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The Little<br />

Black<br />

Dress<br />

5Places<br />

to Visit<br />

in <strong>Texas</strong><br />

+<br />

Soup &<br />

Sammies<br />

Recipes<br />

HOLIDAY<br />

Home Tour<br />

Kim Mulkey<br />

A Side Not Often Seen


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Ashley Munn<br />

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Michele Graves<br />

ART DIRECTOR<br />

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<strong>Modern</strong>texasliving.com<br />

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<strong>Modern</strong> <strong>Texas</strong> <strong>Living</strong> is published<br />

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protected by copyright and<br />

cannot be reproduced without<br />

prior written permission.<br />

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@Lifestylemag CentralTX, LLC.<br />

photography by<br />

Tracey Ayton Photo<br />

MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 1


STYLE, QUALITY<br />

& CHARACTER<br />

HANDMADE IN TEXAS<br />

CUSTOM DESIGNS • STORE FRONT • SHOW ROOM<br />

COME VISIT US!<br />

Monday - Saturday • 9am - 5pm<br />

9685 Lone Star Parkway<br />

Valley Mills, TX 76689<br />

254.486.9150


IN THIS<br />

ISSUE<br />

06<br />

AT HOME<br />

A Burst of Beautiful 4<br />

Designer Bed 101 12<br />

'Tis the Season 18<br />

24<br />

IN THE KITCHEN<br />

Pantry & Fridge Overhaul 24<br />

Soup & Sammies 30<br />

Holiday Cookies 34<br />

How to Design a Charcuterie Board 36<br />

Signature Drinks 40<br />

46<br />

IN GOOD HEALTH<br />

Spirit Lead Me 46<br />

You've Got This Mama 50<br />

54<br />

FEATURE<br />

Kim Mulkey 54<br />

61<br />

ON THE ROAD<br />

5 Places to Visit In <strong>Texas</strong> In the Winter 61<br />

Top Reasons to Use a Travel Agent 63<br />

64<br />

INSIDE BUSINESS<br />

Personal Profile with Alexis Bloom 64<br />

Get to Know Camille Johnson 65<br />

71<br />

OF LIFE & STYLE<br />

The Little Black Dress 71<br />

Waves Are In 80<br />

Galentines 82<br />

84<br />

FROM THE HEART<br />

Fostering Pets 84<br />

A Mother's Story 86<br />

ON THE COVER<br />

Kim Mulkey<br />

Hair: Penny McCorkle<br />

Makeup: Tammy Shefa<br />

Sweater: Prefontaine<br />

Earrings: Di' Amore Fine Jewelers MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 3


AT HOME<br />

A Burst<br />

of Beautiful<br />

For seven years, Alicia and Nick<br />

have been transforming their<br />

builder basic home into one with<br />

character, charm and functionality<br />

for their young family.


T<br />

heir style is part of an ongoing evolution. They don’t believe in designing a space and considering it<br />

complete. Design is fluid and ever-changing. Changing with the seasons, changing with our mood,<br />

and changing with each stage of life. It’s about creating a home you love and feel comfortable in and<br />

best reflects you at any one time.<br />

Opposite: A 7.5 ft. flocked tree is decorated in shades of gold and champagne with a few hints of navy to<br />

coordinate with their living room.<br />

Above: Bright whites, hints of blue and lots of natural texture are seen throughout their home, creating a cozy<br />

and inviting space for their family.<br />

MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 5


AT HOME<br />

Above: These identical nooks were designed and built by Nick to give the kitchen a more custom-feel.<br />

They are Alicia's favorite spot in the house to style each season or holiday.<br />

Opposite: Nick and his daughter decorating gingerbread houses to display around the home during the<br />

holiday season. It has become a fun family tradition.<br />

6 | moderntexasliving.com


"WE BELIEVE<br />

IN LETTING OUR<br />

CREATIVITY LEAD<br />

US IN WHATEVER<br />

DIRECTION IT<br />

TAKES US."


AT HOME<br />

Above: A DIY chalkboard is the perfect place to spread a little Christmas cheer.<br />

Opposite: Alicia wraps their holiday gifts in coordinating paper and ribbon. It creates a cohesive look<br />

and makes opening gifts on Christmas morning feel a little more special.<br />

To see more of Alicia and Nick's work,<br />

go to www.aburstofbeautiful.com or on Instagram @ABurstofBeautiful.<br />

8<br />

| moderntexasliving.com


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Reyna • Anna Johnson • Camille Johnson • Donna Long • Cindy Gough • Gerry Dunlap<br />

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Info@CJRealtors.com | www.camillejohnson.com<br />

104 Midway Center Waco, TX 76712


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Courtneysboutique


AT HOME<br />

DESIGNER BED 101<br />

Simple Steps to Create a Dreamy Bed<br />

12 | moderntexasliving.com


y Barbara Town<br />

Photography by Laura Alexandra Photo<br />

I<br />

have been working on a handful of bedroom projects<br />

lately, and every time I present bedding options I always<br />

get a ton of questions from my clients about what<br />

the different layers are and what is really needed, so<br />

I thought it would be great to break it down and show y'all<br />

how to make your bed look like a designer made it!<br />

It starts with some great bedding. I keep things neutral in<br />

the white, grey/charcoal, and tan areas which is perfect for<br />

creating that layered look as well as blending with any design<br />

style. Also, if you’re investing in good bedding, you want to<br />

make sure what you’re purchasing has that timeless look that<br />

will last you for many years.<br />

MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 13


AT HOME<br />

14 | moderntexasliving.com


1Sheets. I always suggest using white. White is just<br />

a great base color and easy to clean. Hello, bleach!<br />

I have had white sheets for as long as I can remember<br />

and honestly couldn't image using anything different,<br />

unless maybe it was a kid’s room. Select your favorites,<br />

everyone has a preference on thread count and the<br />

material. There really is no right or wrong.<br />

*Designer Tip: if your box spring is exposed and<br />

you don't like/need a bed skirt, use a second<br />

fitted sheet for a clean and streamline look.<br />

Coverlet. This is where I tend to get confused.<br />

A coverlet, quilt and matelasse are all somewhat<br />

similar, they just vary in material. This is the layer you<br />

sleep with every night on top of your sheets. With the<br />

heat during those <strong>Texas</strong> summers, I typically look for<br />

one that is somewhat lightweight. For the wintertime,<br />

3comfortable, but the larger ones I like to get rid of.<br />

4<br />

I just add an extra throw blanket over us if needed.<br />

Now this is not a step I do every day, but every<br />

time I wash our bedding I love to give it a good steam<br />

to get some of the wrinkles out. Maybe this is just<br />

my love for linen or the California girl in me, but I<br />

like a few wrinkles to keep things feeling casual and<br />

The Duvet. One thing a lot of people don't know<br />

is that you're not really supposed to sleep under the<br />

duvet (or at least is this what I believe and have been<br />

taught in my years of design). It is meant to be folded<br />

back and placed at the end of your bed. Now, putting<br />

the duvet insert into the cover is a whole other topic<br />

for another day, but once you get that part down,<br />

I like to lay the duvet over the bed and fold it in thirds.<br />

Straightening it out and making the edges crisp at<br />

the end of the bed.<br />

5them. I stand them up flat against the wall so our<br />

2 6<br />

Pillows. Everyone needs some sleeping pillows,<br />

right? When I photograph a space I like to hide these<br />

and act like they don't exist, but in reality we all have<br />

more decorative pillows can become the focal point.<br />

Decorative Pillows. Now the fun can begin. Not<br />

that bedding isn't fun, but the pillows are typically the<br />

first thing you see when you walk into a bedroom. So,<br />

I start with three euro pillows. Now, as I've mentioned<br />

we have a Queen size bed and could probably get<br />

away with two, but because I like my bed a little fuller,<br />

I stick with three. If you have a King size bed, you will<br />

definitely want to have three of the 26" square pillows.<br />

In front of my euro pillows I place two 22" x 22"<br />

pillows. Every morning I give each pillow a little fluff<br />

and chop before placing it in its spot for the day. This<br />

helps keep the insert as full as possible.<br />

Your front pillow could be another square pillow<br />

or you could go with a smaller rectangle like I have.<br />

This is the pillow I switch up all the time. I have had<br />

it as an American flag pillow, black and white stripe<br />

square pillow, and now a larger lumbar which I think<br />

helps tie in our black wall.<br />

When we break it down, it seems like a lot of steps,<br />

but on the day to day, I’m not changing out the sheets<br />

so it is really just pulling them up and straightening<br />

them. In total, it takes me about 2 minutes to make<br />

our bed every day and I typically work it into my<br />

morning routine and use it as wait time while my<br />

straightener is warming up.<br />

MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 15


AT HOME<br />

Barbara Town is an Interior Designer, originally from Orange County,<br />

California and currently lives in San Antonio, <strong>Texas</strong>.<br />

For more information on Barbara and her work, check her out<br />

on Instagram BarbaraTown or on Facebook at Town Lifestyle + Design.<br />

16 | moderntexasliving.com


Located downtown in the Silo District:<br />

501 S. 8th Street / Waco, <strong>Texas</strong><br />

254-235-1777<br />

Be sure to shop our second location:<br />

THE FINDERY MARKETPLACE<br />

910 Webster Avenue / Waco, <strong>Texas</strong><br />

thefindery.com<br />

Follow us on social media<br />

@thefinderywaco


AT HOME<br />

‘Tis the Season<br />

by Amy Williams


P<br />

ersonalize your gifts this holiday season with festive DIYs that<br />

easily transform your brown paper packages into a few of your<br />

favorite things. Just stock up on an assortment of beautiful<br />

ribbons, kraft paper and fresh or faux greenery! Then, have fun<br />

creating personalized toppers for your packages with a few of these tips.<br />

Stamped with Love! Use alphabet letter stamps and colored ink to<br />

personalize plain gift tags with the recipient’s name. Finish with satin ribbon<br />

and a handmade ornament.<br />

Picture Perfect! Trim family photographs and cardstock into the shape of a<br />

gift tag by cutting angled corners and punching a hole. Tuck a few springs of<br />

greenery into the ribbon.<br />

A Personal Touch. Add wood or chipboard letters in the gift recipient’s initial<br />

to the package. Embellish with paint or pretty scrapbook paper using the<br />

letter as a template.<br />

MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 19


AT HOME<br />

Coordinated papers and ribbons<br />

make it fun to mix and match, and<br />

also create a casual elegance to<br />

your gifts under the tree.<br />

A few sprigs of fresh greenery<br />

will bring your packages to life<br />

and add a seasonal scent.<br />

Amy William is a Waco based home decor and DIY Blogger.<br />

She is also a visual merchandiser and product stylist. You can follow<br />

more of her work on Instagram @cutertudor or at cutertudor.com.<br />

20<br />

| moderntexasliving.com


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22 | moderntexasliving.com


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Product lines available in the salon include: IGK, Erayba, Saints & Sinners and many more...<br />

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MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 23


IN THE KITCHEN<br />

Pantry<br />

&<br />

Fridge<br />

Overhaul<br />

Holly, along with her husband Brad, are the owners of My Faux Farmhouse.<br />

We reached out and asked to feature one of their latest DIY projects: their fridge<br />

and patry makeovers. Here are some basic tips they shared with us.<br />

+<br />

We grouped items by<br />

likeness, and everything<br />

has a container/designated<br />

space. Kids snacks/fruits<br />

are in one area and cold<br />

condiments in another<br />

area—butter, sour cream,<br />

etc. Drink containers<br />

are very convenient<br />

for keeping everything<br />

organized and not rolling/<br />

floating around the fridge.<br />

+<br />

We chose clear, plastic bins so that our young children could<br />

easily see the food we have stored. They are learning to pack<br />

their own lunches so transparency helps a ton!<br />

Organizers are from The Container Store and Target.<br />

24 | moderntexasliving.com


+<br />

+<br />

In the pantry, we grouped snacks, baking<br />

ingredients, cereals, canned goods/pastas<br />

(in white plastic bins since kids didn’t need<br />

to see those) and paper goods (in metal<br />

bins) and chips in woven baskets.<br />

For our fresh produce and oatmeal, we<br />

combined them in the wire baskets. We<br />

used a couple of lazy susans in the corner<br />

of the pantry to store condiments (like<br />

peanut butter, Nutella, cooking oil, etc).<br />

This allows for easy/convenient access<br />

without them getting buried in a bin.<br />

Holly and Brad decided to start an Instagram two years ago in efforts to appease their parents who<br />

only wanted to see “pics of the grandkids.” They recently moved into another suburban spec home and<br />

started all over again with the basics—turning it into #ourfauxfarmhouse one DIY<br />

at a time. Follow their DIY Journey @ourfauxfarmhouse on Instagram.<br />

MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 25


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Pecan Plaza Shopping Center | 1401 South 31st Street | Suite I | Temple, <strong>Texas</strong> 76504 | 254.770.0904


Brittany<br />

Amanda made the entire process from start to fi nish so smooth!<br />

I would defi nitely recommend her!<br />

Kristi<br />

Amanda listened to all my desires and wants so she knew exactly<br />

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Mark & Amy<br />

Amanda is a true hustler!<br />

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When we fi rst approached this home we looked at Amanda as the<br />

Seller’s Representative, but we realized she was there for us/our<br />

daughter. She has been wonderful to work with!<br />

Brandon & Jacki<br />

Thanks for your endless efforts and creative ways to help us fi nd<br />

our new home! We appreciate your backing and strength with the<br />

sale of our home! We could not have been so successful without<br />

your connection and we are grateful! Thanks Amanda!


IN THE KITCHEN<br />

Soup &<br />

Sammies


BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP<br />

(from foodgawker.com)<br />

Paired with the Pear, Honey,<br />

Cheese and Caramelized Onion Sandwich<br />

INGREDIENTS:<br />

• 1 butternut squash (about 3 pounds), peeled, seeded and cut in<br />

1-inch chunks<br />

• 1 onion, diced<br />

• 1 red bell pepper, chopped<br />

• 4 slices bacon, diced<br />

• 2 tablespoons olive oil<br />

• 2 cloves garlic, minced<br />

• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste<br />

• 4 slices bacon, diced<br />

• 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme<br />

• 2 1/2 cups chicken stock, or more, to taste<br />

• 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese<br />

• 2 tablespoons chopped chives<br />

DIRECTIONS:<br />

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with<br />

nonstick spray.<br />

2. Place butternut squash, onion, bell pepper and bacon in a single layer<br />

onto the prepared baking sheet. Add olive oil and garlic; season with salt<br />

and pepper, to taste. Gently toss to combine.<br />

3. Place into oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until butternut squash<br />

is tender, stirring at halftime.*<br />

4. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until<br />

brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.<br />

5. Heat a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add butternut<br />

squash mixture and thyme, and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant,<br />

about 1-2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in chicken<br />

stock and puree with an immersion blender.<br />

6. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about<br />

5-10 minutes. If the soup is too thick, add more chicken stock as needed<br />

until desired consistency is reached.<br />

7. Serve immediately, garnished with bacon, goat cheese and chives,<br />

if desired.<br />

EASY PUMPKIN SOUP<br />

(from good housekeeping)<br />

paired with the Turkey, Cranberry,<br />

Brie and apple Sandwiches with Avocado and Bacon<br />

INGREDIENTS:<br />

• 1 medium onion, grated<br />

• 2 tbsp. olive oil<br />

• 1 29-oz. can pure pumpkin<br />

• 2 14.5-oz. cans chicken broth (4 cups)<br />

• 1/2 c. heavy cream<br />

• 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice<br />

• 3/4 tsp. salt<br />

• Topping:<br />

• Sour Cream<br />

• Pumpkin Seeds<br />

• Pumpkin Spice Seasoning<br />

DIRECTIONS:<br />

1. Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and<br />

cook, stirring, 3 minutes or until soft.<br />

2. Stir in the pure pumpkin, chicken broth, cream, pumpkin pie spice, and<br />

salt and cook, stirring occasionally for 3 minutes or until soup simmers.<br />

3. Ladle into bowls and top as desired. Shown with sour cream, pumpkin<br />

spice seasoning and roasted pumpkin seeds.<br />

MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 31


IN THE KITCHEN<br />

CREAMY CAULIFLOWER CHOWDER<br />

(from twopeasandtheirpod.com):<br />

paired with Roasted Turkey Cobb Sandwich<br />

INGREDIENTS:<br />

• 1 large head of cauliflower, roughly chopped<br />

• 1 tablespoon olive oil<br />

• 3 cloves garlic<br />

• 1/4 cup unsalted butter<br />

• 1 medium onion, chopped<br />

• 2 carrots, chopped<br />

• 2 celery stalks, chopped<br />

• 1 bay leaf<br />

• 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme<br />

• 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (can use gluten-free flour)<br />

• 2 (15 ounce) cans vegetable broth (low sodium is fine)<br />

• 1 1/4 cups Almond Breeze Almond-milk Unsweetened<br />

Original<br />

• 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (we used white cheddar)<br />

• Salt and black pepper, to taste<br />

DIRECTIONS:<br />

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place chopped cauliflower<br />

and garlic cloves on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil<br />

and toss until well coated. Season with salt and black pepper,<br />

to taste. Place pan in the oven and roast for 20-25 minutes<br />

or until cauliflower is tender, stirring once. Remove from oven<br />

and set aside.<br />

2. In a large pot, melt butter over medium high heat. Add the<br />

onion and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add carrots and celery and<br />

cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.<br />

3. Finely chop the roasted garlic cloves. Add the garlic, roasted<br />

cauliflower, bay leaf, and dried thyme to the pot. Sprinkle flour<br />

over vegetables and stir. Cook until flour disappears.<br />

4. Pour in the vegetable broth and stir. Simmer for 10 minutes.<br />

Stir in the milk and shredded cheese. Stir until cheese is<br />

melted and chowder is creamy. Season with salt and black<br />

pepper, to taste.<br />

5. Ladle chowder into bowls and serve warm.<br />

ROASTED TURKEY COBB SANDWICH<br />

(adpated from closet cooking.com)<br />

INGREDIENTS:<br />

• 2 slices bacon<br />

• 2 slices bread (optionally lightly toasted)<br />

• 1 tablespoon mayo<br />

• 1/4 cup lettuce<br />

• 2 slices tomato<br />

• 1 tablespoon blue cheese<br />

• 1/4 avocado, sliced<br />

• 2 ounces roast turkey<br />

DIRECTIONS:<br />

Cook the bacon, assemble the sandwich and enjoy!<br />

TURKEY, CRANBERRY,<br />

BRIE AND APPLE SANDWICHES<br />

WITH AVOCADO AND BACON<br />

(adpated from closetcooking.com)<br />

INGREDIENTS:<br />

• 2 slices bread<br />

• 6 leaves baby spinach<br />

• 4 ounces roast turkey, sliced or shredded<br />

• 1 tablespoon cranberry sauce<br />

• 1/2 apple, sliced<br />

• 2 slices crispy cooked bacon<br />

• 1/4 avocado, sliced<br />

• 1 ounce brie<br />

DIRECTIONS:<br />

Assemble the sandwich and enjoy!


PEAR, HONEY, CHEESE<br />

AND CARAMELIZED ONION<br />

SANDWICHES<br />

(from www.manilaspoon.com)<br />

INGREDIENTS:<br />

• A loaf of Cranberry Pecan Bread (or your favorite<br />

sandwich bread)<br />

• 4 oz Goat Cheese or more if needed (or Mascarpone)<br />

• A bunch of fresh Arugula (Baby Rockets)<br />

• 1/2 a cup Caramelized Onions or more if needed (see<br />

this recipe on how to make caramelized onions)<br />

• 2 Bartlett Pears (or more, if needed), cleaned, cored and<br />

thinly sliced<br />

• Honey, to taste<br />

• A little Butter for toasting the bread (optional)<br />

DIRECTIONS:<br />

1. Spread some goat cheese on one slice of bread on<br />

one side. Top the side with the cheese with arugula,<br />

caramelized onions, sliced pears then drizzle with honey.<br />

Top with the remaining slice.<br />

2. This next step is optional, but it sure adds extra flavor so<br />

I highly suggest this. Butter the exposed part of the bread<br />

on either side. If you have a panini press, heat it then toast<br />

the prepared sandwich to your liking. If you don’t have<br />

one, simply use a flat griddle or frying pan to toast the<br />

bread. Flip and repeat on the other side. Serve warm.<br />

Magen Wright is a Houston based life and style blogger. Follow her on instagram @OurSimpleHome.<br />

Happy Hour<br />

TUES-FRI<br />

5pm-6:30pm<br />

$3 off antipasta<br />

$2 off glasses of wine<br />

$1 off beer<br />

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MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 33


IN THE KITCHEN<br />

Holiday Cookies<br />

Cream Cheese<br />

Spritz Cookies<br />

Adapted from: http://www.caramelpotatoes.com<br />

INGREDIENTS<br />

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter 3 ounces cream cheese 1 cup<br />

sugar 1 egg yolk 1 teaspoon almond extract 2 1/2 cups flour<br />

food coloring (if desired)<br />

DIRECTIONS<br />

Preheat oven to 375F.<br />

Cream butter, cream cheese, and sugar until well blended.<br />

Beat in egg yolk and almond extract. Gradually blend in<br />

flour until completely incorporated. Add a few drops of food<br />

coloring (I split the dough in half to make light pink and<br />

white). Cover and chill dough at least 2 hours or overnight.<br />

When ready to bake, remove the cookie dough from<br />

refrigerator and allow to rest about 10 – 15 minutes. Form<br />

cookies on ungreased baking sheet.


Chocolate Chip Cookies<br />

Recipe from: Magnolia Table Cookbook<br />

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour<br />

1 heaping teaspoon baking soda<br />

1/2 teaspoon sea salt<br />

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature<br />

2 cups packed light brown sugar<br />

2 large eggs<br />

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract<br />

1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips<br />

Arrange a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350°F.<br />

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.<br />

Place the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium<br />

bowl; set aside.<br />

Place the butter and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the<br />

paddle attachment. (Alternatively, use an electric hand mixer<br />

and large bowl.) Beat on medium-high speed until light and<br />

fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs and beat until blended.<br />

Add the vanilla and beat until blended.<br />

Turn the mixer off and add the flour mixture. Mix on<br />

medium speed just until the flour is mixed in, then turn the<br />

mixer to high speed for a few seconds to pull the dough<br />

together; it will be chunky. Add the chocolate chips and beat<br />

on high speed to thoroughly and quickly mix in the chips,<br />

about 5 seconds.<br />

Drop the dough by large spoonfuls onto the prepared<br />

baking sheet; don’t flatten them. Bake until lightly browned<br />

on top, 10 to 11 minutes. Cool on the pan on a rack for<br />

1 minute, then transfer the cookies to the rack to cool<br />

completely. Repeat with the remaining dough.<br />

MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 35


IN THE KITCHEN


how to design<br />

a Charcuterie<br />

Board<br />

by Ashley Luengo<br />

STEP ONE<br />

To start, you need a great foundation. These amazing<br />

pieces of wood came from my local craft store for under $10!<br />

They are intended to be used for crafting, but when I saw<br />

them I knew they would be perfect for my spread.<br />

I simply rinsed them off with warm water and they were<br />

good to go. I also love to use marble cutting boards or<br />

vintage silver trays. You can literally use anything you have on<br />

hand. The flatter the surface the better though.<br />

STEP TWO<br />

Buy a nice selection of cheeses. A general rule of thumb<br />

is to get one soft cheese, one firm and one hard cheese.<br />

I usually like to do a Brie of some sort (goat’s milk brie is one<br />

of my favorites). And a gouda or swiss along with an aged<br />

cheddar make a lovely mix!<br />

Don’t think too hard about it and ask someone who<br />

works at the store to help you. They usually have wonderful<br />

suggestions! Leave the cheese uncut and allow guests to<br />

slice off chunks to their liking.<br />

MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 37


IN THE KITCHEN<br />

STEP THREE<br />

Provide a rounded out selection of meats.<br />

Prosciutto, salami, speck, coppa and chorizo are<br />

my go-tos. Along with the usual suspects add in<br />

a quality sliced herb-roasted turkey. Having this<br />

variety allows for all guests to enjoy a little bit of<br />

everything!<br />

STEP FOUR<br />

Condiments! This is where you can add in<br />

some fun gourmet spreads and mustards. I like<br />

to use a whole-grain mustard and local honey as<br />

well as a fruit spread. The mustard allows guests<br />

to create mini sandwiches if they choose. And the<br />

honey is so good drizzled on a piece of cheese!<br />

The condiments are like jewelry to your charcuterie<br />

board. They really top it off!<br />

STEP FIVE<br />

Fruits, nuts and olives are essential! A crisp<br />

sweet apple sliced up tastes amazing with a<br />

piece of aged cheddar on top. Not only is fruit a<br />

compliment to the meats and cheeses, they taste<br />

great on their own. And they are a great way to<br />

cleanse your palate.<br />

Unsalted almonds and cashews are nice to<br />

offer, along with a selection of olives. Add in some<br />

veggies, too. Marinated or fresh work great! I found<br />

these beautiful cherry tomatoes at the farmer’s<br />

market and they were so sweet and delicious! And<br />

they looked great, too!<br />

STEP SIX<br />

The carbs! A beautifully sliced baguette, artisan<br />

crackers and crostini add so much to the mix here.<br />

They are the vehicles to get all this yumminess into<br />

your belly! Choose wisely, because these will set<br />

the tone for your whole spread. You’ve come so far,<br />

now don’t skip on this step.<br />

THE FINISHING TOUCH<br />

Now it’s time to accessorize your gorgeous<br />

spread! Add in some fresh herbs such as rosemary<br />

and lavender or some edible flowers to really help<br />

elevate the look of your feast! The number one rule<br />

though is to have fun!<br />

Ashley is the talented blogger behind <strong>Modern</strong> Glam Home.<br />

She is a lover of all things pretty and you can see more of her work by following her<br />

on Instagram @modernglamhome or through her blog at www.modern-glam.com.<br />

38 | moderntexasliving.com


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MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 39


IN THE KITCHEN<br />

Decadent<br />

Dessert<br />

Cocktails<br />

AUTUMN ROSÉ SANGRIA<br />

Adapted from Bobby Flay’s Rose Sangria<br />

MAKES 4-6 SERVINGS<br />

• 1 bottle Rosé wine<br />

• 1/2 cup vodka<br />

• 1 cup fresh orange juice (without pulp)<br />

• 1/4 cup simple syrup or more to taste<br />

• 3 apples, cored, quartered, and thinly sliced<br />

• 1 lime quartered and thinly sliced<br />

• 1 lemon quartered and thinly sliced<br />

• 2 oranges peeled and sliced<br />

• 2 tbsp Sugar (optional)<br />

• 2 tbsp fresh orange juice (optional)<br />

Combine all ingredients (except 6 apple slices, 2 tbsp sugar<br />

(optional), and 2 tbsp of orange juice (optional)) in a pitcher<br />

and chill for at least 8 hours. Chilling overnight is preferable.<br />

If not serving immediately, strain the fruit and add fresh<br />

once served.<br />

OPTIONAL: When serving, place 2 tbsp of sugar in one<br />

saucer and 2 tbsp of orange juice in another. Holding the<br />

glass by its stem, dip the glass at a 45 degree angle and<br />

rotate so only the outer edge touches the orange juice.<br />

Repeat the same process when adding sugar to the rim of<br />

the glass. Add reserved apple slices as a garnish to the side<br />

of glasses when served<br />

SPARKLING CRANBERRY<br />

REFRESHER<br />

Adapted from Food & Wine Cranberry Sparkler<br />

MAKES 1 DRINK<br />

• 1 oz 100% cranberry juice<br />

• 1/4 oz simple syrup<br />

• 1 dash of orange bitters<br />

• 1 slice of orange<br />

• 3 oz sparkling wine or champagne<br />

• 3-4 frozen and thawed cranberries<br />

• 1 thinly sliced orange peel<br />

Combine cranberry juice, simple syrup, juice from one orange<br />

slice and orange bitters in a flute. Stir ingredients. Place<br />

thawed cranberry in flute. Top with 3 ounces of sparkling wine<br />

or champagne. Garnish rim of flute with the orange peel.<br />

40 | moderntexasliving.com


PEANUT BUTTER<br />

AND BANANA TREAT<br />

MAKES 2 SERVINGS<br />

• 3/4 cup whole milk<br />

• 1 large frozen banana<br />

• 1 banana (not frozen)<br />

• 1 cup of ice (can add more for a thicker consistency)<br />

• 3 tbsp creamy peanut butter<br />

• 2 tbsp raw honey<br />

OPTIONAL: 2 tbsp Chocolate Syrup<br />

Combine milk, 1 frozen banana, ice, peanut butter and<br />

honey in a blender. Blend until smooth. Continue adding<br />

ice until it reaches the desired consistency. Optional: When<br />

serving, place 2 tbsp of chocolate syrup in one saucer. Dip<br />

the brim of the cup at a 45 degree angle and rotate so<br />

only the outer edge touches the chocolate syrup.<br />

Pour peanut butter and banana mixture into the glass and<br />

top with slices of fresh banana.<br />

If you liked these recipes, follow Laura Carter @blossomingnest on Instagram for more home, food & decor ideas.<br />

We d d i n g E ngagement C hildr e n F amily AshleyMunnPhotography. c om 254- 749- 1 6 7 0<br />

MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 41


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IN GOOD HEALTH


Spirit Lead Me<br />

Where My Trust is Without Borders<br />

I<br />

found my BRCA gene at 27.<br />

I never planned on getting genetic<br />

testing. I didn’t have any suspicion that I was<br />

carrying a gene that could potentially kill me.<br />

I didn’t know much about my family history.<br />

I was 14 when I got put into foster care. I knew<br />

nothing of my father's family history. My mother’s<br />

side of the family had seen cancer and death, but<br />

when they all die from drugs and alcohol you never<br />

question if genes played a role.<br />

At the age of 18 I accepted Jesus as my Savior.<br />

I fell in love and got Married at 19. With God by<br />

my side and a husband who loved me fiercely, I<br />

thought life would be perfect.<br />

At twenty-six and three kids later, we moved<br />

across the country. My youngest son was faced<br />

with brain surgery. Six brain surgeries later, multiple<br />

conditions unanswered, he was diagnosed with a<br />

very rare skin condition: Ichthyosis. After a year of<br />

by Kaysie Berry<br />

complications his team of doctors recommended<br />

we meet with Genetics, put a puzzle together of<br />

his brain conditions and see if anything Genetics<br />

could find would make the puzzle whole.<br />

The way to approaching genetics in a child is<br />

simple: test him and mom and dad. Run his whole<br />

DNA genome. If anything comes up positive,<br />

then they run our DNA along side Lincoln’s.<br />

BRCA 2. My little Lincoln had BRCA 2. From<br />

me. That meant he had a risk of male breast cancer,<br />

pancreatic cancer and skin cancer. He would have<br />

to have screenings done when he turned 25.<br />

I have two other children who have a 50%<br />

chance of having BRCA 2. If they would like to<br />

get tested at 18, then that will be up to them.<br />

My heart tends to ache thinking of my daughter<br />

going through what I have endured this last year,<br />

if she does in fact have the gene, I get to say<br />

me, too.<br />

BRCA1 and BRCA2 (Breast Cancer genes 1 & 2) are the best-known genes linked to breast cancer risk.<br />

BRCA 1 & 2 mutations can be passed to you from either parent and can affect the risk of cancers in both<br />

women and men. A person who has a BRCA1/2 mutation is sometimes called a BRCA1 & 2 carrier.<br />

MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 47


IN GOOD HEALTH<br />

It’s a bit more complicated as a female testing positive<br />

for the BRCA gene. There are 2 BRCA genes. BRCA 1 and<br />

BRCA 2. Specific inherited mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2<br />

increase the risk of female breast and ovarian cancers. People<br />

who have inherited mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 tend to<br />

develop breast and ovarian cancers at younger ages than<br />

people who do not have these mutations.<br />

A BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation can be inherited from a<br />

person’s mother or father. Each child of a parent who carries<br />

a mutation in one of these genes has a 50% chance (or 1<br />

chance in 2) of inheriting the mutation.<br />

Because BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene<br />

mutations are relatively rare in the<br />

general population, most experts<br />

agree that mutation testing of<br />

individuals who do not have cancer<br />

should be performed only when the<br />

person’s individual or family history<br />

suggests the possible presence of a<br />

mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2.<br />

After multiple doctor appoint ments<br />

and screenings recommended for this<br />

gene including MRIs, painful biopsies,<br />

mammograms and ultrasounds, I was<br />

given two options:<br />

1. Continue with this screening<br />

multiple times a year while taking<br />

a mini chemo pill with massive side<br />

effects until the cancer was “caught,”<br />

then treat the cancer while it was still<br />

in a low stage, or<br />

2. Have a prophylactic double mastectomy and breast<br />

reconstruction to bring my risk from 85% of developing<br />

cancer to 5%.<br />

Spirit Lead me Where My Trust Is Without Borders.<br />

I would have never found out about my BRCA gene if it<br />

hadn’t have been Lincoln needing his genes tested. Coming<br />

from a broken home, in foster care and not knowing any<br />

family history, breast cancer never crossed my mind -let alone<br />

even doing a self breast exam.<br />

Lincoln Saved my Life.<br />

I BEAT<br />

CANCER<br />

BEFORE<br />

IT BEAT ME.<br />

I went ahead with the prophylactic double mastectomy.<br />

I beat cancer before it beat me.<br />

I am a Previvor. I Pre Survived breast cancer.<br />

A surgery every three months (due to complications) for<br />

the last year has not been easy. The pain of a mastectomy is<br />

unimaginable. Doing this with three young children often has<br />

me screaming out, “Why me?”<br />

But to be here with my children, to see my daughter<br />

someday walk down the aisle. To watch my boys play sports<br />

and graduate, to love my husband until we are old. It’s all<br />

worth it.<br />

Spirit Lead Me Where My Trust Is<br />

Without Borders.<br />

I wish I could say I’m near the end<br />

of the tunnel, that I can see the light<br />

on the other side, but for me and my<br />

BRCA journey I’m only halfway there.<br />

My next preventive surgery will be my<br />

ovaries. Ovarian cancer is the silent,<br />

deadly cancer. My surgeon said it’s not<br />

a matter of “If I get them removed, it’s<br />

a matter of WHEN.”<br />

Even though I can’t see the light,<br />

even though I can’t see God, I can feel<br />

the light; I can feel Him.<br />

As of right now I’m not sure how<br />

many more breast surgeries I will need<br />

in the future, but in the next five years<br />

I will need to get my ovaries removed.<br />

It’s not the prognosis I was hoping for<br />

when we started the search for answers for Lincoln, but it will<br />

hopefully save my life so that I can spend more of it with my<br />

family.<br />

If you have any family history of breast cancer or ovarian<br />

cancer, I highly recommend you speaking with your doctors<br />

about getting your genes tested for the BRCA gene. I also<br />

encourage you to practice self breast exams. My motto is<br />

“Feel them on the First.” It’s my favorite way of reminding<br />

myself to do a self breast exam. I still check because I have a<br />

5% chance of developing cancer. I will do anything possible<br />

to save my own life so that I can live it with those I love.<br />

To follow Kaysie's journey, follow her on Instagram @trustwithoutborders_brca.<br />

48 | moderntexasliving.com


Photos by Adam Berry<br />

MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 49


IN GOOD HEALTH<br />

Hair by Penny McCorkle<br />

Makeup Christi Wilson<br />

Location WacoWork<br />

Earrings by Di' Amore Fine Jewelers<br />

50 | moderntexasliving.com


You've Got<br />

This, Mama<br />

by Julie Hays<br />

I<br />

n 2008, I interviewed Michelle Obama on a campaign<br />

stop for her husband in Austin. When I asked how<br />

she did it all, crisscrossing<br />

the country on a tour that<br />

eventually led to the White House<br />

with two young children in tow, she<br />

said, “I’m doing what every other<br />

mom I know is and that is juggling.”<br />

I didn’t appreciate the wise words<br />

at the time, but today, with three kids,<br />

I get it. Juggling. Don’t we all? Dance.<br />

Soccer. School. Lunches. Church.<br />

Work. Bedtime. Repeat. It never<br />

ends. What I now most appreciate<br />

about Mrs. Obama’s words is nothing<br />

about juggling is perfect. The balls<br />

almost always drop.<br />

I coach my kid’s soccer team but<br />

forget a scheduled interview at work.<br />

I’ve forgotten dress-up days<br />

at school, shoved sight words into a top drawer that my<br />

daughter never saw, sent my son in his sister’s x-small t-shirt<br />

for his picture day and broken down in a parent-teacher<br />

EVERYONE’S<br />

“NORMAL’ IS<br />

DIFFERENT AND<br />

THAT IS OKAY."<br />

conference with guilt that my child’s struggles were a result<br />

of my shortcomings.<br />

I’ve anchored many a live newscast<br />

with my kids hiding beneath my feet.<br />

I often tell them that everyone’s<br />

“normal” is different and that is okay.<br />

Juggling.<br />

Every day I get up and pick up those<br />

balls. Some days it’s like a circus act and<br />

other days I can’t catch to save my life.<br />

It’s stressful. It’s fun, and sometimes<br />

it’s a huge mess.<br />

But, Mrs. Obama was right. It really<br />

is what every mom I know is doing, too.<br />

No matter whether or not you drop<br />

all the balls or even get a black eye in<br />

the process, the main thing to know<br />

is that you’re not alone. Ask a friend<br />

or family member for help- there’s no<br />

shame in that. Just remember that at<br />

the end of the day you’re doing a great job because marriage,<br />

motherhood, and being a woman didn’t come with a manual.<br />

You’re writing your own.<br />

Julie<br />

Julie Hays is a wife, mother to three and the midday news anchor for KWTX.<br />

To follow Julie, go to @Juliehayskwtx.<br />

MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 51


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54 | moderntexasliving.com


The Other Side of<br />

Coach Mulkey<br />

by Brandy Stoffel<br />

With Baylor’s Head Women’s<br />

Basketball Coach, what<br />

you see is what you get.<br />

But most people don’t get to see<br />

the off-court side of Kim Mulkey. The<br />

Louisiana native who loves to eat,<br />

work in the yard, and spend time<br />

laughing with family and friends is<br />

often in the sports media spotlight as<br />

being animated and bold. “There’s a<br />

perception that I’m a mean woman<br />

because I stomp or throw my jacket.<br />

They think that’s who you are when you<br />

go home, but they don’t understand<br />

I’m out there just trying hard to help my<br />

kids win a basketball game.”<br />

In her career, Coach Mulkey has<br />

amassed five national championships<br />

(two as Head Coach at Baylor, one as<br />

an assistant coach at Louisiana Tech and<br />

two as a player there), an Olympic Gold<br />

Medal on Team USA, and countless<br />

coaching and player awards. She has<br />

traveled the world playing basketball games and even written<br />

an autobiography. Her favorite role, though, has been mother.<br />

“[My biggest blessings have<br />

been] my kids. Kids are miracles.<br />

I’ve been blessed with two children<br />

who have been good kids.”<br />

Makenzie (27) and Kramer (24)<br />

both live with their mom today.<br />

“My house now is big enough<br />

we don’t trip on each other and<br />

it's wonderful having them here.”<br />

Makenzie serves as the Associate<br />

Director of Basketball Operations<br />

for Baylor women’s basketball and<br />

is married to Clay Fuller, a former<br />

Baylor football player. After losing<br />

their daughter Scout at five months<br />

into pregnancy last year due to<br />

Hypoplastic Right Heart syndrome<br />

and Turner Syndrome, the couple<br />

welcomed son Kannon Reid to the<br />

family on Friday, October 12, 2018.<br />

“He weighed 9 lbs. 1 oz. and was<br />

22 inches long.” An added layer of<br />

joy hums in Kim’s already warm tone<br />

as she talks about her grandchildren. Makenzie and Clay are<br />

currently looking for a house in Waco after recently moving<br />

MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 55


ack. Kramer, who shares his middle name “Reid”<br />

with his new nephew, plays baseball for the St. Louis<br />

Cardinals (with the High A Minor League Palm Beach<br />

Cardinals) and is home until the spring training begins<br />

in February. “It’s like the Brady Bunch at my house right<br />

now,” Kim jokes.<br />

Raising kids, on and off the court, has posed the same<br />

challenges for Coach Mulkey as any woman or parent.<br />

“Certainly, there are decisions that I’ve made [with my<br />

kids at home] such as a quick spank or a grounding that<br />

I question ‘should I have done that’ or ‘was I too hard on<br />

them’. But the overall basis of who you are as a parent<br />

or coach far exceeds one little decision you made or<br />

had.” Coach Mulkey follows up on a specific incident<br />

recounted in her 2008 autobiography (Won’t Back<br />

Down: Teams, Dreams and Family) when she wished<br />

56 | moderntexasliving.com


she’d acted differently towards Baylor player Jessika<br />

Stratton in a game against Tennessee. “I was immature<br />

as a coach and learned a lot from that kid; she taught<br />

me so much about perspective. Jessika came to see me<br />

recently and she is a tremendous woman and mother.<br />

Your kids help you understand it is just a game.”<br />

It may be just a game, but she still cusses a little.<br />

“I’m not proud of the fact that I cuss. It’s a culture I grew<br />

up in, and it's habit forming and becomes part of your<br />

vocabulary.” She laughs at the old adage “do as I say<br />

not as I do” which is ironic given the particular topic.<br />

“I tell my players, ‘Let me be the only one that’s going<br />

to hell, not y’all.’ Of course, they laugh and appreciate<br />

my sense of humor.”<br />

it.” Maybe Coach just doesn’t need any more courage.<br />

“I speak the blunt truth and people get their feelings hurt.<br />

That’s all I want… the truth. I will say the things people<br />

are afraid to say. Why should we be afraid to speak the<br />

truth? Society today [seems like] people can’t handle it<br />

or they misinterpret it. But when I put my head on my<br />

pillow, I know I’ve spoken the truth.”<br />

In the course of a long career, some might question<br />

if that alternate path they could have taken at some<br />

point along the road would have been better somehow.<br />

“Oh, NO. My degree is in Business Administration,<br />

and I was working on my MBA when I was talked into<br />

coaching by F. Jay Taylor (former President of Louisiana<br />

Tech) 34 years ago. This is what I was meant to do. I love<br />

“THE THINGS THAT MADE ME HAPPY THEN,<br />

AND NOW, WERE ROOTED IN HOME AND FAMILY.<br />

I’M CONTENT WITH THE SIMPLE THINGS<br />

IN LIFE–A BALLGAME ON TELEVISION,<br />

OR A GOOD BOOK OR MAGAZINE.”<br />

“Baylor has been good to me and my children. I am<br />

blessed to be the coach at Baylor. I will defend Baylor<br />

publicly when others are afraid. I know the difference<br />

between good and bad and there is far more good<br />

about Baylor University than bad. Just do the right<br />

thing. I’ll make mistakes, but when it comes to life and<br />

doing right and wrong, we all know the difference. You<br />

don’t have to go to church every Sunday to do the<br />

right thing.”<br />

Growing up in Baptist and Methodist churches,<br />

Coach Mulkey enjoys classic hymns, regular prayers with<br />

the team and her family, and has never taken a drink<br />

of alcohol in her life. “No, I’m not a drinker. I’m a great<br />

bartender, and I’m fine with it. It is not for any reason<br />

other than I’m afraid I might like it and I don’t want to try<br />

coaching. I get to do what I want to do. I get to dress<br />

in shorts and tennis shoes and no make-up and coach<br />

at an elite level.”<br />

In her 2008 book, Coach Mulkey said, “The things<br />

that made me happy then, and now, were rooted in<br />

home and family. I’m content with the simple things<br />

in life–a ballgame on television, or a good book or<br />

magazine.” On this Fall day, just before the start of the<br />

2018 season, she confirms, “I’m the same person today<br />

that I was when I was a child. I’m very much rooted in<br />

the values of a home and family, and I don’t go out and<br />

have crazy trips and a social life. My life consists of my<br />

job, my children, going on a vacation now and then and<br />

being in my yard. I don’t need entertainment and I’m<br />

not lonely. I’m not pretentious.”<br />

MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 57


Kannon Reid Fuller<br />

Born on October 12, 2018<br />

9lbs 1 oz 22 inches long<br />

One of Coach Mulkey’s ‘Thoughts for the Day’ to her<br />

team states “Today I gave all I had. What I’ve kept, I’ve lost<br />

forever.” As Coach Mulkey recovers from her recent spinal<br />

fusion surgery in preparation for the season ahead, she<br />

reflects on the seasons past, “I never put my career ahead<br />

of or in front of my family. I had help, but I’ve been hands on<br />

with my children. I worked my [Baylor] practices around my<br />

kids’ ballgames. I’m a big family person. I said that to the<br />

Athletic Director when they hired me. I’ve enjoyed every<br />

step of the way. I’ll be the same with grandchildren.”<br />

58 | moderntexasliving.com


Uptown • waco<br />

Tuesday–Saturday | Cafe 11am-2:30pm | Shops 10 am-6pm<br />

1509 Austin Avenue | Waco, <strong>Texas</strong> | 254.754.7467<br />

SIRONIA.WACO<br />

SHOPSIRONIA


408 Lake Road<br />

Belton, TX 76513<br />

(254) 933-7024<br />

www.whimsiesboutique.com


BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK<br />

Now that the weather is finally cooling down, hikes at<br />

Big Bend National Park are more bearable. Explore<br />

gorgeous scenery and hikes without the Summer heat.<br />

5<br />

SAN ANTONIO<br />

PLACES<br />

A steam sauna, hot<br />

tub, and deep tissue<br />

massage are calling<br />

our name. Nothing like<br />

an indoor spa retreat<br />

at Mokara Hotel & Spa<br />

to warm us up and<br />

help us relax from the<br />

stress that the holidays<br />

can cause!<br />

GRAND<br />

PRAIRIE<br />

Dreaming of pool<br />

days again? Grand<br />

Prairie is the home<br />

to Epic Waters<br />

Indoor Water Park,<br />

a temperature<br />

controlled park<br />

that will make you<br />

feel like you’re<br />

escaping to a<br />

tropical island.<br />

TO VISIT IN TEXAS<br />

IN THE WINTER<br />

As the weather turns colder it’s easy for us to<br />

want to cuddle under our blankets and spend<br />

our evenings finishing seasons of Netflix in one<br />

sitting. However, <strong>Texas</strong> has so many beautiful<br />

destinations that are perfect for the cold<br />

weather! So roll out of those covers and into your<br />

next adventure with these 5 Winter destinations.<br />

HOUSTON<br />

Eating helps warm the<br />

body! In Houston you can<br />

eat in every continent<br />

without leaving the city.<br />

Korean BBQ, South<br />

African dishes, Hawaiian<br />

cocktails, Portuguese<br />

Tapas, Brazilian brunches,<br />

and Australian ice cream.<br />

Houston has all of this<br />

and more.<br />

FREDERICKSBURG<br />

Germany is known as one of the most magical Christmas countries<br />

in the world. Luckily we have our own German town: Fredericksburg<br />

where you can go on a holiday wine trail, view spectacular Christmas<br />

lights, and shop at The Christmas Store.<br />

To see more information about My Curly Adventures travels, check out her website at<br />

www.mycurlyadventures.com. You can also follow her on<br />

mycurlyadventures_ mycurlyadventures curlyadventures<br />

MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 61


TOURS<br />

All<br />

Inclusive<br />

DISNEY<br />

CRUISE<br />

For all you Holiday travel needs...<br />

DON'T FORGET<br />

travel is the only thing you buy<br />

that makes you richer!<br />

HONEYMOON<br />

Here to help you<br />

Bambi Eskew<br />

Linda Key<br />

Jeff Grieder<br />

Cheri Thigpen<br />

Carol Cunningham<br />

Megan Ed


Riveria Maya, Mexico<br />

5<br />

TOP<br />

REASONS<br />

to Use a Travel Agent<br />

A friend and I recently went on a trip to Mexico. I've always<br />

booked online and price shopped for weeks making sure I was<br />

getting the best deal. Trip time rolled around and we started<br />

discussing booking online verse using a travel agent. Our friends<br />

had always had a great experience while traveling, so when I got<br />

back home to the states I decided to do a little research of our<br />

own on the benefits of using an agent.<br />

1WORKING WITH AN<br />

AGENT PROVIDES<br />

EXPERT ADVICE,<br />

FEEDBACK, AND TIPS<br />

This one is a no brainer. I knew<br />

this before doing our research, but<br />

wanted to state the obvious. Travel<br />

agents have all the information –<br />

from the best attractions to see,<br />

the most exciting activities to do,<br />

and the most affordable way to<br />

get there… they’ve got it covered.<br />

Madrid, Spain<br />

2<br />

YOU WON’T NEED TO DEAL<br />

WITH ANY HEADACHES<br />

No headaches or sleepless nights leading<br />

up to or during your vacation. What's the best deal<br />

on a rental car? What if there is bad weather and<br />

my flights gets cancelled. They handle all of these<br />

things for you. If you need to make a change to<br />

your trip, they can sit on hold while you go about<br />

your day. If you need to figure out the best place to<br />

book a car, they do the searching. Basically all your<br />

travel headaches belong to them. The only call you<br />

need to make is to your travel agency. They are<br />

your one contact for EVERYTHING.<br />

3YOU CAN MAKE PAYMENTS<br />

When you book your vacation online, you have<br />

to pay in full at the time of booking. When you<br />

use a travel agent, you can book by putting down a<br />

deposit. Greatest news of all, you can reserve your<br />

spot for as little as $100.00 per person.<br />

4THEY MONITOR FOR DEALS AND DISCOUNTS<br />

They are able to apply deals and discounts that supplier<br />

releases before most people know about them. If you booked<br />

your trip in April, and in July they release a free dining plan offer<br />

during the dates of your trip, they can automatically apply this to<br />

your trip. When you book it yourself, you may never know about<br />

this discount and if you do, you may know about it too late. Oh,<br />

and no need for you to wait on hold on the phone for hours trying<br />

to update your plan, your travel agent can do that for you.<br />

Orlando, Florida<br />

5THE BEST ONE OF ALL –MOST SERVICES<br />

ARE FREE<br />

There are no added fees. This is the one that shocked me the<br />

most. I figured they would add on fees or mark up the package so<br />

they could make a little extra money, but that's not the case. You<br />

get the expert advice, tips, recommendations, discount monitoring,<br />

and all of the above for NO EXTRA COST. So what’s the catch?<br />

There really isn't one. The cruise line, tour operators and resorts pay<br />

them a commission so you don't have to pay them a penny. Think of<br />

it as a finder's fee. Instead of Expedia,Priceline or Orbitz getting the<br />

"finder's fee" it's your agent. You don't pay a penny.<br />

In a nutshell, what I've learned is if you're already planning on<br />

going on a trip, you should consider using an agent since it won't<br />

cost you anything extra and you'll get all the above perks!<br />

MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 63


INSIDE BUSINESS<br />

Alexis<br />

BLOOMER<br />

Journalist. Influencer. Business Owner.<br />

TELL US ABOUT YOU.<br />

I'm proud to call Salado, TX my hometown. Looking<br />

back, I am so thankful that I was raised in Central <strong>Texas</strong>, I<br />

have so many memories of growing up in my small town that<br />

I recently moved back to Salado and opened my business<br />

here. Although I’ve lived as far as New York, my heart has<br />

always been in Central <strong>Texas</strong>.<br />

I have always had a passion for journalism and have<br />

involved myself in the industry since I was 17 years old.<br />

I always believed that to be a true journalist you had to cover<br />

every realm of the industry, so I started in print, then hosted<br />

my own show on Sirius XM throughout college and most<br />

recently opened my own media company, Breaking Records<br />

Media, in my hometown. I am only<br />

twenty-five, but it has been my<br />

dream to have my own company<br />

that not only helps influence other<br />

creators, but that also promotes<br />

and tells stories that inspire others.<br />

YOU’RE USED TO<br />

BEING THE STAR,<br />

BUT EVERY NOW<br />

AND THEN YOU<br />

HAVE TO HELP<br />

OTHERS BE<br />

A STAR, TOO.<br />

WHAT DREW YOU TO THE<br />

FIELD OF JOURNALISM AND TO<br />

WRITING YOUR OWN BOOK?<br />

I received a karaoke machine<br />

one Christmas and remember ‘fake<br />

interviewing’ with it. I have always<br />

been passionate about others‘<br />

stories and whether it be through<br />

a book or on TV, I knew that I<br />

wanted to be the girl that people<br />

looked to, when it came to helping<br />

someone tell their story. My first love was writing, I’ll never<br />

forget reading The Great Gatsby, I think that is when I first<br />

fell in love with writing. I wrote my rhyming children’s book,<br />

Kindness is Key, in one afternoon because I was passionate<br />

about teaching children to be kind, rather than bully. It was<br />

so important to me that we started practicing kindness at a<br />

young age. After I conquered that, I wanted to write a book<br />

for women about how to be a lady in the millennial age, thus<br />

creating Good Girl, Bad World.<br />

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST<br />

ABOUT YOUR WORK?<br />

I love people. I love making others<br />

feel good about themselves and my job<br />

has really given me an opportunity to<br />

reach a large audience and encourage<br />

those around me.<br />

IF YOU WEREN’T AN AUTHOR/<br />

JOURNALIST, WHAT WOULD YOU DO<br />

FOR A CAREER?<br />

I think that I would have a show on<br />

HGTV about decorating and creating<br />

or a cooking show on Food Network.<br />

I am an artist at heart, I love to paint<br />

and create.<br />

WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU HAVE<br />

EVER RECEIVED?<br />

My first day of college I was watching a girl at the anchor<br />

desk and she was upset that she had to help move equipment<br />

and one of the people in the studio said, “You’re used to being<br />

the star, but every now and then you have to help others be a<br />

star too.” That advice has stuck with me, so anytime you see<br />

me on camera, you’ll see me helping pick up afterwards or if I<br />

am covering an event, I am there early to help set up.<br />

64 | moderntexasliving.com


Camille<br />

JOHNSON<br />

Wife. Mother. Millie. Realtor. Broker.<br />

From a small town girl on the farm, to a freshman in<br />

college walking-on to the basketball team at Baylor, to a<br />

high school English teacher, stay at home mom, and real<br />

estate agent here in our great community, Camille has<br />

become a name everyone knows and recognizes.<br />

WHAT GAVE YOU THE COURAGE AND STRENGTH<br />

TO DO THE THINGS THAT YOU DO?<br />

“My mom. Moms don’t always get a lot of credit because<br />

they are behind the scenes, but as I look back at my life I see<br />

moments where my mom’s hand was helping guide me and<br />

encouraging me to be the ‘best me.’ Your roots will always be<br />

here to help you grow but finding yourself and not being too<br />

content was always her way of giving us wings to help us fly.”<br />

My family. My husband Fred, two children and<br />

grandchildren are the highlights of my life.<br />

My friends. I have had the same supportive friend group<br />

for years that have helped encourage me over the years.<br />

BE HUMBLE AND KIND.<br />

THE BUSINESS<br />

WILL COME AND GO,<br />

BUT THE WAY YOU TREAT<br />

OTHERS WILL ALWAYS<br />

STICK WITH THEM.<br />

WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF<br />

YOUR LIFE?<br />

My roots. I was born and raised in Bruceville Eddy,and was<br />

raised on a farm with my brother and sister. My faith. I am a<br />

member at Columbus Avenue Baptist.<br />

WHAT’S THE BEST PART OF YOUR BUSINESS?<br />

People don’t typically sell because they want to.<br />

Sometimes they are going through difficult times like<br />

someone losing their spouse, financial struggles force them<br />

to sell, or a divorce so I find that my business can be a ministry<br />

to be kind and love on people during a difficult time.<br />

WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST CLAIM TO FAME?<br />

I holds the record for the 60 yard dash at Bruceville Eddy<br />

High School. I will forever hold this record because there is<br />

no longer a 60 yard dash.<br />

WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?<br />

Be humble and kind. The business will come and go, but<br />

the way you treat others will always stick with them.<br />

MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 65


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LET US TAKE THE HASSLE OUT OF HANGING AND REMOVING LIGHTS THIS YEAR!


Website Development<br />

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The AV component that enhances live shows and other public presentations.<br />

It helps elevate the experience for the audience.<br />

Call us TODAY to learn more!<br />

254.300.3796<br />

www.loadedsound.com<br />

MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 67


BELTON | TEMPLE<br />

Sunday to Tuesday<br />

10:30AM to 9:30PM<br />

Wednesday to Thursday<br />

10:30AM to 10PM<br />

Friday to Saturday<br />

10:30AM to 11PM<br />

Sunday to Tuesday<br />

10:30AM to 9PM<br />

Wednesday to Thursday<br />

10:30AM to 9:30PM<br />

Friday to Saturday<br />

10:30AM to 10PM<br />

CoronasDeOro<br />

www.CoronasDeOro.com<br />

68 | moderntexasliving.com


FREE<br />

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With Kitchen &<br />

Bath Remodel<br />

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254.235.2500<br />

*Must be complete Kitchen and/or Bath remodel with a minimum value of $17,000. Granite Countertop from<br />

select granite styles, first 20 linear ft is free. Installation not included. Minimum flooring, cabinets, and painting<br />

have to be done in kitchen and 1 bath. Visit <strong>Texas</strong>professionalexteriors.com for complete details and restrictions.<br />

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Waco: 254.741.1866 Temple: 254.774.7699<br />

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MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 69


WHERE FRAMING IS AN ART<br />

• Custom Framing & Fine Art Gallery<br />

• Art Installation<br />

• Photo and Art Restoration<br />

Family Owned & Operated<br />

studiogallerywaco.com<br />

254.772.0907<br />

70 | moderntexasliving.com


The Little<br />

Black Dress<br />

1 Dress 7 Styles<br />

STATEMENT COAT<br />

ANIMAL PRINT<br />

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Model: Cherise Myatt<br />

Hair: Penny McCorkle<br />

Makeup: Tammy Shefa<br />

Stylist: Jill Goss<br />

Location: WacoWork<br />

Black Dress by Vince, Prefontaine<br />

Black Heels by Steve Madden, Dillard’s<br />

Camel Studded Clutch by Elevate at The Findery<br />

Arrow Bar Cuff with Rose Stone, Prefontaine


OF LIFE & STYLE<br />

Sweater Duster, Wildland<br />

Necklace and Bangles, Lane’s on Austin<br />

Tortoise Earrings, Courtney’s Boutique<br />

Knowles Hiker Boots, Prefontaine<br />

Calf Hair Bag, Elements<br />

72 | moderntexasliving.com


Camel Coat with Leopard Detail, Elements<br />

Purple Suede Boots from shopbop.com<br />

Earrings, Elements<br />

Black Leather Belt Bag by Elevate at The Findery<br />

MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 73


OF LIFE & STYLE<br />

Grey Plaid Blazer, Elements<br />

Black Belt Bag by Elevate at The Findery<br />

74 | moderntexasliving.com


Black Lace Blazer, Elements.<br />

Blue silk Top, Wildland<br />

Metallic Boots by Gianni Bini, Dillard’s<br />

Earrings, Prefontaine<br />

Mini Angelou Bag by Cult Gaia,<br />

shopbop.com<br />

MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 75


OF LIFE & STYLE<br />

Plaid Tweed Blazer, Prefontaine<br />

Red Clutch from Elements<br />

Leopard Heels by Sam Edelman, shopbop.com<br />

76 | moderntexasliving.com


WOMEN'S CLOTHING • ACCESSORIES • KID'S CLOTHING<br />

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Let the universe see what you’re made of. For you are influential, passionate,<br />

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Believe me when I say that you are made of lightning –<br />

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WEEKDAYS AT FIVE, SIX, AND TEN O’CLOCK<br />

Ann Harder<br />

Ann Harder is a native Wacoan and cum<br />

laude graduate of Baylor University.<br />

Her career spans 35 years in electronic<br />

journalism in both radio and television.<br />

She’s worked in radio in Waco, Lubbock<br />

and Houston. A noted vocalist, Ann<br />

sings for many civic and church groups<br />

throughout Central <strong>Texas</strong>.<br />

Lindsay Liepman<br />

Lindsay Liepman is a Central<br />

<strong>Texas</strong> native, growing up in Mexia.<br />

She earned a journalism degree at<br />

<strong>Texas</strong> A&M University in 2003 and<br />

began her career as a news reporter<br />

in Bryan/College Station.<br />

Lindsay loves the news but what she<br />

loves most is her family and faith.


• Eyelash<br />

Extensions<br />

• Dermaplaning<br />

• Waxing<br />

• Spray Tans<br />

• Lash Lifts<br />

• Brow and<br />

Lash Dying<br />

254.252.0140<br />

6600 Sanger Ave Waco, TX<br />

• Registration deadline for Preschool<br />

and Kindergarten Classes is Dec. 14<br />

• Ongoing Registration for Open Adult and<br />

Mommy and Me Classes<br />

• Check out our fun Birthday Party Packages<br />

• Save the Date – JSOD 2019 Recital June 8–9,<br />

Midway Performing Arts Center<br />

www.jsodwaco.com<br />

(254) 776-1797<br />

254.295.0610<br />

7348 W. ADAMS #500 • TEMPLE, TX 76502<br />

Find us on Facebook<br />

MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 79


OF LIFE & STYLE<br />

Magen Reaves<br />

With the holidays fast approaching<br />

I love finding new hairstyles that<br />

can just add that something<br />

"extra" to your look. From all the<br />

holiday parties you may repeat a outfit, but by simply<br />

changing up your hair-do you can get a whole other look<br />

with your outfit. I recently discovered the "Tigi Bedhead<br />

Wave Artist" and fell in love! This hot tool can be found<br />

at most retailers for $20-$40, depending if you catch<br />

it on sale or not.<br />

I typically don't buy into crimpers/<br />

wavers like this because I find they<br />

don't work well on my thick hair.<br />

I had purchased the Wave Artist<br />

awhile back after seeing a friend<br />

with similar hair use it. Her hair<br />

looked amazing and I loved the wave<br />

look she got from just using the tool.<br />

I purchased the product, but didn't try it<br />

out until a year later.<br />

One weekend, on a lazy Saturday, I decided to break<br />

it open and give it a try... on week old hair. I fell in love<br />

with the look I got and became a believer.<br />

One thing I really liked about the Wave Artist is that I<br />

could go a few days before I needed to wash my hair or<br />

style it. The Wave Artist made my hair look thick and full!<br />

It's super simple too!<br />

If you have thick hair you will want to do smaller<br />

sections, maybe 1in. Section it off.<br />

You will start at the root and slowly just<br />

work your way down each section of hair.<br />

You can adjust the temperature of the<br />

tool. I personally had it on the highest<br />

degree, so then I didn't have to hold the<br />

tool on my hair long.<br />

Take it section by section and then when<br />

you have completed your whole head, gently run<br />

a brush through.<br />

And you're good to go!<br />

You should be able to go a few days with it styled just<br />

like this.<br />

By day 3-4 I pulled mine up in a pony tail and loved<br />

how big and full my pony was.<br />

Have fun with it this holiday season.<br />

Watch how just changing up your hair, changes your<br />

outfits and you have a whole new look.<br />

Magen is a <strong>Texas</strong> wife, mother and fashion blogger. To see more of her amazing work follow<br />

her on Instagram @MagenReaves or visit her on her website at www.MagenReaves.com.<br />

80<br />

| moderntexasliving.com


MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 81


OF LIFE & STYLE<br />

Galentines<br />

by Alison Sorley<br />

I’ve celebrated Galentines for years whether single or<br />

with someone. Love should be celebrated all the time;<br />

our world would be a lot better with it.<br />

To celebrate Galentines try a few of these great ideas:<br />

• Game night with trivia consisting of all things love, quotes,<br />

movies. Treats and eats include pink champagne, heart<br />

cookies, red hots, etc.<br />

• Get a group of friends (single or taken), get all dressed<br />

up in pinks and reds and indulge in a fancy dinner with<br />

dessert and toasting to one another and friendship. True<br />

friendship is loving one another in the good, bad and ugly.<br />

• Also, get little gifts for everyone when hosting, such as<br />

heart-shaped soaps, mini bottles of pink champagne,<br />

bubble bath, etc.<br />

• Another thought, if you're single, treat yourself. You have<br />

to love yourself before you can be loved and you should<br />

celebrate it. By an inexpensive gift such as a massage, top,<br />

shoes or sometimes a splurge of a handbag or spa day.<br />

• A way to share love for free is watching your friends' or<br />

loved one’s kids so they can have date night, plus being<br />

around a child’s laughter, love, and fun nature is contagious<br />

and can really brighten your mood.<br />

82 | moderntexasliving.com


Photo by Halle Judea Photography


FROM THE HEART<br />

Fostering<br />

Hope<br />

by Jessica Morrow<br />

In May 2016, Laura Bushnell was leaving work she heard<br />

the unmistakable distressed meow coming from an<br />

alleyway. Ordinarily, she would not have thought too<br />

much of the cry as there are lots of stray cats that live<br />

in the area. However, the urgency in the cry and the fact that<br />

it had been raining heavily all day with more heavy rains<br />

predicted piqued her concerns. She followed the cries to a<br />

small hole in the wall where, sure enough, a tiny kitten had<br />

wedged himself to escape the rains. A phone call to animal<br />

control led to a rescue effort that ironically included a team<br />

of firefighters. The firefighters freed the tiny kitten from<br />

the wall and he was quickly wrapped<br />

up and transported to Laura’s house<br />

for his first night inside. Laura and her<br />

husband named the kitten "Wall-E" and<br />

were determined to help him. Wall-E<br />

was swarming with fleas, starving,<br />

and terrified. Laura sent out a distress<br />

message on social media asking for<br />

help. Cue the Waco Humane Society.<br />

I had heard of Wall-E harrowing tale,<br />

so I offered to foster Wall-E through<br />

the Waco Humane Society’s Foster<br />

program. With a foster home secured,<br />

Wall-E entered the fostering system<br />

and was immediately placed into my<br />

home. This is not always the case for<br />

animals entering the Humane society;<br />

most cases involve their tireless foster<br />

coordinator, Emily Keil, recruiting from a list of other foster<br />

homes in the area (more on that later).<br />

My family had fostered several animals before and was<br />

familiar with some of the challenges that come from bringing<br />

a new animal into the household. We already had our own<br />

dog and cat, so making sure Wall-E had a quiet place for<br />

himself was crucial. We set up a litter box and food in our<br />

LIKE PEOPLE,<br />

EACH ANIMAL<br />

HAS A UNIQUE<br />

PERSONALITY<br />

AND EACH<br />

PRESENTS ITS<br />

OWN CHALLENGES<br />

AND REWARDS.<br />

guest bedroom to let him have some peace. By utilizing social<br />

media, we were able to find a “furever” home for Wall-E.<br />

Today Wall-E is a happy and beloved house cat. He is also<br />

a successful case for the Humane Society Foster Program.<br />

Animal shelters are meant to be a temporary location for<br />

homeless animals, the assiduous workers of our central <strong>Texas</strong><br />

shelters see a constant stream of animals in truly desperate<br />

situations. Foster families not only provide individual attention<br />

and a safe home but also open space at the shelter. Fostering<br />

has provided opportunities for my family to volunteer in the<br />

community one animal (or sometimes litter) at a time.<br />

Like people, each animal has a unique<br />

personality and each presents its own<br />

challenges and rewards. Some experiences<br />

have been as simple as providing a dog a<br />

place to crash for a few weeks, to keeping<br />

litters of kittens, to housing a persnickety<br />

mother cat recovering from feline mastitis.<br />

Some of our most rewarding experiences<br />

have come from the more challenging cases.<br />

Like, watching a deaf albino kitten gain his<br />

confidence, or seeing the relief in a pair of<br />

tuxedo cats after multiple days of lime sulfur<br />

dunks to treat ringworm. Each case has<br />

been supported by animal organizations<br />

like the Central <strong>Texas</strong> Humane Society.<br />

My husband and I have fostered 18<br />

animals through various organizations over<br />

the years. Each one has held a special<br />

place in our hearts. Of all the animals we have fostered, we<br />

have only kept one (our now 7-year-old cat, “Mama Kitty”).<br />

Here in Central <strong>Texas</strong>, we have enjoyed partnering with the<br />

Humane Society of Central <strong>Texas</strong>. Their staff serve both the<br />

human and animal population with grace and compassion.<br />

Emily Keil, Foster Coordinator, has always been great in<br />

helping us to find an animal that will best fit with our family.<br />

84<br />

| moderntexasliving.com


WHEN CONSIDERING ANIMAL FOSTERING,<br />

HERE ARE SOME THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND:<br />

Separate, quite space: This is especially important if<br />

you have other pets. Mostly, it gives them a familiar place<br />

to get acclimated. Space can range from a spare bedroom<br />

to a bathroom.<br />

Patience: Not all animals will go home with you ready to<br />

cuddle. You never really know what their phobias are and how<br />

they will manifest themselves. Be patient and give them time to<br />

adjust to their new environment.<br />

Time: Your time is essential. You are helping them to develop<br />

into a loving pet for another family, so any time you have to sit<br />

with them, take them for walks, or brush out their fur will help get<br />

them ready for healthy habits with their future family.<br />

Transportation: You will need to be able to take them to<br />

medical appointments and checkups at the Humane Society as<br />

well as adoption events. This frequency likely depends on the<br />

age of your charge and any underlying medical issues.<br />

Advocate: You and your family will know your foster<br />

the best and can therefore help your furry friend to<br />

find a home. You are their best advocate for the pet<br />

getting adopted.<br />

Misconceptions: There are many misconceptions when<br />

it comes to fostering. Medical expenses like vaccinations<br />

are taken care of by the Humane Society as well as spaying<br />

and neutering.<br />

Ability to Let Go: It is a pleasure to open our home<br />

to these animals and help them to learn to trust and love.<br />

Parting with them is always a challenge as you know they<br />

have grown accustomed to you, too, but helping them<br />

transition to their forever home is so rewarding. Maybe the<br />

forever home ends up being your home, but if the goal is<br />

to provide a happy place of transition, you must be willing<br />

to say goodbye and do what is best for the animal.<br />

If you would like more information about the Humane Society Foster Program<br />

or if you want to become a foster family, apply online at humanesocietycentraltexas.org.<br />

MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 85


FROM THE HEART<br />

A Mother ’ s Story<br />

by Stephanie Ginn<br />

P<br />

ostpartum Depression. It is real. It is hard. It is<br />

common. Why it is such a hush-hush topic? I don’t<br />

(and never will) understand. I feel called to share<br />

my story. It is LONG, it is real, but more importantly,<br />

it is okay!<br />

Three and a half months ago our world was changed for<br />

the better when our newest addition was born. Scarlett is our<br />

rainbow baby. We desired to have her, we longed for her,<br />

we prayed for her, and we praised God when we heard her<br />

precious heart beat for the first time (and every time after that).<br />

My first pregnancy with Caroline was a walk in the park.<br />

Hardly any sickness, was never really in pain, and breezed<br />

through it all. She was a 36 hour labor (she is still a diva to this<br />

day), but after she was born our connection was instant and I<br />

can honestly say I loved everything about motherhood. The<br />

good, the bad, the ugly.<br />

My pregnancy with Scarlett was a different story. I was<br />

diagnosed with a Marginal Cord Insertion which means that<br />

Scarlett had to work 4x as hard to get any nutrients from<br />

me. With that, I was now a monitored patient and had to<br />

get a lot of ultrasounds and extra tests done often. Then,<br />

I started having some heart issues so I was being seen by<br />

a cardiologist. At 30 and 33 weeks I found myself in Labor<br />

and Delivery and just lying in the hospital bed watching my<br />

contractions on the monitor. Each time the contractions were<br />

brought back under control and I was given some medicine<br />

to help control my contractions for the remainder of my<br />

pregnancy. The next week, I found out that I was starting<br />

to get some extra fluid around Scarlett which was just one<br />

more thing for them to watch. I was then put on bed rest at<br />

35 weeks and induced at 38 weeks because my fluid level<br />

continued to rise.<br />

86 | moderntexasliving.com


MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 87


FROM THE HEART<br />

Hospital life after Scarlett was born went well. We had<br />

visitors, help from the nurses, and a few days to adjust to<br />

baby life again. Then we went home.<br />

I remember thinking on the car ride home that something<br />

felt off. I brushed it off to be me still recovering from labor<br />

and the medicine that I had taken. Within a few hours of<br />

being home, I found myself upstairs with Andy in hysteric<br />

tears saying, “What in the world was I thinking when I thought<br />

that I could be a mom of two? I have lost my mind and there<br />

is no way that I can do this.” To be honest, I had no desire<br />

to do it. I was longing be go back to being a family of three,<br />

and I couldn’t understand why I was having these feelings<br />

because I never had any of those thoughts with Caroline.<br />

As the days passed, my feelings didn’t change. I still was<br />

not feeling connected to Scarlett and I had no desire to do<br />

anything. Baby related or not, I felt alone and lonely no matter<br />

how many people I was around. I was crying all the time.<br />

I would see a pregnant person and immediately feel sorry for<br />

them. That isn’t who I am and that isn’t who I wanted to be. The<br />

guilt then set in big time. How in the world could I not have<br />

extreme feelings for Scarlett? She is perfect. She is healthy, she<br />

is a beyond wonderful baby, and she is as gorgeous as can be.<br />

There must be something wrong with me. That was the only<br />

answer that I had for my thoughts and feelings.<br />

Thankfully, I have THE. BEST. support system in the world!!<br />

Being able to speak freely without the fear of being judged or<br />

88 | moderntexasliving.com


frowned upon was an answered prayer. My friends and family<br />

were always willing to listen to me, let me cry my eyes out, let<br />

me put my feelings out on the table, or were just willing to sit<br />

in silence with me. And y’all, the power<br />

of prayer is incredible. I spent a lot {and<br />

I mean a lot} of time praying for answers,<br />

guidance, and comfort.<br />

After three (long) weeks of just<br />

going through the motions and feeling<br />

miserable, I reached out to my OBGYN.<br />

She assured me that what I was feeling<br />

was common, but just unfortunately not<br />

commonly talked about. After talking for<br />

awhile, she said that I did in fact have<br />

Postpartum Depression and Postpartum<br />

Anxiety.<br />

Hearing her say that gave me mixed<br />

feelings (as if I didn’t have enough of those<br />

already). I was glad to have somewhat of<br />

an answer to my crazy, but how in the<br />

world could I have PPD and PPA?<br />

The thoughts that flooded my mind<br />

were: I was meant to be a mom and have<br />

always wanted and prayed for a big family. Does this make<br />

me a weak person? Does this make me a bad mom?<br />

I have since learned that the answer to these questions<br />

is “No!” This is just part of my story. I got through it and<br />

feel passionately about sharing my story and bringing<br />

awareness to PPD.<br />

Looking back to my maternity<br />

leave, I wish I could start it now. I<br />

wish that I hadn’t wasted all of those<br />

days and moments with Scarlett<br />

feeling what I was. However, now I<br />

can’t (and never really do) let her out<br />

of my arms. I miss her during the day<br />

and take advantage of every minute<br />

I have with her in the evenings and<br />

on the weekends. She is my angel<br />

baby, her daddy’s little princess, and<br />

her big sister’s best friend! Our life<br />

and family would be incomplete<br />

without her.<br />

I share all of this to say, Postpartum<br />

Depression and Postpartum Anxiety<br />

are real and are common. However,<br />

they don’t have to control your life.<br />

Find your people and hold on tight!<br />

Be aware and reach out for help. You are not weak, and you<br />

are not a bad mom.<br />

POSTPARTUM<br />

DEPRESSION AND<br />

POSTPARTUM ANXIETY<br />

ARE REAL AND ARE<br />

COMMON. HOWEVER,<br />

THEY DON’T HAVE TO<br />

CONTROL YOUR LIFE.<br />

FIND YOUR PEOPLE<br />

AND HOLD ON TIGHT!<br />

MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 89


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