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The Luxury Lifestyle Magazine of Texas


year of

This year, blaze new trails for health, wealth, travel and discovery

Speed Racer Check off your bucket list with a luxury race car experience

Climate Change Battle Chocolate Destinations perfect for the beach bum or snow bunny

Whose decadent Valentine’s dessert reigns supreme?

It’s your tImE. Time to relax and enjoy life. Time to choose the perfect new home for your lifestyle. Time to choose the perfect master planned community for you. Time for an easier commute, spacious kitchens, and outdoor entertainment areas. Time for a new Darling home in a Johnson Development community.

We build communities with a unique sense of place.

At Johnson Development we take pride in designing our communities to foster the active lifestyle of our residents, while preserving and utilizing the natural beauty of the local landscape. today is your day, your time—live it.

Fort Bend Parkway

Scan this code to view Johnson Development communities homes for sale From US-59 in Sugar Land take Hwy 6 south 3 miles

Discover Darling Homes in Riverstone, with luxurious patio homes on new home sites in Kensington. New plans priced from the $310s, Darling homes feature high-end interior finishes including hardwood floors, archways and exotic granite surfaces. Elevations feature a Mediterranean architectural influence with tile roofs.

Patio homes from the $310s-$600s 1,900-4,000 sq. ft. I-45N to FM 1488

Darling Homes’ offers luxurious family home designs as well as their award-winning patio homes. Architecturally pleasing designs with brick and stone elevations feature open floor plans, large island kitchens, media and game rooms and three-car garages.

Luxury homes from $340s . 2,800-4,000 sq. ft. Patio homes from $230s . 1,900-2,900 sq. ft. American Classic from $240s . 2,100-3,300 sq.ft. Patio Golf Villas Coming Soon! Sienna Parkway at Hwy. 6

Darling Homes introduces new wooded home sites in the beautiful community of Sienna Plantation. Darling Homes offers flexible designs ranging from 1,900 to over 3,000 square feet with private master suites, large secondary bedrooms, gourmet kitchens, and covered porches.

Patio homes from $240s . 1,900-3,000 sq. ft. American Classic from $240s . 2,100-3,300 sq.ft. I-45N to Rayford Road

Darling Homes is excited to announce they have joined the master-planned community Harmony. With new home designs starting from the $220s, you can build the home to fit your lifestyle. Harmony is situated amidst a setting of lush greenery minutes from I-45 and the Hardy Toll Road.

Family homes from the $220s



sand SNOW

52 21

losing to win

Meet three Houstonians who ended up winning by deciding to lose

Venture to some of the year’s hottest—and coldest— destinations for 2013


mirror, mirror

The path to intimacy begins with how we see ourselves

january/february • 2013


alsoinside 9 • cocktails & conversation • Where to Go, What to Do Buzz • A City's Serenity • My Life • Hoop Stars Start Your Engines • Perfect Touch


33 • connoisseur • PL’s Guide to Discerning Taste Table Talk • C'est Magnifique! • Chocolate Fantasies Days of Wine & Salad • Gridiron Gents 45 • the gentlemen’s room • For the man who commands the very best The Work Room • Cat Fever • Fine Art Collection Wear & Shoot • Winter Greens

Publisher & Editor-in-Chief Karyn Dean

Publisher Terry Dean


Managing Editor Michelle Jacoby

Art Direction & Design LuckyYou! Creative Erin Loukili Misty Voitovski

62 • escape • Greetings from destinations near and far Enlightened Explorer • Inn at Dos Brisas

director of marketing Jennifer Dean

69 • live well • Feel Good, Look Good Fueled by Food • Health News • Lip Service Face the Facts • Heart of the Matter

Circulation/ Distribution Brian Stavert

76 • prime list • Events, Galas and Fundraisers Elizabeth Anthony Esther Wolf’s 50th Anniversary Celebration Nutcracker Market • Trees of Hope Gala • Dress for Success Houston’s Fundraiser 2013 Heart Ball Kickoff Party • Bone Bash




Contact 311 Julie Rivers Drive Sugar Land, Texas 77498 281.277.2333 Editorial Inquiries Advertising Inquiries subscribe AT

77 The Luxury



of Texas


year of

health, new trails for This year, blaze l and discovery wealth, trave

Speed Racer

bucket list with Check off your car experience a luxury race



©2013 Prime Living Magazine is a publication of SRG Services, Inc., published bi-monthly. Copies are mailed and hand-delivered to households and businesses throughout the greater Houston area. This publication may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the express prior written permission of the publisher. The publisher assumes no responsibility to any party for the content of any advertisement in this publication. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the position of the publication.

olate le Choc Change Batt Valentine’s Climate Whose decadent ? reigns supreme ions perfect for Destinat or snow bunny the beach bum


on the cover The Conrad Maldives Rangali Resort gives whole new meaning to “swimming with the sharks” with this unique bedroom that lies 16 feet below the water’s surface and is enclosed by a clear glass window. Photography courtesy of Conrad Maldives Rangali Resort.

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877.726.1887 | 877.726.1887 | This commercial message does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy a unit in the condominium. No solicitation, offer or sale of a unit in the condominium will be made in any jurisdiction in which such activity would be unlawful prior to registration the securities, condominium or land sales of such jurisdiction. representationsNo and statementsoffer in the agreement and other legal and activity correctlywould This commercial message does under not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation oflaws an offer to buy a unit in Only the condominium. solicitation, orpurchase sale of aand unitsale in the condominium willapplicable be made in anydocuments jurisdictionare in binding which such state the representations of the developer. subject to change without combined with other offer. ©and 2012 All rightsinreserved — Kerzner International be unlawful prior to registration under the*Offer securities, condominium or landnotice sales and laws cannot of suchbe jurisdiction. Onlyany representations statements the purchase and sale agreement and other applicable legal documents are binding and correctly state the representations of the developer. *Offer subject to change without notice and cannot be combined with any other offer. © 2012 All rights reserved — Kerzner International

publisher’s note for many

years I was resistant

to use the words

bucket list

and referred

to itas my

coming up The Home & Entertaining Issue Freshen up house and home with inspiring design ideas found in our special Home & Entertaining issue.

code decoded Throughout Prime Living, you’ll find QR codes, designed to heighten your reading experience. Here’s how to use them: 1. From your mobile phone, download any free QR code scanning app. 2. Scan codes, like the one below, for fun surprises and special offers. Happy Scanning!

what’s next

karyn dean Publisher & Editor-in-Chief


hat will you mark off your bucket list this year? For many years, I was resistant to use the words “bucket list” and referred to it as my “what’s next” list. Somehow it made it sound less like end-of-life and more a to-do list. However, I turned the speed limit age in December and with that came realizing that I can—and should—embrace the new experiences happening in my life. I also recognized that I should quit worrying about what “my list” is called. So, as we go through 2013, I plan to share suggestions for consideration on your bucket list in our new department aptly named Bucket List. My first bucket list recommendation was inspired by one of my favorite childhood cartoons, “Speed Racer.” I dreamed of driving a fast car, making hair pin turns in the air with my chimp friend, Chim Chim, by my side. If you feel the “need for speed” and dream of driving a race car like Richard Petty or Mario Andretti, then find the 411 in “Start Your Engines” (page 16). Also on my bucket list is to bear watch and view the aurora borealis in Alaska. Don’t let the fact that it’s January fool you—Alaska is a year round destination! However, I must admit that being a Texas gal, I look for warmer climate travel when the temperature drops below 60 degrees. In our travel feature “Sand & Snow” (page 52), we share some of the warmest and coldest places to travel this winter. If meeting the only Texas tea master is on your list, then meet Thia McCann in this issue’s My Life profile (page 13). Passionate about all things tea, Thia is diligently working to create a tea culture in the Bayou City through education, which includes tea tasting classes at her store The Path of Tea. Already checked off on my list! Were you part of the ’60s hula hoop craze? Remember the swoosh noise that the hoops made? Test your knowledge of this baby boomer toy icon in “Hoop Stars” (page 15). I hope you’ll join us on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest as we bring you some of the most interesting and exciting bucket list ideas. Share with us what’s on your bucket list and it might be selected to be featured in an upcoming issue of Prime Living! Happy list making!




Did you know?

We treat

over 120,000 patients annually in our two dedicated pediatric emergency centers.

Join Ambassadors today. Become an Ambassador for Texas Children’s Hospital and be a voice for sick and injured children in our community and beyond. Memberships begin at $250. To learn more, call 832-824-6900 or visit © Texas Children’s Hospital. All rights reserved. Dev 026_092012

Teatro moderne gold large deco bijou linked necklace accented with brilliant cut, crystal coated pyrate, by Alexis Bittar, $595, at Elizabeth Anthony Esther Wolf in Uptown Park, 713.622.1331

Bowvet silver glitter clutch handbag features a fold over origami style bow with a zip top fastening, $145, at M Penner Houston in Uptown Park, 713.527.8200

Ocean blue and white hibiscus fifties obsession dress is an unstoppable and fashionable combination,$595, by Luisa Cerano, at BB1 Classic in Uptown Park, 713.395.0830

Spring Sophisticate

Brown shagreen cuff bracelet mounted with vintage 18k gold bee pin, $1,800, at Wayne Smith Jewels in Uptown Park, 713.524.0100

Sophisticated style has sprung.

Whether it’s patterns, sheers, or a little bit of glam the top 2013 fashion trends are at Uptown Park.

Champagne glitter pumps, $355, LUCHO Design, at LUCHO in Uptown Park, 713.961.3577

Plum, stretch, asymmetrical draped dress with dolman sleeves, $2,200, by Pamella Roland, at Elizabeth Anthony Esther Wolf in Uptown Park, 713.622.1331 18kt gold diamond ring referred to as “the 10 table ring” because the sparkle can be seen 10 tables away, by Sylva Cie, price available upon request, at Paul Carter Jewels in Uptown Park, 713.627.7495

Post Oak Blvd. @ Loop 610 | Houston, TX 77056

FASHION Ann Taylor Loft Apricot Lane Basiques BB1 Classic Bill Walker Clothier Carrie Ann Elizabeth Anthony Esther Wolf Francesca’s Collections High Gloss Lady Elle LENNY e CIA LUCHO

M Penner Houston Mint in Uptown Park Top Drawer Lingerie University Co-Op Veneto Collection CHILDREN’S Mint Baby Naturino

SPECIALTY Children’s Art Project Boutique Cigar Vault Curate Eye Glassiers of Houston Façade Gittings Portraiture Linda’s Couture Alterations Paul Carter Jewels University Co-Op Wayne Smith Jewels

Glam pink Voo Doo flapper dress with smoke tribal beads dress, $245, Yoana Baraschi, at Carrie Ann in Uptown Park, 713.492.2666 HOME, GIFTS, & COLLECTIBLES Baker Curate David Brown Longoria Collectionon FINANCIAL SERVICES E*Trade Texas Community Bank


MEDICAL SERVICES Uptown Park Dental Utopia Plastic Surgery and Medspa SPA SERVICES Bella Rinova Salon Ceron Salon Serente Spa Utopia Plastic Surgery and Medspa

RESTAURANTS & GATHERING SPOTS 1252 Tapas Bar Arturo’s Uptown Italiano Belvedere Café Express Crave Cupcakes Etoile Cuisine et Bar Mc Cormick and Schmick’s My Fit Foods Potbelly Sandwiches The Tasting Room Uptown Sushi

cocktails & conversation

cocktails & conversation the prime living guide to what's happening now


10 12 13 14 16 18

• • • • • •

The Buzz | What's New Point of Interest | A City's Serenity My LIfe | Tea master Nostalgia | Hoop Stars Bucket List | Start Your Engines Design | Perfect Touch

january/february • 2013


cocktails & conversation


Creole Belle




james lee burke

eaders who love south Louisiana know (or ought to know) the Dave Robicheaux novels of James Lee Burke. It’s also worth noting that Burke originally hails from Houston, with many a detour to Galveston along the way. His deep understanding of Gulf Coast history, culture, corruption and nature fuse mightily in each of these novels to serve up some of the darkest, grittiest poetry the literary world has ever seen. It’s interesting when a phrase like “It’s his best book yet” sounds immaterial, but that’s the way it seems with the 19th of Burke’s Robicheaux novels set in south Louisiana. “Creole Belle” is the darkest look behind the curtain of mortality that this Vietnam vet, disgraced NOPD cop, Iberia Parish sheriff’s deputy and ever-recovering alcoholic has dared. The world in which the action takes place is familiar to us, even beyond the Gulf Coast culture into which Burke was born in 1936. It is a world of oil rigs and sportsman’s paradises, existing side by side for what seemed would be forever. It is a world of family and friends, including Dave’s wife, a former activist nun named Molly; his daughter Alafair; the quirky pets who share their rough-hewn house on Bayou Teche; and his haunted ex-cop sidekick Clete Purcel. Dave and Clete have cheated death more times than they (or we) can count, forging a relationship/ partnership/brotherhood that’s truly one for the record books, they would say. In the book, everything we love about the Robicheaux series is served up like boiled crawfish on yesterday’s newspaper, even as the Gulf that Dave knows and loves is destroyed inch by inch by a mammoth rig explosion and oil spill. If Burke ever longed for his ultimate metaphor—for the way greed, lust, ego and violence spread out from their sources to empower monsters to harm and enslave the powerless—he finds it here, in the eloquent pages of “Creole Belle.” – John DeMers


>> for the golf enthusiast


t was a sport-star-studded event at the VIP grand opening party of TopGolf’s new Houston location. Held on Dec. 3, the event featured celebrity appearances by James Harden, the 2012 Sixth Man of the Year and leading scorer for the Houston Rockets, as well as TJ Yates and Brooks Reed of the Houston Texans. Yates and Reed made the ceremonial first shots. The 70,000-square-foot golf entertainment complex extends three levels and feature 102 hitting bays along with an upscale restaurant and bars. But it’s the technology that makes this golf complex unique. Each golf ball contains a computer microchip that tracks your shot’s accuracy and distance, while awarding points for hitting targets ranging from 20 to 250 yards away. 1030 Memorial Brook Blvd. 281406-3176, topgolf. com/houston

>> for the philanthropic

oh, louis!


n celebration of the re-opening of the Louis Vuitton at the Galleria, Valerie Chapoulaud hosted a private dinner inside the store’s newly expanded store on Nov. 28. The president and CEO of Louis Vuitton North America invited guests to explore the luxurious, new store filled with men’s and women’s leather goods, ready-to-wear, shoes, accessories and watch collections. Valerie also announced a partnership between Louis Vuitton and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, which will bring Louis Vuitton’s internationally renowned Art Talks to Houston in 2013. These intimate gatherings will be discussions between MFAH director Gary Tinterow and artists enlisted by the MFAH who have close ties to Louis Vuitton. 713-960-0707,

Simon & Schuster | Frank Veronsky | TopGolf Houston | dave rossman

>> for the book lover

prime finds gowns


cocktails & conversation

The latest and greatest on the season’s fashion front


by gionni

oming off its 50th anniversary celebration Elizabeth Anthony/Ester Wolf helps ring in the New Year with Venezuelan designer Gionni Straccia. Famous for his beautiful evening wear, the designer will be at the Uptown Park boutique for a rare in-store appearance showcasing his latest evening wear collection for spring 2013 on Jan. 18-19. 1180 Uptown Park Blvd. 713-622-1331,

made in paris (Texas) I

BlingGuard | Paris Texas Apparel Co. | Gionni Straccia

f you’re looking for cowboy chic neckties made with pride, look no further. Paris Texas Apparel Co. has come out with a series of Texas-inspired printed ties sporting such iconic symbols as the oil rig, armadillo, Texas state flag and the famous Spindletop. Houston brothers Patrick and Paul Hotze were inspired to design the tie line after recounting a trip they took from Houston to Del Rio. The sixhour drive today would’ve taken weeks, and the brothers were taken by those Texans’ sense of adventure and tenacity. The ties are an homage to the Texas spirit and now, men all over Texas can “tie one on” to show their state pride.

Bling It C

all them the Spanx for jewelry. These new, innovate “fashion fixes” can make your rings and earrings look and feel fabulous. Created by Houston’s own Jenny Moore, BlingGuard was born to solve Moore’s real-life dilemma of her engagement ring not sitting perfectly on top of her finger. BlingGuard is a hypoallergenic, latex-free band that adds and forms an invisible “padlock” to hold your rings in place. For earrings, BlindDots are made with cushiony-soft hypoallergenic foam and use a pressure-sensitive adhesive and a post-hugging grip to position earrings face-forward, adding extra security when you wear them. Women with stretched earring holes can now wear anything from classic hoops to elegant studs.

in style Get in step with the latest looks at these upcoming trunk shows Neiman Marcus, Houston Galleria Jan. 8 Valentino Jan. 15-16 Giorgio Armani Jan. 22-27 Jimmy Choo

Tootsies 2601 Westheimer Jan. 23-24 Kokin Feb 5-7 Claudia Lobao Jewelry

A. Taghi 5116 Westheimer Feb. 22-23 Brioni / Bruno Magli

French Cuff Boutique 4048 Bellaire Blvd. Feb. 7 Joseph Ribkoff Events subject to change. Roseann Rogers Known as Houston’s “Buzz Lady,” Roseann Rogers has been on top of the Houston’s social, fashion and entertainment scene for nearly 15 years. A regular contributor to Prime Living, she is also a TV personality, spokesperson and active philanthropist.

january/february • 2013


point of interest

A City’s Serenity Story | Holly Beretto


alking the labyrinth gives me an opportunity to relax my mind by [focusing] on the path and the steps I am taking as I proceed through the labyrinth,” says Charlene Dykman, professor of management at the University of St. Thomas Cameron School of Business. She’s talking about a special place on campus, one that allows visitors to find calm in the chaos of urban life. “When I choose to focus on that path, I realize very experientially that I can let go

of the busyness of my brain and all the ideas I am constantly processing.” This, then, is the crux of why this island of serenity in the middle of Houston’s hustle and bustle is important—both to the city and to its dwellers. In the everyday living of life in Houston, we’re up against traffic, noise, deadlines and that ever-present “go, go, go” that makes our city so successful. All that going can grate, though. So, our sacred, silent spots become highly valued.

Made possible by gifts from Ruth Westkaemper and Adolphe Gueymard, the labyrinth is adjacent to the Chapel of St. Basil, its pink paving stones winding around a design of 11 circles that lead to a rose-shaped center that is symbolic of the Virgin Mary. Walking a labyrinth has been used as a substitute for making a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and walkers are invited to reflect on their journeys as they proceed through the paths. For Dykman, walking the labyrinth is a way to step back from the onslaught of tangled thoughts and endless responsibilities of life. It allows her to bring order and calm to her life. “The labyrinth helps you to see the bigger picture. It makes your tiny little life and all its work and problems seem fairly minor when put into perspective, doesn’t it?”

university of st. thomas chapel of st. basil west alabama and montrose blvd. 713-522-7911


Sacred Spaces Rothko Chapel

Designed by renowned artist Mark Rothko, this place of meditation at the Menil Collection welcomes people of all beliefs. Private tours are offered and the chapel has been host to concerts and lectures that promote the spirit of human rights.

James Turrell “Twilight Epiphany” Skyspace

At Rice University, in the quad by the Shepherd School of Music, this composition of light complements the natural light present at sunrise and sunset, transforming the skyspace into a locale for contemplation and reflective interaction with the natural world. Light shows daily at sunrise and sunset show how the skyspace transforms the area around it.

Houston Arboretum

Walking the wooded trails here allows you to forget for a while that you’re in the middle of the fourthlargest city in the U.S. Tucked along Memorial Drive, the Arboretum is open daily, with several trails winding through native flora.

Roldan Zapata | University of St. Thomas

cocktails & conversation

my life

we live in such a

stressful world.

tea can be a way to


from that.

Story | holly beretto

Photography | mark Lipczynski

cocktails & conversation

tea master thia mccann


ith a background in alternative health and experience as an herbalist, it shouldn’t seem surprising that Thia McCann of Houston’s The Path of Tea—a shop she owns with her husband, Chris—became a certified tea master. “It was a natural fit for me,” she says. “I’ve always been interested in the health benefits of tea and this was a great way for me to broaden that knowledge.” The path to becoming a tea master leads through tea school. McCann is certified by the American Tea Master’s Association, which offers a course leading to a Tea Master’s Certificate. She’s also completed the first three levels of training from the Specialty Tea Institute. “It was six months of intensive training,” McCann says. She uses that experience at The Path of Tea to help guests realize what an important factor tea can be to good health. A longtime tea drinker herself, McCann says that opening a tea shop had been something of a dream for her. She lived in New Zealand for a time, and came back to Houston in 2005, thinking about what she might like to do next. “My best friend—who is also a health practitioner—and I had been talking about tea for years,” she says, describing an ongoing conversation that’s happened across the course of their friendship. “And I was saying I wanted to open a tea shop, and he said, ‘Why don’t you?’ ” Now, the tea master uses her love of tea to educate others about how different varieties can help with lowering blood pressure or increasing metabolism. Carrying more than 160 all-organic teas, McCann says she wants to create a tea culture in the Bayou City. “We live in such a stressful world,” she says. “Tea can be a way to disconnect from that.” january/february • 2013


cocktails & conversation


Hoop STARS Story | Bruce Farr

Maybe it had something to do with Elvis. The 1950s fascination with hip gyration, that is.


fter all, on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in 1957, The King demonstrated the right moves that millions of otherwise demure Americans would soon try and duplicate within the brightly colored circumference of—you guessed it—a hula hoop. And, to advance the theory, it was the very next year, in 1958, that the Wham-O toy company trademarked the name Hula Hoop and began manufacturing and selling millions of them. To understand how absolutely “gaga” Americans went over the hula hoop, you almost had to have been there. Today’s enthusiasm for, say, the iPhone or Kindle pales by comparison. On any given day in those otherwise placid Eisenhower years, everybody—toddlers, teens, moms and dads, senior citizens, priests and rabbis, politicians, accountants and astronauts— could be observed unabashedly rocking back and forth on their haunches, their arms akimbo, jutting and twisting their hips in a manner that otherwise might


have been regarded as vaguely obscene. It was all being done in the act of trying to keep aloft and spinning a roughly 4-foot diameter plastic hoop. Hula hoops were on TV, the radio and in the movies. Newspapers printed whole articles about them, and they appeared on the covers of countless magazines. Kids took them to school and couldn’t wait for recess or lunch so they could get outside and start “hula-hooping.” (That’s right, to “hula hoop” became an accepted verb in our lexicon.) Hula hoops soon became as commonplace

Did you know? On Sept. 6, 1958, jazz and pop singer Georgia Gibbs appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show” to sing “The Hula Hoop Song,” which celebrated the already legendary fad. The tune became a Top 40 hit for Gibbs, whose lyrics to the song’s second stanza say it all: “From L.A. to New York, from Georgia to Duluth/Everyone is playing with the hula hoop/Red ones and the green ones, yellow, white, and blue/Young and old, rich or poor, are spinning them, too.”

as tennis racquets or TV antennas. It was an American phenomenon like no other. And why you might ask? Because it was pure, simple fun. In an age in which difficult, deeply complex and darkly plotted video games are the entertainment modes of choice for millions of kids around the world, the hula hoop has become an iconic reminder of how comparatively simple—and yet uncommonly loved—the toys of yesteryear were. The facts speak for themselves: After Wham-O’s founders Richard Knerr and Arthur “Spud” Melin finally got Hula Hoops into toy stores, 25 million of the tubular plastic circles flew off the shelves for a whopping $1.98 apiece in the first four months. Within 12 months, the company had sold 100 million hoops. In 1999, the Hula Hoop was entered into the National Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester, N.Y. It was—and is—a toy for the ages. Although, like most fads, hula-hooping fell dormant over many decades, there’s been a recent resurgence in its popularity. Today, you can find scores of websites that provide links to hooping clubs, retail hoop vendors and information about how to use hula hoops to lose weight and increase fitness levels. We say, “hooray for hula hoops!”

cocktails & conversation


Hula Hoop


Hula-Hooping Celebs

Famous people do it, too! The following celebrities have gone on record to say that they hula hoop for fun and exercise on a regular basis. Match the famous hooper with their hometown.


What’s the record for the longest hula-hooping “whirl”? A. 2 hours B. 12 hours C. 24 hours


In what country was hula-hooping actually banned? A. France B. Russia C. Indonesia




Liv Tyler

Newark, N.J.

Zooey Deschanel

New York City

First Lady Michelle Obama

Los Angeles

Marisa Tomei


Shaquille O’Neal

Brooklyn, N.Y.

All the Hoopla


In which country did hula hoops originate? A. United States B. Australia C. Italy


Amaze your friends with your knowledge of hula hoops, as revealed in the answers to the following questions.

1. Wham-O, the company that first manufactured hula hoops, also created and marketed the

, another enormously

popular recreational toy.

Watch this clip from the ’80s, when a 13-year-old national hula hoop champion performs on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” or visit SXiMFM.

whirled by one person at the same time is


3. The “hula” portion of hula hoop originated in


Hula Hoop Trivia Answers: 1. C. A 10-year-old Boston boy hula-hooped without stopping for four hours at a record 18,000 whirls. 2. D. The Indonesian government outlawed hula-hooping because it reasoned that doing so “might stimulate passion.” Likewise, Japan forbade hula hoops on public streets. 3. B. Australia. In the late 1940s, a bamboo version of the hula hoop was used in exercise classes in that country.

Here’s Johnny!

2. The record for the number of hula hoops

Hula-Hooping Celebs Answers: Beyoncé, Houston. Liv Tyler, New York City. Zooey Deschanel, Los Angeles. First Lady Michelle Obama, Chicago. Marisa Tomei, Brooklyn, N.Y. Shaquille O’Neal, Newark, N.J.

Watch this quick video from back when the world fell in love with the hula hoop or visit

All the Hoopla Answers: 1. Frisbee. 2. 132. Paul “Dizzy Hips” Blair spun 132 hoops simultaneously during an appearance on “The CBS Early Show” on Nov. 12, 2009. 3. Hawaii. In the 1700s, sailors visiting Hawaii and other tropical islands saw a similarity in the movements of hula dancers and hoop whirlers.

Hula Hoop Craze

january/february • 2013


cocktails & conversation

bucket list

start yourengines Story | JAKE POINIER


Motor Speedway) that includes eight laps of driving with a professional instructor for about $450. “We also have single-day programs that go all the way up to $6,000, with a lot more laps and breaking down your performance with a professional instructor,” says Mike Bartelli, chief marketing officer for Petty Holdings. An even more intense program is the Richard Petty Fantasy Racing Camp,

offered three times a year for three or four days, with opportunities to drive on multiple tracks, with different cars and celebrity instructors, for about $10,000 to $12,000. For those whose tastes extend beyond NASCAR, the Mario Andretti Racing Experience (also at Texas Motor Speedway), offers courses in a full-sized, open-wheel Indy-style racecar with top speeds reaching up to

Richard Petty Driving Experience


here’s nothing like the adrenaline rush you get from getting pushed back in your seat by a car with a couple hundred horsepower under the hood. Do it on Interstate 45, and you’re asking for a whopping ticket. But between the world-class tracks at MSR Houston and Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, there’s a better way to put the pedal to the medal with impunity. Depending on your desires, time commitments and budget, the list of possibilities is practically endless. For example, Richard Petty Driving Experience offers an entry-level NASCAR stock car course at 25 tracks around the country (including Texas

cocktails & conversation

bucket list

180 mph. At MSR Houston, thrills can be had in a BMW M3 race car or a Mercedes C63 AMG sports car as you tear up the 2.38-mile, 17-turn road course for eight or 15 laps. If you’ve always fantasized about driving a car that runs well into six figures, you’re also in luck. Petty Holdings’ Exotic Driving Experience recently added MSR Houston and Texas Motor Speedway to its national roster of locations for 2013. Drivers can step behind the wheel of a $300,000 Ferrari 458 Italia, or one of several Lamborghinis, an Audi R8, an Aston Martin, a Porsche, or a Nissan GTR, which can go 0-to-60 in three seconds. “It’s not as daunting as the stock

cars,” says Bartelli. “You’re not climbing through a window net, don’t have to put on a fire suit, and there’s less sweating because you have A/C. They’re just incredible performance machines.” Regardless of the program, instruction generally includes safety protocols and a course overview for acceleration and braking points. A professional instructor in the passenger seat guides you through the turns and straight-aways with twoway open-mic communications in the helmets to help you improve your times. You’ll learn a lot about going fast, but be forewarned: This is a bucket list item that could very easily turn into a habit.

the 4–1–1 clutch performance

Many racecars require the ability to drive a manual transmission. Make sure that your chosen program is appropriate to your skill set—or select one that is a better fit.

Are you a good fit?

Age, height and weight restrictions will vary depending on which car you’re driving. For instance, taller customers may not fit comfortably in low-slung exotics. Stock cars don’t have doors, so participants must have the ability to climb through a 15-by-30-inch window 3 feet off the ground, just like the pros.

Dress code

For race car experiences, participants need to wear socks, closed-toe shoes and clothes that will be comfortable under the supplied driver’s suit (shorts are allowed). Exotic car drivers generally need to wear socks, closed-toe shoes and long pants. Your school will provide a helmet.

If you’ve always fantasized about driving a car that runs well into six figures, you’re also in luck. january/february • 2013


cocktails & conversation


Perfect touch W

hen Julie Dodson of Dodson Interiors sat down with her young, energetic clients to re-vamp their Bellaire home to accommodate a new baby and even newer aesthetic sensibilities, she was immediately struck by the intriguing contrasts the homeowners presented both as individuals and as a couple. The first objective was to capture the whimsical, romantic feelings of their wedding, while also maintaining a rugged quality


that was both warm and masculine. Then she heard the magic words, “Show us a little of everything that’s really new and exciting.” What better way to bridge these two disparate styles than with a liberal dose of texture guaranteed to elevate their dining room into a treat for the senses? With this year’s explosion of textures on the design scene in everything from curtains to accessories, some of the most exciting looks can be achieved

with something as subtle as media nouvelle wallpaper, or mysterious and alluring like textured velvets. “Their vision was a modern take on femininity and romanticism, with a lot of soft, blushy lilacs and pinks,” says Dodson. “They showed me their gorgeous wedding album full of these dreamy colors, with a very masculine, very Texan husband right in the mix. So I knew using some harmonizing textures was going to play a part in bringing final design to fruition.”

Previously, the dining room walls were painted simply in yellow tones, and while countless details and decisions go into updating a room into its ultimate transformation, Dodson was able to complete the project in three months. “The client really loves fabrics and touchable luxury, so this was a real opportunity to mix things up, use some formal and informal elements together to create warmth. So many times when you mention textural elements such as wallpaper, the

Natalia Huerta

Story | Jessica Mebane


cocktails & conversation

the Essentials client immediately says, ‘No, no, no,’ and you have to show what some of these great companies like Phillip Jeffries, Maya Romanoff and Falls & Company are doing these days with texture that are really pushing the envelope. These aren‘t your grandmother’s wallpapers anymore,” Dodson says. Texas-based Falls & Company turned out to have the winning look for updating the dining room, even though it wasn’t paper, but burlap. Yes, burlap. Dodson counts the hand-produced and earthy wall coverings from Falls & Company among her favorites, and couldn’t wait to apply their Ivory Burlap directly to the existing walls.

For fabrics, she turned to hand-embroidered Roman key detailing by Villa Savoia on the buffets and Pindler & Pindler Inc.’s Nevelles upholstery in natural. For another layer of tactile warmth, Dodson had custom chairs and table designed by The Joseph Company, and upholstered in a touchable, swirling silk by Silkworks’ Flores Collection. Top it all off with lamps from Area in Houston, and the Chambord chandelier from Dennis & Leen, and you have a dining room that beckons with romance and warmth, while never forgetting its strong Texas lines, not unlike the owners themselves.

This elegantly appointed room has a romantic soul firmly grounded in Texas, both in design and materials, and here are just a few resources to point you in new, textured directions. Falls & Company Since 2010, this McKinney Falls-based wall coverings company has incorporated humble burlap with exciting metallics in its collections. Some of their most unique offerings have bits of paper, metal and paint assembled in such a way as to appear like “hand-hammered sheets of gold, silver and mixed metals.”

The Joseph Company The chairs and dining table were made by this Houston-based, to-the-trade company that works only in durable hardwoods such as kiln-dried alder or poplar. Area Down in West U, shoppers and designers alike come here to browse an ever-changing display of elegant antiques alongside lustrous and chic modern pieces. So mix it up and keep it fresh with just a few new items or a whole room of mixed styles and come-hither textures. 5600 Kirby Drive, 713-668-1668

january/february • 2013




FIGHT CANCER When I was diagnosed with cancer, I chose to partner with Texas Oncology. They’re part of the largest network of cancer specialists, researchers and treatment centers in the country, yet they’re right here in my hometown. With support from my family and friends, I can fight this disease. And I’m glad Texas Oncology is on my side.

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1-888-864-I CAN (4226) •


losing to win Story | Bruce Farr Photography | Mark Lipczynski

With obesity rates having more than doubled among adults and children since the 1970s, health experts are sounding the alarm on this increasingly widespread public health problem. Three Houston-area residents who’ve been to the obesity cliff and back share their stories—heartrending and inspirational—about how they’ve reclaimed their lives.

mark cornelison

anna rudder

t.j. aulds january/february • 2013


Everybody’s looking for a quick fix, and they have this perception that the show was somehow magical—that we took a pill or something and the weight peeled off . . . But what we really did was exercise and

make healthy choices about what we ate, and that’s the only way to be successful at this.




Mark Cornelison

For reasons that are all too obvious, not many “morbidly obese” individuals would want to share their struggle to control their weight with thousands of others. But not so for Mark Cornelison. A youth pastor for Faith Bible Church in Magnolia, Cornelison, 44, did what some would find unthinkable when he became a contestant last season on the NBC TV reality program “The Biggest Loser.” Throughout his life, Cornelison’s weight troubles have mirrored those of millions of sufferers. Overweight since high school, he tried a lot of gimmicky diets and never really got things under control. At his heaviest, the 6-foot-tall Cornelison weighed in at just under 300 pounds. Cornelison spent years trying to control his weight, but it wasn’t until his then-9-yearold son, Chism, suffered a severe ankle break that he found the impetus to finally take some serious action. “My son was in a wheelchair and in and out of hospitals over a five-year period,” he recalls. “During that time he gained a lot of weight. I think my own lifestyle then contributed to that a lot, and so I felt I had to get things under control for me and for him.” After watching the show for many seasons, father and son decided to apply for “The Biggest Loser.” They were picked from thousands of would-be contestants for the show’s 13th season. “It was a really unique father-son experience, to say the least,” Cornelison says.

By the time of their final appearances on the show, and after more than a little blood, sweat and tears, Cornelison had lost 101 pounds. His son dropped 103. “I left the show at a ‘maintenance-level’ weight, which is something that not many people do, so it was a total life-changing experience for me,” he says. Notably, as a part of his experience on the show, Cornelison and seven of his fellow contestants participated in an on-air challenge to load a truck by hand, with the fastest load time and weight as the winner. Cornelison won by loading nearly 31,000 pounds of Newman’s Own sauces, salad dressings and other products, which he then donated to the Montgomery County Food Bank in Conroe. Since the show, Cornelison has managed to keep off the weight he lost, working out four to five days a week and running constantly. “I came home to a very supportive family and everything I do every day is different than it was before all this happened,” he says. Additionally, Cornelison and his wife have developed a number of exercise classes to help other weight loss strugglers. His advice to others? “Everybody’s looking for a quick fix, and they have this perception that the show was somehow magical—that we took a pill or something and the weight peeled off,” he says. “But what we really did was exercise and make healthy choices about what we ate, and that’s the only way to be successful at this.” january/february • 2013


Like a lot of mothers, I had done everything for my family through the years...never

really thinking about myself. But suddenly there I was, looking at myself, and saying, ‘I don’t even know who this person is.’


breaking the


Anna Rudder

Baymont resident Anna Rudder’s story is a classic one of a woman who wrestled with her weight nearly her whole life before radically altering the destructive path she was on. A retired high school math teacher, Rudder, who’s 57, had fought weight issues since her teenage years. “I was a typical ‘yo-yo’ dieter,” she says. “Up and down, up and down.” In 1997, however, she really began piling on the weight, prompting her move to a strict diet and exercise plan that helped her shed 70 pounds. But in what would become a pattern for Rudder, she soon regained every ounce and began “yo-yo-ing” in a heartbreaking cycle of weight loss and regain all over again. Along with the weight, as she got older, she began to experience the typical “comorbid” physical conditions that run handin-hand with obesity: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, Type 2 diabetes, chronic back pain, thyroid issues and generally deteriorating health. And because she’s legally blind, she can no longer drive. So, with her husband away at work during the day, she became largely housebound and immobile.

Three years ago, she found herself weighing a whopping 250 pounds and barely fitting in a size 24 dress. She knew she was at a critical juncture in her life. What finally led her to seek weight loss surgery options was a moment when she looked at herself in the mirror and uttered the words, “I need help.” “I knew I simply could not lose the weight on my own any longer,” she admits. “I’d reached a psychological impasse after so many initially successful diets, but with the weight always coming back on.” She consulted a surgeon who advised her that she was a good candidate for gastric bypass surgery, which she underwent in late 2009. “Fortunately, living in Houston with the premier medical centers we have, our choices for healthcare programs are excellent,” she says. She carefully researched everything she could about the procedure before deciding to undergo it at The Methodist Hospital. Following surgery, her weight came off effortlessly, she says. Within just 10 months, she lost an incredible 100 pounds and was taken off all the medications for her weightrelated health maladies. Today, Rudder’s weight fluctuates between 128 and 133 and

she now wears a size 4 or 6 dress. “It’s all about attitude,” she says of dealing with the aftermath of the surgery that she now credits with having saved her life. “Every day, no matter what I was confronted with, I was so thankful for the surgery that I didn’t really look at anything as being difficult to cope with.” She often reflects on her years of weight struggles. “Like a lot of mothers, I had done everything for my family through the years, driving my kids to soccer games and everywhere else, never really thinking about myself. But suddenly there I was, looking at myself, and saying, ‘I don’t even know who this person is.’ ” Since then, She’s become a strong advocate for people who find themselves in her former circumstances. “I want women who are my age—in their 50s and 60s—to know that it is never too late. When I hit bottom was when I realized that, because of my weight, I had squandered my youth, squandered my life. Prior to my weight loss surgery, I told my doctor, ‘I cannot fail at this.’ He promised me that if I did my part I would be successful. And I did.”

january/february • 2013


The first thing you have to do is admit

that you’re fat.

Not overweight, not obese. Fat. Once you get over that part of it, you’ve

achieved the first step, sort

of like someone might admit to himself that he’s an alcoholic. When you’re dealing with anything like this, you first have to acknowledge that you have a problem.


no more excuses T.J. Aulds

T.J. Aulds was in a restaurant recently, waiting to meet his father for dinner, the first time the two would see each other in a month. Aulds watched his dad walk in, scan the restaurant for his son and then walk right past him. He finally tapped his father on the shoulder and announced, “Daddy! It’s me!” As Aulds explains, failing to be recognized by friends and family is just one of the bizarre outcomes experienced by many like him who’ve lost extreme amounts of weight. Aulds, who lives in Bayou Vista, just north of Galveston, is 44 and an editor for the Galveston County Daily News. He was a high school and college cheerleader in tip-top shape when he suffered a knee injury that slowed his pace down somewhat, causing his weight to gradually creep up. “By my late 20s, I would have denied being obese, but I was,” he admits. Although he was loath to ever step on a scale then, Aulds, who is 6 feet tall, estimates that at one time his weight ballooned to approximately 430 pounds. Today, he tips the scales at a svelte 280. His weight loss came after he opted to undergo a procedure called “gastric sleeve” or “banding” surgery, in which Aulds’ stomach was tied off with a flexible band, reducing it by 80 percent. His decision to have the procedure came after much research and deliberation.

“I knew that no matter how much I worked out and dieted, I wasn’t going to see progress as right-off-the-bat as I wanted,” he says. “I knew I needed something that would give me a dramatic kick-start toward losing weight.” As a writer, Aulds made the courageous decision to share the dramatic ups and downs, joys and sorrows, of his weight loss journey with the public. He convinced his publisher to let him write a monthly blog for the newspaper’s online and print editions, which Aulds derisively named “Fatboy.” The blog, which charted his course following his surgery, became one of Aulds’s most popular pieces of writing. “It’s turned out to be something that everyone can relate to,” he says, “whether they’re mortally obese or just overweight. It took off immediately.” Aulds’s ultimate weight loss goal is around 230 pounds, which means he has another 50 pounds to go. As daunting as it sounds, he’s committed to the goal and to the work he must put in to achieve it. His advice to others is straightforward. “I would say to anyone in my previous position, ‘Make a change, and do it now.’ I asked myself afterward, ‘Why the hell didn’t I do this before?’ I came up with excuses and justified where I was. If I knew then how I feel now, I would have done this a long time ago.” january/february • 2013






he path to intimacy begins with how we see and feel about ourselves

Story | mary jo rapini

january/february • 2013



ecently, I attended Stay focused When I advise women who are struggling a meeting dealing with their body image, I find myself reciting things I’ve heard or read that help. For with issues of example, experts tell women to focus on an sexuality, dysfunction and area they like and to appreciate and dress in a way that flatters that particular area. relationships. The most For many women, this may be helpful. popular theme in each But my practice is full of women who can only admit to liking a very limited area. Let’s expert’s presentation, no face it, if you say what you like most about matter what his or her field your body are your eyebrows, any expert is to struggle with how to help you build of study, was the importance going a better body image using your eyebrows. of body image in influencing In addition, body image includes areas that aren’t exactly body-related. For a woman’s libido. example, many professional and career-

Although many of the diagrams and graphs were complicated, the message was not. How women feel about their bodies influences their libidos. As women, we know how it feels when we’re bloated or feel fat and our partner wants to get intimate. There’s a sense of dread and duty, leaving you to either acquiesce or find an excuse. It doesn’t matter how beautiful your partner tells you that you are or what you’re wearing; if you don’t feel good about your body, you don’t look forward to being vulnerable or wanting pleasure. Both of these are important when making love.

oriented women boast high self-esteem due to their professions. They may not like their bodies, but they don’t let that hold them back sexually.

Body talk

What we say to ourselves is much more important than what others say. A recent report revealed that women routinely say more than 20 derogatory things about their bodies each day. These same women suffer from how they view their bodies emotionally, physically and sexually. It doesn’t matter if their husbands love their

bodies, comment on the beauty of their bodies, or tell them how attractive they are—these women are destroying their concept of themselves from within. The media is an easy target to blame, but media is not the entire problem. What we say to ourselves is the problem. What we think to ourselves is the problem. What we say to our friends about our inadequacies is a problem. All sex talk begins with what we say to ourselves. No sex talk will make women feel sexier, hotter or more desired if they have destroyed their sense of sexiness from within. After all, hormone therapy can make you feel more like having sex, but if you don’t feel good about your body, you will be reluctant to act on your feelings.

Inside job

Since this is an internal thing we do to ourselves, working to change our mindset is also something we must do in order to stop perpetuating a poor body image. It means you have to take a stance and begin by advocating for yourself and for your intimacy/sex life with your partner. That means sitting down with your partner and directly addressing what happens to you when you talk about yourself. Loving men will do anything to help their partner if they understand the mission. Here are some tips:

Loving men will do anything to help their partner if they understand the mission.



One way men will learn how to treat a woman is if women stand up when they make a derogatory comment about women, instead of joining them in their taunts.

If seeing an image of a taut woman, scantily dressed and exuding sex appeal, makes you feel and talk badly about yourself, then rid your home of these types of magazines, TV shows or whatever you are currently seeing. Movement is linked to many sensory areas of our brains. Movement makes our mood better, our affect more animated and our sense of sexuality healthier. You don’t need to run marathons to feel and be sexy, but you do need to exercise each day. Ten minutes is better than no minutes. An hour a day, split up any way you want, is best! Begin a journal to yourself with a list of derogatory comments you remember being said to you before the age of 8. These comments may have been made in jest, but they weren’t jokes. They are wired into your brain and you may be repeating these to yourself as part of your negative mantra. Catch yourself. Whenever you make a derogatory comment about some part

of your body, picture a stop sign and say aloud, “No.” Ask yourself, “What right do you have to abuse anyone including yourself?” Then think of who in your life made you think this was OK. Sometimes, you will remember things your dad said, but more likely your mom used to insult herself, as well. If anyone in your life insults your body, tell them that abusing you with negative comments is not OK. If your kids hear this message, they will begin early protecting their body image.

In this together

Women are much more critical of their bodies than men. Part of this is due to the fact that women are more sensitive and do not abuse men’s bodies with negative comments to the degree men do with women. One way men will learn how to treat a woman is if women stand up when they make a derogatory comment about women, instead

of joining them in their taunts. Couples will spend money to enhance their sex life with products, medications and exotic vacations. However, the least expensive, and perhaps most effective, is to begin changing how we talk to ourselves. The first sex talk you get is not the one you get from mom or dad during a formal birds-and-bees lecture. It’s the mini body image lectures we give ourselves when we are children. These mini body image insults we say each day to our bodies is more potent than any sex product, medication or exotic vacation we could ever afford.

mary jo rapini Mary Jo Rapini is a Houston-based psychotherapist specializing in sex and relationships. In addition to being a speaker, author and TV personality, she shares her expert advice Tuesday mornings on Mix 96.5 and Friday mornings on Fox 26 Houston. For information, visit

january/february • 2013


creating menus to fit your personal flair and fare


ach event is different, and we strive to keep your event special.

Specializing in Cooked-To-Order buffets, which ensures you are getting quality ingredients cooked right before your eyes... bringing freshness and quality to your table. Holiday Events H Corporate Lunches H Anniversaries H Birthdays Graduations H Kid’s Parties H Special Events H Private In-Home Parties Personal In-Home Cooking Classes


Contact us for a complimentary quote on all your catering needs.


the prime living guide to discerning taste

inside: Ristorante Cavour

34 36 38 40 42

• • • • •

Table Talk | Dining News Main Dish | C'est Magnifique! Bragging Bites | Chocolate Fantasies Uncorked | Days of Wine & Salad Entertain | Gridiron Gents

january/february • 2013


connoisseur table talk

>> For the Trend Seeker

A Star is Born


rench farmhouse-chic Etoile Cuisine Et Bar, opened by well-known California chef-restaurateur Philippe Verpiand, has graced Uptown Park. The striking eatery with soaring ceilings has been refashioned with whitewashed reclaimed woods, a new bar and a freshened-up 30-seat patio. Verpiand, a Provence native and son of a second-generation butcher, has designed a unique French/Mediterranean menu in three parts: French traditional, French country and seasonal. Anticipate approachable classics like coq au vin, roasted duck a l’Orange, cassoulet with white beans, sausage and pork, mussels steamed in white wine, and seasonal risotto with homemade pâté. For dessert, pistachio profiteroles with hot chocolate sauce or apple tart a la mode—sweet! 1101-11 Uptown Park Blvd. 832-668-5808,

>> For the Chocoholic

Chocolate Art


ocal artisan chocolatier Annie Rupani has debuted Cacao & Cardamom featuring amazing handmade chocolates—actually little jewels—flavored with South Asian spices like fennel, curry and tamarind. Stunning signature pieces such as Cardamom Rose, Lychee Basil, Mango Caramel or Szechwan Peppercorn will transport your taste buds to another world. Rupani crafts a Southern Comfort line with more familiar flavors—think s'mores, peanut butter and jelly, carrot cake and bon bons infused with teas from around the globe. Cacao & Cardamom is available at Georgia’s Market and in Central Market by Valentine’s Day.

The latest restaurants to join and leave the Houston dining scene

Openings • Elevation Burger • Nosh Bistro • Burger Guys Downtown



• Dragon Bowl • Ziggy’s Grill, Main St. • Café Adobe, Upper Kirby • The Strip House

Cacao & Cardamom: Cacao & Cardamom

Hello & Goodbye


>> For the Tex Mex Maven

table talk

New Era for Ninfa’s


nergetic young restaurateurs Bobby Heugel, Kevin Floyd and Michael Burnett of Anvil Bar & Refuge, Underbelly, and Hay Merchant are the new management team for the original Ninfa’s on Navigation. They are in partnership with Legacy Restaurant Group, who bought Ninfa’s from the Laurenzo family years ago and also owns Antone’s Famous Po’boys. To preserve the essence of the legendary Ninfa’s, there aren’t many changes planned except to keep things fresh and evolving. Exec-chef Alex Padilla has amped-up the menu with more shareable plates, a new fajita burger, and more seafood such as grilled salmon with mango salsa. Never fear, the famous Ninfaritas and housemade flour tortillas remain, along with new libations by Heugel, including a seasonal winter-spiced margarita garnished with orange and cinnamon. Ironically, look for a new El Tiempo, owned by the Laurenzo family, to open right next door on Navigation this spring. It’s good in the ’hood! 2704 Navigation Blvd. 713-228-1175, >> For the Wine Lover

New in Town


ottie TV celeb-chef Tyler Florence is now in the wine business. Florence has joined Michael Mondavi to produce a food-friendly Sauvignon Blanc with clean citrus notes and an elegant Cabernet Sauvignon. Both are available in Houston’s Central Market and Spec’s, and the TF limited edition Pinot Noir and Zinfandel are sold online. Any of his excellent selections make a thoughtful hostess gift for the savvy Tyler Florence fanatic. tylerflorencewines. com

>> For the Chef Follower

Za Za Zu

Ninfa’s: Alex Gregg | Tyler Florence Wines: Tyler Florence Wines


ant to eat like a rock star? Jonathon Jones, of Beaver’s and formerly with Max’s Wine Dive, is the new executive chef at sexy Hotel ZaZa’s Monarch Bistro. His robust global-Tex menu includes Sunday brunch starring Korean Fried Chicken and scallion pancakes; Texas steak & eggs Benedict with buttermilk biscuits and spicy sausage gravy, and “Juice Bar” options like the Feel Good, an antioxidant boost with acai berry, berries and pomegranate. Dinner apps go exotic: scallop tiradito with orange-cumin, bacon, and chile; tri-colored beets, or sticky ribs with Thai chile glaze. For big plates, expect pan-roasted wild salmon with local honey, blood orange, cauliflower gratin and Brussels sprouts; or carnitas pork and beans featuring local Black Hill Ranch Pork. On mild days, consider dining on the awesome terrace overlooking the Museum district oak trees. 5701 Main St. 713-527-1800,

Side Sips Wine events you won’t want to miss Annual Rodeo Uncorked! Roundup and Best Bites Competition is on tap for Feb. 17 at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Excitement pops as attendees delight their taste buds at this sprawling event featuring hundreds of wines to sample along with signature dishes from area restaurants and catering firms. Attendees are the judges in the Best Bites Competition, selecting favorite dishes from more than 60 culinary entries. A highlight of the evening is the announcement of the top winners in the International Wine Competition with more than 1,600 wines from 10 different countries vying for the Grand Champion Best of Show title each year. 832-667-1000,

robin barr sussman Robin Barr Sussman is a Houston-based freelance writer who specializes in food, wine and travel. Her work has appeared in Texas Monthly, My Table, and Private Clubs magazine.

january/february • 2013


connoisseur main dish

C’ e st Magnifique! Story | Holly Beretto Photography | Mark Lipczynski

There are so many places in Houston where dining becomes about the destination, some total package of over-the-top expectations of chic space and showmanship, that it’s easy to forget that food doesn’t have to be fancy—or served up in a fancy place—to be extraordinary.


Exhibit A as a reminder of this is L’Olivier, Chef Olivier Ciesielski’s spot on Lower Westheimer where approachable French fare in an elegant setting easily became my favorite dining experience of the year. “I care about what you want as a diner,” Ciesielski says earnestly, and his commitment shines through in the menu. Start your dinner with a French 75 cocktail, a light concoction of gin and lemon juice that easily paves the way for what’s to come. You won’t regret ordering the chicken liver paté, rich and creamy and stunningly simple served with crunchy bread and sweet pickles. This is one of those dishes that makes me imagine sunny days in the French countryside, where family and friends gather for food and wine. Each bite was delightful. Up next came the smoked butternut squash panzoti, drizzled with earthy sage truffle sauce and topped with a lobster medallion. Paired with the Stag’s Leap Karia Chardonnay, it was a savory, near perfect dish. The L’Olivier bouillabaise was a feast for the eyes and the taste buds, a gorgeous fish stew of mussels, scallops, langoustine and chunks of Dourade. It was a beautifully composed and endlessly flavorful entrée. The steak frites, complete with a white paper bag of incredible French fries, is an utterly inspired comfort food dish. In fact, there’s something wonderfully comforting about L’Olivier. It’s an inviting space, with rich red accents on the walls, funky chairs and metal tables. Windows line the wall

facing the street, flooding the restaurant with light. It’s the sort of space where you feel at home, where you know you can come as you are, and you’ll be welcome. And the most welcoming thing of all about L’Olivier is Chef Olivier himself, who takes something of a world cuisine approach to his French menu. “I like to take something from Morocco, from South Africa, maybe,” he says of how he thinks of his flavors. And, of course, French cuisine is infused elements from around African and the Mediterranean. He says that Houston is the perfect place for such a canvas, because the city’s diners are so inquisitive and ready for new experiences. Among the new, you’ll find classics as well. Consider the Floating Island for dessert, a charmingly old school French sweet, milky and sensual, and the perfect ending to your meal. Virtually everything at L’Olivier was perfect, from the glorious wine list (the Domaine Guillaman Ugni Blanc/Colombard blend was a particular favorite and the Les Cadrans de Lassegue from St. Emillion, divine) to the attentive and ever-helpful servers. This is a place where you feel the focus is on the food, and on making sure you enjoy yourself. “When people leave with a smile, we’re so happy,” says Ciesielski. Well, I smiled for days. l’olivier restaurant & bar 240 westheimer 713-360-6313

connoisseur main dish

Braised Short Ribs with Burgundy Potato Tart 5 lbs. boneless beef short ribs, cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces Kosher salt Black pepper, freshly ground 3 tbsp. vegetable oil 2 medium onions, chopped 5 medium carrots, peeled and chopped 1 celery stalk, chopped 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour 4 whole tomatoes, crushed 4 sprigs fresh thyme 2 sprigs rosemary 1 fresh or dried bay leaf 1 head of garlic, halved crosswise 3 oz. red wine 5 cups beef stock (demi glace)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season short ribs with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large heavy pan oven over mediumhigh heat. Working in two batches, brown short ribs on all sides, about 8 minutes per batch. Transfer short ribs to a plate and reserve. Add onions,

carrots and celery to pot and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until onions are caramelized, about 5 minutes. Add flour and tomatoes. Cook, stirring constantly, until wellcombined and deep red, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in wine, then add short ribs with any accumulated juices. Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Add all herbs to pot along with garlic and beef stock. Bring to a boil, cover and transfer to oven. Cook until short ribs are tender, 2 to 2-1/2 hours. Transfer short ribs to a platter. Strain sauce from the pot into a measuring cup. Spoon fat from surface of sauce and discard. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Serve in plate with the potato tart with sauce spooned over.

Braised Short Ribs with Burgundy Potato Tart

For Chef Olivier's recipe of the Burgundy potato tart, visit Floating Island

Chicken liver patĂŠ

French 75


january/february • 2013


connoisseur Bragging Bites



Story | Robin Barr Sussman Photography | Mark Lipczynski

Just like love and marriage, chocolate desserts go hand in hand with Valentine’s Day, so we’ve scoured the state for the most swoon-worthy choices. Find the sweet to woo your love, whether it’s drenched in dark chocolate, accented with espresso or tippled with orange Patrón. Let the battle of bliss begin!


c connoisseur Bragging Bites

Romantic Tiramisu

Not only is Ristorante Cavour in the Italian beauty Hotel Granduca an utterly captivating setting for an intimate evening (complete with rose-topped tables), the tiramisu is stunning. Too gorgeous to eat? Well, almost. Run your fork through this treat and discover potent espresso-soaked ladyfingers topped with plush layers of nottoo-sweet milk chocolate and white chocolate mascarpone pastry cream. It doesn’t stop there. Envision artistically painted dark and white chocolate sauces, intense cocoa powder, hazelnut ice cream topped with warm chocolate sauce, and a handmade chocolate tuile you two can fight over. Anticipate other chocolate Valentine’s surprises on the menu, too. Ristorante Cavour • 1080 Uptown Park Blvd. 713-418-1104 •

Seduction by Chocolate

Chef John Sheely’s cozy, softly-lit neighborhood haunt feels right for a rendezvous with its rouge touches, private nook seating and eclectic vibe. His flourless chocolate cake drenched in dark bittersweet ganache is not for the faint of heart—it’s the densest, most sinful dark chocolate we’ve found. The key is lots of butter and high-quality, semi-sweet chocolate, which results in a fudge-like bite. Just like his accomplished entrees, servings are generous, so expect lavish garnishing that might include mini chocolate chip cookies, chocolate and raspberry sauces, whole raspberries, or white chocolate ice cream. More good news: This dessert is so rich, you’ll be forced to share. Mockingbird Bistro • 1985 Welch 713-533-0200 •

Oak Restaurant: joy Zhang

Be Still My Heart

At this nationally recognized hotspot rooted in the Design District, pastry chef Sarah Green’s desserts are works of art. Her creations, like the silky Gianduja chocolate panna cotta, show keen attention to detail with heart-thumping flavors. The hazelnut-chocolate flavored panna cotta is uniquely shaped like a pyramid, and then perched atop a luscious blonde brownie. But there’s more to this temptress. Sit back in your posh caramel-colored banquette and dig in to the Patrón Citronage ice cream resting on crushed dark chocolate cake, mainlined by decadent chocolate sauces and candied orange. With so much going on here, you might forget to be infatuated with your date. What’s love got to do with it, anyway? Oak Restaurant • 1628 Oak Lawn Ave., Dallas 214-712-9700 •

january/february • 2013


connoisseur uncorked

Days of

Wine & Salad

Story | John DeMers


the salad you’ve been served. But if you want to address the issue a bit further up the food (and wine) chain, there are certainly things you can do to achieve what our leaders used to call “peaceful coexistence.” For one thing, you can change the vinegar in the dressing, moving away from the harsher, more acidic white vinegars, or even wine vinegars, to some aged and rounded variation like balsamic, sherry or rice. Borrowed from the Asian cuisines that have become so popular, rice vinegar has been my vinegar of choice for years. When the mood strikes you, also consider fruit juices like lemon or lime, apple cider, or orange and cranberry juice as a sub for all or part of your vinegar. And while you’re at it, take a good look at your greens (peppery arugula works better than iceberg or even Romaine, helped along by accents like nuts and cheese) and your oil. Happily, more and more people these days rely on high-quality extra-virgin olive, in their salads and elsewhere. If olive oil and wine didn’t go together, half the wineries in Europe wouldn’t be growing the darn things side by side. That last may not be 100 percent scientific, but it’s extremely scenic from your hotel window. And it’s what I believe.

John DeMers Covering food and wine for more than 25 years, John DeMers hosts “Delicious Mischief” on NewsRadio 740 KTRH. He recently released Follow the Smoke: 14,783 Miles of Great Texas Barbecue.



omehow, the thought of wine and salad together—in the same room, at the same table, maybe even in the same mouth, probably mine—has never scared me as much as it seems to scare some people. It starts with the reality that I, almost certainly, will already be drinking wine whenever the salad shows up, and I’m not about to jump through any hoops at the sight of a few harmless leaves of lettuce. Still, and perhaps because that’s said, I’ve devoted some thought over the years to making the relationship of salad to wine as cordial as it can be. The problem, primarily, is not the lettuce or other vegetables—admitting the fabled difficulties of pairing wine with artichokes, both of which I love. No, the problem is the dressing. And considering how much dressing we use in this country, vis a vis that light drizzle favored by our European brethren, any problems of collision might turn into a bad one. In a few words, the acid in the dressing, typically supplied by vinegar, is considered an awful partner for the acid that lurks within each wine—hopefully in skillful balance with other things, like fruit or tannins or the (slight, please) hint of oak. And in the truth about that problem lies the truth about its solution. First, you have every right to ignore the problem—as I often do. You’re drinking a perfectly fine wine with a perfectly fine meal. It hardly makes sense to jump up and scream as though you need a Heimlich just because a few sips of your wine taste flat alongside

The King of Vermouth Since 1786 PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY. Imported by Wilson Daniels Ltd. St Helena, CA



gridiron Styling | Allyson Huth & Catherine Hopkins Photography | Mark Lipczynski

GENTS Take your Super Bowl party to the next level with an upscale affair fit for the most dapper of gentlemen.


Crystal Clear

What's better than a fine-aged spirit? One that's poured from a crystal decanter embossed with the family initial.



Soul Food

Well Served

Eat like you're deep in the heart of the Big Easy with a bowl of Louisiana sausage, red beans and cilantro rice.

Rajun Cajun

No Super Bowl soiree would be complete without a celebratory cigar.

For thirsty guests, place drinks in easy-to-reach places decorated with unique, sports-scene terrariums.

Satisfy hungry football fans with a tray full of crawfish sliders on sourdough toasts.

On a Roll

Southern Comfort

Keep the party going by serving the drink preferred by Southern gents: the Jack & Coke.

The Goods event planning & development

Event planning by Allyson Huth, Cru Events, 6726 Highway 6, Missouri City. 281-969-7605,

event concept

Party concept and theme by Catherine Hopkins, Catherine Hopkins Designs Inc. 918-398-3752.

décor & styling

Bottled Up

When serving beer, forgo the keg and serve unique craft beers iced down in a decorative bucket.

Décor and styling by Catherine Hopkins. Rope handle serving dish, fleur de lis bowls and glasses, dessert bar tray by Cru Home.


Cigars and humidor courtesy of Cigar Cigar!, 2581 N. Town Center Blvd., Sugar Land, Select cigars from owner’s personal collection.


Design by Kimberly Garnett,


sports scene terrarium Joseph-Nathan Pancho,


Menu preparation by Chef Kevin King.

january/february • 2013


gentlemen’s room

For the man who commands the very best


46 48 49 50 51

• • • • •

Man Cave | the work room Driver's Seat | Cat fever Wealth Matters | Fine Art Collection High-Tech | Wear & Shoot Great Outdoors | Winter Greens january/february • 2013


gentlemen’s man cave cave room man



Story | Jake Poinier


Interior designer Teri Pugh of Houstonbased Teri Pugh Studio takes a bigger-picture view of the possibilities. “Sure, you need to look at whether it’s a place you are going to be working, meeting clients, or enjoying time reading and relaxing,” she says. “But you also need to consider that you’re immersing yourself, so starting out, it’s important to identify the aspects of your life that you want to incorporate.” Pugh says that family heirlooms, collectibles, trophies (including taxidermied fish and animals) and special rugs are common items that clients want to work into the themes. One of her clients collected rare

books and wanted to display them in custom bookshelves, while another had an antique desk to feature. And yet another wanted a game table and a chaise lounge for fun and relaxation. “The earlier you know these things, the better,” she says. “If there’s an architect involved, there needs to be a discussion about what equipment, accessories and storage have to be accommodated.”

Look Sharp

A laptop and wireless connection eliminates some electric-cord spaghetti, but PCs and printers often require custom cabinetry to keep them hidden. TVs can be raised out

Teri Pugh Studio


he words “home office” can conjure up images of an unused guest room—converted into a depressing space to catch up on work. Likewise, “study” or “library” might evoke feelings of a stodgy area that’s all about the books—but not much for comfort.

gentlemen’s room man cave

Watch this video on the cool technology that powers the PARROT DIA digital picture frame or visit

the essentials No office is complete without your favorite photos, but PARROT DIA by NoDesign has a sleek, lightbox-like design that takes digital frames to an entirely new level. The wow factor here is the ability to “slide” photos wirelessly into the frame from your iPhone, iPod, or iPad with the sweep of a finger—or email them from far-flung destinations— in addition to more traditional connections.

of sight or lowered into a cabinet. Electrical outlets in the floor can provide power to all of the devices in a more concealed fashion. When it comes to selecting materials, Pugh steers away from too much dark wood. “If you have everything in heavy, wood stain, it can seem like a cave, but not in a good way,” she says. “Using tile on the floor, or wood floors with painted cabinets, provides a contrast that helps lighten up the space.” The light fixtures themselves, of course, are key. Overhead can lighting with dimmers works for general use, while reading areas might use lots of portable lamps. And don’t turn in your man card when things get fancier. “We used a heavy iron chandelier to go with the antique desk,” Pugh says. “And a crystal chandelier coordinated perfectly with chaise lounge and game table.” To balance things out, a guy can always use fire. “Fireplaces are an awesome feature for a study,” says Pugh. “With remote control, direct-vent gas fireplaces are like instant ambiance.”

No time to work out? Well, you’ve got no excuses with the LifeSpan TR5000-DT5 Fitness Treadmill Desk. The company’s name is recognizable as a manufacturer of commercial equipment for gyms, and this unit combines a nice-looking desk with their top-of-the-line, tricked-out treadmill. You’re doing paperwork, but be honest: You’re also daydreaming about your next trip. Do it in style with Replogle’s Diplomat 32-inch Blue Ocean Illuminated Floor Standing World Globe. It’s a hand-papered globe with more than 20,000 place names, cradled in a solid mahogany base and encircled by a solid brass, hand-engraved meridian.

jake poinier Phoenix-based contributing writer Jake Poinier built a tree house for his then-toddler son back in 1999, but it was far too small to evolve into a proper man cave.

For seating, sure you could go with Herman Miller—but Pugh suggests that you think outside the traditional box. “I don’t think people put enough thought into the desk chair,” she says. “There are so many interesting custom desk chair options, like hand-tooled leather, zebra or crocodile hides, or acid-washed cowhides that have been colored.”

january/february • 2013


gentlemen’s room driver's seat

Cat fever Story | jeff yip


But it’s not just the Jag’s sexy, wind-cheating styling. The XF is armed with technology touches that seem at least partly inspired by the adventures of James Bond. You settle into the driver’s seat, stab the ignition button and the V8 engine comes to life with a sinister snarl. But all the while, there’s a performance inside. The dashboard vents for the climate control system come alive, rotating. Then the louvers of the vent flick open. At the same time, a rotary shift selector, a substantial knob of brushed metal, rises out of the center console. And if you happen to be driving this Jaguar at night, the ice-blue accent—or “halo” in Jaguar speak—lighting could make you think you’re on the bridge of a space ship. Silly stuff, to be sure, but still

undeniably cool. For more shock and awe, improvements in the 2012 XF include a TFT “virtual” instrument panel, new seats, more aggressive front sheet metal, Xenon HID headlamps, LED taillights and a 30-gigabyte hard drive storage system. Want to crank up the excitement even more? Pop for the 1,200-watt, 17-speaker Bowers & Wilkins entertainment option. Then again, the 380 watts of the standard stereo may be all the firepower you need. The price of admission for the Jaguar XF Supercharged starts at about $68,100. It will hit 60 mph from a dead stop in 4.9 seconds, Jaguar claims. If you do check one out, keep in mind that the button bearing a checkered flag logo is your

friend. That puts the XF in dynamic mode” for optimal power and traction. These days, cars packing 300 horsepower hardly qualify as news. Rides with 400 ponies start to command respect, but even though modern muscle cars might be fast, they can also skew crude. With its monster torque, elegant cabin and buttoned-down composure on street or highway, the Jaguar XF Supercharged is for those of us who would rather be stirred, not shaken. jeff yip Jeff Yip’s work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, San Jose Mercury News, Houston Chronicle and the New York Times, as well as consumer and trade magazines. He’s a second-generation car guy who still has the 1969 Chevy his dad loved.



he lovely bride and I caught a showing of “Skyfall,” the newest Bond movie, on opening weekend. Fantastic job. Great fun. Rich and varied scenery. Every red-blooded guy will hate Daniel Craig. Every honest one will envy him. Yet, when the house lights came on, I seemed to be overcome by a wistful melancholy. Then I figured it out: Seeing M’s tricked-out Jaguar and 007 pulling his iconic Aston Martin DB5 out of mothballs had triggered a bad case of cat fever. A few weeks prior, I had tested a gorgeous Jaguar XF Supercharged. It turned out to be one slick machine. It’s easy to pine for a 470-horse Jaguar executive sedan—especially one that looks like the XF.

Fine Art

gentlemen’s room wealth


Story | Belinda Phelps, Senior Vice President & Private Client Advisor, U.S. Trust


eauty is in the eye of the beholder... or is it? Art is not just something to hang on the wall. A fine art collection also represents both a financial investment, as well as an aesthetic appeal; although it may not be considered an investment in the usual sense. A fine piece of art or collection can provide a vehicle to help pursue wealth planning, achieve philanthropic goals and/ or diversify one’s asset mix. Given the recent volatility in the stock market, there has been a keen interest in investing in art among high net worth investors. It is important to be educated about the risks and rewards of investing in art as it is an unregulated marketplace. Experts can help art investors identify and tap into the equity of a fine art collection and build a borrowing strategy to help meet the investor’s objectives and goals. Borrowing against the value of art and reinvesting the loan can allow an investor to pursue other financial goals, and it can be an effective way to generate cash from an otherwise static asset. One might consider using an art collection to gain liquidity for acquiring additional artwork, financing business goals or taking advantage of other timely investment opportunities. Using art as collateral can unlock the value of a collection while continuing to own and enjoy it. It is critical to understand an investor’s entire financial portfolio when assessing the option of borrowing against such a personal and valuable asset such as art.

As the global art market—which is an estimated $55 billion in 20121—recovers from a recessionary dip, it is not only the rare masterpieces that are seeing a rise in value. An emergence and interest in collectors from Brazil, Russia, India and China2 has propelled the market forward as collectors begin building sizable collections. In the same vein, risk is also associated with investing in art as the market remains unregulated as noted above. Prices can rise and dip with no forewarning and no guarantee the work will gain value. The market is unpredictable as personal tastes are a key driver in setting prices. Art collectibles are expensive to sell relative to other assets, and with an unregulated market, relying on art as an investment poses risks. Art is personal and, unlike stocks and bonds—which can be sold quickly—it may take time to sell. Taxes should always be a consideration when buying and selling art. At the time of sale during an investor’s lifetime, the piece will generate capital gains based on the work’s appreciation which, as it stands currently, is taxed at 28 percent3—almost twice the rate of other kinds of investment assets. Selling now or later will be a part of one’s taxable estate and may be subject to federal and state taxes. An investor should always discuss the tax issues surrounding art with their tax consultant when considering the buying, selling and planning around their art. Houston ranks among the top cities in

the country in its population of working artists4. With a vibrant art community, U.S. Trust has specialists in Houston who help clients plan for their art whether it be gifting or wealth transferring and the like. Investing in fine art can be an extremely rewarding, yet risky, venture. It is important to be thoughtful and take time to consider all of the facets of the endeavor before investing. Regardless of a collection’s value, it’s important to determine what role art can play as a tangible asset now and what a collector would like to see happen to the paintings and other works of art beyond one’s lifetime. Planning strategies can provide liquidity through art lending arrangements and safeguard the legacy of the collection in the future. If a new investor is interested in exploring the fine art market, it is important to take time to investigate the types of works one likes and doesn’t like. Meander through art galleries. Attend gallery openings. Correspond with the artist. Engage an advisor. Rely on the experts. Then, set a budget and keep an open mind. Ultimately, a collection can serve as an autobiography to one’s life; a vision of who they are. 1 U.S. Trust Capital Acumen, Summer 2012, Special Arts Section: The Real Value of Art 2 U.S. Trust Capital Acumen, Summer 2012, Special Arts Section: The Real Value of Art 3 U.S. Trust Capital Acumen, Summer 2012, Legacy: Timeless Alternatives 4 U.S. Trust: Collecting Fine Art,

This article is designed to provide general information about ideas and strategies. It is for discussion purposes only since the availability and effectiveness of any strategy is dependent upon your individual facts and circumstances. Always consult with your independent attorney, tax advisor, investment manager, and insurance agent for final recommendations and before changing or implementing any financial, tax, or estate planning strategy. This content represents thoughts of the author and does not necessarily represent the position of Bank of America.Tangible assets can fluctuate with supply and demand, such as commodities, which are liquid investments unlike most other tangible investments. Credit and collateral subject to approval. Terms and conditions apply. Programs, rates, terms and conditions subject to change without notice. U.S. Trust operates through Bank of America, N.A. and other subsidiaries of Bank of America Corporation. Bank of America, N.A., Member FDIC.

january/february • 2013


gentlemen’s high-tech tech room high

wear & shoot Story | Michael Garfield

GoPro HD Hero3 Black Edition The GoPro HD Hero3 Black Edition is a small, light and mountable HD video camera that comes with a waterproof casing and, new to this model, built-in Wi-Fi. The camera delivers smooth motion when mounted on a helmet or even secured to a snowboard. It can capture 1080p at up to 60 frames per second, which is twice the speed of regular TV cameras. Your actions in super slow motion can be breathtaking and an educational training experience. The HERO3’s built in Wi-Fi means it can also be controlled by iOS smartphones and tablets running the GoPro App. The app enables full camera control and live scene preview on any compatible iOS smartphone or tablet. This $399 gadget comes packaged with a rechargeable Li-ion battery and assorted mounts so it is ready to see action when you are. Autographer Wearable Camera The makers of this new automatic, wearable camera is promising to “change the way we think about photography” by taking the photographer out of the process. The Autographer is a hands-free, digital camera that automatically takes thousands of photographs a day and stores them for review on a smartphone app. Housed in a relatively small, discreet black case, the camera is designed to be worn on a necklace lanyard, or on the strap of a bag. The camera takes pictures as a user goes through their daily lives, while stop-frame video lets you see a whole day’s activity in a few minutes. It has five on-board sensors to detect changes in temperature, light, motion, direction and color, and uses those cues to take shots with its wide-angle lens. The camera recently went on sale in the UK for just over $500 (US) and will be available soon in the U.S. Looxcie HD The third version of this unique camera now shoots HD. It can be worn Bluetooth-style over the ear with the included attachment, so be careful if you see me wearing this. I may not be on the phone, but rather capturing video of everything in my sight. It does act as a typical Bluetooth headset for hands-free phone conversation, but primary use is for capturing hands-free video. It can simultaneously record and stream via Wi-Fi for sharing a live feed to another smartphone or directly onto Facebook. The coolest feature of the $329 Looxcie HD is its instant replay feature. While wearing the device, you can create an instant replay of what just happened with the Instant Clip button. It comes packaged with helmet and bike mounts and a ball cap clip to easily go hands-free anywhere.


HT’s app list

The High-Tech Texan gives us a snapshot of the latest camera apps

Retro Camera

Retro Camera is fun and has a very Hipstamatic feel. You’re not scrolling through lists of effects, but selecting the vintage film camera you’d like to shoot with. The smartphone interface then becomes the camera and you look into the viewfinder as you snap away. Photos are then “developed” in the preview gallery to share them online.

Pudding Camera

This app has a wonderful visual interface. Scroll through little thumbnails and camera icons to find the filters and effects you are looking for. The output resolution is full so you can download and share big images after snapping and filtering.


I miss Polaroid cameras…a little. But this app brings back memories and could not be simpler with impressive results. Take your photo through the Polaroid viewfinder, watch it develop and write the caption at the bottom. You can change the “film type” before or after you shoot. The pics are easy to save and share.

Michael Garfield Known as “The High-Tech Texan®” to audiences nationwide, Michael hosts technology and issueoriented talk radio shows six days a week on The 9-5-0. See what he’s up to at

GoPro | Autographer | Looxcie


on’t you always want others to see your viewpoint? There are several ways to do that thanks to the latest in camera technology. These devices can go almost anywhere with you and stream live video to the Web or capture and upload it to your social network pages. Here are some of the best on the market.

gentlemen’s room outdoors



Story | doug pike

Pga National Resort & Spa A216 ©Golf Shots unlimited 2006


ore. Tee. Singularly, each is a golf term. Together, they’re the temperature at which I draw the line on winter golf. I’ll cross that line, of course—incurable golfers always will—especially if it’s between me and an outstanding layout. One of the South’s greatest attributes is its weather. In exchange for tolerating summer’s tropical threats, we’re typically granted a pass from harsh winter. It gets cold, but not “close the courses” cold as happens where snowmobiles outnumber ATVs. Another plus is that on any winter day, even in January or February, the daytime high temperature is as likely to be 74 as to be 47. The savvy Southern golfer keeps clubs handy and balls warm for those days, ready at the hint of a favorable forecast to drive or fly to the off-season bliss of playing some of the region’s finer tracks and not seeing other souls except in the distance. TPC San Antonio, with two tour-class tracks carved from Texas’ fabled Hill Country, is

home to the Valero Texas Open and AT&T Championship. The property offers exceptional winter packages in close partnership with the adjacent JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort (where, unless you’re a member, you must stay to play). You and all your like-minded friends work beforehand with a golf-package specialist (via live chat at to customize a deal that includes (or not) unlimited golf, laps around the heated lazy river to unwind, fine dining, spa treatments or whatever you like. To the east, in Florida— always subject to warm spells— are two personal favorites: Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort and PGA National. Either is worthy of a winter flyaway and reachable by short, direct flight. Sandestin is served by regional and international airports. PGA National is a barely a one-gallon ride in a rental from West Palm Beach’s runways. Sandestin features four courses, seven miles of flour-

white beaches and a broad variety of accommodations. There are 15 tennis courts, for those so inclined, and even more quality restaurants. PGA National Resort remains high on my list for a return visit. Its five courses have hosted the Ryder Cup (1983), PGA Championship (1987), Honda Classic and more than a dozen PGA Seniors’ Championships. Where else would so many senior golfers gather besides Florida? Bring your sunscreen. Winter golf has its challenges, but none that would keep real player off a Southern course. Pick your days, pick your tee times and enjoy a lazy, uncrowded lap around these or any of the region’s hundreds of outstanding tracks.

doug pike Doug Pike has traveled the world to satisfy his passion for the outdoors. During his career, he has won 100-plus state and national awards for writing, broadcast and photography.

Swingtime Your full swings are coming up short during a winter round, but not because you’ve lost muscle mass. Well, maybe, but a more likely culprit is the cold. Most credible sources acknowledge that distance suffers as air cools. Exactly how much is debatable, but best guess is that going from 75 degrees to 45 degrees will cost you 15 or so yards off the tee and roughly a club’s difference on your average approach shot. If you’re missing putts, don’t blame the weather.

january/february • 2013



sand& SNOW Story | kathryn hunter

Looking for the ideal winter getaway but can’t decide between sandy beaches and snowy slopes? Turn the page for a look at some of the year’s hottest—and coldest— destinations for 2013.


Conrad Rangali Island Maldives Resort | Leavenworth Chamber


january/february • 2013






fine furniture If King Midas had turned his attentions from gold to crystal, he would have found his match in the Maharaja Sajjan Singh. The Maharaja commissioned an extravagant and priceless selection of crystal objects from F&C Osler in England in 1877, though he died before his order was delivered.

View this rare and royally customized collection, which includes crystal chairs, chandeliers, crockery, tables and even a bed, at the Crystal Gallery in the Fateh Prakash Palace Hotel. Photography is prohibited. Regal-Visits/Crystal-Gallery.aspx

India Tourism

Graced with names like Venice of the East and City of Sunrise, Udaipur, India, is an exotic land of shimmering lakes, ancient temples and majestic palaces. With its balmy climate and vivid culture, this far-flung locale attracts visitors from around the world during the peak season of September through March. Many of Udaipur’s luxury accommodations are housed in centuries-old palaces or ornate reproductions. On the banks of Lake Pichola, The Oberoi Udaivilas offers a resort setting fit for a king of any era. Your welcome to The Oberoi Udaivilas begins with a scenic boat ride across the lake. The palaces of Rajasthan were the inspiration for the resort’s magnificent domes and pavilions, landscaped gardens and richly embellished interiors. Lakeview rooms open onto a semi-private moated pool, and suites feature their own private swimming pools and dining rooms. Countless heritage sites located in or near the city offer a glimpse into the region’s opulent and fascinating past. The City Palace, the most-visited attraction, is an assortment of exquisite palaces, courtyards and gardens built by rulers over a span of approximately 300 years. Rising from an island in the lake like a resplendent white mirage, the Taj Lake Palace, constructed as a summer palace by Mewar royalty in the mid-18th century, is now a luxury hotel and a popular stop for boat tours. From its colorful marketplaces and meandering streets to its historic structures and unique museums, Udaipur is steeped with an air of romance and enchantment.


Conrad Rangali Island Maldives Resort


Discover the Maldives, an equatorial paradise so perfect it doesn’t seem real—white sand, warm blue water, star-filled skies and, beneath the waves, coral reefs with all the color and movement of an endlessly turning kaleidoscope, teeming with life. The Maldives are made up of 1,190 coral islands, roughly 280 of which are inhabited or developed for tourism. Located along the equator in the Indian Ocean, the islands don’t receive a visit from Old Man Winter—the temperature stays roughly 88 degrees year-round, with a wet season (May to November) and dry season (January to March). Many tourists visit the Maldives for the idyllic scenery, spending their time relaxing on the beaches of an island resort or sailing the surrounding seas on a liveaboard or “live aboard” vessel. But if you prefer having both two feet on land, the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island resort, set on two private islands, offers enticing accommodation options, including overwater villas up to 500 meters out to sea. Spa lovers will enjoy the decadent Spa Retreat and OverWater Spa, and kids can share in the experience with pampering treatments designed especially for them at the Ice Cream Spa. Another resort highlight is located 16 feet below the ocean— the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, the world’s first all-glass undersea restaurant, which boasts 180-degree views of marine life and serves a menu of delectable Maldivian-Western fusion cuisine. Activities in the islands range from world-class snorkeling, scuba diving and surfing, to traditional spa treatments and cultural tours. When you pack your bags for the Maldives, you can leave your winter coat behind.

Fishing by Starlight Night fishing offers a unique opportunity to experience the culture of the Maldives, where fishing is a way of life. As darkness falls, your boat is anchored near the edge of a reef. No experience is required to participate, because the crew is on hand to help and the fish are quick to bite. Using a traditional hand-reel line, you’ll retrieve a cornucopia of the sea’s bounty: reef fish like jacks, snappers, groupers, emperors and even barracuda. Many Maldivian resorts offer night fishing trips, frequently followed by a barbecue of your catch on the secluded shores of an uninhabited island.

january/february • 2013




Sanibel Island, located on Florida’s Gulf Coast near Fort Myers, is a favorite destination for sun-seekers. With activities for all ages and interests, the island makes for an excellent mid-winter family vacation on the beach. The Sanibel Causeway provides easy access between Sanibel Island and the mainland. Book your getaway at one of Sanibel’s beachfront resorts or hotels, or rent a private home or condo. You’ll never have to travel far to find something fun to do or good to eat. Sample delicious and inventive island fare at more than 50 restaurants, from seafood and burgers, to Mediterranean dishes and gourmet ice cream. Pets are welcome at a wide selection of accommodations, restaurants and beaches. Sanibel and nearby Captiva Island are barrier islands oriented east-west rather than north-south, which makes the Gulf currents unusually generous with their treasures. On 15 miles of unspoiled white sand beaches, an abundance of pastel-colored shells inspire young and old comb the shoreline for souvenirs from the sea. Golf, tennis, boating, fishing and shopping are other popular past-times. And with 22 miles of bike paths, it’s easy to make your way around Sanibel Island on two wheels. A large portion of Sanibel and Captiva Islands is preserved as wildlife refuge. To experience the area’s natural wetlands, visit the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, home to more than 200 species of birds, as well as dolphins, manatees and alligators. When you find yourself missing the summer sun, a visit to Sanibel Island is an easy cure.


Dave Meardon | Kevin James

Sanibel Island

escape Paddling the wild tunnels past wading birds and brooding alligators. Two guided tour options are available: The one-hour Kayak Trail Tour, led by a naturalist, is designed for all ages and skill levels. The twohour Sunset Rookery Paddle Tour, a trip to the Rookery Islands where hundreds of birds roost for the night, is open to experienced kayakers only.

Dave Meardon | Kevin James | Denise McKee

Pick up a paddle to see the sights of J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge up close. Tarpon Bay Explorers, the park’s licensed concessionaire, rents kayaks, canoes, standup paddleboards and motorized boats for use on water trails or the open waters of the bay. On a kayak or canoe, slide silently through mangrove

january/february • 2013




Texans flock to Taos, New Mexico, for something they won’t find at home: snowy slopes ideal for an unbeatable ski holiday. Taos is also a cultural hotspot, with a thriving community of artists, writers, musicians and filmmakers. One of the few family-owned ski resorts in North America, Taos Ski Valley is operated by the original founders’ children and grandchildren, giving it a singular and welcoming atmosphere. Because of the high elevation and surrounding desert, the powder is light and dry, and the trails are often remarkably uncrowded compared to other popular ski resorts. Though much of the terrain is considered advanced, there are also a variety of beginner and intermediate trails. About half an hour’s drive from Taos Ski Valley in the desert below, the city of Taos is a major tourist draw. Here, take in the picturesque adobe architecture and multitude of art galleries, museums, historic sites, luxury lodges, B&Bs, and charming cafes and restaurants. One-of-a-kind shops trade in locally made products like ceramics, leatherwork, hand-made clothing, jewelry and Native American handicrafts. Near Taos, other ski areas include Angel Fire, Red River and Sipapu, but the opportunities for outdoor adventure aren’t limited to the slopes. Get outside and go horseback riding, sleigh riding, snowshoeing, hiking, sledding, star gazing or hot tubbing the natural way at a primitive hot spring like Black Rock Hot Springs, accessible by trail. Taos is an alluring setting, filled with an energy and beauty that makes it a year-round haven for the creative and adventurous.


ski skills Hone your skills at the Ernie Blake Ski School, renowned for its popular Ski Weeks. Taos Ski Valley offers flexible and affordable programs for all levels of experience, including both private and group lessons. If this is your first foray on the bunny hill, sign up for the Yellowbird Never-Ever Program (ages 14 and older). Designed

to teach the uninitiated how to ski or snowboard, the program includes four hours of lessons, equipment rental and a beginner lift ticket. And there’s a guarantee—if after two full days of Yellowbird instruction you’re still stuck on the beginner hill, you can continue in the program for free until you’re on your way.

Michael DeYoung | Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa | Taos Ski Valley



Leavenworth Chamber | Brian Munoz | Tim Bentz | Alphorn Krueger Guenter


If winter is that age-old scene from Christmas cards and snow globes, a quaint village amid snow-topped forests and mountains dusted in white, then Leavenworth, Washington, is the embodiment of what the season is meant to be. Located only about two hours from Seattle, but surrounded by the extensive Wenatchee National Forest and Cascade Mountains, Leavenworth seems like a world apart. Once a logging town, in the 1960s Leavenworth began remodeling itself into a Bavarian alpine village, now complete with gingerbread storefronts of genuine German design, costumed locals in lederhosen and a flourishing Oktoberfest celebration. Local shops sell nostalgic curios like cuckoo clocks, music boxes, nutcrackers and beer steins. And though German fare isn’t the only type of food in town, there’s plenty of sauerkraut and strudel to be had. The Cascades offer a stunning backdrop to the town, as well as the perfect playground for winter sports. Whether you want to try skiing, snowmobiling, sledding or sleigh riding, or simply want to build a few snowmen and snow angels in the fresh powder, the landscape is happy to oblige. And resorts and lodges throughout the area offer the other important perks of winter weather: a cup of steaming hot cocoa, a roaring fire, a comfortable armchair and a warm viewpoint from which to take in the wonderland outside. “Wilkommen” to an authentic and unforgettable winter, however you choose to enjoy it.

Local Libations Leavenworth is nestled in the scenic Columbia Cascade wine region, where visiting area wineries is a treat for the eyes as well as the taste buds. Sample the best of local vintages at downtown Leavenworth’s many tasting rooms, or take a drive to tour the vineyards just outside of town. Wine isn’t the only refreshment the region is famous for. At orchards and tasting rooms, sip artisan ciders sourced from locally grown apples. The Cashmere Cider Mill Tasting Room offers flights of their famous Lady Blush Artisan Cider, tasting tours, gift items, culinary classes and a mouthwatering lunch menu.

january/february • 2013




Escape to a true winter wilderness this year, an icy landscape where the aurora borealis flickers in the night sky and long-legged moose trudge chest-deep through the snow. Chena River State Recreation Area, 397 square miles of native forest, river and tundra 30 miles from Fairbanks, Alaska, is a place of rugged adventure. Chena Hot Springs Road parallels the Chena River, winding through the park’s snowy woodlands from mile 26 to mile 51. Whether your journey is a day trip from Fairbanks or a longer excursion, you won’t want to miss Chena River Hot Springs Resort at the end of the road. Open year-round, the resort’s prime attraction is its steamy mineral waters, discovered in 1905 and long acclaimed for their healing properties. The outdoor Rock Lake remains a natural 106 degrees no matter the season. The resort also boasts indoor geothermal pools, an ice sculpture museum, nightly Snow Coach aurora tours, dog sled rides, a restaurant, a massage boutique, and 80 well-appointed rooms. For an overnight experience in the wild, make one of the park’s 13 rustic backcountry public-use cabins your destination. Immensely popular, the cabins require advance reservations, and snow machining, dog mushing, skiing, snowshoeing and skijoring are the favorite modes of transportation to get there. In your cold-weather travels through Chena River State Recreation Area, you’re likely to see wildlife like birds, moose and, more rarely, wolves. Spotting these Alaskan natives is just the icing on the cake, however; the scenery and solitude are magical in themselves.


Robert Angell | Logan Ricketts | Chena River State Recreation Area

Chena River State Recreation Area

escape meet the working dog You can also learn a thing or two about dog mushing yourself at the Chena Hot Springs Sled Dog Mushing School. After a one-hour training session, you’ll get behind your own sled team and travel the resort’s 2-mile dog sled trail.

Robert Angell | Logan Ricketts | Chena River State Recreation Area

The 1,000-mile Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race passes through part of the old Chena Hot Springs Winter Trail and finishes in Fairbanks. Cheer on these canine athletes and their fearless humans as they take on the challenging 10- to 16-day course in early February.

january/february • 2013


escape enlightened explorer


Hotel in the Sand

esroches Island in the Seychelles is one of the Indian Ocean’s most pristine and beautiful paradises, an exclusive resort oasis approximately four miles in length and ringed by white sand and turquoise waters. Fifty-three luxury accommodations range from beach suites to multi-bedroom residences, and a variety of restaurants and bars offer international and Creole cuisine and cocktails. During your visit to this unspoiled isle, you choose your own ideal blend of indulgence and adventure. Enjoy treatment therapies like massage or herbology at the Escape Spa, charter a fishing trip, scuba dive, meet the island’s ancient tortoise colony or bike through the jungle to stake out your own deserted slice of seaside heaven.

flight worthy of a Toast D

journey to

wellness L

ooking for an experience that changes, well, everything? The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Scottsdale, Ariz., will open Well & Being at Willow Stream Spa on Jan. 1. The new personalized, medically guided spa concept emphasizes a foundation of whole health, combining health, fitness, nutrition, integrative medicine and advanced skincare for a program designed to provide guidance and support long after the resort experience is over. Services are offered a la carte or as a package and range from diagnostic health tests to massage and traditional Eastern therapies. Surrounded by the beauty of the Sonoran Desert, the 44,000-square-foot spa facility features 30 treatment and consultation rooms, a full-service salon, fitness studios, a rooftop pool, saunas, eucalyptus inhalation rooms and relaxation pools. Nutritious meals are provided, as well as cooking classes, guest lectures and personal fitness training.


DesRoches Island | Delta Air Lines | Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Resort

elta’s Winemaker Series, introduced last September, invites flyers to pair their next cross-country trip with a distinctive selection of California wines. All Business Elite customers on flights connecting New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to Los Angeles International Airport and San Francisco International Airport can experience the special in-flight beverage program. Andrea Robinson, one of only 18 women in the world to have earned the Master Sommelier credential, curates the Winemaker Series and selections are available for two months at a time.

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secluded sanctuary


ransformed from a working sheep station into an all-inclusive, seven-suite luxury accommodation, Kingsford Homestead presents an authentic taste of South Australia’s history and one-of-a-kind charm. The property dates back to 1856 and was the setting of the popular Australian TV drama “McLeod’s Daughters,” which aired from 2001 to 2009. Located in the famed wine region of the Barossa Valley, Kingsford Homestead is an ideal jumping off point for exploring local wineries. Guests can also elect to swirl and sip close to home, since the property’s historic stone cellar is well stocked with the area’s best. Along with iconic wildlife like kangaroos and kookaburras and locally sourced meals prepared by an on-site chef, the estate offers the fullness of Australian solitude. A “bush bath,” a freestanding tub that sits on a secluded corner of the property overlooking the North Para River, offers a unique opportunity to relax alfresco.




Sail the Galapagos D

eclared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1978, the Galapagos Islands are a remote chain of volcanic islands host to a fascinating array of creatures, from migratory sea birds and marine mammals to land-based Galapagos natives like the marine iguana and giant tortoise. Escape to this otherworldly wilderness on a luxury yacht operated by Quasar Expeditions. One of South America’s leading tour operators, Quasar Expeditions has led yacht trips in the area for more than 26 years. Sail for seven nights on the 18-guest yacht Grace, which once belonged to namesake Princess Grace of Monaco, or the 32-guest expedition vessel Evolution. Each boasts elegant, spacious staterooms and boutique hotel service, emphasizing personal attention as well as minimal impact on the environment. On-board naturalists guide guests in exciting and unique activities like snorkeling, kayaking and swimming with friendly sea lions.

kathryn hunter Kathryn Hunter is an Austin-based freelance writer whose work has appeared in Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine.

Kingsford Homestead | Tilley | Quasar Expeditions


omfortable, fashionable, washable and nearly indestructible, Tilley Endurables hats are the ideal accessory for practically any adventure, whether it’s a hike through your neighborhood, a fishing trip on the coast or a jaunt in the Amazon. Each hat comes with a two-year, 50 percent deductible insurance policy, making it easy to replace if lost, stolen or destroyed. And Tilley’s unique guarantee policy is for life: If your hat ever shrinks or wears out, they’ll send you a replacement free of charge. Available in many fabrics and models, Tilley hats are as varied as their utility. All include a secret pocket in the crown perfect for storing important items like money or licenses, and most are designed to fit low and loose, also integrating a tuck-away “wind cord” and buoyant foam liner. Made in Canada and worn by travelers across the globe, Tilley hats often make a great conversation starter.

post cards

see & do

dos brisas Story | kathryn hunter


exans don’t have to travel far for an idyllic getaway offering the best in food, wine and outdoor activities. The Inn at Dos Brisas (, located about an hour from Houston near Chappell Hill, welcomes you to a scenic, 313-acre Relais & Chateaux property with all the character and charm of a ranch retreat and the exclusive luxury of a top resort. Settle into one of the inn’s Spanish-style haciendas or casitas, which feature cozy details like stone fireplaces, original artwork, overstuffed leather chairs and private porches overlooking a picturesque tableau of the surrounding meadows, horse paddocks and ponds. The ultimate in lavish accommodations, haciendas provide a roomy interior of 1,795 square feet and an enclosed deck with your own private plunge pool. At the inn’s award-winning restaurant, the only Forbes 5-star restaurant in the state, dine on Frenchinspired cuisine made with fresh fruits and vegetables from the property’s expansive organic gardens and


greenhouse, which specialize in heirloom varietals. This vibrant farm-to-table fare is perhaps best explored from the restaurant’s popular tasting menus, which can also be paired with vintages from the property’s 7,000-bottle wine cellar. Once you’ve sampled the indoor amenities, venture out onto the ranch for a wide variety of active pursuits, from clay shooting and carriage rides to stargazing and horseback riding. The Inn at Dos Brisas is home to the second-largest privately owned indoor riding arena in Texas, with programs for the novice and experienced rider alike. As a guest, you’ll also have access to memberonly golf courses in the area and can take advantage of on-site spa services, organic gardening lessons, wine tastings and the complimentary use of mountain bikes, golf carts and fishing equipment. Though close to home, this extraordinary escape is a world apart and fully yours to discover and enjoy.

Washington on the Brazos State Historic Site Visit this nearby attraction to experience the area’s natural beauty and fascinating history. The Barrington Living History Farm, a circa 1850 working farm complete with interpreters in period costume, will take you back to the time of legends like Sam Houston and Davy Crockett. Park Road 12, Washington 936-878-2214 Antique Rose Emporium A mail-order nursery devoted to hardy, easy-togrow antique roses, the Antique Rose Emporium has a unique retail display garden in Independence. Their interesting and beautiful collection, often sourced from old abandoned homesteads and fencerows, thrives in Texas conditions. 10,000 FM 50, Brenham 979-836-5548

Benoit Linero

inn at

Chappell Hill Lavender Farm Stroll through the sweetsmelling fields at the Chappell Hill Lavender Farm any weekend from March to November. The gift shop offers everything lavender, from lavender bath and aromatherapy products to lavender-flavored teas, coffee, jams and even pasta. 2250 Dillard Road, Brenham 979-251-8114

6th Annual

FEBRUARY 23 & 24 Save the Date!

for 10481.H&GWoodlandsSp'13PrimeLIvingHalfAD_Layout 1 12/3/12 1:41 PM Page 1


11th Annual




I created I Am Waters to bring clean, safe drinking water with words of inspiration to the homeless. Visit us online, learn about our Sandy outreach, watch videos of homeless parents and their children and learn how you can help.

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low carb relax Cardiovascular

Concierge medicine

Fitness health Active aging


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Burn calories

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Beauty bliss

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Soothing massage

Feel Good | fueled by food Health Buzz | What's New Look Good | lip service Be Good | face the facts His & Hers | heart of the matter

january/february • 2013


live well

feel Good

fueled by food p

Story | Angela ambrose


amount of lean protein, one to four hours before your sporting event or workout. This will ensure that your glycogen stores are full. Glycogen is your body’s ready-to-use energy. After hours of prolonged exercise or high intensity intervals, your glycogen can be depleted, so it’s important to refuel with sports drinks or gels during your workout. Sports drinks not only provide much needed sugar, but also electrolytes, which replenish the sodium lost during hot conditions and heavy sweating. A sign of good hydration is when your urine is pale lemonade to clear, says Wilson. Avoiding alcohol before a workout can help reduce the chance of dehydration, headaches and fatigue. If you’re engaging in lowintensity exercise such as taking

a stretching class, gardening carbohydrates,” he says. or going for a walk, what you You can recover faster after eat will have little effect on a long or intense workout your workout, according to by consuming carbs within Janet Walberg Rankin, Ph.D., two hours of exercising, says president of the American Rankin. If you are doing high College of Sports Medicine intensity resistance training and and professor at Virginia Tech. want to build more muscle, A small snack within an hour she recommends consuming of these activities can stave off some protein along with the hunger and give you a small carbs within an hour of lifting energy boost if you haven’t eaten weights. in several hours. During brief or low intensity exercise, Rankin recommends Low-carb diets can help you lose weight drinking water instead quickly, but they can have a negative of sports drinks. impact on your workout and are difficult “Many people are to maintain over the long haul. “It focused on trying definitely hurts your performance,” says to lose some weight Rankin. “You’re tired, you’re irritable, and they don’t need and you have low glycogen in your body; the extra calories, therefore, you’re not going to be able to and they are not at perform at that high intensity for long risk of dehydration duration without getting fatigued.” or running out of

Did you know?


lanning to go on a long run or play in a soccer tournament this weekend? What you eat before, during and after your workout can make a big difference in your performance, says Penny Wilson, Ph.D., registered dietitian at Ironman Sports Medicine Institute in Houston. “Your nutrition can really make or break your workout.” Carbohydrates are a critical energy source when engaging in long-duration, moderately intense activities such as running, strenuous hiking or biking that will last beyond 60 to 90 minutes. Athletes who perform high intensity intervals for shorter periods also benefit from eating a high carb meal before their sporting event. Wilson recommends eating starchy carbs such as pasta, bread or rice, along with a small

live well

H e a l t h B u zz

new lease on life a

sweet lowdown

dopting a positive outlook on life can cut your risk of heart attack in half. A Harvard research review of more than 200 studies showed that being optimistic and satisfied with your life can decrease your chance of cardiovascular disease by 50 percent, regardless of your age, body weight, income or whether or not you smoke.


crack a



egular consumption of energy and sports drinks can cause permanent damage to your teeth, especially among adolescents, according to a study from the Academy of General Dentistry. These sugary drinks bathe the teeth in acid and can erode the teeth’s enamel in as little as five days of exposure. When the enamel wears away, it increases the risk of cavities, discoloration, cracks and tooth sensitivity. Instead of sipping a soda or energy drink all day long, dentists recommend drinking it in one sitting. Water is the ideal beverage for hydrating throughout the day, but if you do choose a sugary beverage, rinse your mouth with water afterwards to minimize tooth damage.


show your




esistance training continues to be one of the hottest fitness trends for 2013, according to the American College of Sports Medicine’s (ACSM) annual survey. An emerging trend in strength training programs is using your body weight to build more muscle. Body weight exercises eliminate the need for expensive equipment and often include pull-ups, push-ups, planks and squats. For the sixth consecutive year, the demand for educated, certified and experienced fitness professionals has topped the list of worldwide trends.

Here are the ACSM’s top 10 fitness trends for 2013 • Educated, certified and experienced fitness professionals • Strength training • Body weight training • Exercise for children and obesity • Exercise for weight loss • Fitness programs for older adults • Personal training • Functional fitness • Core training • Group personal training

ore than 25 million people have developed diabetes in the United States and this number is expected to double by 2025, according to projections from the Centers for Disease Control and Research Triangle Institute. The skyrocketing rate of diabetes is linked to widespread obesity and a longer life expectancy. The National Institutes of Health suggests that eating a more well-balanced diet, increasing activity levels and maintaining a healthy weight could cut the risk of Type 2 diabetes by at least half in those individuals who are most likely to develop the condition.



Stanford study found that organic produce and meats offered no major differences in nutrients and vitamins when compared to conventional varieties. However, organic foods had a lower level of pesticides and antibiotic-resistant bacteria. More than one-third of conventional fruits and vegetables had measurable pesticide residues, compared to only 7 percent of organic equivalents. The study also showed that organic pork and chicken were one-third less likely to contain antibiotic-resistant germs than conventional meats. While conventional foods clearly have higher pesticide levels, researchers say they are still within safe limits. Long-term studies have yet to be conducted to determine any increased health risks from consuming conventional foods over pesticide-free organic varieties.

angela ambrose Angela Ambrose has been a writer for more than 20 years, working for Fortune 500 companies and the U.S. Public Health Service, as well as national magazines, newspapers and websites. She is also nationally certified group fitness instructor and a registered yoga teacher.

january/february • 2013


live well

Look Good



Story | jessica mebane

Finishes Toss the gloss—or at least pump the brakes on all that endless applying and re-applying; you can simplify and add some mystique at the same time with rich matte shades that look sexy and “done,” rather than pale and washed-out. If like most gloss-aholics, you’re a little reluctant to give up the moisture and sparkle, try a smooth transition to Chantecaille’s Lip Chic line of lightweight


glossy lipsticks that boast the soft texture of a lipstick with the shine and subtle plumping effects of a gloss. The winning effect here is more oomph, less goop, and with 21 shades, you’re certain to find your ideal color. Colors Stake your claim with new, unapologetically young and modern lip tints that put beige and neutrals in the shade. Dolce & Gabbana, for instance, has a lustrously dark matte Voluptuous Lipstick, with the color names scrawled signature-style across D&G’s golden tube. But stay on the vampy; these are bold shades of cherry, rose and pink that hold their own against other strong colors to complete your urbane, stylish profile this season. Maintenance Of course, staying hydrated this winter and avoiding chapped lips is key. Everyone— celiacs especially—can rejoice and pucker up for these great (and gluten-free) lip care products like Pangea’s Organic Lip Balm. There are three elegant scents to choose from, which feature a base of deepmoisturizing organic oils, including tamanu oil, that offers healing properties. And because Pangea offers a nice, twist-up version at 7g that has almost 50 percent more balm than a typical chapstick style product, one tube will certainly last through several rounds of Valentine's smooching.

Color Report When it comes to lips, it’s all about color this year. Houston-based professional makeup artist Jennifer Aronson forecasts cherry, coral and pink lip shades, adding, “Bright lips add drama and balance out more neutral-looking skin.” Try one of two new modern pink Chantecaille Lip Chic shades, Daphne and Rose Dé lice, which will debut this February, just in time for Valentine's Day. These lipsticks contain lip-plumping collagen and hyularonic acid to minimize lip furrows. Available at Neiman Marcus stores. Switch things up and try Dolce & Gabbana’s dark and mysterious shade of Magnetic Monica from the Monica Bellucci line of Voluptuous Lipsticks. This is a siren-song shade of red, so don’t be bashful and get ready to attract sailors and landlubbers alike. Stay calm and carry balm. Pangea’s Organic Lip Balm has three elegant, definitely not kiddie-cola scents, including Egyptian Fennel Grapefruit & Sweet Orange, Italian Red Mandarin with Rose, or Pyranees Lavender with Cardamom.



ou’re never fully dressed without a smile—or a great lip, at the very least. So if you’re looking to start off 2013 with a new pout, shake off the loud, brassy holiday glitter and settle into deep rich colors and come-hither looks. This year, we’ll see a strong lip palette with lots of deep cherry and rose shades going down the runways and atop celebrity pouts. It’s the ’90s all over again, but better. Strong, matte-finished lips beckon one to come closer, but not too close. Think Julia Roberts' mile-wide, conspiratorial grin, or Andie MacDowell’s flawless cerise bow mouth that made a perfect counterpoint to her famous brunette curls—alluring and self-assured, with bolder colors and sharp definition. This season, the right lip tints and techniques can set your smile to stun, so don’t hide that gorgeous grin with pale neutrals when you can dial it up to 11, à la Diana Vreeland’s legendary red NYC apartment. Here are a few sure-fire tips for great lip service into the New Year.

Be good

live well

face tHe facts Story | Dr. Tess Mauricio


oing the wrong thing can certainly speed up your skin’s aging process, and you might be surprised at what some of those no-nos are. Here are five ways to ensure you continue to put your best face forward:

1. Avoid drinking through straws. I’m sure many of you drink dark sodas, tea and coffee through a straw to prevent staining your pearly whites or to avoid putting your mouth on a can or bottle, right? My advice is not to sip from a straw—it causes fine lines around your mouth, a sign of premature aging to your facial skin area. Over the long term, pursing your lips to sip out of a straw causes extra wrinkles around the mouth.


2. Train yourself to sleep on your back. Resting your face on the pillow in the same way every night for years on end leads to wrinkles. Called sleep lines, these wrinkles eventually become etched on the surface of the skin and no longer disappear when the head is not resting on the pillow. Women who tend to sleep on their sides are most likely to see these lines appear on their chin and cheeks. Men tend to notice these lines on the forehead since they usually sleep with the face pressed face down on the pillow. People who sleep on their backs do not develop these wrinkles because their skin does not lie crumpled against the pillow. 3. Pull down the shade in an airplane. You’re much closer to the sun in a plane than on land, so it stands to reason that solar rays, which can penetrate windows, are more intense at higher altitudes. This may explain why pilots and flight attendants have been found to be at an increased risk for melanoma and other skin cancers. Plus, the air up there is notoriously dry and without moisture,

skin, like any living tissue, simply shrivels. Drink as much water as you can inflight, and avoid alcohol and salty foods, which are dehydrating. Apply a rich moisturizer with SPF 15 or higher 30 minutes before boarding, as sunscreen needs time to be absorbed before it’s effective. And if you’re sitting next to a window, pull down the shade. 4. Beware beauty creams with toxic ingredients. Exposure to some beauty cream chemicals can do more harm than good. You may be surprised to hear this, but many ingredients in beauty creams actually speed up the aging process. Avoid buying beauty creams that contain parabens, mineral oil, paraffin, petrolatum, dimethicone and other toxic ingredients. When buying a beauty cream, read the label carefully and talk to your dermatologist before experimenting with a new facial product. 5. Maintain a healthy weight. Packing on pounds can make your skin look plumper on the surface, but carrying excess weight can cause your body’s levels of insulin (a hormone made by the pancreas that controls the amount of sugar in your blood) and cortisol to rise, which can break down collagen. You’ll see increased sagging from putting and keeping on as little as 10 to 15 extra pounds. Loss of facial fat causes sagging and a gaunt, aged appearance. In addition, repeatedly gaining and losing weight can take its toll on the skin’s elasticity, leaving behind stretch marks and jowls. Yo-yo dieting also causes premature aging. The repeated weight gain and loss stretches your skin and makes it loose and saggy. Maintain a healthy weight with proper diet and exercise. Aim to keep your weight in the normal range, with a body mass index between 18.5 and 24.9.

surprising skin-aging antagonists to avoid phones – Mobile phones get left around on various surfaces and pick up bacteria that can cause pimples around cheeks and the jaw line. It’s best to use your phone in hands-free mode. Central air conditioning and heat – Pulls essential moisture from the air and can readily dry out your facial skin. Glasses and sunglasses – Bacteria can grow on the frame that will sit directly on your facial skin for an extended period of time. To clean, simply wipe with anti-bacterial cloth before putting glasses on each day. Chlorine – After a dip in the pool or hot tub, don’t just rinse skin with water to think the chlorine is gone. Scrub your face with a sudsy cleanser to remove all chemical residue and be sure to moisturize afterward.

january/february • 2013


live well

his & hers

heart of the matter Story | jessica mebane


ebruary is American Heart Month and as one’s heart swells with desire to make our better halves feel loved on Valentine's Day, so we fulfill wise King Solomon’s promise that “a happy heart doeth good like medicine.” But how do we as men and women fulfill the promise of a healthy heart, and how do we each respond differently to the medical standards these days by which good vascular health is measured? Prime Living asked Dr. Karla Kurrelmeyer, Director of Methodist Hospital’s DeBakey Cardiology Association and Associate Professor of Medicine at Weil Cornell College, to address some common questions, issues and myths surrounding men's and women’s heart health.

women Have a thorough heart exam by the age of 50.

men Initial heart exam

Have a thorough heart exam by the age of 40.

Dr. Kurrelmeyer: This will include a stress echocardiogram on the treadmill, nuclear imaging of the heart, as well as a CT angiogram and MRI. Also consider enrolling with the national registry at your hospital in order to gather a census of demographic data about strokes and heart attacks.

Your blood pressure should be less than 130/80 mm Hg, cholesterol lower than 200, HDL levels greater than 50 and LDL less than 100.

Know your numbers

Same numbers are recommended for men.

Dr. Kurrelmeyer: Above all, don’t forget to see your physician semi-annually to check BMI, blood pressure, cholesterol and fasting glucose levels. These tests will identify symptoms of heart disease.

Coronary artery disease is the No. 1 killer of women, more than other diseases and accidents combined.

Heart attack/ disease rate

Men are three times as likely to suffer a heart attack compared to women.

Dr. Kurrelmeyer: Women are subject to strokes at a rate of 3-to-1 compared to men and are also more subject to atrial fibrillation, which is partly why aspirin regimen is so beneficial.

Atypical biomarkers: unusual fatigue, jaw pain, shoulder pain and/or nausea.

Heart attack symptoms

Classic presentation: severe chest tightening or angina, left arm pain, shortness of breath.

Diet, exercise and having good numbers are key factors of heart health, as well as the physicianrecommended addition of medications.


Diet, exercise and having good numbers in combination with recommended meds such as aspirin, beta-blockers and statins go a long way in preventing heart events.

Dr. Kurrelmeyer: There has to be a lifestyle change; the most important thing I tell women is to exercise regularly and often, even low-impact exercise such as yoga. We all have the tools at our disposal to positively affect our heart health.



Dr. Kurrelmeyer: Go to your doctor the minute any of these symptoms persist. If you’re female and suspect heart trouble, insist on an EKG to confirm diagnosis. With female patients who come in with these vague symptoms and have an EKG, I’m rarely surprised at the data. For example, if you can’t schlep the groceries in from the car without huffing and puffing, you may have heart issues that need attention.


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Elizabeth Anthony Esther Wolf’s 50th Anniversary Celebration


Elizabeth Anthony Esther Wolf • 10.22.12


Houstonians gathered for a historic celebration in the Houston retail scene: Elizabeth Anthony Esther Wolf ’s 50th anniversary. Owner Julie Roberts greeted guests in a vintage Rose Taft black sequin cocktail dress. Guests sipped champagne and noshed on light bites while reminiscing about past fashion trends and styles that have come, gone and stayed within the retail world. The fashion fete was co-emceed by Roseann Rogers and Sharron Melton, and featured a stunning fashion show.


Photography | Dave Rossman






7 get on the list at


1 Julie Roberts and Bobbie Nau 2 Ali Henderson and Dan Pipitone 3 Justin Makris, Tommy Culp and Gary Roberts 4 Rena Lange 5 Barbara Henson and Merele Yarborough 6 Melissa Reta and Sharon Scott 7 Mitchell and Karen Schulman 8 Richard Johnson and Annie Cater


Nutcracker Market Reliant Center • 11.7.12 – 11.11.12

Shoppers from all over including California, Arizona and Florida arrived in Houston to attend the 2012 Nutcracker Market’s four-day event. More than 100,000 attended the market and such special events as the Wells Fargo Preview Party, Saks Fifth Avenue Fashion Show & Luncheon, and the Macy’s Fashion Show & Brunch. More than 325 vendors from across the country participated in the annual holiday shopping extravaganza. Offering unique gift items for the entire family and everything from home décor to clothing to novelties, the event raised more than $3.3 million. All proceeds benefit the Houston Ballet Foundation, its academy and scholarship programs.




Photography | Fulton Davenport






9 7


See More photos at

1 Lynda Transier and Anne Graubart 2 Patti Murphy, Terry Zmyslo and Rachel Regan 3 Mark and Kari Parsons 4 Victoria Osteen and Kimberly DeLape 5 Don and Patti Murphy 6 Patsy Chapman and Guy Yount 7 Perry and Vanessa Sendukas 8 Kimberly DeLape, Anne Carl, Carmen Marc Valvo, Alicia Smith and Kim Moody 9 Karen Hartnett and Sharon Erskine

january/february • 2013


Trees of Hope Gala


the corinthian • 11.9.12

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More than 450 guests enjoyed a festive evening of dancing, carols and fundraising at the 2012 Trees of Hope Gala. The gala benefited children’s programs at Star of Hope, an organization assisting Houston’s homeless since 1907. With Lynn Wyatt as this year's Honorary Chair and a signature holiday-themed auction, it promised to be a night to remember, and it definitely was. Baccarat decorated a beautiful tree in their signature red with fabulous Baccarat Noel Snowflakes, prisms, and shooting stars. However, the show stopper piece of the evening was a 10-foot-tall natural shed deer antler tree that sold in the live auction for $20,000. More than $750,000 was raised. Photography | Jenny Antill




1 Elena Scardino, Cindy Cook and Kristin Gauntt 2 Tina and Nat Wrotenbery 3 Lynn Wyatt and Brad Wyatt 4 Jim and Terry Prather with Leigh and Reggie Smith

Dress for Success Houston’s Fundraiser Dress for Success Houston • 10.20.12



More than 350 guests joined Houston’s top female chefs for “Our Future’s So Bright,” Dress for Success Houston’s 13th annual fundraiser. Presented by Marathon Oil Corporation, and chaired by Cathy and Joe Cleary with Niloufar and Amir Molavi, the unforgettable evening raised more than $340,000 for the local nonprofit. The event also marked the celebration of Dress for Success Houston’s new 16,600-square-foot building at 3310 Eastside St.


Photography | Daniel Ortiz


2 get on the list at



1 Becky and Dick Roberts 2 Cathy and Joe Cleary, Nancy Levicki, Niloufar and Amir Molavi 3 Chris and Kristy Bradshaw 4 Wolf and Julia Perry Hengst 5 Ron and Phyllis Thomason


2013 Heart Ball Kickoff Party Zadok Jewelers • 10.22.12

American Heart Association and Houston Heart Ball Chairs Lavonne Cox and Denis DeBakey hosted a fabulous kickoff party at Zadok Jewelers for the 2013 Heart Ball. During the cocktail event, the 2013 community, corporate and medical honorees were announced. Attendees also got a sneak peek of the auction items that will be offered at the Feb. 9 Heart Ball. At the event, a beautiful one-ofa-kind $20,000 “Strand of Hope” pearl necklace, donated to the American Heart Association by Zadok Jewelers and designed by Mikimoto, was unveiled.



Photography | Alexander’s Fine Portrait Design

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1 Dr. Miguel and Maria Quinones 2 Judy and Russ LaBrasca with Susan and Dick Hansen 3 Ruth Taft 4 Tom and Becky Wheeler; Lavonne Cox and Denis DeBakey 5 Keith and Jyl Calcote

Bone Bash


hotel zaza • 10.25.12


Hotel ZaZa was a frightful sight as 240 costumed revelers attended the 2nd Annual Bone Bash. The event benefited the South Texas Arthritis Foundation and the nearly one million adults and 5,000 children in the Houston area who suffer from arthritis. Spider webs spilled over the hallways as fortune tellers, palm readers, a spooktacular graveyard and dancing prevailed. Co-chaired by Molly Ellis and Keli Luce, the event raised nearly $130,000. Dr. Terry A. Clyburn was honored for his service to the medical community, as well as the Hayden-Sousa family, whose son suffers from arthritis.


Photography | Alexander’s Fine Portrait Design


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6 See More photos at

1 Sara and Dennis Sousa 2 Richard Jennings with Sandy and Dr. William Bryan 3 Lara Bell, Molly Ellis, Robin Vann, Keli Luce and Roseann Rogers 4 David and Keli Luce 5 Carol and Dr. Barry Myones 6 Costume contest winners

january/february • 2013




northern lights This year, make a point to escape to a Alaska, a true winter wilderness where the aurora borealis creates one of


the most stunning light shows you’ll ever see in your lifetime.

It’s definitely bucket list-worthy!

Never stop learning. Never stop growing. Never stop, period.

Welcome to a new day.

Come discover a community where you never stop growing. Our residents fall in love with where they live. And how they live.

Located in Richmond just off US 59 Call 877-256-0272 for directions

Del Webb Sweetgrass offers an unparalleled active adult lifestyle designed just for you! But don’t take our word for it, nothing showcases the Del Webb lifestyle better than a personal visit, so come out and join us!

For more information visit

At least one resident must be 55 years of age or better, a limited number of residents may be younger and no one under 19 years of age. Some residents may be younger than 55. Community Association fees required. Complete offering terms for the homeowner’s association is in an offering plan available from sponsor. Void where prohibited. Prices reflect base prices and are subject to change without notice. Lot premiums may apply. Details available upon request. Photography is for illustrative purposes only and is not intended to be an actual representation of a specific community, neighborhood, or any completed improvements being offered. Š2012 Pulte Home Corporation.

Discover the

Good Life!

Celebrating 40 Years at North America’s #1 Ski Resort, by Condé Nast readers

Plunge into deep powder, bluebird skies and unspoiled terrain, all set against the most stunning backdrop in North America. Immerse yourself, your friends and family in Telluride’s relaxed culture and hassle-free destination. Indulge in our world-class cuisine and service. Discover the unmatched — discover the Good Life in Telluride.

F O R T E L L U R I D E ’ S B E S T S TAY & S K I PA C K A G E S : 8 0 0 . 7 7 8 . 8 5 8 1 | Te l l u r i d e S k i R e s o r t . c o m

PRIME Living 2013 January/February issue  

This year blaze new trails for health, wealth, travel and discovery; Speed Racer: check off your bucket list with a luxury race car experien...

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