With some free time on my side, I can’t just sit at home and wait for the Ellen show to come on in the afternoon- no relaxing for this power shopper! I am poking around different shopping areas in town to let you know the skinny on the best places to hit with your free time! (FYI I have included a map with each area – just click on the name of the area and it should pull up a map for you) Now most of the centers around town have the requisite chain stores like The Gap, Chico’s, Ann Taylor and such, so I decided to enlighten you on places you may not know about and never walk into. So here are my top 5 for this area – including a place for lunch and a sweet!
My first destination is Town & Country Village. Now don’t mistake this for the new City Center – I’m talking about the part where you don’t have to pay to park! (That is my new pet peeve!) Park and walk a ways and then take your bags to your car and re-park if the weather is good – or you can get some good exercise walking around. Either way, you will find some good stuff!
Athleta only has a few stores in the area, so I decided to include it. If you get the catalog – it is fun to see it all in person. This is my favorite store for bathing suits. You can get 4 or 5 pieces that mix and match and it can be the only suit you take on an extended vacation! They also have a lot of clothes that make you look like you have been working out, but they are presentable enough to go to lunch in!
Speaking of catalogs becoming a reality – Soft Surroundings has joined the neighborhood too! As soon as you walk in, you are swept away by the wonderful scent in this store – not overbearing, and very spa like. (great stress reliever for those of you that hate to try on clothes!) They carry Not Your Daughter’s Jeans, their own makeup line with an expert on hand to help you, and wonderful tops and under pinnings that would round out any closet.
It is rare that you find a shoe store in an outdoor shopping center – but here is Nine West! I know they don’t fit everyone – but you have to love a store that has a flip-flop, a trendy wedge and a heel for work. Besides – something is always on sale! Check their website before you go for the latest deals. Their customer service is great too.
JoAnn’s has been a Houston staple for years. She only has 2 locations left – here and in Sugar Land. The selection of Findley tops, Lafayette 148 pieces and Zanella jackets will make a lot of working women swoon! But the one thing she does better than most is BELTS! Good belts are hard to come by and she gets in some good ones! It is one of the few stores left that has people who really know about retail. They will know your name, tell you about sales, and listen to all of your stories about your kids and pets, and vacations, etc!!! That is so rare these days. Park right in front and run in to see Jeanette, Kellie, and Carolyn to name a few.
Now my last suggestion is Trudy’s Hallmark. This is not your grandmother’s Hallmark! But Grandma will be impressed. There is a gift for everyone you know in this store. The cards literally take a back row to all of the goodies to be had in the front. Vera Bradley, candles, Yellow box shoes, pj’s, baby gifts, games, you name it, they probably have it. If a knick-knack or tchotchkes isn’t in this store – than you don’t need to buy it!
Now – if you haven’t eaten at this gem of a restaurant, you need to slap yourself silly! Pronto’s Cucinino is a Mandola restaurant with the best chopped salad on the planet! Not to mention that you could pick up a scrumptious roasted chicken with some sides for dinner too! If you want to do more shopping, just take a menu, put their number in your phone, and call for it later. You don’t even have to get out of your car – they will bring it to you! (by the way – the green beans are to die for!) Just look for the yellow awnings – you can’t miss it!
And for the mid afternoon lull – when you think you just can’t go on – move on over to Ooh La La Dessert Boutique. Cupcakes, Cookies, Pie, Macaroons – they have everything to calm your craving and sweeten your sweet tooth and re-energize you for at least your drive home!
That’s it for this shopping shenanigan! Stay tuned for more throughout the city!