Photo courtesy of Kendra Scott

Popular jewelry designer and philanthropist Kendra Scotthas coupled up with Texas lifestyle blogger Emily Travis of Champagne & Chanel to launch an exclusive collaborative bridal collection.

Austin-based Travis co-designed the collection, marking the first-ever influencer-designed partnership for Kendra Scott. The line is available now in all Kendra Scott stores, including those in Dallas-Fort Worth.

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. As she is a dedicated wearer of Kendra Scott, the brand line has been with Travis during monumental moments in her life, she says.

While on her own wedding journey, Travis couldn’t imagine celebrating her special day without Kendra Scott, she says, 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 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!”

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

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

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

Rule this fairytale castle south of Fort Worth 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 in the Lake Whitney town of Laguna Park, promoted as the Getaway Capital of Texas. It’s about 90 miles south of Fort Worth, near Waco. 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 two-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
  • 3,000-square-foot ballroom
  • Bridal suite
  • Groom’s dressing room
  • Gazebos
  • 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.

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

Coronavirus response leads this week's 5 most-read Fort Worth stories

This Week's Hot Headlines

Editor's note: A lot happened this week, and the news surrounding the coronavirus pandemic changed rapidly each day in Fort Worth. Here's your chance to get caught up. Read on for the week's most popular headlines.

1. Fort Worth closes bars, gyms, and entertainment venues to curb coronavirus. Fort Worth joined a host of other cities in enacting restrictions to help mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. The restrictions grew tighter through the week, until Texas Gov. Greg Abbott finally shut down dining in restaurants and bars and limited crowd sizes across the state.

2. 3 Fort Worth distilleries produce hand sanitizer to alleviate shortage amid COVID-19. As hand sanitizer continues to fly off the shelves amid the fight against the COVID-19 virus, local distilleries are joining others across the nation in shifting their production efforts to help combat the shortage.

3. Coronavirus diaries: Fort Worth bride forced to cancel wedding at the last minute. In the time of Love and COVID-19, relationships are put to the test. That's exactly what happened to one Fort Worth couple. After months of planning, they had to make the heatbreaking choice to postpone their March 21 wedding.

4. Dallas-Fort Worth startup pairs unemployed restaurant workers with nonprofit gigs. A new initiative has been formed to give restaurant workers a place to work. The Get Shift Done for North Texas Initiative was launched to place hourly workers in the hospitality industry in jobs working for nonprofit organizations and institutions in need during the COVID-19 crisis.

5. Comedy troupe Four Day Weekend supports Sundance Square workers with virtual show. Four Day Weekend, which canceled performances for an undetermined length of time, is part of the community of both Fort Worth's Sundance Square and the Lower Greenville neighborhood in Dallas. To try to help workers at bars and restaurants in the two areas, they will hold a virtual live comedy show on Facebook Live on Saturday, March 21 at 8 pm.

No more drinking in bars for a while.

The Usual
Photo by Malcolm Mayhew
No more drinking in bars for a while.
Photo courtesy of Holland Sanders

Coronavirus diaries: Fort Worth bride forced to cancel wedding at the last minute

Coronavirus diaries

Editor's note: Today we kick off a series about how people in Dallas-Fort Worth are adjusting to the new realities of living amid the coronavirus pandemic. Holland Sanders, CEO of Holland Collective communication and public relations firm, is a bride-to-be whose wedding was to take place on March 21 in Fort Worth.


Postponements and cancellations aren’t unheard of in the business of planning a wedding. Hell, that’s why they make you purchase $1 million worth of event insurance. But what happens when an uninvited guest breaks in and holds your wedding hostage? In the time of Love and COVID-19, relationships are put to the test.

That's exactly what happened to my fiance, Mike, and me. After months of planning, we had to make the heatbreaking choice to postpone our March 21 wedding in Fort Worth. And while we are disappointed we won't have our day as planned, we know it was the right decision. Here's how we came to our decision and advice for couples faced with the same dilemma.

A day 10 years in the making
A wedding represents the culmination of months or years of love — and a whole lot of planning. When it comes to Mike and me, this celebration was 10 years in the making. Mike and I took these precious years to build and work toward an honest partnership that we know can last a lifetime.

That was our feeling as we celebrated a new decade. As 2020 rang in the new year, we, like all of our friends, were sure that this marked a new chapter in prosperity and success — including our wedding. January started with what seemed like longer-than-normal days and a strange energy that no one could really define. I think we all chalked it up to excitement and anxiety of seeing all of our big plans and grand ambitions come to life.

Then, in mid-February, the strange, undeniable pulsing of the unknown had a name — COVID-19.

Signs of trouble
As the news began to spread as fast as the coronavirus, we knew the stress and strain of its weight would hit us and change all the plans we had so carefully laid. There was a choice to make.

Our wedding was set for March 21, 2020 — “3 ... 2 ... 1 ... go” as we lovingly referred to it in the lead-up. A build toward excitement and achievement in our hearts.

But as the days became weeks and the coronavirus moved into the borders of the United States, our lead-up was halted. We couldn’t avoid the reality of what was unfolding. Our dream might have to be postponed.

The moment of decision struck us when our wedding photographers, A Sea of Love, expressed their concern 14 days out from the ceremony. We realized in that moment, it wasn’t just OUR day. So many people, including our guests and our vendor partners, would have to make a difficult decision to see our wedding come true. One that we ultimately felt was unfair to ask of them.

Making the choice
We took a moment to outline the options with a bottle of wine and a list of pros and cons. It began with our family. From our bridal party alone, two of our closest friends would have to journey across the country, another from across the world, and one (my brother) would potentially not be able to attend at all due to an autoimmune disease.

They all were willing to face the danger of flying and possible quarantine because they love us and have been on this adventure with us for years. On the other hand, they wouldn’t know what they were encountering and bringing into our wedding celebration.

Beyond that, we looked at the real reason for the gathering. In our hearts, we didn’t need a ceremony to prove our devotion. We were planning a day to celebrate with abandon among the people who have seen us all these years work to create something special.

How would a day filled with fear and void of human connection really be a wedding at all?

So we asked. We called our parents and walked them through our options. We each sent texts to our respective bridal parties in our group threads — mine aptly named The REAL bridesmaid crew. I checked in with our wedding planners at the Greenhouse 817 to see if they had heard any other concerns on their industry threads.

Their thoughts were all the same — follow your gut.

For us, that was it. After three days of asking and listening to everyone and three nights of wine, whiskey, and conversation between Mike and me (plus, experiencing my final dress-fitting filled with tears of joy and pain) we had made a decision: There was no joy in a wedding that couldn’t include all of our loved ones celebrating life and love.

We postponed our wedding until the fall. The choice was difficult, but immediate for us. We made it together and without regret.

The sentiment that Mike and I have held at the center of our planning is a quote by Jorge Luis Borges: “Being with you and not being with you is the only way I have to measure time.” We are partners building a life of experience and love that is only measured by us and those we hold most dear. We will create the timeline for our happiness and make sacrifices to ensure that being together is always on our terms.

Advice for other couples
Mike and I haven’t canceled our wedding celebration, we have only postponed it. We could look at that as another negative in the endless line of daily bad news, but instead we are focused on the future. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you are a couple finding yourselves in a similar situation.

1. Be fair to your vendors
I am so grateful that the local vendors I chose — from The Greenhouse 817 for flowers and planning to Salsa Limon for our food, to Melt and Loft 22 for our dessert treats and Weston Gardens for our venue — are all willing to move their services to our new date at no additional cost. In this moment, don’t ask for a refund if you don’t have to. These businesses are hurting, too. So if you can, ask for a credit instead.

2. Communicate with your guests
We know that our friends and family were as ready for the big day as we were, but they will understand if you communicate. We wrote an email to all of our guests to tell them we were postponing. We didn’t have the new date yet (don’t feel like you have to have that to send out the first update), but told them we would be following up ASAP. We worked with Byrd + Bleecker owner Jenny Davis, who handled our initial invitations, to figure out a new, low-cost invitation package to send to our guests for our future date. Ask your vendors for their suggestions and expertise. Oh, and don’t forget to update your website.

3. Follow the large events
When rescheduling your wedding, look to the large events to determine the best dates. All of the large festivals and events are rescheduling to the fall (not late spring or summer), so Mike and I followed their lead.

4. Give yourself a little extra gift
If you were like us, by the end of the planning period your budget was maxed out and you had to make hard decisions on things you could live without. Now you have a few extra months, give yourself an extra gift. Whether it is buying yourself something you couldn’t afford before or doing the DIY project your timeline wouldn’t allow, budget this extra time to treat yourself to something special.

5. Double the fun
Upon the news of the postponement, so many of my great girlfriends asked if we could plan another bachelorette party. This thoughtful sentiment showed me that my friends wanted to make sure the excitement wasn’t lost with the delay. Let your friends love you in the ways they can. Plan another little shower, wine night, or party as you get closer to the new date.

6. Celebrate the day in a different way
In our hearts, March 21 will always be a special day — with or without the ceremony. So Mike and I are going to celebrate. We’ve saved a bottle of champagne and plan on making a little meal to take a moment to acknowledge our day. Plan a little something that will bring joy to you as a couple.

7. Enjoy the love
You’ve got some time to build. The planning can take over the day-to-day conversations and the fun of being engaged. So now, you have time to get back to building your bond. We’ve decided to do something fun by writing a letter to each other once a month from now until the wedding. Find something you and your partner can do to sweeten this extra time.

8. Acknowledge the disappointment
This week, the week of the wedding, has been hard. Tears have flowed as we have received all of our last-minute packages: our initial logo cups for the bar, my shoes, Mike's tux, my bridesmaid gifts, and even my wedding lingerie. Every day, we've received a new package — another reminder of the event that won't be happening. We are packing everything up to save for the new date and look forward to the joy of unpacking them again.

9. Stay positive
There is so much stress and anxiety out there right now. Don’t let this important decision stress you out more than it has to. You have a partner to share the burden and lighten your mental strife. Your big day isn’t a big day until you say so. If the date has changed, find the good in what can become of this opportunity.

Holland would love to help other brides navigating the same situation right now. DM Holland on Instagram at @hauteholland.

Luxurious San Antonio castle lets guests live like royalty for $750 a night

Royal treatment

On your next getaway to Alamo City, you very well might check out a lodging option like San Antonio’s widely acclaimed 146-room Hotel Emma, housed in the old brewhouse at the Pearl.

Not too far from Hotel Emma, though, is a more intimate and perhaps more spectacular place to stay — a 126-year-old, castle-like mansion turned Airbnb property fit for royalty.

Lambermont Estate, which also serves as a venue for weddings, baby showers, parties, and other events, sits on a lush one-acre site at 950 E. Grayson St. on the Near East Side.

The event website for Lambermont Estate (at one time known as Terrell Castle) describes the mansion as “a true historic jewel that offers unmatched character and warmth.”

The sand-colored stone house — built in 1894 by Edwin Holland Terrell, a former U.S. ambassador to Belgium — is inspired by European castles, and features four bedrooms and five bathrooms. That’s enough space, according to the Airbnb listing, to accommodate eight guests. All of the bedrooms are on the second floor.

Sadly, wet bars in the master suite and on the first floor aren’t stocked, so you’ll need to BYOB. However, the master suite is equipped with a two-person Jacuzzi and a fireplace where you can sip your adult beverage of choice.

Airbnb guests enjoy access to the common areas on the first floor, including the library, music room, parlor, and dining room. Kitchen amenities also are available. Wrap-around porches look out onto the well-manicured lawn.

To give you an idea of how immense the 12,000-square-foot mansion is, it can hold about 70 guests for a sit-down event and about 150 attendees for a standing-room-only gathering.

Interior highlights include crystal chandeliers, hand-carved woodwork, hardwood floors, original cabinetry, nine molded-brick fireplaces, and a wine cellar.

Terrell originally named his castle Lambermont in honor of business associate Baron Augusta Lambermont. After Terrell died in 1910, the property went through a number of ownership changes before current owners Pat and Dona Liston bought it in 2008 to establish an event center.

Luxury lodging with this pedigree does come at a steep price: $750 per night. But if you split the bill among eight guests, it’s less than $100 per night for each person. On its own, the master suite goes for $250 a night.

Be warned: The ghost of a former owner is said to occupy the castle. So you might be joined by another guest.

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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

'Yellowstone' stars to greet fans at Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo

Yellowstone news

Yellowstone fans, get your comfy shoes ready - there'll be a long line for this one. Cole Hauser a.k.a. "Rip Wheeler" on Yellowstone, and Taylor Sheridan, the show's co-creator, executive producer, and director of the series, will meet fans and sign autographs at the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo.

The event will take place from 4:30-6:30 pm only on Friday, February 3. Location is the 6666 Ranch booth near the south end of Aisle 700 in the Amon G. Carter, Jr. Exhibits Hall.

According to a February 2 announcement from FWSSR, "fans will have the opportunity to snag an autograph as well as purchase some distinctive Yellowstone and 6666 Ranch merchandise while also enjoying all the features the Stock Show offers."

The event is free to attend (with paid Stock Show admission) and open to the public.

It's the second year in a row for Hauser to appear at FWSSR; in 2022, he and fellow cast mates drew huge crowds.

Sheridan, a Paschal High School graduate, is no stranger to Fort Worth; he lives in a ranch near Weatherford and filmed 1883, the prequel to Yellowstone, in and around Fort Worth. Currently, another spinoff, 1883: The Bass Reeves Story, is filming in North Texas.

The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo is winding up its 2023 run on Saturday, February 4.

Ultra-chic Postino WineCafe brings wine and bruschetta to Southlake

Wine News

A nationally acclaimed wine bar-restaurant has opened in Southlake: Postino WineCafé, specializing in wine, bites, and a chic atmosphere, opened a location at 1440 Main St., in Southlake Town Square, in the no-brainer slot next to Trader Joe's.

Postino is known for its daily happy hour, bruschetta boards, and menu built for sharing, as well as a laid-back atmosphere, designed for all-day hangouts with friends, date nights, client get-togethers, and family outings.

The chain first came to Dallas in 2021 when they opened a location in Deep Ellum. They closed that location two years later in March 2023 and relocated to Addison, where they just opened in August.

"We are thrilled to bring Postino to Southlake and the heart of bustling Town Square," says Postino Co-Founder Lauren Bailey. “The Dallas/Fort Worth market is very important to us, and we are excited to be expanding our footprint here so soon – just a month since debuting in Addison."

Founded in Arizona in 2001, Postino's goal is to bring people together over wine and food. Its bruschettas are a menu mainstay, artfully presented on boards made of reclaimed wood, with 12 variations including:

  • Prosciutto Di Parma, Fresh Fig & Mascarpone
  • Sweet N’ Spicy Pepper Jam & Goat Cheese
  • Brie, Apple and Fig Spread
  • Ricotta, Dates & Pistachio

Guests can mix and match four bruschetta per board, meaning you can try more than one a time. The entire menu is that way: designed without a definitive beginning or end, with the freedom to tailor your experience based on the occasion, from a meal to a swift bite.

A category called Snacky Things features chicken and filet skewers with garlic yogurt, shrimp scampi, and crispy cauliflower with sultana raisins, capers, and a Romesco drizzle.

There are entrée salads, soups, hand-pressed paninis (on ciabatta or focaccia bread), with the option to mix-and-match sandwich, salad, and soup.

Desserts include: Chocolate Bouchon with vanilla bean ice cream, Crème Brulee, and Salted Caramel Sundae with vanilla ice cream, chocolate covered corn nuts, pretzel sticks, and salted caramel drizzle.

Weekend brunch is served from 11 am-3 pm with spritzy cocktails, lemonades, and bowls

The wine list by Advanced Sommelier and Beverage VP Brent Karlicek is especially fun to sample during their 11 am-5 pm happy hour spotlighting 25-plus wines for $6 a glass, along with $6 pitchers of beer, both local and beyond.

"We fervently champion winemakers across the globe – from trailblazers like Folk Machine, Mary Taylor, and Scarpetta to the guardians of tradition like Ernst Loosen and Bonny Doon," Karlicek says in a statement. "Producers dedicated to crafting approachable, harmonious wines without sacrificing excellence truly resonate with us. Our aim is to kindle a symphony of excitement and curiosity within our patrons during their dining journey."

Decor is attuned to the neighborhood, with art installations and local/vintage finds. At Southlake, that means a tribute to the Back to The Future series, which was the original inspiration that shaped architect Brian Stebbins’s design for Town Square. An interior wall is decked with close to 400 vintage clocks, juxtaposed by plants.

A semi-private dining space can accommodate up to 14 guests for showers, parties, and other events.

Fort Worth Fire Department welcomes its largest recruit class ever

Firefighter News

The Fort Worth Fire Department must be doing something right: On September 25, the department welcomed its newest class of recruits at Bob Bolen Public Safety Complex to start their Fire Training Academy journey, a 36-week course.

With 60 recruits, the class is twice the size as the usual Academy class — making it the largest recruit class in the history of the department.

The class of 60 includes two sub-groups:

  • The first group, Class 93, consists of 10 "fast-tracked" students who already hold their Fire and EMS certifications. They'll graduate on November 17.
  • The second group, Class 94, consists of 50 brand new recruits who hold no certifications. They'll graduate on May 17, 2024.

This largest class in the history of the Fort Worth Fire Department comes after the Mayor, City Council and City Management’s vote to approve staffing levels where they need to be for a Department serving a city this size.

In August, a fire ad-hoc committee recommended increasing the fire department's staffing with 76 new positions, from 979 to 1,049 positions - particularly to cut back on overtime costs, racked up due to an increase in the number of special events they are called on to cover.

The recommendation called for the department to take on two 50-person recruitment classes, one in September and one in February, with approximately 25 percent predicted to fall out due to attrition, for a total of 76.

In addition to the increased number of recruits attending the Academy, staffing studies and negotiations with City leadership and stakeholders has made room for an additional 15 people to be added to the training team. These new training instructors, as well as the use of adjunct instructors from within the Department, will provide even more skill-based learning opportunities with experienced and tenured firefighters.

In a statement, Chief JIm Davis said, "I want to thank the Mayor, City Council and City Management for their diligence in seeing us through our staffing study and helping make the necessary adjustments to our staffing levels. I’m excited that the Department is growing alongside the City of Fort Worth and look forward to watching the new recruits go through one of the best training academy’s in the country."