Bachelor & bachelorette auction raises thousands for diabetes research

October 1st, 2018

The Bay Area’s most eligible bachelors and bachelorettes on stage at Sundance Grill II.

Well Houston had its list and Galveston had its list, so it was time for the Bay Area to have its list of most eligible bachelors and bachelorettes. The honorees were chosen for their contribution to the cities in Galveston county. They are Lance Fegen, Ange Mertens, Hank Dugie, Wendy Shaw, Dr. Louie Robinson, Erin Webb, Kevin Smith, Blaine Ochoa and Justin Gripon.

Ange Mertens had the idea to use the community involved honorees to raise some money for the American Diabetes Association. She put together the fun Date Auction night that was held at the beautiful Sundance Grill II, where the venue and food was graciously donated by Hans Mair. The bidding went wild when the Bachelors and Bachelorettes each walked the runway. Dates with Lance Fegen and Wendy Shaw went for the highest bids of the night at a wonderful $3,000 each. Lance Fegen is the Culinary Director for the Liberty Kitchen restaurants and offered a dinner for eight people in their home with him as the chef, and that exciting auction item went for $2,300. The bidders and audience alike had a great time as the honorees strutted their stuff and brought in $18,000 for the American Diabetes Association!

League City Mayor Pat Hallisey was the Emcee and shared his story of the heart attack he had last year while working hard after Hurricane Harvey. Hallisey is a Type 2 diabetic and had to have his leg amputated from complications from his diabetes and warned the audience of the evils of uncontrolled Diabetes. The illustrious Rick Clapp from Bay Area Houston Magazine did a great job as the auctioneer. Ange, who is a Type 1 diabetic, spoke at the end of the auction and thanked everyone for coming, asked everyone to be cautious of the signs of diabetes and told everyone about the research and support you can find at diabetes.org. Mertens also thanked the sponsors, Liberty Kitchen Restaurants, Tax Recourse, Elite Care 24 -hour Emergency Room, and Sundance Grill II. Attendees then enjoyed a night of listening to and dancing to the tunes of MECHANIX.

THE A LIST: It’s All About The Bay

June 1st, 2018

By Ange Mertens

Summer is here and with that comes fruity drinks with umbrellas, beautiful flowers and tropical vacations. In the Bay Area we begin to enjoy many outdoor activities, boating, tanning and swimming. And we take advantage of our fantastic local outdoor restaurants and venues. And enjoying the great outdoors also means we all want to brighten up our look, from clothing to our hair! I was able to sit down with the illustrious Chloe Holguin Salon Manager for the “Chaz Dean Studio” in Hollywood, soon to open in NY. I asked her what is Hot in Hollywood Hair?

“The latest Trend from L.A. is “lived in hair”…we’re seeing a lot of natural no fuss color with lots of dimension…..we’re seeing caramel tones as chunky low lights intermixed with natural blond tones for a sun kissed effect…making sure there is face framing with brighter blond…Our cuts are also no fuss…sexy textured “Lobs” ( long bobs) they can be from below the shoulder to chin length…very textured so the line is shattered and sexy…the look is messy…as if you had a fun romp in bed! “(Oh My!!)  So people are wanting to brighten up their locks and have sexy, manageable hairdo’s!!  What about when people have to dress up or go out for that special occasion?  Holguin says “Our fancy do’s are also messy and not formal looking…also gives the impression that one could just pin it up for a rustled effect….for a more formal look we’re doing very smooth and high poni’s…kinda 60’s looking…” In the summer we tend to stress out our hair with chlorine, straightening and coloring is there anything we can do to help curb the damage? “ Of course here at the Chaz Dean Studios we use the “Wen” hair system! We use no ammonia color and no shampoo! Our goal is to reverse damaged over-processed hair!” Well it sounds like the news from Hollywood is FUN easy, healthy hair!

Besides sexy hair this summer the runways are full of sexy bathing suits. One piece bathing suits are very daring this season with plunging necklines and strategic cut outs. Some are softened with ruffles on the shoulders or across the chest but they are definitely pushing the envelope this season. On the other hand two piece bathing suits are having a retro feel with high waisted bottoms and wide strapped shoulders.  Many of the models on the runway look like they may have walked right off the runway of the Galveston Festival of Pulchritude in the 1920’s-1930’s! I know that sounds awful, but really it was the precursor to modern day Miss Universe! The word pulchritude actually means “Beauty” and ladies came from all over the world to participate in the festivities. And the island’s population nearly tripled the weekend of the Festival. Today’s designers have reached into our very personal Gulf Coast past to recreate these retro bathing suits.  Actually this season walking down the runway could be entitled “A Walk Through The Generations”! Of course there are the 1920-1930’s designs, there are skirted designs with ruching reminiscent of the 1950’s, there are shapeless one pieces that were popular in the 1960’s, there are teenie bikini’s straight out of the 1970’s with cartoons or trendy sayings, a resurgence of sporty styles with a wet suit feel are a comeback from the 80’s (I know I had a favorite Body Glove with a zipper front!) and the 90’s are revisited with belts and suspenders adorning the suits. One thing that can be said about this season’s bathing suit, is there is definitely a  style for every body type! So spend some time shopping around and you are sure to find something that makes you feel beautiful! And if you want to buy one that reminds you of a special time in your past go ahead and buy it as a guilty pleasure, even if you will only wear it in your private backyard, I won’t tell!!

THE A LIST: It’s spring time

May 1st, 2018

Ange Mertens

By Ange Mertens

Spring has sprung! And in the Bay Area it seems to keep springing back and forth to a late winter — which has caused a lot of us to postpone the yearly spring cleaning of our closets.

But now it is time to take inventory of our wardrobes. First purge, go through and find any clothing that need repairs or alterations. If they can be fixed, then take the time to get that done. If they can’t be repaired or really are just never going to fit you, get rid of them.

Next go through your closet and get rid of things that you no longer need. If you haven’t worn it in a year, or every time you reach for it you put it back, you don’t need it! Donating clothes is a wonderful thing to do, especially after events like Hurricane Harvey. But remember when you donate, that just because people are in need at a specific time, does not mean that they want your junk!

PLACES TO DONATE
Donate gently loved stylish clothing. Think about donating to some local organizations like the Bay Area Turning Point and Interfaith Caring Ministries. The Assistance League of Bay Area also has the Cinderella Project that needs your formal dresses so they can provide a wonderful prom experience for local underprivileged  girls. Suits and professional clothing for men and women can be donated to Suit Up for Veterans at any local ACU of Texas branch.

The next step after closet spring cleaning is to purchase a few basic pieces to update your wardrobe. Feminine is the hottest new trend for spring and fall fashions. The runways are full of pastel colors( especially lavender), ruffles, and sheer fabrics. Plaids and checked patterns and florals are all the rage, sometimes even mixed together. And fringe is everywhere! On shirts and shoes, shirts, jackets and accessories.

And, speaking of accessories, fun 80s influences are being seen with chokers and layered necklaces. Jumpsuits also are gracing the runways in both long and short versions. Take a few of these trends and add them to your wardrobe to freshen up your style. Shop local.

Brunch offerings at Marais in Dickinson. Photo by Amber Sheffield

A HIDDEN GEM
I took my daughter, Amber, with me to try out the Sunday brunch at the surprising hidden gem called Marais on Benson Bayou in Dickinson. They have a fabulous spread with everything from an omelette bar to crawfish. General Manager Nick Stephenson recommended some of their specialties like chicken and waffles and banana foster bread pudding, and they didn’t disappoint!

Amber tried their famous Bloody Mary that comes with a friend green tomato, bacon and shrimp as it’s garnish, and said it lived up to the hype. They also are known for their fusions vodka and rum, and have a Absinthe bar.The New Orleans influenced restaurant, owned by Keith and Holly Lilley, is a sprawling building over several levels and their Chef du jour Carole Barnett says they serve four separate menus. The main dining room is for elegant dining where you can enjoy sumptuous steaks and seafood platters and enjoy the service of an attentive wait staff.

Cajun Bloody Mary at Marais in Dickinson. Photo by Amber Sheffield

There is the Marais and Benson bar where you can hang out literally by sitting in a fun swing, and the waterside Plank Bar offers beautiful views and will have live music on Saturdays. They have Girls Martini Night Out on Tuesdays, Wine and Whiskey Wednesdays and Crawfish Thursdays.

HEROES FED
For all of these wonderful things that Marais is, giving is the best thing they are! During the unprecedented floods of Hurricane Harvey the restaurant received devastating damage and lost the Plank Bar and its sister restaurant, Dickinson BBQ.

Ninety percent of Dickinson was flooded and people were in need. Volunteers from all over and first responders alike were all heroes who came to help clear the startling ruin that had taken over the city.

Hungry heroes have to be fed and Marais, Keith Lilley, Frank Pannitti, Carole Barnett, and Carol Rogers rose to the occasion and fed those heroes, and in the process became heroes themselves. For a week and a half they showed up and fed a city in pain. The city of Dickinson is emerging from the flood like a Phoenix from the fire and Marais and their special employees are a part of that miracle.

The A List

April 1st, 2018

Ange Mertens

By Ange Mertens

Sometimes we take for granted the things that surround us in our hometown. We fall victim to the proverbial “the grass is always greener”school of thought. With the allure of Houston nightlife, restaurants and style within reach some may be enticed to pursue those entertainment options from our neighbor to the north. In this new column I will be exploring the Bay Area for The Best of The Best in entertainment, food, and fashion.

Fashions from Dress Galaxy

Tis the season for prom dress shopping!  2018 prom trends have a lot of dresses representing the past with bold patterns and romantic blush tones. Off the shoulder designs are in, even better if there’s a ruffle. And two piece designs are once again hitting the runways. Mothers and daughters make the yearly trek to outstanding Houston stores like Muzzies. But did you know that right here in League City we have the designer of one of the most popular brands of prom dresses, Precious Formals? Ruby Ashraf has had her design studio and buyer show room on The Landing Boulevard for over 26 years. Just over a year ago she opened the new show room, named Dress Galaxy, to the public. You are not going to believe this store when you walk in , with the  New York style runway and the shear size and inventory of this place! The savvy prom shopper, pageant queen or socialite can find thousands of designer dresses in stock from size 00 to 30!

We may not attract Ozzy Osbourne or Rage Against the Machine at our local venues,  but in March you can see some great tribute bands at The Scout Bar on Egret Bay, that honor them. Bands like Damn the Torpedoes – a tribute to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and Green for a Day- a tribute to Green Day, play to sold out crowds almost weekly. The 80s experience band The Spazmatics, which will have you jumping up-and-down and singing at the top of your lungs by the end of the first set. This place is certainly worth a try.

The Spazmatics – Texas – The Ultimate New Wave 80s Show

Tucked away in a little strip center on Bay Area Boulevard is a local gem. This area is rich in history and history is what makes the Red Oak Café so special. After the loss of her beloved son Justin, Kim Oravetz and her family planted a red oak tree in  honor of Justin’s strength in size and of character.. Kim and her son Ian opened the Red Oak Café with their love for Justin and his larger than life personality and endearing quality at the

Heart. Everyone is family once they walk through the door and love is definitely served in their food. The Texas themed menu is more something you would find in a trendy restaurant in the hill country than in a strip center in League City. You can start your day off with The Big Breakfast, Kitchen Sink Quesadillas, Homemade Biscuits and Gravy or you can be adventurous and choose from close to 20 fresh toppings like raspberries, pumpkin, white chocolate chips, or Nutella to top your mouth watering stack of pancakes. Lunch is an Adventure of tasty dishes like Rio Grande Grilled Cheese made with three different cheeses, Granny Smith apple slices and crisp bacon that will make any grown up rethink grilled cheese. Chisholm Trail Chicken Pot Pie and Cow Poke Beef Stew are their twist on stick to your ribs favorites, but their Rustic Tarts are a surprising concoction of sweet and savory with a flaky crust filled with creamy egg custard, fresh poblano peppers, onions and zesty salsa Verde that will make your week!

Well the saying that was actually made famous in our South of Houston suburbs, “Houston We Have A Problem” is still true today because we are giving Houston a run for their money with the Best of The Best of the Bay Area!