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magazine • September 2013


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Focus on beautiful bedding to create your dream bedroom.


Find your home and make it your own! These resources will help you turn your house into your dream home.

65 READY … SET … NO?

Making Your Home a “Beautiful Home for the Holidays”

76 BE PREPARED FOR SEVERE WEATHER Before storms strike, be certain that your family has an emergency supply kit on hand and a crisis plan in place.

COLUMNS 20 FOCUS ON FINANCE Daydream or Possibility?


Is a Hidden Food Allergy Causing Your Illness?

Filmmakers Kerry Beyer, Larry Wade Carrell, Michelle Mower and Wayne Slaten.


Photography by Nesossi Studios.

Sharon Thoppil: An Angelic Aide


14 FILMING IN FORT BEND Fort Bend’s four most successful and accomplished filmmakers discuss their favorite films, what motivates them and what they see as the most important elements in film today.

I’ll See You on National Back to Church Day


A Great Getaway Any Time of the Year

Meet this month’s recipient on page 67!

fort bend

magazine • September 2013



.com • September 2013







Nick Nicholson Entertainment Editor Pages 14 & 44

NUMBER 11 14


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


36 FBJSL AND SPONSORS Create a Wild Holiday Market

42 TEXIAN MARKET DAYS Celebrates 30th Year

46 CATWALK ON CITY WALK Returns to Sugar Land Town Square

48 FAIR FRENZY IS HERE It’s Time for the Fort Bend County Fair


Dr. Peter Osborne Town Center Wellness Page 24

absolutely! AUTO REVIEW

24 Keron Weathered Out of the Box Design Page 50

74 2014 JEEP CHEROKEE 50

absolutely! DELICIOUS

Honors Community Pillars of Inspiration

The Circus Comes to Town





Jennifer L. Evans absolutely! focus media Page 22


Hires Kelli Metzenthin as New Executive Director





Will Hardee Hardee Investment Group Page 20

Caron Lopez Grand Windows & Interiors Page 65



How much sodium is in your child’s lunchbox?

Lauren Dante Benoit Writer Page 66

79 absolutely! DELICIOUS LISTING

66 Steve Kursar Auto Enthusiast Page 74



Alisa Murray Alisa Murray Photography Page 80


Photos from Fort Bend County charitable events



A few snapshots of people, places and happenings

68 COMMUNITY CALENDAR Fun events the whole family will enjoy

70 AMATEUR PHOTO CONTEST A winning shot by a local photographer

ON THE COVER: Filmmakers Kerry Beyer, Larry Wade Carrell, Michelle Mower and Wayne Slaten. Photography by Nesossi Studios.

fort bend

magazine • September 2013


Ask These 10 Questions To Make Sure Your Dentist Stacks Up 1


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EXCLAMATION POINTS! Vol. 9 No. 11 September 2013


4655 TECHNIPLEX DR. STE 700 STAFFORD, TX 77477 281-690-4242

Editor-in-Chief, PATTI PARISH-KAMINSKI Hello Fort Bend Friends,


It’s official – school really is back in session, and yes, I even tried to send the dog back to school with my kids on their first day! It was just time for everyone in my house, canines included, to get back to a somewhat normal routine. Speaking of routine, there’s a relatively new industry burgeoning in Fort Bend that is anything but routine. Local filmmakers are shining the spotlight on the talent and multitude of film-friendly locations and businesses that our county boasts. Our Back to school: Eighth grader Kolton and high cover story showcases four filmmakers, two school junior Kassidi Kaminski with Annie May. who live in Fort Bend and all who have shot on location here, and let’s just say, the future of filmmaking in Fort Bend looks bright. Yes, Fort Bend is ready for our close up, and we look good. Have you met the GEMS of Fort Bend? Carl Favre, Joe Gurecky and Scott West are three Generous, Enthusiastic Men Serving making our community a better place, and we are celebrating their spirit of service with a debut event hosted by Fort Bend Focus and absolutely! Brazos Magazines in October. See the details about the upcoming event on page 27, and join us for a special evening that honors their commitment to our community, as well as supports a vital healthcare organization in our community: AccessHealth. Fall is the perfect time to focus on our homes and get them ready for the holidays. In our Home Is Where the Heart Is special section, we showcase the people, services and neighborhoods to help you make your current home holiday ready or help you find a new home perfect for you and your family. Read about the many options and ideas starting on page 50. September kicks off so much in Fort Bend including the Fair and gala season. September also kicks off the arts’ season, and absolutely! focus media is proud to serve as a sponsor for Imperial Arts’ Red Carpet event to kick off Fort Bend arts’ season in style. Join us Friday, September 13th at 6 pm at the Center for the Arts located at 823 3rd Street in Historic Downtown Rosenberg for an exclusive preview of Imperial Arts’ season. We’d love to see you and snap your photo on the red carpet! Stay focused,

EXECUTIVE PUBLISHERS Michael & Lisa Fredrickson E D I T O R- I N - C H I E F Patti Parish-Kaminski SENIOR AC C OUNT EXECUTIVE Jessica Kij AC C O U N T E X E C U T I V E S Stephenie Cox Susan Dannhaus Jennifer Elliott Kay Garrett Andrea Rigamonti Bonnie Bell Woodrow A RT D I R E C T O R Grace Belleza GRAPHIC DESIGNER Ginger Garza C O M M U N I C AT I O N S C O O R D I NAT O R Sarah Bearden WEB DESIGNER Joey Belleza PHOTOGRAPHER Nesossi Studios CONTRIBUTORS Lauren Dante Benoit Jennifer L. Evans Will Hardee Steve Kursar Caron Lopez Alisa Murray Nick Nicholson Dr. Peter Osborne Keron Weathered INTERN Roma Patel INQUIRIES 281-690-4242 E D I T O R IA L S U B M I S S I O N S

Correction from the August issue Published by

Subscription requests are free to all Fort Bend addresses. Annual paid subscription of $25 required outside the Fort Bend area.

Patti Parish-Kaminski Ticket giveaways to area attractions and events.

The Compounding Corner Pharmacy, Inc.® team: Jason Witzel, Ronald Bee, Marielena Garza, Wayne Bilyeu and Dr. Shannon Maguadog. fort bend

magazine • September 2013


Fort Bend FocusTM Magazine is published by absolutely! focus media, 4655 Techniplex Dr., Ste. 700, Stafford, TX 77477. Copyright © 2013 by absolutely! focus media. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited. Fort Bend FocusTM Magazine does not knowingly accept false or misleading advertising or editorial, nor do the publishers assume responsibility should such advertising or editorial appear. Fort Bend FocusTM Magazine welcomes editorial submissions from its readers.

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.com • September 2013


Board certified in Pulmonary Diseases, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine Dr. Youssef has admitting privileges at Memorial Hermann, The Methodist Hospital, St. Luke’s Hospital and Kindred Hospital. Dr. Youssef completed Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine from The Stony Brook University Hospital in New York and Pulmonary Transplant Fellowship at The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pennsylvania. He relocated in the Houston-Sugar Land area after 10 years of private practice in Arizona. Dr. Youssef has strong roots in the community and is looking forward to serving all of your Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine needs.

Filming in Fort Bend By Nick Nicholson


imply put, it is fairly easy to assume that movies are only made in Hollywood but that would be incredibly inaccurate. Some of the best films each year are the independent pictures that are created by struggling artists that scrimp, save and fundraise in order to see their dreams on the big screen. I recently had the opportunity to visit with the four most successful and accomplished filmmakers in the Fort Bend/Houston area to discuss everything from their favorite films, what motivates them and what they see as the most important elements in film today.

COVER STORY Photos by Nesossi Studios

The Cast Wayne Slaten Wayne Slaten studied art and broadcast communications at Marshall University and Methodist University. After working on several award-winning short films, he founded Moonlite Filmwerks in 2007 to focus on writing, producing and directing feature length films. Through his production company, Slaten successfully showcased his directing talents in his well-received debut feature length film Backroad distributed in 2012. His 2011 short film, Cold

War, was selected from an international film competition to screen at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival and is distributed through Ouat Media. In 2012, Slaten was a quarterfinalist in the prestigious Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting competition. Later that year, he became one of three founding members in the Louisiana movie production company Filmwerks LA. Slaten is now in production on his next feature length film, Patriot Act, a science fiction thriller produced by Moonlite Filmwerks, Gaucho Productions and Filmwerks LA. Slaten lives in Houston. fort bend

magazine • September 2013


Larry Wade Carrell Larry Wade Carrell is an awardwinning American writer, actor and director, and he has directed three films to date. He is best known for his horror creation Jacob. The film earned 16 awards worldwide including the Platinum Remi Award for Best Picture at the 45th Annual Worldfest International Film Festival. Jacob was well-received by

critics gaining Carrell a solid fan base as a director and actor in the multi-million dollar indie film world, and the film went on to be released worldwide. As an actor, Carrell has been in several films, most recently Shawn Wellings’ The Legend of Darkhorse County and Partricio Valladares’ Hidden in the Woods. Carrell is also the writer, director and producer of the new motion picture The Sound of Thunder, a Western genre film coming soon from Blanc-Biehn Productions. Carrell lives in Sugar Land.

Michelle Mower Michelle Mower is a Houston-based motion picture writer, director and producer. She has produced and/or directed a number of short films, music videos and feature films since her graduation from the University of Houston in 2000. Her debut feature film, The Preacher’s Daughter starring Andrea Bowen (Desperate Housewives), premiered on the Lifetime Movie Network on August 31, 2012 and garnered the highest ratings to date of any movie on the network

Kerry Beyer Kerry Beyer is an award-winning filmmaker and photographer published in Vogue, Lucky, Allure, the New York Times and more. He's recently produced and directed the action/thriller Deep Terror with Academy Award®

Nominee Eric Roberts, and he is currently in production on the psycho thriller Killing Mr. Right. His company, Kerosene Films, LLC, produces, acquires and distributes genre content across multiple platforms worldwide. He is also co-founder of the horror film festival SplatterFest, now in its fourth year, and he's even fought Chuck Norris…on screen that is. Beyer lives in Sugar Land. www.fortbend

.com • September 2013


in 2012. In February of 2012, Mower co-produced the independent feature Dreamer, which is garnering critical praise in the film festival circuit. She is currently in post-production on her second feature film that she wrote and directed titled A Woman Betrayed, starring Sarah Lancaster (Chuck). Mower is heavily involved in the film community in Texas. She has served on the boards of Texas Motion Picture Alliance and Women In Film and Television and currently sits on the advisory board for Houston Community College’s Department of Film and Audio Production. Mower lives in Clear Lake.

FBF : How would you describe your film education?

FBF : What first got you interested in film?

Kerry Beyer: Working as an actor in Los Angeles, I KB: I would say on the job training. As an actor, I was able wanted to have more control over the creative process, so I began writing and directing.

Larry Wade Carrell: My background is from

the haunted attraction industry. I grew up during the 80s home video explosion. So, every weekend I would take home movies like Nightmare on Elm Street, The Evil Dead, Night Breed or science fiction movies such as Star Wars, Terminator and Aliens. I started building my own haunted houses in high school with one goal in mind: I wanted to deliver an experience like no other. I was already writing themed stories, building sets, costuming and training actors, building props and special effects. I just needed a camera.

to see how productions were run, both good and bad. When I decided I wanted to direct, I grabbed a camera and taught myself the angles I needed to tell a story.

MM: I have a degree in Radio/TV from University of Houston, where I learned how to tell stories visually with a 16 mm film camera. I had to edit the film itself. We didn’t have any of these fancy computers back then.

Michelle Mower: Choco Tacos. When I was little, I

begged my mom to buy me Choco Tacos every time the ice cream truck came jingling down the street. Eventually, she started making me pay for them by doing “chores.” I hated chores, so I got creative. I would write puppet plays, and my sister and I would force our parents to pay 50 cents each to watch us perform them. That’s how I got ice cream money without having to do chores. Puppet play writing evolved into a love of screenwriting, which evolved into a love of making movies.

Wayne Slaten: My mother would take me to morn-

Larry Wade Carrell on the set of Darkhorse.

ing matinee movies every week starting when I was about five-years-old, mostly Disney classics. I was addicted early. It wasn’t until many years later I realized this passion for film combined with my background in art and broadcast communications was the perfect blend for becoming a filmmaker.

FBF : What are some of your favorite American and foreign films and why?

LWC: Today, we can make movies anywhere.

LWC: My favorite American movie of all time is Jaws. It is a

classic that still works even today, and the characters are classic and played to perfection by the cast. I think my favorite foreign film is Troll Hunter. Just go watch it, and you will see why!

WS: I would prefer to answer with my favorite directors.

Stanley Kubrick’s movies are at the top of my list. The range of complex dramatic themes in his films Lolita, Full Metal Jacket, A Clockwork Orange and The Shining are all masterpieces in storytelling and the human experience. That combined with his incredible visual style and attention to detail in films like 2001: A Space Odyssey still hold their own today. Ridley Scott is a god in my book. Bladerunner was a major inspiration for my current project. fort bend

FBF : What are the best attributes about shooting your films in Fort Bend? You’re surrounded by friends and neighbors that you have personal relationships with. When you obtain help from your friends, you can get locations, props, cast and crew very cheap, or even free. This is great starting out. But very soon as your projects get bigger and more professional, you need more resources to do the job right. We have a great pool of talent here.

MM: I get to sleep in my own bed at night. I get to see my

family for a few hours a day. I get to make movies with people who are also my friends. There is a boom happening in film production in the Fort Bend area right now, so being a part of the industry when it’s growing is super cool.

WS: Cost and diversity. I have been fortunate to obtain a great variety of locations for my film projects in and around Fort Bend for very low rates or even at no cost. The city of Sugar Land is extremely accommodating and eager to see projects shoot here.

magazine • September 2013


FBF: How helpful have you found the community and businesses around Fort Bend to be when you have gone on location to shoot?

KB: It all depends on the project and the business, and of

course, your reputation. Businesses want to know the content of the film to determine if they want to be associated with it. Sometimes that can make shooting a horror film difficult. Other times, it works out great.

Kerry Beyer lighting a set.

LWC: Very, particularly the locations I have shot in and

FBF : What sort of things do you study and consider when watching a film?

around Fort Bend County! For instance, Betty Vega’s Dairy Treat in Richmond is a wonderful location for shooting, and she is extremely accommodating, not to mention it is a great place to grab lunch or a quick snack.

MM: It varies. For the most part, people are very support-

ive and are willing to let you film in their location. The Fort Bend locations are significantly less expensive than what we would have to pay in places like L.A. or New York, plus, we don’t have to get permits to film here unless we are shutting down a road or filming in a public park. We have a great film commission in Houston that is very indie film friendly. They have helped me secure locations many times. They are a great resource for Fort Bend filmmakers.

WS: The Fort Bend community is very supportive of film-

makers. I always try to find a way to incorporate those helping me with the project. It may be as simple as a film credit, extra role or product placement for their brand or business. Sugar Land is a beautiful area to shoot in if you are looking for a growing metropolis. If you travel down some of the farm roads, you can come across some of the most beautiful wooded areas if you are looking for a country look as well.

FBF : What is the one thing that you as a filmmaker cannot live without?

bers. I always hire my crew locally because of the level of talent we have here in Fort Bend.

MM: Starbucks. Just kidding (sort of). I can’t live without WS: The support of my wife and family. www.fortbend

structure, and of course, performance.

LWC: The story and the quality of the acting. When those

are not there, it really stinks, and I start breaking down the technical flaws.

MM: Lots of things. Character development, story structure, camera movement, editing choices.

WS: I am always aware of the story structure – the qual-

ity of the writing and how the actors use that. Beyond that, I am always interested in watching how various directors deliver their story through the cinematography and production value of the project.

FBF : What do you consider the elements of a good film?

KB: A character that overcomes both a villain and their own

KB: A great team. It's a collaborative effort. LWC: My imagination and a talented group of crew mem-

my first AD Ra-ana. She keeps me in line.

KB: I'm always looking at lighting, camera moves, story

personal demons. At their core, American movies are about the human spirit and it’s ability to overcome and grow.

LWC: Story and characters! MM: Great story, strong performances and high quality production value.

WS: Story, story and then story. No one watches Kevin Smith’s classic Clerks for the cinematography or production value. Not even necessarily the acting. It is just a solid story delivered well.

.com • September 2013


FBF : Where do you hope to see yourself in ten years?

FBF : What film do you watch at least once a year and why?

KB: I intend to grow Kerosene Films into a genre factory, pumping out high quality sci-fi, action and horror – and expanding our market saturation as a distributor. I'm passionate about creating a sustainable film economy in our area.

LWC: Still making movies but being allowed to tell the stories I want to with bigger budgets and less restrictions.

MM: Doing exactly what I’m doing now – making movies. WS: Hopefully, finished with this film. Seriously, just continuing to develop and produce solid movies.

KB: Fight Club. But the first rule is, I can’t talk about it. LWC: Actually, for me it is a television series, Buffy the

Vampire Slayer. Seasons Two and Three are the best. I have learned more about character and storytelling from watching Buffy than I ever could in any school or book.

MM: A Christmas Story because it’s just not Christmas without Ralphie and the gang.

WS: Jodie Foster’s film Home For The Holidays. One, be-

cause it’s a great holiday movie for anyone who has had a dysfunctional family experience, and two, artistically, it is a wellwritten adapted screenplay with a very gifted group of actors who deliver. Solid work from casting to production value.

FBF : What advice do you have for anyone interested in pursuing a film career?

Wayne Slaten and Matthew Carter in Patriot Act.

FBF : Tell me about a recent filmmaking triumph you had.

KB: Start telling stories. Do them as cost effectively as you

KB: Making it through the day and getting all of your shots

is a triumph. Working with Eric Roberts has definitely been the highlight.

LWC: I recently served as an actor and co-executive producer on Hidden in the Woods, a feature film shot here in Fort Bend by Blanc-Biehn Productions out of Los Angeles. With at least 12 different locations, a crew of 25 people and a cast of 40 actors all with speaking parts, this was indeed a triumph.


My first feature film, The Preacher’s Daughter, was the highest rated movie on the Lifetime Movie Network for all of 2012. In addition, the film has won numerous awards internationally. We just won the Jury Prize at the Madrid International Film Festival and the Barcelona Film Festival. We’ve also won awards at St. Tropez International Film Festival and the Tyrolean Independent Film Festival. Europeans totally get me.

WS: A short film I directed in 2011 as part of an interna-

tional film competition was selected to screen with seven other films from that competition at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. We recently acquired a distributor for that short film as well. fort bend

can. Learn from your mistakes. Have fun. On every film, I remind myself and my crew that number one, we are here to keep everyone safe. Number two, we are here to have fun. Number three, we are here to make the best movie we can given the resources available.

LWC: Get as much experience as you can. Get out there

and meet other filmmakers and work on their shoots. Working on a set is the best school you can go to. Study DVD commentary tracks and behind-the-scenes extras. Read any books you can find. Start with Rebel Without a Crew by Robert Rodriguez. This book is short and will inspire you! Then, get out and shoot something.

MM: If you’re going to do it, do it well. Make your film the best it can be. You will have to sacrifice a lot starting out, but don’t sacrifice quality. A well-told story will get you far.

WS: If this is what you truly want to pursue, then don’t

take “no” for an answer. Push through and stay vigilant in your efforts to be a filmmaker. Plenty of people will tell you otherwise. So be it. They don’t do what you do. Ninety percent of the game is tenacity and belief in yourself.

magazine • September 2013


Prepared by the Hardee Investment Group and RBC Wealth Management


Daydream or Possibility?


ince I was a teenager, I’ve heard about how much oil we import and the importance of the Middle East. Burned into my memory are the gasoline lines of the 1973-1975 era. I was attending college in Austin (hook ‘em!) and driving home to Brownsville was an adventure because you never knew if you could find enough gasoline to get you back to school. If time is money, a lot of it was wasted waiting hours in line to get eight gallons of gas – which didn’t go very far – all of this caused by our dependence on foreign oil supplies. Much like the depression was to a prior generation, Vietnam and gasoline lines were to my generation, what will be the lasting legacy of a new generation? Very few people are still alive who remember when Texas was the Saudi Arabia of the world in the 1930s, 40s and 50s. Perhaps, after 50+ years of depending on foreign oil, it’s time for us to rethink things. Due to advances in technology, we are producing ever increasing amounts of oil and gas. North Dakota, home of the Bakken Oil Shale, has gone from producing 200,000 barrels of oil a day to over 800,000 barrels daily in just four years. The Eagle Ford Shale in Texas is another major discovery that as helped Texas be the #1 producing state in the Union. How might this affect us? Imagine what happens when we spend our dollars here instead of the Middle East. Our balance of payments falls, we create more jobs here in America, less oil money available for terrorists and perhaps a shrinking deficit. How is this pos-

sible? Military spending will drop because we won’t have to protect our foreign energy supplies. Buying U.S. oil creates more jobs that put people to work who will pay sales tax, income tax and property tax instead of receiving unemployment benefits. Maybe the legacy of this generation will be energy self-sufficiency. Imagine how that would change our foreign policy and even our own politics. As investors, we need to always be looking toward the future. How about a future of shrinking deficits, growing industries, useful job creation and a sense of purpose? Sounds pretty good doesn’t it? How about a comfortable future where you don’t have to worry about making investment decisions because they’re made on your behalf? A future where you have a financial advisory team managing your portfolio and actively working with your other trusted professionals creating a network dedicates to you and your family. That also sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? Call us at 713853-0879. Let’s talk about your future today. This article is provided by H. H. Will Hardee, AWM, a Financial Advisor at RBC Wealth Management’s Houston Center office, and was prepared by or in cooperation with RBC Wealth Management. The information included 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. RBC Wealth Management, a division of RBC Capital Markets LLC, Member NYSE/FINRA/SIPC

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fort bend

magazine • September 2013


9/12/12 10:46 AM

Aquatica™, SeaWorld’s Waterpark, is a whimsical waterpark with up-close animal experiences, high-speed thrills and relaxing, sandy beaches. It’s a one-of-a-kind waterpark only SeaWorld® could create. Come face-to-fin with stingrays and tropical fish on the only ride of its kind in the world, Stingray Falls®.

SeaWorld and Aquatica:

A Great Getaway Any Time of the Year By Jennifer L. Evans


epressed about the end of summer break, while we suffer through the intense heat that lingers? Texans love to say that we can be outside 365 days out of the year. I know, sometimes we don’t want to, but it’s still what we say. Regardless of whether you have kids or not, summer is always a little lighter and fun. Transitioning to the fall schedule can be a bit of a downer, so I like to plan little overnights or day trips that can be accomplished on a Saturday or Sunday. One of our favorite nearby destinations is perfect any time of the year, and it’s open on most weekends and many weekdays. SeaWorld! There are three SeaWorld parks in the United States, and we are fortunate to have one in San Antonio, a mere three hours away from Katy. SeaWorld hosts a trifecta of family fun: animals, nature and water park. Voted Best Marine Life Park for many consecutive years, SeaWorld is a great destination for all ages. And, unlike Disney World, SeaWorld doesn’t require a weeklong commitment or a big check to have a good time. Highlights at SeaWorld

start with the Shamu show experience and extend to so many opportunities – Journey to Atlantis ride, the penguin encounter, the Shamu Express ride and I could go on and on. A big bonus for thrill seekers at San Antonio’s SeaWorld is the recent addition of the Aquatica water park. With more than 42,000 square feet of beach, plus rivers, slides, lagoons and rides set in a gorgeous backdrop in the hills of San Antonio, Aquatica is a beautiful enhancement to the SeaWorld experience. Island Nights, a series of evening soirees set with live tropical music and Polynesian style dancing, adds some-

thing fun that a grown-ups only group would love. Aquatica closes the 2013 season in late September, so check the web site for details. Mom Sarah Hubbell considers SeaWorld a year-round option for her family. “Our family loves spending time at SeaWorld and Aquatica. My boys love the thrill rides, but I think it's the spectacular shows and the animals that set SeaWorld apart as a unique and superior family destination. The addition of the beautiful water park, Aquatica, has made SeaWorld a great weekend getaway. We even love going over the winter holidays.”

Mike and Alex Hubbell tubing on Loggerhead Lane in Aquatica. fort bend

magazine • September 2013


Want to do SeaWorld and Aquatica in a day? It's completely doable to enjoy a great experience at both SeaWorld and Aquatica in only one day. All it takes is a little planning. Below are some tips and a sample itinerary, courtesy of our friends at SeaWorld.

Helpful Tips: • Visit the park web site; it's full of helpful and useful information: www. You can plan your visit, including buying tickets, in advance. • Check out the park hours and show schedules in advance online, and build your day around the set times. • Print out a copy of the park map, and mark your "targets" in order. Make sure to include show times! • Consider the All Day Dine to plan a budget for the day, and make dining simple. Definitely consider the Quick Queue card, which lets you jump to the front of the line and save lots of time. • Make sure to bring towels and also waterproof storage for important things such as phones, cameras and wallets while in Aquatica. You can also use Discovery Dollars instead of carrying your wallet. Just pre-load an amount, and then anyone in the family has the payment they need in a waterproof bracelet! • Book in advance any special animal interactions you plan to do.

The Shamu® Rocks! show at SeaWorld.

tend to show off. It's a fun and a great way to start the day. Not too far from the dolphins is the Shark Coral Reef Exhibit. Or, consider the Animal Connections and Conservation Center. Then, stop by the Penguin Exhibit and see the new penguin chicks. 4) Grab lunch and rehydrate, then on to Aquatica! 5) By now it's good and warm, and you are ready for some cool fun. Head over to the side-by-side locker rooms for a quick change, and rent a locker to store your stuff. 6) The stingray interaction is a great way to start your time in Aquatica. Walk with these graceful creatures,

One Day Itinerary:

1) Start with a best of SeaWorld in the morning. The newest show is Pets Ahoy!, and it features the talents of a menagerie of rescued dogs, cats, birds, rats, pot-belly pigs and other animals performing a series of uproarious and amazing skits. 2) Hit your top rides. Rio Loco is a fun one for the entire family to do together, good for a span of ages, and the Steel Eel is very popular with thrill seekers! For little ones, there's the Bay of Play and gentler rides such as Shamu and Abby Cadabby’s Rocking Wave. 3) Don’t miss the animal exhibits! Feeding the dolphins is a great first activity. The dolphins are very happy to see everyone in the morning, and

Shamu and Cinco Ranch mom Christine Pinkley with daughters Shelby and Rachel at SeaWorld this summer. www.fortbend

.com • September 2013


and learn all about them.

7) Head to the wave pool, then enjoy some of the water slides, such as Stingray Falls and Tassie's Twisters. Most rides are kid friendly and ones that family members can enjoy together. Slippity Dippity and its slides Zippity Zappity are very popular among the young crowd. 8) In case this makes you hungry and thirsty, look for the Mango Market and take a break. 9) At the end of your day, leave a little time for a slow exit to say hello to the animals on the walkways of Aquatica. What are you waiting for? Hit the road, and say hello to Shamu for me!

FOCUS ON HEALTH By Dr. Peter Osborne


any people today are going on gluten free diets. You can find extensive gluten free sections in Kroger, H-E-B and Whole Foods. Gluten has been in the national spot light receiving recognition on Discovery Health, CNN’s Larry King, Oprah, David Letterman, The View, Good Housekeeping Magazine and more. There is even a “dummies book” available for those with gluten sensitivity.1 So What is Gluten? Gluten is a protein found in the following grains: wheat, barley, rye and oats. It is also found in processed foods derived from wheat, barley, rye and oats. Breads, cereals and pastas are rich in gluten. Other foods and/or food additives can be derived from gluten containing grains. Examples include soy sauce, gravies, soups, whiskey and modified food starch. Traditional medical thought is that the protein gluten interacts with some people’s immune systems causing an autoimmune reaction which damages the intestine. However, newer research is identifying that the protein gluten is only part of the problem. Some scientists argue that many grains, including corn, can create similar reactions. So What is Gluten Sensitivity? It depends on who you ask. Many people use the term gluten sensitivity interchangeably with celiac disease, an autoimmune intestinal disorder. Some call gluten sensitivity a food allergy or intolerance. Both are correct to some degree. Gluten sensitivity causes celiac disease, but not all people with gluten sensitivity develop celiac disease. This is where the problem in traditional diagnosis can

Is a Hidden Food Allergy Causing Your Illness? occur. The only way to confirm whether or not a person has celiac disease is to perform an intestinal biopsy. If the results reveal villous atrophy (flattening of the intestinal folds) then celiac disease is diagnosed. If the results are negative, then both celiac disease and gluten sensitivity may be dismissed. Newer research is finding that gluten sensitivity can exist independently without causing celiac disease. There are more than 180 different disease conditions, syndromes and symptoms that have been linked to gluten sensitivity in the medical literature.2,3 Some common conditions include thyroid disorders, seizure disorders, vertigo, osteoporosis, irritable bowel syndrome and PCOS. There have been two proposed names in the medical literature for this classification of gluten sensitivity. 1. NonCeliac Gluten Intolerance4 and 2. Gluten Syndrome.5 Diagnosing Gluten Sensitivity and Celiac Disease The proper tools must be used to accurately diagnose gluten sensitivity. Relying solely on a biopsy can delay a diagnosis for several years. I have personally seen cases of celiac disease where up to eight biopsies were performed before a diagnosis was made. Blood antibody tests provide a better degree of accuracy but still have a great degree of false negatives. Genetic testing offers the greatest degree of accuracy, and when combined with a patient’s history and examination, a diagnosis can be made early and accurately. However, the greatest tool is patient improvement. If a person starts to feel better on a gluten free diet, it doesn’t matter what blood tests or biopsies reveal.

The proverbial proof is in the pudding. Once Again, Common Sense Applies Several years ago, many Americans played an unknowing role in the social experiment known as the Atkin’s diet. This diet, largely devoid of grain, provided many with better health through weight loss and reduction of many generalized symptoms of poor health. However, there were also those whose health did poorly on the Atkin’s diet. People are different and unique. Renowned Nobel Prize winning scientist, Roger Williams, wrote a book called Biochemical Individuality examining these individual differences. Bottom line: one diet is not right for everyone. Because going on a gluten free diet takes a great deal of education and commitment, it is recommended that proper testing be performed to identify whether the diet is right for you. Remember, going gluten free is not a trendy diet; it is a permanent lifestyle that should be taken very seriously as even small amounts of gluten exposure can cause problems. This month, I will leave you with a final thought on gluten and grains. When farmers want their cows and pigs to gain weight before going to market, they feed them more grain. In the past 100 years, grain consumption has dramatically increased, paralleling a rise in the incidence of heart disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer. Despite the above facts, many doctors and dieticians continue to blindly prescribe “heart healthy” diets high in grain. References: 1. Korn, Danna. Living Gluten-Free for Dummies. Wiley Publishing 2006. 2. Libonati, Cleo J. Recognizing Celiac Disease. GFW Publishing Jan 2007. 3. 4. 5. Ford, Rodney. The Gluten Syndrome. RRS Global Ltd publishing. Sept 2007.


You have one of the country’s most advanced alternative medicine clinics right here in Sugar Land n Dr. Osborne

• Is a Diplomate and the Executive Secretary of the American Clinical Board of Nutrition • Is the only Board Certified Nutritionist in Sugar Land • Is a member of the ACA Council on Nutrition • Has held teaching appointments at Texas Women’s University and HCC’s nursing program • Lectures nationally to other physicians on the topic: drug induced nutritional deficiencies

n Town Center Wellness:

Dr. Peter Osborne

• Offers genetic testing to match your lifestyle and diet to your genes • Offers complete laboratory nutritional analysis to identify vitamin and mineral deficiencies • Offers traditional and specialty lab services to assist in patient diagnosis • Offers state of the art Spinal Decompression therapy to prevent back surgery • Offers genetic and laboratory testing to identify gluten sensitivity • Offers chiropractic care

4724 Sweetwater Blvd. Suite 102, Sugar Land, TX 77479 281-240-2229 • Advertorial

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magazine • September 2013


Another wAy we’re leAding medicine: introducing dr. tArriK ZAid Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital is pleased to welcome Dr. Tarrik Zaid to Houston Methodist Gynecologic Oncology Associates. Dr. Zaid has extensive training and experience in gynecologic cancer, including the completion of a fellowship in gynecologic oncology. Dr. Zaid joins the experts at Houston Methodist Gynecologic Oncology Associates in providing compassionate, individualized care for the treatment of uterine, ovarian, cervical and other female reproductive system cancers. This team of leading physicians is supported by the state-of-the-art technology and caring, knowledgeable staff at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital. Call 281.275.0880 today to sChedule an appointment.

Medical Office Building Three 16605 Southwest Freeway, Suite 450 Sugar Land, Texas 77479 281. 275 . 0880

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OakBend Medical Center is proud to honor five outstanding women whose lasting contributions to the Richmond/ Rosenberg communities have made them legends in Fort Bend County. Join OakBend in honoring Billie Wendt, Carolyn Banfield, Carole Brown, Donna Kay Tucker and Ann Council at OakBend Medical Center’s “Patchwork of Life ... Putting the Pieces Together” event on Thursday, October 17th from 6:30 to 9:30 pm at Safari Texas Ranch. All proceeds from the event will benefit OakBend Medical Center’s new Acute Care for the Elderly (ACE) Unit, the first of its kind in Fort Bend County. The ACE Unit will be dedicated to the serving only geriatric patients, utilizing the most recent research on geriatric care to design the unit and manage its operations to prevent the loss of physical and mental abilities in the elderly when hospitalized. “OakBend’s 4th floor Jackson Street ACE unit will showcase a home-like setting with uncluttered hallways and rooms and a peaceful quiet zone for patients and visitors,” said Joe Freudenberger, OakBend Medical Center CEO. “Few things are more meaningful and important than investing time and resources in supporting the area in which we live,” said Pat Hebert, event chair. “These women are outstanding role models who share passion, vision, integrity and heart, while continuing to uplift our communities.” OakBend Medical Center’s “Patchwork of Life . . . Putting the Pieces Together” will include a dinner and live auction. Tickets to the event are $150 and sponsorship opportunities range from $1,500 to $10,000. For tickets and sponsorship information, call Katie Thompson at 281-341-3023 or e-mail

Join the

Generous, Enthusiastic Men Serving

Carl Favre

Joe M. Gurecky

S. Scott West


Thursday, October Twenty Four, Two Thousand and Thirteen 6:30 - 10 pm Benefiting Imperial Center for the Arts 823 Third Street Rosenberg, Texas

Special Thanks to Our Official GEMS Contributors

Safari Texas Ranch Imperial Center for the Arts Hardee Investment Group Nesossi Studios Pamela Printing Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital Tickets & Sponsorship Opportunities


S E E N on the Scene

Fort Bend County Fair Style Show and Reception

Teresa Reading, Diana Collins, Sharlene Jacobson & Lauren Richard

Louise Blair, Joanne Crouch & Elizabeth Duff Drozd

Shannon Ferguson & Azalia Sadiq

Loren Carver & Dawn Hopkins

Margaret Kunz & Sandy Campos

Ana Jalomo, Annie Elliott & Lyn Wicke

fort bend

magazine • September 2013

Geraldine Whitt & Deanna Clapsaddle

Mandy Barbour & Megan Blair


Honoring the Fort Bend County Fair’s 77th Anniversary • August 16, 2013 • Safari Texas Ranch

Kelly Klein, Amy Miller & Noell Myska

Jennifer & Charlene Rogers

Judy Bowe & Nancy Schultz

Carl Drozd & Susan Sillavan

Jennifer, Deb & Jessica Ellefson


Pat Scholes & Vickie Autrey

Lisa Reese & Brenda Duran

Jamey Crane & Kurt Freeman

Lauren & David Zietz

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Give the gift of beauty! Gift Certificates are available in any denomination. We specially package our AVEDA products to provide you with a hassle-free gift solution.

.com • September 2013



Imagine ... Straight teeth — No braces!

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We’ll match your down payment up to $500 Free Zoom Take Home Whitening with Invisalign treatment Free initial consultation

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Christmas Home Tour

December 13 + 14, 2013 Sponsorships from $100 to $15,000 now available. To become a sponsor, volunteer or for more information go to or contact Lisa Moore at 281-344-5108.

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Sugar Land’s Ignacio and Nydia Flores toast to the success of IZKALI Tequila, the new brand of tequila they created and introduced in 2011.

Sugar Land residents Ignacio and Nydia Flores have announced that Republic National Distributing Company (RNDC), the second largest beverage alcohol distributor of premium wine and spirits in the United States, will be distributing their IZKALI® Tequila in three expressions in Houston, and in a rolling launch, throughout Texas over the next 12 months. IZKALI® Tequila is handcrafted at a Jalisco distillery of 100% blue agave, according to a formula created by Ignacio Flores, a highly talented and experienced food and beverage technologist. Ignacio and Nydia Flores are originally from Mexico but have lived in Sugar Land for over 20 years. They developed the concept together of a fine tequila based on tradition but made for the modern consumer. The word “izkali” means “to be born” in the Nahuatl or Aztec language. IZKALI® is available in three expressions, according to the degree of aging of the beverage—silver, reposado and añejo. IZKALI® Añejo Tequila was awarded the Chairman’s Trophy or Grand Prize this year in the Tequila Añejo competition at the Ultimate Spirits Challenge in New York City. In the same competition, IZKALI® Reposado Tequila won a Finalist award and IZKALI® Silver Tequila won a Strong Recommendation. “Nydia and I wanted to create a fine tequila that expressed our experience growing up in Mexico, where tequila was paired with food for celebrations,” explained Ignacio Flores, whose offices are in Stafford. “We wanted to open consumers’ eyes and show them that tequila is for much more than just a margarita. It has been exciting to see our dream come to life and to merge the traditions of Mexico with the lifestyle of the modern consumer. We have created home tastings, similar to a wine dinner, to showcase how our tequila can enhance the flavors in food. We are excited about our partnership with RNDC. They are a great fit for our brand and, as IZKALI® is gaining popularity throughout the city of Houston, it is the right time to expand to the rest of the state.”

magazine • September 2013


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At First Victoria, keeping pace with your personal and professional banking needs is what we’re all about. That’s why we offer a unique and different brand of banking. 1

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Katy - Spring Green t 9610 Spring Green Blvd. .com • September 2013



All Aboard! The Circus Comes to Town

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The Rosenberg Railroad Museum Presents The Circus Comes to Town committee members Doris Gurecky, Sharon Wallingford, Marcia Vogelsang and Lupe Uresti are on the front porch of Rosenberg’s Ebell House where a private dinner for 12 is being auctioned off at the newly restored home at the Saturday, October 12th event.

It’s full steam ahead for the Rosenberg Railroad Museum’s committee presenting The Circus Comes to Town on October 12th at Safari Texas Ranch as they prepare for the annual fundraising event. A tribute to circuses that have traveled the rails to bring fun, family entertainment to towns across the nation since the mid-1800s, this year’s event features circusthemed, live entertainment and amazing live and silent auctions with something for everyone. What’s on board for the live auction? How about a Vintner’s Dinner for 16 at Rosenberg’s hottest wine bar B R Vino? Or, perhaps a more intimate dinner in a historical setting? Enjoy dinner for 12 at the newly restored Ebell House in Rosenberg. The Ebell House was built in 1902 with bricks from Rosenberg’s Carter Brick Factory, and this will be the first time an event has been offered for auction in the historic home since it’s restoration by Joe and Doris Gurecky. If traveling is more your style, there’s a South Padre Island adventure with four days and three nights in a 15th floor condo with views of the Gulf of Mexico and Laguna Madre Bay. Also offered is a weekend fishing getaway in Matagorda Bay with accommodations at the Paisley House and a fully guided fishing trip. For the ladies, there’s a chauffeured trip for 6 to antiquing in Warrenton and Round Top during Texas’ Antique Weekend’s spring market, plus much, much more! Proceeds from this year’s event will support program operations and general operating needs for the Museum to assist in preserving the rich heritage of the railroad industry and its contribution to the history of Fort Bend County. Sponsorships are available for the event, and they range from $1,000 to $5,000. All sponsorship opportunities – from The Ring Master to the Trapeze Artist – include tickets to the event, recognition in the program and invitations and on-site recognition at the event. Hop aboard this year as The Circus Comes to Town! Tickets to the event are $75 per person, and they, along with sponsorships, are available by contacting the Doris Gurecky at 281.342.5926 or For more information, visit

magazine • September 2013


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magazine • September 2013


J. Georges Youssef, M.D. Opens New Sugar Land Office Board certified Pulmonologist and Sleep Medicine physician Dr. J. Georges Youssef welcomes patients to his new office on Highway 6 in Sugar Land. Dr. Youssef completed Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine from The Stony Brook University Hospital in New York and Pulmonary Transplant Fellowship at The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pennsylvania. He relocated in the Houston- Sugar Land area after 10 years of private practice in Arizona. Dr. Youssef has admitting privileges at Memorial Hermann, The Methodist Hospital, St. Luke’s Hospital and Kindred Hospital. He has strong roots in the community and is looking forward to serving Fort Bend’s Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine needs. Specific services provided by Dr. Youssef include: evaluation and treatment for lung diseases such as Dyspnea, COPD/Emphysema, Asthma, Pulmonary Hypertension, Pulmonary Fibrosis, Sleep Apnea, Insomnia, Fatigue and other sleep disorders, Chronic Cough and Pleural effusion; pre-operative evaluation, including lung-volume reduction surgery, Lung Transplantation and Gastric Bypass; Disability and Occupational health evaluations; minimally invasive procedures including Ultrasound Guided Bronchoscopy and Electromagnetic Navigation Bronchoscopy; Bronchial Thermoplasty for Asthma; and sleep evaluation including home and lab sleep studies. In addition to standard tests of pulmonary function and spirometry, Dr. Youssef offers Cardio-Pulmonary Exercise and Pulmonary Stress testing. Lab services including chest x-rays, ct’s and nocturnal pulse oximetry are also available. Dr. Youssef accepts most insurances and same day appointments are available. Call 713-781-4600 or visit 1429 Highway 6 South.

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FBJSL and Sponsors to Create a Wild Holiday Market Are you wild about the holidays? Are you wild about shopping? Are you wild about helping your community? If so, then support the Fort Bend Junior Service League (FBJSL) and Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital (HMSLH) as they plan the 13th annual Sugar Plum Market with the theme, “Wild About Sugar Plum.” The event will again be held at the Stafford Centre Performing Arts Theatre and Convention Center Friday, November 8th and Saturday, November 9th, plus a special Preview Night the evening of Thursday, November 7th. Last year’s Market raised a record $203,300 which was given to 14 local Fort Bend County charities. The Sugar Plum Market committee appreciates the community’s role in its success and welcomes the continued support for the 2013 Market. “Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine is proud to once again support the Sugar Plum Market. The FBJSL has created an event that year after year has become more successful in their fundraising efforts because of the tireless efforts of their members. They, like us, are committed to the community we live and work in,” said Carl A. Hicks, M.D., Orthopedic Surgeon with Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine. Sponsorship and underwriting opportunities for the Market are available ranging from $250 to $5,000 with a variety of benefits suited to both individuals and businesses such as event signage, website and program recognition plus Preview Night tickets with early sponsor entry. In addition to the Sugar Plum Market’s title sponsor, Houston Methodist Sugar

Land Hospital, top sponsors to date include City of Stafford, Pamela Printing, absolutely! focus media, Next Level Urgent Care, Trustmark Bank and Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine. General Admission tickets, $10, and Preview Night tickets, $60, will be available for purchase beginning September 1st. For more information on tickets, sponsor opportunities and vendor applications, visit or call 281-636-6272.

Travis Van Horn, Trustmark Bank; Leena Taneja, Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital; Rebecca Hathorn, Stafford Centre; Ann Smith, Pamela Printing; Haley Millis, Sugar Plum Market; Patti Parish-Kaminski, absolutely! focus media; Laura Thompson, FBJSL; Rafik Sandford, Next Level Urgent Care; Kaelyn Bujnoch, Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital; Tom Gee, Next Level Urgent Care; Cindy Dempster, FBJSL; Jamie Hill, Pamela Printing; and Stephanie Van Horn, Sugar Plum Market.

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magazine • September 2013


Is Cosmetic Surgery Right for You?


osmetic surgery is an anxiety-provoking for most people. There are many reasons, but they primarily include the feeling that such procedures are unnecessary, what to expect of the outcome and whether the right surgeon is performing the procedure. Dr. Malik Kutty of Luxe Plastic Surgery believes that it is extremely common to talk to a client who, with a sheepish grin, says something like, “I can’t believe I’m here. I’ve never spoken to anybody about this before.” While that feeling is common, it’s important to look beyond that and realize that this thinking only proves how important the patient’s concerns are to them. Having friends or a spouse say how good someone already looks is nice, but they can’t know what it’s like to live with an appearance you don’t like. It can take a great deal of courage to overcome what feels like embarrassment, either from the physical problem or the anxiety about seeking advice from a qualified surgeon. Once you’ve finally overcome the hurdle of getting into the surgeon’s office, the next concern is about how your appearance will be after surgery. For clients who are anxious to begin with, it’s even harder to contemplate the possibility of a poor result. A bad result makes the problem even worse in terms of appearance, and could even elicit comments such as, “Why would you do that?” As far as the surgeon performing the operation, look carefully into his or her background. Education and training are critical. Experience counts; the longer a surgeon has been in practice, the more concerns he or she can handle. Most importantly, be sure to speak in detail with your doctor, so all of your concerns can be addressed. If you’re not comfortable with the surgeon you’ve seen, find another one. You should feel complete confidence and comfort with your plastic surgeon. Dr. Malik Kutty is a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon and a member in good

standing with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. He has extensive experience with a variety of procedures, from simple office procedures to very complex operations. Visit Dr. Kutty at Luxe Plastic Surgery located at 4660 Sweetwater Blvd, Suite 150 in Sugar Land or call 281-313-0551.

Dr. Malik Kutty


.com • September 2013



On June 27th, Fort Bend Community Partners Rainbow Room hosted the 12th Annual Flo Berkman Award Luncheon at Sweetwater Country Club. The ceremony recognized businesses, families and individuals who provide donations to assist in the fight against abuse and neglect of children and adults in Fort Bend County.


OF THE BEND Nell Ciancareli, Jo Ann Engleton, Ann Smith, Rosenberg Mayor Vincent M. Morales, Jr. and Betty Baitland.

Sharon Gorman, President of Tri-City Women’s Club, received a scrapbook from Marcia Hollingshead at their monthly luncheon, which was held at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

The Fort Bend Boys Tour Choir visited Washington State for their summer tour in June. In addition to performing at various churches, cathedrals and the State Capitol, they had plenty of fun visiting wildlife and marine refuges, hiking and ended their tour in Seattle, where they visited Pike Place and the famous Space Needle.

Having a good time on the trip were Braulio Martinez, Luke Thurman, Tristan Lindsey, Emmanuel Arredondo and Kent Mohr.

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Tour Choir members Emmanuel Arredondo, PJ Chambers, Nathan Chao, Reid Curnan, Alex Dewey, Brandon Do, Ethan Dravis, Lee Drones III, Reuven Ducay, John Garrido, Caeden Holly, Ethan Huson, Liangston Jamesou, Javier Janer, Charlie Kacal, Christian Keller, Tristan Lindsey, Justin Ma, Braulio Martinez, Shaurya Mathur, Donnie Miller, Kent Mohr, Flynn Moore, Maksim Moore, Chap Obregon, Bradley Pang, Kalyan Rath, Arturo Rodriguez III, Raj Rupani, Michael Stassi, Tyler Sutton, Cameron Thompson, Joshua and Luke Thurman, Joshua Tia, Timothy Yen, Jonathan Yuan and Carlos Zambrano at Deception Pass in Washington.

magazine • September 2013


The Fort Bend Junior Service League held its annual membership coffee at the home of Judy Maddison on July 30th. Prospective members learned about the service opportunities available to Sustainers and about the Fort Bend Junior Service League and its mission.

Linda Page and Pat Hamre.

Barbara Brescian and Debbie Gamble

Adrienne Barker and Cindy Dempster.

Lynn Halford, Judy Maddison and Laura Leatherwood.

Brenda Bowman and Patsy Jones.

Candy Novak and Neil Oatman.

MD Anderson recently hosted a Breast Friends Support Group and Educational Program for an evening of fun, education and relaxation. The night featured a presentation on Occupational Therapy Intervention for Cancer-Related Fatigue by Felicia Meax, and Sasha Klein, owner of Cure & Co., shared her expertise, products and resources.

Shirley Joseph, Laurie Hughes and Leesa Oliver.

Myriam Chavez, Felicia Meaux and Ivy Tan.

Irma Klink, Sasha Klein and Patricia Ortiz.

Ilma Lopes and Mary Guerrero.

Kathy Moller, Rosemary Herron and Lori Lord.


.com • September 2013



Sweetwater Women’s Association hosted “Fashion Goddess,” their 29th Annual Mother/Daughter Fashion Show and Luncheon in August at the club. Members strutted their stuff on the runway showcasing the latest in country club and fall fashions.


Submit newsworthy items

Photos by Lisa Mouton - Lisa Renee Photography


Cathy Ebeck hit the runway in attire from the Sweetwater Country Club Pro Shop.

In July, Revolution Studio and Grace Jin teamed up to host a charity ride raising over $2,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The event included a 50-minute ride led by Kim Syma, food, drinks, raffle prizes and specially designed merchandise.

Julie and Jenna Wettstein showcased fashions from The Wardrobe.

The first Friday of every month, Revolution Studio invites family and friends for a festive happy hour in the studio. In August, the event was sponsored by Sugar Land’s Optimum Design Solutions’ owners Matt and Heather McCorkell. The evening was filled with food, margaritas and even a little limbo.

Grace and Tim Jin with Alonzo and Ida Ford.

Kim Syma, Grace Jin, Ashlee Garrett, Michelle Mendiola, Gennie Canlas, Taryn Espinosa and Vanessa Valle.

Mackenzie Kearns and Morgan Smith.

Donald Mackay, Michael Gartland, Russell Moores and Kay Gartland. Jennifer Cox with Mitch and Kim Syma.

fort bend

magazine • September 2013


The Walden School You have high expectations... and so do we. Now Accepting Registration for Fall

Infants through Pre-Kindergarten Private Kindergarten, First and Second Grade Transportation available for after school program K-5 16103-A Lexington Blvd. (behind First Colony Mall) • 6:15am - 6:45pm

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.com • September 2013


• Music Lessons • Ballet – Tap • Gymnastics • Soccer • T-Ball


Texian Market Days Celebrates 30th Year

The Tanners, a favorite attraction at Texian Market Days, will be performing for the 30th year in a row this October.




Sponsored in part by absolutely! Focus Media

Watch for invitations coming soon!

CENTER FOR THE ARTS 823 3rd Street, Rosenberg 77471 at the corner of 3rd and Avenue G, just one block off Highway 90A 281.277.7444 fort bend

On Saturday, October 27th, Texian Market Days returns to the George Ranch Historical Park for its 30th year in a row. This celebration of Texas heritage has something for everyone with an assortment of food and craft vendors, battle re-enactments, live music and hands-on activities that both children and adults will enjoy. The George Ranch Historical Park is located in Richmond, Texas at 10215 FM 726. Texian Market Days will offer a school-specific program on Friday, October 26th, geared toward field trip groups. “We typically get a great crowd of school groups on Friday when the field trips come in,� said Susan Rezeppa, Educational Coordinator for George Ranch Historical Park. “The children really enjoy all the hands-on activities offered at each historic site, and they always leave the Park with big grins on their faces after traveling through over 100 years of Texas history. Many of them enjoy it so much that they bring their parents back on Saturday to see all the re-enactments.� Be ready for cannon fire, the smell of black powder and clouds of gun smoke hanging in the air when Texian Market Days welcomes the general public to various battle reenactments on Saturday, October 26th. The 1830s Jones Stock Farm will be turned into a campground for Mexican Soldados and Texian Soldiers as they re-live the battle of Thompson’s Ferry. Across the field, Union and Confederate soldiers will have skirmishes in the Civil War era at the 1860s Ryon Prairie Home. The 1890s Davis Victorian Mansion will feature The Tanners’ stage show, one of the elite few attractions that has attended the festival and received rave reviews since the every beginning 30 years ago. In addition, the cowboys will be offering a variety of handson activities at the 1930s George Cattle Complex, where guests can also see Miss Mamie’s 1919 Model T. Tickets for the 30th annual Texian Market Days are just $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 5-15, and children under 4 years old are free. For more information, visit www. or call at 281-343-0218.

magazine • September 2013



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Grapes on the Brazos Sept. 27 to Oct. 6, 2013


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.com • September 2013


FILM REVIEW By Nick Nicholson


teve Jobs (Ashton Kutcher) and his brilliant life are the subject of the film Jobs. As the founder of Apple Computers, Steve Jobs is arguably the most brilliant innovator and inventor of the past century. Focusing on his early partnership with Steve Wozniak (Josh Gad), the film provides a fairly accurate representation of the origins of Apple Computers and matriculates through the jaw dropping altercations with Apple CEO John Sculley (Matthew Modine). The film changes gears with Jobs’ ousting from Apple in the 1980s and continues through his return to the company he founded and the introduction to the world of the iPod innovation.

Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs.

Typically, one should never compare a literary work to the film it represents; however, when you consider the picture and book are the subject of Steve Jobs and his life and career, it is rather difficult to not make the comparison. Having read the book myself, I came away from the film with the thought the film took very few liberties with changing the story of Jobs’ life. However, there were rather large sections of the book that were either glossed over or completely ignored altogether. It was rather upsetting that Jobs’ daughter, Lisa, was one of those subjects, as she was indeed extremely important in his life after his re-

turn to Apple. It is also absolutely mindboggling that there were no discussions included in the film between Jobs and Wozniak about the initial Apple Operating System. After viewing the film, it is clear this film was necessary, yet it should have been much better. The film is quite irritating, as much of the time everything you see and hear is being force-fed to the audience. It’s almost as though the filmmakers expect those in attendance to

have no idea who Jobs was or what he did. In addition, the picture is very frenetic and has the feeling of being rushed. The portrayal of Jobs by Ashton Kutcher was clearly one of the weak links. Kutcher may have done an admirable job; however, there were countless choices out there that would have been better for the role. Seeing Kutcher and his performance was extremely distracting, as I kept having my mind wander into the thought that this was a rather lengthy episode of Punk’d. I kept waiting for the punch line that never came. All that being said, the film is entertaining and doesn’t make you feel like you are wasting your time. Most of the critical events in Jobs’ life are provided within the film, but there is simply nothing served up for you with any spice. Unlike the real Steve Jobs, this film is really pretty bland.

Dermot Mulroney as Mike Markkula.

Jobs Starring: Ashton Kutcher and Josh Gad Director: Joshua Michael Stern Company: Open Road Films Now Showing: In Local Area Theatres MPAA Rating: PG-13 Grade: B-

Josh Gad as Steve Wozniak and Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs.

All photos courtesy of Open Road Films

Nick Nicholson is the Film and Entertainment Critic for CNN Radio, the Fort Bend Star and absolutely! focus media. In addition, his reviews can be seen and heard in numerous other print/media outlets in Texas and Oklahoma. Mr. Nicholson is in great demand as a speaker to both public and civic organizations on the subject of film and the entertainment industry. He is the co-founder of the Houston Film Critics Society and is currently the President of the organization.

fort bend

magazine • September 2013



catwalk on city walk 4th Annual Fashion Show Sugar Land Marriott Town Square Ballroom

Thursday, September 12 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm ADVANCE ONLINE TICKET SALES ONLY AT VIP Experience Sponsored by Houston Methodist Department of Pathology and Genomic Medicine GENERAL ADMISSION: $30 • VIP ADMISSION: $55 Benefiting Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s Pretty in Pink Cancer Fund www.fortbend

Located at U.S. 59 & Hwy 6 .com • September 2013



Alexander – Janik Wedding

iss Monica Lee Alexander and Mr. Jourdan Ryne Janik were united in marriage on July 7, 2012 at St. Laurence Catholic Church in Sugar Land, Texas. The marriage was celebrated by Father Thomas Hopper. Following the ceremony, the bride’s parents hosted guests at a reception at The Gallery in Houston. On the eve of the wedding, the groom’s parents hosted the rehearsal dinner at Gringo’s Mexican Restaurant in Stafford, Texas. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Steve and Diana Alexander of Sugar Land. She is the granddaughter of Robert and Rita Alexander, Peggy Stroud Bonatus and Robert and Hildred Hathway. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Dale and Cammy Janik of Sugar Land. He is the grandson of Leeroy and Bernice Janik and B.L. and Adeline Schindler. Given in marriage by her parents, the bride wore a gown designed by Watters from Mia Bridal Couture. To compliment her gown, Monica wore a veil also by Watters. The bride carried a beautiful bouquet from A Touch of God. Michelle Alexander served as her sister’s Maid of Honor. Serving as bridesmaids were Melanie-Jane Bell, Katherine Hamre, Kristin Alexander, Tracy Dishongh and Becca Alexander. The bridal party wore Monique Lhuillier navy blue tea length dresses. Deb Kleinen and Kristine Rose served as the House Party.


Catwalk on City Walk Returns to Sugar Land Town Square

Serving as Best Man was the groom’s brother, Courtlan Janik. The groomsmen included Sean Seymour, Brad Janik, Carlos Lopez-Roman, Sean Malone and Kyle Papso. Greg Hamre, Ben Janik and Brent Mica were ushers. Monica graduated in 2005 from Clements High School in Sugar Land. She earned her bachelor of Kinesiology from Texas A&M University in 2009. She then earned her Masters Degree from the University of Texas, Medical Branch. She is currently a Physicians Assistant at MD Anderson in Houston. Jourdan graduated from Strake Jesuit College Preparatory in Houston in 2004 and earned his Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from Texas A&M University in 2008. He currently works as a Land Negotiator for BP. The couple honeymooned in Costa Rica and now resides in Richmond, Texas.

Photos by Taylor Lord fort bend

magazine • September 2013


Back by popular demand, Sugar Land Town Square will host its 4th Annual Catwalk on City Walk charity fashion show on Thursday, September 12th from 7 to 9 pm. Models will rock the runway to the beats of a live DJ, sporting clothing and accessories from participating Town Square retailers. The show will take place in the first floor ballroom of the Sugar Land Marriott Town Square. Guests are encouraged to make it a girls’ night out and help raise money for Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s Pretty in Pink Cancer Fund. The evening begins with a reception from 7 to 8 pm, where guests are welcome to mix, mingle and enjoy a variety of light hors d’oeuvres and drinks. The fashion show will begin after the reception from 8 to 8:45 pm. Following the show, guests are invited to attend a champagne and cupcake toast sponsored by The Sweet Boutique. Tickets are available for advance purchase at www.SugarLandTownSquare. com. “Haute Couture” VIP tickets cost $55 and include access to the VIP lounge with free food, two drink tickets, a swag bag and special VIP seating during the show. The VIP Experience is presented by Houston Methodist Department of Pathology & Genomic Medicine. “Ready to Wear” tickets are available for $30 and include general seating and admission to a pre-show reception with a cash bar. As part of Sugar Land Town Square’s 10th birthday celebration, guests who sign up for Town Square’s weekly enewsletter at the show will be entered to win a $2,500 grand prize shopping spree and weekend stay at the Sugar Land Marriott Town Square.



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New this year, Sugar Land Town Square held an open casting call to give aspiring models the opportunity to walk in the show. Two lucky models will accompany the professionals on the runway, sporting the latest trends from participating Town Square retailers. Radio personality Michele Fisher returns to the catwalk as the event’s emcee. The fun continues on Fashion Friday! Shoppers are encouraged to save receipts from purchases made at participating Sugar Land Town Square fashion retailers on Friday, September 13th. All receipts will be collected, and one lucky shopper will win airfare for two to New York City and accommodations for two nights. Original receipts from the day’s shopping trip should be sent to the Sugar Land Town Square Management Offices with attention to “Fashion Friday” on the envelope. The Management Offices are located at 15958 City Walk, Suite 250, Sugar Land, Texas, 77479. Receipts must be received by September 22nd. Proceeds from Catwalk on City Walk will benefit Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s Pretty in Pink Cancer Fund. All of the funds raised at the event stay in the Fort Bend community to assist patients with the personal costs associated with cancer treatment. To purchase tickets to the show, visit


2012 celebrity model Jacqueline Baly.








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Alexander - Papso Wedding


Fair Frenzy is Here: It’s Time for the Fort Bend County Fair


iss Michelle Kathleen Alexander and Mr. Kyle Joseph Papso were united in marriage on April 5, 2013 at a lovely outdoor ceremony at Amber Springs in Montgomery, Texas. The marriage was celebrated by family friend Doug Tigtig. Following the ceremony, the bride’s parents hosted guests at a reception held in Stonebrook Hall at Amber Springs. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Steve and Diana Alexander of Sugar Land, Texas. She is the granddaughter of Robert and Rita Alexander, Peggy Stroud Bonatus and Robert and Hildred Hathway. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Papso of Sugar Land, Texas. He is the grandson of Joseph and Shirley Walker, Anthony and Sophia Papso. Given in marriage by her parents, the bride wore a gown and veil designed by Vera Wang. The bride carried a beautiful bouquet from A Touch of God. Monica Alexander Janik served as her sister’s Matron of Honor. Serving as bridesmaids were Kacie Rae Ramos, Kristin Alexander, Lisa Jett, Amanda Maples, Taylor Comstock, Rebecca Alexander, Katherine Hamre, Caitlin Papso and Cassidy Papso. The bridal party wore dresses designed by Bill Levkoff. Dana DiVito served as the House Party. Serving as Best Man was Patrick Henning. The groomsmen included Jake Thompson, Scott Renkes, Dylan

Thorwaldson, Wes Romanowski, Jourdan Janik, Reid Curry, Blaine Coutant, John Oliver and Kevin Adams. Greg Hamre, Porter Nelson and Phillip Sidles were ushers. Both Kyle and Michelle graduated in 2008 from Clements High School in Sugar Land, Texas. Michelle earned her Bachelor of Business Administration in Energy Management from the University of Oklahoma in 2012. She is currently an Associate Landman at ConocoPhillips. Kyle earned his bachelor of Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University in 2012. He currently works with BP as a Drilling Engineer. The couple honeymooned on the beautiful island of St. Lucia and now resides in Richmond, Texas.

Photos by Christine Meeker Photography

fort bend

magazine • September 2013


A ferris wheel, show animals and rodeo action are just a few things fairgoers will see at the Fort Bend County Fair (FBCF). The 77th annual county fair is being held at the Fort Bend County Fairgrounds from September 27th to October 6th featuring daily attractions including a petting zoo, livestock judging shows, food vendors, shopping and a carnival. “Each day will bring fun-filled entertainment for families to enjoy at this year’s fair,” said Susan Sillavan, FBCF Fair Manager. One of the highlights of fair entertainment is the concerts. Headliners this year are a true blend of country music, from traditional country artists to top contemporary Texas Music acts. “Not only do we have an outstanding lineup of entertainment scheduled for the Brazos Stage with headliners like Joe Nichols, Joe Diffie, Johnny Lee, Wade Bowen and Aaron Watson, we also have top notch entertainment on our Texas Stage with acts like the Doo Wah Riders from Southern California, Redneck Brown and the Freshwater Donkeys from Oklahoma and Vince King, one of the best Elvis tribute artists I’ve ever seen,” said Neil Yelderman, FBCF Board Member and Co-Director-In-Charge of Entertainment. “The best part is fairgoers get all of this great entertainment for the price of their general admission ticket to the fair, so I highly recommend buying a season pass and experiencing all of the great entertainment that we have in store for our fairgoers this year.” Last year, the Fort Bend County Fair drew attendance over 155,000, marking the fifth consecutive year that attendance climbed over 100,000. “More importantly, through auctions and schol-

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arships, Fort Bend County youth have received over one million dollars,” said Brad Bowman, 2013 FBCF President. “In 2012, we had 155 sponsors who gave over $489,000 in cash and in-kind sponsorships, and for 2013, we are well on our way to exceeding that.” Nearly 1,300 volunteers make the fair possible. “Approximately 50 committees spend countless hours helping with the livestock competitions, parade, public safety, special events, sales, rodeo activities and a bunches of other happenings,” said Bowman. During the fair, a queen will be crowned, Grand Champions will be named, Mutton Busters will be cheered and turkey legs and funnel cakes will be consumed. Don’t miss out on the family fun! For more information, visit www.

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Beautiful Bedding Makes the Bed By Keron Weathered


eautiful bedding does make the bed, pun intended. But seriously, when you walk into a bedroom, the dominating focal point is the bed, right? So bedding is what you focus on. Spend your budget on beautiful fabrics in complimentary colors and different textures. Add unique trims or beads and assorted pillows. And, for those of you who are brave enough, find an unusual headboard. The sky’s the limit when it comes to bedding. Begin with choosing between bedspreads, coverlets and duvets. Do you want a dust ruffle? Would the ruffle be a fitted, tailored look? Or, maybe gathered, box-pleated or charmingly scalloped? Next comes pillows, and for best eye appeal, they should be assorted sizes and shapes. Most bolsters are round rolls, but they can be rectangular or wedge-shaped. On the large back pillows, think about framing them by adding pillow shams. Pillow shams add many choices because you can add

The headboard, an antique wooden door, was touched up with champagne colors inside the squares. Three different fringe trims were used on the bottom edge of the coverlet.

ruffles – or double ruffles – or sew in a welt in a contrasting color. Trims and beading is where – and how – you add intrigue and detail to your bedding ensemble. Why not feathers bordering a pillow? Or fringe a dust ruffle in colored beads? The choices in this area are so vast, fun and creative, they deserve their own article. Finally, use headboards to create your

This bedding ensemble showcases unique animal prints, and the pillows are trimmed with dark feathers.

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The headboard on these twin beds uses the same fabric as each front pillow. The interesting look on the fabric is a large floral pattern, which makes the headboard and pillow look so pretty.

own signature. Some of the more unusual ones are old wooden doors mounted on the wall or custom designed metal art pieces. Even a simple upholstered fabric with pretty beads around the edge and in the center adds a breathtaking look. Have fun with your bedding. That room is where you spend a third of your life. Make it comfortable, original and all about you.

The custom coverlet is a faux snow leopard fur fabric. The long, center pillow features a decorative, red silk fabric with dark feather trim, and the smaller center pillow is all leather.

magazine • September 2013



Ask TDECU Mortgage: Buying and Refinancing With mortgage interest rates in flux, navigating the mortgage process can be uncertain. The good news is you are not alone. The loan experts at TDECU Mortgage can help answer any questions you may have about buying or refinancing a home, and when you are ready, they can help you find the perfect mortgage. Among the most frequently asked questions TDECU Mortgage experts receive is whether refinancing is a good idea. Refinancing can be a good option when you are looking for a better interest rate that will lower your monthly mortgage payment and increase monthly cash flow, or if you are looking to switch to a different type of loan or build equity. Often, there are costs associated with refinancing, so it is important to compare savings gained to the actual costs of the refinance process. TDECU Mortgage experts are asked daily whether it is the right time to buy a home. There still has never been a better time to purchase a home. With so many mortgage options like Jumbo, FHA, VA, Fixed and ARM loans, buying a new home is within reach. Whether you are investing in property, buying or building, or simply making home improvements, it is smart to get with a mortgage expert who can answer your questions, find the right loan and help you through the closing process. TDECU Mortgage is your personal one-stop mortgage resource conveniently located in Sienna Plantation, next door to the Home Finder Center. For more information, call 800-8391154 extension 4614 or visit www.





GUARANTEED OR WE’LL GIVE YOU $250. Since 1955, TDECU has been improving lives in local communities across the Gulf Coast Region. TDECU Mortgage is part of this rich history, and we are proud to now serve your community with our award-winning service, expert mortgage advice, and guaranteed low rates. And because we know our mortgage rates are the best around, we guarantee to meet or beat any local competitor’s rate on the purchase or refinance of your primary residence, or we’ll happily give you $250 after closing! | 800.839.1154 x4614 | 5777 Sienna Parkway, Suite 200 Loans subject to credit approval. Federally insured by NCUA. Visit for complete program requirements. I-P-0713-050 www.fortbend

.com • September 2013



H O M E I S W H E R E T H E H E A RT I S REDU Real Estate + Design Union: Where Real Estate and Design Meet to Create Your Ideal Home

You have all seen HGTV’s Property Brothers™. Now, Fort Bend has its very own Property Sister! When a fresh coat of paint and new carpet is not enough, and you need help turning that outdated layout and décor into your dream home, call Melissa Skovdal at REDU. With 3D renovation design images delivered in 48 hours combined with affordable, upfront pricing, REDU provides you the confidence of knowing a home can meet all of your wants and needs while staying on budget, before you invest! At REDU, design is only half of the name. REDU starts working as part of your real estate team before you buy property. Homebuyers can take advantage of the many homes being sold below market value due to their need for interior or exterior updating, and REDU can help. Finding a home with “good bones” that will be conducive to your renovation needs is best done with the trained eye of one of our licensed architects and designers. Don’t wait until after you buy to start the process. Buy knowing that this house can be made into your perfect home, inside and out, while staying within budget. With their 48-hour turnaround on 3D design images and cost estimates personalized to meet your wish list, REDU is an invaluable resource to your home buying and renovating experience. Let REDU help you realize your home’s renovation potential. For a free consultation, call 281-797-8712 or e-mail For more information, visit

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magazine • September 2013


Builders Debut Array of New Models in Riverstone Riverstone’s collection of model homes is growing as builders debut new designs in the top-selling master-planned community. Perry Homes, Newmark Homes and Trendmaker Homes have all opened new models in the Millwood neighborhood, an enclave of 55-foot properties where homes are priced from the $280,000s. Plus, Darling Homes recently unveiled a third model home in the community, a single-family design in Avalon at Riverstone. Darling offers homes on 70 and 80-foot homesites in the popular neighborhood, with prices from the $470,000s and $590,000s and homes up to 5,200 square feet. Finally, Sitterle Homes will soon open a luxury garden home model in Providence, an enclave of homes priced from the $280,000s. Sitterle’s debut in Riverstone marks the San Antonio builder’s entry into the Houston market. More than 20 builders offer designs in Fort Bend’s Riverstone development, located along Highway 6 near both U.S. 59 and the Fort Bend Parkway. Prices in the community, a project of The Johnson Development Corp., range from the $280,000s to the millions. Robust sales this year have Riverstone ranked No. 3 on the Houston Business Journal’s tally of the “Most Active Residential Communities in the Houston Area.” Metrostudy also lists Riverstone as the No. 3 top-selling community in Houston. For more information, visit www.

right here A top-selling community in the nation.

R ight H Ere in F ort B end.

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Interior Design Made Easy by J & L Distributors Owner-operated for over 25 years, J & L Distributors prides themselves with a high level of personal service. J & L Distributors offers a complete line of soft and hard window coverings: draperies, roman and roller shades, valences and cornices. They also offer custom bedding: headboards, bedding ensembles, decorative pillows, drapery hardware, indoor and outdoor lighting, re-upholstery and more. Full-time designer Michael-james Russo has 24 years of experience in the home furnishings industry. Visit the design showroom to see J & L Distributors’ custom drapery and Hunter Douglas Gallery, as well as their own in-house blinds and shutter programs. Measuring and installation are done by certified and trained professionals. Their diversified product line allows them to help you meet your budget. Each collection has dedicated personnel who are knowledgeable and experienced in the aspects of that product. All the technical details are sought out and mastered. J&L does this for their own egos, and their clients reap the benefits. Clients who are familiar with J & L Distributors know that they are able to let them worry about the minute details and minutia, allowing clients to relax and make decisions based solely on their tastes. From inception to completion, your satisfaction is their goal. J & L Distributors’ design center hours are from Monday through Friday, 9 am to 6 pm and on Saturdays from 10 am to 4 pm. Evening appointments are available. Inquire about their Shop at Home Service. For more information, visit or call 281-4036733. See ad on page 2.

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magazine • September 2013


How Does Your Garden Grow? Fall is the perfect time to update your landscape or perhaps give your yard a complete overhaul. A well-designed landscape can add privacy, beauty and value to your home. How can you make sure you choose the best contractor for the job? Determine Your Landscape Style What do you want in your new landscape? Referring to pictures in magazines, books and on the internet is a great way for homeowners to communicate design ideas to their contractor. Your style could be formal, informal, natural or low-maintenance. Also keep in mind your lifestyle. Do you have pets, children or do you travel a great deal? Answers to these questions help the landscaper exceed your expectations long after the project is complete. Landscape Designer and Horticulturist Is the person you are working with a landscape designer, or did they just move from lawn mowing into planting some shrubs? Call the landscaper’s references, and drive by the landscaped homes. Ask the landscaper to give you addresses of homes that have been recently landscaped and more importantly, homes where landscapes have been growing for more than two years. A landscape that is newly installed will look clean and fresh, but the true test of a professional landscape is what it grows into. Plant selection is a top priority when designing the landscape and what a plant looks like today in a five-gallon container may surprise you in two years. For more information, call 281-2084400 or visit


It’s Time For Spring Planting…


.com • September 2013



H O M E I S W H E R E T H E H E A RT I S New Neighborhoods at Imperial Sugar Land What an Unforgettable Year This Has Been!

Arlene Rolsen, CRS, has been helping buyers and sellers realize their dreams for over 35 years and believe that this last year has by far been the most unpredictable in her career. “Homeownership is an investment in your future, and it is how many American families begin to accumulate wealth. Despite the recent downturn, homeownership still matters to many,” Rolsen said. Arlene Rolsen loves introducing families from all over the world to Fort Bend County where they can find great schools, places to worship, shopping, medical care, parks, recreation and diversity. All have helped make her role such an enjoyable one. “We have truly been blessed with a market far different from any other place in the world.” The future continues to look bright for the area as more people continue to discover Fort Bend as such a wonderful place to call home. Rolsen always remembers one of her sellers’ remarks: “I have given a lot of thought about my house sale, and I have decided that the house is secondary in the process. The buyer is actually buying the hope of a bright, happy future. As for the sellers, we are actually selling a place where memories were made.” This explains why Arlene Rolsen has loved and enjoyed her years of helping buyers and sellers realize their hopes and memories. For more information, call 281-414-8400 or contact

Colony Park / First Colony Custom Designed Two-Story Home Situted on Corner Lot features Cast Iron Front Door; Marble & Tile Flrs; Elegant Family Rm w/3-way Fireplace to Music Rm & Kitchen; Spacious Breakfast Area w/Domed Ceiling & Island Kitchen w/Granite, 6-Burner Cook Top, Stainless Appls, & Wine Cooler; Private Study w/Shelves & Fireplace; Gorgeous Master Bath w/ Heated Flr, Granite, Tile Backsplash, & Custom Closet. 2nd Flr offers 4 Bedrms, Media Rm, & Extended Game Rm. Tropical Backyard w/Covered Patio, Sparkling Pool, and Man’s Outdoor Kitchen Cove.

Arlene R. Rolsen, CRS “Selling Fort Bend’s Finest Homes Since 1985”


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magazine • September 2013


Construction soon will begin on Imperial Sugar Land’s first two neighborhoods where patio homes with waterfront views and single and two-story townhomes facing Imperial Boulevard are designed to appeal to empty nesters who prefer a lowmaintenance home. Imperial’s new patio homes will range in size from 1,800 to 4,000 square feet with a limited number located in the gated, waterfront neighborhood of Quiet Cove. Prices for the new patio homes will range from the $300s to the $700s. Its new townhomes will range in size from 1,800 to 2,600 square feet with open living, dining and kitchen areas, firstfloor master bedrooms and three-car detached garages accessible from behind the homes to create a pleasing street scene. Imperial’s new patio homes and townhomes, both with custom features, are expected to be available for sale by the end of 2013 with models for both scheduled to open in the spring of 2014. Both are a short walk down the tree-lined Imperial Boulevard to the community’s Historic District, a weekly Farmer’s Market and Constellation Field, home of the Sugar Land Skeeters. In addition, construction has begun on luxury-style, one and twobedroom multi-family residences where young professionals will enjoy granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, enhanced ceiling heights, custom interior lighting, hardwood floor options and other custom home finishes. Located at Highway 6 and Highway 90A, the master-planned community of Imperial is the largest remaining development opportunity in Sugar Land incorporating retail, residential, entertainment and office to create a premier destination to live, work, shop and play. For more information, visit www.imperialsugarland. com.

H r u Yo H


ome ome at


new neigHBorHooDs availaBle. They’re here, and They’re

you raised your family here, coached youth sports, ran the carpool and hosted the sleepovers. Now it’s time for a new lifestyle.

nd Pkw y .

Enjoy tree lined boulevards, parks and trails, amenity lakes and Oyster Creek. Discover fun with a short hike, bike or drive to the Historic District, a weekly Farmer’s Market and Constellation Field, home of the Sugar Land Skeeters.


Westpark Tol

Gr a

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Baker Mortgage: Helping Dreams Come True For Over 58 Years When it comes to dealing with your home and your money, it is a very personal business, and Baker Mortgage understands that very well. For over 58 years, Baker Mortgage has enjoyed helping people make their dreams come true. When the time comes, they would love to help you. Baker Mortgage still does 80/10/10s and 80/15/5s, which offer alternatives to paying private mortgage insurance. They also have a tax-advantage PMI option available with a rate adjustment that will keep it in one loan and still avoid PMI. You can feel the family type atmosphere when you walk in the door. They will walk you through the process with as little stress as possible, knowing that you have them as your trusted advisors and have for 58 years now. For many years now, Baker Mortgage’s advertising budget has been spent by giving tips and advice on how to navigate this process safely. They make great loans at fair prices you can comfortably afford. Baker Mortgage wants to help you, but they’re not going to help you over a cliff. They appreciate the many referrals they receive and have so many parents who send their kids. They are like the surrogate mortgage banker of Fort Bend County. It is an honor and a privilege that they take very seriously. Visit Baker Mortgage. They promise, you’ll be glad you did. For more information, call Baker Mortgage Company at 281-313-6683 or visit

Explore Landscaping Opportunities at Enchanted Nurseries and Landscapes Enchanted Nurseries and Landscapes is dedicated to helping customers create magical outdoor spaces filled with all of the beauty of nature. For those who prefer to do it themselves, Enchanted Nurseries and Landscapes’ two 7-acre nurseries, Enchanted Forest near Sugar Land and Enchanted Gardens near Katy, are full of the inspiration, resources and materials you need to transform your landscape. But, if you have a large-scale project in mind or just need a little extra help translating your vision, their landscaping division is there to help. A full-service, design-build company, Enchanted Landscapes is a one-stop shop for everything from basic irrigation to outdoor kitchens. Their designers have backgrounds in landscape design, architectural drafting, horticulture, irrigation, drainage and other related fields, and each of them is dedicated to outstanding customer service. Don’t wait until spring to consider landscaping. Instead, have your work done during the fall or winter when temperatures are cooler and demand is lower. When spring rolls around, you will have a maturing, artful landscape to nourish and enjoy. Schedule an appointment with one of Enchanted Nurseries and Landscapes’ designers or visit the nurseries to begin dreaming of your very own outdoor paradise. To schedule a consultation, call 281-937-0646.

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.com • September 2013





Gorgeous Hill Country Home Site Waterfront Lot in Comal County Just 20 minutes from San Antonio and minutes from the Guadalupe River in Spring Branch, this 1.72 acre lot is your Hill Country dream come true! Amazing views on the hillside lot that features a meadow with waterfront along Spring Creek, The Crossing at Spring Creek, an acreage home site community, is the perfect place to build your Hill Country getaway. The community offers all underground utilities, paved, county maintained roads, plus a beautiful 10+ acre owners-only park with scenic hiking trails, a swimming pool and pavilion and a playground. $89,000

Rodney Lerner

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$299,900 Riverstone - Soaring ceilings, tile flooring, granite island kitchen. Greenbelt lot provides privacy w/no back neighbors!

$350,000 Belknap - Lot for sale on the water, conveniently located near Highway 90 and minutes from Hwy 59! Great family friendly neighborhood.

Licensed Broker Associate to Nancy Benevides fort bend

magazine • September 2013


Rodney Lerner is a licensed broker with 30 years of experience negotiating purchase and sale agreements on behalf of buyers and sellers. He is the agent that assists major retailers such as Wal-Mart, Lowes, H-E-B and CVS with their property acquisitions and dispositions. Lerner wants to make his negotiating skills available to individuals looking to purchase or sell a home. Lerner understands that the real estate market in Fort Bend County is thriving, and it is a sellers’ market in 2013. After a record year in sales in 2012, inventory levels have dropped from 5.5 months to 3.3 months. The average sales price for a single family home has gone from $235,502 in 2012 to $268,085 in 2013.* Fort Bend continues to benefit from its quality schools, master planned communities and mobility plan. As a broker associate with Nancy Benevides and Associates, Lerner is proud to be a member of the number one ranked real estate team in Fort Bend central. He offers state-of-theart technology, which includes professional photography, walk through video tours and Showing Beacon, a device that calls a seller’s cell phone to notify them that a showing has concluded and to return home. Lerner makes a detailed list of items to help sellers position their homes to show better and sell for top dollar. The team’s list to sales price ratio is 98 percent. When representing buyers, his negotiating skills are key to achieving the best possible terms. For more information, email Rodney Lerner at or call 713-705-1859. *Statistics provided by HAR.


Luggage & Leather: Your Source for All Things Travel Luggage & Leather has been providing top quality travel and accessory products to the Houston area since 1981. This family-owned and operated specialty retailer, with four Houston-area locations, has always focused on providing the largest and newest selection of luggage, business cases, travel accessories, small leather goods and gifts. This broad selection includes great women’s brands such as Spartina 449, Cinda B, Vera Bradley and Jon Hart. Top name travel brands like Tumi, Briggs & Riley, Hartmann, Rimowa and Travelpro make up just a portion of the wide range of product lines carried. Though there has been a store in the Sugar Land area since 2007, Luggage & Leather recently moved to a new location in Sugar Land Town Square. The new store is located at 16069 City Walk Drive, across from Marriott Town Square. This new store front provides a fabulous boutique shopping experience, as well as the opportunity to offer a large selection of unique gifts and accessories. The knowledgeable staff make it a goal to outfit each customer with the right products for their travel, business or gift giving needs. Luggage & Leather truly is your source for all things travel. For more information on Luggage & Leather, visit or contact the Sugar Land Town Square location at 281-491-1811.


RIVERFRONT DUPLEX Each duplex can accommodate four adults and four children or rent both for groups. More pictures at book at


.com • September 2013





Ugly Kitchen Counters or Bathroom? Call Linda Day, All Day Every Day, to Sell Your Home For over 30 years, Linda Day has helped people, and she passes that “client-first” mentality onto her clients. She was Rookie of the Year her first year in real estate and has consistently been a Top Producer ever since. With her background and dedication to excellence in serving people, Linda works hard to reduce the stress associated with moving, saving her clients time and money. Linda’s family was raised in Sugar Land, so you will benefit from a professional who knows the area inside and out. Her children attended the award-winning Fort Bend ISD schools, and she volunteered extensively in all of the schools. Linda has also lived overseas, giving her a unique understanding of what it is like to move and relocate from another country, as well as move to another state. Linda grew up in a military family and has a son who just graduated from the United States Naval Academy. Since Linda is a life-long learner, you will profit from all of the latest technology available as she sells your home. She has gained a reputation as the “go-to” person when other Realtors are unable to sell homes. Her clients become her friends and recommend her without reservation. You can not go wrong with her winning smile, her expertise and the knowledge she brings to each transaction. For all of your real estate needs, call Linda Day at 281-851-2273.






You don’t have to spend a fortune to update the two most important rooms in your home. In just a day or two, Miracle Method can affordably complete your kitchen or bathroom makeovers to give countertops, vanities, bathtubs and tile the updated look you’ve always wanted. There is no messy removal and no worries about unexpected costs or delays. The best news is you can save up to 75 percent over the cost of replacing ugly bathtubs, dingy tile or worn countertops. “Surface refinishing offers homeowners a beautiful, durable and very affordable alternative to traditional removal and replacement remodeling,” said Paul and Jonee Barnett, owners of Miracle Method. Recently seen on DIY’s Rescue Renovation and the Today Show, Miracle Method uses a proprietary process that restores porcelain, tile, Formica®, cultured marble and fiberglass to make worn and dated surfaces look and feel like new again. Miracle Method creates the look of stone with their new Natural Accents™ finishes. The multicolor hues of natural accents give kitchen countertops, vanities and tile walls the upscale appearance of a solid surface at a fraction of the cost. “You will be amazed by the look and even more amazed by the affordable price!” added Paul. Miracle Method offers a five-year guarantee against adhesion failure of the new finish. A refinished surface should last 15 to 20 years using the same care and maintenance recommended by new tub and kitchen countertop manufacturers. To learn more about surface refinishing, visit or call 281-2402284 for a free estimate.


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See our work at Locally owned & operated by Jonee and Paul Barnett

Beautiful Views From Your Future Colorado Home Site

You may have dreamt about a retirement house in Colorado or just a vacation home. You may want to consider a master planned development that offers much needed utilities. This beautiful waterfront lot with picturesque mountain views in Pagosa Springs is close to the family-owned Wolf Creek Ski Area and the mineral springs that made Pagosa Springs famous. This lot is approximately .24 acres in the Pagosa Lakes development that has all utilities as well as several fishing lakes, a golf course and other amenities. $89,000

Deborah Kerns • Wolf Creek Realty



.com • September 2013




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House of Blooms’ owner Pat Houck has been an entrepreneur since the birth of her daughter, Tiffany, in Walnut Creek, California. Pat’s family returned to Texas in 1991. Over the years, Pat has been involved in several community organizations in Fort Bend including Fort Bend YMCA, Sugar Land Exchange Club, Fort Bend Education Foundation, American Heart Association, Sugar Land Rotary and Fort Bend Junior Service. In 2007, Pat became a partner in a flower shop in Sugar Land Town Square. She soon discovered that she really enjoyed the expression on individuals’ faces when they received beautiful floral arrangements. Even though House of Blooms was located in a small kiosk, their mission was to become a full-service floral shop with an emphasis on service. The House of Blooms staff strives to make every event in their customers’ lives a special occasion with custom floral arrangements. From flowers for the largest of corporate events and weddings to the most intimate gatherings of friends and family, to just simply “thinking of you,” their flowers are sure to put a smile on a loved one’s face. They pledge to meet or exceed their customers’ expectations for delivery of high quality floral products. House of Blooms prides themselves on prompt, efficient and personalized service that you can count on to meet all of your floral needs. Their combined staff offers over 40 years of floral expertise at both the original and new location in Sugar Land Town Square. For more information or to order online, visit

Photo courtesy of © 2008, HGTV/Scripps Networks Interactive, LLC.

Ready ... Set ... No?

By Caron Lopez

Making your home a “Beautiful Home for the Holidays”


as your remodeling project taken on that queue each time - starting with motivation and then, ending up on a holiday wish list that did not materialize for another year? September is the jump start month to get those jobs planned, contracted, and for the approaching holiday season, getting it done. Gifting yourself with a “Beautiful Home for the Holidays” will bring pleasure to you and your family all year. And no, it’s not too early. In the design and remodeling industry, scheduling for the approaching holiday rush is already in full swing.

Ready . . .

The “ready” stage is a time for you to explore but do so with a timeframe. The multitude of ideas and people who want to give advice can overwhelm you. To help you streamline the process, a designer can save you valuable time by giving you direction in selecting a suitable style, a mix of textures and an intriguing pallet of colors while saving you money by knowing how to get the most impact for your dollar. Start saving photos, which will help you communicate better with those who are going to help you. While making a folder of ideas, jot down a note as to the special detail that caught your eye. After reviewing the photographs, notice to what you are drawn. A theme will emerge. Keep an open mind to the designer's or contractor's suggestions because they know the newest and greatest ideas, as well as the time-tested classics. Think inside the box and outside the box. Are existing layouts in your home as a whole working for you? Do you need to tweak the floor plan? What about lighting? Lighting has a dual effect. It illuminates work areas, and if strategically placed, sets the drama of the room.

Could this year's holiday entertaining be expanded and enhanced with a patio being converted to an outdoor living area? Our mild winters make the outdoor “room” a viable option to increase the usable square footage of your home. Complete it with an outdoor kitchen or fire pit and inviting colorful cushions on comfortable furniture. Set the mood with outdoor curtains to define the space. Determine what is going to upgrade both your lifestyle and your home's style, and go for it!

Set . . .

Set your project up for success by properly managing your project from start to finish. Determine whether your wish list is budget friendly. Exceeding a budget brings no joy. I approach the project as pieces of a puzzle, and each piece has a price on it. The piece causing overages on the budget, if not significant, gets thrown out or put into a later project file. Do-it-yourselfers, do your homework and bite off a little of the project at a time so it is doable and enjoyable. If seeking a professional, be sure they are! Don't be afraid to ask to see projects they have completed and get references. Professionwww.fortbend

.com • September 2013


als can help you with planning the scope of the project, designing a room's traffic plan, the improvement of lighting, selection of finishes and hardware, budgeting issues and help with the shopping, ordering, timing of deliveries and installation. If you experience sticker shock in your initial stage, do not let it discourage you. Discuss possible budget cures with suppliers. The scope of the project and the budget are always entangled and need to be resolved. If Plan A is stopping you, research Plan B. Layout and function is more important in this stage than cosmetics. If you plan a new space, no matter how beautiful it is, if it is uncomfortable, if lighting is insufficient, if traffic flow is irritating, if it is downright not functional, again, there is no joy. Set your scope of the project, seek contractors or supplier bids to see if the range of the budget is realistic, and get the many unknown costs to become known. Set the budget, set a timeline, sign your contracts or if you are a do-it-yourselfer, schedule your orders to prevent delays. And, take your “before” pictures, because you are ready to . . .


An ounce of prevention goes a long way now that you are in this stage. Items in your home need to be covered, removed, relocated, draped and then, tear out begins. If dust is being produced, drape the area with plastic and remember to change your air conditioner filters often. Communicate with those in your home about safety of children and pets. With each day of your project's actual work, enjoy the progress. Contractors want to know your expectations and will make efforts to please. Contractors will respond well to your praises. Now, we are close to the finish line. This last lap is not finished, so handle this effectively but with patience. Create a punch list. Documenting it by email is a good idea in addition to a phone call. There are always going to be details that need to be addressed. There may be a drawer that sticks, or a remote control missing, or a dimmer that did not get installed. With the punch list checked off, take the "after" pictures. Enjoy your "Beautiful Home for the Holidays!”

By Lauren Dante Benoit

High School HOT SHOT Sharon Thoppil: An Angelic Aide


haron Thoppil is looking forward to her senior year at Kempner High School. A student in the Health Science Technology program, Sharon is prepared for her future as a doctor and has numerous real-world experiences through both the program and her volunteer activities. Sharon is smart, motivated, driven and always continues to look for ways that she can help people and make the world a better, and healthier, place. The Health Science Technology (HST) program at Kempner prepares high school students for college and future career planning. In Health Science Technology I, Sharon learned about the human body and how the body’s functions interact with one another. During this course, Sharon fell in love with the idea of becoming a doctor after hearing local doctor’s experiences. Sharon was named the Student of the Year for Health Science Technology I. In HST II, Sharon is looking forward to shadowing a doctor at a clinical medical facility. She will participate in clinical rotations and acquire health care skills. In addition to learning about the health care field in school, Sharon also volunteers at Methodist Hospital. She volunteers in the gift shop and with the musical therapy program. “At first, I chose to volunteer at Methodist to earn some service hours in a field that interests me,” said Sharon. “However, the more time that I have spent there, the more it has become about the people that I am helping than the hours.”

n o r a h S Sharon enjoys cheering up the patient and the patient’s loved ones at the hospital. Through her church, Sharon also participates in health care activities. She is on the medical missions team that volunteers their time and talents for underprivileged adults. “I feel that if people are not being taken care of medically, then they are unable to fully participate as members of our society,” said Sharon. “It is important to care for the physical needs of people and to help them accept the Gospel because everyone needs to know that someone cares for them as Christ cared for us.” Sharon was very thoughtful about her decision to become a doctor. She wants to help her community and make a difference in people’s lives. After high school, Sharon is looking forward to participating in an accelerated medical program. She is looking to specialize in dermatology or internal medicine. “Your skin is the first thing people see, and I want people to feel comfortable in their own skin,” said Sharon. “As a dermatologist, I feel like I can help people love themselves and how they look.”

One of Sharon’s favorite classes in high school was psychology because she was able to understand how people process things, which she knows is a crucial thing for doctors to comprehend. She also learned that it is important to be sensitive to how people might perceive things that you say. Sharon’s enthusiasm for learning extends beyond her medical field coursework. Sharon is an honor roll student and in the top 7% of her graduating class. She is a wellrounded student excelling in science and math classes in addition to English and fine arts classes. A member of the Varsity Choir since her sophomore year, Sharon enjoys singing with her peers. “I love being in choir because the girls are so sweet and friendly,” said Sharon. “We are a big team that works hard together to reach our goals.” At church, Sharon is a member of the church choir and can play the piano, violin or sing vocals. Sharon has many talents and is always willing to share them for the purpose of serving God. Sharon fills up the remainder of her time as a member of National Honor Society and English Honor Society. She attends Bible studies before school and assists with the school’s blood drive. As a young lady, Sharon is wise beyond her years. She is realistic and understands that the true purpose of life is to serve others. We wish Sharon the best for her senior year and know that she will continue to pursue her dreams and make a difference in the world.

“We are a big team that works hard together to reach our goals.”

fort bend

magazine • September 2013


– Sharon Thoppil




Lauren Reyno

One Thousand









Dollars and 00

ATTENTION: Fort Bend High School Seniors Register now and win a




Complete details and forms at

Lauren Reynolds Congratulations to Lauren Reynolds, a recent graduate of Fort Bend Christian Academy, for being selected as Texas Direct Auto’s “Scholarship Star” for September! Tenneka Moore, Supervisor of Guest Services, presents the $1,000 scholarship. At Fort Bend Christian Academy, Lauren was a member of National Honor Society (NHS), President of Big Sister Club, President of Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Captain of Varsity Cheer Squad and member of the track team. She has traveled extensively to places such as London, Normandy, Oxford, Paris and Israel through Student Leadership University. An avid volunteer, Lauren spends much of her time giving back to the Fort Bend community through organizations such as Attack Poverty and My Brother’s Keeper Ministry and at The Pediatric Center. Lauren plans to attend The University of Texas at Austin to pursue a degree in pharmacy. Lauren was selected as part of Texas Direct Auto’s commitment to educational excellence through the “Scholarship Stars” program. Application details are listed at

EVENTS All Month Library Card Sign-up Month

September 9th, 3:30 – 5:30 pm Auditions for Missoula Children’s Theatre’s Rapunzel

September 12th, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm Lite Lunch and Dazzling Desserts Luncheon

Fort Bend County Libraries want to make sure that your child is among the two-thirds of Americans that carry the smartest card of all – a library card. With a library card, you can access books, videos, DVDs, CDs, software and more. Call 281-341-2677 or visit

Auditions will be held at the Imperial Park Recreation Center, located at 234 Matlage Way in Sugar Land. All students in kindergarten through 12th grade are encouraged to audition. The Missoula Children's Theatre touring productions are complete with costumes, scenery, props and makeup. Tour actor/directors will conduct rehearsals throughout the week. Call 281-275-2885 or visit

September 5th, 6:30 pm Texas Master Naturalist Monthly Program

September 11th, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm Daughters of the American Revolution Genealogy Program

The Texas Master Naturalist Coastal Prairie Chapter will hold their monthly program at the Bud O’Shieles Community Center, located at 1330 Band Road in Rosenberg. Cathy Downs, chair of the Bring Back the Monarchs to Texas (BBMT) program, will give a presentation. The meeting is free and open to everyone. Call 281-633-7033 or email

Join the Fort Bend Chapter National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution for their monthly program at First United Methodist Church, located at 3900 Lexington Blvd in Missouri City. This month will feature a genealogy presentation by Janice McNatt. Contact Natalie-aggarwal@ or visit chapters/FortBend.

September 7th, 6:30 – 11 pm Sugar Land Rotary Fall Classic

September 12th, 6:30 – 8:30 pm Great Grown Up Spelling Bee

Join Sugar Land Rotary to support non-profit service organizations in Fort Bend County. The event includes a live auction, bid board, multiple food stations, tours of Constellation Field, pictures with Sugar Land Skeeters’ mascots Moe and Swatson, music and a complimentary happy hour. For reservations, email or visit

The Literacy Council of Fort Bend will host its fourth annual Great Grown Up Spelling Bee at the University of Houston Sugar Land, located at 14000 University Boulevard. Watch local corporations, friends and family members compete against one another. Individual Spectator Bee tickets are $40 in advance. All proceeds will support the life-changing programs offered at the Literacy Council. Visit or contact

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECH Water Treatment Specialists

Every Saturday, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, rain or shine 198 Kempner St. at Imperial Sugar Land

magazine • September 2013

Hope for Three's Third Annual Community Advocacy and Awareness event will feature a delectable menu of entrées and desserts by Chef Ray at the home of Brenda and Randy Bartley, located at 5524 Palm Royale in Sugar Land. Along with food, fellowship and fun, attendees will have the opportunity to assist in providing help and creating hope for local families living with autism. A tax-deductible donation of $40 will reserve a spot for the event. To purchase tickets, visit or call 1-800-317-0787.

September 13th, 6 – 10 pm Imperial Arts’ Season Opening Celebrate the Imperial Arts’ 2013-14 season at a red carpet event open to public sponsored in part by absolutely! focus media at the Center for the Arts, located at 823 3rd Street in Rosenberg. Visit or call 281-277-7444.

September 14th, 8 am Be The Match Walk+Run

Presented By:

fort bend

Helping to make the pieces of the autism puzzle fit are Honorary Event Chair Barbara Jones, Chef Rey, Event Hostess Brenda Bartley and Event Chair and Hope for Three Board Member Mary Ann Gardner.


Join an event that allows Fort Bend to come together to help provide cures for blood cancers. Besides a 5K and 1K, the event will include music, food, kids activities and local entertainment. All the fun takes place at Sugar Land Town Square, located at 2711 Town Center Boulevard. To register, visit

EVENTS September 14th, 10 am – 2:15 pm SAT Practice Test Representatives from Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions will conduct free, full-length practice SAT tests at two branches of Fort Bend County Libraries: the Sugar Land Branch Library, located at 550 Eldridge, and the Sienna Branch Library, located at 8411 Sienna Springs Blvd in Missouri City. Students will take the practice test to gain experience and become better prepared for the actual test. Register by calling the Sugar Land Branch at 281-238-2140 or the Sienna Branch at 281-238-2900.

September 18th, 10:45 am Fort Bend Friends and Neighbors (FBFN) Fall Luncheon

September 25th, 2 – 4 pm Job Tips Workshop on Networking and Using the Internet


Join Fort Bend County Libraries’ Missouri City Branch Library, located at 1530 Texas Parkway, for a free presentation by Bobi Cook, Regional Facilitator at Workforce Solutions. Learn about how networking and using the Internet can assist in searching for a job. Call 281-238-2100.

The ladies of the Fort Bend Friends and Neighbors Social Club will hold their Fall Luncheon at Sweetwater Country Club, located at 4400 Palm Royale Boulevard in Sugar Land, to kickoff the 2013-14 year. Guests will have an opportunity to learn about the numerous activities FBFN sponsors such as wine tasting, cards, crafts, tours, movie outings and monthly coffees. Reserve a spot by September 12th. Call 281-265-4084.

September 23rd, 5 – 6 pm Thriller Dance Workshop for Teens Fort Bend County Libraries’ First Colony Branch Library, located at 2121 Austin Parkway in Sugar Land, will host a special dance workshop for teens in grades six and up to take place on six consecutive Mondays beginning September 23rd. Teens will learn the dance steps to Michael Jackson’s iconic 1980s hit song Thriller in time for Halloween. The workshop is free, and reservations are required. To register, visit the library, call 281-238-2815 or visit Call 281.313.SLTS

September 26th, 7 – 8 pm Tips on Preparing for Retirement

4th Annual Catwalk on City Walk Fashion Show

Fort Bend County Libraries’ University Branch Library, located at 14010 University Boulevard in Sugar Land, will present Preparing Financially for Retirement. Consultants from a financial services company will talk about basic money management, options for saving money and steps to take to prepare financially for retirement. Call 281-633-5100.

Thursday, September 12th 7 – 9 pm

At the Fort Bend County Fair, located at 4310 Highway 36 South in Rosenberg, you can enjoy a parade, livestock show, rodeo, carnival, musical entertainment and many other activities all in one place, not to mention events that benefit and serve the community such as Special Citizens Evening, Senior Citizens Day and Exceptional Rodeo. The 2013 Fair runs until October 6th. Visit

Saturday, September 14th 8 – 10:30 pm

Music in the Plaza Friday, September 20th 7:30 – 9:30 pm

David Taylor Cadillac Car Show

Dancing Under the Stars

The MD Anderson Regional Care Center in Sugar Land will recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month by lighting the Plaza and fountain in Sugar Land Town Square pink during a free performance by Allen Oldies Band. Complimentary souvenir photos will be taken, and MD Anderson physicians and staff will be on hand with free educational materials and pink glow necklaces to spread the light of breast cancer awareness and hope. Visit or

.com • September 2013

Saturday, September 14th 2 – 5 pm

Saturday, September 21st 10 am – 4 pm

September 28th, 7 – 9 pm MD Anderson in Sugar Land Presents Pink Lighting Event


TCRN Presents Sugar Land Health Fair 2013

Movie Under The Moon Sponsored by First Colony Church of Christ

September 27th 77th Annual Fort Bend County Fair

Carol Kanusky, First Vice President of Fort Bend Friends and Neighbors Luncheons and Marsha Sachs, Vice President Elect.



Friday, September 27th 7:30 – 9 pm

Stiletto Stampede Saturday, September 28th 8 am – 1 pm

Music in the Plaza Presented by MD Anderson Regional Care Center in Sugar Land Saturday, September 28th 7 – 9 pm




















September 2013 Winner “The Paws That Refreshes” By Howard and Tammy Lester

Congratulations Howard and Tammy, you’ve earned a $50 gift certificate to a restaurant!

ENTER TO WIN Fort Bend Focus Magazine is looking for great amateur photos. Think you have a great shot? Any subject matter will be considered, black and white or color, special effects and/or edited are not necessary. A WINNER EVERY MONTH Each month’s winner receives a $50 gift certificate to a restaurant and the winning photo will be published in our magazine. To claim your prize, call Sarah at 281-690-4242. Runner-up photos may be published in our “Readers’ Photo Album.”

Please make sure to send some basic information about every photo you submit such as: who, where, when, a title, your name and daytime phone number. By submitting an entry, the photographer gives the Fort Bend Focus Magazine the right to use and publish their photograph. There is no contest deadline.

NO LIMIT TO ENTRIES To submit a digital photo, e-mail the jpeg file to Michael@ Digital photos must be HIGH RESOLUTION at least 300 dpi at actual size of at least 4” x 6”. fort bend

magazine • September 2013


In Print • Online • In Person

We’re absolutely enthusiastic over community magazines. They allow us to come into your homes and focus on what’s important to you – your community. So what’s the power of community magazines? They’re absolutely free, they’re absolutely timely, and they’re absolutely available 24/7 when you want to read them. And best of all, they are delivered right to your door.

Whether you live in greater Fort Bend, Katy, Me m o r i a l o r B r a z o s , absolutely! focus media brings you the power of print – absolutely free, focused on people, places and happenings – focused on where you live. Reading your community magazine – it’s easier than a click.

absolutely! focus media 281.690.4242 |


Healthy Healing for Hip Fracture

Timeless Plastic Surgery Welcomes Ankur Mehta, M.D. Having his roots in Sugar Land, Dr. Ankur Mehta is excited to provide “Concierge” plastic surgery for the community that he loves at the Center of Excellence for Cosmetic Surgery. Dr. Mehta has had the opportunity to operate with many different well-known and respected plastic surgeons in the community, including but not limited Dr. Ankur Mehta to those at UTMB Galveston, MD Anderson and St. Joseph Medical Center. He attends several annual plastic surgery meetings, keeping him up to date on the latest innovations and trends in plastic surgery. He enjoys all aspects of

cosmetic surgery including breast augmentations, liposuction, facelifts, eye lid surgery (Blepharoplasty), tummy tucks (abdominoplasty), breast lifts, Botox and fillers. Dr. Mehta’s bedside manner and communication skills leave his patients feeling comfortable, informed and understood. When asked about his ultimate goal as a plastic/cosmetic surgeon, he stated, “To safely achieve the patient’s desired look, to make my patients feel more self-confident about their physical appearance and to make my patients feel like a part of the Timeless Plastic Surgery family is my ultimate goal.” To schedule an appointment with Dr. Mehta, call 281-242-TIME (8463) or visit for more information.

From the moment a child learns to walk, falls become an expected mishap, decreasing over time as the child grows, as they improve balance and gain strength. Yet, as a person ages or experiences an illness, injury or surgery, falls can become a major concern, causing greater risk for fractures and even death. Of all fall-related fractures, hip fractures cause the greatest number of deaths and lead to the most severe health problems and reduced quality of life.* Given our aging population, by the year 2040, the number of hip fractures is expected to exceed 500,000.** With these numbers on the rise, it is a good idea to know how to best care for a loved one should a hip fracture occur. According to a functional recovery study by Munin, Seligman, et al., patients receiving post hip fracture rehabilitation Healthy Healing....continued on page 75

Dr. Jeffrey Kozak Joins Houston Methodist Orthopedics and Sports Medicine The Houston Methodist Orthopedics and Sports Medicine physicians – Fort Bend’s leading doctors for general and sports-related orthopedic care – are pleased to welcome Dr. Jeffrey Kozak to their staff. Dr. Kozak recently completed the primary care sports medicine fellowship at Houston Methodist Orthopedics and Sports Medicine. He is a graduate of the University of North Texas HSC College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Worth and the Texas A&M Family Medicine Residency program, where he was named the outstanding graduate and outstanding resident teacher for the Class of 2012. “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to continue my association with the outstanding physicians and staff at Houston Methodist Orthopedics and Sports Medicine,” said Dr. Kozak. “Working sideby-side with these talented individuals

throughout my fellowship has enabled me to see first-hand the superior level of care and treatment provided here. We definitely have a winning team and I am excited Dr. Jeffrey Kozak to be a part of it.” Throughout his fellowship, Dr. K o z a k g a i n e d extensive experience in sports medicine with the Houston Dynamo, Houston Aeros, Rice University soccer and volleyball, Fort Bend ISD football, FBISD Bush High School (all sports), the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and several marathons. “Dr. Kozak brings a unique background and skill set to Houston Methodist Orthopedics and Sports Medicine,” said Dr. David Braunreiter, director of the primary care sports medicine fellowship program in Sugar Land. “We are pleased to fort bend

magazine • September 2013


have him join us and extend our ability to serve patients in Fort Bend and surrounding areas, especially those with orthopedic and medical issues related to exercise and sports.” Houston Methodist Orthopedics and Sports Medicine features one of the largest groups of board-certified and fellowship-trained specialists in Fort Bend County. Houston Methodist Orthopedics and Sports Medicine physicians provide general and sports-related orthopedic care, including sub-specialties in hand and upper extremity, foot and ankle, sports medicine, total joint replacement and diseases and deformities of the spine. Beginning in August, Dr. Kozak will see patients at Houston Methodist Orthopedics and Sports Medicine’s offices in Sugar Land. For an appointment, call 281-690-4678 or email MOSTappts@

Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hosts Powerful Tools for Caregivers® Seminars

Dr. Brett McRay

Meet Dr. Brett McRay The office of Dr. Stuart Rimes is pleased to welcome Brett McRay, DDS to the practice. Dr. McRay offers invaluable expertise in all facets of contemporary comprehensive dentistry. His dental postgraduate studies and experience have allowed him to competently serve patients in specialized areas of laser dentistry, aesthetics, implantology, clear aligner orthodontics and sedation. Dr. McRay is originally from Houston and now calls Sugar Land home with his wife who is also a dentist. He is committed to higher education having graduated with honors from Texas State University and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with Bachelors and Masters degrees respectively. After working several years with NASA, Dr. McRay attended the University of Texas School of Dentistry in Houston earning his Doctorate in Dental Surgery in 2010. He also completed a one year advanced dental residency with the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and Memorial Hermann Hospital. Since graduation, he is furthering his commitment to continuing education by seeking his Fellowship with the Academy of General Dentistry. Dr. McRay is passionate in showing patients how to improve their smile through innovative techniques using the latest technology to provide quality dentistry to adults of all ages. His dental philosophy centers on each patient through outstanding patient education, comprehensive care and clinical knowledge. Drs. Rimes and McRay have expanded their brand new office and now offer Friday hours for treatment. Get the smile you’ve always wanted. Call 281-3131565 to schedule a consultation with Dr. McRay or Dr. Rimes for your comprehensive dental needs today!

A caregiver is someone who has taken on the very selfless role of caring for a loved one. Many times the caregiver has the great responsibility of making sure their loved one’s basic needs are met, which requires work and dedication. By taking care of his or her own needs, the caregiver will be able to better care for those who depend on them. Powerful Tools for Caregivers® is an educational program to help family and friends caring for older adults with long-term health conditions. The free seminar consists of six classes, each of which focuses on different tools that will help guide the caregiver through the caregiving journey. Caregiv-

ers will learn about setting goals, staying motivated and dealing with feelings of anger, guilt and depression, giving them the increased confidence and ability to cope with the demands of caregiving. This six-week course begins Monday, September 16th and runs through Monday, October 21st. Classes are held every Monday from 2:30 to 4:30 pm in the Sweetwater Pavilion Chapel at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital. To register or for more information, call the Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital Spiritual Care department at 281-274-7164 or email SNBowman@ Seating is limited.

TMS Serenity Center’s Dr. Kimberly Cress Releases Clinical Data Showing Benefit of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation New data at the 166th Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in San Francisco was released by the TMS Serenity Center, under the direction of Dr. Kimberly Cress. The poster, “Treatment of Unipolar, NonPsychotic Major Depressive Disorder with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: Results from a Retrospective Evaluation of Measured Outcomes during Routine Clinical Practice,” presented the effectiveness and safety of using TMS in the first 64 consecutive patients treated for Major Depression in her private practice in Sugar Land. Results from this study revealed 70% of individuals obtained relief from their depression and 68% relief from their anxiety. Patients responded to TMS despite having failed an average of 3.3 antidepressant medications during their current episode of Major Depression. There were no significant side effects experienced during or after TMS treatments. Based on these results, Dr. Cress was able to conclude that TMS is effective, safe and well-tolerated for the treatment of Major Depression as well as some anxiety disorders. TMS or Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, utilizes an MRI-strength magnet. www.fortbend

.com • September 2013


During this in the office procedure, the magnet pulses on and off over a 30 minute period of time stimulating the area of the brain that is less active due to the Dr. Kimberly Cress mood disorder. This magnetic field stimulates the nerves to fire releasing chemicals or neurotransmitters like serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. These are the same neurotransmitters that are provided artificially through antidepressant medications but without the risk of side effects from medications. TMS Therapy was cleared by the FDA in October 2008 for the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). It is a non-systemic (does not circulate in the bloodstream throughout the body) and noninvasive (does not involve surgery) form of neuromodulation. Nearly 12,000 patients have received treatment since clearance by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2008, with the TMS Serenity Center exceeding 100 patients, the largest provider in Texas. Visit www., for more information about TMS Therapy.

By Steve Kursar

absolutely! AUTO REVIEW




he Jeep Cherokee is back! It’s an all new 2014 model that’s awfully sleek and stylish. It also handles likes a car instead of a rough off-roader, and it boasts amazing fuel economy for a mid-size SUV. But don’t let that fool you because it’s still a “Trail Rated” Jeep and will safely take you places that most of its competitors wouldn’t dare think of going. Jeep introduced the first Cherokee way back in 1984 when the brand was owned by American Motors, and it continued as a successful SUV model even after Chrysler bought the brand in 1987. The original Cherokee was a boxy, rugged SUV that found itself on the cutting block when Daimler-

Benz bought Chrysler in 1999. The new German owners brought in the Jeep Liberty as a replacement and the Cherokee name lived on only in foreign markets. Fast forward to 2013, and the Cherokee is back and the Liberty is history. Showing up in dealerships this autumn, the 2014 Cherokee shares the same platform as the popular new Dodge Dart. This car-based platform gives the new Cherokee the handling and driving comfort of a car as well as excellent fuel economy. The base Sport model, with an MSRP of $22,995, is equipped with the 184 hp, 2.4 liter four-cylinder engine that’s mated to a nine-speed transmission delivering an estimated 31 mpg. If you need more power, move up in trim and opt for the 271 hp, 3.2 liter Pentastar V6 engine. But since this is a Jeep, it must be capable of getting you through tough conditions, and it can. All new Cherokees feature the Jeep Selec-Terrain traction control system that promises you better control in difficult conditions. Just select any of the five cusfort bend

magazine • September 2013


tomized modes: Auto, Snow, Sport, Sand/Mud and Rock, and the Cherokee adjusts itself to get you through safely. If you need a Cherokee that can rock crawl, then the “Trail Rated” Trail Hawk has to be on your shopping list. For less than $7,000 over the base Cherokee, the 4x4 Trail Hawk exemplifies everything that is a rugged, go anywhere Jeep. Standard equipment includes Jeep Active Drive Lock with locking rear differential, skid plates and signature red tow hooks. Whether you need a Cherokee to get you to the mall or up a mountain, there’s one for you. I just think it’s great to have the Cherokee back on the block and on the rock. Follow Steve Kursur at KursarOnCars.


The Literacy Council of Fort Bend County Announces Kelli Metzenthin as New Executive Director

Healthy Healing....continued from page 72

in an inpatient rehabilitation hospital were more likely to regain 95 percent of their pre-fracture FIM® motor ability at 12 weeks after hospital discharge. This presents a tremendous advantage to families hoping to see their loved ones back home to enjoy life once again. HealthSouth Sugar Land Rehabilita-

Kelli Metzenthin

The Literacy Council of Fort Bend County is proud to announce Kelli Metzenthin as the organization’s new executive director. Metzenthin is a Fort Bend County native and an active community volunteer. She brings over 12 years of experience in business financials, fundraising and non-profit development. “The Literacy Council is a wonderful organization. It’s all about building a better community and helping people help themselves,” said Metzenthin. “It is also about families and children in our community. When adults are motivated to better their life skills, they set examples for their children and pave the way for the next generation of adults and leaders.” Metzenthin looks forward to using her skills and experience to benefit the many adult learners at the Literacy Council, bring even greater awareness to literacy issues and increase volunteer activities in the Fort Bend County area. She enjoys growing organic vegetables, cooking with her husband and playing with her dog, Frankenstein. She currently serves as an Exchange Club of Fort Bend board member.   For more information about the Literacy Council of Fort Bend County, visit or call 281240-8181.


.com • September 2013


tion Hospital recently earned The Joint Commission’s Disease-Specific Care Certification in Hip Fracture Rehabilitation, a direct reflection of its program’s success. For more information on hip fracture rehabilitation and fall prevention, visit or call 281- 276-7574.

Be Prepared for Severe Weather

Keep Emergency Supplies On-Hand



urricane season is upon us, and thousands of people are impacted by severe weather threats every year. However, many are unprepared to handle Mother Nature’s wrath. Before storms strike, families should have an emergency supply kit on hand and a crisis plan in place.

Create a Crisis Plan


usy families spend most of their days apart, at school, work, sports practices or other activities, so your family may not be together when disaster strikes. Before an emergency occurs, gather your family to make important decisions about what to do in the event of a crisis: • Establish meeting places in your home, neighborhood and a nearby town. • Discuss the best ways to communicate. Make sure to share cell phone numbers and email addresses with family members, school personnel and close neighbors. • Schools, daycare providers, workplaces and apartment buildings should all have site-specific emergency plans that you and your family need to

know about. Keep a copy in a readilyaccessible location. • One of the most difficult things to do in an emergency is establish communication between family members. The Link2Cell feature on select Panasonic telephones links up to two cell phones to the cordless telephone. This allows consumers to make and receive cell calls anywhere in the home, with or without a landline connection, and allows access to your address book even when your cell phone is out of reach. • In your cell phone’s address book, label the contact information for one person as “ICE” or “In Case of Emergency.” If you are in an accident, authorities are trained to check phones for an ICE listing.

n emergency supply kit is made up of basic household items that become critical in a crisis. Essential supplies include: • Each family member will need food, infant formula, pet food and water for three days. The average person needs one gallon of water per day for drinking and sanitation. Check your supplies every six months for expired food or water. • Extra cash and copies of personal documents. • A battery-powered or hand crack radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert are essential. • Stock a small toolbox with a flashlight, extra batteries, wrench for turning off utilities, manual can opener and whistle to signal help. • A cordless telephone. Select Panasonic phones have an intercom feature that ensures easier communication flow throughout the house. The noise reduction element suppresses background noise and enhances the user’s voice at the same time, making voices easier to understand in loud conditions. Additionally, unlike most cordless phones which stop working when there is a power outage, the handset batteries will power the base unit for up to three hours of talk time when the electricity fails. • Medications and measuring spoons for each family member. • Dust masks, plastic sheeting and duct tape to create a safe room in a damaged home. • Change of clothing for each family member, along with personal hygiene items, diapers and trash bags. For more information about Panasonic telephones, visit com/phonestuff. Source: Family Features Photo courtesy of Getty Images

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magazine • September 2013


absolutely! DELICIOUS


hey need to be able to eat it in 20 min­utes or less. They need to be able to open and close all of the containers themselves. And, it can’t go bad before they eat it. What are we talking about? The lunch your kids take to school each day. What you put in your child’s lunchbox might matter more than you realize. A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found a significant amount of sodium in the foods our children commonly eat. As concerns rise about the early onset of high blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease, parents may want to re-examine those lunchbox choices. Why does sodium matter? A 2012 study of children and adolescents found that higher sodium consumption was associated with increased blood pressure.

Where’s the sodium? Understanding sodium in foods can be confus­ing, especially when food that otherwise seems healthy may have high levels of sodium. Most of the sodium we eat doesn’t come from the salt shaker, but is found in processed and restaurant foods. This chart shows the Top 10 Sodium Sources for children and adolescents.

How much sodium is in your child’s lunchbox? This effect was even greater in over­ weight and obese participants compared to normal weight participants. In addition, research suggests that children’s taste for salt develops as they are exposed to it. The less sodium children consume, the less they want it. Children’s taste for salt may be reduced if they are exposed to lower sodium diets at a young age. Eating less sodium can help lower blood pressure during childhood, which can help lower the risk of high blood pressure as an adult.

What’s a parent to do? Here are some tips to help tackle high sodium in your child’s lunchbox: • Read food labels and compare the sodium amount in different products, then choose the options with the lowest amounts of sodium. Some

varieties of bread can vary from 80 to 230 mg of sodium per slice. That can make a big difference in lunch­time sandwiches. • Pack fresh fruits and vegetables with lunch every day, like a small bag of baby carrots, snow peas or grape tomatoes. • For a healthy snack, make trail mix using unsalted nuts, dried fruits and whole grain cereal. • When buying prepared meals, look for those with less than 600 mg of sodium per serving. By packing a lower sodium school lunch for your children, you are not only setting them up for success in the classroom, but also in life. With your help, your children can develop healthy, low sodium eating habits that will last throughout their lives and help improve their heart health.

Make-Your-Own Snack Mix Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 0 minutes Yields: 4 servings Serving size: 1/2 cup snack mix 1 cup toasted oat cereal 1/4 cup unsalted dry roasted peanuts (or other unsalted nut) 1/4 cup raisins 1/4 cup dried cranberries Combine all ingredients, and toss well. Serve immediately, or store for later snacking. Tip: Put snack mix in individual snack-sized bags for a great grab-and-go snack. Recipe and photo from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health

Source: Family Features I Photo courtesy of Getty Images www.fortbend

.com • September 2013


fort bend

magazine • September 2013


Saturday, September 14, 2013


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.com • September 2013


Living the Sweet Life:


n a late August weekend in 1987, I packed up all of my most important possessions and moved into a dormitory at St. Mary’s College. It was my decision to leave home early, the effects of which shape me even today. I was a senior in high school and what I did not know at the time was that I would never truly go home ever again. My daddy knew it, and perhaps that was why, as he hugged me there on the steps, he cried. It was not long after that I began attending chapel and got my first taste of something else besides a Southern Baptist version of religion. The first evening of school, we went to chapel, and I remember being intrigued by the rituals and the whole experience. By Labor Day, I was convinced I was born to be an Episcopalian. Soon, I was as involved as I had been at First Baptist. I was in the Vestry and very quickly became Senior Warden and Hall Counselor, where I could mentor to my peers both in the chapel and in the dorm. St. Mary’s College is the only all girls boarding school in our country that is Episcopalian. Founded in 1842, it has schooled many a southern lady and was even used as a hospital during our Civil War. Those years proved to be the best years of my educational time of life. My years there not only provided me with the best education I ever received, but the experiences in Chapel shaped me spiritually. I love being an Episcopalian. So, when the time came to make babies and raise them, finding a Episcopalian church that would guide and offer what I had experienced as a scared 17 year-old three hours away from home was a tough

St. Mary’s Chapel in Raleigh, North Carolina.

By Alisa Murray Nationally recognized portrait artist and awardwinning columnist.

I’ll See You on National Back to Church Day September 15th at 10:30 am

Victoria Ann, James Edward and Alisa Murray at St. Catherine’s of Sienna.

bill to fill. Houston has so many choices of churches. Some are big, and some are teensy tiny. Lots are Episcopalian. After a lot of searching and consistently attending, we found St. Catherine’s of Sienna. Father Mike is not removed from his congregation but rather like Chaplain Watrous was at St. Mary’s – very much a part of it. The way each of them approach God’s teachings combined with the rituals that come as they say “standard issue” with service in the Episcopalian faith are comforting and interesting. Father Mike is amazing. Often, it is Brian bringing coffee and making sure I get up in time to go hear him speak. My children sit all the way through service listening, too. Folks, in today’s world, that is priceless! Father Mike says St. Catherine’s is “one of Fort Bend’s best kept secrets.” And, I agree because the church is doing some incredible things in our community and worldwide. It really should not be a secret, though, which brings me to share with you a very special invitation. September 15th is “National Back to Church Day.” It is an opportunity to reach out to fort bend

magazine • September 2013


those we love and connect with them in a spiritual way. So many of you over the years have stopped me in Sugar Land and Missouri City and told me how much you were touched by my column. My life has been full of God winks and blessings. Recognizing the blessings and winks has at its core my Episcopalian faith. My life has been an open book for so long and to so many that simply inviting you to be a part of what is so much a part of my life seems natural. So, on Sunday, September 15th, I want to invite you to come hang out with me for just one service. It is my wish that St. Catherine’s will be for you what St. Mary’s was for me: a place of joy, friendship and comfort and most of all, a place you can call, as we do, home. I can promise you that God is there. I can promise you Father Mike will have things to say that you will relate to. There will be also be fellowship and friendly people, and of course, lots of food! There are two services: one at 8 am, which I will never attend, and one at 10:30 am. At the 10:30 am service, you will find me and my family hanging out and having a blast celebrating Jesus, learning about who He is and about His life and teachings. On September 15th, I want you to just come see. The address to St. Catherine’s is 4747 Sienna Parkway in Missouri City. The Murray family will be in church at St. Catherine’s enjoying Father Mike’s sermon. We hope you will join us. Looking forward to seeing YOU!

HEADACHE TREATMENTS AS UNIQUE AS EACH PATIENT. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PRACTICING MEDICINE AND LEADING IT. The Headache Center at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital is committed to providing advanced, personalized care to help chronic headache patients get back to a life without pain. Receive expedited access to our world-class team of headache specialists. They will provide coordinated and comprehensive care starting with an accurate diagnosis and a unique treatment plan to help alleviate and prevent chronic headaches.

Schedule an appointment and stop enduring pain. 281.276.8999 or 16655 Southwest Freeway Sugar Land, Texas 77479

September 2013 - Fort Bend Focus Magazine - People • Places • Happenings  

Fort Bend Focus Magazine is an award-winning publication that features People, Places and Happenings around Fort Bend and Katy areas.  Direc...