Page 1

May 2018

Highly Successful WOMEN



(L-R) Laura and Mark Millis, Sharon Dodd

Are You Tired of Throwing Your Money Away by Renting?


by Amy Sharp

he Offices of Greatwood is another exciting project that follows The Millis Group, Inc. pattern of development here in Fort Bend County: It’s different, unique and elegant. With an amazing location right off the Southwest Freeway at the main entrance to Greatwood, this is an opportunity to own your office while designing and building out the interior exactly as you wish. Why buy? “Economics!” says The Millis Group CEO Mark Millis. “In addition to the before tax advantage of ownership, you’ll have a regular monthly payment that’s far less than the monthly payment on a standard lease for a comparable type property...and the monthly payment will not increase. These buildings are zoned B1 by the City of Sugar Land. They are perfect for lawyers, insurance, financial advisors, marketing, mortgage brokers, beauty, health, medical and more. We have very low interest rate financing available, and the monthly commercial owners association fee covers 100% of the building insurance, exterior maintenance, water and sewer. You only pay your data and electric bill, which current owners tell us is low. It should be, these buildings are built to the 2015 City of Sugar

Land Energy Code and they are extremely efficient.” Not only are these buildings economical to own, they are beautiful! “They do not look like typical single story office condos,” says Laura Millis, Vice President of The Millis Group. “They are multi-story buildings with individually different elevations and stone and stucco combinations. The interior is designed comparable to class A office buildings with raco doors and frames. While every building looks different, they are very professional with unique curb appeal; and of course, the interior is designed to your needs. Each buyer selects their flooring, paint, cabinet design and color combinations so that nothing is cookie cutter. One owner has her own kitchen on the top floor of her office space for filming special recipe preparations!” Eighteen detached buildings with five different elevations are being built. Your office space can vary in size from 1,500 sq. ft. up to 11,260 sq ft. Each space is individually fire sprinkled and includes a standard security system. The Offices of Greatwood office park is fenced and has a gated entry that is closed at night. “These buildings are selling before we can finish them,” says Mark. “With land prices

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in the area as they are, it’s an affordable opportunity for someone who wants to own. With value enhancement, tax benefits and fixed payments, owning an office in this development is an investment that should yield nice returns for the future.” For more information about The Offices of Greatwood, visit The Offices of Greatwood A Millis Group Project 281-343-1400 6548 Greatwood Pkwy. Sugar Land, TX 77479

by Amy Sharp

Recommended by this Realtor®


hen Amy Bernstein, broker/ owner of Bernstein Realty, wanted to rewire and redo the audio/video in her home, she turned to a very satisfied client for a recommendation. Amy says, “My client recommended Halcyon Technologies.” The audio/video work at Amy’s home included all new equipment (cameras, TVs, speakers, etc.) and new wiring indoors and out. “I don’t like dangling wires,” says Amy. “I was very specific about what I wanted. The crew of technicians from Halcyon totally met my expectations both in front of the wall and behind it. This company is well run and very professional. They were respectful working inside my furnished home, and they did a meticulous job. I’m not a tech person. Halcyon Technologies procured the new equipment for me, and they explained how to use it. In fact, I’ve had them come back several times to re-explain things. Each time they’ve been very patient! We also had

performance issues with our cable internet... it’s a language I’m not familiar with and was getting very frustrated trying to handle the issue. Halcyon Technologies called the cable company and handled it for me!” When Amy needed new wiring and TVs installed at her Bernstein Realty office, she again called Halcyon Technologies. “They

“In this business, clients rely on me for service provider recommendations.” did the same professional job like they did at my house, and when one of the TVs was a lemon, they worked with me to handle it. They picked it up, took it back and corrected the situation.” Bernstein Realty has been a full service real estate company since 1985. “We cover all of Houston and all price ranges,” says Amy. Halcyon Technologies has been on the Bernstein Realty preferred provider list for nearly seven years. “In this business, clients rely

Let Us Make Your smart home a Reality

on me for service provider recommendations. After purchasing a home, a high priority is getting the TVs, cameras, music, etc. up and running. Sometimes the job is as simple as hanging TVs and sometimes they need old wiring updated. I refer them all to Halcyon Technologies. I give out their information with complete trust that they will do a great job. I know Halcyon will call when they said they would and that they’ll show up on time. All of my clients enjoy working with them. They have never disappointed me. I’m proud to recommend them.” Like Bernstein Realty, Halcyon Technologies also services the greater Houston area. Owner Jason Hane says, “Your home is your world. We can bring peace of mind and convenience to your household by integrating all of your home systems, including lighting, audio, visual, and security. We design, sell, install and service home theatre systems, home automation systems, lighting control, security and camera systems, phones and wireless networks...we do everything! We also have voice activated technology and motion sensor technology available. What can we do for you?”

Halcyon Technologies 832-788-8838 5479 West Sam Houston Parkway North, Suite B Houston, TX 77041



presented by Dr. Julia Ward


hey’re all related,” says primary care physician and owner of Balanced Body Image, Dr. Julia Ward. “And they’re probably the cause of other symptoms and illnesses you are experiencing.” Have you noticed your insurance does not pay for preventative care in traditional medicine? “Medications are prescribed to mask your symptoms,” says Dr. Ward. “But the underlying cause is never explored. A good example is high blood sugar. Sure, you can take meds to lower it. But you’re not fixing the root of the problem. An analogy would be your car mechanic just turning off the ‘Check Engine’ light without fixing what’s wrong with your car. The light will just come back on again and again and again. With the medications, not only are you not fixing the problem, you are also experiencing side effects. These medications are designed for you to be on them for the rest of your life.” At Balanced Body Image, Dr. Ward specializes in functional medicine. Functional medicine addresses the root cause of your symptoms, problems and chronic diseases. Through a series of tests not typically administered in traditional medicine, Dr. Ward creates a curriculum for you to achieve

optimal health. “Micronutrient testing, expanded lipid profile, a stool analysis to determine bacteria in the gut, checking inflammation, looking at cortisol levels to determine stress, and hormone replacement are some of the big ones,” says Dr. Ward. Once your personalized curriculum is ready, you can take advantage of the package service available at Balanced Body Image. “Your package covers the cost of everything you need: office visits, detoxification, all-natural supplements, a nutrition program utilizing clean and unprocessed foods, exercise guidelines, all-natural hormone replacement, and the very important but often overlooked relaxation and meditation. It’s spelled out thoroughly, and it’s extremely easy to follow. Most curriculums are three to six months in length. Once completed, many clients switch to a maintenance program to maintain the health they’ve achieved. These programs are designed to let your body heal itself, so you are no longer dependent on medication. Chronic diseases like diabetes can be reversed through an appropriate curriculum. You will feel better than ever!” Are you ready to feel your best? Optimal health starts with a functional medicine consultation. Call Balanced Body Image to schedule yours today!

Health, Hormones and Stress Dinner Seminar Dr. Ward will do an in depth presentation on the five pillars to helping the body heal itself: • Detoxification • Good Nutrition • Hormone Health • Exercise • Stress Management May 24th, 2018 at 6pm Japaneiro’s Private Room 2228 Texas Dr., Sugar Land TX 77479 Located in Town Center Sugar Land Tired of what you see when you look in the mirror? Sick and tired of being sick and tired? There is HOPE! Call now for your reserved seating. Free admission and meal. During this unique opportunity you will be able to schedule a personalized “review of findings” a summary of what you personally need to obtain optimal health. Seating is limited so please call to reserve your spot today: 281-710-3380.

Balanced Body Image Julia Ward, M.D. • 281-710-3380 • 3533 Town Center Blvd Ste 200, TX 77459 4 ~ UPCLOSE ~ May 2018

Circulation, Lymphedema,

Hope and


ymphedema is a chronic, progressive disease that can be debilitating. Lymphedema develops when poor lymph drainage allows fluid to build up in an affected arm or leg. The earlier it is diagnosed, the more likely it can be controlled and possibly reversed. The causes of lymphedema can be multiple, but the most common are: cancer, radiotherapy, trauma, infections, and venous insufficiency. For many years it was thought that the heart, arteries, capillaries, venules and veins were the only components of the circulatory system. Although the lymphatic system has been known to exist for centuries, it has only been recently that experts agree that it is an important component of the circulatory system. Simply stated, the heart pumps the blood all over the body with oxygen and nutrients that are delivered to the cells, then blood with waste products and carbon dioxide is returned to the heart through the veins. About 1% of the blood fluid that passes through the capillaries stays in between the cells or interstitial space. All that fluid is returned by the lymphatic vessels. When the lymphatic vessels do not work (for whatever reason), that fluid accumulates in between the cells and produces edema or lymphedema. The diagnosis for lymphedema is done by physical exam, ultrasound and imaging of the lymphatic vessels through very special techniques. The treatment includes complete decongestive therapy (CDT) that is achieved mainly through manual lymph drainage by a Certified Lymphedema Therapist, compression therapy with compression bandaging, compression garments and pneumatic pumps, exercise, weight loss, and skin care. It is important to understand that lymphedema management is a TEAM EFFORT and active patient participation is the key to a successful team. Dr. Ulises Baltazar would like to be a part of your lymphedema management TEAM to address circulatory issues and support improved venous activity for your best possible outcome. He is a highly regarded vein specialist with extensive experience working with conditions resulting from issues of the circulatory system. Dr. Baltazar is board-certified by the American Board of Surgery in Vascular Surgery, and a member of Houston Methodist Cardiovascular Surgery Associates’ Sugar Land Vein Clinic—a practice dedicated exclusively to the treatment of venous insufficiency. If you suspect you have lymphedema, or you have already been diagnosed, Dr. Baltazar says, “The road ahead is not easy, but there is hope. For the best results in managing lymphedema, the patient needs to be committed and carefully follow instructions in order to get better. And most importantly, never, ever give up!”

Ulises Baltazar MD, RVT, FACS now affiliated with the renowned Methodist Cardiovascular Surgery Associates 281-240-8400 16605 Southwest Freeway Ste 505 (in the Methodist Professional Building 3)

 UPCLOSE ~ May 2018 ~ 5


Jump On the Bandwagon

Kim and Bill Nash BBQ Dinner Honorary Steering Committee

A Community Salute to Kim and Bill Nash


Diana & Ray Aguilar Betty Baitland Sonal & Subodh Bhuchar Cher Binks Sue Chiang Roy Cordes, Jr. Angela Cox Farrah & Himesh Gandhi Pat & Bob Hebert Mary & Justin Joyce Patti & Tim Kaminski Dee Koch Peggy & Kerry Mazoch James McClellan Amy Mitchell & Gordon Berkstresser Regina & Vincent Morales Pete & Nancy Olson Annette & Jerry Parks Gina Pizzini Mary Walker & Jim Rice Tiffany & Jeff Sebastian Neeta & Depak Sane Kristin & Shannon Tassin Nancy & Joe Zimmerman


by Amy Sharp inger/songwriters Kim and Bill Nash founded Champions their camps, and many that have gone through the program return in later Kids Camp in 2001 in honor of their son Billy who survived years as ‘Champs’ (counselors).” childhood leukemia. At this week-long camp, children between The Classic Chevy Sugar Land event on May 6th includes a BBQ the ages of eight and twelve are able to heal from the “emotional dinner, a short program emceed by Johnson Development Co-President scarring” they have experienced in their young lives. Last year, and COO Doug Goff, and Kim and Bill will play a few of their favorite Kim and Bill welcomed 40 Fort Bend youth to Champions Kids Camp songs. Jerry says, “I knew Bill back when he was singing in the clubs. Bill for the experience of a lifetime at no cost to their families. Now they are and Kim have written songs for many artists, including Reba McEntire ready to up that number to 100 Fort Bend youth, hoping to reach many and Dolly Parton. Diamond Rio recorded their song “In God We Still impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Trust.” So how did Bill go from singing in the clubs to Christian music Kim and Bill are not new on the Fort Bend scene. They have supported and founding Champions Kids Camp? Jerry says, “It’s a great story several of our community organizations, including Behind the Badge, Parks and one I’m sure they’ll share at the BBQ!” Classic Chevy Sugar Land Youth Ranch and Fort Bend Boys Choir. They also recently moved to General Manager Jeff Sebastian adds, “This is a great opportunity to the Harvest Green community. Classic Chevrolet Sugar Land Operations really get to know Kim and Bill. We’ll see you all right here at Classic Director Jerry Parks has known Bill for nearly 45 years. Today, through a Chevy Sugar Land on May 6th!” series of events, Jerry is helping spread the word about the terrific work Kim You can also catch Kim and Bill at their annual Champions Kids and Bill are doing. The first event is a BBQ hosted at Classic Chevrolet Camp fundraiser, Texas Best Music Fest, this year at Mo’s Place in Katy Sugar Land on May 6th. Fort Bend community member on June 3rd. They will be performing on stage with Dee Koch is organizing the event. Dee says, “I was Bill’s lifelong friends and fellow artists, Larry Gatlin and touched by Kim and Bill the moment I met Roy Head, as well as other esteemed performers. Learn them. They are very warm and sincere, and they more about Champions Kids Camp and different are providing amazing opportunities for our events at youth. It’s heartwarming to hear the stories from




13115 Southwest Freeway, Sugar Land, TX 77478


The Right


Drs. Tom Arnold, Kristyn Reed, and Joseph A. Janes

by Amy Sharp


Makes All the Difference!

here’s no other wardrobe staple that can reinvent your look like a great pair of glasses. But with literally thousands of options to choose from...where do you start? Right here at home! The optical staff at Today’s Vision Sugar Land are experts in selecting frames and lenses that are right for you...and they’ve been doing it for more than 25 years. Optometrist Dr. Tom Arnold opened the doors of Today’s Vision Sugar Land in 1992 with a simple vision: to provide personalized care based on value. That means the best of optometric care, contact lenses to fit the needs of each individual patient, and a wide selection of frames and lenses to create the look, comfort and clarity that make each pair of glasses ideal for their owner. Licensed optician Patrick Deiss has been with Dr. Arnold since the beginning. Patrick says, “Quality is our main priority. We stay up to date with the latest technology in lenses and our staff is experienced. Licensed optician Sylvester Alvarez has been with us

for 20 years, Modesta Torres has been here 19 years and Teresa Anderson (who has more than 30 years experience) has been with us for 10. We combine our technical knowledge with our experience to get the best fit for you. We can handle hard to fit fact, in 25 years there hasn’t been a prescription we couldn’t fill!” And your experience at Today’s Vision Sugar Land is more than just filling a prescription. It’s eyewear selection that’s accurate and easy at an exceptional value. And it’s personal. This staff is now fitting glasses for the kids of parents who were kids themselves when they met! Modesta says, “We get to know our families. Many patients request a specific optician because we already know their likes and dislikes. For a new patient, we get feedback on their hobbies and what they like to do. Then pull different styles and colors that fit their lifestyle and the shape of their face...and we go from there!” Today’s Vision Sugar Land’s collection of frames and sunglasses includes the newest fashion trends, exclusive collections, designer brands (Tom Ford,

Oliver Peoples, Michael Kors and many more!), prescription sunglasses, and protective and active sports eyewear. Most major insurances are accepted. “What’s great is this is really a one stop shop,” says Sylvester. “You can see the eye doctor and then order fabulous glasses and sunglasses that are perfect for you.” And the reason these four opticians have stayed at Today’s Vision Sugar Land for many, many years? The boss. “Dr Arnold...he’s the best.” says Teresa. Don’t settle for less than the best. Let the team at Today’s Vision Sugar Land take care of all your family’s eye care and eyewear needs. Stop by today!

Today’s Vision Sugar Land 281-242-2020 15337 Southwest Freeway Sugar Land, TX 77478

UPCLOSE ~ May 2018 ~ 7

After 30Years,


Their House Feels



ebra Nolan and Steve Smith have lived in their house for 30 years. Debra says, “When you were in our family room, you had no idea what was going on in the front.” “We had often talked about removing the dividing wall,” says Steve. “But we always put it off.” Impressed with Teri Gilberg’s work featured in UpClose magazine, Debra gave Teri a call to inquire about removing the wall. Teri (better known as “The Re-Modelista”) has a reputation for completing home renovation projects that both exceed her clients’ expectations and finish on time and within budget. “I was sold on Teri as soon as I met her,” says Debra. “And Steve liked her too. She’s very sharp, knowledgeable and enthusiastic. She knows the business and she speaks to her audience. Teri didn’t talk down to me when explaining the construction, and also talked easily with Steve who had been in the construction business for many years.” In addition to removing the wall, Debra and Steve had Teri replace the flooring in their family room, living room, dining room, hallway and hall bath as well as paint all of the rooms. Crown moulding was added in the office. Steve says, “Teri recommended ProSource for flooring. There we selected a waterproof laminate. It’s a wide plank with a rustic look that we really like. In the family room, there was a false beam that would have to be extended to the front when we opened up the room. It had to match the old beam. Teri and her crew did a really good job with that!” “Teri was in touch with Steve every single morning,” continues

8 ~ UPCLOSE ~ May 2018

by Amy Sharp

Debra. “They had coffee together, over the phone! Her team was polite, kind and considerate. We were comfortable having them here, and each day they got to work quickly doing what needed to be done. At the end of the day, they always cleaned up. They never left a mess.” Steve says, “Our project did go a couple of days over the estimate, but that’s because we added all sorts of things, including the office work and the bathroom floor.” And the budget? “We never felt overcharged or like we should have shopped around,” says Debra. “The price was fair.” “Our house feels a lot bigger now,” says Steve. Debra adds, “We can sit in the family room and see out the windows in both the front and the back. We love it! We absolutely recommend Teri!”

Re-Modelista: Your Home Renovation Specialist Specializes in Kitchen and Bath Remodels “She Gets the Job Done!” 832-535-2501 • cell: 832-731-3191

When the

Become the


Cared For


Caregivers by Olivia Cane

f you are caring for elderly parents and children, you are not alone. About 23% of adults (called the “sandwich generation”) from ages 45-64 serve as caregivers for both aging family members and children. Just as young children need special equipment (high chairs, padded bumpers on the corners of coffee tables, wall outlet plugs), elderly adults need things to navigate their world too. Fortunately, they’re easy for a professional to install and they make a huge difference to the comfort and safety of your beloved older family members. “Emotional support is a big part of elder care,” says master plumber Alan Burkhalter of Alan’s Plumbing, Sugar Land’s own expert in senior modifications and installations. “But there are a few other things I recommend as well. First, start with the bathroom...simply because there are so many wet, slick surfaces and sharp corners. Here are four home modifications for the bathroom you should consider.” 1. Grab bars in the shower and bath area. “A lot of people think using a towel rack will do the trick, but that’s not at all the case. Towel racks are notorious for ripping out of the walls (some are just glued onto the tile—they’re not even properly secured) and even improperly installed grab bars can be treacherous. But the good news is, professionally installed grab bars will hold up to anything you put them through. Moreover, they come in a variety of sizes to fit any space.” 2. Handheld shower heads. “You’ve seen these. You might even have one. They come with a long flexible hose and are meant to be handheld, making it easier for seniors to use them.” 3. Elevated toilet seats. “For most seniors, these are a godsend.

What we can do is securely attach a raised toilet seat to your existing toilet, eliminating the struggle a lot of seniors have to stand after sitting. Some of these raised toilet seats come with arm bars, which gives additional leverage.” 4. Get a backless bench for the shower. “It’s always wise to seek the advice of a medical professional to be sure you’re getting the right one for your elderly relative, but tub/ shower benches enable a senior to comfortably sit while taking a shower. The other thing I like about them is that sitting and swinging your legs over the side of a bathtub is far less dangerous for a senior than stepping over.” Team Burkhalter includes Alan’s wife Jennifer, the lovely voice you hear on the other end of the phone when you call. His brother Chris is a master plumber. Alan’s sons Beau and Luke are journeymen licensed plumbers. Longtime employee Jeff Johnson is also journeyman licensed, and Alan’s son Jake is a plumbing apprentice along with Jaime and Trevor. Alan says, “We are happy to help you with all of your senior modifications and plumbing needs, and we are proud members of the community we serve. Call us today and we’ll give you an estimate.”

Alan’s Plumbing

281-261-1064 License M-18995


UPCLOSE ~ May 2018 ~ 9




ack in August of last year, Lily Burk was in search of a strength training program. “I’m good at cardio,” says Lily. “But not strength. I never know what exercises to do and how to do them. I’m intimidated. When I saw an ad for Koko FitClub, I knew it was a place I wanted to check out.” Koko FitClub, locally-owned by Veronica and Mark Malhiot, is a technologydriven system designed to individualize the exercise experience for every individual. It’s digital equipment that uses your own data to design a workout plan just for you. “I called to inquire,” says Lily, “and went in that same day. I actually signed up that day too! I like that they have the ‘smart chip’. You plug it into the machine, and it tells you what to do. My program is customized to my goals, and there’s no thinking, ‘Is it arm day or is it leg day?’ Not only does the Koko Smartraining machine tell me what to do, it also lets me know if I’m at the correct pace...which was another issue that was intimidating about strength training to me. I flex all the time now and ask my husband if my muscles have gotten bigger or if it’s my imagination. But I know I’m stronger because the Koko strength test tells me my strength has increased by 12% since August! (And my husband says it’s not my imagination too!)” “This is not a big gym, which I like,” continues Lily. “I was actually looking for something small. It’s clean and nice and everybody is friendly. I only go three days a week and each session is about 45 minutes. I love that it’s customized and I can get in and get out. I’m a mom...I don’t have two hours to go to the gym. I love Koko FitClub and absolutely recommend it to others!” KOKO FITCLUB OF SUGAR LAND | 18318 UNIVERSITY BLVD., STE. 300 | SUGAR LAND, TX


Angels Are On the Way! W by Olivia Cane

e’re going to let you in on a little secret, an important one, especially to the hardworking woman in your life. You see, it’s not humanly possible to work, look after kids, shop, cook, and keep an impeccably clean house. No one can keep up that kind of craziness forever. No one. The perfect solution to that problem—a solution that includes very convenient gift certificates, by the way—is Mahoney’s House Cleaning Services, which will prove to be one of the best, most appreciated gifts you ever give a busy Mom (or yourself!). Momextraordinaire Imelda Mahoney and her daughter, the boundlessly energetic Casandra Ramos, are the beautiful, warm-hearted women who own and operate Mahoney’s House Cleaning Services. Their goal? To put a great big smile on your face when you open the door to your spotlessly clean home. “We never turn down a chance to clean for you,” explains Casandra. “When my mom launched the company in 2007, she started with just a few ladies on our street. Now we’re a powerhouse team of women who work together to make sure our clients are 100% happy. That’s why we’re not only fully bonded and insured, we guarantee our services.”

Nobody cleans like a professional—not even you! Included in the Mahoney’s House Cleaning package: getting the sticky dust off your ceiling fan (they have fan dusters on extension poles, putting even the highest fan within their capable reach), glass shower doors (we’re talking spotless), killing monster dustbunnies under the bed and behind the nightstand (furniture is moved, not just dusted around), and on window blinds (industrial-strength vacuum attachments specifically designed for blinds will bust that dust). All that in addition to a sparkling clean house! “Few things give us greater satisfaction than a job well done,” says Casandra. “We love to clean. As moms ourselves, we know what taking that particular chore off your plate really means. That’s why we enjoy making lives better, one house at a time. And if you need additional services like cleaning and organizing your refrigerator, china cabinet, oven or garage, we’re available to help!” Call Mahoney’s House Cleaning Services today and put a real smile on Mom’s face! She’ll never stop thanking you.

Mahoney’s House Cleaning Services will prove to be one of the best, most appreciated gifts you ever give a busy Mom (or yourself!).

Mahoney’s House Cleaning Services • 281-777-1526 • 10 ~ UPCLOSE ~ May 2018

A Mother’s Day


MIRACLE by Marie Page


hances are, there’s someone in your home juggling the family schedule. Someone who often feels each day ends with a to-do list left unfinished. But there just isn’t time after the cooking, the homework and the endless activities. Is that someone called Mom? And maybe that someone has also been dreaming of a new kitchen or bath...but the thought of a huge remodeling project is daunting. Husband and wife team Paul and Jonee Barnett own local Miracle Method Surface Refinishing. And they’ve been there. They understand the challenges of juggling work and family. “We haven’t discovered a miracle to add more hours to your day,” says Jonee. “But with Miracle Method Surface Refinishing, we can completely transform kitchens or bathrooms in just a few days without the time, stress, or expense of remodeling.” Now that’s a perfect miracle for Mom for Mother’s Day! So what makes Miracle Method Surface Refinishing so miraculous? It transforms porcelain, ceramic, laminate, acrylic, and cultured marble counters, showers and tubs… without ripping them out. After the original surface is cleaned, the scratches and chips repaired and grout lines sealed, the perfect shade is custom-created for your area. You can choose a finish that looks like natural stone, or request a “color match” to coordinate with your décor. Paul says, “Changing a big surface like a countertop or a new look for your backsplash, tub or shower makes a big impact. It could be just the change Mom is looking for! And it’s the perfect gift that doesn’t break the bank. Miracle Method Surface Refinishing saves up to 75% over the cost of removing and replacing. Not only that, we show up ontime and ready to work. Small jobs take only a day, and even a kitchen only takes about two. Less time, less expense and crews that show up on time means Mom can enjoy dramatic changes…without much drama or downtime.” “Paul and I live with Miracle Method in our home,” says Jonee. “So we really know the product inside and out. We love getting to know our customers and showing them all the possibilities. We are proud to say we have many repeat customers...and they send

Paul and Jonee Barnett

us their friends and family too! If there’s a Mom in your house that would absolutely love a new kitchen or bathroom this Mother’s Day, call us for a free estimate. In just a few days she’ll have the kitchen or bathroom of her dreams (and can get back to her crazy schedule!)” Miracle Method Surface Refinishing 281-240-2284 603 Murphy Road, Stafford, TX (call for hours) houstonsw

UPCLOSE ~ May 2018 ~ 11



ASK MARGIE The Lawyer Who Cares

ALL IN FOR Sugar Land Rotary


Protecting Your Family’s Future

Personalized Estate Planning

by Amy Sharp argie Connolly’s life is filled with transferred my desire to help aging adults interesting twists and turns that has into my law practice. My specialty is working culminated in her becoming the with these individuals on planning for the experienced and trusted estate planning and future, including wills, trusts, powers of elder law attorney she is today. attorney, and medical directives.” In the late 1980s, Margie started practicing Margie practices locally at her conveniently criminal and family law in Kentucky. In located Sugar Land office. She writes a blog 1997, after moving with her young family about estate planning issues, and frequently to Fort Bend County, she took a hiatus speaks to local groups regarding the necessity from law. Margie says, “I wanted to raise my for a good estate plan. She’s an active and three children, and I began pursuing a career visible member of our community, including in health and fitness. I became a certified participating as a volunteer with Fort Bend personal trainer, yoga and exercise instructor. Lawyers Care and she is President-elect of I’ve taught fitness classes in the Sugar Land the Sugar Land Rotary Club. Margie can also area for the past 20 years!” be found teaching exercise classes at a Sugar Once her children finished school and Land club. moved away, Margie decided to take the For more information about Margie, visit Texas Bar Exam. She return to practicing her website at law in 2013 and has not looked back. She says, “As a fitness instructor, I’ve met many active older adults. I’ve always had a passion for helping others achieve their goals, and I developed a keen interest in helping these people with their health and wellness. Working with them made me realize this section of the population had another goal I could help with as an attorney: I could provide peace of mind in knowing their family will be taken care of, and that their hard-earned assets will be distributed according to their goals and wishes. I essentially


Margaret McCullough Connolly, PLLC

281-433-9488 • 346-309-4236 4610 Sweetwater, Suite 200, Sugar Land, Tx 77479 • 12 ~ UPCLOSE ~ May 2018


Casino Night! Saturday, September 22, 2018 Safari Texas Ranch 11627 FM 1464, Richmond, TX 77407 Join us for Happy Hour, bid board, live auction, fantastic food and fellowship! This is Sugar Land Rotary’s only fundraiser – you will have fun while supporting multiple, local, Fort Bend County charities and the Rotary Foundation’s International Initiatives. Thank you for supporting Sugar Land Rotary Foundation local and global humanitarian programs!

Margie Connolly and Michelle Royster, Casino Night Chairs

Sponsorship Opportunities Available

Mother’s Day the Right Way by Olivia Cane


Treat Mom to a Slice of Paradise Gift Certificates Available!

other’s Day is right around the corner! This year, instead of waiting till the last minute to find your wife or mother a lovely token of your appreciation, you’re going to put some thought into it...right? No more kitchen appliances. No more expensive chocolates or standard-issue bouquets. You’re going to give that special woman who’s raised you (or raised your children) something she really wants. Know what that is? A gift certificate to Therapeutic Thai Massage! Thai massage is a whole new level compared to the fast-turnover massages you get from the franchise chains. And Therapeutic Thai Massage is the first authentic Thai massage spa in Houston. By combining slow, relaxing assisted Yoga stretches while releasing pressure points, ancient-practice Nuad Thai Boran is a healing art that is proven to alleviate lower back pain, reduce stress and release muscle tension. It’s more than a massage; it’s a revelation. The minute you set foot inside Therapeutic Thai Massage, it’s like entering an enchanting resort steeped in the traditions of Thailand. There you will inhale the soothing fragrances of jasmine and lemongrass, listen to the relaxing water music of the fountain, and slip into a pair of plush slippers. You have no responsibilities here other than to relax and be taken care of in a warm, comforting environment. Thai massage is a 360 degree experience, one that soothes all your senses and restores your body to a perfect state of equilibrium. Formally trained in both Thailand and Texas, licensed massage therapist and owner Mona says, “We offer many types of massage in addition to our ancient-practice massages. For clients who can’t sustain heavy pressure, we prescribe our Thai Herbal Ball massage, which uses herbs such as ginger, lemongrass, kaffir limes and turmeric. The herbs are steamed over hot water, wrapped in a ball and gently applied to the body. The sense of relaxation is profound.” “For muscle soreness, nothing can relax you more than our signature Hot Stone Massage. This massage involves the placement of smooth round heated stones (all sanitized) along your spine. Every limb is massaged and tended to. The table itself is soft and warm. Clients leave feeling completely reborn.” “Expectant mothers love prenatal massage,” says Theo, co-owner of Therapeutic Thai Massage. “It’s a lighter form of massage that releases tension in all the areas that ache from carrying the extra weight of a baby.” “As a man, I’m often at a loss to come up with the perfect gift for my wife, but I have yet to meet a woman who doesn’t love being pampered. We all need a little extra relaxation in our lives. Not just because it feels good, but it’s good for our health. We offer packages and annual memberships, making it very easy to make Thai massage a regular part of your healthy routine. We are here to exceed your expectations!”

Open Daily 10am - 10pm • Walk-ins & Appointments • Gift Certificates Available KATY 1548A S Mason Rd Katy, TX 77450 (281) 395-5652 License # ME2393

GREENWAY 3913 Richmond Ave Houston, TX 77027 (713) 208-8625 License # ME3256

SUGAR LAND 4787 Sweetwater Blvd Sugar Land, TX 77479 (281) 310-1787 License # ME2308

ENERGY CORRIDOR 13346 Briar Forest Dr. #150 Houston, TX 77077 (281) 752-9256 License # ME2712

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Helping You Combat


by Amy Sharp

Identity Theft

mily Bruce stayed at home raising her girls for fifteen years. Her husband Brock worked in corporate America. About seven years ago, they started looking for a business they could own and run together. Emily says, “I loved my time at home, but it was important to me that when the kids think of their time growing up, they think of both the times at home and how Mom and Dad worked hard building a business together. We spent at least six months looking for something that fit our family, something that reflected the values we instill at home.” PROSHRED® Security— the system of choice for the secure destruction and recycling of confidential documents and proprietary materials worldwide—was perfect for the Bruce family. Emily says, “The PROSHRED® growth plans fit what

we were looking for and their core values were in line with ours—including honesty and integrity, a strong work ethic, health, family, fun and protection of the environment. And we chose to open our business here in Fort Bend County, giving back to the community that has given us so much.” While PROSHRED® handles the shredding for some of the biggest companies in Houston, they are the go-to for helping local residents like you combat identity theft. “We can come to your home to shred onsite and we also have a drop off service,” says Emily. “We shred and dispose of sensitive materials, paperwork and hard drives, and recycle the computer for you. There is no minimum on the paperwork we shred for you, and you receive both an invoice and a Certificate of Destruction for everything.”

Brock grew up here and graduated from Dulles High School. Emily grew up in Austin, but calls Fort Bend home. Their kids all attended area schools. “Bradie’s in high school and Blaine’s in junior high,” says Emily. “Blaire now works in the dental industry and Bailee’s a senior at Texas A&M. Bailee has also started her own photography business. I like to think that Brock and I owning a business somehow influenced her to take that leap into entrepreneurship!” Let PROSHRED® help your family combat identity theft. Schedule an onsite shred or drop off your materials today. During the month of June, PROSHRED® will hold their annual SHREDCancer event and all proceeds from walk-ins will be donated to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) to support cancer research.

PROSHRED® 832-772-6102 12703 Capricorn St #100 Stafford, TX 77477


A Dentist Worth the Drive A by Amy Sharp

ndrea Fry has known Dr. Thomas Lomonte, D.D.S. for a long time. “He’s been a family friend forever. But we live in Marble Falls, so we were seeing a dentist here.” A horrible experience changed that, and today Andrea and her two daughters make the drive to Stafford every six months to see Dr. Lomonte. “It was a couple of things, actually,” says Andrea. “First, the previous dentist just wasn’t very friendly. Angelee and Maddison were scared to go to the dentist. And I’ve now learned they had dental work done they perhaps shouldn’t have, like crowning baby teeth and now the teeth have decay issues. Just an all around bad experience, and my girls were traumatized by it.” Today, the girls are excited to go to the dentist. “They love to go see Dr. Lomonte! He’s the best. He and his staff are friendly and loving people. They make me and the girls feel comfortable and at home. It’s just a great experience all around. I absolutely recommend Dr. Lomonte to others, for both kids and adults!” Dr. Lomonte has been practicing dentistry at his same Stafford location since 1982. He and his staff take great pride in being serious and passionate about what they do, but still fostering a friendly and fun environment. Dr. Lomonte says, “One of the ways we make sure your visit is top notch is by being nice! We want you to like being Come in here. The other is by making sure we keep up with the as a patient latest in technology and procedures in the constantly evolvand leave ing field of dentistry. By focusing on continuing education, we as a friend! make sure you get the best, most advanced care possible.” 14 ~ UPCLOSE ~ May 2018

Schedule an appointment, and like Andrea and her girls, you’ll see the difference for yourself. Or if you like, drop in and say, “Hello!” Dr. Lomonte says, “We are always happy to answer any questions you may have!”

Thomas M. Lomonte, D.D.S.

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

Can You It’s Hard To Stop A Trane

Beat the Heat?


ou’re out mowing the lawn in the blazing hot summer sun. It’s sweaty work. Your T-shirt sticks to your chest and grass clippings cling to your legs. All you can think about is the nice cold beer waiting for you inside your airconditioned house. Two more rows should do it, and then you’re on the couch, beer in one hand and TV remote in the other. Except that ten minutes later, the couch is sticking to you too. It’s not as cool inside the house as it should be. You get up to check the thermostat, which appears to be normal...but then sit back down worr ying about the fact that you just can’t get cool. Then it occurs to you: If there was something wrong with your air conditioner, how would you be able to tell? “Fortunately, there are plenty of clues you can look for,” says Brian Jackson of Jackson Air and Heat, Sugar Land’s oldest Trane dealer. “The first thing to consider is how well your windows and doors are sealed. If your seals are shot, the house is just hemorrhaging air-conditioned air in the summer and heat in the winter. So checking your insulation is your first line of defense.” “There are four additional checkpoints I’d look at before replacing your air conditioner,” continues Brian. “For more than thir ty years now at Jackson Air and Heat, our job has been to save you money, not give you a sales pitch. But if it

by Olivia Cane

turns out that your air conditioning unit needs replacing, the Trane XV20i with TruComfort® Technology is the absolute gold standard in our high-heat, highhumidity conditions. Trane TruComfort® gives you just the right amount of air conditioning you need without hot spots in those hard-to-reach areas. It costs you far less to run and removes humidity like a giant dehumidifier. And not only is Trane

Upgrade your home to a Trane XV20i air conditioning system and meet the TEXANS players, coaches and cheerleaders at Houston Texans Field Day on June 14th! Watch pre-season drills, enjoy autograph and photo opportunities, plus souvenirs and dinner with the TEXANS. Call today for a free estimate: 281-240-1037 Hurry! Offer ends May 30th.

2. Take a look at your br eakers. Sometimes a breaker will trip when the unit is tr ying to star t and your air conditioner will stop working. 3. Have regular maintenance done on your system. A tune up will save on your electric bill and get the most out of your system. 4. Consider the temperatures outside. If you have an outdoor unit and the temperatures are uncommonly high, an older system can’t keep up. That would be a good time to consider upgrading to a Trane air conditioner. With a TRANE Tr uComfor t® system, it doesn’t much matter how high the heat index gets. You’ll have ever ything you need in order to stay cool this summer. Call today and let Jackson Air and Heat get you star ted!

Jackson Air and Heat, Inc. Sugar Land’s Oldest Independent Trane Dealer License #TACLB29585 281-301-1403

offering generous rebates or 0% financing, Centerpoint will give you rebates as well for using a green-friendly, lowerconsumption unit.” The four checkpoints Brian would like you to look at are these: 1. Inspect your air filter. If the filter is dir ty, the unit will r un constantly, but the temperature in PROUD SPONSOR OF THE HOUSTON TEXANS your house will never cool down.



A Heartfelt “Thank You”

ot only has Debbie Marcell been at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene for her entire real estate career, she’s been a top producer nearly all thirteen of those years. “I love what I do!” says Debbie. “And this is the best place to do it. The integrity at this office is first class. The agent training and marketing tools available are off the’s everything you need to be successful.” With a business built on referrals and repeat clients, Debbie works in all price ranges. As a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist, her specialty is high-end homes. “When I’m the buying agent, I learn what my clients are looking for and network with other agents in high-end sales. As a selling agent, I take advantage of the tools my broker has available, including internet exposure and showcasing homes properly. I work throughout the Fort Bend area, and I’m also the listing agent for Sterling Classic Homes.” Debbie and her husband Marvin have lived in the Sugar Land area for 32 years. They have four kids and six grandkids. Both are very active and visible members of our community. Debbie was Honorary Chair for the American Cancer Society’s Couture for the Cause event in 2010, and has served on its advisory board every year since. This year, Debbie served as Sponsorship Chair for Couture for the Cause. “My cousin’s granddaughter had leukemia at three years old. At the same time, my five-year-old niece had brain cancer. This year’s Couture for the Cause was held in memory and honor of my close friend, Carolyn Williams. This disease is both so insidious and pervasive, I have to be involved. The most beautiful moment at this year’s event for me was watching the models in the style show, and in particular seeing my niece Kaitlin Marcell walking with Carolyn’s granddaughter Ava Radley.”

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by Amy Sharp

2018 Couture for the Cause Co-Chair Debbie Marcell (center).

Debbie, together with co-chairs Monique Bossett, Susan Ley-Novosad, Michelle Royster, Margot Sayre and Gina Pizzini would like to thank everyone that made Couture for the Cause 2018 possible: Presenting Sponsor Johnson Development who also provided the beautiful venue at Harvest Green, Methodist Hospital, HCSS, Fort Bend Toyota, Sterling McCall Nissan and Lexus, Alexandra and Tricia Zody at Deep Roots TX Floral for the beautiful flowers, Hailey Peck and her Johnson Development team for working out the venue logistics and runway, Honorary Chairs Scott and KK West for hosting the VIP party, Doug and Susie Goff for hosting the Kickoff Party, Star Edwards for planning both parties, Plaza Jewelers for donating the diamond ring for the “Bubbles & Baubles” raffle, Lenny Matuszewski for producing the fashion show, style show coordinator Cari Middaugh, Lily Jane for emceeing the event, LaDonna Marie and

Milagro Salons for hair and makeup, Dillard’s for the models’ fashion wear, Macy’s My Stylist Danielle Vigliotti for styling the chairs, Kendra Scott Jewelry for hosting Kendra Scott Night and hosting a jewelry pull at the event, Dorothy Choice for handling honors and memorials, wine pull chairs Amy Davison and Ashley Van Hoozer, Trend for printing the programs, Natalie Cespedes for helping Monique pull it all together the day of the event, and countless others who gave their time, energy and love. It takes an entire community! Debbie says, “On behalf of The American Cancer Society, we thank you all!” Debbie Marcell Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene 281-782-2102 2323 Town Center Dr. Sugar Land, TX 77478

Back in 2009, The American Cancer Society was looking for a way to bring a different funding event to Fort Bend County. One that was community driven. Behind the leadership of chairs Scott & KK West, Couture for the Cause was born.



At Johnson Development, we make more than just places to live; we create amazing communities for what you enjoy most. Whether you’re seasoning dinner with herbs from our Harvest Green community gardens, kayaking in Viridian, or splashing at our huge waterparks in Sienna, you’re sure to find that life is special in a Johnson Development community.

Houston . DFW . Atlanta Willow Creek Farms

JOHCO-0078 Upclose JDC Ad 7.875x5_MECH.indd 1

To advertise, 281-235-0600

4/23/18 10:29 UPCLOSE ~ May 2018 ~AM 17


Underwater isWhere the Magic Begins by Amy Sharp


iana Waguespack’s love for art can be traced back to when she was a little girl drawing and painting with her dad, nationally recognized watercolor artist A.J. Schexnayder. “I still paint and draw,” says Diana. “But I love photography!” And just as a painter uses a brush to create art, the camera is Diana’s tool of choice... actually an underwater camera. Diana’s specialty is underwater photography! “When I started Diana’s Photography, I photographed children and families in the studio. I still do that. But one day I played with a GoPro in my swimming pool photographing a friend’s kid underwater. I loved it! It was what I had been searching for!” Today, Diana uses the best underwater equipment available, including a special Nauticam underwater housing for her camera, underwater strobe lighting and even underwater backdrops. A custom-made floating scrim ensures the sunlight coming into her pool water is filtered evenly. Her clientele include pregnant women, beauty queens, mermaids, families, little girls with fairy wings and tea sets, golfers, tennis and baseball players, dancers and swimmers...anyone that wants a cool underwater photograph or piece of art! So what should you expect in an underwater session? “First,” says Diana, “you don’t necessarily need to know how to swim. You just need to go under the water, blow your air out, strike a pose and come up. There’s always an assistant in the water, and we can

do it all in the shallow if that’s where you (or your kids!) feel most comfortable. Before your session, we talk about what you are wanting, including clothing choices, props, and any detail needed. During your session, I create images expected and unexpected...and many times the unexpected are the best. It’s so fun and creative, and everyone who does an underwater session loves it!” And for Diana, underwater photography is not just a’s a work of art. A lot goes into the post processing of your images using Lightroom and Photoshop. “It will take me hours to finish just one image, but the result is worth it. I can create beautiful large pieces of art on both metal and canvas.” Diana and her husband Gene have two adult children, and Diana loves to photograph their two grandchildren! She earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Education/Art All Level from the University of Houston. Before discovering the magic of underwater photography, Diana taught art and photography in public schools and through private classes and workshops. In addition to her photography business, Diana creates fine art. Her work can be seen at Perimeter Gallery in Rice Village and Disegno in the Silos. Diana Marie Fine Art can also be viewed at or by appointment at Diana’s studio. Ready to discover the magic? Visit to see the possibilities. Then call or email Diana to schedule your custom portrait session today!

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Diana’s Photography 713-501-4258


Take Your Skin to Greater Heights this Summer by Amy Sharp

Happy Mother’s Day!


15% OFF

10% OFF

Chemical Peels

All Products In Stock

Exp 05-31-18

Exp 05-31-18

osenberg Dermatology—our Fort Bend satellite location of the highly-esteemed Heights Dermatology & Aesthetic Center—is your spring and summer stop to restoring natural beauty. Whether you’re discouraged by the “eleven” wrinkle between your brows, the “crow’s feet” on the outside of your eyes, “bunny lines” at the top of your nose, “marionette lines” around your mouth, “smile lines,” dark circles, acne scarring or sunspots, Certified Physician Assistant Celia Vaclavik can help you achieve the skin you’ve always dreamed of. “Because each individual is different and each face needs something different, we offer a wide range of aesthetic services,” says Celia. “Botox and Xeomin are great for the eyes and above...think the ‘eleven’ wrinkle, ‘bunny lines,’ and ‘crow’s feet.’ These procedures last about six months and are preventative since they help set the muscle and soften the wrinkle.” “Fillers like Juvederm, Radiesse and Voluma take care of the wrinkles below the eye and around the mouth and nose—like ‘smile lines’ and ‘marionette lines.’ Sunken cheekbones can also be filled to restore your ‘apple cheek.’ For those that would rather not have anything inserted into the skin, microneedling is a fantastic more natural option. The microneedling procedure uses fine needles to stimulate collagen production. It’s a great option for acne scarring on the cheeks and antiaging, and it can erase fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots.”

Rosenberg Dermatology also offers a variety of chemical peels—including glycolic acid, the Jessner Peel and the TCA peel—to exfoliate and improve the appearance of your skin. “These are great for those with melasma or dark pigmentation from excess estrogen, birth control, pregnancy or menopause. They are also beneficial for those with redness and rosacea. Chemical peels can really even out the skin tone with multiple treatments. For those that don’t have time for the chemical peel downtime, photofacials using Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) are a great option. For many clients, I do a combination of chemical peels and microneedling... giving them skin they really love!” Do you have a keloid scar or a skin tag? Rosenberg Dermatology can take care of them too. “We not only remove your keloid scar,” says Celia, “we irradiate you a 90% chance of it not growing back. It’s the best treatment option available.” Schedule a consultation and Celia will work with you to find the best solution for your skin. Not only is Celia your consultant, all aesthetics procedures are performed by Celia, a Certified Physician Assistant. She says, “I recommend that if you have a big event coming up, schedule early. Your treatment will have more time to show its effects.” Look your very best for every event this summer. Schedule a cosmetic consultation with Celia today!

Rosenberg Dermatology • 713-730-2000 • 5219 Reading Road, Rosenberg, TX 77471 •

To advertise, 281-235-0600

UPCLOSE ~ May 2018 ~ 19



“She stood by me for two years.” by Amy Sharp

hen Art Williams entered a custody battle for his eight-year-old son, he asked a psychologist friend to recommend an attorney. His friend recommended Ronique Bastine Robinson, founder of Bastine Law Group...and Art could not be more thrilled with the outcome. Art says, “Ronique stood by me for two years. Together with her high-profile team of lawyers, she was persistent and on top of it. And in that time, she never increased my hourly rate.” “This case is a great example of why you should be careful and attentive when choosing an attorney for a custody situation,” says Ronique. “As we did for Art, a great attorney goes to bat for you again and again and again. Your attorney, or even better your team of attorneys, needs to be extremely knowledgeable in your area and passionate about your case. They are your advocate, helping you navigate through the legal system and the legalese involved. And custody cases can be a game of chess, not checkers. Your attorney needs

to be able to see the next move...and the next, and the next, and the next.” Fort Bend has been home to Bastine Law Group for more than 20 years. Ronique is one of the few lawyers in our area certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Family Law, and she has a team of five in-house attorneys and an administrative staff (and it’s still growing!) What does that mean for you? “It means your case gets different perspectives,” says Ronique. “It means you can be assigned a primary and secondary attorney, which is beneficial when the secondary is more economical and can take on parts of the case under the primary’s supervision. And it means our administrative staff takes care of the small stuff, like scheduling appointments and file management.” “My son is now a well-adjusted sophomore at MIT,” beams Art. “I can’t thank Ronique enough for staying with me until everything was settled. I highly recommend Ronique and her team. In fact, I have already done so to friends in need of her expertise.”


Ronique Bastine Robinson or 12603 SW Frwy Suite 571 • Stafford, Texas

Managing Partner


Have You

Shopped in the Train? W by Amy Sharp

ith new arrivals every week, sizes ranging from small to 3X, and prices that don’t break the bank, Backwater Boutique is a “can’t miss” mom and pop experience! Where is it? In the train car on Highway 90A just west of the river in Richmond! Here, bargain shopper and owner Shannon Hansen has culminated her eight year journey of figuring out what she wants to be when she grows up. “After 20 years in the restaurant business, I went to work in an office and quickly discovered that wasn’t for me. I started making brownie mixes and selling them at shows. I noticed that others who were selling clothes were making all this money and I was not!” So Shannon and her boyfriend David decided to give it a shot. They brought a rack of clothes to a show and it sold. “I love to shop,” says Shannon. “So this was perfect! We started with small shows, then a friend let me tag along to two of the big ones: Nutcracker Market and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. I soaked up all I could and in no time was applying to bigger shows myself!” It’s been eight years. Shannon continues to do shows and events, and you can always find her at Backwater Boutique where she’s created a fun “shopping with a friend” experience. “I love to get to know my customers,” says Shannon. “If something comes in and it’s your favorite color, I’ll let know. I keep my price range reasonable. I have a lot of college kids that come by when they’re home on the weekends. We have some giftables, jewelry, handbags and beauty items—and I’m starting to venture into shoes—but I love clothes! This is a place where mom and daughter can shop for outfits together. We have something for high school 20 ~ UPCLOSE ~ May 2018

kids and 65-year-old women and everyone in between!” There’s always a sales rack and gift certificates are available. Mother’s Day and graduation sales are in full swing this month. Join the Backwater Boutique VIP Facebook group to gain access to live sales every Thursday, giveaways and special event announcements. “We frequently do Girls Night Out and participate in boutique crawls for charity. But don’t wait for the next big event. Stop by anytime. I’d love to meet you and chit-chat!”

Backwater Boutique 713-306-4426 210 C W Hwy 90A Richmond, Texas 77469


Cooking Girl’s Crazy Year by Amy Sharp


ooking Girl—our local establishment specializing in authentic and organic Szechuan/Sichuan food—has had an eventful year. Yi Liang and Li Luo (better known as the “Cooking Girl”) were the successful minds behind the Cooking Girl restaurant on Montrose. Last summer—expecting their first child—the couple sold the Montrose location and opened the Cooking Girl here on Highway 6 near Telfair. And it’s been a whirlwind ever since! Yi says, “Our son Shawn was born on August 15th, just days before Hurricane Harvey hit our area. We had to close the restaurant, but we called in our chef and a few employees to cook and deliver food to the nearest shelter. Li was still weak from having the baby, but she personally helped deliver the food. Two employees’ cars flooded on their way home after helping us all day. They didn’t see the high water in the dark. Our chef had one meter of water in his house, but he was here helping us. We were all sacrificing to help our neighbors with needs greater than our own.” The food at Cooking Girl is the flavor of Li’s home, the southwest China countryside. Li is very strict about the taste, and uses fresh, organic vegetables, eggs and meat. The beef is Angus beef and the pork is Berkshire. Much of the seasoning comes straight from China, and it brings flavor you can only find in China. Want to know how good it is? Yi says, “We did a dinner for the American Red Cross. We were serving our food, and another establishment was serving traditional Texas BBQ. We had a very long line waiting for our food!” Still not convinced? Cooking Girl’s regular customers include a local couple that’s owned their own restaurant for more than 50 years. “They always encourage us,” says Yi. “And they love our food. Their favorites are our ‘Kung Pao’ and our ‘Eggplant Loves Green Beans.’” In fact, “Eggplant Loves Green Beans” is a favorite of vegetarians and nonvegetarians alike. It’s the #1 dish served at Cooking Girl. New menu additions are always a result of Li’s experiments in her kitchen at home. The latest include “Tea Smoking Duck” and “Hot & Sour Beef.” And if you haven’t stopped in yet, don’t miss out on the Cooking Girl classics like “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” (beef tripe/tenderloin/shank, pepper, peppercorn and peanuts). “Cooking Girl” Li Luo with her precious niece. Dine in the quaint and elegant Cooking Girl dining room or order take out. This The two hang out together every chance they get! authentic and organic Chinese is sure to impress you. And Li and Yi are ready for another whirlwind year. They’re planning another Cooking Girl location this summer in the Texas Medical Center! Cooking Girl - 281-242-1131 636 Highway 6 Ste 100, Sugar Land, TX 77478

UPCLOSE ~ May 2018 ~ 21




by Amy Sharp


inco de Mayo, or the fifth of May, is a holiday that celebrates Mexico’s surprising victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. However, here in the United States—and especially here in Texas—Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a fun celebration commemorating Mexican culture and heritage. This year it falls on a Saturday, so why not celebrate by immersing yourself in Mexican food and drink. And we can’t think of a better family to celebrate with than the Garcias at Lupita’s Mexican Restaurant right here in Sugar Land! Owned and operated by Jaime, his wife Lupe and the family, Lupita’s has operated on one solid promise since 2003. Jaime says, “We promise good food that’s fresh and hot. Every day. All day!” That’s right, this is Mexican food made the old fashioned way: from scratch. Lupe uses recipes handed down for generations for amazing authenticity and flavor. The seafood is fresh and the meats are choice. Fan favorites include fabulously marinated fajitas, stuffed avocados, green chicken enchiladas, chile rellenos, Mercy’s nachos with fajita beef or chicken, chicken flautas and mouthwatering desserts like sopapillas and flan. Know what pairs well with this superior homemade food? Margaritas and cervezas. Jaime says, “Both are on special every Wednesday and ALL DAY on Cinco de Mayo.” And if you can’t make it then, Lupita’s Happy Hour runs seven days a week. That’s Sundays too. You can celebrate Mom on Mother’s Day with a refreshing margarita and delicious food! Of course, May is an entire month of celebrating! If you have a graduation, company picnic or even a get together with friends at home coming up, Lupita’s Mexican Restaurant can bring this old fashioned goodness to you. Catering includes fresh, fabulous fajitas marinated with hand-ground spices delivered to your party and kept hot in chafing dishes. “Give us a call to discuss all of your catering options,” says Jaime. “We are always available to help you throw a really fun fiesta.” “We are so proud and honored that we have been able to share our love of great food with the people of this community for 15 years now. Lupe, Rigo, Leo and I humbly thank you for the loyalty and support. ¡Muchas gracias!”

Lupita’s Mexican Restaurant ~ 281-265-6556

3121 Highway 6 S., Sugar Land (Southeast corner of Hwy 6 & Williams Trace)


BLOOMS From Within

by Olivia Cane 22 ~ UPCLOSE ~ May 2018


reams are a life force. And in 2007 when Pat Houck opened up House of Blooms—a little flower kiosk in Sugar Land Town Square—her dream was to sell long-stemmed roses to starry-eyed couples. “I’m a romantic at heart. I thought it would be lovely to offer impulse items, like roses, for sweethearts to buy for one another. I had no idea that dreams could grow so much bigger than you ever imagined!” Now, a little over ten years later, Pat and her daughter Tiffany—through sheer love, hard work and unparalleled customer service—have grown their dream like the hothouse flowers they use in their stunning arrangements. House of Blooms, which now has its own storefront in Sugar Land Town Square and works with international designers and shops around the world, creates floral masterpieces and installations for all occasions. “Tiffany’s specialty is decorating for lush, gorgeous special events and weddings,” explains Pat. “She takes pride in knowing all the little delicacies of wedding culture that are so important in a multicultural city like ours, and is in demand for weddings all over the country. Whatever your taste, she can take your idea and coax it into bloom.” Whether you need a corsage, boutineer or an anniversary bouquet, House of Blooms carries a wide selection of flowers from international growers—everything from the classic to the exotic to the beautifully unique. Once a month, they host a giveaway contest and the winner goes home with a breathtaking arrangement. Be sure to check their Facebook page for details. On the House of Blooms website, you can register for their Floral Reminder Service (which guarantees you’ll never miss another birthday or anniversary again) and Rewards Points, a loyalty program to help you save on future purchases. “All of us at House of Blooms pour our hearts and souls into making sure everything we do for you is perfect,” says Pat. “That’s why we started our ‘See What You Send’ program. When you order an arrangement, we email a photo of it to you before delivery. That way, if there’s anything you’d like us to change, we can do it on the spot.” Pay them a visit and you will see for yourself—where dreams are planted, flowers grow!

House of Blooms • 281-242-1555 • 16180 City Walk, Sugar Land, Texas 77479


What Does the Tooth Fairy See?


by Amy Sharp

onning wings and a wand, she flutters in with rewards in the dark of night, never to be seen by the expectant--now toothless-child. The Tooth Fairy has no trouble finding the missing tooth under the pillow. But what else does she see? Maybe she sees signs of early decay. Or possibly crooked or misaligned teeth. To the naked eye, the teeth seem fine. But the effects of these small problems can lead to bigger issues if not taken care of… including misaligned adult teeth, poor breathing, problems sleeping, or issues with enunciation. And let’s face it, since the Tooth Fairy never reveals herself, she’s probably not going to tell you about these potential problems. But your dentist can! Dr. Shilpa Chandiwal, DDS at Healthy Teeth Pediatric Dentistry says, “When it comes to your child’s teeth, you should never brush off going to the dentist. There’s always a lot of anxiety about first dental visits, especially with the first child. I understand, my own kids are seven and three. But with regular checkups, I can see things that you may not see and your child may not feel. We can then treat any problems while they are still manageable. Think of preventative dental care as ‘smile’ insurance…where we catch and correct problems early!” While fun and ease are obvious reasons for choosing a pediatric dentist, it’s a medically sound choice as well. Pediatric dentists are specially trained for children’s oral health needs. Dr. Shilpa studied an extra two years to meet the unique dental needs of infant, children and adolescent dental care. But we can keep all this “good-for-you” stuff just between us...let the kids think Dr. Shilpa is all about the fun! A ready and willing helper to Tooth Fairies all over, twice a year Dr. Shilpa does free dental health screenings for Headstart, the United States Department of Health and Human Services program that provides comprehensive early childhood education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services to low-income children and their families. She is an avid supporter of local elementary schools, most recently sponsoring Walker Station Elementary Movie Night and

Stallion Stampede. And she is always available to do oral health presentations to daycares and schools. Summer’s a great time to get an appointment and get those tiny teeth checked out. “The Tooth Fairy at your home has a very

important job giving out rewards,” says Dr. Shilpa. “And I know some Tooth Fairies are working hard to maintain that work-life balance. That’s why here at Healthy Teeth Pediatric Dentistry we keep late hours until 6pm. Working parents can schedule that last appointment of the day if that works better for them, and we are open on some Saturdays as well. Together we’ll give your child a lifetime of beautiful smiles!”

Dr. Shilpa Chandiwal, DDS 5300 Ranch Point Drive, Suite #B Katy, TX 77494 713-234-1002 4907 Sandhill Dr., Suite E Sugar Land, TX 77479 713-955-2100 UPCLOSE ~ May 2018 ~ 23


Making Life Easier for Mom

by Olivia Cane n amazing thing happens when or smell any of the medicine inside. Some medicaa woman becomes a mother. She tions can be transformed into a topical ointment that develops four hands, an extra pair you just rub on the skin. And we frequently do this of eyes in the back of her head, and X-ray for adults, too. If you are one of millions who find it vision that’s able to penetrate even the most difficult to swallow pills or hate the taste of medicine, convincing lies about what happened to your we can make your medication from scratch using your homework. (Pro tip: Saying the dog ate it flavor of choice. Even your pet’s medication can be just doesn’t work like it used to.) When the completely and tastily disguised!” kids get sick, who takes care of them? Mom. When the kids don’t want to take their Is your family done with putting up a fight when medicine, who’s the first one to go into battle? Mom. So what can you do to help it comes to taking medicine? Call Campbell’s this miracle worker called Mom? You can tell her about Dr. Lance Campbell, Compounding Pharmacy today. It’s your same Pharm. D., R.Ph. and Campbell’s Compounding Pharmacy! reliable medication, only customized! Here’s what Campbell’s Compounding can do for Mom—and for your family, too. They can take just about any medication and make it so delicious, your kids will be reminding you when it’s time Campbell’s Compounding Pharmacy for another dose. “One of the great things about a com“If our staff can’t make it… pounding pharmacy is that we can customize medication then you probably don’t need it!” to make it more palatable without losing its effectiveness,” Sugar Land • 281-980-2555 explains Dr. Campbell. “My beautiful wife Rakel and I 4760 Sweetwater Blvd. Suite 103 have four kids of our own, so we know how hard it can be to hold down a squirming, screaming toddler while Houston • 713-668-4833 trying to squirt a liquid antibiotic into his mouth. At 6603 Kirby Dr., Houston, TX 77005 Campbell’s Compounding, we can turn that medicine into a lollipop or flavor it so that your child can’t taste


“They exceeded my expectations.”


by Amy Sharp

one Star Floors recently installed porcelain tile throughout Jeff Johnson’s home. “Harvey got me,” says Jeff. “My house was 25-30% carpet. I knew I wanted to go with something else. I had looked around at different options at the big box stores. I priced materials for tile, luxury vinyl and laminate. The contractors working on my kitchen and bathroom recommended I visit Lone Star Floors. I met with Ziad and Terry, and I liked what I saw. I considered tile throughout the house except in the bedrooms, but I have a small home gym in the master bedroom and that needed a hard floor. I learned from Terry there was a minimum order for carpet, so carpeting only the two small bedrooms was not cost effective. It was basically a wash. I decided to go with tile throughout. Terry worked with me on both the price of the material and the price of installation.” Jeff lived in the house during the installation. “I had a small footprint of furniture remaining after the flood. The crew sorted it out and worked with me. They started at a certain point and moved through the house, moving the furniture as needed. They did a good job.” And the finished floor? “I love it,” says Jeff. “I’m glad I went ahead and tiled all of it. I’m very happy with my selection. Terry had estimated five days, and they actually finished in four.

“Harvey got me,” says Jeff.

24 ~ UPCLOSE ~ May 2018






My experience with Lone Star Floors was a good one. They exceeded my expectations. I’ve mentioned their name to a couple of other folks already who I know are in need of flooring!” Lone Star Floors ~ 3 Locations 281-564-1345• 10009 Highway 6 South, Sugar Land, TX 873 South Mason Rd. #300, Katy, TX 281-398-2319 24627 I-45 North Suite # A, The Woodlands/Spring, Texas 832-813-0813


Free Your Smile!


Srishti Mehta grew up in her dad’s orthodontic practice. “I loved it there. It was a very happy place to be! I saw at a young age how orthodontics changed the way people felt about themselves. I had braces myself as a teenager, and was determined to pursue a life in orthodontics helping people smile confidently.” After graduating with a Masters degree and a Certificate of Specialty in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics from the University of Oklahoma in 2005, Dr. Mehta spent more than a decade practicing orthodontics in Oklahoma City. She says, “We moved here when my husband accepted an opportunity at MD Anderson Cancer Center doing clinical research. We could not be happier...we love the diversity here in Sugar Land!” At Indigo Orthodontics, Dr. Mehta provides the very latest in orthodontic care. Here, comfort, convenience and integrity are paramount. “We are an all-digital practice,” says Dr. Mehta. “This includes low dose digital x-rays and digital impressions. No more goop and no more gagging. We only provide treatment if you need it and at the time that you need it. I want my patients--from kids to adults and everyone in between--to feel at home here. I also know how hard it is for working parents to negotiate their schedule. That’s why I have late hours and we are open on Saturday...and I take great pride in running on time!” The right time to schedule a complimentary orthodontic consultation for your child is age seven. “Not all kids need treatment,” says Dr. Mehta. “But it’s better when we can intercept developmental problems and treat them early, before they are bigger problems.” If your child does need braces, Indigo Orthodontics

by Amy Sharp

has lots of fun options, including traditional metal braces, gold braces, clear braces, WildSmiles (fun-shaped brackets like hearts, stars and footballs that younger kids love!) and Invisalign. Dr. Mehta says, “Our smile specialist is available 24 hours a day on our website to answer any questions you may have. For our Spanish-speaking families, the entire website can be viewed in Spanish, and we always have Spanish-speaking staff in the office. Plus, I always make myself available. Every patient gets personal time with me each office visit, and they can always reach me by email.” Dr. Mehta and her husband, Dr. Shubham Pant, reside in Riverstone. Their kids Anya and Shreya attend Commonwealth Elementary.

Indigo Orthodontics sponsors tons of school organizations and events in this area. Extremely passionate about what she does, Dr. Mehta has given the gift of a great smile to more than 10,000 individuals since she began practicing. “I love the difference a great smile can make!” Visit for information on current specials. Then schedule a complimentary consultation and be ready to “Free Your Smile!” Indigo Orthodontics 281-201-2087 7975 W. Grand Parkway S., Suite #130 Richmond, TX 77406

 UPCLOSE ~ May 2018 ~ 25


Special Grant in Honor of John Null to Cullinan Park Conservancy

W George Foundation Board President John Null

ith increasing structured activities and demands on time for families, less and less time is spent outdoors in natural settings. But according to multiple surveys over the last few years, the public wants just that. To ensure opportunities like this exist in Fort Bend County, The George Foundation awarded a grant of $60,000 to the Cullinan Park Conservancy in honor of John Null’s service as Trustee from 2008 – 2018. Mr. Null, the outgoing Chairman of the Board, developed a passion for the project and the Conservancy’s mission during his term as Trustee. Conservancy Board President Gary Tuma said, “We are thrilled to receive Mr. Null’s, and The George Foundation’s, continued support towards our planned improvements for Cullinan Park. It is an honor to know they entrust the Conservancy with stewarding the resources to effectively carry out the vision

of the Park.” Visitors to the 754-acre Joseph S. and Lucie H. Cullinan Park in Sugar Land will find a huge variety of flora and fauna, as well as trails. The Conservancy works to enhance the natural beauty of the Park for all by raising funds for capital improvements. For more information on the Park or Conservancy, visit or contact Executive Director Angie Wierzbicki at or 281-616-7860.

Conservancy Development Committee Chair Nancy Olson and Conservancy Vice President Susie Goff.


by Amy Sharp ina Cornelius has always loved real estate. “Architecture, the building process...all of it,” says Gina. “I was on-site nearly every day when I built my three homes in Katy and Fulshear. There was even a time I considered opening my own construction company.” But instead of a construction company, today Gina uses her knowledge to make sure the home you fall in love with is a home where you can enjoy peace of mind. Now in her fourth year of business, GNA Inspections is Gina’s fully-licensed, professional and exceptional home inspection company. A professional home inspection is an unbiased report on the visible and accessible components of a house. Why choose GNA Inspections? Gina and her team take the time to care. “We get to know you, and we inspect the house as if it were our own home or our mom’s. Every house is inspected the exact same way. If there’s an issue we write it, if not we don’t. Most of the time we even walk the roof...which many companies have stopped doing. The end result is an in depth report with color pictures that we email to you as both .pdf and .html. The small cost of an inspection can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in repair costs by alerting you to potential maintenance and repair issues before you buy a home.” Nearly all of Gina’s business is repeat business and referrals from satisfied customers. You might even know Gina! She raised her kids, Andrew and Rebekah, right here. And she’s done every “mom job” imaginable! Gina’s taught Junior Achievement and Sunday school, and over the years has served as room mom, swim mom, team mom, and more. Today, 21-year-old Andrew works for GNA Inspections and 17-year-old Rebekah has one more year of high school. Buy your next home with confidence. Let Gina and her team at GNA Inspections check every nook and cranny. This team is sure to exceed your expectations! For more information, visit and follow “GNA Inspections, PLLC” on Facebook.

GNA Inspections ~ 832-567-3293 ~ 26 ~ UPCLOSE ~ May 2018


Bone Density Improvement Without The Drugs by Amy Sharp


Maeve King

Sheryl Roche

ack in 2016, 64-year-old Alice Holland’s doctor recommended she start taking bone density medication for osteoporosis. However, she was worried about the side effects. “I started doing my own online research,” says Alice, “searching for natural alternatives to the drugs. That’s when I discovered the Strong Bone Health program at SuperSlow Zone. The studio was close by, so I decided to give it a try and went in for a consultation.” Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by low bone density which increases the risk of fracture and serious quality of life impacts. Affecting almost 44 million U.S. women and men aged 50 and older, it is a major health threat. Sheryl Roche, co-owner at SuperSlow Zone Sugar Land, says “One of the most common treatments is bisphosphonates. They work by slowing bone loss from the outside. However, people are troubled by the side effects. Physicians note this as well as a concern about treatment past five years.” Maeve King, SuperSlow Zone’s General Manager, adds, “We have an alternative now. At SuperSlow Zone, our Strong Bone Health program uses a combination of advanced medical grade whole-body vibration and bioDensity technology. It helps by causing bones to build tissue from the inside the natural way.” Alice has been in the Strong Bone Health program since November of 2016. “It’s great!” says Alice. “I’m able to do the sessions in my regular clothes. It only takes 15 minutes once a week, and I always feel better when I come out.

In addition to helping my bones, I’ve noticed other benefits. There are times I’ve gone in and my back was sore...and it felt better after finishing the exercises!” Studies showing the effectiveness of this program have been presented at Osteoporosis International, and the technology is endorsed by physicians like Warren Ross, who is double board certified in Internal Medicine and Geriatric Medicine. Dr. Ross says, “Patients see the documented benefits of osteogenic loading on their bioDensity performance reports which enhances compliance. They enjoy coming back every week for the osteogenic loading experience, which is fast, safe, and convenient, but most of all they know they are improving their bone health and general health without the concerns of pharmacological side effects.” Alice ecstatically reports that because of her participation in the program, her bone density loss has stabilized. “It did not get worse,” says Alice. “That is a really good thing. My endocrinologist has even asked about this program. I do recommend Strong Bone Health to others. It’s a great program and I feel good as a result.” SuperSlow Zone provides a safe, distraction free, elegant, semi-private environment. Your SuperSlow Zone consultation with a trial session is free of charge. An alternative to osteopenia/osteoporosis medications is just a phone call away. Call today! Superslow Zone 281-201-2287 16126 SW FW Ste. 130, Sugar Land, TX 77479

UPCLOSE ~ May 2018 ~ 27


Now Here’s a Fun Night Out! B

by Amy Sharp ren Morgan has been a regular at Capone’s Bar & Oven in Upper Kirby for years. “They have a great bar and awesome pizza!” says Bren. So imagine how thrilled Bren was when proprietors Danny Barcus and Carlo Penagos opened a second Capone’s location right next door to her own business, Paint Party Place! “I’m there several times a week. It’s a great atmosphere. I stop in for a drink after work, and there’s always a great band playing. With summer approaching, I love that their patio gives the feeling of being at a beach bar. This bar opens to the outside. You can dine al fresco and enjoy the breeze and a drink, or sit inside and look out. It’s just something we didn’t have here before. This is a great addition to this community.” Capone’s is a full service bar and restaurant. A few of the specialities include their famous Lamb Pops—oven baked and topped with a delicious peach chutney—and the Capone’s pizza made with arugula, prosciutto and topped with truffle oil. It’s a slice of heaven cooked to perfection right in front of your eyes in the Capone’s wood burning brick oven. Do your kids like pizza? Here’s a chance to make their own! Paint Party Place runs art camps anytime there’s no school, including all summer. On certain dates (they’re marked on the

website), the campers get to go to Capone’s for lunch and make their own pizza to eat. “It’s so fun!” says Bren. “I see cute things like pepperoni smiley faces. The kids love it!” Of course, you’re always welcome to come to Paint Party Place to create their own masterpiece on canvas or wood. “We have open to the public classes weekly and private parties by appointment,” says Bren. “Bring your own drinks, paint and have a great time! And now you can shoe shop too. I’ve partnered with my friend Paige McCowan and opened Designer Shoe Source right inside Paint Party Place. We buy shoe returns from department stores like Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s and sell them to you at a discount.” Sounds like a great little set up right here in Missouri City: Paint, have fun, buy shoes and grab a night cap and dinner at Capone’s! Capone’s Oven & Bar ~ 832-539-1972 3434 FM 1092 Rd. , Missouri City, TX 77459


Nader Ayub, DO

David Braunreiter, MD


Nish Shah, MD

Sienna Plantation

Sugar Land

Long Meadow Farms

8330 Hwy. 6, Suite 110 Missouri City, TX 77459

16811 Southwest Fwy., Suite 200 Sugar Land, TX 77479

7790 W. Grand Pkwy. S., Suite 100 Richmond, TX 77406

Our primary care sports medicine physicians at Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine are board certified in family medicine and specialize in sports medicine to provide active patients — and even those who are less active — with the full range of care they need. These doctors treat everyday illnesses as well as sports injuries and orthopedic conditions, and offer a unique combination of expertise that provides significant benefits to patients, from children to adults.

To schedule an appointment, visit or call 281.612.6546.

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


Turning Ideas Into Magic by Olivia Cane


ack in 1992, as recent graduates of the Art Institute of Houston, Jenni and Donald Leonetti started a logo and brochure design business out of their tiny apartment. “We had no room and no money to rent a bigger space,” Jenni Leonetti remembers. “Our living room was stuffed with artwork and samples because we did everything by hand. We’d camp out at our local Kinko’s until two or three in the morning getting our work printed. Those were crazy times, but I look back on them with such happiness!” “Then a teacher from Donald’s high school called and asked if we could design a graphic and put it on a T-shirt for her. Without a second’s hesitation, Donald said yes. That’s the kind of man he was—always willing to help, never afraid to try something new. The T-shirts were a smashing success, and that’s when Leonetti Graphics was truly born.” A few things have changed since then. For starters, Leonetti Graphics no longer operates out of an apartment. Instead, they’ve moved their office to a stunningly beautiful converted firehouse in Missouri City, and their production studio to a 6,250 sf warehouse that affords them all the space they need to design and print signs, banners, T-shirts, hoodies, caps, stadium blankets, decals, school/work uniforms and more. “If you need anything with a design or logo on it, that’s what we do,” says Jenni. The other change? Donald passed away a few years ago. It’s why Jenni honors his memory by making sure every single item that comes out of Leonetti Graphics is not only picture perfect, but worthy of his legacy. “Our staff is absolutely dedicated to your project,” says Jenni. “If you can’t make it out to see us, we’ll bring our samples to you.

We are first and foremost a family business, one that has deep roots here. Donald was native to this area and I moved here in 1988 after high school from Mason City, Iowa to go to art school. That is where I met Donald and never left! We have loved raising our two kids in this area!” In a larger sense, that attention to family extends to the Fort Bend community. Remember the catchy and unforgettable slogan you see at Slater’s Kwik Kar? “It’s All Good Under the Hood” was a Leonetti Graphics’ concept, the result of a brainstorm session around the conference table. Those awesome shirts at the Houston Polish Festival sponsored by Czestochowa Church? Leonetti Graphics has been making them for eleven years and counting. “We are very proud to be a huge part of the community and pride ourselves in high quality products and services,” says Jenni. “And we love it when you choose us for of your custom T-shirt and specialty product needs. Come see us and discover what we can do for you!”

Leonetti Graphics 281-499-4959 3635 Glenn Lakes Lane Missouri City, TX 77459

 UPCLOSE ~ May 2018 ~ 29


An All-Hands-In T by Amy Sharp wo Christmases ago, Cyndi Dinh asked her husband Hai Ho for a craft room. “Crafting is my hobby,” says Cyndi. “Throughout the year, I’m always crafting gifts for friends and family. But I had no idea what God had in store for me.” It all started when Cyndi and Hai led a growth group from Thrive Church. “We went to the original

Family Affair

The Rustic Brush. I’m not sure how she could tell I loved it, but the owner approached us about opening another location. Many years ago, Hai and I had talked about owning a business together. At the time, I agreed as long as it didn’t involve nights and weekends. But God’s plan is greater than my own. And while it involves nights and weekends, The Rustic Brush was perfect!” Ten months after Cyndi asked for that craft room, she got two! Cyndi and Hai are the owners of The Rustic Brush Sugar Land and Katy locations. This is an all-hands-in family affair. Cyndi says, “When you come here, you are able to craft something tangible and create memories to take with you. It’s a great experience for couples, families, small groups and team building. Our projects start at $25, so it’s an affordable experience for everyone. Just bring your food & drinks and enjoy!” Project options include wooden signs that you build, sand, stain, stencil and paint, as well as serving trays, door mats and door hangers. “Most projects can be personalized and/or modified for children. And bring the guys...they really enjoy the hammer and nails!” Schedule a workshop or private party and come in and meet Cyndi and Hai’s family. Seventeen-year-old Lyndsey and eight-year-old Brandon are often at the studios helping out. The Rustic Brush hosts “Free Wine Wednesdays” at every location. “We also host a lot of teacher events where we give a percentage of

proceeds back to their school,” says Cyndi. “I consider these men and women the unsung heroes of our community.” What will you create at The Rustic Brush? Visit www. and choose your project today!

Mommy & Me Tea Event May 12th, 3pm-6pm Limited Availability, Book Online Today!

The Rustic Brush Sugar Land 281-616-5865 2309 Williams Trace Blvd Sugar Land, Texas 77478 Katy 281-616-5865 11605 S. Fry Road Suite 102 Fulshear, Texas, TX 77441

Buyers Buy What They SEE, SMELL & FEEL


by Amy Sharp

ally Olivas is in the business of helping you realize your biggest return on your biggest investment: your house. “I’ve been in the real estate industry for 13 years,” says Sally. “When you put your home on the market, it should appeal to everybody. Buyers buy what they see, smell and feel. Yet many real estate agents don’t want to be the ‘bad guy’ and tell you what really needs to be done to get your home sold. Here at Staged and Dressed to Sell, we handle the hard conversations with tact. Our techniques are tried and true, and through our different packages you get results. That’s what I love the most! In fact, the staging process is so important... many real estate agents pay for this service for their sellers as an added value!” One of the most popular packages is the “Pink Dot” consultation. A staging consultant walks through both the exterior and interior of your home with you. PINK DOTS are placed on everything that must either be packed, trashed or donated. Sally says, “Basically, the PINK DOT items cannot stay in their present location. Then you and your real estate agent receive a detailed report with pictures and consultation advice. After finishing your ‘to do’ list, we follow up via Facetime or Facebook video.” Need furniture to stage your home? Staged and Dressed to Sell has a warehouse full. Sally says, “We are the stagers for a lot of area home builders, and we carry all the proper insurances. We acquire new furniture quarterly and stay with the latest trends. Our stuff never looks beat up. We select the right furniture for your space, and make it show ready.” While Sally is from California, she’s lived in the Houston area longer than she lived out west. “I have the big hair to prove it. I’m a Texan!” She raised her kids right here in Fort Bend County. They all graduated from Dulles High School. Are you ready to sell? “Make an invest in yourself,” says Sally. “Let Staged and Dressed to Sell help you sell faster and get the best price possible! Email me for your FREE four page tips on what you can do to get ready.” Staged and Dressed to Sell 281-832-2276 30 ~ UPCLOSE ~ May 2018


“He Gave Me My Life Back.”


by Sara Adams

hen Tim Templin first started his insurance company, he drove 60,000 – 70,000 miles per year. At a time when most cars didn’t have cruise control, that’s a lot of time sitting in one position with your leg flexed and your foot on the pedal. He suspects that his hip and lower back problems began on his road to success. Tim says, “I have been plagued with lower back problems for most of my life, but I have always managed to keep up with the outdoor lifestyle I enjoy. I like to hunt and fish and work on my farm. I am 77 years old and I’ve always said I’m going to do whatever I can for as long as I can.” Recently, when the pain in Tim’s hips and lower back was so unbearable that his physical activity became very limited, he knew it was time for a tune up. “I’m very choosy about where I get advice and help,” says Tim. “So when I read about Dr. Harris, I knew I wanted to see him about helping me return to a more active life. From my first appointment I enjoyed the personable staff and the family atmosphere. It was very refreshing. What impressed me about Dr. Harris is that he really cares about my health and getting me to the point where I can enjoy my life. He’s not one dimensional; he is genuinely concerned about my overall health. Dr. Harris relieved a lot of my pain from the very first visit. He gave me my life back.” Dr. Steve Harris offers a wide variety of chiropractic care and therapies such as spinal decompression, class IV hot laser inflammation treatment and a nutritional weight loss program. He is committed to helping people with chronic pain and improving their overall health. Dr. Harris opened Sugar Land Health Center in 1982, and recently celebrated his 41st anniversary in his chiropractic practice. Through the course of his treatments, Tim and Dr. Harris would share fishing stories and life experiences. One day Dr. Harris was talking about being a chiropractor, he told Tim, “I can’t think of anything I would rather do. I love what I do and I will continue to do it.” And Tim knew that was the secret behind all the

Follow us! YouTube channel: Facebook: Instagram: @sugarlandhealthcenter

caring. After working with Dr. Harris, Tim now walks three miles a day. Tim says, “I might not get there as fast as I used to, but I get there.”

New Patient Complimentary Exam and Consultation -$125 value-* If you live with pain, we are here to HELP.


Bring this ad to receive offer. CODE: TEMPLIN18UP *Does not include Medicare or Personal Injury. X-rays at regular charge.

Sugar Land Health Center 281-980-1050 3425 Highway 6, Suite 101 (behind McDonalds near Williams Trace Blvd) Sugar Land, TX 77478  UPCLOSE ~ May 2018 ~ 31



We can help you get there. If you’ve suffered from years of joint pain and struggled to find relief, we have the joint care expertise to get you back to your everyday life. With treatment plans customized for you, our specialists offer a full range of advanced nonsurgical and surgical techniques, including: • • • •

Innovative pain control methods Physical therapy to improve mobility and range of motion Latest technology, including minimally invasive surgical techniques Presurgical education programs for joint replacement

Conroe The Woodlands


Memorial City Katy



Texas Medical Center Pearland Sugar Land

Clear Lake

Schedule an appointment to discuss your options with a joint specialist. Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine at Sugar Land 16811 Southwest Fwy., Suite 200 | Sugar Land, TX 77479 | 281.201.0396

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2018 04 sl wib may issuu