#YearOfJoy party shows youth joys of skating

The little boy held out five fingers as he tried to balance himself. It was his first time on ice skates. He wobbled back and forth before finding a moment of steadiness. "I'm 5. I never done this before," he blurted, then smiled widely at me, as if he had mastered a kindergarten life skill, like tying shoes. "Thanks, lady. This is the best day of my life." Then he wobbled off in a hurry to take to the ice. The boy was one of 60 area children who attended the #YearOfJoy Holiday Ice Skating Party at the ICE powered by Green Mountain Energy at Discovery Green last December. My idea was to share the experience of ice skating, a sport I grew up competing in, with children who might never have the opportunity to try it. It also was my first effort to give back in a big way. More

The little boy held out five fingers as he tried to balance himself.

It was his first time on ice skates. He wobbled back and forth before finding a moment of steadiness.

"I'm 5. I never done this before," he blurted, then smiled widely at me, as if he had mastered a kindergarten life skill, like tying shoes.

"Thanks, lady. This is the best day of my life." Then he wobbled off in a hurry to take to the ice.

The boy was one of 60 area children who attended the #YearOfJoy Holiday Ice Skating Party at the ICE powered by Green Mountain Energy at Discovery Green last December.

My idea was to share the experience of ice skating, a sport I grew up competing in, with children who might never have the opportunity to try it. It also was my first effort to give back in a big way.

More

KHOU anchor feels right at home working out

Mia Gradney blasts DJ Khaled's "All I Do is Win" and breaks into a "that's-my-jam" dance. She places a weighted bar on her shoulders and bends her knees to lunge forward. Her head bounces to the beat. In a world filled with man caves and she sheds, Gradney and her husband, Troy, have found refuge in a multi-car garage in their Fort Bend County home that's been transformed into a gym and fitness studio. It was a do-it-yourself project, started in 2015, from the painted-on-concrete floor to the metal plate installed on the wall for Gradney's headstands. The floor-to-ceiling mirrors are the only feature professionally installed. MORE

Mia Gradney blasts DJ Khaled's "All I Do is Win" and breaks into a "that's-my-jam" dance.

She places a weighted bar on her shoulders and bends her knees to lunge forward. Her head bounces to the beat.

In a world filled with man caves and she sheds, Gradney and her husband, Troy, have found refuge in a multi-car garage in their Fort Bend County home that's been transformed into a gym and fitness studio.

It was a do-it-yourself project, started in 2015, from the painted-on-concrete floor to the metal plate installed on the wall for Gradney's headstands. The floor-to-ceiling mirrors are the only feature professionally installed.

MORE

Youth poet laureate wins with powerful Harvey entry

Rukmini Kalamangalam seemed to summon the moody, gray sky into position as she spoke the first few words of her winning poem, "After Harvey." Standing on the rooftop garden of her Carnegie Vanguard High School, the 16-year-old senior proved why she's the city's newest youth poet laureate. Her words told the story of the city's collective headache and fear about the endless rain that fell in the days after Hurricane Harvey. "We held our breath. Tried not to imagine what it would feel like to be drowning again," she spoke with a powerful melody. MORE

Rukmini Kalamangalam seemed to summon the moody, gray sky into position as she spoke the first few words of her winning poem, "After Harvey."

Standing on the rooftop garden of her Carnegie Vanguard High School, the 16-year-old senior proved why she's the city's newest youth poet laureate.

Her words told the story of the city's collective headache and fear about the endless rain that fell in the days after Hurricane Harvey.

"We held our breath. Tried not to imagine what it would feel like to be drowning again," she spoke with a powerful melody.

MORE

She's a master of body language and style

Jan Hargrave opens the door to her Galleria townhome looking like she walked off the pages of a French fashion magazine. She's clad in a simple Alaïa black top and slim pants, a pair of black Alexandre Birman booties, a multistrand pearl necklace and her signature pink eyeglasses. Her hair is a perfect pixie. Hargrave laughs as if to say, "this old thing?" about her outfit. Visitors should expect nothing less from the Louisiana native with French Cajun roots. In her pink-accented office, Chanel table books are stacked on the coffee table, Chanel accessories abound, and a mannequin Hargrave calls "CoCo," after the famed designer, stands guard. Hargrave is one of a kind when it comes to her style. She's also one of a dozen acclaimed body-language experts in the nation. More

Jan Hargrave opens the door to her Galleria townhome looking like she walked off the pages of a French fashion magazine.

She's clad in a simple Alaïa black top and slim pants, a pair of black Alexandre Birman booties, a multistrand pearl necklace and her signature pink eyeglasses. Her hair is a perfect pixie.

Hargrave laughs as if to say, "this old thing?" about her outfit. Visitors should expect nothing less from the Louisiana native with French Cajun roots.

In her pink-accented office, Chanel table books are stacked on the coffee table, Chanel accessories abound, and a mannequin Hargrave calls "CoCo," after the famed designer, stands guard.

Hargrave is one of a kind when it comes to her style. She's also one of a dozen acclaimed body-language experts in the nation.

More

Jason Dirden says it's good to be bad on 'Greenleaf'

Jason Dirden knows what it's like to be hated. For much of his career, the actor and Houston native has played basically good, hardworking and often complex guys trying to find their way. But on OWN's hit drama "Greenleaf," Dirden plays Pastor Basie Skanks, an unscrupulous man of the cloth who is set on doing what he can to unleash a wrath of revenge. He's the character fans love to hate. More  

Jason Dirden knows what it's like to be hated.

For much of his career, the actor and Houston native has played basically good, hardworking and often complex guys trying to find their way. But on OWN's hit drama "Greenleaf," Dirden plays Pastor Basie Skanks, an unscrupulous man of the cloth who is set on doing what he can to unleash a wrath of revenge.

He's the character fans love to hate.

More

 

Ken doll evolves with cornrows, man buns

Ken was in a rut. While Barbie had a makeover last year and emerged with a variety of skin tones and body types, Ken remained pretty much the buff boyfriend with the plastic side part that hit the scene in 1961. Until this week. Mattel unveiled a new Ken doll in 15 different styles - seven skin tones, three body shapes and a variety of hair styles. There's Ken with a man bun, Ken with cornrows, Ken with cool glasses, Ken as a bleach-blonde surfer, Ken with olive skin, and even Ken with a hipster pompadour. He comes in three body shapes: "original" (which basically means buff),"slim," and "broad" (some are calling him dad-bod Ken). More  

Ken was in a rut.

While Barbie had a makeover last year and emerged with a variety of skin tones and body types, Ken remained pretty much the buff boyfriend with the plastic side part that hit the scene in 1961.

Until this week. Mattel unveiled a new Ken doll in 15 different styles - seven skin tones, three body shapes and a variety of hair styles.

There's Ken with a man bun, Ken with cornrows, Ken with cool glasses, Ken as a bleach-blonde surfer, Ken with olive skin, and even Ken with a hipster pompadour.

He comes in three body shapes: "original" (which basically means buff),"slim," and "broad" (some are calling him dad-bod Ken).

More

 

Designer inspired by African roots, travels

It's just been nearly three years since Onyii (pronounced "Own-Yee") Brown launched her African-inspired collection, Onyii & Co., and now she's basking in the national spotlight. She was a 2015 finalist for Martha Stewart's "American Made" contest, which celebrates brands made in the United States. And in September, she'll show her spring/summer 2017 collection at New York Fashion Week, presented by Amconyc. Brown, 39, started her line with $125 and one pale-yellow, maxi wrap skirt on Etsy. Her foray into fashion was hardly the norm. Nigerian born and raised in Amherst, Mass., Brown set out to study robotics engineering at the University of Massachusetts but decided on a degree in marketing. During her junior year, she took an internship in New York's garment district with a fabric converter, a company that turns raw materials such as cotton into textiles for designers. More

It's just been nearly three years since Onyii (pronounced "Own-Yee") Brown launched her African-inspired collection, Onyii & Co., and now she's basking in the national spotlight.

She was a 2015 finalist for Martha Stewart's "American Made" contest, which celebrates brands made in the United States. And in September, she'll show her spring/summer 2017 collection at New York Fashion Week, presented by Amconyc.

Brown, 39, started her line with $125 and one pale-yellow, maxi wrap skirt on Etsy.

Her foray into fashion was hardly the norm. Nigerian born and raised in Amherst, Mass., Brown set out to study robotics engineering at the University of Massachusetts but decided on a degree in marketing. During her junior year, she took an internship in New York's garment district with a fabric converter, a company that turns raw materials such as cotton into textiles for designers.

More