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M REAL ESTATE & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE - ISSUE 6


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Letter From The Publisher We are so excited to bring you the latest issue of M Magazine. I am pleased to announce the addition of three very important contributors to M Magazine. First up covering the latest trends in furnture and design trends is Ronna Braselton of RBI Designs. Ronna brings years of experience to the fray and I am sure you will find her insight utterly amazing. Next covering fashion and social is Katharine Barrera owner of Mosaic @ Lamar Park. Katharine brings an amazing insight into local fashion trends that will not just cover women but men & children alike. Last but not least we have an amazing photographer, Carlos Tamez-Mendez is surely a rising star and we are delighted to have him on board. On to Real Estate.... As we move from Spring to Summer we have seen a nice sustained momentum that has been absent for quite sometime. Over the past couple of years there seemed to be spurts of activity but every once in a while it would slow down and with a bit. New Construction starts have rebounded as well existing home sales and even investors have come out of the woodwork to take advantage of low prices and low rates. There are tremendous opportunities abound for someone who may be looking to purchase their first home or even looking to purchase an additional property for investment. Remember if it’s Real Estate related I am here to help, please feel free to submit questions to me and I will gladly do my my best to help point you in the right direction.

Sincerest Thanks,

James Mirabal

Comments? Email us at info@mirabalmontalvo.com Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @mirabalmontalvo Visit or You Tube Channel


M MAGAZINE CONTRIBUTORS RONNA BRASELTON Owner RBI DESIGNS Ronna Braselton is a Corpus Christi native who took an interest in home building and interior decorating from an early age - not exactly by choice, more by osmosis. Ronna is a third generation of home builders and a second generation decorator. Her Grandfather, uncles, dad and brother, were or are all builders and/or general contractors. Her mom along with her aunt started a well known furniture and design business in Corpus when Ronna was 7. She remembers being at the Trend House playing with fabrics, looking through wallpaper books, planning her bedroom in the next new home they were to build. It seemed a natural choice when she went to college to choose interior design as her major. Though she went on to pursue real estate, real estate law AND a music career, she finally chose to come back to Corpus Christi in 2001 to work in the family business with her mom's company Interiors by Braselton. After a number of years working mostly with their building company, Braselton Homes, she got the creative itch to stir things up. With her mom's blessing, she took the company in a new direction in late 2010 and started RBI design. A natural at thinking left of center, she slowly built a team of industry pros who now are taking RBI places she never dreamed possible. Her collaborative efforts with new designer, Corbin Brady, are bringing a new energy to homes and offices from Corpus to Austin. Call to make an appointment for all of your home or office decorating and design needs. (361) 992-600

KATHARINE BARRERA Owner Mosaic @ Lamar Park Seven years ago, Katharine bought her quirky wit and eclectic charm to the shopping scene of Corpus Christi. Mosaic, located in Lamar Park, offers shoppers a sophisticated, fun, Texi-Bohemian atmosphere. In her career, she has been recognized by CCU40 and the Caller Times as a person of interest and leader in industry. She became, involved in the Junior League of Corpus Christi and American Heart Association and most recently paired up with a long time friend to launch Defhound, a screened t-shirt company. Her hobbies include, volunteering, cooking, crafting, researching and inventing. Her favorite causes involve promoting the strength of women in the community and those that improve child welfare. She lives in Corpus Christi, with her husband Marcus, their two children Eduardo and Sophia and their lab Jake.

CARLOS TAMEZ MENDEZ Photographer Corpus Christi native, Carlos Tamez-Mendez spent his adolescence exploring the worlds of music, art, and action sports. As his love for creative arts grew, his passion for photography began to take center stage. With a new year came new ideas as CTM Photography was formed and has continued to grow steadily in recent months. Carlos currently shoots weddings, models, families, graduations, quincea単eras, commercial items, as well as many other events and special occasions. With camera and lens equipped, Carlos loves to share his passion with any and everyone. So, If any occasion may arise in which you feel should be remembered, Carlos will capture your life and memories with his unique and beautiful photography. For pricing and appointments, Feel free to contact Carlos at 361-249-0030 or visit his site at www.carlostheman.wordpress.com


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Junior League 2 0 1 2 F a i r y Ta l e B a l l

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by K a t ha r ine Ba rr er a

American Heart Association 2012 Heart Ball

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by K a t ha r ine Ba rr er a

S p r i n g Pa r a d e

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by K a t ha r ine Ba rr er a

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Humane Society

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c o ur t e sy Gulf Co a t H uma ne So c iet y

Re - D e f i n e d Fa s h i o n

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L i g h t i n g T h e Wa y W i t h L E D

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Credit Scoring

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by R ic ki W hit t le

Living Spaces

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by M ir a ba l M o nt a l v o & Asso cia t e s

M Magazine is published by CG Group LC. All information contained herein is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Copyright 2012 CG Group LC Printing By Printers Unlimited, Inc. 3618831724


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2521 OCEAN DRIVE 4 BEDROOM 3 BATH 3 CAR GARAGE FOR PRICE DIAL 1-877-595-8312 CODE 3085 OCEAN DRIVE ELEGANCE! Beautiful from the inside out! This gorgeous home sits on an acre of rolling terrain; located on Ocean drive with breathtaking views of the water and Oleander Park. The home has a gated drive in entrance with an amazing front yard water fountain. A sum of five bedrooms, four and a half baths with a two car parking garage. This floor


plan is excellent, with a lot of space throughout and an elegant three story staircase. The kitchen is definitely a chef’s delight, cabinets galore, stainless steel appliances, granite countertops and much more. All bedrooms include plenty of closet space with hardwood floors, the master bedroom and bath includes a fireplace with high ceilings, and mass balcony views all around. The backyard is absolutely remarkable, completely landscaped with a natural stone patio that surrounds the custom large swimming pool and a guest house. This home is one of a kind, schedule for a showing today!


NEW CONSTRUCTION IN THE LAKES

PRESTIGIOUS COMMUNITY. NEW CONSTRUCTION. WATERFRONT LOTS AVAILABLE. NEW CONSTRUCTION SPEACIALS

4124 PONTCHARTRAIN 4 BEDROOM 3 BATH 2 CAR GARAGE FOR PRICE DIAL 1-877-595-8312 CODE 3036 THE LAKES SOUTHSIDE! Located right on the corner of Pontchartrain is this absolutely gorgeous new construction home, built in the Lakes subdivision. This home features a spacious floor plan with many interior highlights such as, ceramic tile, high ceilings, a lit up large living area and a fireplace. The kitchen includes granite counter tops throughout with an island, plenty


of cabinets for storage and an area for dinning. There are a total of four bedrooms and three full baths; the master bathroom includes a spa jet tub with amazing lighting. The exterior structure includes, four sides stucco exterior with rock accents along the front and a wrap in garage. The backyard is completely fenced around with a covered patio. This is definitely a must see! Call today to schedule your showing.


Photos Courtesy Carlos Tamez-Mendez


Junior League Of Corpus Christi 2012 Fairy Tale Ball

It’s a night of appreciation and celebration. There is just something incredible about putting on a formal gown and going to a ball: It almost makes you feel like you're in a fairy tale. Each year, the Junior League of Corpus Christi hosts the Fairy Tale Ball. This year it was held on January 28, 2012. Hundreds of local residents dressed in gorgeous ball gowns and lavish tuxedos and headed to the Solomon P. Ortiz International Center to be a part of a fairy tale of their own. Upon arriving at the ballroom the elegance and detail could be seen throughout the room. Each table donned its own theme and each couple strolled as if they were writing their own story. Tables decorated in themed glitter, glitz and lots of imagination are always a sight to see - Disney and Pixar would be proud! From the Royal wedding to a Dumbo themed table the decorations

lacked nothing. The beauty and elegance that surrounded the room were the perfect complement to the attire. Some of the attendees were Barbara Canales who donned a gorgeous blush colored one shoulder gown, Jessica DavilaBurnett who accessorized her gown with a fascinator that perfectly complimented her theme. Guests, including Meredith and Adam Delano, Becky and Marty Davis, Regina and Louis Posada were among those who gussied up for the event. Katherine and Marcus Barrera chose a fabulous and fun Dumbo theme. It included a diving board and little miniature tub, just like the one poor Dumbo was supposed to jump into! M Magazine • Spring 2012 11


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Tables- Royal Wedding by AEP, Cars The Movie, Jack and The Beanstalk

Chairwomen Betsy Herring and Helen Tarrance then gave a short speech to the crowd, recognizing this year's honorees as all the dedicated ladies who have served as president of the organization since its inception in 1937. The evening then continued with delicious food and dancing. The event is a well deserved evening to toast to the Junior League mission. The Junior League of Corpus Christi, Inc. has continued its commitment to the city over the years by investing countless hours of volunteer service and hundreds of thousands of dollars in numerous community programs. Over the past decade, The Junior League of Corpus Christi, Inc., has raised more than $750,000 through our fundraisers which include Bayfest, a bi-annual Rummage Sale, 4th of July celebration, VIVA cookbook, and other events. Part of this money has assisted the League with operating costs, but the great majority has been returned to the community in the form of gifts, grants, and funding for various community projects. In 20032004, the Junior League of Corpus Christi donated more than 11,000 volunteer hours to 30 non-profit agencies and programs throughout the Corpus Christi area. The Junior League prides itself as a training organization that develops the potential of women, and the League's reputation in the community is that of an organization that can get the job done. Since 1944, The Junior League of Corpus Christi, Inc. has been a member of the Association of Junior Leagues International, of which there are 296 participating Leagues in the United States, Mexico, Canada, and England, with a total membership of 196,000. The purpose of the Association has been to unite the member Leagues and to promote their individual purpose by offering leadership and assistance. Because of the relationship with the Leagues in the Association, the individual member enjoys the privilege of transferring her membership from one League to another. The Junior League is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community and because its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable guests always look forward to celebrating and supporting this long running organization. For more information on the Junior League of Corpus Christi visit www.jlcc.org


FAIRY TALE BALL 2012 Photos Courtesy Carlos Tamez-Mendez

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Pictures From “Fairy Tale Ball” A. Meredith & Adam Delano B. Terry & Stefany Schade C. Joe Hall & Guest D. Marty Davis E. Becky & Marty Davis, Jerry & Kathy Dewbre F. Regina Garcia G. Rodney & Sheila Senterfitt, Jane & Mark Dodson H. Jerry Davila I. Julia & Tim Powers J. Rodolfo Gonzales, Mary Lou Elizondo, Tom Klassen & Cynthia Garcia K. Edward Gonzalez & Loren Rock M Magazine • Spring 2012 13


American Heart Association 2012 Heart Ball The American Heart Association’s 2012 Heart ball was truly an amazing evening of Wild Fun! This year’s theme “Wild at Heart” had Corpus’ best out in style. The decorating committee led by Mary Ann Sinclair, Ray Briones and others left nothing to the imagination. Guests were greeted by a breathtaking arrangement of wild prints and heart friendly colors; think Red! Guests enjoyed fine dining and worldclass entertainment, while helping the American Heart Association build healthier lives, free from cardiovascular disease and stroke. www.americanheart.org More than 580 guests attended the black tie event, held at American Bank Center. The event is the largest fundraiser of the year for the local Heart Association. 2012 co-chairs Chris and Robert Adler and Bonnie and Dr. Jack Dugan led the crowd in honoring Thetis and Judge Loyd Neal and Drs. Isabel Menendez and Carlos Martinez-Quinones. Afterward, heart transplant recipient Sam J. Susser, along with his doctor team Dr. Jay Shapiro and Dr. Gregg Silverman, kept the crowd captivated with the remarkable story of Sam's lifesaving surgery and recovery.

Rawls, Renee Solomon and Erin Wilder. Logistics Committee: Katherine Barrera, Dinah Bowman, Ray Briones, Katherine Childers, Elenita Collins, Nilza Gonzalez, Scott Meares, Phyllis Roseman, Vicki Rothschild and Mary Anne Sinclair. Special thanks goes out to all who devoted their time and effort in making this year’s Heart Ball a tremendous success. Last year, the Heart Ball campaign raised over $51 million nation-wide, allowing The American Heart Association to fund over $123 million of research and programs across the country and in the local community.

This year's Heart Ball committee included the Executive Leadership Team: Scott Elliff, Nancy Harwell, Scott Humpal, John Longoria, Thetis and Judge Loyd Neal, Jaime Powell, Linda and Dr. Burk Strong, Elizabeth Susser, Karen Urban, and Linda Walker. Auction Committee: Bobbie and Troy Adler, Stephanie Albright, Michelle and Bart Braselton, John Carlson, Sandra and Dr. Haysam Dawod, Meredith Delano, Jennifer Dragoo, Leslie and JJ Hart, Veronica Hudlow, Lisa Jasek, Mona Lisa M Magazine • Spring 2012 15


Top Ten Things To Know AHA Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics - 2012 Update 1. From 1998 to 2008, cardiovascular disease (CVD) death rates declined 30.6%. However, CVD is still the leading cause of death in the U.S. Declines in stroke death rates now rank stroke as the 4th leading cause of death. 2. From 2007 to 2008, the cost of CVD increased by over $11 billion. 3. Hypertension - An estimated 76.4 million U.S. adults ≥20 years of age are hypertensive. 4. Cholesterol - An estimated 98.8 million adults ≥20 years of age have total serum cholesterol levels ≥200 mg/ dL; 33.5 million have total serum cholesterol levels ≥240 mg/ dL. 5. Diabetes - An estimated 18.3 million Americans ≥20 years of age have physician-diagnosed diabetes. An additional 7.1 million adults have undiagnosed diabetes and about 81.5 million adults have prediabetes. 6. Physical Activity - Only 20.7% of adults meet the federal guidelines for physical activ16 M Magazine • Spring 2012

ity. Among 9 through 12 graders, only 37.0% meet the recommendations. 7. Healthy Diet – Less than 1% of U.S. adults meet the definition for Ideal Healthy Diet ; essentially no children meet the goal. 8. Smoking - 19.8% of boys and 19.1% of girls in grades 9-12 report being current smokers. Among adults, 21.2% of men and 17.5% of women over age 18 years are smokers. 9. Body Mass Index - Overall, 68% of U.S. adults are overweight or obese (72% of men and 62% of women). Thirty-two percent of children ages 2-19 are overweight or obese (32% of boys and 31% of girls) . 10. When compared to previous trends for adults there have been improvements in CVD and stroke mortality, and prevalence of high cholesterol and physical activity; there have been relatively no changes in prevalence of hypertension and smoking and worsening of prevalence of diabetes and overweight.


2012 HEART BALL Photos Courtesy American Heart Association

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Pictures From “2012 Heart Ball” A. Dr. Vijay & Pooja Bindingnavale B. Sam Susser, Carol & Sammy Kins C. Special Guest D. Rolando Barrera, Cindy Soza & Haysum Dawod E. Janet Westheimer with Elizabeth & Phyllis Schapira F. Pat Susser G. Dr. Michael & Laurie Mintz, Pat Susser, Dr. Jay & Phyllis Schapira H. Jill Jacobs & Sarah Tindall I. Vicki Rothchild, Kathryn Childers & Mary Ann Sinclair J. M Magazine • Spring 2012 17 Brian & Natalie Honigbaum, Dr. Mary Joy & Tari Hamisch


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Katz 21 Southside Katz 21 Steak & Spirits, a landmark in Corpus Christi since opening its doors in 2001, celebrated its final night downtown on Saturday, April 7. Patrons had one last opportunity to dine at the downtown location on Saturday night and to celebrate a memorable first decade in Corpus Christi as the Katz 21 family prepares for and looks forward to its move to the south side. The new larger home of Katz 21 near the corner of Staples and Spohn Drive is scheduled to open in July, with further details on the grand opening to be released soon. The owner, Mr. Theodore Dimopoulos, was part of the original ownership group that brought Katz 21 to Corpus Christi 11 years ago and has been the sole owner since 2007. Throughout its tenure, Katz 21 has developed a reputation as the premier fine dining establishment in the Coastal Bend. Mr. Dimopoulos, who owns several properties and has owned many businesses in downtown Corpus Christi, has been the driving force behind Katz 21’s continued presence downtown during a time when many other restaurants and bars have opened and closed. “Moving Katz 21 is a response to years of growing popular demand from our customers,” replied Dimopoulos. “We have remained committed to downtown through the years, but the opportunity to open our new location on the south side is too good to miss.” In addition to personally overseeing the construction of the new 15,000 square foot facility on the south side, Dimopoulos is currently involved in a number of other properties and projects in downtown Corpus Christi and has always been and continues to be a significant figure in the development and revitalization of downtown. The new location (the former Trend House building located at 5702 Spohn Drive) will offer a spacious main dining room area with separate banquet facilities. In addition, the 21 ultra-lounge will have an updated look and will also feature an outdoor patio with live music, an ideal setting for a night out with friends or a romantic date under the stars.


SPRinG PARADE Spring Fancy & Childhood Whimsy Photographer: Carlos Tamez-Mendez Clothing: Belly & Baby and Hopscotch Location: 2521 Ocean Drive There is no better way to celebrate Spring and Summer Fashion than by playing dress-up with three beautiful little girls. Throw in a fun Easter party, at this months featured listing on Ocean Drive {buyers take note - this house was Extremely Kid Friendly,} yummy cupcakes and a very special egg-hunt this photo shoot tops our list as some of the most fun we have had yet! Belly & Baby and Hopscotch, brought bright colors, and fun play-sets to set the mood for some springtime fun! Whether its trendy looks or classic smocking details, that you are looking for, Belly & Baby and Hopscotch has the best selection of clothes for you and your favorite little doll. Located in Lamar Park Shopping Center, this quaint, locally owned store is as pleasant to visit as it was to photograph. We had a wonderful time working with Owner Stephanie Graf-Harrison and all of the models...my only wish was if I could fit into the darling rompers and dresses these three little girls wore! 20 M Magazine • Spring 2012


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Fashion Clothing Courtesy Belly Baby & Hopscotch Lamar Park Suite 36

22 M Magazine • Spring 2012

Fashion Clothing Courtesy Belly Baby & Hopscotch Lamar Park Suite 36


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Congratulations Gulf Coast Humane Society 3B-18

Paws and Claws 2011 President Janie Bruun presented the Gulf Coast Humane Society with a check for $75,000.00. Paws and Claws raised the money through two events this past year, the Fur Ball and the annual Luncheon and Style Show. Denny Bales accepted the check on behalf of the Gulf Coast Humane Society. The money donated will go to care and treatment of the animals. YOU CAN DONATE TO THE GULF COAST HUMANE SOCIETY BY VISITING http://www.gchscc.org/ 24 M Magazine • Spring 2012


SPRinG iT On FUn FLiRTY FASHiOn

Fashion Wendy Katlen Floral Dress $182.00 VSA San Benito Rosary $385.00 Danielle Dodson "Giselle" Earrings $50.00 VSA Milagrosa Cuff $293

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Fashion "Jillian" Navy Woven Dress $75.00 VSA Antigua Rosary $365.00 VSA Pearl Rose of Venus Rosary $376.00 VSA Betty Earrings $158.00 VSA Temptation Serpent Cuff $658.00

26 M Magazine • Spring 2012

Fashion Ivy Jane Blue Embroidered Tunic $97.00 Panache Shorts $25.00


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Fashion A Ivy Jane Empire Waist Dress $141.00 VSA Oaxaca Earrings $189.00 VSA Rectangular Ring $297.00 VSA Antigua Cuff $361.00 Brown/Gold/Turquoise Rope Necklace $42.50

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Re-Defined Fashion

Two designers make their mark on local style by incorporating vintage, and organic finds in unique and inspiring jewelry designs. Erin Tagle: Gussied designer has turned her love of fabric, fashion and jewelry into design, by using repurposed vintage and designer fabrics to embellish wide metal cuffs

It may be hard to imagine that old table cloth in your grandmothers linen closet fashion-worthy or the small shells and dirty “bits” in the sand elegant. Yet, for two trailblazing women, these items are considered fashion gold and in the midst of everyday life Danielle Dodson and Erin Tagle are blazing trails and creating stylistic fashion waves in the most resourceful ways.

Erin Tagle has turned her love of fabric, fashion and jewelry into design, by using repurposed vintage and designer fabrics to embellish wide metal cuffs. Her line is called Gussied and although She might be a busy momma, she always finds time to accessorize! The fabrics you use on your cuffs are so unique! Where are some of your favorite places to find the beautiful textiles you use? The depths of my moms closets, since she doesn't ever throw anything away. And of course, flea markets and thrift stores! You must have fabric from every decade! Tell me, what is your favorite decade? I absolutely love the vivid colors and flocked designs on wallpapers from the 1960's. Your team cuffs are some of my favorites :) Are you adding any new teams to your collection this year? My team cuff collection started with the request for a Dallas Cowboy cuff, then evolved from there. As the requests come in, I add them to the collection. The newest team cuff (to be added this week) is Baylor. If you could take one piece of art and put it on a cuff, what piece would it be? Anything from Salvador Dali. If you could give trade accessories with anyone, who would it be? It's so cliche, but definitely Coco Chanel. She is such an icon of style, grace and femininity.

Danielle Dodson, professional Surfer, Volcom Model, Full Time Student and avid Fisher-woman created an earring line called Stella Di Mare, that’s Italian for Starfish. Her Earrings are as unique and varied as Danielle herself and with each pair she has an amazing stories that share her passion for all things coastal. I absolutely love the name of your line Stella Di Mare. Tell me why you chose a Italian variation of the word starfish? I had been looking at names, in Italian, because my moms family is Italian. I wanted to honor her elegance and also have a fun beachy name; plus I love starfish! Your love for the water is radiant amongst your designs, if you were not living in Corpus where would you live?I would probably live back in Hawaii and I probably will at some point again. The use of fishing lures is definitely eye catching. They are is abstract and unexpected they certainly work outside of the water. What are your favorite lures inside of water? I love the Rapala Lures. Because they are pretty...I have always stolen the prettiest lures from my dads tackle box. Where is your favorite place to surf? In Corpus, Bob Hall Pier, but outside of Corpus I’d have to say the Maldives. If you could work with any designer who would it be? Lourdes with Luli Fama Swimwear When are you your happiest? Absolutely happiest after a good surf session with my sister and my dad!

Danielle Dodson: Stella Di Mare Designer, professional surfer and avid fisher(woman) has used one of a kind finds such as shells, sharks teeth and unique lures to design her repurposed earring collection.


LIGHTING THE WAY WITH LED “LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!” BY RONNA BRASELTON RBI DESIGNS 361.992.6000

30 M Magazine • Spring 2012

In one of my many former lives I heard these three words almost daily. As a former music reporter I spent a lot of time on camera interviewing bands and hosting live music shows. I quickly came to find that out of those words, the first of them was the one that made all of the difference. My lighting crew kindly pointed out to me that I had better be nice to them and shower them with gifts. But why, I ignorantly thought to myself. I quickly found out that they could make me look like a glowing angel (good luck with that) or a cast member from Dawn of the Dead according to what light they cast on (or didn't cast on) my face. Until then, I had no idea that being on camera was all smoke and mirrors - and THE RIGHT LIGHT! Until that point I was definitely effected by lighting. I knew when ambient lighting was setting a scene. The romantic glow of a candle, the sparkle of a diamond in a jewelry store, the high energy strobes at the high school dances, the obnoxious, screaming blue, depressing lights in a hospital. I got all of that, but wasn't really aware that it was the light that was effecting my mood and

temperament . Nor was i as aware of just how dramatically it could change the appearance of people and the space around them. It was right about then I really got it it really is all about the lighting! There have been many studies regarding work performance and lighting that big companies look to in order to determine how to light the various spaces in their offices. The areas where they need the employees to perform faster and to be alert, they light with buzzing fluorescent bulbs. Coffee schmoffee - caffeine has absolutely nothing on fluorescent lighting. As my good friend Erin Hicks says, "that'll get 'em buzzin' like a cheap speaker!" Go to the executive offices and you will find Mr. Prez glowing under the beams of soft, flattering lights. The executives need to be steady and communicative. They need spaces that clients can enter without feeling like they want to jump up and get the heck outta dodge. There are so many good examples of really bad lighting choices that it’s hard to know which to mention. But ponder this, Have you ever noticed that most schools, at least in the public school system, flood our children's


classrooms with screaming fluorescent blue lights? I won't be too shocked if some day at afternoon school pickup I see some poor kindergarten teacher being wheeled out in a "special" white jacket. How would you respond to having spent a day with 20 or so children who have been sizzling beneath the lasers they call lights? One would think that some of the powers that be would notice that this might be a problem. (Personally, I plan on suing the government for their contribution to my ADHD if the statue of limitations hasn't run.) On the aesthetic level, here's yet another surprising and very disturbing example of bad lighting choices. Right about this time of year with spring break just around the corner (yes, I still do spring break) it's time yet again for the annual humiliation of trying on a bathing suit. I simply can't wait to get a look at my pasty and heavier than last year body under the cheap fluorescent lights of a department store. It's always great to see every new bump that has made it's way onto my thigh area. My skin looks a nice, light purple tint. My shocked and sickened face looks especially fabulous with the new wrinkles that I couldn't even see in my 15x magnifying mirror. My girls over at

Physicians Medi Spa are loving this. Immediately post trauma I will be panic calling on them for emergency botox and a care package of chemical peels- stat! Ladies, can I get an AMEN? So, why have store owners not gotten the memo regarding the use (or NOT) of fluorescent lighting in dressing rooms? I'm sure they have. However, from an overall cost perspective it was by far the cheapest option. Is this the only way? Will I never buy a bathing suit in peace again? There are a number of better options out there. For example, there is halogen lighting. One of the biggest problems with halogen lights is the amount of heat they put off . Additionally, the cost to purchase them along with the cost to run them is about 3 times as much as fluorescent. It's hard on the pocketbook and hard on the environment. Believe me, I know. I have them in my showroom. The heat they put out is hard on the AC making it harder still on the environment. Our cosmic footprint given everyone turning to halogen would be about the size of a Sasquatch for every home. As we continue evolving, we are getting that we all need to be more aware of how we are affecting the world we live in. During the heat of the summer we have seen cities "brown out" in an effort to keep up with power demands. Considering our lights make up about 30% of our power usage, what's a person to do to if they want their home, their store and their self to look more palatable and keep the sanity while minding the environmental and cost concerns? This is where LED lighting starts to take the stage. It's becoming the "star" of the lighting world. While it is costly

on the front end, the overall savings on your monthly bill along with the energy efficiency more than makes up for the higher cost of the bulbs. From an aesthetic standpoint, the effect of the lighting on your space and your face makes it easy to smile without worrying if your botox is still working. It doesn't put off heat like halogen bulbs so the AC is as happy as you are. AND, they last thousands of hours longer making changing bulbs something you do every few YEARS verses every other month. So, the extra cost becomes easier to take knowing you will buy many fewer bulbs and see a big difference on your monthly bills. Add to that the discount, (yes DISCOUNT) your power company will offer you because you aren't heating up your little part of the world. Some companies offer up to 30% off for using LED. L.E.D. It isn't exactly a new phenomenon or invention. But until recently, on the consumer level for residential use it has been cost prohibitive for most of us. According to local energy expert, Byron Loftin, of 3Ewerks: "There are so many fantastic things that LED's bring to our world ; from being Eco friendly and having superior lighting quality to vast energy conservation." "We have seen LED technology grow at a rapid pace over the past few years as well as prices drop substantially. " There is also a benefit in the disposal of the bulbs. Fluorescent lights contain mercury which make them harmful to children, people with weak immune response and to all of us when the bulbs are disposed of improperly. Mercury is a very harmful toxin which has become and obvious culM Magazine • Spring 2012 31


prit in our society - thought to be a huge contributing factor in health concerns. Steve Callaway of Fergusons Kitchen, Bath and Lighting here in Corpus Christi can also "shed some light" (sorry) on this. His business is lighting and has been for years. He has been talking me up on the benefits of LED lighting for some time. According to Steve, LED light bulbs have been touted as the light bulb of the future but today’s homeowners must weigh the pros and cons to make wise LED lighting choices. Longer bulb life and very low power consumption are some of the strongest pros while the relatively high initial cost can be a negative to the average consumers. He informed me that, many consumers would consider the LED bulb to be very expensive unless they do their homework on the benefits of LED. Standard light bulbs are rated to last an average of 750 hours and cost an average of 85 cents. Halogen bulbs perform a little better with an average life span of 3500 hours while costing around $7.50. A LED bulb is rated to last an average of 50,000 hours with a cost of around $50.00 but the LED bulbs last up to 70 times longer. That means the consumer would spend around $66.00 in standard bulbs to get the same life as one $50.00 LED bulb. In addition to longer life the LED bulbs use an average of 80% less energy than standard bulbs and produce virtually no heat so there is also a savings on their electric bill. Although the LED bulb is not the perfect lighting solution for all light applications in the average home it does work well in many areas. LED lighting works great in under cabinet lighting in kitchens, is an excellent source for lighting art works with its zero UV light output and is outstanding in landscape lighting applications. Additionally, he says, many lighting companies are developing innovative ways of using LED bulbs in light fixtures and light bulb manufactures are streamlining the production of the bulbs to help reduce costs. So the good news is that cost of LED bulbs is coming down and even at today’s pricing we can still save money over the life of the bulb. We are seeing a major push toward LED usage in the home design business. The eco-conscious, savvy consumers we like to call our clients (I got paid to write that) are making the change to LED floodlights and reaping the benefit of major savings in the long run. As you can imagine, we applaud this as they are able to make those furniture upgrades faster! We recommend that you look in to making this change in your homes as well. Personally, I can't make it fast enough! Personally, I am stepping out of the shadows and making the switch, with the help of a little self tanner and some LED bulbs I should be looking better in no time!

WHAT IS LED LIGHTING? LED or Solid-state lighting (SSL) technology has the potential to cut U.S. lighting energy usage by one-quarter and contribute significantly to our nation's climate change solutions. As an example, if you replace 1 - 95 watt Par 38 Halogen spotlight with a 16 watt LED Par 38 it will save as much energy as a 200w Solar panel produces in a year with a cost of around $40 compared to $1100 for solar panel. Earth and UV Friendly LED’s contain no Mercury and do not emit UV light. What this means is that there is no harm in disposing of them, like CFL’s that contain mercury. Also they will not discolor furniture or clothing in an indoor environment. Cost Effective The price of LED’s have fallen drastically in the past few years but you have to know what you are looking for. The price range now for screw ins or spotlights range between $10 & $40. T8’s are now in the $25 - $45 range. Typically we see a less than 1 year ROI on screw ins based solely on energy usage in a commercial setting. Depending on how long have the lights on in a residential setting will determine your ROI. Long Life LED’s life span is incredible. Typically LED’s last any where from 25,000 to 50,000 hours what that means is that you will not replace a light bulb for 9 - 17 years if the lamp burns 8 hours a day. Color LED’s can be made to match any color of lighting that you like. Typically they come in warm (2700 kelvin), white (4000 kelvin) & daylight (6000 kelvin). The light from LED’s is also much more crisp and clean than their counterparts and will make anything that falls under them look better. HVAC Savings Not only do LED’s save you on lighting costs, they also save you on cooling costs. When you replace an incandescent lamp ( 90% heat - 10%light ) with a LED ( 90% light - 10% heat) you remove a tremendous heat load in your home or business and will save on cooling costs


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Do You Need To Sell Your Home For Top Dollar? List your Home With Mirabal Montalvo Actual Client Testimonial, After my listing expired with my previous agent, I wanted to carefully research my options before relisting my property. After careful research, I chose James Mirabal. Within 14 days, I had my first offer and my showings increased by over 200%. I am convinced the marketing efforts by his company led to the increased traffic and multiple offers on my property. I would recommend James with Mirabal Montalvo to anyone looking to sell their home in todays market. Sincerely, V. Harris

Why Our Marketing Makes The Difference In todays competitive environment your home needs to stand out, at Mirabal Montalvo we utilize the latest tools available to set your home apart from the crowd. Utilizing a unique blend of traditional print and modern social media techniques you can be sure your home will get the exposure needed to bring you top dollar offers. Don’t experiment when it comes to the sell of your home, go where the job gets done, list with Mirabal Montalvo!

Seller Services • Individualized Market Analysis • Professional photography and videography • Home staging services • Social Media marketing • Individual web pages for each property • High quality full color print materials including flyers, postcards, & complimentary advertising in M Magazine • Full time dedicated lead generation staff constantly hunting down buyers for your home. • Open House & Broker tours

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BOTANICAL GARDENS

LESS THAN 1 YEAR OLD. 1 ACRE LOT. LONDON SCHOOL DISTRICT

5317 WILD OLIVE TRAIL 4 BEDROOM 3 BATH 3 CAR GARAGE FOR PRICE DIAL 1-877-595-8312 CODE 3032 COUNTRY CREEK ESTATE Built in 2011, this amazing brick home is situated in the Botanical Gardens subdivision. This home includes a total of four bedrooms and three baths with a great open floor plan and many amenities. This includes, custom crown molding throughout, a spacious living and two dining


areas. The kitchen is an absolute treat! It contains granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, a breakfast bar, and beautiful custom oak cabinets around and opens up into the living and dining area; so convenient for entertaining guests. The master bedroom includes a huge walk in closet and the master bath has a separate tile shower with a Jacuzzi tub. Stepping outside, this home sits on one acre with an incredible landscaped yard. This is definitely a must see. Schedule your appointment today to view this property.


LIVING SPACES For Address Dial 1-877-595-8312 Enter Code

Ocean Drive | 3013

Rand Morgan Village | 3085

4 Bed 4 Bath 2 Car Garage 4,644 Sq. Ft. $649,900

5 Bed 3.5 Bath 3 Car Garage | Sits On Over 10 Prime Acres 3,821 Sq. Ft. $699,900

Lamar Park | 3100

Indian Hills | 3002

2 Bed 2 Bath 2 Car Garage 1,971 Sq. Ft. $319,900

4 Bed 3.5 Bath 2 Car Garage 3,400 Sq. Ft. $409,900

Country Creek | 3099

Kings Lake | 3025

3 Bed 3 Bath 2 Car Garage 3,040 Sq. Ft. $ 320,000

4 Bed 2.5 Bath 3 Car Garage 2,756 Sq. Ft. $295,000


LIVING SPACES For Address Dial 1-877-595-8312 Enter Code

5 Bed 3 Bath 3 Car Garage 3,688 Sq. Ft. $512,000

The Coves at Lago Vista | 3032 4 Bed 3 Bath 3 Car Garage 3,526 Sq. Ft. $ 499,900

Country Creek | 3006

Neptune Harbor | 3019

5 Bed 4 Bath 2 Car Garage 5,017 Sq. Ft. $ 399,900

3 Bed 3 Bath 2 Car Garage 1,971 Sq. Ft. $379,900

Virginia Hills | 3065

Castle Valley | 3090

4 Bed 2.5 Bath 2 Car Garage 2,159 Sq. Ft. $269,900

4 Bed 2.5 Bath 2 Car Garage 2,697 Sq. Ft. $229,900

The Coves at Lago Vista | 3005


LIVING SPACES For Address Dial 1-877-595-8312 Enter Code

Tropic Isles Subdv | 3095

Del Mar | 3083

4 Bed 3 Bath 2 Car Garage 2,000 + Sq. Ft. $ 269,900

3 Bed 2 Bath 2 Car Garage 2,132 Sq. Ft. $239,900

Summer Wind | 3094

Country Club Townhomes | 3062

3 Bed 2 Bath 2 Car Garage 1,400 Sq. Ft. $ 149,900

3 Bed 2 Bath 2 Garage 2026 Sq. Ft. $ 205,000

Wood River | 3021

Village at Dunbarton | 3072

5 Bed 3 Bath 2 Car Garage 3,010 Sq. Ft. $ 174,900

4 Bed 2 Bath 2 Car Garage 1,983 Sq. Ft. $174,900


LIVING SPACES For Address Dial 1-877-595-8312 Enter Code

Queens Crossing | 3077

Kings Crossing | 3074

4 Bed 2.5 Bath 2 Car Garage 2,215 Sq. Ft. $214,900

3 Bed 2 Bath 2 Car Garage 2,026 Sq. Ft. $ 199,900

Kings Crossing | 3068

Tropical Winds | 3060

4 Bed 2 Bath 2 Car Garage 2,194 Sq. Ft. $ 175,000

3 Bed 2 Bath 2 Car Garage 1,425 Sq. Ft. $ 152,900

Santa Fe | 3063

Cedar Ridge | 3057

3 Bed 2 Bath 2 Car Garage 1,807 Sq. Ft. $ 169,900

4 Bed 2.5 Bath 2 Car Garage 2,015 Sq. Ft. $ 169,900


LIVING SPACES For Address Dial 1-877-595-8312 Enter Code

Marina Del Sol | 3031

Carroll Woods | 3098

2 Bed 2 Bath 2 Car Garage 1,108 Sq. Ft. $ 159,900

3 Bed 2 Bath 2 Car Garage 1,611 Sq. Ft. $ 144,900

Summer Wind Village | 3004

Windsong | 3044

3 Bed 2 Bath 2 Car Garage 1,340 Sq. Ft. $ 139,900

3 Bed 2 Bath 2 Car Garage 1,585 Sq. Ft. $ 139,900

Greenway Garden | 3078

Seaside Riviera | 3010

3 Bed 2 Bath 2 Garage 1785 Sq. Ft. $ 132,900

3 Bed 2 Bath 1 Car Garage 1,420 Sq. Ft. $ 119,900


LIVING SPACES For Address Dial 1-877-595-8312 Enter Code

Windbrook | 3055

Lindale Park | 3040

3 Bed 2 Bath 2 Garage 1553 Sq. Ft. $ 142,500

3 Bed 2 Bath 0 Car Garage 1,465 Sq. Ft. $ 139,900

Windrook | 3092

PA Cliffs | 3084

3 Bed 2 Bath 2 Car Garage 1,510 Sq. Ft. $ 137,900

2 Bed 2 Bath 2 Car Garage + 1 Bedroom Apartment 1,718 Sq. Ft. $ 119,900

Overland Meadows | 3067

Cimarron Crossing | 3079

3 Bed 2 Bath 2 Car Garage 1,187 Sq. Ft. $ 89,900

3 Bed 2 Bath 2 Garage 1428 Sq. Ft. $ 129,900


COMMERCIAL & LOTS For Address Dial 1-877-595-8312 Enter Code

Ocean Drive

River Pointe Subdivision

Residential Lot 22,500 Sq.Ft. $450,000

Perfect For New Subdivision | Located On The Nueces River 16 Acres. $ 367,500

NAS Drive

Alameda Eight Plex

1328 Sq.Ft Building With Tons Of Parking | Sits On Two Lots $ 189,900

Fully Occupied | Cash Cow | Solid Concrete Construction $ 199,900

Coves At Lago Vista

Alameda Duplex

Two Waterfront Lots Available 1 Acre. $ 167,000

Two Units | Near Schools & Hospitals | Excellent Cash Flow 1630 Sq. Ft. $ 139,900


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READY TO BUY, SELL OR INVEST IN YOUR NEXT PROPERTY

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M Magazine Spring Summer 2012