Photo by Diana Polekhina on Unsplash

Pollen from mountain cedar is on its way to Central Texas to cause problems for allergy sufferers. KVUE spoke with a local allergist to learn more about what causes "cedar fever" and what steps you can take to prevent the symptoms.

Cedar fever – the name people give to their reaction to an increase of cedar pollen in the air – happens around this time of year, typically around when we see our first freeze. And this year, we may see a spike earlier than normal.

Dr. Scott Oberhoff with Austin Diagnostic Clinic said based on our weather pattern, this season will be heavy on the cedar pollen. He said the best way to be proactive is to avoid being out on cold, windy days with high pollen and to take allergy medication consistently and early.

"Oftentimes, your symptoms will be much better controlled than if you wait until symptoms start to be problematic," Oberhoff said. "If you wait until then ... you're trying to play catch up and, oftentimes, it cannot be as effective as if you had started before the season."

He also said a good rule of thumb is to start taking your allergy medicine by Thanksgiving. However, this week has been cold, so we could experience the effects earlier.


Read the full story and watch the video at KVUE.com.


Acclaimed San Antonio juice bar squeezes into Dallas with first franchise

Juice News

What was once the home of Dallas' only vegan grocery will become a juice bar from San Antonio. Squeezers Juice Bar is opening its very first franchise at 196 W. Davis St. #120, in the storefront previously occupied by Lucky Mouth, the vegan grocery store that closed in early 2023.

Founded by former pro basketball player Keith Simpson, Squeezers Juice Bar debuted in San Antonio in 2017, and has earned raves for its juice, smoothies, and smoothie bowls.

The Dallas location is from husband-and-wife Aaron and Janay Shandy; Aaron is Simpson's cousin. Aaron also brings valuable hospitality experience from being around seafood and soul food restaurants owned by members of his family.

"Being healthy has always been a thing for us, and Janay is into fitness," Aaron says.

"Squeezers is well known in San Antonio, and bringing it up here was something we wanted to do," Janay says.

They're hoping to be open sometime in November.

Landing the Lucky Mouth space turned out to be a stroke of good fortune.

"It worked out so well because we'd been looking for a space, and they wanted someone to take over the space," she says.

Squeezers earns accolades because they're transparent about their ingredients, and their ingredients are all produce, either fresh or frozen, versus some juice chains that use ice and powders.

They also have inventive flavors such as their signature juice with beet, pineapple, watermelon, grapefruit, and ginger. One smoothie, called The Meal, has frozen banana, frozen blueberry, frozen strawberry, raw oats, chia seed, and oat milk.

At the Dallas location, they'll do fresh-squeezed juices, smoothies, bowls, and shots but will also offer healthy meals to order and to-go including vegan items for former Lucky Mouth customers, and non-vegan items such as a salmon salad wrap.

An Instagram post by Squeezers insists that the quality of the brand will be upheld through the upcoming growth:

"With unwavering dedication, we will continue to serve you our signature recipes, prepared with love and featuring the freshest ingredients available. Rest assured, our unwavering commitment to providing ultimate nutrition remains at the heart of everything we do."


Country's largest hot springs pool complex plans for Dallas debut

Wellness wonderland

San Antonio has its fair share of spas, but no relaxation beats the novelty of kicking back in a different city. Those willing to take a drive for a luxurious weekend always have the Hill Country and Dallas as options, and soon there will be a new wellness spa-amusement park: WorldSprings, a nine-acre outdoor mineral springs experience, will debut in the latter city in spring 2024.

According to a release, it will be WorldSprings' first location in Texas and the largest experience of its kind in the country.

"With pools inspired by the most famous hot springs from around the world, guests can explore WorldSprings’ 45 outdoor soaking pools including cold-plunge pools, Finnish saunas, and a spa which will include wellness therapies as well as a cafe and bar," says the release.

Specific highlights of the experience will include:

  • The Family Pool, the Dead Sea Float Pool and South Pacific Region mineral pools for all ages
  • The Asiatic, European, and Americas region mineral pools for those 18 years old and up
  • More pools, with temperatures that range from warm to hot and from cool to ice cold
  • The Spa, with a menu of body treatments and massages
  • The Sanctuary, offering sound baths and yoga, breathwork, and guided meditation classes
  • Aqua classes, including Aqua Aerobics, Aqua Sculpt, Aqua Yoga and Aqua Float
  • Performance-enhancing treatments including cryotherapy, hyperbaric chambers, and compression therapy
  • WorldSprings Café, from which guests can order food and drinks poolside with their smartphones and pay with a wristband

WorldSprings Grandscape The ColonyThere'll be adults-only pools and family-friendly pools.Rendering courtesy of WorldSprings

The wellness offerings were created by WorldSprings' in-house functional medicine practitioner, Dr. Sara Gottfried, the release says.

Of course, there are not actual hot springs located beneath Grandscape. Each pool will be "meticulously crafted to mirror the mineral content of legendary springs from around the world," explains WorldSprings.

Memberships and three-hour passes will be available, "priced for all to enjoy as a weekly ritual for well-being," they say, although pricing has not yet been disclosed. A limited number of discounted Founding Memberships will be available starting early next year.

”Our ambition is that WorldSprings will democratize wellness by opening locations throughout the country,” says Rob Kramer, managing partner of WorldSprings' owner Off Road Capital, in the release.

The Dallas-area park follows locations in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, and a similar concept in La Verkin, Utah, near Zion National Park.

Anticipated opening date is March 2024.

WorldSprings GrandscapeA spa will offer massages and body treatments.Rendering courtesy of WorldSprings

WorldSprings Grandscape will be at 3240 Plano Pkwy., The Colony, joining the booming 433-acre center that includes not only shopping and dining but an escape room, immersive entertainment venue, amphitheater, and more.

"Bringing WorldSprings to this ideal location is a remarkable milestone,” says Justin Foley, general manager of the upcoming Grandscape location, in the release. “As general manager, I'm honored and excited to be a part of such an amazing community and to unveil an exclusive outdoor mineral springs experience – a first of its kind destination in Texas."

Photo by Mufid Majnun on Unsplash

San Antonio hospital is one of the top 20 in Texas this year, says U.S. News & World Report

what the dr ordered

A San Antonio hospital has earned a healthy ranking in a prestigious new report: Baptist Medical Center lands at No. 20 in U.S. News & World Report’s 2023 ranking of Texas hospitals.

It ties for 20th place with Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth and Hendrick Medical Center in Abilene.

"Baptist Medical Center in San Antonio, TX is rated high performing in nine adult procedures and conditions," the report says, adding that the evaluation includes data from St. Luke's Baptist Hospital, Mission Trail Baptist Hospital, North Central Baptist Hospital, and Northeast Baptist Hospital.

Baptist earns particularly high marks for cancer-related care and procedures, including leukemia, lymphoma & myeloma; and colon, lung, and prostate cancer surgeries. It also rates "high performing" for procedures related to heart failure, diabetes, stroke, and hip and knee replacements.

Rankings for the annual U.S. News study are based on scores in patient care, patient safety, outcomes, nursing, advanced technology, and reputation; 592 hospitals in Texas were evaluated this year.

Dallas' UT Southwestern Medical Center and Houston Methodist Hospital share the No. 1 spot on the 2023 list. (Last year, Houston Methodist was the lone holder of first-place honors in Texas; UT Southwestern was rated No. 2.)

Overall, Houston hospitals dominated this year’s Texas top 10.


This story originally appeared on on our sister site InnovationMap.

Photo courtesy of Whole Foods Market

Whole Foods customers can live anywhere in the country after nationwide Amazon launch

365 Days of Amazon

It's been a long time since San Antonio was getting to know Whole Foods Market. Austinites were enjoying the grocer's high-minded products as early as 1980, when the first store opened, with San Antonio 13 years behind. Now it's more people's turn.

Not only is the brand now unrecognizably gigantic, but shoppers' habits are too, especially when it comes to shopping online. August 7 marked the nationwide Amazon launch of 365 by Whole Foods Market. That means that anyone using Amazon can access "hundreds" of these products via shipping across the U.S. Prime subscribers get even more perks with free shipping.

Whole Foods is still mostly relegated to larger cities. (Even from the south end of San Antonio, it can be quite a drive.) Not everyone can make it into a store, so this may be the only way some can access the growing grocery giant.

The company was acquired by Amazon in 2017 for a cash transaction "valued at approximately $13.7 billion," according to a Whole Foods announcement at the time. The crunchy shoppers of Whole Foods balked at the corporate transition, but not much changed that a casual shopper would notice. In fact, the most salient shift was a very pleasant discount at checkout for Prime subscribers.

This rollout will obviously change more of the shopping experience than the original acquisition. Now, online shoppers can set up automatic restocks at a 15 percent discount via a program called "Subscribe and Save."

Some of the products hitting virtual shelves according to a release include:

  • "Spirulina superfood powder, vanilla grass fed whey protein, and adult multivitamins"
  • "Pantry staples like organic honey, French roast coffee, and roasted cashews"
  • "Customer favorites like Cape Cod trail mix, organic strawberry cereal bars, gummy stars, mini dark chocolate almond butter cups and organic teriyaki beef jerky"

In addition to expanding overall access to the store brand and providing discounts, this rollout will also be useful for shoppers who want to send nonperishable care packages. Even some refrigerated and raw items are available if the recipient is confident they can get to the door for them right away.

If loved ones in college need a healthy push, or older parents with health concerns have trouble picking up their own groceries, Whole Foods' stringent ingredient guidelines could save the day — or at least a meal. Among many other rules, products in this line contain no hydrogenated fats, high-fructose corn syrup, or artificial sweeteners.

Browse the available 365 by Whole Foods Market goods exclusively on Amazon on in stores.

Photo courtesy of Visit Houston

5 soothing facials and helpful ingredients for San Antonians who got too much summer sun

Show some skin

Let's face it – the San Antonio sun is relentless, and sometimes you just forget to slather on sunscreen. No judgment here – relax and recharge your skin with the best facial experiences in town.

Think about what happens in the sun: At the very least, you're losing hydration while sweating. If you've really overdone your sun exposure, we're looking at peeling, red skin, and painful inflammation. By that point it's gone too far and you'll need to wait for things to calm down before messing with them any further — but here's what to look forward to.

Most of these treatments include ingredients that don't just soothe the skin, but completely strip the damaged layer. Then, they deposit more hydration and regenerating compounds to ensure that the newly exposed skin is ready for more action.

But be especially careful after you walk out with all that fresh, new skin! Sunscreen is always important, but your skin will really need extra help for the next few days. Opt for SPF 30 or higher, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

Whether it's aloe, CBD, or peptides you're looking for, here are five great facials for mitigating sun damage, listed from lowest to highest price.

The 29 Again facial at Hiatus Spa, $160
Let's face it, time is the one thing we can never get back, but at least you can look like you turned back the clock thanks to the 29 Again facial at the Hiatus Spa. The Pearl's serene spa getaway features gentle skin products and facial massage techniques that target skin regeneration. The end goal, according to the spa menu, is to reduce fine lines and firm up the skin again.

The Jetsetter facial at the Thompson Hotel Spa, $175
Despite the facial's name, this one doesn't require a plane ticket. The Jetsetter facial at The Thompson features AIRO skincare, a plant-based product line created by the hotel's own master esthetician, Daphne Chapman. Some of its sun repair ingredients include botanical hyaluronic acid and aloe. The entire facial is like a cold glass of water for your skin, leaving the face glowing in a way that makeup simply can't.

The Illuminating facial at the JW Marriott Resort's Lantana Spa, $175
The Illuminating facial at the JW Marriott utilizes Eminence products made of potent Arctic berries that exfoliate, peel, and finally firm up skin that needs a refresh. It even targets acne and uneven skin for a smoother, radiant glow — and not just for the face. The esthetician also wraps up your hands and arms for an all-over hydrating treatment.

The Glow-Time Facial at the Windflower Spa, $215
Get ready to glow after a visit to the Windflower Spa at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa: The Glow-Time facial aims to calm down inflammation while boosting collagen production. It's a juicy cocktail of natural ingredients like bamboo extract and stem cells derived from Swiss green apples. These should lessen the effects of time on your skin and leave you feeling relaxed and ready to hit the town.

The OTO CBD Firm and Lift Facial at the Loma de Vida Spa, $250
In the mood to splurge a bit more with your facial? Loma de Vida has a relatively new spa treatment, the OTO CBD Firm and Lift facial, that combines several spa experiences. One of the more familiar anti-inflammatory ingredients on this list, CBD may already be in your arsenal of natural remedies, but you also get sound therapy, a bamboo massage, and some serious re-centering overall. (Plus, you get to use the Lantana Spa pool the day of your treatment, and trust us, it's one of the best spa pools in town.)

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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

New holiday pop-up shop tops this week's 5 hottest San Antonio headlines

This week's hot headlines

Editor's note: It’s that time again — time to check in with our top stories. From a holiday pop-up shop to twinkling Hill Country towns, here are the five most-read stories over the past seven days.

1. Holiday pop-up store lights up with 3 San Antonio makers. For San Antonians looking to shop small this holiday season — while still finding unique gifts — a new type of retail store downtown offers both. The Holidays on Houston Street Pop-up is a retail store that sells products from local small businesses and artisans, who run the shop themselves.

2. This is the average holiday shopping budget for a San Antonio household. Santa and his elves get busier with every passing year, but sometimes even Kris Kringle has to use his black card to get the job done. And according to a new study by Wallethub, Santa's gonna be working overtime to fulfill the orders for residents of San Antonio and New Braunfels this holiday season.

3. 'The twinkliest town in Texas' and 6 other Hill Country locales become Christmas wonderlands. Throughout December, the Hill Country rolls out the twinkle lights and garlands to give city slickers some Christmas razzle-dazzle. Unpack a cozy sweater, cue a playlist, and fire up the sleigh.

4. What’s brewing in San Antonio: Vista Brewing and Growler Exchange launch new locations.Here's our latest roundup of everything that's brewing in San Antonio, including a second Growler Exchange and a new home for Vista Brewing San Antonio.

5. Hill Country's famous Salt Lick BBQ smokes out new location in Fredericksburg. A storied Central Texas barbecue joint is heading for the hills. Driftwood institution the Salt Lick BBQ is set to open a new outpost in Fredericksburg along the Highway 290 Wine Trail.

San Antonio sparkles and shines as No. 5 most festive city in the U.S. for 2023

on the nice list

San Antonio homes, businesses, and special events that go all out to deck their halls for the holidays have not gone unnoticed. San Antonio has been named No. 5 most festive city in the United States.

A new study by home services provider Thumbtack puts San Antonio at the top of the nice list this year. The report compiled data from millions of Christmas-related home projects across all 50 states between October 2022 to November 2023 to reveal their list of the most festive cities in the nation.

San Antonio is on the rise, after the city previously ranked No. 10 in the 2022 report. And while Thumbtack specifically focuses on home holiday projects, San Antonio residents certainly can glean inspiration from the city's many festive displays, and several surrounding Hill Country winter wonderlands.

Texas cities dominated the top 10, with Austin (No. 1), Dallas-Fort Worth (No. 2), and Houston (No. 3) ranking just ahead of San Antonio to claim the top three most festive U.S. cities. Rounding out the top five is Seattle, Washington in the No. 4 spot.

The average cost to hire a holiday lighting specialist, Thumbtack says, is between $168-$300, with other requests like wrapping outdoor trees tacking on an additional cost. If San Antonians are looking to outsource their exterior home decorating to a specialist, they're already past the peak time to hire one, Thumbtack says. Americans most frequently hang their holiday lights and Christmas decorations during the Thanksgiving weekend, according to the report.

"Whether you’re looking to make your home a brightly lit winter wonderland or simply looking to add a few festive touches to your home’s exterior — sprucing up your home’s exterior with lights is an exciting part of getting into the holiday spirit," said Thumbtack design expert Morgan Olsen in the report. "Hiring a holiday lighting specialist can help you avoid stress (and unwanted injuries) so you can focus on enjoying the season."

Thumbtack's top 10 most festive cities in the U.S. for 2023 are:

  • No. 1 – Austin, Texas
  • No. 2 – Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
  • No. 3 – Houston, Texas
  • No. 4 – Seattle, Washington
  • No. 5 – San Antonio, Texas
  • No. 6 – Atlanta, Georgia
  • No. 7 – Phoenix, Arizona
  • No. 8 – Tampa, Florida
  • No. 9 – Denver, Colorado
  • No. 10 – Orlando, Florida

Director Todd Haynes tackles inappropriate relationships in May December

Movie Review

Director Todd Haynes has pushed buttons throughout his career, starting with his acclaimed short film, Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, which used Barbie dolls to illustrate the late singer’s anorexia battle. He’s at it again with his latest, May December, which tackles the idea of highly inappropriate relationships through a lens that itself has the potential to be upsetting.

Elizabeth (Natalie Portman), an acclaimed actress, has traveled to Savannah, Georgia to shadow Gracie (Julianne Moore) in preparation for a movie in which Elizabeth will play Gracie. That movie tackles the beginnings of Gracie’s relationship with Joe (Charles Melton), when he was a 13-year-old seventh grader and she was a 36-year-old pet shop worker. The shocking tryst resulted in much controversy, a child, and a jail stint for Gracie, but the couple professed their love for each other through it all.

Twenty years later, they’re still together, having added two more kids to their family, children who happen to be the same age as Gracie’s grandkids from her previous relationship. Elizabeth wants to experience it all, bouncing from person to person to try to understand exactly who Gracie is and was. Striving for authenticity in her performance, however, soon takes her down a Method acting rabbit hole.

Directed by Haynes from a script by Samy Burch, and loosely based on the story of teacher Mary Kay Letourneau and her 12-year-old student, Vili Fualaau, the film treats Gracie and Joe’s relationship in a relatively straightforward manner. It details a benign life in which they have the love of their kids and some neighbors, even if they occasionally get a box full of poop on their doorstep.

It’s the arrival of Elizabeth that sends things spiraling, as her various conversations trigger responses from both Gracie and Joe that they seem not to expect. Haynes alternates between being serious and being campy, with not enough of each for either for them to seem to be the goal. The score gives off a less-than-serious vibe, and an early scene in which a mundane thing is treated as if it were happening in a soap opera points in the campy direction, but those type of moments are few and far between.

In casting Portman as the obsessive actor, Haynes may have been trying to offer up echoes of her Oscar-winning role in Black Swan. It’s no small irony that the person who comes off as the most craven in such a sordid story is the actor who everybody wants to be around, not the woman who became a pariah because she is a sex offender. In that and other ways, Haynes upends expectations, keeping the film interesting even through its slower moments.

Portman and Moore are ideal for their respective roles, Portman because she has a knack for portraying confidence and guile, and Moore due to her ability to manipulate at will. Melton, best known for playing Reggie on Riverdale, pales in comparison due to his less showy role, but he complements the story well. Special notice goes to Elizabeth Yu as Gracie and Joe’s daughter Mary, who shines in her limited scenes.

The story of May December contains elements that will creep certain viewers out, whether it’s the subject matter itself or the performances of the two great lead actors. Haynes has a way of getting under the skin with his storytelling, and this film is yet another great example.


May December is now available on Netflix.

Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore in May December

Photo by François Duhamel / Courtesy of Netflix

Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore in May December.