Outdoor nuptials on Country Home Weddings's 200-acre farm unfold in front of a tiny white gazebo, shaded by arching tree boughs. The venue recently opened an equally romantic indoor hall, strung with small white lights that cast an ethereal glow over ceremonies. The company's culinary team can complete weddings with catered spreads that range from mini quiches and shrimp on ice to hearty main dishes such as tortellini and brisket.
Though cloaked in a velvety chocolate shell, the shape is unmistakable—a tail curved into a half-moon, claws frozen mid-snap. It’s definitely a scorpion. And, if the opinions of the chocolate summer camp’s 8-year-old gourmands can be trusted, it’s also delicious.
Though Schakolad Chocolate Factory owners DeRima and Gary Johnson have been trained in meticulous European chocolate-making techniques that date back three generations, they encourage playfulness and experimentation at their shop. For example, chocolate-making events empower chocolate aficionados to experiment with flavor combinations, and Ms. Johnson recently unveiled chocolate quesadillas for a Cinco de Mayo celebration. The chocolatiers are also happy to customize orders, from scribing messages atop glossy chocolate bars to creating chocolate molds that match the circumferences of customers’ mouths.
Georgia Street Mall's friendly shopkeepers stock shelves full of the little lagniappes that brighten a day, from funky decor and fashion to jeweled sandals and accessories. The immense inventory unfurls across nearly every surface of the 16,000-square-foot shop, where orange, lime-green, and yellow walls surround items from brands such as Yellow Box Shoes and Circle E Candles. In addition to their own physiques, shoppers can outfit living rooms, bedrooms, and panic rooms with pieces from a rotating array of housewares, such as picture frames, wall hangings, and pillows.
From their post in Houston, MisterArt.com’s small, laid-back staff of agents and designers takes pride in finding deals on thousands of name-brand art supplies for its customers. From canvas arts to ceramics to photography, the online shop stocks almost everything artists need to ply their crafts except for nude bowls of fruit. A price-match guarantee ensures that the cost of nearly every item will beat that of other art-supply sites, and a resources page inspires depleted muses with an oracle of information on famous artists, artistic periods, and commonly used terms.
Convenience often comes at the price of style, but not at Spice Boutique & Salon. The salon, which welcomes walk-ins, also houses a boutique, perfect for last-minute gifts. Licensed cosmetologists arm themselves with scissors, hair extensions, and handfuls of professional haircare products to transform dull locks into long, elegant waves or stylish updos. They also expertly apply Mineral Hygienics makeup, and for weddings, they dote on bridal parties with complimentary champagne and fruit. Customers may browse racks of stylish designer coats, dresses, and accessories as well as shelves of colorful home accents.