Modern Texas Living

Page 1


MEALS under 30 minutes





Nugents from North to South

PUBLISHERS Ashley Munn Brandy Stoffel Haley Holden ART DIRECTOR Stefanie Kienstra CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Alex Wolf Photography Ashley Munn Photography CONTRIBUTING CREATIVES Rachel McGee Amy McCauley Single copy free. Multiple copies may be available for purchase by contacting Modern Texas Living is published by Lifestylemag CentralTX, LLC. The cover and contents are protected by copyright and cannot be reproduced without prior written permission. All rights reserved. @Lifestylemag CentralTX, LLC.




in g i r O s ’ o c a W



64 ON THE ROAD Clifton Road Trip 64

68 INSIDE BUSINESS Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning 68


AT HOME Perfectly Imperfect 4 Shelf Styling 12

Monday - Saturday • 9am - 5pm 9685 Lone Star Parkway Valley Mills, TX 76689 254.486.9150

Eclectic Downtown Loft 16 DIY Household Cleaners 24 Gingerbread Décor 30 Table for Two 32


LinkedIN 72

74 OF LIFE & STYLE Beauty Trends 74 Wrapped with Love 76 Gift Guide 78 Denim 80 Anti Aging 82 What To Wear: Date Night 84


30 Minute Meals 34


Place Card Ideas 38

Here in the Middle 86

Spice It Up Pie Recipes 40

In Due Time 88

Signature Drinks 43

Empty Nest 90

44 IN GOOD HEALTH Making Lunch Fun 44 Gut Health 46 Diet & Nutrition Tips 48

50 FEATURES BBQ 50 The Nugents 58

92 SHE SAYS Blank Page 92 Julie On (and off) Air 94 Window of Time 98 Q & A with Shemane 100

102 HE SAYS Q & A with Ted 102 Grilling Guide 104

ON THE COVER Photography of Ted & Shemane Nugent by Ashley Munn Photography MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 3





llison Aars shares her philosophy on life and design as we take a tour of their family’s Texas farmhouse. In her early twenties, Allison lived in L.A. and worked in the film industry. “If you

would have told me 15 years ago that I’d be living on a farm, I would have laughed at you.” Little did she know at the time, the dream she was chasing wasn’t what God had in store for her. After moving back to Dallas to be closer to family while she and her husband started their own, they quickly grew tired of the city’s expanding hustle and bustle. They talked about giving their boys a different lifestyle. “We dreamed about it, but weren’t serious. We just aren’t fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of people.” On a random weekend afternoon, they decided to go for a drive in the country and do some good old fresh air exploring. They stopped at a beautiful historic church to let their boys stretch their legs. As the sun was setting, filling the sky with vibrant colors, the wind sweeping through the open Texas plains, and her boys’ shadows dancing as they ran around, that’s when she knew. “Here, I could live here.”, she said with soft resolution.



Today, Allison lives the curator’s dream, scouring thrift stores, salvaging vintage pieces, and creating a home with a true soul for her family. MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 7



AT HOME “You’re not just creating something to look at, you’re creating an environment for your family. Your home affects your energy; it affects your days. It needs to reflect the energy you want and who you are.“

INSPIRED. VINTAGE. UNIQUE FINDS. Want more from Allison? Visit or follow her on Instagram @thefestivefarmhouse 10 |

Your Place. Like Home.

501 South 8th Street 254.235.1777






Styling shelves to get the right balance of beauty and functionality can be daunting. Use these tips and sleek examples from talented home decor bloggers to tackle a shelf and take a “shelfie”!



Katie Staples

Doreen Corrigan

 Layer your items and frames forward facing.  Use colors that contrast and pop against your shelf color. If you’re styling a wood stained shelf, use light colors and whites.  Don’t use lots of detailed items; their beauty gets lost in the chaos and creates a busy or cluttered looking shelf. Instead, use items that seem plain when standing alone. Layering in more simple items together creates definition and appeal for the eye. 14 |

 If you don’t own physical books, search thrift stores for inexpensive hard backs. If the colors aren’t working out, you can paint them or cover them!  Neutrals and tone-on-tones are always a good idea!  Small snippets of greenery add an organic softness.

Alma Arrieta Top Left: Use stacked books to add height and dimension to smaller accents. For a more cohesive look, turn books with bindings to the back. Bottom Left: Woven baskets and boxes give shelves added storage while providing texture for visual interest. Bottom Right: Layer picture frames to the side and slightly behind smaller accents. MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 15



he antique mailboxes, orderly numbered in the common area of the Behren Lofts in downtown Waco, set the tone for Wendy Callan’s charming eclectic styled space. Originally built in 1923, the building offers a mix of historic details with modern amenities.

Eclectic Downtown Loft 16 |

Of the 57 lofts, Wendy’s approximately 1800 square feet unit has one of the best views of Waco, including the ALICO building and events such as Brazos Nights. Wendy describes her style as a mix of modern and vintage. “If I like it, I’m getting it. I never say ‘Do I have a place for this?’.” MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 17


A neutral base allows Wendy to change accent colors with the seasons. The open space of a loft allows for furniture to be moved to change space structure for entertaining.

Mirrors line the wall up the stairs to reflect the city lights, creating the illusion of windows. 18 |



Over SHOPo fS! 60r o n e rfot.


q. ss! s 0 ,00 tne


30 5 Grea ing pp o sh

Wall art from IKEA, Elephant painting by Wendy.

Checkerboard from The Findery, 20 |

Wendy makes decorating meaningful with her daughter, Grace. Numbers and words of significance can be seen in paintings, on candles, and even in tables. On a side table from her dad’s law firm, Wendy placed hand-picked dictionary cards that remind her of her dad.


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Interested to know what products are most harmful to your family? These apps provide education about, and comparison of, toxic ingredients for thousands of household products: Think Dirty (FREE) Good Guide (FREE) EWG’s Healthy Living (FREE) Peaceful Nursery Guide (.99) Cosmetifique (.99)

Do it yourself all natural cleaners

Odor Eliminator Spray Homemade $0.15 per 16 oz bottle Big Name $3.29 per 16.9 oz bottle

Laundry Detergent Homemade $0.09 per load Big Name $0.25 per load


ur society is becoming increasingly aware of the chemicals found in many of the items around our homes. Research shows they are not only harmful when ingested, but also over time as we inhale them. There are several things you can do to protect your family from these everyday toxins and it’s not just shopping organic foods and produce. Here are a variety of cleaner recipes that you can easily make yourself. They are anywhere from 5-40 % of the cost of big name brands and super simple to make!

24 |



Liquid Laundry Detergent (Borax Free)

Wool Dryer Balls

2 cups washing soda 1/4 cup baking soda 1 bar Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soap, mild 5 drops lavender essential oil half a bottle of scent booster beads (optional)

2-4 rolls 100 % pure wool yarn (not machine washable) pantyhose crochet hook or any type of pointy tool your choice essential oil

1. Using a fine cheese grater to grate your bar of soap. You can also use a food processor. 2. Mix grated soap, baking soda, and washing soda (add scent boosters in this step if you so choose) to container with lid. 3. Add essential oil drops and mix well. 4. Use quarter cup per load depending on soiled level.

Liquid Laundry Detergent (Borax Free) 2 cups washing soda 1/4 cup baking soda 1 bar Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soap, mild 5 drops lavender essential oil half a bottle of scent booster beads (optional) 1. Using a fine cheese grater to grate your bar of soap. You can also use a food processor. 2. Mix grated soap, baking soda, and washing soda (add scent boosters in this step if you so choose) to container with lid. 3. Add essential oil drops and mix well. 4. Use quarter cup per load depending on soiled level.

Toilet Bowl Fizzies 1 cup baking soda 1/4 cup citric acid 1/2 teaspoon vinegar 1 tablespoon hydrogen peroxide 15 to 20 drops your choice of essential oil (lavender, rosemary or peppermint) silicone candy molds

1. Start by wrapping the yarn around your pointer and middle fingers 10-15 times. Slide it off of your fingers and tie a knot in the middle. It will look like a few loops of a figure eight.

1. Add baking soda to a mixing bowl and use a fork or whisk to break up clumps. Add the citric acid and stir. The citric acid adds the fizz to these cleaners.

2. Continue wrapping the attached yarn strand around the figure eight. After a few minutes of wrapping you will start to see a ball shape form.

2. In a small glass bowl, mix vinegar and hydrogen peroxide, which will work together to help clean your toilet. Now SLOWLY drop by drop, add vinegar and hydrogen peroxide to the baking soda. If you add it all at once, you'll have a big mess due to the reaction between the baking soda and citric acid!

3. Continue wrapping tightly until you’ve used an entire roll of yarn for each ball. 4. Using a crochet hook or long pointy object, push the end of your yarn strand deep into the middle of the ball. Be sure it is secure so it will not unravel.

3. Add the essential oil and gently mix.

5. Throw the balls into one leg of the pantyhose. Tie a knot in between each ball and at the ends. You can cut off any excess hosiery.

4. Use a half teaspoon to scoop the mixture into your candy molds, and press in gently with your fingers. Don’t fill them completely full, because this will expand. Let dry for at least 6 hours or overnight.

6. Wash the ball pack in a laundry load using the hottest water possible. This will felt the wool and make it smoother.

5. Place the dried fizzies in a glass jar out of reach of children and drop one in anytime your toilet needs a little refreshing!

7. When you pull the ball pack from the dryer, cut off the hosiery and add a few drops of essential oil. They are ready to go!

Odor Eliminator 1 empty spray bottle 
 3 tablespoons fabric softener 
 3 cups hot water 
 1 tablespoon baking soda 1. Pour fabric softener into an empty spray bottle. 2. Fill spray bottle with hot water. 3. Add Baking Soda. 
 4. Shake the bottle vigorously! * Be sure to do a small test spray in an inconspicuous area on any non-washable furniture items to ensure no staining. 26 |



Essential oils are a great all-natural way to add fresh scents to your homemade cleaners!


Disinfecting Spray 16 oz. hydrogen peroxide (3%) 1/2 teaspoon lavender essential oil 1/2 teaspoon lemon essential oil 1/8 teaspoon peppermint essential oil Combine all ingredients in bottle, attach spray nozzle, and shake to combine. For best disinfecting results, spray on surfaces and leave for several minutes before wiping clean.

Soft Scrub Cleaner 1 cup baking soda 1/4 cup Castile soap 1 tablespoon hydrogen peroxide 1 large jar with a sealable lid 1. In a medium-size bowl, combine the baking soda, Castile soap, and hydrogen peroxide. 2. Stir until the scrub cleaner looks like thick glue. 3. Spoon the scrub cleaner in a large jar with a lid. Leave 2-3 inches of space in the jar for expansion. Be sure to use a sealed jar for longevity.

I w o u l d l o v e t o h e l p y o u fi n d t h e p e r f e c t h o m e

JENNIFER JENKINS c: 254-749-3321

We d d i n g E n g a g e m e n t C h i l d r e n F a m i l y 28 |

A s h l e y M u n n P h o t o g r a p h y. c o m



GINGERBREAD JARS SUPPLIES: • Gingerbread mini village kit • Clear storage jars • Granulated sugar • Mini holiday village trees or Bottlebrush trees Gingerbread, in any form, is essential to holiday festivities. Try this fun twist on the traditional gingerbread house and Christmas village! Start with pre-made gingerbread mini village kits and have the kids decorate using cheery candies, or for a traditional snowy look, icing and sugar. Make snowy hillsides by pouring granulated sugar into the jars first. Add plastic bottlebrush and village evergreen trees for accents. Create a beautiful vignette with multiple jars which keep the contents fresh the whole season!


(254) 717-7431

1509 Austin Ave Waco, TX 76701


TABLE for Two

Special occasions like Valentine’s Day can leave parents without a sitter (they have a date), and others cringing at the thought of battling crowds and loud restaurants. Opt for creating a romantic dinner at home using these tips from Creative Contributor Rachel McGee.

Top Left: Mix and match china with everyday plates for an elegant yet casual feel. Top Right: Nothing provides ambiance like a dancing flame. Layer pillar, tapered, and tea light candles in a grouping for a simple way to create a romantic aesthetic. Bottom:: For an inexpensive yet impressive centerpiece, use a combination of real and faux florals. Look for cheap blooms at a local grocery store. Enhance the arrangement by bringing in flowers and greenery from local craft stores (e.g., Michaels, Hobby Lobby, and Joann’s Fabric). MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 33


Enjoy these winter weeknight meals in 30 minutes or less! INGREDIENTS






onion, diced



all-purpose flour


carrots, diced

1/2 t.



stalks celery, diced

1/2 t.

baking powder


cloves garlic, chopped

3 T.

1/4 t. 1/4 cup 2 cups 10 oz 2 cups 1 ½ pounds 8 ounces 1 cup

INGREDIENTS FOR FILLING 1 10.75-ounce 1 cup 1 ½ cups

can cream of chicken soup milk frozen mixed vegetables


1/8 t.



1 cup


1/8 t.

freshly ground black pepper


1 cup

shredded cheddar cheese

1/8 t.

garlic salt

5 T.

ham broth or chicken broth cream of chicken soup

1/4 cup

butter, melted

1 t.

garlic, minced

milk potatoes, diced ham, diced corn salt and pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center of flour mixture. Add the milk and cheddar cheese; stir to combine. Drop batter by spoonful onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until lightly browned. While biscuits are baking, mix melted butter and minced garlic. Brush garlic butter over hot baked biscuits.

INSTRUCTIONS Heat butter in a large sauce pan over medium-high heat; add the onions, carrots and celery and cook until tender. Mix in the garlic, thyme, and flour; cook until the flour is browned. Stir in the broth, deglazing the pan as you go. Add the milk, cream of chicken soup, and potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender. Add the ham and corn; cook until heated and season with salt and pepper.

FILLING While the drop biscuits bake, place the soup and milk in a large bowl and stir to combine. Transfer the soup mixture to a large skillet over medium heat. Add the vegetables, salt, pepper, and garlic salt. Cook on medium high heat, stirring often, for about 10-15 minutes. To serve, place biscuits in a bowl and top with the hot filling. Toss in some rotisserie chicken or ground beef if you prefer a meatier dish! MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 35



SAUSAGE ALFREDO PASTA INGREDIENTS 4 T. 1/2 t. 14 ounces 4 1 quart 2½

extra virgin olive oil salt smoked sausage, sliced cloves garlic, minced low-sodium chicken broth cups heavy cream

1 pound

dried pasta (captiva or penne pasta)

4 ounces

freshly shredded Parmesan cheese fresh parsley to garnish Cajun seasoning (optional)


ground beef or turkey


medium onion, chopped finely


garlic cloves, minced

14 ounces 2 cups 6 ounces 1 tsp 1/2 tsp 12 ounces


chicken or vegetable broth



In a large pot or skillet with tall sides, add onions, garlic, and ground meat; brown until cooked through. If using beef, drain off fat. Add tomato paste, broth, water, oregano, basil, salt and pepper; whisk well to combine ingredients; bring to a boil. Add spaghetti and simmer for 17-20 minutes or until spaghetti is cooked through and sauce has thickened. Top with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.

tomato paste oregano dried basil spaghetti salt and pepper to taste Parmesan cheese

36 |

In a large skillet, lightly brown sausage in olive oil over medium high heat. Stir in garlic and cook for about two minutes. Add chicken broth, heavy cream, and dried pasta. Stir together and bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Reduce heat to low and let cook covered for 15-20 minutes, or until pasta is tender. Remove pot from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese. Stir in chopped parsley and sprinkle with Cajun seasoning to taste. MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 37


A Team of The BEST

PLACE CARDS A Personal Touch By Jill Pinkham Nelson

Add something special to your next dinner party with unique place cards. Your guests are sure to appreciate the extra effort and can even take this special creation home with them as a reminder of your hospitality.

Clove Studded Citrus

Take an ice pick or other sharp tool and carefully poke some holes into a lemon or orange in the pattern of your choice. Then insert whole cloves into each hole. Cut a narrow strip of cardstock long enough to wrap around the fruit with a little extra to overlap. With a calligraphy pen or Sharpie, write your guest’s name on the cardstock and then wrap it around the fruit. Overlap slightly and secure with a tiny piece of tape. These smell wonderful and will stay fresh for days. Supplies: bag of lemons, $4, jar of whole cloves, $4, package of cardstock, $5.

Rosemary and Ribbon

Have a rosemary bush in your yard? Then why not take advantage of some free raw materials for this super simple–and fragrant–place card project. Snip a few sprigs of the rosemary and soak in water for up to an hour. Remove and pat dry. Write your guest’s name on a piece of cardstock, punch a hole on one side, and thread some ribbon of your choice through the hole. Wrap the ribbon around the rosemary and tie in a knot or bow. 38 |

Succulents and Chalkboard Paint

Succulents are very popular right now and can be purchased from almost any home and garden center or plant nursery. They come in a variety of pretty colors and shapes and cost about $2.50 each. Look for succulents in the smallest pots available. Pick your favorites and then grab some chalkboard spray paint which you can find at Hobby Lobby, Walmart, Home Depot, or Lowe’s. A large can is about $4. Place a sandwich bag over the succulent to protect it and then spray the plastic pot and allow to dry. You will need to spray several coats, allowing dry time in between. The next day, take a piece of chalk and prime the paint by rubbing the chalk all over it. Personalize each pot with your guest’s name or initials.

To see more DYI and design ideas, visit Jill’s blog at

254.405.6162 104 Midway Center Waco, TX 76712


SPICE IT UP Wow your taste buds with these not-so-average holiday fruit pie recipes!


Legendary Libations


WHITE CHOCOLATE, CRANBERRY AND PEAR • Pie crust of your choosing • 4-5 ripe pears (depending on size) peeled and sliced • 2 cups of dried cranberries • 1.5 cups of white chocolate chips • 1/2 cup of flour • 1/2 cup of sugar • 1/4 teaspoon of salt • Zest of one lemon • 2 tablespoons of butter, melted Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Begin with the unbaked pie crust of your choosing. Sprinkle white chocolate chips over bottom of pie. In large mixing bowl, mix pears, cranberries, flour, sugar, salt and lemon zest. Fold over gently until thoroughly combined. Then, place your mix on top of the white chocolate chips. Dab melted butter on the edges of the pie dough. Bake for about 30-40 minutes, checking at 30 minutes. Allow to cool before serving.

BLACKBERRY PLUM PIE • • • • • • • •

Pie crust of your choosing 1 cup fresh blackberries 4 small plums, pitted and sliced 1/2 cup light brown sugar 1½ teaspoons corn starch 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 egg, beaten Raw sugar for sprinkling

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Begin with the unbaked pie crust of your choosing. You will need to let your filling sit and marinate, so place your pie crust in the fridge until it’s time to take out. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the sugar, corn starch and vanilla. Add the fruit and toss until well coated. Let the fruit release its juices by allowing it to sit for about 20 minutes, stirring it 2-3 times. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the fruit into the center of the pie crust; drizzle most of the juices on top of the fruit. Brush the outside with egg and sprinkle with raw sugar. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until the crust is golden and fruit is bubbly. Serve warm with ice cream or at room temperature. 42 |

Cocktails To Honor Musical Legends By Daniel Ramirez

We enlisted a few of our local faces and places to craft a libation for their favorite Texas legend, and they didn’t disappoint. Here’s to you, you legends of Texas!


1 flaky pie crust 1 cup Diamond of California Walnuts 4-5 medium apples, cored and very thinly sliced 1/4 cup flour 2/3 cup brown sugar 1½ teaspoons cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg Pinch ground cloves (optional) 1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Start with the pie crust of your choosing. Place walnuts in a large skillet and stir over medium-high heat 3-4 minutes until nicely toasted (careful not to burn them). Set aside. In a large bowl, toss sliced apples with flour to coat. Whisk together brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Stir in walnuts. Layer half of the apples in the pie crust. Sprinkle half of the brown sugar mixture over the apples. Top with remaining apples, then with remaining brown sugar mixture. Bake for 30 minutes until apples are tender and very easily pierced with a fork. Serve warm as-is or with vanilla ice cream.


1 pound ripe figs cut in half 1 pound blueberries 3/4 cup dark brown sugar 3 tablespoons cornstarch Zest of one large orange 1 egg, beaten (can substitute with butter)

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Start with the unbaked pie crust of your choice. Mix figs, blueberries, cornstarch, sugar and zest. Toss until well combined. Pour filling into pie crust, drizzle remaining syrup over fruit mixture. Use egg (or butter) to brush crust edges. Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown.





Amor Prohibido Created by Dwayne Clark | Tequila 512

Razz 75 Suggested by Deja | Dichotomy Coffee + Spirits

Big “O” / Polar Beer Suggested by Staff | George’s Bar

• 1 oz Revolution Spirits Gin • .75 oz Lime Juice • .5 oz Raspberry-Infused Simple Syrup • .25 oz Simple Syrup • Pour into champagne flute, topped off with Prosecco. • Lime Spiral Garnish

• Large Goblet “Big ‘O’” of Lone Star or Dos Equis • [Optional Floater of Frozen Margarita to create the Polar Beer]

Balcones Single Malt Whiskey Obvious Choice | Balcones Distilling / Various Locations

• 1.5 oz Tequila 512 Blanco • .5 oz Revolution Spirits Amico Amaro • .75 oz Chamomile Tea Simple Syrup • .75 oz Lemon Juice • .25 oz Local Texas Honey Made from all Texas ingredients and loyal to its Tequila roots, the Amor Prohibido is named for the Tejano singer's most successful album.

Rasberry, gin, and bubbles mix Queen Bey's sophistication with the former Miss Knowles' kick and sass. We're "Crazy in Love" with this one.

If you've never been to George's Bar in Waco, you might not know Pay Green at all. He wrote a song about the Central Texas standard for simple and direct bars, and if the lyrics are to be trusted, threw back more than a fair share at the bar famous for its frozen goblets full of sweet lagers.

• 2 oz Balcones Single Malt Praised by many and regarded cautiously by some, Willie is an ambassador to the world for all that Texas is, no matter how rocky a road it took to become that great of a legend. Balcones Distilling’s Single Malt Whiskey has its own colorful past, but the impression it has left is indelible. Rich, warm and frighteningly smooth for how incredibly strong it is (the bottles vary in proof, but hover around 125 proof), the Single Malt is the classy, honest, and reverent way to toast a man whose legend is nothing less than pure Texan.



Take time to get kids to help; soon their ownership takes over and you’ll be out of lunch-lady mode!




LUNCH FUN By Chloe McCauley

Eliminate brown bag boredom by thinking outside the traditional (lunch) box!

TOTALLY FANCY  Crackers with

herb spread


 Avocado slices  Fruit salad

BRUNCH  Smoothie  Toasted bagel

with cream cheese  Fruit  Mixed nuts or trail mix

254.295.0610 7348 W. ADAMS #500 • TEMPLE, TX 76502 Find us on Facebook

 Turkey sandwich

on Hawaiian Roll  Cheese  Fruit  Oatmeal cookie  Nuts

2609 S 37TH ST 219 S EAST STREET, STE D TEMPLE, TX 76504 BELTON, TX 76513 254.771.3695 254.613.5007

Sunday to Tuesday 10:30am to 9:30pm Wednesday to Thursday 10:30am to 10pm Friday to Saturday 10:30am to 11pm

Sunday to Tuesday 10:30am to 9pm Wednesday to Thursday 10:30am to 9:30pm Friday to Saturday 10:30am to 10pm

FANCY-ISH  Crackers with

pepperoni and cheese  Carrots  Ranch dressing  Fruit  Nuts 44 |



Gut Health By Tiffany Hurlimann

Masters of Science in Clinical Nutrition, Registered Dietician, Licensed Dietician


ou make your grocery list, fill up your shopping cart, check out, forget something, go back and get it, finally check out, then bring it all home. Proud of your trip, you open up your fridge and applaud yourself for the delicious bounty. You got all the foods your friend or social media recommended would be great for you. You bought fresh, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables, whole grains, protein rich foods like black beans, fish and however-you-like-to-pronounce-it quinoa (keen-wah), and healthy cooking oils. All of these are amazing for you, but you have to eat and digest them first in order to reap the health benefits. Digestion is a powerful process your body does regularly. One of the key players of digestion is the small intestine, and it is lined like the Vegas Strip with powerhouse cells that help transport the nutrients from your digested food into your bloodstream and then throughout your body. Your intestines absorb water, minerals and key nutrients that give you energy! And we love energy! Step away from that energy drink… Your small intestines are loaded with good bacteria that can aid in digesting your food to the max potential. That good bacteria flourish from many different things, and fiber is one of them. Or if you’re familiar with the playground song ‘beans, beans the magical fruit’, you know the more you eat, the more you… well, the more your gut works. Here are some foods to eat that are rich in fiber, will improve your gut health, and give you the energy to make at least one or two more grocery trips.

46 |

Two Types of Fiber

Soluble Fiber includes foods like walnuts, almonds, pecans, beans, apples, lentils, and oat bran. Insoluble Fiber includes foods like vegetables and fruits with peels, cruciferous vegetables (such as cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy, and broccoli), whole grains, and wheat. Both types of fiber are excellent to eat throughout the day together. So how much fiber should we eat every day? Aim to eat around 25 to 30 grams of fiber a day. As it all adds up, here is a breakdown of some food items for your next plate:  Cup of cooked kidney beans: 11 grams  Cup of walnuts: 8 grams  Cup of blueberries: 3.6 grams  Medium apple: 4.4 grams  Medium banana: 3.1 grams  Wheat bread: 1.9 grams  Cup of cauliflower or broccoli: 2.1 grams  Cup of oatmeal: 4+ grams

Fiber Advice

• Increase your water intake when increasing fiber in the diet. • Eat fiber from food rather than supplemental form. • Some medical conditions call for low fiber diets. Consult with your physician and local dietitian to develop a specific meal plan.

CALL TODAY AND CONNECT WITH ONE OF OUR AGENTS IN A CITY NEAR YOU waco ∙ dallas ∙ houston ∙ san antonio ∙ austin


Diet & Nutrition Tips As a woman, it can be exhausting trying to balance our busy schedules, let alone make time to exercise and eat a nutritious meal! However, if we want to look, feel, and be our best, it is essential we take care of our bodies. Easier said than done, right? It can be overwhelming finding where to start with all the conflicting diet and nutrition information out there, so here are some tips to help you out.

While we should limit these foods, it doesn’t mean you cannot eat them at all! Everything in moderation.

Stay Hydrated

we scarf down meals, you don’t give your body enough time to tell you it’s full until it’s too late, and you feel like a balloon. Another way to avoid overeating is to be sure to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with snacks in between if you need them. If you skip a meal, you will be more likely to over indulge later due to F O O D I S NOT your ravenous hunger! So, eat slowly, don’t skip meals or snack times, and enjoy your THE ENEMY. food. Your body will thank you!

Get in the habit of having a water bottle with you at all times. Drink even when you’re not thirsty. Staying hydrated is key to having your body functioning at it’s best. Did you know our bodies are made up of about 60 % water? Because of this, hydration has a major FOOD IS FUEL effect on brain function, bowel movements, Have a Healthy muscle function, appearance of our skin, and Relationship with Food FOR THE more. Drinking more water can even help With so much emphasis on our weight and with weight loss! If you’re having trouble appearance in today’s society, it’s no wonder B O DY ! drinking enough water, try cutting up some millions of women fall prey to bogus fad fruit such as strawberries, limes, lemons, or diets and weight-loss products that make cucumbers and add them to your water to food the enemy. Food is not the enemy. give flavor and help your body absorb the fluid more easily. Food is fuel for the body! But, it’s even more than just stuff to keep us going. Food brings people together, and we even Portion Control use specific foods to celebrate special occasions, holidays, or This means stop eating when you’re satisfied, not full. Chew seasons. If you’re at a wedding or a party, go ahead and have slowly, and enjoy your meal or snack. Take a few sips of water a slice of cake if you want. A healthy diet (and life) is about in between bites. Sometimes it’s difficult to slow down in our balance, moderation, enjoying meals, and having a positive fast-paced lives, but eating slowly during meals (especially relationship with food. So, ditch those too-good-to-be-true when you are out to eat) will help you not to over eat. When crash diets, and make healthy eating a lifestyle.

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Eat Nutrient-Rich Foods

Jaclyn Salinas, Bachelor of Science in Biology & Master of Science in Nutrition 48 |

Nutrient-rich foods provide energy for your busy life and help to prevent disease. These include staples such as whole grains, lots of colorful fresh fruits and vegetables (especially dark, leafy greens), lean protein, low-fat dairy products, as well as nuts and legumes. While the same goes for men, many women especially need to consume more iron, due to monthly cycles. Calcium rich foods build strong bones, teeth, and help maintain a normal heart beat and regulate blood pressure.

Limit Sugar, Saturated Fats, and Alcohol You probably knew this one was coming! To keep weight in check at any age, women should avoid excess calories from added sugars, fat, and alcohol. This means limiting regular soft drinks (I’m looking at you Dr. Pepper fanatics!), sugar-sweetened beverages, candy, baked goods, and fatty foods such as sausages, full-fat dairy products, or pizza. Alcohol intake should be, at a maximum, one drink per day (12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of liquor).

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Of Texas

Barbecue Legends


by Daniel Ramirez

The car is gliding across lazy hills and lush green fields at 75 miles per hour on a lonesome highway between Robinson and Brenham on a Saturday morning, with impossibly precious cargo in the passenger seat. The race – albeit one that abides by the speed limit – is against both time and the elements and one has to wonder what gave birth to all this urgency. The answer, as any good Texan will understand and anyone not from Texas will furrow their brow to hear, is barbecue.


iding shotgun, a pound of the state’s best Central Texas area has seen in years, Guess fell prey to barbecue is making its way, tucked in signature a rule that requires a place to have been established for pink butcher paper and sealed with a handsix months in order to make the list. Reid’s response may drawn heart across the tape, from one of the state’s be a clue to why his brisket, sausage, ribs, pulled pork great pit masters to yet another of the state’s barbecue and chicken are so good. “Ok, we’re not on the list,” he powerhouses. Reid Guess, of Waco’s Guess Family humbly accepts. “By no means are we disappointed. But, Barbecue, has asked that this package of love be immediately, we said, ‘We have four years.’ We already delivered to the guys at Truth Barbecue in Brenham. He know we can make good enough barbecue right now, so has hand-carved what one can only imagine is the prime what do we have to do to be top 10, top 5?” pound of his well-marbled, smoke-kissed 44 Farms He’s already planning for that day, and despite the sourced brisket and sent it for approval to pit masters hubris, Guess isn’t exactly having delusions of grandeur. he admires at Truth. And the clock is ticking, since time He has the experience to make it, having grown up and temperature are friends of any meat, until it has building pits from scrap metal at the guidance of his reached that magical state of doneness and is removed father, a welder. Further, he’s already been on the list from the pit. Clock ticking down and summer sun before, though he doesn’t fully claim that honor. “I was pouring through the windows, the speedometer drifts a on the ‘Top 50” at Lambert’s,” he explains. Lambert’s few miles over the limit. This is what happens when you is a well-established mainstay of Austin, where they scratch the surface of Texas’ unsung barbecue heroes. pioneered ‘Fancy Barbecue’ in downtown, and he was Every four years, the Texas the head chef there for years, barbecue world readies itself for a though he didn’t start the shift to its tectonic plates. A list of restaurant. “I inherited it,” he MODERN TEXAS LIVING the top 50 barbecue joints in the humbly states. “I didn’t put Lone Star State – and therefore, them on the list or anything, I S PR OU D T O P R E S E NT in the world, according to those but I know what it takes to make in the business – is unleashed “Top 50” barbecue for Texas T H E S E F I V E P L AC E S upon a waiting audience and Monthly and I knew I could do T HAT M I G H T N O T HAV E accepted as gospel for the next it – especially keeping a small four years. The list is respected G O T T E N T H E AC C O L A D E S and very focused menu. It just by eaters, critics and chefs alike. made sense.” Much like the Olympics, if you’re Still, the fear of achieving THEY DESERVED, champion, you retain that title that level of success weighs B UT L I K E LY W I L L until the next list is revealed, heavily on him. Before the list four years later. It now inspires was released, he had a sense D O S O V E RY S O O N . the curious and the connoisseurs that he was being viewed across the state and the nation favorably by the powers that to go on a corporate-sponsored be, who had made multiple scavenger hunt, for prizes. They spend time, money and visits to his trailer. “I really started thinking of what that hours in pursuit of trying them all. Consequently, lines at was going to do to us,’ he says. “At that point, I only each and every one of listed establishments are suddenly had two employees. I still only have four. I wouldn’t be longer. “Sold out” signs go up far sooner than they sitting here right now. I would have a line forever long normally would and availability past the two o’clock hour and who knows where we would be and the food would becomes a fantasy. be, because the demand when there’s that many people Reid, a dreamer who longs to make the list, is all toostanding in line, you want to feed them.” happy to talk about how the Texas barbecue countryside When you’re on the list, the work isn’t over; and, in has changed since “the list” was unleashed in its most many ways, it’s just the beginning. Demand increases to recent form this past summer. And he’s working hard to an unconscionable level when you’re heralded as one of make those dreams come true, even if that possibility the best, and so does the accompanying criticism. And intimidates him a little. every four years, the finest masters of Texas barbecue “It’s so hot right now,” he explains. “I can’t picture it are put on display for all to behold, and to offer their being any bigger, so I’m really interested to see where it own opinion about. Everyone has an opinion when it will go.” Guess is talking not only about the list, but about comes to Texas barbecue, especially those who make it. the rise in popularity of barbecue in American culture. It is what has a pound of brisket secured in a seat Undoubtedly, he and his crew at Guess Family want to belt, headed to Brenham. When asked who else in be a part of it. But, despite being open in advance of the Texas barbecue was getting the job done, or where list and preparing what is arguably the best brisket the there were surprises on the list, Reid Guess offered a


secret at number ten, nestled high among the top 50. New players in the game come and go in the Texas barbecue world, but Reid was floored that one group hadn’t stolen the top slot, despite their relative newness. “You see all these young guys,” he begins. “Like Leonard and Dylan at Truth. They’re both just unbelievable pit masters, and they’re there together – dual cutters. It’s unbelievable.” Guess knows them from their time together in Austin, and brags on their barbecue like it’s his own. “It’s some of the best barbecue I’ve ever eaten,” he shamelessly proclaims. “Get the desserts. Get everything. It’s a place I aspire to be like. Everything you taste, and I’m not the first one to say this – lots of people say this – but every single thing you have there is the best you’ve ever had.” It is enough of an endorsement to change the day’s plans to perhaps include an hour-long detour and make a stop. And, when Guess picks up on this, mid-interview, he asks a favor that is drenched in humility and respect. “If I send you with a pound of my barbecue to deliver to them, would you mind giving it to Leonard or Dylan?” he asks.

The request is too serendipitous to ignore. So, in the passenger seat, the most tempting cut of brisket is racing across Texas, from a hidden gem of the Texas barbecue world to a new member of the Top 10 – which Reid Guess still considers a bit of a snub. It’s the kind of thing that could only happen in the world of Texas barbecue. Alas, the tale of this precious smoked cargo it isn’t the only legend in the making. Among the gems to be found across the state, Texas manages to hide still brighter diamonds that either don’t make the list or aren’t as heralded on that encyclopedia of smoked meat as they should be. Modern Texas Living is proud to present these five places that might not have gotten the notoriety they deserved, but likely will do so very soon. Overlooked for their newness, undiscovered in the state’s countless offerings or underrated by limited visits in a finite time period, these places are important to note. It is there that one can catch a star on the rise, get a plate that defies the numerical ranking or discover beauty that others have yet to even encounter. And, like this tale, the list begins with Reid Guess.

TRUTH BARBECUE Brenham, TX Leonard Botello is on to something. Seated at the midway point between Austin and Houston, he and his staff have built a testament to Texas barbecue. The building looks like it is perhaps a converted lunch spot or a house, and travelers have likely passed this tiny one-story construction next to the long-term storage facility. Step inside, however, and the smell is overwhelmingly tempting. Truth smokes brisket, turkey, pulled pork, pork ribs, sausage and the intimidating but indescribably good Texas beef ribs that are the holy grail of Texas barbecue. As Reid Guess suggested, each bite of the entire menu was far beyond even the high expectations that were set. The brisket is the star of the show, but the measure of the experience is the best brisket-pork rib-turkey trifecta ever experienced. Accompanied by house made pickles and pickled red onions, Truth makes more than a case for the top slot in the barbecue world, they’ve issued a challenge.

GUESS FAMILY BARBECUE Waco, TX Reid Guess takes the nearly decade long experience he has with Austin’s downtown source for barbecue, Lambert’s, and puts that knowledge to incredible use in the barbecue he offers at his food truck in downtown Waco. The brisket rivals the top five in the Austin area and the chicken is smoked to perfection – a pleasant triumph over what most consider a secondary protein at a barbecue joint. But the quiet co-star of the menu, complimenting every move the succulent brisket makes, is the sausage. With visible chunks of cheese strewn throughout and a perfect balance of fat, texture and spice, it isn’t like any other sausage on any list. Sides from Guess vary seasonally, but not in quality. Whether cheesy grits, potato salad or heirloom tomato salad, all are top-notch accompaniments to the omission from the top 50 that won’t stay that way for long.

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LEROY AND LEWIS Austin, TX Evan LeRoy managed to find himself tired of Texas barbecue. After pioneering Freedmen’s Bar to a place in the vaunted top 50, he was tired of just meeting expectations with the standard brisket, ribs, pork and turkey. So, at the top of the barbecue game, he got out of the barbecue grind and partnered with Sawyer Lewis to draw attention to the lesser known proteins and sides in the barbecue world. While he can still manage the show-stopping brisket [and he does, with a bark that subtly suggests that it is all you need and want in the world], LeRoy has begun pushing the envelope of barbecue. Other than the brisket, offered mostly on the weekends, the menu is incredibly flexible, with weekly, if not daily, menus devised. A recent staple of the menu is quite the spectacle, as the mac and cheese stuffed quail makes for the most decadent picture, as well as an even more decadent bite. With side dishes that also highlight the myriad ways smoke can enhance a dish – like smoked beets or a smoked eggplant salad with almonds, olives and black radish garnish – LeRoy and Lewis is the place where rampant innovation takes nothing away from the classic offerings. And it is where the attention to tiny details, like potato bread or the revolving door of accompanying pickled veggies to accent the meal, are thoughtful and worthy of inclusion in the top five.



MUM FOODS Throughout Central Texas (Dripping Springs, Cedar Park, Austin) It is time to let you in on the best kept secret in Texas barbecue. Quite possibly the least sung and most amazing place in Texas to get fantastic brisket, beef ribs, sausage, chicken and, most importantly and uniquely, pastrami, has no places to sit and dine, offers no side dishes, and has rarely, if ever, had a line. People who know about it do not share their knowledge with many, perhaps to make sure that their order can get filled whenever they need. Weekly, at select farmers markets throughout the Central Texas area, an unassuming booth appears. With a simple banner that reads, “Brisket/Pastrami,” Mum Foods has quietly become a pillar of Texas barbecue, gaining a devoted following, one sample bite at a time. There is no ambience. There is no feel. Instead there is just Geoff and Matti, taking care of every ounce of meat that goes over their utilitarian white tables. There is nothing utilitarian, however, about their barbecue. Brisket is as moist as can be found anywhere; and the champion of the market is a Texas take on a New York classic, as the post oak smoked pastrami is one of the finest bites you’ll ever try. This simple booth takes farm-to-table to a whole new level, and they’ve been doing it under everyone’s radar for almost five years. Do not let that continue and put their barbecue in your sights as soon as possible.

SALT AND TIME Austin, TX You’ll hear it even at one of the top 10 or top 50 barbecue places in Texas. Inevitably, someone will say, “the best barbecue I’ve had is what I make at home.” For the most part, it is wildly untrue. When speaking of pit masters and eating at their establishments, the bar is set phenomenally high. The baseline for Texas barbecue mastery is decades of experience and daily devotion to fire and smoke, rather than occasional tinkering over a holiday weekend. That being said, there is a proven way to ensure that your home smoker has the best chance to compete with the barbecue elite. Salt and Time, a butcher shop in East Austin, sells a secret weapon that can make any barbecue hobbyist shine. By request, the butchers at Salt and Time can obtain a Wagyu brisket. At nearly $10 per pound, it isn’t for the firsttimer, but the marbling and tenderness provide a failsafe for those who have spent more than a little time honing their skills. They also offer house made sausages and pork that is of equivalent quality. As any culinary expert will proclaim, to make great food, one must have great ingredients. Salt and Time only deals in great ingredients, and measured against other barbecue one has prepared at home, this barbecue will climb to the top of the list.

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e pull up to the Nugents’ Michigan ranch on a foggy, rainy fall morning. This is one of two ranches they own in Michigan, and another in China Spring, Texas. We agreed to meet here to accommodate Ted’s tour schedule. He’s just wrapped up his 6,537th concert; Ohio was his last U.S. concert this season. He’s proud of this number, but even prouder that his next stop will be Okinawa, Japan for a USO concert for the troops. As we pull into the electric gate at the entrance, ranch manager Jim pulls in right behind us and shoots us a huge smile from his truck as we notice the cameras and no trespassing signs. He tells us to follow him to the barn where he grabs the Polaris Ranger Crew ATV for us to head down to one of the lakes to scope out locations for photos. This place is beautiful. There are fruit trees planted around the cabin, targets set up in the yard, around towering trees, and in managed grass clearings. The ATV sticks in

reverse up a tall embankment and we hop off for the turnaround. We laugh and Jim responds, still smiling, “As Ted says, ‘Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome’.” Ted’s father, Warren, was a U.S. Army staff sergeant who served in World War II and Korea. Perhaps he was the source of the saying, Ted’s propensity for militant disposition, and stance against drug and alcohol abuse. Shemane greets us with a hug at the front door of their 760 square feet cabin. There’s a freezer as you walk in the door, presumably full of meat. This is not the first time we’ve met. Months ago, we had lunch at the Baylor Club back in Waco, Texas to talk about this article, hunting, Texans, and food. Then, and now, there are no signs of labels or pretentious status symbols. Their shoes are kicked off by the door, and a few deer are mounted on the walls. Shemane offers us coffee and zucchini bread as she asks for some last-minute wardrobe advice.


She laughs that she’s been up for hours, but Ted is on a “rock and roll schedule” and just rolled out of bed ten minutes ago. Ted takes the Ranger Crew to the barn to grab a guitar and bow while Jim plays with Happy and Sadie, the Nugents’ yellow Labradors. As we wait at a nearby shed, we hear the Chukar gamebirds scurrying in boxes, loaded and ready for a training hunt with Ted and the dogs later in the day. When the camera clicks for the first shot, the dogs run into the photo and sit perfectly at Ted and Shemane’s feet. The cover is done within two minutes. Ted’s assistant had asked that we be efficient, but this was a stroke of luck paired with the dogs’ love of being with the Nugents. At one point, I ask Ted what first sparked his interest in playing guitar. I hear him say, “magic shit”, which I quickly realize is just a comment about the way the weather and dogs and universe in general have come together for this shoot today. He didn’t hear me, at all. Years of no-holdingback rock concerts have left Ted exactly where he wants to be, in his own head, in Ted’s world, right here on one of his ranches for this moment with his well-healed dogs, his enchanting wife, and a forest to match. My question is moot with this realization. Wherever his passion came from, it is magic shit as he sits strumming chords in opposition to the shutter speed. Jim throws down a real zebra rug for a photo by the lake. “This spot is where our MTV crib house was.” Shemane continues, “The guitar shaped pool was right there.” You can’t tell it now, but 14 years ago, there was a 5,000-square-feet house on this beautiful spot overlooking the private lake. Ted, Shemane, and son Rocco were suffering from toxic mold in their bloodstream. They walked away from the house and everything in it and moved to Texas. Shemane has a

condo in Florida, and admits she may have chosen there to live, but they loved Texas, had friends there, and enjoyed hunting in Central Texas. Having lived in a few different homes in Crawford and Waco while Rocco finished school, the Nugents are now ready to build on their China Spring ranch. “We’ve been meaning to for a while, we just needed the right builder and architect to make sure this home will be healthy.” The cabin that sits here on the Michigan ranch was a compromise of sorts. Shemane didn’t want to come back to this property, for the toll it had taken on her emotions and health. “Ted loves hunting here, so we built the small cabin. I still have my condo in Florida with a stark décor difference when I want to get away.” Shemane talks about the effects of toxic mold on her website, and prides herself on being a healthyliving advocate. “If I can help others recognize the symptoms of mold, and how to live healthier, then something good comes of this.” As we are packing up to leave, Shemane packs up some of her Isagenix products for our trip home, and asks if we want to get sushi in town. We’ve been discussing Hurricane Harvey and she lets us know Isagenix is sending nutrition bars to the first responders. In the same way Ted tells us about managing the wildlife and habitat on their properties for the health of the planet, Shemane is concerned with the health of people. The phrase “to whom much is given, much is expected” comes to mind when in conversations with the Nugents. On the pedestal of fame, they are scrutinized and sometimes even crucified, for actions or inactions, words or silence. But it becomes apparent with any time around them, they love each other, their family, their dogs, and the world at large. They value health, freedom, hard work, and the right to bear arms to protect those things.


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Lake Whitney



Bosque River



os z a Br



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Meridan Creek



Lake Meridan


6 Norse

4145 AND



Cranfills Gap

Valley Mills








by Megan C. Morris

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120 Clifton Art Alley Looking for a hip place to stay? Kaye Callaway, who also has a hand in Sinclair, converted the empty two room jail into a fun place to sleep off the cocktails, post an Instagram hashtag worthy photo, and enjoy the rooftop deck aptly named “The Prison Yard”. This exclusive little place only houses one booking at a time, so plan ahead.

31.78028°N 97.58083°W POP. 3,392 By Brandy Stoffel / Photos by Ashley Munn Photography

About 35 miles Northwest of Waco on Highway 6, Clifton is a charming Central Texas destination for a date, tourist trip add-on, or family weekend.

MARKET AT THE MILL 324 W. 3rd Street Home to hosted events and weddings, live music, and a quality shopping experience, Market at the Mill is a venue to anchor any Clifton plans. You can even catch a food truck or two in the courtyard.

CLIFTEX THEATRE 306 West 5th In operation for 100 years, the Cliftex Theatre provides digital projection movies in a historic setting.



RED CABOOSE WINERY 903 S Avenue G Enjoy award winning Texas wines, made with sustainable, natural grapes at Red Caboose Winery. Tastings are $15, and we recommend taking a bottle of Port home with you.

1001 S Avenue G (254) 675-8409 Patrons rave about the ribs and brisket, and for good reason! Authentic Texas barbeque is served up at reasonable prices Tuesday through Saturday at the Bunkhouse.

SINCLAIR 215 West 3rd Street Sourcing local ingredients for farm-to-table culinary creations, Sinclair Restaurant is a great place to plan a dinner out. The cocktails, beer, and wine selection will not disappoint. 64 |

There are many more shopping, dining, and event experiences in Clifton. For more information, visit Clifton Chamber of Commerce at MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 65

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Aging Parents

WILLS, TRUSTS, and LEGAL PLANNING Protecting Your Loved Ones By Elisa Dillard Rainey


he emotional and financial demands of parenting can be tough. And it’s becoming more common for parents of young children to find themselves caring for their own aging parents. Needs change as we pass through different stages of life, but smart legal planning at any age helps assure you have met the needs of the ones you cherish and that you have eased their burden if they have to care for you.

As parents age and become increasingly vulnerable, they, too, may need help making important choices, and it’s best not to wait for an emergency. Much is said about the importance of a will as we age, and it is true that a will is an essential estate planning tool. But the benefits of a durable power of attorney and a medical power of attorney may be overlooked. Powers of attorney are effective during a person’s lifetime and serve as the most powerful tool one can use to select the representative of their choice who can make decision in the event of incapacity. Powers of attorney do not affect a person’s independence; they simply add others to the list of trusted decisionmakers who can represent their interests. Establishing a power of attorney can avoid the more extreme alternative of filing for guardianship if a loved one experiences a serious decline in capacity. Although many individuals prefer to remain in their own home as they age, nursing home care sometimes becomes necessary. The average monthly cost of nursing home care in Texas is almost $5,000 a month. Most families lack the financial resources to pay for long-term care, so they turn to Medicaid. Given that qualifying applicants can have no more than $2205 in monthly income, this often calls for Medicaid planning. Trusts, gifting and strategic spending of assets can protect hard-earned assets, while enabling a loved one to qualify for coverage.

In addition, veterans and their surviving spouses may be eligible for Aid and Attendance to help pay for care services performed at home or in a facility. Other tools, such as a living will, which details an individual’s wishes for end-of-life medical care, or a declaration of agent for disposition of remains, which designates the person who has authority to make final arrangements, can help prevent familial discord in times of crisis. Legal planning may force individuals to confront difficult issues, but addressing them before crisis erupts can protect loved ones.

Elisa Dillard Rainey is

an attorney with the firm of Rainey & Rainey, Attorneys at Law, LP in Waco. She practices in the areas of elder law, estate planning and special needs planning. Elisa is Certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation as recognized by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and she is an adjunct professor of Elder Law at Baylor Law School.

Young Children Don’t assume that writing a will is for the elderly only. It is one of the most effective ways to ensure that your children are financially protected in the event of the unexpected. No one likes to think about the possibility that a child could be orphaned through an unforeseen tragedy, but using a will to designate a guardian for minors is one of the most caring steps that parents can take. Who will be responsible for guiding them to adulthood, making economic, medical and educational decisions on their behalf? Wills naming young beneficiaries should also include trust planning to provide a structure for continued management of assets until they reach an age when they can manage their own property. Trusts can be tailored to meet the particular needs of a family or of the assets that it may someday hold. Trusts typically direct that funds be managed and disbursed for the beneficiaries until they reach a certain age or to be used for specific purposes—such as college.

Special Concerns for Special Needs Families of children with disabilities have particular concerns that can only be addressed with proper estate planning. They will probably want to create a special needs trust (SNT) to protect the child’s qualification for certain benefits. While Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and other means-tested benefits are extremely important, they fail to cover many expenses. Money set aside in an SNT isn’t 68 |

counted when assessing the beneficiary’s eligibility for such government programs, and it can be used for almost anything intended for the beneficiary alone. Other family members and friends can contribute to an SNT, and bequests should name the trust rather than the child directly. In Texas, an individual is considered an adult at the age of 18, capable of making legal, financial, and medical decisions, regardless of disability. That means that parents may be unable to participate in educational or medical discussions or access health records or other information necessary for them to advocate effectively on behalf of their child. There is often a complicated balance to be maintained between encouraging autonomy of an adult child and ensuring safety. Depending on individual circumstances, families may want to investigate establishing a durable power of attorney, medical power of attorney or guardianship in order to remain involved in decisions affecting their child. MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 69



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An online networking site can help your career

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THE CONTAINERY What is LinkedIn? LinkedIn is a social networking site designed specifically for the business community. The goal of the site is to allow registered members to establish and document networks of people they know and trust professionally. Here are a few features the site offers.

Networking Connecting with past and present colleagues is the main feature of LinkedIn. You’re able to write recommendations and endorse your connections for skills they possess. These endorsements and recommendations create a giant reference list right on your LinkedIn profile page.

Extended Resume With a LinkedIn profile, you can augment those paper resume bullet points of achievements and skills with pictures and past project examples. This gives a recruiter, employer, or hiring manager a far better grasp on your work history. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Recruitment LinkedIn is often used by employers, head hunters, recruiters, and HR managers to scout talent and post job openings for potential candidates. After creating a professional online presence on LinkedIn, it’s just a matter of time before you begin to show up in recruiters’ searches as a qualified candidate. Even if you are happy where you are, it’s good to know what opportunities exist in your field to consider when it's time for a raise or a change.

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Lip Oils “Volupté Tint-In-Oil” by Yves Saint Laurent, $32 at This all-in-one lip oil combines tint, gloss, and hydrating treatment for color and shine.

Peach Toned Blush “Peaches” from MAC Cosmetics, $23 at Peach undertone gives a more natural glow. Unlike the typical pink or mauve toned blushes, when peach toned blush is applied to the apples of the cheeks, you notice the vibrant skin, not the blush!

Sheet Masks Hydration “Egg Cream Mask” by Too Cool For School, $6 at Egg cream extracts, coconut water, and other botanical extracts target dullness, dryness, dark spots, and uneven skintone or texture. Apply once a week for more luminous, hydrated skin.

6 80 N . Main Stre e t • Sal ad o, Te xas 7 6 57 1 • (254) 947-9400 Mo nd ay –Saturd ay 10 a.m.–5 p.m. • Sund ay 1 2–4 p.m. Sage -Hil l -Marke t sage hil l market


Acrylic office supply boxes are a great way to present treats!

WRAPPED WITH LOVE A guide to curating your own custom holiday favors We are living in an age where “prime� is a verb and gifts can be drop shipped in one click. Modern technology may make life convenient, but sometimes we lose the thoughtfulness of gift giving. Creating custom labels for delicacies and gourmet chocolates is a beautiful and thoughtful way to give holiday favors out this season. 76 |

Top Right: Printing your own candy bar labels is a beautiful way to make this simple treat thoughtful. Bottom Right: Fill boxes with gourmet treats such as chocolates, macaroons, and candied nuts.

See website for seasonal printable labels. MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 77

Gifts for the Modern Texan


Texas arm-candy. $22. Elevate at The Findery

This Peruvian Opal strand with dramatic Labradorite pendant is believed to bring confidence, balance, and protection. $118 from

By Amy McCauley

Add the perfect Texas touch with handmade, 100 % locally-sourced, reclaimed wood wall hangings. $105 from

These seasonings are fresh cracked and fresh packed when ordered! $10.50 from

Send a little “home” for the holidays. Tin ornament made by Texans for Texans. $9.95. Sunshine & Ravioli

Much like the slow, careful craft of smoking barbeque, this mix is all about attention to detail. $15 from

Small batch soy candles, mindfully poured into recycled wine bottles. $26 from

Native Texas seeds. $16 from Native American Seed Co. Upcycled from authentic Louis Vuitton handbags. Rose $64. White Stone $82.

Channel your inner Joanna with authentic shiplap chargers. $20 from

photo by

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“I've been everywhere” tee-rific tee. $25 from

One-of-a-kind handbags made from vintage upholstery fabrics and textiles. $120 from

Find your Texas spirit animal with this tea towel collection! $12 each or $40 for set of 4. Scout Supply |


Old Faithful


Denim shirt – American Eagle


By Carrie Malone Owner, In Style Around Town

You know those simple, loyal, versatile few pieces of clothing in your wardrobe that never let you down? Have you wanted to try a capsule


wardrobe (30 or less pieces of clothing)? A wardrobe full of basic pieces that work and play well with others should include the denim shirt. You can wear one year-round; wear it with shorts, skirts, over shirts,

Mustard Crewneck Sweater – Gap

Good Structure Well Made Perfect Wash

­under sweaters, blazers and sleeveless dresses, paired with other denim (denim-on-denim)!

Carrie Malone owns a Waco-based business, In Style Around Town, where she is a personal shopper, coordinates and works with local style and shopping shows, promotes local businesses on KWTX, and helps women navigate their wardrobes and closets by sorting through and working with what they already have. 80 |

Olive Green Dress – Courtney’s Boutique MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 81


Whether you’re looking for anti-aging treatments to apply yourself or want to put it in the hands of professionals, these are all tried-and-true ways to get the most effective results. Find one or two of these treatments to try to change, or reverse, the course of your skin for the better!

At-Home and In-Office

SKIN TREATMENTS By: Lindsey Garcez, Freelance Makeup Artist



Retinol / Retin-A


When I asked my dermatologist what should be the first addition into a skincare routine for anti-aging (beyond SPF) she suggested incorporating some sort of retinol if over the age of 25. Retinol is a milder version of Retin-A (or vitamin A) that can be found over-the-counter. Both Retinol and Retin-A help with acne and anti-aging by stimulating skin-cell turnover, which in turn prevents clogged pores, improves skin texture, boosts collagen production, and softens fine lines and wrinkles. Pair retinol with an SPF of at least 30, and start at a low concentration if your skin isn’t used to it. See how your skin reacts and then bump up to a higher concentration or frequency of application. Also, apply at night since retinol can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. SkinMedica offers a retinol complex in three varying strengths of 0.25, 0.5, and 1.0 and packs in some amazing antioxidants for your skin! $62-93,

Botox has become increasingly popular over the years and rightly so, since it’s a non-surgical procedure that can remove fine lines and wrinkles. It is a muscle paralysis agent and is great for the areas of your face that have dynamic wrinkles, or wrinkles that are only visible when your facial muscles are contracted. Botox keeps the injected muscles from contracting while smiling or frowning, and in turn, keeps the skin wrinkle-free. Areas where botox can be applied include between the eyebrows, the forehead, around the eyes (or crow’s feet), and on the sides of the nose. Treatments vary in price, since you pay by the unit, and differing areas of your face require more units than others. The average cost per unit for botox is $13, but can vary depending on where you live. Areas injected can use anywhere from 2 to 30 units. Botox requires maintenance, as the effects can last between 4-6 months. Consult your dermatologist or plastic surgeon about botox treatments to be referred to an injection specialist.

Vitamin C Dark spots and uneven skin tone are unfortunate side-effects of age, due to free-radical damage. Vitamin C, applied to the skin, combats these issues and reverses age-related skin damage. It works best in combination with vitamin E for great sun protection. You can find both vitamins, plus vitamin A, in the Vital C Hydrating AntiAging Serum by Image. What makes this serum impressive is the combination of water and oil soluble vitamin C that helps collagen production 50 % more than regular L-Ascorbic acid (or vitamin C). All skin types will benefit from this free-radical-damage-fighting serum that can lighten, tighten, and brighten to create healthy glowing skin. Apply it in the morning and at night to cleansed and toned skin. The serum can be purchased through an authorized location, like Facelogic. 82 |

Dermasound Facial

The Dermasound Facial is a 3-in-1 treatment that creates ultrasonic waves. The facial deeply exfoliates skin, using only distilled water, making it safe for sensitive skin types and those with rosacea or acne. A second stage of the facial opens up the skin to allow moisturizers to penetrate up to 5 times deeper into the skin than a typical facial. Best of all, collagen production gets a huge boost with amino acids, peptides, and antioxidants to tighten the skin. Visible results are noticed after the first treatment, but continued treatments can yield even better results that aid in eliminating wrinkles, acne, rosacea, and hyperpigmentation. The average cost of this facial is $85 per session. It can be administered at select spas, like Facelogic.

Facials • Airbrush Tanning • Peel Treatments Waxing • Dermaplane • Dermasound • Membership Programs Complimentary Eyebrow Waxing when you mention this ad | 254-662-9788 2436 W Loop 340 Ste 2, Waco, TX 76711


What to Wear Date Night By Crista Laqua


A couple that has been married for 52 years once told me the secret to their lasting marriage was “perseverance.” They looked at each other as if they were teenagers who fell in love yesterday. Take time for date night. Here are some tips on what to wear.

Diamond King Sun and Beam Necklace,; Black knit crewneck sweater,; City Classified faux leather booties,; Apart faux leather leggings,



Try a sweater dress with leggings and riding boots. If you prefer not to wear a dress, spew out some positive vibes with a bright colored knit sweater, black leggings and cozy flats.



Tasseled cardigan,; Grand Cabaret Statement Fringe earrings,; Barb moto jeggings,; Kenneth Jay Lane Black Crystal Striped bracelet,; Mocasines shoes,

Broadway or off-Broadway, this date night idea is timelessso make your outfit timeless as well. People assume you have to dress up in a dress and heels to go see a show, but that’s not the truth. Look sophisticated in a pair of black leather leggings, a knit black sweater, and black booties. Throw in some color with a long gold necklace or switch your black boots for maroon. For an edgier look, complete the outfit with a black leather jacket, or a camel long fitted winter coat for a softer approach.

FOR A NIGHT AT A RESTAURANT OR PUB Throw on a pair of medium to dark wash denim jeans, a crisp white lose button down and (depending on the weather) thinstrapped open toe black heels, booties or pointytoe flats. If your jeans are wide-legged, opt for booties. If they’re skinny and fitted, try heels or flats. And don’t worry about perfectly tucking in your blouse- this look is supposed to be classic, chic and effortless. White blouse,; Straight leg jeans,; Ellis clutch,; Ava & Aiden pointed toe flats,; Tassel hoop earrings,

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Osman Maddy Midi Dress,; Patent leather pumps,; Frederic Sage diamond stud earrings,


Samoon cashmere sweater,; Barb moto jeggings,; Jenaya booties,; Bowling bag,; Faux gem tassel earrings,


Plaid flannel shirt,; Journee Collection Over-the-Knee Boots,




Pick a pair of black trousers (they up your fashion game), a loose, cashmere light grey or caramel sweater and black booties. Want some color? Try camel trousers and an emerald green sweater. You’ll be ready to bowl your best while looking comfortable, yet in-style.

Wintertime doesn’t mean you can’t wear lighter colors. Wear a long sleeve (or sleeveless) nude or pink dress with nude heels. If you want to go for an extra fun and flirty look, try a wrap-around dress to accentuate your beautiful curves. Pair with small jewelry such as petite diamond studs.

FOR A NIGHT AT A CONCERT Concerts are meant for you to let loose and bring out the teenager in you. If you’re seeing a rock band, wear grey knee-high boots (leather or suede) with dark wash or black denim jeans and a flannel. But if you’re seeing a jazz band, opt for high-rise dark wash flare jeans, a silk black tank top with a fitted black blazer and black heels or flats. MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 85


HERE IN THE MIDDLE The Sandwich Generation By Michele Graves


am a member of the current a 70-year-old woman who left her “Sandwich Generation”. At the teeth in a jar each night. age of 43, I find myself taking As a mother, I felt bad for my care of both, my aging parent children and worried they wouldn’t and my ten-year-old son. While want to have friends come to visit one needs assistance with being or stay overnight. I worried about driven places, grocery purchases, keeping my grandmother happy housekeeping, and basic daily life and not adding to the depression . . . well, let’s be honest, they both of losing a spouse by losing her need these things done for them. I home. I worried about how I now have another child to care for, would spend enough time with my but one who is more opinionated children and with her in order to about the way I cook meat, drive alleviate her loneliness. My time down the road, and spend my was suddenly ripped in half. And own money. what about my poor husband? This is not my only experience He suddenly lost the plans for of being sandwiched in between his man-cave and was forced to generations needing care. Many spend his evenings sitting on people, like me, were raised by chairs and couches covered with B E P AT I E N T. T H I N G S their grandparents. I was blessed crocheted afghans while watching to have grandparents who gladly Wheel-of-Fortune instead of WILL LEVEL OUT took me in and raised me. I Game of Thrones. Our lives were promised, and felt compelled, forever changed and I was in the A N D YO U W I L L L E A D to “pay them back” for their middle. I was in the middle of kindness when they reached the two generations and felt pulled A S O M EW H AT NO R M A L age where they needed me. This in both directions at all times. happened just as I was getting There were daily battles over the LI F E AGA I N . married and starting my family. My air conditioner, how to drive the grandfather died suddenly and tractor properly (because that’s not my grandmother needed me. My how my grandfather had driven it), husband, being the saint he is, did not hesitate when she how and when to mow the yard, how often to do laundry. asked us to move in with her. We spent money we really My grandmother was born and raised during The Depression, didn’t have to add a 900 square foot apartment onto her so things were not to be wasted and laundry didn’t need to existing house. She couldn’t stand to think of her 40-yearbe done that often. Clothes could be worn two, three or old paneling and linoleum being thrown out, so we left it. sometimes four times before they required cleaning. All of it. My two children had bedrooms with drop ceilings This caused friction in my marriage. My husband’s mother and paneling, wood-grain linoleum and polyester curtains – was aging and had cancer, but we were obligated to my all to keep her happy. They would have loved to have racecar grandmother and John had sisters. They could take care of beds or walls they could hang posters on. They would have my mother-in-law. It wasn’t fair, but it was the reality we found loved carpet and something besides baby blue flowers on ourselves living in. I found myself constantly torn and trying the walls of the bathroom they were now forced to share with to make everyone happy. I tried to keep my grandmother

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happy, my husband happy, and my sons happy. I found that my day was not long enough. I needed 30 or 40 hours in a day instead of a measly 24. My grandmother’s demands on my time were unexpected. I suppose I thought I would move in with her and things would be fine. Life would go on as it had when I lived in my own house. I was wrong. I was suddenly dividing my evenings helping my grandmother study Medicare D and my son study Algebra I. My weekends, which were normally filled with little league and carpooling, were filled with trying to be three places at once. It was impossible. When I made the decision to have children, I knew I would be cleaning butts, feeding babies, doing lots of laundry and rearranging my life in order to accommodate my child. I failed to realize I would be doing this again with my grandmother. She became ill and was diagnosed with lymphoma. As if life wasn’t complicated enough, I now had to add trips for chemo, weekends traveling for my son’s wrestling matches, evenings traveling to my elder son’s basketball games, and doing these things by myself, because with my husband’s new job, he was on call and gone a lot. I had to help my grandmother use the bathroom, which was awkward for both of us. My view of her changed, and suddenly, she was old. I had become the caretaker and our roles were reversed. While this all sounds insanely hard, it did work out. I found a balance, and after a couple of screaming, crying fits, I straightened out both sides and clarified the fact that I was only one person and the dang air conditioner was going to stay on 72 no matter what anyone else said. We all had to compromise. This wasn’t something that affected only me. It affected my sons, my husband, my other family members who weren’t asked to be the caretaker, my work, and my relationship with my family. Once a balance was struck, things settled down and life moved on. I learned to ask for help. I learned that my kids didn’t need me to be with them 24/7 and neither did my grandmother. There was enough time in the day after all. The benefit of being a part of the Sandwich Generation is that I became closer to my grandmother than I ever would have should our situation never have arisen. I knew her better than I have ever known, or will ever know, another living human being. When you move through each stage of life with someone, you get to know them pretty well. She wiped my

bottom, fed me, clothed me, took me to school, made my lunches, nursed me when I was sick, and helped me when I went off to college. In turn, I wiped her bottom, fed her, took her to doctor’s appointments, made her lunch, and took care of her when she was sick. I sat with her and held her hand until she closed her eyes for the last time. I do not regret one single second of any of it. My children knew their great grandmother better than they ever would have in a “normal” situation. I feel that this is the greatest honor of my life and am grateful for the opportunity.

Sanity Savers

I hired a "cleaning fairy" to come once a week. I found that when I walked in the door after a long day of teaching and running errands and found a clean house, it was like a mini vacation. I encouraged my grandmother to get out of the house. I arranged for her to volunteer at my school's library. She would ride with me to work a couple of days a week and shelve books. This made her feel like she had a purpose and that she was needed. If she ever missed a day, the librarian would call to check on her which made her feel very important. When I switched schools, she quit volunteering in the library and applied to be a volunteer at the local Auxiliary thrift store. She would sort and fold clothes, price items and help customers. She always came home with funny stories to tell about the crazy things people would donate to the thrift store. She began to develop her own life outside the house and I quit worrying about her so much. If you are the spouse of a “Sandwich Generation” caregiver, allow me to give you a little advice. Do the dishes or laundry without being asked. Offer to spend time with the older family member to give your spouse a break and to develop your own relationship with someone who is probably pretty phenomenal. Be patient. Things will level out and you will lead a somewhat normal life again. If you are the sandwiched caretaker, rest assured that you are doing the right thing and that it's ok to cry, get frustrated, throw fits over the air conditioner and maybe even drink a glass of wine when everyone else goes to bed. As my grandmother's brother told me when she passed away, “You will have a jewel in your crown for this, young lady.” MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 87


IN DUE TIME Seeking Joy in the Loneliest Season By Amber Massey


en years ago, if you would have asked me where I see myself in 10 years, I would have never thought my life would be my life. I married young, at the bright age of 20 to my high school sweetheart, and always knew kids were in the ‘plans’ for us. Five years into our marriage, we thought that it was time to grow our family, and four years after that were elbow deep in the reality that babies weren't going to come easy. I had always struggled with irregularity and never thought too much of it, until we started talking about having children. I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome after eight years of inconclusive tests and painful procedures. Countless doctors and loads of medication could not resolve my symptoms. PCOS is the most under diagnosed condition in women with fertility complications and my personal misdiagnosis was simply because I didn’t ‘fit the bill‘ for a classic PCOS female. I was not overweight and I did not have facial hair due to overproduction of testosterone, but I did have irregularity and adult acne, to which I only thought I could attribute to bad genetics. I also had ovaries that looked like two clusters of grapes at any given time of the month. So where did that leave us for babies?! It was shortly after my diagnosis that we decided to seriously start taking steps to become pregnant. Per recommendations of my ob/gyn, and the fact that we had been trying for children for about 4 years at this point and no baby, we had Jordan screened for infertility as well. The results came to conclude that Jordan had fertility issues of his own. Jordan had what is called varicoceles. His results showed decreased morphology and surgery was required to repair this birth defect. After surgery, it was another 9 months before Jordan was released. Even with Jordan’s surgical correction, we still had to deal

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with the fact that I had PCOS and would most likely need to have assistance with reproduction. We then sought assistance from a fertility specialist where we started our journey with Clomid, a medication that promotes egg production in hopes to become pregnant. Much to our surprise, on the very first round, we became pregnant with not only one baby, but two! We welcomed our healthy twin girls Parker and Jolie in December 2012. Shortly after the twins turned one year old, we decided we would like to have a third baby. After having a successful experience with Clomid when conceiving the twins, we went right back to that same plan with our fertility doctor once again. We walked into the first visit with confident hearts and positive expectations that this would result similarly to what we experienced with the twins. Everything happened again like clockwork. I became pregnant after the first round of medication, but with a heavy heart we said goodbye to that baby on Easter Sunday just 10 weeks later. In mourning our sweet angel, it became apparent that too often I find myself feeling like I have the control. I am in control, and my plans have been laid and I expect it to go my way. So many things are wrong with that statement. I know that they are not my own plans. I know that God’s plan is greater than my own. I know this, yet it continues to be increasingly easy for lines to become blurred when things that I planned are not going my way. The Lord continued to reveal this truth in the months following our first loss, as another baby would go to heaven before we would see the rainbow in this overcast season of life for us. Throughout that year, I questioned God. A lot. Everything that was happening. There was more than enough hurt, disappointment, confusion – time and time again. I prayed

Photos courtesy of Ashley McCauley Photography

and prayed for a baby, and right in the middle of the hurt and although prayer was delivered, it pain we often feel like there is no I T H I N K W E A L L H AV E all came crashing prematurely, a hope in sight and zero blessing loss that I didn’t think I could stand to appreciate. God has His hands M O M E N T S I N L I F E T H A T at 10 & 2 one-hundred percent to deal with again, and yet I did. Ten long months, four rounds of the time, steering me through of infertility medication, and two this narrow road with confidence, WE C AN LO O K B AC K O N miscarriages later we conceived and how often we make attempts our rainbow baby just six days after to turn on the blinker and make a TO S E E T H E B LE S S I NG S our second baby went to heaven. turn for what we think would be No tests, no drugs, ‘no plans’, she better. In those moments of doubt I N T H E TO U G H STU F F . was conceived all on her own. We and frustration, I was blessed with finally welcomed Baker Bree in the ability to speak about my July 2015. After losing two angels experiences with infertility and loss before her, she came at the most vulnerable time in my to thousands of other women that might be in my shoes. journey as a mother. Baker is one special girl and I will forever Struggling with infertility is like going through the five stages be thankful for the blessing she continues to be in our life. of grief every single month. You deny, bargain, get angry, Since then we have welcomed our fourth babe, a boy this cry, and accept. Then you pick yourself up and do it all over time, Brady Jordan. again. Not a single story of infertility is alike, and the upmost Named after his dad, we never thought that such a perfect beauty of it all is that we are not alone. little boy was in the cards for our family. Brady surprised us all when the giant gender reveal balloon burst and a sea of blue You can read more of Amber's journey on her confetti floated into the fall air. blog at and follow I think we all have moments in life that we can look back her on @masseya. on to see the blessings in the tough stuff. When we are MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 89




eing an empty nester implies negativity. I say there is nothing negative about it. Yes, it takes some getting used to at first and the house is quiet—but the house is quiet—and after twenty-something years and three kids, that can be a good thing. I believe we are all taught to dread the empty nest years. I think a false illusion has been painted of dull and lonely times. If you still love your spouse and if you work at your marriage, because marriage is definitely a never-ending job, I believe the empty nest phase is a blessed time. We are in our early 50’s and have a great thing going here. We still have some energy, we have our health and we have each other. These are the good days. These are the years we have been dreaming about. We can be selfish now, live for us, plan for us. That is, until grandchildren. Until we are blessed with grand babies, until that wonderful day, we are enjoying this time in our nest that is empty. Along with a now quieter house, (remember that’s a good thing!) also comes a cleaner house. There's less laundry. The grocery store does not take as long or cost as much. These are all bonuses. I do miss my children, but we text often, daily really. We have a great relationship, so I don’t have to miss them. They come home to visit and we travel to see my youngest who lives in Austin. I believe if you have a good family connection with your children and make your home inviting, they can and will come home again. Ignore that old saying.

Keep the “I Do’s” Going

Think back to when it was originally just the two of you. Remember what that was like? Before diapers, t-ball practice, tumbling, PTA meetings and pediatrician appointments? Before all those time-consuming details (that are actually blessings) there were two people who found a common interest, or two, who wanted to spend time together, loving each other, making each other laugh. Those two people are still there; you may have been temporarily otherwise detained (like 18 plus years), but those two people are still there. Dr. Margaret Rutherford said,” Your child’s life will be filled with fresh experiences. It’s good if yours is as well." This is good advice whether you are 17 years away from the label “empty nester” or 17 days into it.

Before They Fly Away

The key, before you find yourself alone in an empty house together, is to never lose each other in the first place. Never stop dating. Never stop talking. Never stop laughing. No matter how busy life and schedules get, spend time together. Even if it is cooking together, brushing your teeth at the same time, or stealing a few minutes before you both fall asleep. Talk. Not about the kids and schedules and teachers and all that stuff that has nothing to do with you being a couple, but talk about couple things. Don’t ever stop the conversation about the two of you. Date nights should be a ritual. You should make time to go out together. This takes effort when you have children and the 90 |

schedule that goes along with children, but it will be worth it. It can also be difficult when you need a babysitter. Still, make the effort, take the time, and make sacrifices. It will pay off in the future when you are in that big, empty nest together.

After the Nest is Empty

Date night should continue after the kids have gone. Going on dates, spending time alone and getting to know each other, are important components not only of dating, but equally important in marriage also, no matter what stage or anniversary you are celebrating. My husband and I have a weekly date night. One week he picks, one week I pick. Our rule is simple—we can’t fuss or complain about where the other chooses. (And yes, he has chosen the beer-and-wing-barely-dressed place!) We enjoy our date nights. We switch it up a bit at times and have datebrunches or date-lunches. The point is to be together. Now that we live in a nest with no little birdies, we need to spend time together outside of the home as well. Some easy activities to enjoy quality time together include taking a walk, working in the yard, cooking together, shopping, exploring your town or traveling to a new city. Take up golf or tennis together. Spend an afternoon at the park or at an art gallery. Watch tv together. Yes, even watching tv can be an activity you can do together for meaningful time. Binge watch shows that you pick together. Laughing and talking about a show is fun and relaxing. Being an empty nester is also a great time to find yourself. Spend time with yourself, alone, doing something you enjoy. Reeducate yourself. Rediscover yourself or reinvent yourself. I am no longer just Danni, Alex and Cameron’s mom, I am Dedra. I am no longer a room mother, I am Dedra. I found writing. It was always there but I never took the time to let the words out. This is a great time to do some continued education or take up a new hobby or to finally get in shape. After time, you relish the quiet. The house feels bigger. You don’t feel abandoned. You smile because you are happy and you enjoy your new life. Being an empty nester is not a negative. You have given your children your time and love. You have taught them lifelessons and how to survive in this world. You have taught them how to fly. Now, it is your turn to soar.

Photography by 7 Sisters Photography




— two locations in Waco —

Central Tex as Market Place Sironia 1509 Austin Ave. Monday-Saturday 10am-7pm Tuesday-Saturday 10am-6pm 254.732.0575

Cour tneys

Cour tneysboutique


Blank Page L. B. Simmons is a graduate of Texas A & M University and holds a degree in biomedical science. She has been a practicing chemist for over ten years. She lives with her husband and three daughters in Central Texas and writes every chance she gets. Her book, Under the Influence, made the USA Today Bestselling list for ebooks. By L.B. Simmons / Photographer: Alex Wolf


’ve often been asked if I knew from a young age that I wanted to be an author and my answer has always been the same. As much as I would like to be able to say yes, to respond that writing was something so inane and inherent as with many of my counterparts, I could not. Such was not the case for me. Did I always want to be a writer? No. Not because I didn’t want to, but I don’t think it ever dawned on me that I could. And honestly, still to this day it boggles my mind that I, or anyone for that matter, can sit down, begin a story on a blank page, and eventually compose a book in its entirety that people want to read, much less, enjoy. It’s such a surreal experience from beginning to end. So how did I become an author? Well, I dared to write. That was the first step. Four years ago I took a look at my three beautiful girls, overcome with the need to write something for them. I wanted them to always remember themselves, their relationships, their quirks and sayings at that time in their lives. To see themselves through my eyes, and always have those youthful memories within reach. Soon after, those initial thoughts veered toward making them part of a story. A story that eventually evolved into my very first book, Running on Empty. A book I dedicated to all three of them because it was written for them. After it was completed, I had no idea what to do with it. After consulting with other authors, I started a Facebook page and started promoting my work with teasers here and there, hoping to get a few people interested in my writing. And surprisingly, I did. It was a bizarre experience, having others read pieces of my work and actually want more.

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It was at this point I began to think about actually publishing. The independent publishing platform was coming into its own at the time, so I looked into hiring an editor and cover designer on my own. Once I found both, I was faced with a huge decision. I knew I could publish; publishing is easy. It’s just a simple upload to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and many other sources of distribution. But still, it wasn’t an easy decision. To release something so close to my heart to be read and reviewed by others was incredibly difficult. But I did so, again for my girls. I wanted to show them that if you dare to try, anything is possible. That there was nothing they couldn’t do if they put their minds to it. Months later, I was holding the proof of my very first paperback; another completely surreal experience. Three hundred pages of my work, my book, in my hands. I officially published soon after, which I remember so vividly. I had the flu, holed up in my bedroom, but I was determined to see this book to its fruition. So I hit that publish button, releasing my first book baby into the reading world. And with its release, I was overwhelmed with the support and new readership Running on Empty received. It was then my vision changed, because while writing started out as homage to my daughters, the result ended up being a story that resonated with so many who needed help with grieving. Those who, through reading, needed someone who could represent the thoughts and feelings they were afraid to acknowledge. And it was then that I discovered I have a voice. A way to speak to those who need guidance or just the knowledge that they’re not alone. Which lead me to my next works as I felt I found my calling and dove into the New Adult genre, that being the

18-25 years of age. Years I consider the most pivotal as There were not easy topics to write about, much less read, youth grows into impending adulthood. but I did so in hopes that if at least one person could take As stated by Cassie Cooper, one of my favorite characters... something away from one of my character’s journeys, then I “Why have a voice if you’re scared to use it?” made a difference. And thankfully I can say I did. You see, within each of my Each book brought forth many characters, there’s a little piece of messages from readers who me embedded in their persona and grappled with the same issues as I published a book. this quote came directly from my my characters, thanking me for heart. giving them a voice and helping I created a paperback. Because that’s exactly why I write. them navigate through their grief I h i t t h e U S A To d ay I write to make a difference. I and hardships. They found strength bestsellers list. write to change lives. To bring forth in my characters, in their trials and the realization that life is a journey, tribulations, and found a sense of I have my books on and to highlight the truth that there peace and accomplishment when retailers' bookshelve s. are many choices made which can their journeys ended. bring a person to certain points Did I always want to be a writer? B ut m o st i m p o r ta n t ly , in their lives that they’re unhappy No. But I am very thankful that I found I changed lives. with. Lives that can be changed this calling later in life. Better late than by simply choosing another route. never, right? With my voice, with my Another path. works, I have done what I set out to I titled my last series The Chosen Paths series for this very do and showed my girls that anything is possible along the way. reason. And it all started with a blank sheet of paper and the The first book, Into the Light, deals with depression, courage to write. suicide, eating disorders, and bullying as a young girl enters I firmly believe we are the authors of our own life stories. her first year of college. The second, Under the Influence, is We all have the ability to change our lives, to gather the about two lost souls dealing with the after affects of neglect courage to make that one decision we've been so fearful to and child abuse and how one choice of sacrifice separates make as the years pass us by. Each of us has a “blank sheet of them for years. And last, but definitely not least is Out of paper” right in front of us, waiting to be written. Focus, which centers on a young woman as she comes to My challenge, my question to you is this: terms with her sexual abuse. What do you dare to write?




ON (and OFF) AIR We caught up with Anchor Julie Hays at KWTX-TV, where she’s been producing and anchoring for 15 years. MEMORY OF YOUR FIRST DAY ON THE JOB? My first day at the station at KTAB (Abilene, Texas), I ran the teleprompter for their main female anchor and I turned the knob too hard and all her words were gone. She showed me such grace. I have never forgotten that. I'll never forget how mortified and scared to death I was after that show. She just kept telling me it was going to be okay. I started doing all of the jobs behind the scenes and I think that's why I am so appreciative for the tough roles everyone has and the fact that it's not always going to be perfect, and it's important to have grace. THE FAMOUS PART OF THE JOB? George – One time I got video bombed by George W. Bush. I had arranged an interview with Laura Bush at the opening of McLane Stadium and the security detail made me promise that I would not talk to him. So, I pretended he wasn’t in the room as he walked in with her and sat on the front row. A few minutes into the interview he just walked into the shot and made some joke like, ‘what you don't want to talk to me?’. It was funny and I was not prepared for that at all. When I flew up to the White House for one of the Bushs’ last interviews in office, I was told I would have 2-4 minutes and there was a man with a card holding up the time. I only got one response in before my time was up. But the President waved off the time and said, “Let her talk.”. Garth – When I interviewed Garth Brooks, he asked, “Who are you with?”. I thought he meant like CBS or ABC, so that's how I answered. He walked right passed me to the camera guys and said, “No, these guys…”. He took the next several minutes getting to know the photographers. I was shocked. Usually people like him don't care about reporters they are talking to, and don't even acknowledge the off-air people. Troy – One of my friends, Margaret Ratliff, had a connection and I got to cut a commercial with Troy Aikman. I was totally “fangirling” and proud of it. CRAZIEST THINGS YOU’VE DONE FOR THE JOB? I've done an entire newscast without a teleprompter. I covered the Fort Hood shootings where I didn't have a break off air for 8 hours. Not even a bathroom break. 94 |

I snuck into the Heisman Ceremony and took a camera in my bag. No preparation. Just bought the plane ticket the day before and went with my husband and promised my station I would get something. TOUGHEST PARTS OF THE JOB? Emotions. My first live breaking news was the horrible bus wreck on Interstate 35 where several people died from a Temple church. It was such a sad day. I almost quit the next day. And then there’s having your feelings hurt and learning to be okay with it. It's tough being a woman and dealing with the society we live in. Social media amplifies everyone being a critic. I always tell my daughters to be nice to everyone, even when everyone isn't being nice to you. Every break I have ever had in business comes back to just that. Always treat everyone with kindness. Not that you do it for anything in return, but it seems to always come back around. HOW DO YOU DO IT ALL? This is something I get asked quite frequently. I survive every day, just like all of the other moms out there. I don't do it all well; some days I'm great at work and absent at home, and some days I'm the ultimate soccer mom, but behind at work. Everyone's normal is different, and that's perfectly okay! I never stop working, that's probably something my husband isn't so fond of. I'm always calling, or emailing, or writing one quick web story, because my job is everyday life. I go online and I read about something that's happened in our community or in the world. The news never stops and is everywhere. WHY DO YOU DO IT ALL? Being able to make a difference. The greatest part of my job is meeting people with amazing stories and forming relationships.


“We have worked with Pam for almost a decade, and we cannot imagine working with any other realtor again. Pam is extremely professional, knowledgeable, and she will always work diligently to take care of her clients. We highly recommend her!”

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“We were referred to Pam by friends who had recently sold their home. Pam was quick to respond, and she had a no nonsense, go getter attitude coupled with a marketing plan that made us feel comfortable with listing our home. By the end of that day, she had facts/comparables for our neighborhood and we received a full offer contract. We are now enjoying our new home thanks to Pam and her hard work!”



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“We were incredibly impressed with Pam as our real estate agent. She obtained an above asking price offer on our house on the same day as listing it. Pam never left any questions unanswered and always responded promptly. She was attentive and patient with us as buyers also. Although it took some time, we were able to find a home that met all of our wish list. We can’t thank her enough.”

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Window of TIME By Brandy Stoffel / Photo by Tumbling Sparrow Photography

I dream of starry nights in prairie skies I dream of a moon shining high I dream of the twinkle in your vibrant eyes Drift with me, in blissful slumber As bough taps roof like offbeat drummer

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Alas, my child, you shall grow to leave this place Your own utopian dream to chase For now, I dream, with you in sweet embrace

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WHAT DO YOU WISH OTHERS KNEW ABOUT TED? He tells me he loves me ten times a day, at least. He’s very affectionate and likes to hold hands everywhere we go. And we both have an unhealthy attachment to our dogs, who we now refer to as our kids. FAVORITE PLACE FOR A SALE? Prefontaine and Formela. Most of my wardrobe is stocked with clothes and jewelry from these two boutiques in Waco. They are constantly up-to-date with the latest styles and trends. The jewelry at Formela is stunning. Virgin Saints and Angels rings and necklaces are my favorite! And Jennifer, the owner, gives the best facials! Prefontaine carries Vince, Brochu Walker and Black Halo. My life is pretty chaotic, but I’m not complaining. I’ll call Revekah, the owner, and tell her I’m doing a photo shoot for Modern Texas Living magazine, I need comfy, chic clothes for travel, or I’m going to the White House to have dinner with the President and she always has the perfect outfit for me! People in Los Angeles or New York are shocked when I say I get my clothes and jewelry in Waco, Texas.

Q &A with Shemane IF YOU COULD HAVE DINNER WITH ANYONE, DECEASED OR ALIVE, WHO WOULD IT BE? The obvious is Jesus, for obvious reasons, but also my grandmother who passed away when she was 97. She lived life to the fullest every day and was on stage with my husband at his rock ’n roll concert when she was 95! I’d love to know if she had any regrets. And Jane Austen, who, during her lifetime, was never publicly acknowledged as a writer. I’m writing a romance novel and would love to get suggestions on plot twists! Of course, having all three (Jesus, my grandmother and Jane Austen) together would be awesome! 100 |

WOULD YOU RATHER GO A YEAR WITHOUT NETFLIX OR A YEAR WITHOUT WARM CLIMATE? I would definitely give up Netflix before going without warm weather. If it’s under seventy degrees I need a down parka. FAVORITE THING TO HUNT? Zebra in Africa. Seeing those majestic animals in their natural habitat was breathtaking and surreal. When I harvested a zebra in Africa with a bow and arrow I felt empowered and humbled at the same time. Being able to provide a dozen people with pure, lean sustenance made me feel as though I

made a significant contribution to their community. There are no animal rights activists in the African bush. They need that food. And they appreciate it. LITTLE KNOWN FACT OR STORY? I was a total tomboy growing up. I raced motocross and I was a two-time state champion swimmer. GO-TO SKIN CARE PRODUCT? Isagenix. Beautiful skin starts from the inside, and since I’ve been taking Isagenix vitamins and shakes I’ve had so many compliments on my skin! I have sensitive skin so I have to be very careful about the products I use. The Isagenix Rejuvity skin care line is paraben-free and helps hydrate and soften my skin and minimizes fine lines and pores.

THREE THINGS PEOPLE COULD DO TODAY TO MAKE THEIR HOME HEALTHIER? 1. Get rid of all chemically scented candles, harsh chemical cleaners, and chemically scented fabric softeners and trash bags. All of those can interfere with sleep, breathing and our neurological functions. 2. Fuel your body with superfood nutrition. Become a label reader. Don’t keep sodas or junk food in your home and you won’t be tempted to indulge. Ted and I have recently found superfood supplements that give us energy all day and help us sleep better than ever. For more information, you can email me at 3. Make your bedroom an electronic-free zone. Charge computers and cell phones in another room. Those little blue or green lights can disrupt sleep patterns. If you’ve ever lost a night of sleep and couldn’t concentrate or fully function the next day, imagine how an hour of less-than-adequate sleep can build up and affect you over the course of weeks and months. Studies show that even a tiny but bright light can prevent us from getting deep rest. Since we lost our MTV Cribs home in Michigan to toxic mold contamination, I suffered from pre-emphysema and debilitating migraines. My husband, our son Rocco and I became chemically sensitive as a result. When you don’t have your health, you can’t work, exercise, or spend time with people you love. Put your health first so you can do the things you want to do and enjoy life to the fullest!

For more information on Shemane Nugent’s books, including ‘4 Minutes a Day, Rock ‘n Roll Your Way to Happy’, podcast, webinars, Isagenix, and current projects visit MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 101


Q &A with Ted IF YOU COULD TAKE THE STAGE WITH ANYONE, WHO IS IT? I’ve already been privileged beyond musical belief to have jammed with the masters like Bo Diddly, Chuck Berry, BB King, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Aerosmith, ZZ Top, Heart, Sammy Hagar, Van Halen, Charlie Daniels, Toby Keith, Kid Rock, Brian May, Steve Winwood, Bugs Henderson, Chris Duarte, Johnny Big, John Kutz, Grand Funk Railroad and so many others, plus all my amazing musicians over the years. Though moving beyond words my 2017 summer tour was the most intense and fun musical adventure of my life with Jason Hartless on drums and Greg Smith on bass guitar. I have spent my entire life on the ultimate musical mountaintops and there is no end in sight! WOULD YOU RATHER CONTROL THE STOCK MARKET OR THE NUKES? The stock market and free market works best with no outside controls but evil tyrants must never be allowed to get their hands on weapons of mass destruction. Between President Trump and Mad Dog Mattis [James Mattis is the current United States Secretary of Defense] we have the right people in positions of control, better than I. GREATEST MOMENT IN HUNTING HISTORY? Every hunt is a magical, mystical moment and memory but I am certain the best is yet to come this and future seasons! FAVORITE HAND GUN? Good Lord, there are SO many! But I will identify my ultra-accurate ultratrustworthy Glock 10mm daily carry gun as my hands-on favorite. BEST MEMORY OF SHEMANE? Every morning waking up together and every night ending the day together. SHOULD TEXAS RECYCLE? All of America needs to be more consumer responsible and reduce the out of control waste overall.

For more information on Ted Nugent’s charity Kamp For Kids, future tour schedules, Sunrize Safari Hunts, and Spirit of the Wild TV exclusively on the Outdoor Channel, visit



GRILLING By: Steve Murray

I am not a “Professional Chef”; I am a “Hobby Chef” creating great food for private events, our family, friends, church and simply love good quality food. I also have an award winning Queso and other food products that have been in the food industry for many years. Growing up on an Illinois farm, we or someone near us produced most of what we ate. It was almost always organic, produced with our hands, and the soil was some of the most fertile on the planet. My mother and relatives were amazing cooks and I inherited hundreds of great recipes from them. For 35 years, I've been reengineering recipes of food I love to eat and creating my own recipes. Years later, I discovered with the help of others that I am a “Super Taster” (A supertaster is a person who experiences the sense of taste with far greater intensity than average, with some studies showing an increased sensitivity to bitter tastes.) and was able to taste finite ingredients in foods. That can be a curse and a blessing because I am not thrilled with consuming poor quality or tasting food. Even though most people are not supertasters, anyone can grill a great piece of protein. I think we can all relate to what I call “MA” (Meat Anxiety). We spent a chunk of change on what looks like a great cut of meat, but sometimes it’s just ho-hum. We are left to wonder if it was the quality of the meat or the cook. Here are some tips to improve your grilling experiences and minimize MA.

Selecting Meat Good quality meat is very much about genetics. Just because it cost a lot and it says Organic, Natural, Prime, etc. doesn’t mean it's going to be tender and taste great. The genetics of the animal seems to be most important. Now, you are thinking how am I to know that. Typically, you will not unless you are buying from a private source that has a consistent proven record of sourcing the same meat over and over again. Since most of us do not have that kind of opportunity around us, we buy from our local grocer. So, here are some tips when selecting that perfect protein. BEEF – Look for a deep red color. A cherry red color may mean that the carcass was not aged, and aging is an important process of producing flavor and tenderness. Most grocer beef is aged 7-14 days. Higher quality meat (found in some grocers) can be aged 28-36 days. When you get over 45 days, the flavor is nuttier and the price tends to stretch. Look for the 28-36-day stuff if you can. For more in-depth reading, research dry and wet aging. POULTRY – I grew up eating the most succulent chicken you could ever dream of. For years we have been deprived of good chicken because our growers were more concerned about efficiency. Look for animals that have been humanely raised in pastures, and organic. Also, find sustainable pasture-based family farms. Same goes for turkey. A good quality chicken can cost between $3.50 and $6.00 per pound. Roasting chickens are larger and more flavorful. Color should also be vibrant (not dull), and don’t be afraid of the discounted price, that only means the grocer needs to get it off the shelf to abide by regulated sale dates. PORK – Genetics seem to be particularly important in pork. Therefore, when I find a product or source that tastes great and is raised properly, I continue to buy it. For many years, producers were very good at breeding the fat out of 104 |

pigs to the point that it was considered “the other white meat”. But when there's no fat, there's no flavor. A good pig is raised outdoors (not indoors like large producers), free of antibiotics. Why does that matter? Because stressed pigs don’t taste as good. FISH and SHELLFISH – Salmon is trickier, because of all the different types available. An economical favorite is Steelhead. Steelhead began life as a trout and leaves the intercostal waterways for the ocean. When it returns 3 years later it turns into a species more like a Salmon. I like the mild flavor because of its genetic origin. Buy from the ocean when possible (as opposed to growers). Most anything coming from its natural environment is better, and fresh (not frozen) is better. Master how to see the difference in the quality of meats you select. This takes time but if you look for the richness in color you will be very pleased with the result.

Care and Preparation I think we've all had the unfortunate experience of great tasting food that later heads south. So, let’s take about food safety. Keep all surfaces clean and reclean as you are cooking. If you are handling (with utensils, containers, etc.) raw poultry in the early stages of grilling, keep washing them during the process. Remove any charred debris from the grilling surfaces. If you are using a brush, make sure there is no wire that gets stuck or caught on the grill. Grills can (are you ready for this?), have twice as many germs as your toilet, so heat the grill to a high temperature of 300 degrees or higher for a minimum of 10 minutes. Plan to cook seafood and shellfish within a day or two of purchase. Ground, cubed, and sliced meats also decline more quickly because more surface area is exposed to bacteria. They should be cooked within a day or two. Steak, chops, and roast will keep for three to four days before cooking. MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 105


General Tips

Grilling Methods Many casual chefs are limited to cooking over a gas grill which makes it difficult to get that rich smoky flavor found when using wood or charcoal. If you are channeling the inner caveman in us, try adding a smoker box. There are many available at local big box stores like Academy, Home Depot, and Lowes. Personally, I've never owned a gas grill and have never spent a lot of money on any grill. When cooking a steak, I use a combination of charcoal that is very hot and throw in a handful of hardwood chips about 5 minutes before cooking. Divide the cooking surface into two sides. Keep the hot charcoal on one side, and the other side remains open. For thick cuts of beef and pork, sear the meat over the hot coals no more than 2-3 minutes per side and then move them over to the other side where they will receive indirect heat when the lid is closed.

Buy products with the bone in. I have no exact science for why “bone in is better” in any meat other than it just seems to taste better. If the meat is dripping with juice, pass; the juice should remain in the meat. Marbling (that’s the fat in the meat) relates to tenderness. If you are concerned about the fat, buy the fatty meat just to grease up the meat for tenderness, but cut off all the excess fat after cooking. Carve against the grain for tenderness Let your meat rest before carving

Don't Mess with the Meat

Don’t overcook, 5-10 degrees can ruin all the pleasure and damage the meat

I have not only learned the hard way, but also offended others when they keep poking, prodding, squeezing, and turning the meat. If you must poke it to put the meat on a skewer or rotisserie, only do so in the beginning before cooking or after the meat has finished cooking and it has rested for at least 5 minutes. The goal is to keep the juice in until it hits your taste buds. I highly suggest an Instant Read Digital Needle Thermometer. The price ranges between $15 and $40, and will not allow too many juices to flow out when used. Meats will continue to cook after removal from the grill, so make sure you don't overcook any meat.

Spices and Rubs

Temperature Bacteria that cause most of the illness traced to meat are Escherichia coli and many strains of the Salmonella genus. Cooking meat to 160 degrees kills these bacteria, but most people find meat overdone at that temperature. Fortunately, that is not so concerning with most cuts, like steak, chops, and roast. Any harmful bacteria are on the surface; so, if you like your cow still mooing inside, as long as the surface reaches 160 degrees, your steak is safe. On the other hand, ground meat has bacteria all over it, so cooking to 160 degrees internally is safest. Poultry products must be cooked to above 165 degrees. However, the longer you cook it on indirect heat where the internal temperature does not exceed 170 is best for chicken. A 5.5-6.5 lb chicken should take about 1.5-2 hours to cook if the grilling temperature averages approx. 280‑300 degrees. Pork is best if it still has a slight hint of pink in it. Now this scares most people, because they believe they can get sick from this. People get sick from raw meats and dirty surfaces. Cooking pork to a temperature of 150-160 is perfectly fine. Don’t overcook fish and shellfish. Here's a list of some favorites to help understand when to stop the heat: Shrimp should be cooked on medium heat and only till the color turns slightly orange/pink. Cook approximately 106 |

2-3 minutes per side and to a temperature of 135 degrees inside. Lobster is awesome on the grill, but can be a little tricky whole. Try starting with a nice tail that you split in half, long ways. Cook on medium heat and keep basting with butter. The color of the meat will become a dense cream color. A 6-8 oz tail will take approximately 4-5 minutes on each side and finish at a temperature of 135 degrees. Salmon, swordfish, tuna, mahi-mahi and other meaty fish are best cooked to medium doneness. Salmon gets stronger tasting the more you cook it. I like all these species cooked medium to medium rare. The key is to start with good quality. Bison, while at a higher price point, is lean and highly nutritious. My family loves my Buffalo Burgers and says they are better than beef. Because this meat is very lean, pay close attention to internal temperature. You can quickly over cook it, so try and cook a burger or a steak to retain some pink color when finished. I incorporate some olive oil into burgers to retain moistness.

Beef is the most discussed grilling protein of man. It can also be one of the costliest products we cook. Remember that if you buy a poor cut of beef, you will likely not be happy when you eat it. Whether cooking a thin flank steak, filet, whole prime rib roast, or tenderloin, remember to sear the meat first, briefly, on all sides over the direct heat and then move the meat over to indirect heat to finish. For single pieces of meat, use smaller chunks of charcoal and wood. For larger whole pieces of meat, use lump charcoal and large chunks of wood. I also use foil to shield meats from direct heat when slow cooking large pieces for longer than 30 minutes.

Don’t be afraid of adding Greek, Italian, Asian, Jamaican, Mexican, French, and even Texan flavors to most any meat. For example, one of my favorite chicken spice blends is Greek, and I often use an Asian brine for Thanksgiving turkey. Chipotle powder is one of my favorites on grilled salmon. I like to match up the meat flavor with the overall menu. When using seasoning and herbs, buy quality (preferably organic) products. Write the date of purchase on the bottle; leafy products should be thrown out after 2 years and powders might hang in there 3 years.

Marinades Many people feel that a marinade takes away from the natural meat flavors, but I use them to change things up. I like fresh ginger for pork chops and turkey marinade. Most marinades consist of olive oil, herbs and spices, and an acidic ingredient like wine, juice, citrus, yogurt or buttermilk. Acid can help break down muscle fiber and allow the marinade to penetrate. If you use an acid in your marinade do not marinade more than 1 – 1.5 days.



Salting can draw moisture out of the meat, but also tends to be the most recognizable ingredient that we taste. If you get into a habit of salting at least 1 hour before you grill, the protein will recover enough to retain moisture. If that is not possible, salt before you cook. Use olive oil to premoisten meats and help seasonings stick better. An oil will also help prevent meat from sticking to the grilling surface.

Basic brines consist of water and/or other liquids like soda, fruit juices, a generous portion of salt, and your favorite seasonings. Sugars and honey or agave nectar may also be used for certain flavor profiles. The meat absorbs the brine until the salt in the meat equals the salt in the brine. The result is a juicer piece of meat. I have experimented with many brines, and I am a believer for turkeys, bone-in pork chops, and smoked salmon. MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 107


Citrus Greek Chicken (Serves 4-6)

Apple Bourbon Brined Bone in Pork Chop (Serves 4-6) • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

4-6 1 ½" cut bone-in pork chops 1 ½ - 2 cups apple juice (any kind will do) Water (enough to let chops be submerged in mix) 1 ½ - 2 Tbsp. Knob Creek Smoked Maple Bourbon or Balcones Rumble 3/4 cup Kosher Salt (sea salt will work) 1/2 - 3/4 Tbsp. crushed fresh garlic 1 ½ - 2 Tbsp. fresh chopped ginger (paste will do) 1 tsp. onion powder 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika 1 tsp. ground black pepper 1/2 tsp. ground coriander 1 tsp. dried thyme 1 tsp. dried rosemary 1 Tbsp. olive oil

• • • • • • • • • •

1 fresh whole roaster chicken (5-6 lbs) 1 fresh orange (cut in quarters) 1 fresh lemon (cut in quarters) 1 fresh lime (cut in quarters) 1 tsp. sea salt 1 ½ tsp. Greek seasoning 1/2 tsp. onion powder 1/2 tsp. garlic powder 1/2 tsp. paprika 1 Tbsp. olive oil

Rinse and dry chicken off with a paper towel (wear rubber gloves). Squeeze oranges, lemons, and limes all over the inside and leave them inside while cooking. Massage Chicken inside and out with the olive oil. Sprinkle all remaining seasonings consistently inside and out of the chicken. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours (overnight preferred). Cook on charcoal or wood grill over indirect heat at approximately 300 degrees (foil heat shield is beneficial for this recipe) until internal meat temperature (check in the thigh and breast) reaches 170 degrees. Note: This recipe works for cut pieces of chicken as well.

Blackened Beef Tenderloin (Serves 1-2) Note: The size of the whole prime beef tenderloin to buy will depend on how many you plan on serving. I would plan on 1 lb. serving 1 ½ - 2 persons. This recipe is based on 3-4 lbs. of raw meat.

(Serves 4) 4 6-8 oz salmon or steelhead filets 2 Tbsp. teriyaki sauce (low-sodium) 2 Tbsp. soy sauce (low-sodium) 2 Tbsp. brown sugar 1/2 tsp. ground powder ginger (fresh is best if you have it) • 1 tsp. chipotle powder • 1/2 fresh squeezed lemon • 1 tsp. sesame oil or olive oil Mix ingredients in a flat, metal or glass pan just large enough for filets to fit in touching each other. Place filets in the mix skin side up and massage them into the mix gently, thoroughly covering the meat. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours and as much as overnight. Prepare grill to cook with medium heat. Place a nonstick perforated grill sheet over lightly oiled (or sprayed) grill surface (on the indirect side). Add salmon filets skin down on cooking service. Cover grill and slow cook until salmon is medium done.

Mix Step 1 ingredients together and inject whole tenderloin using a meat injector. Some of the mix will leak out of the tenderloin.

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• • • • • • • • • • • • • •

2 quarts apple juice 2 oranges (cut in half and squeezed, leave in brine) Water to finish covering turkey as needed 1 liter ginger ale 1 cup kosher salt 1/2 cup brown sugar 5 whole pealed cloves garlic 1 Tbsp. paprika 2 tsp. cayenne pepper 5 bay leaves 1/4 cup red onion chopped 1 tsp. red pepper flakes 2 tsp. oregano 2 tsp. thyme

Step 2. Apply olive oil to outside of the tenderloin till covered consistently, and then rub the dry ingredients over the meat. Apply course ground pepper and fresh garlic. Sprinkle herb de Provence last. The goal is to thoroughly cover the meat, so you can add more if needed of any ingredient. Prepare grill with lump coal and large wood chunks. While coals are hot, gently sear the meat on all sides until slightly blackened (approx. 4-5 minutes). Move meat to indirect heat and cook until internal temperature reaches approximately 145 degrees for medium rare. (Note: Outside ends will likely be medium well). Let rest for at least 5 minutes before cutting into 6-8 oz servings.

Bison Burgers (Serves 4-5)

• 2 lbs. ground bison (could use 1 lb. of ground sirloin and 1 lb. of bison as well) • 2 tsp. olive oil • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder • 1 ½ Tbsp. fine diced red onion • 1 tsp. kosher salt • 1 tsp. black pepper • 1/2 cup Guinness Stout beer (Note: do not throw away the remaining beer, drink it while grilling) Blend all ingredients together without over blending. Let marinate for approximately 1 hour. Prepare 4-5 equal size burgers and cook on a medium hot wood or charcoal grill until internal temperatures reaches approximately 155-160 degrees.


For Injecting the Meat (Step 1) • 2 cups beef broth • 1 tsp. garlic powder • 2 Tbsp. fresh crushed garlic • 1 tsp. onion powder • 1 tsp. fine ground black pepper • 1 tsp. fine sea salt To Rub Over the outside of the Meat • 1 tsp. olive oil • 1 tsp. ancho pepper powder • 1 tsp. paprika powder • 1 tsp. onion powder • 1 Tbsp. course ground black pepper • 1 Tbsp. course ground sea salt • 1 ½ Tbsp. fresh crushed garlic • 1 ½ Tbsp. dried herb de Provence spice blend

• • • • •

(10-12 lb. fresh turkey or just the breast)

Mix all ingredients into a large enough container to submerse turkey and refrigerate. I use a 3-gallon bucket with a lid. Place turkey into mix and refrigerate 24-48 hours. Remove and rinse with water inside and out. Massage turkey with olive oil and lightly sprinkle more of the dry ingredients over the outside and inside before cooking. Your grill will need to have lump coal and large wood chunks. Try to keep a 275-300-degree grill temperature during cooking. Make a heavy foil shield to block the direct heat from over cooking the turkey. Internal meat temperature should reach 165 degrees.

Add all the ingredients into an extra-large heavy Ziploc bag or a bowl that you cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate 24 hours for best results or a minimum of 3 hours. Sear chops 2-3 minutes per side over a charcoal, hardwood, or combination of both heat, then move them over to indirect heat, cover grill and let cook until internal temperature reaches 155-160 degrees.

Chipotle Teriyaki Salmon

Cajun Brine Turkey



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When stepping out for a night on the town, it can be difficult deciding what to wear. The standards can feel stale when so many guys are wearing the exact same thing with varying degrees of success. Every so often, you have to challenge yourself to do something different. The Summer of 2017 gave us that exact opportunity. Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce the RompHim™. No matter what you call it, it is the classic example of old becoming new again. The un-initiated may say that this is nothing more than guys wearing their girlfriend’s clothes. The RompHim™ is nothing more than a new take on an old clothing item, coveralls. Stepping out of the shadows of the industrial-age, coveralls would become a staple of 1970s fashion. Whether we look to such groups as the Isley Brothers, Earth, Wind, and Fire, or even Mr. Furley from Three’s Company, this is not a new fashion item. It is a bold fashion decision. Fellas, if you want to stand out on a warm summer night, get you an appropriately fitting RompHim™. Wear it confidently. Wear it wisely.

Terry James is an attorney at West & Associates, L.L.P. He has lived in the City of Dallas for most of his life and appreciates a tailored suit, a night at the symphony, and a flavored whiskey.

I am likely unfit to comment about any sort of fashion trend that doesn’t involve clothing you could purchase at a feed store or any other store that has no less than twenty-seven rows of cowboy boots. Besides, I’m not sure what all the big whompum is about the RompHim™. We’ve been rocketing astronaut cheeks to the moon in them since the 1960s. However, there is a major structural restriction to this curious creation. Here is a little Public Service Announcement for those of you who go against better judgment and choose to don one of these man dresses... Say someone has peed in your genepool and you happen to be about 6’1” with a 28” inseam (unfortunate); you might as well put your head between your knees and tell your cajones goodbye. You see, due to your spectacles to testicles distance ratio and this atrociously designed, circulation-cutting-off, onesize-fits-all engineering marvel, you’ll be singing soprano by Sunday. I think a more suitable name for this modern man’s onesie should be “The Emasculator”. Better yet, how about the “BCS”, short for birth control suit. Just put on your best floral BCS and your favorite Jerusalem Cruisers (my country term for sandals with socks on) and you’ll never have to worry about much, other than naming your fourteen cats and wondering where you went wrong.

Randy Dudley is a professional hunting guide and avid outdoorsman at his family’s Langley Ranch in Centerville, Texas. You can find more information at

Photo courtesy of RompHim™ Visit for the world's favorite male romper! 110 |

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