Category: Living Well

A Ride to Remember An Ursuline Alum

Tai Massimilian is taking on the Texas 4000 bicycling challenge in memory of Micaela White, who died of cancer at age 18. (Courtesy Tai Massimilian)

Every Saturday, Tai Massimilian straps on her helmet, grabs some water, and heads out in Austin on her bike. But the University of Texas junior isn’t just making laps around her block. She’s riding upwards of 70 miles, training for one huge ride.

Huge isn’t even the right word. The Hockaday grad will ride from the Texas capital to Alaska with Texas 4000, a student-run UT organization that trains for and plans the annual ride to raise money for cancer.

“I mean, I knew how to ride a bike but nothing like what I’m doing now,” she said. “At most, I did a couple spin classes a week, so this is definitely like starting from scratch.”

Sisterhood / Motherhood


“I’m pregnant.”

I did not expect to hear those words coming from my sister’s mouth on the drive home. I had just moved in with Sarah and her husband a few weeks before. I was speechless, shocked, and maybe a smidge angry. A baby? My older sister wasn’t supposed to have a baby or be a mom … not yet anyway. I wasn’t ready. There was supposed to be a warning, an announcement to the family that they were going to start trying so we could mentally prepare. But that’s not how life works. They weren’t exactly expecting either.

Looking Back to Put Best Face Forward


For women, the ladies in our lives who came before us are typically the ones we learn beauty secrets and tips from – our mothers, grandmothers, aunts, stepmothers, and any other female that helped to nurture and rear us.

They’re the first beautiful women we know. They are the ones that not only teach us how to be strong, loving, kind, and independent, the things that give us “character,” but they also teach us how to put our best face forward.

My mother spent a lot of time with her maternal grandmother Zudie, who was born in 1883. From the time my mother was in first to third grade, sitting in the same chair every morning, she French braided mother’s hair.

I Love Mom Because..


Karen and Talia Mayrosh. (Courtesy Karen Mayrosh)

Talia Mayrosh, 9, was selected as the winner for this year’s Mother’s Day Contest! Participants were asked to send us a letter explaining why they love their moms for a chance to win tickets to a summer sporting event.

A Token of Affection

Floral bouquet by Avant Garden. (Product photos: Tanner Garza)

Show your mom some extra love this Mother’s Day with a gift just as special as she is. Whether it’s through blood, marriage, choice or other means, it’s no secret that mothers serve a special role in our lives. Don’t know where to start? Here are some gift ideas she is sure to adore!

Spacing Out


I’ve been thinking about spaces lately. We know when we are in a special one and also a not so special one. All of us identify with certain elements which inspire, calm, or excite us. The spaces we inhabit can greatly affect our mood and productivity. It’s spring cleaning time, so … let’s discuss.

You may be the type of person who feels most comfortable surrounded by stuff. Others of us work better with organized openness. Some might function at optimum with a blend of the two. It’s a fun exercise to think about spaces that inspire you and which qualities they have in common and then apply those qualities to the spaces you inhabit the most.

Shaving Face Might Make Some Sense


Several years ago I learned that women actually shave their faces to exfoliate. It made me stop and think, yes, that makes a lot of sense!

I still find myself pondering the whole concept. The professional equivalent of a razor, and actually a much better alternative for women’s skin, is a Dermaplane. Razors are suitable for a man’s skin, but a razor’s edge is much thicker than a Dermaplane blade. Dermaplane physically exfoliates, similar to microdermabrasion, but with a blade like a thin, flat scalpel.

The blade is scraped against the skin in short upward strokes in a certain pattern, depending on the part of the face. Unlike Microderm, it is not done on the nose, just the forehead, cheek, and chin areas (the places you grow facial hair.)

Farmers Market Season Begins


Spring’s a-springing, friends. Plants are starting to pop and that includes those of the edible variety! Our local farmers are ready to harvest their first spring goodies for the area markets.

You can count on greens being readily available — arugula, lettuces, chard, kale, and mustard greens. Buy a variety and mix them all up! They will be tender and fresh, the mustards and arugula offering a nice, spicy bite. Pile a mix on sandwiches, make a little salad, or rip them up and add to scrambled eggs or a pasta dish.

Dessert: The Final Flourish



Spring and summer bring a multitude of occasions for great desserts. (Courtesy Christy Rost)

The dessert course goes by many names – a pudding, the grande finale, la piece de resistance – but no matter what one calls it, I’ve always believed guests may not remember what they had for dinner, but they always remember the dessert!  A beautifully crafted dessert can elicit oo’s and ah’s from family and guests, and let’s face it – every cook and chef lives for those moments when time and effort in the kitchen are rewarded by smiles, gasps of surprise, and words of appreciation.  There’s little doubt those reactions influenced my passion for creating desserts that look as fabulous as they taste, and so I began my career in the kitchen at the tender age of twelve by baking a lemon meringue pie.