slowly and thoroughly. Venus enters your sign on 11/5 and brings greater prosperity, joy and opportunity into your life. Always the hardest worker, you may find things come to you with greater ease.

AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18) This is a month of continual change and surprise, which you are well-equipped to navigate and find the current which eventually leads you to creative flow. Stay on the cutting edge and you will be on track for the new year. Continue to work on advancing your career and your reputation for inventiveness will serve you well. With Mars in Libra till late July, there is lots of opportunity for travel for work and play. Hidden strength will be available to you this month, so fear not.

PISCES (February 19-March 20) Your creativity and imagination actively flow this month and don't be surprised if you seek more meaningful relationships. The Capricorn energy, combined with Venus, affects your friendship sector as well as your group associations. As you change so drastically, your associations with others should mirror the new you. Jupiter in your creative sector gives you incentive to release your inhibitions and flow into new areas of expression. Trust your intuition and take risk in self-expression.

January 2014 | 27

ARIES (March 21-April 19) With Mars moving into your relationship sector for the next eight months, you will be giving to others and your needs will take a back seat for once.You are always decisive and up to a challenge and now more than ever, others need your strength.The Cardinal Cross of January has you in the driver’s seat regarding how you react to the many changes that have occurred and are not slowing down.You are an original, and your inventiveness has never been stronger. Curb your impatience and anger.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20) With your ruling planet Venus reviewing your life, particularly your health and work environment, this is the time to make changes, to expand your knowledge and to travel. With Jupiter in Cancer, friends give lots of support to your dreams and the changes you choose to make. With Saturn in your opposite sign it feels like things will never change. Delays and frustrations may seem to have become a way of life, but everything is temporary and has an ending. Give yourself some rest and a longer timeline for accomplishment.

GEMINI (May 21-June 21) CANCER (June 22-July 22)  Expect continued improvement with finances. This could be a WOW month for you as Finalize all decisions by month's end as maddening the Grand Cross is moving you faster than Mercury goes retrograde on 2/6 and lasts until at any time in the past six months. Jupiter 2/28. If you are ready for this event, your life will in your sign urges confidence in all you be more ordered and you'll find more success. do and awareness of your potential for The long cycle of Mars in Libra energizes imagining a new and better life than you your capacity for creative self-expression and have experienced before. This is a month of development of new interests with new people. expansion and unexpected opportunities for This is not a month for you to speculate, so be conservative with your cash self-expression. With Mars in Libra, there may be many sudden changes and look at the long rather than the short term. Use the wisdom of your in your life and many demands on your time, as others needs for your more mature self and leave the trickster in the background. support feels intense. LEO (July 23-August 22)  Please make plans for adventure and exploration of new relationships and activities this month. Your good humor and dignified persona will be a big advantage to you as people look for your natural leadership potential.The challenges in your workplace demand your natural talents, so do not hesitate to step forward. Mars in Libra has a tendency to overstimulate your nervous system, so make time to play and relax so you do not burn out. Pluto demands transformation of your health habits and change in your workplace, which makes balancing work and play a bit of a challenge

VIRGO (August 23-September 22) January should be a month where your best self is available in most areas of your life. Time with friends is fulfilling; your mind is steady and compassionate, opportunities abound, creative pursuits flow smoothly and you are having an easier time generating income. Always a clever problem solver and the most dependable helper, you are in demand. The one word you have not practiced enough is “no”, so start this month. Make all decisions and plans this month before your mind changes in February. 

LIBRA (September 23-October 23) You will be on fire in January with Mars moving into your life to disrupt some of the calm and predictability you crave and are known for. Life will be exciting and you will have lots of energy for new activities and challenges as Mars becomes your new roommate.You will be much more decisive and determined to get your home life in order so you can enjoy this burst of creative change. With Uranus activating your relationship sector, people may come and go like a revolving door. This is a time for reorganization, decisiveness and re-evaluating your needs in relationship to others.

SCORPIO (October 24-November 21) This is your second year with Saturn in your sign, which provides many tests to develop an awareness of your skills. This to help you become a more mature version of yourself, and open you up to greater opportunity.With Mars in Libra there may be some feelings of vulnerability as you learn that vulnerability is the underbelly of power, which you have in spades. New income sources appear and new clarity of mind comes with the New Moon of 1/1. The New Moon of 1/30 gives you a new perspective on your home and family life. Rest more frequently as you are growing out of your old skin, are a bit raw, and need to self-nurture.

SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21) As the natural optimist of the Zodiac, this trait serves you well in January, as business expansion will be on your horizon without as much struggle as in 2013. As life moves forward driven by Fate, your dreams become more real and there are signs that all you wish for may appear before the end of 2014. Review your financial needs in January, as you need to get more realistic about what things cost and make a budget so the surplus moves into your future plans and not out of your hands. The New Moon of 1/30 is a great time for you to plan to travel or celebrate your accomplishments. 28 | January 2014

A professional astrologer since 1971, Nan Hall Linke, M.A. has been featured on television, radio and in magazines and newspapers. She is also a marriage and family therapist who has taught in Houston at the CG Jung Center and Spectrum Center. Find out more about Nan and her services at, or call her at 713/520-1551.


New Year's Resolution

Make a Difference in the

Community W

LEADING LADIES Seeking Those Ready To Serve

ant to volunteer but aren't sure where to start? Volunteer Houston offers a wide range of opportunities to enrich your spirit while reaching out to make a difference in the world.



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JOIN A COMMUNITY EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM (CERT) and help ensure the safety of people in Houston and surrounding areas.

The effective response of trained volunteers supported by a network of city, county, state, and private agencies is critically important to the community. You can become one of these important individuals by register now for an upcoming 20-hour CERT training series.

BECOME A SPECIAL OLYMPICS VOLUNTEER and help those with developmental disabilities achieve their personal best. Serve as a coach, scorekeeper, referee, and "hugger" during these inspiring sports events. No athletic expertise or experience is required, and youth volunteers are welcome. Competition takes place on weekends at locations in virtually all areas of Houston. HELP TO CLEAN AND MAINTAIN THE GROUNDS OF A HISTORIC AFRICAN-AMERICAN CEMETARY. Reverence and re-

spect are guiding motives for volunteers helping to clean and maintain the grounds of a historic African-American cemetery located just northwest of downtown. On periodic Saturday mornings, these volunteers deal with the damage and debris at the cemetery left by storms and community neglect. Consider scooping up your work gloves and coming by to pitch in soon. Individuals and families are welcome.

BE A FLOOR HOST AT A CANCER HOSPITAL IN THE TEXAS MEDICAL CENTER. Devoting three or four hours a week (on weekdays) to this volunteer job, you'll greet new patients, escort them to their rooms, and be available to assist them when they need to go to other areas of the hospital. This position requires good communication skills and the ability to do extensive walking. Free parking is provided. •

For more info on these and other opportunities, contact Volunteer Houston Recruitment Director, Dr. Walter R. Black at 713-965-0031 M-F, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or go to

ach January, Leading Ladies, a young ladies service organization, gears up for their annual membership drive with a mission to find active high school juniors and seniors ready to make a difference in their community. Since 2012 the non-profit has put service above self with annual projects including Paint It Red, a fashion show for the American Heart Association featuring student designers, a powder puff football game called Tackling Breast Cancer benefiting The Rose, a Canned Good Car Wash for the Houston Food Bank, where five canned goods gains guests a car wash, and an annual partnership with the Pre-K Pals Toy Drive, serving over one thousand at-risk preschool students. Leading Ladies recently had their Leadership 2016 Dinner where they welcomed sixtyfour high school sophomores from Lamar HS, Bellaire HS, Emery HS, Episcopal HS and DeBakey HS into the four month program explaining the values of membership and servant leadership designed to create tomorrow's leaders today. The group is run by students in an effort to gain leadership skills. It meets once a month at Southside Place City Hall with charity projects every three weeks. •

Mark your calendars and dine out for a good cause at a benefit dinner, that serves as a parent informational meet and greet for Leading Ladies, February 11 at Fish City Grill, 5172 Buffalo Speedway, where 15% of the entire days sales will benefit the girls' year round charitable work. Mothers interested in learning more or getting their daughters involved can contact Leading Ladies advisor, Joselyn Vides at:

January 2014 | 29



The Forgotten Pet Advocates, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization is the voice for those animals that have been abandoned in boarding facilities in Houston and surrounding areas. Kennel life is a lonely and heart breaking existence. It means sleeping alone each night hearing amplified barks of other dogs... having to go potty, but no one hears your cries... cats meowing in their cages, wanting to stretch out...seeing animals come and go and no one ever comes for you.

To adopt a pet or contribute to this worthwhile organization go to

Gwinn and Rowdy Brother and sister, Gwinn and Rowdy are Chow Chow - Laborador Mixes. They went into a kennel in Oct. 2006 and have never left. They must be adopted together into a home with no other animals (preferably.) The two are very bonded, take treats gently and are very sweet. Although the kennel staff loves them, they need that “special” person or family to give them the loving home that they both deserve! They are both fully vetted. You can meet them in person at a Southwest Houston kennel. See Gwinn & Rowdy’s photo album at www.forgottenpetsadvocate or go to The Forgotten Pet Advocates on Facebook. For more information message (Pet ID 4660125)

Roxie Roxie is a Boston Terrier - Bull Terrier Mix who was abandoned at a kennel and is waiting for a home of her own. She is about 2 years old and is extremely friendly. When she gets to go outside she loves to run and play. Roxie is fully vetted and ready for a loving family. See Roxie's photo album at www.forgottenpetsadvocate or go to The Forgotten Pet Advocates on Facebook. For more information about Roxie email (Pet ID 6042933)

Belle Belle is an affectionate Red Bone Hound Mix who is looking for her forever home. She is an amazing dog and is looking for a family to call her own. Belle loves other dogs, kitties, and is great with children. Her gentle temperament would make her a great fit for a family with small children and other animals. Belle is about 2-3 years old and weighs approximately 75 lbs. She is heartworm negative, spayed, microchipped and fully-vaccinated.To learn more about Belle visit and email (Pet ID 5253889)

30 | January 2014


New Year's Resolution

Learn Something New! Nancy's Knits 5300 N Braeswood Blvd. 713-661-9411 ______________________________________

Knitting Classes First Tuesday of Each Month, runs 4 weeks, 6-8 p.m. Learn knitting or enhance existing skills in this class geared for all levels. Have fun creating lovely and personalized handknitted gifts for the holidays. Registration required. $75 for four week session. To register and see more classes go to:

Gem & Bead Gallery 2516 Times Blvd. 713-520-9700 ______________________________________

Beading Class I Fridays and Saturdays, By appointment only from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Learn the foundations of creating both necklaces and bracelets with the most commonly used tools, materials, findings, techniques, and stringing materials. Many students create beautiful jewelry after this one course.  $35.00 includes the use of tools and materials. Pre-registration required. To register and see more classes go to:

Houston Arboretum and Nature Center 4501 Woodway Dr 713-366-0421 ______________________________________

Yoga On the Way Home Thursdays, 5:45 - 7:15 p.m. Relax and restore after a long day with Iyengar yoga taught by Certified yoga instructor Suzy Shapiro, who has taught yoga for more than two decades.. $15/session or  if paid at first of month, $12/session for each session of the month (ex: 5 Thu = $60) To register contact Carol Taylor: To register and see more classes and events go to

Tai Chi Chuan for Health Sundays, 9-10 a.m. AND Wednesdays 5:45 - 6:45 p.m. Get in the flow with slow, meditative movements which are excellent for repairing injuries, de-stressing and learning to focus and gain insight. Instructor, Greg Illich has more than 26 years of experience in various Tai Chi forms with a focus on improving health. $15/session or  if paid at first of month, $12/session for each session of the month (ex: 5 Thu = $60) To register contact Carol Taylor: ctaylor@ To register and see more classes and events go to www.

Central Market Cooking School 3815 Westheimer, 713-993-9860 ______________________________________

Southern Influenced Korean New Year’s Feast Wednesday, Jan. 29, 6:30 pm Edward Lee, Chef and contestant on Iron Chef America and Top Chef: Texas Season 9 will provide a demonstration about the Korean New Year or Seollal. The Chef will demonstrate techniques and give insight on how to combine Asian influences with familiar comfort food. For ages 18 & up. To register and see more classes go to:

NiaMoves 508 Pecore St. 713-864-4260 ______________________________________

5Rhythms® Paradox of Riches Mini Workshops Offered January 12 and February 7, 8, 9 Call for times When you breathe, you are literally inspired. The depth of the inspiration you allow to fill you is directly proportional to how empty you allow yourself to be. The series is open to new and seasoned movers. Individual classes are $30 or sign up for the entire series. To Register go to http://paradoxofriches. org/ For more information about this class email, or call 512-680-4212

Strong Bones For A Lifetime Thursday, January 30, 9 am Learn what you can do to protect and promote healthy bones. Bones For Life helps improve your alignment to sustain a healthy lifestyle. 20 online, $25 at the door. To register and see more classes and events go to

January 2014 | 31

PinQshue Photography Art & Design

Call now to book 832.598.8365

32 | January 2014


We Got the Party Started! ciao bella! officially “got the party started� at a soiree' benefitting Child Advocates at BB1 Classic (which donated a portion of their proceeds.) Guests enjoyed hors d'oeuvres and wine complements of Tony's and The Tasting Room in Uptown Park. The festivities included lively music by duo extroidinare Amin Safari, Flamenco guitarist, accompanied by percussionist, Robert Feliciano. Guests were treated to OPI nail lacquer and other swag bag goodies. Door prizes included gift certificates from Med Cure Anti-Aging and Skin Care. Sharon Lutz was announced the winner of a recent ciao bella! contest in which the prize was a stay for two at Deer Lake Lodge Spa and Resort. Photos by Yvette Llorance-Pinqshue Photography, Art and Design Sarah McMullen and Tama Walker

Samara Beth Hurley and Heidi Suprun

Beth Cassidy-Garcia and Cindi Rose

Julian and Calli Saitowitz

Asa Faridi , Amin Safari and Shery Heshmatpour

Jacquie Baly

Varda Dror and Karina Barbieri

Danielle Wheeler and Angel Marlow

Montaque and Barbra Henson Jessica Alaine

January 2014 | 33


WhatWeWearWhere Launch Party

WhatWeWearWhere made its downloading debut at the high-end havens, Atrium Ready To Wear & Casa de Novia Bridal Boutique. Guests came clad in their #casualchic attire and were greeted at the door with champagne and wine to toast the newest addition to the iTunes store. Models dressed to the nines in Atrium Ready To Wear apparel posed for pictures for the newly logged in WhatWeWearWhere users to post to their “closet,” Posting was paired with shopping all for a good cause benefiting Girls, Inc. Houston. Photo credit: Rhonda Lindholm

LEFT TO RIGHT CLOCKWISE: 1) Kathy Harrison, Luvi Wheelock 2) Neil Hamil Agency models posing in Atrium Ready To Wear 3) Luke Fertitta, Natasha Helm, Jonas Fertitta 4) Megan Lesser, Carrie Cowan, Mandy Rogers

3rd Annual Bone Bash

Of the 300 partygoers that slithered into the haunted surroundings at the Hotel ZaZa for the 3rd Annual Bone Bash benefitting the Arthritis Foundation, probably 90 percent channeled inner demons, skeletons, pirates, super-heroes and the walking dead. The event which raised about $150,000 included a haunted graveyard where guests got their pictures taken; a fortune teller and palm reader; caricature artist and an entertaining after party—The Graveyard Shift. Photo credit: Alexander’s Fine Portrait Design LEFT TO RIGHT: 1) Diane Caplan 2) Dr. Franklin Rose and Cindi Rose 3) James and Janet Golden

Petroleum Club YPA Halloween Party

Dueling Maleficients, a minion, a lady spider and gory zombies danced the night away as the Young Professionals Association of the Petroleum Club turned the Wildcatter ballroom from sophisticated to sinister for a Halloween celebration. As 200 revelers dined, danced, and dished, DJ Tiffany of Las Vegas spun the soundtrack to YPA Board Member Magan M. Hunt’s fourth annual contribution to Houston’s “not to be missed” party. Photo credit: Larry Fagala

Stephanie Quisenberry and Magan M. Hunt

Connie Kwan-Wong’s Holiday Celebration

Sweetheart, Connie Kwan-Wong founder of the Connie Kwan-Wong Foundation hosted a lavish Holiday Dinner Party to celebrate love and friendship with 60 of her nearest and dearest at Villa Rinata. In attendance was Kwan-Wong’s close friend, the noted designer, Gemma Kahng, who showcased her beautiful, unique collection and shared fashion tips. Before heading back to NYC, Kahng, who has dressed celebrities from Madonna to Sharon Stone, appeared at her Tootsies trunk show. Photo credit: Jenna Barrett with Anthem in Art LEFT TO RIGHT: 1) Gemma Kahng and Connie Kwan-Wong 2) Jennifer Yang, Melissa Chou Yan, Madison Duke,Vy Le, Jackie Nguyen, Katya Dow, Gemma Kahng, Connie Kwan-Wong 3) Christina Zhou, Sneha Merchant, Connie Kwan-Wong, Mandy Kao

34 | January 2014

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Ciao Bella! January 2014  

The Houston magazine for intelligent, stylish, health-conscious women.

Ciao Bella! January 2014  

The Houston magazine for intelligent, stylish, health-conscious women.