Photo by Daniel Ortiz

The fifth annual Fashion Gene Awards, founded by Gracie Cavnar as a Mother's Day salute from Recipe for Success, presents an eclectic mix of fashionable femmes at Tootsies on May 4.

Fashion Gene, 4/16 Duyen Nguyen, Anais Nguyen, Lauren Nguyen, Chloe Nguyen, Misha Nguyen
Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Recipe for Success [http://recipe4success.org/] presents the fifth annual Fashion Gene Awards [http://recipe4success.org/events.html], a salute to Mothers Day, in a fashion presentation May 4 at Tootsies. Six combinations of stylish femmes will be spotlighted. In advance of the fundraiser that includes opportunities for just the fashion show ($50) or the fashion show and dinner ($350) that follows, we share fashion insights as provided by the mother, daughter, daughter-in-law combos. Duyen Nguyen with daughters Annais, Lauren, Chloe, Misha In one word describe your mother's/daughter's style: Duyen: For Misha, sporty but elegant; for Lauren and Chloe, edgy; for Anais, street style hip. Misha: Bold. Lauren: Intuitive. Chloe: Fearless. Anais: Classy. How has your mother/daughter influenced your fashion? Duyen: I dress more age-appropriate around my daughters. Misha: Her occasional all-black style is what has influenced me the most. I don't wear a lot of dresses with crazy prints and I also wear a lot of black. Lauren: I grew up having my parents dress me wherever we went and so my entire fashion style comes from them. Chloe: My mother's style influences me to try new things and to be creative with combinations and shapes. Anais: My mom chooses a lot of my outfits when we go out. What has been your mother's/daughter's biggest fashion faux pas? Duyen: Sometimes we'll all come home from an event and they'll tell me they wore their pajamas underneath their dresses or outfits. Misha: Ha,ha. I don't think I've ever seen my mom have a fashion faux pas! Lauren, Chloe, Anais: When she wore high heels to the Acropolis.
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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Houston Astros Opening Day 2023: Mark Wahlberg, Megan Thee Stallion, Travis Scott, and Cody Johnson star in season start

play ball!

Seems like only yesterday that our Houston Astros were partying downtown at their 2022 World Series Championship parade. But in a blink, the team returned to Minute Maid Park to kick off Opening Day of the 2023 season on Thursday, March 30 against the Chicago White Sox.

CultureMap was there as our world champions were joined by superstars Mark Wahlberg and Cody Johnson and hometown favorites Megan Thee Stallion and Travis Scott (Hot Girl Megan threw out the first pitch). Wahlberg, a close friend of third base hero Alex Bregman, called Breggy his "favorite Yankee Killer" and wished the new dad and champion a very happy happy birthday (he turned 29 the same day).

Astros owner Jim Crane and wife Whitney literally rode in with the World Championship trophies and joined manager Dusty Baker, Jr. who asked the eager crowd: "Are you ready for another one?" — to an enthusiastic roar. After a big reveal of the new season slogan "Ready 2 Reign" and appearances by Wahlberg, the Cranes, a ceremonial first pitch by Megan, it was game on.

Astros starting pitcher Framber Valdez threw five innings, giving up no runs in only 85 pitches and four strikeouts.The game stayed scoreless until the 7th inning, when Yordan Alvarez scored from third base on a wild pitch. White Sox starting pitcher Dylan Cease threw seven innings and recorded 10 strikeouts, whole tight defense from the 'Stros kept the game scoreless through seven innings — until White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal hit a solo home run in the eighth.

The Astros gave up two more runs in the top of the ninth, then came a mammoth, 442-foot upper-deck home run in the bottom of the inning by star slugger Yordan Alvarez. His blast wasn't enough, however, as the Sox bested the Houston Astros 3-2. Historically, the Astros have won 10 straight Opening Day games.

Broadcast on ESPN, the game was speedy thanks in part to the new pitch clock, starting at 6:08 pm and ending just before 9 pm. Fans can catch the team again at 7:10 pm Friday, March 31 against the Sox as the Astros will receive their World Series rings. The four-game home stand against the Sox runs through Sunday, April 2.

--- Additional reporting by Marco Torres/Marco From Houston

Photo by Marco Torres/@MarcoFromHouston

Alex Bregman tags out Elvis Andrus.

Cult-favorite Houston cookies now shipping nationwide via new website

Send a taste of Houston

It’s just become a little easier to send a taste of Houston to friends and family in faraway places. Dessert Gallery is now shipping its cookie dough nationwide for at-home baking.

“The cookies have a cult following,” Dessert Gallery owner Sara Brook tells CultureMap. “In this day and age of online shopping and ordering what you want, when you want and wanting to try everything from everywhere, it seemed like the perfect time to put our cookies out there to the wider universe. I’m really excited. We’ve been working really hard on packaging and shipping.”

Available in four flavors — Chocolate Chunk, White Chocolate Macadamia Nut, Brookie, and Red Velvet with white chocolate chip — each box contains a dozen frozen dough pucks and a sheet of parchment paper. Recipients bake the frozen dough according to the instructions provided. Prices start at $36 for a dozen cookies, or customers may order a 24-pack that includes six cookies of all four flavors for $65 (plus tax and shipping).

In particular, the Chocolate Chunk cookies have been a fan favorite from day one. As the name implies, the pieces of high quality Guittard chocolate in each cookie are far too large to qualify as mere “chips.”

“The thing that sets our cookies apart is it’s more chocolate chunks than cookie dough,” Brook says. “We are serious about the ratio of dough to chocolate chunks.”

After a series of trial runs sent to friends, family, and this author's very lucky nephews — including a seven-year-old who gives two very enthusiastic thumbs up — the cookies are available for purchase from the Dough by Dessert Gallery website. Brook says she's looking forward to sharing her cookies with the rest of the country.

“I just can’t wait to get it out there, because I think people will love it,” she says. “That’s what my whole career has been about is putting stuff out in the world and hoping people love it. It puts all kinds of warm and fuzzy feelings out there.”

Known for its nostalgic cakes, cookies, and other treats, Dessert Gallery has been satisfying Houstonians’ sweet toothes for almost 40 years. The bakery and cafe recently announced it would open a second location in The Woodlands Waterway later this year.

Researchers name ancient beaver fossil after favorite Texas gas station


The legend of a treasured gas station chain continues with a new chapter: a rediscovered beaver fossil is being named after Buc-ee’s.

The ancient animal was named Anchitheriomys buceei (A. buceei) by Steve May, a research associate at the University of Texas Jackson School of Geosciences and lead author of the Palaeontologia Electronica paper that describes the beaver.

A. buceei fossils were rediscovered by researchers in UT Austin’s collections and include fossils from six different Texas sites. May decided to name A. buceei after Buc-ee’s upon spotting a “This is Beaver Country” billboard in 2020 that reminded him of the fossils he was studying at the time.

Though Buc-ee’s was founded in 1982, CEO Arch “Beaver” Alpin III said in a press release that his business’ history is longer than he thought, and that he may “need to rethink [their] beginnings.”

Occurrences of A. buceei can be found between 15 and 22 million years ago along the state’s Gulf Coast. At first glance, they don’t appear much different from current native Texas beavers. But according to the report’s co-author Matthew Brown, who is also the director of the Jackson School’s vertebrate paleontology collections, they are nearly 30 percent bigger than today’s beavers.

A partial skull fossil of the beaver was originally collected in 1941 by paleontologists. One of the original finders was Texas A&M University museum curator Curtis Hesse, who passed away four years later before he could name it a new species and publish his study.

More information about A. buceei can be found on UT Austin’s website.