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As a mom, I sometimes feel like I’m not teaching my kids enough. I have a memory of my mom freaking out about my lack of geography knowledge on our drive up to college (and of her quizzing me the whole way!) and wonder what I’ll find out that my kids don’t know on my drive up to college with them. I frankly don’t care much about keeping up with the “Mommy Wars” or the Joneses but I do feel that tiny twinge of “not enough-ness” so I really enjoyed this essay about what really matters when teaching our kids about life – enjoy! Recently I found this excellent org, Every Mother Counts, which has the mission of decreasing maternal mortality globally. If this is an issue that concerns you, make a difference with them.

Speaking of activism, myself and many preservation friends got all stirred up yesterday over the vintage letters that spelled “Alabama” being removed from the historic Alabama Theatre’s sign. We are vigilant about that property and the River Oaks Theatre site so were concerned. It’s a city-designated landmark, but it’s not protected from the bulldozer due to our weak preservation laws. Weingarten Realty Inc., the property owner, has said they are just refurbishing the letters (presumably in prep for Trader Joe’s that will be going in there) but it was a strong reminder to keep working with the city on saving our landmarks. One way to help with this cause is to get involved with the Houston History Association, which is hosting their annual “Houston History Conference” next Saturday. Join them and help keep our city historic.

I’m pleased to announce this week’s winners of copies of THE SUMMER BOOK: A GUIDE TO HOUSTON DAY CAMPS AND CLASSES FOR KIDS AND TEENS: Robin Bell Layfield, Stephanie Hirsh Cousins, Nicole Zaza, Judy Adams-Foelber, and Sandy Thompson Luhrsen. How did they score? It was easy: they liked my GISH PICKS Facebook page and became a double winner. I’ll be doing this throughout the summer, so stay tuned for announcements here. And I’ll be choosing again from this week’s likers so get going!

I’m still posting (almost) daily about “Houston Gems” – places, people, and things that make Houston great – so follow me on twitter ( or “like” my new HOUSTON GEMS Facebook page to learn about cool Houston. All my past gems are archived on twitter (search for #houstongems) and on the Facebook page, so you can grab them and EXPLORE!

Have a great week and GO.FIND.FUN.

Events for the Weekend of May 25, 2012


“Ye are called to peace” and the Houston Peace Festival 2012, which will be held this Saturday, May 26 at 1318 W. 26th Street from 1-6pm. The Houston Peace Festival is hosted by the Live Oak Friends and its mission is to create a day of celebration, information, and networking with individuals and local and national organizations whose work to improve our community and world aligns with Quaker testimonies and values. Peaceful entertainment will be happening throughout the day, including a site-specific dance performance by Shannon Adams and Daniel Adame; music by DRUM, Michele Thibeaux, The Wheel Workers, Kuumba Freeque and more; and poetry readings by talented youth from Writers in the Schools. The special guest speaker will be P.K. McCary, whose wit and wisdom and tongue-in-cheek way of looking at the world will teach us about ways in which we build bridges and tear down walls. There will also be a variety of healthy food, kids activities, and art and art cars on display.

The event is free and open to the public.

Houston Peace Festival



If you know about FotoFest, then you’ll love FotoFence 2012, their annual student exhibition highlighting student work created during their “Literacy Through Photography (LTP)” youth program. Houston area schools from 7 districts, including private and charter schools, are presenting photographs, writing, poster collages, digital video projections and 3-dimensional sculptures. These pieces represent personal, creative exploration, inspired by the themes self, family, community and dreams.

The show is on view at the FotoFest Headquarters, 1113 Vine Street. Gallery hours are Wed and Fri, 10am -5pm; Saturday, noon-5pm; and Thursdays 10am-7pm.

Friday Night Films


Whole Foods Market and Alamo Drafthouse Cinema have partnered together to present Friday Night Films”, a showcase of classic family films on the second and fourth Friday during May and June at their Whole Foods Market Montrose, 701 Waugh Drive. This Friday, May 25, beginning at twilight, they’ll be showing “The Neverending Story” in the parking lot. Enjoy this evening under the stars – all you need to do is bring your lawn chair and naturally, all the yummy Whole Foods concessions will be available for purchase during the film. “The Neverending Story” is one of my favorite kids’ films – it’s about a lonely boy whose sole quest is to save a dying fantasy land.

This event is free and open to the public.

Teen and Family Services Art Show


I’m a big fan of Teen and Family Services so am happy to let you know about a great opportunity to help them out. They’re hosting “A Life Worth Living,” an art exhibition this Friday, May 25, 6-9pm at Taft Street Coffeehouse, located at 2115 Taft Street. I am donating some of my art to this show and worked with the teens on some of the art they created (hint: eyeballs are involved!). There will be live music and all kinds of unique creations, from jewelry to paintings to photography made by adults and kids.

The event is free and open to the public and all you need to bring is your smile and your checkbook!


Melissa Noble is my hair stylist and truly gives me the best haircuts I’ve ever had. I know many of you like off-the-beaten-path discoveries and I assure you, Melissa is one of those. She’s a multi-faceted and passionate independent hairstylist who has built a reputation and client base in the cultural community by sculpting each person’s hair to its natural movement as well as adding longevity with the shape and cut.

She truly understands wavy, frizzy, complicated hair and can easily work with ANY kind of hair. Her specialty is her attention to the detail of precision cutting and “carving” each hairstyle while being sensitive to her client’s lifestyle needs as well as working with color. She is always accountable and service oriented. I promise you’ll not only get full attention from her without all the noise or attitude of a large shop but you’ll also get great conversation as Melissa is actively involved in many local arts nonprofits, including KPFT-FM, DiverseWorks, and Project Row Houses.

Melissa operates in a quiet, serene, art-filled studio that overlooks a garden in the Montrose area where she was raised. For appointments, contact her at 713.520.5878 or

Melissa Noble

GISH PICKS is a free weekly email in which I highlight family-oriented cultural events, products or services. Please note that I "highlight" events, but I don't know if they are appropriate for your particular children, so choose wisely based on age, maturity and interests. I know many of you go to events based on GISH PICKS recommendations; PLEASE remember to tell the organization that you are there because of us. Word-of-mouth like yours helps our business to grow. In the same spirit, please also feel free to share GISH PICKS with friends and families.

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The purpose of GISH PICKS is to help parents become aware of all the fun things they can do with their children in Houston and the surrounding area, so GO FIND FUN! Please do give me feedback and ideas, as you are out there in the trenches also looking for interesting things for your family and I want to hear what you find.

If you are having trouble getting to a website listed here, try hitting the "Ctrl" button and left-clicking on the web address, which should make it "live".

For more about my personal, business, and family enrichment company, Gish Creative, and the services we offer, please click here. You are on this list because I thought this e-newsletter would be helpful to you or because you signed up for it. Please feel free to tell your friends to subscribe by clicking here.
My goal is to serve as an information resource for Houston parents through my various endeavors, including:

  • GISH PICKS, which is online and emailed out to thousands of parents and caregivers;

  • THE SUMMER BOOK®: A GUIDE TO HOUSTON DAY CAMPS AND CLASSES FOR KIDS AND TEENS which comes out annually in March and is sold at bookstores all over Houston, including Barnes and Noble; and

  • OTHER SERVICES including SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS, INTERACTIVE WORKSHOPS, PRIVATE CONSULTATIONS, and ART PROGRAMS that cover topics such as summertime fun, passion-finding (for adults, children and families), marketing, historic preservation, art classes, and activism. All of these services can be tailored for any audience and budget.

Sarah Gish
1940-A Fountainview, PMB 116
Houston, Texas 77057
phone/fax: 713.482.7065

© 2012 Sarah Gish

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