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December 2012

Family First

Next Stop...St. Michael’s!

Safety First!

Sarah Warburton obody wants to suffer a “Fa-La-La-La Ooops!” this holiday season. Before hauling out the ladder to string the lights, bring a trusted family member to hold the ladder, don’t over extend, and use extreme caution. Dr. Shannon Orsak, founder of St. Michael’s Emergency Rooms, says, “Every year thousands of people end up in the ER because they fell and got injured decorating for the holidays....and that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Even though our ER is comfortable, has no wait, and we offer amenities like a coffee bar and flat screen TVs, we know you’d rather be home for the holidays! Here are a few tips to help that happen:” “As a dad, I know how quickly kids can get into trouble. Even though we offer pediatric ER rooms without a wait, the best thing would be to prevent an emergency altogether! Mistletoe, holly, and poinsettias are considered poisonous and should be kept out of the reach of children. Tree ornaments, light bulbs, icicles, tinsel, and small toys are potential choking hazards for


2 ~ UPCLOSE ~ December 2012

small children. Never allow infants and toddlers to use toys with small parts that could be choking hazards. If something fits entirely into a standard cardboard toilet paper tube, it’s small enough to pose a serious choking risk to your child. And if you’re putting bikes, skates, skateboards or scooters under the tree, include a helmet or safety gear!” “Whether you’re going to Grandma’s house, visiting cousins, or catching up with friends, everyone’s on-thego at Christmastime. Before you leave the house remember to blow out any candles and unplug any lights. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), candles start about 11,600 fires each year and Christmas trees are involved in about 300

fires annually. When you’re on the road, use appropriate car seats for kids. If you’re driving on Christmas or New Year’s, use extreme caution...and never, ever drink and drive!” “Here at St. Michael’s Emergency Rooms you’ll find everything you’d find in a traditional ER––board-certified physicians, an X-ray, Ultrasound and CT, and an on-site diagnostic lab––without a wait! St. Michael’s treats everything from allergic reactions and broken bones to high fevers and chest pain. Whenever you and your family need us this holiday season, we’ll be ready...twenty-four St. Michael’s Emergency Rooms accept more than 200 insurance plans,

including Cigna, Blue Cross, United, and Humana, and is the first free-standing ER in Sugar Land contracted to be “in-network” with Aetna. What “accepting” these plans means to you: St. Michael’s Emergency Rooms will file the forms and deal with the insurance companies for you. We’re here to care for you from start to finish!

hours a day, seven days a week. Get your flu shot, take care preparing your holiday meal, and be safe and happy, because your health matters to us!” *Not a participating Medicare or Medicaid Provider

St. Michael’s Emergency Rooms 16062 SW Freeway (at Hwy 6) Sugar Land, TX 77479 281-980-HELP

9000 Westheimer Houston, TX 77063 713-343-0911

26226 I 45 N. Spring, TX 77386 281-419-2911

The GIFTthat gives all 365 days a year!

Buy it today and we will install it tomorrow! ...not really, but we will do our best to have it done before the guests arrive!



281-980-2300 3157 Highway 6 at Williams Trace UPCLOSE ~ December 2012 ~ 3

Healthy Legs Start with healthy veins G

etting the best medical help starts with finding a doctor you can truly trust. One patient made an appointment for advice about improving the appearance of her legs....and the doctor quickly told her she would require a surgical procedure. Something about that experience just didn’t feel right, so she sought a second opinion from Vascular Surgeon Dr. Ulises Baltazar, MD. He offers free vascular screenings, so there’s no risk or obligation to get a diagnosis and hear his recommendation. And in this case...Dr. Baltazar found there was no need for surgery at all. Maybe the proliferation of “quick-fix” places offering to “zap” your veins has made you think the entire procedure is as simple as getting your nails done. That couldn’t be more wrong! “Varicose veins are more than a cosmetic problem, they’re a vascular health problem,” says Dr. Baltazar. “It’s crucial to get an accurate diagnosis. When the valves in your veins are unhealthy, blood can then flow backward and pool inside the vein, so it swells...leading to venous diseases like spider veins, varicose veins and venous stasis ulcers. Some of our treatments may be simple or painless, but they should still be taken seriously!” There’s a reason your vet shouldn’t operate on your father-in-law and your optometrist shouldn’t do your root canal. A specialist knows his or her field inside and out, doesn’t take shortcuts, and doesn’t compromise. “I have one professional passion,” says Dr. Baltazar, winner of the 2011 Patients’ Choice Award, “making sure your veins are working properly!” Dr. Baltazar been board-certified by the American Board of Surgery in General Surgery with special certification in Vascular Surgery for over a decade. He was one of the pioneers of endovascular surgery at East Tennessee State University and in Texas, he performed the first case of Mechano-Chemical Ablation (MOCA), a virtually pain-free procedure with a 98 percent success rate. He’s had years of training, diagnosing, and treating diseases of the arteries and veins and extensive experience in placing needles, guide wires, using lasers, ultrasound and the latest technology and techniques. When you or your family come to Dr. Baltazar, you’ll be getting personal care from a true expert voted by the hospital staff as the most supportive physician at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital in 2009. If varicose veins make you self-conscious or leave you in pain and fatigued, come to an expert for advice. Dr. Baltazar says, “I’m always looking for new ways to offer my patients the best solutions...because you and your vascular health are my top priority!”

Ulises Baltazar, MD, RVT, FACS Sugar Land Vein Specialists 281-201-6052 16605 Southwest Freeway Ste 505 (in the Methodist Professional Building 3)

Body by Ahmadi

The Gift of Self-esteem


re you still searching for the “perfect” gift for a few loved ones on your list? Or maybe you are looking for a “Merry Christmas to Me!” idea? Consider the gift of self esteem. Dr. A. Ahmadi of Avante Plastic Surgery combines artistic talent with a proven track record in the field of plastic surgery….a combination that can be life-changing! Distinguished in his field and dedicated to a continual quest for excellence and knowledge, Dr. Ahmadi has created an exclusive plastic surgery center right here in Sugar Land! He offers all aspects of aesthetic surgery… from nose reshapings and facelifts to breast augmentation, reduction or lift. But the procedure that has clients raving is Dr. Ahmadi’s trademarked Lipotuck™. Lipotuck™ combines a traditional tummy tuck with liposuction…addressing not only the tummy, but also the upper abdomen, hips and love handles. The result creates amazingly beautiful and extremely pleasing natural curves on the torso. Dr. Ahmadi says, “The Lipotuck™ is completely customized to the individual, so that each patient gets the best results possible. It’s a one-stage procedure, which makes it more affordable. The pain is generally



less than that of a c-section, the results are superior, and the recovery is quick. You won’t be disappointed.” One happy patient writes: “I have my body back! You and your staff were so pleasant. The office is beautiful and very calming. Avante Plastic Surgery has truly been a blessing to me. I had a total of five abdominal surgeries before coming to your office, so my stomach muscles were just gone. I tried exercise and dieting and could just not lose the pouch. Well, Dr. Ahmadi, you have given me my twentyyear-old body back at age thirtyeight! It has only been two weeks since my breast augmentation and Lipotuck surgery ,and I am already so thrilled with my results. Thank you so much Dr. Ahmadi!” Dr. Ahmadi’s office has gift certificates available…give someone you love the wonderful gift of a new outlook on life this holiday season. Or schedule an appointment for yourself and become the “you” you’ve always wanted to be! Dr. Ahmadi says, “My staff and I are passionate about changing the lives of people. Seeing the joy and new pride in my patients’ eyes is the most rewarding part of my profession.”




Avante Plastic Surgery ~ 281-265-2639 (BODY) 1112 Soldiers Field Dr., Sugar Land, TX 77479


Low Temps, High Savings Make a Classic Christmas

Sarah Warburton ant to make this a holiday they’ll always remember? A car buying. Relaxed, low-pressure sales, friendly, low-key employees, and a real from Classic carries a major “Wow!” factor...and there’s a commitment to community involvement are at the core of everything they perfect Chevy for every member of your family! From the do. Don says, “Come tell us what you’re looking for and we’ll work with rough-and-tough off-roader to serious commuter to the college kid you to make it happen. We’ve got a great selection of new and pre-owned to the sports star to the busy mom, Classic Chevy’s got you covered. vehicles and some of the best financing plans in Texas. Come by and we’ll show you how to relax and enjoy the Classic difference.” Even better, they don’t just put you in a car or truck, they put you at the center of everyClassic Chevrolet thing they do! Owner Don Kerstetter Sugar Land says, “When we opened our doors three Want a gift you can enjoy 281-491-9000 years ago, we made a commitment to 13115 Southwest all year long? Forget the the people of Fort Bend. We believe in Freeway “Fruit-of-the-Month” Club taking care of people, making a positive Sugar Land, TX 77478 impression, correcting mistakes as soon or even the “Wine-of-theas they happen, and keeping the focus on Month” Club and think you, our customer. We want to earn your about joining the business for a lifetime, not just one time!” 30 MPG Club. You could go full-on green with the Volt, getting up to 93 mpg...but a sporty Chevy Cruze (42 mpg) or Malibu (32 mpg) makes getting great gas mileage easy and fun! Want something a little bigger? The Equinox (32 mpg) can carry your whole family and their gear, while the subcompact Sonic (40) has ample passenger and cargo space. Not only are these American-made cars a blast to drive, you’ll be thankful for them every time you pull up to the pump! The holiday season isn’t the only time you’ll find great deals at Classic Chevy. Don says, “We don’t advertise low prices that we can’t deliver. When you walk through the door, our sales team’s empowered to take you straight through your transaction, so you won’t have to sit through the hassles of haggling. We offer easy-tounderstand, competitive financing on our new and our pre-owned vehicles. Our GM Certified Vehicles receive a comprehensive and strict inspection, undergo a reconditioning process and come with a warranty...and our ‘Drive Forever’ program covers the engine and transmission for as long as you drive it. You’ll have nothing to worry about whether you buy new or used from us!” Planning a special surprise with the folks at Classic puts the fun back in car


Who Put the Kids in Charge? Sarah Warburton here’s a hopscotch painted on the floor, an arcade by the exam room, and a “clown” that inflates balloons... but those aren’t the only reasons kids know that Little People’s Dentistry belongs to them! Dr. Bianca Sanchez says, “Every month, as many times as they like, kids can enter their artwork in our coloring contest. We post the winners in our e-newsletter... and once a year we do a drawing for an iPod touch! We also had a blast with our Halloween costume contest...and it wasn’t just us judging the kids. The kids who came on Halloween Day voted on the staff in their costumes (I was the Cat in the Hat)! We also do a patient-appreciation day every year with goodie bags and dress-up...and we hand out rewards at every visit. We want your kids to beg to come to the dentist!” Kids don’t care what goes on behind the scenes, but parents also enjoy perks at Little People’s Dentistry. You can request an appointment for your little one online, and also choose to get appointment reminders via text, email, or phone, or upload dental appointments directly to your phone calendar. With the Little People’s Dentistry App (downloadable from iTunes or the Android store), you can request an appointment, get GPS directions,


take a virtual tour, and get updates on events and special offers. Speaking of your calendar, it’s almost time to switch to a new one for 2013! Dr. Sanchez says, “I know life gets crazy busy this time of year, but don’t forget to use your dental benefits and health savings account dollars before time runs out! Check with your insurance to see what kind of orthodontic coverage you have. We offer free orthodontic consultations (with no pressure or obligation) and Saturday appointments.” Now that kids have taken over Dr. Sanchez’s office, could they be taking over her home, too? Her son can’t wait to become a big brother and meet his new baby sister, due this December. Dr. Sanchez says, “Visit our regular website or our mobile one (for your phone) and remember, we’re always here for the little people in your life!” Little People’s Dentistry “Because Kidz Are People, Too.” 281-261-0020 4706 Riverstone Blvd., Suite 200 (behind Kohl’s in Riverstone)

J L OGGINS S PECIAL E VENTS Dabakarov - Dec. 13th 3-7p.m. GBC Dec. 15th 12-5p.m. Vahan Dec. 19th 1-7p.m. Lagos Dec. 20th 3-7p.m.

Help is a PHONE CALL away! No child should feel like they are just ‘not good’ at school! Getting the right support can make the difference!

281-682-4573 245 Gonyo Lane Richmond, TX 77479

Betsy de Vega

Fort Bend’s Custom Jeweler Hours: Mon. - Sat. 10 - 6 14015 Southwest Freeway Sugar Land, TX 77478 (281) 242-2900 UPCLOSE ~ December 2012 ~ 7

“Come On” J

ust like the Rosemary Clooney song says, the holidays are all about inviting over relatives and friends to share a table overflowing with good food...The best holiday memories are those built on family traditions...and they don’t get better (or more delicious) than the annual Lomonte family Italian Sausage Party. Dr. Thomas Lomonte, DDS says, “We get together every November to enjoy the beautiful Texas weather, share Italian food and music, good wine, and take turns mixing and stuffing the sausage with our secret family recipe. My dad’s brother, my Uncle Frank,started the tradition, then his son, my cousin continued it, and now it’s my turn...and my son Matt’s also learning the secrets. My daughter Natalie will be in from New York, teaching a dance class in Galveston, so she’ll be able to come to the party, too!” If a holiday meal’s really tasty, you won’t leave anything on the table. Don’t let December 31st roll around without spending the last of your dental benefits or flexible medical spending accounts. Dr. Lomonte says, “Most benefits expire at the end of the year. They don’t roll over, so don’t leave them sitting on the table. Use ‘em or lose ‘em...and if you use them I guarantee you’ll feel better about your smile!” “Stretching your insurance dollars starts with understanding what kind of coverage you have,” says Dr. Lomonte,” and what dental work you really need. I don’t believe in making things confusing or convoluted, so we’ll lay out the best choices for you and be straightforward about the pricing. We offer financing and payment plans and we can workup a timeline that will allow you to budget. I everyone to feel they deserve a strong, healthy smile!” “Seeing my patients is a privilege I’ll never take for granted.

As a native Texan, I understand the importance of hospitality and good humor between folks. Getting highquality dental care doesn’t have to be astronomically expensive, unpleasant, or impersonal. All of us at this office believe in enjoying life, especially the time we spend with our patients. We invite you to come in as a patient...and leave as a friend!” Thomas M. Lomonte, D.D.S. 12122 Murphy Rd. Stafford, TX 77477 (281) 530-1440

Come in as a patient and leave as a friend!

After school. Totally cool. Before and After School programs for school-age children A variety of exciting activity ‘Zones’ designed to keep your child happy and engaged

Primrose School of First Colony

(Under New Ownership) 4605 Austin Parkway, Sugar Land, TX 77479


Educational Child Care for Infants through Private Kindergarten and After School Each Primrose School is a privately owned and operated franchise. Primrose Schools and The Leader in Educational Child Care are trademarks of Primrose School Franchising Company. ©2012 Primrose School Franchising Company. All rights reserved.

8 ~ UPCLOSE ~ December 2012

Visions of Health and Vitality T


hink visions of yard tools and grills and neckties are dancing through your guy’s head? Maybe. But maybe he secretly dreams of the days of yore…when he had a raging libido, tons of energy and lots of muscle mass. We haven’t found the proverbial fountain of youth (yet), but Lance Campbell, Pharm.D, R.Ph at Campbell’s Compounding in Sugar Land has the next best thing. All those things usually written off as a typical mid-life crisis––lower sex drive, fatigue, irritability, and decreased muscle mass––can be symptoms of low testosterone. Dr. Campbell says, “The condition is extremely under-diagnosed. The onset is slow, and before you know it the guy that was once the picture of health and vitality now looks completely satisfied being a ‘couch potato’.” But what do you do if this describes

you or your special guy? Dr. Campbell says, “BHRT (bioidentical hormone replacement therapy) can literally give you your life back! At Campbell’s Compounding Pharmacy we prepare a customized formula just for you and follow up to make sure you are getting the relief you need! “ Schedule a one hour consultation with Dr. Campbell where he can explain the fundamentals of BHRT and how it could improve your health. You will have the opportunity to discuss any concerns you have, and get the answers you really need! Dr. Campbell, his wife Rakel, and their kids Cole, Chloe, and Caitlyn can’t wait for the holiday season. Dr. Campbell says, “I can’t think of a better gift for you or your loved ones than health and vitality. From my family to yours I want to wish everyone out there a very Merry Christmas. We look forward all year to celebrating the birth of Christ with our family, friends and community. God made each of us unique and we have unique needs for medication. Reaching out and getting to know people on a personal level is part of our mission at Campbell’s Compounding Pharmacy.”

Campbell’s Compounding Pharmacy 281-980-2555 “If our staff can’t make it…then you probably don’t need it!” 4760 Sweetwater Blvd. Suite 103

UPCLOSE ~ December 2012 ~ 9

“Oh, the Weather Outside is Frightful”


et it snow” may be the carol to sing in Maine, New York, or Minnesota, but here in Texas it’s almost never a white Christmas. That doesn’t mean that the weather’s predictable. Whether it’s freezing cold, hot and humid 100 degree days or everything in between, Jackson Air delivers perfect indoor weather every time. Brian Jackson says,“We do all of our own work (both residential and commercial), don’t use subcontractors, and always stay up to-to-date on all the latest technology and developments in our field. We’re winners of the BBB Award of Excellence and the Angie’s List Super Service Award for the last two years, NATE certified and have been “Licensed to Chill” since 1982. We’ll make sure there’s perfect indoor weather in your forecast!” “If your old system is causing high utility and repair bills, now is a great time to get a new Trane high efficiency system. The Trane two-stage air conditioning and heating system gives you just the right amount of cool or heat when you need it, great humidity control and makes your home comfortable no matter how scorching hot or freezing cold it gets outside. And if you or your family suffer from asthma or allergies, we recommend the Trane CleanEffects whole-house air filtration system. It removes 99% of

allergens from the air.” No matter what Mother Nature throws at us, Jackson Air will make sure there’s clean air and perfect temperatures in your home. Brian says, “As Sugar Land’s oldest Trane Comfort Specialists, we know Trane has the best most reliable air conditioners on the market, a system for every home and budget, and are made in Tyler, TX. We’ve been serving up perfect comfort for over thirty years...and we’re looking forward to the next thirty! Merry Christmas from all of us at Jackson Air.”

“Remember to keep your own family safe by getting your furnace checked for carbon monoxide leaks. Call us at Jackson Air and Heat for a thorough inspection. We make it easy to keep your family safe and comfortable!” Jackson Air and Heating, Inc. Sugar Land’s Oldest Independent Trane Dealer 281-240-1037

We See Perfect Indoor Weather In Your Forecast CREATING COMFORT & TRUST FOR OVER 30 YEARS

floor Getting a



Perfect Match! Sarah Warburton hen Jason and Diane Dailey moved with their five kids from Chicago to Sugar Land, one of the first things they wanted to do was make some changes––big changes––to their new house. Diane says, “In Chicago our home had dark hardwood floors, but our new house had carpet on the stairs and throughout the second floor and a lighter wood downstairs. We found All About Carpet and Floors in a local magazine, and after getting a couple of quotes from different companies we decided to use them. Shaun and Damian were knowledgeable and specific about what they could and couldn’t do for us. They took time and stayed to talk through our options. We really didn’t want to totally tear up the downstairs, so Damian suggested choosing our hardwood for the upstairs and then sanding and staining the downstairs to match.” “We’d had a smooth, glossy finish in our old house...and every little dent or nick from the kids showed. Damian suggested distressing the wood and made us a sample board for the downstairs. He stained and distressed it until we got a match to the Johnson Tuscan series we’d chosen for the upstairs. The distressing took a little time, so I thought about leaving it as it


was with the exposed knots and grain... but after they sanded it down, I knew I wanted it more distressed. They were totally willing to go back over everything until it looked the way I wanted!” “All About Carpet and Floors also stained the stair railing by hand and tore out the carpet in the back staircase and totally rebuilt a wooden staircase for us. You can tell that their installers don’t just assemble things, they are true craftsman that take pride in their work. We actually moved out just to make things easy, and they took good care of our home. The re-sanding would have been almost impossible to live through, but taking up the new carpet and putting in new flooring was surprisingly easy and quick.” “Usually a company will just put in molding that matches the floor, but I prefer a white molding. Not only did the installer from All About Carpet and Floors tell me “No problem, we’ll take care of it,” but when I thought the color was a little too bright...he took it away and redid it so it was perfect. I knew what I wanted, and All About Carpet and Floors was so flexible and easy to work with that I will recommend them to all my family and friends! My new floors are low-maintenance and easy to clean and the dark, distressed wood looks just wonderful.” All About Carpet and Floors is a family company that treats their customers like part of the family. “We are here to do what it takes to get you a perfect flooring match. We can’t change the width of your floorboards...but we’ll keep working with you until you’re perfectly satisfied!”

All About Carpet and Floors 281-265-3700 3145 Highway 6 South (next to Shipley’s)

UPCLOSE ~ December 2012 ~ 11

Celebrate the New Year with a New You! H

ow many years have you made a New Year’s resolution to be healthy…and maybe lose a few pounds? The key to success is the right support, and you’ll find everything you need at Sugar Land Wellness and Weight Loss. Dr. Jeffery Alford says, “I’m happy to offer my patients the keys to a healthier life––supportive weight loss options, help for hormonal imbalances, and the non-invasive i-Lipo laser. Kick off the New Year with a commitment to a whole new you!” When you look in the mirror, are there a few “extra” inches you want to disappear? I-Lipo shrinks fat cells immediately and offers you a way to achieve body contouring and lose inches...without pain, needles, or downtime. If you’re already working on a fitness plan, you’ll love the way i-Lipo turbo-charges your results. Dr. Alford says, “Each thirty minute session breaks down stored triglycerides into free fatty acids and glycerol and releases them through channels in the cell membranes. It’s essential that you follow your i-Lipo session with thirty minute of vigorous exercise to burn up those fatty acids and glycerol and metabolize the

fat. This is a great targeted fat reduction treatment that really delivers!” When you diet, you may not lose weight from the areas you really want to shrink. While exercise does burn calories and builds muscle, it doesn’t spot-reduce specific areas. Dr. Alford says, “The perfect solution for weight-loss is the combination of diet, exercise, and i-Lipo! I offer several physician approved weight loss programs to fit most lifestyles and help patients achieve a healthy weight. We’ll make sure you have the information, the support, and the motivation you need to succeed! Combine a healthy lifestyle with i-Lipo and you’ll see immediate results after each treatment. Ideally, you’ll follow a course of eight treatments over four weeks for a total reduction in your specific ‘trouble-areas’ of one to two clothing sizes.” If you’re tired of making a New Year’s resolution to shape up and get healthy, why not make things simple? I-Lipo’s benefits have been featured on the“Ricki Lake Show,” “The Morning Blend,” “The Doctors,” “Dr. Oz,” in a feature titled “The Five-Day Body Makeover” in “Harper’s Bazaar” and “The Housewives of Beverly Hills.” You can get super-star results right here in Sugar Land. If you want to achieve a “new you in the New Year,” your only New Year’s Resolution needs to be to call Dr. Alford...and he’ll give you the keys to success! Sugar Land Wellness and Weight-loss 832-494-7469 16651 SW Fwy #100

On The Cover ~ Family First St Michaels Emergency Rooms Creative Gift Giving Ideas pages 20-27

Where is

The Best?

The Public Has Spoken: Let’s Eat An insider’s guide to the best local restaurants Readers have told UpClose in a series of emails where they believe the best food, fun and service can be found in Fort Bend. Over the next several pages our readers reveal undiscovered treasures still waiting to delight your tastebuds! Fort Bend has world-renowned and award-winning chefs and the most delicious food influenced by cultures from around the world. With a Fort Bend family-owned restaurant, your money stays local while your mouth stays happy!

Do you enjoy finding the best food in Fort Bend through our new “Off The Chain” section? We still need your help! What is your favorite “Off The Chain” restaurant? Help us by letting UpClose know who should be featured. Visit us at UpClose Magazine facebook page and tell us why your favorite place is “Off the Chain!” Your review may be featured in the next issue of UpClose Magazine! Cheers! UpClose Magazine

Have a Holly Jolly

Holiday. FREEBundtlet when you purchase 3 Bundtlets

Limit one coupon per customer. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Redeemable only at the bakery listed. Must be claimed in-store during normal business hours. No cash value. Expires 12/24/12.

$5 OFF

when you purchase a 10” decorated cake Limit one coupon per customer. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Redeemable only at the bakery listed. Must be claimed in-store during normal business hours. No cash value. Expires 12/24/12.

Online Ordering Available 1531 Highway 6, Suite 125 • Sugar Land • (281) 491-2253

Publisher ~ Gina Pizzini Editor ~ Gina Pizzini Layout and Design ~ Night Sky Creative Account Executives Sandra Mazoch Jennifer Pappas-Blancas Business Editor ~ Sarah Warburton Writers Sara Adams, Maggie Beil Stacey Keith, Courtney Mcllvoy Amy Sharp Photography ~ J. Thomas “Jay” Ford Magazine

is published monthly and direct mailed

to 75,000 homes. For information on having your business featured in UpClose call Gina Pizzini at 281.235.0600. Magazine

is not responsible for any claims made by its

advertisers, and the views expressed herein do not neccesarily reflect those of UPCLOSE Magazine.

All contents are copyrighted and may not be reproduced without the express written consent of the publisher.


omplaints Department

Now that’s Italian!

One bite and you are hooked

Lunch: Wednesday-Friday 11:30AM-3:00PM Dinner: Tuesday-Saturday 4:30-10:00PM 281-778-1474 8817 Hwy 6, Suite 200 Missouri City, TX 77459

(fresh) as it gets 4654 Highway 6 South, Sugar Land, Texas 281-242-0389

Molto Bene

‘Tis the Season…Turn on the Glitz! Amy Sharp hen putting on the holiday sparkle and glitz, nothing beats fine dining, an expansive wine list and an elegant location. Post Oak Grill Sugar Land offers all of this and so much more! The distinctive location at Lake Pointe boasts beautiful views overlooking the lake and twinkling fountain lights. Add a wine list with 715 selections, exciting chef-prepared food, and an upscale lounge and veranda…and you’ve found the perfect spot for holiday entertaining! Whether you’re hosting an intimate dinner, a mid-sized fete, or a full-on holiday extravaganza, Post Oak Grill makes the perfect setting. Impress small parties in one of the private rooms – with private bar and wine cellar. Are you tasked with putting together the holiday office event? Post Oak Grill offers two elegant private dining rooms. Already have a location but still looking for food and service that has the “wow-factor”? Post Oak Grill catering is ready to make your soiree unforgettable. Owner Kevin Rios says, “Whether you host your party at our place or we bring it to you, Post Oak Grill will make your special event taste better. Our spectacular service along with special menus prepared by our chefs are the perfect recipe for a great event…no matter the size! We work with you to make sure that every detail – from the food and drinks to the ambiance and timing—is just right!”


Of course, everybody who is anybody in Sugar Land knows Post Oak Grill is not just about private parties. The Lounge by the Lake and The Veranda are the “be seen” scene for Happy Hour! Kevin says, “Our Happy Hour runs Monday through Saturday from 4 till 7, with live music on Friday evenings from 6:30-12am. We have creative cocktails, full bar, and all the wines on the wine list. Come on out and relax…take a break from the holiday hustle and bustle!” Happy Hour is so popular that starting January 6, 2013, Post Oak Grill will be open on Sunday from 12pm9pm serving lunch and dinner. With Happy Hour ALL DAY in the lounge and on the veranda, you’ll be able wrap up your weekends in style! Put the glitz, sparkle, and elegance in all of your holiday entertaining. From small parties and office events to getting together with friends and family for dining and Happy Hour...let Post Oak Grill take care of you. Kevin says, “Creating the best experience for our customers is a point of pride for us. Sit back, relax and enjoy!” Post Oak Grill 281-491-2901 550 Lake Pointe Parkway, Suite 500 Sugar Land, TX 77478

Taste New Orleans!


ou don’t have to wait for Mardi Gras to find a warm welcome at the Rouxpour, an authentic New Orleans style restaurant located in Sugar Land’s Town Center. You’ll get the sight and scents of the French Quarter with chargrilled Oysters pulled fresh from the Louisiana and Texas coast, New Orleans classics like creole dishes, red beans and rice and authentic jazz brunch every Sunday. Rouxpour’s patio with graceful wrought-iron railings will make you feel like you’re in New Orleans, and the menu will totally transport you! Mack McDonald, Lincoln and Lyndsay Ward and Chef J.L. Quevedo teamed up to create a restaurant that would reflect the flavor and culture of New Orleans’ renowned French Quarter. Lincoln says, “Chef J. L. Quevedo takes great pride in using fresh ingredients and taking the time to develop authentically delicious flavors. Our sauciers come in between 6:30 and 7 in the morning to start work. We make our gumbos, etouffees, and creoles to order. We use high quality ingredients in every dish. From daily fresh fish selections such as Alaskan Halibut and Louisiana Redfish to hand-cut Certified Angus Beef steaks and the best po’boys around, The Rouxpour does it all and does it right!” Saints and sinners all love a Sunday jazz brunch...and Rouxpour offers the only authentic one in Sugar Land! Enjoy your

grits and grillades, pain perdue (New Orleans French Toast), omelettes made-to-order, eggs benedict, chicken and sausage jambalaya or gumbo, fresh seafood, or bread pudding with live New Orleans Jazz and Blues. Bring your friends and family to kick off the week right with all your NOLA favorites (reservations accepted but not required). Enjoy all the flavors and picturesque flair of the French Quarter without leaving the heart of Sugar Land. There’s always room for a little extra happiness in your week...and the Rouxpour will put that twinkle in your eye with Happy Hours Monday through Friday from 3-7. Make time for The Rouxpour’s many lunch specials, features and combos served Monday-Friday 11am-2pm. Celebrate this holiday season with a special martini like “Peppermint Mocha” rimmed with crushed peppermint or “Chocolate Pretzel” or homemade seasonal specials like pumpkin pie and bourbon pecan pie. Place your catering orders for a party with flair and book your private party, corporate function, shower, or any occasion in Rouxpour’s new private dining and party rooms. Come to The Rouxpour and Taste New Orleans! The Rouxpour 281-240-7689 (ROUX) 2298 Texas Dr. Sugar Land, TX 77479


Italian Cafe

When you are itching for Italian...

Corelli’s cooks from scratch! Sarah Warburton


orelli’s Italian Café is a homegrown Houston favorite with Old-World charm, family-friendly prices, and seriously fresh food! For years friends have been gathering in the wine room, a private dining room with terracotta walls, photographs of Italian landmarks, and a vast collection of wine. On Friday and Saturday nights, Corelli’s wine

room is for ages 21 and over. Reserve it for lunch and dinner groups of up to 36 guests seated or a reception of up to 50. Enjoy al fresco dining on Corelli’s secluded brick patio with a old world charming arbor. Corelli’s can bring the feast to you with Italian catering for parties and events. You won’t have to tell your friends to mangia because this food is irresistible!

Experience an Italian meal that’s veramente delizioso, truly delicious! Corelli’s Italian Cafe 281-491-8900 3229 Hwy 6 @Williams Trace Sugar Land, TX

Where Healthy meets Delicious Amy Sharp


nfusing the best of Mediterranean and American cuisine, Red Oak Grill’s recipe for success is simple … fresh ingredients, A+ customer service and an excellent family atmosphere. “Back in 2006 we wanted to open a place that mixed American food with our Mediterranean roots … a place that had a respect for highquality ingredients, but casual enough that the whole family could enjoy it,” says owner Joseph Abuata. Today Red Oak Grill

boasts three locations in Missouri City, Sugar Land and Katy... all family-owned and operated. Everyone will find a favorite dish on the Red Oak menu … from signature items like kabobs, gyros, falafel and hummus to weekly specials (like lamb burgers!) to salads, sandwiches and stuffed baked potatoes. Every item is made in-house with the freshest high-quality ingredients. Mom can enjoy a glass of wine with a wrap, while Dad feasts on shawerma (meat prepared Mediterranean-style), washing it down with a beer. One frequent diner says, “If you don’t know what shawerma is, you should try it here!” Make sure to bring the kids too! The kids menu features all the American favorites kids know and love, from hamburgers to chicken tenders. Along with Mediterranean favorites, Red Oak Grill delivers on another Mediterranean tradition ... excellent hospitality. Joseph says, “We have a genuine desire to please our guests and accommodate them with friendly service, just as we would in our own home.” One guest writes, “The service here really is super friendly. They are great at helping you decide what to get if you’re unsure and they are fun!” Throwing a holiday party or special event? No more slaving in the kitchen! Call Red Oak Grill and simply enjoy your party. From company events to holidays to birthdays or any special occasion, let Red Oak Grill deliver an assortment of freshly prepared delicious meals to you. Or host your party in one of the party rooms. With the same tasty fare, a comfortable environment and top-notch friendly service, your guests are sure to be impressed … making you the “host with the most”!

Red Oak Grill “Where Healthy is Delicious” 5011 Hwy 6 Missouri City, TX 281-969-5074 203 Century Sq. Blvd. Sugar Land, TX 281-491-2890 2004 S. Mason Rd Katy, TX 281-392-2612

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It’s European, It’s Asian And It Comes Together Seamlessly Maggie Beil


e found a culinary revolution transforming the dining scene in Sugar Land. Two locals, Amy Karnani and Junnajet Hurapan, also known as Chef Jett, created Blu Restaurant | Lounge, a boutique restaurant with a EuroAsian cuisine and a spacious and airy environment to match. When Co-owner Amy discovered awardwinning Chef “Jett,” a native of Bangkok, Thailand, she knew he was the perfect Chef and co-owner for her dream restaurant. Chef Jett hit culinary heights on the East Coast working with some of the country’s most acclaimed restaurateurs and as the executive chef of groundbreaking eateries like Ruby Foo’s in New York and Buddakan in Atlantic City. Chef Jett says, “I was so tired of the ordinary, everyday cuisine. My background spans cuisine from Thai to French Vietnamese, New American and Mediterranean, so I wanted to create a menu that reflects that world view and offers an eclectic palette of evolving tastes.” Multi-cultural influence and exotic intrigue pervades every element of Blu, The cuisine is light but not to be taken lightly. Experiment with many delectable choices

served in tapa-esque portions. Vegetarian and gluten-free choices complete the spectrum of innovative selections. Chef “Jett’s” wife, Chef Jira is the pastry chef who prepares everything from scratch from the brioche buns for the handmade sliders to the several innovative desserts, most notably the Molten Chocolate Cake featuring drunken cherries, raspberry coulis with a side of vanilla ice cream. At night Blu is where the action is...and there are several cocktails on the menu you’re unlikely to find anywhere else. Orient a L’Orange was created specifically with chef Jett’s culinary background in mind. It’s European, it’s Asian and comes together seamlessly blending Manderine Vodka, Ginger Liqueur, Citrus, Orange Blossom, and Thai Basil Seed. Chef Jett grills out on the patio Sunday & Mondays while ESPN football games are broadcasted live. Bring all your friends to enjoy chef’s tailgate menu from 4pm until midnight. Blu Restaurant | Lounge also offers a semi-private dining area with its own bar and a VIP lounge for private parties. Enjoy a DJ at Saturday brunch and live jazz music at Sunday brunch, while indulging in classics like buttery French

Toast with bananas and sugar walnut cinnamon or innovations like the Eggs Norwegian, with chives, smoked salmon, and a tangy lemon-hollandaise sauce. Choose from five different varieties of Eggs Benedict...and every brunch meal comes with a complimentary cocktail! Blu Restaurant | Lounge is a result of many years of artistic effort, and as a result of that dedication, the comprehensive dining experience at Blu is complex and inspiring! BLU Restaurant | Lounge 2248 Texas Dr. Sugar Land, TX 77479 281-903-7324

Large 2 Topping, 10 Wings & 2 Liter For $20 Online Code: Game

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Offer Valid for Dine In, Carry Out or Delivery. Offer Valid on NCAA, MLB, MLS, NHL, NFL games. Please print this coupon and present to the cashier. One coupon per person. Offer not good with any other special offers.

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Merry Christmas!

Order online, call in, or drop by one of our local stores at your convenience. We are always glad to hear from you at Pepperoni’s. First Colony (281) 265-5555 • Sienna (281) 778-7888 Greatwood (281) 545-3333 • Brazos Town Center (832) 595-0550 Pecan Grove (281) 239-6565 • Fulshear (281) 533-0000 • Cinco Ranch (281) 394-5565 New Territory (281) 277-5555 • Riverstone (281) 261-6665 • Woodbridge (281) 498-6677

“I’m So Glad We Found Her!”

Sarah Warburton


waits until she’s home to go to the eye doctor... so she can see Dr. Doan.” “I can’t say enough good things about Dr. Doan and her office. The way they take care of people is amazing...and I love her new knitted doll (and office mascot) Mollie. I don’t know how Dr. Doan finds the time to do everything she does, but I’m so glad we found her!”

ocal Mom, Cynthia Howard says, “I had RK (Radial Keratotomy) surgery to correct myopia about twenty years ago. I loved the opthamologist who performed the procedure, but wanted a regular optometrist in my neighborhood for follow-ups and general exams. I asked him who he trusted...and he recommended Dr. Anh Doan of Missouri City’s Vision Source. Since then I’ve seen her every year for my annual exam, as well as for glasses and contacts. It’s been over two decades and she’s the only optometrist either of my kids has ever known!” “Through my work at Decorative and Faux Finishes, I spend a lot of time doing faux paint-

ing. Even when I come into an appointment right after work, covered with paint, Dr. Doan and her staff treat me like the best of the best. They’re all super-friendly and have great rapport. I also love the way they always have the latest styles of actually makes it easy and fun to get new glasses” “My son is autistic and I have to say Dr. Doan seems to have a sixth sense for people with special needs. During his exams, he responds to her and communicates with her better than with most people. My daughter likes Dr. Doan, too. Even when she went off to college in New Jersey, she

Do y accou ou have a or lo nt? Reme health fle se m xible savin yearly it!” If you ber, that gs m presc exam, thin ’ve been p oney is “ riptio use u k t ting you m n or bring o ff y igh re the t the kids ading gla t need a our ime! sses, new in fo D r o r a r to se e clea . Doan sa check-up want to ys, “I rly, y , now and o end-o using you u need an do believe is r FSA f-the e x a m ye that -yea dolla arly.. rs pock r makes good before th .. etboo e k and sense fo your eyes! r your ”

Dr. Anh Doan, O.D. Vision Source! • 4725 Highway 6 South 281-261-2647

Time to Mix Things Up! Sarah Warburton


s dad a fan of watching Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) on television? This Christmas why not get him off the couch and on the mats? Even a guy (or a girl) who’s a real teddy bear at heart can look like a lean, mean, fighting machine with the help of expert trainers at Sugar Land MMA. Tired of the same old fitness treadmill? You need Sugar Land MMA’s martial arts training for all ages. Experiment with fitness conditioning classes, Gracie JiuJitsu, Kickboxing, Jeet Kune Do (developed by Bruce Lee), Gi and Nogi, and MMA (which combines several martial arts. You don’t have to be a fighter to get back to your “fighting weight.” These martial arts are fun and challenging...they’re a great allaround workout! Some Sugar Land MMA members have lost up to one hundred and fifty pounds. Drop weight, gain confidence, learn new skills, or just look great with Sugar Land MMA. World champion bull-riders, military personnel, law enforcement officers, professional golfers, tennis players, swimmers, other sport professionals and everyday moms and dads all turn to Sugar Land MMA for fitness training that

20 ~ UPCLOSE ~ December 2012

delivers an extra edge. Your whole family––your five-year-old, your teen, mom and dad––will enjoy professional personal fitness training. Sugar Land MMA is not just a fighting gym or competition school, it’s also an amazing training facility where you can learn self-defense, lose some weight, discover your strength and get re-motivated! You don’t have to be nervous on your first day at this gym, it has a great family-friendly atmosphere and everyone’s super-nice. In fact, these experienced instructors love giving back to the community. SLMMA supports breast cancer awareness, holds fundraisers for the women’s shelter, and offers anti-bullying programs. Check out their Facebook page for their calendar, latest news, and videos. Co-founder Daniel Cantu says, “Chad Kight and I have dreamed of opening our own gym since 2002. We’ve seen it expand and grow, and hanging in the gym today you can see a photo of the table where we first made our plans. We never forget what a gift it is to do something you love...and I hope you’ll enjoy sharing the gift of fierce fun and fitness this holiday season! If you have the desire in your heart, come try us out. No-obligation!” Sugar Land MMA 281-313-5562 13745 Southwest Fwy. Sugar Land, TX 77478

What’s the

Greatest Gift

You Can Give Your

Child? T

here’s not a video game or toy set in the world that can compete with the benefits of gymnastics, karate, and dance! Robert Gifford, founder of Safety America and sole owner of Sugar Land Gymnastics, Karate, and Dance, says, “When you give your child gymnastics, karate, or dance lessons, you’re giving them strength, skill, confidence, and health...and we make sure they’re having fun, too!” Help your preschooler build skills for life with developmentally-appropriate activities at Sugar Land Gymnastics. Bryan Kiser, the Executive Director and General Manager of the Sugar Land Gymnastics, says, “We’re proud to be a USA Gymnastics Member Club. Encouraging kids to enjoy athleticism and the thrill of competition is one of our core values! Even the eighteen-month-olds in our ‘Mommy and Me’ classes love learning new skills...and we love seeing the pride and joy on their faces as they progress and succeed. Our weekday ‘SuperTot’ classes for ages 2-4 give kids a solid foundation in gymnastics in a safe environment. And there’s no need to transition to another gym when these little ones go to school...from tiny tots to teens, no one ages out of our program!” Would you rather give a sweater they’ll re-gift, a toy they didn’t want, or character traits to improve their lives? Bob says, “In our Karate program we stress selfdiscipline, conflict resolution, and safety skills.” In the youngest class, kids aged 4-7 learn that hard work brings rewards. As kids gain new skills, they progress through the levels. They can even compete in tournaments, while working to earn one belt after another. This sport

will grow with your child...until that little ninja becomes a confident adult. And Bob’s motto, “Do your best. We ask no more, we expect no less” applies to much more than Karate! The right gift can get your kids off the couch and away from the computer. Try a certificate to Dance Sugar Land’s new dance program at Sugar Land Gymnastics, Karate, and Dance. Under the direction of Jennifer Jennings kids can explore Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Break Dance and Hip Hop, as well as a combination Ballet/Tap program for pre-schoolers. Bob says, “Just like Gymnastics and Karate, the Performing Arts encourages perserverance, fair-play and respect for others, team spirit, and self-discipline. We want kids to enjoy hard work and aspire to succeed.” In Sugar Land Gymnastic’s newly remodeled gym, gymnasts, ninjas, and dancers will have a blast! “We like to say you can begin here,” says Bryan, “and go anywhere. With the gift of lessons, the sky’s the limit!” Sugar Land Gymnastics and Dance 281-240-0999 16215 Lexington Blvd Sugar Land, Texas 77479

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The Magic of a highly skilled Beauty Team! Sarah Warburton


hristmas is the season of miracles and the right combination can be magic. At Milagro Salons (pronounced Me-la’-gro for the Spanish of “miracle”), you’ll get the best of both worlds—a salon that’s locally owned and operated by a hometown guy with roots in our community…and his nationally recognized expertise and inside knowledge of all the current styles. In this

amazing Aveda-concept salon, the magic of science and beauty combine with a welcoming atmosphere and top-tier customer service to make dreams come true. As the only AVEDA Purefessional hair cutting Educator in Texas, Milagro’s Owner Mark Anthony travels around the country, teaching classes to other professionals. He says, “At Milagro, we educate our ‘emerging artists’ on the premises so that our trainees are an extension of us. Learning your craft well and treating your customers with attention and respect is the key to a wonderful career. Our team works well together with the support of a Color Director and a Cutting Director. In January we’ll all attend a Business/ Personal Improvement conference in New Orleans. In addition to updating our technical skills and staying on top of current styles and new techniques, we’re always seeking to improve the overall experience we offer.”

Looking for the perfect gift? Choose from a selection of luscious Aveda products or a gift certificate. Everyone loves a little pampering... and Milagro delivers world-class style at prices we can all afford! Does your salon have an “Open Chair” policy? Getting a fabulous holiday look is easy at Milagro. “If your schedules gets busy or you need a change, you don’t have to be afraid to book a different stylist,” says Mark Anthony. “We train the way we do so that we can give our customers plenty of options. That’s also why we have extended holiday hours...and I know our team is up to the challenge. We’ll be closed the last week of the year so they can spend time with their families and enjoy a well-earned holiday...but we’ll be open (and working hard for you!) six days a week before that.” Milagro Salon 281-778-2500 8790 Highway 6, Ste 150 Missouri City, TX 77459

Complimentary holiday gift card $10 per $50 purchase $20 per $100 purchase


Celebrate Texas-Style!


e’re not stuffy down here in Texas and we sure know how to have a good time. The new Sparkles Pecan from Braman Winery’s lineup of the original Sparkles champagne and Sparkles Mimosa adds just the right spark to any celebration. This champagne is aromatic with a hint of warm pecan on the nose, creamy notes of vanilla and caramelized brown sugar at the finish. Its buttery sweetness is balanced with a good acid structure. A little sweet, a little creamy, and a lot bubbly! We spoke with Joe Braman, owner of Braman Winery, and he recommended pairing it with a great bread pudding, simple vanilla ice cream, or enjoying on its own. Sparkles Pecan Champagne is a great addition to the Braman portfolio of wines. Joe says, “I grew up cooking with my Grandmother and she had the best Pecan Pie in the World. With Sparkles Pecan, I tried to put a little bit of that Pecan Pie taste into each bottle to remind everyone of their Grandmother’s famous recipe.” You don’t have to wait for a special occasion to celebrate Joe says, “These flavors just bring

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back great memories during the Holiday’s for me and my family. Get a little nutty this Holiday Season with our Sparkles Pecan and make every day a celebration!” Braman Winery 281-762-1375 3333 FM 359 Richmond, TX 77406

Puppy Love

olden am G born e r C h s Englis er puppie ailable v v e a i r t w e R . No 2 1 e 2 m i 11-1 just in t as! m t s i hr for C

Maggie Beil s any pet lover will readily admit, the greatest attribute that pets have is unconditional love for their owners. So why not give the gift of love this Christmas with an adorable English Cream Golden Retriever puppy. Golden Retrievers are known for being great family pets. They are compatible with children and are famed for having a high level of sociability towards people, calmness, and a willingness to learn. As loyal as they come, these dogs are a perfect long term friend for anyone. It always feels good to come home and have your furry companion eagerly awaiting and happy to see you at the front door. Suzanne Terry, English Cream Golden Retriever breeder, knows this and wants to help you give the gift of love this holiday season. Located in Fresno, Texas, Weatherby Goldens breeds and raises beautiful and healthy dogs. All of their dogs are registered with the AKC, are imported from Europe, and carry champion bloodlines. The Goldens live with Suzanne at her home, she says, “They are not just our pets but our cherished family members. They are such amazing animals and have brought so much joy to our lives”. Weatherby Goldens is happy to provide you with the perfect gift for anyone, young or old, because there is nothing like the feeling of love and companionship you get from owning one of these special English Cream Golden Retrievers.


Weatherby Goldens • 832-270-1565 ~

DoesYour Home Sarah Warburton


TellYour Story?

ou know that special keepsake, the one that’s got a story behind it? “I believe in designing each room of your home around a family treasure,” says Decorator Bobbie Koumonduros. “If a guest stands in your foyer and I’ve done my job right, they should be able to see your story unfolding around them.” Bobbie knows how powerful certain pieces of furniture can be. She says, “For seven years my husband and I underwent in vitro treatments. The day we found out they were unsuccessful was awful. My husband was recovering from having a brain operation at the time and we were broke and out of options. His Uncle George called and told us, “The two of you were meant to be parents. I don’t care what it takes, look into adoption and just tell me how I can help.” The day we got the phone call that our adoption would go through, my husband had been out hunting. We called Uncle George, he gave us everything we needed, and we were able to adopt our wonderful son. Now he’s thirteen and playing for the Fort Bend Baseball Association! Since then Uncle George has passed away, but we have

his chair, covered in the hides my husband hunted the day we got the call about our son...and it’s a point of pride in my home.” After seven years in Canada, Bobbie’s thrilled to be back in Sugar Land. She says, “Although the Decorating Den has offices all over the United States and Canada, my heart has always been here in Texas. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved decorating...and from the moment I walked into the offices of the Decorating Den I knew it was meant to be. We don’t charge for an initial consultation and we take real pride in working within your budget. Working with a decorator shouldn’t be intimidating...I want your home to reflect your story. We’ll chat and get to know each other, so I can create a decor that’s unique to you!” Bobbie Koumonduros Decorating Den Interiors 281-714-6789

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Maggie Beil

ing revved up and rarin’ to go. If you like the push you get from working out with others, choose from several group classes. From the upbeat Zumba class to the relaxing Yoga class, there is something for everyone. If you prefer to work one on one, one of Dynamic’s ten personal trainers are there to help you build your confidence. Keep your workout exciting, energetic, and always a word, dynamic! While you’re working out, why not have your kids work out too? Unlike other gyms that just offer childcare services during your workout, Dynamic Fitness also offers a Kid Fitness class. It’s never too early to start a healthy lifestyle. Bring the kids in twice a week for an innovative and fun spin on fitness. Tell someone you love you want them to live a long, happy, healthy life with a Dynamic Fitness membership. The confidence, health, and all around well-being you

acquire from exercise will be the best gift they’ve ever received! Dynamic Fitness 832-886-4237 9920 Highway 90 Sugar Land, TX 77478 answer:

If it is to be it is up to me!


elf-confidence makes what we set out to achieve possible. Health and exercise are the most important tools that help us gain this confidence. So, what better gift to give someone this holiday season than the gift of health? “I wanted to make my own brand of fitness,” says owner Jared Williams. “At Dynamic Fitness we offer anything and everything that other clubs do, but what separates us from them is our commitment to cleanliness, exceptional customer service, and member engagement.” The staff goes to great lengths to make sure your experience is as enjoyable as possible. The gym has a staff of cleaners to keep the facility sanitized and there are sanitation wipes at every station. The staff at Dynamic fitness make it their personal mission to really know their members in order to recommend the programs that will be the best fit for them. Those personal relationships can be the key to maintaining your motivation and seeing results. Dynamic Fitness’ new Sugar Land location offers all the amenities you need to go for your goal, free weights, state of the art equipment, expert instruction, and more! The cycling studio has twenty-four bikes and offers classes that are sure to leave you feel-

(answer below)

Remember to pick up a

Gift Certificate for someone you love to get the Spectrum royal treatment!


Nail Salon


5011 Hwy 6 South Suite 105, Missouri City, TX 77459

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Give a Gift They’ll Never Outgrow Sarah Warburton


it all the right notes this Christmas with a gift that will enrich your child’s life for decades to come...the gift of music. You’ll find the perfect instrument and skilled, dedicated instructors at the Fort Bend Music Center. Rick Cochran, President of Fort Bend Music Center says, “A gift certificate for an instrument, music, or lessons is the perfect fit for everyone!” Where does Santa shop for pianos? He chooses from the more than forty uprights and forty grands at Fort Bend Music Center. Evie Offord, Fort Bend Music Center’s Piano Sales Manager says, “We have pianos for every home and budget––new, used, rebuilt, digital, even player pianos. Common brands that we carry are Kawai, Baldwin, Stech, and Schimmel as all of these pianos have a rich heritages dating back to the mid 1850’s. We are also the only certified Kawai and handmade Shigeru dealer in the Houston area. You can buy a gift

certificate in any amount, so you can give a month’s worth of lessons (or more!) easily. We even have a vertical Kawai piano that comes with a year of piano lessons when you buy it. Buy it for Christmas this year, and you might be listening to Christmas carols on it next year!” Remember the frenzy over Cabbage Patch Kids, Beanie Babies, and Tickle-Me Elmo? Don’t struggle to find the perfect toy, because they’ll only outgrow it in a year or two! Music lessons are a gift that really rocks...and as Bruce Springstein, Taylor Swift, or Paul McCartney would tell you, it’s a gift you’ll never outgrow! Fort Bend Music Center offers group lessons for beginners in piano, guitar, drums, and voice and private lessons in every instrument and musical style! Tuck a gift certificate into a holiday card, and they can pick the perfect time and be ready to start lessons in January.

For over twenty-five years, family-owned Fort Bend Music Center has been our one-stopshop for band instruments, pianos, and lessons for aspiring rock musicians, lovers of Classical music, eager kids and adults alike. If you already have a musician in the family, they can use a Fort Bend Music gift certificate for sheet music, put it towards a new instrument, or buy accessories. Rick says, “We’re a complete full-line music store...and everyone here is passionate about helping you tap into the music in your heart. We believe that music is the greatest gift you can give anyone at any age!” Fort Bend Music Center 281-494-5885 12919 SW Freeway, Ste 160

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Birdie A


Sarah Warburton


e’ve got a world-class golfer just up the road at the Cypress Lakes Golf Club. “Mr. 55” himself, Homero Blancas grew up here in Houston. His father was a greenscaper at River Oaks, where Homero started playing golf when he was six years old. He played golf at Lamar High School and for three years at the University of Houston where he made All-American for two years. Blancas shot a record-setting round of 55 (27-28) in an amateur tournament (still the lowest round in the history of competitive golf) earning him the nickname “Mr. 55”. He was the PGA Rookie of the Year in 1965. During his career on the PGA Tour, he had more than 4 dozen top-10 finishes. Blancas spent the 15 years as club pro at Randolph Park in Tucson. After turning 50 in March 1988, Blancas joined the Senior Tour and won the 1989 Doug Sanders Kingwood Celebrity Classic. He has 18 holes-in-one during his career and is a member of the Texas Golf Hall of Fame. Today he resides in the Champions area in Northwest Houston. He’s been married to his wife, Noel for forty-five years, has two sons––Homero Thomas and Jerome Hunt––and three grandchildren, Peyton (11), Aidan (9), and Kayla (7). Homero’s expert teaching could be your ace-in-the-hole. He says, “Once you have fundamental techniques of your golf swing then your muscle memory kicks in. Once you start playing, it takes ten times longer to break a bad habit than it does to create a good one. Getting lessons with a PGA pro will give you the right foundation, so you’ll advance your abilities more quickly.” “One-on-one lessons is really the single best way to improve your golf game. I’ll teach you to play to your strengths. I teach everyone from beginners to professional players. I’m happy to give clinics and lessons almost any time, but especially in the mornings. My preferred teaching spot is Cypress Lakes, but I also teach Marty Golf at Beechnut and Dairy Ashford. At your discretion I can make alternate arrangements at your club, too. Just contact me through my cell phone or email and we’ll set up the best time and place for your lessons.” In 1973 Homero played the Ryder Cup at Muir Field, Scotland with twelve teammates including Lee Trevino, Jack Nicholas and Arnold Palmer (considered the top 3 in the world at the time). You could have a world-class golfer at your charity event or entertaining your out-of-town clients. Homero says, “I’d love to get involved with fundraising opportunities. Recently I played the Texas Bowl at The Woodlands and the Vincent Morales Rosenberg Mayor Golf tournament held on Nov. 12 at the Fort Bend Country Club. I can also offer clinics or play with your out-of-town guests and give them some instructional tips.” During our interview, Homero explained the single most important way to improve your golf game...but some secrets are just too good to give away. You’ll have to call “Mr. 55” to learn it for yourself!

o r e as m o nc H la B


Told Us...

Our Favorite Stocking Stuffer

by Sarah Warburton oms and Dads love those handmade Christmas ornaments, pencil holders, and photo fridge magnets that the kids give with a kiss...but don’t forget to give parents the gift nearest and dearest to everyone’s heart––the gift of time. Max McCammond, owner of Professional Maid Service says, “Tuck a gift certificate for house cleaning maid service for a year really is the gift that keeps on giving. Every time Moms and Dads get a break from mopping, scrubbing, and polishing, they’ll be thankful for the gift of time you’ve given!” Wondering what to give the guy who has everything? A certificate for a home cleaning is always appreciated, doesn’t take up space, and makes life easier for everyone! These maids are bonded and insured, have undergone thorough background checks, and arrive


neatly uniformed in a clearly-labelled company car like the true professionals they are. Most teachers get up before sunrise and do paperwork and classroom prep long after sundown. Show that special teacher your appreciation with a gift certificate for a Professional Maid Cleaning. No-hassle key drop off and pick up means the house can “magically cleaned” by Max’s Professional Maids during the the gift of a clean house will be ready and waiting when she gets home to grade papers. There’s nothing wrong with bath salts, apples, and ornaments, but this is a gift that will make life easier! A gift certificate from Professional Maids is the promise of a sparkling house, a moment of peace, and some free time. Max says, “We offer regularly scheduled cleanings at your convenience and special help for special occasions, too! We want you to enjoy hosting friends and family this holiday season...and leave the cleaning to the Professionals!”

Cleaning to the “Max” Max’s Cleaning Tip: “Last year’s holiday ornaments may need a little cleaning before company comes over. Fragile tree ornaments may be dusted with a soft artist’s paintbrush. Secure the foot of an old pair of tights or pantyhose over the nozzle of your vacuum cleaner and use it to gently clean dusty garlands, tinsel, and artificial trees. And if you need help cleaning after

Professional Maid Service 281-342-6500

a holiday party...give us a call!”

Tinkering, fishing and interacting with people. Craig Popp found a way to turn the three, with the help of a business degree from Texas A&M, into three successful local businesses: First Tire and Auto in Sugar Land, Greatwood, and First Colony. It all started with a passion for fishing in a certain fishing hole near his boyhood bay house. The problem was, that fishing hole wasn’t within easy walking distance. Having learned something about fixing cars from his father, a resourceful little Craig scavenged some parts and put together a small motor bike that took him where he wanted to go. “I love nature, but I also love interacting with people and enjoy helping them solve problems.” At 16, selling auto parts seemed a logical way to earn money to help put himself through school. His relationship with the Goodyear Automotive

shops began in 1995, not long after he graduated from A&M. He worked at the First Colony store as an employee before purchasing that store in 1997. “All of our mechanics are ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) certified and train to keep up with changing technology,” says Craig. “And each store has a Master Certified Technician.” His shops are AAA certified, the only ones in Sugar Land, a status that depends on continuing favorable customer surveys and inspections. “Most of our business is from referrals. If you don’t have repeat business, you won’t succeed. That’s why we advise you of the best solution to your problem, but the repairs are ultimately your decision.”

• ASE Certified Technicians • AAA Approved Service Center • Extended Warranty Service • Now Featuring Valvoline Oil

10 Off %


SUGAR LAND 960 Eldridge 281.313.2886

Any Vehicle Service *Up to $50 Off. Excludes Tires, Batteries & Oil Change. 1 coupon per visit. Exp. 3/31/13.

5 Off


GREATWOOD 20015 Sw Frwy. 281.343.5666

* Any Oil Change 1 coupon per visit. Most cars. Plus disposal fee. Exp. 3/31/13.

FIRST COLONY Wm. Trace @ Hwy 6 281.980.2666 UPCLOSE ~ December 2012 ~ 27

Lost Without a Voice:

Hong Lan’s


Sarah Warburton n 2010 when Tuyet S. and her husband took in three foster children, their entire lives changed forever. Tuyet says, “The oldest, Hong Lan S. (Vietnamese for “Pink Flower”) was only three and a half...and she mostly spoke gibberish, like she was lost without a voice. I called all kinds of speech therapy places, but it was hard to find one that took the insurance provided to foster kids. It must have been God’s intervention that led me to call Speech Therapy Unlimited...the first day that their insurance approval came through!” “Dana and Jason Johnson are the founders of Speech Therapy Unlimited...and they’re foster parents, too! They came out to Hong Lan’s daycare to do her evaluation and set her up with Ms. Averie. She was so patient and gave us great tips. I’ll never forget her telling me that therapy is a three-way partnership between the


therapist, the parent, and the child. She encouraged me in the best way to engage my daughter at home, to sing and talk to her, so she wouldn’t be frustrated and scream when she needed something. I saw how determined she was to succeed and there was no way I was going to let her down!” “Our next therapist was Ms. Amy and she was also and firm. The whole staff is fantastic from our therapists to Dana and Jason to Ms. Keisha the supervisor. I always have a lot of questions and they never made me feel like a nuisance. Instead, they gave me all kinds of resources. As we’ve worked to go through the adoption process, everyone at Speech Therapy Unlimited has gone the extra mile to work with our lawyer and give every document we needed with no hassles at all” “I was worried that Hong Lan wouldn’t catch up in time to start Kindergarten with her peers, but she started this year...and no one would even believe she had a speech problem! The youngest is undergoing her speech evaluation now, and we look forward to continuing our close relationship with Speech Therapy Unlimited. They’re like part of our family now...and they gave our daughter her voice!” Speech Therapy Unlimited, PLLC - most major insurance accepted No Headaches, No Unreasonable Terms, Just Great Speech Therapists! 281-746-3053 12808 West Airport Blvd. Ste 332 Sugar Land, TX 77498

Confidence, Convenience, Charisma!

Courtney McIlvoy


t this time of year, decorations are being dusted off and set up. Every homeowner wants their house to leave a good impression, and the first thing seen is the front door. Wreaths can highlight a beautiful door...don’t be forced to use one to hide chips and cracks! With the “three C’s,” Rick’s Front Door Refinishing can improve and enhance your front door just in time for the holidays. After his team is finished, don’t be surprised when Santa opts to go through your front door instead of down your chimney! You can count on the first “C”–– confidence! Refinishing everything from pianos to dining room tables since the age of eleven, Rick Davis promises that if you are not completely satisfied with his work, you will not have to pay a single

28 ~ UPCLOSE ~ December 2012

dime. His teams are highly trained and use the best products. Because they use a Marine Grade, oil-based finish as opposed to a water base, it will last longer, saving you money in the long run. Maybe Santa should call them up to get a new finish on his old sleigh! Nobody beats Ricks Doors on the second “C”–– convenience! Rick and his employees will work on-site at your home, regardless of the weather. Typically within four hours, your door will be completely refinished and reinstalled. Not only do they get the job done fast, they get it done well. Their work is done quickly and professionally with a stunning result. They can back this up with an “A” rating with the Better Business Bureau. If you give Rick and his employees the opportunity, your old door can look brand new. A company with charisma can give you a door with pizzazz! Customers are continually dazzled by the results of Rick and his employees’ hard work. Visit the company’s website and Facebook page to find dozens of testimonials, as well as before and after photos. When you use Rick’s team, not only will you be 100% satisfied, but also impressed. Their level of professionalism and skill will leave you wishing you have two front doors! Rick says, “We even offer some same-day appointments. Call us up and give yourself (or a loved one) a door that looks brand-new for the holidays!”

Rick’s Front Door Refinishing 713-427-2487


The Health of America Depends on Your Plumber Matt Harris


ow was this country founded? By hardworking Americans putting in the time and effort to support their families and build a strong country. If we want a healthy America, we can’t take shortcuts or choose the easy way over the right way. The kind of plumber you choose reflect the values that really matter to you. Over the last fourteen years in Fort Bend, Master Plumber Alan Burkhalther and the team at Alan’s Plumbing have been fixing plumbing problems for the families of Fort Bend. Just like our country, this business was founded on hard work, fair pricing, and family values. If you fall for big promises, you may be selling yourself short. Huge operations take a lot of money to run...and you’ll pay the price. Maybe those big companies can offer a free visit, but they’ll make up the difference on the back end or in the fine print. Alan’s Plumbing is lean and efficient. Being a family-owned and operated company keeps their overhead low, so your bill isn’t bloated by extra costs. Do you believe in the importance of education? Alan is a Master Plumber and everyone on his team updates their education continually...and also gets the unbeatable benefits on hands-on training. Alan’s sons Beau, Luke and Jake (all graduates of Elkins High School) have been riding the truck and doing the dirty jobs with their Dad and uncles since they were only eight or nine. You can still find Beau and Luke on the Alan’s Plumbing team and Jake will home from Howard Payne University for Christmas break with his family. Americans know how to pull together in a crisis, where neighbors help neighbors and what’s in your heart really counts. When a plumbing disaster threatens your holidays, calling the right plumber can save day. At Alan’s Plumbing, you’ll get genuine warmth and Texas courtesy...and good work delivered at a fair price. All of Alan’s trucks are “no-phone zones,” and you’ll never have to compete for your plumber’s attention. These guys know that on every plumbing job, people come first! A healthy country starts by making the right choices from top to choosing good, solid, family-owned companies that believe in hard work, honest pricing, and treating people right. If

dripping faucets, running toilets, clogged drains, a worn-out water heater, outdated bathroom fixtures, or a plumbing emergency try to spoil your holidays, call Fort Bend’s favorite plumbing team, Alan’s Plumbing. After all, companies like this one are the backbone of our nation. Alan, his brothers Chris and Brian, his wife Jennifer, their sons–– Beau, Luke, and Jake, and fellow team member Zach wish all of you a Merry Christmas! Alan’s Plumbing • 281-261-1064

UPCLOSE ~ December 2012 ~ 29

Why the Professionals

Love a N



ewlyweds Brad Evans and his wife Brittany of Sweet Texas Real Estate buy old houses and make them look new. Brad says, “A lot of those older houses are really well-built...they just may look a little worn or dated. If it’s got a good structure and good bones, we can work off that to make it into a contemporary dream house. We have two houses we’re working on now, one from 1989 and one from 2000 that both needed some work done. We knew that Miracle Method was a costeffective way to give them a fresh look, so we called Jonee and Paul Barnett of Miracle Method Surface Restoration.” “Since we’re in the business of giving homes a new lease on life, we’ve seen firsthand the difficulties that come with tearing out counters or bathroom vanities. So often, it’s not only expensive, time consuming and messy, but it also causes more problems as you try to find custom pieces to fit in those spaces. I really love the look of Miracle Method...and and we didn’t have to deal with the cost and time of tearing out and replacing!” “You would not believe the transformation Miracle Method achieved in just five days of work! They did a shower in each house and new shower glass, a Newlyweds Brad Evans and his wife whirlpool bathtub, kitchen Brittany of Sweet Texas Real Estate countertops, and a total of five vanities. You wouldn’t believe how big a change they made in these two houses in just five days. I love how many choices they offer. You can get a Corian type look or a smooth marble-look finish, tons of different options, colors, and finishes.” “When I see Paul and Jonee and the amazing business they’ve built, it’s an inspiration. Brittany and I are working together on these homes as we create a strong future together...and that’s a great feeling. We’re getting to know more and more of the skilled local companies we can trust to help us transform these homes. I’ve seen what the Miracle Method has done for us...and I know homeowners would love what it can do for their home, too!” For more information about Sweet Texas Properties, contact Brad at




Miracle Method Surface Restoration 281-240-2284 603 Murphy Road (by appointment only) Stafford, TX


The Way a Business Should Be!


eneral Contractor, Ron Bartee says, “I’ve known Chance Kamp for over fifteen years; he and his guys at All Out Off Road have built some trucks for me. Since he and Bryan Bellamy expanded All Out A/C, I’ve been using them for air conditioning services as well. I’m a general contractor doing mostly commercial jobs, and they handle all my local jobs. We build banks in nineteen different States and go all over the country from New York to Chicago. I know the guys at All Out would be willing and able to do any work I have for them, but I just try to keep them busy here in the Houston area!” “They’ve done all the A/C in my personal recording studio. Recently, when I needed the systems replaced in my home in Richmond, I called them in to do the work. It’s kind of a big house, so they needed to replace six air conditioners for me with all new, high efficiency units. Before, you couldn’t even tell I had air conditioning in my house...and now it’s great.” “They showed up on time, did the work, changed out the equipment, and went out of their way to take care of everything. I like that they’re local, offer good service, and back up their work. I can’t think of a time I had a

problem when they didn’t come out the same day to take care of it. I could tell you some crazy stories about other air conditioning companies, but I’ve got only good things to say about All Out. I use them because they actually do what they say they’re going to do. They’re responsive to their customers and take care of business. When you call Bryan, he answers the phone...and that’s really rare nowadays!” “If you know your air conditioner’s on its last leg,” says Bryan, “don’t wait for it to conk out in the summer. We’re able to offer fantastic off-season specials during the month of December. We’re proud to be your local ‘Full System Replacement Specialists’ and winner of the 2012 BBB Award of Excellence - Winner of Distinction. Have a safe and 281-238-9292 happy holiday from all of us at 626 Highway 90A, Richmond, TX 77406 All Out A/C and Heating!”

The MOST Complete ORTHOPEDIC CARE in FORT BEND COUNTY D. Dean Dominy, III, M.D. Hand & Upper Extremities

Kenneth M. Renney, M.D. Sports Medicine

Jeffrey B. Wood, M.D.

Diseases & Deformities of the Spine

Eddie T. Matsu, M.D.

General Orthopedics, Joint Replacement

Mark W. Maffet, M.D.

Knee & Shoulder Surgery, Sports Medicine

Methodist Orthopaedic Specialists of Texas

Methodist Orthopaedic Specialists of Texas (MOST) physicians are recognized as some of the finest board-certified physicians in the specialty of orthopedics. They provide comprehensive, world-class orthopedic care under one roof right here in Fort Bend County — from sports medicine to joint replacement, hand and wrist to ankle and spine care. They perform on a higher level, so you can, too.

 To schedule an appointment, call 281-494-MOST (6678) or email

Timothy C. Sitter, M.D.

Knee & Shoulder Surgery, Sports Medicine

Vincent C. Phan, M.D.

Hand & Upper Extremities

Carl A. Hicks, M.D.

Joint Reconstructive Surgery

Christopher K. Smith, M.D.

Adult & Pediatric Orthopedics

David A. Braunreiter, M.D. Sports Medicine

Ray R. Valdez, M.D. Foot & Ankle

Anthony J. Muffoletto, M.D.

Proud Sponsor of Deacon’s Dugout for the Sugar Land Skeeters

281-494-MOST (6678)  

 1201 Brooks Street  Sugar Land, Texas 77478  1327 Lake Pointe Parkway, Suite 425  Sugar Land, Texas 77478  18400 Katy Freeway, Suite 200  Houston, Texas 77094  2500 Fondren, Suite 209  Houston, Texas 77063

Diseases & Deformities of the Spine

UPCLOSE ~ December 2012 ~ 31

Four Convenient Locations:

I Survived Stage III Breast Cancer at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital

Dr. Clive Shkedy Radiation Oncologist

Dr. Charles Conlon Oncologist

Kristen Barley Breast Cancer Survivor

Dr. Kelly Dempsey Breast Surgeon

Dr. Jay Shenaq Reconstructive Surgeon

I was just 34 years old when I learned that I had stage III breast cancer. Because of my mother and grandmother’s own battles with the disease, I knew the diagnosis before I was even told; however, my cancer care team at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital gave me the strength, determination and encouragement I needed to fight for survival. Working together, my multidisciplinary team of doctors developed an individualized treatment plan that included surgery, radiation treatment and chemotherapy — all delivered close to home and with the amazing care and service only Methodist Sugar Land Hospital can provide. Now I am almost five years cancer-free, and I am proud to be a survivor!

You can survive breast cancer, but survival begins with an annual exam and mammogram. Call today to schedule yours.

— Kristen Barley, Breast Cancer Survivor

This is the Methodist level of cancer care — from diagnosis to survival, where leading technology and compassion — are leading to a cure.

To speak with Kristen Barley about her experiences — or for more information about the comprehensive breast cancer services offered at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital — call 281-242-CURE (2873). To schedule your mammogram, please call 281-242-PINK (7465).

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

UpClose Magazine  

A fun lifestyle magazine for Sugar Land, Texas and the surrounding areas.

UpClose Magazine  

A fun lifestyle magazine for Sugar Land, Texas and the surrounding areas.