Katy Texas Community Blog

Browse the Katy topics below for insights, thoughts, and opinions from Katy Area residents and local bloggers. If you're interested in writing a blog for Katy Magazine, email editor@katymagazine.com.

 

25 Ways to Stay in Joy

By admin

DEFINITION OF JOY: (NOUN) A SETTLED STATE OF CONTENTENTMENT, CONFIDENCE, AND HOPE

Your kids are arguing, the house is a mess, and you have to get everyone fed and make sure homework is finished before heading to evening extracurricular activities. Oh, and don’t forget to get that laundry out of the dryer before it wrinkles. If you’re like most Katy families, life can get so busy, it’s sometimes a struggle to and joy in everyday things. Here are 25 ways to practice seeking joy in every little moment and become a happier and healthier you.

1. Practice Daily Gratitude
From your first thought in the morning to your last one in the evening, always look for things you’re grateful for.

2. Redirect Your thoughts
Our moods go where our thoughts lead so each time your mind starts heading in a negative direction, practice redirecting it to something positive.

3. Spend Time Outdoors
Studies show that being in nature revives us and positively aspects our minds. Plus, it gives us a healthy dose of oxygen and vitamin D.
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5 Tips for Healthy Weight Loss

By admin

Encouragement from local Katy area experts for having a successful, healthy weight loss journey

Written by Kirsten Cornell | Photos property of Katy Magazine

Katy, Texas News – In the midst of a culture obsessed with weight and physical attractiveness, it’s no wonder there’s a growing trend of fad diets and infomercials showcasing any number of do-it-at-home workout programs and exercise equipment. From the cabbage soup or lemonade diet to more founded routines such as Paleolithic and gluten-free, it’s no surprise that more Americans than ever struggle with weight loss. Katy Magazine sat down with local experts on the subject, to find out practical ways to maintain a healthier lifestyle and incorporate fitness into your daily life.

KM_F_13_health_shutterstock_100847368

1. Plan of Action
Deciding to live a healthier lifestyle is one that involves your entire mindset. “You have to ask yourself ‘Why do I truly want to lose weight?’ The answer will give you motivation,” advises Carl Comeaux, owner of Premier Personal Training. “People who are motivated take action.” Create an action plan that implements new habits including a regular exercise routine and proper nutrition. “Keep it simple. Don’t think about the marathon before you take your first step toward exercising on a consistent basis,” adds Comeaux. Obstacles are inevitable – put strategies in place that will help you overcome them.

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A Church in Katy Pays Dollar Pound for Pound

By Katy Magazine

Katy Area Church Prays for Pastor to be a Loser

Last Sunday morning, The Waters Church (www.iamthewaters.com) did something bold.  During announcements, Finance Pastor Andrew Sunderman stood before the congregation and presented an opportunity.

The opportunity is for families within the church to support and pray for Assimilation Pastor Brad Graves as he begins his journey towards health.  For many years, Graves has struggled with maintaining a healthy weight.  On Sunday, Sunderman said, “I love Brad so much, and his struggle tears me up inside.  I want Brad to be here, ministering to us, for many many years to come.  And this is our opportunity to love him and challenge him towards becoming a wholly healthy Brad.”

The Waters Church has issued Brad Graves this challenge: lose as much weight as he can towards his final goal during the next six months and keep it off for a year.  Members of the church are given the opportunity to pledge an amount of money per pound.  This money will go towards funding a very (more…)

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A Few Lessons Learned From My Husband

By admin

 Love Lessons from a Katy Couple

Megan Lewis and her husband

Marriage has indeed made me a better person.  Not that I wasn’t a decent person before I got married, but, marriage tends to highlight areas that can be improved.  Any time two people from different backgrounds come together and form a life together, there are bound to be adjustments that need to be made.  I have learned many lessons as my husband and I have journeyed down the road of life together.  As different as we are, we seem to bring out the best in each other.   Here are a few of the lessons learned:

Forgive Quickly and Move On– My natural reaction to conflict was to become quiet and withdraw.  I learned, however, that when I do this, it prolongs the conflict.  The faster I forgive and forget, the faster we return to peace.  Then, we can happily move on.

Make Time for Play– I am a driven, goal-oriented person.  If it weren’t for my husband, I might never stop to smell the roses.  My husband has helped me prioritize fun in my life.  Our whole family has benefitted from this!

Ask For Help– How many times do we as women expect that our husbands will read our minds?  I have learned that my husband wants me to be happy.  All I need to do is communicate what I need, and he is happy to help or do what I want!  Isn’t that terrific?  He is a great husband.  I simply need to ask and my request is granted. (more…)

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A Guide To Finding a Pediatrician in Katy, Texas

By admin

Written by Leigh Ann Mitchell

KATY, Texas (KM) – Choosing a pediatrician that you and your child connect with is an important first step in raising a healthy, happy child. Whether you’re expecting your first baby or it’s time for a a change, here are a few words of wisdom from Katy moms and pediatricians.

Asking the Important Questions

Many parents interview potential pediatricians to ensure a good fit. “I don’t think there are a lot of ‘don’ts’ when interviewing a pediatrician,” explains Dr. Farah Mamedov from Katy’s Steeplechase Pediatrics. “You are choosing a medical home for your child, so you have to be comfortable with the doctor and the clinic.” Dr. Mamedov emphasizes making sure you ‘like’ your new doctor, and asking questions to see if you agree on important parenting topics like breastfeeding, discipline, antibiotics, and more.

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A Home for Healing in Katy, Texas

By admin

More than just a place to stay, Katy’s Ballard House provides patients, caregivers, and families in need with Texas-sized hospitality in a home away from home

Written by Susanna Donald | Select photography by Kristofor Rodriguez

Katy, TX News – It’s no secret that Katy is surrounded by premier medical facilities. People travel from all over the country – and the world – in order to get treatment here. But what happens when an out-of-town patient needs long-term care? Where do they sleep when they don’t qualify for a hospital bed? Being critically ill or having a loved one in the hospital is hard enough. Now imagine compounding the problem by sleeping in waiting rooms or spending money that should be going toward medical bills on a long-stay in a hotel.

KM_DecJan_14_Ballard House-Katy Magazine Winter 2014 by Kristofor Rodriguez 16

The Ballard House, a Cinco Charities community, serves to house families who have traveled to the area for long-term medical treatment

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A Letter from Katy ISD Communications Regarding Terra Kubala and Trent Weber

By admin

Katy, TX News (December 6, 2014) – The Katy ISD Communications department has issued a letter regarding the tragic deaths of Terra Kubala and Trent Weber:

“Dear Parents and Guardians,

The faculty and staff of Seven Lakes and Cinco Ranch High School are deeply saddened to learn of the deaths of  two students who tragically lost their lives in a vehicle accident over the weekend. We ask that you please join us as we extend our deepest and heartfelt sympathy to the families as they mourn their loss.

Grief counselors will be on campus on Monday to help our school community deal with this loss. We will be doing everything we can to help your child and our staff through this heartbreaking experience.

Over the next few days, you may wish to encourage your child to express his or her feelings and listen attentively. It will be helpful to recognize the various steps that we all go through in the grieving process: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

If you have any concerns regarding your child’s reaction to this loss, please contact your child’s teacher, school counselor or any member of the administrative staff. Thank you for your concern and support during this difficult time.”

Katy ISD

*Katy Magazine would like to express their deepest sympathies for the families of these students, and send wishes for comfort and healing in this time of incredible loss. 

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A Love of Learning

By admin

With the world becoming more technologically advanced, are your Katy kids getting the education they need?

Technological advances allow for a wealth of knowledge to be readily available.  Any inquiry that arises from the young questioning mind can easily be researched on the internet and explored.  What a great asset this technology is as we try to teach our children.

It would seem plausible that children would be smarter than ever before since information is literally at their fingertips.  Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be the case.  So much is available, that often the wrong types of information and technology squash the young, fertile mind.

I recently read an article in Time magazine on children and media consumption.  The article stated that children ages 8 to 18 are consuming more media than ever before.  A survey showed that children and teens are (more…)

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Adventures in Dining

By admin

Experiencing New Culture in Katy

Recently, I added some new culture to my family’s diet with some delicious Afghani food.  My dear friend Ghizal and I both packed up our little ones (both 3 years old and best buds.) along for a ride to the Middle Eastern specialty store in Houston.  What a learning experience.  I was surprised at the selection available in organic and specialty health products, though I shouldn’t be.  The culture I was experiencing supports a strong Mediterranean-type diet, with such a fresh appeal.  The amount of aromatic spices and savory sauces and dips available was delightful.  I was like a kid in the candy store, and I plan to go back very soon.

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Almost Famous Lemon Bars by Bess

By admin

A Katyite shares one of her favorite recipes

This fresh, citrus-filled dessert has become a popular request item among my friends and family, and is easy and fun to make.  Whether for a picnic meal, to add to a delicious buffet of springtime dishes, or just alone with a fragrant cup of coffee, this bar dessert is a real winner!  The original recipe is from the Good Housekeeping – Great Home Cooking Cookbook.   I’ve just adjusted a couple of details after perfecting the bars to our taste!

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups plus 4 tablespoons all purpose flour
½ cup powdered sugar
¾ cup cold butter
2 large lemons, or 3 small ones
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 13” by 9” pan with aluminum foil, lightly grease foil. 

In medium bowl, combine 1 ½ cups flour with the powdered sugar.  With pastry blender or two knives used scissor-fashion, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Transfer crumb mixture to prepared pan.  Press it firmly evenly around the bottom of pan. 

Bake until lightly browned, about 17-20 minutes. 

Meanwhile, from lemons, grate 1 teaspoon peel and squeeze 1/3 cup juice.  In large bowl, with mixer at high speed, beat eggs until thick and lemon-colored, about 3 minutes.  Reduce speed to low.  Add granulated sugar, remaining flour, baking powder, salt and lemon peel and juice.  Beat, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula, until blended.  Pour over warm crust. 

Bake until filling is just set and golden around edges, about 17-19 minutes.  Transfer pan to wire rack. Dust powdered sugar over warm filling.  Cool completely in pan on wire rack. 

When cool, remove lemon bars from pan by lifting edges of foil and place on cutting board.  Cut lengthwise into 3 strips, then cut each strip crosswise into 12 pieces. 

After you make these, let me know how they taste!  Enjoy the lemon goodness!

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Anyone found a great weight loss plan?

By admin

Katy Mom is Looking for Tips and Tricks to get ‘Pre-Kids’ Body Back

I used to work out all the time, eat pretty healthy and therefore, fit nicely into my size 4 clothes. Then I had kids. Now-a-days you are lucky if you see me in a short sleeve shirt because I’m so embarrassed of my fat, jiggly arms!  I loved our cold winter for the sheer reason that I could stay covered up all day long! What in the world is the deal with me?!

I am one of those women, the ones that have kids and they gain a ton of weight, their hair is never the same and can never get rid of that ugly pooch at the bottom of my stomach that looks like something you should knead, punch and roll out. And then there are the “others”. I hate these women…ok not really, just despise the fact that their bodies don’t change after giving birth AT ALL!  And with such little effort on their part!!  I had a friend that was back into her size 2 jeans 4 weeks after giving birth to her first son, and after each birth of her 3 kids! And she didn’t diet or exercise!  WHAT?!  How is that possible?  I used to kill myself in the gym after each of my son’s births, I did the Atkins diet, the Slimfast Diet, the Starvation Soup Diet, the Medifast Diet (oh! I starved on that one!)  and oh so many more. Each one was too hard to stay on, got bored with it, or didn’t see much progress so I quit. I’m sure my love of wine and Italian food had NOTHING to do with my lack of progress.

Anyone out there found something that really works?  That won’t require me to count points, weigh food, take a pill that sends me into cardiac arrest, or eat boxed lasagna that has so many preservatives in it that its shelf life extends into my 4 year old’s golden years?!  Post your comments below.

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Bad Pants Open Golf Tournament a Success

By Tanya Erickson

Katy, TX – October 27, 2016 364 golfers teed off at The 19th annual Bad Pants Open golf tournament at The Clubs of Kingwood recently, benefiting premature and critically ill babies at Texas Children’s Newborn Center, the largest neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in the nation.

 2k16-0477-ak1_2542-bad-pants-golf-tournament-2016 2k16-0477-ak1_2602-bad-pants-golf-tournament-2016

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Becoming a Healthy Katy Family

By admin

Survival Tips For Transition

When the decision has been made to get healthier as a Katy family, the look of your food shelves must change, little by little!  In order for the family to eat healthy, the available selection must be healthy.  There are several items I suggest you stock in your pantry for both cooking needs and quick snacks.  One thing that is so important to remember that during the exchange of previous foods to healthier picks: it takes time for your family to adjust.

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Benefits of Foam Rolling

By Ashley Lancaster

Katy, TX (April 13, 2017) – One of the most commonly used modalities in stretching routines is the foam roller, which mimic a therapist’s myofascial release techniques and has been shown to increase range of motion, reduce soreness, improve tissue recovery and decrease the overall effects of stress placed on the body. Rollers come in several different lengths, densities and surface structures.

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Bess’s Famous Banana Walnut Bread

By admin

This has been a family favorite of mine for years, and the perfect amount of sweetness and moist texture of this recipe will make it a new family favorite of yours.  This recipe also makes 12 muffins, soft on the inside and chewy on the outside!

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Caps for Cubs

By Tanya Erickson

Katy, TX – December 22, 2016 Fourth graders at Griffin Elementary gave the gift of warmth, and advice, to newborns and their mothers at Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital. The students knitted caps for the newborns and wrote letters to the parents, offering “words of wisdom”. It’s a part of their “Caps for Cubs” program.  Women who give birth at Memorial Hermann Katy will have the opportunity to take home the caps and letters over the next few weeks.

caps-for-cubs-donation

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospital
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Caraline Miller: Out of the Ashes

By admin

Morton Ranch student Caraline Miller survived brain cancer and child abuse, but chooses to be victorious, not a victim

Written by Zilah Miller | Select photography by Juliana Evans

Katy, Texas News – After moving from Katy to Chicago in 1998, my 2-year-old daughter Caraline and I encountered more than a change in climate. Six months after settling into our new home, I knew something was amiss. My jolly, active little toddler began to sleep 12 to 18 hours a day. When awake, nothing she ate stayed down.

Misdiagnosis Mix Up
The first occurrence landed us in the emergency room with a diagnosis of carbon monoxide poisoning. After two days, we were back at the ER with Caraline complaining that her neck hurt. A spinal tap revealed no meningitis, and this time, the doctor diagnosed her with stomach flu. Another two days passed, and I took her to our primary care doctor. I told him that Caraline rode her wheeled horse down the staircase in December, tumbling all the way down, and asked if the neck pain and vomiting could be related to the fall. Our doctor ordered a CT scan.

Zilah and Caraline Miller stand strong

Zilah and Caraline Miller stand strong

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Celebrate Earth Day with your family

By Katy Magazine

The Houston and Katy areas offer many fun (and sometimes free!)options for families.

Earth Day would be great time to take your children to a local Katy park. You can search for the one nearest you right here on the Katy Magazine site http://www.katymagazine.com/parks.htm. Fly a kite, take a walk, enjoy the beautiful Katy weather before things get too hot!

If you want to tie in a little more education into your Earth Day celebration the short drive into Houston can provide you with many options. Today you can celebrate Earth Day at a most appropriate venue, the Houston Weather Museum. From 10am-4pm the museum will celebrate the Earth and the museum’s birthday. Admission is free. For more information visit http://www.wxresearch.com/earth/index.html.

The Houston Arboretum and Nature Center is also always a great place to go to be close to nature. It also is free! Enjoy walking the trails and coming face to face with wildlife. The Arboretum also has many great programs that you can learn about on their site at http://www.houstonarboretum.org/

If you want to celebrate Earth Day this year in the comforts of air conditioning Disney is debuting their documentary, Oceans in theatres today. This is a great way to show your children some of nature’s masterpieces! You can read more about this at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0765128/.

Even with these options if you want to stay home there is always a way to incorporate a love for nature in what you do. Channel surf the National Geographic, Discovery and Animal Planet stations. There is bound to be something on that will peak your family’s interest.

Earth Day is a great time to have family discussion about what you love most about the Earth and how you can help to make a difference. Discuss the importance of conserving electricity by turning off the lights in rooms when you leave them. Come up with a family recycling plan or decide to help through volunteering. If your family is doing something fun and unique for Earth Day please share it in a comment!

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Chocolate – Is It Really Good For Us?

By admin

Discovering the Health Benefits of a Favorite Sweet

When my family and I first embarked on our sugar-freeing journey a few weeks ago, we thought we were kissing all goodies goodbye.  Most “junk food” sweets contain over 20 grams of sugar per serving, and since our new daily quota is 15 grams of sugar, we can no longer dabble in the confections of our former sugar-filled days.  How relieved we were to find that we can still have chocolate, and some baked goodies, without the guilt and shame of “cheating” ourselves.

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Cooking Healthy in Katy

By admin

Eight Pantry Must-Haves

To cook healthy for your Katy family, your pantry must be stocked with healthy ingredients. Here is a quick list of the items you’ll turn to as you begin to cook healthier dishes for your family. Having them on hand makes last-minute decisions for dinner better choices. If the only thing available to grab and fix is wholesome, the likelihood of “falling off the health wagon” is decreased.

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Deceptively Delicious

By Katy Magazine

Using Jessica Seinfeld’s Cookbook in our Katy home

I put Jessica Seinfeld’s cookbook, Deceptively Delicious, on my wish list the year it came out.  I received it as a Christmas gift and immediately began cooking from it.  Her premise is that we can puree vegetables and include them in recipes to boost the nutrition of a meal.  The idea is that as children eat the muffins you serve them or the chicken nuggets you’ve made for dinner, they are also getting a serving of vegetables, which they may not otherwise have eaten.

When I first began using the book, I was already pureeing foods for my first-born.  She was in the baby food stage, and so I’d chop and steam and puree (more…)

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Enjoying Fresh, Springtime Recipes in Katy

By admin

Lisa’s Fresh Bean Relish

This springtime relish is easy, fresh, and full of natural fiber.  Thanks to Lisa (Juan’s co-worker), our family enjoys this quick dish often with grilled chicken or as a side to fish.  It turns out best with all the ingredients rinsed and completely drained, and then refrigerated overnight.  It’s one of those dishes that just gets better with time.

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Everyday Exercise in Katy

By admin

Fun Ways to Burn Calories This Spring

With spring hinting at us around the corner here in Katy, the neighborhoods are beginning to look alive again.  People are out in their yards, cleaning up the garden beds, and washing the cars.  All of these activities are necessary to keep our hearts pumping, blood moving, and calories burning.

Did you know that gardening and yard work count as exercise?  So does washing the car, cleaning the house, and rough-housing with your kids.  Yes, according to the experts at Diet.com and Harvard Medical School, here are the calories you can burn by doing these everyday activities:

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Exercise for Fun- Exercise for a Lifetime

By admin

Katy has many work-out options to fit your budget and your interests

No one likes spending time doing activities they find disagreeable, even if the activities are good for them.   So, what is the best way to ensure you will exercise throughout your life?  The answer is finding a form of exercise that you love.  Once you find a kind of exercise that is fun, you will be hooked and exercise will become a pleasure.

My favorite form of exercise is dancing.  I enjoyed ballet and ballroom dance when I was younger and find that I work hardest when the form of exercise is somewhat creative.  I was thrilled when we moved to Katy and found that several of the local fitness centers offered cardio dance classes.  If you pay for a membership to Lifetime Fitness or the YMCA, for example, the fitness classes are included in the membership cost.  I have loved attending Latin Dance, Hip-hop and Zumba classes.  They are great cardio workouts and they make me feel like a teenager again. (more…)

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Fresh Fruit in Katy

By Katy Magazine

Making the perfect selection of fruit for your Katy family

I was shopping in one of my local grocery store and saw so many fresh fruit out ready to be bought. As I walked by several of them they smelled so sweet that tempted me to grab one and put it close to my nose and enjoyed that wonderful smell of fresh fruit. I saw mango’s, oranges, strawberries, grapes, apples and cantaloupes. Upon selecting the fruit I would put it close to my nose and see if it had that sweet smell. I would also check the tenderness and color of the fruit. I always wonder if the fruit would be sweeter if I would go to a farmers market instead of the grocery store. (more…)

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From Fat to Fit

By Katy Magazine

A personal trainer will help hold you accountable

Katy Residents Find Ways to Shed the Pounds

Monica Romero has plenty of reasons to celebrate these days. Once considered morbidly obese, the mother of two has drastically reduced her weight by 60 pounds. Although she has not reached her goal weight yet, she has made a commitment to herself and is on track to becoming a healthier mom, wife, and daughter.

Romero is not alone in her weight loss pursuits. Obesity is now one of the biggest health issues in the United States. It’s no secret that the dietary habits of Americans are spinning out-of-control. Luckily, there are solutions for everyone.

Surgical Solutions

Romero’s success is a result of the Lap-Band procedure. Laparoscopic adjustable banding and gastric bypass are the two most popular surgical options available for the morbidly obese, which includes those with a BMI of 40 or higher, or a BMI above 35 with an obesity-related disease such as diabetes, hypertension, or sleep apnea. “Studies have shown that diets and exercise alone fail up to 98% of the time in the morbidly obese population,”states Dr. Bradley Waggoner, of Cypress Bariatric and General Surgery. “My interest in weight loss surgery is not primarily cosmetic, but is for the patient to lose the appropriate amount of weight so that they may live a longer and healthier life.”

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Full Circle

By Ashley Lancaster

Katy, TX (February 20, 2017) – Childhood cancer survivor and Seven Lakes High School graduate, Samantha Loos-Polk, goes back to where it all began.

Written by Anna-Catherine Rose | Select Photography by John Glaser

 

The afternoon Samantha Loos-Polk was training at the gym was like any other. In preparation for an upcoming Taekwondo tournament, the then 13-year-old freshman at Seven Lakes High School and second-degree black belt was performing strength and conditioning training. But when she swung a dumbbell as part of a squat exercise, she immediately felt pain in her back and knew something wasn’t right. The events that followed, and the diagnosis that awaited her, would change the course of her life forever.

KM_Feb March_17_Samantha Loos-Polk_Photos by John Glaser (5) copy

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Good News in Katy, Texas

By Ashley Lancaster

Katy, TX (March 29, 2017) – Katy Magazine gives a shout-out to all the good news happening in our community.

Compiled by Katy Magazine’s Editors

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Gratitude Is My Attitude

By Gabbi Browne

Remembering to be thankful for the people and moments that make life wonderful

Even though it is nowhere near Thanksgiving, I decided to try to make May another month where I try to be grateful for the people and events of my life. We all know life is busy, but so far, I have found that taking the time to be mindful of the richness already in my life helps me to not take it for granted or pine for something more.
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Gym Day

By Katy Magazine

Using our Katy community offerings to our club’s advantage

My daughter decided to do ballet as her extra-curricular activity this year, but she loves bouncing around in the gym.   Luckily for her, our mothering club, AMOK (All Moms of Katy) and Westwood Gym teamed up to offer Gym Day once a month.

Through AMOK, my daughter is given the chance each month to participate in a 45 minute gym class.  Our club has worked out an arrangement with Westwood Gym that allows children in the club to pay a small fee and participate in gym classes without any other sort of contract.

My daughter and her friends (ages 3 and 4) love Gym Day!  It is actually my daughter, Avery’s favorite day of the month.  The coaches are friendly, fun, and obviously well trained.  (more…)

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Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease: What Parents Need To Know

By admin

Katy, Texas – September 20, 2016 
Hand, foot, and mouth disease is a common viral illness that usually affects infants and children younger than 5 years old. However, it can sometimes occur in adults. Symptoms of hand, foot and mouth disease include fever, blister-like sores in the mouth (herpangina) and a skin rash. Hand, foot and mouth disease is often confused with foot-and-mouth disease (also called hoof-and-mouth disease), a disease of cattle, sheep and swine. However, the two diseases are caused by different viruses and are not related.

hfmd

The initial symptoms of Hand, foot and mouth disease include:

  • Fever
  • Poor appetite
  • Malaise (feeling under the weather)
  • Sore throat

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Healthy Alternatives to Valentine’s Day Candy

By Ashley Lancaster

Katy, TX (February 13, 2017) – Valentine’s Day has become a holiday filled with lots of candy and treats. Try to take the focus away from all of the candy this year by making some delicious and healthy treats with your children instead! Red fruits like strawberries, cherries, pomegranates and raspberries are natural ingredients for Valentine’s Day treats. Frozen fruits are a good substitute if you can’t find a fresh alternative and will work in many of the recipes below.

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Healthy Families: Parent Talk

By admin

Katy parents share tips on common topics we all face.

Need Advice? Have helpful tips to share? This section is where Katy parents help other parents with great advice and tips for common kid issues and childhood dilemmas.

Written by Kirsten Cornell

 How do you handle a toddler’s tantrum in a public place?

Prepare Ahead of Time
“I always try to address this before we go to a public place. For instance, if you throw a fit while we are in Target, we will leave without getting anything. Make sure you follow through. Park that basket and promptly leave. If it happens in a restaurant, I will go sit in the car with them for a time out and a nice long talk.” – Meredith Gilbert

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Healthy Posture at Work

By Kennan Buckner

Several factors contribute to poor posture-most commonly, improper spinal alignment, stress, obesity, pregnancy, weak postural muscles, abnormally tight muscles, and high-heeled shoes. In addition, decreased flexibility, a poor work environment, incorrect working posture, and unhealthy sitting and standing habits can also contribute to poor body positioning.

How to sit properly:

• Keep your feet on the floor or on a footrest, if they don’t reach the floor.

• Don’t cross your legs. Your ankles should be in front of your knees.

• Keep a small gap between the back of your knees and the front of your seat.

• Your knees should be at or below the level of your hips.

• Adjust the backrest of your chair to support your low- and mid-back or use a back support.

• Relax your shoulders and keep your forearms parallel to the ground.

• Avoid sitting in the same position for long periods of time.

Understanding correct posture and remembering to maintain correct posture during a long work day are two very different things. There are software programs that pop up a reminder to stretch or stand at certain time intervals or you could simply set an hourly timer on your phone or watch, even a post it note saying “sit up straight” is enough to give you that mental cue to remind you to take a short break and assess your posture, even small changes like these can make a huge difference in the health of your spine over the years. And of course…get adjusted regularly!

Dr. Craig Nemow, D.C. Chiro Dynamics

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Healthy Summer Meals for Kids

By admin

Katy ISD has adopted the Summer Food Service Program, which was created to ensure that children in low-income areas could continue to receive nutritious meals during long school vacations, when they do not have access to school lunch or breakfast.

This program provides nutritious and free meals to children 18 and younger during the summer months. Katy ISD, in particular, will be offering free breakfast and lunch during the summer at six different schools. For locations, date, and times, check the flyer below.

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Healthy Year ‘Round

By admin

How Katyites stay healthy through spring, summer and year ’round

March 25, 2010 – Katy, Texas – Why drive when you can walk- Many individuals in the  Katy area fortunately work in close vicinity to their homes yet feel the need to drive. Instead of wasting unnecessary gas money on a daily basis save a few dollars and lose a few calories by walking.

Exercise, even walking to start the day has been proven to ignite a greater level of productivity in many individuals. Although sidewalks seen to be non-existent in some Katy communities there is an abundance of great parks and walking trails that are open every day of the year .So if you are looking for a great way to stay active and alert simply walk.

No Gym, No Problem- As much as the local gym may seem appealing because of the innovative equipment and great environment it is not the only option. Jogging, biking, swimming, hiking and other outdoor activities are some of the best and most fun ways of staying active and offer a great cardiovascular workout.

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Help a Warrior Out

By admin

Katy mom shares the importance of becoming a bone marrow donor

Guest Blog by Kelly Schuler

I had no idea how important it is to become a bone marrow donor until my daughter Lucy was diagnosed with Leukemia at 2 years old. She is a fighter and is winning her battle! Currently in remission, Lucy will continue to undergo chemotherapy for another year. The intensive two-and-a-half years of treatment will be enough to keep this dreadful cancer away. Although Lucy has received numerous blood transfusions, a bone marrow transfusion is not required. Many of our fellow young cancer warriors however are not so fortunate. Lucy has several friends on the same battlefield whose only hope of survival is to replace their cancer-ridden bone marrow with healthy marrow via a donor. (more…)

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Houston Methodist West Hospital to Host Hands-on Demonstration of Newest Surgical Robot

By Tanya Erickson

Katy, TX – November 16, 2016 The West Houston community is invited to join Houston Methodist West surgeons and the Girl Scouts for a hands-on demonstration of the new da Vinci Xi surgical robot on Monday, Nov. 21 at 4 p.m. in the Houston Methodist West Sky Plaza. Houston Methodist West is the only facility in the Energy Corridor to acquire this latest piece of surgical technology.

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Houston Weather Museum offers Free Thursdays this month for Hurricane preparedness

By Katy Magazine

How Katy Families can get ready for this year’s season

Yesterday launched the first day of Hurricane season. If your family wants to learn more about how to be prepared in a hurricane or how these massive storms form then the Houston Weather Museum is the place for you. During the month of June Thursdays are free for all museum guests. Talk to meteorologists and learn about the function and history of hurricanes in the gulf. And there are prizes involved as well. All visitors can enter to win a hurricane kit and weather radio donated by Midland Radio.

“Believe it or not we need hurricanes, states meteorologist and The Weather Museum Executive Director Jill Hasling. “The hurricane is one mechanism by which nature releases the tremendous buildup of heat in the tropics. Hurricanes also are the mechanism to bring tropical moisture into the farm lands of the central United States and often breaking droughts.” Hurricanes are useful and don’t need to be feared. As long as your family is prepared then you will be ready. There are many ways to get ready for such a (more…)

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How the New Health Care Law Affects You

By admin

New Health Care Law Hits Katy

It has been an interesting time for Katy residents as the Health Care and Reconciliation Act bills recently became law. Below is a list of provisions in the new legislation that all Katy residents should know.  The following items will be implemented throughout 2010. 

To be implemented immediately:

  • Employers with 50+ employees must provide breast feeding breaks to new mothers.
  • Small Business Tax Credit (for businesses with less than 50 employees) of up to 35% of employer’s contribution to health insurance. 
  • Medicare Part D rebate of $250 after you spend $2,830 in total drug spending to help fill the  “doughnut hole” in Medicare prescription drug coverage.
  • Adoption Tax Credit and Adoption Assistance increase of $1,000.
  • Temporary credit to organizations for investing in new therapies to prevent, diagnose and treat acute and chronic diseases.
  • Tax relief for health care professionals who work in underserved or shortage areas and have state student loans.
  • Establishes a National Health Care Workforce Commission for Health Care professionals.
  • All new health plans must provide coverage for preventative care without co-pays.
  • Requires group health plans to cover dependent children up to 26 years old.
  • Requires Health and Human Services (HHS) to award grants to States to create health insurance consumer assistance to receive and respond to inquiries and complaints regarding health insurance coverage.
  • Requires better screening of health care providers to reduce fraud.
  • Creates a federal council to promote healthy policies.
  • Extends Medicare payment protections for small rural hospitals.
  • Establishes a private, non-profit institute to identify national priorities and provide for research to compare the effectiveness of health treatments and strategies.
  • Offers an option to allow States to cover parents and childless adults up to 133% of the poverty level.
  • Creates new requirements of non-profit hospitals.
  • Expands and improves low-interest student loan programs, scholarships and loan repayments for health students and professions.
  • Requires BCBS organizations to have a medical loss ratio of 85% or higher to receive special tax benefits.
  • Insurers cannot cancel policies to avoid paying medical bills if a person gets sick.
  • No more lifetime limits on benefits.
  • Creates a grant program to help the States in requiring health insurance companies to submit justification for all requested premium increases.

To be implemented July 1

  • Eligible people cannot be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions.
  • Indoor Tanning Services will be taxed an additional 10%.
  • Creates a temporary reinsurance program that helps companies provide early retiree health benefits for those ages 55-64 to help with the expense of the coverage.
  • Requires the HHS to create a website for people and small businesses to find affordable state health insurance.  It will also give information regarding reinsurance for early retirees and small business tax credits.
  • Creates an investment fund for prevention and public health programs.

To be implemented by October 1

  • Insurance companies cannot cancel coverage when a person gets sick.
  • No lifetime limits on benefits.
  • Requires new group health plans to provide an appeals process for coverage determinations and claims.
  • Children cannot be denied for pre-existing conditions in employer and individual plans. (Will be effective for all plans by 2014.)

My future posts will describe what the law provides from 2011 – 2020.

So how does this new law affect you and your family?  Are you happy about the new health care bill or does it cause you great concern.  Let me know what you think.  Email me at lmcland@mclandhr.com  I am running an unofficial survey and will publish the findings in a future blog.  I look forward to hearing from you.

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Hundreds Reunite with Caregivers at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital’s 6th Annual NICU Reunion

By Tanya Erickson

Katy, TX – October 19, 2016  Halloween arrived early for hundreds of Houston area families on Sunday as Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital celebrated a record-high turnout for its 6th annual Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) reunion.

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Immunization Check-Up

By admin

Are your Katy kid’s immunizations up-to-date and ready for the new school year?

If not, the summer months are the perfect time to take care of their immunization needs. Pull out their immunization cards and check them for what shots may be needed.

Any child who is in need of a vaccination and all children moving into the Texas from another state will need proof of current immunizations being given before being allowed to attend school in the fall. If a child is a little behind in receiving immunizations, that child will be allowed a 30 day grace period for immunizations that cannot be given all at once. For instance, if the child needs two doses of the polio vaccine, they can’t be given at the (more…)

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It’s May, It’s Field Day!

By admin

Elementary schools around Katy participate in fun, healthy competitions

One of my favorite May activities is helping with Field Day.  Field Day is a day set aside for elementary students to get outside, exercise and have fun in the sun!   As I attended Field Day last week at my children’s school, I was amazed at what a successful and entertaining event it was.  Kudos to our awesome Katy Schools and many parent volunteers!

Before Field Day commenced, there was an “Opening Ceremony”.  The students who had scored the highest in their fitness tests walked around the track holding a torch.  As the torch-bearers walked around the track, they (more…)

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Katy Cyclists Prepare for BP MS150 Ride to Austin on April 17

By Katy Magazine

Balin served both as a rider and as ride marshall

Katyites Get Ready for the Ride of a Lifetime

Last April, 13,000 cyclists came together to ride 182 miles from Houston to Austin in the BP MS 150 to raise over $17 million for those living with MS, and they will do it all over again this year on April 17. Many riders are from the Katy area including our own Katy Area Economic Development President, Lance LaCour, who is in training for the arduous journey.

Committed Katy Cyclists

Currently, more than 400,000 Americans are living with MS, according to Gena Hyde of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. It is a debilitating disease that affects each person uniquely. “There is no known cause, and so there is yet to be a known cure,” Hyde explains. Perhaps this is why Katy cyclists commit year after year to ride the 182 miles from Houston to Austin and to raise $400 or more for the National MS Society.

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Katy Farmer’s Market

By Katy Magazine

Fresh Produce In Katy

I am so happy to find out that we have a fresh produce market in Katy. This Market is located at 5026 E. Third St. in Old Katy. It’s hours are from 10am – 6pm Wednesdays through Mondays and closed on Tuesdays. They will not only have fresh produce but as well organic produce too. The Market is stocked with honey, dry beans, and herbs and many more to come. The Market will eventually grow bigger in time but until then I have enjoyed seeing all the produce it has stocked. Produce will vary depending on the season so make sure to go and see the different produce they have before it is gone.
 
I still remember when my parents would take me to a farmer’s market to go and get fresh produce. We would leave early to get the best picks and leave out of there with bags full. We loved going there and would spend the whole (more…)
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Katy Mom of 11, Elena Carlberg, Shares Advice on Family Management

By Ashley Lancaster

Katy, TX Blogs (April 19, 2017) – Elena Carlberg and her husband David have been best friends since they met over 20 years ago when she was just 18. Today, she’s mom to their 11 biological children and counting her blessings one by one. Katy Magazine caught up with Elena to compile some of her best advice for other Katy supermoms.

Written by Kennan Buckner

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Katy’s Top Happy Hour Destinations

By admin

Katy, Texas – November 25, 2015

Your guide to enjoying Katy’s most tantalizing social-hour specials

1 KM_Oct Nov_15_dining guide_Los Cucos Manuel Rodriguez, Mgr. - Photo by Shanna Kenney (5)

Happy hour is a time to relax and unwind after a hard day or kick back with friends and enjoy a drink or two. But happy hour is not just about the drinks. There are a lot of delectable snacks and appetizers to try, making happy hour even happier. No more pretzels and peanuts – these snacks are sure to spoil your appetite for dinner.

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Katy’s Top Models

By Ashley Lancaster

Katy, TX January 17, 2017

Models don’t just live in Milan, Paris, or New York. There are stunning and talented models who were raised or live right here in Katy.

Written by Lacey Kupfer Wulf 

Modeling is not an easy profession. It comes with harsh criticism, working long hours in uncomfortable clothing or weather, and demanding bosses. These five beautiful girls and women share how to look past the hard stuff and revel in the spotlight of being a top model.

Legendary Model
Tatiana LaBello, formerly Tatiana Anderson, is a model with ambition. By age 9, she had over 150 trophies in modeling, beauty pageants, dance, pep squad, cheerleading, and baton twirling. She even taught aerobics classes in Katy at age 14. After graduating from Katy High School, LaBello became a professional cheerleader for three major sports teams: the NFL Denver Broncos, the NBA Houston Rockets, and the USFL Houston Gamblers; wrote a fitness book, and received many fitness pageant titles.

 

KM Dec Jan 16_Katys Top Models_Tatianna Anderson (16)

Photography by Michael Helms

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Katy, Texas Freebies & Discounts

By Ashley Lancaster

Katy, TX (March 9, 2017) – Everybody loves a freebie now and then. We’ve tracked down all the places in Katy to get a free product, service, or meal. Take a look!

BIRTHDAY

Applebee’s – Get one free birthday entree.

Arby’s – Diners get a free small shake with any purchase on their birthday.

Auntie Anne’s – One free birthday pretzel.

A&W Restaurants – Get a free root bear float on your big day.

Baskin Robbins – Get one 2.5 oz ice cream scoop on the house for your birthday.

BJ’s Restaurants – Birthday boys and girls get a free pizookie dessert.

Buffalo Wild Wings – Free snack-size wings.

Camp Bow Wow Katy  – All birthday dogs will get a free bath, a “Happy Birthday” bandanna, and a photo on their Facebook page. No credits – baths must be given on your dog’s birthday. (Dogs must pass all camp requirements.) Visit campbowwow.com.

Chuck E. Cheese – Birthdays get 100 free tickets.

CiCi’s Pizza – One free buffet with the purchase of an adult buffet and a regular drink.

Corner Bakery – A free cookie or bakery sweet.

Denny’s – Their Grand Slam Breakfast is free on your birthday.

Fuddrucker’s – $5 off your check, and kids receive free burgers on their birthday.

Great American Cookies – Get a slice of cookie cake at no charge with the purchase of a regular drink.

Grimaldi’s – Get a large, one-topping pizza for free on your birthday.

IHOP – Birthday diners get a free stack of Rooty Tooty Fresh N Fruity pancakes.

James Coney Island – Enjoy a cheese coney on the house on your birthday.

Jason’s Deli – Receive a $5 discount on your check.

La Madeleine – Get a free pastry on your special day.

Landry’s Seafood House – Choose from a complimentary appetizer or dessert with the purchase of an entree.

Marble Slab Creamery – Receive a free small cup or cone.

Marco’s Pizza – Anyone celebrating a birthday can get a free medium, one-topping pizza.

Nothing Bundt Cakes – Free Bundtlet cake on your birthday.

Olive Garden  – Get a free app or dessert with the purchase of two adult entrees.

Panera Bread – Get any bakery item at no charge on your birthday.

Rainforest Cafe  – Birthdays get a free appetizer with purchase of an entree.

RedBox Movie Rental – Complimentary Blu-Ray or DVD rental.

Red Lobster – Go in on your birthday and receive $5 your check with the purchase of two entrees.

Rita’s Italian Ice – Get a free regular Italian ice on your big day.

Schlotzky’s  – Redeem one free sandwich on your birthday.

Smashburger – Enjoy a hand-spun shake on the house with the purchase of an entree.

Smoothie King – Birthdays can purchase a 20 oz. smoothie for only $2.99.

Starbucks – Free hot or cold drink, bottled beverage, or food item on your birthday.

Taco Cabana – Birthdays get a free flauta plate that includes three chicken flautas, rice, beans, pico de gallo, sour crea,guacamole, and two tortillas.

Texas Roadhouse – Chow down on a free appetizer or sidekick of ribs with the purchase of an entree on your birthday.

Which Wich – Redeem a free small sandwich on your birthday.

Wing Stop – Enjoy a free order of large fries on the house.

Zaxby’s – Birthdays will receive a free Nibbler sandwich.

Zoe’s Kitchen – Enjoy a free entree on your special day.

NOTE: Please visit individual websites for more details – as most offers are valid only through e-mail subscriptions or app downloads. 

TEACHERS/SCHOOLS

Barnes & Noble – Teachers get a 20% discount on qualifying purchases when they are a part of the B&N Educator Program.

Leafology Tea Lounge Katy – Katy ISD teachers and faculty will receive 25% off a menu item when they present a valid ID. Visit leafologytealounge.com.

McDonald’s – Katy ISD teachers and faculty will receive a free small McCafe coffee when they present their school ID during the 2016-2017 school year. (Participating locations – see our blogs page for details.)

Katy Budget Books  – Teachers will receive 20% off in-store pick-up or school delivery when they order new books for their classrooms. They also have a Used Book Credit Account that has been donated to public school teachers for the purchase of used books for the classroom. Visit katybooks.com.

Michael’s – Teachers can get 15% their entire in-store purchase.

Peter Chang Restaurant – Katy ISD teachers and faculty can receive 10-50% off in January and August. Visit peterchangtx.com.

Texas Roadhouse – Teachers can get 10% off their meal every Tuesday with a valid school ID.

Verum Vi CrossFit Katy – Full-time teachers and students receive 10% off of their membership.


MILITARY/FIRST RESPONDERS

24 Hour Fitness – Active, reserve, and retired military and dependents receive 10% off their membership, and free workouts on Memorial Day weekend.

A&W – Active military can present valid military ID for a special discount at their Katy store. Details vary by location.

Aeropostale – Active, retired, and reserve military and their dependents get 20% off their purchase at any store nationwide.

Anne Taylor Loft – The Katy Mills Mall location offers 15% off full-priced items for active, reserved, and retired military and their dependents.

AT&T – Active, reserve, and retired military as well as veterans will receive a 15% government discount with a valid military or VA ID. Veterans must show a copy of your DD214 at all Katy locations.

AutoZone – Offers free shipping for online orders for any FPO or APO address for active, retired, and reserve military. Check with individual Katy stores for additional military discount programs.

Banana Republic – Their Katy Mills location offers 10% off in-store purchases on the first Monday of every month for active, retiree, reserved, veterans, and dependents.

Bass Pro Shop – From the 15th to the 22nd of every month, active, retired, reserve, veterans, and dependents can receive a store-specific discount when they present active military ID or DD214. Discount does not include reels, electronics, firearms, ammunition and reloading equipment, scopes, bows, arrows, taxidermy, gift cards, Tracker boats, Mercury motors, or ATV’s.

Camp Bow Wow – All military personnel receive 10% off all boarding and day camps, and 5% off of retail services. Just show proof of employment for the discount to be applied. (Dogs must pass all camp requirements.) Visit campbowwow.com.

Country Park Portraits– Active military personnel can receive a complimentary portrait session and 8 x 10 photo when they present a military ID.

Eddie Bauer – Active, retired, and reserve military and their families can receive 10 – 15% off in-store purchases. Must ask about veteran discounts at your location.

El Pollo Loco – Military service members receive 15% off of their order.

Goodwill – Offers 30% discounts to first-responders and their families every Friday.

Lowe’s Home Improvement – They offer a 10% military discount to active military, retired veterans, and immediate family. Must present a valid DD214 or other proof of service. Personal purchases only.

Michael’s – Military and immediate family can receive 15% off their entire in-store purchase when they present a valid military ID.

Peter Chang Restaurant – Police officers can get discounts in  April and October, family members of military in the month of May, and firefighters (regular, volunteer, and family) in the month of September. Discounts range from 10 – 50 percent and valid occupation ID is required. Visit peterchangtx.com.

Texas Roadhouse – Military members get 30% off their meal every day.

Verum Vi CrossFit Katy – Police, firefighters, EMT, and active military receive 15% off of their membership. Veterans receive 10% off of their membership.

WellPet Center Veterinary Hospital – Pets of active or veteran military and public service members get 15% off of their service.


SENIOR CITIZEN DISCOUNTS
Applebee’s – Diners aged 60 and up can get 10 to 15% off their meal at certain locations.

Burger King – Ages 60+ receive 10% off their order plus additional discounts on coffee and soft drinks.

Carrabba’s Italian Grill – AARP members get 15% off their entire meal.

Denny’s – Most locations offer 15% AARP members who are 55 and older.

Dunkin’ Donuts – AARP members get a free donut with the purchase of a large or extra large coffee.

El Pollo Loco – Seniors 60 and over receive 10% off their order.

Fuddrucker’s – Get 10% any senior platter if you are over 55 years old.

IHOP – They offer special pricing on breakfast items for diners over 55.

Office Depot/Office Max – AMAC members get 10% off office products.

Stein Mart – Shoppers over the age of 55 get 20% every Monday.


Please call to verify these deals and offers, as some vary by location or require an app download or coupon to redeem. 
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Katy’s Fair (Usually!) Weather

By admin

 How do you make your Katy garden grow?

As an avid gardner who had struggled with the oppressive heat and lack of natural moisture back in Arizona, I have to admit I was relieved to be coming to live in Katy where it is green and wet!  I looked up the statistics online before we even arrived here last fall, and was the thrilled with the promise of a lack of cold weather and bounty of rain.  I told friends that I would be able to “throw the seeds in the ground, and they’ll just grow!”  OK, I’ll admit, I’ve doubted those numbers a lot recently, as this area went through record-breaking cold weather, rainfall, and even heat this past six months!   Needless to say, I’ll tell you that it hasn’t been quite that easy to garden here!  It is, however, not a disappointment to me at all.

I tried a couple of different options this year for planting, just to see how it would go.  I planted seeds inside, in the seedling trays you can find at Wal-mart.  I also planted the same seeds outside by the first week in March.  (I planted bulbs, like the onions, garlic and flowers, earlier, around the beginning of February.)  Interestingly, the outside seeds are doing better as far as strength and tolerance.  The inside seeds grew larger plants, but not as hardy to the weather.  Of course, the typical hardier plants are doing fine (more…)

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Ketchup is Not a Vegetable

By admin

Encouraging your Katy Toddler’s Healthy Eating Habits

March 24, 2010 – Katy, Texas – My first child, Madeleine, was an eater. From the day she tasted rice cereal at 4 months old, that child ate just about anything we put on her plate. Or her soft-bite Gerber spoon, as the case may be.  One of our favorite stories about Madeleine:  As a two-year-old, she threw a tantrum at McDonald’s because they didn’t serve broccoli.  The wide-eyed cashier couldn’t believe what she was seeing.  Now that she is eight, broccoli is still one of her favorite foods. 

Featured Katy blog writer, Lerin Wheeless, give her daughter, Lucy, her first teething biscuit.

Bragging about that McDonald’s meltdown, I was sure I’d done something right. My friends complained about their picky toddlers, while mine was eating everything from green beans to salad.  I doled out the unsolicited advice at every opportunity.  I had the simple answer: all they had to do was to serve a variety of foods and not make any alternate meals.  Their problem would be solved, I assured them!  Kids will eat whatever you put in front of them, as long as you don’t allow junk food, right?

Not necessarily.  God put me in my place with my next two picky eaters.  The only vegetable Ben (3) will eat? Ketchup.  Yes, I know that ketchup is not a vegetable, but he treats it like a side dish.  Rather than dipping food in it, he eats it from the spoon!  This always triggers my gagt reflex, so we only give him a little with his meat.

I’ve tried everything.  I’ve tried begging, bribing, threatening, punishing, and sticker charts.  What I’ve learned from these fruitless and frustrating efforts is, what your child chews and swallows and keeps down is ultimately up to them!  (more…)

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Kid Crud

By Ashley Lancaster

Katy, Texas – The top five ailments to watch for in Katy this year

Written by Lana Timbs

Being sick is no fun for families, and is often inevitable. Katy doctors and pediatricians see certain illnesses often. Learn more about some of these common diagnoses and how to protect your family.

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Laughter – The Perfect Medicine

By admin

One Katy wife shares her secret for a happy marriage

I knew I had found Mr. Right when, after a fun evening together, my date asked if he could give me a kiss.  As I nodded and prepared for our first awkward kiss, my date then proceeded to pull a bag of Hershey Kisses from his pocket.  He didn’t kiss me that night, but we had a good laugh!  I fell in love with this funny man and today, after nearly sixteen years of marriage, laughing is still one of our favorite shared pastimes.  Laughter is truly the perfect medicine.  It is not only fun and free, but there are many physical, mental and social benefits.

Physical Benefits
A good, hearty laugh can actually relieve stress and cause the body to relax for up to forty-five minutes.  Laughter boosts the immune system, decreases pain, and can prevent disease.   

Mental Benefits
Laughter adds joy to life, improves one’s mood, eases anxiety and fear and boosts resilience.

Social Benefits
Shared laughter is the best form of laughter.  Laughter is contagious and is infectious to all.  Laughing with others strengthens relationships, decreases conflict and promotes bonding. (more…)

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Learning the Hard Way

By admin

A Katyite Struggles to find the differences between Life’s Necessities and Life’s Extras  

The day began like any other—the warm Katy sun gently brightening our bedroom. Its beams lightly danced across the alarm clock that was just about to go off at a leisurely hour. Our son was still sleeping happily in his own bed. The lovely smell of freshly brewed coffee wafted—okay, so I’m lying through my teeth.

Here’s how it happened: our diabetic cat (see a previous blog) still feels the need to eat throughout the night. His next vet appointment is in a few days. So, after being rudely awakened at various hours of the night, here he was again early in the morning. Our toddler son was also at our bedside with his new exclamation, “I need food.” Wonderful.

The day’s agenda loomed in my mind: “Doctor appointment at 9:30; haircut at 10:30, and then to work. Oh, is there a way to visit the triplets in the NICU today? We’re going out of town, we can’t visit tomorrow, we need to go. (more…)

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Lettuce Wraps by Bess

By admin

A Quick and Healthy Alternative to a Restaurant Favorite

Always on the lookout for quick and healthy, I have reinvented Chili’s famous lettuce wraps and made my own version at home. I think this one is much easier and definitely does without all the sugar-filled sauces you’ll find at the restaurant. Try them for yourself, and let me know what you think.

This recipe is just about as easy as it gets for a healthy, filling, and quick dinner. All you need is a nice head of green lettuce (any type BUT iceberg), sliced grilled chicken, carrots, onion (purple or green are best), sliced almonds, and crispy rice noodles. You can add any extra ingredients that you might have a hankering for, like I did with bacon pieces in this picture below. Yellow or red bell peppers are also a strong addition, adding more than a naturally sweet taste and vibrant splash of color. They are loaded with antioxidants and vitamins.

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Listening With Your Eyes

By admin

Show Your Katy kids that You Care

While attending a family reunion last week, I observed my three-year old niece, Allison, in my sister’s arms.  Many of our family members were talking with each other, and I overheard my niece say to her mother, “Mommy, look at me!  Mommy, I am talking to you!”  She then touched both of my sister’s cheeks and made my sister look her straight in the eyes.  Allison then said, “Now…I want to talk to you.  Are you listening to me?”

Once my niece had her mother’s eye contact, she was content.  She then said, “I want to tell you something.  I saw a bird flying over there.”  She beamed that she had been able to share with her mother what she had found so wondrous.  Since witnessing this small interaction, I have become more aware of the necessity of giving eye contact so others know we are truly listening.  (more…)

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Love Languages at Play

By Katy Magazine

Using the concept of Love Languages in your Katy home

My husband and I read Dr. Gary Chapman’s book, The Five Love Languages, early in our marriage.  We found it to be of such importance that I went on and read The Five Love Languages of Children, by Chapman and Dr. Ross Campbell.

The premise of both books is that love is understood differently by different people.  If I love my husband with acts of service, he will receive the love more deeply than if I love him with quality time.

I highly recommend the books for anyone who is interested in finding out your love language.  The book lists 5 basic, general love languages: words of affirmation, physical touch, acts of service, quality time, and gifts.

When life is busy being lived, it isn’t always easy for me to know exactly how to translate the overarching idea of ‘quality time’ into my structured week.  I know my spouse responds to love through gifts, but that doesn’t always mean I know which trinket to grab while I’m grocery shopping. (more…)

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Maggie’s Easy Breezy Low-Sugar Shrimp Cocktail

By admin

Enjoy This Simple Recipe and Kick Off Spring

One of the things I love most about living in Katy is the wide array of cultures we have located right here!  We have met and made friends with people from all over: Colombia, Brazil, Phillippines, Mexico, Venezuela, Africa, Haiti, Peru, India, Afghanistan…We love learning about their culture, as well as sharing with them what we love about ours.  One of the things I love best about my friend’s cultures is tasting their delightful foods!  Here is a recipe for you to enjoy at home – to you, from Colombia.

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Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital Earns Gold Seal of Approval

By Katy Magazine

Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital has earned the Gold Seal of Approval from the Joint Commission for Primary Stroke Centers and has also been designated as a primary stroke center by the Texas Department of State Health Services. The hospital is the first in Katy to receive the Gold Seal of Approval. The DSHS designation program seeks to establish a framework for developing a voluntary, statewide emergency treatment system for stroke victims, and will allow victims to be rapidly transported to and treated in appropriate stroke-treatment facilities. Strokes are the third leading cause of death and the leading cause of disability in America. There are over 4 million Americans living with the consequences of a stroke. Every year, about 700,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke, which is the nation’s third leading cause of death. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 45 seconds and someone dies of a stroke every 3.1 minutes.

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Memorial Hermann-TMC Celebrates this Holiday Season by Encouraging One and All to Consider Giving The Ultimate Gift

By Tanya Erickson

Katy, TX – December 16, 2016 It’s the season of giving and Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center (TMC) is getting in the spirit by unveiling a new installment in the Rick Smith Gallery entitled The Ultimate Gift. The latest installation highlights the importance of organ donation through the portraits of organ donors, donor families and recipients. Gratitude, sacrifice and hope can be seen in the eyes, smiles and embraces of those photographed, who all share one thing in common: their lives have been forever changed by the ultimate gift – the gift of life.

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Memorial Hermann’s Contributions to Operation Backpack Add Up to a Great Start for Hundreds of Area Students

By admin

 

Katy, Texas – August 29, 2016 – Memorial Hermann recently teamed up with the YMCA of Greater Houston to help make sure hundreds of area students have the supplies they need to start the school year. Memorial Hermann physicians, employees and volunteers donated money and school supplies as part of the YMCA of Greater Houston’s Operation Backpack 2016.

ymca-operation-backpack-girl-pic

Memorial Hermann campuses have long supported Operation Backpack but this year Women Leaders of Memorial Hermann along with Memorial Hermann’s Partners in Caring, worked closely to consolidate the initiative across the system. Collection sites were set up at 10 locations across the Memorial Hermann system and employees could also donate online through the Memorial Hermann Foundation.

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Moorhead’s Blueberry Farm

By Katy Magazine

Family Fun that’s close to Katy

Avery, helping her Aunt Amanda pick a blueberry.

This weekend, we will be participating in a three-year family tradition: picking our own blueberries off of the bush at Moorhead’s Blueberry Farm.  It is located in Conroe, a short drive from my sister’s home in Spring.  From Katy, it is roughly an hour’s drive, but well worth the trip.

Moorhead’s Blueberry Farm (www.moorheadsblueberryfarm.com) is open to the public for blueberry picking from late May until mid July, with changes each year based on how the year’s weather has affected berry growth and ripening.   They do not charge admission and blueberries cost $1.50 a pound, payable by cash or check only.  They are open from 7 am until 9 pm every day each week, but recommend coming either early or late due to the heat.

The past two years, by the middle of June, the blueberry picking has been slight due to extreme heat the first year and a long winter the second year.  However, on the website this year, the forecast for berries looks good!  The latest update says that there are still plenty of berries and we are thrilled to have our first year of a heavy harvest. (more…)

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Mosquito Season is Here!

By admin

Tips on how to survive Katy’s tiny torturers

Standing water is a breeding ground for pesky mosquitos

It’s May. It’s warm. It’s humid. And it just rained – boat loads! Not quite a frog strangler, perhaps, but certainly a gully-washer. All that water is now breeding amd hatching grounds for mosquitoes over the next few weeks; 55 species of the insects live in the Houston area alone. 

Floodwater Mosquitoes lay their eggs in soil, where they wait for the flooding rains we saw over the weekend. Those eggs will now hatch. The good news is that flood water mosquitoes don’t carry the West Nile virus. The bad news is that the other kind of mosquitoes – the culex mosquitoes that lay their eggs in standing water – do carry West Nile Virus.  Any containers like garbage cans, old tires, and storm sewers that go stagnant after the rains, are breeding grounds for the culex. The end of may and beginning of June is typically when the first cases of West Nile start popping up.

The good news is that the city of Katy provides mosquito spraying services twice a week beginning in May, but the City needs your help. Mosquito larvae need  still water for five or more days to mature into adult biting mosquitoes. These numbers can be reduced by removing sources of standing water in residential areas. (more…)

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My Family’s Healthy Pursuit

By admin

An Update on New Year’s Resolutions

The last three weeks of being on a low-sugar lifestyle change have been eye-opening, to say the least!  Saying no to the old way of eating (mindlessly, mostly) and bringing in the new way (completely, constantly mindful) is not easy.  It’s even more difficult when feeding four snack-addicted youngsters, and to further complicate the transition, we’re doing it all on a tight budget!  Well, at least we’re figuring out that it can be done.

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Need More Carotene? Eat More Green!

By admin

Tips and Tricks to Get More Fresh Produce Into Your Diet This Spring

Fresh spring veggies are colorful, appetizing, and vital to our overall health. The nutrients and vitamins found in vegetables not only give our bodies the nourishment they need, they also work to combat the toxins in our systems. For instance, dark greens like mustard and collard greens, kale, and green leafy lettuce contain high levels of vitamins B6 and C, fiber, calcium, carotenes, manganese, and copper, just to name a few benefits. Green vegetables, especially leafy greens, give us cancer-fighting benefits. This is mostly due to their high content of antioxidant compounds including vitamins C and E, carotenes, and a high content of glucosinolates.*

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New Health, New Habits!

By admin

Breaking the Cycle Can Help You Feel Good

Frankly, I am shocked at my “progress” with this brand new health and lifestyle change my family and I have implemented this year.  I emphasize the word progress because the scale doesn’t say anything different than last year’s weight yet.  The clothes I yearn to try on without popping the front button off don’t fit me – yet.  No, nothing has visibly changed as of now.  On the outside, that is.  Inside, however, there is change – and it’s good!

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New YMCA at Katy Main Street Nearing Completion

By Tanya Erickson

Katy, TX – November 16, 2016

The 41,000 square-foot YMCA at Katy Main Street will feature strength training and cardio equipment, group exercise rooms, a basketball gym, an outdoor heated swimming pool, child watch rooms, cycle studio and gathering areas where members can meet for coffee. It will offer health and wellness activities, aquatics, youth sports, afterschool care, summer day camp, summer sports clinics, teen programs, senior activities and more.

“A lot of thought went into the design of this new facility. We’ve used best practice concepts from Ys across the country,” said Brian Haines, district executive director at the YMCA of Greater Houston. “We hope many people will take advantage of the new membership incentive so they can gain access to both Ys in Katy as well as in the Greater Houston area.”

The $12 million center is expected to accommodate the growing population of Katy, serving residents in west and north Katy and in neighboring communities.

The YMCA at Katy Main Street is expected to receive more than 400,000 visits a year. It will provide approximately $250,000 in community assistance and program/membership scholarships and create more than 200 area jobs.

ymca-at-katy-main-street-rendering-photo-courtesy-of-ymca-of-greater-houston

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Not My Stress

By admin

A Katy Parent shares her struggles with stress

The school year is drawing to a close and it seems that life is as busy and chaotic as ever!  As a parent, sometimes life can be stressful and at times, more than we can handle.  One day, I had an “aha” moment when I learned that I didn’t need to absorb the stress of my loved ones.  As I think about it now, I can remember the pit in my stomach, the rapid breathing, and the threatening headaches as my children shared their stress.  “Mom, I’m supposed to bring a red folder to school.  I’ll get in trouble if I don’t have it!  Mom, did you wash my soccer shirt? I need it right now!  Mom, I failed my English test today.  Mom, can you bring me my lunch?  I think I left it in the kitchen.”

My, oh my, how my body would tense with the incessant stress!  And, when things turned out badly, I blamed myself.  It didn’t matter that it was my daughter who had left her lunch, or my son who hadn’t studied for his test, it (more…)

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Outdoors!

By Katy Magazine

Favorite Katy locations and activities for enjoying the weather as a family

We have enjoyed the fair weather this last month or so and have spent most of our time outside.  My two daughters have gotten their fill of indoor activities… in my opinion, winter (even in Katy) goes on two months longer than it is welcome. 

Angela, along with her daughter Avery, enjoy a bike ride around Katy

Over the past month, with the weather being as nice as it is, almost every play date and get together has involved some sort of outdoor activity.  Some of my favorites include…

*Walking around the large lakes at Cinco Ranch Blvd and Spring Green.  This is a family favorite, and we will sometimes pack a lunch and eat out on the grass.

*Playing outside at La Centera.  And what trip to La Centera is complete without a treat from one of the several shops around?  The girls love to get ice cream or cookies, I love the Starbucks and Jamba Juice.

*Visiting the parks in each of our friends’ neighborhoods. 

*Geocaching in and around Katy (for more, go to www.geocaching.com).  Geocaching is like a global scavenger hunt, with locations given in GPS.  We use my iPhone and my 4 year old has a blast helping us discover the hidden capsules.

*Local Katy parks are a real hit.  Mary Jo Peckham, the ‘train park’ nearby it, George Bush park – we love making the park rounds! (more…)

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Parker’s Journey

By Ashley Lancaster

Katy, TX (February 27, 2017) – Parker Brown, a 5-year-old Katy boy with hydrocephalus who loves cars and blowing bubbles, shows others that living with a disease can’t stop him from enjoying life.

Written by Lana Timbs | Select photography by Christi Harwell
KM_Feb March_17_Parker Brown Story_photos by Christie Hartwell (4) copy

 

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Pay it Forward with Donations to Katy ISD Police “Teddy Cops” Program

By Ashley Lancaster

Katy, Texas (March 22, 2017) – Officer Luis Santiago with the Katy ISD Police Department delivered 20 “Teddy Cop” Bears to some of our students today! Their goal is to give every PPCD, ECAP, YCAP, Lifeskills & TIP child in our school district a Police Officer Teddy Bear … specialized with a uniform and Katy ISD Police Officer badge!

In the first 5 months since the program was started, they raised over $11,000 to purchase 497 bears for students at 23 KISD elementary schools. They still need to purchase about 600 more bears for 14 more of the KISD elementary schools.

We are asking for your help to PAY IT FORWARD! Please consider making a donation for this wonderful program! You may send donations to the NCE front office. We will accept cash or checks (payable to Katy ISD), or you may purchase a gift card from the Build-a-Bear Workshop at Katy Mills Mall where the bears are made.

Here are a few pictures from this morning! More pictures can be seen by visiting the Nottingham Country Elementary School Official Facebook page.

Thank you in advance for your help, and thank you Katy ISD Police Department for the bears!!

Courtesy of Katy ISD

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Pets Add So Much to Our Lives

By admin

It is important to properly take care of our Katy animals

I just returned from a bittersweet visit to my veterinarian. Our nine-year-old cat, Geordi (all you fans of Star Trek will know where his name came from!) was noticeably ill. Over the course of just a few weeks, he began to empty his food and water bowls several times throughout the day and increase the use of the litter box. Besides the obvious changes, Geordi seemed normal. I mean, cats sleep a lot anyway, and he came out for tickles and he still purred. But we knew he needed to go see Dr. Wendy at Mayde Creek Animal Hospital.
 
Good thing we did. Geordi is a diabetic. Dr. Wendy did blood tests, and his glucose number was in the 500s. The normal range for cats is in the 100s. The point of this blog is not to discuss feline diabetes, but I hope to remind us all about how much our pets are a part of our lives. I drove to the vet thinking that I would not be coming home with Geordi. I really thought I would have to have him put to sleep. He had been a companion of mine since Tropical Storm Allison in 2001; he was rescued as a kitten from the flood waters and passed along to me by a friend. (more…)
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Physicians Encourage Screening for Lung Cancer

By Tanya Erickson

Katy, TX (November 22, 2016) According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), more people die every year from lung cancer than of breast, colon and prostate cancers combined. November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month and physicians affiliated with Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital are encouraging people to be screened for lung cancer.

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Podcasting Saves My Sanity

By Katy Magazine

How one Katy mom uses technology to “get away” for a while

As a stay-at-home mom, I like to be available to my children.  But there comes a point at which I need a mental break in order to keep going.  This has become especially true now that my oldest daughter has given up naptimes.  She still reads or plays quietly in her room, but silence in our house is a thing of the past.

I’ve found that podcasting can really save my sanity.  During “rest time”, I don’t want to hear every little bump that my daughter is making.  However, I don’t feel comfortable tuning her out by cranking up the tunes to drown her out completely.  My solution: Podcasting!  (more…)

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Primrose Schools Promote Physical Activity Through Thumbs Up! Program

By Ashley Lancaster

Katy, TX (January 10, 2017) It’s no secret that young children are full of natural energy, and it’s often more difficult getting them to sit still than be active. But did you know that the amount of time children spend daily being physically active is decreasing? Despite children’s active nature, it’s still important for parents to encourage and support their physical development starting from birth. Research shows that children who develop basic motor skills through physical activity are more likely to become healthy, active adults, and there is increasing evidence that daily physical activity helps children perform better academically and avoid anxiety and depression in their teenage years.

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Rocking for a Cure: Cancer Patients Get Distraction from Treatment with Music Therapy Made Possible by Generous Guitar Donation

By Tanya Erickson

Katy, TX – December 7, 2016

Patients at Memorial Hermann Cancer Center-Texas Medical Center now have access to hands-on music therapy thanks to a multiple guitar donation from Joan Holst and Michael Fuller, of Fuller’s Guitar, a guitar store located in Houston’s Greater Heights. Fuller and Holst were inspired to make the donation by their friend, Paul Jardell, who is currently undergoing cancer treatment at the Center. The guitars will be available as a musical diversion for patients to play while they receive treatment. They will also be used by the Center’s music therapy support group.

memorial-hermann

“It’s important to me that the patients are engaged in the music, not just by listening, but by participating,” said Maegan Morrow, music therapist with TIRR Memorial Hermann, who also dedicates some of her time to Memorial Hermann Cancer Center-TMC. “By picking up a guitar during long treatments, it can be a distraction that puts the brain in a more positive state. Some patients might already know how to play guitar, but now we have the resources if someone wants to learn as well. We are so grateful to Fuller’s Guitar for their generous gift.”

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospital

 

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Safe Biking

By admin

Katy cyclists have rules of the road

It’s been a beautiful spring, with endless days of sunshine. The summer promises more of the same fabulous bike riding weather. Before the kids hop on their bikes and ride off into the sunshine,  it’s time for one of those periodic bike safety chats. Accidents happen, and none of us wants to be the parent sitting with their kids in the emergency room with a bike related injury.

First, since head injuries are the most serious, bikers should always protect their head by wearing a helmet. The helmet should meet safety regulations, be the right size, and be worn properly. Next keep the kids’ bikes in good shape. A chain that keeps slipping off or breaks that don’t work is a recipe for problems.

Kids should know the safety rules of the road. They should always keep an eye out for cars. A driver might not see your child until it’s too late, but if they are in the habit of being aware of cars, they can prevent accidents. The next one may not see so obvious. They should watch out for people so they don’t have an accident with a walker or another child playing in the yard. Parents should set and enforce the rules for where their children can ride bicycles, but in general it’s best if children under 10 keep to the sidewalks. (more…)

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Safety Tips for Running with Fido in the Summer

By admin

Running is great exercise for you and your pup, but as the weather warms up, it’s important to take precautions to keep your dog happy and healthy.

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Sick Kids!

By Katy Magazine

Having sick Katy kids can be a hard experience

My oldest daughter and I spent the morning at the doctor’s office.  She woke up in the night with croup and a high fever, and needed cuddling and to be rocked most of the night.

Although she is four, and we have been through many illnesses, it is still such a painful, disappointing experience every time she gets sick.  For one, it is so hard to watch your baby feeling so ill.  It hurts to not be able to do anything for her.  One of the worst feelings in the world.

Add to that sleep deprivation from being up with the sick child all night.  And the need to clear your schedule, make an appointment, drop some cash on a doctor visit and a prescription… it is just a miserable experience. (more…)

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Six Ingredient Chicken Cacciatore

By admin

This Easy Recipe is Sure to Please Any Katy Family

You can cook gourmet dishes in little time, with little effort, offering your family something full and healthy for dinner. Since spaghetti sauces are loaded with sugar, I have resorted to using crushed tomatoes with a small amount of tomato paste stirred in, along with your fave Italian seasonings (garlic, thyme and oregano always work for Italian.) to make quick and easy semi-homemade sauce. This dish is easy, will please your picky eaters and is healthy. Enjoy!

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Snacking Healthy

By admin

Must-Haves for the Pantry

Reaching for a snack is a constant for my kids, especially after school and after dinner.  Today’s kids are snacking more and getting much less exercise than kids five, ten, even 20 or more years ago.  Traditionally, families ate during mealtimes only, and they were more physically active in their overall lives.  In today’s America, however, far too many sugar-filled and salt-laden processed foods line our grocery aisles, and then find their way into our pantries at home – and we’re not spending the added “food energy” in our bodies as fast as we’re adding it.

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Speaking Up For Autism

By admin

Nine-year-old Kaylee Fowler becomes an ambassador for her spectrum mates by raising over $65,000 for Autism Speaks

Written by Clare Jensen | Photography by Lara Massey

Katy, TX News – Kaylee Fowler calls herself a bookworm, ballerina, scientist, inventor, chef, comedian, and child of the Lord. For the second year in a row, she was the top fundraiser for the Autism Speaks walk in Houston raising over $65,000 in 2013. Her team, God’s Little Lambs, seeks to help local families in need by raising autism awareness. Kaylee’s fundraising efforts were inspired by a desire to increase understanding for her “spectrum mates” – because she has autism as well.

Kaylee Fowler brings awareness to those diagnosed with Asperger’s by raising funds for Austism Speaks

Autism Spectrum
Autism is often characterized by repetitive behavior, difficulty with communication, and challenges in social interactions. Within the spectrum of autism, Kaylee has Asperger’s Syndrome, which is a highly functioning form of autism.

One of her special qualities is that she focuses on specific interests so intensely that she learns expert level details before continuing to another topic. For example, at the age of 3, she became consumed with maps, and methodically proceeded to learn everything she could about geography, from continents to capitals. Once she learns something, it is imprinted in her memory for an extended period of time, often verbatim from her original understanding. Kaylee’s extensive vocabulary has allowed her to read full-length novels since the age of 4 or 5.

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Sport Activities In Katy

By Katy Magazine

Katy Mom enjoys seeing her children having fun

I love the different kinds of sports that Katy offers for our children. There are so many choices that our children can pick from that they even want to do all of them. My son has selected t-ball and this is his first year in the sport. He has become a real pro at it. He anxiously awaits for his practices that he even tells me not to forget. I find this very amusing because he stares at his schedule and even the calendar just to make sure we don’t miss it. When we went to select his items for t-ball he was very excited that he wanted every item in the store.
Our first day of practice was real fun. He learned how to put on a baseball glove, hold the bat, hit the ball, pitch the ball, and even throw the ball to his teammates. I was on the bench being the cheerleader of the team. I even wanted to go out there and run with them. My camera will be full of pictures of his many special moments with his team to last for a lifetime. The practice went by so fast because of all the fun they were having that my son didn’t (more…)
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Spring In Katy – Beautiful!

By admin

Your Katy garden will enjoy this time of year

Humidity can be a good thing, in a small amount.  As April is progressing here in Katy, that small amount is growing!  As a gardener and nature lover, I love it!  The lettuce is already forming small bunches, and I’m salivating at the thought of homegrown salad! My parsley, basil, chives and dill are turning into miniature herb fields, and the okra, peppers and tomatoes are all growing nicely.  The flowers here…don’t get me started!  My gladiolas are about to burst into bloom at any moment, the deep pink impatiens have become weeds, and the geraniums in red, white and pink are brilliant in the front yard.

So, humidity and I get along just fine.  Without the rain, moisture and mist, my garden and flower babies wouldn’t look the same.  Trust me, I’ve lived without it!  The roadsides in town are amazing, lit up with rose and violet colored azaleas, which grow like roses here.  Further out of town, into the countryside (my favorite place!), the wildflowers grow in abundance, like a flag spread over the meadows. (more…)

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Staying Hydrated

By Katy Magazine

A Katyite’s Attempt at Drinking Enough Water

I rank among the middle of the crowd when we’re talking about health.  My family and I eat healthy meals for the most part, we don’t stock our kitchen with processed foods, and we are careful to keep trans fats out and saturated fats to a healthy level.

However, when it comes to staying hydrated, I really struggle to be healthy.

I’ve spent most of my life detesting water.  It’s just so… boring.  And tasteless.  And unattractive.

In order to get myself to drink water, I’ve tried many different tactics: for a while, I only allowed myself something delicious to drink (like a cola or tea) after I’d had a full glass of water first.  I’ve tried adding lemon to my water, and I’ve even tried using a shot of Kool-Aid to make water more appealing. (more…)

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Staying Hydrated?

By Katy Magazine

The Results of a Katyite’s water-only experiment

Last week, I posted a blog about my one big temptation: sugary drinks.  Whether it is Kool-Aid, Coke, or sweet tea, I just love to drink anything with lots of sugar and lots of calories.

For years, this has been my primary health weakness, but in the last several months, my love for sugary drinks has gotten a little out of hand. 

And so a week ago, I decided to try a little experiment.  I cut out all drinks except one coffee in the morning (I couldn’t let go of sugar AND caffeine in one week!), and committed to drinking water only for the past week.  The hope was that after a week of healthful drinking, I’d be a transformed individual; I would see the err of my healthless drinking and desire only water from here on out. (more…)

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Stretching and Foam Rolling for Cyclists

By Tanya Erickson

Katy, TX (March 21, 2017) Stretching and soft-tissue therapy are essential components of a complete exercise program. Incorporating them into your fitness routine will increase performance, reduce injury, improve range of motion and benefit overall physical fitness.

Stretching
Static stretching is a slow and constant stretch, with the end position held for 20 to 30 seconds. A static stretch includes the relaxation and elongating of the stretched muscle. Dynamic stretching is a type of stretching that actively moves a joint through the full range of motion. It closely duplicates movements required for a sport or activity.

Soft-Tissue Therapy
One of the most commonly used modalities in stretching routines is the foam roller, which mimic a therapist’s myofascial release techniques and has been shown to increase range of motion, reduce soreness, improve tissue recovery and decrease the overall effects of stress placed on the body. Rollers come in several different lengths, densities and surface structures.

When to Use
Foam rolling should be done before dynamic or static stretching exercises to increases body temperature and improve the tissue’s ability to lengthen during a stretch.

How to Use
When using the foam roller before exercise, roll eight to 10 times at a moderate pace along the muscle and follow with dynamic stretching. When using post-exercise, slowly roll the targeted area until the most tender spot is found. Hold on that targeted area for 20 to 30 seconds until discomfort is reduced. If discomfort becomes intolerable, back off the area.

Common Areas
The most common troubled areas cyclists experience are the iliotibial bands (IT bands), hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, hip adductors, calves and the back. These areas are very susceptible to tightness, which can lead to injury. With rigorous training programs and competitions it is vital that these areas are addressed to decrease the chances of injury and potentially increase performance.

Precautions
Individuals who have been medically diagnosed or are experiencing symptoms related to osteoporosis, diabetes, high blood pressure, varicose veins or pregnancy, or who are unsure about their condition, should consult a physician before beginning to apply soft-tissue therapy.

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospital
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Sugar Overload

By Katy Magazine

One Katyite is rewriting holiday traditions to include less sugar and more nutrition 

When holidays roll around, the pull towards the kitchen gets stronger.  My desire to bake to make every occasion special is so deep rooted that I have had the hardest time breaking the trend.

I should stop and present this disclaimer: I’m not against sugar intake.  On the contrary, I love all things sugar.  But at some point, when the kitchen is overflowing with candy and my daughter brings home cupcakes from Nana’s house, the need to bake sugar cookies just because it’s a holiday deserves an honest assessment.

This Easter, I realized that we, as a family, are on sugar overload without me adding to the baking mix.  I knew this cognitively, but there was a powerful inner force that kept bringing me back to the kitchen, over and over again, reaching for the mixer.  “But baking a bunny cake is tradition,” I’d tell myself.  Or, “Sugar cookies at every holiday is so much fun!  I want my kids to have fun, don’t I?” (more…)

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Swimmer’s Ear 101

By admin

Katy, Texas – August 1, 2016
Summer in Houston means hot, humid weather with many people going to swimming pools, lakes and the beach to find relief from the heat. With all of the water fun, we see more and more children with swimmer’s ear, otitis externa (OE).

A beautiful African American child swimming

OE can occur in both the ear and the ear canal and starts when excess water gets trapped in the canal, causing skin breakdown and allowing bacteria cultivation. The excess water usually comes from swimming, thus creating the term for the infection – swimmer’s ear. However OE can come from other causes as well, including moisture retention from showering, headphones, trauma of the canal from the use of cotton swabs, and alteration of the pH of the ear canal. Some kids can go swimming all summer long and not get swimmer’s ear, but some could get the infection right after a shower. No one can totally explain it.

(more…)

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Taking Care of Me So I Can…

By admin

When you are running on low, this Katy mom knows how to relax

For the most part, I tend to be a fairly up-beat person. In fact, most days I wake up with a sense of anticipation for the day ahead. The one exception, however, is when I am sick. I learned early on in motherhood that gone are the days when someone waits on me hand and foot when I am under the weather. In fact, it seems fair to say that mothers simply aren’t allowed to be sick. There is no such thing as taking a sick day, calling in sick, or taking a leave of absence. For, there is always a fire to put out, a heart to cheer, a kitchen to be cleaned, a meal to prepare, and an extra-curricular activity to attend.
 
So, when one day, I found myself sick with a horrible case of the flu, I was grumpy. My muscles ached, I had no energy, and of course, my husband had to work late. By the time I was giving the children a bath, reading to them and tucking them in bed, I felt absolutely horrible. I feared I was feeling what it must be like to get old. Every step hurt. My neck and shoulders throbbed, and I couldn’t seem to get comfortable. Suddenly, I felt angry. (more…)
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Texas Children’s Hospital’s 2016 Radiothon Raises More Than $655,000 to Support Pediatric Care, Education, and Research

By Tanya Erickson

Katy, TX – December 7, 2016

Cox Media Group Houston stations – including The Eagle (106.9 and 107.5), Country Legends (97.1) and The New 93Q (92.9) – hosted a two-day live event at Texas Children’s Hospital in December which helped raise more than $655,00. These critical funds will help benefit patient care, education and research at Texas Children’s Cancer Center, the building of a new pediatric tower in the medical center for the most critically ill children, and the opening of a community hospital in North Houston – Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands.

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Courtesy of Texas Children’s Hospital
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Texas Children’s NICU Nurses Sport Bad Pants for Fundraiser

By Tanya Erickson

Katy, TX – October 11, 2016 Recently, neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) nurses at Texas Children’s Hospital were celebrated for the care they provide to the hospital’s tiniest and most critically-ill babies. The nurses wore “bad pants” decorated with bright, colorful adornments in the spirit of the Bad Pants Open, an annual golf tournament that raises funds to support research and advanced education for NICU providers at Texas Children’s. Houston media personalities acted as “bad pants” judges, checking out each nurse’s bad pants and awarding the top three designs with hand-painted commemorative plates created by hospital patients.

2k16-0428-ak1_8568-bad-pants-day-2016 2k16-0428-ak1_8773-bad-pants-day-2016

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Texas Children’s West Campus FAQ’s on Norovirus

By Ashley Lancaster

Katy, TX (March 10, 2017) – Has the “stomach bug” hit your household? It might be the highly contagious Norovirus. Read on for some information and tips from Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus.

What is norovirus?

Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that causes acute gastroenteritis. Following introduction of rotavirus vaccination, norovirus has become the most common cause of gastroenteritis in adults and children. Viral gastroenteritis is an infection that can cause diarrhea and vomiting. It happens when a person’s stomach and intestines get infected with a virus. Both adults and children can get viral gastroenteritis. The Center for Disease Control estimates norovirus to be responsible for 19-21 million illnesses, including 50,000 to 70,000 hospitalizations as well as 570 to 800 child deaths every year in the U.S. alone. Anyone can get infected with norovirus and become sick.

(more…)

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The ABC’s and 123’s of Choosing a Quality Preschool in Katy, Texas

By admin

A Katy parent’s guide to the basics of selecting the right preschool for your family

Written by Freda Ihediwa and Katy Magazine’s Editors

Selecting a preschool is not an easy task, especially with the overwhelming amount of quality preschools to choose from in the Katy area. Each one has its own unique qualities, and parents diligently seek a preschool that matches their family’s educational beliefs and values. Communication and research are key components when selecting a preschool that will accommodate your needs. Here are the basic ABC’s and 123’s of selecting the best fit for you and your child.

Primrose Preschool from drive

Primrose partners with parents to assist children with developing a love for learning

(more…)

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The Benefits of Coffee

By admin

How to Enjoy a Healthier Daily Cup of Joe

Coffee has gotten a bad rap in recent years, and with good reason.  The coffee that the bulk of Americans are drinking is loaded with additives, sugar and other unnatural ingredients which are harmful to our health.  This post is in no way meant to tout the consumption of the coffee drinks that have become the popular mainstay of the morning routine, but rather to offer a redemptive take on the benefits of the pure form of the dark liquid given to us by nature!

(more…)

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The Digitized Family

By admin

A look at the dangers of too much screen time and how Katy families can find the right balance for connecting and socializing with family

Written by Katy Magazine’s Editors

Katy, TX News – Go to any restaurant and you’ll see it: an entire family, silent, all looking down at their devices instead of talking with each other. Some “hip” new restaurants are even offering media-inspired entertainment at the table to keep everyone occupied throughout the meal. As we spend more and more time checking Facebook, Instagram, and playing Candy Crush Saga, we are spending less and less time connecting as a family.
Kids-on-devices

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The Heat Makes for Some Creative Moves

By Gabbi Browne

Finding Ways to Get in Exercise, Despite the Summer Temperatures

As I write this it’s nearing 8 p.m., and it feels as if the temperature is still in the 80’s. So much for my goal to get outdoors and exercise more. To beat the heat, I either have to go outside when it’s still dark or brave the high temperature after the children are in bed. Common sense tells me that both choices are unwise.

I try to be creative, and no doubt you’ve see some of these ideas before. But here are five of my favorite indoor exercise ideas. (more…)

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The Ripple Effect

By admin

Spreading Love to the Katy Community

As a child, I enjoyed tossing rocks into the water and watching the ripples that emerged from the displacement of water.  I marveled at the widespread impact of a small pebble.  Small ripples became larger ripples that spread further and further away from the center.  I have often imagined that we, like pebbles, can have a significant impact on those around us.  The pebble analogy has been a reminder of the impact of my words and actions on others.  

This past weekend, while attending a seminar, I learned additional information about water ripples.  The ripples of water that come back to the pebble are much stronger than the ripples that go out.  If our lives are indeed like a pebble in water, that which we emit will eventually come back to us with added strength.  As I sat pondering this scientific property, I was sobered by the thought of it.  What had I emitted to others?  Was I spreading happiness, positive emotion and goodwill, or was I spreading ill-will and negativity?  (more…)

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The Upheavals of Hurricane Season

By admin

Are Katyites prepared for a possible storm?

The beginning of hurricane season brings with it many stressors. Two of the biggest are the hassles of hurricane preparedness and the worries of helping young children understand and cope with what’s happening. So how can parents make this easier for themselves and their children? By getting the kids involved in the process.

First, have your children help compile 2 lists: the first contains hurricane supplies that your family will need, the second contains the nonperishable foods your family would like to eat. Next, send the children on a hurricane scavenger hunt around the house. Let them see how many of the items they can find on the hurricane supply list. After that, let them help you check the supplies to see what needs replacing (like batteries) and what still needs items are missing from the list (i.e. radio, first aid kit). After all, even small children can check flashlight batteries and light bulbs to see if they need replacing. Do the same with the hurricane food list. (more…)

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Tips For Seniors During The Holiday Season

By admin

Katy, Texas – December 11, 2015
The holiday season is a special time to spend reminiscing with family about special memories and traditions while creating new ones. For members of a family living with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, this can often be a difficult time. For the one with memory impairment, the change in routine and sensory overload the holiday season brings can cause stress and take away the ability to enjoy time spent with family and friends. The Orchard Assisted Living & Memory Care in Katy specializes in person-centered care, and this holiday season it is sharing helpful advice about how caregivers and families can create the best environment and situation for loved ones living with dementia.

Photo 1
“For seniors, the holiday season is a special time to connect with family and pass along traditions and memories,” said James Stroud, President of The Orchard Assisted Living & Memory Care in Katy. “For those living with memory loss it is still possible to have a special holiday experience. The key is finding ways to still include your loved one in those traditions. For instance, if your mother was always in charge of baking cookies, you could set aside time to make cookies together. This will allow for you to create new memories that include your loved one, while sharing a familiar and pleasant experience.”

(more…)

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Tips to Keep Your Pet Happy and Healthy

By admin

Courtesy of Camp Bow Wow – Pet ownership has proven mental and physical health benefits for humans, including reduced stress, anxiety and loneliness, and increased exercise and social interaction. Our pets are doing many great things for us so it’s important to return the favor and make sure we are doing what we can to keep them happy and healthy. Read on for some important pet care tips.

1. Evaluate your pet’s poundage. Over half of all pets are overweight which contributes to numerous health problems and can shorten your furry friend’s lifespan. Work with your vet to create a weight loss plan if your pet is overweight.

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Top 5 Fever Myths and Facts

By Tanya Erickson

Katy, Tx – November 9, 2016    Written by 

For many parents, fever is one of the most concerning and alarming symptoms a child can have. There are many scary fever myths out there – and it’s time to set the record straight! To many pediatricians, fever is considered a good sign that the body is mounting a response to an infection.

(more…)

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Top Ways Dentists Can Help Autistic Children Feel More Comfortable

By admin

Going to a dental office on a regular basis is a crucial aspect of your child’s oral care. While you, as your child’s parent, know this, the very thought of taking your autistic son or daughter to the dentist can fill you with concern. Many people often feel apprehensive when they go to the dentist, but autistic children can experience sensory overload that can trigger tantrums. Fortunately, there are ways that a family dentist can help make autistic children feel more at ease when they come to the office.

pediatric-dentistry

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Tough Talks for Katy Families

By admin

Five difficult conversations parents need to have with their kids, and how to know when to have them

Written by Kirsten Cornell and Katrina Katsarelis

Talking to our kids is usually an enjoyable experience, but there are some topics that make many parents uneasy. Should you be the one to bring up these topics or wait for your child to approach the subject? Here are some of the most common tough talks as well as tips from the experts to help guide you.

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Training for a 5K

By Katy Magazine

A Katyite shares the reason she runs 

Angela and her husband at the Space Center 5K last year

I have never been the type of person who likes to run.  In fact, up until last year, I despised running.  It was something I did merely for the health value, but I am not like those people who enjoy running for the sake of running.

However, once we had our second child, we decided it was time to let our gym membership go to save money.   For a while, I didn’t exercise much.  But, for me, exercise is about knowing I’m doing what I can to stay healthy, to have strong lungs and a strong heart so that I can be my best for my children.

Since I’m not a runner, and since my husband and I stay very busy, I knew that there would have to be something bigger than just “today I should run” to keep me on track.  So, last year around this time, I searched the internet for 5K runs in the Houston area and found one at Space Center Houston that is held each July.  I decided to train for it, and found online guides to becoming 5K ready in 6-8 weeks. (more…)

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Training Systems

By admin

There are many different fitness options in Katy, how do you choose?

Many people often wonder what are the best ways to get in better physical condition. I am one of those people and with some research I have found  3 methods of training that seem to work fairly well and they are –

3. High Intensity Interval Training (H.I.I.T)- This training system offers great balance between scientific theory and intense physical effort.The theory for this paricular system is intense short busrt of effort and muscular tension whether it be with cardiovascular training or weight training followed by longer but effective rest periods. The other method is a complete contradiction of the previous idea, but just as effective.This method involves long, strenuous and intense muscular movements followed by shorter resting periods. While the second method is intended more for athletes or weight lifters with intermediate to advanced levels of fitness, both are effective and with proper technique and form mastering both routines will come easily. (more…)

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Try The YMCA for Free!

By Tanya Erickson

Katy, TX – December 27, 2016 All are welcome to try the facilities at any YMCA in the Greater Houston area!

At the Y, they can help you design a wellness routine that promotes positive improvements in your health and wellness. Become a part of something that nourishes the soul, strengthens your muscles, and keeps you motivated.

Members say that they feel like part of a family at the Y, and that sense of support keeps them motivated, holds them accountable and helps them attain their goals without giving up. From the greeter at the front desk who knows your name, to fellow exercisers in the locker room who make sure you won’t miss a workout, to a friend on the treadmill keeping you company as you burn calories, the Y is a place that makes working out fun.

What’s more, research from the Journal of Preventative Medicine and the Journal of Behavioral Medicine suggests that a support system helps people better adhere to their workout goals.

This is a one-day event on January 7th, and you are not going to want to miss it!

Courtesy of YMCA of Greater Houston
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Watermelon Jello

By Katy Magazine

The taste of summer in Katy, TX

Watermelon jello

This week for our summer dessert, my girls and I made watermelon Jello.  To be more exact, we made strawberry Jello in a watermelon rind.

I first found the idea at www.theidearoom.blogspot.com, a blog I check on occasion.  It’s simple and fun, and Jello is healthier by way of desserts than most of the things I make, so I included it in the summer dessert line-up for my family.

The basic idea is to cut a watermelon down the middle and clean it out.  Once the watermelon has been removed (and feasted on!), it is time to make the Jello.

To fill both halves of my ‘personal’ sized watermelon, I used 3 large boxes of strawberry Jello and 4 ¼ cups of boiling water.  I whisked them together for 2 minutes and then poured them carefully into the watermelon halves.

It should be noted here that watermelons are round, which means they roll.  And pouring boiling water into a round, rolling watermelon rind is not exactly something I’d recommend doing any time, and especially not with little helpers underfoot.  This I discovered the hard way. (more…)

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West I-10 Fire Department Offers CPR Classes

By admin

Free life-saving techniques are available right here in Katy

Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is a vital skill that is easily learned. It has been proven that providing CPR before the Fire Department or EMS arrive is a valuable part of the process of calling 911. It could, in fact, be the deciding factor in saving someone’s life.

West I-10 Fire Department

Having CPR skills have a few benefits such as the reassure that you can help a friend or family member should they need it. Being able to understand how you can help 911operators when you’ve called them for assistance is also encouraging. It’s been 25 years since I took a CPR class, it was good to have that CPR skills review and to learn the new guidelines – a few things have changed in the last 25 years. (more…)

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What are you doing for National Trails Day this Saturday?

By Katy Magazine

The options are endless for Katy families. Get out this Saturday in Katy and/or the Greater Houston area

National Trails Day is June 5, this Saturday and is targeted at getting people outside, on trails and walking or hiking. The Houston area offers many picturesque settings for just this occasion.

If you love your dog then take them with you and enjoy some great food at the Houston Arboretum and Nature’s Center’s Annual Tails on Trails. The arboretum, one of Houston’s best trails, invites dogs on leashes and their owners for an afternoon of hiking the arboretum trails that wind along an 155 acre of lush lands and a vast variety of wildlife.

Before your hiking journey pick up water and a doggy bag. After the hike return to the party for food provided by Freebirds World Burrito and Smartwater.  There will also be music and prices. For more information on (more…)

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Whole Foods is a Fun Outing

By Gabbi Browne

I am always looking for great places to take my children. Local places are even better. Let’s explore Katy, have fun, and save on gas–what’s not to love? Our latest venture took us to the new Whole Foods on Fry Road.

We went one quiet weekday morning and spent an hour. It may not sound like a big deal, but to keep three almost-three-year-olds in a supermarket cart for an hour is a major success. Here’s how we did it. Maybe you can try it with your family, too.

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Why Young Children Bite and How to Help

By Tanya Erickson

Katy, TX – December 12, 2016  Children who bite others cause a great deal of concern for the parents. The parents of the child who has been bitten are also usually very concerned about infection. Biting is an unacceptable behavior that needs to be stopped at an early age to prevent it from happening again.

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