HAPPILY EVER AFTER

HAPPILY EVER AFTER

Every woman wants to feel beautiful, especially on her big day. Here comes the bride and groom indeed, not only coming down the aisle but as we bid her bon voyage on a honeymoon adventure. Our very own Eleanora Morrison, of Eleanora.co., weighs in with some of her favorite recommendations for the couple’s happily ever after.

SHE’S SUCH A GEM

Jewelry can enhance any wedding ensemble, whether it’s a family heirloom piece or something new. Try a statement piece from Bulgari High Jewelry’s Burocko line, or from your local jewelers, like Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry. You’re sure to glitter throughout your special day. Prices upon request. At Bulgari.com or LMFJ.com.

THAT TAKES THE CAKE

A wedding cake, both the bride and groom’s, can show how creative a couple is and what means the most to them with custom-designed themes. It can be as traditional or avant-garde as you wish. For delectable delights, we recommend Paige’s Bakehouse. At PaigesBakehouse.com.

THE SUITE LIFE

How about a suite of luxe Clé de Peau products for your wedding festivities…and beyond? We love Clé de Peau Beauté Volumizing Cream Supreme ($375), a decadent cream that visibly plumps, firms, and moisturizes skin. Clé de Peau Beauté Hydrating Veil ($80) creates a bare skin-like finish and prevents makeup deterioration caused by dryness, sebum, perspiration, and dullness. Clé de Peau Beauté The Serum ($295) delivers vital moisture to the skin. Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer ($73) is specially formulated with a smooth texture, long-lasting full coverage, and seamless finish. At CleDePeauBeaute.com.

I LOVE YOU A LATTE

Imagine quiet mornings together, spent sipping a piping hot cup of fresh coffee. This contemporary stainless steel French Press from Etro will help you make the most of your special moments as newlyweds and for the years to come.

$119. At Williams-Sonoma.com.

EMERALD CITY 

After all of the wedding-day fun is done, why not treat yourself to some out-of-the-ordinary statement earrings that are sure to start a honeymoon adventure off right? These Antonia Raw Emerald Bronze & 24K Gold Plated Earrings will turn heads, whether you are staycationing, globetrotting, or adventuring anywhere in between.

$249. At VanessaArcila.com

IMPERIALLY INSPIRED

Sure to add a dash of elegance to any table, this timeless set of Mottahedeh Imperial Blue China is edged in gold, with its central design inspired by a Chinese porcelain pattern from 1730. Pieces starting at $60. At Bloomingdales.com

CANDLE COUTURE

We love a statement candle for the (newlywed’s) home. But one that has the astrological signs? That’s golden. This Fornasetti candle is sure to spruce up any space and spark a conversation. $230. At NeimanMarcus.com.

PLUSH CRUSH

The ‘90s are back in hair accessories, and the nostalgia is next-level, which is why we are loving Jennifer Behr’s Thada headband for effortless honeymoon hair. Handmade in New York, the saffron velvet is padded for added volume, and the lining keeps it in place all day long. $225. At Net-A-Porter.com.

COME FLY WITH ME

For the jet-setting honeymooner, a sturdy set of stylish luggage is both practical and fashionable. This Paravel hard shell carry-on suitcase will help keep all of your essentials organized, no matter where you’re headed. $255. At Net-A-Porter.com.

SOMETHING BLUE

When it comes time for wedding day preparations, why not wear a little something blue to the bridal primping party? This timelessly elegant silk Meng kimono can be packed right up after the festivities are over and taken along for the honeymoon, too. $805. At Net-A-Porter.com.

OH, CREPE

If you’re in need of a contemporary ensemble for bridal events and would like an option that’s a little different than a traditional bridal gown, or even a reception outfit that allows for comfortable dancing into the wee hours, then this crepe dress has you covered. Cut from ivory crepe in a wide-leg silhouette, it turns to reveal a dramatic train that will sweep along the floor as you walk. $2,000. At Net-A-Porter.com.

PATIO, PLEASE

For the couple who loves to entertain, why not host hors d’oeuvres hour al fresco? These Iznik outdoor dip bowls are a stylishly festive way to serve up savory snacks with cocktails or before a seated dinner. $31.95 At Williams-Sonoma.com.

SENTIMENTAL REASONS

With all of the heartfelt sentiments weddings can bring, why not equip the groom and his groomsmen with a handkerchief to lend the bridal party if they shed a few happy tears on the big day? This white silk option is about as classic as it gets and looks sharp with any suit or tuxedo. $55. At BrooksBrothers.com.

TIE THAT KNOT

As a wedding day gift for your groom, try these silver Love Knot cufflinks. A timeless memento to commemorate the occasion, they can be worn not only on your big day but for years to come. $220. At NeimanMarcus.com

THERE WILL ALWAYS BE CHAMPAGNE

Here’s a crowd-pleasing gift for the newly betrothed. This Monique Lhuillier Margot champagne bucket will do the trick. We love the copper tint to add a unique touch to any social gathering once the newlyweds have returned from their honeymoon. $129. At PotteryBarn.com.

LOVE’S HOLIDAY

LOVE’S HOLIDAY

Love is always in the air, and especially on its special day in February. Valentine’s Day is something to look forward to this year, according to our luxe lifestyle arbiter Rank & Style CEO Jamie Chandlee, with her Top 10 recommendations… with a few things for him, too.

ROBE

HERE, THESE ARE FOR YOU

Pink roses presented in a suede box? Yes, please. This heart-shaped box is such a beautiful arrangement to show that special someone how far your love extends. $550. At VenusEtFleur.com.

SAVE THE DATE

Try these 18K gold slider bangles to honor a special moment in your life to make it completely one-of-a-kind...and you can mix and match, adding more to make stackable. In white, yellow, or rose gold, and black Rhodium. Starting at $2800. At StephanieGottleb.com.

CANDLE
PAN

LIGHT UP THE NIGHT

Handcrafted in the French Alps, the Mad et Len’s scented candle captures the evocative scents of nature that we all love. Contained in a hand-forged blackened steel canister, Terre Noire has a deep earthy complexity reminiscent of the mystery of the French forest–aged oak and rich soil. $100. At CandleDelirium.com.

WHAT A WHIRL

The Bottega Veneta three-dimensional Whirl clutch in lollipop pink is this spring’s newest conversation piece. Reminiscent of a heart, this Napa leather bag will make even the most basic outfit pop when paired with it. $1980. At BottegaVeneta.com.

French Oil
EYE MASK KEEP BOX IN

FEEL THE WORLD FADE AWAY

The mini massager is your pocket-sized partner, for him or her, giving the Theragun quality muscle treatment with unparalleled portability. Compact but powerful, this is the most agile massage device that goes wherever you go. $199. At Theragun.com.

SOAK SOFTLY

Create a relaxing, spa-like experience in the comfort of your own home with French Girl Organics’ Rose Sea Soak. The soothing formula is made with Epsom salts to loosen muscles and draw out toxins, while Pink Himalayan Salts help relieve stress. Divine. $22. At NetAPorter.com.

BOOK
CHARGER

SKY HIGH GOALS

Made in Italy from supple fuchsia suede with flattering pointed toes, Christian Louboutin’s Rabakate pumps are embellished with delicate bows above the slim stiletto heels. Be sure to keep the hem of your dress or pants short enough to showcase this beautiful feminine detail. $995. At NetAPorter.com.

HOW SWEET OF YOU

Texas-based confectioner-to-the-stars Maggie Louise of Maggie Louise Confections is the go-to favorite of the Jet Set. Why not celebrate love with decadent chocolates inspired by a day of sweet matrimony with scrumptious works of art like these? Prices vary. At MaggieLouiseConfections.com.

PJS NEW
your birthday can be any day

THE NEW CLARITY

He’ll love this minimalist Transparent Speaker engineered to work seamlessly with existing virtual assistants and setups. Built for crisp, balanced, full-bodied sound, it’s made from white aluminum and tempered glass and streams with Bluetooth. $500.  At MrPorter.com.

SWEATER WEATHER

He’ll look sharp in this pinkish cotton-cashmere blend crew neck sweater with a pocket, don’t you think? From Austin-based Criquet Shirts. $150. At CriquetShirts.com.

GLOSSIER
ONWARD TO THE COOL

ONWARD TO THE COOL

As we continue with the new reality in 2021, things are happening again, both near and far as well. Join our culture-seeking editor Lance Avery Morgan as he recommends some new bright spots to know and love this very moment.

Courtesy of Saks Fifth Avenue

LISTEN IN, SKIN

We love that SkinLab, the new-to-market skincare concept developed by the luxe brand SkinCeuticals, is now officially open in Houston. For fans of the SkinCeuticals product line, SkinLab is a one-stop-shop that opened in partnership with Houston plastic surgeon Dr. Forrest Roth–it is the third to open in the country, with the first two being in Napa Valley and Connecticut. At WestAvePlasticSurgery.com.

RANCH STYLE MEANS

RancH2O, founded by native Texan Amelia Lettieri, is the ready-to-drink canned cocktail brand that delivers the kick of real spirits and a refreshingly smooth taste with just the pop of a tab. This is not another hard seltzer…RancH2O is real liquor, perfectly mixed in flavors like Ranch Water, Classic Marg, Vodka, and a Gin Fizz. The four-pack is $13.99. Available at major liquor stores and RancH20Spirits.com.

Courtesy of Haute Hostess
Courtesy of Virgin Dallas

BURNING SO BRIGHT

Dirty Bartender candles have teamed with DIFFA Dallas, inspired by its thirty years of service. The delectable scents, aptly named House of DIFFA, Yacht Bar, and Cocktail Garden, will transform any mood and space. Plus, they burn for 40 hours. Each are $34. At DirtyBartender.com.

OH, BABY

Mila & Me, the new Latina-owned, hand-dyed loungewear brand for both mothers and children, was conceived during COVID-19 by Austinite Melissa Dieck Thaxton. She believes in donating a portion of the company’s proceeds to organizations in need. “We hope our pieces brighten your day, bring comfort to your life, and peace that you are helping those in need,” shares Thaxton. Prices vary. At MilaAndMe.shop.

Courtesy of Discovery Green

MORE…

Courtesy of Restore 180

FAVORITE FAIRYTALE RE-DUX

Cinderella, the upcoming American musical romantic comedy, has been updated for today’s modern audience. Starring Camila Cabello, Idina Menzel, and Billy Porter, the re-boot of the children’s classic promises to be one for the ages. Debuts February 5.

CONTEMPORARY CUISINE

CONTEMPORARY CUISINE

Our favorite local eateries offer more than just comfort food during challenges times…they offer community. Join our editors Lance Avery Morgan in Austin, Cynthia Smoot in Dallas, Jennifer Roosth in Houston, and Eleanora Morrison in San Antonio as they share their sensational statewide recommendations that are must-tries right now.

AUSTIN

So Well Done Austin Salad

READY, SET, PREP

Prep To Your Door is the new insider’s meal delivery service, meaning no more shopping or chopping. Plus, no more waste, thanks to how the plant-based, gluten-free, organic meals in sustainable packaging are as delicious as they are healthy. At PrepToYourDoor.com

The Lolo Austin Texas wine bar

BAKED TO PERFECTION

Gorgeous and fun donuts, macarons, and other sweet treats? Sign us up at OMG Squee. In shapes ranging from pandas to Lizzo, and in flavors ranging from Thai tea to churro and beyond, we can’t get enough of this hipster bakery. At SqueeClub.com.

Rebel Cheese Austin Texas

LA BARBECUE

Can there be too much barbecue in one state? Nope. The Texas favorite always seems to have a new spin placed on it. From the legendary Mueller barbecue family, La Barbecue offers the best and most mouth-watering entrées ever to quench your taste buds. At LaBarbeque.com.

DALLAS

pastry from La Tarte Tropézienne  dallas texas

NOW THAT’S ITALIAN

Italian food emporium and Manhattan favorite,  Eataly, has opened in NorthPark Center. The 46,000 square foot store and restaurant is comprised of over 10,000 local and Italian products, three restaurants, and one cooking school (which will be virtual to start), all inspired by the diversity of Italy’s regional cuisines. At Eataly.com.

Georgie Dallas Restaurant

DOWN ARGENTINE WAY

Chimichurri, new in the Bishop Arts District, features traditional Argentinian specialties, including grilled meats served in the Asado style, empanadas, pizzas, choripáns (chorizo sandwiches), and dulce de leche. The design elements include recycled wine bottle chandeliers, colorful murals, and memorabilia from the movie EvitaAt ChimichurriBishopArts.com.

Food from Rise & Thyme Dallas tTexas

FRESH FAVORITE

Encina offers a deliberate focus on seasonality and fresh ingredients. Highlights include the Devils on Horseback appetizer with dates, blue cheese, bacon, and apple butter; a Reuben Flatbread with pastrami, swiss, sauerkraut, and pickle dressing, and a Lamb and Pork Bratwurst served with green chili hominy grits and apple mustard. The wine program is well priced as well. At EncinaDallas.com.

HOUSTON

Bottled Blonde Pizzeria + Bier Garden

WELL, HELLO THERE

Xin Chao, which means hello, is the new eatery that is a collaboration of MasterChef winner Christine Hà and Tony J. Nguyen, bringing Vietnamese and Viet-Texan dishes to Houston like no other can. We recommend the braised pork and crispy rice, and the flat rice noodles with a smoked beef rib. At XinChaoHTX.com.

Chocolate Crepe Sweet Paris Crêperie & Café

NOW, FOR SOMETHING SWEET

The Sugar Room is the new cocktail bar to be seen in these days. Not only does it double as a doughnut destination during the day, look for the glitzy drinks that are garnished with edible gold and glitter in the evenings. Try the Jetsetter, which pairs gin, basil, cucumber, and ginger with spicy popping boba. At SoClutchGroup.com.

Adair Restaurant Houston

PERFECTLY LATIN

Arnaldo Richards’ Picos has joined the popular food distribution platform, Goldbelly, announcing a wide variety of selections from their menu  available now to ship nation-wide. The menu features an assortment of seventeen dishes, sides and sauces representing Mexico’s seven culinary regions. The sweet additions include homemade Dulce de Leche sauce and dessert tamales, including pineapple and raisin. At Picos.net.

SAN ANTONIO

Salad from Jardin San Antonio

MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE BAR

Slated to open in February in a 100-year-old building in the King William Historic District, thanks to restauranteur Roger Herr, who has returned to his San Antonio roots, Bar Loretta is sure to be a winner. Dial-in fellow San Antonian, Paul Petersen, who takes the helm in the kitchen with French-technique-inspired cuisine, and we expect this new endeavor to be a colossal hit. At BarLoretta.com

Los Azulejos San Antonio

INFUSION INJECTION

Cuishe Cocina Mexicana recently opened two San Antonio locations, Stone Oak and downtown, and is entertaining guests by presenting the rich culture of Central Mexico with a menu that offers authentic flavors using locally sourced ingredients. They are also introducing their concept, Mexologia, a unique way of incorporating traditional Mexican heritage and flavors into their spirits and cocktail menu. At CuisheMex.com.

Sandwich Best Quality Daughter San Antonio

ARTFUL CUISINE

An exploration of gastronomic art inspired by the creative legacy of Frida Kahlo, Frida is a reservation-only, live entertainment dining concept brought to San Antonio by two Northern Mexican families, the Davils and the Vizcarras. Chef Sofia Sada has created an original menu of Mexican flavors with her own unique flair that has made this spot a must-dine. At FridaRestaurantSA.com.

HOW OPTIMISM ALWAYS WINS

HOW OPTIMISM ALWAYS WINS

With 2020 now behind us, it’s time to move forward into a new realm of our lives, according to our intuitive self-help expert, Austin-based Resonance Repatterning Practitioner, Mary Schneider, who clarifies the importance of resonating with new opportunities ahead.

RE-EXAMINATION TIME

As I looked at my correspondence from 2020, I realized that spellcheck could not figure out how to spell COVID-19. A year ago, I had no idea what Coronavirus was, let alone COVID-19. Since that time, we have been through so many ups and downs and twists and turns–truly a testament to our resilience as a global community. We are the most adaptable species on the planet, and we have all witnessed the reality of our adaptability in the last year. And adapt, we have. Despite the quixotic lifestyle changes and constant potential for loss of life, we are moving forward…progressing in a herky-jerky, zig-zag trajectory triggering us to stop, look and listen in new ways.

This pandemic compels us to stop and look at our lives–to examine and re-evaluate what is important. Even though it continues to be a huge imposition, the pandemic has enriched us in some interesting ways. Those who are sick or have lost loved ones are probably not having this experience. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of you and the heroic healthcare workers taking care of you. 

We who have re-examined our lives are fortunate enough to have stayed safe and healthy are reconsidering what might be loosely considered as the pandemic’s benefits. One of these might be a resurgence of the idea of simplicity. What does this mean, and how does it fit into our lives now? The dictionary defines simplicity as the quality or condition of being plain or natural. Feeling unencumbered comes along with it. The Feng Shui philosophy of spatial organization recommends we keep clutter to a minimum. Simply put, clutter can block the flow of energy in our homes, and therefore, into our lives. 

ARTFUL SIMPLICITY 

In the end, simplicity is an art. It is an act of letting go. When we let go, we make room for fresh experiences. We re-examine what we find valuable and release what is not. Simplicity generally precedes some form of healing. Healing is essential now within our global community, on all levels: physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. 

Another value gleaned from the pandemic looks like something akin to unity. For one thing, it has united us around a common adversary. Although split into two main camps, the unity, even in its present form, demonstrates re-evaluation and learning. Unity follows a certain level of unrest. Among other examples, it may be similar to the upheaval occurring in psychotherapy, which can be followed by systemic healing. 

Healing is most definitely on the mind of the collective consciousness. As we ring in this new year, we are anxiously awaiting the manufacture and distribution of viable vaccines. Gratefully contemplating the prospect of gravitating back to our original lifestyle, a watery impression seems to portend, “It’s probably not going to happen the way you think it is.” Yet, part of what is happening looks like the cultivation of a new optimism–tinged with hope.

Pandemics create a great deal of stress on all levels. This, we now know. As we begin to envision a healed world and examine lessons learned, we may find there remains a real possibility for continued transformation–from a personal perspective and a global one. Awareness of this possibility for ourselves and our loved ones could potentially make this transition smoother and perhaps even a source of joy in this brand new year.

A LOVE MATCH

A LOVE MATCH

Meredith Bond And Matthew Taylor McCord Wed In Fort Worth

By Natalie Bond Bloomingdale

Photography by Stephen Karlisch

As girls, of course, my sister and I would dream of walking down the aisle in a big white gown, so it was sensational to see my sister’s dreams come true as wedding bells rang for the Vernon girl and her Dallas boy when Meredith Bond became the bride of Matthew Taylor McCord in Fort Worth. The couple has their mothers to thank for their introduction. Pamela Bond, our mother, and Susan McCord, the future groom’s mother, play tennis together in Wichita Falls and were relentless in the set-up. Matt agreed to meet Meredith one morning for breakfast and a tour of Vernon, our hometown,  and then…the rest was like a fairytale. The proposal was also sporting. “After we landed in the Faroe Islands together, the first place I wanted to see was the waterfall at Gasadalur,” said the bride, Meredith McCord. “After taking quite a few photos, it was time to leave as the sun was setting–and Matt seemed in a pensive state. Looking back, I know he was wondering if this was the right spot to propose. I wasn’t expecting it to happen on this trip, so it was a wonderful surprise when he popped the question.”  

Following the engagement and pre-nuptial events all across Texas, including a rehearsal dinner hosted by the McCords for family, friends, and out of town guests at the Clay Pigeon restaurant (the site of one of the couple’s  first dates), the wedding ceremony took place at the First Presbyterian Church of Fort Worth. On the big day, Meredith wore a strapless white silk Mikado dress designed by Nardos Imam, a Dallas-based dressmaker. Attached to her garden-style bouquet of white O’Hara roses, lilac, cream peonies, and white lisianthus was a silver and diamond lavaliere, a family heirloom on our mother’s side. She wore diamond earrings as the something borrowed from me, and for something blue, she carried a small handkerchief with a blue monogram, a gift from our sister-in-law, Meredith Louise Bond. 

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The bridesmaids wore formal black gowns, adorned with matching gold and pearl earrings by San Antonio-based jewelry designer Nicola Bathie, a gift from the bride. I served as a matron of honor, of course. Her bridesmaids were: Catherine Elizabeth Almeida of Prosper, Texas, Meredith Louise Bond, sister-in-law of the bride of Dallas, Katie Diane Braddock of Yulee, Florida, Meghan Brooke Goddin of Austin, the sister of the bridegroom, Anna Renee Hoppe of Yukon, Oklahoma, Leigh Dodson King of Fort Worth, and Kristen Payne Polito, of San Antonio. 

Serving as the best man for the ceremony was Byron Parker Chaddick of Midland. The groomsmen were:  Shelby Henry Carter of Aspen, Colorado, Joseph Blake Garret of Huntington Beach, California, Mason Albert Schwarz of Austin, Maddox Morgan Womble of Dallas, and Stephen Tyler Goree, Christian Michel Patry, and Chipman Russell Seale, all of Midland. The ushers for the ceremony were: James Alfred Bloomingdale of Los Angeles, the brother-in-law of the bride, William Blaine Bond of Dallas,, the brother of the bride, Cristopher Holt Conger of San Antonio, Chase Tiernan Conway of Dallas, Chris Hopkins Goddin, of Austin, the brother-in-law of the bridegroom, Thomas Chandler Isbell of Tucson, Arizona, Brandon Stephen McCord of Metairie, Louisiana, a cousin of the bridegroom, Michael Caleb McCrea of Fredericksburg, and Winston Steel Kelly and Blake Winfield Braun, both of Midland.

After the ceremony, the grand reception was held at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Guests were greeted by a saxophonist at the entrance, where they were encouraged to sign a large pictorial book of the Faroe Islands. A jazz combo in the Modern Museum of Art Café and Terrace Courtyard serenaded the arriving guests.

Upon the newlywed’s arrival, the guests were ushered into the grand lobby of the museum, where a proliferation of floral décor in neutral hues greeted them for a seated dinner. Then, the white acrylic dance floor was waiting for the guests to continue the merriment with Blind Date of Austin, the band for the affair.  They played Stand by Me as the new couple was introduced and danced their first dance.

After dinner, dancing, and the cutting of the five-tiered candlelight-colored cake, the newlyweds exited the reception in a classic 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air sedan through a line of guests throwing white rose petals and sharing warm wishes for the future. “I was so pleased with the way Gro Designs, our event design and planning team, took my vision and transformed the Modern into such a beautiful space,” said Meredith McCord.

Meredith graduated from Texas Christian University and obtained her master’s degree from Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth. She is now a licensed professional counselor. Matt, a cum laude graduate at Saint Edward’s University in Austin, is an oil and gas landman in Midland. The couple’s tropical paradise honeymoon was in the French Polynesian Islands of Tahiti, Moorea, Le Taha’a, and Bora Bora. They now reside in Midland.

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