To: Members of the Texas State Guard

From: Gov. Greg Abbott

Subject: Defending Texas!!!


My fellow patriots, Washington is once again trying to take over our beloved Lone Star State. It wasn’t enough that those Godless bureaucrats bought us off with bribes like the Houston Ship Channel, NASA, Medicare and Social Security. Now they are overtly invading Texas. There are reliable reports that “President” Obama will declare martial law as a prelude to a federal move to seize our personal weapons. They say 1,200 elite service members from four branches of the U.S. military, including Navy SEALS and Army Green Berets, will be coming here to stage “exercises” and “training.” Only 1,200? We can’t believe this administration. Just remember: “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor,” and, “I am not a Muslim.” I suspect more like a million will come.

That is why I am calling on you, members of the Texas State Guard, to monitor these troops. Defend our land with your walkers, canes and, if necessary, your AARP cards. As I wrote to Maj. Gen. Gerald Betty of the Texas State Guard, “During the training operation, it is important that Texans know their safety, constitutional rights, private property rights and civil liberties will not be infringed.” Incidentally, some of you are confusing the Texas Guard and the Texas National Guard. The latter is “National,” i.e. “Washington.” Need I say more?

Here are a few suggestions to carry out your monitoring: You must keep an eye out for their positions, command structure, weapons and officers’ clubs. Report back to me on everything you see. Use this code term: Governor’s Office. It has been reported by my agents that the U.S. military already has slipped several units into Texas. Some 45.000 soldiers are already bivouacked at a secret spot code named Fort Hood. More are said to have gathered at a desolate desert oasis they call Fort Bliss. San Antonio may have thousands of members of the Air Force who have surreptitiously slipped in. We are looking into these rumors.

What to investigate and report? Any gathering of more than ten (10) men and women is disguise. They can be spotted by their phony American-flag shoulder patches. (They stole the idea from Russian troops invading the Ukraine pretending to be peasants driving armored tractors.) Listen to these invaders. If they say things like “youse guys,” “fugetaboutit” and “Hillary for President” take pictures.

This invasion has been labeled Operation Jade Helm 15. And who is this Jade Helm 15? Maybe Gen. Jade Helm? My codebreakers are working on it. If captured, remember Nathan Hale’s famous quote; “Redcoats? Are you sure? I’m color blind.” Patriots in Bastrop, where some “training” is scheduled, have questioned a military spokesman in a two-hour sometimes raucous meeting. The Bastropians have every right to be suspicious since the huge Bastrop fires of 2011 were reportedly caused by Agent Orange dropped by black helicopters, or perhaps Agent Black dropped by orange helicopters. We have conflicting reports.

There is information from the federal government that Bastrop is not the only part of Texas to be terrorized by paratroopers, tanks and probably the First Marine Division invading Galveston. Some 16 other areas are scheduled to be “visited” by these invaders. Texas State Guards in Amarillo, guard the Pantex plant that supposedly is dissembling our nuclear bombs. How do we know they are not secretly assembling them? Check to see if any workers speak Arabic, or look Muslim, or even sound swarthy. My fellow patriots in Houston, we are told the Astrodome is empty. Really? A perfect place to hide a battalion of SEALS. We think we have intercepted a radio message from their headquarters: “Osama today – Channelview tomorrow.” Baytownians, is the USS Texas really out of service? Note that its 16-inch guns have been turned on Montrose. Sailors aboard the battleship are receiving information from scouts placed atop the San Jacinto Monument. Look for flashes from mirrors.

Some left-wingers have questioned my authority to call up armed forces. Our state constitution specifically reads: “He shall have power to call forth the militia to execute the laws of the State, to suppress insurrections, and to repel invasions.” Note “to repel invasions.” Alas, in 1999 the governor lost a key command that goes with the job: ordering out the militia to suppress Indian raids and Mexican bandits. In light of the Dream Act, I plan to ask the Legislature to

restore that power. If the Texas Rangers can’t handle an invasion, I am empowered to call out the National Guard. If more troops are required, then I use the State Guard. Also, I have at my disposal the Salvation Army and the Sons of Confederate Veterans License Plate Brigade.

It is asked why I would oppose federal troops coming to Texas to train when I have asked for several thousand of them to guard our borders. The difference is simple: too many Oklahomans are sneaking in. Other commie-symps say my call to arms shows deep paranoia. I don’t think so and neither does my shrink, Dr. Shrunk, if that really is his name. He finds it not unusual that I attend his sessions while I lie underneath his couch. You can’t be too careful. There is also the charge that I am simply pandering to the lunatic fringe of the Republican Party. Nonsense. I don’t think so and neither does Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (and we know that’s not his name).

Operation Jade Helm 15 is not the only Washington grab going on here. State Sen. Donna Campbell, Republican of New Braunfels, notes the Alamo has been nominated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. That is obviously a first step towards an outright seizure. Sen. Campbell has introduced a bill to prevent this theft. Good for her. Wherever these invaders go, whatever skullduggery they perform, they will be watched. Remember Washington, the spies of Texas are upon you!

Ashby is hiding at ashby2@comcst.net



Bayou City Art Festival Memorial Park

March 28, 2015 by  
Filed under Blogs, Events

One more day Houston! SUNDAY 10AM – 6PM. The weather is perfect. This is why we live in Houston.

450 Artists working in 19 different mediums, Non-Profits, Music, Food, Beverages, Creative Zones – and you!



March 26, 2015 by  
Filed under Beauty & Fashion, Blogs

Online Shopping Extravaganza

ZeeBerry.com is one of the web’s fastest growing jewelry destinations. You can find many of your favorite brands here; from Alex and Ani, Dogeared, Gorjana, Ettika & Shashi and Chan Luu. As I browsed the site, I couldn’t deny my love for Kendra Scott. A new pair of stylish earrings arrived the next day. Our readers receive 15% off use the code htexas15.


It's fun shopping with ZeeBerry.com

It’s fun shopping with ZeeBerry.com

Green Eggs and Kale – Eat for a cause

February 8, 2015 by  
Filed under Blogs, Dining, Foodie Events

Liberty Kitchen

Green Eggs and Kale from Liberty Kitchen


Kale, the super food, is all the rage.

Now you can enjoy kale for a cause. A great local promotion, Green Valentine celebrates artists, restaurants, nonprofits and businesses that are helping Houstonians live healthier lives.

Eleven restaurants from across the city are running Green Eggs &Kale dishes on their menus, with 20-percent of proceeds going to benefit local food organization Urban Harvest. They include all of the Creek Group restaurants (Onion, Dry, Cedar, Canyon and Lowbrow), Main Kitchen at the JW Marriott, Pondicheri, Sparrow, Canopy, Cottonwood and Liberty Kitchen on Studewood. 

“I’ve been growing kale for years,” says Jeff Shell of greenvalentine.org. It made perfect sense to combine eggs with this super food. At a preview event, we saw some of the available dishes from Lowbrow, Onion Creek, Canopy, Sparrow and Liberty Kitchen.

So go out at eat! This promotion runs through February 15th.

Main Kitchen at JW Marriott

Green Eggs and Kale from Main Kitchen at the JW Marriott


The Inn at Dos Brisas Now Offers an All-Inclusive Experience

February 3, 2015 by  
Filed under Blogs, Travel Blog

WASHINGTON, Tex., Feb. 2, 2015 – The Inn at Dos Brisas, a Relais & Châteaux ranch resort located in the eastern foothills of the Texas Hill Country, has become an all-inclusive property, offering distinctive, customized experiences and unlimited access to a wide range of amenities.


“We are delighted to announce this new pricing structure,” states Managing Director Steve Shotsberger. “This gives us the freedom to elevate the exceptional service we provide for our 28 guests. For example, the Inn’s culinary team liaises with each visitor prior to arrival to discuss creative private dining capabilities and preferences.”

Available now, The Inn at Dos Brisas’ all-inclusive rates begin at $1,069 per night, based on double occupancy, for 750-sq.-ft. casita accommodations and $1,399 per night, based on double occupancy, for 1,795-sq.-ft. hacienda accommodations. Rates include all meals, culinary experiences such as cooking/baking classes and farm tours, and resort activities including horseback riding lessons and clay shooting. Wine tastings, mixology classes and spa services are available for an additional fee.

A list of detailed inclusions is below:

  • Welcome amenity
  • Full breakfast made-to-order and delivered to guests’ accommodations
  • Sunday brunch in the Inn’s Forbes Travel Guide Five-star restaurant
  • Lunch in the lounge, on the patio, in guests’ accommodations or picnic-style anywhere on the property
  • Dinner in the restaurant’s dining room or guests’ accommodations
  • Sundown Social, featuring a wine and cheese reception each afternoon
  • All activities including fishing, clay shooting, horseback riding lessons, trail rides, hayrides, horse-drawn carriage rides, tennis, swimming, cycling, basketball, yoga, cooking classes, baking classes, organic farming classes, archery, Frisbee golf, birthplace of Texas geo-caching tour and stargazing
  • Unlimited use of fishing equipment, tennis equipment, bicycles, croquet, badminton, horseshoes, movies, board games and access to fantastic trails for hiking or touring with guests’ golf cart
  • Wet bar fully stocked with locally made non-alcoholic beverages
  • Assortment of The Inn at Dos Brisas’ signature coffees and teas
  • Sweet treat delivered to guests’ accommodations each evening
  • High speed wireless internet throughout the property
  • Unlimited local calls
  • Daily housekeeping
  • Nightly turndown service
  • Access to the resort’s private helicopter pad
  • Exclusive of alcohol, taxes and resort fees

For more information or reservations, please visit www.dosbrisas.com or call 979-277-7750.


Global aviation leader increases capacity on its Houston-Dubai nonstop service to meet demand

December 5, 2014 by  
Filed under Blogs, Travel Blog


Alexander Houston

Emirates Regional Sales Director Central USA, Alexander Houston, right, tours the A380 with Emirates’ Cabin Crew at George Bush Intercontinental Airport on Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014, in Houston. (Aaron M. Sprecher/AP Images for Emirates)

Emirates, a global connector of people, places and economies, landed its first A380 at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport, with the introduction of its flagship Airbus A380 aircraft to the route. Houston is Emirates’ fifth U.S. gateway serviced by an A380.

Emirates launched its Houston-Dubai service in 2007 and the route has generated strong and sustained passenger demand since its inception. The airline has transported over 1.2 million passengers between the two cities to date. The A380 up-gauge provides 137 more seats on every flight – a 38 percent increase in overall capacity and one which has been driven by consumer demand. In addition to increasing connectivity with Dubai – Emirates’ home, the up-gauge will enable more Houston-based travelers to access Emirates’ global network including 10 passenger destinations in India, 20 points in Africa and 16 in the Far East.
“Commencing A380 service to Houston will enable Emirates to grow alongside the city, which is experiencing strong economic development and the highest employment growth rate in the country,” said Hubert Frach, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations West – Americas, Africa, Europe and Russian Federation. “The Houston Airport System and the University of Houston have calculated that the current contribution to the Houston economy of Emirates’ operations is $257 million. This increase in capacity will help support an even stronger contribution.”

Cargo is also an important contributor, and in the past 12 months Emirates SkyCargo has transported 10,878 US tons (9,868 metric tons) of cargo from Houston. Exports on the route include: Oil Field Equipment and Parts, Cell Phones, Drilling Mud, Air Conditioner Parts, Steel Pipes, Helicopter Blades and Chemicals.

“The City of Houston welcomes this upgrade in service from our partners at Emirates,” said Houston Mayor Annise Parker. “It’s important for the ‘Energy Capital of the World’ to enjoy a strong level of connectivity with Dubai, and the presence of this Texas-sized aircraft ensures that Houston is well positioned in that regard.”

“The arrival of this aircraft is a testament to the strength of Emirates’ route between Houston and Dubai,” said Houston Aviation Director Mario C. Diaz. “Travel between Houston and the Middle East has more than doubled within the past five years alone, and Emirates has placed itself in excellent position to capitalize on this dynamic area of growth.”

The Emirates A380 is a wide-bodied, double-decker aircraft seating 491 passengers, including 14 First Class Private Suites, 76 Business Class lie-flat beds and 401 spacious Economy Class seats. While aboard the 15-hour-and-40-minute flight from Houston to Dubai, Emirates passengers in all cabin classes will enjoy renowned service provided by a multilingual crew representing more than 130 nationalities, savor regionally inspired gourmet cuisine, stay connected via on-board Wi-Fi, and immerse themselves in the award-winning in-flight entertainment system – ice Digital Widescreen – that offers more than 1,800 channels of movies, TV programs, music and podcasts.

Emirates’ First and Business Class cabins have earned some of the most prestigious recognitions in the aviation industry for service quality and unique amenities – including Saveur Magazine’s Culinary Travel Award for Best In-Flight Dining: First Class & Business Class in 2013 and 2014. First Class passengers travel in Private Suites and can refresh in Emirates’ unique Shower Spas while in flight. First Class and Business Class passengers can also access the Emirates signature Onboard Lounge and socialize over fine wines, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres prepared by five-star chefs; travel to and from the airport via Emirates complimentary Chauffeur-drive; and relax in 37 exclusive airport lounges worldwide.

Emirates’ daily flight EK211 to Houston departs Dubai at 9:30 a.m. and arrives at 4:05 p.m. The return flight, EK212, takes off from George Bush Intercontinental Airport at 6:25 p.m. and lands in Dubai at 7:05 p.m. the next day.

(courtesy Emirates)


You could dance with the Rockettes

November 12, 2014 by  
Filed under Blogs, Entertainment, Events




Aspiring Dancers Will Have The Opportunity To Learn The Rockettes Signature Precision Technique From The Stars of The Radio City Christmas Spectacular

December 7 and 14, 2014 @ 8AM

Houston Metropolitan Dance Center

HOUSTON, TX (November 10, 2014) – MSG Entertainment announced today “Rockettes Experience – On The Road” will come to the Houston Metropolitan Dance Center on December 7 and 14, 2014. The Rockettes Experience offers a chance for aspiring dancers to learn the iconic eye high kicks and signature precision technique of the legendary dance company. The Rockettes Experience will be open to intermediate and advanced dancers ages 10 and up.

The Rockettes Experience is a unique two hour educational dance class in which the Rockettes will teach students the fine art of precision dance and expose aspiring dance students to the world of the Rockettes. At The Rockettes Experience, students will learn two numbers from the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, running December 5 through December 30 at the Hobby Center in Houston.  The workshop will also feature a mock audition for the budding professional dancers, complete with a Rockettes Q&A at the end of the session. All dancers interested in the Rockettes Experience can register online at http://rockett.es/roxexptour.

In addition, aspiring dancers in Houston will have the opportunity to audition for the Rockettes Summer Intensive training program in New York City on December 21, 2014 at the Houston Metropolitan Dance Center. The Rockettes Summer Intensive offers aspiring dancers the unique opportunity to train under Julie Branam, the director and choreographer of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and the Rockettes to learn the signature precision technique of the iconic dance company.  Acceptance into the Rockettes Summer Intensive is a crucial stepping stone for Rockettes hopefuls who aspire to one day kick alongside the Rockettes.

The Rockettes are a legendary dance company and have been a part of the fabric of New York City for more than 85 years. Since their debut in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular in 1933, the Rockettes have danced into the hearts of millions and spread Christmas cheer to people of all ages. Their technique continues to be both deceivingly complex and entirely glamorous and their talent and athleticism is unrivaled.



# # #

Houston: America’s New Sweetheart City

October 13, 2014 by  
Filed under Blogs, Travel Blog

From the Houston Convention and Visitor’s Burea

For the first time ever this year, Houston ranked among the top five places in the nation on Travel + Leisure’s list of America’s Favorite Cities-one of the most-watched lists among destinations and a barometer of what’s top-of-mind among traveling Americans. Museum experience

As a destination, Houston has tremendous strides in recent years, with a robust arts and culture scene and ever-expanding culinary landscape. Now, the city has ranked No. 2 on the T+L list, which tallies more than 50,000 votes from readers and ranks 38 cities in dozens of categories. Houston scored among the top five for the first time in categories such as arts scene, theater, stylishness, shopping and more.

“We could not be more excited about this ranking, which we see as further proof that Houston’s story is being told and the city recognized as a destination on the national and international stages,” says Sonia Garza-Monarchi, board chair of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau. “To be named a top U.S. city by the readers of one of the world’s most respected travel publications honors the work our team does on a daily basis to promote the city to conventions and tourists. That said, the real credit goes to the individual businesses and organizations in all of these sectors-from restaurants and museums to art galleries and hotels-that provide an amazing experience to those who come to our city.”

Indeed, Houston ranked high in a number of key areas, often well above where the city fell on last year’s list:

Top City Overall: 2

Galleries: 2 – 12 in 2013
Museums: 3 – 12 in 2013
Theater: 3 – 18 in 2013
Free Attractions: 4 – 26 in 2013
Art Scene: 5
Concerts: 5 – 26 in 2013

Home Décor/Design Stores: 1
Boutiques: 1 – 18 in 2013
Specialty Food Markets/Food Halls: 1
Bookstores: 2
Antiques Stores: 3 – 9 in 2013
Flea Markets: 3 – 19 in 2013
Luxury Stores: 3 – 29 in 2013

Intelligent: 2 – 20 in 2013
Stylish: 4 – 26 in 2013
Affordability: 5 – 5 in 2013
Wine Bars: 1
Cocktail Bars: 2
Singles Scene: 2

Hamburgers: 1 – 4 in 2013
Brunch: 1
Bakeries: 2
Wine Scene: 3
Barbecue: 4 – 5 in 2013
Sandwiches: 4 – 21 in 2013
Bars: 4
Coffee: 5 – 26 in 2013
Craft Beer: 5 – 22 in 2013

Visitors to the Houston region spent more than $16 billion in 2013, up from $15.5 billion the year before, according to the latest figures from the Texas Office of Economic Development and Tourism. The travel and tourism industry also supported more than 128,000 jobs in 2013, a 4.5 percent increase over 2012, the report shows.The data covers the 10-county Houston region.

Meanwhile, more than $1.5 billion in infrastructure investment is coming to the Downtown area alone in the next two years. Eight new hotels are planned, including the city’s second convention center hotel, a 1000-room Marriott Marquis. Other major changes are also planned for the George R. Brown Convention Center and the convention district, including a new pedestrian promenade, ground-level retail and restaurants and more.


Travel to Atlantic City

September 29, 2014 by  
Filed under Blogs, Travel Blog

Here is a sneak peak of my recent trip to Atlantic City.  Look for the full article in our upcoming print edition.


Turkish Airlines Expands Business Class Seating

August 25, 2014 by  
Filed under Blogs, Travel Blog

Turkish Airlines, voted Europe’s Best Airline for the fourth year in a row, announced the expansion of its Business Class seating capacity from 28 to 49 seats, providing more Houstonians access to Turkish Airlines’ unparalleled in-flight service and award-winning cuisine. The expansion also coincides with the upgrade to Boeing 777 planes from Houston, which features free Wi-Fi for Business Class passengers.

Houston, one of Turkish Airlines’ six U.S. gateways, continues to thrive in the highly competitive travel industry. One of the world’s fastest growing airlines, Turkish Airlines currently flies to 260 destinations in 108 countries, making it number one in terms of countries an airline flies to. Moreover, in the first five months of 2014, Turkish Airlines experienced an 18 percent increase in passenger numbers from 18.1 million to 21.3 million compared with the same period last year. At the helm of this gateway is Adem Ekmekci, General Manager, Turkish Airlines, Houston.

Houston Business Class travelers will also be delighted to know that the airline recently revamped its Turkish Corporate Club Premium (TCCP) Program, which provides companies, organizations and business travelers a convenient and unique travel experience with countless advantages, including discounted flights, rebooking/rerouting flexibility, and exclusive baggage allowances. The program is designed to adapt to and exceed every company’s distinct needs when it comes to traveling.

Turkish Airlines is also offering the opportunity to explore Istanbul starting at $699* this fall! This beautiful Turkish city was named the number one destination worldwide in TripAdvisor’s 2014 Travelers’ Choice Awards. The airline is offering this special roundtrip flight deal from Houston to Istanbul with a purchasing period until September 15, and a travel period between October 12 and December 12, 2014.





The Latest and Greatest Extensions

July 13, 2014 by  
Filed under Beauty & Fashion, Blogs

Do you crave long, voluptuous locks? Look no further than Houston’s own Mario Romero. He is a master trainer for the Balmain Hair line and the first stylist in Houston to carry their newest offering: the luxurious System Volume line of extensions.

This is the hair extension gun that is used to apply the Volumizers.

This is the hair extension gun that is used to apply the Volumizers.

Many extensions take forever to install; they’re heavy and cause your natural hair to break. The Volumizer is lightweight and bonds to your hair (via infrared light) in 35 seconds. (If you’ve had extensions before, you understand…. This is a big deal!) The system spreads the hair evenly, and makes sure that each bond is unique so it blends perfectly with your natural hair. Thanks to Système Volume from Balmain Hair you can have a natural voluminous look in an instant, and it lasts three to four months. You can find Mario at  the lab hair Studio, 3000 Sage; Ste 1157, Houston TX.

Or call him at 713-965-0025.

Hair extensions being placed in cartridge.

Hair extensions being placed in cartridge.

Here is how my hair extensions look.

Here is how my hair extensions look.

Here is a picture of how my extensions looked on the first day. On this blog, I’ll chronicle the three months and see how the Volumizer holds up.

Five days later at the Mission of Yahweh Mission Incredible event.

Five days later at the Mission of Yahweh Mission Incredible event.

Five days later: I waited as long as possible to wash the extensions. I’m very gentle when I do so. Mario said not to be alarmed, some of the extensions will fall out. None have fallen out yet. You use a special brush to tame these manes. When drying your hair, you can use a round brush on your tips. Here is a picture of my hair when I blow-dry it myself. Never, never as good as Mario, but not bad!

Week Two: So far so good. Extensions are holding up and I still really can’t even feel them. They are lighter than expected. Mario said they expand when they are shampooed, so I thought they might feel a little heavier. They don’t.

Kim Padgett and I at the Symphony Ball.

Kim Padgett and I at the Symphony Ball.

Week Three: Still going strong and looking good. I felt fabulous at the Centennial Symphony Ball!

Week Seven: This morning when blow-drying my hair, one strand came out.  Seriously, after seven weeks… I’m astonished!!!

Week Eleven: I returned to have my color touched up.  I love returning to the salon for a blow dry.  It always looks the best when done by a professional. The next day, after attending a wedding, the second strip of hair fell out.  For those of you who have had extensions before, you know this is incredible staying power!!!!!

Week Fourteen: The third strand came out.



Bridal Extravaganza Two weeks away!!!

July 7, 2014 by  
Filed under Blogs, Events

Houston’s Most Established Bridal Show Returns

with More Extravagance Than Ever and new educational seminars


Saturday & Sunday, July 19-20, 2014


WHAT:                    The Bridal Extravaganza Show, Houston’s only two-day bridal event, returns to the George R. Brown Convention Center this year with hundreds of bridal vendors and prizes, including several major giveaways, 11 formal fashion shows, special guest Randy Fenoli, and new educational seminars.

Over 17,000 expected brides, grooms, friends and family members will peruse the aisles and meet face-to-face with bridal vendors in over 40 categories and 700 displays. No matter what style or budget wedding, attendees will find a wide range of available wedding service options.

New this year, the Bridal Extravaganza Show offers wedding planning seminars by top trusted wedding planning sources. Our esteemed speakers are: Kristin Adcock, Invitation Solutions, Alex Stergiou, Elegant Beginnings, Clara Hough, Over the Top Linen, Katy Hoch, Over the Top Linen, Anthony Dinh, Composure Studios, Mike Turner, MD Turner Photography, Deb Turner, MD Turner Photography, Jamie Purpera, Crystal Ballroom, Krista Borchard, Event Identity, LLC, Jessie Lopez, Edible Designs by Jessie, Chris Nguyen, Café Natalie, Lewis Grell, LG Entertainment, John Graves, Darryl & Co., Rebekah Cunningham, Dream Bouquet

General admission tickets and VIP passes can be purchased online at www.BridalExtravaganzaShow.com. General admission tickets may also be purchased for $15 cash at the door.

For more information, visit www.BridalExtravaganzaShow.com.

WHEN:                    Saturday, July 19, 2014

10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (doors open at 9:30 a.m. for VIP ticket holders)

WHERE:    George R. Brown Convention Center

1001 Avenida de las Americas

Houston, TX 77010


About Bridal Extravaganza Show

Since 1983, the Bridal Extravaganza Show has been bringing brides and bridal businesses together.  Founder and creator Linda Miller set the standard for bridal events in the US and beyond.  Today, the Bridal Extravaganza carries out her vision – introducing the best bridal vendors to Southeast Texas brides.   Catering exclusively to brides, grooms, and their families; the Bridal Extravaganza Show is a one-stop-shop bringing Houston’s top wedding vendors together in one location.  Brides have more options, more choices and can make decisions and get down to the business of wedding planning.




June 16, 2014 by  
Filed under Blogs, Hot Button / Lynn Ashby

THE RESTAURANT – What’s on the menu today? Roast beef, shrimp, calves’ liver. You can’t beat calves’ liver except maybe with rhino toes or hummingbird lips. Odd. That woman over there is pushing her kids under their table while her husband throws himself in front of them. A waitress is screaming and the bartender is reaching under the bar for something. Haven’t they ever seen an AK-47 before? Or a M67 hand grenade? Maybe it’s my 81 mm high explosive mortar that’s spooking them. Don’t worry, folks. I’m a good shot — usually.

This walking armory is my way of ensuring my Second Amendment rights, and they’ll get my F-35 jet fighter when they pry it from my cold, dead fingers. I am not alone in this battle for freedom, liberty and the American Way of Fright, because there is a movement to revise Texas gun laws. Right now, with a permit, in Texas you can carry a pistol concealed under your coat, football shoulder pads or flak jacket, but you can’t just let it hang there in a hip holster like Wyatt Earp for all to see. On the other hand (I guess if you’re left-handed), you can carry a long-barrel rifle in plain sight – over your shoulder, in both hands, in your teeth. That’s right: it’s illegal to show your pistol but OK to openly display your shotgun. These laws were given to us by the same genius Texas legislators who ruled you have to wear a crash helmet if you ride a bicycle but you don’t have to wear one on a motorcycle when weaving through freeway traffic at 80 mph. Only in Texas.

To right this gun-toting wrong, a group called the Open Carry Texas wants the pistol law changed so wannabe gunslingers can openly carry their pistols. To make their point, some Texans have been carrying their long rifles to eateries such as Sonic, Chili’s, Starbucks, Chipotle and Jack in the Box. Owners, no doubt a bunch of food stamp collectors, are urging customers not to bring firearms to their restaurants after armed demonstrators frightened customers at two San Antonio locations. So no gunfight at the Golden Corral. No lock, stock and Cracker Barrel. Target is thinking of making the same request. I’d think any store named Target, whose logo is a big red and white target out front, would be first in line. The over the mall gang also demonstrated in front of the Alamo. Hey, gun totters, you’re 178 years too late. Where were you when Travis needed you?

But the story gets confusing. The NRA, of all groups, issued a statement saying these demonstrations by Open Carry Texas were “hijinx” and said the practice “defies common sense.” “Let’s not mince words, not only is it rare, it’s downright weird and certainly not a practical way to go normally about your business while being prepared to defend yourself,” the NRA statement read. “To those who are not acquainted with the dubious practice of using public displays of firearms as a means to draw attention to oneself or one’s cause, it can be downright scary.”     C.J. Grisham of Temple, founder of Open Carry Texas, was outraged at the NRA’s outrage. He said his group has no plans to halt demonstrations and said he was determined “to prove to the Legislature that we’re not yahoos or weird or anything like that.” He also said his group had stopped those public demonstrations, so it must be another group. Huh? Then he cut up his NRA card. Wouldn’t you think he’d toss the card into the air and drill it with his AR-15? To add to the confusion, in the midst of this rebellion the NRA said the press release was not quite right, “a mistake” was the term. We might assume the clueless low-ranking “staffer” in the NRA who wrote it was given a last cigarette.

Those NRA wussies are too liberal for us all-weather night fighters. The organization is probably in cahoots with that known radical former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her retired astronaut husband — astronaut? get a real man’s job — Mark Kelly. They have released a poll of Texas voters showing strong support for tougher laws to bar potentially violent people from possessing firearms. Giffords may not be thinking clearly since she was shot in the head by a looney. We can’t trust their poll, or a poll sponsored by Americans for Responsible Solutions. of 1,000 likely Texas voters: 85 percent of those questioned supported background checks on gun sales and 79 percent favored denying convicted domestic abusers access to guns. Sixty-one percent favored requiring subjects of restraining orders to forfeit their firearms. Those are hardly majorities.

The Second Amendment guarantees me the right to bear arms because, as the Founding Fathers specified: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” When I was in the militia — a group of pacifists known as the U.S. Marine Corps – they even issued me a gun. Actually, it was a 105 howitzer. After I kept trying to put a bayonet on the muzzle, I was transferred to the infantry. This guarantee is why I like to take my weapons to church, the voting booth and the neighborhood pool. Of course, the two ammo belts are a bit heavy in the deep end. One neighbor   objected to my carrying my semiautomatic A-45 Hippie Shredder. It is also why I went out to the Nevada desert with my blasting buddies to support a rancher who owed more than a million bucks in fees for grazing rights, but who doesn’t? OK, he so turned out to be a knuckle-dragging racist, I found his views on guns and government most interesting, and so did his main supporter, Sean Hannity. Need I say more? Strange. My fingers are feeling cold and dead.


Ashby is disarming at ashby2@comccast.net.




Record-Breaking Year for the Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair

May 13, 2014 by  
Filed under Blogs

New dates in 2015 to add to future success of the festival


 The 11th Annual Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair (sugarlandwineandfoodaffair.com), recently celebrated on April 23-27, 2014, broke numerous records in efforts to support a permanent scholarship endowment at the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston.


Featured in renowned publications such as The New York Times, Food Republic, and Eater National, the five-day event experienced tremendous success in its eleventh year. With tickets sales increasing 30%, attendance was at an all-time high, welcoming over 10,000 guests to this year’s events. On the coattails of great success, the festival has announced that next year’s event will be held from April 8 to 12, 2015.


One of the most anticipated culinary events in Texas, the Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair attracted local, national and international culinary luminaries along with guests from around the United States to make for an unforgettable affair. Hailing all the way from Mexico, three top chefs including Arturo García Mogollón of Mexico City; Yolanda Yanar of Puerto Vallarta; and Isaac Esparza of Rivera Maya brought their indigenous ingredients, diverse cuisine and culinary skills to Sugar Land. More notable stars included Randy Evans of Haven; Rebecca Masson of Fluff Bake Bar; Jean Phillipe Gaston of Cove at Haven; Kenneth Burke of Ibiza Food & Wine Bar; Manuel Pucha of Table on Post Oak; Neal Cox of Olivette at The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa; and Brian & Shanna O’Hea of Acadame at The Kennebunk Inn in Maine.


In addition to interactive seminars, this year’s affair was filled with even more food and drinks, tastings, bartender’s challenge, pop-up book spot, beer garden and much more. Throughout the festival, Hendrick’s Gin, Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey, Reyka Vodka, Don Julio, Herradura Tequila, and more distinguished brands took center stage in creating the delectable cocktails.


“This was a remarkable year for the affair,” said Krystal Peay, director of the Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair.  “We are so thankful for the overwhelming support from our sponsors, volunteers, chefs and special guests. The continued growth and effort in supporting the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston has been incredible.”


The Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair has been deemed as the largest wine and food festival in Texas. Located in historic Sugar Land just minutes from Houston proper, its dinners, and seminar and tastings have gained a well-deserved reputation as a celebration for all that is good, gooey, sweet, savory, bubbly, hoppy and simply irresistible.


Crime Stoppers Houston’s Heroes Luncheon

May 7, 2014 by  
Filed under Blogs

Crime Stoppers celebrated lunch today at the ZaZa with many heavy hitters in the room. The Housotn’ Heroes Awards Luncheon honored: Officer Ann Carrizales, The Houston Human Trafficking Task Force, Dr. Steven B. Schnee, Aramco Services and Tena Lundquist-Faust and Tama Lundquist. Dan Wolterman, CEO of Memorial Hermann Health System addressed the sold out room on the topic of outstanding health care and mental health. The room was shocked to hear 200,000 people die in hospitals each year from complications not related to the reason they were admitted. Memorial Hermann now has systems in place virtually reducing this number to zero. Special treats provided by Angie’s Cake.

Juicing Continues

May 1, 2014 by  
Filed under Blogs

Flow Juice Bar recently opened in the Fourth Ward.

Flow Juice Bar recently opened in the Fourth Ward.

In my current editor’s letter in the print edition, I talk about the juicing trend. Just after we went to press, the nice folks at Flow Juice Bar stopped by. They have set up shop next to Max’s Wine Dive in Houston’s Fourth Ward.

Flow Juice Bar is the result of the owner’s pursuit toward a life filled with health and happiness, and their desire to share their thoughts and passion with guests and visitors alike.

The menu features a variety of juices, smoothies, cleanses and shots, as well as healthy snacks, which are made in-house daily and are 100% gluten-free and vegan.


214 Fairview St

Randy Fenoli July 20th, Houston Bridal Extravaganza Show

April 29, 2014 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

Randy Fenoli appears in Houston.
Click here to purchase tickets.

Cakewalk Style Shop hosts Kelly Bensimon

April 29, 2014 by  
Filed under Blogs

Cakewalk Style Shop

Outdoor party area at Cakewalk Style Shop

Cakewalk Style Shop was all frills and lace today


Perfect weather welcomed model, author, and former Real Housewife of New York Kelly Bensimon to H -Town.  She was available for one-on-one chats with guests.  He also launched her signature fragrance, In the Spirit Of – a perfect blend of sweet and spice.  Monica Pope was on hand to oversee the light bites: stuffed figs, pulled pork and more.

Cakewalk Style Shop

An awesome sweet display at Cakewalk Style Shop



In the crowd: Alicia Smith, Stephanie Perkins, Deborah Duncan, Kim Padgett.




Poolside party at the Omni Hotel Houston!

April 28, 2014 by  
Filed under Blogs, Events

FoodEventatOmniLocavores & Lone Stars


Come enjoy some local cuisine by the pool.

Thursday May 1st



Tickets are $45 and can be purchased at locavores.eventbrite.com

Texas Tequila & Margarita Festival

April 28, 2014 by  
Filed under Blogs, Events

The Margarita Returns Home to Galveston for Texas Tequila & Margarita Festival at Moody Gardens June 13-15!


It has been long rumored that the first margarita was made in Galveston at the historic and legendary Balinese Room. The discussion heats up as Texas Tequila & Margarita Festival organizers are preparing for an explosive weekend of tequila tastings, margarita samplings, great food, and music as this “Texas sized” festival rolls in to Galveston June 13-15, 2014. This year’s festival, at Moody Gardens, will feature an epic gathering of the world’s best tequilas alongside some of the region’s best restaurants competing for title of “Best Margarita”. The festival weekend is comprised of four anchor events, “Tequila Herradura Social”, “Tour de Tequila”, “Margarita Grand Tasting”, and a “Little Mexico” inspired outdoor festival.

The Friday night event, “The Social Presented by Tequila Herradura”, brings together industry professionals and weekend festival goers for an evening of sipping on specialty tequila cocktails, a delectable “create your own” taco bar, and live music. Moody Gardens “Bands on Sand” and fireworks over the bay round out the kick-off to the weekend festivities!

Saturday is action packed starting with “Tour de Tequila” in Expo A at the Moody Gardens Convention Center (1pm-4pm). Some of the world’s best tequilas come together to present their various styles of tequila alongside restaurants showing the public the dynamic fusion of pairing food and tequila together. At 3:00pm the doors open in Expo B & C for the “Margarita Grand Tasting”. 40 restaurants, businesses, and individual teams compete for “Best Margarita” in their categories. A preselected judging panel will award “Best Margarita” based on style, taste, and presentation.  Cash awards for 1st ($1000), 2nd ($500) and 3rd ($250) place will be presented for Best Restaurant/Bar Margarita and 1st ($1000), 2nd ($500) and 3rd ($250) for Best Individual (Non-Restaurant/Bar) Margarita. A “People’s Choice” award will be given to the restaurant or individual that receives the most votes cast by visitors at the event. During the “People’s Choice”, visitors will be able to vote with their dollar and 100% of the money collected will go directly to Friday Harbour charity.

Don’t let the sun go down without strolling to the Oleander Bowl at Moody Gardens for the Outdoor Festival presented Dos-A-Rita. Intentionally created to feel like a passport to a street fair with a “Little Mexico” flair! This area offers a distinctive shopping experience, fashioned after a traditional Mexican village, a live music stage with the sounds of Latin, Blues, Country, and Rock music. Various flavors of margaritas will be offered, all the fan favorite Mexican foods, alongside traditional festival staples from sausage on a stick to funnel cakes! Gates for the outdoor festival are noon-10pm. Texans love their “Tex-Mex” and this festival delivers with its charity Fajita Cook-Off benefitting Friday Harbour & Galveston County Fair & Rodeo. Teams will compete for best fajitas in both the chicken and beef categories.

Sunday rounds out the weekend and the festival closes with a “South of the Border” brunch at Moody Gardens Hotel. Guest will have the opportunity to sip Michelada’s and Bloody Maria’s while dining on traditional style Mexican foods.

Tickets will be available at www.texasmargaritafestival.com. Friday Harbour and the Galveston County Fair & Rodeo have been selected as the charity partner’s for the event. Friday Harbour’s mission is to provide free temporary housing for cancer patients and their caregivers as they seek cancer treatment at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and Texas Children’s Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. By alleviating the strain associated with funding temporary housing, they hope to instead bring light to what is likely the most extraordinary circumstance in the life of the patient, and in the lives of those that love them. Galveston County Fair & Rodeo’s purpose is to serve the youth of Galveston County by promoting youth, education, and agriculture by supporting 4-H and FFA programs.  Texas Tequila & Margarita Festival is made possible through the generous support of sponsors; Moody Gardens Hotel & Convention Center, Dos-A-Rita, Dienst Distributing, Dos Equis, and all of the participating restaurants, vendors, and tequila brands. Volunteer opportunities are available, please visit the event website.


WHAT: Texas Tequila & Margarita Festival

WHEN: June 13- 15, 2014

WHERE: Moody Gardens, 1 Hope Blvd, Galveston, Texas

TICKETS:  Ranges $10- $75 Check the website for details and event times

•             June 13th- Tequila Herradura Social $10 Friday June 13th

  • June 14th -Tour de Tequila & Outdoor Festival Pass- $60, Margarita Grand Tasting & Outdoor Festival Pass- $35
  • June 15th– Father’s Day South of the Border Brunch $35 (Reservations available through Moody Gardens)

•             Weekend Pass to Friday & Saturday Events- $75

•             Purchase tickets- www.texasmargaritafestival.com

Stay Updated:

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/TexasMargaritaFestival  Twitter- https://twitter.com/texasmargfest

Website- www.texasmargaritafestival.com


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