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Kendra Scott and buzzy Texas blogger unveil new bridal capsule collection

KENDRA SCOTT x CHAMPAGNE & CHANEL

Photo courtesy of Kendra Scott

Two Texas-based female powerhouses have launched an exclusive collaborative bridal collection. Popular jewelry designer and philanthropist Kendra Scott and Austin lifestyle blogger Emily Travis of Champagne & Chanel co-designed the collection, marking the first-ever influencer-designed partnership for the brand.

As Travis is a dedicated wearer of the brand, Scott’s line has been with Travis during monumental moments in her life. While on her own wedding journey, Travis couldn’t imagine celebrating her special day without Kendra Scott and had a vision of what she wanted for her bridal party: timelessness.

“I’m a firm believer that when you find accessories you love, that give you the extra boost of confidence, the rest falls into place — especially on your wedding day,” Scott says in a statement. “We were in the process of expanding our bridal variety and it felt serendipitous when Emily shared her vision for her wedding. I was honored to help her bring this to life for her big day.”

The capsule bridal collection, named after female figures in Travis’ life, features a variety of classic shapes like emerald and round-cut crystals and timeless designs. Included in the capsule collection are dainty drop earrings, tennis bracelets, and necklaces. Together, Scott and Travis created quality pieces at an attainable price point ranging from $58 to $148.

In addition to creating keepsake styles, Travis wanted to design versatile pieces that could not only be worn for black-tie affairs but also more casually every day.

When co-designing the collection, Scott encouraged Travis to incorporate other elements from the big day, such as her floral arrangements. This inspired the Cameron Statement Earring, crafted to effortlessly transition from a formal showstopper to a stud with a unique detachable piece.

“Getting the chance to design a collection with Kendra Scott has definitely been one of the biggest ‘pinch me’ moments of my life,” says influencer Travis in a statement. “This collection is very special to me because it’s inspired by the happiest day — my wedding. I am so proud and honored to have my name on each of these pieces and I hope you love them as much as I do!”

Travis started her blog in 2016 while she was a senior studying at Texas A&M University. What began as a creative outlet has garnered more than 1 million followers. The collection can be shopped in stores and online.

Per a release, Scott reminds us that not all that glitters is gold, that life is as messy as it is magical, that bad things can happen to good people, and that even in our darkest of days, there is always a light to shine.

The Kendra Scott x Champagne & Chanel capsule collection is available now.

Photo courtesy of Kendra Scott
The Kendra Scott x Champagne & Chanel capsule collection is available now.
Photo courtesy of Whataburger

Whataburger says ‘I do’ with new WhataWedding collection for brides and grooms

Love at first bite

Texans planning a wedding anytime soon may want to scrap the tux and gown in favor of some new eat-your-heart-out apparel from a cherished San Antonio-based burger chain.

Just in time for wedding season and Valentine’s Day, Whataburger has released its new lineup of WhataWedding garb and accessories, augmenting its plentiful collection of burger-branded garments and gifts.

The new collection includes designs for her and him in the form of short-sleeved WhataBride and WhataGroom T-shirts, as well as a WhataWedding shirt design, each selling for $25. The sweetheart styles are part of an ongoing collaboration between San Antonio-based Whataburger and Frisco-based apparel business Tumbleweed TexStyles.

The new T-shirts are a cotton/poly blend and are available in — what else? — white for the WhataBride style and black for the WhataGroom style. The WhataWedding style comes in gray, and all three designs are embellished with Whataburger’s iconic orange brand elements.

Whataburger lovers who want to do more than wear their heart on their sleeve can also opt for an additional “touch of elegance” with the new James Avery heart charm ($72), which is crafted in sterling silver and bedecked with Whataburger orange enamel stripes.

Couples getting hitched won’t want to forget to scoop up some of Whataburger’s classic table tents emblazoned with a new “Just Married” script design ($3.99). They’re even available in five-packs for $10.99, so the bride and groom can share the love with their wedding guests.

All of the new WhataWedding designs are currently available for purchase through the online Whatastore.

Whataburger and couples: a match made in burger heaven.

Photo courtesy of Whataburger
Whataburger and couples: a match made in burger heaven.
Photo courtesy of LovBe

Brides will swoon for sparkly rings from this female-founded jewelry line

I Do

Spring — and love — is in the air. If finding the perfect engagement ring is on your horizon (or maybe upgrading the one you already have), consider LovBe lab-grown diamonds.

In addition to their ethical and environmental benefits, LovBe has a few dazzling attributes special only to them:

  • Twice the carat weight of a mined diamond for the same price. Talk about more for your money!
  • Superior color and brilliance. Not all diamonds are created equal, whether lab-grown or mined. Only two of every 10 lab-grown diamonds examined by LovBe's experts are accepted as part of their collection. 98 percent of LovBe diamonds are graded Ideal or Excellent Cut — their diamonds are literally the best of the best, for the best value.
  • A female-founded brand. In a very male-dominated industry, LovBe is unique in that it was started by a woman — who actually had no background in the jewelry industry!

Lab-grown diamonds have identical chemical, physical, and optical properties to an earth-mined diamond. As testimony to this, the Federal Trade Commission removed the word "natural" from the basic definition of a diamond in 2018.

And launching this month is LovBe's first exclusive collection: LovBe Eternal, a capsule collection of nine engagement ring designs featuring fancy shape side stones.

From sleek, tapered baguettes to sophisticated pears to timeless round brilliants, LovBe Eternal allows couples to build their perfect engagement ring. Simply select a center stone of your choosing that fits both your design desires and budget, and then marvel at the ring that exemplifies your unique past, present, and future.

This new collection also marks the introduction of the LovBe Hallmark, a single, round brilliant lab-grown diamond securely placed where only the wearer will know of its presence. The diamond sits close to the vena amoris, which according to the ancient Romans went directly to the heart.

The diamond will be accompanied by LovBe’s signature "L heart" engraved stamp, ensuring the authenticity of each LovBe Exclusive Collection ring.

From customized designs to unparalleled customer service, your LovBe experience will be as rare and refined as your chosen diamond. Let LovBe be your guide to the perfect engagement ring — begin exploring your options today.

Lab-grown diamonds are real diamonds!

Photo courtesy of LovBe
Lab-grown diamonds are real diamonds!
Photo courtesy of HAR.com

Rule this Texas fairytale castle for a princely $6.5 million

Lakeside palace

A five-story fairytale castle on Lake Whitney that easily could be a fixture at Disney World or along the Las Vegas Strip just hit the market for $6.5 million.

The 10-bedroom, 15-bathroom Parsons Castle — complete with a drawbridge and moat — is just north of Waco in the Lake Whitney town of Laguna Park promoted as the Getaway Capital of Texas. Adam Musiel of eXp Realty has the listing.

Built in 2017, the property features 11,500 square feet of living space on a more than 2-acre site. The castle has served as a venue for weddings, corporate events, reunions, graduation celebrations, parties, and other gatherings.

Highlights of the castle include:

  • balconies on each floor
  • a 3,000-square-foot ballroom
  • a bridal suite
  • a groom’s dressing room
  • gazebos
  • a pool and hot tub
  • two fireplaces

Hundreds of commenters on Zillow Gone Wild’s Facebook page posted thoughts about Parsons Castle — dubbed "Taj Ma Y’all" by one commenter — that likely would disturb a king or queen.

“This looks like what happens when you start putting all the leftover LEGO pieces on top of each other,” one critic wrote.

“Looks like the home of a Texan oil baron trying to copy Middle Eastern oil barons’ houses, but confused Middle East with Middle Ages halfway through designing it,” another critic observed.

Several kinder, gentler commenters accurately noted that the castle looks like an ideal wedding venue.

Stuart and Rebecca Parsons built Parsons Castle.

“When we bought the property in 2005, we weren’t sure what we were going to build here. But before we even poured the slab, we had already had three or four weddings here. So that’s sort of how this all developed,” Stuart Parsons told Waco TV station KWTX in 2019.

Rebecca Parsons told the Waco Tribune-Herald in 2019 that her husband started drawing up design plans for the castle shortly after they bought the land.

“The castle evolved after years of design changes on the original building drawings,” Rebecca Parsons said. “The original drawings did not look like a castle, but with the help of Sterling Thompson Architects and John Rogers, the structural engineer on the project — who are both from Waco — the castle emerged, to everyone’s delight.”

Workers started pouring the slab for the project in 2009.

“It has been a long project with a lot of changes over the years,” Rebecca Parsons told the Waco newspaper. “But the finished product speaks for itself. It is absolutely amazing and beautiful inside and out, and the perfect venue for a wedding, big event, or big party.”

Parsons Castle sits on the shores of Lake Whitney in Laguna Park.

Photo courtesy of HAR.com
Parsons Castle sits on the shores of Lake Whitney in Laguna Park.
Photo by Straughan Photography

Here's your chance to own a true castle in San Antonio

Haute Property

950 E. Grayson St.
San Antonio, TX 78208

Location: Conveniently close to downtown
Style: Historic European
Square footage: Over 9,000
Beds: 8
Baths: 8 full, 2 partial
Price: $7,000,000

The lowdown: You read that right: a castle. This is a rare and unique opportunity to purchase a historic castle that was once a private residence and is currently used as a wedding and events venue. The limestone structure is built in Richardson Romanesque Revival architecture, offering 16 rooms and nine fireplaces throughout four stories, in addition to a brick carriage house with apartment living quarters.

Situated on one lush, treed acre at the periphery of San Antonio's ongoing rejuvenation near Broadway, the castle is just over a half-mile to The Pearl and northeast of downtown. The property was uniquely designed by renowned British architect Alfred Giles in 1894. Grand, elegant and inviting, the event venue has eight fully accommodated bedrooms for overnight guests furnished with tasteful antiques.

There's even an opportunity to turn the first level into a cafe or fine dining establishment to go along with the multiple public spaces: foyer, grand hall, cozy inglenook, front parlor, library, music room, dining room, and butler's pantry with prep kitchen. The oversized veranda patios are adorned with wood beams and limestone balustrades, and along with the lush lawn have served beautifully as dining and entertainment outdoor spaces

This enchanting building is only steps away from popular coffee bars, boutique shops, and local restaurants, with the Riverwalk less than one mile down the road and The Alamo only three miles away.

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This property is on the market with Julie Alexander of Kuper Sotheby's International Realty. Click here to see more photos, details, and to contact the agent.

The dwelling-turned-event venue at 950 E. Grayston St., which also has overnight guest rooms, is listed for $7 million.

Photo by Straughan Photography
The dwelling-turned-event venue at 950 E. Grayston St., which also has overnight guest rooms, is listed for $7 million.
Photo by Julia Alison

Whataburger says 'I do' to free Valentine's Day wedding at San Antonio store

Burgers and brides

If you’re in love with Whataburger, like so many Texans are, and planning to get hitched, then prepare to flip over the burger chain’s Valentine’s Day promotion.

On January 17, the San Antonio-based company launched its first-ever WhataWedding contest. The six winning couples will be able to get married or renew their vows on Valentine’s Day at one of six Whataburger restaurants in Texas, including a location in Converse.

“From engagement photos to wedding cakes and cookies — even late-night Honey Butter Chicken Biscuits for their guests — our fans have come up with really creative ways to include Whataburger [in] their big day,” Pam Cox, vice president of HR and brand communication at Whataburger, says in a release. “Nothing says love at first bite like wedding bells at Whataburger, and we can’t wait to celebrate a couple of love stories with some of our very own Whataburger super-fans!”

So, what’s involved in a WhataWedding?

Well, each couple will receive a wedding prize package worth about $1,970. The package includes a photographer, an officiant, a wedding cake, a $100 Whataburger gift card, and up to 20 Whataburger meals. The grand-prize-winning couple also will get $5,000 in cash — enough money to buy about 1,600 regular Whataburgers (or take a honeymoon).

Contestants will be judged on an essay of up to 500 words that describes a couple’s love story and explains why they want to get married at a Whataburger restaurant. The deadline for entries is 5 pm on February 2.

In addition to the Converse store a 3839 E. Loop 1604 N, orange-and-white-adorned WhataWedding ceremonies will be held at these five Whataburger locations:

  • College Station, 451 Wellborn Rd.
  • Corpus Christi, 121 N. Shoreline Blvd.
  • Fort Worth, 2209 N. Tarrant Pkwy.
  • Grand Prairie, 930 E. I-30
  • Houston, 1110 Silber Rd.

Bad news for residents of Florida, New York, and Rhode Island: You’re not eligible to enter the contest.

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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

San Antonio suburb among the richest places in Texas for 2023, plus more top stories

Hot Headlines

Editor’s note: It’s that time again — time to check in with our top stories. Here are five articles that captured our collective attention over the past seven days.

1. San Antonio suburb cashes in among the richest places in Texas for 2023. Alamo Heights has been renamed the third richest place in Texas for 2023 in a recent study.

2. San Antonio home sales slowed in December 2022, report finds. San Antonio sold 36,477 homes all year, a 10 percent decrease from 2021.

3. Here are the top 5 things to do in San Antonio this weekend. Nina Simone, Pink Floyd, the Beatles and more music-centered events made our roundup of the best things to do in Alamo City this weekend.

4. San Antonio Home & Garden Show returns with HGTV star. Ati Williams will headline the San Antonio Spring Home & Garden Show, which takes place February 24-26.

5. H-E-B opens first location in growing San Antonio suburb. The state-of-the-art facility offers 110,000 square feet of floor space, providing everything from cat food to charcuterie.


Popular Pearl brunch spot remixes with new weekend DJ nights

OONCE OONCE OONCE

Though Full Goods Diner has barely been open for half a year, it has already become a San Antonio staple for working weekday lunches and lingering Sunday Fundays. Now the Pearl eatery is looking to be a hot spot after dark.

Via release, the popular local haunt just announced a new limited-time music series, Full Goods at Night. Starting on February 2, Full Goods Diner will open select evenings throughout the month.

The Full Goods at Night series will feature popular local San Antonio DJs, including El West Side Sound, Hector Gallego, DJ Plata, Steven Lee Moya, and Cami Gee. Guests can enjoy live sets while indulging in a specially curated food and drink offerings.

The menu will include some of Full Goods Diner's best—selling items, such as French toast sticks, barbacoa waffle fries, and jumbo cheesy tots. Libations like the Attaboy Negroni, Royal Bermuda Daiquiri, Pink G&T, and more will fuel the festivities.

In addition to enjoying moonlight brunch, guests can relish some prime people-watching. And, of course, the restaurant is just a hop from other nightlife destinations like Pink Hill, 3 Star Bar, and Summer Camp Bar, making it the perfect party starter.

The series runs every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from February 2-25, 6-10 pm. The complete DJ schedule is listed below.

February 2 — El West Side Sound·
February 3 — Hector Gallego
February 4— DJ Plata
February 9 — El West Side Sound
February 10 — Steven Lee Moya
February 11 — Cami Gee
February 16 — El West Side Sound
February 17 — Steven Lee Moya
February 18 — Hector Gallego
February 23 — El West Side Sound
February 24— Steven Lee Moya
February 25 — DJ Plata

4 San Antonio culinary pioneers win $21K from the Texas Food & Wine Alliance

CULINARY INNOVATION

Texas’ skyrocketing culinary scene is about to get a huge boost. The Texas Food & Wine Alliance’s grant program has awarded $107,500 to 19 culinary innovators around the state. This marks the Alliance’s 11th year providing funding to support culinary projects contributing to local communities.

The award winners were announced in a ceremony at Austin's Holdsworth Center on January 21. A private panel of distinguished culinary experts chose the winners out of 40 grant applications this year. Nine winners hail from Austin, three from Dallas-Fort Worth, three from Houston, and four from San Antonio. The awards range from $1,500 to $10,000, with a special $25,000 grant investment from Austin favorite Tito’s Handmade Vodka in honor of the company’s 25th anniversary. Grant funding will support chefs, farms, and culinary education groups, among others.

Out of the four San Antonio area winners, Talking Tree Farm received the most from the grant program, $6,250 to purchase shipping containers for storage and to buy a solar-powered cold room for their harvests. John Marshall High School’s culinary arts program will use their $5,000 grant to establish a morning café. Agricultural project Habitable Spaces and pasture-raised chicken farm Cielito Lindo Farm also won $5,000 each to purchase equipment or build infrastructure to further their endeavors in the culinary space.

Austin-area winners received the most funding from the grant program, totalling $53,750, while San Antonio winners received $21,250 in total. Dallas/Fort Worth winners were awarded $19,750, and the three Houston recipients won $12,750. All of the 2022 winners reflect just how diverse the state's trailblazing culinary scene continues to expand.

“All of this year’s funded projects will further enrich the state through innovation and giveback,” said Erika White, executive director of the Alliance. “We’re extremely grateful to each of the Texas communities, our sponsors and their support in allowing us to reward these mold-breaking projects.”

In Austin, organic farm Trosi Farms was awarded the most funding ($10,000), which will help construct a germination shed for more stable plant start production. Locavore pioneer Boggy Creek Farm won $7,500 in grants to provide ADA-compliant accessibility to their new climate-controlled Tomato House, while Texas’ first organic feed mill, Coyote Creek Organic Feed Mill & Farm, received $6,250 to help purchase a building to be used as a store for the local community.

The six other Austin area grant recipients, each winning $5,000, include Vista Farms at Vista Brewing, Jamaican family business Tierra Todun ATX, coffee roasters Rising Tide Roast Collaborative, culinary educator Chef Pascal Simon from Bake Austin, East Austin food truck Community Vegan, and Latinx pastry project Comadre Panaderia (who also just earned a James Beard nomination). All winners will be able to use their grants to improve efficiency and expand their businesses, or in Chef Pascal's case, further research and development for her upcoming cookbook for Gen-Z young adults.

After starting the program in Austin, grant co-chair and TFWA past president Cathy Cochran-Lewis says it was the Alliance’s dream to expand the grant statewide.

“We’re so humbled and thrilled to now not only support worthwhile projects across Texas but also to give more than a half million dollars in funding over the last decade to help dreams come true,” she says. “This is a tribute to the culinary talent and the community mindset we are lucky to have in our state.”

The winners in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston areas include:

For this year's Honorable Mention, the Alliance chose San Antonio eatery Tacos Cucuy, who will soon open a brick-and-mortar space with an expanded menu. Tacos Cucuy are currently looking for support to develop a Tex-Mex charcuterie program called La Cura Carnes Especiales.

More information about the 2022 grants and its recipients can be found on texasfoodandwinealliance.org.