A licensed irrigator and landscaping professional, Michael Padilla is an expert at cultivating the kinds of plants and flowers that flourish in Texas’s sometimes unforgiving climate. At MBP Nursery and Landscaping, Michael and his staff help connect homeowners with towering palm trees, fruit trees, succulents, and cacti that possess special drought tolerance. Along with resilient flora, Michael and his crew complement homes with custom stonework and install irrigation solutions. Come winter, the staff also totes Christmas trees to living spaces, helping to set them up and then carry them away in January before branches start angling for Valentine's Day gifts.
The brother-sister team behind Rudino's Pizza and Grinders opened the eatery's first location in 1995 in Cary, North Carolina. They wanted to create a restaurant that incorporated an onsite bakery into its design, keeping the kitchen full of fresh, housemade dough for pizzas and sandwiches. It was a concept that proved successful, and now Rudino's has locations all across the country.
In these kitchens, cooks coat crusts with a sauce based on the duo's family recipe, and then layer on any number of ingredients?including fresh basil, jalape?os, and bacon. They also slide open-faced grinders into ovens after loading them with such sandwich fixings as italian sausage, salami, and fresh vegetables, which are never frozen, canned, or taken from a neighbor's crisper.
With the explosion of P90X, chronically waffling exerciser Andrew P. found a realistic approach to maintaining fitness. His own physical transformation spurred him to share the workout with others, first as an Independent Team Beachbody Coach, and then as the owner of Austin Group X Fitness. Here Andrew, now a P90X certified instructor, spreads the gospel of P90X to the masses through classes that focus on different muscle groups or types of workouts. Augmented by proper nutrition, the cross-training routines incite rapid, lasting change in physiques.
Whether at the local farmers' market or neighborhood grocery store, Mrs. Melody is always on the hunt for fresh ingredients. Her method for grocery shopping, as well as baking, comes from her childhood in southwest Louisiana. Paying homage to the women who taught her to cook, Mrs. Melody follows family recipes to craft more than 10 types of made-to-order cake pops. She flavors the two-bite nuggets with Bailey's Irish Cream, lavender flowers, Mexican vanilla, rosemary, and other bold ingredients. Beyond cake pops, she prepares salty butterscotch pretzel See-Saws, sweet-potato loaves, and cupcakes. Mrs. Melody also takes requests for items not on the menu and prepares special treats for holidays and milestones such as baby's first cavity.
The instructors at John's Gym aren't just passionate about the disciplines they teach, they're expert practitioners of them. Carey Huckaby, for instance, the trainer of all boxing hopefuls who walk in, is a multiple Texas Golden Gloves champion, whereas the leader of the kettlebell classes, Henry V. Marshall, is a World Kettlebell Lifting Amateur champion. These titleholders ply their trades in a gym that was originally designed for law enforcement and military personnel, but refrains from intimidation by providing programs for the whole family. Suspension training designed by U.S. Navy Seals complements kick-and-punch heavy Muay Thai kickboxing sessions, while cardio-kickboxing and Fit to the Core classes create more rounded fitness opportunities. To accommodate all these activities, John's Gym stocks a full boxing ring and MMA mat area, Hammer Strength free weights, and Precor cardio machines, as well as more than 30 kickboxing bags, rather than old luggage with "Kick Me" painted on it.
Travis Dickey opened Dickey's Barbecue Pit in 1941. To keep things simple but delicious in the early days, he created a minimalistic menu with only seven items such as beef brisket and bottled milk. By the time the '60s rolled up in a Volkswagen van, Dickey's two sons had grown up and taken over the enterprise. Using their father's hickory-smoked recipes, they expanded the business from a single restaurant to a franchise. To this day, each location uses the same tried-and-true barbecue techniques employed by the founder all those years ago. From the original seven items, the menu has grown to include spicy cheddar sausage and complimentary ice cream as well as sides such as macaroni and cheese and jalapeño beans.