Father’s Day Fashion Finds

It’s dad’s turn! For Father’s Day I have rounded up my top 5 fashionable gifts to help celebrate the man in your life:

Bombas Tie Die Calf Socks: 4 pack, $45.60
Tie die is a big trend in women’s fashion for 2019, why not carry it over for the men?

Personalized Men’s Braided Bracelet with engraved circular beads: $79.95
Masculine and sentimental. Perfect.

The Greats Royale White Sneakers $179
If the man in your life does not own a pair of white sneakers place this on the top of your gift list. Perfect with jeans, joggers, summer suits, and shorts. This will be the perfect summer staple in his closet.

Cubitts Tortoiseshell “Ampton” sunglasses $165
A celebrity favorite brand, these Wayfarer sunnies are a classic and fashionable year round.

Carl Friedrik Weekend Bag $565
The perfect bag for a few nights away. Duffels are making their mark in the fashion world and this Italian, handmade weekender does not disappoint.

Woodlands Weather Dude

I enjoy weather forecasting and communicating weather risks to people and I have made a career out of it over the last 25 years. In late August 2015, almost on a whim, I started posting about local weather interests on Facebook and Woodlands Weather Dude was born. At that time, the closed group contained only a few dozen members. Now over three years later, the group has grown to over 9,000 followers spread out across The Woodlands and Montgomery County. Although I would like to take full credit for the popularity of the group, I believe there are some larger things at play here that are responsible for this growing popularity.

 

First off, whether we know it or not, the weather touches our lives on a daily basis.

According to a recent Power Research Center study, weather far outpaces other daily news topics on a local level. Over 70% of adults in the Houston area say that the topic of weather is “important for daily life”. In second place was the news topic involving Traffic & Transportation at 52%. Even Government and Politics were only at 26%. Let’s face it; people want to know if the weather is going to have an impact on their kid’s birthday party, commute to work or on their weekend camping trip. Having a cell phone with weather apps or social media, including Woodlands Weather Dude, makes it easier than ever to have access to current and future weather at your fingertips.

 

Secondly, the weather hasn’t exactly been boring around here. In my 27 years of living in Houston, I believe the most active stretch of significant weather occurred here recently over the last few years. Hurricane Harvey (2017) and the two 2016 Floods both had huge impacts on our community and has stirred even more personal interest in the weather, especially during the tropical season.

Finally, I believe the popularity of the WWD Facebook page may also be an unfortunate byproduct of storm anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). According to Dr. Asim Shah, a Baylor College of Medicine mental health expert, “Close to a year after Harvey, we are still seeing [patients with] depression and anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder as well”.  Although I don’t interact directly with most of my followers, I have had many conversations with fellow co-workers who have been directly (or indirectly) impacted by Harvey or prior storms.  Some of them still suffer from insomnia and storm anxiety and have admitted to becoming obsessed with the weather, especially during thunderstorms.

Weather in Texas can be very scary for many in our area. What I attempt to do on my Facebook site is to provide my own unfiltered view on how a certain weather event is going to pan out.  And I always try to do it without any needless hype, although I have to admit some of our recent weather events over the last couple of years warranted some more serious weather language. During quieter times, I sometimes like to have forecasting contests. So if you have a good idea on when we will see our first 100-degree day or when we encounter our first freeze of the year, give me a follow! If you are a successful forecaster, you could even win a small prize. -WWD

Jeff Royed graduated from the University of Oklahoma where he received his B.S. in Meteorology. Jeff has lived in The Woodlands with his wife and two boys for over eight years. In his spare time, he enjoys running and biking on the local trails. He also likes taking his boys on short camping trips.

 

 

 

 

Woodlands Wedding – Jenny & Jon

This local wedding feature spotlights the love, courtship, and marriage of Jennifer (Jenny) Hiser and Jon Bailey. Both transplants to The Woodlands, Jenny, and Jon share a magical story of love and friendship in our community.

Did you grow up/do you live in The Woodlands?
Jenny was born and raised in New Orleans where she lived most of her adult life before moving to the Woodlands in 2012. Jon has been a Houston resident since 1992 before moving to the Woodlands in 2014; he considers himself a Texan though he was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina.

How did you meet?
Although we lived 10 minutes apart, we met online and talked by phone several times before our first date at Crisp in The Woodlands. On that date, the chemistry between us was so obvious that another guest at the restaurant told us, “I want what you two have!” We both privately took that as a “sign” to pay close attention to!

Courtship:
After that prescient beginning came the courtship…a wonderful time of adventure discovering and falling in love with each other. This was done in the context of family and friends, Friday night movies on the couch and Saturday night galas, Astros games, college football games, concerts, parties, and staycations. Trips to Dallas, New Orleans, Napa, Destin, and Colorado showed us how well we worked together as a team. We survived and thrived in the midst of chylothorax (Google it) and wrestled with what makes a successful relationship while waiting out a tornado warning during Hurricane Harvey in a closet. We laughed, cried, worked, and played; we prayed and worshipped; we talked for hours on end, and explored who we are and what we need and want in a partner and spouse. We became best friends.

Proposal:
Jon knew Jenny was a romantic at heart; she subtly let him know she dreamed of a fairytale proposal with Jon on bended knee, ring in hand, in a beautiful private setting – after he had asked her father for her hand in marriage (she’s also a traditionalist!) After Jon spoke to her father (he said, “go ask her mother!”), and her childhood best friend (she’s like a sister), and had purchased the ring, he whisked her away on a surprise “vacation” to Gateway, Colorado – home of red rock canyons, a beautiful secluded resort, and all the outdoor activities Jenny dreamed of one day doing, like hot air ballooning over Arches National Park! He had planned to surprise her with his proposal on the third night, but on the second day, she was so unaware of his plans that she asked him “why haven’t you taken this relationship to the next level!” Jon felt like he was one day “too late”! But it worked to his advantage because the next night she was completely surprised when he took her to the outdoor amphitheater on the resort property, where he had reserved a private dinner for two at sunset, complete with a custom meal and wines. When the main course was finished, Jon asked for the leftovers to be boxed, having arranged for the ring to be brought out in the box instead of the food! Then, under a desert rainbow (another sign!), he got down on one knee and proposed amidst surprised tears of joy from an elated Jenny!

Engagement:
Jenny and Jon were engaged for a little over 9 months. Those 9 months flew by with Jenny, her mom and best friend & Matron of Honor, Julie Comeaux planning the wedding. In between planning, Jenny and Jon had fun celebrating with family and friends starting off with a small engagement party thrown by Jenny’s parents when they returned from their proposal trip. Several parties followed including a Couples Engagement party in September, thrown by Jenny’s cousin Susan Aucoin in New Orleans, and a couples shower at the home of Nicole and Will Murphy hosted by Jenny and Jon’s good friends, the Comeauxs, Herndons, Murphys, and Muehslers. It was a beautiful and fun night filled with laughter, dancing, and good food. Jenny’s Aunt’s Kathleen Dolan and Shelly Dolan threw her a New Orleans themed bridal shower in New Orleans complete with king cakes, seafood and games in January, and in early March, Jenny’s good friends (Julie Comeaux, Elvira Lee, Jenny Coyle, Jena McCrann, Grace Bailey, Abby Munoz, Heather Bailey, Tricha Stilley, Amy Foreman, Kim Hardy & Sondra Ruhman) threw her a Mardis Gras themed bridal shower in the Woodlands at the East Shore Clubhouse. The pre-wedding festivities concluded with one last, fun, girl’s night celebration with Jenny’s close friends at Cupcakes & Bubbles in Creekside Village.
For each event including the wedding, Jenny had her makeup done by Morgan Horres at Lady Paint Makeup Artistry and her hair done by Monica Fridell at The Beauty Lounge. They truly made her look like a runway model.

Wedding:
The wedding was held at the Robb Chapel at The Woodlands United Methodist Church. It was officiated by pastor Mark Sorensen and coordinated by Lindsay Landin, both of the church. The reception was held at the Glade Cultural Center (formerly The Woodlands Homefinder Center) on April 6, 2019. The wedding was attended by 175 people, 70% of whom were from out of town.
What were the most special highlights for you at your wedding?

Unquestionably the highlight was our “first dance”. We took 3 months of dance lessons to learn a choreographed dance to a medley of three songs we selected (“At Last” by Etta James, “Bust a Move” by Young MC, and “Boogie Shoes” by KC & The Sunshine Band). The 3-minute dance introduced our reception guests to all the twists, twirls, and funky moves the two of us could muster and ended with Jon dipping Jenny’s wheelchair for a kiss on the last beat. It was a huge hit with our guests and fired up the guests to dance the night away. Jenny hand-picked the DJ and the entire playlist, which reflected her energetic party personality. We received tons of compliments on our first dance, and our guests said it was one of the best wedding receptions they had attended.

Another special highlight for us was the speeches and toasts at the reception by Jenny’s father, John Hiser, by Jenny’s matron of honor, Julie Comeaux, and by Jon’s best man and brother, Craig Bailey. Their thoughtful heartfelt humor and insight into us produced tears and laughter for us and our guests that we will always remember. We are so grateful to be so well loved by so many.

What memories/highlights include a connection to The Woodlands?

After visiting several venues for the reception, we instantly fell in love with the Glade Cultural Center. Glade was the perfect venue for us: as an art museum, it offered the classy elegant style that we wanted. Plus the scored concrete floor made it easy for Jenny in her wheelchair! We chose to do our bridal and first look portraits in the Glade gardens which offered the beautiful green and floral color of springtime that we desired. Dragos Tapu was extraordinarily helpful and always went the extra mile to accommodate our wishes. Wicked Whisk provided a flawless beverage experience for our guests.

As a wheelchair user, Jenny had specific wedding dress designs in mind; she searched the whole Houston metro area for the right store, but only Brickhouse Bridal in The Woodlands could provide the simple classy look she wanted with the modifications she needed.
We both have been a member at The Woodlands United Methodist Church for several years, and could not imagine getting married anywhere else but the Robb Chapel. Mark Sorensen, our pastor, and friend officiated the ceremony, and many guests told us how meaningful the service was to them. The sanctuary was beautiful and the photos in the garden by the chapel are among our favorites. The church soloist, Stephanie Taylor, and chorale, along with the string quartet coordinated by an employee of Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands were among the many highlights of the service that we and our guests enjoyed.

For our first dance choreography and instruction, we chose the gifted and patient Jhondarr Lopez and phenomenal staff at Fred Astaire Studios in Hughes Landing. Jon especially is forever indebted to them!
The Woodlands Convention Center and Bureau was instrumental in assisting us with securing local hotels (The Westin, Hyatt Place, Hilton, and Embassy Suites) for our many out-of-town guests who also enjoyed several days exploring Market Street and Hughes Landing businesses such as Tommy Bahamas, Goode Co. Mexican, Plush Nail Bar, and Sugarfina. The rehearsal dinner was held at Tupelo Park in Creekside Park Village and catered by Goode Co. BBQ in The Woodlands. And the Presidential Suite at the Westin was a luxurious experience for the bride and groom’s first night after the wedding!

Honeymoon and Happily Ever After
Jenny and Jon vacationed in St. Lucia in the Caribbean for their honeymoon and now reside in Creekside Park Village in The Woodlands.

Coffee Talk in The Woodlands

Coffee with a friend is like capturing happiness in a cup.” – Unknown

Coffee has been described as a hug in a mug. I definitely need a few of those caffeine-infused hugs each day. There are now a growing number of quaint locally-owned, coffee shops popping up in The Woodlands. Whether you need a cup of java to jump-start your morning or end your evening, one of the many neighborhood offerings can fill your cup. Thankfully, just as we all have our double pump preferences for our coffee, each of the locations has its own personality and “perks” to satisfy your caffeine craving.

Levure Bakery & Patisserie– Now with 2 locations in The Woodlands. This coffee shop with a European atmosphere is known for amazing pastries and freshly baked bread.

Try: Cappuccino and the amazing croissants

 

Blue Door– A philosophy close to our heart…building community. Located on the Waterway, Blue Door offers seriously good coffee and is perfect when you are out for a stroll – you may even bump into a celebrity! Brad Paisley did an impromptu acoustic set at The Blue Door on his last trip to The Woodlands.

Try: Iced Latte or Café Mocha

 

3rd Gen Coffee– An urban-industrial feel with incredible coffee selections for the serious coffee connoisseur. Definitely the hippest cup in town.

Try: Espresso Macchiato, Cortado or the Nitro Cold Brew

 

Momentum– Millennials and hip moms both regularly make the trek here off the Grand Parkway for their attention to detail and love in every cup – and the avocado toast!

Try: Latte with one of their special syrups

 

Copper Coil– Featuring drive-thru craft lattes and BYOM specials, it is the perfect spot for your joe-on-the-go. Located on 1488.

Try: The Beloved or The Flannel

 

Hebrews Community Coffee– The coffee that comes to you. The Hebrews Community Coffee vintage café trailer can be found regularly at Deacon Baldy’s, local congregations, and your own special event. They recently provided amazing coffee for the staff at Interfaith.

Try: Cold Brew

 

The Kitchen– Perfect for a business meeting or a quick cup with a friend. The central location, spot-on joe, and excellent service make The Kitchen a constant in the rotation.

Try: Latte with Oat Milk

 

The Wheel Kitchen– If you don’t mind a bit of a drive, The Wheel Kitchen is a lovely spot on the outskirts of Creekside Park (off Hufsmith-Kuykendahl Road). The farm-to-table food and outdoor patio in a beautiful, serene setting is worth the effort.

Try: Bullet Coffee or the Iced Matcha

So the next time you are procaffeinating (the tendency not to start anything until you’ve had a cup of coffee), or just want to catch up with a friend, check out one of these local options for your caffeine fix.

Giving Goes Glam Fashion Raises Much Needed Funds

Community models strut the runway for the 8th Annual Giving Goes Glam Fashion Show and Luncheon, presented by CHI St. Luke’s Health – The Woodlands Hospital with Exclusive Automotive Partner Sewell. Combining fashion and philanthropy, the New York–style runway show highlighted spring trends provided by Saks Fifth Avenue at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center on Friday, April 5th. Over 730 guests arrived dressed to impress in support of two local organizations, The Junior League of The Woodlands and Interfaith of The Woodlands, raising more than $315,000 for both organizations.

Jennifer Colerick, President of Junior League of The Woodlands shared, “This event has evolved so much over these past eight years. To continue with this partnership and watch it thrive, all in service of our community is remarkable.”

The venue was adorned with beautiful geodes generously on loan from The Houston Museum of Natural Science, an array of fresh florals, underwritten by Piney Rose Floral, and a stunning amethyst color palette provided the perfect backdrop for the gemstone themed event. Co-chairs, Nicole Murphy, and Emily Wilcox greeted guests with a champagne-themed raffle for a Market Street shopping spree, along with an enticing silent auction including 100 packages. DJ Kenny Sanchez provided the music backdrop while guests waited to enter the Ballroom.
Logan Lester, Miss Texas USA 2018, emceed the event that opened with a moving video showcasing both organizations’ heartfelt service throughout the community. The live auction featured an all-inclusive “New York City Girl’s Weekend Getaway,” raising $9,000! Next, six outstanding volunteers were presented as the 2019 community models and included Perisha Burnham, Stacey Fontenot, Bobbi Jo Miller, Dr. Ty Tillman, Dr. Debbie Sukin and Amy Torres. Each model was applauded for her commitment their long-standing service throughout South Montgomery County.

The grand finale of the event was the Saks Fifth Avenue Fashion Show, directed by fan favorite and producer extraordinaire, Lenny Matuszewski, highlighting a wide variety of designs from the new spring line spanning everything from formal to leisure wear.

Interfaith of The Woodlands President and CEO, Missy Herndon, shared, “Our organizations are dedicated to serving and building our community. We stand here representing a combined 80 years of service to our community, millions of volunteer hours and thousands of lives impacted by the many programs, services, and leadership of great organizations.” Following the Fashion Show, the celebration continued at the new Como Club at the Westin for the always sold-out “After Party” sponsored by The Kink Team Luxe. The afternoon provided much-needed funds for both organizations with a message that “Giving is Glamorous!”

Interfaith of The Woodlands is a nonprofit social service agency celebrating its 45th year of providing numerous programs and services to meet the needs of The Woodlands community and surrounding area. For more information on Interfaith’s programs and services or to become a volunteer, please visit woodlandsinterfaith.org or call 281-367-1230.
The Junior League of The Woodlands is an organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. For information on The Junior League of The Woodlands, please visit jlthewoodlands.org

 

The Woodlands Weddings – Ben and Cassi

As the gorgeous spring flowers begin to bloom, love (and weddings) is definitely in the air! We can’t help but swoon at a beautiful love story. We will be featuring occasional weddings with ties to The Woodlands on the website of The Book The Woodlands. Enjoy our first story, Ben and Cassi. 

Photography Courtesy Jenna McElroy

Connections to The Woodlands 

I graduated from The Woodlands high school; my parents still live in the Woodlands. Ben is from Iowa!  

How it all Began 

We met through work at Ben Taub county hospital in the Med Center. We are both medical device reps and were working for the same company at the time. Ben moved from D.C. to Houston and was visiting his accounts in the territory. We met in the Urology Operating Room during a procedurenot the most romantic place in the world ? 

We officially started dating a few months after meeting and have been inseparable ever since! We dated for almost a year and a half before we got engaged.  

Proposal & Engagement 

Ben proposed to me on the beach in Galveston, a place that was very special to us. We spent a lot of time in Galveston with my family, and one of our first dates was a day down in Galveston. We had a Friendsgiving with some of our friends and family at a beach house, and Ben and I went on a walk before everyone ate dinner. He gave me a beautiful card, got down on one knee and made me the happiest person on this planet. When we walked back to the house my family and friends from out of town were all there.  

We were engaged for 11 months. Wedding planning wasn’t stressful at all because our event planner,  Jen Lowrance took care of EVERYTHING. It flew by! 

The Big Day- Wedding & Highlights  

We got married at Chapel in the Woods at Woodlands Church. Our reception was at Chandelier Grove. It was the most beautiful, incredible day of our lives. It was beyond my dream wedding.  

A memory that was so special was our last dance. The guests went outside for our sendoff, and we had one last dance just the two of us in the barn. It was really emotional and probably the only time all day we got to slow down and take in everything. 

It was incredibly moving to get married in the church where I grew up. My family has found a home and a church family there since we moved to The Woodlands in 2006.  

Honeymoon and Happily Ever After 

We currently live in the Heights in Houston, and we went to Antigua for our honeymoon at a beautiful place called Cocos Hotel.  

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If you would like to have your Woodlands Wedding featured on the website for The Book The Woodlands, contact jromano@woodlandsinterfaith.org 

 

Destination 30A- A Woodlander’s Guide to the Emerald Coast

If you live in Texas or really anywhere in the South, you have probably seen the iconic round blue and yellow “30A” sticker adorning cars. Many know exactly what it stands for and some may wonder what this place called “30A” is all about and why it has a strong enough following for people to slap a sticker on their car to showcase their love for it.

30A is a 19.1 mile stretch of beach communities along the Emerald Coast of the Florida Panhandle, arguably the most beautiful span of beaches in the U.S. The pristine blue and green waters rival the Caribbean and the pure white sand is like no other in the world. The iconic 30A is a gem in its own right and offers unique and quaint communities throughout. Each one of these communities stand alone with their own distinct personalities, yet will always share one common denominator, the magical blue and green waters that fade into the white powder sand.

Many potential 30A visitors are overwhelmed by the decisions to make before booking their trip due to the numerous options including how to get there, where to stay, what to eat and what to do. Good news! I have some great insight to help you make your 30A experience memorable enough to slap a sticker on your car when you leave!

How to Get There…

If you choose to fly, 30A is a quick 1.5-hour flight from Houston to Panama City.  Once in Panama City, you have a 30-minute drive to 30A. The airport is small and easy to navigate. There are plenty of Ubers and rental cars available at Panama City Airport.

If you decide to make the 9.5-hour drive to 30A from The Woodlands, you know that a few stops will be necessary. However, they don’t have to be painful. Most rentals along 30A are from Saturday to Saturday which means the traffic coming and going during the peak season is a sure thing, especially as you get closer to your destination. So for most of you renting during that period, this information can make your trip just a bit easier.

Leave early and make it to Baton Rouge for an early lunch. There is a great spot just off the interstate, rightfully named City Pork (Hollydale location). Call ahead and order lunch to go. They offer easy lunches that meet Louisiana flavor standards, trust me, I’m from New Orleans, and I approve. They will conveniently package it for you to take on the road.

Once you arrive in Mobile, you are guaranteed to feel the “beach traffic.”The mobile tunnel is a dreaded landmark for many seasoned beachgoers. It is slow moving and can add up to an hour to your trip if you get there at the wrong time. Avoid rush hour and try to plan your trip to arrive in Mobile as early as possible. If you choose to split the trip, I suggest staying overnight in Mobile at The Battle House Hotel and doing a quick tour of the U.S.S Alabama in the morning (you can’t check in to your beach house until 4 pm anyway). The battleship deserves a walkthrough. We took our kids to this museum last year, and our kids still talk about it today and bonus, our kids can’t ask what that ship is all about every single time we pass it.

The upside…once you get through Mobile you are only 2.5 hours from your happy place! To ease the last leg of the trip, Texas’ beloved destination/gas station, Buc-ee’s is in your future as they just opened their first out of state MASSIVE establishment about 30 miles east of Mobile so HOLD IT!

And before you know it, there it is…the highly anticipated exit 85! The last leg of your trip! You are only 30 minutes away from your vacation. Your kids are hungry, and you are thirsty. Don’t bother with the grocery stores on Saturday because everyone else is. We order pizzas from Pizza by the Sea (there are several locations) and pick it up on our way in town. You’re welcome!

So now you know how to get there. The other big question is, “where am I staying?” While 30A offers endless options that are sure to provide everyone with their “perfect spot,”it is helpful to be well versed on your options.

A Few of the Popular 30A Communities

Watercolor Beach

This resort planned community is ideal for the active lifestyle. Here you can take advantage of the miles of walking and biking trails that preserve the nature and beauty of the woods. Western Lake, the county’s largest natural dune lake calls Watercolor it’s home offering stand up paddle boarding, canoeing, kayaking and fishing. Additionally, there are several beautiful wooden footbridges that crossover Western Lake and are a photographer’s dream come true! Watercolor also offers a children’s summer camp, five community pools, a lazy river and a beachfront beach club that is currently under renovation and is slated to be complete this summer. Be sure to stop at Fish Out Of Water for an ocean view lunch or dinner and make sure you order the warm pimento cheese!

Grayton Beach

The local vibe is alive and well in this eclectic community. Here, the locals will welcome you with open arms, sandy feet, and a cold beverage! This beach allows permitted vehicles to drive right on the beach adding to its laid back attitude. A coastal dune lake borders one side of this town offering the chance to jump on a paddle board and cruise through the still waters that often connect to the Gulf of Mexico. Off the beaten path, you can enjoy the unique Shops at Grayton Beach. Stop in for breakfast at Black Bear and treat yourself to a piece of art from one of the local galleries. Grayton is home to Chiringo, a fun and festive beach bar and restaurant that has been known to turn into an energetic nightlife scene. On rainy days, grab the kids and head to Shards for a fun glass art project that you can take home as a souvenir.

Blue Mountain Beach

Considered one of the less-developed communities on 30A, Blue Mountain Beach still attracts many visitors for this very reason. This area happens to have the highest elevation along Florida’s Gulf Coast, allowing breathtaking views. The famous Blue Mountain Creamery is a must for an afternoon treat.  Grab dinner at Stinky’s Fish Camp for the perfect family-friendly night out. If there is a wait, head over to Stinky’s bait shop for a drink and live music to pass the time. You can’t leave Blue Mountain without visiting the ultra-popular Justin Gaffrey art gallery. Here you will discover the vast mediums Justin uses to express his vision. His work is truly unparalleled.

Seaside

This cozy community is picture perfect. The quaint cottages wrapped with white picket fences, cobblestone streets, and unique storefronts give you the feeling you are walking through a movie set, and you are! The famous Truman Show starring Jim Carrey was filmed here and released in 1998. Seaside offers a surreal environment that has its visitors coming back for more year after year. From the movies under the stars to the unique book store (Sundog Books) and the town grocery (Modica Market), one can’t help but be drawn to this town. Breakfast at Great Southern Cafe and dinner on the rooftop deck at Bud & Alley’s is a must!

 

Alys Beach

Here, the brilliant-white homes and villas are what allows Alys to hold the bragging rights as being the most striking community along 30A. A stroll down this iconic stretch flanked with tropical palms will stay with you forever. Lunch at Georges is always a good idea. Finish off your evening poolside at one of the most beautiful outdoor restaurants in the area, Caliza with luxurious cabanas and where coastal cuisine is taken very seriously. Alys Beach has high standards, and it shows.

 

Rosemary Beach

Flickering lanterns and wood planked pathways guide you through this charming community. Rosemary offers one of the larger shopping experiences on 30A including the popular hidden Lantern Bookstore, Willow Clothing, and Patchouliesto name a few and of course, the obligatory visit to the Sugar Shack will be on your daily agenda. New to this area is Pescado that offers highly sought after seats on their deck with breathtaking views. Be sure to plan ahead to partake in this unforgettable experience as reservations are almost always necessary and it is an adult only establishment.

 

Wanting more?

 

30A truly is a way of “vacation” life, and for some, it’s a way of “real” life. If you decide you want a piece of this paradise to call your own, the local realtors are as warm and welcoming as the beaches that drew you here. Stop by The Beach Group and ask for James Watts. His team is the best in the area and can help you find your happy place.

Other 30A “Must Do’s”

Take a surf lesson with Austin Magee at Austin Magee Surf School in Seaside.

Hike through the Point Washington State Forest.

Visit Eden State Park and Plantation.

Charter a deep sea fishing trip off of Grayton Beach.

Take a paddleboard yoga class at the Boathouse in Watercolor.

Visit one of the many Farmers Markets.

Book a trip during Songwriters Festival, Seeing Red Wine Festival and Watercolor’s Christmas festival.

Grab a blanket and head to the beach for the sunset…look for the green flash.

Rent bikes and explore the towns around you.

I hope this helps to make your 30A experience an unforgettable one that will keep you going back for more and when you go, you will understand why most people can’t say they have only visited 30A once.   There is a reason why my family and 3.5 million visitors call 30A their vacation spot every year…go find out for yourself!

 

Courtesy Christine Mitchell Photography

Nicole Murphy

Owner, Mersea Watercolor

Nicole Murphy has lived in The Woodlands with her husband and two children for 14 years. She is passionate about giving back to several local charities where she is highly involved. Nicole enjoys traveling to her beach home in watercolor Florida with her husband, children, and friends.

Community Models Take the Stage at 2019 Giving Goes Glam

Interfaith of The Woodlands and Junior League of The Woodlands are pleased to announce the highly anticipated Community Models for Giving Goes Glam 2019.

The 8thAnnual Fashion Show and Luncheon, presented by CHI St. Luke’s Health, will be held at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel and Convention Center on Friday, April 5, 2019.  Chaired by Nicole Murphy and Emily Wilcox, this event raises critical funds for community outreach efforts.

Perisha Burnham, Stacey Fontenot, and Bobbi Jo Miller will walk the runway representing Junior League of The Woodlands.  “Each model has deep ties within this community, working tirelessly to support our programs.  Because of these efforts, they were awarded as our 2018 outstanding active member, provisional member and sustaining member, respectively.  We are deeply grateful for their dedication to the Junior League,” commented Jennifer Colerick, Junior League of The Woodlands’ President.

Representing Interfaith of The Woodlands are Debbie Sukin, Ty Tillman and Amy Torres; each having volunteered for Interfaith in a variety of roles for many years.  “At the heart of Interfaith are our volunteers, and each of our models has shown a deep commitment to our mission of serving this community. Whether it be serving on our board, fundraising or volunteering for our programs, these women give selflessly time and time again.” shared Missy Herndon, Interfaith of The Woodlands’ President & CEO.

The event includes a New York-style runway show highlighting fashion provided by Saks Fifth Avenue, live entertainment, a chance to win a shopping spree at Market Street The Woodlands, and silent and live auctions.  The perfect combination of fashion, philanthropy, and friendship, Giving Goes Glam’s proceeds benefit the missions of both organizations, supporting programs and services for the South Montgomery County community.

For sponsorship opportunities or further event details, please visit givinggoesglam.org or contact Carolyn Donovan, Interfaith of the Woodlands’ Director of Development, at development@woodlandsinterfaith.org or 832-615-8225.

Interfaith of The Woodlands is a nonprofit social service agency celebrating its 45th year of providing numerous programs and services to meet the needs of The Woodlands community and surrounding area. For more information on Interfaith’s programs and services or to become a volunteer, please visit woodlandsinterfaith.org or call 281-367-1230.

The Junior League of The Woodlands is an organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. For information on The Junior League of The Woodlands, please visit jlthewoodlands.org or call 281-376-5754.

Photography Courtesy: Mindy Harmon Photography

Top Row (l-r) Debbie Sukin, Missy Herndon, Perisha Burnham, Ty Tillman, Stacey Fontenot, Jennifer Colerick. Row 2 (l-r) Amy Torres, Emily Wilcox, Nicole Murphy, and Bobbi Jo Miller.

Women Empowering Women Featuring Rachel Hollis

Rachel Hollis, author of the New York Times bestseller “Girl Wash Your Face”, brought her inspirational message of empowerment to the sold-out crowd at the Interfaith of The Woodlands’ Women Empowering Women luncheon on February 1st at The Woodlands Resort. Donning a “love for you” t-shirt, Ms. Hollis, had the audience cheering and dancing to her message of self-acceptance and celebrating one’s God-given gifts.  

The Women Empowering Women luncheon, presented by CHI St. Luke’s Health, was the 6th Annual event hosted by the Interfaith Community Clinic, that serves as a medical home for many Montgomery County families. “The enthusiasm for this year’s speaker was remarkable, and very quickly we realized we would have the opportunity to share about the clinic to a whole new audience in addition to our current supporters,” Missy Herndon, President, and CEO of Interfaith Community Clinic. 

Ms. Hollis championed the Interfaith Community Clinic, rallying the 730 guests to contribute to support the clinic’s efforts, and led by example donating back her entire speaking fee to the cause. As a result, the event raised $325,000, shattering the previous luncheon record.  

Rachel Hollis, photo courtesy Derrick Bryant

Junior League of The Woodlands – Rene Romano, Louise Blanchard, Jenny Shirley, and Shonna Spear

WEW Committee: Darin Mittlestaedt, Georgianna Syal, Emma Simms, Missy Herndon, Anita Phillips, Michelle Kink, Dr. Sakina Davis, Jessica Kemp-Park Not Pictured: Kelly Hull, Lee Fackler

Ella and Jo Anne Johnson

Michelle Kink, Jordan Coronado, and Leslie Hogan

Presenting Sponsor CHI St. Luke’s Health with Clinic Director, Anita Phillips

Guest Singer, Cannon Brand entertains audience during coffee and desserts.

Ladies of Southwestern Energy wear T-Shirts honoring Hollis

 

The Interfaith Community Clinic, established in 1996, is a nonprofit Health Care Center providing medical and dental care as well as counseling and patient service assistance to the uninsured and underinsured in Montgomery County. The Interfaith Community Clinic staff, comprised of experienced professional medical and dental volunteers, see over 10,000 patients annually for preventative care and minor illness treatment.

Teens Making a Difference

We have all heard the criticism of Generation Z or the iGeneration… always on their phone, self-absorbed, and can’t live without technology. And while Snapchat and Instagram may be a priority for many, so is volunteering and serving our community. Hundreds of teens in our community are choosing to spend their free time serving others, developing leadership skills and creating deeper bonds with their parents and peers. What is the impressive connection that unites these young people? They are all either NCL (National Charity League) or NCR (National Charity Roundtable) members. 

National Charity League (NCL) 

NCL is an esteemed mother-daughter charitable membership organization that operates nationwide. The young ladies, in grades 7-12, participate and focus on growth and development in community service, leadership, and cultural experiences. With core values including empowering women, inspiring social awareness and compassion, honoring the mother-daughter bond, and mentorship, it is not surprising that these exceptional young women are making a difference here in The Woodlands.

pictured are Morgan McBurney, Sydney Linger and Carina Masuelli of The Woodlands Chapter, Class of 2018

NCL began in 1925 with a philanthropic organization in Los Angeles called the Charity League. The women frequently brought their daughters with them as they made layettes and assembled and delivered baskets of food to the hungry for the American Red Cross. In 1938, these mother-daughter volunteer groups began calling themselves Ticktockers. They banded together in 1947 to become the nation’s first mother-daughter charity, taking the name the National Charity League. There are currently more than 70,000 members in more than 256 chapters in 27 states. 

Madison and Deborah Barnette, Caitlin and Jena McCrann, Ann and Merritt Rice – NCL, The Magnolias – Panther Creek Inspiration Ranch, Summer Camp

The Woodlands chapter, founded in 1988, was the first local chapter and is celebrating its 30th anniversary. In the past year, which runs from April 1-March 31, the members of the six classes (2019-2024) completed over 11,533 combined [Patronesses (mothers) and Ticktockers (daughters)] hours of volunteer work in our community. In addition, NCL members contributed over $20,000 in financial and in-kind donations to the community through fundraisers including their Tea and Style Show, Under the Teacup, held in the fall. The Tea and Style Show is organized, hosted and executed by the 9th-grade members for about 250 people with the junior and seniors serving as models for the style show.
“It is wonderful to see these girls begin to take charge, track their hours and plan their schedules. The sense of accomplishment and leadership development is extraordinary.” Karla LaFitte, President, The Woodlands NCL Chapter  

Interfaith was fortunate to have one of these NCL superstars, Nora Jones, as an intern this past fall, and it is a regular occurrence to come across these amazing teens volunteering in the Interfaith pantry, the Veggie Village, or at any of our many volunteer activities such as stuffing backpacks and the toy or food drives.  

NCL chapters in and around The Woodlands that support Interfaith include Bluebonnets, Magnolias, Texas Laurels, Texas Roses, The Woodlands, and Grand Lillies. Each chapter is autonomous but they often work together and friendships develop with girls across the chapters. Ms. LaFitte emphasized that NCL is a welcoming organization, for girls with all types of interests and includes working and stay-at-home moms, and families at all economic levels.  

Kelley and Kendall Wolf, Santa, Michelle and Avery Markel at Houston Methodist Hospital, The Woodlands

According to Karla LaFitte, “NCL is a unique and special opportunity to share with my daughter. It is quality time doing something we both love – giving back to the community.”

The deadline for applications for the coming year is approaching quickly on January 15. 

National Charity Roundtable (NCR)

National Charity Roundtable (NCR) was established in 2001 as a charitable organization in The Woodlands comprised of parents and sons to serve local philanthropies. The Woodlands Chapter of The National Charity Roundtable is the founding chapter and currently has 170 families with sons in 7th through 12th grades.

Similar to National Charity League, NCR also focuses on three primary areas of development: community service or philanthropic- to identify what needs exist in the community and to assist whenever possible, educational- enhancing the social development and personal confidence of NCR members, and cultural- broadening the cultural development of the young men through exposure to a variety of cultural events. 

Although some may originally join thinking about a college application booster (which it definitely is- demonstrating a sustained voluntary commitment with an organization and learning to handle uncomfortable situations), the rewards of giving back and meaningful friendships that develop, as well as the strengthened parent-child bond and memories created can’t be understated.

Back Row: Will Jaudes, Troy Johnson, Michael Soucek, Julie Crum, Jackson Crum, Stephen White
Middle Row: Scott Myers, Grant Johnson, Ryan Soucek, Shannon Mills, Jackson Mills, Michelle White
Front Row: Luke Myers, William Jaudes, Kelly Sharer, Jason Sharer, Ryan Brunk

Members of NCR work with over 50 different philanthropies in our community including Interfaith, Operation Pets Alive, South Montgomery County Youth Services, and Angel Reach. In addition to volunteering a minimum of 20 hours per year, members also attend five events throughout the year and must be involved in a leadership role in at least one event.

“The desire to serve their community, respectful nature, and the mindfulness and appreciation of others these young men exhibit is remarkable.” Brenda Fluth, President of NCR

The demand from the community is outgrowing the ability of NCR to fulfill all of the requests for assistance. They are hopeful that another local chapter will be created in the near future so that no community need goes unmet. 

New member applications are submitted in March and NCR follows a June 1-May 31 calendar year for activities.

 

Brendan Alam, Andrew Nemeth, Max Fluth, Colby Jackson, Bennett Evans

Hayden Hughes, Jack Nolan, Ila Alam, Nancy Gamble, Brendan Alam, Troy Johnson, Grant Johnson, Jennie Hughes, Rachel Honeyman, Tyler Honeyman, Michelle Nolan, Hudson Hughes, and Gamble Reed

Long-term Benefits

Members of both NCR and NCL also develop bonds with the individuals in the community organizations where they volunteer. One young man, who joined NCR after prodding from his mother, returned home from college over Thanksgiving break and made it a priority to return to the senior living center where he previously volunteered to wish his favorite residents a Happy Thanksgiving.

Shelby Hadrick, Gracie Scrushy and Madelyn Maksimowicz – NCL, The Magnolias Chapter at Panther Creek Inspiration Ranch

A significant benefit that parents from both organizations treasure is the quality time spent shoulder to shoulder with their children. One mother remarked,“we may be having a bad day, and not necessarily on the same page, but by the time we finish working on a project together, we both feel good about what we have accomplished and have moved on from whatever was originally upsetting us.”

Joseph Croxton, Conner Judge, Richard Judge, Brad Ferguson, Annie Ferguson, Ben Ferguson, Blaise Ferguson, Dawn Croxton

NCL and NCR members are impacting The Woodlands today and for generations to come. These committed NCL and NCR volunteers are an invaluable, consistent resource for Interfaith and the community as a whole. As the NCR motto states, “no nation can remain great when duty, honor, and service die in the hearts of young men and women.” It is wonderful to see that, thanks in part to organizations like NCL and NCR the next generation in The Woodlands promises to be full of confident, well-rounded and socially aware citizens.

Click here to find out more about NCL and NCR:

https://www.nationalcharityleague.org/

http://www.ncrwoodlands.org/

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