Category: Living Well

Island Magic – Caribbean Inspiration


(Courtesy photo)

Each time I travel, I return home inspired by the people, food, drink, sights, sounds, and history of the region I just visited.

I’m passionate about sharing my travels with friends and fans through new recipes, table décor, and gatherings that reflect favorite aspects of a trip, so I was particularly excited about the chance to visit Puerto Rico for six days this spring. I discovered that this U.S. territory has much to offer visitors, and it’s an easy flight from Dallas.

My husband, Randy, and I were invited to Puerto Rico to experience Saborea, an annual four-day culinary extravaganza celebrating the flavors and chefs of Puerto Rico. First, however, we set out to explore. We saw lovely beaches, sugar cane fields, dense mountain vegetation, rushing rivers, and the picturesque town of Ponce on the southern coast. Once a significant producer of sugar cane, Puerto Rico’s central region is now dotted with coffee plantations, and we tasted some amazing locally grown coffee.

Shout Out to The Men in My Life


“Fathers, I hope you impart beauty secrets to your daughters and sons.”I remember watching my daddy buff and file his nails and telling me, when I was a little girl, “Make sure your hands always look kept, men notice things like that.” That always stuck with me. He taught me that pride in appearance spills over to pride in oneself.

I’m pretty adamant about having polish on my fingers and toes. I blame him. I’m not sure the men in my life ever really noticed. Maybe they did and didn’t say, but it’s been important to me regardless, and I notice it on others. While I thoroughly enjoy a professional manicure, I’m fairly picky; chipped nails bug me, so I tend to redo them immediately – yes, possibly OCD. I blame him.

Since having them always polished is mandatory, and I would rather spend money on fabulous shoes than a weekly manicure, I frequently find a new nail polish color, lip gloss, or other fun products on my vanity left by my sweet fiancé. As he says, “I like the color and I’m not going to wear it, but at least you can.”

Summer Lovin’


Click "Read More" to view all the items included in our gift guide! (Photo: Tanner Garza. Design: Imani Chet Lytle)

It’s time for some outdoor entertaining! Here’s a few fun ideas to add some punch (or margaritas) to your party!

Fire Up The Grill All Summer Long

Go all red, white, and blue for July 4th entertaining. (Photo: Christy Rost)

Summer is here, and there’s no better way to celebrate all season long than by firing up the grill. For casual backyard meals, block parties, dinner with friends, Father’s Day, or Fourth of July celebrations, meals from the grill offer lip-smacking flavors and built-in entertainment.

Have you ever noticed that as soon as the grillmaster takes his or her position in front of a gas or charcoal grill, everyone joins them? Guests will leave a table of hors d’oeuvres and drift over to the grill area with drinks in hand to witness the action, because grilling is culinary theater. Folks are generally fascinated with every aspect of outdoor cooking, and because it’s so popular there are many experts willing to share the information they’ve gleaned through personal experience, research, and flavor preferences. Sauces, marinades, rubs, direct and indirect cooking, cuts of meat, tips for grilling seafood, vegetables, and fruit — the realm of outdoor grilling provides endless possibilities.

Want to Feel Good? Spread The Happy


This year, I keep coming across the notion of enthusiasm and joy again and again. Mostly how to cultivate it.

Happiness and enjoyment are contagious — so are misery and anger. Every day we make choices as to how and what we communicate. Those little drops of communication filter out into the world via the people around us.

Some in this world are so adept at spreading the happy that it’s impossible not to be affected by their trickle-down. They are the types of people others love being around simply because they make them feel good.

Golf With a Cause

After a final year in Irving, the Byron Nelson moves next year to Trinity Forest Golf Club. (Courtesy photo)

The AT&T Byron Nelson will tee off on May 15, attracting golf legends to the pristine course, aficionados to the gallery, and partiers to the Grey Goose tents at the Four Seasons Resort and Club in Irving for a week.

It will also bring another kind of guest — the students of the Momentous Institute, who benefit from the funds raised at the tournament and who help out at the event every year.

“Improving lives and charitable giving were central to tournament namesake Byron Nelson’s beliefs, and the PGA TOUR is committed to these ideals in the communities in which we play,” PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said in a press release.

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.