For Meredith McCord, looking at a piece of pottery brings back decades worth of memories. McCord started The Mad Potter in 1998, and since those early days, she's used her kiln to immortalize countless special moments. She traveled to hospitals to capture the footprints of newborns, helped a young man create a dessert plate with the words "Will you marry me?" emblazoned across it, and auctioned off items for charity. Yet some of her fondest memories center on the day-to-day interactions with customers, specifically when they return to pick up their fired pieces and utter three words of amazement: "I did that?"
The Mad Potter has since expanded into three Houston-area locations, where children and adults come to paint their own works of art or create replicas of their ancient ancestors' garden gnomes. More than 500 bisqueware items line the shelves of each studio, including coffee mugs, plates, and figurines. Staffers then help visitors select from more than 54 available colors of paint and supply them with everything else they might need, including brushes and stencils. The staff can even take things over and create more intricate designs?while still consulting closely with the customer. Whatever route a person chooses, there's always time for a sip of wine or beer; the River Oaks location sells wine and beer while Bellaire and Woodway maintain a BYOB policy.
Jennifer Buergermeister is very flexible. She not only moves from job to job?she's an entrepreneur, independent filmmaker, and spiritual healer?but also from pose to pose while teaching yoga. She teaches three undergraduate courses and yoga classes at Rice University and is the founder and director of the Texas Yoga Conference and the Texas Yoga Association. Jenny has created two yoga DVDs and has a third coming out in November. She's also the owner of Jennyoga, where she works with a deep bench of fellow yoga teachers, offering a variety of classes for all levels. These include Sunrise and Awakening, Hatha Flow, and Deep Relaxation and Restorative yoga classes.
The team at Jennyoga strives to make coming to the studio easy. They built a Jennyoga app for mobile devices that allows students to schedule classes on the fly. And they run an in-house store, where visitors can pick up any yoga gear they might need before heading into one of the studios. They even made a short film to inspire attendance, a sort of narrative commercial about the beneficial effects of yoga in our noisy, modern world where neighbors rev motorcycle engines and fire alarms scream in delight whenever you get home.
Founded in 1893, Sheltering Arms Senior Services has devoted more than a century to providing Houston’s elderly population with care, advocacy, and community support. Despite its long history, the nonprofit organization is only looking forward. Between 2011 and 2012, it provided seniors with 128,658 hours of personal-care assistance—including meal preparation and housekeeping—and fed 2,182 seniors a nutritious meal. And their specially designed Adult Day Center, which provides top-notch care for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. Factor in the organization's more than 20 Houston-area senior centers, where staffers offer recreational activities, health education, and legal advocacy, and it is clear that Sheltering Arms is only building upon its 120-year foundation.
Sheltering Arms' mission begins with its committed corps of staff members and volunteers. Certified nurses’ aides customize and implement home-care plans that include light housekeeping, meal prep, and medication reminders. Social workers advocate for members at risk of being institutionalized by managing their financial and health casework. Volunteers make daily safety checks on seniors who are living alone and organize arts-and-crafts classes, game nights, and dances.
With a stay at Holiday Inn Reliant Park Area in Houston (Texas Medical Center), you'll be close to Reliant Stadium and Houston Zoo. This hotel is within close proximity of Texas Medical Center and Rice Stadium.
Make yourself at home in one of the 238 air-conditioned guestrooms. Complimentary wireless Internet access keeps you connected, and cable programming is available for your entertainment. Conveniences include safes and complimentary weekday newspapers, as well as multi-line phones with voice mail.
Rec, Spa, Premium Amenities
Be sure to enjoy recreational amenities including a health club and an outdoor pool. Additional amenities include gift shops/newsstands, shopping on site, and a pool table. Getting to nearby attractions is a breeze with the complimentary area shuttle.
Enjoy a meal at a restaurant, or stay in and take advantage of the hotel's room service (during limited hours). At the end of the day, relax with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge.
Business, Other Amenities
Featured amenities include a business center, business services, and express check-in. Free parking is available onsite.
As noted on CBSDFW.com, Gene Simmons and longtime partner Shannon Tweed hosted a live-music event coordinated by The Aces & Angels Foundation, which was later featured on Simmons's A&E reality show. The party was just one of many fundraisers that the nonprofit organization has created to provide assistance for active-duty and former members of the United States Armed Forces. They visit US military installations with a cadre of famous musicians, Hollywood celebrities, and athletes, doing their part to boost morale and the instances of excited, high-pitched screaming within the armed forces. They also organize charitable, star-studded events such as poker tournaments, VIP parties, and chili cook-offs.
Proceeds from the events benefit charities such as the Wounded Warrior Project, which helps veterans recover from physical and mental injuries, and The Gleason Initiative Foundation, which raises public awareness of ALS and provides equipment and services to individuals with muscular diseases or injuries.
By engaging children on their own level, the teachers at Kids R Kids childcare center and learning academy recognize their students for what they really are: developing brains trapped inside tiny, perfectly spherical heads. The programs hew to a philosophy of "Hug First, Then Teach," meaning they encourage a child's development on an emotional, intellectual, social, and physical level. Also essential to their teaching approach is family involvement?when new skills are introduced, the instructors make sure the parents know about the approach and aren't politically opposed to arithmetic.
They rely on their own curriculum, Brain Waves, which takes a neurologically based approach that combines educational lessons with good nutrition, regular sleep schedules, and secure relationships. Additionally, the Brain Waves curriculum helps develop brains with many forms of language (including sign language) and exposure to technology in a controlled environment.