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!

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.

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!

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.

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.

Inspiring Mom – Amy Young

What has been your most challenging part of motherhood?
I would say up until this point, the most challenging aspect of motherhood has been the constant worry of whether or not I’m doing everything right. Parenting is hard, and no one knows the right answer to every challenge faced as a mother. Fear of making the wrong decision, whether it be what I am feeding my kids or the decision to discipline them in certain situations, is a constant presence. As we are entering the preteen years in our house, it is becoming increasingly clear that raising kids in a technological world (that we never had) is now becoming the most challenging aspect of motherhood. Having to monitor screen time, website content, YouTube videos…these are things our parents never dealt with. Knowing that what they click, text, post or “like” as a teenager can follow them for the rest of their lives is nerve-racking. Trying to keep a watchful eye on it can be overwhelming but extremely necessary.

What inspires you as a mom?

Watching my kids grow into these individual little people who think on their own and have their own opinions inspires me. To think that I am playing a part in who they are becoming and equipping them with the tools to make tough decisions inspires me to be a better mom.

How do you find time for yourself/spouse/children?
That’s always a tough one because we are not the best planners. My husband and I do sneak away for date nights grabbing dinner or a movie when we can. We recently started having “family meetings” with the kids. It’s a time we carve out (usually Sunday evenings) to sit with the kids (no tv, phones, computers) and talk…just talk. Sounds awkward but they are great! We discuss our upcoming week, specific needs, anything big on the horizon, etc. We also pick a word of the week (e.g., love, humility, gratitude) and discuss how to implement that word into our day-to-day. It’s been fun listening to our kids open up and seeing them attempt to put these words into practice.

What are your favorite things to do/places to spend time with your children in our community?
With all of the amenities that our community has to offer, we love venturing out and trying new activities or the latest restaurants when we can. But with kids involved in sports and extra-curricular activities, it seems most of our free time is spent at sports and recreational complexes in and around The Woodlands. Sometimes this means spending our entire weekends watching our kids in games and tournaments, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

What advice would you give new moms?
Never say, “My kid would never!” because it will come back to bite you. Trust me. Kids are kids, and no matter how perfect WE think they are, they are going to fail. They need to fail. It can be so tempting to want to swoop in and fix everything for them (guilty!), but let them figure it out. It is better to experience failures and disappointments now so they are better equipped to handle the larger challenges they will face as they become adults.

Amy and her husband, Scott, have been married for 19 years. After practicing
law for 9 years, Amy became a stay-at-home mom to her two children, Owen
(11) and Annie (10). She now dedicates her time to raising her family,
volunteering for various organizations including her children’s school (The
Woodlands Christian Academy), HOPE – The Will Herndon Research Fund and
Interfaith of The Woodlands, as well as helping with her husband’s dental

Inspiring Mom Spotlight- Dr. Anu McDonald

We are kicking off our Inspiring Mom Spotlight Series with Dr. Anu McDonald, who shares her sage advice on parenting with The Book readers. A well-known pediatrician in The Woodlands, Dr. McDonald is beloved for her caring and patient nature and has a consistent fan base of both moms and children.

1. What has been your most challenging part of motherhood?
The most challenging part of motherhood for me was when our boys were really young. My husband left his job as a software developer and started medical school at the age of 34. At that time our son was 2, and I was pregnant with our second child and working at Texas Children’s Hospital. While my husband was in medical school I also battled breast cancer. So, we had plenty of challenges during those years!

2. What inspires you as a mom?
The challenge and privilege that my husband and I have in raising our boys to become men of character is what has inspired me and changed me as a person. Raising kids forces us to look at both our strengths and our weaknesses as human beings. Motherhood has taught me about vulnerability, courage, and the need to rely on God to get through difficult times.

3. How do you find time for yourself/spouse/children?
There are seasons of motherhood when it is really hard to find a “balance.” Finding time to eat right and exercise was not always easy, but I did what I could. My kids were fortunate to have grandparents help out a lot throughout their c


4. What are your favorite things/places to spend time with your children in our community?
When our boys were young, we spent a lot of time biking, playing in the parks and swimming in The Woodlands pools. They also played a lot of baseball and golf growing up.

5. What advice would you give new moms?
Hang in there! The days are long; the years are short. Put the phone away and spend face time with your littles. Become your kid’s student. Study your children with intention and appreciate their uniqueness.
Don’t compete with other moms. You don’t have to be a perfect mom to be a good mom.

Dr. Anu McDonald is a pediatrician at Texas Children’s Pediatrics in Sterling Ridge. She went to medical school at Baylor College of Medicine and did her pediatric residency at the Children’s Hospitals in Cincinnati and Austin. She has been a pediatrician for 25 years. Dr. McDonald is passionate about treating “the whole patient.” She has given several talks in the community on the challenges faced in raising kids in affluent areas such as The Woodlands. She lives in The Woodlands with her husband Ryan McDonald who is a neurologist with Mischer Neuroscience Associates. Their sons David and Christopher are 20 and 18, respectively.


Treasures Mom Will Love

Top Treasures for Mom
Something Shiny- Stop by Cassio Creations in Hughes Landing to surprise mom with a stunning piece of custom created or existing jewelry to dazzle Mom and thank her for all of her many sacrifices.

Pampered Perfection– Make an appointment to spoil Mom at the Beauty Lounge for a fresh new look or to relax with a luxurious mani/pedi at Plush Nail Bar.

Shop ‘Til You Drop– Take Mom out to Market Street where she will have her pick of fabulous stores including Tory Burch, Club Monaco, J. McLaughlin, and Vineyard Vines among others, then enjoy a tantalizing brunch and “MOMosa” at True Food Kitchen.

Take a Trip– Getting away is good for the soul and helps to recharge the mind. Consult our friends at Fox Travel for the perfect getaway for you and Mom to create memories that will last a lifetime.

Capture the Moment– Make an appointment for a special family portrait. We aren’t promised tomorrow and the children change every day. Derrick Bryant Photography can capture your family in a picture that will become a treasured family heirloom.

Take a Hike or Swing through The Trees– We are blessed with amazing trails in The Woodlands, including the new trailhead in Creekside Park off Dr. Ann Snyder Way. For the thrill-seeker Mom, take her out for a day to the new Texas TreeVentures ropes course behind the Rob Fleming Recreation Center in Creekside Park.

Special Celebration Brunch– Enjoy a special brunch and day out for Mom while making a difference at the Fair Trade Fashion Show at Lord of Life Church, or take in a performance at The Glade Gallery Foundation with world-renowned pianist, Matthew Kent. Both are events moms and daughters alike are sure to cherish.

Gorgeous Gifts– From candles to clothing and everything in between, Tumbleweeds and Notions has the perfect gift for every occasion. Mother’s Day is no exception, check out their custom-illustrated Woodlands Prints just in time to celebrate Mom.

Bubbles, Bubbles, Bubbles– The fun atmosphere, tasty cupcakes, and champagne at Cupcakes and Bubbles are a treat any mom will love, for added fun, sign up for one of the cupcake decorating classes or go out as a group and reserve the private party room!

For the Mom Who Has Everything– Visit the elegant and luxurious Post Oak Motor Cars and surprise mom with a breathtaking new ride. Post Oak Motor Cars is Houston’s only authorized Bentley dealership, Texas’ only Bugatti and Karma dealership and the Gulf Coast’s largest authorized Rolls-Royce dealership. The class and sophistication of the vehicles coupled with the unparalleled customer care experience would be the ultimate Mother’s Day gift. Bow included!

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.

Texas Tree Top Adventure in The Woodlands

Just in time for spring, a new outdoor aerial adventure taking advantage of the beautiful, natural wooded setting of The Woodlands is set to open. The high ropes course, TreeVentures will offer nature lovers and thrill seekers alike an unparalleled physically and mentally challenging adventure up in the “canopy” of the trees.

Families, teens, scouts, and team building groups are all likely to find this a welcome addition to the numerous hiking and biking trails available in our area, several of which pass directly by the course. TreeVentures is not meant to be a quick trip, rather a destination excursion or a day trip, that will entice guests to stay and linger in the serene setting of The Woodlands after the 3-hour block on the course. Located on the campus of The Recreation Center at Rob Fleming Park, the course is nestled among 1,800 acres of the George Mitchell Nature Preserve. The location includes an entertaining wooden playground structure (free for families), and large picnic grounds complete with cornhole and horseshoe games.

Guests enter the course by crossing on an elevated boardwalk, check in and get fitted for the safety equipment at the treehouses, then head out on the four-story wooden structure complete with rope netting, 55-gallon drums, etc. Various levels of difficulty are presented as participants traverse a series of poles, cables, and other elements. The Woodlands Township has invested heavily in the safety features and training of the staff as well as the structure itself.  With a maximum capacity of 73, they are focused on the quality of the experience, rather than the number of individuals that come through the course. “Our goal is not to get as many people as we can into the park. We hope to provide an outstanding outdoor experience that will leave guests delighted and eager to return for another adventure,” shared Christopher Nunes, Director of Parks and Recreation, The Woodlands Township.

While they believe TreeVentures will be a local favorite for Woodlands residents, they are also hoping to use the park to lure visitors from other areas, “we are hoping to attract and extend the stay of visitors to the area. We see Tree Ventures as a potential new draw to the area that will benefit the businesses and the community as a whole due to additional tax revenue from visitors,” stated Nunes.

Texas TreeVentures is a wonderful embodiment of George Mitchell’s vision of blending nature with development for The Woodlands.  Don’t miss your chance to try out the course that is set to open this month!

Details :

Open Year-Round

Reservations Advised

Weight limit- 275 lbs


Cost- $40 online, $45 on-site (prices are discounted for younger children)

More details are available here:



Wedding Trends

Whether you want your occasion to be large or small, simple or elaborate, traditional or contemporary, creating a personalized wedding experience for your guests will leave a lasting impression. Now more than ever, couples are spending their time and money on creating surprising, memorable, and Instagram worthy moments. Making sure guests leave with just as much elation as the couple in love is now the biggest wedding trend of all. We spoke with several wedding- and party-planning experts around The Woodlands to get the insider scoop on what fun new ideas couples have been seeking out in entertainment, food, decor and style.


Nestled inconspicuously amongst 17 wooded acres just north of The Woodlands is the Spanish meets English Madera Estates. Ian Ramirez, who runs the family owned and operated wedding estate, graciously walked us around, the very morning they happened to be hosting a wedding showcase. The lush property was built by his family as an all-inclusive wedding venue and was the perfect backdrop for showcasing several Houston area wedding vendors. Madera hosts weddings year-round, as it has the capability to provide both indoor and outdoor events.

As soon as we walked through the property, we noticed an impressive, 17-foot, custom stone fireplace. Ian explained they had designed it based off a 1930s postcard from Central Mexico. The fireplace provides the perfect backdrop for nuptials as well as entertainment. Further back on the property, he showed us a large teepee adorned with fresh flowers. Unique items like these are a huge draw for the wedding planners of today.

Wedding entertainment is traditionally rooted in creating a romantic backdrop for the celebratory dances and lively bands, whose focus is to get the party started. While the wedding band isn’t going anywhere, Ian, a professionally trained opera singer himself, says, “Entertainment is no longer limited to one band or a DJ after dinner. It tends to be a continuous stream of unexpected entertainers.” He has hosted sketch artists, opera singers, magicians and astrologers—just to name a few.

He said there is also a big call for casual entertaining before or after the reception. Lawn games, family entertaining areas and al fresco lighting, within an overall chill garden party, has made its way in addition to or in place of the more formal reception. When entertaining your guests throughout the big day it seems there are no longer any rules; to guarantee a wow factor and a smile, the less expected, the better.

Food as Theatre

When it comes time for choosing the meal, less emphasis is being placed on the seated option. The formality of the event is still there, but couples are choosing theatrical food stations with non-traditional cuisine that speaks specifically to the couple’s journey. Couples are requesting smaller plates and adding courses. Jennifer Coyle, an event planner and owner of Fete, says she gets requests for “sushi bars, build your own slider bars and taco bars.” In other words, “taking street food and making it gourmet.” At Madera Estates we saw a signature, vintage popcorn cart strategically placed adjacent to the bar. Offering guests make-your-own food and drink stations, like coffee bars, mimosa bars and prosecco bars, seems to be part of enhancing the experience. “Couples are opting out of party favors and choosing snacks and late night bites so guests can have more fun in the moment,” says Coyle. Smaller bites throughout the event allows the couple to get creative and have fun with a lighthearted menu. Annemarie McKay, the Private Events Director at The Woodlands Country Club, said she doesn’t see this trend going anywhere. “Donuts were the big stars last year, but pretzels seem to really be making their way into the spot light,” Mckay says. “In this particular area, you are seeing couples add their personalities here. A bride and groom may share the love for brunch food and while it might not be ‘traditional’ to serve a meal of chicken and waffles to the guest for a dinner entrée, you are seeing them embrace the idea of serving mini chicken and waffles for a late night bite instead.”

Flower Power

Trendy color palettes come and go, but lately we are seeing couples more interested in creating an overall personalized vibe. We added florists to the list of vendors who, in general, are being tasked with creating more moments that add to the overall guest experience. Based out of her boutique Tomball storefront, Maggie Baily is the owner at Bramble and Bee and a wedding and special events florist. Maggie says, “We are getting a lot of requests for wow factor moments. Our clients would rather forgo the floral centerpieces and instead focus our energy on creating large photographable moments.” Think big, personalized floral walls that act as backdrops for the cakes, place cards, or photobooths. “Brides with a limited budget can now focus on one or more statement centerpieces in the middle of the room, have flowers draping down length of the table, or even have an epic floral arch.” Anne McKay at The Woodlands Country Club also uses budget-friendly balloons to make an impact with flower power. “Not just regular balloons, but the very large, big balloons. People are using them as backdrops for photo areas, ballroom drops and even small, custom-design elements.” Bridal bouquets are trending towards understated and often are compiled using local flowers. Prince Harry hand-picked Meghan Markle’s bouquet from their private garden, escalating the trend to use meaningful blooms to honor loved ones or create a new family tradition.

Something Borrowed

The Royal Wedding has come and gone, but Meghan Markle made a lasting impression last spring with her simple and understated Givenchy wedding gown. Wedding dress minimalism was a huge trend seen during the 2019 Bridal Fashion Week. Simple, modern shapes with very little adornment made their way through bridal gowns and bridal accessories. On the runways, we saw classic styles in light shades of subtle silver and lavender, accessorized with removable shawls and capes. Brides want to show their unique individuality, expressed by way of subtle color tones or stylish accessories like a capelet. As trends come and go, jewelry actually lasts a lifetime. John Robichau is an owner of Robichau’s Jewelry, a family-owned-and-operated jewelry store that has been an institution of The Woodlands for over 30 years. We are not surprised when John says couples are still most interested in classic and timeless jewelry. He echoes the minimalism trend and says he is seeing couples now mix old and new materials. Brides and grooms are weaving the story of their life together with meaningful accessories, such as layered necklaces that are engravable for future children.

Photography Courtesy Derrick Bryant Photography

Getting Fit for Glam Wrap-Up

To close out our series on Getting Fit for GGG, we thought our models deserved a little hydration and recovery session for all of their hard work! Thank you to THRIVE Drip Spa in Market Street for pampering our models and helping restore their energy and glow for GGG. Both models, Amy Torres and Perisha Burnham had recently been traveling, over multiple time zones – so the timing of the visit couldn’t have been better.

The THRIVE Intravenous (IV) Drips deliver vitamins, minerals, and amino acids directly to the body for maximum absorption. All of the drips are administered by registered nurses and you receive the same hydration from one 30 minute drip as drinking 2 gallons of water.

Here is what Interfaith Community Model Amy Torres shared about her experience:

We were greeted and immediately taken back to their beautifully decorated IV area. The RN explained our IV drip options which ranged from benefiting the immune system, weight loss, beauty, muscle recovery and more. I decided to go with the Myers Drip which helps boost the immune system. The entire process took about 30min and almost immediately I felt significantly less fatigued and energized. This feeling lasted all day…no jet lag for me!

In addition to IV vitamin therapy, Perisha also received a cryo treatment. The Cryo Chamber is cooled to temperatures between -160℉ to -220℉. Sessions range from 30 seconds to 3 minutes. Cryotherapy gives your metabolism and immune system an immediate boost, burning 500-800 calories per session.


Here is a little about Junior League Community Model Perisha Burnham’s results from her trip to THRIVE:

First things first: Yes, it was cold. Lol! However, it was not at all unbearable.
The chamber begins with warm air and slowly the temperature declines giving your body time to adjust to the cooler air.

I suffer migraine and tension headaches. The evening before our trip to Thrive, I had a terrible migraine and woke with some symptoms still lingering. My cryo session helped to relax my tense neck and shoulder muscles and by the end of the day, I was back to normal.

This is probably the quickest recovery I have ever made from a migraine–mine usually last a few days.  I believe the Myers IV and Cyrotherapy session had everything to do with me feeling better so quickly.

If you want to look, feel and perform better, you definitely need to visit our friends at THRIVE! Also, don’t forget to get your ticket for Giving Goes Glam to see these fabulous ladies walk the runway for fashion and philanthropy on April 5, 2019, at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel!

To learn more about THRIVE Drip Spa please visit: www.thrivedripspa.com or call 281.343.DRIP

Picture Perfect Bluebonnets

If you are a Texan whether native or newly relocated, you learn quickly that Texas bluebonnets are a must have a backdrop for photos of your family! Working as a professional photographer for over a decade I have seen many do’s, and don’ts when it comes to grabbing that perfect portrait for your kids during this popular Spring season.

Here are seven tips when planning your next Wildflower shoot.

1. TIMING – Bluebonnets typically bloom around late March. Though a word to the wise, I know you may be eager, however, I encourage you to resist the urge to photograph when you see the first blooms. In my experience, the best crops are most abundant towards the END of the wildflower season. I know it’s tempting, but hold off as long as possible when planning your picture time. It will be worth it when you grab a full field!

2. LOCATION– This one is critical, while the majestic hill country roads boast beautiful patches of flowers, avoid pulling over and attempting to take shots off of busy roads or highways. While we can thank our former first lady and native Texan Lady Bird Johnson for these bountiful roadside treasures, for the safety of your family scout a location that’s off the backroads and more secluded when possible. Not sure where to begin? Check out social media for local photography clubs or moms’ groups to share great spots that are safer than off a busy road. (Be aware – It is illegal to take photos on private property so be respectful of boundaries when searching)

3. WILDLIFE! – Most of our images we’re aiming for are our little ones. When I shoot professional photos in wildflower fields often, I ask my clients to wear rubber rain boots. It is very realistic to come across Texas wildlife such as snakes and fire ants while trekking through fields.

This sweet Mom ran to rescue my clients from ant bites.

4. PRESERVATION! This is my most important tip. Once you find your glorious field, be kind and allow those blossoms to stay alive by avoiding trampling, stomping, or sitting directly on top of the flowers. Very quickly you can position your child or family either on a stool (Bonus to avoid “wildlife from tip #3) or alongside the flowers. This is a courtesy to all of us who wish to enjoy these flowers through the spring season long!

5. LIGHTING – Bluebonnets are tricky when it comes to lighting. They can become over-saturated with the high sun, so avoid shooting mid-day. Early morning (before 10) and late afternoon (after 4) are the peak times when shooting.


Now that you have your location and shooting tips here are some handy tips on what to wear!

6. CLOTHING. I always suggest solids. Your eye will want to be drawn to the busiest pattern so let it focus on the backdrop of the flowers and your child’s face. Keep the outfits simple — coordinate outfits with soft solid colors.

7. PROPS – Stools and Boxes are great props to avoid crushing the flowers and to keep tiny bodies off the ground (see wildlife!) though keep the props to a minimum. Many a time I’ve seen a new mom or budding photographer lug multiple props, and accessories out to the field. Again, just like clothing, in my opinion, less is more and I just want to see the flowers and faces! (Keep in mind blankets flatten bluebonnets, try a wooden chair or old crate instead!)

I hope these tips will help you with making this Spring bluebonnet season a success! Remember you don’t need a fancy DSLR to shoot the perfect photo- a great location, happy kiddo, and a safe environment are all you need to make your memory picture perfect! Save the date for the Chappell Hill Bluebonnet Festival on April 13, 2019. 


Jen McDonald has worked as a photographer and graphic designer for over ten years. She lives locally in The Woodlands where she enjoys shooting her favorite subject, her ten-year-old son.

Round Top is Calling…and I Must Go

If you have been looking for a reason to sneak away with your friends for a “Girlfriend Getaway”, we have the perfect excuse…Round Top Spring Antiques Fair is happening April 1-6. Conveniently located only 90 minutes from The Woodlands it is quick enough for a day trip, but also offers plenty of options to shop and linger for multiple days. Whether you have made the trip before or are a Round Top rookie we have some tips to make this an unforgettable trip for you and your gal pals.

Round Top is home to one of the largest antique fairs in the United States and features more than 350 dealers. The fair spans over 11 miles and happens twice per year (Spring and Fall) with the most well-known spot being Marburger Farms. In the past few years, Round Top has become a household name due to the popularity of Joanna Gaines and the TV show phenomenon Fixer Upper. I have ventured to Round Top twice previously, but have always found it a bit overwhelming, so much so that the first time I left without making a single purchase…and my husband will attest to the fact that doesn’t happen often. So this time I enlisted the help of several seasoned Round Top veterans to guide us all to the locations and the sights filled with the best finds and the tastiest bites.

What girlfriends in the know say…


For higher-end pieces and fun experience, the following are a must:



Market Hill offers an amazing upscale “cafeteria” style lunch and dinner as well as a fun option to grab a bottle of wine or champagne to accompany the excursion!


A small tent of French antiques, jewelry, and amazing hats! This is where the Frenchie guest houses are located. Last year they offered charming lunch boxes that you could pre-order to shop and eat on the go!


Marburger is more European and high-end pieces, so if you are looking for “deals” save your time and money and hit the stops like Paul Michael, Blue Hills and La Bahia (the first stop). I have always had good luck scoring some unique, reasonable finds there.








For amazing food, don’t miss Royer’s. It is incredible and there will definitely be a wait, but it is worth it! If you want the best pie (and coffee!) in the world, they have Royer’s Pie Haven around the corner.




The Vintage Round Top also has really helpful information and suggestions:


For More Information!




Getting away with girlfriends offers advantages beyond pure entertainment. According to Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo, author of A Happy You: Your Ultimate Prescription for Happiness, “medical studies show that the bond between women is critical to mental and physical health.” So if you can’t escape for a week to the beach or Vegas with your girlfriends, a quick trip to Round Top may just do the trick.



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