A bloom of pastel sugar cookies sprouts from a foundation of peanut-butter and chocolate-chip cookies heaped at their base. This edible masterpiece, the BouTray, is one of Cookies by Design’s many inventive arrangements. For their creative displays, the bakers have been spotlighted on Home and Lifestyle TV. Once customers have selected their ideal cookie bouquet, cookie platter, or cookie house for displaced gingerbread men, pastry chefs personalize the fresh-baked treats with a written message or design.
The sentiment specialists at Personally Yours assemble intricate floral arrangements and gifts. With each order, customers receive one dozen fresh and delicate roses to bestow upon friends, spouses, or hardworking bees. Through each of a vast selection of fresh floral arrangements, houseplants, and gift baskets, the staff helps to enliven recipients’ homes and office spaces.
Vera Auvil's passion in life has always been cultivating knick-knacks and odds-and-ends—her "sweet nothings," as her husband used to say—so when the opportunity to purchase her own store came her way, she knew she wanted to fill its shelves and aisles with her favorite little things: clothes, jewelry, home décor, and makeup. She christened the shop Auvil's Sweet Nothings and set to work cultivating local artisans and national vendors who proffer goods such as De Novo, Waterford crystal, and Yellow Box Shoes. The skilled staffers at her vendor-based store can even help clients brighten smiles with Beaming White teeth-whitening services, make-over mugs with Jane Iredale cosmetics, and learn to cheat during shopping-cart races.
Disc Go Round’s staff of music mavens maintains the CD emporium's vast collection of tunes, games, and DVDs while doling out well-informed advice on selections. Their inventory has practically everything, from game rental to Eric Clapton albums and Jimi Hendrix's never-released Practically Everything. Should something be missing the team happily fills requests.
The courteous chauffeurs of Corpus Christi Party Bus steer festive groups across illuminated pavement for 90 minutes of Yuletide displays. The tour begins when twosomes board the party bus and recline in comfortable leather seats that fill the expansive interior, which holds up to 15 guests or 45 well-mannered raccoons. Two 19-inch flat-screen TVs join forces with DVD players and multicolored LED lights to compete with the spangled domiciles outside, and Christmas songs blast from the bumping sound system. Duos can sip on two complimentary nonalcoholic beverages during the BYOB jaunt or string popcorn garlands across the hardwood flooring and around the bar area. Guests should call ahead to reserve seats; kid-friendly tours can be arranged upon reservation.
The Ukraine, 1914. Sam Braslau, the son of a miller, has saved enough money to immigrate to America. When he arrives, he peddles clothing from a horse-drawn buggy to earn the money to send for his brothers. In 1925, the brothers open the first Braslau’s—a dry-goods store. In 1927, the brothers expand their scope, adding furniture to their inventory. With this decision, they ensure that their name would stay on the lips of design-minded homeowners for the rest of their lives and beyond.
Today, Braslau's Fine Home Furnishings has evolved into a 70,000-square-foot furniture showroom, where Blake Breslau continues to hone his family’s accumulated knowledge and experience in the furniture industry. Inside, customers browse desks, chairs, sofas, and dinettes from brands such as Ashley Furniture, Broyhill, Klaussner Home Furnishings, and LaCrosse. In the sleep center, mattresses from Sealy, Simmons, and Tempur-Pedic promise the perfect night’s sleep, or the perfect testing ground for amateur trampoline routines.