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March 2014


That’s Classic

Do You Have the

Best Chili in Fort Bend?

s to goe s d e te ona expens d y l y! one . Al e m Police ic Chev h t f d lass %o Lan 100 ugar ed by C S er the cov e r a by Sarah Warburton


ooking for a fun time with friends and family? 2014 marks the fourth year of the Classic Chevy Chili of the most highly-anticipated rockin’ good times in Fort Bend County every year! Don Kerstetter created this familyfriendly event to unite our community in raising money for the Sugar Land Police Officer’s Association. Your chili could make our community even stronger! Don Kerstetter, Owner of Classic Chevrolet Sugar Land, says, “Bring your Hot, Sweet, or Non-Traditional to our fourth annual Classic Chevy Chili Challenge on April 10, 2014 from 4-8pm for a chance to win cash, trophies, and serious bragging rights. Teams need to submit the $50 entry fee per category or tent space. You’ll need to register in advance by calling Classic Chevy at 281-969-4132 or emailing Patty Werner pwerner@ Then bring the heat or the sweet…three gallons of your best chili for the competition (which must be cooked on-site in accordance with Health Department regulations) along with decorations for your booth. Can’t choose between your favorite recipes? You can enter in as many categories as you wish!” Why wait for the weekend to have a little fun? Your family needs dinner, right...and it doesn’t get more delicious, more fun, or more charitable than the Classic Chevy Challenge. Mark Kolon, General Sales Manager, says “In addition to all the awesome chili, we will have a live band, kids games,


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April 10, 2014 from 4-8pm

a bouncy house (monitored in previous years with the able assistance of members of the Stafford High School JROTC), fire trucks and other live entertainment. Our judges this year include Kinky Friedman, Bucee the Beaver, Swatson the Skeeters Mascot, Rosenberg Mayor Vincent M. Morales Jr, Sugar Land Mayor Thompson, national celebrity comedian J.Anthony Brown….and YOU! A $2 donation for admission, benefiting the Police Fund will get you into the event for all the chili you can eat (don’t forget a pocket full of dollars to vote for your favorites!). Any and all expenses for this event are covered by Classic that every single penny raised will go to the Sugar Land Police. We’re happy to accept additional donations over the 2 dollars at the door.”

Come over and enjoy good chili with great friends for an amazing cause! Mark says, “Last year we had over 2,500 local people attend and together we raised $15,000 dollars for the SLPOA. Classic Chevy is proud to be the home of this local event and raise money for the men and women who protect our community every day! We hope you’ll enjoy dropping by and seeing why we invite you to ‘Relax and Enjoy the Difference’ at Classic Chevrolet!” For additional information please contact Patty Werner, Cindy Dies or Mark Kolon at Classic Chevy: pwerner@,,

Classic Chevrolet Sugar Land 13115 Southwest Freeway, Sugar Land, TX 77478 Sales: (281) 491-9000 ~ Service: (866) 500-1660 To advertise, 281-235-0600

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HOUSTON METHODIST CARDIOVASCULAR SURGERY ASSOCIATES WELCOMES ULISES BALTAZAR, MD, FACS Long-time Fort Bend physician Ulises Baltazar, MD, FACS, brings a compassionate, thorough approach to the treatment of painful varicose veins that can limit mobility and lead to more serious health issues. He and his staff focus on each and every patient to ensure they are well-informed and comfortable throughout the treatment process Now in partnership with Houston Methodist Cardiovascular Surgery Associates — and supported by the leading-edge technology and highly skilled professionals at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital - Dr. Baltazar offers the most advanced surgical techniques to help patients suffering from the fatigue, pain and risk of varicose veins and related issues.


Medical Office Building Three 16605 Southwest Freeway,Ste 505 Sugar Land,Texas 77479 • 281.240.8400

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Body News

Unveiling Your True Potential


lthough Tracy Joseph lost 49 pounds through lap-band surgery, she says, “The more weight I lost, the more my stomach just hung wasn’t going anywhere. I needed a tummy tuck...and liposuction, too. I went to five different consultants, but every single one said I’d need two different procedures. That’s twice the money and twice the time off work! As a single parent and a working mother, I couldn’t do it. One night I was on a ‘Girls Night Out’ and one woman told me she’d heard good things about Dr. Ahmadi.” “When I got home I Googled and found Dr. Ahmadi’s videos about the Lipotuck™ procedure. The last doctor I’d seen told me there was no way to slim both my top and bottom half in one surgery...but Dr. Ahmadi could do exactly that! I couldn’t let myself believe it was possible until I talked with Dr. Ahmadi in person.” “At my consultation with other doctors, I felt so uncomfortable about my excess skin and fat. Dr. Ahmadi has a completely different spirit...there’s no one else like him. You can tell he has a real passion for changing lives. I felt completely comfortable. As he walked around, I felt like a piece of clay on the verge of becoming a piece of art. Dr. Ahmadi kept telling me how amazing I’d look, once I was sculpted with the Lipotuck™ . You can tell how medically skilled he is, but he has the soul of an artist. He even called his assistant Rachel in to show her what a marvelous potential he saw in me. When he told me the surgery would be six hours, I was worried...but I prayed on it. I knew Dr. Ahmadi was confident, so I just went for it.” “I work for a school district, so I wanted to get the surgery done when we had two weeks off. I’d been calling everyday to ask questions while I thought

it over. Rachel was always there for me with answers and support. When I called to make the appointment for my surgery, she had to tell me those dates were all booked. I started to cry, but then she put me on hold and went to find Dr. Ahmadi. She came back to tell me that he’d make an opening for me then. On the day of my surgery, he removed ten lbs of skin and five lbs of fat...and he sculpted a beautiful figure for me!” “The day after the surgery he unwrapped me...and I cried with joy. So many people had told me “No,” “No,” “No,” but Dr. Ahmadi said “Yes” and he gave me a different body, a marvelous one. He was my door at the end of the road and a real blessing in my life!” Dr. Ahmadi of Avante Plastic Surgery is boardcertified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties to provide all aspects of cosmetic surgery. His Lipotuck™ combines 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 can tell he has a real passion for changing lives.”



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

Next Stop...St. Michael’s! The Bottom Line:

One Instant Can Change Your Life

Sarah Warburton n injury that happens in a single second can impact your physical, cognitive, and emotional future,” says Dr. Shannon Orsak of St. Michael’s Emergency Rooms. “A brain injury can happen anywhere––at home, on the sports field, at work, in your car––and it can affect anyone of any age or ability. This March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. At St. Michael’s we want to encourage everyone to be aware of the signs of brain injury.” According to the Texas Brain Injury Alliance, more than 144,000 Texans sustain a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) every year; more than 5,700 Texans are permanently disabled every year from a TBI; and an estimated 381,000 Texans (2% of the population) live with a disability caused by a TBI. Dr. Orsak says, “I encourage you to print out the Concussion Cards created by the Texas Department of Health and Human Services and carry them with you...and remember that St. Michael’s Emergency Rooms is always here for you and your family!” At St. Michael’s Emergency Rooms, you’ll get the advanced ER experience. Co-founded by brothers Brian and Dr. Shannon Orsak, this ER offers a luxurious waiting room, designated pediatric waiting rooms, an on-site radiology department complete and an onsite lab…so you don’t have to wait for your diagnosis and confirmation. Throughout your visit


you’ll enjoy quality treatment and services from board-certified physicians and dedicated nurses. Brian says, “The state of Texas has adopted “the prudent layperson standard”... so if you think your symptoms are serious enough to go to an emergency room, then that constitutes an emergency and must be covered as such by your insurance. If you’re worried, don’t wait...come to St. Michael’s!”

St. Michael’s Emergency Rooms is the first and only free-standing ER in Fort Bend and the surrounding Houston area in-network with AETNA. Currently we accept more than 200 insurance plans, including Cigna, Blue Cross, United, and Humana. 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! St. Michael’s offers everything you need from an ER––physicians trained in emergency medicine, X-ray, Ultrasound and CT, and an on-site diagnostic lab––without the wait!

St. Michael’s currently accepts more than 200 insurance plans, including Cigna, Blue Cross, United & Humana. Currently not participating with Medicare, Medicaid, or Tricare at this time.

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

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9000 Westheimer Houston, TX 77063 713-343-0911

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

Sugar Land Doctor Turning Up the Heat on Unwanted Fat


eauty, empowerment, excellence, service and technology are the hallmarks of Sugar Land medical spa—Renew Laser & Skin. Founder and CEO, Dr. Nina Desai has an extensive medical background that focuses on wellness and prevention. “My driving philosophy has been to blend my years of osteopathic medical training combined with my passion for aesthetics to pamper the body, spirit and soul of today’s busy women and men, using innovative clinical aesthetic services,” she says. “My clients have been asking for options regarding a non-invasive way to lose inches, especially that stubborn fat that just won’t go away with diet and exercise. So I took it upon myself to try what was out there, including fat burning systems that cool and heat fat. In my research, I came across truSculpt™ which is the latest and most effective technology for non-surgical fat reduction and body sculpting/contouring.

“I waited over a year to purchase truSculpt as I wanted to follow the research to see if it really worked.” –Dr. Nina Desai

weeks. I had a client last month tell me she is already down one jean size and another patient lost an inch off her arms within 4 weeks,” says Dr. Desai truSculpt is perfect whether you’re a size twelve who wants to treat your hips, thighs, and arms or an athlete who just can’t budge that one stubborn spot on your abs. truSculpt is gentle on the skin, yet very effective on fat.

Remember, truSculpt becomes more effective over time, so don’t wait to get that slimming effect. Visit our website for more information on the services we offer including laser hair removal, laser vein treatment, laser genesis, skin tightening, Botox and Dysport, dermal fillers, peels, microdermabrasion, skin care products and more.

The Newest Innovation in Non-Surgical Body Sculpting— First in the Houston Area!



is designed to treat multiple areas of the body. Renew Laser & Skin is pleased to introduce truSculpt—a proprietary radio frequency technology that causes shrinking of fat cells, promoting a slimming and smoothing effect. truSculpt treatments are comfortable, quick, and effective with heat being delivered through the skin in just onethree treatments. You can now be on your way to a new self with no down time.

•Abdomen •Hips •Back •Buttocks •Thighs •Chin

Most importantly, I wanted to be confident that what I was providing to my clients really worked because they trust me to take care of them the way I myself would want to be taken care of.” truSculpt uses radiofrequency energy for deep tissue heating that promotes the non-invasive removal of fat and the tightening of the overlying skin. In addition to reducing fat, truSculpt treatments can help improve skin tone and cellulite. The fat cells are destroyed during this process and disposed of by the body. “My patients love it. Research suggests results are seen between four and twelve weeks, but some of my clients are seeing results as early as 2.5

Introductory Offer: Buy one session get 2 FREE!! Call or email for a FREE consultation.

832.491.2852 or

Sugar Land Town Square 2171 Texas Drive • Sugar Land, Texas 77479 Like us on Facebook and receive $25 off any service. *New Customers only

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The Gathering Place Where Friends Feel Like Family

Sarah Warburton hy does Fabulous You feel so right? Maybe it all comes down to chemistry! Brenda Durand says, “Lisa Reese and I just clicked when I started selling jewelry with her, and then on a whim we decided to go to the Dallas Market to purchase clothes to sell at the Sugar Plum Market that year. We got such great feedback from that event, we decided to create our dream store. Lisa’s background in fashion merchandising and my background in business made us the perfect combination. Since opening Fabulous You in June of 2012, we’ve rekindled old friendships, connected with people across Fort Bend through community service, and gathered together the best customers––and friends––in Houston!”


You know that dress that makes you feel pretty or that top that just makes you smile? You’ll find innovative trends and new favorites that express your unique style at Fabulous You. Lisa says, “We gathered together pieces that are perfect for Texas... transitional, stylish, and fun! Whether you want a pop of color, swingy black lace, or a pair of cute and kickin’ cowboy boots, we’ve got it. Our shop is constantly changing and we buy in select our clients don’t all end up wearing the same outfit. Check out our Facebook page for a peek at our latest items. And you have to try on one of our flirty, tiered ChaCha Dresses by Isle just looks good on everyone!” 8 ~ UPCLOSE ~ March 2014

When you need a little lift, swing by Fabulous You for a cup of coffee in the morning or a glass of wine in the afternoon. Brenda says, “We love it when our customers just pop in to say hi! For a visual lift, check out Nancy Olson’s favorite line from Barcelona, Desigual, known for its applique designs, intense prints, innovative graffiti art and flamboyant splashes of colour. Their designers must have so much fun...and that makes their clothes just as fun to wear!”

“Our customers have a way of becoming you’ll see in these photos. Dot Mitchell has a long history with the Houston Rodeo and is currently serving on the board for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. She lights up any room she enters and has an amazing spirit! Jennifer Camp (whose husband, Roger is Chairman of the Poultry Auction Committee) and her daughter, Ginger always find something special to wear to a rodeo event here...and have fun shopping together. We’ve got clients in high school and clients who are grandmothers. In addition to apparel, we have gift items, travel bags and totes, and unique jewelry... most of which are handcrafted right here in Texas!” Lisa says, “We’ve created a relaxed, never pushy, personal shopping experience. We collect the very best of the current fashion trends...and offer genuine attention and advice to wear those trends well! We want you to be comfortable when you walk in, feel great when you walk out...and be excited about your new finds. You deserve to feel and look fabulous!” Fabulous You 281-240-3228 2735 Town Center Blvd N Sugar Land, TX 77479



Hello Neighbors, A community this size needs a voice, something that reflects the broad opinions, lifestyles and the way we live. But more importantly, a community is made up of people. And people, naturally, have stories. What do your kids think about their schools? Where’s a good place to find a dentist? How about that new place off of 99? Our aim is for you to pick up this magazine and have answers to all of those questions. I created UpClose Magazine back in 1995 in an effort to help promote area businesses. As a shop owner myself, I felt there was a better way to communicate to homeowners what the area had to offer in goods and services. With that idea in mind, UpClose Magazine was taken from concept to reality with a huge leap of faith that both readers and area businesses would embrace and support my belief. Now we’ve added a Katy edition to our family of Magazines so that we are reaching 150,000 mailboxes. We’ve also added new members to our team who are as diverse and eclectic as this very community. So be looking for Kelly Ditta, Eric Purtee and Irene Kowal to be stopping by to say hello. If our angle seems a little feel-good or touchy-feely, it’s only because we’re being honest. The people in these pages are our friends, neighbors and co-workers. They could have picked anywhere to live and do business. They chose to do it here. That speaks volumes for them already!

Have fun, enjoy the benefits

Do you know a candidate to be featured in our next issue? Contact UpClose Magazine because there is a story behind every business & smile, and we would like to help tell yours... 281.235.0600.

Happy reading!

Gina Pizzini and the rest of the UpClose team.

Eric Purtee

Kelly Ditta and Leeley

UpClose is published and direct mailed to 150,000 homes

Re/max Fine Properties

Todd & Linda Riddle 4500 Highway 6, Suite A, Sugar Land, TX 77478 Cell: (713) 540-0608 Business: (281) 340-3771 Fax: (281) 778-8867 License Number: 520449

Wine Tasting Room & Boutique

3333 FM 359 Richmond, TX 281.762.1375 Tue - Thurs: 2 pm - 9 pm Fri & Sat: Noon - Midnight Sun: Noon - 5 pm

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.


Welcome to the Family! A Amy Sharp

re you getting the familyfriendly, convenient and caring attention you need from your pharmacist? If not, don’t wait any longer! For more than a year, Campbell’s Compounding Pharmacy in Sugar Land has been stocking all commercially available medication and accepting and billing insurance. And the response from your friends and neighbors has been astounding! Dr. Lance Campbell Pharm.D., R.Ph., owner of Campbell’s Compounding, says, “We are truly blessed. We’ve been a part of the community since 2003, and now with our expansion into commercial medication and insurance we experienced the beautiful ‘problem’ of too much work, not enough people. That’s why we’ve added six new staff members to help meet all of your families’ needs!” But as Campbell’s Compounding grows to meet the needs of the community, the philosophy remains rock solid. Prerequisites to being a pharmacist at Campbell’s Compounding include smiling and a genuine desire to spend time with patients discussing their needs. Dr. Campbell says, “True customer service is not a nostalgic thing of the past, even in this ‘take-a-number and get-in-line modern world.’ No matter how much we grow, our mission will never change––we will 10 ~ UPCLOSE ~ March 2014

always be your family-friendly local pharmacy--and we only hire pharmacists who are willing and able to uphold that philosophy!” Campbell’s offers all the medications you can get from the “chain-

Campbell’s offers all the medications you can get from the “chain-stores”… and so much more!

these medications are covered under most insurance plans!” And insurance may also cover the Tamiflu suspension, compounded nausea medications and other solutions that are Campbell’s specialty! “It’s a wonderful feeling to take care of you and your family across the board,” says Dr. Campbell. “From blood pressure medication to prenatal vitamins to antibiotics to hormone therapy to a whole array of specialized compounded medications, we will work with you and fill your family’s specific, individual needs. We accept most major prescription and insurance plans. I’ve individually selected all of our new staff members to service you and our communities’ growing needs. Please join me in welcoming each and every one of them, handpicked to make your life easier! When you come into Campbell’s Compounding Pharmacy, we don’t see you as just a number or a customer, but as a member of our evergrowing family...and you can always expect to be treated that way!”

stores”…and so much more! Need a compounded topical pain cream... or maybe a specially compounded scar therapy cream? Dr. Campbell says, “No one should live their life in pain or suffer with embarrassing scars when Campbell’s Compounding Pharmacy they can be managed 281-980-2555 so easily. Not only do “If our staff can’t make it…then you we have effective comprobably don’t need it!” pounded medications 4760 Sweetwater Blvd. Suite 103 for pain treatment and for scar therapy...but

Meet Dr. Lomonte dly n e i r F Your orhood hb Neig ntist. De

Come in as a patient and leave as a friend!

Sarah Warburton


an you imagine looking forward to seeing your dentist or telling people how much fun your dental cleaning was? Since 1983, Dr. Thomas Lomonte has been changing more than smiles...he’s been changing patients into friends! Vicki writes: My employer had been a patient of Dr. Lomonte’s for almost 30 years and she highly recommended him. From my very first phone call through each visit, I have had the most excellent experience and the best service ever. Everyone has treated me like a friend and family member. I have never felt so welcomed in a dental office, ever! Even the other patients were fun to visit with, while I waited (not long)! Thank you for restoring my faith in dentistry and thank you for helping me to restore my teeth. Robert writes: Dr. Lomonte

came highly recommended from several of my colleagues. He lived up to their praises...and more! I had a cracked tooth and he did a fitting for a crown. He also put on a temporary crown on the tooth. For the first time in a long time, I can chew without pain. The whole process took less than an hour. He and his staff are kind, courteous, and professional. I would highly recommend him to any of my family, friends, and coworkers. He and his team are awesome! Caron writes: Dr. Lomonte is the first dentist I have ever felt comfortable trusting. I had so much fear of going to the dentist that I let things go too long. Some “temporar y” fixes had deteriorated and needed a great deal of professional attention. I am so confident in Dr. Lomonte,

I am having him do additional cosmetic work––I am having him give me a gorgeous smile. It will take some time and lots of work, but by summer I will be beaming with a smile I can be proud of. Thank you! Ready for a dental office that’s friendly, relaxed, and really puts you first? Dr. Lomonte says, “Whether you need a cleaning, extensive work like implants, or a solution for discolored teeth or snoring, I have solutions to work with your needs, your budget, and your timeframe. We hope you’ll come in as a patient...we expect you’ll leave as a friend!”

Thomas M. Lomonte, D.D.S.

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

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The Tooth, the Whole Tooth, and Nothing But the Tooth

by Amy Sharp


hat’s what you’ll find at Little People’s Dentistry. Dr. Bianca Sanchez says, “I know life is crazy for parents. That’s why at Little People’s Dentistry we’ve tried to give parents as much support as we can!” Can’t remember the date of your appointment? No need to wait until office hours to call...log into the website and check! To schedule, both existing and new patients can fill out an appointment request on the website and receive a call to schedule the appointment. Dr. Sanchez says, “Feel free to include as much information as you can in the request––when you would like the appointment and the best time to call––to make it as easy as possible for YOU!” Tired of wading through everything on Google to answer questions about the best way to brush or when to expect the next “big kid tooth?” Visit www. LittlePeople’ for “Tooth 101.” Dr. Sanchez says, “There is a lot of information for your convenience... from how a child’s mouth should look at each age to healthy habits and our blog is updated weekly. From ques-

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tions about when to start orthodontics (and why to start early) to advice about improving your child’s smile, we’ll give you the straight story… and we make it simple to get the information you need!” Since Little People’s is a pediatric dentist (sorry, no adults allowed!), there is always a lot fun going on. This month when you check in for your appointment, you’ll be entered into the monthly Sonicare toothbrush giveaway. On the website, don’t forget to “Surf What’s New.” That where the winners of the monthly coloring contest are announced. Any current patients can enter for a chance to a monthly $25 Toys R Us Gift card or the big annual prize...a Kindle Fire! “I’m both a mom and a dentist,” says Dr. Sanchez, “so our website is designed to be a safe site for kids to play in our online game room... and a valuable resource for parents! I believe that getting a healthy smile can and should be fun!”

Little People’s Dentistry 281-261-0020 “Because Kidz Are People, Too.” 4706 Riverstone Blvd., Suite 200 (behind Kohl’s in Riverstone)

We’re on your

Amy Sharp



hen you’re worried enough to seek help,” says Dana Johnson, “the last thing you want is to hear ‘We can get you in two months from now’ or to be paired with a therapist that just goes through the motions. When my husband Jason and I founded Speech Therapy Unlimited, we knew we wanted a large, diverse team of therapists on staff. First, there is never a waiting list for treatment...and second, we have the luxury of considering skill sets, strengths, gender, and personality, so we can make a perfect fit between client and therapist!” “Communication and time,” continues Jason, “are key in achieving the best professional, yet exceedingly personal, relationship with your therapist. You, the therapist, and everyone involved in the care of the individual (school, doctors, etc.) is a team whose goal is to make this individual the best they can possibly be. No one on the team is better or more superior, but each is there to bring their own experiences and expertise to the table... and great teams communicate! Tell your therapist what works best for you! Maybe you want to drop the patient off and let the therapist ‘do

their thing’...or maybe you want to be involved in the sessions. Your therapist will build a rapport and a relationship with you and the client.” All the therapists and clients at Speech Therapy Unlimited never forget the big picture. “For us,” says Jason, “it’s all about providing the best therapy for our clients...not about our egos. Dana and I conduct random audits of caseloads and take parental surveys. If something isn’t working, we’ll change it. We have enough therapists on our team that we can find an approach that’s perfect for you. Our patients and their families deserve therapy that works!”

To advertise, 281-235-0600

“Jason and I chose every single therapist here,” says Dana, “and we’d trust each and every one of them with our own children. That’s how confident we are in the quality of our therapists. And we would love to be part of your team!”

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

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Winning at Weight Loss...for Good!





etween massive portion sizes, eating on the run, and calorie/sugar/fat/salt-laden snacks, losing weight and keeping it off can seem impossible...and you’re not alone! According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, almost 70 percent of Americans are overweight or obese. “Excess weight impacts your self esteem and your health,” says Dr. Jeffrey Alford of Sugar Land Wellness and Weight Loss. “I want to help my patients conquer obesity for good. The Medi-Health weight loss program is a simple yet effective weight loss program. It offers easy to prepare single serving meals that are delicious to the palate and satisfying to the body. You may choose from the Full Meal Replacement strategy or from the Partial Meal Replacement strategy for a solution that works with your life!” Studies show that going on a “crash diet” promising massive weight loss in less than a month almost guarantees you will gain that weight back. Dr. Alford says, “I tell my patients, for change that lasts a lifetime, you need a lifelong eating rehabilitation program. Come in and together we’ll set your weight loss goal and choose a MediHealth meal replacement strategy. The Full Meal Replacement strategy is the simplest plan. You’ll choose three Medi-Health Meals and Medi-Health Snacks a day...for a no-stress, no-planning approach to weight loss. On the Partial Meal Replacement strategy you’ll choose two Medi-Health Meals and one to two Medi-Health Snacks. This plan gives you added flexibility for family dinners, businesses lunches, or traveling.” Will a weight loss plan work for you? Dr. Alford says, “That depends on how easy it is to stick with it. My patients like Medi-Health because the meals taste much better than other meal replacement options, the program is simple, designed for the short term while you re-learn how to eat, and there’s plenty of online support. In the “members only” social media portion of the website, Medi-Health members help each other achieve their goals...and through helping each other, they find success themselves!” Can you imagine living a life free of the “diet mentality?” Alan Basinger, Founder/ CEO of Medi-Health, says, “We want you to never have to purchase our products again, once you learn to eat correctly and are cured of the habit of overeating. I personally lost over 60lbs and have been able to transition to a normal diet (eating out and eating with friends or family members. Not once was I hungry, or did I have to cheat, or did I feel like I was eating cardboard. I know this plan works not only because of the clinical trials and doctors who support us...but because it worked for me!” Sugar Land Wellness and Weight-loss 832-494-7469 • 16651 SW Fwy #100 •

Dr. Jeffery Alford of Sugar Land Wellness and Weight Loss 14 ~ UPCLOSE ~ March 2014

Goodbye Winter... SAT







It’s Hard To Stop A Trane

103 102 102 101 102 108 113 80 80 80 79 78 82 84 HUMID





aybe you’ve enjoyed the unseasonably cool Fort Bend County winter or maybe you’re ready for it to be over...but either way you can bet there will be nothing “unseasonably cool” about the upcoming summer! No need for a weatherman to know the forecast is HOT HOT HOT with High Humidity! Is your A/C cool with that? “Head off A/C issues before they become a way of life,” says Brian Jackson of Jackson Air and Heat in Sugar Land. “March is a great time to get ready for summer. You don’t want to wait until it’s 90+ outside and your system stops. We strongly encourage a maintenance inspection every spring. And definitely call if something is ‘not quite right.’ Decreased air flow, strange noises, moldy odors, ice on the unit or pipes, water dripping outside, constantly tripped breakers or blown fuses, and shorter than usual A/C cycles are all symptoms of a system not in good













working condition. And nipping them in the bud may protect you from major equipment failure down the line. Plus poorly functioning systems are typically accompanied by a higher utility bill...all the more reason to get it checked out!” But do you repair or replace? Brian says, “A general rule of thumb is to consider a new system if yours is over ten years old… so that you can take advantage of maximum operating efficiency and energy savings. At Jackson Air we’ll give you a nopressure rundown of the information and options you need to make the best decision for your household.” And according to long time Jackson Air customers, you can take advice from Jackson Air to the bank. M. Reyes writes, “Jackson Air is the best that Fort Bend County has to offer in the way of A/C repair. I’ve been with them for over twenty years. They are the best as far as honesty, reliability, price and most of all the quality of their work. I highly recommend them!” Jackson Air and Heat is the oldest Trane Comfort Specialist dealer in Sugar Land.

More than eighty percent of their new customers are referrals from friends and family of existing customers. They are EPA and NATE certified…and are accredited members of the Better Business Bureau. Not only that, they are recipients of the Angie’s List “Super Service” award and the BBB Award of Excellence for the last four years. And their customers love them! S. Philips of Sugar Land writes, “My new air conditioner cut my light bill in half. And the 0% financing made it easy on my budget. I love my new Trane! Thank you Jackson Air!” Jackson Air and Heat, Inc. Sugar Land’s Oldest Independent Trane Dealer 281-240-1037

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Are You Aware? Names Ralph Mancini, M.d., As New Medical Director


arch is Brain Injury Awareness Month. Whether you or a loved one has suffered brain injury from a trauma like a sports injury, fall, or car crash or without trauma from a stroke or infection, HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital in Sugar Land can help!

Nick Hardin, CEO of HealthSouth Sugar Land

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An injury to your brain can affect every part of your life...from your physical mobility, to your ability to speak, to your fine motor skills, to your memory, and more. Some patients say their families even notice a change in their personalities! After your medical care, you’ll need rehabilitation to see lasting improvements. HealthSouth’s brain injury rehabilitation program has made a difference in the lives of patients who have suffered from traumatic brain injury, stroke, aneurysm, seizure, brain tumor, motor vehicle accident, fall, battlefield injury, or other neurological deficits. At HealthSouth patients can get all the different therapies they may need–– Speech, Occupational and Physical Therapies with the use of advanced neurological equipment––from a group of enthusiastic and caring people. And HealthSouth also offers home-based service assessments (as needed), training in adapting to your long-term limitations, and emotional support for both the patient and caregivers. Nick Hardin, CEO of HealthSouth Sugar Land, says “Every member of the HealthSouth team works together to create a culture of caring that’s ideal for the patients... and those who care for them!”

The Brain Injury Association of America cites the most common causes of brain injury as vehicle crashes, falls, sports injuries and violence. To prevent injury: • Wear a seatbelt every time you drive or ride in a motor vehicle • Always buckle your child into a child safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt in the car • Never drive or engage in physical activity while under the influence of alcohol or drugs • Wear a helmet and make sure your children wear helmets during appropriate activities • Use safeguards to avoid falls • Check first the depth of the water when swimming or diving • Make sure the surface on your child’s playground is made of shock-absorbing material, such as hardwood, mulch and sand • Keep firearms stored unloaded in a locked cabinet or safe. Store bullets in a separate secured location HealthSouth Sugar Land Rehabilitation Hospital 281-276-7574 1325 Highway 6, Sugar Land, TX 77478

Oh Sweet Maggie...

Teaching “Crazy Daisy” Manners

by Sarah Warburton


fter losing our beloved Golden Retriever, Maggie, to cancer, could we ever love another dog again? At the Fort Bend “Hunting for Homes” adoption event, a volunteer heard I was looking for a “two-year-old lab mix” and brought Daisy over to meet me. She climbed on my lap and buried her head under my arm...and I fell for her! She was housebroken and crate-trained and extremely loving...but the kids started calling her “crazy Daisy.” My vet, Dr. Cox at the Sugar Creek Animal Clinic, said she was actually a one-year-old hound mix...practically a puppy! She chews our shoes, the edges of our table, Legos, and the carpet. She destroyed her bed, shredded the window screens, and dug up two sprinkler heads. Walking the kids to school, she’s always lunging at imaginary squirrels, trying to run up trees, or pouncing children. When I took her to Lone Star Pet Lodges for holiday boarding, I discovered

their General Manager, Diana Rushing, was the volunteer who’d introduced me to Daisy! Lone Star Pet Lodges offers boarding, grooming and training...and I started to hope: Could they find the “good dog” inside the sweet dog we rescued? Walter Darr says, “My wife, Lara, and I founded Lone Star Pet Lodges to offer full-service dog and cat, small mammal, small reptile and bird Lodging, Grooming, Training, Transportation and Day Care services. We offer three options for your training...Lodge & Learn Training, Day Care & Learn Training, or 6-week Private Lessons. During Daisy’s assessment I could tell she was responsive, treat-motivated, and extremely loving. With our positive and professional training, Daisy can become as wellbehaved as she is sweet-natured.” Each year, millions of stray animals are euthanized at shelters throughout the country. In Texas, around 100,000 cats

To advertise, 281-235-0600

and dogs are put down each year. Walter coordinates with the Sugar Land Animal Service’s Adoption program, so he’s seen firsthand how behavior problems can make it hard for a dog to keep its “forever home.” He says, “I love my own labs. They even help me train and socialize other dogs! That’s possible because of the training I’ve given them. Our proven training programs will provide Daisy and her family with all the tools to be fabulously successful and have a happy (not crazy!) pet home life. A well-trained dog is more engaged, more relaxed, and more pleasant!” Will Walter teach me and Daisy the manners she needs to live in a house? We’ll have an update in our next issue! Lone Star Pet Lodges Quality Lodging, DayCare, Training and Grooming 281-403-7700 Missouri City, TX 77459

UPCLOSE ~ March 2014 ~ 17

“They refinished my tub and the tiles around it and also added material so the water wouldn't sit on the side of the tub.

Beautiful on the Outside... Trustworthy on the Inside D Sarah Warburton oes transformation come from within? Actually, Jonee and Paul Barnett of Miracle Method Surface Refinishing know that no matter what dings, dents, horrendous colors or faded shades lie beneath, your counters, tiles, or tubs can be completely transformed in just a few days through the Miracle Method. But the secret to their success is not only the amazing makeover the Miracle Method delivers on the’s also the deeper spirit that lies within Miracle Method Southwest. We love the incredible product and the incredible service that Jonee, Paul, and their team deliver. There’s a reason our local Miracle Method has received the Angie’s List 2013 Super Service Award and is a BBB accredited business with an A+ rating. One “Miracle Method Believer” writes: “They refinished my tub and the tiles around

18 ~ UPCLOSE ~ March 2014

it and also added material so the water wouldn’t sit on the side of the tub. It was great––they were prompt and informative. The person who did the tub was on time and did an excellent job. He was responsible about closing the doors so our dog didn’t get out. The results were fantastic! They also gave us a quote on doing the kitchen counters which I will do after some other work is completed in our house. This was a great experience with some very professional people!” Has Miracle Method made a believer out of you...or do you need to see it to believe it? Jonee says, “Paul and I founded our business on the good old-fashioned values of honesty and integrity. At our showroom (open by appointment) we’d love to show you the quality of our craftsmanship on a refinished cast iron bathtub, cast iron sink, cultured

marble counters or laminate counters in one of our Natural Accents™ colors (with the look and texture of stone), or the safety improvements we’ve made on a pressed steel tub with the Easy Step, a fold down seat, grab bars and our slip resistant surface. We can make your bathroom more beautiful... and safer, too!” A great product is only as good as the company that stands behind it. Paul says, “Call us for your free estimate, give us just a few days...and we’ll give personal attention, stellar service, and a kitchen or bathroom that looks brand new!”

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

Saddle Up for Savings! Amy Sharp


ou’ve seen the numbers...leaky toilets and dripping faucets may cost you more than $200 a year. With money already pouring down the drain, you can’t afford to lose any more! You might think you’re “playing it safe” to call a big name, national plumbing company. Be warned! You may setting yourself up to throw even more cash down the drain! When it comes to’s like the wild west out there! A quick scan of the BBB or tells you that the old “bait and switch” is alive and well. Simple drain cleanings turn into expensive drain line repairs or replacements. Leaky toilets turn into the sale of unnecessary parts and labor. Some plumbers “upcharge” based on where you live, others lowball estimates to get the work or offer you a special “free visit.” If it sounds too good to be true, look out for the sting when they give you the bottom’ll see a charge for “additional unexpected work.” Don’t worry if this is your first time at the rodeo. You won’t get fleeced with a straight-shooting, locally-owned plumbing company like Alan’s Plumbing! Now in Fort Bend for more than fifteen years, owner and master plumber Alan Burkhalter,

along with his brother Chris, his two oldest sons Beau and Luke, and fellow team member Zach pride themselves on their honesty, integrity, and down-home values. Being a family-owned and operated business keeps their overhead low, so they pass those savings on to you. And since they’re long-time Fort Bend residents (and all three of Alan’s kids are Elkins High School graduates), they’ll treat you right because they know you’re more than a’re a neighbor and a friend! Take a good look at the folks on those horses. Alan’s wife Jennifer will answer your call and the plumber who shows up at your door will be one or more of the guys you see on this page. And you can take it to the bank that when these guys leave, the job has been done fairly and right! You’ve seen their trucks around town, and now you know their commitment to exceptional plumbing services at reasonable prices. Saddle up for savings and call the posse you can trust….Alan’s Plumbing!

When it comes to plumbing... it’s like the wild west out there!

Alan’s Plumbing • 281-261-1064

ALAN’S PLUMBING To advertise, 281-235-0600

UPCLOSE ~ March 2014 ~ 19


HIRE A MAID? W by Sarah Warburton

e asked Max McCammond, owner of Professional Maid Service why hiring a maid service makes good sense. Max says, “For many homeowners, keeping a clean home is almost impossible... especially if you work long hours and are short on time. Hiring a maid service to clean your home is a great idea when you’re just not home long enough to deal with it. What are the main benefits to hiring a maid service? I can tell you what our clients tell us...we clean your home, so you can live your life!” Think about it. The most successful people in world are the ones who know how to delegate. You’ll make the best use of your time when cleaning is done efficiently by the professionals. Whether you spend that time building your business, helping the kids with homework, kickstarting your new exercise regime, or catching up on your to-do list, a team of Professional Maids will show up on time in a company car with their own supplies. They’re trained and motivated to get your home clean––really, really clean––in the most efficient and effective way possible. After all they are professionals! The second most popular reason to get

your home professionally cleaned? Max says, “Busy families are hard on a home. Even if you clean up every night and have kids to run the vacuum, our professional maids deliver a deeper level of clean. And a cleaner home is a healthier home. We’ll get to all those little places that get neglected where grime and germs build up.” Ready to see the difference a cleaning service can make? Call the Professional Maids at 281-342-6500. Spend more time living a happy, healthy life...and leave the cleaning to the professionals! Professional Maid Service 281-342-6500

Cleaning to the


Max’s Cleaning Tip: Give your home a “whole health” makeover by cleaning the things you’d never think to clean. Max says, “Major germ magnets include telephone receivers and indoor garbage cans (especially in the kitchen or bathroom). Mold can grow on your shower curtain, the edges of the door on your dishwasher, and the rubber cushioning that surrounds some refrigerator doors. This is a good time of year to check your HVAC filters, too. They are designed to filter allergy-causing dust from the air, but if they’re clogged, they’re making your air even dirtier. Getting these hidden spaces clean will make your home healthier, too.”

BREAKING NEW GROUND. IN HEALTH CARE. AND IN SUGAR LAND. Announcing our latest commitment to innovation and to the community: a $93 million expansion of Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital. In three phases, over the next three years, we are making incredible changes. Including a 100,000-square-foot professional office building (coming 2014) and a 120,000-square-foot patient tower (coming 2016). Cutting-edge technology, extended sports medicine services and over 160 new staff members are just a few of the many improvements you can expect. It’s better for Sugar Land and better for your health. Visit Memorial Hermann. Advancing Health.

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One Call


fter three kids and dogs,” says Laura Wilhelm, “our kitchen needed work! I got Mark Carter’s name from a friend who said the Kitchen & Bath Showroom does excellent work in a reasonable time frame...perfect!” “I’m an artist, but I like to do graphic design, quilting, mosaics...not interior decor. I wanted a coherent design... and that’s what my designers Kathy Gwynn and Mark did for us. I found beautiful Portuguese tiles (like some my husband had given me) that made a mural with a bird. Mark had his contractor Hector install them as a backsplash for us...and he did a wonderful job! Mark brought us an amazing idea for the ceiling. He drew a grid with beams in a square with the part in the center painted dark blue. Although I had a hard time imagining it, I decided to go with it...and now everyone loves it––it’s the coolest feature!” “We tore out and replaced all the cabinets in the kitchen. Our old walk-in pantry has been replaced with cabinets... and now we have more storage space in a closet under our stairs. We made

Did It All

changes to the laundry room––stacking the washer and dryer, installing a cabinet and a small freezer. Kathy had the idea of changing the big closet in our bathroom into a cabinet. The shelves are still large enough for my linens and blankets... and I have room for suitcases in that expanded closet under the stairs.” “Then Kathy and I started looking for the perfect stone for the kitchen. I wanted silestone countertops, but something different for the island and the window seats. We found the most gorgeous Fusion stone, but there was going to be a chunk left over. Kathy suggested putting it in the bathroom. I thought, “Why not? We were going to redo it eventually anyway.” Mark’s team ripped out that bathroom and used up every scrap of the stone we had. We pulled the floor tile from the kitchen into the bathroom... and then used the tile in the entryway to replace the old tile there. Now one room really flows beautifully into the next!” “From building cabinets to installing appliances to laying tile, they can do it all.One thing led naturally to another... and Mark made everything so easy!”

To advertise, 281-235-0600

Re-Modelista: Your Home Renovation Specialist “She Gets the Job Done!” 832-731-3191 The Kitchen and Bath Showroom “The People to Know, the Place to Go” The Showroom 928 FM 359 Richmond, TX 77469 Appliance and Cabinets Showroom 12440 S. Sam Houston Parkway W. Houston, TX 77031 UPCLOSE ~ March 2014 ~ 21

The Dentist

Who Gave

Me Back




’ve suffered from severe headaches since I was a teenager,” says local mom Meredith Sauer. “I’m thirtythree now, with a husband and three kids under the age of four (Madalyn, Merian, Meaghan), and my headaches were coming two or three times a week and lasting a day or more. I’d seen various doctors, a neurologist, and all... but no one could give me a diagnosis. My husband told me I grind my teeth at night, so I bought an OTC nightguard, ... but I still got headaches and woke up with stiff shoulders, an aching neck, and a jaw that would lock up. The daily pain was excruciating! I tried migraine pills, stretches, nothing worked. The only relief I found was from my chiropractor... but the pain always came back!”

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“I was new to the area, so when I had a cracked tooth I asked my friend to recommend a dentist….and that’s how I found Dr. Zahra Cook. I loved the way she explained things and the excellent work she did. She can do everything from cleanings for adults and kids to braces to wisdom teeth extractions (I know this personally!) and more. One day I was looking at her website and I found a whole page on TMD (also called TMJ). It was like reading about my own life...and when I saw the diagram of a woman holding one side of her head, I saw myself. My headaches gave me piercing pain on the spot right above my eye. I came to Dr. Cook for more information, but I couldn’t have imagined how she would change my life!” “Dr. Cook recommended testing for TMD. I talked it over and everyone from my husband to my chiropractor told me to go for it. The diagnostic tests she ran showed that I had a physical defect. My jawbone was literally touching my skull. Nothing I tried could have ever corrected that! Dr. Cook spent hours measuring every aspect of my bite for my mouthpiece.

When it came, I was amazed. Literally, the pain was gone! I wore it all the time for three weeks, but now I only wear it at night. It’s re-trained my jaw so the muscles are now extended and relaxed….and I don’t have any pain at all.” How does the magic work? Dr. Cook explains, “Meredith’s misaligned jaw made her jaw muscles contract and shorten to compensate for her physical problem, Temporomandibular Dysfunction (known as TMD or TMJ). This cycle of pain, muscle spasms, and jaw joint problems results when the teeth, chewing muscles, and jaw joints do not work together in harmony...but it is treatable! After determining Meredith’s optimal bite, I created a custom bite splint, an orthotic, to relax her muscles, restore balance to the jaw joint, and stabilize her bite.” Meredith says, “Not only do I feel like a whole new person, you can see the difference in my face. I’m smiling, relaxed...and my chin is more pronounced, so my face has more symmetry. It’s incredible how the splint Dr. Cook made me has changed my life. I’m able to be enjoy my friendships, my husband, and my children with my whole heart and all my energy now. She’s given me back my life!” Zahra Cook, DMD Advanced Cosmetic Dentist 281-342-8481 536 Fm 359 Rd, Richmond, TX 77406

Bionic Heels! T Amy Sharp

he Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman both ran at speeds exceeding 60 mph, without foot or heel pain! Think biomechanics exist only in 1970’s Hollywood? Think again! Local podiatrist and founder of Foot & Ankle Associates, Dr. Marco A. Vargas is an expert in foot biomechanics, the study of the structure and function of the foot. “The heel bone is the largest of the 26 bones in the human foot, which also has 33 joints and a network of more than 100 tendons, muscles, and ligaments,” says Dr. Vargas, “and heel pain is one of the most common reasons people come to see me. While medication, injections and over the counter shoe inserts can be part of your treatment, they usually offer only partial or temporary pain relief because they do not address the underlying problem which is the structure and function of the foot. My goal for my patients is permanent relief from heel pain!” One of the more effective solutions for permanent heel pain relief is the HyProCure Foot stent procedure. As one of only two doctors certified in the greater Houston area to perform the HyProCure procedure, Dr. Vargas says, “The HyProCure is a stent




Partial Talo Tarsal Dislocation

Internally Stabilized / Corrected

placed in the foot like an ‘implantable orthotic,’ to help improve foot biomechanics or function and eliminate the need for orthotics. The procedure takes less than ten minutes, is completely reversible and has been performed on patients of all ages, from children to adults...and all activity levels including long distance runners, basketball players, ballerinas and more. Patients walk in a surgical shoe immediately and are back in regular shoes in about two weeks. This is a particularly effective solution for active patients, those who like to wear sandals or high heels, or those who simply don’t want to wear orthotics.” HyProCure is only one of the many treatment options available at Foot and Ankle Associates. This “one-stop-shop” includes all of the necessary tests and equipment needed to diagnose and treat heel pain...from digital X-rays, musculoskeletal ultrasound and physical therapy to Footmaxx, a computerized gait analysis system used to analyze a patient’s walking pattern and foot function. Dr. Vargas says, “I probably can’t get you running at speeds of 60 mph, but whether you’re running marathons, running errands or running around with your can do it all pain-free, permanently!”

Dr. Marco Vargas

Foot and Ankle Associates 888-784-5335

Sugar Land 281-313-0090 17510 W. Grand Parkway South Sugar Land Wellness and Weight-loss 832-494-7469 • 16651 SW Fwy #100 Houston 281-313-0080 7105 Lawndale Street

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UPCLOSE ~ March 2014 ~ 23


Allergy Season A Sarah Warburton

re you looking forward to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo...or does the very thought of it leave you sneezing and congested? Dr. Anh Doan of Missouri City’s Vision Source says, “The first step to relief is getting the right diagnosis. You’d see a doctor for a cough...and you should see an optometrist for red, itchy, or uncomfortable eyes!” Have you ever talked with an optometrist about your allergies? According to the numbers, 70% percent of allergy sufferers use oral medications; 56% use nasal sprays; 18% rely on inhalants, but only 9% use eye drops. “That’s a mistake!” says Dr. Doan. “Perpetually irritated eyes are not only an inconvenience, they also make your eyes more prone to infection. The right ocular medication like antihistamines or mast cell stabilizers may reduce symptoms.” Whoa there. Don’t just grab the first bottle of eyedrops you see off the shelf. Self-medicating may be hazardous to your health! Your first step should be a visit to Dr. Doan for a diagnosis to rule out an infection like “pink eye.” Only antibiotics will fix an infection and antihistamine allergy medication can

make dry eyes worse! Even if it is allergies, certain OTC drops can discolor or damage certain lenses...or cause side effects like stinging or redness. You may think there’s no way at all you could give up your glasses for contact lenses. Dr. Doan says, “We might consider switching to another type, like daily disposable contact lenses, which are discarded nightly. Since you’ll replace your lenses each day, irritating deposits don’t build up and make your allergy-related discomfort worse. We have contact lens choices for near and far sightedness, to correct astigmatism, for those needing bifocals and even for people with allergies or dry eyes. Don’t give up hope until you’ve talked with me.” “When I do your exam,” says Dr. Doan, “tell me if you’ve been rubbing your eyes or tearing up. I’ve got a variety of medications that are longer-lasting and more effective. We can also tailor your eyewear to your situation. Your eyes are I’ll work to find the best way for you to see clearly!”

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

SPA TACULAR SAVINGS Tuesday and Wednesday only



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REGULARLY $238 (Offer valid thru 3/31/14)

Evaluation and treatment for different lung diseases Pre-operative evaluation • Sleep Evaluation Disability evaluation • Occupational health evaluation • Minimally Invasive Procedures • In-house Labs • Bronchial Thermoplasty

J. Georges Youssef, M.D. Call 713-781-4600 for an Appointment

most insurance accepted Same day appointments are available.

Gift certificates available. Call today to book your appointment: 713-523-2300

Two locations to serve you! Main Location: 1429 Hwy. 6 South Sugar Land, Texas 77478

Second Location: 7777 Southwest Fwy, Suite 860 Houston, Texas 77074

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Navigating the Danger Zone


ow long has your child been looking forward to growing up and getting more freedom? “Teenage depression isn’t just bad moods--it can be a serious problem that can lead to more serious problems in a young person’s life,” says Local Psychiatrist Dr. Diana Collins, “such as drug and alcohol use, self-loathing and self-mutilation, pregnancy, violence, and legal issues. Major depressive disorder, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder can all develop in early adulthood. Even young adults who aren’t struggling with one of these disorders may suffer from the pressure of major life changes...and be at risk for suicide.” “It’s crucial for everyone––friends, family members, teachers, and neighbors––to be aware of the signs and symptoms of suicide in teens and young adults. In the first stages you may notice signs of depression which include problems in school, a lack of interest in activities, and withdrawal from friends and family. Some young adults express depression as irritability, anger or hostility.” “Teenagers that are seriously depressed often think about, speak of, or make (attention-getting) attempts at suicide”. Increasing number of attempts can be successful, so it is crucial that any suicidal thoughts or behaviors always be taken seriously. If you’re

ever worried that someone you love is contemplating suicide, go ahead and ask, “Are you trying to kill yourself?” “Have you done this before?” “Have you thought of a plan?” Silence doesn’t help anyone. If your child shows suicide warning signs out a depression specialist.” “I want young people to know that if a friend ever talks about suicide with you, don’t take that burden on yourself. No matter how much they try to swear you to secrecy, that’s the kind of thing you need to bring to an adult or counselor to try to save your friend.” “In my office, I offer individual and family counseling for all ages...and I always start with a thorough assessment. Whether we use medical intervention, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, or a combination of approaches, you don’t have to navigate the danger zone alone!” Diana Collins, M.D. Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatrist Board Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology 281-240-7477 One Sugar Creek Center Blvd. Ste. 955 Sugar Land, TX 77478 Fax: 281-240-7508 Answering Service: 713-513-7584


Get a medium one topping pizza for $1, with purchase of any large at regular price Offer Valid for Dine In, Carry Out or Delivery. One coupon per person. Offer not good with any other special offers. Expires 03-31-2014

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 Pecan Grove (281) 239-6565

Fulshear (281) 533-0000 Riverstone (281) 261-6665

Katy (281) 394-5565 Rosenberg (832) 595-0550 UPCLOSE ~ March 2014 ~ 25

I chose chose MD MDAnderson Anderson in in Sugar SugarLand Land - Michelle Williams - Michelle Williams

When II had had breast When breast cancer, cancer,the the world’s leading leading care world’s care was was right righthere. here.

My team of experts in Sugar Land focused only on me and my cancer. They guided My team of experts in Sugar Land focused only on me and my cancer. They guided me through advanced MD Anderson treatment options including surgery, me through advanced MD Anderson treatment options including surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and clinical trials. They customized a plan just for me. radiation, chemotherapy and clinical trials. They customized a plan just for me. Having MD Anderson in my community kept me close to my two boys and close Having MD Anderson in my community kept me close to my two boys and close to home. I chose MD Anderson in Sugar Land. Find Your MD Anderson today. to home. I chose MD Anderson in Sugar Land. Find Your MD Anderson today.

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Creating a Unique Style You’ll Both Love! I

f you and your sweetie are having trouble seeing eye to eye on design, you don’t need a marriage counselor as much as you need the right interior designer! In the Grand Windows and Interiors showroom you’ll find more than 5,000 square feet with over 20,000 gorgeous fabrics, trims, window treatments, and hardware from more than fifty different quality suppliers...and you’ll also get the design help you need to unite your two visions and create one home that the two of you will both love! Designer Caron Lopez knows firsthand how a shared vision and good communication can deliver happiness and success. Together she and her husband Candelario have created an amazing one-stop-shop. More than a showroom, their French Quarter style building is a design hub that supplies the special touches you need and puts you in touch with the specialists who can bring your design to life. Caron says, “The best first step on your journey to a harmonious home is a design consultation. Come in together with a budget you’ve discussed and talk through your ideas. Our conversation will be the beginning of making your dreams come true.”

“Couples may differ in their personal styles or in their preferences on how and where to spend their money... but usually everything can be resolved by thinking “outside the box”...and that is where we shine!” The key to successful design mediation is flexibility. Caron says, “Once we have a plan, we can make choices that work within your budget and time frame. We often have solutions you

might never have considered. If you want to mix your existing furnishings with a splash of something new, we’ll find the right textures and colors to create a harmonious masterpiece! Window treatments make a big impact and can really set the tone for your space. Our current favorites are remote control shades, outdoor shades for your patio, or custom draperies to bring sophistication to your media room, home office, or dining room. Our upholsterer can recover or create furniture, we can add throw pillows or paint an accent wall, and step by step the entire look will come together.” “Couples may differ in their personal styles or in their preferences on how and where to spend their money...but usually everything can be resolved by thinking “outside the box”...and that is where we shine!”

Grand Windows & Interiors

281-342-9160 1405 Avenue I Rosenberg, TX 77471

UPCLOSE ~ March 2014 ~ 27

by Sarah Warburton


hen a child is fired up about learning, you hear all about it. “Mom, did you know Van Gogh cut off his ear?” “Dad, do you know what twelve times twelve is–– because I do!” When the excitement fades and the struggle begins, you may only hear silence. Betsy de Vega, Learning Specialist and founder of KnILE Center says, “During the ‘Summer Slide,’ kids can fall back an average of 25% in reading skills each summer and lose about 2.6 months of gradelevel equivalency in math. Through our one-onone educational coaching and camps designed to strengthen cognitive skills, we combat the summer slide and give kids ‘learning fever!’” Swimming or baseball builds your child’s physical strength, and “brain training” with EduCoachNow strengthens a child’s cognitive skills. EduCoachNow’s customized alternative to tutoring has proved so successful that a new Missouri City

location will open March 1st inside the Athletic and Performing Arts Center on 7746 Highway 6. Betsy says, “After an initial evaluation at our main location, we’ll coach children to correct the root of the problem...instead of treating the symptom. This could be the summer your child becomes a stronger learner. Whether Sugar Land or Missouri City is more convenient for you, call now to reserve your spot for summer!” Is your child ready to “Discover Treasures in Learning”? On “A Pirate’s Adventure” from June 9-12, 2014, brave buccaneers will meet the challenge of building focus, improving memory, and strengthening critical thinking... while exploring the worlds of science, art,

math and reading. Knights and princesses can gather for “A Royal Adventure” from July 7—10, 2014. Betsy says, “KnILE summer camps are a 4-day learning adventure for grades K-5 with the option of mornings, afternoons, or full day from 9-3. We only have spaces for a small group of explorers and we’re offering $25.00 off any enrollment received before May 1,2014. Reserve your spot today!” “At KnILE, we’ve got a passion for learning,” says Betsy, “and we share it through EduCoachNow, our summer camps, and KnILE Prep Academy (now accepting enrollment for the 2014-15 school year). Our call to adventure is: Educate, Empower, Succeed!”

First Then Spring Summer Fever, Slide

Betsy de Vega ~ 281-761-6610 Kn.I.L.E Center, LLC EduCoachNow Kn.I.L.E. Prep Academy 245 Gonyo Lane Richmond, TX 77469

The Concert For Utopia

An Asleep At the Wheel/Billy Joe Shaver Fundraiser For Utopia Animal Rescue


n April 13rd, 2014, ninetime Grammy Award winning band, Asleep At The Wheel, and the “Original Honky Tonk Hero,” Billy Joe Shaver, will headline an all-star cast of Texas favorites at a fundraiser for the Hill Country’s own Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch at Kerrville’s Cailloux Theater. With an early start at 3:30PM, the afternoon and evening will swing to the sounds of these two amazing acts. All proceeds go to Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch, a 501c3 nonprofit, which has rescued and success-

more July 4th picnics with Willie Nelson than any other act, and their sound continues to thrill in the 21st century. There will be dancing in the aisles. Billy Joe Shaver has written so many hits for both himself and others that even he can’t remember them all. Billy Joe’s big break came when Waylon Jennings recorded an album composed almost entirely of Billy Joe’s songs, ‘Honky Tonk Heroes,’ now considered the original outlaw album. His shows are still more sincere, energetic and heartfelt than any performed by today’s young stars. There will be great music. There will be stars. There will be fun had by all. There will be no blood. The Hill Country needs to show its support for one of its greatest assets, Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch, all while enjoying a fantastic, once-in-a-lifetime show in Kerrville. Come one, come all.


fully placed thousands of dogs and other animals since its inception in 1998. And that ain’t all, folks. Also featured on the show is “ waiting

to happen,” (Houston Chronicle) Jesse Dayton, who will perform his tribute to George Jones, and rising talent, Chet O’Keefe (Scott Ward: “O’Keefe is magic, pure magic.”). Co-founder of the Utopia Animal Rescue, and current candidate for Texas Ag Commissioner, Kinky Friedman, will co-host the show with KERV’s and REV-FM’s largerthan-life, Big G. KERV and REVFM94.3 are presenting the event along with co-sponsor, the Y.O. Ranch Hotel and Conference Center. Asleep At The Wheel has been the premiere Bob Willsstyle western swing band for more than a generation, with nobody even coming close to their authenticity. Since arriving on the scene in Austin in the seventies, they have played

To advertise, 281-235-0600

Media Contact: Cash Edwards 512-447-0544 Utopia Rescue Contact: Nancy Parker-Simons 830-589-7544

UPCLOSE ~ March 2014 ~ 29

Simpson’s Does It All: Palms, Oaks, Ash, Magnolias, Pine...and More!

Becca Bragg


f you see those red Simpson’s Tree Service trucks around town, give them a wave...and hold onto their number! Cammy Simpson says, “My sons Nicholas and Brandon head the work crews and our team has been with us for years and years! We carry a million dollars in liability insurance, and our guys use safety equipment, ropes and harnesses. We’ve had people so impressed with their work that they pull off the road to watch... and then call to schedule service!” Can a professional trim make your trees look completely different? One happy client writes: “Several years ago I hired Simpson’s tree service to prune two extremely over-grown ash trees in my backyard. I was impressed with the speed and efficiency of their work. Within a couple of hours, they had taken two ugly trees with no form to their canopy, and transformed them into specimens as beautiful as old live-oaks! (Not to mention the fact that the crew had removed all their trimmings and debris.)” What about magnolia, pine, or crepe myrtles? Another client writes: “I like working with smaller businesses and Simpson’s Tree Service has become a trusted resource for me. I am serious about my yard and when my huge magnolia needed a trim, a 7-man crew from Simpson’s Tree Service took care of the job, and my 3 tall/lanky pine trees. They even threw in some crepe myrtle trimming, all for the same price. They were fast, efficient, knowledgeable, and appreciative of the work. Trust your trees to Simpson’s!” Now that the chill of winter is over, your palm trees and other tropical trees need some serious TLC. Cammy says, “Pruning a palm tree helps prevent pests like rats, snakes, roaches, and bats...but over-pruning can damage your tree permanently. For over twenty years, we’ve been trimming, cutting, and removing trees of every type in this area. Call us for a free quote on trimming your palm tree...or your magnolia, pine, ash, oak or any tree at all!” Simpson’s Tree Service For trimming, cutting, and removal services, call 281-980-0095 30 ~ UPCLOSE ~ March 2014


“There are no speed limits on the road to excellence.” M r. A/C, aka Bryan Bellamy of All Out A/C, always knew he wanted to be in the position to help people and his community. He says, “I was always mechanically inclined, organized, and entrepreneurial. When I was nine years old I started my first business fixing bicycles... and I’ve never stopped working. I’ve been self-employed for most of my life, like a lot of my family. My family owned and operated their own successful A/C and Heating, electrical, remodeling and roofing company. Seventy percent of the A/C business is electrical, so getting that experience was the perfect foundation for becoming Mr. A/C!” “My love of speed and mechanics forged a friendship between myself and Chance Kamp, co-owner of All Out A/C. Growing up, I raced Motorcross all over the United States. Chance went from a kid who loved toy trucks to the owner of All Out Off Road, and I worked for a while with him there. Now my oldest son James works there. Just like me, he loves motorcycles, BMX, and 4-wheelers. Really, when you think about it, your A/C is just another machine that needs to be efficient. You want it to purr, not to rattle and groan. That takes a team that understands mechanics, precision...and gives you speedy service!” Did you know Mr. A/C is a home-grown A/C expert? He says, “I started life in Northwest Houston, but my family moved to Fort Bend in 1976...and this is where my kids grew up, too. Giving the best prices and the best service to Fort Bend is a point of hometown pride at All Out A/C.”

Call and ask for Mr. A/C himself to get the very best offseason deal on your new A/C! Bryan says, “This is the time to replace your system...when it isn’t hot outside. A new, energyefficient air conditioner can cut your energy bill in half! We also offer zoning systems that keep you from paying to cool areas of your home you don’t use and programmable thermostats that can reduce your cooling costs by up to 25%. We’ll provide you a quote at no charge....and we offer 100% financing with approved credit. Nobody beats Mr. A/C and the team at All Out!”


626 Highway 90A, Richmond, TX 77406

00 upclose march 2014 issuu  

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

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