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Holiday Gift Guide









Ways to Beat the Holiday Blues


Two Convenient Locations

OakBend Medical Center is proud to offer our award winning patient services at two convenient locations. Like our Jackson Street campus, our second full-service acute care hospital at Highway 59 and Williams Way Boulevard offers a wide range of first-class patient services in a caring and compassionate environment. OakBend Medical Center wishes you and your family a healthy and happy holiday season!

If you’re looking for award winning patient care, contact us today. 1705 Jackson Street, Richmond, TX 77469 Phone: (281) 341-3000 22003 Southwest Freeway, Richmond, TX 77469 (At US Highway 59 and Williams Way Blvd.) Phone: (281) 341-2000

Physician Referral: (281) 341-4800



• CHOICE: You legally have the right to choose where to fill your prescriptions. • ACCREDITED: The ONLY accredited compounding pharmacy in Fort Bend County. • DISCOUNTS: Typically -20% on 3-month supply and -35% on a 6-month supply. • TESTING: We regularly test our products for sterility, endotoxins and potency. • SAME DAY PROCESSING: We finish everything the same day. (Ok - Disclaimer time: If you don’t have refills, you will have to wait until your doctor approves it. If we have to order an ingredient, it will be made when it arrives. We close at 6:00 PM. If we finish it after 6:00 PM, it’ll be ready for pickup or shipping the next business morning.) • SAFETY: We don’t have students rotating through our pharmacy learning how to compound. All of our compounding staff are highly trained, ACPE-certificate earned and state registered compounding experts with years of experience. Call us with your prescription number and pharmacy phone number and we’ll do the rest.

281-494-7777 • 1730 Williams Trace, Ste. K, Sugar Land

Lose INCHES, shed POUNDS & balance your HORMONES with Amaya.

Amaya Wellness Center & The Zerona Clinic

ZERONA® is the only clinically-proven slimming treatment that removes fat and reduces inches with ZERO Pain, ZERO Surgery, ZERO downtime. • $110 per session for ZERONA® Lipo Laser Lowest price in Houston Area or join Club Slim ZERONA®. Pay $2500 once and get as many sessions as you want. Free ZERONA for one year. • $200 OFF HCG diet 40 day program Includes labs and HCG injections. (Was $895, Now $695). Are you having any of these symptoms? • Weight Gain • Chronic Fatigue • Muscle Weakness • Inability to Maintain Muscle • Poor Sleep • Anxiety • Decreased Memory • Unsatisfactory sex life

• Low Energy • Mood Swings • Depression • Lack of Concentration • Acne • Pigmentation • Hair Loss • Loose Skin

Is it accelerated aging or hormone imbalance? Find out now.

Amaya Wellness Center & The Zerona Clinic Visit WWW.AMAYACLINIC.COM for current specials • e-mail ZERONA@AMAYACLINIC.COM

281.751.8192 ANNOUNCING OUR BRAND NEW LOCATION NEXT TO ST. LUKES HOSPITAL IN SUGAR LAND 1327 Lake Pointe Parkway, Suite 301, Sugar Land, TX 77478 462 South Mason Road, Suite 300, Katy, TX 77450

Find a Kelsey-Seybold OB/GYN Kelsey-Seybold’s specialists in Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN) provide comprehensive care for women of all ages. This includes complete obstetrical care, family planning, well-woman

Three Things You Probably Don’t Know about Birth Control There’s a new breakthrough in birth control called the Essure® procedure that’s changing the way women look at birth control. The differences: • Essure® provides permanent birth control; it’s not reversible. • No hormones are necessary after the procedure and women continue to have monthly cycles. • Essure® is a gentle, minimally invasive procedure that can be done safely and comfortably in your OB/GYN’s office – no general anesthesia is required. Kelsey-Seybold OB/GYN specialists at Kelsey Seybold’s new Cinco Ranch Clinic in Katy and Fort Bend Medical and Diagnostic Center in Sugar Land specialize in this minimally invasive, in-office procedure. To make an appointment with a Kelsey-Seybold OB/GYN, call our Contact Center 24/7 at 713-442-0000.

exams, vaccinations and screenings, treatment of gynecological problems, and in-office, minimally invasive procedures like the Essure® procedure for permanent birth control. Call our Contact Center 24/7 at 713-442-0000 to make an appointment. Go to to find a Kelsey-Seybold OB/GYN.

Dr. Eugenia “Jeannie” Jacobs talks about birth control, checkups and preventive care for women. Read her blog at


November 2010 l Volume 2 l Number 3


The Designing Women of Twenty-Two Fifty Interiors Eclectic elements for timeless interiors describes Sugar Land’s new Twenty-Two Fifty Interiors. The vision of the mother and daughter team Teena and Lauren Caldwell, the designing duo has created a comfortable, beautiful store and design center filled with unique finds.


20 Sissy Spacek: A Texas Icon

From winning the Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner’s Daughter and now, a homegrown honor – the second recipient of the Houston Film Critics Society Lifetime Achievement Award – Nick Nicholson talks to the legendary film star about her career, motherhood and coming home.

24 Mamie Parris’ Star Shines Bright

The iconic song and subsequent film come to life with a Broadway series debut that stars Texas native Mamie Parris in the role of Judy. Playing in Houston in November, Don Maines interviews the Texas star and talks about discrimination, New York, and of course, Dolly.

Teena and Lauren Caldwell.

30 Ann Weisgarber: One of

Houston’s Best Kept Secrets

Tanya Sterling found this internationally-acclaimed author living in a little blue house in a quaint neighborhood outside of Houston. Little do her neighbors know that when Ann Weisgarber crosses the pond to visit the United Kingdom, this unassuming woman is a rock star. Tanya talks to Ann Weisgarber about her newfound fame, her amazing success and her plans for the future.

38 Karen Young’s Writing Journey Brings Her Home

By Twenty-Two Fifty Interiors.


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l November 2010

With 36 novels under her belt, Karen Young has invented – and reinvented – her path to success. Melinda Wood visits with the resilient woman and learns about her journey to becoming a best-selling author, and finally, finding a place to call home.

Feel tly c e f r pe d e r e p pam Introduce your new baby to the world in our comprehensive Birthing Center. At Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Birthing Center, we want to make your childbirth experience as memorable and positive as possible. That’s why we provide specialized medical care, from the time you learn you are pregnant until well after your child is born. We’re prepared for both routine and high-risk pregnancies through our onsite Maternal-Fetal Medicine Clinic affiliated with The University of Texas Medical School at Houston. We offer physician-administered anesthesiology 24/7, and our Lactation Center provides breastfeeding support before, during and after birth. Our Level II-B Neonatal Intensive Care Unit provides advanced care for preemies and babies with special medical needs, and we offer immediate access to Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital if necessary. You will feel perfectly pampered in our private birthing suites with flat-screen televisions, DVD players and more. So, if you’re searching for the ideal place to welcome in your new bundle of joy, come to Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Birthing Center. We’ll treat the two of you just right.

November 2010 l


Contents holiday hoho

26 Twelve Days of Christmas Giveaway

Just for our readers – an Register opportunity to win! Celebrate and win a gift to win! each day – December 25th through January 5th – by entering at


Fabulous must haves for holiday gift giving – and receiving!


36 pg

From hippie to vintage, the free-flowing Boho style is making a statement this season.

for everyone on your holiday list. And once you’ve found the perfect gift, get tips from celebrity “wrap stars” on how to make your gifts even more fabulous.

53 Winter’s Bone


A dark tale of one family’s desperate struggle to survive in rural Missouri amidst the harsh realities of the drug culture permeating the rural South.

53 The Sound of Music – 45th Anniversary

The perfect addition to your musical collection – the ultimate love story. Cute kids, Austrian mountaintops, a handsome widow – what’s not to love?

19 MD Anderson Now Offering Cancer Surgery in Sugar Land

64 127 Hours

76 10 Ways to Beat the Holiday Blues

l November 2010

42 Get inspired with creative gift ideas

Are they dead yet? Not quite. The third installment in the popular vampire series has it all: a love triangle, murder and vengeance – everything you could ask for in a monster tale.

health & wellness

focus on women

holiday gift guide

52 The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

13 The List: Things We Love


40 Fernando’s Latin Cuisine Stepping Out for the Holidays

chick flicks


Is your ho, ho, ho becoming ho, ho, hum? Take a look at these tips to help you get the jingle back in your bells!

All the Way Home Wine, Women & Shoes

The Grand Soiree Fall Design Market Houston Design Center

With a book title like Hookers, Midgets, and Firetrucks – An Invitation to Our Party, what’s not to love? With wit and wisdom, Linda Gayle talks about life lessons at an upcoming event you won’t want to miss.

65 Bohemian Rhapsody

34 & 35 Chef Rey Poetry and Dessert

Start the new year off right by making him number one!

78 Laughing with Linda Gayle

Get in shape for the season with trendy styles in boots.

32 Boys & Girls Club of Fredricksburg Shopping for a Cause

Sam Houston Park Komen-Houston Race for the Cure

inspiring women

36 Boot Camp

28 Top Shelf Wine & Spirits Wine & Spirits Nite


63 10 New Year’s Resolutions to Better Connect with Your Spouse


stepping out with focus on women



One daredevil, an unforeseen accident and 127 hours of being pinned under a rock. The triumphant true story of Aron Ralston’s will to survive is an emotional experience well worth having.

D e s i g n Co n s u ltat i o n a n d U n i q u e I n t e r i o r D e s i g n E x p r e s s i o n s

Keron Weathered Allied Member ASID

keron out of the box @



Contents travel

74 Wolf Creek Ski Area Offers OldFashioned Charm

Got snow? Wolf Creek does! With an average annual snowfall of 465 inches, Wolf Creek is the go to place for winter sports.

between the lines 79 My Life is a Mess: Organizing 101

A handy guide to getting organized and living a life without clutter.


79 Missing Max

A gripping story of a kidnapped baby and his parents search - not only for their son - but for their faith.

financial savvy

33 Girls Just Want to Have Funds

Tips for taking the stress out of holiday shopping and most importantly, avoiding overspending.

fow feedback


22 & 27 Heard Through the Grapevine


Who’s saying what about Focus on Women.

17 Twenty-Two Fifty Interiors’ Design Tips for the Holidays

The in’s and out’s from the pros on how to pull off the holidays beautifully in your home.


72 Woman to Woman

By Alisa Murray Basic safety 101, and now, facebook? How to learn – and teach – our children the new rules of stranger danger and social media.

By Tanya Sterling Are you your purse? Pretty on the outside and a hot mess on the inside? Cleaning out your purse – and your attitude – is easier than you think!

68 Hansel & Gretel Secrets of the Silk Road Intimate Settings and Public Spaces Shabby Gentility The Peking Acrobats

From opera to acrobats, a look at the must-see cultural events.

divas INK (In the Know!)



18 How to Create Memorable Holiday Moments for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s By Jamie R. Anderson, RN

By Afreen Pappa, MD

say – about everything – on facebook.

pg l November 2010

pearls of wisdom

23 Everyone Will Notice, But No One Will Know

71 Check out what our divas have to

focus on women


80 The Last Word

fine arts




29 Is Back Pain Altering Your Lifestyle?

By Richmond Bone & Joint Clinic

You discovered her favorite restaurant. She introduced you to your husband. Now, you could save her life. STATE-OF-THE-ART BREAST CANCER DIAGNOSTICS: Digital Mammography Breast Ultrasound Breast MRI MRI Guided Biopsy Ultrasound Biopsy Stereotactic Biopsy A special thank you to the Fort Bend Junior Service League members who are the faces of our Women’s Health Campaign.

Reminding a friend to schedule a mammogram could save her life. According to The National Cancer Institute, the most effective ways to detect breast cancer early are getting a high-quality screening mammogram and having a clinical breast exam on a regular basis. You can rest assured that at the Breast Center at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital you and your friend will receive the high-quality mammogram you need. It is the only full-service center of its kind in Fort Bend County that women can rely on for dedicated breast radiology expertise, state-of-the-art technology and compassionate care.

Call 281-242-PINK (7465) to schedule a mammogram with Methodist Sugar Land Hospital.

LEADING MEDICINEÂŽ Spine BreastCenter Center

16655 Southwest Freeway Sugar Land, Texas 77479 281-242-PINK (7465)

editor’s point of view I

Patti Parish-Kaminski, Editor in Chief

The Attitude of Gratitude


Stepping Out for the Holidays Karen, Patti and Lisa.

is the season to be thankful. Thankful for our family, our friends, our health – thankful for the many blessings that we have been given. But, I must admit that as we put together this issue of Focus on Women, I was amazed to see that the holidays are already upon us, and honestly, my first thoughts of the approaching season put me in a panic mode. A cursory review of my calendar made my pulse race as I realized how little time I had left to prepare for the upcoming season – the gifts, the family functions, the cooking, the social activities, the decorating. It can all seem overwhelming, especially for women. Let’s face it – when it comes to holiday preparedness, we as women are responsible for much of the hustle and bustle. Fortunately, we do have resources, and for that alone, we are grateful. With this issue, our goal was to be just that: a holiday resource to help you prepare for, and most importantly, enjoy the holidays. From our Holiday Gift Guide to articles to help you beat the holiday blues and manage your gift-giving expenses to features about inspiring women, we will help you prepare for – and take a brief respite from – the holiday rush. The designing duo featured on our cover will help inspire you for the holidays with their creation of an entire store devoted solely to Christmas! Teena and Lauren Caldwell not only created a unique store and design center filled with one-of-a-kind gifts at Twenty-Two Fifty Interiors, they created a separate store where the spirit of Christmas surrounds you. Stop by for a dose of holiday cheer. Focus on Women will be Stepping Out for the Holidays with two special Ultimate Girls’ Club events designed to help you with gift ideas and most importantly, spend time with your girlfriends. On Tuesday, November 16th, join us at Top Shelf Wine & Spirits for a tasting of holiday spirits, and on Tuesday, December 7th, join us at Fernando’ s Latin Cuisine for holiday shopping and book signings by local authors. Both events are complimentary – just respond to or call 281.690.4242 to reserve your spot. And, if you haven’t joined our Ultimate Girls’ Club yet, what are you waiting for? Sign up on our website to receive invitations to our exclusive events – just for us girls. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, and he’s at Focus on Women in spirit for our Twelve Days of Christmas Giveaway December 25th through January 5th. Each day, we will be giving away a special gift to our readers as a thank you for your support this year. Go online at and register each day to win. Yes, the year has flown by, and though we may have substantial “to do” lists to accomplish for the holidays, we at Focus on Women have much to be thankful for. First and foremost, are our readers, advertisers and subscribers who have supported us over the past eighteen months. Because of your faithful support, we are thrilled to announce that in the coming year, Focus on Women will go from a quarterly magazine to a bimonthly magazine. Every two months, you will receive a new issue of Focus on Women to help educate, inspire and empower you. Let the attitude of gratitude pull your sleigh through this holiday season. Be thankful for the little things – a hand-made Christmas card from a child, Elvis’ rendition of Blue Christmas, a “thank you” hug for showing up at the Christmas party on time with two dozen homemade cupcakes in tow. After all, many times the little things make the best memories. Stay focused!


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Your Ultimate Destination for Beauty & Wellness Avoid the Lines this Holiday Season! Laser Rejuvenation & Resurfacing Titan Laser Skin Tightening Laser Hair Removal/ Laser Vein Removal hCG Weight Loss (lose 15-30 pounds before the holidays!)

Photo by Alisa Murray Photography

Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy ... and much more!


with the purchase of 2 syringes of Radiesse/ Juvederm or any Laser Package. Expires 12/31/10.

Free OBAGI Holiday Eye Cream

Call today for your complimentary Wellness or Aesthetics Consultation!

with the purchase of any laser package

$250 Facial with Glycolic Peel Package of 3

$100 off Allergy Testing and Drops

Shelena C. Lalji M.D. “Dr. Shel”


1437 Hwy 6, Sugar Land • (281) 313.SHEL (7435) •

Sienna Plantation Fabulous Fedrick Harris Custom Designed Home Situated on Quiet Cul-de-sac Lot Backs to Beautiful Wooded Reserve. Home Features Slate & Wood Flrs Throughout; Private Study; 1st Floor Game/Media Rm & 2nd Bedroom down w/ Full Bath; 1st Flr Master Suite + Master Bath w/ Huge Glass Shower & Dual Vanities; Island Kitchen has Granite Counters & Stainless Appliances. 2nd Floor offers 3 Bedrms; 2 Full Baths; 3rd Bedrm has Wood Flrs & can be a 2nd Game Rm. Lots of Attic Storage & A/C Workshop in Oversized Garage. Wonderful Backyard offers Sparkling Pool & Spa, Extended Partially Covered Patio & Wrought Iron Fence. $440,000

Sugar Lakes Beautiful Waterfront Custom Designed Two-Story Home with Sparkling Pool and Spa. “Dynasty” Décor-Style Home Features Sunken Living Rm w/ Roman Columns; Grand Foyer w/ Granite Inlay Tile Flrs; Open Kitchen has GORGEOUS Granite Counters; Family Room w/ Big Screen TV; Oversized 1st Floor Master Suite + Master Bath w/ 3-Way Dressing Mirror & Huge Walk-in Shower; 2nd Bedrm Down; Private Study. Second Flr offers 2 Bedrms w/ Full Baths, Game Rm w/ Big Screen TV & Wet Bar, and Covered Balcony w/ Tile Flrs that overlooks Lake and Pool. $689,900

November 2010 l

Arlene R. Rolsen, CRS

“Selling Fort Bend’s Finest Homes since 1985”



contributors Nick Nicholson is the Entertainment Editor for Focus on Women and the Film and Entertainment Critic for CNN Radio, the Fort Bend Star newspaper, Fort Bend Focus and Pearland Focus magazines. He is the co-founder of the Houston Film Critics Society and is currently the President of the organization. In “Sissy Spacek: A Texas Icon” on page 20, Nick interviews the native Texan about her illustrious career which includes a Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner’s Daughter and an upcoming honor: the second recipient of the Houston Film Critics Society Lifetime Achievement Award. Nick and his wife, Mikki, reside in Sugar Land, Texas.

Wife and mother of three, Tanya Sterling is the founder and director of the JOY Ministry, a special needs ministry at First Methodist Houston, and a freelance writer, Tanya interviews award-winning, first-time author Ann Weisgarber in “One of Houston’s Best Kept Secrets” on page 30. Passionate about her writing and amazed at her success, Weisgarber’s own tale is a fascinating one of luck, inspiration and determination. Tanya and her family reside in Missouri City, Texas.

Don Maines began his journalism career as a film and theater critic for The Daily Texan, the student newspaper at the University of Texas. He’s added attorney to his resume, along with award-winning playwright, actor and director. Don’s work has been honored by the Associated Press, United Press International and the State Bar of Texas, among others. In “Mamie Parris’ Broadway Star Shines Bright in 9 to 5: The Musical” on page 24, Don interviews the Texas actress and learns about her rise to the top from Texas to Broadway. Don lives in Richmond, Texas, where he is a correspondent for the Houston Chronicle and author of its weekly column, “Backstage.” A third generation Baylor Bear, Melinda Wood graduated from Baylor University in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. Currently, she works in nonprofit communications and spends her free time writing for Pearland Focus, Fort Bend Focus and Focus on Women magazines. In “Author Karen Young’s Writing Journey Brings Her Home” on page 38, Melinda visits with the award-winning author of 36 novels and discovers how when life handed her lemons, Karen Young made lemonade, and, in the process, became a bestselling author. Melinda and her husband, Justin, live in Pearland, Texas.

Mariviv Scrogin helps us dive into the trenches with this season’s must have: boots. In “Boot Camp” on page 36, Mariviv helps us kick into cold weather with the latest trends in boots. A Visual Manager at Dillard’s First Colony Mall in Sugar Land, Texas for the past ten years, Mariviv’s keen sense of style will keep you marching fashionably forward.

Owner and personal stylist at Emmanuel Salon, Brian Benoit shares his style sense and passion for photography in “Bohemian Rhapsody” – a casual mix of hippie, ethnic, gypsy and vintage looks – on page 65. Brian and his wife, Steve, live in Sugar Land, Texas with their four children.


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l November 2010


The List: Things We Love Here are a few fabulous finds that we think are must haves for your holiday gift giving.

Go Natural with Goat’s Milk It’s All About the Bag

What is Consuela? According to the designer, the laid back luxe collection that fuses sassy fashion with world-wide whimsy. Whether your look is cowgirl, Bohemian chic or trendy, the Contessa Bag by Consuela is a fabulous find! Made of aqua patent leather with lime and caramel leather accents, the bag is embellished with exquisite hand-embroidery and features metal nail heads. ¡Viva Consuela!

Sensational Scents

With scents like honey tobacco, orange vanilla, black pepper, fireside, bella dolce, and Tuscan, you can’t go wrong with Pickwick & Company’s all natural soy blend wax candles. Hand-poured, Pickwick & Company collaborates with some of the most reputable perfume houses in the world to create fresh and original fragrances for the home. It’s the perfect “green” gift for the holidays – from soy based inks on the packaging to post consumer recycled paperboard to recycled tin lids – all of which are 100% recyclable and biodegradable. Now that’s a breath of fresh air.

From Sassy Stompers Foot Cream to Luxurious Bath Melts, Goat Haus Dairy is a maker and purveyor of wonderfully hand-crafted goat milk toiletries. An incredible, natural moisturizer, products are made on the farm fresh from goat’s milk filled with minerals that refresh and rejuvenate your skin naturally. Get your glow on – naturally – with goat’s milk!

Women & Wine

The inspiration for Austin artist Kathy Womack’s original series, Women & Wine®, is simple: “Inside every woman lies the secret desire to be a lady of leisure and live ladolce vida.” Womack’s paintings and prints of women celebrating life are now available on fine porcelain plates. Sold separately or in sets of six depicting images from her original series, you can’t go wrong with Womack’s Women & Wine® for your best girlfriends. November 2010 l


guest columnists

Janine J. Sherman, RN MSN WHNP-BC Southwest Ob/Gyn Page 63



Alisa Murray Alisa Murray Photography Page 72

Sherry Carter Star Video Digital Productions Page 74



Kim Cress, MD Serenity Center for Depression Page 76

Nancy Mills, APR The Mills Agency Page 78



Tanya Sterling Freelance Writer Page 80

November 2010 Vol. 2 l No. 3 4655 Techniplex Dr. Suite 400 • Stafford, TX 77477 To advertise call 281-690-4242 • TOLL FREE 1-888-430-7469 Direct mailed to every physician in the county and to Focus Magazine subscribers, and available at demand distribution locations. PUBLISHERS EDITOR IN CHIEF ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR DIRECTOR OF SALES & MARKETING SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES

ON THE COVER Teena and Lauren Caldwell Photo by Alisa Murray Photography


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l November 2010


Michael & Lisa Fredrickson Patti Parish-Kaminski Nick Nicholson Barbara McNeil Jessica Kij Dena Perry April Lambert Mimi Quinn Shanna Sanders Norma Loredo Grace Belleza Joey Belleza Elizabeth Pace - Joey Belleza

The views and opinions expressed by our advertisers and columnists do not necessarily reflect those of the Publishers and their staff. 2010 Focus on Women Magazine. No material from this publication may be copied or in any way reproduced without written permission from the publishers.

cover story

By Patti Parish-Kaminski I Photos by Alisa Murray

The Designing Women of Twenty-Two Fifty Interiors


eauty is in the eye of the beholder. Centuries ago, the Greek philosopher Plato spoke of great beauty and the subjective nature of humans in recognizing and appreciating things of beauty. Surrounding ourselves with beauty, whether it is beautiful objects, beautiful people or beautiful music, remains today at the core of our society. Finding that beauty – and surrounding ourselves with it – is easy to do at Twenty-Two Fifty Interiors.

Eclectic Elements Timeless Interiors

Teena and Lauren Caldwell.

Twenty-Two Fifty Interiors is the vision of Teena Caldwell, an interior designer with twenty plus years’ industry experience, and her daughter, a recent Southern Methodist University graduate, Lauren. Their vision: to create a comfortable, beautiful store and design center featuring eclectic elements for timeless interiors. With Teena’s experience as an interior design professional at her own firm, Interiors by Teena, she knew could fill a space with elements that were comfortable, intriguing and beautiful – elements that appealed to consumers. “I have a knack for connecting with people and realizing what it is they are going to like,” explained Teena. “I can visit with them for thirty minutes and come back with fabric selections they will like, and I try to be very conscious of what price point people want to work at. I get as much satisfaction out of doing the small job as the 10,000 square foot home.” Continued on page 16


Continued from page 15

Teena has utilized her talent by filling Twenty-Two Fifty Interiors with a unique array of items for the home. “We wanted Twenty-Two Fifty to be unique and different.” The store focuses on exclusive, along with oneof-a-kind items hand-crafted by artisans, in a variety of price ranges. “If there’s an item that is pricey, there’s a reason,” said Lauren. “That’s a question that we ask as we are selecting items for the store. We advise clients to spend their money where it counts, and to get great design, you don’t have to spend a lot. It’s so important to put yourself in your customer’s shoes when selecting items.”

ASID Interior Designer Teena Caldwell.

gone to market, and we met a lady there who had a retail space and loved it. She encouraged us and told us that we could be successful if we had a passion for it.” Passion was one thing this designing duo was not lacking. Their passion for design, good taste The Dream Team and the unique is evident when you walk into Twenty- Two Fifty Interiors. The mother/daughter duo spent over a “It was a great time for us to partner with year researching – and shopping, a lifelong me just getting out of school,” said Lauren passion for both women – for Twenty-Two who graduated in 2009 with a degree in MarFifty Interiors. While Teena knew that she keting. “We spent a year shopping diligently wanted to continue her interior design services for the store and attended numerous marin the venture, she also knew that expanding kets throughout the United States for a year. into the retail market would require a larger Everything in this space has been carefully commitment. “Lauren was just getting out of thought out.” college, and we began to talk about working That includes the beautiful, aged wood together,” said Teena. “I always wanted to on the walls that was reclaimed from Teena’s have a retail space but trying to run a store, grandparent’s house where her dad grew up along with my interior design business, was in Ganada, Texas. “We actually pulled the overwhelming to me. Lauren and I had just wood off of the house – the molding and the white siding,” said Teena. “It’s kind of neat. It’s as if my father is here with us every day.” Trends in home décor are featured throughout the store and include the use of reclaimed wood just as Teena did from her grandparent’s house. “Reclaimed wood for the kitchen is a big trend,” said Teena. “Taking what The Caldwell Family on vacation: Larry, Lauren and Teena. you have and making something new out of


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it can really add a unique element to a home.” Teena’s “outside of the box” perspective in design is showcased throughout the store, which also includes a full-service interior design studio. Whether a client is in the market for custom draperies, a kitchen remodel or an entire house decorated, Twenty-Two Fifty Interiors can accommodate all areas of custom design. In addition to the working studio, the store features a model kitchen featuring the reclaimed wood along with various design trends. Both women have had an integral role in the creation of Twenty-Two Fifty, and now that their dream is a reality, they take a team approach to managing the business. “Lauren has more of the business and management responsibilities for the store,” said Teena. “It works well for us that she can handle that aspect of the business, develop relationships with our clients and put a face with the store.” Teena focuses on her first love: design. “She truly knows the ins and outs of design,” said Lauren of her mom’s work. “She’s very focused on people being happy in their homes.” Of course, it doesn’t hurt that in addition to design, Teena is well-versed in construction. “I know construction and that does help a lot. I actually subcontract the work myself on remodels. Many of my subcontractors have been with us for a long time. We maintain those long-standing relationships that make a huge difference on projects.” Much of Teena’s design business is returning customers. While she may do a small project initially for a client, they almost always return as their needs change. “We are seeing many remodels right now of kitchens and bathrooms,” said Teena. “People are staying in place and remodeling their existing homes.”

While working together can create challenges for any team, this mother/daughter teams’ mutual respect for one another is clear. “It’s fair to say we both have our moments,” said Lauren. “But my love of design is through her, and she’s very good at what she does.” Lauren has devoted her creativity to insuring that the store is filled with items with a unique character. Whether it’s vintage jewelry, custom glass wear or art, Twenty-Two Fifty Interiors provides a memorable shopping experience for consumers. “Our goal was to create a store with unique, one-of-a-kind finds,” said Lauren. “I’m amazed at how many visitors come here from out of town and comment on how much they like the unique items in our store.”

In November, Twenty-Two Fifty opened a Christmas Store dedicated to the holidays directly across from their original location. And, of course, the Christmas store is equally as intriguing as Twenty-Two Fifty. “We removed the doors out of my grandparent’s house and made vignettes for the holidays,” explained Teena. “We also used wood from the back porch to create extraordinary displays for the holidays.” Twenty-Two Fifty Interiors’ Christmas Store opened on November 4th and will remain open through Christmas. While their days are filled with design, the women still find time to give back to their community. When the store opened, a percentage of the sales benefited a cause close to their heart: Child Advocates. “I usually participate each year in the CASA Home Tour,” said

Teena. “I take the client to market, let them purchase all of the decorations they like at cost, and we go in and decorate.” The women also created the centerpieces for Fort Bend’s Friends and Neighbors for their Fall Coffee and support the Fort Bend Education Foundation. “We feel strongly that you should give to the community you live in,” said Teena. “It pays off over and over again to be a good steward of your community.” Whether it’s designing a home on the West Coast, helping a customer select the perfect gift or decking out your home for the holidays, the women of Twenty-Two Fifty Interiors can do it all. And most importantly, they can do it all with style, a timeless design sense and a clear focus on what’s most important to them: clients and community.

Expanding the Vision Though the women opened their new venture just this year, these designing women had an additional venture in mind for the holidays. “I love Christmas, so we wanted to have something special for our clients for Christmas,” said Teena.

Design Tips for the Holidays 1) Spend money where it counts by buying unique or limited edition pieces that can be passed down for generations.

Lauren Caldwell at Thirty-Two Fifty Interiors.

2) Bring natural elements into your holiday decorations such magnolia leaves, berries, and fresh greenery. 3) The holiday season brings family together, so add elements that tell your family’s story. 4) Vary the scale of elements in your tree. Large decorations make for an interesting focal point when used in a tree. 5) Bring the country home. Antlers and hides now cross all design barriers from contemporary to traditional. 6) Set your dining room table. You can add holiday dessert plates to your everyday place setting to create a wonderful holiday table setting. 7) Add the element of family into your design. Family photographs can be adorned with holiday frames to jazz up those everyday photographs. 8) There’s nothing like the smell of winter. Add new diffusers, candles, and potpourri to complete the holiday ambience in your home. 9) Don’t forget Christmas accessories. There are fabulous Christmas pillows and paintings in the marketplace today. Add them to your décor during the holidays. 10) Decorate early. This allows you, your family, and friends to sit back and cherish the moment and beauty of the season. November 2010 l


Pearls of Wisdom

By Jamie R. Anderson, RN

How to Create Memorable Holiday Moments for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s


he holidays are a joyful, activityfilled time of year. As much fun as this season can hold, it can also seem overwhelming and frustrating for people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers. With some advance planning, a little flexibility and patience, the holidays can be filled with moments of joy for individuals with this disease and their families. Plan ahead. Know what activities you will have your loved one participate in, and set a time limit so they do not become over stimulated, restless or confused. Planning ahead will help you be prepared to get the most out of your time with your loved one, too. Keep it simple. Having your loved one help in decorating the house or baking is a wonderful way to involve them in seasonal activities. Give simple, direct instructions that encompass a single task. For instance, have your loved one unpack boxes, place ornaments on the tree, or mix the cookie


focus on women

l November 2010

dough for 2-3 minutes. Be flexible. Remember that the sights, sounds and increased activity around the holidays can be overwhelming to someone with Alzheimer’s. If you see signals your loved one is becoming restless or uncomfortable, be prepared to take them home. Follow your loved one’s lead. Individuals with Alzheimer’s are most comfortable in a safe environment, where they have a routine, whether this is your home or an assisted living community. When you introduce new activities, your loved one may become overwhelmed, frightened or angry. Be attentive to the signals your loved one may give you that indicates they are over-stressed, tired, or uncomfortable. Adjust expectations. We all want that “perfect” family gathering and it can be disappointing when your loved one does not remember a family tradition or recognize a family member. Familiarize family members with your situation and ways they should

interact with your loved one. Adapt your family plans to limit the number of participants and the time span for planned activities. Allow yourself some “fun” time. Especially during the holidays, it is ok to ask for help. Taking your loved one to an adult day care program, having a friend help with your errands or saying “no” to some requests will go a long way in helping to relieve your stress and making the season more enjoyable for everyone. If you understand the possible issues and stressful events that may occur, you can plan to have a holiday season that will be enjoyable for your family and your loved one and will create wonderful memories for everyone. Jamie R. Anderson, RN V.P. Healthcare – Autumn Leaves

MD Anderson now offering cancer surgery in Sugar Land


he MD Anderson Regional Care Center in Sugar Land welcomes surgical oncologist Richard A. Ehlers, M.D., FACS to their team. Dr. Ehlers will focus on the surgical management of multiple cancers, including breast, colorectal cancer, and melanoma. As a fellowship trained surgical oncologist, Dr. Ehlers is uniquely qualified to perform surgery on many cancers. The addition of surgery provides options for those in the Sugar Land and surrounding communities with suspicion of cancer or a cancer diagnosis. They can seek consultations and second opinions at the MD Anderson location in Sugar Land, where Dr. Ehlers and the team will create customized treatment plans for each patient. “We can assist patients with the

diagnosis in a timely manner and coordinate with other fellowship trained, board-certified oncologists all under one roof,” Dr. Ehlers says. “This means that patients can receive the highest quality of care with the greatest speed of access.” A native Texan, Dr. Ehlers received his undergraduate degree from Rice University, his medical degree from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and performed his surgical oncology fellowship at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. He’s excited to join both the Sugar Land team, as well as the MD Anderson Regional Care Center in Katy.

Richard A. Ehlers, M.D., FACS The MD Anderson Regional Care Center is located on the campus of St. Luke’s Sugar Land Hospital and offers radiation oncology, outpatient chemotherapy, laboratory and pharmacy in addition to cancer surgery.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 281.566.1800 or visit

Making Cancer History in Sugar Land


The Woodlands



Sugar Land

Texas Medical Center Bay Area

Chemotherapy • Radiation • Surgery • Lab and Pharmacy On the Campus of St. Luke’s Sugar Land Hospital 281.566.1800 • 877.293.8127 (toll free) •

November 2010 l



By Nick Nicholson

Sissy Spacek:

A Texas Icon

Sissy Spacek as Mattie Darrow in Get Low. Photo taken by Sam Emerson © 2009, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics.


focus on women

Brad (Vince Vaughn) finds playing a board game with his mother Paula (Sissy Spacek) and girlfriend Kate (Reese Witherspoon) frustrating in New Line Cinema’s, Four Christmases, distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. Photo by John P. Johnson.

l November 2010

Sissy Spacek as Loretta Web Lynn and Tommy Lee Jones as Doolittle ‘Mooney’ Lynn aka ‘Doo’ in Universal Pictures’ Coal Miner’s Daughter.


here isn’t much this Texas-born, Oscar award-winning actress hasn’t done during her illustrious film career. She is respected as one of the industry’s brightest talents, and this year, Sissy Spacek is receiving yet another honor, this time, from her home state. The Houston Film Critics Society is honoring Spacek with the organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Spacek is scheduled to accept her honor during the HFCS’s Annual Presentation Awards Gala set for December 18th, 2010 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. According to HFCS Vice President Josh Starnes, “Sissy Spacek will be only the second person honored with the HFCS Lifetime Achievement Award, following the presentation of this coveted honor to the family of the late Houston actor Patrick Swayze last year in 2009.” With a long and stunning career in television and film, Mary Elizabeth “Sissy” Spacek was born in Quitman, Texas just east of Dallas and Fort Worth. “Sissy Spacek is one of our most prolific and versatile actresses,” Starnes said while announcing the HFCS tribute. “There isn’t a genre she hasn’t mastered in the multitude of films she has made over the course of her career. We’re very proud to honor her and her consummate work.” Spacek was very humbled by her selection by the HFCS stating that “I’m absolutely thrilled to have this wonderful honor from critics in my home state. The Houston Film Critics Society is an outstanding organization and their kind recognition means a lot to me.” Spacek originally aspired to become a singer. After heading east to New York, she got her start singing at coffee houses in Greenwich

Jonathan Jackson, Scott Bairstow, Sissy Spacek and William Hurt in Disney’s Tuck Everlasting – 2002, courtesy Walt Disney Studios.

Village. Billing herself as “Rainbo,” Spacek also cut a single entitled, Johnny, You Went Too Far This Time. On the side, she earned money by recording back-up vocals on television commercials. When the acting bug bit, Spacek enrolled at the Lee Strasberg Theatrical Institute and Subsequently, landed a small part on television in The Waltons where she is said to have uttered the classic line, “When are you going to stop being John Boy and start being John Man?” While she technically made her feature film debut as an extra in Andy Warhol’s Trash (1971), her official debut is listed as Michael Ritchie’s Prime Cut (1972). The actress’s first crack at stardom came in 1973 when she played a teenage accomplice to ruthless cross-country killer Martin Sheen in Terrence Malick’s disturbing Badlands. The role earned her critical acclaim, as did her portrayal of a sweet teen who becomes a violent radical in the made-for-television movie Katherine (1975). I inquired as to what drew her to such an eclectic range of independent roles, and she was pointed in her response. “When I started out in independent films in the early 1970’s, we did everything for the love of art. It wasn`t about money and stardom. That was what we were reacting against. You`d die before you`d be bought.” She continued seeking out roles that were of interest and would help her grow into her acting chops. Spacek’s true breakthrough came when she played a troubled, shy teenager who discovers that she has telekinetic powers and uses them to get bloody revenge upon her cruel schoolmates and mother in Brian de Palma’s chilling adaptation of Stephen King’s novel Carrie (1976). Her work in the film earned her a Best Actress nomination, as well as permanent cult status. She once again experimented with emotional instability in Robert Altman’s Three Women the following year, and then got to show off her singing abilities playing Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner’s Daughter in 1980. Her portrayal of Lynn became one of Spacek’s bestknown roles, and it earned her an Oscar for Best Actress. In 1981, Spacek starred in Raggedy Man, which was directed by her husband, Jack Fisk. Although she continued working through this time period, she started looking for the common thread and allowed herself to be typecast as the ‘emotionally unstable’ one in films. Spacek commented that it made sense at the time because “There`s a real danger in

Sissy Spacek in North Country. Courtesy of Warner Bros.

trying to stay king of the mountain. You stop taking risks, you stop being as creative, because you`re trying to maintain a position. It wasn’t until I broke out of that mold that I realized the dynamics of what I could really do as an actress.” Her career remained in high gear through the mid-’80s with such memorable turns as her Oscar nominated work in Missing (1982) and The River (1984). But after 1986, when she was again nominated for an Oscar for her work in Crimes of the Heart, Spacek partially withdrew from acting to concentrate on raising kids. She commented, “I had a dozen years to act before starting a family, then found that motherhood dwarfed everything else. Once or twice a year, I take a project that appeals to me for its redeeming social value. The rest of the time, I focus on being a full-time mom.” Throughout the 1990s, she occasionally returned to the big screen, lending her talents to such features as JFK (1991), The Grass Harp (1996), and Affliction (1998). In 1999, she turned in memorable performances playing Brendan Fraser’s mother in Blast From the Past, and Richard Farnsworth’s speech-impaired daughter in David Lynch’s The Straight Story. Most recently, Spacek stars opposite Robert Duvall and Bill Murray in the critically acclaimed, Get Low, directed by Aaron Schneider. Get Low is the true story of Felix Bush (Robert Duvall), who lives as a hermit deep in the woods of Roane County, Tennesee and tries to schedule a living funeral for himself. Spacek stars as a local widow named Mattie Darrow and provides an energizing performance as always. As far as what the future holds for this Texas star, Spacek commented, “I will continue to work as long as I enjoy the process and the end result.” With that kind of attitude, there is no doubt we will continue to enjoy Sissy Spacek on the big screen for years to come.

November 2010 l



Dickens onTheStrand Presents

Heard Through the Grapevine

Galveston’s World-Famous Victorian Holiday Festival

Tanya, Loved your article in Focus on Women on Mommyisms. And so happy you were able to spend the summer teaching these skills:) Teresa Buff Votaw


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focus on women

l November 2010

713-461-1153 800-838-1153

Dear Lisa and Patti, Thank you both for, yet again, such a wonderful article. Black and I really appreciate all your support and coverage of us! All the best, as always, Tina Pennington (aka Red) Hi Patti, I just love FOW! I have been hooked since day one and am a paid subscriber. There is something for women of every age. I frequently clip articles to send my daughters on both east and west coasts - especially Alisa’s column. She is wise beyond her years! The August cover could have been my Breast Cancer Support group, SOS (Survivors Offering Support soon to become SOS of Methodist Hospital Sugar Land). We attended the Susan G. Komen For The Cure Survivor Party at the Houstonian last month and were supplied with all the bling associated with a “soiree”. I especially love that FOW is a sponsor of the 2010 Race For The Cure here in Houston on Oct. 2nd. Thank you so much for your support. I am already looking forward to the next issue! Blessings, Rosemary Herron For questions and comments, please email:

Pearls of Wisdom

By Afreen Pappa, MD

Everyone Will Notice, But No One Will Know


hanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year’s holidays are just around the corner. Have you noticed some not so subtle changes to your facial appearance giving you an older, more tired look? Look your personal best for the entire holiday season with a Liquid Facelift, a non-surgical procedure to lift and contour the face and minimize wrinkles, creating a natural, more youthful look. The Liquid Facelift can take years off your appearance. How is this achieved? 1. Relax the muscles of facial expression with Botox®. Over the years, the use of the muscles of facial expression while frowning,

smiling and raising the brows creates lines that become permanently etched in the skin and get deeper with time. 2. Replace lost facial volume with Radiesse® and/or Juvederm®. Loss of facial volume in the cheek area leads to a loss of the normal facial contours. What you see is a tired look with under eye hollowing, tear trough formation, “parentheses” around the nose and mouth and loss of the apple of the cheek.

recommended to schedule treatments at least one week prior to any holiday parties to allow adequate time for the Botox® to take full effect and the resolution of any bruising should it occur. If you are looking to revitalize your look in time for the holidays, now is the time to get started to achieve all of the benefits a Liquid Facelift can give.

Dr. Afreen Pappa is a member of the American Academy of Family Medicine and the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. She was named one of Houston’s Top Docs 2009 by H Texas Magazine.

How long does it take? The Liquid Facelift can be achieved without any downtime in just 1 to 2 sessions to achieve a complete look. It is

Helping you look AND feel your best. That’s what we do. We are committed to helping our clients achieve optimal health and a natural, more youthful look using a holistic approach to health care and medically safe aesthetics procedures. Our physician and staff are regularly incorporating the latest medically safe treatments and procedures into our services. If you are committed to feeling and looking your best, then we are here to help you. Call us today to find out how you can start living a healthy life with our wellness programs and looking your best with our aesthetic procedures. Purchase a Liquid Facelift & Receive $250 in Gift Certificates to share with up to 5 friends & family this holiday season (Liquid Facelift includes 30 units of Botox & 2 syringes of Radiesse or Juvederm) Offer expires 11/30/2010

Botox® $10/unit for New Clients Only Offer expires 11/30/2010

Check out our other specials on our website at

Getting Ready for the Holidays Open House

Join us for special holiday promotions, giveaways, food and fun! Thursday, November 18th 11 am - 2 pm

Call us TODAY for a Complimentary Consultation.


3527 Highway 6, Suite 250, Sugar Land, TX 77478 E-mail:

November 2010 l



By Don Maines


Photos by Joan Marcus 2010

Mamie Parris’ Broadway Star Shines Bright in

9 to 5: The Musical

Mamie Parris, Dee Hoty, Dolly Parton and Diana DeGarmo.


Mamie Parris


focus on women

l November 2010

umble outta bed and I stumble to the kitchen, pour myself a cup of ambition….” Those lyrics by Dolly Parton opened her 1980 film debut, 9 to 5, a hilarious comedy that ignited a national conversation about discrimination against women in the workplace. Parton’s title tune was nominated for an Academy Award, and last year, her full score for 9 to 5: The Musical won raves and a Tony Award nomination for best score of a Broadway musical. In October of 2010, the national tour of 9 to 5: The Musical kicked off in Nashville. Its 33-city tour includes a November 9-21 stop in Houston, the home of one of the tour’s sponsors, Theatre Under the Stars. It stars native Texan Mamie Parris as Judy, Dee Hoty as Violet and Diana DeGarmo as Doralee in the roles played by Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Parton in the movie. Mamie Parris learned about discrimination against women in the workplace from her mother who was a secretary in the 1970’s when she was passed over for a promotion into sales in favor of a male worker whom she had trained. “My mom was told almost word for word

Diana DeGarmo, Dee Hoty and Mamie Parris.

what Violet is told in the show,” said Parris. “Violet gets passed over for a promotion into sales, to a man that she trained, and she’s told that the company isn’t ready for a woman in sales. “Like it or leave it.’” Parris’ mother quit, then interviewed and became a flight attendant for Braniff International Airways “in its first graduating class of flight attendants who were allowed to be married,” Parris said proudly of her mother’s pioneering achievement. “She was a strong, powerful woman, and she continued as a flight attendant at Braniff, then Continental Airlines, until she passed away last year.” Parris was born in the Hurt-EulessBedford area near Fort Worth. When she was a youngster, her family moved to Kansas City, Missouri where Parris attended a magnet school for performing arts. “I moved to New York at 17,” she recalled. Parris saw the movie 9 to 5 on television during her formative years, but it wasn’t until she was a college student and aspiring actress, and working in the restaurant industry, that she experienced the workplace from a woman’s point of view. “I was a hostess for a very fancy restaurant with nice, lovely customers, but

TUTS Presents Debut Tour of Although Broadway shows are not traditionally rated, Theatre Under the Stars has determined that 9 to 5: The Musical would be rated the movie equivalent of a PG rating for mild adult language and adult themes. there were definitely a number of men who condescended to me,” she explained. “I was never put down by my boss, though. In fact, one busy night, a customer touched me inappropriately – he put his hand on my butt. Another server said he’d done the same thing to her, so we told the owner.” The owner responded by kicking out the guy and telling him not to come back to the restaurant. “It was wonderful to have somebody step up to the plate like that,” said Parris. It was also “extremely enlightening” for Parris to understudy the role of Mother in the recent revival of the musical Ragtime on Broadway. That show, based on the novel by E.L. Doctorow, is set in New York City at the dawn of the 20th century. “Women were still looked on as property, as a party favor, a trophy,” she said. “Playing her was very empowering in a very different way. She is such a well fleshed-out person, clearly so valued by the author. She really represented all women of that era, so I felt so much responsibility to convey not just one person.” As the show progresses, Mother “allows herself to realize that she has thoughts and opinions of her own.” Likewise, Parris’ character in 9 to 5: The Musical, evolves from a timid woman newly divorced from her adulterous husband to a person who believes that she can make it on her own. The show begins with Judy’s first day on the job with no office experience and low self-esteem. Violet takes her under her wing, but both of them snub Doralee, whom they misjudge because of a false rumor that she’s sleeping with the boss. Doralee is the character closest to Parton, with her pretty face and “too much makeup, too much hair,” as she sings in “Backwoods Barbie.” Parton recorded the song as the title tune of her 2008 album. “It’s always wellreceived,” said Parris. “People come looking to hear Dolly, and the title song opens and closes the show.” “Dolly is a huge part of the show,” Parris added. “She’s the narrator. She doesn’t travel with us, but she appears on screen.”

In Houston, the show will play at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, 800 Bagby, at 7:30 p.m. November 9-11, November 14-18 and November 21; at 8 p.m. November 12-13 and November 19-20, and 2 p.m. November 13-14 and November 20-21. For ticket prices and other details, visit Music and lyrics to 9 to 5: The Musical are by Dolly Parton. The book of the musical was written by Patricia Resnick, co-author of the screenplay for the 1980 movie, 9 to 5. For information on other cities on the show’s national tour, visit

Behind the scenes, Parton helped streamline the show after its Broadway debut when Parris and company rehearsed. “She’s very hands-on. This is her baby,” explained Parris. “I can’t tell you how wonderful it was rehearsing, and you’d hear Dolly’s little giggle from out in the seats. And, she was very encouraging. She would say, ‘That’s great. Couldn’t have been better.’ There’s nothing better than hearing that.” Parton made her film debut as Doralee, and gained tons of fans when she sang, “You’re just a step on the boss man’s ladder.” In addition to an Oscar nomination for best song, she was nominated for three Golden Globe awards, including best song, best film debut of the year-female and best actress, comedy or musical. (The latter category was won by Sissy Spacek as country singer Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner’s Daughter.) Because the character of Judy changes the most from start to finish, Parris gets the coveted “11 o’clock number” that seals any Broadway musical. In 9 to 5: The Musical, the song is “Get Out and Stay Out.” “I’m taking back my life,” Judy sings. “I’ve finally had enough.” “It’s a wonderful 11 o’clock number. It’s a visceral experience because Judy has gained so much confidence,” said Parris. She’s also gained two friends, both Violet and Doralee, as they’ve bonded through the experience

of kidnapping their contemptible boss and running the company in his absence. However, Parris is quick to add, “The show doesn’t make all men look bad. There’s even a love interest for Violet. “My husband loves the show,” Parris said. “It’s a free-wheeling comedy. It’s so funny, then you walk out and realize how far we’ve come in 30 years. A glass ceiling still exists, women still make less money than men in similar jobs, so we still have a ways to go, but the corporate world has changed for the good.” The journey that 9 to 5 takes from hit movie to Broadway musical celebrates female Broadway triumphs from Kay Swift, the first woman to write the complete score to a Broadway musical, Fine and Dandy in 1930, to Susan Stroman, director/choreographer of The Producers, winner of more Tony Awards (12) than any show in the history of the Great White Way. TUTS has documented the journey in a study guide available at Images/SeasonShowDocs/9to5_StudyGuide. pdf, and it also features a history of women in the workplace including information on pay inequality, the “glass ceiling” and sexual harassment that can impede the progress of women. Perhaps the greatest lesson learned from this season’s 9 to 5: The Musical starring native Texan Mamie Parris is rather simple: Don’t mess with Texas women.

November 2010 l


December 25th through January 5th Register at every day starting December 25th

Celebrate the Season with FOW’s

Twelve Days of

Christmas Giveaway Contrary to much popular belief, the twelve days of Christmas are not the twelve days before Christmas, but in most of the Western churches are the twelve days from Christmas until the beginning of Epiphany when the three Wise Men presented gifts to the baby Jesus - December 25th through January 5th. In the true spirit of Christmas, Focus on Women presents

the Twelve Days of Christmas Giveaways – December 25th through January 5th – in celebration of you – our readers, our advertisers, our blessings. Thank you for your support and may your holidays be filled with love, peace and prosperity. Register at every day – December 25th through January 5th - to win the gift of day. Winners will be randomly selected from each day’s entries.

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Cheesecake of Your Choice Chef Rey’s Restaurant & Catering Register to win December 26th

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$50 Gift Certificate Shopping Spree at Accents Speciality Shop Register to win December 31st

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Heard Through the Grapevine

Dear Patti, Thank you to our Houston Race participants, sponsors, entertainers, and the hundreds of volunteers that helped make the 2010 Komen Houston Race for the Cure® a tremendous success – another record breaking year for Houston! More than 35,000 people filled Downtown Sam Houston Park to celebrate life, hope, and survivorship and honor those loved ones we have lost to breast cancer. The Houston Race has been run, but our work in the fight against breast cancer continues. Your overwhelming support has us very close to our pledge fundraising goal - $2.2 million to date! You are making a difference – every dollar you raise helps fund vital research, education, screening and treatment programs in the Greater Houston Community. Thank you for your support! The Houston Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Hi Lisa, Several people have pointed out the article you wrote about my book. Your article was very well-written, and a great characterization of what the book was intended to convey. Thanks so much. Take care, James P. (Jay) Clancy Jr., MS Author, Speaker, Consultant President, Clancy Learning For questions and comments, please email:

4660 Sweetwater Blvd. Ste 130 Sugar Land, TX, 77479 Tel: 281 240 8400 Fax: 281 240 8405

Ulises Baltazar is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, Board Certified Vascular Surgeon, Registered Vascular Technologist, Registered Physician in Vascular Interpretation.

Sugar Land Vein Specialists The practice is dedicated exclusively to the treatment of venous insufficiency that can cause painful visible varicose veins, leg swelling and even venous stasis ulcers. We are the vein clinic of choice in Fort Bend County. We dedicate 30 to 45 minutes during the first visit, which includes a detailed interview, physical examination and an ultrasound. Our goal is to make every patient feel comfortable and safe, allowing plenty of time for questions. When compared to large practices with multiple physicians, there is no need to reintroduce yourself to the doctor on call as you will always be taken care of by the same physician.

FREE VEIN SCREENING AVAILABLE call for an appointment 281 240 8400

Patient Testimonial “All I keep saying to myself is, “Why did I wait so long to do this?” For 20 years or so, I have had varicose veins from my upper thigh to my ankle. I checked into having them taken out 10 years ago but was discouraged by the options at the time and the big surgery and recovery time. So, I didn’t do it. When I learned about the VNUS procedure, I was very curious about it, I met with Dr. Baltazar for a consult and was very comfortable with everything I heard. (I am a RN and had lots of questions!) A few weeks later I had my procedure. Literally, I was in and out of the office in an hour. The procedure recovery was absolutely a breeze. I was in no pain or discomfort at all during or after the procedure. I was so excited about the results that I have scheduled to have my other leg done. Dr. Baltazar certainly has this down and my 48 year-old legs, aside from some toning issues, look 16 again! I am so happy and excited! All I can say is, Thank you Dr. Baltazar!” A.T. Sugar Land, TX November 2010 l




Wine & Spirits Nite Tuesday, November 16th 5:30 - 7 pm 16535 Lexington Blvd., Sugar Land, TX 77479 Sample a collection of whisky and wine, enjoy appetizers and enter to win fabulous door prizes! RSVP to or 281-690-4242 For updates, visit us on Facebook


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focus on women

l November 2010


Pearls of Wisdom

By Richmond Bone & Joint Clinic

Is Back Pain Altering Your Lifestyle?


n estimated 10 million adults suffer from chronic back or leg pain annually. Until recently, back or leg pain sufferers have undergone traditional or “open” spine surgery, requiring weeks or months of recovery. In recent years, minimally disruptive surgical approaches to spinal fusion have been developed offering a surgical solution with less tissue trauma, potentially less pain, and faster recovery time. Mohammad Etminan M.D., an orthopedic spine surgeon with Richmond Bone and Joint, is performing one such minimally disruptive surgical technique called XLIF® (eXtreme Lateral Interbody Fusion). This procedure was developed by NuVasive®, Inc. The XLIF procedure is unique in that it does not require entry through sensitive back muscles, bones or ligaments. Instead, the spine is approached from the side of the body, through two oneinch incisions.

“XLIF offers a safe, less invasive alternative to traditional or open spine surgery,” explains Dr. Etminan. “This approach provides greater access to the spine, offers better visualization during surgery, results in less tissue disruption and blood loss, and yields faster patient recovery times. Patients are often walking within a few days, with a typical four-to-six week recovery, rather than the six or more months of recovery following traditional back surgery. And the best part is that they are no longer suffering from back or leg pain.” One such example is 27 year-old Ashley Higgs. Two months post surgery she was quoted as saying, “Before Dr. Etminan performed the surgery, I was in excruciating pain and could not stand or walk without shooting pains. I now can walk around my block twice with no pain or numbness at all.” The XLIF procedure provides relief to patients who cannot tolerate a larger,

open back surgery because of the increased risks of longer anesthesia time, blood loss, hospitalization, and recovery. It is also a less disruptive alternative for patients who have lived with back or leg pain through years of various failed treatments, including steroid injections, physical therapy, and pain medication. The XLIF procedure is made safe with the use of NeuroVision®, a technologically advanced nerve monitoring system (EMG). This system allows the surgeon to have accurate, reproducible, realtime feedback about nerve health, location, and function, reducing the incidence of nerve injury during surgery. Dr. Etminan is board certified, fellowship trained, and received his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine with highest honors. To determine if you are a candidate for the minimally disruptive XLIF procedure or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Etminan, please call (281) 344-1715.


Complete Orthopedic Care Sugar Land



Visit for more information. Call 281.344.1715 November 2010 l



By Tanya Sterling

Ann Weisgarber: One of Houston’s Best Kept Secrets Ann and her husband, Rob, in London at the 2009 Orange Prize Ceremony.


nce upon a time, there was a couple who lived quietly in a little blue house across from the lake, in a quaint neighborhood tucked away in vintage Sugar Land, Texas. One would never guess that the woman’s recently published book, The Personal History of Rachel DuPree, was short listed for the United Kingdom’s Orange Award for New Writers in 2009, received the 2009 Steven Turner Award for Best Work of First Fiction (sponsored by the Texas Institute of First Letters) and was selected by the Chicago Sun-Times as one of ten fiction books for 2010 summer reading. Meet Ann Weisgarber, an internationally-acclaimed author, wife to Rob and a resident of Sugar Land. The Personal History of Rachel DuPree is a fictional tale about a little-told part of American history – African-American settlers in the West. It is a satisfying story that takes us to the core of why one black couple, Rachel and Isaac, would choose to stake a claim in the middle of South Dakota. The main character, Rachel DuPree, lives a life that is unforgettable and which will stay with you long after you turn that last page. The book’s author, Ann Weisgarber is just as unforgettable. She is pleasant, hospitable, full of laughter yet calm and reserved. She is also passionate about her writing and amazed that her book was even published. “When I started writing Rachel’s story, it was a personal project,” said Weisgarber. “I


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l November 2010

was so focused on giving Rachel an identity and a personal story that I did not think about it being published. I was simply fulfilling what had become a very real need to research and write her story - to give this woman a voice.” It is also noteworthy that while Rachel DuPree is an African-American woman, Weisgarber is a white woman who, while visiting the Badlands National Park in South Dakota, toured a dugout - the hardscrabble homes that pioneers first built - and observed a well-worn path to an ancient cook stove. “I wondered about that well-worn path leading to that old cook stove as it was obvious that someone had cooked on it a lot, and I imagined how hard it must have been to provide three solid meals a day back then,” said Weisgarber. A few days later, she stopped at a roadside museum and saw a photo of an African -American woman sitting by herself in front of a dugout. Surprised as she had never heard of black settlers in the West, this solitary, unnamed woman in the photograph obviously had a story, and paired with the image of that well-worn path and that cook stove, an imaginative Weisgarber decided to tell that story, hence her debut novel. It is no surprise that Weisgarber was vacationing at the Badlands National Park as she and Rob are avid hikers who try to visit one national park a year. “Rob and I enjoy the outdoors. We love hiking, and we love the water. If we are not hiking, we are at our beach

house in Galveston or relaxing at home in our screened-in porch overlooking the water,” said Weisgarber. Born and raised in Kettering, Ohio, Weisgarber met her husband and graduated from Wright State University, in Dayton, Ohio with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. The couple still actively support their alma mater mainly because Wright State extends their opportunities of higher education to visually and hearing-impaired students, as well as those with learning disabilities. After graduating from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, Weisgarber was a social worker in a psychiatric hospital. “My parents raised my brother and I to always be grateful,” said Weisgarber. “I lived through the sixties civil rights movement and women’s liberation. I also vividly remember the race riots in Dayton, JFK’s assassination and the Vietnam War. As a child, you carry those memories around with you and so I think, subconsciously, I felt compelled to give back to our community and decided to be a social worker.” After the young couple moved to the Houston area, the first-time author earned a Master of Arts in Sociology at the University of Houston and taught high school and later, sociology at Alvin Community College and Wharton County Junior College. “I absolutely loved working with the non-traditional college student who was attending night classes, had a family and a job. I found it very rewarding,” commented Weisgarber. It is interesting to note that Weisgarber had never written before she stumbled upon that picture of that lone African-American woman in the Badlands. She never dabbled in it and certainly did not have aspirations to be an international, award-winning author. However, once she decided to satisfy her desire to learn more about this unidentified woman, Weisgarber started researching the history of African-American settlers in the West and soon gave this woman a name and a story. “There were times while I was in the midst of researching and writing that I lost my nerve to continue this project as it could get overwhelming, but then, I kept moving forward as no one was going to read it anyways,” laughed Weisgarber. “As my writing progressed, it transitioned from a short story into something more. So, I went to a writing workshop to get some help, as I was not a trained writer, and the instructor

told me I had quite a novel in the making,” said Weisgarber. The eventual publication of this novel was no easy feat, but soon, the Weisgarbers were jetting across the pond to London to accept the UK’s Orange Award for New Writers. Her novel was simultaneously published in France. “It was amazing to walk into a bookstore overseas and see huge posters of myself plastered on windows and prominently displayed copies of my book,” laughed Weisgarber. “ It was a bit surreal as I am inherently a private person, yet I am so grateful.” Now that The Personal History of Rachel DuPree is published stateside, Weisgarber spends her days at book signings all over the country, appearing at book festivals, speaking at book clubs and being interviewed by powerhouses like National Public Radio and Texas Monthly magazine. She is also working on her second novel centered

around the 1900 hurricane in Galveston. When not writing, making appearances and being interviewed, Weisgarber and her husband enjoy their homes and spend quality time with a close circle of friends and neighbors. Weisgarber enjoys the simple things in life and is taking her newfound fame in stride. She is grateful that so much attention is being focused on her novel and looks forward to more research and more writing. “Writing is a seven days a week, allconsuming activity for me,” said Weisgarber. “I am fortunate to have such a supportive husband who understands when I need to grind on and get a chapter researched and written even if it’s on a Saturday night. I am definitely looking forward to the future.” And, the future is bright for this firsttime, award-winning author who is living – and writing – her next great novel happily ever after.

Reviews of A Personal History of Rachel DuPree by Ann Weisgarber “An indelibly affecting teaching story: How unchecked selfish desires, regardless of their origins in historical cruelty and deprivation, lead inevitably to suffering. A suffering that can be alleviated only by the realization of a pure love for others greater than one’s desires for self. Rachel and Isaac DuPree and their tiny, vulnerable family stand as monuments to the forgotten millions of brutal, spirit deforming choices made and endured by so many brave and deeply wounded Americans.” ~ Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple “It is through our fiction that Americans have best honored the diversity and richness of our culture and history. In The Personal History of Rachel DuPree Ann Weisgarber tells the story of an African American family struggling to survive in the Dakota Badlands with a vividness and intensity by turns heart-breaking and thrilling. It is a story of human betrayal and human love, and a woman you will not soon forget.” ~ Robert Morgan, author of Gap Creek “[Her] book paints a vivid picture of the tenacity and pride it took to survive life on the plains, while reminding readers the heart and soul it takes to survive as a woman.” ~ Denise I. O’Neal, Chicago Sun-Times “It is a soul-satisfying story....Weisgarber’s prose is strong and simple, like Rachel. It delivers the right touch in a story that is fraught with tension…Be forewarned: Rachel DuPree’s story will claim some part of your spirit, too, and live there long after you finish the last page.” ~ Karen M. Thomas, The Dallas Morning News November 2010 l




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oliday shopping can be stressful in any given year. So, when you add in a stagnant economy and concern over job security and unemployment, holiday shopping has the potential to become particularly nerve-racking this year. But it doesn’t have to be. By following some general rules and creating and following a detailed plan, you can avoid stress and overspending in the upcoming holiday season. Prepare a list and budget and stick to it. This is crucial. Determine who you will buy for and how much you’ll spend on each person, and then adhere to that plan. Bring your shopping list with you when you head to the store as a reminder of what to buy and how much you can pay. Get started early. It’s never too early to start your holiday shopping, and it’s a good way to spread out your spending. In addition, last minute shopping tends to create anxiety, which could make you more likely to stray from your plan. Set spending limits with others. Talk with your family and friends about setting spending limits for gift giving. It’s the

thought that counts, after all. Once you all agree on a set amount – say $25 per person – stick to it. This will ease stress for everyone involved and may even make you more creative in your gift giving. Make your gifts. Gifts from your heart and made with your hands – like homemade cookies or ornaments – make wonderful gifts, especially for teachers and friends. It also says you took the time to make something special. Buy only on sale and/or use coupons. Retailers – whether they are bricks and mortar stores or online merchants – will be doing all they can to entice shoppers this holiday season. Take time to do your research and find the best prices. Pay cash if you can. There are benefits of using cash versus a credit or debit card. For one, spending cash is a good reminder of the true value of money. Psychologically, it’s harder to part with cash than it is to buy with plastic. Don’t get sidelined by bargains. Don’t buy what you don’t need. The buy one get one free offers can be tempting, but don’t

buy something just because it’s a bargain. You may regret it later. Most importantly, keep in mind that the true meaning of the holiday season is not a focus on material things. Happy holidays and happy shopping! For more information on Will Hardee and the Hardee Investment Group, call 713853- 0869, click HardeeInvestmentGroup. com or listen live every Thursday, from 11noon on CBS Talk 650 AM Radio. This article is provided by H. H. “Will” Hardee at RBC Wealth Management’s Houston Center office , and was prepared by or in cooperation with RBC Wealth Management. The information in this article is not intended to be used as the primary basis for making investment decisions nor should it be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell any specific security. RBC Wealth Management does not endorse this organization or publication. Consult your investment professional for additional information and guidance. RBC Wealth Management does not provide tax or legal advice.

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By Melinda Wood

Author Karen Young’s Writing Journey Brings Her Home


here’s a quiet cul-de-sac in Pearland where characters come alive and stories are born. Scorned wives, missing children and reformed men all find themselves in the middle of a mystery at the flick of a pen. The keeper of their stars is more than a writer; she’s a storyteller. Karen Young has breathed life into characters since 1983 when she wrote her first romance novel in just four months. Almost three decades later, Young is an award-winning, best-selling author with 36 novels under her belt. Through the years, Young has written everything to traditional romances to mysteries.

Karen Young


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In her latest novels, Young travels into new territory by delving into Christian fiction after a short-lived retirement – a move that she is very excited about. “I reached a point where I think my publisher thought I was getting older, and they felt they should be promoting younger authors,” Young said. “So I thought, okay, I’ve had a successful career. Retirement should be okay. I thought I could find something to do with my time.” She continued with a laugh, “Well, retirement lasted three months.” During her brush with retirement, Young became very active in her church and enjoyed the intellectual and spiritual learning that her Bible study class provided her. Also, throughout this time, she couldn’t stop thinking of book ideas. In particular, a kidnapping plot kept coming back to her. “I was at a book signing for a friend who is also an author,” Young said. “Through talking with her that day, she said I should try writing Christian fiction. The market for the genre had exploded and publishers were looking for writers. I thought to myself I could do that and I remembered the kidnapping story I wanted to write.” Excited about the idea, Young wrote a proposal for the story with a Christian

element added in and sent it to her agent. Her agent responded saying that she didn’t want to go there. Disappointed, Young pressed on and sent the proposal to a Christian literary agent named Wendy Lawton. “She told me she was on her way to a conference and would respond to me in a few days, which was pretty standard,” Young said. “But the next morning, I opened my e-mail and she had responded at 3 a.m. that she loved it.” Lawton took the book proposal to a conference in Atlanta and it received four bids. Young ended up signing a three-book deal with Simon & Schuster. The first book, Blood Bayou, came out in 2009. Her kidnapping story, Missing Max, came out this past July. Both have received rave reviews and have quickly become fan favorites. As Young puts the finishing touches on her third Christian book, Lie for Me, she can’t help but realize how much she loves writing

this genre. “I wish I had started writing Christian fiction ten years ago,” she shared. “It’s just so fulfilling and purposeful.” After learning about her successful writing career, it’s hard to believe that Young didn’t always aspire to be an author. “I’m not someone who had a specific career goal. I married young and my husband had a demanding job that made us move around a lot.” In each new town that Young and her husband moved to, she usually found a job working as a secretary for lawyers, businessmen and doctors. From Japan, Boston and everywhere in between, Young didn’t mind moving around much until she had to leave a job working at City Hall in New Orleans. She realized she would not be able to build a career as long as they kept moving. “We had moved 20 times by the time I wrote my first book,” Young said. “We were living in New Orleans when my husband said we had to move again. I didn’t want to because I had a very interesting job working for politicians at City Hall. But, we moved to Ohio.” She continued, “I had reached a point in my evolution where I wasn’t satisfied. I couldn’t have a career. My husband said to me ‘You need a job where it wouldn’t matter if we moved.’ I told him that I thought I could maybe write a book.” The next day, her husband came home with a typewriter, and she wrote her first book in four months. “Sometimes I wonder if I would ever have done it if my husband hadn’t bought me a typewriter,” Young said. “I didn’t know much about writing. I had never taken a course. I didn’t know anything about editors. I think I just had a gift for writing.” Young submitted her first manuscript to Silhouette Books. A few weeks later, an editor called and told Young they wanted to buy her book. Young had finally found her niche.

She kept writing, and, after hiring an agent, Karen’s career took off. “All of this I consider a gift,” she said. “It’s unusual how I got started. I know many writers who try to get published. I just had a knack for telling stories. People will ask me how I come up with my ideas. My answer to that is it’s in my DNA. It’s a God-given gift and I am grateful.” Young hopes to continue using her gift for a while. “I’m easily bored. Once I started writing, I was never bored again. It was endearing. I’ll keep writing as long as I can come up with the right stories. I just can’t give it up yet. I now want my books to have a spiritual message, an element of faith.” After her husband passed away ten years ago, Young found a permanent home in Pearland tucked away in a peaceful neighborhood with her cat Astro and her dog Sophie who also double as her shadow. Her sister, as well as her brother and his wife, live just a couple of houses down. It is here that her characters are born, and hopefully, for fans of her work, many more will be born in the future.

Karen Young with her third grade teacher, taken at a signing for Missing Max. “Teachers don’t always know how influential they can be. When I was in the 3rd grade, Mrs. Saliba recognized my love for books. She encouraged me by going out of the school room and bringing extra books for me to read. Anne of Green Gables was one of them. When I saw her at my hometown signing, it was a tremendous joy and surprise that, in her 90’s, she showed up and I had an opportunity to thank her,” said Karen.

Karen Young with her brother Charles Young and sister Sally Farris. All three live on the same cul-de-sac in Pearland. “I am very, very close to my family. They bring me such joy. I just love being around them,” said Karen.

Karen Young (in the middle with long orange necklace) with friends from high school. They turn out every year when she has a signing.

November 2010 l



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Holiday Gift Guide



When it comes to the perfect gifts, Santa always gets it right. The rest of us – Are they sleeping? Are they awake? Have they been good? Bad? – struggle. Help is in your hands. In this year’s gift guide you’ll find plenty of inspired ideas, with many more in stores right around the corner. So for goodness’ sake, get reading and get going. Time is short. And smarty-pants is coming to town.

Secrets of the Shop in the Wrap Stars Fast Lane Sticks and stones? Three of today’s most talented wrappers talk about their signature styles and share fresh ideas to help even the not-so-crafty gifter look brilliant. Page 48

Good and Green… to Go!

When the one you love loves a car or truck, a certain giftgiving focus is called for. Page 61

The List:

The movers and shakers in your life will appreciate a gift that’s easy on the environment and looks great on the go. Page 44

10 Top DVDs: 2010’s Oscarwinning movies and finalists

Vamp It Up

Page 53

The vampire craze is not dead. Gift ideas for those in thrall. Page 52

Seasonal Indulgences Go ahead – you know you want to! Page 55

Get Personal A gift for someone special calls for, well something special. Page 59



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l November 2010

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oin Salon Eben & Aveda as they celebrate the season with Gifts Bright with Hope. Choose from many gift packages including Destined for Smoothness, Ritual of Relief and Unearth Exhilaration. Aveda also has great stocking stuffer ideas and timely skin care travel sets. Give yourself or someone you love the gift of a new look this holiday season or for the new year. Salon Eben can fulfill all of your hair care and manicure/ pedicure needs. Relieve holiday stress with a massage or full body treatment. Salon Eben has been proudly serving the Sugar Land area for 21 years. Stop by and visit us this holiday season at 15510 Lexington Blvd or call for an appointment: 281-980-5160. Visit our website at

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ECOWISE GIFTS HIT THE ROAD -----------------------



Good & Green

o G o

By Anna Sachse CTW Features


onserving resources, eating organic, using non-toxic cleaning products and recycling everything humanly possible – it’s 2010 and it seems like every household has gone green. The next step? Taking the eco-friendly lifestyle on the road – literally. From stylish bags, outerwear and outdoor dining accoutrements, to sun care, portable toys and transportation devices, this holiday season there’s something truly useful to please all the busy environmentalists on your list. Get ready to take green into the next decade.

People Movers Help your favorite guy, gal or techie teen go green and get fit with a folding bicycle. Perfect for commuters, these ultraflexible peddlers have all the economical, ecological and health benefits of a standard bike and they’re easier to store or transport via car, train or plane. New this summer, the full-size Dahon Ios XL ($1,499 at bike shops) has 24-inch wheels, an eight-speed Shimano Alfine hub, hydraulic disc brakes and puncture-resistant tires. The Ios weighs about 33 pounds and takes just 15 seconds to fold down to less than half its original dimension. A dynamo in the front hub uses pedal-generated energy to juice up a battery that powers an LED headlamp and can even charge a phone, iPod or GPS. Bike Friday, based in bicycle-obsessed Eugene, Oregon, also produces high-end folding bikes, including a wide range of built-to-order models (from $898 at bike shops). If your gift-ee isn’t a serious gear head, Kent, Schwinn, Polaris and F-160 make simpler folding bicycles with smaller wheels and fewer speeds (from $150 at major retailers).


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l November 2010

And what if your list also includes a little squirt who yearns for their own two-wheeler? Made from sustainable birch wood and non-toxic varnish, the award-winning pedal-free Skuut ($90 at sporting goods and toy stores) is perfect for tykes between two and five years old. Riders kick off the ground as if running, thus gliding or “skuuting” themselves forward and learning balance and coordination. There’s a new metal version available, with adjustable handlebars, hand brake and a bell.

Now you see it... now you see just half: the Dahon Ios XL folding bicycle.

Outside Eaters Your loved ones can always dine alfresco with a picnic basket made from sustainable materials like bamboo or rattan wicker. Opt for a classic hand-woven willow Picnic Plus eco picnic basket for two and you’ll also get recycled glass wine glasses, natural cotton napkins, and bamboo plates, flatware, cutting board and cheese knife, all packed in a chemical-free cotton insulated lining ($109.99 at sporting goods stores). If you’re more inclined toward eco-chic, it’s tough to beat the all-new cardboard (yes, cardboard!) Boxsal Picnic Boxes. The three graphic styles were inspired by a boom box, a briefcase and color-by-numbers paintings ($35 at specialty stores and Each reusable and recyclable box comes with a compostable trash bag and four sets of compostable cornstarch cups, trays, bowls and utensils. Even with a cardboard handle it can carry more than 20 pounds. Consider pairing a picnic box gift with a luscious bottle of Amity Vineyards’ 2007 Eco-Wine Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. No synthetic sulfites are added during processing, making it one of the few truly organic wines to be produced in the U.S. ($20 at wine shops).

Eating green: reusable bamboo place setting from To-Go Ware packed in a recycled plastic holder.

To-Go Ware Repeat bamboo utensils will reduce your forkprint. The reusable place setting (bamboo fork, knife, spoon and chopstick), rolled in a handy utensil holder made from plastic bags ($11.95, upscale gourmet stores and groceries, outdoor retailers), would make a perfect stocking stuffer. Continued on page 46

Interiors Market The #1 Trollbead Dealer in Texas


hat are Trollbeads? Trollbeads are collectible jewelry that you can personalize. The collection includes more than 500 artisan-crafted beads – choose the ones that remind you of special people, times, and memories in your life. Handcrafted from the finest materials such as 18 karat gold, sterling silver, gemstones, natural pearls, Italian-quality glass and Swarovski crystal, the beads are inspired by mythology, nature, and the everyday moments of life. Choose beads that have meaning to you, and create beautiful jewelry that tells your unique story. Every irresistible piece has its own story inspired by love, nature, fairytales, mythology, cultures, and the diversity of the world around us. New beads in intriguing shapes and colors continue to revitalize the collection. With an infinite number of combinations, the piece of jewelry you design will be completely unique and personal. The possibilities are endless.

Get inspired! Browse our collection of completed bracelets for inspiration to create your own unique Trollbeads keepsake, or ask for these bedazzling bracelets by name. Visit Trollbeads Inspiration Gallery at www. “Charm” has a whole new meaning. More than 30 years after the first Trollbead was born in Denmark, the Nielsen/Aagard family and their team of designers continue to “charm” collectors with their imaginative jewelry designs. Trollbeads have won international artistic recognition and have been exhibited at Sculpture Objects & Functional Art in Chicago and New York. Visit Interiors Market at or call 281-980-2070 for more information about Trollbeads.

Dashing Santa and Eight Reindeer Patience Brewster, Creator of Krinkles, now offers her own collection of ornaments, gifts and tabletop items on a very limited basis. Her handmade, hand-painted creations are on a buildto-order basis for retailers; therefore, creating a very limited collectable. Working with the best artisans in the world for the detailed one-of-a-kind product, Patience has set a high bar for quality and is delighted that her collectors have had such a warm and wonderful response to her new designs and creations. Now available at Interiors Market.

Holiday Bead Release! Find the perfect holiday gift at our

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Hi-Tech Totes You’d be hard-pressed to find someone on your list who couldn’t use one of the latest green bags. Active women will love the Sherpani carryall collections, which feature clean silhouettes and fresh feminine designs, and are made with 67-percent recycled nylon, aluminum hardware and non-toxic dyes. Depending on her needs, consider the new Tupelo cycling backpack with hydration ($55.95), the unisex Rumba child backpack carrier ($229.95), or the Meridian expandable upright wheeled carry-on luggage, which is small enough to use as a carry-on when zippered, but expands to offer more room for long car trips ($199.95, see for a list of retailers nationwide). Modern men might like the decidedly unlunch-box-looking GreenSmart Sifaka dualcompartment insulated lunch bag made of Neogreene, an eco-friendly and non-toxic water-based alternative to neoprene ($29.95 at mass merchants). Or maybe he’d prefer REI’s new Quantum laptop messenger bag ($74.50), part of the outdoor chain’s ecoSensitive line (see for locations). Made from recycled PET, each durable, multipurpose satchel liberates 34 16-ounce plastic bottles from the trash. And, of course, it has a plethora of pockets for transporting all his adventure-friendly gizmos – perhaps an Eton Solarlink FR600 American Red Cross Digital AM/FM/shortwave/NOAA and S.A.M.E. Weather Radio ($80, outdoor stores) with flashlight, siren, alarm clock, cell phone charger and four different power sources, including hand crank and solar power!

Alfresco Beauty & Style Burt’s Bees is known for its all-natural, paraben-, sulfate- and phthalate-free lotions, cleansers and lip balms, but did you know that they also make an herbal insect repellent? Rosemary, lemongrass and citronella oils ensure bugs buzz off, and are safe for children and pets ($8 at drugstores). For campers, package this sweet-smelling pestrejecter with the Badger no-mess SPF 30 zinc oxide sunscreen face stick. One of the top-rated products in the Environmental Working Group’s 2010 Sunscreen Guide, it provides chemical-free protection and fits nicely in a beach bag or carry-on ($8.50 at natural foods stores). As for the latest cozy cover-ups, REI’s


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ecoSensitive line has something for everyone. The sweet recycled PET polyester down jacket for toddler girls comes in eggplant purple and punch pink ($49.50). The newest incarnation of the men’s Muir Woods fleece jacket is made with 50 percent recycled Polartec Thermal Pro fabric ($79.50). ’Tis the season for giving. With every pair of TOMS canvas shoes you purchase, the company gives a pair to a child in need. A fashionable woman would jump at the chance to receive a pair of shoes from TOMS new fall collection, especially the hip pink plaid Murray organic cotton vegan classics with faded toe or the sexy gray canvas wedges ($54, $69; see for retailers).

Stylin’ in the great outdoors: Rumba child backpack carrier; REI recycled PET down jacket in eggplant; Badger chemical-free sunscreen.

Mobile Distraction Long car and plane trips are far more fun if the kids are entertained. Why not let them read up about eco-friendly practices? Released in April to coincide with Earth Month, “The Greenzys” (Zeus Media Publishing, 2010) introduces a gaggle of animals that learn the importance of being green when they help save Orinda, the world’s oldest tree ($17.99). The Greenzys characters – such as Willow the Elephant, who collects rainwater for her plants and uses her trunk as the hose – are also available as cuddly plush toys ($29.99) made from soy fibers and non-toxic dyes in socially responsible factories. Bonus: Each critter comes with a personalized certificate acknowledging that the Arbor Day Foundation has planted a tree in the new owner’s honor (FAO Schwarz). You can also feel good about gifting your favorite cubs with the Green Toys product line, all made in the U.S. The company’s award-winning recycling truck, dump truck and sand play set and the new fire truck ($20 $25, available at toy stores) are BPA-, PVCand phthalate-free. The toys are made from recycled plastic milk containers and are durable enough for any park or beach adventure.

Let’s roll: Skuut bicycle for young ones.

REI Quantum laptop messenger bag made from recycled PET.

Add a Little “Yee Haw” to Your Christmas from Wild West World


ustic elegance with a side of cowboy, please” topped off with a little “ranch dressing” is what you find at the Wild West World Texas-Sized Rustic Everything Home & Garden store. With the holiday season near, you are sure to find something unique to dress up your home or adorn your rustic Christmas tree. From upholstered furniture to fountains or cowhides to candles, we have your gifts at Wild West World. Browse our four acres to find the perfect iron trellis, arbor or planters

for your porch or yard. If it’s cabinet or bathroom hardware your looking for, we’ve got cha’ covered there, too! Check out our large selection of Copper and Talovera sinks, as well as our beautiful iron lamps, mirrors and wagon wheel chan-

deliers. Browse our fabric remnant store if you are looking for a real deal on fabrics. Wild West World is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm and Sunday from noon to 5 pm. The Farmer’s Market is on Sunday only from noon to 4:00 pm under the Farmer’s Pavilion, and the store is closed Monday and Tuesday. Visit us at for holiday hours, and find us on Facebook at wildwestworldinc for coupons, weekly merchandise updates and sales. Add a little YEE HAW to your Christmas this Year!

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November 2010 l



Wrap Stars

Three of America’s most talented gift wrappers offer the season’s best presentation tips By Taniesha Robinson  |  CTW Features

Extraordinary: Celebrity wrapper Wanda Wen uses humble leaves, stones, twigs and even wax paper to create special packages.

Expert gift wrappers innovate year after year, gathering inspiration for their fanciful creations from nature, the recycling bin – or the giftee himself. Take notes as three of today’s top wrappers share thoughts behind their signature styles, tips for the not-so-crafty gift-giver and ideas for what to do with some of those odd-shaped items. Wanda Wen Wanda Wen, author of “The Art of Gift Wrapping” (2010, Potter Craft) is co-founder of Soolip, the fashionable West Hollywood purveyor of fine paper. Wen isn’t just a wrap star; she wraps for stars, including Will Smith, Charlize Theron and Halle Berry. Gift-wrapping should say a little about you and something about the person receiving the gift. Of course, I have my own collection of papers that I’m drawn to, but first I think of the person. Signature style: Organic and natural. Must-have materials: twine, string, ribbon, pressed flowers, papers made of natural fibers


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like Thai unryu, kozo and Nepalese lokta. On her style: I’m really inspired by nature and looking at ordinary material in a new, fresh, enlightened way. Her best wrap so far: A gift topped with a rock and twine. It makes me happy to inspire people to see such a common thing that is at our feet every single day and accentuate that. Favorite embellishments: Stones or a bundle of twigs. Tricks of the trade: Always fold-in the exposed edges so there is a finished look to your gift. When you’re done wrapping your gift, take your pointed finger and your thumb and pinch the edges. It creates a sharper edge.

Wanda Wen wrapped a wine bottle in decorative paper and cotton balls.

Wrapping odd shapes: To wrap a wine or champagne bottle, Wen suggests using thin paper such as tissue or translucent Thai unryu paper that will easily gather around the object.

Ann Erickson Ann Erickson, winner of the 2009 “Scotch Brand Most Gifted Wrapper” award, encourages gift-givers to take a risk when they wrap. Here, she shares tips on achieving a unique style: Be unique: Don’t be afraid to do something unique because that’s what people will remember. Signature style: Ribboned and bowed. Must-have materials: Simply designed paper, ribbons with wire.

On her style: I put a lot of effort into the ribbons and bows. I don’t usually use the traditional bow; I use the square-knot bow. Her best wrap so far: Probably when I wrapped everyone’s gift in the same paper. It creates a nice cohesive look. Favorite embellishments: Small ornaments, candy, and small stuffed animals for kids. Tricks of the trade: Tease what’s inside the gift. Use a scarf as a ribbon if it goes with something inside the package. Also, tape paper to the box before wrapping.

Wrapping odd shapes: For a plant, find some beautiful paper or fabric and make a giant circle. Put the plant in the center and pull the material up and around the pot leaving the top exposed. Try cellophane underneath the wrapping material so it sticks up at the top.

Gina Tepper Gina Tepper, founder of Giftdecorating. com and a freelance designer for 3M Scotch brand and others, instructs gift wrappers around the globe 24/7 through her website and newsletter. Her theory of design? Crown jewels: Gina Tepper swaddles packages in gold wrap, scrapbook paper and ribbon, and tops them off with individual jewels and jeweled holiday ornaments. The packages coordinate with the gift bag.

Figure out the recipient’s hobbies and passions: Tailor the gift to their different hobbies and interests. Try to find some kind of color or embellishments that matches the theme of their life. Signature style: Lofty layers. Must-have materials: raffia, yarn, bans of color and any small thing of interest. On her style: It’s the accents, the layering and the little extra touches that really makes someone take notice. My goal is to teach people to make beautiful and unique gift wrap designs that are easy to create using interesting household items and inexpensive materials found at local craft stores. Her best wrap so far: A gift for an 18-year-old tough guy that was warmly layered and decoratively tied with raffia and a wooden bead. I gave him that gift and he was stunned. It wasn’t so much that it was beautiful, it was just the effort put into it. Favorite embellishments: Pictures, small ornaments. Tricks of the trade: For a perfect package, cut the wrapping paper two inches wider than the box; use the box length plus the two ends to determine paper length. Leaving too much paper is a rookie wrapping error that leaves a package looking lumpy and uneven. Wrapping odd shapes: Print out a picture of the gift on cardstock and provide directions to the actual gift’s secret location. Place the card in a small box and wrap it creatively. © CTW Features

The Toolbox THE INCISION Tepper uses medium-sized scissors – no more than six or seven inches – for detail. All three wrappers recommend the Scotch Gift Wrap Cutter for easy, straight edges. STICK IT TO ’EM Tepper warns against glue guns and recommends glue sticks for layering effects. The sticks leave room for adjustments because the adhesive doesn’t dry right away. HO, HO HOLE Wen recommends a hole puncher to make gift tags; string twine around gifts for decoration.

STRAIGHT TALKING When layering gift wraps, Tepper is sure to have a pencil and acrylic ruler at hand to make sure pieces are even. THE TAPELINE For gift wrappers who use one-sided clear tape, the Scotch Pop-Up Tape dispenser may prove to be a helpful tool. To wrap like a pro, however, consider doublesided tape. Try foam tape to paste unconventional toppers. DON’T FORGET … Your hands are the most important tool you have, Wen says. She has wrapped masterpieces with paper torn with her hands. But let’s leave this technique to the pros.

Bright ideas: Gina Tepper framed charming holiday photos on the tops of gifts to indicate the recipients; to avoid wrapping a guitar, she enclosed a creative card (with directions on finding the gift) in a box.

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From Ladies Apparel to Babies and Doggies

Broken Nine Boutique and Gifts Has It All HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE 2010


roken Nine Boutique and Gifts is the newest addition to shopping in downtown Rosenberg. Broken Nine offers a wide variety of products featuring ladies apparel and accessories, home décor, gifts, doggie boutique and baby boutique.

In ladies apparel, Broken Nine brings to you Inca Cottons, Adiktd Jeans, Ethyl Denims, KAS New York and many more fabulous lines. To coordinate with our ladies apparel, we offer accessories such as Lindsay Phillips purses with coordinating scarves and purses by Consuela. We also

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carry fantastic cowgirl boots by Johnny Ringo, clogs by Lindsay Phillips, Swarovski crystal flip flops by Multifaceted and a large selection of sandals by Grazie. Our home décor department will allow you to find that special accessory to showcase proudly in your home. We carry items from coastal to country, contemporary to traditional. Need that special gift? Mainstreet Collection includes lunch totes, wine totes, cosmetic bags, laptop covers and duffel bags. Party in a Pitcher, Party in a Bag and 5 O’Clock Grid Lock make great gifts for anyone on your holiday list. Don’t forget about that furry four-legged family member. Broken Nine carries a variety of doggie apparel, collars, leashes and more. We, at Broken Nine welcome you to come by and let us help you find that special item.

Women’s Apparel • Home Decor Baby Clothes & Accessories Doggie Clothes & Accessories Tuesday - Saturday 10 am - 6 pm

281-341-NINE (6463) 1100 3rd Street Rosenberg, TX 77471


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l November 2010

Party in a Pitcher!

Rustic Kuts: A Cut Above administrator, and Alan worked for a nationwide fixture company. In his spare time, Alan worked in his shop making custom furniture. As his hobby grew, the Macik’s purchased their own sawmill and used logs from their ranch in Blooming Grove, Texas for their custom-made pieces. Rustic Kuts offers a variety of one-of-akind, unique, rustic furniture, western art,

bedding, kitchen, metal art, mantels, and accessories to fit your needs and budget. Add the flair of rustic furniture to your home by visiting Rustic Kuts, especially if you are looking for that special, custommade piece. Alan has been hand-crafting custom furniture for over 35 years, and he would love to make something special for your home.

Rustic Kuts offers a variety of unique furniture.


lan and Sandra Macik had been in business for over four years, when, in 2009, they decided to open a rustic furniture store in their hometown of Rosenberg, Texas. They found the perfect location to display their rustic furniture and western décor at the corner of Ave H (Hwy 90A) and Third Street in Historic Downtown Rosenberg. Prior to 2009, Sandra worked for a nationwide rental company as a branch

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Vamp Up the


The love affair with all things vampire is alive and well.

Twilight fashion: Bella’s famous denim jacket.

The Twilight Series MODEST MODE: The blue jacket that the unassuming heroine Bella Swan rocked in the movie Twilight inspired modern schoolgirls everywhere. The fall 2010 Jack collection includes flannel shirts, jackets and denim leggings ($30 to $84, BB Dakota; specialty and department stores). PICKING TEAMS: Fans can settle the score on whether vampire Edward or werewolf Jacob really deserves Bella’s affection with Twilight Saga Dolls from Mattel.($24.95, department stores). Vampires, werewolves and girls, oh my! Fans can relive this year’s blockbuster movie at home with the Eclipse DVD (release date Dec. 6, 2010, Summit Entertainment).

EXPLORE MORE adventures with the telepathic waitress and her vampire friends in the True Blood Comic Book Series from HBO and IDW Publishing ($3.99 for comic books; also in e-reader formats). Notes in the night: drift off to sleep with vampire lullabies from the second and third seasons with True Blood: Music From the HBO Original Series Volume II ($9.99, Elektra Records).

The Vampire Diaries THE LOVE TRIANGLE between doppelganger vampire brothers and a high- school girl in The Vampire Diaries TV series garnered seven Teen Choice Awards this year. The Complete First Season, Warner Bros. ($47.95 DVD/$54.95 Blu-ray). Poster power: a teen vampire fan’s room is complete without wall tributes: the Vampire Diaries One Sheet Poster ($12.95, © CTW Features

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chick flicks DVD Release By Nick Nicholson

True Blood Millions were inveigled by the love affairs of vampires with a southern twang in the TV series. Relive the drama on disc with True Blood: The Complete Second Season ($59.99 DVD/$79.98 Blu-ray).

By Taniesha Robinson CTW Features


A LITTLE NIGHT READING: Breaking Dawn, fourth novel in the blockbuster Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer, will drive two new movies set for release in 2011 and 2012 ($15.63; or get The Twilight Saga Complete Collection, Little Brown & Co., $97).



he third installment of Stephenie Meyer’s blockbuster vampire series is its most action packed, both in terms of fight scenes and humanvampire-werewolf lovin’. In Eclipse, the vampiric Cullen clan and the werewolves--their sworn enemies--unite against an army of “newborn” vampires whose remnants of human blood in their veins makes them stronger and more uncontrollable, causing a string of murders in the Seattle area. They’ve been created by the vengeful vampire Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard), still keen on destroying human Bella (Kristen Stewart). Thus, Bella is under careful watch, and her undead love Edward (Robert Pattinson) and werewolf best friend Jacob (Taylor Lautner) spend a lot of time arguing over who is the better man for her. But there’s more at the heart of the triangle than love: Bella, against Edward’s warnings, doesn’t want to grow older than him and would willingly give up contact with her parents, the chance to grow old with children, and more to be turned into a bloodthirsty vampire. But, the unfolding of this love triangle is even clumsier than it was on the page. You’re never really convinced Bella has romantic feelings for Jacob, even during their climactic kiss on top of the mountain.

Take 10: Best Pictures on DVD and Blu-ray

And the Oscar goes to…

A bumper crop of 10 films, rather than the traditional five, vied for best picture honors at this year’s Academy Awards. There was a lot to take in, from the riveting war scenes in The Hurt Locker to the tender animated antics in Up, where an 8-year-old Wilderness Explorer and a bunch of helium balloons inadvertently hijack an elderly widower. No wonder judges had difficulty narrowing the field. Every one’s a winner. – Taniesha Robinson

WINTER’S BONE - Lionsgate


amily loyalty and self-reliance take on whole new meanings in this dark story of one family’s desperate struggle to survive in the Ozark woods of southern Missouri. Day-to-day life is tough in the economically depressed, unforgiving, harsh rural landscape that’s home to the extended Dolly clan, but it’s made much tougher thanks to their history of cooking crank and deep involvement in the local drug culture. For Jessup Dolly and the other men of the family, looking out for oneself has become the first priority. Seventeen-yearold Ree (Jennifer Lawrence) has been caring for her mentally ill mother and her two younger siblings while her father runs from the law. Ree has been managing okay, but when the sheriff shows up with news that her father has put the house up as bond collateral and is unlikely to show for his court date, things get desperate. Ree is well aware of the family code of silence, but desperation forces her to confront her relatives in search of her father, regardless of the personal consequences. One by one, Ree’s relatives refuse to help, protecting themselves even at the cost of one of their own. This is a dark, often violent film that doesn’t shy away from the harsh realities of the manic drug culture permeating some rural areas of the South.

1 Avatar (20th Century Fox) $39.99, twodisc DVD/Blu-ray combo

2 The Blind Side (Warner Bros.) $19.99 DVD/$24.99 Blu-ray

3 District 9 (Sony Pictures) $19.94 DVD/$24.95 Blu-ray

George Clooney in Up in the Air.

4 An Education (Sony Pictures Classics) $28.96 DVD/$38.96 Blu-ray

5 The Hurt Locker (Winner) (Summit Entertainment) $26.99 DVD/$34.99 Blu-ray

6 A Serious Man (Focus Features) $19.98 DVD/26.98 Blu-ray

7 I nglourious Basterds

9 Up

(The Weinstein Company) $16.99 DVD/$19.99 Blu-ray

8 P  recious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire

(Walt Disney) $45.99, four-disc DVD/Blu-ray combo

10 Up in the Air (Paramount) $22.99 DVD/39.99 Blu-ray

(Lionsgate) $19.98 DVD/$29.99 Blu-ray

© CTW Features

THE SOUND OF MUSIC: 45th Anniversary - Fox


hen Julie Andrews sang “The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music” from an Austrian mountaintop in 1965, the most beloved movie musical was born. To be sure, the adaptation of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein’s Broadway hit has reached critical acclaim, whether young or old. It’s not hard to know whom to root for when your choice is between cute kids and Nazis. It doesn’t matter. Audiences fell in love with the struggling novice Maria (Andrews), the dashing Captain von Trapp (Christopher Plummer), and, yes, the cute kids, all based on a real-life World War II Austrian family. Never one to generally believe in absolutes, if you don’t enjoy The Sound of Music, then you have no pulse. November 2010 l


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l November 2010

Sugar Land Town Square {59 @ Hwy 6) 16140 City Walk Sugar Land, Tx 77478


neak away for an hour of heaven at Facelogic. Imagine sitting back in a zero-gravity chair, with relaxing music and candles, being pampered with an upper body massage and an elite facial. Facelogic offers professional skincare technicians and industry leading product lines. Choose from microdermabrasion or more than 15 other types of facials, waxing and brow tinting. Be sure to check out Facelogic’s spa packages and memberships, too. What could be a better gift during the holidays than giving your loved one a short trip to heaven and back? Packages start at only $59, and memberships offer big discounts on facials and retail products for clients seeking a regular sabbatical. Facelogic customizes your skincare regimen to best fit your needs and budget. The Facelogic mission states it best: “We serve with passion, skill and integrity to provide routine skincare that is essential for healthy skin with an innovative concept that offers affordable luxury services.” Stop by any of Facelogic’s locations around town while holiday shopping. Check out the premium quality stocking stuffers, or pick up a gift card when you want to share the love, and a little bit of heaven for the holidays - or all year long.



Color-matched to his favorite car: Bianci Pro Racing watches.

Handpainted bracelets by Angela Moore.

When it comes to thoughtful gifting, luxury is in the hands of the receiver.

by Jessica Royer Ocken CTW Features


or years, the unusual “fantasy” gifts offered in the Neiman-Marcus Christmas catalog have set a standard for extraordinary extravagance. A Mermaid suit with faux pearl top and swimming lessons (2003, $10,000). A private concert with Elton John (2005, $1.5 million). A Dallas Cowboys end zone in your backyard (2008, $500,000). Even with the economic swoon, the over-the-top tradition continues. And if few of us can afford to bestow a customizable cupcake car upon our beloved (2009, $25,000), we can afford the small indulgence. For those willing to invest some time to search, the options are virtually endless. Of course, it’s not the amount of money you spend that makes a gift luxurious and indulgent – it’s how the gift makes the recipient feel. The best gifts make someone feel appreciated and pampered, says Leah Ingram, author and founder of “The biggest headache people create for themselves is being acutely aware of how much someone else spends and feeling they have to match them dollar for dollar,” says Ingram. “Spend what’s comfortable for you.” Do a little sleuthing as you shop and you can find items that ooze indulgence in a way that belies their modest price tags. Spending wisely does not mean you’re a

cheapskate. After all, when Santa makes a list, even he checks it twice. That’s a technique smart shoppers will put to good use this year. “Holiday shopping is a lot like food shopping,” says Ingram. “Make a list, categorize what you’ll buy and see if there are discounts or coupons,” she suggests. If you have a credit card or store card that offers rewards points, stockpile them and use them to supplement your budget for holiday gifts. “Maybe you received gift cards last year you haven’t used,” adds Ingram. “I’m not saying re-gift them, but you can use them to offset your spending when doing this year’s holiday shopping. That’s your money,” she says. “Spend it!” A sumptuous throw in buttery velvet or fabulous, fuzzy faux fur, suitable for just about anyone on your list, will elicit a gasp at first touch. A kicky zebra-print blanket or a rich, red throw trimmed with exuberant pom-poms would bring haute holiday cheer to the couch or work just as well in the car. ($45, Pier 1). Organic and fair trade have been shopping buzz words for some time now, and although they often indicate higher cost (for a good cause!), that’s not always the case. Maggie’s Organics fair-trade certified organic cotton garments will impress the

eco-minded ladies on your list without nuking your pocket. Maggie’s hoodies and wraps are soft and slouchy with fashionforward details that give them life beyond the yoga studio ($20 and up, specialty stores; see for retailers) . Accessories are among the ultimate luxuries. Here, it’s possible to live large while spending relatively little to delight your loved ones. A nice watch, much like a nice car, catches many a masculine eye. Roberto Bianci lets you have a little fun with the new Pro Racing series: impeccable Swiss chronograph watches inspired by the mechanics and color palettes of fine

November 2010 l

Continued on page 57 Fabulous faux: a fuzzy throw with pom-poms, Pier 1.


J Loggins Jewelers Focusing on Women For Well Over a Generation



very great woman needs a great jeweler, and at J Loggins, Fort Bend’s custom jeweler, women get what they want! Whether it’s a platinum heirloom appraisal, a custom redesign, or a sterling silver engravable keepsake, J Loggins wants to be your great jeweler. The experts at J Loggins have been providing professional care and service to Fort Bend,

Houston, Katy, and Pearland Families for well over a generation. Jan Loggins has been in the jewelry business for over 25 years. “We invite you to come in and find out why we have become such a landmark destination in Sugar Land,” said Jan. “We strive to carry jewelry that is extraordinary, unique in style, high in quality and in every


For Your Holidays


Fort Bend’s CustomBegins Jeweler Where Forever 14015 Southwest Freeway at Sugar Creek

281-242-2900 HOURS: TUES-FRI. 10-6 • SAT. 10-3


price range from $50 to $50,000.” J Loggins carries famous designer lines including John Hardy, Charles Krypell, and Vahan as seen in Town and Country Magazine. J Loggins’ convenient Wish List Program allows customers to get what they want – every time! Enjoy browsing through their great selection of jewelry to create your personal wish list, and staff will make sure the special person making the purchase for you is discreetly contacted. Check the website for the new extended holiday hours and for all the upcoming events holiday events at

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ccents specialty shop has been providing gifts and treasures since 1971, offering a diverse yet eclectic selection with new products arriving daily. Generations of customers continue to shop for everything from Hallmark cards to the perfect gift. Customer loyalty has come from trusting that Accents will have a large selection of gifts and friendly personnel to assist in your choice. Accents offers Brighton gifts and home accessories. The Brighton charm and bead bar is the latest rage, as customers choose from a large selection of beads and unique charms to adorn bracelets, necklaces, and even shoes. Brighton handbags and shoes continue to delight customers. The newest and most successful addition at Accents is the Vera Bradley Boutique with something for every age and stage in life. The product line features stylish laptop cases, backpacks, handbags, wallets, wristlets, hipsters and a variety of duffels and tote bags. Willow Tree Angels, Painted Ponies, Precious Moments, and Jim Shore are some popular gift choices. Accents also offers an impressive selection of collectibles including Swarovski, Lladro, Herend, and Department 56. The Gourmet Shop offers kitchen utensils and unique gadgets, as well as Le Creuset Cookware, Emile Henry Cookware, and Lodge Cast Iron. Gourmet gift ideas from teas, coffees, and hot cocoas to appetizer mixes and seasonings can be found also. A Bridal Registry is available with selections from Waterford Crystal, Arthur Court, fine china, and fabulous home décor. Whether it is your first time at Accents or you are a loyal customer, the friendly and knowledgeable staff welcomes you with a smile and helps you find that special something.

Continued from page 55

automobiles. Select the one that best An ornament alone makes an engaging matches his ride – or the wheels he covets smaller gift, or select a stunning decoration (from $330, department stores and as the starting point for a collection. Quirky One way to create a seemingly hand-painted bead bracelets extravagant gift is to choose a from Angela Moore celetheme, then select several brate the season, pets, smaller, less-expensive animal prints or even items you can package sushi in a chic, convertogether, explains gift sation-starting way guru Ingram. Indulge ($50-$60, specialty their inner child with a stores). stack of colorful boxes Ornaments, the to unwrap or an overaccessories of the season, flowing basket of fun. are another great way to Whether it’s coffee or bestow an elegant, indulcocktails, cooking or garHandpainted Christmas gent gift without emptying dening, the spa or the beach, ornaments by Angela Moore your wallet. For right around thematic possibilities are endless, $10, choose something rich with glamand you can supplement with some orous details, like feathery clip-on peacocks, edible treats if you’re so inclined. Holiday or a bauble that complements the personaligoodies are a luxury nearly everyone is ty of your hostess or officemate. Handthrilled to receive. blown, handpainted beauties by Angela Qi doesn’t deal in fantasy gifts (solarMoore come packaged in a clear box, no powered, diamond-encrusted socks, anywrapping required ($12, specialty stores). one?) but it does offer a lovely assortment

Fair trade and comfy: an organic cotton hoodie from Maggie’s Organics.

of indulgent cashmere: luxurious hats and gloves and soft, sassy sweaters for less than you might expect ($50 for gloves, cardigans $130 and up, specialty stores; see for retailers). So start your list, compile your gift cards, and shop assured. This holiday, luxury lives! © CTW Features

Expect the unique... Gifts • Bridal Registry Hallmark Gold Crown Store Home Decor • Gourmet Shop

10,000 sq.ft. Specialty Shop Featuring... Lampe Berger • Brighton Jewelry & Leather Accessories Unique Gifts & Accessories • Armani • Herend Porcelain • Lladro • Swarovski Department 56 • Gourmet Shop • Kitchen Decor • Table Linens • Waterford Wedgwood • LeCreuset Cookware • Godiva Chocolates • Gourmet Coffee Bath & Body Shop • Crabtree & Evelyn • Baby Gifts • Candles & Potpourri Executive & Corporate Gifts • Hallmark Cards • Gold Crown Store And So Much More... Montgomery Plaza • I45 @ N Loop 336 West • Conroe, TX 77804

936-756-7704 November 2010 l


Southern Sister Designs

Top Shelf Wine & Spirits

Offers Variety of Wines, Spirits and Unique Items

Offers Distinctive, Eclectic Gifts




outhern Sister Designs is a unique boutique nestled among the antique shops of historic downtown Rosenberg. From the eclectic décor to the paperback exchange shelves, complimentary coffee and child-friendly lounge area, you’ll find a warm and inviting shopping experience where you can relax and browse the wide selection of ladies apparel, accessories, shoes, home décor and distinctive gift items. Southern Sister Designs carries name brand items such as Yellow Box Shoes and Miss Me Jeans, as well as one-of-a-kind handcrafted pieces like our Texas wine barrel sconces, wine racks and benches. We offer full monogramming services and custom pieces including hand painted caps by My Melange – recently featured on Great Morning Houston. If you can imagine it, we can create it! We are also pleased to participate in and sponsor community activities such as The Miss Merry Christmas Pageant and Ride to Rosenberg, as well as assist in fundraising efforts for Breast Cancer awareness, Operation Christmas Child and other nonprofit groups. We enjoy getting to know each and every customer and love helping you find the perfect gift or “just right” outfit. Fashion icon Coco Chanel once said, “In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.” At Southern Sister Designs, we strive to be just that!

op Shelf Wine & Spirits, conveniently located in the heart of Sugar Land near First Colony Mall, is a high-end liquor store boutique overflowing with a variety of wines, spirits and unique items that should be at the top of every gift-giving list. Come in to quiz wine specialist Stuart Montgomery on the perfect wine choice to pair with holiday dinner at your in-laws. The extensive selection may seem otherwise overwhelming if not for his expertise in helping you choose the ideal bottle to be enjoyed with the meal, dessert or simply as a gift. Can’t decide what to get the boss who has everything? Allow spirits specialist Joshua Male to educate you on the elegant world of scotch. An exquisite bottle of single-malt is always a well-chosen gift for any refined gentleman. In addition to the wide array of premium and, in some cases, hard-tofind products, Top Shelf offers a broad collection of exceptional items such as accessories for every amateur or well-seasoned wine enthusiast, magnificent glassware, seasonal novelties, and much more. The Riedel glassware and decanters, for example, are awe-inspiring works of art on their own; but when paired with a fine bottle of old world Pinot Noir, they become classy, unparalleled gifts. And what is New Year’s Eve without champagne? Whether attending a party or hosting one yourself, dazzle guests with any one of Top Shelf’s specially-chosen bottles of sparkling wine. No matter your budget, there is sure to be something that will make you the hit of the party! Top Shelf is Etter Suisse Five Fruit. “Your Neighborhood Boutique Wine & Spirits One Stop Shop”.

Southern Sister Designs

817 Third Street 281.232.7737



Historic Downtown Rosenberg

Miss Me Jeans

Old Gringo Boots

Yellow Box Shoes

Women’s Apparel & Accessories Infant & Children’s Apparel & Accessories Home Décor & Gifts Monogramming Available


ocated in Historic Downtown Rosenberg, Southern Sister Designs is an eclectic boutique committed to providing our customers with merchandise that is decidedly unique in both quality and design. We carry a wide variety of jewelry, apparel, home décor and gifts that appeal to those with a flair for style ranging from cowgirl chic to trendy mom and everyone in between. Let us help you create a unique and timeless style for you and your home!

Open Wed-Sat 10:00-5:00 & Sun 12:00-5:00


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l November 2010

By Danielle Cadet CTW Features


rends come and go, but the hallmark of a great gift remains the same: it’s personal. The gift that goes down in history, the one they’ll remember, is often the one that distinctively captures someone’s passions, taste and style. These days personalization goes way beyond old-school monogrammed shirts and towels. Think flirty flip-flops designed with interchangeable straps that Velcro on and off, to reflect a mood or a whim. A favorite phrase, icon or nickname creatively placed on a protective cover for an electronic device. A prepster’s initials or name, emblazoned on a plastic plate. “With personalization comes a sense of pride, and that’s a gift that everybody wants,” says Robyn Spizman, gift expert and founder of Thanks to technology, it’s simpler than ever to purchase a gift that’s personalized with a name or initials. “The online world has taught retailers a lot more about their customers, and is making it easier than ever to give to customers what they want,” says Claire Hamilton, retail trend analyst at WGSN, a London-based trend forecasting firm. “The natural outcome of that is to actually offer more personalization services.” The purchase of a personalized gift demands serious thought. Take some time to consider the recipient’s personality. “You want to start looking at their interests: children, pets, their favorite colors, their style,” says Spizman. She advises purchasing a present the recipient is sure to use. “When you think personalization you want to think about the personal use of a gift. Make sure the person is going to enjoy it,” she says. Pigeonholing friends may not be a polite practice most times of the year, but when it comes to holiday gift giving, it’s one of the keys to success. “When you know you’re buying a gift for a traveler, an entertainer, a music or sports lover, then you can really pinpoint the perfect gift,” Spizman says. Monogramming is a classic personalizing detail that never seems to go out of style. “People like to see their names,” says Roseanne Morrison, fashion director for trend forecaster Doneger Group, New York. “The more personalization that’s involved, the more it makes someone feel like this [gift] is designed for me.” The trend is to bigger monograms with fresh fonts, styles and twists on tradition. And

Eat it up: monogrammed plastic plates for the modern prepster, from La Plates.



A gift for a special someone calls for, well, something special. Personalized gifts are all the rage. Here’s how to look – and what to look for be selective about the item you choose to monogram. “Monogramming clothes is totally out,” says Jess Zaino, celebrity stylist and former co-host of the Style Network’s Modern Girl’s Guide to Life. She suggests monogramming a small item and pairing it with a useful, related gift. Here are some bright ideas for holiday gifts that might be perfect for someone you know. If they’re not, you won’t have to look far to find the perfect gift. This season, personalization is everywhere. Lindsay Phillips’ Switchflops are fashionable flip-flops that can be customized to individual

taste with a monogram button, name or favorite phrase, or a message embroidered on the strap. More than 70 styles of straps, attached with Velcro, can be changed out on a whim. The line has been expanded to include customizable ballet flats, clogs and accessories. Zaino suggests pairing a pair of the flip-flops with a beach bag full of vacation goodies. “It’s so much more thoughtful when you take the person into consideration without being cheesy or tacky,” Zaino says ($30 and up, department and specialty stores;

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Continued on page 60



Continued from page 59

create a custom design by uploading original art or choosing designs from their library and adding words and effects for a one-of-a-kind gift (custom designs about $50, electronics retailers nationwide; Brightly colored melamine plates from La Plates are a big hit with celebrity parents, including the Obamas. Customers can choose design, background color, font style and color when creating their plates, which range in size from 7 inches (sold individually) to 10 inches (available in sets of four). The bright, fanciful plates are durable enough to withstand horseplay at a bar-

A personalized cover for the proud new owner of an iPad, Kindle or new smartphone can add to their techno-joy and help them stand out in a crowd. Since so many people have these devices, “the more that you can do to create that level of originality makes it special,” says Morrison. Power Support USA offers a range of products aimed to protect and personalize wireless devices. Graphically smart City Cases star iconic images from cities around the globe, perfect for a globetrotter wannabe. Or,

Imperial Performing Arts presents a

Sugar Land Opera production of


by Engelbert Humperdinck

an opera for all ages

DECEMBER 3 & 10 7:30 PM

DECEMBER 4 &12 2:00 PM

$30 adults $25 children/seniors/students/military This opera is appropriate for all ages No children under 4, please Seniors are age 55+

THE IMPERIAL THEATRE SUGAR LAND TOWN SQUARE SQUARE / 2210 LONE STAR DRIVE / 77479 Imperial Performing Arts, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) notnot-forfor-profit organization Tickets are available online, by phone, at the box office, and at the door Seating is limited and reserved / Group rates are available Please call for more information

Directed by NICOLE





Children's Chorus by FORT


Conducted by DOMINIQUE









Chorusmaster MELISSA

And Featuring Child Dancer CATHERINE



" When at night I go to sleep, Fourteen angels watch do keep . . ."

TICKETS — / 281.277.7444


Switchflops from Lindsay Phillips can be tricked out with interchangeable straps on a whim.

beque but elegant enough for an adult luncheon. ($22, specialty stores; www.laplates. com ). Custom-monogrammed Butterscotch Blankees have been spied swaddling the babes of celebrity moms like Sarah Jessica Parker. Company founder Jodie Roth says her products make a long-lasting gift that can follow the owner from crib to dorm room. The handmade blankets would make a great gift for a newborn, young child or parents who want to add flare to a nursery or bedroom. The handmade blankets range in size, style and color. ($125, specialty stores and boutiques). Personalized stationery is a classic gift. But for a new twist for a relative or friend who loves to wrap and give gifts try wrapping paper personalized with her name and special message. Custom gift wrap from online stationer Erin Condren can be imprinted with the message you choose – “Happy Birthday! With love from Grammie,” for example. “It’s a functional thing to give that is still so personal and so much fun,” Zaino says. “It will make them smile every time they use it”(10-ft. length for $45). The “Everything Book,” a monthly calendar for tracking family activities, can be customized with a name and photo on the covers. It comes with matching personalized labels, tab stickers and note pads ($45, Monogram a leather wallet or a tote for a trendy friend or relative with simple tastes. “There are people who just like to keep it simple but still want personal things that look beautiful,” says Morrison. And, to heck with trendmeisters who say monogrammed clothing is out, out, out. For those with a considerably larger gift budget, a wool or a fur coat with an understated initials inside “would be wonderful,” WGSN’s Clair Hamilton says. © CTW Features

focus on women

l November 2010

Hands-free chat using an iPhone via the Belkin Tunebase.

Gifts for

Gear Heads By Jim Gorzelany CTW Features


uto aficionados tend to be a breed apart from mere motorists. No, motor oil does not course through their veins, but their interest in all things vehicular runs much deeper than that of the average driver. Tracking down gifts for a car-loving friend or relative can be a lot of fun. There are more nicely designed, imaginative products more widely available – from auto shops and tech stores to the finest jewelry counters in town. Here’s a look at a few gifts guaranteed to make their hearts race this holiday season. The ultimate high-tech auto gizmo of the season has to be an electric car, like the stylishly aerodynamic Nissan Leaf. Delivering true “plug and play” operation with zero emissions, the Leaf promises as much as a 100-mile range on a charge. It includes Internet and smart phone connectivity and a navigation system that can show the location of nearby charging stations ($32,780, select markets in December). A less costly gift for environmentally conscious auto buffs is the nifty car care kit from Green Earth Technologies. It consists of five eco-friendly products made from plant oils: organic glass cleaner, brake dust shield, hydrophobic car wash, tire shine and wheel cleaner ($20, auto, hardware and big box stores; Motorists who want to maintain the showroom shine of their rides also will appreciate Meguiar’s complete care gift kit ($20, auto and hardware stores;

From a full-blown electric vehicle to a set of sparkplug cufflinks, auto enthusiasts will get a charge out of these car-crazy gifts Why not give an exotic sports car for a pittance? Upgrade his or her computer mouse with a racier model – a Porsche 911, to be exact. The Motormouse is a 2.4g wireless mouse that’s a strikingly detailed

replica of the iconic coupe ($50, Another gift sure to appeal to enthusiasts who can’t yet afford their dream cars is the Soundracer, which can make even an Continued on page 62

November 2010 l


Continued from page 61


Get his wardrobe running: automotive cufflinks .

old beater at least sound like a Ferrari. The device plugs into a 12-volt power point and replicates the roar of a sports car engine through the car’s audio system via a built in FM transmitter. Soundracer works in perfect sync with the vehicle’s actual accelerations and decelerations ($40, auto accessory retailers, Those who like to – literally – wear their affection for autos on their sleeves will enjoy a pair of car-themed cufflinks: charming miniature shift knobs, tires, spark plugs, dashboard gauges, headlamps and road signs ($45 to $425, department stores and Leading the race to build a better travel mug is the aptly named Brugo, designed to eliminate spills and scalded lips. A “tip and cool” mode allows users to transfer small amounts of too-hot take-out beverages to a temperature-controlled chamber, where it cools down a gulp at a time ($15 to $20, coffee shops and specialty stores; Making driving safer and more convenient is the Belkin Tunebase with HandsFree, which allows iPhone owners to conduct hands-free conversations through their car stereo systems. The “Direct” version ($70) connects through an auxiliary audio input jack (found on later model cars), while the “FM” model ($100) transmits to an unused FM radio station. It also


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A new leaf: Nissan’s zeroemission electric car.

streams music stored on an iPhone and allows users to charge up to two mobile devices while en route (electronics retailers; Another hands-free calling adapter – this one using Bluetooth wireless connectivity – serves as a speaker phone, a personal safety device and a wireless “leash” to prevent motorists from losing their cell phones. ZOMM attaches to a keychain and will flash, vibrate and even sound an alarm if an owner walks away from his or her

phone ($80, Best Buy; Speed enthusiasts can document and share their vehicular adventures thanks to the GoPro HD Motorsports HERO camera. It mounts to a helmet or dashboard and records first-person high-definition video or a succession of still photos. It can store up to nine hours of footage on a 32GB SD memory card (not included). ($300, auto supply retailers; © CTW Features

By Janine J. Sherman, RN MSN WHNP-BC

I relationship

10 New Year’s Resolutions to Better Connect with Your Spouse


s the year draws to a close, we all begin to think about our New Year’s resolutions. What immediately comes to mind are the usual ones, such as losing weight, saving money and exercising more. But this year, I urge women to make their New Year’s resolution together with their spouse. This is a great way to make your marriage a priority and make your relationship stronger. Remember that the more concrete the resolution, the more likely you are to accomplish it. For example, resolve “to exercise 2 days per week” rather than simply “to exercise more”. Here are some suggestions on better connecting with your spouse: Lose weight as a team. If you are going to resolve to lose weight, include your husband. Given the high frequency of obesity among adults, odds are that he could afford to lose weight, too. And, you are much more likely to be successful in your effort to lose weight if your spouse partners with you. Even if he doesn’t need to lose weight, make the goal to eat more healthy. You will lose the weight, and he will end up better off as well. Let him know that you want his input with the menus and have him shop with you. Exercise! Either set aside time to go to the gym together, take a walk or pick up a new sport such as tennis or golf. These are great opportunities to talk and spend time together but also to get in shape. See a doctor together for physicals. This way you can be sure that you are both healthy and if there are health issues, you can address them together. For example, if you don’t know your cholesterol, it is time to find out, and if it is abnormal, you can make lifestyle modifications to help improve it. This will help assure a long healthy life together. Get organized. Set aside one day a month and tackle a household project such as organizing photos, which can be a great walk down memory lane. Other projects can be cleaning out the garage or planting seasonal flowers. This way, some of the less desirable projects don’t seem so bad when you do them together. Schedule date nights. Make an agreement to have at least two dates per month. Schedule it just like you would schedule anything that is important. One suggestion is to get a symphony or theater subscription. If you want to make it closer to home, just go out for dessert or coffee, but make a plan to spend the time together and follow through! Get educated! Many of the local universities have adult education classes on weekends and evenings. Courses range from wine tasting to history classes. Regardless, pick something that appeals to both of you. Not only will you expand your knowledge, but it guarantees date night. Spend time alone. Make a promise to get away for at least one weekend without the kids. It doesn’t matter if it is a hotel downtown or a trip to the Caribbean, getting away alone is a great way to stay connected. Coupons. Each of you come up with 12 coupons, one for each month, to do something special for each other, such as a back rub coupon. Or, offer to do something that you normally wouldn’t want to do, like going to his favorite sporting event. Budget review. Set some financial goals together, and discuss them regularly to make sure that you are on track. Some goals may be to save more for retirement, or save to do a household project. On the fun side, you could save for a special trip or equipment for a new hobby. Most importantly, make the resolution to make your relationship top priority. Start each day with a kiss, and end each night telling each other how much you love each other. Include a few words as to why your spouse is special to you. A strong relationship is the best gift that you can give to each other, as well as to the important people around you.

1. 2. 3. 4.



7. 8.



November 2010 l


chick flicks I

By Nick Nicholson

James Franco in 127 HOURS.

James Franco, Kate Mara and Amber Tamblyn in 127 HOURS.


Hours is based on the remarkable true story of Aron Ralston (James Franco), a canyon climber and outdoorsman, who constantly sought the next big rush or thrill in his life. It wasn’t uncommon for Ralston to travel out to some remote location to climb, explore and simply enjoy nature.  During one of his treks, he slipped on a loose rock, fell into a crevice and had a rock pin him down.  This picture traces the 127 hours he was involved in this predicament.  Franco is often alone at the bottom of the canyon, dealing with his situation. (Think back to Tom Hank’s performance in Castaway and how moving that was. Franco’s performance is just as impressive and he is all but ensured of an Oscar nomination.)  Much of the success of this picture stems not just from Franco’s moving performance, but the direction of the film by Danny Boyle. Boyle’s brilliance is represented by his ability to create and increase tension through visual nuances.  The ability of the film to draw you in and feel the pain and insecurity that Aron experienced leaves the viewer with a feeling of exhaustion by the end of the film. James Franco, simply put, has never been better in anything I have ever seen. His ability to project his emotional spectrum and personal vulnerabilities all the while trying to survive provides a stunning look into a man’s mortality.  The additional supporting


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l November 2010

James Franco and Clémence Poésy in 127 HOURS.

cast members are perfect in their nuances and interactive memories Aron recalls while trapped. Treat Williams, Kate Burton, Lizzy Caplan, Kate Mara and Amber Tamblyn are all spot on in their early scenes and flashbacks.   Although the performances of the supporting cast are indeed minimal, it isn’t really something you will notice because of the strength of Franco’s performance.  One might think that a film such as this would be trite and drag on forever.  Boyle keeps things fresh and ratchets up the tension as necessary to keep everything moving forward and the audience engaged.   This film about Aron’s story will provide you with an emotional experience that you won’t soon forget.

127 Hours Starring: James Franco, Kate Mara & Lizzy Caplain Director: Danny Boyle Company: Fox Searchlight Now Showing: Local Area Theaters MPAA Rating: R Grade: A+ Photos by Chuck Zlotnick


ree-flowing, easy, and self-expressive define one of the hottest trends this season. Combine the Bohemian spirit with the drama of rhapsody and you have a casual mix of hippie, ethnic, gypsy and vintage elements: Bohemian Rhapsody. Boho mixes the old with the new for a careless, non-conventional style made popular by celebrities including Sienna Miller, Mischa Barton, Kate Moss and Nicole Ritchie. With a playful, slightly dramatic tone, you’re sure to turn heads when sporting Boho style.

Flying Tomato Pink Vest: $54.00 Pauln KC Dress: $38.00 Peace Belt: $64.00

By Brian Benoit

I style

Bohemian Rhapsody November 2010 l


style I

By Brian Benoit

Jonny Was Top: $129.00 Last Tango Teal Dress: $39.00 Volatile Denver Boots: $69.00 Hard Tall Skinny Jeans: $79.00

Ivy Jane Dress: $119.00 Uncle Frank Cardigan: $104.00

Hair and make-up by Emmanuel Salon. Fashions available at: Treasure Hunters


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l November 2010


Old Gringo Boots “Eden”: $449.95 Cecio Tunic: $49.95 Hot & Delicious Vest: $59.00

November 2010 l


fine arts

december 2010 OPERA

December 3-12: Hansel & Gretel The classic fairy tale comes to life in Engelbert Humperdinck’s fantasy opera, Hansel & Gretel. Featuring a professional cast of opera singers, a professional orchestra, a children’s chorus by Fort Bend ISD, and the fabulous dancer Catherine Lewis, this opera will enchant and amaze audiences of all ages with its fantastical set, beautiful music, and gripping story! This opera is appropriate for all ages, no children under 4, please. Friday, December 3rd & 10th: 7:30 pm Saturday, December 4th: 2 pm Sunday, December 12th: 2 pm The Imperial Theatre


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December 1-31: Secrets of the Silk Road. Uncover the Extraordinary Secrets of the Silk Road at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Strikingly well-preserved mummies, tall in stature and fair in complexion, have lain in the parched Tarim Basin of western China for 3,800 years. Wearing Westerninfluenced textiles and possessing surprising technologies and customs, the identity of these extraordinary people is a mystery! This historic exhibition of 150 objects drawn from the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Museum and the Xinjiang Institute of Archaeology in Urumqi, China reveals surprising details about the people who lived along the ancient Silk Road. For the first time ever, three of the more than 100 Caucasian mummies found and preserved in the western China’s inhospitable desert sands are being presented in the United States. An impressive array of objects are included in the exhibition to represent the full extent of the Silk Road, where lavish goods, technologies and ideas between East and West were adopted and exchanged. Monday & Wednesday – Sunday: 9 am – 5 pm Tuesday: 9 am – 8 pm Houston Museum of Natural Science

fine arts

january 2011


January 2-17: Intimate Settings and Public Spaces: Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Drawings and Prints. Born into a new age of urban culture, social mobility, and leisure, the Impressionists captured the era´s rampant prosperity and social change in images of places they inhabited. This exhibition of some 60 works on paper looks at those spaces—both public and private—and the various artistic methods the artists used to captivate their modern world. Intimate Settings and Public Spaces: Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Drawings and Prints features work by artists including Pierre Bonnard, Mary Cassatt, Jules Chéret, Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet, Auguste Renoir, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Félix Emile-Jean Vallotton, and Édouard Vuillard. Tuesday & Wednesday: 10 am – 5 pm Thursday: 10 am – 9 pm Friday & Saturday: 10 am – 7 pm Sunday: 12:15 pm – 7 pm The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Audrey Jones Beck Building Mary Cassatt Under the Horse-Chestnut Tree 1896-97 Drypoint and aquatint in colors The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, gift of The Brown Foundation, Inc.

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January 6-16: Shabby Gentility The World Premiere of a new play by Broadway veteran Ragan Courtney features two women, one white and one African-American. Left alone as the last two remaining members of their Southern household, they discover that their lives are not quite what they thought them to be. This poignant story of love, deceit, and forgiveness will touch your heart. The professional cast will be directed by the playwright himself, and the simple but elegant setting will transport you to another time and place. This play is appropriate for ages 12 and up. The Imperial Theatre ACROBATS

January 27-28: The Peking Acrobats The Peking Acrobats return to Houston as part of their Silver Anniversary Tour. The performance will feature the usual daring maneuvers, powerful precision and spellbinding contortion, along with new surprises including live music performed by the eight-member Women’s Peace Orchestra of China. This troupe of China’s most gifted tumblers, jugglers, cyclists and gymnasts, complemented by the live music on stage, make for a breathtaking, often hair-raising event for the entire family. With acts called “Magic Carpet Ride,” “Human Pyramid” and “Colorful Contortionists,” audiences never know what to expect. Thursday, January 27th: 7:30 pm Friday, January 28th: 7:30 pm Society for the Performing Arts Jones Hall UBS Family Fun Series

November 2010 l


Readership Profile


Focus on Women provides a unique, unequaled opportunity to target the primary decision makers in essential household and discretionary spending: women. Just who reads Focus on Women? Educated, affluent women who are consumers. And now, you can reach them six times a year as Focus on Women magazine features six issues in 2011.

Basic Reader Demographics

95% are female. 80% are married. 79% have children. 70% earned a college degree. 64% are aged 35-54. 36% have attended some college. Affluence

92% Employed Full-Time 59% Household Income $100,000+ Reading Habits

72% read the entire magazine. 66% participate in Facebook. 52% receive the magazine in the mail. 50% keep the magazine for 1 to 3 months. 39% pick up the magazine at retailers. Purchasing Habits Home Vehicle Electronics



Beauty Products/Services Home Decor/Furnishings

Times in 2011

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l November 2010

Fashion/Apparel Entertainment Source: FOW Magazine Reader Survey, Spring 2010. + 2% margin of error.


Plan to Purchase

91.3% 84.2% 81.7% 59.2% 47.2% 44.4% 49.2%

11.6% 13.7% 13.7% 15.4% 11.3% 14.0% 10.0%

Check out

on Facebook:

Divas INK (In the Know!) on


Beautiful custom mahogany and ash doors and fabulous beveled glass designs handcrafted on location!

What is your favorite, easy appetizer recipe? Tracey Satterwhite: My favorite “go to” recipe: Salami Crisps with Sour Cream & Basil 24 (1/8-in - 1/4-in) Italian dry Genoa salami slices (about 4 ounces) 1/3 cup sour cream 3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil leaves Directions: Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with aluminum foil. Arrange the salami in a single layer on the baking sheets. Bake until the salami slices are amber brown, watching closely to ensure they brown evenly, for about 15 minutes. Transfer the salami crisps to a paper towellined baking sheet to absorb excess oil. Set aside to cool. Spoon a dollop of sour cream on top of each salami crisp. Sprinkle the basil over and serve. Do-Ahead Tip: The salami crisps can be made 8 hours ahead. Store in airtight containers and keep at room temperature. It’s Monday! What is your favorite way to unwind after a stressful day? Lisa Geraci Giesler: A lavender bubble bath and reading my Focus on Women Magazine.

Doors & Accessories is the only service of its kind in the Houston area!


1303 Upland • I-10 @ Wilcrest

Lavena Deramo: A massage! What is your favorite Burger Joint? Lavena Deramo: Looking for one since Dulles Diner closed. :( Shanaz Pappa: Five Guys, Scotty P’s, In and Out Burger and Mooya’s. Pamela L. Pinillos: BUBBA BURGER SHACK!!! Laurie Hartz: Alamo Springs, Fredericksburg, TX, 10 miles down a winding, dirt road & right by the old bat tunnel... coldest beer in town and made the cover of TX Monthly several months ago as the ‘Best Burger in Texas’.. yummmm. Sue Pomeroy: Hauenstein In ‘n Out! Follow us on Facebook and be a Diva INK! FOCUS-ON-WOMEN

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Come visit our New, Updated Showroom! We can install and manage your entire kitchen or bath remodeling project!

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Showroom & Warehouse: 281-494-9200 12603 Executive Dr., Stafford, TX 77477 Showroom Hours: Mon - Sat 9 am - 5 pm November 2010 l




By Alisa Murray

Woman Woman Lock Up Your Daughters! Alisa with James Edward


preached praises for Facebook just a few months ago. Last year, in fact and now, I am going to do a 180. Let me first state again: Facebook is a fantastic tool and at the very core of viral marketing. Many great successes can be gained when applying its use to business and networking. I, for one, have used it solely for that purpose and have enjoyed the


focus on women

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Alisa with Victoria Ann

ease in which I could reconnect with a client, reschedule a session and inform a larger group of clients about an upcoming event or advertising incentive. However, in the hands of a minor, Facebook can be a very dangerous thing. I had thought that I had done a super job of teaching the basics of safety to my daughter.

When she was little, we went over and over the basics of not talking to strangers and not getting into cars with people we do not know. We had discussions of being abducted, what to do if someone tried to take you and even sang a song with our telephone number and address in it so we could remember it under pressure and find a policemen to help get us home. Again, I thought I had covered the basics of safety and all was clear.... that was until last month. Let me say that my house is probably like many of your homes. There are computers and cellular phones, perhaps not for your children, but they exist in the house. I work from home, and there are laptops. Wifi access is part of how we live and work with very little boundaries between the two. My children are just as comfortable locating a restaurant on the iphone app as they are streaming Netflicks on the ipad, and Facebook has been a staple in our home, for the business, for several years now. My daughter, like many of your children, decided she wanted to be on Facebook, and I figured she would communicate with her friends, take cute quizzes and become a fan of Justin It seemed innocent enough, and I did not honestly even think of the ramifications of having said yes to her request for a page. That was until I woke up one morning to check my pages and decided to check on hers as well. What I found left me angry and upset and started a swirl of conflict between mother and daughter that I think I finally have a handle on but could have been avoided if I had just stopped to think through having told her yes in the first place.

First rule of parenting: It is easier to not give a privilege than to have given it and then have to take it away. And Facebook is something that is fine to network but the rules of friendship have a very lenient set of boundaries and because of this, it is easy for children to forget safety. After all they are at home, not in a parking garage, and what harm can come from saying yes to someone who seems friendly or even appears to be of the same age? We all know a whole lot of harm can come of it! You and I have traveled around Sugar Land and seen the mother ducks waddling in and around traffic. Occasionally in the spring, you’ll see a mother duck close to the curb and her babies are lingering around her both in front and in back. I always cringe as I sit in traffic wondering often if I should stop the oncoming traffic long enough for me to see that the babies have escaped an awful fate. The baby ducklings always seem to be kept safe, even in the midst of danger. They are oblivious to this danger, and I know God has placed a hand on them. Had it been a fox or a dog coming at them, not only would they themselves feel afraid and react, but their mother likewise, older and wiser with a keen set of inherent alarms to danger, would kick in. The traffic, though just as deadly, is seen differently I suppose. They have grown accustomed to living in the midst of danger daily and have become blinded to its presence. The same thought crossed my mind as I pondered about the web traffic and all the different opportunities to be exposed to things, obviously, both good and educational, and also very immoral and down right evil. Like the mother duck that always seems to clear their path, I myself had grown accustomed to living with the World Wide Web, and my own babies had been “out there” exposing themselves to all sorts of dangers. The fact that they had not been harmed was again, God’s hands. I, however, unlike the mother duck, have moved my children to safety. They are no longer able to become friends on Facebook, they are no longer able to accidentally post to the world where we live and what school they attend, and they are not making friends with people they do not actually see and know. And although I know that this control is only temporary, it is at least somewhat comforting to pull them out of web traffic and out of harms way! Take Care of You!

South Texas Medical Clinics Board Certified OB/Gyn Team

Jeffery Gubbels, M.D. • Karyn Cumberbatch, M.D. • Greg Keffer, M.D. • Marc Sangalli, M.D. We work with our patients to keep them healthy and solve their health issues.

Appointments available in the Rosenberg Clinic for all women’s services: Pregnancy Well-Women Visits Women’s Health Problems Speciality Care for Women of all ages

2520 B.F. Terry Blvd. (FM 2218) Rosenberg 77471


• Complete line of food, cages and toys! • Exotic birds • Boarding & grooming

7414 Westview Dr., Houston, TX 77055 Tuesday - Saturday: 10 am - 6 pm • Sunday: 12 pm - 6 pm November 2010 l


travel I

By Sherry Carter | Photos by Scott DW Smith

Wolf Creek Ski Area Offers Old-Fashioned Charm, Hi-Tech Communication and Snow.... Lots and Lots of Snow....


olf Creek. It’s the kind of name that conjures visions of ancient Native American rituals. But for skiers, it’s a name that’s synonymous with snow. Lots and lots of snow. In fact, the most in Colorado. Skiing lore holds that when no one else has snow, the Wolf Creek Ski area has snow. With an average annual snowfall of 465 inches, and excellent powder skiing, it seems more than just lore. Our group traveled to Wolf Creek last March for spring break. We definitely had plenty of snow. It snowed the day before we arrived, and then again on one of our ski days. We took our German foreign exchange student, Katarina, with us and she taught us all the German word “riefe” which is what we call spring snow. You know, the stuff that comes down in soft, small balls instead of flakes. Heavy, wet and great for spring skiing and snowboarding. Nestled between the towns of Pagosa Springs and South Fork in southern Colorado, the Wolf Creek Ski area has something for every level of skier. From long, gentle slopes that wind down the side of the mountain for the novice, to the most challenging tree trails for experts.


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Wolf Creek is one of those laid-back Colorado ski areas that I thought had all but disappeared. There are several lodges arrayed at the base of the mountain where you can store your shoes and sack lunches in wooden cubbies, or take advantage of lockers for your valuables. If you don’t want to make your lunch, you can buy a delicious hamburger, fresh off the grill, as well as a variety of other menu choices. And, when the mountain gets to be too much, the lodges offer a comfortable respite to sip a cup of hot chocolate or enjoy a snack. They also provide a great place to meet up with other members of your party to compare notes and tell fish stories. They provide tissues for your constantly running nose, and the water fountains by the door have courtesy cups to help you stay


hydrated. The boot warmer machine was the best quarter I spent on the whole trip. Seven different lifts serve a variety of trails for skiers and boarders of all ability levels. There’s a high-speed quad chair that serves at least half the trails on the mountain, including a good cross-section of green (beginner), blue (intermediate) and black (expert) runs. The Raven lift takes you up to the Raven’s Nest, which is an upper mountain lodge, with many of the same amenities found at the base. And, the beginner’s lift, the Nova chair, also serves the ski school students at the base. Bowl skiers and boarders can take the Alberta lift for expert runs and tree trails. Two other chair lifts serve intermediate and expert trails at the top of the mountain. Although the first day was rather crowded (it was after all, the first day of spring break), the variety of lifts kept the waiting to a tolerable amount. The other days, we had hardly any waiting at all. Beginning skier’s have a variety of options for learning, from private one-on-one lessons to larger groups, and for the little ones, there is the Wolf Pups program. We had two Wolf Pups on our trip, and they learned how to put on their skis and “make a pizza,” which is ski school parlance for the snowplow. They had their own Magic Carpet lift, which is like the moving sidewalk you see at the airport. It just goes uphill. The Wolf Pups program also includes lunch, snacks and lift tickets. There’s an extra charge for equipment rental. There are three main airports that serve Southern Colorado: Denver, Albuquerque and Colorado Springs. Santa Fe has also recently resumed service if you don’t mind flying through Dallas-Ft. Worth. There are also local fields for those with private planes at Durango and Alamosa. The only way to really get to the ski area;

however, is via car, although there is a carpool service for those who want to share the ride. There are several levels of parking and a shuttle bus runs from the parking areas right to the front of the mountain base. Additionally, there’s a trail that lets you ski to your car at the end of the day (provided you can carry everything you brought on the last run down). One morning, a very nice Wolf Creek employee helped us carry our skis from the upper parking lot up the hill to the lodges. And, on another occasion, a woman in the ski rental shop (located in the Sports Center building), carried my skis back to the ski storage area. I’m told that this is typical of the treatment guests receive from the Wolf Creek workers. That may be because “it’s a family-run ski area, and we’re a family of skiers,” according to Rosanne Haidorfer-Pitcher, vice president of Marketing and Sales. Her father-in-law, Kingsbury Pitcher, now 92, took over the ski area in 1976, and the family has been running it ever since. Rosanne’s husband, Davey Pitcher, is the CEO and various other family Skiable Acres................... 1,600 Vertical Drop ........... 1,604 feet Base Elevation........ 10,300 feet Summit Elevation .. 11,904 feet Slopes Beginner................ 20% Intermediate....... 35% Advanced........... 25% Expert.................. 20% Longest Run.Navajo Trail - 2 miles Annual Snowfall.465 Natural Inches “The Most Snow in Colorado” Lifts 1 Double, 2 Triple, 1 Quad, 1 Quad Detachable, 1 High Speed Poma Lift 1 Magic Carpet

members are, or have been, involved in everything from food service to trail maintenance to waste-water treatment. In fact, the third generation has recently begun to move into positions at Wolf Creek. One of the biggest changes that Rosanne has seen over the years is “the way people communicate with each other and get information.” She adds that they’ve recently upgraded their website to provide even more up-to-the-minute information and cell phone service has vastly improved over the last few years. In fact, I was amazed at how easy it was to communicate with other members of the party via our cell phones. Other changes this year include remodeling the upper lodge and widening of the Bonanza trail. Of course, they continually do trail work in the off-season. Improvements to the soil mean better conditions during the early part of the season. So if you’re looking for a good family skiing vacation spot, Wolf Creek offers a laidback atmosphere that caters to serious skiers and beginners alike. Half Day.....................12:30pm Season.Early November - Early April Lift Capacity.................... 8,480 Crowd.................... 4,500 skiers Location .San Juan/Rio Grande National Forest; Highway 160, Wolf Creek Pass;.Between Pagosa Springs and South Fork, CO 80 miles east of Durango, CO 65 miles west of Alamosa, CO Operating Hours Ticket Office.8:15 AM - 4:30 PM Lift Hours...... 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM

November 2010 l


health & wellness I

By Kim Cress, MD


10 Ways to Beat the Holiday Blues

an you believe the holidays are here? If Houston were a winter wonderland with snow covered trees, I know I would be in the holiday spirit. Holidays can be a festive time. It is a time to spend with family and friends, eating foods that are not on your diet and listening to joyous music like “White Christmas”. But, the holidays can also be stressful raising many issues. How do I find just the right gift without breaking the bank? How am I going to get everything done? Or, for many, the holidays can also be a lonely time with having no loved ones to spend the holiday with. Especially in these economic times, the holiday blues are likely to be more prominent. I commonly get asked the question, “How do I beat the holiday blues?” Here are 10 suggestions.


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health & wellness


Minimize your stress. Get your holiday shopping, decorating and Christmas cards completed early. Give your family a deadline to complete their Christmas wish list to prevent last minute shopping. One afternoon, put on your favorite Christmas video and have the entire family help address, stamp, stuff and seal Christmas cards.


Attend one of the local holiday markets. The perfect way to get into the holiday spirit, attend a holiday market such as Sugar Plum or The Nutcracker Market. You can stroll down the aisles admiring the Christmas decorations while you are listening to festive music. And, while you are shopping for others, don’t forget to pick up that one special trinket for yourself!


Enjoy the arts. At the Hobby Center, you can take the family to see The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. Fort Bend Ballet and Houston Ballet have performances of The Nutcracker. Fort Bend Boys Choir and local churches have holiday performances as well.


Don’t forget “me” time. Make an effort to schedule some time to relax. If you need time to just take a deep breath and sit, go get a manicure and pedicure with a friend. This gives you the opportunity to have one hour to just sit, relax and catch up with a friend.


Schedule a date with your mate. Holidays are associated with so many festivities that often, couples have little time for themselves. Why not go to Woodlands for a night or weekend? This will give you time to spend together and get some Christmas shopping done as well. Or, attend that holiday party but enjoy a quiet dinner for two before you go. And best of all, eating before you go is a great way to avoid having too much of a good thing and getting an unwanted gift – extra holiday pounds!


Adopt a pet. If you are an animal lover, go to your local animal shelter and adopt. If you do not want the responsibility of pet ownership, then just go to the shelter and love on - and be loved - by an animal. Enjoy – and share – the unconditional love that animals provide.


Get moving with exercise. One study from Duke University revealed regular exercise can be equally effective in treating mild depression as the antidepressant, Zoloft. If you do not enjoy traditional exercise, such as running or weight lifting, then find a form of exercise you would enjoy. Maybe dance lessons or yoga are the exercise options for you. Try belly dancing or even pole dancing, but get out there and get moving!


Create a blessing diary. In your diary, write down 5 things you are thankful for each day. I think each of us will be surprised how much we have to be thankful for, and also, how much we tend to take for granted.


Establish new traditions. The holidays can evoke many emotions, and grief is not uncommon during the holidays. This is a time to reflect on good times shared in the past, as well as family members we have lost. I see some individuals stop celebrating the holidays because it only brings back difficult memories for them. I encourage families to establish new traditions. Change up your Christmas decorations. Have your holiday meal on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas Day and change up the menu. Start new traditions with your loved ones to help you make new, more pleasant memories. The holidays can be a difficult time of the year, or they can be a time of great joy. Ultimately, the choice is yours. My holiday wish to you is to make choices in your life to find the joy, not only during the holiday season but every day of the year! Happy Holidays!


Be an elf. If loneliness is the reason for your holiday blues, then create opportunities to be with others by volunteering. With Meals on Wheels, you can deliver meals to the elderly. The Sugar Land Exchange Club is always looking for volunteers to help distribute Christmas presents to the less fortunate. Harvard University conducted a recent study revealing we can get our greatest joy from helping others so get involved and help others this holiday season. November 2010 l


inspiring women I

By Nancy V. Mills, APR

Laughing with Linda Gayle Inspirational author to share zany stories and lessons of survival on November 30th


ife is about balance. That’s something Linda Gayle Thompson knows from 61 years filled with triumph and tragedy. Now she’s sharing the lessons she’s learned in her newly released book, Hookers, Midgets, and Fire Trucks – An Invitation to Our Party. Gayle With an infectious Linda Thompson wit and the gift of honest connection with people, Linda Gayle tells how absurd humor, a tenacious spirit and sheer insanity carried her through a lifetime of one catastrophic blow after another. She brings her captivating story, with all its hilarity and encouragement, to a special Girls’ Night Out at Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital on Tuesday, November 30th. The event, from 6 to 8 p.m., is free, but pre-registration is required. “I hope to inspire; I hope to make folks laugh,” said the self-proclaimed country girl. “No matter how tough their journey, this book and this presentation will give them hope.” Acknowledging the political incorrectness of her book title, Linda Gayle says it holds special meaning that will be revealed during the Girls’ Night Out event. Hinting of its origin, she says it is analogous to life and how we never know who or what is going to show up to the party, our life.

Learning Life’s Greatest Lessons...When We Reach the Bottom Hookers, Midgets, and Fire Trucks – An Invitation to Our Party, available at amazon. com, chronicles Linda Gayle’s life growing up as an insecure child in Houston and Lufkin. Only after marrying Mike, a quadriplegic, and becoming his sole caregiver, did she realize the strength she possessed. No longer able to teach school, Linda Gayle redirected her energy, working with Mike to construct a wheelchair accessible home. What


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began as a necessity turned into a shared love that lead the duo to build a successful construction company in East Texas while raising their four children. Here Linda Gayle gained new confidence as she became skilled at drawing blueprints and working in the field while Mike managed the office. “We were a team,” she says with a broad smile. “We had sadness and difficult things to deal with, but we didn’t let our lives become overcome with the heaviness. The tough stuff was balanced with good stuff, with laughter and joy.” Linda Gayle expresses boundless gratitude for the journey she shared with Mike before his untimely death in 2004. With gentle charm as free-flowing as the sweet tea of her southern roots, she talks of him as her hero, teacher and best friend and how “this incredible man” made her a better person. It is Mike’s playful spirit, his belief in her and his passion for life that she eagerly imparts to her audiences and readers. Writing this book, though, was not something Linda Gayle planned to do. She felt she didn’t have a choice. “The little voice that you hear in your head was not just whispering,” she says. “It was screaming at me. Then it felt as if I had a foot between my shoulder blades, shoving me, making me write my life story!” Out of deep grief and a search for answers, she wrote this self-help memoir that weaves together hilarious antidotes with tragedy and life lessons to create a magical blend of inspiration, tears and laughter. As Linda Gayle openly laughs at her dysfunctional family, she encourages others to learn from her survival and to join her party.

A Story of Love, Humor and Craziness Begging for a taste of Hookers, Midgets, and Fire Trucks – An Invitation to Our Party, Linda Gayle obliges with one story of her wacky life. Recounting a family trip to Cozumel, she chuckles as she tells how Mike made the family attach him with a bungee-cord, in his wheelchair, to the mast of a sailboat so he

Girls’ Night Out

Featuring author Linda Gayle Thompson sharing from her latest release, Hookers, Midgets, and Fire Trucks – An Invitation to Our Party • Laughter and inspiration • Chair massages & other fun offerings to de-stress • Book signings by Linda Gayle Thompson, just in time for the holidays

Tuesday, November 30th 6 to 8 p.m. Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital 17500 W. Grand Parkway South at U.S. Highway 59 Free event, but registration required. Please call 713.222.CARE (2273).

could accompany them on a snorkeling trip. “Mike didn’t let anything stop him,” she says, effortlessly infusing “sweetie” and “hun” into the conversation. “He couldn’t move a muscle from the shoulders down, but he had more tenacity and resilience than anyone I know. He saw life with such enthusiasm and promise.” Other crazy stories showcase Linda Gayle’s ability to blend sarcastic and zany real-life humor with a passion to motivate others from her lessons learned. Get ready for dead pigs in bathtubs, a topless donut shop and giant chicken suits. Come laugh with Linda Gayle Thompson at the Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Girls’ Night Out. Experience her zest for life. Be inspired by her zany stories and deep truths that will make this a night you will long remember.

between the lines

My Life is a Mess: Organizing 101


ccording to Internet studies, the average person can lose up to two hours each day as a result of disorganization. People spend a lot of their time looking for receipts, shoes, keys – you name it. According to author and professional organizer Lisa Giesler, if you are losing time at home because of disorganization, these habits can carry over in your career and other areas of your life. The answer? Giesler’s new book My Life is a Mess: Organizing 101. In Gielser’s new “how to” book, you’ll find easy to read chapters and tips that stop and make you think. Her chapter on “How Much is Clutter Costing You?” puts a pen and paper to disorganization and helps you evaluate the time and money associated with a cluttered lifestyle. The book also features handy worksheets to help you not only get started in the process but help you understand why your world may be disorganized. And most importantly, how to fix it if it is! “People often find clutter overwhelming,” said Giesler. “If a person tends to

save things that they might need, then clutter will start to accumulate. Those piles continue to grow until you can longer find the item you might have needed in the first place.” Giesler is the owner of A Time and Place for Everything, LLC where she helps people organize their homes and offices. She believes that a properly organized life increases productivity at Author work and home, reduces Lisa Giesler stress, and results in more time to enjoy family and hobbies. In addition to her career as a professional organizer and author, Giesler is a popular speaker and uses her humorous style to entertain and encourage individuals who need assistance with organizational and time management skills. For more information about My Life is a Mess: Organizing 101 or Lisa Giesler, visit or order her book at

Missing Max The Story


Author Karen Young

ax, Jane and Kyle Madison’s eightmonth-old baby boy, is kidnapped on Mardi Gras Day in New Orleans while in the care of his teenage halfsister, Melanie. Six months later, the family is in deep trouble. Melanie feels responsible and riddled with guilt. Jane, a lawyer, is obsessed with finding Max to the exclusion of her career and almost everything else in her life. Her passion is now directed to her work as a volunteer at Child Search, an organization dedicated to finding missing children. Kyle, also a lawyer, has shut down emotionally in his grief. He accuses Jane of neglecting her family in her zeal to find other people’s children and moves into the spare bedroom saying he isn’t sure their marriage is worth saving. Meanwhile, Jane is warned that she is in danger of losing her job if she doesn’t shape up at work. Struggling to cope, she’s further stressed by the failure of the police to make any progress on finding Max. Time and again

her hopes are raised and then dashed when a child fitting Max’s description is found, but it’s never Max. As she struggles to cope, Melanie shocks both Jane and Kyle with a plan to make everything right by getting pregnant to replace the baby. Reeling with shock and anger, Jane thinks her life can’t get any worse, but it does. Strange things begin to happen. Someone is determined to torture Jane with tantalizing hints that Max is alive. Jane is a person without faith. She is angry at God for taking her baby. As the horrific events in her life escalate, she rejects the peace and acceptance to be found in faith. Will her marriage survive? Will life ever be normal again? Will she open her heart to God? What will happen regarding Melanie’s pregnancy? Will Jane and Kyle flush out the person who kidnapped their child? Will Max be found? To find out, order your copy of Missing Max available at Amazon, Barnes & Nobel or Borders.

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the last word I

By Tanya Sterling

Are You Your Purse?


his is a picture of my purse. It’s a pretty, flamboyant red purse--big and roomy. Everywhere I go, someone compliments me on this purse. “Love your purse, so cute!” “Look at your purse, Tanya-so YOU!” I smile, preen and give an enthusiastic, “Thanks girlfriend!” What all the admirers may not know is that even though my handbag is so pretty on the outside, it is a royal mess on the inside. There, I said it. The interior of my handbag is disorganized and stuff is everywhere-receipts, pens, markers, candy, loose change and hand sanitizer abound. Recently, I glanced at my pretty red purse and a question popped into my mind, “Does my purse reflect ME? Am I pretty on the outside and somewhat disorganized on the inside?” It was a disconcerting question. Some days, I am smartly dressed, hair coiffed, make-up in place, ready to conquer the world. On those days, I actually feel the way I look - I really am that pretty purse, organized on the outside AND on the inside. I love those days. There are other days, however, when I am smartly dressed, hair coiffed, make-up


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in place and I am so NOT ready to conquer the world because I am exhausted and/or dejected on the inside. I am overwhelmed with managing kiddos and the household, in need of a date night with the hubby, juggling various events, doctor’s appointments and deadlines. On those days, I am comforted to know that while I may feel like crying on the inside, I look like I have it together on the outside and I also know that eventually, I will pull myself together and my exterior and interior will mirror each other. What about you? Does your purse accurately reflect you? Do you sometimes feel disorganized on the inside even when you are smiling and laughing on the outside? Do you ever feel as if you are the inside of your purse - a repository for all of life’s “stuff ” but nothing that accurately reflects you? Or are you always pretty on the outside and just as organized and together on the inside? The answer will always be a resounding “yes” because we all, as women, have our share of good days and bad days. We all, as women, sometimes put on our outfit and competently present ourselves to the world while we are quivering and crying on the inside. There are also days when we, honest to goodness, are our purses. We are every woman, being all we can be and loving it! I submit to you, that on those days when you gotta “fake it to make it,” when you emerge from your home looking like a million dollars but feeling like a penny, its okay because you will eventually feel like that latest designer handbag. You have it in you. Sure, you need to have days where lounging around the house in the largest, oldest, most comfortable t-shirt you can find, matched with your 10-year-old worn, jogging pants is an option. You need to have days when you just don’t feel like it - whatever it may be. You may have just argued with your significant other, disciplined your child or teen, had a bad day at work, navigated the murky waters of your finances, got frustrated (again) with your aging parent or dealt with a needy friend

or relative and you just need to wallow for a minute and take a time-out. Do exactly that - cry, pray, watch a tear-jerker on cable, lose yourself in a magazine (such as Focus on Women!) or a good book and then move on. You don’t want to, and you cannot stay in “woe is me” land. You know people who remain in the “poor me” world and look the part. They are disheartening to be around, they dress as if they simply don’t care, and they look just as dejected on the outside as they feel on the inside. They might as well have found the ugliest purse in the store because that’s what they look like and that’s how they feel. It’s not the way to live your life, however. You won’t fulfill all of your dreams and reach all of the goals you have by wallowing in self-pity or giving in to the dayto-day pressures of life. You must look and, more importantly, feel like that pretty purse you have sitting on your dresser - on the outside and on the inside. Get yourself together, put your clothes on, comb your hair, straighten your shoulders, hold your head high, pick up your purse, and handle your business. Go be your pretty purse. After all, you are a woman focused on being your best self, everyday.

November 2010 - Focus on Women - Inspire, Educate, and Empower!  

Focus on Women - Inspire, Educate, and Empower!

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