Photo by Studs

Popular ear piercing barStuds made a name for itself by offering a customized piercing experience for those who aged out of places like Claire's but wanted an alternative to a tattoo parlor for piercings. With 19 locations nationwide, Studs offers a wide assortment of earrings that range from classic shapes, to huggies, flatbacks, and dangling charms.

Studs has once again added to their earring selection with their latest collaboration with Shake Shack. They created an adorably beefy earring to add to any burger lover's Earscape.

Studs and Shake Shack created a limited-edition Burger huggie earring and Earscape set. Photo by Studs

Retailing for $32, the limited edition Shake Shack burger huggie comes as a 14K gold-plated hoop with a loaded hamburger charm. Shoppers can opt for the $64 pair, but Studs is also currently offering a discount on the Shake Shack x Studs set. For $78, earring enthusiasts can get the two Shake Shack burger huggies, the 14K-gold Smiley Stud and the 14K-gold Micro CZ Stud.

What's even better than cute earrings? Free Shake Shack! On Thursday, September 28th customers can enjoy free bites from Shake Shack while they shop the new Shake Shack Charm Huggie collection at Stud's Rice Village location.

For $78, earring enthusiasts can get the two Shake Shack burger huggies, the 14K-gold Smiley Stud and the 14K-gold Micro CZ Stud.Photo by Studs

Shake Shack is known for their always made-to-order fare including ShackBurger, crinkle-cut fries, hand-spun shakes and their new Veggie Burger and non-dairy offerings.

Interested shoppers can RSVP here.

Studs Rice Village, 2567 Amherst St.; (832) 981-2869. RSVP here.

Ad Placement 300x100
Ad Placement 300x600

CultureMap Emails are Awesome

4th Wall's must-see Sense and Sensibility rocks with rom-com laughs, amazing actors — and even Guns N' Roses

(un)common sense

Let's get one thing straight up front: this ain't grandma's Sense and Sensibility.

Houston's 4th Wall Theatre Company's sparkling rendition of the Jane Austen classic — as penned by playwright Kate Hamill — is a sparkling bon bon of wit and whimsey, brought to life by an exceptional ensemble. From some truly laugh-out-loud moments to those where members of the audience were sniffling into their programs, this non-stop rom-com is sure to lift the spirit.

For those who need a refresher: Sense and Sensibility follows the Dashwood sisters, feisty Marianne and dignified Elinor, who find themselves in dire straits after the death of their father. Their half-brother has inherited their home and kicks the pair — along with their mother and younger sister — Margaret, out.

As this is Regency England, Marianne and Elinor's prospects are pretty bleak: who's going to want to marry a girl with no dowry? And, make no mistake, this show concerns itself with marriage, underscoring the precarious place women had (and have) in the world.

Delightfully dishy

Sense and Sensibility is also a story about gossip, about how rumors and stories start, about how reputations are made and ruined. What does it mean when someone says a man fathered a child out of wedlock and everyone who heard was quick to believe it? What happens when a woman is seen as too forward...and those around her are certain she's done more than she has?

Yes, these are thorny things, but thankfully, this version of Sense and Sensibility doesn't take itself too seriously. In a show where actors play the parts of people and horses and trees, and spin about on chairs and hover at window panes, there are plenty of laughs amid the deep examination of something as heady as reputation.

Director Kim Tobin-Lehl guides her cast with a deft touch, setting them loose across the stage like marbles spilling from a jar. In duets and trios and septets, the giggle, twitter (no, not that Elon Musk disaster), connive, and cavort.

As the action unfolds on stage, we see other cast members looking through windows or around plants, occasionally commenting like a Greek chorus — gone rogue — on everything from the motives of the Dashwood sisters toward their would-be-could-be-maybe suitors, their lives and choices, and well, everything else.

Amazing actors shine in a stellar Sensibility

This Sense and Sensibility cast is among the finest ensembles on a Houston stage this season — if not the finest. Faith Fossett turns in perhaps her finest performance, playing the fiery Marianne with vivacity. She's a whirlwind, falling hard for John Willoughby, and ignoring the very interested Colonel Brandon, and showing every emotion she has every minute that she has it. She is a delight to watch.

Elinor, played by Christy Watkins, is her foil, in a performance that is restrained and even-keeled, the cool to Marianne's hot, right up until the moment it ceases to be. This pair is perfect together, goading each other, teasing, reprimanding. It's easy to believe they share DNA.

Virtually everyone else in the cast does double duty, playing multiple parts, human and not. As the sisters' hapless half-brother and Marianne's dashing Mr. Willoughby, David Gow — making his first appearance on the 4th Wall stage — brings a natural quality to both parts, seamlessly shifting from a craven coward to a clever cad (no easy task and a testament to his keen comedic timing). Gow and Fossett quickly form an dynamic chemistry together that's simply joyous to watch.

As the other of Marianne's suitors, Colonel Brandon, played by Timothy Eric, is a straight-shooter. Eric — who positively shone in the Ensemble's recent production of Clyde's — here brings warmth, elegance and gravitas to the role. Nick Farco plays a couple of brothers, Edward and Robert Ferras, one of whom captures the intrigue of the fair Elinor, and does so with charm and ease.

Meanwhile, Skylar Sinclair lights up the room in her twin roles as youngest Dashwood sister Margaret and the elderly Mrs. Ferras. If there were a prize in this show for unbridled energy, Sinclair would nail it. Speaking of awards, Amy Mire takes home the award for best transition between characters, morphing from Mrs. Dashwood to Anne Steele with a change of headgear and a wildly funny accent shift.

The rest of the ensemble — Rachel Logue, Philip Lehl, and Luis Galindo — are just exceptional. Logue is supremely funny as greedy sister-in-law Fanny Dashwood. Lehl is over-the-top as Mrs. Jennings, but some of the play's finest moments are in flashback scenes, where Lehl's quiet portrayal of Mr. Dashwood speak volumes. And whether Galindo is wielding and electric guitar or providing the sisters and their mom a sanctuary as John Middleton, he's always a treat to see on stage.

Together, it's like this cast got together on stage and decided to turn this scripted show into an improbable, impetuous, imaginative improv. They absolutely glow.

Lush lighting, a (literally) moving set, and terrific tunes

To keep pace with the nonstop action, Ryan McGettigan's set is intentionally spare, designed with moving windows and chairs and doors that help spur the non-stop action along, set against Christina Giannelli's softly glowing, natrual lighting. Hats off to choreographer Krissy Richmond, who, in creating lively dance numbers, not only set the cast to reels, but also reels the cast along on casters — so that things literally keep rolling.

And let's just take a second to talk about the music. From the Jackson Five to a little Uptown Funk, the choices for set list are sly, uproarious, and inspired ways to keep the energy moving throughout the whole show. Oh, and be sure not to miss an epic rendition of the rousing "Call Me Maybe" and "It's Raining Men" — a total scene-stealer.

A local gem of a company, 4th Wall has created a Sense and Sensibility that is all at once approachable, heartbreaking, and hilarious by turns. Is it possible to out-Austen Jane Austen? If so, 4th Wall has certainly done it.


Sense and Sensibility by 4th Wall Theatre Company runs through December 23 at Studio 101 (1824 Spring St.). For tickets, showtimes, and more information, visit 4thwalltheatreco.com.

Sense and Sensibility 4th Wall Theatre Company

Photo by Gabriella Nissen

(Left to right) Amy Mire, Luis Galindo, David Gow, Philip Lehl, and Skyler Sinclair in 4th Wall Theatre Company's production of Sense and Sensibility.

Where to shop in Houston: 12 best brands, boutiques, and must-haves for December

december's best looks

Yes, we all know that giving beats getting any day of the year. But let's be honest – the struggle is real when coming up with the perfect presents for everyone on that holiday list, bouncing from one shop to another, and then wrapping the mountain of presents.

Fear not; we've rounded up the best spots in Houston to snag amazing gifts. From local brands and artisan markets to luxury items and pre-order specials, there is something for everyone this December.

Alo Yoga

Alo Yoga is now open in the Galleria on Level 1 near the Galleria Financial Center. The California brand, beloved by celebrities and fashion-forward yogis, is also well known as a street brand because of its comfortable, contemporary clothing.

Balmain Paris

Sip and shop with Rachel Clements in River Oaks District's Balmain boutique. Get a first look at the pre-spring 2024 collection in benefit of the Rescued Pet Movement: Tuesday, December 5, from 5 to 8 pm. RSVP to the sip and shop event here.

Christy Lynn

Due to popular demand, Christy Lynn offers a limited cutting of the highly coveted black Elizabeth Dress. The dress that initially sold out in three days will be available for pre-order on a first come, first served basis. Made from gorgeous Italian organza, their target delivery window is the end of January to the end of February due to fabric lead time and production. For more information or to order, email studio@christylynn.com.


Just in time for the holidays, Gucci unveiled this year's Gucci Gift campaign designed to inspire the art of giving. The campaign is the next step in the story of Sabato De Sarno's new creative direction that has characterized his vision since the debut of Gucci Ancora last September. The campaign, shot by Anthony Seklaoui, showcases a wardrobe of refined textures, vibrant hues, sleek silhouettes, and sparkly details and is available at the Woodlands location.

Jenni Kayne

Enjoy a day of shopping at Jenni Kayne's River Oaks District boutique. Shoppers can enjoy light bites, drinks, and 20% off all their in-store purchases along with a surprise holiday gift with purchase.

Katie Kime

Give the gift of luxury pajamas, hand towels, robes, and home decor from Texas toile designer Katie Kime. Her latest drop, Après Ski, features delightful images of snow-filled fun. Don't forget to snag your Houston gear or build customized pj sets for the whole family.

Memorial Market

Experience the holidays outdoors with MetroNational on The Lawn at Memorial City. Check out the Memorial Market on Saturday, December 9, from 9 am to 1 pm. Families can enjoy a memorable day with holiday trinkets, special character appearances from Memorial City reindeer, and even snowfall on The Lawn. Explore a wonderland of delightful holiday gifts, decorations, and treats.


Sleigh your holiday shopping list with Houston Plant Market, which will deck the halls with 30+ vendors, a lively DJ, a merry scavenger hunt for all ages, and more. Enjoy looking for the perfect plant, artisanal gifts, and goodies to brighten the season.

Foreign Fare

Curate a functional and stylish travel wardrobe at Foreign Fare's popup in Montrose Collective. The Houston-based brand, which features six silhouettes, is co-founded by couple Thy Mitchell and her husband, Matt. Foreign. Fare's popup will run through January 14.

Tory Burch

Perfect for holiday giving, Tory Burch offers customized calligraphy gift tags with any purchase on December 9 and 10 in their Galleria outpost.


Give the gift of luxury to yourself or someone you love with Valentino's latest drop, the Valentino Garavani Vlogo Moon bag. Available in its Galleria boutique, the bag's signature details – the circular shape and iconic VLogo is available through December 26.

Zadok Jewelers

Zadok Jewelers is the one-stop shop for holiday and gift-giving bling. The Post Oak outpost is buzzing with events this month, including The Ultimate Watch event featuring brands such as Baume & Mercier, Cartier, Jaeger-LeCoultre, and more. Shoppers can also pop in for trunk shows, including Marco Bicego, Phillips House, and more. Find additional event details here.

Valentino Garavani Vlogo Moon bag

Photo by Valentino/Instagram

Valentino's latest drop, the Garavani Vlogo Moon bag is available at their Galleria outpost through December 26.

Superstar singer and 'sentient tuxedo' Michael Bublé hands out his new whiskey in Houston

try this tuxedo's whiskey

A major tenet of journalism is to not bury the lede, meaning, don’t bury the most important info and just get straight to it. So, at risk of doing just that, here’s the top-line info:

Charming singer/actor/pitchman Michael Bublé will host a fan meet-and-greet and tasting event for his Fraser & Thompson Whiskey from 4 pm to 5 pm Thursday, December 7 at Spec’s - Fountain View (2020 Fountain View Dr.).

That means fans should plan for a long line, arrive early, and be ready to sip the Canadian showman’s celebrity spirit at what’s dubbed the Fraser & Thompson “Easy, Now” pop-up lounge within the store. Always one to spread the love to his fans, Bublé is expected to pass out sips only — officially, he’s not slated to sign bottles or pose for photos.

But, knowing his love for fans, there’s no telling if he’ll grab a phone for a selfie — or suddenly start “correcting” certain sparkling water bottles with a Sharpie (as displayed in this ad):

Smooth, subtle, and Bublé-backed — all for a mere 30 bucks!

We mention his love of fans specifically because Bublé’s whiskey retails for a mere $29.99. Hardcore whiskey purists might raise a judge-y eyebrow at the price, which to some, could suggest a rough bottom note. However, the blend, according to press materials, is crafted with “hand-selected aged liquid” to create an “inviting whiskey,” with “sweet fig and blood orange on the nose, and a subtle finish of caramel, vanilla, and a hint of spice.”

Wait…“hand-selected aged liquid?” Ummm...

Ah, further review finds it’s made with“ Canadian Whiskies with Kentucky Bourbon in Bardstown, Kentucky.” And all that crafting comes courtesy of Master Distiller and blender Paul Cirka, who co-founded the brand with Bublé. Whew.

Additionally, Fraser & Thompson also promises “less burn, more Bublé.” Hey, a distilled spirit from a silky-smooth songman has just gotta be smooth, yes?

The greatest press release in the history of Canadian celebrity-backed whiskies for $29.99

Okay, that’s the top-line info; now, let’s talk about this Fraser & Thompson press release. The official press announcement of the brand is very on-brand for the self-effacing superstar. Consider this passage from the release:

This whiskey is a triumph, an achievement, the product of years of hard work and collaborative efforts involving dozens of beverage alcohol professionals, yet we haven’t received much more than a winking emoji from Mr. Bublé when asked how we should advertise it. It strikes us as supremely ironic that a guy with such an extensive catalog of music has mastered radio silence.

We toyed with the idea of constructing an attractive, well-dressed scarecrow stuffed with hay next to a tape recorder playing “Haven’t Met You Yet,” but the coincidental sentiment felt too on-the-nose for our marketing team, whose calls keep getting bounced between assistants.

An attractive scarecrow? CultureMap receives thousands of press releases a week. In this editor’s 20-plus years of experience, this might be the best release...ever.

And it gets better. Bublé, who has his hands full being a superstar, father, husband, bottle editor, and frequent napper, was apparently hard to pin down for marketing. “At some point, from somewhere, he released this very nice statement that we’d like to share with you now,” the release continues:

“I spent many summers with my grandfather at the confluence of the Fraser and Thompson rivers in British Columbia," said Fraser & Thompson founder Michael Bublé. “When I heard Paul’s vision for creating a new kind of whiskey, I knew instantly what I wanted to call it. For the last three years, we worked together to perfect a whiskey blend that is equally elegant and approachable. We can't wait to pour you a glass!”

Meet a “sentient tuxedo of a man”

Well, hey, that sounds earnest enough. But the press team isn’t buying it. The press release responds:

“Isn’t that great? As if Michael is just the salt of the earth, sitting on a porch somewhere talking to the neighbors, and pouring you a glass of his smooth, delicious whiskey? This overbooked, overextended, sentient tuxedo of a man is thousands of miles away telling us, Easy, now,like he’s gone fishin’ instead of playing sold out shows in a new city every night.

(Please excuse us as we steal “sentient tuxedo of a man” for our Instagram bio/description.)

Later, as the release describes the Fraser & Thompson brand launch — all while trying to contact its star founder for comment:

Well, there you have it. I guess we just launched Fraser & Thompson. Tell the concierge at Michael’s hotel to pass along a thumbs up from us so we don’t interrupt his beauty sleep. We wouldn’t want to harsh Mr. Bublé’s mellow.

Sheesh, seems like Michael and the PR team might need to hash things out over a glass of a certain Canadian celebrity-backed blended whiskey, one retailing for a mere $29.99.


Michael Bublé will host the “Easy, Now” Fraser & Thompson pop-up lounge/tasting experience from 4 pm to 5 pm Thursday, December 7 at Spec’s - Fountain View (2020 Fountain View Dr.). Event is free; participants must be 21 years or older.

Michael Bubl\u00e9  Fraser & Thompson tux lawn chair

Photo courtesy of Fraser & Thompson

Superstar and “sentient tuxedo of a man” Bublé will pass out whiskey here in Houston.