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WAC O ’S N EWES T M AGAZ IN E

Our Favorite

LOCAL

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GIFT IDEAS

Seasonal

GLAM IT UP with WINTER

Style Trends

SOUPS& SWEETS

Inside Jerry's World

An Interview with Charlotte Jones & Haley Anderson


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PUBLISHER Ashley Munn EDITOR IN CHIEF Michele Graves ART DIRECTOR Stefanie Kienstra SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER Cat Jennings MARKETING COORDINATOR Kristana Doreck

Moderntexasliving.com Single copy free. Multiple copies may be available for purchase by contacting contact@moderntexasliving.com. 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. Photo by Tracey Ayton MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 1


Holiday Hours Valley Mills Location Thanksgiving Closed 11/28-11/29 Christmas Closed 12/23-1/1/2020 Waco Location Thanksgiving Closed 11/28/19 Christmas Closed 12/23-1/1/2020


IN THIS

ISSUE 04 AT HOME Brazos Country Estates Benefits of Virtual Staging Home for the Holidays Drapery 101 Top Realtors DIY Holiday Wreath Faux Garland Holiday Tablescape Creating a DIY Photo Gallery Wall

64 ON THE ROAD Packing Tips 101

68 FEATURE Inside Jerry’s World

28 IN THE KITCHEN 2 Easy Plant Milk Recipes Meals to Stay Warm & Cozy Gourmet the Easy Way Seasonal Spirits

44 LIFE & STYLE Valentine Ideas for the Little Ones Q&A with Accomplished Medical Injector Fabulous at 50 5 Winter Style Trends Local Winter Favorites Unconventional Gifts Lovely Holiday Traditions Top Stylists

77 IN GOOD HEALTH Holiday Strategies for Staying Slim

ON THE COVER Charlotte Jones Earrings: Kindler's Jewelers Photo by Ashley Munn Photo by Tracey Ayton

79 FROM THE HEART Put the Phone Down Fostering Love with Forever Families My Rainbow Baby

MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 3


AT HOME

Brazos Country Estates Photos courtesy of Picture it SoldÂŽ

Building a new home is a very exciting time in your life. At times, it can be an overwhelming experience, but hiring a reputable builder will make this experience much more enjoyable. Garrison Construction has developed a reputation for designing and constructing quality custom homes in the Waco area. We met up with Billy & Deanna to hear their recommendations on the top three things to consider when building a new home.


GET PREPARED

Completion of a true custom home requires significant advanced planning and active involvement on your part. With a custom home nothing is pre-planned, pre-selected or predesigned. Once you have collected ideas and elements that you envision for your “perfect home� from architectural style, floor plan layouts, design elements, product features and lifestyle requirements, you will want to establish your budget. Meet with a bank or a broker to understand the way forward to financing your custom build.

SELECT A BUILDER

Ask for builder recommendations from local realtors, lenders, and even family and friends. Set up in-person introductory meetings with at least 3 builders and get to know them. Find a builder that you feel comfortable with and who will give you the attention you deserve. During your introductory meeting, ask for references from clients, lenders, suppliers and subcontractors. Ask to tour their homes so that you can see the quality of construction and ask for sample contracts and warranties.

THROUGH WISDOM, A HOUSE IS BUILT, AND BY UNDERSTANDING IT IS ESTABLISHED; BY KNOWLEDGE THE ROOMS ARE FILLED WITH ALL PRECIOUS AND PLEASANT RICHES. PROVERBS 24:3-4

COMPLETE THE PLAN

Involving your builder early in the process helps to make sure your dream home will work on your desired lot before you purchase it. They will assist in selection of an architect and work with you in the design phase so that you stay within your budget. Having a detailed set of plans and specifications that are perfect for your lot and your budget will minimize costly changes and delays during construction. Following these suggestions will make the construction phase more exciting and enjoyable. MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 5


AT HOME

6 | moderntexasliving.com


Lots Ranging from 0.54-0.80 acres Ready to Build, Minimum 2200 sq. ft.

(254) 836-1910

Located in China Spring Lots and custom home contracts are available

MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 7


AT HOME

STAGED

STAGED 8 | moderntexasliving.com


BENEFITS OF VIRTUAL STAGING Carol Embry with Picture it Sold Photography

INCREASED HOME SALES Home buyers are more attracted to pretty real estate photos with well furnished interiors rather than photos of an empty home. Many people are visual by nature and seeing images of rooms with nicely staged bookshelves, comfortable sofas and beautiful decor convey a feeling of life and warmth and helps them see how a space can be furnished or used. When a buyer sees a nicely staged space, they think, “I could see myself living in this house!” It’s this emotion and this imagining that often prompts buyers to close that deal. (Home sellers also love to see their homes represented in a beautiful and professional way.)

A HOME PREVIEW It’s difficult to convince a buyer to purchase a home if they cannot visualize their own furnishings there or see themselves actually living in a space. Many have to be shown the possibilities. According to NAR (National Association of Realtors) 99% of Millennials and 90% of Boomers search online websites when house shopping. Pretty images are crucial in order to quickly get and keep a buyer’s attention instead of moving on to the next listing. As a photographer or a realtor, we have to do everything we can to generate excitement about the home we are photographing or listing and to appeal to the emotions involved in purchasing a home. By virtually staging a home, you are giving a potential home buyer a preview into what their life could look like in their new home.

MONEY SAVINGS It can be difficult to find professional stagers and it can also be very expensive. A professional stager has a lot of expenses related to the purchase and storage of furnishings and decor; they employ movers to bring the furnishings to the listing, set up and arrange, and then reverse it all once the property is sold. Realtors can save a lot of time and money by choosing virtual staging instead. In much less time and for much less expense, a vacant home can be photographed and the rooms ‘virtually’ staged, with images delivered back to the client within 2-3 days.

STAGED MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 9


AT HOME

Home for the

Holidays

Next-door neighbors Brittney and Cyndy teamed up to deck the halls of Brittney’s modern farmhouse for their local CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) Christmas Parade of Homes.


Above: Buffalo plaid was carried through the home and Christmas decor via pillows, ribbon, seat cushions and wrapping paper. Opposite: Wrapped gifts in complementary patterns were layered around the main tree on chairs and under the tree. MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 11


AT HOME

An eight-foot flocked tree layered with light blue velvet ribbon and metallic ornaments was the main tree in the living room. Cyndy and Brittney implemented white feathers to enhance the white flock on the tree.

Cyndy Aldred is founder and publisher of the interior design blog The Creativity Exchange (thecreativityexchange.com). Brittney Jensen is a Design Assistant with The Creativity Exchange and together Cyndy and Brittany do local design work in the East Texas area. All images were photographed by Cyndy Aldred. 12 | moderntexasliving.com


Gold Star Service Every Time

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www.camillejohnson.com

104 Midway Center Waco, TX 76712


AT HOME

Drapery 101 Photography courtesy of Cortney Dani Photography

W

indows and drapery are an elemental part of every room I design. My clients always ask, "Do we have to use curtains?" and I offer them the sage and timeless advice my grandmother once gave me. She said, "Susie, a room is like a woman and drapery is like her earrings. There are very few times in life when she doesn't need them, but for the most part, they are her crowning accessory!" If we keep with this metaphor, then you can imagine the infinite possibilities when deciding how to complete the look. Long and elegant or simple and playful? I've outlined the following tips to help you choose the drapery that's right for your room.

14 | moderntexasliving.com

STYLE

"SUSIE, A ROOM IS LIKE A WOMAN AND DRAPERY IS LIKE HER EARRINGS. THERE ARE VERY FEW TIMES IN LIFE WHEN SHE DOESN'T NEED THEM, BUT FOR THE MOST PART, THEY ARE HER CROWNING ACCESSORY!"

Consider the style of your room. Modern interiors lean towards streamlined window treatments while more traditional spaces are likely to have full-length curtain panels and cornices. Picture windows can stand without drapery, especially when you consider that wood or iron grids make the window an architectural feature in the room. Start by establishing your design style and color scheme.

COLOR & PATTERN

Of all the design elements, color is the most expressive. Yet it remains the most daunting as homeowners will usually opt for neutrals in an effort to play it safe. Use a color wheel, available at most paint and


MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 15


AT HOME

craft stores, to help you break out! Satisfying schemes will find a good balance between warm and cool tones. Patterned panels can provide a focal point and draw the eye up.

SIZE

There are so many tricks to making a room look bigger than it actually is, but my favorite way is with window treatments. I recommend that you measure from the top of your window to the ceiling and hang your curtain rod 2/3 of the distance up. This will create the illusion of taller ceilings. You'll also want to take the drapery rod out about 6-12 inches, depending on the number of panels you're hanging. This extension will make the window appear wider and balance the space.

THICKNESS

This depends on the size of your window. Standard panels are around 56" wide. This means a panel on each side when pulled closed will cover a 112" wide window. However, I don't recommend that your panels ever look taut when closed, so if your window is more than 6' wide you should opt for two panels on each side of the window. The official rule is the width of the window times two and a half. Remember lined panels will always look fuller and more polished.

LENGTH

You have three options here. Float, kiss, or puddle. AÂ float is where the drapery doesn't touch the floor and hangs about an inch from the ground. A kiss is a 1-2" break at the bottom of the panels where the drapes will buckle when they touch the floor. A puddle is just that, an excessive amount of drapery puddling on the floor. Kisses create a clean, streamlined look and puddles lend themselves to the romantic, traditional spaces.

HARDWARE

Drapery rings, grommets, pocket rod, or pinch pleat. The method with which your panels are hanging on the curtain rod is entirely up to you. Rings and grommets are contemporary while pinch pleats are much more formal. I always lean to simple rods and finials. If you choose an ornate rod, you'll want the room to reflect that same formality. There are plenty of ready-made curtains available on the market, but you can always take fabric to your local tailor or seamstress for custom drapery panels. Our friends over at Studio Gallery also specialize in hanging drapes, blinds, shutters and shades.

Susie Robb is owner and lead designer of From: Susie, a Texas based home decor store and interior design studio. For more tips, tricks and design information, visit susierobb.com or on Instagram @FromSusie. 16 | moderntexasliving.com


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MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 17


TRISH GRIFFIN

MEAGAN NICHOLS

ABR, SRS Residential REALTOR®, Kelly Realtors

Greater Waco Realty

Trish Griffin has been a REALTOR® for over 18 years and is currently the #1 residential agent at Kelly Realtors. She is a full time REALTOR® and an experienced professional who is familiar with the current real estate practices and ever-changing laws associated with handling the biggest investment of your life. Trish has built her reputation on client satisfaction and is devoted to meeting her clients' needs. Trish served as the 2018 President of the Waco Association of Realtors and currently serves as the immediate past president. She was voted 2016 Realtor of the Year. Trish is a member of the Rotary Club of Waco, Texas REALTORS® Association and the National Association of REALTORS® . Trish is a long-time resident of Woodway and is very familiar with the Waco market.

Meagan is a full-time real estate professional serving all of Central Texas. She was born and raised in Waco and loves watching her city grow. She is a ranch wife, a mom of two, and deeply involved in her local community. Meagan is experienced in both buying and selling and uses her knowledge in the real estate industry to exceed her clients' expectations. To Meagan, buying or selling a home is more than just a transaction, she values her clients and turns them into life-long relationships. She believes that a home is more than just a few rooms and a roof; home is where your heart is. 254.651.8901 mnichols@gwrhomes.com Meagan Nichols, Realtor, Greater Waco Realty

254.744.1268 calltrishgriffin@aol.com Trish Griffin, Kelly Realtors

TOP REALTORS

ANNA JOHNSON

MARIO GONZALEZ

Camille Johnson Realtors

Coldwell-Banker

Anna has been practicing real estate and building professional relationships throughout the community since 2008. A Baylor University graduate, Anna invests in her community through various ways such as the Boys & Girls Clubs, Junior League of Waco, and supporting many local businesses throughout town. Her clients and friends enjoy her expertise in pricing, marketing and negotiating, and she does it all while making them feel reassured and well taken care of throughout the entire process. Anna sold $15+ million in production in 2018 alone and is excited for 2019 to be her best year yet!

Mario may be new to real estate, but he's not new to working close with people. With over 120 properties sold in just over two years, he can attribute his success to the skills and lessons learned from previous positions working in sales, customer retention, family businesses, and in the medical field. His belief in putting people first, working well with others, and not shying away from any type of deal, regardless of complexity, has helped garner the loyalty and referrals of clients. In addition, he knows that to best serve his clients he needs the best beside him to help accomplish that. His current licensed executive assistant is bilingual and previously worked as a paralegal. Mario prides himself on attention to detail and superior customer service and looks forward to showing you what makes his real estate services stand out from the rest.

254.717.4548 anna@cjrealtors.com Anna Johnson, Realtor 18 | moderntexasliving.com

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DIY

Holiday Wreath Hosting a holiday party for friends and family and want to spruce up your decor? This time of year, forgo fresh flowers for fresh greenery. You can make this super simple DIY Christmas Wreath in less than 10 minutes! WHAT YOU’LL NEED • Grapevine Wreath • Greenery (all of ours was purchased from Trader Joe's) • Faux Berries Cut your greenery and work counter-clockwise. Tuck each stem of greenery into the grapevine wreath until it’s secure. Layer your greenery as desired, but first we did pine, then eucalyptus, and berries on top. Add a bow or ribbon. Etsy or Amazon are great sources for beautiful velvet ribbon.

PRO TIP:

Soak your greenery in water (then let dry) before putting in the wreath to keep it fresh longer. Pine, fir, and cedar branches last the longest. Mist your wreath with water daily to make it last longer.

Doreen Corrigan is a life and style content creator. Doreen believes life is art and even the most ordinary can be made extraordinary. Everyone can create a life that is a direct reflection of themselves no matter what their budget may be. For more inspiration a follow @doreencorrigan on Instagram. All images were photographed by @LindseyTaylorPhotography. MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 21


AT HOME

Faux Garland

Holiday Tablescape The holidays can be stressful, but decorating for them shouldn’t be. Whether you’re setting a table for two or twenty, holiday tablescapes are a simple, yet stunning alternative to traditional arrangements. For a look that lasts all season, swap fresh greens for faux and free up your time for the important stuff!

MATERIALS NEEDED: • Artificial Norfolk Pine Garland • Artificial Eucalyptus Greenery • Table Settings

22 | moderntexasliving.com

Start by measuring your table and choosing your base garland. For this look, we used a traditional naturaltouch pine garland that feels just like the real deal but won’t dry out or shed. Faux greens have wire stems so you can easily connect two or three depending on the size of your table. For a whimsical look, allow a little extra garland to drape over the sides.


Choose your accent greenery. By combining two different types of artificial greens, you add texture and dimension to your table. Go for single sprigs or a second garland of a green you’ll use throughout the year like silver dollar eucalyptus or ruscus. Weave your accent greenery throughout your base garland, sprinkling stems until you achieve your desired look. If you plan on reusing your accent greens in a vase later, leave the stems long and tuck them under your base garland. You can also clip stems with wire cutters. Get creative! Add artificial flowers, dried or preserved flowers or grasses, or keep it simple with just greens. For a final touch, place small clippings of your greenery on each table setting.

Afloral is a team of everyday floral enthusiasts, DIY fanatics, and proud plant-parents. They offer handpicked artificial florals and greenery, live and faux plants, home decor, and craft supplies. For all your floral inspiration, follow @afloral on Instagram and visit afloral.com.

AFLORAL

Holidays Made Easy with Faux Flowers Visit Afloral.com

MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 23


AT HOME

Creating a DIY

Photo Gallery Wall by Brooke Morales

It’s amazing how a collection of your favorite family photos, printable art, or even DIY art can totally transform a space; however, the task of creating a photo gallery wall itself can be somewhat daunting. I’m no pro, but I do have a few tips to help you create the gallery wall you’ve been dreaming about creating.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED: • Collection of photos or art • Frame Hooks • Photo Frames • Kraft Paper

24 | moderntexasliving.com

• Pencil • Level • Tape Measure • Painters Tape • Hammer


1. FIND YOUR SPACE

Gallery walls add so much interest to just about any space – big or small. I love the personal touch they add to a home. They easily become the focal point of any room & can be quite the conversation starter. If space allows, your living room is a great location for a gallery wall. However, any open wall space will do. TIP: From a design perspective, selecting a wall free of air vents, AC controls, or other inanimate objects is ideal to give your gallery a clean and uncluttered look.

2. CHOOSE YOUR STYLE

A photo gallery wall is a fun way to express your creativity while showcasing your favorite photos or artwork. You can even mix the two if you’re feeling wild! However, I suggest keeping the color scheme in mind as this will be the element that ties your gallery together. I prefer a clean look, so I opted for natural wood frames with black & white prints. TIP: Selecting photos/prints with the same tones helps keep a cohesive vibe. I highly suggest adding a filter to your prints if you do decide to mix, let's say, for example, family photos with floral prints. Color consistency will keep your wall looking pulled together despite mixing themes.

3. SELECTING YOUR FRAMES

Color plays a vital role when it comes to home design, so choose a color frame that will compliment the rest of your space. Natural wood frames are great for a neutral feel & black frames would be a good choice if you prefer a bolder look. To add impact to your prints, I suggest adding 1” - 2” matting. There are so many online framing shops to help ease the process of framing prints. My personal favorite source for frames is www.frameiteasy.com, but if you prefer to shop in store, Target, Michaels, and Ikea always have a great selection of frames to choose from at an affordable price. TIP: For a clean look, keep all the frames the same size and color. Not your taste? Have fun with it and mix & match your frame sizes/ colors.

4. TESTING...1,2,3

Once you’ve got your frames ready, lay them out on the floor and cut your Kraft paper down to the size of each frame. Using masking tape, position the paper on the wall as if it were an actual frame. This will allow you to rearrange the paper a few different ways until you feel satisfied with the way it looks – without putting a million holes in your wall (trust me, I’ve been there). Keep in mind the proportion of frame to wall size and vice versa. Also, make sure the top frames are at a comfortable height. If you’re hanging directly above a piece of furniture, the bottom frame should ideally hang 5”- 8” above the top of the piece of furniture. On an empty wall, shoot for roughly 55” above the floor, but don’t be afraid to break the rules. TIP: Space each frame the same distance from one another. My magic number is 1.5”, but go with what looks most visually appealing on your wall. For a dramatic effect, you can spread your frames further apart.

5. YOU GOT THIS!

Once you’ve curated the layout of your frames, mark the correct nail/hook placement on your Kraft paper and get your hammer ready! Let’s do this! After you’ve hammered all your nails in, remove the Kraft paper and hang your frames. Wahlah! Take a deep breath, step back, and then straighten and level each frame. The true beauty of a gallery wall is that it’s evolving. I love that as the seasons of life change, you can easily swap out your frames with new pictures to create a whole different look and feel. FRAME SOURCES: All frames shown are style 71 Honey with an Art Size of 10 1/16" X 13 7/16" with 1" Smooth White Matting from www.frameiteasy.com. Frame it Easy offers a variety of frames, matting options, and cover styles to choose from that you can order via the web and have them shipped directly to your door.

Brooke Morales is a Dallas, TX, based full-time digital content creator, boy-mom, and wife who is known for her Instagram blog @blindseyj. She enjoys expressing her creativity through home design. When she’s not chopping pillows or rearranging rooms, she enjoys laughing at her own jokes & spending time with her family and friends. MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 25


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MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 27


IN THE KITCHEN

Easy Plant Milk Recipes

OAT MILK To make homemade oat milk is really easy and is much cheaper than store bought. You can use this milk to make any recipe, you can drink it hot or cold, and there are only 2 ingredients needed! INGREDIENTS • 1 cup rolled or quick oats (100 g) • 3–4 cups water (750 ml – 1 liter), depending on how thick you like your milk INSTRUCTIONS • Soak the oats in water for at least 30 minutes. We usually soak them overnight, but it’s not necessary. • Drain the oats and wash them (discard the soaking water). • Add the oats and 3 to 4 cups of clean water (750 ml to 1 liter) to a blender and blend until smooth. • Strain the milk using a cheese cloth, a strainer, a napkin or a nut milk bag. • Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days. • Try it and add more water until you get the taste and thickness you’re looking for. We usually make unsweetened oat milk, that way we can use it to make savory or sweet recipes, but if you like your milk sweet, add any sweetener you want gently until the milk is sweet enough for you (maple syrup, agave syrup, coconut sugar, cane sugar, etc.).

28 | moderntexasliving.com


ALMOND MILK Almond milk is a great source of calcium. It’s really creamy and it looks like cow’s milk, so it’s perfect for kids or people who haven’t ever tried this kind of beverage before. It’s cheap and easy to prepare. In addition, it’s a healthy cow’s milk alternative, and you can drink it if you have lactose intolerance. It is also lighter and has less cholesterol, so it’s a good option if you are dieting. If you are worried about calcium, I have good news for you, almonds have even more calcium than cow’s milk! It’s so creamy, milky and delicious, but you can also drink it with coffee, carob, cocoa, cinnamon, you choose. INGREDIENTS • 3/4 cup raw almonds (100 grams) • 4 dates • 2 cups water INSTRUCTIONS • Soak the almonds in water overnight. • Drain, rinse and peel the almonds. • Blend the almonds, dates and water until well blended and almost smooth. • Strain the blended almond mixture using a cheese cloth or a strainer (we used a napkin). • Store the almond milk in a sealed container in the fridge for three or four days. TIP: Soak almonds overnight because they are easier to peel and blend, but the number one reason is to activate almond enzymes and improve digestion.

In Simple Vegan Blog you’ll find hundreds of nutritious and delicious vegan recipes that will help you stay healthy and happy. We focus on making our recipes ready in 20-30 minutes and extremely easy. Eating more vegetables has never been easier or more fun! To see more, visit @simpleveganblog on social media platforms. MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 29


IN THE KITCHEN

Meals to Stay Warm & Cozy

p u o S h s a u Butternut Sq INSTRUCTIONS 1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, salt, and several grinds of fresh pepper and sautĂŠ until soft, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the squash and cook until it begins to soften, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes. 2. Add the garlic, sage, rosemary, and ginger. Stir and cook 30 seconds to 1 minute, until fragrant, then add 3 cups of the broth. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until the squash is tender, 20 to 30 minutes. 3. Let cool slightly and pour the soup into a blender, working in batches if necessary, and blend until smooth. If your soup is too thick, add up to 1 cup more broth and blend. Season to taste and serve with parsley, pepitas, and crusty bread.


BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP

CAULIFLOWER RICE KIMCHI BOWLS INGREDIENTS Coconut sauce: • 2 tablespoons white miso paste

INGREDIENTS

• 1/3 cup coconut milk

• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

• 1 tablespoon rice vinegar or fresh lime juice

• 1 large yellow onion, chopped

• 1 teaspoon minced ginger

• 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

• pinch of sea salt

• One (3-pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed

For the bowls:

• 3 garlic cloves, chopped

• 1/2 cup chopped scallions

• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage

• 1/2 clove garlic, minced

• 1/2 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary

• 7 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced

• 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

• 1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar

• 3 to 4 cups vegetable broth

• 1/2 teaspoon tamari

• Freshly ground black pepper

• 6 leaves of curly kale, stemmed and torn

For serving • Chopped parsley

• 12 to 14 ounces baked tofu, reheated (I used Wildwood sriracha tofu)

• Toasted pepitas

• 1 avocado, diced

• Crusty bread

• 1/2 cup kimchi

• 1 small head of cauliflower, riced

• 1/4 cup microgreens, optional • sprinkle of sesame seeds, optional

GARLIC HERB MUSHROOM PASTA

• extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling • sea salt • lime slices, for serving

INGREDIENTS • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil • 16 ounces cremini mushrooms, de-stemmed and sliced • 8 ounces spaghetti, plus 1/3 cup reserved pasta water

HEALTHY APPLE CRISP INGREDIENTS Spiced apple filling

• 2 garlic cloves, minced

• 4 apples, cut into approx. 1-inch cubes

• 1/4 cup dry white wine (such as chardonnay or pinot grigio)

• 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar • 2 tablespoons water

• 1/4 to 1/3 cup cashew cream (below)

• 1 teaspoon cinnamon

• 1/3 cup chopped fresh tarragon

• 1/4 teaspoon cardamom

• 1/3 cup chopped fresh chives

• 1/4 teaspoon ginger

• 1/3 cup shaved Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

• Pinch of sea salt

• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Crumble topping

• savory cashew cream (this makes extra)*

• 1/2 cup whole rolled oats

• 1/3 cup raw cashews + 1/2 cup water (or skip this mixture and use regular cream)

• 1/2 cup almond flour

• 1/2 clove garlic (a small one)

• 1/3 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar

• 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

• 1/4 teaspoon dijon mustard

• 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

• 1/3 teaspoon sea salt

• 1/4 cup firm coconut oil

• 1/4 cup crushed walnuts

For serving • Pomegranates • Vanilla ice cream MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 31


IN THE KITCHEN

INSTRUCTIONS 1. Make the cashew cream by blending all ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth. Set aside. (note: it’s not going to be very thick, it should be the consistency of half & half or heavy cream). 2. In a large pan heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, a few generous pinches of salt and pepper, and cook until soft and wilted, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 12 minutes. 3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in salted boiling water 1 minute short of the package directions, until al dente. Reserve 1/3 cup of the starchy pasta water before draining. 4. To the mushrooms, add the wine. Stir and let it reduce for 1 to 2 minutes. 5. Stir in the garlic, then the cooked pasta and toss. Add a few splashes of the cashew cream and a few splashes of the pasta water and toss to create a light sauce. Add half of the fresh herbs and season to taste. Serve immediately with remaining fresh herbs and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese on top. NOTES To make this vegan, skip the cheese and and serve with a few drizzles of balsamic vinegar. Change up the herbs: rosemary and/or sage would be delicious here, but add those heartier herbs to the pan as you add the mushrooms so that they'll cook more than the softer herbs. 32 | moderntexasliving.com

rb Mushroom e H c i l r Pas Ga ta


Cauliflower Ri

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INSTRUCTIONS

s l w Bo

1. Make the coconut sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, miso paste, lime juice or rice vinegar, ginger, and salt. Set aside. 2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat a drizzle of olive oil over low heat. Add the riced cauliflower, the scallions, garlic, and a few pinches of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes just to take the raw flavor off the cauliflower. Remove from the heat and stir in ½ of the coconut sauce. Portion the cauliflower rice into 4 bowls. 3. Wipe any remaining cauliflower bits out of the skillet. Heat the pan back to medium with a few splashes of olive oil. Add the mushrooms and a few pinches of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the rice vinegar and a few splashes of tamari. Add the mushrooms to the cauliflower bowls. 4. Wipe out the skillet again, add a tiny bit of water and the kale and cook over medium heat, covered, for 1 minute or until lightly wilted. 5. Finish assembling the bowls by drizzling more of the coconut sauce over each portion of cauliflower. Add the kale, tofu, avocado, and kimchi to the bowls along with the microgreens and sesame seeds. NOTES To make these bowls vegan and/or gluten free, double check that the ingredients in your kimchi are vegan and gluten free. MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 33


IN THE KITCHEN INSTRUCTIONS 1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. 2. Make the filling: Combine the apples, apple cider vinegar, and water in a saucepan and simmer over very low heat, covered, stirring occasionally (making sure the apples don’t burn on the bottom of the pan) for 15 minutes. Uncover, stir, and add the cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and salt and stir again. The apple should be tender and the juices should be thick. 3. Make the topping: In a small bowl, combine the oats, almond flour, walnuts, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Use your hands work in the firm coconut oil until the mixture crumbles. If the mixture is too dry, add a few drizzles of water until the mixture starts to stick together when pinched. 4. Scoop the apple filling into 4 individual ramekins, top with the crumble (you may have a little bit extra) and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly crisp on top.

risp

5. Remove from the oven. Top with pomegranates and serve with vanilla ice cream.

Healthy

C e l p p A

Jeanine Donofrio is the creator of the food blog Love & Lemons, and the author of The Love & Lemons Cookbook, which the New York Times described as "Happiness itself is tossed into every bowl.” Jeanine is best known for her bright, vegetable-packed recipes that inspire people to have fun in the kitchen. Her newest book, Love & Lemons Every Day, features over 100 plant-forward recipes, resourceful cooking guides, and no-waste tips for using every part of the vegetable. Instagram @loveandlemons 34 | moderntexasliving.com


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IN THE KITCHEN

36 | moderntexasliving.com


Gourmet Caramel Apples the easy way

W

ith this fun and simple recipe, you'll learn how to easily prepare beautiful caramel apples that look like they belong in a gourmet candy shoppe. I remember years ago on my honeymoon, my husband and I came upon a vendor selling "apple pie caramel apples." We decided to try one. I'll never forget how much I loved the combination of a tart apple, white chocolate and cinnamon and sugar. I had so much fun recreating this flavor combination to help us return to that memory! With this recipe, you simply combine the ingredients in a large bowl and cook the caramel in the microwave. Say goodbye to standing over the stove top watching a tricky candy thermometer. In just a few minutes you'll be decorating delicious apples to share with people you love.

GOURMET CARAMEL APPLES • 5-6 granny smith apples, washed, and chilled. • Popsicle or candy sticks for each apple • 1/2 cup (one cube) of butter, melted in a large bowl. • 1/2 cup granulated sugar • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed • 1/2 cup light corn syrup • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk • 1/4 teaspoon salt • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Optional toppings: White chocolate, cinnamon and sugar, chopped nuts.

MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 37


IN THE KITCHEN

DIRECTIONS: 1. Wash and chill apples well before dipping. This is the biggest secret to success! Fully chilled apples help the hot caramel set quickly so it doesn't drip off. 2. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment or wax paper. Set aside. 3. In a large microwave safe bowl (I use glass), melt the butter. Add white and brown sugars, karo syrup, condensed milk, and salt. Stir well to combine. 4. Return the bowl to the microwave and cook for exactly 6 minutes, 30 seconds. (For me, 6 minutes wasn't long enough, and 7 was too long. 6:30 creates the perfect caramel consistency to coat the apples. Do not stir the caramel while cooking, just leave it in the microwave the entire time). 38 | moderntexasliving.com

Once the timer goes off, very carefully remove the bowl (caramel will be boiling) and place onto a hot pad on your counter. 5. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and stir to combine. NOTE: I like to take my chilled apples out of the refrigerator while the caramel is cooking. Chilled apples will have a layer condensation on them as they come out of the refrigerator, so be sure to dry them off well before dipping and have them ready to go! Push a popsicle stick handle all the way into each apple 6. Working quickly, tilt the bowl and dip apples into hot caramel and then slowly rotate in the air for about 15 seconds before you place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper. This will allow the caramel to begin to evenly set before you place it on the sheet.


7. If you're dipping your apples in chopped nuts, be sure to do this quickly, before the caramel fully sets. I like to hold the dipped apple in the air about 15 seconds to allow the caramel to slightly cool, then roll into chopped nuts. 8. If you're decorating with white chocolate, or white chocolate with cinnamon and sugar, you can wait until caramel is fully set before adding these toppings. 9. Once the apples are dipped and decorated, I like to place them a paper cupcake liner, and wrap in cellophane to make them extra pretty. If you won't be eating them that same day, store in the refrigerator and let them come back to room temperature before you slice into them. 10. If you want to double this recipe, I would highly suggest just making two separate batches. I find that a double batch in one hardens before you can get each apple dipped well. It's very simple just to whip up a second batch, after the first has been dipped! I had fun creating a caramel apple station in our kitchen to add a little holiday whimsy. This kids have loved it! Apple sign: Teal Barn Signs.

Emily is the homemaker over at Handmade Farmhouse. She loves finding ways to turn a house into a home. For more of her ideas on affordable, intentional decorating, DIY projects, from-scratch recipes, and how to make your home your happy place, follow her on Instagram @handmade.farmhouse.

Anna Johnson, REALTOR

Phone (254) 717-4548

AnnaJohnsonRE MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 39


IN THE KITCHEN

Spirits

Seasonal HOT TODDY

Serves: 1 INGREDIENTS • 1½ oz. bourbon • 1 tbs. honey • 1/2 oz. lemon juice • hot water to fill • cinnamon stick • lemon wheel • glass type: mug INSTRUCTIONS 1. Add the honey, lemon juice and bourbon to the mug. 2. Top with hot water. 3. Stir with cinnamon stick. 4. Float a lemon slice on top. 5. Sip and let Mother Nature do her worst. 6. Smile at the warm coziness.

BITTER VALENTINE Serves: 1 INGREDIENTS • 1½ oz. tequila • 1 oz. amaro lucano • 3/4 oz. strawberry liqueur • 3/4 oz. lemon juice • strawberries • glass type: martini INSTRUCTIONS 1. Put all your boozes plus the lemon juice in your cocktail shaker. 2. Add some ice. 3. Shake. 4. Shake to destroy the anger in your heart. 5. Or to fill it. 6. Whichever you decide, shake until it's good and cold. 7. Pour and strain into your martini glass. 8. I've added the straining steps as you don't want ice chunks. 9. Unless you do, then don't strain. 10. Garnish with a strawberry. 12. Now go get bitter. 13. Or be happy. 14. Either way, it's a fine cocktail. 40 | moderntexasliving.com


FRENCH 75 Serves: 1 INGREDIENTS • 2 oz. gin • 1/2 oz. lemon juice • 1 tsp. ultrafine sugar • 5 oz. champagne • lemon peel • glass type: champagne INSTRUCTIONS 1. Add the gin, lemon juice and sugar into your cocktail shaker with ice. 2. Shake like you mean it (you want to chill it and dissolve that sugar, that's why we went ultrafine). 3. Evenly pour into two champagne flutes. 4. Top with chilled champagne. 5. Garnish with lemon peel. 6. Smile, drink and toast to good health.

The Drink Blog was nominated by Saveur for the 2015 Saveur Blog Awards under the Best Spirits or Cocktail Coverage as one of the six bestest (totally a word) cocktail slinging sites out there. Follow along at TheDrinkBlog.com or on Instagram @thedrinkblog. MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 41


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LIFE & STYLE

Valentine Ideas for the Little Ones by Katey McFarlan

Looking for some no-stress Valentine’s Day activities you can do with the little ones in your life? Check out these three festive ideas.

44 | moderntexasliving.com


1

LET THEM DECORATE DESSERTS: Let them decorate a cake or cookies! In the photo beside, I just made a simple boxed cake. If you want to make yours taste a bit more homemade, stir in an extra egg yolk or two. Replace the vegetable oil it calls for with an equal amount of melted butter, which will make it taste even more decadent. I grabbed the heart cake pan from Target and then lots of their pink sprinkles. I iced the cake with a store bought icing and then I put sprinkles in different bowls for Maxi. She had the best time decorating the cake and we split a piece after. Once your little one goes to bed, you and your husband can enjoy some wine and cake just the two of you. If a cake isn’t your thing, you can try some cookies.

2

ARTS & CRAFTS: I love the site Busy Toddler for craft ideas for toddlers. Most of these items you may have at home or you can grab with a quick Dollar Store run.

3

PAY IT FORWARD: Valentine’s Day is a perfect opportunity to teach your kids about paying it forward. While only 2, Maxi is too young to understand, but she can still take part in it. Pay for someone’s coffee, put a cart up for a mom at the grocery store who has her hands full, have your little ones make a Valentine for someone who may not be receiving one. Looking back on things my mom did with me, I was too young to understand, but I remember the practice of her doing them.

Katey McFarlan is a Dallas-Fort Worth lifestyle and fashion blogger. Her sassy and feminine style distinguishes her from a crowd. She has a background in PR and loves to personalize her products for her readers. Check out her blog Chroniclesoffrivolity.com and follow her on social media for more style motherhood and lifestyle tips at @kateymcfarlan. Photography by Angie Garcia.

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Rhonda Schaeper WHAT IS BOTOX? Technically, it is a neurotoxin derived from clostridium botulinum, an organism found in the natural environment that temporarily reduces the activity of the muscles in the face. HOW DO I KNOW IF I'M A GOOD CANDIDATE? When you come in for your complimentary consultation, we will go over a brief medical history. You will meet the physician to determine that you are a good candidate. We will go over what you’d like to achieve with your treatment, and if you are prepared to maintain the treatments. WHAT WILL THE PROCEDURE BE LIKE AND WHAT KIND OF RESULTS CAN BE EXPECTED? I personally describe it like a muscle relaxer that temporarily causes paralysis of the muscle for 12 to 14 weeks instead of 4 to 6 hours. Like a muscle relaxer, you would not wait to take it when the pain returns, you would take it before it returns. Botox is most effective when it is maintained, once you achieve your desired result. When you sign your consent form and we agree on the area that you will be treating, you get in the treatment chair for me to inject. DOES IT HURT? Most people say "Are you done? I thought you were going to stick me 20 or 30 times!" (because the average units for a first timer is 20 to 30 units but that’s the amount injected for an area or two, not the amount of sticks you get). Then they say, "That was not near as bad as I expected it to be. That was really fast!" After we are finished with your treatment, I will give you an after treatment sheet to remind you of the do's and dont’s and we will schedule your 10 day follow up & take your payment. HOW MUCH DOES IT COST? The average cost is between $230.00 and $345.00 without any promotional items. After your 10 day follow-up, we will schedule your 12 week appointment to continue your Botox maintenance.

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the golden age of

50

50, it’s only natural

for others. I think the most attractive

Fabulous at By Margaret Ratliff

W

hen

one

reaches

shouldn’t have. I am most fulfilled spiritually and emotionally when I do

to reflect on the previous decades of

thing on a person is a smile.

life experiences, which contribute to

I love hanging out with my

who we are today. This past year was

friends, better known as my tribe.

the hardest, after losing both of my

They always show up for me when it

parents just months apart, and then

matters, whether it’s a party, a patio,

losing my father-in-law, just a couple

or a funeral. They are there, wanting

months later. We are still working

nothing in return, except love. I

through the loss and grief every day

treasure those friendships and thank

while doing a lot of soul searching

God for all of them, near and far.

and self-reflection.

They are a big part of my emotional

At the age of 50, this is what I

and mental well-being, by always

know. I am an authentic person, and

offering support, hugs, and much

I expect the same from those with

encouragement when needed most.

whom I surround myself. I am not

I love to shop, and some of my

afraid or ashamed to apologize when

personal favorite places right here in

warranted, especially to someone I

Waco are, for gifts of all kinds, Lane’s

love. I am able to embrace my scars

on Austin Ave. For clothing, I love

and imperfections, especially the ones I can’t change. I have a

Prefontaine and Chesney’s. When it comes to dazzling jewels,

skin graft scar on my arm from a third degree burn suffered in

Boozer’s is my favorite.

a terrible car accident 18 years ago, and it is a daily reminder

When asked about my beauty secrets, I struggled with

that I am still here for a reason. I spent several years trying

a response, because I don’t have “secrets.” My beautiful

to conceal and cover my scar because it was ugly. Now, I

mother had gorgeous skin, so I chalk it up to good old

consider it like a badge saying that I survived something I

genetics. I do take care of my skin and use whatever products

MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 49


LIFE & STYLE

Makeup: Tammy Shefa Hair: Casey Hartmann Photography: Charla Holmes

I feel can benefit me at that time, but I am not committed to

together, and I learned so much about myself and other things

any one particular product. I will openly admit that I have an

through that journey. The point is, I accomplished something I

addiction to lipstick/lip gloss, and it doesn’t matter what kind

never dreamed I could do, and it made me realize how strong

or what brand; I don’t discriminate. My

I am and what my potential could be.

sweet husband would add shoes and

At 50, I am not planning on running

handbags to the list, but there is no

another half marathon, but I am always

need for an intervention. I promise it’s

looking for inspiration to be my best

a healthy addiction. I love trying new

self, in any shape or form. A new

things, and getting recommendations

chapter is upon me, and I embrace it

from friends on their favorite products,

for all it can offer. As empty nesters, my

too. I feel that eating healthy is very beneficial for your skin, and I drink A LOT of water throughout the day. I

WHEN ONE REACHES THE GOLDEN AGE

have not had a soda in 18 years, after

OF 50, IT’S ONLY

giving up Dr. Pepper for Lent years

NATURAL TO REFLECT

ago, and I have no desire to drink one today…now wine is another story. One of the most rewarding things I’ve

done,

besides

having

three

incredible sons, is I ran a half marathon

ON THE PREVIOUS DECADES OF LIFE EXPERIENCES.

with a close friend about 9 years ago. We trained for 8 months, and to this

husband Weldon and I look forward to much more traveling and exploring, checking off the bucket list. It was an honor to be asked to contribute my thoughts on turning 50. They say age is just a number, and that is very true, so I will not focus on the number, just the life experiences which shaped me. I will close with one of my favorite quotes. “The best and most beautiful

day, it’s a top 5 accomplishment. I had never been a runner,

things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they

and had no desire to be one. My friend and I decided to do it

must be felt with the heart.” – Helen Keller.

50 | moderntexasliving.com


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5

Winter Style Trends

4

BUCKLE PURSES

Buckle Purses are the perfect definition for subtle statements. They are small enough to be lightweight and easy to carry around, but have a large enough buckle to make a statement. This is beginning to be seen in many different textures whether it is crocodile embossed or covered in fur. Grab this bag from Nordstrom.com.

GIGI & PIP HATS

This is one of our new felt rancher hats released for the winter season. This women's rancher hat has a brim and crown trimmed with tonal grosgrain ribbon and a slightly curled up brim. As far as women's hats go, the Monroe in Brown is definitely one of our most popular designs. Head on over to Apricot Lane at the Central Texas Marketplace to see all of the hat options!

2

1

WINTER SHADES

This season I am obsessed with winter nudes. I landed a bottle of OPI nailpolish that is the perfect Winter taupe that exudes coziness. I think pink is a year-round nail color and Edinburgh-er & Tatties transitions the color into winter. Right now, the trendiest color is “All of Them” and these colors would work well in gradient.

3

CORDUROY PANTS

What goes around comes around and flare jeans are back! But not just any flare jeans… corduroy flares jeans. What I love about corduroy flare’s is that they are versatile to be dressed up or down and come in many different colors. As Texas weather begins to get colder, corduroy pants are a great way to stay warm and on trend. Grab these from Nordstrom.com.

5

ANIMAL PRINT BOOTIES

Snakeskin boots are all the rage this winter season! They pair well with classic items to give an added pop to any outfit! They will definitely make a statement at any Holiday party. You can get boots similar to this at ApricotLaneWaco.com.

Berkeley Paige Taylor is a fashion, beauty and lifestyle blogger from Dallas, TX, who is currently studying at Baylor University. She would describe her style as feminine, flirty, and chic. Berkeley works to find deals while incorporating more expensive options into her wardrobe to meet different people’s needs in all aspects of life. You can see more of Berkeley’s work on her website, berkeleypaige.com, and on social media @Berkeley.paige (Instagram) and berkeleypaigetaylor (Facebook). MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 53


LIFE & STYLE

BEAUTIFUL JEWELRY FROM MARGRIT CO. “Argentine Sea” earrings in Jet Black with silver, $28. Use promo code, WELCOME15 for 15% off your first Margrít Co. purchase. www.margritco.com Margrit Co.

AT GATHER, traditional southern hospitality meets a modern aesthetic. We sell everything you need to entertain at home all designed to compliment our locally made line of pottery. We carry a full line of dish ware and serving pieces made by Black Oak Art, purchase them directly off the shelves, or order them custom with your family name. www.gatherwaco.com gatherwacco gatherwaco

THE FINDERY’S FILLED BOX came to life from an idea to not only inspire our customers with the surprise contents but also to serve those givers we all know and love. The ones who give so much to those around them that they forget to also treat themselves. Our FILLED Box was created to ‘Fill’ those people back up with a fun surprise box full of our best selling or never before seen home decor products at a discounted price. A beautifully wrapped gift for a friend or a lovely treat for yourself! $89.99 The Findery thefinderywaco

Local Winter

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MEN'S GIFTS FROM BRAZOS RIVER SUPPLY CO. Spice up your holiday and impress your friends with the perfect Old Fashioned. Bittermilk cocktail syrups take the guesswork out of making the perfect drink and Woodford Reserve cherries complete the cocktail. Nothing says "refined gentleman" like a premium hand-rolled cigar hanging in your cocktail glass. Cheers! Woodford Reserve Cherries $16 Macanudo Cigar $9 Bittermilk Old Fashioned Cocktail Mixer $16 Corkcicle Cigar Glass $24.50 Brazos River Supply Co.

GRANNY’S COFFEE CAKE

STYLISH SNAKE SKIN SNEAKERS FROM SCOUT will make you the envy of all! Shop SCOUT for everything from green and gold game day garb to festive holiday clothing and accessories. Located inside Sironia. SCOUT scoutlifestyleco 54 | moderntexasliving.com

Open the Bright Red Tin and find an unbelievably moist and delicious cake made with walnuts, butter, sour cream and the freshest of ingredients. A cinnamon streusel fills the center and tops the cake to make it the best coffee cake you have ever eaten. Just like Granny’s there are NO Preservatives! Great for friends, family and corporate gifts for only $33. Location: Sironia Online Ordering at: CherryonTopWaco.com Cherry On Top

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LIFE & STYLE

SUBSCRIPTION BOXES are a great way to give the gift that keeps on giving! Almost anything can be filled in a subscription box. LOOKING FOR A GIFT FOR HER? For the makeup lover: Ipsy ($10.00)

CAN'T FIGURE OUT WHAT TO GET THE KIDS? • For the Adventure-seeker: Little Passports ($16.95-$18.95) • For the Creative Mind: KiwiCo ($9.95-$149.95)

Unconventional gifts Stressed with finding the perfect gift for the person who has everything? Here are some great ideas to gift like a pro!

FABFITFUN ($49.99/season) is a great box that can be tailored to her interests. Filled from The Findery ($89.99) is another great option. This box is filled with home decor that she has never seen before.

LOOKING FOR A BOX FOR HIM? • For the Outdoorsman: Battlebox ($29.99-$149.99/mo) • For the Memorabilia Fanatic: Lootcrate ($11.99-$28.95/mo) • For the Fashion Forward Guy: Gentleman's Box (29.99/mo-299.99/yr)

EVER WONDER WHERE YOUR ANCESTORS WERE FROM? Many companies offer DNA tests to inform you of what countries your family originated from. They can range from $79-$99. Some companies also make tests for your rescue dog. They can be helpful so you can find out what breeds your furry friend is! These tests range from $64-$120. 56 | moderntexasliving.com


WHAT DO YOU GET FOR THE PERSON WHO HAS EVERYTHING? • FOR THE CARING HEART: Donate to a charity in their name. Some great local charities are Fuzzy Friends, Care net, Mission Waco, and Jesus Said Love. This is a great way to support local charities and stay in the giving spirit of the Holiday season. • FOR THE NEAT FREAK: Hire a cleaning and organizing team to help them! Take some of the stress of a messy space away and give the gift of serenity. • FOR THE FITNESS FANATIC: Give them the gift of a gym or yoga studio membership. • FOR THE SCHOLAR: Museum memberships to the Mayborn Museum or the Dr. Pepper Museum are great ways to make learning fun! • FOR THE HIKER: give them a National Parks pass so they can go cross-country and visit as many parks as they want and camp or hike! A local National Park to go visit is the Waco Mammoth Site!

• FOR THE ADVENTUROUS: Trips are a great way to gift someone an experience they’ve never had before! Ask them what their favorite place has been to go and give them another trip there or ask them where they wish they could go!

GIVE THE GIFT

OF AN EXPERIENCE Individual

Family

• 1 named adult • Member only hour (Saturday Mornings 9-10) • Discounted/free admission to events/activities • Discounted/free admission to traveling exhibits • 10% Museum store discount • 2 guest passes

• 2 named adults in same household; and their children 17 yrs. and younger • ASTC Travel passport program • Member only hour (Saturday Mornings 9-10) • Discounted/free admission to events/activities • Discounted/free admission to traveling exhibits • $50 birthday party discount, 2 per year • 10% Museum store discount • 4 guest passes

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• 2 named adults; and their children 17yrs. and younger plus up to 2 caregivers • ASTC Travel passport program • Member only hour (Saturday Mornings 9-10) • Discounted/free admission to events/activities • Discounted/free admission to traveling exhibits • $50 birthday party discount, 2 per year • 10% Museum store discount • 5 guest passes

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The Lion Guard: Educational Exhibit (January 18, 2020 – May 10, 2020) Nickelodeon’s Paw Patrol: Adventure Play (June 6, 2020 – September 27, 2020) MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 57


LIFE & STYLE

Christmas Tree: Kings of Christmas Wreath & Greenery in Tree: Afloral Pillows: Laurel & Blush Garland, Ornaments & Stockings: Hobby Lobby Stylist: Halet James Design Co.


L ovely

Holiday Traditions FOOD TRADITIONS Organize a cookie-baking party. Invite friends and family,

or a group of your kids’ friends. Ask everyone to bring their favorite holiday cookie recipe.

Make

a gingerbread house with your family. Those premade sets make it easy and provide you with everything you’ll need! Another option is to use graham crackers, some royal icing and candy you’ve saved for this purpose.

COMMUNITY TRADITIONS Go caroling at the neighbors.

Check

out holiday lights in your area. Get in the car, turn on your holiday playlist, and find brightly lit houses.

Deliver Christmas cookies to your neighbors.

MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 59


LIFE & STYLE

CHARITABLE TRADITIONS Find a giving tree that allows you to sponsor

a family in need or purchase toys for children in need. Go shopping for the items together and donate them.

Go

through closets and donate gently used clothing (coats are particularly useful this time of year) to a local shelter.

Deliver

cookies and treats to your local fire station, police department, and even the staff at your local hospital. After all, they’ll be working through the holiday.

FAMILY TRADITIONS Invite

family, friends, and neighbors over Christmas evening for games, dessert, and to decompress from the holiday.

Take your kids shopping to buy presents for

each other.

Hide the last presents on Christmas day and

make clues as to where your kids can find them.

your local

retailer

2056 N Valley Mills Waco, Texas 76710 254-752-2105

60 | moderntexasliving.com


Stop by our tasting room for hand-crafted cocktails, specialty whiskies and gift items from glassware to whisky! Find something for everyone on your holiday list!  

O P E N T U E S D AY - S U N D AY | W E E K LY T O U R S LIVE JAZZ | SEPECIAL EVENTS | GIFT SHOP 225 S 11th St, Waco, TX 76701 BALCONESDISTILLING.COM /BALCONESDISTILLERY

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2019 © Balcones Distilling | 225 S 11th St, Waco, TX 76701


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CORTNY ALVAREZ

Sola Salons

Cortny + Co

Amy Lynn, behind the chair, is known for her blonding and coloring techniques, but her passion for the industry is so much more than doing hair. In the last year she took her career to another level and launched her education business Blonding and Beyond. She is an Oligo Sponsored Artist and an Olivia Garden Ambassador. Her motto is "to inspire and be inspired" and is now traveling the country doing just that with her education company. Her love and passion isn’t dying down anytime soon, and she is always accepting new clients and looks forward to making her guests feel beautiful and confident when they leave her salon.

Cortny Alvarez is a balayage enthusiast, confident color specialist, licensed permanent makeup artist, as well as a hair extension expert. She specializes in Habit Handtied Hair extensions, microblading and powder brows. “Cortny + Co has been a dream of mine for years, and I always knew that if I wanted to accomplish it, it was going to take hard work and perseverance. I am beyond blessed and grateful for each client who has come through my doors and helped me make my dream come true. I see over 30 clients a week and knowing that each and every one of them leaves feeling more beautiful and more confident about themselves is the greatest feeling of all.”

Location: Sola Salons 1428 Wooded Acres Drive Waco, TX 76710 amylynn_hairartist Amy Lynn Hair Artist 254.716.5294

Location: Cortny + Co 1101 Richland Dr. Suite 2 Waco, TX 76710 cortny.co cortnyalvarezwaco www.cortnyalvarez.com 254.300.9449

TOP STYLISTS

BETH WESTERFIELD

CASEY HARTMANN

Salon W

Salon at Ridgewood

Beth Westerfield, owner of Salon W, has been in the hair industry for 20 years. “This industry is always evolving and we must continually grow and educate ourselves on the newest techniques and trends.” Known for her expert coloring skills, Beth utilizes the latest techniques and hair products. Blonds are some of her favorites! Beth specializes in bayalage, highlights and color. “Although I am very busy, I love what I do and truly enjoy helping my clients. Being a salon owner and working as a stylist has always been my dream. My clients are my friends, and I have an amazing team of coworkers and an extremely supportive family who have helped me build and maintain my business. I am forever thankful to everyone who has helped me on this journey to live my dream!” Location: Salon W 1521 Wooded Acres Drive Waco, TX 76710 hairbybethwesterfield 
 salonw254 Salon "W" 254.732.0862

Casey is a native Wacoan, who can't hide her roots. She grew up in the salon, and now has 13 years professional experience. Her passion stems from the diverse opportunities in her career. She regularly travels from Central Texas to Dallas and Austin. Over 75 brides have asked Casey to be a part of the biggest day of their lives. Upstyles and makeup applications are her specialty. She loves working photoshoots on site including editorial, boudior, styled shoots, and family sessions. While in the salon, Casey specializes in color and balayage, men's grooming, and womens' precision cuts and blowouts. Location: Salon at Ridgewood 2018 N. Valley Mills Drive Waco, TX 76710 caseyhartmann.hair.makeup 254.349.0424 MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 63


ON THE ROAD

Packing Tips 101 THINK VERSATILITY

While packing can be a daunting task, it’s important not to over do it. My friends and coworkers are always shocked to see how little I bring with me on trips. I try to bring only what I need. That way, if I happen to pick something up on my trip, there’s a little wiggle room in my suitcase. Depending on the length of my trip, I usually bring two pairs of jeans and a pair of leggings or black skinny jeans. These go with just about anything and take up minimal space in my bag.

DRESS SMART

Try to wear on the plane the bulkiest items. For example, I will wear over the knee boots and jacket to allow more space in my suitcase.

NEUTRALS ARE YOUR BEST FRIEND

Neutrals are a great way to get the most out of your wardrobe while traveling. A cozy sweater is perfect with boyfriend jeans or black skinny jeans and looks great with rockstud flats or leather booties. I also consider stripes to be a neutral since they are so easy to wear with just about anything. I always bring some type of striped top with me on any trip. A striped turtleneck and red cross body are an easy no-fail option when you don't want to put a lot of thought into your outfit.

LESS IS MORE

Always take some of your favorite beauty products while traveling. A mini hairspray, pressed powder, and lip balm just to name a few. This Henri Bendel Cosmetic Pouch has been a great travel accessory. It can also double as a clutch, which makes it even more likable and travel friendly.

Growing up in Dallas, TX, Ashley Robertson developed two passions at an early age. She had a heart for educating young minds and a love for fashion. Being a believer in her own advice, Ashley started The Teacher Diva to express her own creativity and love for all-things fashion. Today, she works full-time on The Teacher Diva to bring her readers the latest inspiration in fashion, travel, lifestyle and home decor. Follow along with Ashley on Facebook at The Teacher Diva, on Instagram @ashleyrobertson, and at theteacherdiva.com. 64 | moderntexasliving.com


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Inside Jerry's World How the Women in His Family are Blazing Their Own Trails by Julie Hays

H

ey, Papa!” The endearing shout from Dallas Cowboys’ employee Haley Anderson to her grandfather across the room on the 2nd floor of the bustling office space in Frisco, TX, reminded us we were in a family business. “You look pretty!” her grandfather replied. This is no normal family. And no normal business either. Papa is better known to the world as Jerry Jones, the billionaire outspoken owner of the Dallas Cowboys. While Jerry is the face of one of the most iconic teams in NFL history, you might be surprised to know it’s the women in his family doing a lot of the heavy lifting.

Jerry’s daughter, Charlotte Jones Anderson, is the Executive Vice President and Chief Brand Officer of the Dallas Cowboys and resides in a front office in the Star, The Cowboys World Headquarters, next to her father and brothers. We sat down with Anderson and her daughter, Haley, who recently joined the organization as an employee, in Anderson’s pristine office overlooking the team’s practice field. You don’t have to look far to see the wild ride this family has been on since purchasing the team thirty years ago. There's Super Bowl rings, championship footballs, and celebrity photos like Garth Brooks and George Bush lining the desk. MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 69


But perhaps the "Jones Girls'" greatest accomplishment isn’t found on the book shelves but rather in the mirror. Charlotte, who stands at about 5’10”, is dressed to the nine's with perfect hair and makeup and charm that could win over any room. She once worried about overcoming the label as “Jerry’s daughter” and the extreme criticism that comes along with being a woman in the public eye, but not today. Jerry is quick to credit his daughter for much of the team's success. "When you look at the Cowboys today, I get credit for a lot of it, but those ideas came from Charlotte," Jerry said. Haley, 26, is project coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and oozes of admiration for her mom. And who wouldn’t? Charlotte is far from just a pretty face. Charlotte Jones Anderson is a trailblazer. “My dad always told me ‘you can be the first female president.’ He was my biggest cheerleader and was always like ‘go blaze your trail.’” 70 | moderntexasliving.com

And for the last 30 years, she’s done just that. In 1989, Jerry Jones purchased the then-failing Dallas Cowboys, an organization that was bleeding money to the tune of $75,000 a day. Charlotte, then 24, had just graduated Stanford and was working in politics in Washington D.C., when her dad made a phone call to her about, of all things, biker shorts. That unusual call would change the course of her life. “It was a crisis per minute when my father entered this position as owner of the Dallas Cowboys and one of the crisis just so happened to be that some rumor started that he wanted to change the iconic uniform of the cheerleaders from hot pants to biker shorts and all the women were lined up boycotting this decision,” Anderson said. “He called me up and said ‘do you have any idea what biker shorts are?’ And I was like 'no. Don’t you need to go run a football team?’”


CHAR LOT TE IS T HE FIR ST F E MALE E XE CU TIVE I N H I STO RY TO LE A D A MAJOR PRO F E S S I O NAL S P O RTS C HAR ITA B LE F O UN DATION AS C HA IR P E R S O N O F TH E N F L F O UN DATI O N .

Charlotte flew to Dallas and helped dispel that rumor and did a good enough job that her dad asked her to stay. “My first thought was ‘I don’t know anything about running a football team’ and he was very quick to say that he didn’t either.” But what her father did know was he could trust Charlotte and her work ethic. Charlotte took the job becoming one of the first female faces at the executive level in the NFL. Her dad told her to embrace it. “He said don’t ever be afraid that you are a woman. As a matter of a fact, that distinguishes you because your voice is 'different' and he encouraged me to own every bit of that. He wanted me to wear a dress, not a pantsuit. He wanted me to stand tall and be as much as I could be.” In three decades Charlotte has worn many hats or “helmets” as she says. She serves as president of the cheerleaders, oversees every aspect related to the brand of the Cowboys and represented the team in meetings helping secure the 2011 Super Bowl in Arlington as well as launching the well-known Thanksgiving Day halftime show that gives back to the Salvation Army. She’s broken more glass ceilings than just about any female in sports.

Charlotte is the first female executive in history to lead a major professional sports charitable foundation as Chairperson of the NFL Foundation. She’s also the first female chair of the Salvation Army’s national advisory board and has woven her philanthropic work onto the field. Charlotte enjoys giving back as much as the game, a trait she says she inherited from her family, particularly her mother, Gene. “I think she let us all recognize that with this incredible blessing that we have with the Cowboys that it’s our responsibility to make an impact and to pay it forward.” Winning has accompanied Charlotte. The Cowboys have celebrated three super bowl titles since she came on board and her work is credited for taking the team sold to Jones for $150 million to an estimated worth of over a 5.5 billion. But perhaps one of her greatest accomplishments can’t be measured and that’s paving the way for other females in the world of professional football. “Back then, the room looked very different than it does today. I love to see the fact that there has been so much progress in women getting involved at the club level and also involved at the league level,” Charlotte said. Haley is now following in her mom’s footsteps. MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 71


When she graduated from the University of Arkansas, she didn’t make the Cowboys her first stop, but instead took a job in sales with the LA Rams. “Everyone was asking ‘why are you choosing going to LA and working for the Rams versus working for your family because you already have a foot in the door?’ For me, I want to be able to go out and tell people that I can do this,” Haley said. It was grit that didn’t go unnoticed. “I was so impressed by that courage and also impressed by her ability to want to have some distance and kind of be her own person before she jumped into what many may assume is a pretty large shadow that starts with Jerry and cascades on down from there,” Charlotte said. “She wanted to make her own way.” Haley spent two years with the Rams before returning to work with the Cowboys, the only other team she’s ever known. When asked about her fondest memories of growing up in the organization, Haley quickly points to Sunday game days with the family and her family’s support outside of work. “My grandfather never missed a grandchild’s sporting event,” she said, “and my grandmother is our rock.” Players have become family for the young working professional, many who have known her since diapers, including Haley’s personal favorite Michael Irvin. “I remember just running around training camp and Michael was always there to run around and play hide-andseek. He’s always been there looking over me,” Haley said. Our Interview ended with inspirational advice for women everywhere. “Chase those dreams,” Charlotte said. “I hope that young women today see possibility that maybe we didn’t have the opportunity to see before. I hope they find the strength, courage, and the confidence in themselves to take that step into the unkown.” 72 | moderntexasliving.com

FUN FACTS ABOUT CHARLOTTE BESTIES: One of Charlotte's closest girlfriends is "Today" show anchor Savannah Guthrie. FAMOUS FAN: Actress Kate Bosworth married a "huge" Cowboys fan, Charlotte said. At a game Jerry once invited she and her husband to sit in the owners suite. The Cowboys won the game and from then on Jerry considered Bosworth a good luck charm. FAVORITE PLAYER: Difficult for an owner to say out loud, but Charlotte definitely has some love for tight end Jason Witten and his family. IN HER GAMEDAY PURSE: Cell phone, credit card, and Altoids. PREDICTIONS: "I learned long ago not to do that, but I do love the vibe of this season..."


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HOLIDAY STRATEGIES for Staying Slim by Chelsea Blackbird

W

orried you’ll gain weight this holiday season? The struggle is real but doesn’t have to be. If you put these strategies into action, you can enjoy the food and festivities without putting on the pounds!

1

MANAGE YOUR CARB LOAD

Overdoing carbohydrates is one of the biggest causes of holiday belly bulge! There are so many sweet and savory treats at this time of the year, most of which fall into the carbohydrate category. Cookies, pies, chips, cakes, crackers and breads are around us constantly during the holiday season. The problem is, excess carbohydrates turn to stored fat on the body. If you’re overdoing it day after day, your pants will be tight by the end of the season. If you know you have a big party meal coming up, keep carbs low earlier in the day so it doesn’t overload your body.

2

SAVE THE SPLURGE

One of the best ways to manage your carb load is to be choosy when it comes to your treats. Save your splurges for what’s really worth it. It’s okay to have some of the things, just not ALL of the things. People mindlessly eat foods without really considering if they’re actually worth it. Do you want the pasta or the cake? Do you want the bread or the pie? Do you want the rice or the chips? All of those are carbohydrates, but not all of those may be worth it to you. Be choosy and pick what you love. Then enjoy it!

3

ADD INTERMITTENT MOCKTAILS

If alcohol is on your splurge list, squeeze in some water or festive non-alcoholic beverages in between your party drinks. This helps prevent dehydration, poor sleep, and weight gain. My favorite mocktail is a Topo Chico (or Pellegrino) with a squeeze of lime or splash of juice. Pour it in a champagne glass and enjoy the bubbly without sacrificing body goals.

4

SOAK UP THE TOXINS

When you are splurging with cocktails and party food, consider taking a supplement like activated charcoal to help your body soak up and get rid of the toxic effects. Charcoal acts as a binder, binding up all of the toxins for more efficient excretion from the body. Make sure to take charcoal with a big glass of water and not near any prescriptions or other supplements. It binds-up everything in its path, the good and the bad, so take it with your splurges but not your healthy foods or medications.

5

FAST BETWEEN DINNER AND BREAKFAST

One of the most effective strategies for preventing weight gain during the holidays, or any time of the year, is to fast 12-16 hours between dinner and breakfast. That means stop eating after dinner (don’t let yourself wander into the kitchen for night time snacks) and don’t eat again until breakfast. Water and black coffee are fine during your fasting time. This nice break from eating allows your body time to burn through some of its stored energy (fat). You can burn fat during the holidays! How fabulous is that? By implementing these strategies you can navigate the holiday season without sacrificing fun or your waistline. Cheers!

Chelsea Blackbird (aka The Christian Nutritionist) is a Certified Nutritional Therapist living in west Texas with her cowboy husband and three kiddos. She specializes in restorative gut health and weight loss and loves integrating spiritual principles into her nutrition work. She teaches how Real Food meets Real Life because mamas need their veggies AND happy hour with their girlfriends. www.thechristiannutritionist.com MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 77


Put the Phone Down by Julie Hays

F

or years, I've wanted to

video games and me on my stupid

put my cell phone down.

phone for hours at a time."

To be present with my

"If you are a parent, please don't

family. I struggle with

take for granted the time you have here on Earth with your children."

it, but like everyone else, always assume there's more time. So did

"I hope my loss and my pain I

Danny Dinger, a father I recently

will endure for the rest of my life

interviewed after he lost three

will open up the eyes of parents

of his children, Bella, 12, Bostyn,

around the world to make their

14, and Bryson, 16 in a grinding

kids get off phones, get off video

collision with an eighteen wheeler.

games, make those grown kids

They were just headed to school.

come home off the roads hanging

THERE’S IS ONE

out with friends and do things as

THING THAT CAN’T

do so much with my kiddos and I

The driver's 16th birthday was that day. No one dreamed time was out. Danny is a former Fort Hood soldier and the mother of the

AND WON’T WAIT

a family because now I want to can't!" "I get to do one last thing with

children has deep ties to Central

AND THAT'S THE

Texas. The loss is too much for

TIME YOU HAVE

this earth forever!"

TO SPEND WITH

One more mindless Instagram scroll

THOSE YOU LOVE.

or Facebook "like" can wait. Put

anyone to imagine, but even in his grief, Danny shared something I just can't shake. His regret? The cell phone. The same struggle I have put into ultimate perspective by a grieving father.

Days after losing his beloved kids Danny writes, "I sit here feeling a bit of regret for letting them play

them and that's let them go from One more call. One more text.

the phone down. Be present. I'll be taking my own advice because what

Danny Dinger's wise words taught me is that there's one thing that can't and won't wait and that's the time you have to spend with those you love.

Julie Hays is a wife, mother to three and the midday news anchor for KWTX. Visit Julie on Instagram @Juliehayskwtx. MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 79


FROM THE HEART

Fostering Love with

Forever

Families by Lindsay Liepman

Marilyn Griggs Photography 80 | moderntexasliving.com


Marilyn Griggs Photography

I

"He's playing football for his school and making friends!" t was the Sunday afternoon before Thanksgiving of she wrote. "He's finally getting to relax and enjoy his 2018 when a message pinged the inbox of my 25 News childhood. Adoption was a huge relief for him and I'm so Facebook page. The woman wrote, "You don't know happy to be his mom." me, but I'm the (almost) mom to a child you featured on Adoption can be a long and difficult process. Families your Forever Families segment this time last year. I just wanted and children both put their hearts and hope on the line. you to know your story on my son was how we found him. Sometimes there is disappointment How your video found us, I'll never and sometimes there is pain, but know, but it did, and I'm so thankful." when everyone involved allows love A flood of gratefulness hit my "HE'S FINALLY to expand, there is beauty and joy heart and I immediately asked which where there was once heartbreak. child would finally be able to have a GETTING TO November is National Adoption forever home for the holidays. She Awareness Month. I always knew sent back a video of Marq putting RELAX AND ENJOY there were children in need, but the star on the top of their Christmas HIS CHILDHOOD. until I began sharing the "Forever tree with Charlie Brown's "Christmas Families" stories first in Austin and Time is Here" filling the room with ADOPTION WAS A now in Waco of children in Region ambiance. And then in true Marq 7 of Child Protective Services care, fashion, he does the dab after HUGE RELIEF FOR HIM I never had a personal connection successfully placing the star. He was AND I'M SO HAPPY TO with the cause that so desperately taller but still had a spark and a smile needs awareness. that's unforgettable. I remember in BE HIS MOM.� Marq is part of the 60% of local our interview a year before, he was so children featured in The Heart sweet and hopeful. I asked if he had Gallery of Central Texas who were a girlfriend and he laughed and said, once deemed harder to adopt. Nationally, children who are "that's none of your concern" with a grin. Just a true bright in state care who are teenagers, part of sibling groups or may light and special boy who was waiting like hundreds of children have special needs have a less than 1% chance of getting in Central Texas to give him love and support. My eyes filled adopted. The Heart Gallery is changing that. It's a program of with tears. Marq was finally home. Partnerships for Children. A non-profit that believes every child Fast forward to July 2019 and my inbox pings again. It's deserves a loving family. The organization also operates the Marq's mom. But this time she sends a picture of Marq in a Waco Rainbow Room, a 24/7 resource room for CPS workers. bow tie with a big smile on his face. The adoption was final. MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 81


FROM THE HEART

"Forever Families" features children in The Heart Gallery of Central Texas every Wednesday at 6:30 pm on 25 News as we provide a fun day for kids in CPS care at local businesses. But it's never an ordinary interaction. One of the first children I featured in Waco was 7-year-old Jacob. When he arrived to Jump-N-Place I expected him to run straight toward the inflatable bounce houses and jump away, but he was frozen in fear. His body was tiny and he was almost shivering, but it was the middle of summer. I didn't know his back story because I never asked. The children I feature are more than their case files. I knew he needed to know we were safe people who were here to love him and help him find a home. Immediately, I asked my photographer, Kendall, to hug him. Kendall is a strong, muscular guy with a kind heart. He opened his arms and Jacob ran to him. Kendall held him for what felt like at least five minutes. Jacob's body relaxed and he realized everything was going to be okay. He jumped, ate at least four bags of Taki's and even got to pretend to be a news photographer with Kendall. By the end of the filming, I gave Jacob a big hug and told him I loved him and on those difficult days he should remember this day and that he is special. He said, "But I'll miss you." And we all cried after he walked out the door. His now adoptive parents found him through the Heart Gallery. They saw his big smile and "Forever Families" story and knew he was their son. The reality is when a child is placed for adoption, their bio is removed from The Heart Gallery, but there are always more children added to the gallery who need a loving home, hoping for their happy ending, too. The segment that started at a Dallas TV station decades ago spread across the state to other markets and is now in its second year in Waco, still has a need to fill. In 2017, I interviewed Kanzes. A beautiful girl. I will never forget her. She was the kind of child you know will grow up and do amazing things. Resilient, imaginative, and vibrant. She has a zest for life and an adorable smile. It breaks my heart to see that two years later, she is still waiting. Her Heart Gallery picture is now of an 11-year-old girl not the little 9-year-old I met years ago. My hope is that by this time next year she won't be taking another Heart Gallery picture, she'll be taking a family portrait. Every time I talk about "Forever Families" I remind people that not everyone is ready to adopt, but we can all do something to help a child in foster care.

Courtesy of Marq's adoptive family

WAYS TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE You can volunteer time at the Waco Rainbow Room, become a mentor to a foster child who has aged out of the system through the Yes Mentoring Program at Partnerships for Children, become a volunteer photographer for The Heart Gallery of Central Texas, donate new items to the rainbow room, become a CASA advocate or simply share a Facebook post on a "Forever Families" story. If you are interested in adoption, go to kxxv.com and click on the "Forever Families" tab. We can all make a difference in a child's life.

Lindsay Liepman is a Central Texas native, Emmy award-winning journalist and mother to the "Fab 4", her children Micah, Sawyer, Luke & Gracie. You can watch Lindsay on 25 News at 5, 6 and 10 pm and catch her weekly segments "Texas Voices" and "Forever Families." Follow along on Facebook @LindsayLiepmanKXXV, and on Instagram and Twitter @LindsayLiepman.

82 | moderntexasliving.com


FROM THE HEART

My Rainbow Baby

T

he four most devastating words I’ve ever heard are, “There is no heartbeat.” And just like that, the floor dropped out beneath me. I didn’t cry at first. After all, I was staring at the ultrasound screen seeing my baby boy. Surely the doctor was wrong? But in his kind and sympathetic eyes I saw the truth. My baby was gone. I thought we were safe. I thought the statistics were in our favor. We had heard a heartbeat at 12 weeks. We had told our girls. We had named him Jacob. Time inched along over the next weeks and months. Waiting seems to double the hours of a day. When I finally saw a positive pregnancy test, I thought I would feel better. That the void in my heart would somehow be filled. Yet, I felt more anxious and worried. What if it happened again? I pushed the pregnancy out of my mind whenever possible, but then severe morning sickness wouldn’t allow me to forget. Coupled with anxious and nervous feelings, I guarded my heart and braced myself at each doctor’s appointment. We delayed choosing a name, I avoided buying maternity clothes, I procrastinated decorating the nursery. I was waiting for the floor to drop out again. Slowly the nausea lifted, and I finally began preparing for our baby. But the worry never lifted. I was mentally anxious all the time. My outward exterior seemed calm and positive, but inside was chaos. Even during labor, I convinced myself that somehow something would finally go wrong. After he was born, my very first question was, “Is he okay? Is he okay? Please tell me he’s okay.” Then the doctor told me there was a golf ball sized KNOT in his umbilical cord. Immediately, people gathered to see. My baby boy had made it to 38 weeks with a knot that could have siphoned off his oxygen supply at any moment. The odds were against his survival, yet he slept safely in my arms. Only 1 in 2,000 deliveries will even see a tight knot, and you can do nothing to prevent one from forming. Most knots go undetected on a normal ultrasound. He was born at dawn on a rainy morning, but by that afternoon a rainbow appeared. Unbelievable, but true. I could see it through my hospital window hovering over the lake. Only recently had someone told me the term that referenced the child born after a loss: rainbow baby. My tears flowed with

thankfulness. God winked at me that morning. That rainbow was a visual promise for the future, because I had forgotten where my hope truly lay. The Lord had knit him together and only the Lord could protect him. That knot was a visual reminder of the truth that no amount of anxiety or worry can change the future or control the present. I can’t say that I never worry, but I try to walk in confidence with the One who holds the future. My rainbow baby reminds me daily that true beauty can still follow a storm. We named him James meaning “the one who follows.” James is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Jacob. But now, this is what the Lord says— he who created you, Jacob; he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; Do not be afraid, for I am with you” Isaiah 43:1-2

Laura Lalani is a contributor to Waco Moms (thewacomoms.com), which is a locally focused parenting website written BY Waco moms, FOR Waco moms. She is a wife and mom to three beautiful children and works full time as an academic advisor in the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University. Laura’s favorite things in life are spending time with her kids, watching movies with her husband, planning ahead in her planner, reading most anything, journaling with Jesus and drinking coffee before the sun rises. You can find her on Instagram @lauralalani. 84 | moderntexasliving.com


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Korpi Posture & Alignment Therapy is a unique system of neuromuscular re-education, based upon Deborah’s years of training as a ballet dancer, ballet teacher and therapist. Her system re-establishes balanced muscle memory in three phases, resulting in total body realignment. Phase one evaluates overall muscle misalignment but begins with balancing the core. Phase two analyzes large muscle groups, and phase three addresses small muscle groups. Over time, this system enhances physical function at all stages of life, helps prevent injuries and reduces or eliminates most muscle pain. Consult your physician first for a medical evaluation. Deborah is a licensed and national board certified therapist for Massage and Bodywork and a Certified Medical Massage Practitioner.

254-214-6003 · dKorpi@gmail.com MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 85


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• Registration deadline for Preschool and Kindergarten Classes is Dec. 14 • Ongoing Registration for Open Adult and Mommy and Me Classes • Check out our fun Birthday Party Packages • Save the Date – JSOD 2019 Recital June 8–9, Midway Performing Arts Center www.jsodwaco.com

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Profile for Modern Texas Living

Modern Texas Living Issue 8  

Modern Texas Living is a lifestyle publication based in Waco, Texas

Modern Texas Living Issue 8  

Modern Texas Living is a lifestyle publication based in Waco, Texas

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