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February 2013

Love Your


by Ahmadi

Body by Ahmadi

“Your Body is a Wonderland”


an you remember what it feels like to love your body? Reclaim your beauty and rediscover your confidence today. One local woman writes, “I can’t begin to tell you how confident and attractive I feel again as a woman. I feelgood in my clothes again and everyone notices the differenceespecially my husband! Thank you Dr. Ahmadi for giving me an awesome body!” Only your research can reveal if your surgeon has the best credentials. All kinds of doctors may offer “cosmetic services,” but only those certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery are trained in all aspects of cosmetic surgery...and recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties. Local surgeon, Dr. Ahmadi of Avante Plastic Surgery is certified by both the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the prestigious American Board of Surgery. Plastic surgeons with this “gold standard” of board-certification have graduated from an accredited medical school, completed at least five years as a resident surgeon, five years of residency training in all areas of surgery (including two years of plastic surgery) and must have passed comprehensive written and oral exams. Dr. Ahmadi says, “We have high standards, a strict code of ethics, and operate only in accredited facilities. Even if your surgeon has gone through the training, he or she is not certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, unless those written and

oral exams are also passed successfully.” Visit to see if your doctor is certified. You wouldn’t trust your life to a pilot who wasn’t trained and licensed or get onto an airplane that wasn’t regulated by the FAA, would you? The American Board of Medical Specialties does not recognize the random “Cosmetic” or “Lipo” accreditations which some doctors may produce...and neither do hospitals. These doctors may cut corners or take risks without being held accountable. Dr. Ahmadi says, “There’s a real proliferation of places offering ‘cosmetic services,’ but they’re not all meeting the same standards. If a surgeon isn’t certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, no one is examining the space where procedures are performed and no one is evaluating his cases. I voluntarily undergo rigorous inspections of my work and my facility...I want my patients to know that I am held to the highest standards and I spare no time or expense for their safety.” Innovation, artistry, and expertise come together in Dr. Ahmadi’s masterwork, the revolutionary Lipotuck™ procedure. Lipotuck™ is the result of Dr. Ahmadi’s years of experience and intellectual innovation. He combined the benefits




of a tummy tuck and liposuction for an amazing result that’s superior to either alone. This completely-customized procedure will remove excess fat and skin from the lower abdomen, as well as smoothing bulges for superior results and a quicker recovery. You’ll get a beautiful, curvy shape...and straightforward, all-inclusive pricing for a single procedure that’s even better than two in one! Whether you start at a size 2 or 16, Lipotuck™ delivers smooth and natural results. Are you ready to love your body? At Avante Plastic Surgery, Dr. Ahmadi himself will do your consultation, make his recommendations, and answer your questions. He only schedules one patient procedure a day, so you’ll have his undivided attention. He says, “Your health and well-being are my highest priorities. I dedicate all my experience and training to earning your trust and improving your confidence...because you deserve to look and feel beautiful!”




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

We Only Treat Patients Who Need Treatment D

on’t be seduced by claims that a clinic treats more veins than all others and has more patients. That should be a red flag! You want a doctor who treats the “right veins.” The best doctors don’t simply treat everyone, but evaluate each patient to see if treatment is even needed. Laser therapy for your veins isn’t like getting your eyebrows waxed or threaded. “When the valves in your veins are unhealthy,” says Ulises Baltazar MD,RVT,FACS of Sugar Land Vein Specialists, “blood can flow backward and pool inside the vein...leading to venous diseases like spider veins, varicose veins and venous stasis ulcers. However, not all faulty veins develop varicose veins...and not all incompetent veins become enlarged! When the inner diameter of the veins is less than 5 mm, we try to avoid destroying them with laser, radiofrequency or chemicals. The Greater Saphenous veins can be used to do heart bypasses or to replace other faulty or blocked arteries in our body, so we try not to close them unless it is necessary.” If you’re suffering from symptoms such as aching, pain, heaviness, tiredness, fatigue, itching, burning, cramping, throbbing, restlessness of the legs or swelling in the ankles or legs, your varicose veins may require treatment. Dr. Baltazar says, “If you don’t have any discomfort, another alternative might be an option and you may not need invasive treatment! But for patients who are suffering, I offer a free, painless evaluation to determine the best treatment for you. Non-invasive alternatives include: wearing compression stockings, weight loss, leg elevation and water aerobics. Invasive alternatives would be local varicose veins removal or disconnection of the superficial vein at the groin. You can’t take a ‘one-size-fitsall’ approach to medicine; each patient is unique! ” You don’t want to go to a doctor knowing you’ll get treatment, whether or not you need it. Boardcertified by the American Board of Surgery in General Surgery with special certification in Vascular Surgery and Winner of the 2011 Patients’ Choice Award, Dr. Baltazar was one of the pioneers of endovascular surgery at East Tennessee State University. In Texas, he performed the first case of Mechano-Chemical Ablation (MOCA), a virtually pain-free procedure with a 98 percent success rate. He says, “I’ll never make a decision without carefully considering the vein in question first. For me, it’s not about the number of veins I treat, but the care I offer each and every patient.”

Dedicated exclusively to the treatment of venous insufficiency

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Ulises Baltazar, MD, RVT, FACS Sugar Land Vein Specialists 281-240-8400 16605 Southwest Freeway Ste 505 (in the Methodist Professional Building 3)


n! TurnedOn! How Smart is Your Home?

Sarah Warburton

ment, advice, and installation in Fort Bend, he turns to Richard Machemehl and Scott Crain and their team of experts at Home Theater Evolutions. On February 9th from 11-2, the “High-Tech Texan” will be broadcasting live from our own neighborhood home theater store. If you show up at 10 when Home Theater Evolutions opens, you’ll get the best spot in Houston for the live show! What is a Smart Home? Scott says, “We use the term ‘Smart Home’ for a house that has appliances, lighting, heating, air conditioning, TVs, computers, entertainment audio and video systems, security, and camera systems that can communicate with each other and can be controlled remotely by a timer or from any location in the world by phone or internet. We love how easy it is to control the Savant f you don’t know the answer, it’s time to tune in to the High- Home Automation system with an iPad, iPhone, or iTouch.” Why is a Smart Home such a smart choice? Richard says, “Not Tech Texan’s radio show. As the “High-Tech Texan,” Michael Garfield stays on top of the latest and greatest innovations. only does home automation make it easy and fun to play music He says, “I’ve been a radio host on the 9-5-0 AM six days a week, anywhere in the home, create nuanced lighting, or consolidate for the past twelve years. I talk about various topics, but my sweet and watch your favorite can also make your home safer spot is technology.” When Michael needs home theater equip- and more energy-efficient. You can set your lights and temperature to coordinate with the way you live. In fact, you can monitor your energy use, identify your biggest expenses, and make smart choices to save money. We Stop in Home Theater also offer security services and you can keep an eye on your home...from anywhere in the world!” Evolutions to WIN live The “High-Tech Texan” has been singing the praison air one of 3 MX-780 es of Smart Homes since 2007...and the technology keeps getting better and more affordable. Scott says, UNIVERSAL REMOTES “Everything on the Savant control and automation The High-Tech Texan will system—from the design of the docking system to the be giving away during the user-friendly interface—is designed to be intelligent, affordable, and extremely easy to use…the way the live broadcast from best technology should be.” 11:00-2:00 If your home doesn’t have the smarts you need, come to the experts at Home Theater Evolutions. Richard February 9th! says, “We’re happy to chat about your options, let you demo the system in the store, and always offer straightforward pricing that includes installation and make it easy to be smart!”


$450 value

Remote is $300 instillation $150

Home Theater Evolutions 281-980-2300 • 3157 Highway 6 at Williams Trace

Hey, sis, did you hear Local compounding the news?! pharmacy now accepts insurance


ow Campbell’s Compounding Pharmacy is making access to compounded medications even easier for physicians and their patients. They are now billing health insurance for prescription medications. Why trust your family’s health to the chains who treat you like a number, when you could receive service with a smile from a staff that treats you like family? Wouldn’t you like to get all your prescriptions filled in one place without sacrificing the family-feel of your favorite pharmacy? Campbell’s Compounding Pharmacy accepts all major prescription plans and insurance, so you can get everything you need. Dr. Lance Campbell Pharm.D., R.Ph. says, “We’ll cherish the warm relationship we have with our patients and we welcome this opportunity to make your life easier.” Campbell’s offers every medication you could get from a “chain-store” pharmacy...and more! Did you know that many compounded topical pain creams are covered by insurance? So is the Tamiflu suspension, many compounded nausea medications, and other solutions that just aren’t

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available at a non-compounding pharmacy. When you choose Campbell’s Compounding Pharmacy, you’ll be getting personalized care and attention from our favorite neighborhood pharmacy. Dr. Campbell says, “Now that we accept major prescription and insurance plans, we’ll be able to take care of you and your family across the board. We’re so pleased to offer both commercially available medications and ones that are specially compounded to meet your needs.” The days of being told it will take 45 minutes to fill a blood pressure medication are over! Dr. Campbell says, “Working so closely with our patients means we really remember them as individuals…and really, it’s all about helping people. That’s the reason I first became a compounding pharmacist and it’s the reason my team and I love our jobs every day!”


Need a Love Potion?


hocolate, oysters, fine wine, sexy lingerie, candlelight, red roses, love songs…you’ve tried them all. It’s Valentine’s and you’re running out of options to rev up that lackluster love life. Is it her? Is it him? “It may be both!” says Dr. Lance Campbell, Pharm. D., R.Ph. of Campbell’s Compounding Pharmacy. Dr. Campbell explains, “In both men and women, hormones are the force behind your sex drive. Aging results in a drop in progesterone and estrogen in women, and a drop in testosterone in men. To get your mojo back, you both may need to ensure your hormones are in balance.” As a woman enters menopause, insufficient levels of progesterone and estrogen can have a really negative affect on her sex life. Dr. Campbell says, “Loss of sex drive is the obvious sign, but fatigue, night sweats, weight gain, headaches, osteoporosis, insomnia, diminished mental clarity, endometriosis, lack of energy or drive, fibrocystic breast disease, hot flashes and vaginal dryness could all be signs that a woman’s hormones are unbalanced. Hormone therapy can alleviate or even eliminate these symptoms, restoring youthful energy and vitality!” For men, the hormone loss may be more gradual. Dr. Campbell says, “For most men, the decline in testosterone seems to ‘sneak up on them.’ One day they realize they just don’t have the drive, self-confidence, assertiveness, or energy they had in their youth. Of course the libido is affected, but other symptoms may include fatigue, depression, anger, anxiety, memory loss, decreased muscle mass, relationship problems or erectile dysfunction. Our society writes this off as the ‘mid-life crisis’...but it could be more. With the right balance of hormones, a man can feel like himself again!” Ready to rekindle the flame? Call Dr. Campbell and set up an appointment to talk about hormone balancing. Dr. Campbell will explain the fundamentals of BHRT (BioIdentical Hormone Replacement Therapy), how it can affect your health and your relationship and the misconceptions associated with its use. He wants you to fully understand the hormones and how they interact with the other systems in your body. He welcomes both individual and group consultations…perhaps a double date with your Valentine? Dr. Campbell says, “Hormone replacement therapy could be the love potion you’ve both been looking for. I would love to help put the romance back in your relationship this Valentine’s!” 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

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Next Stop...St. Michael’s!

Five Kids...One Destination Sarah Warburton


issi Krause is a personal trainer at Greatwood Training Center... and the mother of five active kids between the ages of four and nineteen. She says, “Over the years St. Michael’s Emergency Room has taken excellent care of my husband, each of the kids, and me!” “One Saturday night I cut my finger really badly. My husband was flying in from a week in Alaska and he came from the airport to meet me at St. Michael’s. I must have been there less than thirty minutes total from the moment I walked in until they had me cleaned up, stitched up, and ready to go!” “Another time I took my little one to St. Michael’s because I thought she had an ear infection. It was during cold and flu season when H1N1 flu was going around. I really did not want to expose her to lots of other sick people at the pediatrician or an urgent care center. The doctor at St. Michael’s listened to her chest, did an x-ray and found she had pneumonia! I’ve always really appreciated the speed and the quality of care St. Michael’s gave us.” “My oldest was a competitive swimmer 8 ~ UPCLOSE ~ February 2013

in high school. Once he had a staph infection that needed treatment and antibiotics, but he was supposed to be leaving for a meet that morning. St. Michael’s treated him, bandaged, and had him on his way in plenty of time. “I’ve also taken my twelve-year-old in twice for being hit in the face with a baseball. I brought my fourteen-year-old in after he hurt his ankle playing football. In all the times we’ve been to St. Michael’s, we’ve never had to wait longer than 15 minutes for excellent care. My kids have asked to go there just for the hot’s nice to know they think of going to the ER as a treat (and we’re not usually in the waiting room long enough to use the coffee and hot chocolate bar). Even when they’re hurt, they’re never upset to go to St. Michaels!” Not a Medicare or Medicaid participating provider.

Save time and save money! St. Michael’s Emergency Rooms accept more than 200 insurance plans, including Cigna, Blue Cross, United, Humana, and we are the first and only free-standing ER in Fort Bend and surrounding Houston area in-network with AETNA. What “accepting” these plans means to you: You’ll pay the same ER price for concierge service at St. Michael’s as you would pay at a standard ER.. and often even less! You’ll enjoy the services of a 24-hr licensed freestanding emergency room, with board-certified physicians and specialty-trained nurses. We also have on-site X-ray, Ultrasound and CT, and an on-site certified diagnostic lab. St. Michael’s offers everything you need from an ER...except the wait! What’s your time worth?

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

Show her your love with our featured

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(281) 242-2900

Hours: Tues. - Fri. 10 - 6 • Sat. 10-3

Jan Loggins

Watch & Jewelry Repair on Premises

Better Than Roses

by Becca Bragg


e’ve found a treat that’s way better than roses and sweeter than chocolate. After all, flowers fade and candy melts, but this is a gift that keeps on giving. Imagine snuggling up on the sofa after dinner to watch a romantic movie or enjoying a night out the town completely guiltfree. “When you give someone--or yourself--the gift of regular cleanings, what you’re really giving them is time to enjoy life!” says Max McCammond, our local cleaning expert and owner of Professional Maid Service. “Housework

is among the top five things that make couples why not leave it to the professionals?” Are you brave enough to buy clothing for your wife? Don’t take the chance. Instead give her the one-size-fits-all gift that says “I appreciate and cherish you.” The Professional Maids work with your schedule and the convenient key drop off makes getting a sparkling home easy as pie. Max says, “We value your home, your time, and your peace of mind... that’s why our employees are bonded and insured, arrive in a company car with uniforms, and deliver a clean that really sparkles!” If your wife really really loves roses and chocolates, go ahead and pick them up. Just don’t forget to tuck a gift certificate from Professional Maids into the card. Leave the cleaning to the professionals and kiss the mess goodbye! Professional Maid Service 281-342-6500

Cleaning to the “Max” Max’s Cleaning Tip: If you give your sweetie a potted plant for Valentine’s Day, don’t forget to clean it. Max says, “Cleaning the leaves of your houseplants keeps them healthy and makes your home look better. Rub your fingers on the leaves. If you can feel or see more dust than you can blow off the leaves, it’s time to clean. Move the plant to the sink or shower and hose them off with lukewarm water. Let the plants drip dry before moving them back. If a plant is too big to move, just wipe the leaves off with a damp cloth. For fuzzy leaved plants, use a soft brush, like a mushroom brush, to very gently coax the dust from the leaves.

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Building Bridges “Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope.”~Kofi Annan Supporting literacy can be as easy and fun as a night on the town! Brenda says, “We have taken the best of the best from our two previous events, the Book & Author Dinner and Wine & Music. We’ll have personal interaction with best-selling authors and a celebratory atmosphere with wine, great local food vendors and music. Our authors this year include: Leila Meacham, Taylor Stevens (whose Vanessa Munroe novel “The Doll” is expected June 4th), John DeMers, Stephanie Jaye Evans, and Crystal Allen. Blue Willow Books has all our author’s books available for pre-purchase online at Safari Texas and Classic Chevrolet are our presenting sponsors and Dee Koch is our Honorary Chair. The first annual Reading Between the Wines is a “don’t miss” event! Visit our website or Facebook page...and mark your calendar for “Reading Between the Wines” on Friday, Feb 8th from 5:30-10:30 p.m. at Safari Texas Ranch.”

g r o . y c a r e t i l d n e b t f . www


rowing up on a farm, going to the library or getting the time to read was a big deal for me,” says Brenda Bowman, Executive Director of the Literacy Council of Fort Bend County. “As an adult (and a lifelong passionate reader), as soon as I saw the brochure for the Literacy Council of Fort Bend in 1987, I knew I wanted to volunteer. I started on the committee for the Book and Author dinner, then came on staff as Director of Development and Marketing. I was happily chosen six months later as Executive Director. I met Don Kerstetter of Classic Chevrolet through the Fort Bend Chamber’s Leadership Class. We sat together going to the opening retreat in San Antonio and talked the whole way about books we had read and loved - and of course, about Classic Chevrolet, which was new in the area at that time. Don came on our Board of Directors last year. He is a real champion of literacy.” “Here in Fort Bend, we’ve been dubbed an ‘Ellis Island County.’ We have the demographic breakdown that the rest of the country won’t see until 2050. Just last year the Literacy Council served over 1,700 students. We’re a 501(c)(3) celebrating our 25th year and in November, we served our 25,000th student. Our funding comes from gifts, grants and donations and special events like the Great Grown-up Spelling Bee, Bike the Bend and our inaugural event, Reading Between the Wines.” Brought together by the desire to change lives through literacy, students and tutors gather for lessons in the Literacy Council’s main office or in space provided by the Fort Bend Library or just under thirty different faith-based organizations in Stafford, Missouri City, Arcola, Needville, Richmond, Rosenberg, Katy-Cinco Ranch, Fulshear, and Sugar Land. Brenda says, “We offer ESL to help students read, write, and speak the English language, GED preparation classes, basic Computer Skills classes and labs, and US Citizenship where students learn US history and culture from tutors...some of whom are homeland security trained. We’re very proud of our Transitions Program. Through this program, students who’ve worked hard to earn their GED see how they could earn more of the skills they’ll need for work, education, and life. We partner with Wharton County Jr. College, Texas State Technical College, Houston Community College, and Wharton County Technical College to bring students onto the campus of Wharton County Jr. College for presentations on financial literacy and financial aid, college and technical school applications...everything a high school guidance office would have offered and more!” One Literacy Council student, Minerva, was a lawyer in Mexico before she moved here three years ago. She says, “My kids are in elementary school (ages 6 and 9) and English is easy for them. I was so happy to come here and work on my English, too. Our tutors are so nice, patient, and passionate about teaching. Monica teaches my writing class and the other students are moms like me. We’ve grown close and are able to support and encourage each other...we’re each other’s cheerleaders. Even though we’re from so many different countries–––Spain, India, Turkey, Austria, Mexico, and China––we can all communicate with each other through English.” Minerva’s writing tutor, Monica Perin, is a former journalist at the Houston Business Journal. She says, “When I retired, I started started looking for other opportunities. Now I teach Communications Law at the University of Houston and volunteer at the East Fort Bend Human Needs Food Pantry  and at the Literacy Council, teaching writing. I had    one student, a young boy, who wrote an incredible essay about how he got here from Africa over a period of years, traveling through different countries. The stories these students write are unimaginable to those of us who’ve grown up in the US. I get so much out of the time I spend here...these students are amazing.” Another tutor, Chuck Schwartz, says, “I didn’t have any teaching experience when I started tutoring here, but I’ve discovered I really love it! I tell each class that we’re going to have fun while we learn. We start every morning with “Good morning, Class. Good Morning, Teacher. Ho-ho-ho, Ha-ha-ha!” If I forget, they always remind me. During the class we talk in English.These students want to be in class thirty-six hours a day, nine days a week. Right now I have students in my class from China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, and Mexico. I’ve had students who may move or go to another country, but they send me emails even Skype with me. I can’t travel all over the world, but these students bring the world to me. 14,783 miles of  119

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A journalist and author decades, John DeMers for more than Texas Foodlover is the former three of the Houston magazine, former editor of food editor Chronicle Delicious and host Mischief of the weekly food and on Houston’s CNN affiliate. wine radio talk show A resident of Houston, DeMers has spent several years describing the joys and sorrows of Texas food traditions in an unforgiving modern world, the rough-and-tincluding citrus industry umble of the Rio Grande Valley, the along the struggles Gulf a world-class and the challenges of shrimpers reputation of building This is his for 37th publishedTexas wines. devoted to topics book, with as diverse culture and as food and others history, drink, travel and books for Bright Sky religion. Earlier Culinary Capital, CiaoPress include Houston: Tropical Tuscany Latitudes and Dominique’s . Over the for United Press Internationayears, assignments 136 foreign l have taken countries The New him to York Times, and earned him Angeles The Washington bylines in Times Post, Los John DeMers and other dailies around the for the stage, is also the creator world. of two musicals the Texas-set Heart and love story the historical saga Texas Deep in the at Heart. bright sky press


48 finger-li

       


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and byways along the of Texas highways enduring to eat in 119 barbecue a calorie cascade of and chicken, brisket, ribs, joints, baked beans, along with the potato sausage banana pudding salad, coleslaw, absolutely and pecan must have pie moves us. whenever And he lived the barbecue we to write Part lively spirit the tale. travelogue, oral history part food in more orgy and DeMers ways than part to look one, the book allows most important deeper into the Lone Star culinary dime-a-doze State’s n rate-and-ranphenomenon than in conversation any k. with a true In fact, he finds that barbecue guy (or gal!),

    

Houston and Albany, www.brightsky Texas ISBN 978-1-93397922-9 Book and jacket design and Cregan by Tutu Somerville Design. Printed in China


$19.95       

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because that’s all Grandpa tradition ever served…eac within Texas on its sleeve, h barbecue wears its right along splashes of sweet-spicy with those errantorigins sauce. Follow the Smoke is timeless a timely topic, one book about unafraid courage a to celebrate and creativity the barbecue of individuals not who see but, in that only a way to feed their families in uniquely better life. American spirit, a road You are holding snapshot, to a in your hands one whose people face particulars a loving difficult as much changes as its It didn’t in take John DeMers too the years ahead. lonesome highway many miles or too many food to decide of plates of incredible Texas barbecuethat these men and women and our respect. deserve our hungry of patronage

$19.95 (CAN $21.95) ISBN-13: 978-1-9339 79-22-9 51995

9 781933


bright sky press




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all the usual critic’s posturing he’s faced with a hardworkin falls away and professional g, often not-well-pai The pressureslaboring against d excruciating of keeping have never odds. been greater, a restaurant in business small, out-of-the-w hammering away at the ay, family-owne lovingly as mom-and-po d places sures of known ps. Add to an ancient those the cooking it is exotically presdogmatic—i style as unforgiving way to do n which every single there’s only as agreement thing, even on what when there’s one that way wood often no is. A cook’s equals fightin’ choice of his or her words in take Texas, as sauce, direct on time and temperature does or indirect , rub decisions in (literally) heat, and a thousand or produce smoke-filled other the glory rooms on our plates. that As DeMers learned in in Texas joint after is much of one remarkablemore than barbecue.joint, barbecue It is the story state and people. From the Hispanic its many remarkable barbecue Rio comes with Grande Valley, and pico refried beans, where de gallo, warm tortillas to the the east, where barbecue former plantation appears areas of is pork as with often as Hill Country, the soul food of beef and where German slaves, to the families rugged and Czech resist serving meat-marke more than t crackers as sides (continued

on back


281-491-9000 13115 Southwest Freeway, Sugar Land, TX 77478

y America e of ProLiterac at ili ff A ed it d re ty ~ An Acc rt Bend Cou, nTX 77478 o F f o l ci n u o gar Land Literacy C Emily Court, Su 281-240-8181

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Not so cute

Missing a Tooth? of gum recession and disease is vital. Gum disease has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, digestive problems, osteoporosis, and immune problems. You can see why something as simple as implants could add years to your life!” A native Texan who grew up in Beaumont, Dr. Lomonte has been giving Fort Bend families great smiles for over twenty-eight years. He and his staff take pride in providing personalized attention and service. He is not satisfied unless you’re relaxed and your expectations are exceeded. Dr. Lomonte says, “Don’t settle for removable dental restorations. There are many advantages to dental implants…and your smile is worth it! I’m always happy to listen to your questions and fully explain all aspects of implants. Call me and set up a consultation today!”

Thomas M. Lomonte, D.D.S. “Come in as a patient, leave as a friend.” 12122 Murphy Rd. Stafford, TX 77477 (281) 530-1440

Amy Sharp


re you missing a tooth or multiple teeth? Have you been embarrassed by failed denture adhesives at elegant dinner parties? Need a better option? Dr. Thomas Lomonte, D.D.S. of Stafford says, “Consider dental implants! They address both the aesthetic issues associated with missing teeth as well as the dental health issues...making them a superior solution to the removable dentures and dental bridges of the past. I want my patients to be relaxed and comfortable, so they’ll show the world their smiles! ” “Your dental implants will serve as natural tooth roots,” Dr. Lomonte says. “You’ll be able to eat your favorite foods and chew normally. Leaving a gap between teeth for a prolonged period of time will cause the surrounding teeth to misalign. The implant will help maintain the proper alignment of your remaining teeth, preserving your smile. Plus, the implants provide a great deal of stability and security…so you no longer need to worry about denture adhesives or embarrassing social situations!” As an added (and very important!) benefit, dental implants prevent bone loss and gum recession, possibly adding years to your life! Dr. Lomonte says,”When you lose a tooth, bone or soft tissue aren’t necessary, so they start to recede. Dental implants will prevent this from happening, providing a root to secure your jawbone and gum tissue. Prevention 12 ~ UPCLOSE ~ February 2013

Come in as a patient and leave as a friend!



GOLF LESSONS Want to improve your game? Regarded as a gifted instructor by his peers, Homero Blancas has taught some of the tour’s best known professionals throughout his career. In his senior years, Homero has traveled throughout United States and abroad instructing amateur and professional golfers from all walks of life. World renowned professional, world record holder, instructor, one of golf’s true treasures; that is 1993 Texas Golf Hall of Fame inductee Homero Blancas. He is available for private instruction by appointment. Homero resides in Houston, Texas with his lovely wife of over fortyfive years Noel. They have two sons, Tommy and Jerry, two granddaughters, Peyton and Kayla and a grandson Aidan.

281-635-9825 When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie that’s Pepperoni’s Large 2 Topping & 2 Liter For $15 Online Code: Game2 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.

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

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Where Inspiration and Education Flourish

Emma’s Story

Sara Adams


ast year, Emma walked through the front door of International Preparatory School full of hope, excitement and a few butterflies in her stomach. She landed in the capable hands of Kindergarten teacher, Alycia Boyce. Emma spread her wings in the close knit, family-like setting of IPS preparing for the next step in her adventure in education. And who better to take her hand this year than self-confessed guide, Helen Jackson. What’s the difference between a leader and a guide? A leader is at the front telling you what to do. A guide is there beside you, encouraging you all the way. Mrs. Jackson has been guiding and inspiring young students for over 40 years. When asked what she loves best about teaching first graders she said, “It’s such an important year. I love working with young kids; seeing their eagerness to learn and being there when the light bulb goes on.” Mrs. Jackson has high expectations for each of her students. She says, “If you expect nothing, that’s what you’re going to get. The more you expect of a child, the more that child will expect of themselves.” In Mrs. Jackson’s class, they don’t just read books, they publish their own. They get to stretch their vocabulary with “high school” words and actively participate in math and science projects. Mrs. Jackson earned her Master’s in

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Teaching and taught first graders for 26 years in FBISD. During that time she developed the curriculum in Math and Science for their Gifted and Talented program. Joining the staff of International Preparatory School was an easy choice. Mrs. Jackson has known Owner/Director Susan McMahon for over 20 years. She wanted to be a part of a culturally diverse student and teacher community; a place where everyone has high expectations of the students and when they are not met, extra help is provided. If you’re looking for a place where your child can be inspired and flourish, call International Preparatory School. They are now accepting registrations for the next school year as well as inquiries about the current semester.

International Preparatory School 281-208-1403 1717 Dulles Avenue Missouri City

Top Three Reasons to Make a Change Today


sk yourself three questions: 1) Is what I’m doing really working? 2) Can I envision the results I want in the future? 3) Do I feel positive and confident I’m on the right path? If the answer to any of those questions is “No,” it’s time to gather your courage and consider making a change. “Sometimes rocking the boat and shaking things up is what it takes to jump start a program and deliver greater outcomes,” says Speech Therapist Dana Johnson. “Giving up on the old familiar routine can lead to a real breakthrough in therapy...and in life!”

“We have twenty-five hand-picked therapists with specialties in pediatrics, adults, and accent modification. Having such a wide variety of therapists means we can make a match based on skill set, gender, and personality. We have plenty of options if you need a change! Time doesn’t change things––we change things through action. If you’re not happy with the way things are, challenge yourself to try something new. Dana and her husband Jason founded Speech Therapy Unlimited because they’d seen the status quo...and they wanted to

take speech therapy to the next level. Dana says, “We have twenty-five hand-picked therapists with specialties in pediatrics, adults, and accent modification. Having such a wide variety of therapists means we can make a match based on skill set, gender, and personality. We have plenty of options if you need a change! The one thing all our therapists share is a passion for helping people improve their speech and a variety of creative and effective ideas and techniques.” Do you know the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again...but expecting different results. Using the same therapy techniques for autism, language, articulation, accent modification, and sensory issues means settling for the same-old, same-old. Jason says, “Dana and I believe speech therapy works best as part of everyday life... while you’re watching television, playing minecraft, reading a bedtime story, or cooking dinner.” If your family is seeking change, then Speech Therapy Unlimited has the tools to empower you. Jason says, “We want parents to visualize what they want for their kids in the future. With schools, parents, kids, and therapists working together, your potential truly is unlimited!” 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 77478

When Opportunity Knocks Courtney McIlvoy


hen opportunity knocks, will your front door scare it away? If your house is turning heads (and not in a good way) it’s time to seek professional help. Your door is the first impression your guests have of your home and February is the perfect opportunity to revamp your front door. You can have a door your friends and neighbors will love with the help of Rick’s Front

Door Refinishing.They specialize in refinishing front doors through the use of a Marine Grade, oil based finish as opposed to one with a water base. Because the oil based finish lasts so much longer, you actually end up saving money! Rick has been in the refinishing business since the age of eleven, when he began to refinish a variety of items, including pianos. He’s passed the secrets of his careful process and attention to detail to every member of his team. Rick’s so sure

you’ll love the work they do that he offers a one hundred percent satisfaction guarantee...or you don’t pay a cent! How much do Rick and his craftsmen love what they do? Come rain, come wind, sleet, or snow, their mobile workrooms allow them to refinish your door in any weather. They’ll do the work on-site, in one day, and do it well! This skill and attention to customer service has earned them the coveted Angie’s List, “Super Service Award for Excellence” two years in a row. Rick says, “Our teams can refinish your front door, wooden garage doors, fiberglass doors, install new hardware, peepholes, or weatherstrips, and repair and maintain doors.” Want to see some of Rick’s favorite refinished work and why customers love Rick’s Front Door? Visit the company’s website and Facebook page for information about the company, before and after photos, and even testimonials. Rick’s hard work is continuously praised by customers who are extremely impressed with the company’s work and service. If you give them the opportunity, Rick’s Front Door Refinishing will leave you dazzled with your front door. Once you have a pretty door, opportunity will knock over and over again. Rick’s Front Door Refinishing 713-427-2487

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Fall in Love...With Your Smile! D Sarah Warburton oes your smile suffer from the heartbreak of stains left by tobacco, coffee, tetracycline, or age? This Valentine’s Day you can turn to Dr.Danny Nguyen and his staff at Eco Dental for beautiful white teeth you’ll love to show the world. Dr. Nguyen says, “In my years in this field, I’ve learned to be skeptical of whitening systems. For three months before I offered the Kör Whitening Deep Bleaching System to patients, I used it on myself, my friends and family...and it delivers consistently great results. There’s no question this is one of the best systems I’ve ever seen.” Whether you’re looking for a Valentine’s present, a pre-graduation photo gift, or a little something for yourself, a whiter and brighter smile is always a welcome boost! While you sleep, you’ll wear custom-fitted, ultra-thin trays at home for two or three weeks. Then you’ll come to see Dr. Nguyen for a 90 minute in-office treatment. He says, “I’ll admit, I was skeptical when I heard about a whitening gel that’s permanently

effective (with easy athome maintenance) and isn’t harsh like some other whitening methods. Everyone I know who’s used the system, regardless of age, has had consistently fantastic results.” There’s a kinder, gentler way of doing things at Eco Dental. That’s why Dr. Nguyen chose earth-friendly digital x-rays, low VOC-paint for the walls, and other green solutions that are kind on the planet. That’s why he provides services to soothe his patients...massaging dental chairs, sunglasses, free wireless internet, and even a separate children’s waiting room. He says, “That’s also the reason I tried the Kör Whitening System myself before adding it to my practice. I was tired of systems that offered inconsistent results. This system allows me to make an accurate prediction about how white your teeth will be and how long it will take. If (like me) you’re


After skeptical of the photos shown on websites, take a look at my actual patient’s smile in the magazine...or come into the office and see my smile in person!” “I’d like all my patients to fall in love with their smiles!” Dr. Danny Nguyen, D. D. S. 281-491-9494 Ecodental 15870 SW Freeway #500 (59@Hwy 6 next to Whole Foods) Sugar Land, TX 77478

Tired of the Same Old Thing? Be SMART This Summer!


o your kids spend their summers swimming, running, and hanging out with friends? Give them a fully-rounded experience at a camp that’s SMART. Over the course of four days at the Knile Center’s summer camps, kids will have fun with Science, Math, Art, and Reading...and they’ll Train their brains for a blast of cognitive power. Now that’s SMART! Help your kids tap into their creativity and ramp up their mental energy! Campers stay actively engaged at the level that’s right for them. Betsy de Vega, founder of Knile Center, says, “Our science day will feature hands-on experiments, problem solving, and exploration. Math will include mental math and logic and reasoning puzzles, reading will work on auditory processing and even art will incorporate cognitive skills. Kids will have fun with activities that work their brains but feel like games! We’ll offer the camp from 9-12 p.m., four days a week for 1st through 3rd graders and again for 4th through 8th. We’ll offer each camp twice...but we’ll change it up so that eager children can enjoy two weeks total with all new activities.” Rediscover how fun learning can be at the Knile Center’s solution for busy brains. There’s limited space, so don’t wait to guarantee your space in this completely unique summer camp. Sign up before May and receive $25 off! If your child needs a bigger boost, try the Knile Center’s one-onone educational training sessions called EduCoachNow. Parents and

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teachers alike are calling EduCoachNow the new alternative to tutoring. Betsy says, “We build a child’s self-esteem by identifying and strengthening weak areas. We coach children to correct the root of the problem in the brain...instead of treating the symptom through tutoring. We partner with parents to advocate for children.” For a mental workout kids won’t mind a bit, you can’t beat Knile Center’s many choices! Visit Knile Center’s website for information on registering for summer camp, making an appointment for an EduCoachNow coaching session, or upcoming workshops. Keep checking for information about the STARR two-day workshops coming after spring break in late March and early April.

Betsy de Vega 281-682-4573 Knile Center, LLC 245 Gonyo Lane Richmond, TX 77479

floor Vintage Appeal


Sarah Warburton ome things never go out of style: a little black dress with a string of pearls, Grandma’s pecan pie recipe, Candyland with the kids and fun with old friends. When Mary Louise McCormack and her husband decided to bring vintage style into their bathroom, they turned to a local timeless treasure, All About Carpet and Floors. Mary Louise says: “We got the recommendation from a golfing buddy who’d had kitchen work done by them and had been very pleased. I’d also had them in to do some carpet cleaning in the past. I know All About Carpet’s been in the same location for years and they’re not a oneman-operation like some of those companies that go door to door. They’re also not so big that they can’t keep track of their customers. I felt I could trust Renee and Shaun McKelvey to take care of me!” “We’ve been in this home for sixteen years and I really wanted better quality than the builder-grade. I knew exactly what I wanted––a claw-footed tub, a vintage look, and upgrades––and I brought pictures to the showroom. I hadn’t dealt


with Damian before, but he was wonderful. I trusted him to tell me what was feasible and make recommendations and I really value his opinion.” “I looked at every piece of marble slab for the counter and chose 1x1 hexagon tiles for the floor. We put in all new chrome fixtures and a charming claw foot tub and we’ll have a shutter installed over the window. The whole room’s done in white, taupe, and black. We had a slight delay because one box of tile was coming from New York and that was the week of the hurricane. But All About Carpet and Floors did all the work in a timely manner and even though renovating isn’t’s totally worth it. I absolutely love the way everything came out!” “Now that the bathroom is finished, we’re having them install hardwood floors throughout. Their lead installer is extremely careful when moving furniture and is very knowledgeable. All the bathroom installation was done very well, too. It gives you confidence to know that All About Carpet only uses people they know and trust.” “Shaun, Renee, and Damian will please you no matter what it takes. If any little thing happens, they’ll handle it right away. I can not say enough good things about All About Carpet. They really look after their customers and they do amazing work!” See for yourself that customer satisfaction and quality craftsmanship never go out of style at All About Carpet and Floors. “We are so grateful for the community’s professional and personal support over the years,” says Shaun. “Come see us in our showroom anytime and we’ll show you the best in granite, natural stone and tile. We can talk about your design options for remodeling your bathroom and kitchen, or check out the latest and greatest in engineered hardwood floors and laminates. We can help you create a plan to meet all your remodeling needs! Whether you’re a repeat customer or a firsttimer, we’re always happy to see you and promise to give you our best service on every job we do!”


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

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wo years ago, Leanna Benson’s daughter was born needing CPR and extensive medical help. Two years later Leanna still brings her daughter Brynn monthly to visit the doctor she called “My guardian angel.”

in pediatrics and nine years in critical care experience with babies...and her empathy is amazing. She says, “I’d like to invite you to visit me before your baby is born. I welcome the opportunity to answer any of your questions...and I’d love to visit

Based on her exceptional clinical skills and compassion, many parents have asked Dr. Sonia Chauhan to open her own pediatric practice...and now she has! She says, “It gives me great satisfaction caring for babies and kids as if they were my own.” Brynn was rushed to Children’s center for further treatment, while Leanna recovered from her emergency C-section. Leanne says, “Dr. Chauhan stayed in constant communication, sat beside me, comforted me and explained everything to me and my family. She was there from the start and handled such an extremely difficult situation with great calm and compassion. She told the doctors at the medical center how heartbroken I was that I hadn’t heard Brynn cry...... they called me so I could hear my baby’s first cry.” As a newborn specialist who previously served as Director of Neonatology at Methodist and Memorial Sugarland hospital, Dr. Chauhan is a natural choice for a new parent or parent-to-be looking for a pediatrician. She has sixteen years

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your baby in the nursery after the birth. The newborn period and infancy can be the most critical periods in a child’s life and I would love to help you sail through it.

Leanna says, “I know Dr. Chauhan is uniquely qualified to spot developmental issues earlier as Brynn grows. I also know she’ll talk to me with respect and really listen to me. And that makes her unique and different. She has helped us create loving memories: my parents counting Brynn’s fingers and toes, Brynn’s first cry, and the very miracle of her survival and great outcome despite enormous odds. I know without Dr. Chauhan, I wouldn’t have my daughter today...and I’m so excited she’s opened her own office. She is a caring and completely thorough physician” Dr. Chauhan was previously awarded“Best Female Physician” at Memorial and “Most Supportive Physician leader ” at Methodist Sugarland hospital. She says, “I appreciate the recognition, but the very greatest reward is the relationship I have with my patients.... Knowing that parents like Leanna remember the part I played in their life gives meaning to my profession.” Dr. Sonia Chauhan Pediatrician and Neonatologist Sugarland NeoPeds Care 16651 Southwest Fwy, Suite 150 Sugar Land, TX 77479 Mon-Fri 8:00-5:00 (281) 980-1020 off hours 12:30-2:00 please call (832) 600-2767

So Much to Celebrate! Amy Sharp


t’s the 4th anniversary of the practice, it’s Children’s Dental Month, and Dr. Bianca Sanchez has a new baby! To celebrate, Little People’s Dentistry is offering even more fun for the little patients, and lots of special offers! Let’s start with fun. Dr. Sanchez says, “We had an overwhelming response to our coloring contest, and we just awarded an iTouch to our end-of-year winner. This year, the coloring contest continues…kids can enter as many times as they wish, and once a month a random winner receives a $25 Toy’s R Us gift card. At the end of the year, we’ll draw for the big prize…a Kindle Fire!” And of course, visiting THIS dentist office is a kid’s dream––PlayStation, discovery boxes, hopscotch, funhouse mirrors––the list goes on and on! In addition to all the fun for kids, Little People’s Dentistry is making life even easier for parents. This month, the deductible is waived for patients with insurance. To add scheduling flexibility, Dr. Sanchez says, “We have a new associate. Now we can see more patients than ever! And we’ve answered your requests…we now have Friday appointments.” For your orthodontic needs, Little People’s Dentistry continues to provide same-office orthodontic care. This month self-pay patients receive a $1000 discount and insurance patients receive a $200 discount! Join in the celebration! Request an appointment for your little one online or download the Little People’s Dentistry App from iTunes or the Android store. With the app you can make an appointment, get GPS directions, take a virtual tour, and get updates on events and special offers. Sound so great you want an appointment for yourself? Dr. Sanchez says, “Sorry mom and dad, I have a height and age requirement!” But here’s a little fun for you…all parents are entered into a gas gift card drawing by confirming appointments via text, email, or automated call and arriving on time! Dr. Sanchez says, “Thank you for all of the well wishes following the birth of our new baby girl, Gemma Belle Esperanza.

She is our “beautiful gem of hope” and along with big brother Diego brings so much joy to our lives. Let’s celebrate together!” Little People’s Dentistry “Because Kidz Are People, Too.” 281-261-0020 4706 Riverstone Blvd., Suite 200 (behind Kohl’s in Riverstone)

Primrose Schools® Summer Camp -

Passport to Adventure! From the great outdoors and virtual travel to music and dance, Camp PrimroseSM is your family’s passport to adventure and fun this summer! Exciting field trips, creative activities and fun adventures with friends will help Explorers play, laugh and learn their way through an unforgettable summer. Customize your adventure by selecting specific camp weeks or join us all summer long!

Start planning your summer adventure now - Join Primrose Schools’ summer camp for a chance to win a $1,000 American Express Travel gift card!* For more details, visit *No purchase necessary

Primrose School of First Colony 4605 Austin Parkway, Sugar Land, TX 77479 281.565.2707 | 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.

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“They Go the Extra Mile” T

hat’s how Ms. Barr sums up her experience with Jackson Air and Heating. Since she has a system that has been broken and fixed many times, Ms. Barr was fed up with other companies not honoring the warranties. “They would come out and ‘fix’ it, or change out a piece of equipment, and two months later it broke again….but they always found a way out of the warranty.” After spending Labor Day weekend without A/C, Ms. Barr decided it was time for a new system from a new company. A little research told her TRANE was the overwhelming system of choice...and Jackson Air had a great reputation, have been in business over 30 years and is the oldest TRANE Comfort Specialist in Sugar Land. Brian Jackson came out and presented Ms. Barr with several choices of TRANE systems. He discussed how each compared to her old system, the efficiency or ‘green-ness’ of each system, and how each would affect her monthly bill here in Texas. Brian says, “With all the acronyms, terminology and choices, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed when trying to find the system that best fits your home’s needs. ‘Greening’ your home shouldn’t be a complicated process. I was happy to help Ms. Barr find a way to make her home energy efficient all year long. She chose a highly efficient TRANE XL20 two stage system to provide her home with lower utility bills, lower humidity and greater comfort.” “We couldn’t be happier,” says Ms. Barr. “We replaced just about everything…condenser, furnace, everything except the duct

work. What really stands out was the great service and quality of work that Jackson Air provided. We had to wait a few days for all of the new equipment to be acquired before our system could be replaced. In the meantime, Jackson Air patched our old system… so we didn’t have to live another day without AC! That was better service than we could have imagined! They really went the extra mile. I’ve added them to our HOA’s list of recommended contractors. I can’t say enough good things about them!” “Don’t make a snap decision when buying a new system for your home,” says Brian. “Give us a call. Just as we did for Ms. Barr, we’ll give you honest advice about the different options, their benefits, and what will work best for your home. And you can trust us to stand behind our work and always honor our warranties. That’s one of the reasons we’ve received the BBB Award of Excellence and the Angie’s List Super Service Award for the last two years. We’ll make sure there’s perfect indoor weather in your forecast!” 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 20 ~ UPCLOSE ~ February 2013


Don’t Get Hosed Matt Harris


f you think (like we do) that Fort Bend is the best county in Texas and that Texas is the best state in the Union, it’s time to live your values. What does that mean? Put your money where your heart is and choose local companies owned by local families to take care of your home. Over the last seventeen 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. Don’t get hosed by some big company that doesn’t have your best interests or your bottom line at heart! As a small business owner and the father of three boys (all graduates of Elkins High School), Alan doesn’t just understand the values that are important to you...he and his team live them! You can get excellent plumbing from real experts for a fair price. Huge operations take a lot of money to 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. And when you call Alan’s Plumbing, you won’t some random guy knocking at your door. Every time you’ll be helped by Alan, his brothers Chris and Brian, his two oldest sons Beau and Luke, or fellow team member Zach. When you pick up the phone and call Alan’s Plumbing, Alan’s wife Jennifer or his mother will answer. That’s a level of personal service that it’s hard to find in this day and age! These guys deliver more than excellent work, they also arrive with

genuine warmth and Texas courtesy. They’ll show up on time, do the work carefully, and answer all your questions. All of Alan’s trucks are “no-phone zones,” and you’ll never have to compete for your plumber’s attention. When Alan’s Plumbing helps a customer, they never forget you’re also their neighbor...and you could become a friend. That’s a customer/plumber relationship you won’t get from a big chain company. When you choose a local, independent plumbing company like Alan’s Plumbing, not only are you getting great service and fair, upfront pricing, you’re also investing in Fort Bend. Spending your money at an independent business puts your money back in our community. More of your tax dollars are reinvested in your community to fund local schools, hire more police officers and improve roads. If you really love Fort Bend, give your business to Fort Bend-based companies. Are you struggling with dripping faucets, running toilets, clogged drains, a worn-out water heater, outdated bathroom fixtures, or a plumbing emergencies? You can get expert, affordable service from an independent company that lives its values...Alan’s Plumbing. Alan’s Plumbing • 281-261-1064

Singing Her Praises

Sarah Warburton


hen most people think of orthodontics, they think of teenagers...but the American Association of Orthodontics recommends your child get an orthodontist check-up not later than age 7. Why? Dr. Katia Lemke says, “By age 7, most children have a mix of adult and baby teeth. That’s the perfect time to spot potential problems. With the right treatment at the right time, your child could be in and out of braces before those tricky teenage years.” “When my daughter Peyton developed problems with her teeth,” says Jennifer Pappas Blancas, “I brought her to Dr.Lemke. She was nine she’s almost twelve, almost out of braces, and loving her smile!” Don’t wait until all those baby teeth are in to get started on a great smile. Peyton’s front two teeth came together like a “V,” one of her bottom teeth came in below the gumline, and her teeth were crowded together. Jennifer says, “Dr. Lemke fitted her with expanders to get her teeth ready for braces and she wore them for a year. Then when she got her braces, we saw rapid improvements... it was nothing short of a miracle!” “Four or five months after Peyton got her braces, one of her upper canines hadn’t descended. Dr. Lemke did a procedure where she lasered off the front of the gum and put a bracket on the tooth. It came down in only a few days and that sped up Peyton’s time in braces by months! She didn’t even have any pain...and if her wires became uncomfortable, swishing cold water reduces the pressure due to high quality wires. Dr. Lemke’s warm and personable...and great with kids!” “I can’t sing Dr. Lemke’s praises enough...I’m one of her biggest fans. I also really appreciate her affordable financing choices. In fact, I just made my last payment and Peyton will have her braces off after two years––right on time! As someone who had braces in high school, I’m so 22 ~ UPCLOSE ~ February 2013

glad Dr. Lemke helped my daughter get a beautiful, confident smile before her teenage years!” Why should you bring your seven-year-old in for a free orthodontic evaluation? Dr. Lemke says, “Early treatment can make space for permanent teeth, avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions, correct thumb-sucking, and eliminate abnormal swallowing or speech problems. In other words, early treatment can simplify later treatment.” Lemke Orthodontics 281-277-3555 Katia Lemke, DMD, PA 4907 Sandhill Dr., Ste B Sugar Land, TX 77479

Want Your Beauty

to Shine?

Sarah Warburton

We have the largest selection of top brand wigs, extensions and hairpieces in Fort Bend, and we’ll provide you with a fashionable look you want nomatter what the reason: Chemotherapy, Alopecia, Trichotillomania, Thinning Hair etc.

You won’t believe

the treasure trove that awaits behind the door at Shine Beauty. Saying “It’s bigger on the inside” is an understatement! This spacious 8000 square foot store is filled with everything you need for your hair, nails, and much more! And since it’s handicap-accessible and offers convenient late hours, you can be beautiful anytime! “Sometimes,” says Assistant Manager Julia, “we have people waiting for us in the parking lot when we open at 9am!” Modern convenience, extensive options, old-fashioned warmth and attentive service come together at Shine Beauty. Owner Brandon Kim has between two and three hundred wigs in stock with brands like Vivica Fox and Bobbi Boss. You’ll find a range of choices from human hair to synthetic, from full wigs to extensions to clip-on...and everything you need to care for them at home. The friendly assistants are happy to help you make your selection and are sensitive to your needs. Julia says, “Whether you want a dramatic wig for a different look or you’re undergoing Chemo and want a natural match, we’re here to help you. Over and over I’ve seen that the right wig can transform a person and really give them a new outlook.”

Everyone knows that a “bad hair day” isn’t a good day at all. Chic, silky,and yaky wigs in every shade and style make a real difference in your look and attitude. Julia says, “We have something for every complexion, every personality, in every price range. We also have styling appliances, clippers, accessories, etc...whatever you need to make every day a beautiful day!” Remember those neighborhood stores that always had those things you just couldn’t find anywhere else? Imagine about ten of those stores put together and you’ll have an idea of Shine Beauty. This is a place you truly have to see to believe! Mr. Kim promises, “If we don’t have what you want, we’ll order it for you. We’re also happy to offer a five percent discount with our membership card and you can order in the store or online through our upcoming website. We want your beauty to shine!” Shine Beauty Supply 281-261-7160 5011 Highway 6 South, Suite 107 Missouri City, TX 77459

The largest selection in Fort Bend!

UPCLOSE ~ February 2013 ~ 23

Custom, Beautiful, Practical... and Fun!


nspired by his father who built his own house, Stephen Procter started tinkering with wood as a teenager. As a young adult in college, he built furniture for his first apartment in lieu of buying it…and a business was born. Since 1983,

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Steve has been designing and building custom pieces for extremely satisfied clients. He is a member of the Society of American Period Furniture Makers and long time member and current president of the Houston Woodworkers Club. Whether you are looking for big architectural mill-work (moldings, wall panels, windows/door casings), a major room remodel (kitchens, studies), a one-off piece (built-ins, bookcases, entertainment centers) or a fun practical children’s piece, Steve can build it. He says, “My pieces are functional, practical, beautiful and fun. If you show me a picture in a magazine and ask me to build a piece of furniture ‘exactly like that,’ I’m not your guy. But if you need a different size, different functionality or a customfit, I’m your guy. I spend a lot of time with my clients understanding what they really need.” The crazy thing is that until you meet Steve, you may not even know exactly what you need. His attention to detail is evident…all of his work is incredibly aesthetically pleasing to the eye. But his designs also include an amazing amount of functionality and practicality. Entertainment centers on recessed wheels so they can be easily moved to access wiring. A changing table that becomes a toy box and then a playhouse. Bookcases that are secret doors. Kitchens remodeled on the original footprint, but with a lot more functionality and storage space. Steve says, “I want to give people that extra edge of functionality without it being visible. I want the children’s pieces to truly grow and change with them.”

Want to see Steve’s work in person? His home is his showroom, where he did nearly all of the design and mill-work himself. The home has two in-ceiling domes, an intricate home theater setup... and of course lots of custom cabinetry, molding, trim, built-ins, furniture, children’s pieces, and an endless list of other amazing pieces. Call him and set up an appointment today.

Steve Procter Procter Custom Woodworking 713-201-8310

Celebrating 30 years An Incredible Journey


aron and Candelario Lopez, owners of Grand Windows and Interiors are more than dreamers. They passionately have put thousands of clients’ dreams into reality while expanding their dream of a family owned business and raising their children - Allyson, who is now in high school and Lewis who is now at Baylor University. Caron was a teacher for 23 years in four local high schools, teaching Chemistry, Physics, and Biology and tried to instill in her students that life is about adventure, determination, and faith. She lives by the idea that “Searching minds open new worlds for exciting journeys.” A summertime business that supplemented a teacher salary now has become a fulltime thriving business with a gorgeous showroom in Rosenberg and a professional team of talented designers and installers. Grand Windows and Interiors generally serves residents and businesses from the greater Houston area down to the coast and has designed and installed for international customers from Mexico, Argentina, and Nigeria. Caron credits the business’ success to Candelario because as an installer, he is a perfectionist - “the detail man”. Candelario attributes their success to Caron’s ability to capture what a client wants, design it, visualize it, and make it happen. Top priority is the integrity of family and employees, Joni Britton and Rick Rodriguez . Grand Windows and Interiors has the never ending drive to know the best product including the latest technology and motorization for the job. Each project whether large or small is given the same attention - a focus on preserving architectural detail, integration of both function and beauty of a product, and the down to earth good advice from start to finish.

As of last year they have a wonderful new location with a French Quarter style showroom. Caron’s workroom is very good at following her detailed instructions and they know she requires that the product is perfectly constructed. Caron says, “When I visit a client I pull from over ten thousand of samples from many lines of designer fabric. I educate them about the interesting use of color and fabric, how best to filter light and focus on having the window treatment proportional to compliment the architectural style. If plantation shutters or blinds are desired, we offer the most popular brands including Hunter Douglas.” Cande also adds, “Great care is taken with the installation, and if there is a problem after installation we take care of it right away!” Unique use of ornamental iron hardware makes their designs even more intriguing. Finials and decorative hardware from around the world makes my clients designs truly custom.“We’re actually capable of everything in fabric: comforters, pillows, window seats and upholstery,” says Caron. “When a client is interested in a period style, I have the resources and the experience to properly execute the design. We have the design help and professionals to do paint, faux painting, slate, tile, or granite to coordinate with our window designs.” Caron and Cande invite you to stop in or call for a free consultation. Grand Windows and Interiors 281-342-9160 • 1405 Avenue I Rosenberg, TX 77471 email -

UPCLOSE ~ February 2013 ~ 25

That’s Amore!

Sarah Warburton


eed a little romance? You don’t have to wait for Valentine’s Day to find it at Molto Bene, an intimate Italian gem nestled in the heart of Sienna Plantation. Owner Victor Bentz, says, “We’ve recently changed up our menu. In addition to your favorites, we’ve added pork and beef sliders, personal pizzas, lobster cakes, and (by popular demand) crème brûlée. You’ll always find something new as we listen to our customers and design the perfect dining experience.” There’s a lot to love about Molto Bene’s elegant, charming atmosphere and fresh, flavorful food. In honor of Valentine’s Day, you can enjoy a special threecourse menu...and you’ll kick off your delicious meal with bubbly champagne. Can’t get out on Valentine’s Day? No problem! Victor says, “On Thursday the 14th we’ll be taking reservations and offering only our Valentine’s Day menu...but we’ll also be open on Friday and

Saturday and will offer the special in addition to our regular menu.” Keep your eyes open for Sunday Brunch... coming soon to Molto Bene. From 11-3 on Sundays you’ll enjoy the full Italian menu as well as featured breakfast specials, mimosas, and sangria. Now that’s the way to start the week off right! You don’t have to wait for a holiday to drop by Molto Bene. Victor says, “We’re offering Happy Hour specials Tues-Sat from the time we open at 4:30 until closing. Customers tell me meeting friends or family for a glass of wine and good meal here is the perfect way to unwind at the end of the day! Ready to share the love? Victor says, “We’re always happy to discuss catering and special events. Our dining room seats 45 people, so it’s a great setting if you’d like to reserve it for an intimate gathering. For more information contact us anytime at”

Owner Victor Bentz

Molto Bene 281-778-1474 8817 Hwy 6 Suite 200 Missouri City, TX 77459 Lunch: Wednesday-Friday 11:30AM-4:30PM Dinner: Tuesday-Saturday 5:00-10:00PM

METHODIST ONCOLOGY PARTNERS CANCER CARE EXCELLENCE Dr. Darcourt has extensive experience in treating cancer and blood disorders and is highly respected in his field. He delivers individualized, compassionate care through an integrated, team-based approach that ensures each patient’s unique needs are met. At Methodist Oncology Partners, Dr. Darcourt is supported by the leading technology and highly skilled medical professionals of The Methodist Hospital System. And as an active member of The Methodist Research Institute, Dr. Darcourt can offer patients access to a wide range of clinical trials and the latest therapies to fight cancer. This is the Methodist level of cancer care—from diagnosis to survival—where technology and compassion are leading to a cure.

Call 281-276-5200 today to schedule an appointment. •

Jorge Darcourt, M.D. is board certified in hematology and oncology.

Located on the Methodist Sugar Land Hospital campus in Medical Office Building Two, Suite 151.

Medical Office Building Two • 16659 Southwest Freeway, Suite 151 Sugar Land, Texas 77479 • 281-276-5200 •

A portion of the editorial content contained in this publication is controlled and contracted by the advertisers contained herein and is part of their advertisement. UpClose Magazine is not responsible for content of these editorials or advertisements. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher.

Sarah Warburton


ruce A. Pollak, aka ‘SPARKLEDADDY’, got his name from the ladies at Pecan Grove C.C., where he has sold fine quality jewelry at low, low prices for 15 years. He says, “I’ve been a member there for years, and now the kids of my friends come to me for their engagement and wedding jewelry. It’s been a great time, and I love helping them get educated on jewelry, buy well, and make exactly what they want and save money, which gets me more referrals. Referral is the greatest compliment of work. THAT’S how I’ve built my business”. He opened the Houston Gold Exchange in 1979, sold it in 1986, and went into the Wholesale Diamond business, and with 37 years in the jewelry business, Bruce knows where to get the most dazzling stones from the best wholesalers...and since he operates with very low overhead, you’ll get amazing savings! He offices with his friend and jewelry artisan,

Phong Dang, who also has years of jewelry making experience and expertise, and so ‘SPARKLEDADDY’ can give you better quality workmanship for less money! “A customer will bring me a photo of the ring of their dreams. We’ll custom-create exactly what you want, inspired by the picture. Side by side, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between our custom work and the designer piece...but your pocketbook will!” Beautiful jewelry captures a moment, reminds you of a special relationship, and warms the heart. Bruce says, “Building relationships with people and making them happy is at the heart of everything I do. I BUY, SELL, & TRADE. If you have a piece to sell, or if you want to have the jewelry of your dreams created for you, give me a call. We’ll make an appointment to meet... and put some SPARKLE in your life!” 832-640-4910 or email

UPCLOSE ~ February 2013 ~ 27

How’s That Working for You? S

o it’s been a month since we made our annual New Year’s Resolutions: Eat less, move more, and finally lose weight. Are you seeing the results you want? If you make the same promises to yourself every January, whatever you’re doing just isn’t working over the long run. Get the serious boost you need to achieve your goals with i-Lipo and NeuroAssist from Dr. Jeffrey Alford of Sugar Land Wellness and Weight Loss. He says, “NeuroAssist will help you adjust your appetite and i-Lipo will turbo-charge your exercise so you’ll see your body change and feel your energy levels soar!” What’s undermining your willpower... sweet treats, salty snacks, or portions sizes that are just too big? Take your power back with NeuroAssist. Dr. Alford says, “NeuroAssist is a very effective solution for serious people, willing to put in the time and effort to lose serious weight.It was developed by physicians at the University of Minnesota, and works with your brain chemistry to suppress appetite without any unpleasant side effects. With NeuroAssist you’ll be able to follow your diet and exercise plan...without feeling hungry, cranky, or stressed out!” If trips to the gym and hours working out on the treadmill have you spinning in place, turbo-charge your

exercise routine with i-Lipo. As featured on “The Doctors” and examined by Dr. Oz, the FDA-approved i-Lipo offers an affordable, non-invasive way to spot-reduce fat and combat cellulite in specific areas like your abdomen, thighs, or arms. Dr. Alford says, “Both men and women can benefit from the safe and painless i-Lipo laser. It uses a “cold, low level” laser to liquify fat so your body can dispose of it. Essentially it makes your exercise even more effective!” If this January left you burnt out on your New Year’s Resolutions, seek help from Sugar Land Wellness and Weight-loss. With expert advice, scientifically proven solutions, and personal support, you’ll get the boost you need to look and feel fabulous. Don’t wait until next January to make the same resolution all over again. With Dr. Alford’s help, you can achieve the results of your dreams. Who knows? Your resolution next year might be to take up Salsa Dancing, or learn French, or really take some time off. Once you’re slim and trim, the sky’s the limit! Sugar Land Wellness and Weight-loss 832-494-7469 16651 SW Fwy #100


Photo Studio COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHY IN THE GREATER HOUSTON AREA SInce 1996 we have been responsible for the entire process of designing,photography, laying out, and submitting ads to local media as well as our own publications. You can see some of the previous work by visiting Specializing in Portrait,Product and Advertisement Photography Architectural. Interiors.Industrial. Aerial. Real Estate. Products. Event UpClose Photo Studio is also specialized in maternity, child, family, and commercial portraiture for clients. We believe that our style is to capture something that is beautiful, moving and real. Theres a story behind every business & smile, and we would like to help tell yours.... Take a trip down the tree lined street to 907 Morton in the friendly little town of Richmond, Texas


and the Jessicas. And the Victors, Michelles and Davids. We believe a bank is only as successful as the people it serves, so we make sure to put our customers first. If your current bank isn’t as considerate, consider a new bank. Sugar Land 620 Hwy 6 Sugar Land, TX

The Prettier the Home, the Quicker the Sale


f you’re planning to put your home on the market this spring, experts recommend getting it ready over the holidays. Don’t despair if you were too busy celebrating. Waiting until February doesn’t mean a delay with the help of Jonee and Paul Barnett of Miracle Method Surface Restoration. Jonee says, “In just a few days we can give you a kitchen and bathrooms that look like new! All our work comes with a transferable warranty, so your buyer can have the same peace of mind we offer all our customers.” You never get a second chance to make a first impression on a prospective buyer. That’s why realtors recommend updating your home before you put it on the market. Of course, you want to get the biggest bang for your buck...and that’s exactly what the Miracle Method delivers. For a fraction of the cost of removal, replacement, or renovation, you can redo your counters, tubs, sinks, showers, and tile with the Miracle Method to look brand new. Jonee says, “This is a great option for homes that are ten to

fifteen years old and starting to show their age. Once we restore a tub, customers can’t tell the difference between our work and a brand-new tub.” Not only do more attractive houses sell more quickly, they bring more money, too. Buyers are less likely to argue about the price if your home won’t need a lot of changes. The Miracle Method can give your laminate counters the look and feel of expensive natural stone. All the nicks and dings in your tiles and tub will be gone. Best of all, you won’t have the hassle, mess, or expense of tearing anything out and replacing it. By the time you finish boxing up your books and “staging” your living room, you could have a gorgeous kitchen and bath that will light a fire under your buyers. Be forewarned...there is one risk in using Miracle Method to prepare your home to go on the market. Over and over we hear that once the kitchen and bathrooms are redone, wouldbe-sellers fall in love with their own homes all over again! Jonee says, “Just remember, you don’t have to wait until you’re ready to sell your home to get a bathroom or kitchen that looks like new. Call us for a free consultation!” Miracle Method Surface Restoration 281-240-2284 603 Murphy Road (by appointment only) Stafford, TX


The Best Time of Year to Save Money D

Sarah Warburton

Owner of All Out A/C and Heating Bryan Bellamy Keeping it cool with LaDonna, Taylor, Talon, and Christian.

on’t wait until the summer to switch out your old air conditioner. You’ll save money and discomfort and get great deals right now. During the hottest summer in Houston history, one family’s air conditioning broke! LaDonna Abouabsi, owner of The Art of Skin, says,”We have a home warranty company, so I called them. What a mistake! The company they sent out told me the problem couldn’t be repaired. Instead, they’d have to tear up the concrete and replace the whole unit. I think they had no idea what the problem even was! I knew about All Out A/C and Heating through UpClose Magazine, and I wish they’d been my first call!” As soon as Bryan Bellamy from All Out A/C heard LaDonna was in trouble, he drove over with a portable unit to keep her family comfortable. She says, “I can’t tell you how grateful we were.I have three kids at home––a three-yearold, a twelve-year-old, and a twenty-year-old. Our family was hot and miserable...and Bryan saved us! He goes above and beyond for his customers!” The next day the technician from All Out A/C identified the problem and fixed simple as that. LaDonna says, “The problem wasn’t what the first company had told us. All Out A/C soldered a part and got our A/C working again! They’re a great local company with a speedy response and a lot of experience and knowledge. Last summer was one of the hottest on record, and I really appreciated the way All Out A/C took care of us. I definitely recommend them...and when we need a new air conditioner, they’ll be our first call!” “Improper installation caused the problem with LaDonna’s unit,” says Bryan. “We take installation of all new units extremely serious.Chance Kamp and I are proud that All Out

A/C is your local ‘Full System Replacement Specialists’ and winner of the 2012 BBB Award of Excellence - Winner of Distinction. If your A/C has been limping along, February is definitely the best time to replace. Car dealerships move out last year’s inventory by offering great prices, and that’s what we do, too! You’ll enjoy off season deals and cooler weather while the work’s done. Our first concern is your comfort...and your bottom line!”


626 Highway 90A, Richmond, TX 77406 UPCLOSE ~ February 2013 ~ 31

Who else depends on

your heart?

Protect the heart of your family by attending a free heart seminar and screening event. Learn your 10-year risk for heart disease. Join us at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital on:

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 | 6 – 8 p.m. Visit or call 281-274-7500 for more information and to register. Registration is required.

UpClose Magazine  

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

UpClose Magazine  

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