Photo courtesy of LoveShack Fancy.

The Beatles coined the phrase "can't buy me love," but they probably weren't shopping for a discerning partner on the year's most romantic holiday.

Those looking forward to Valentine's Day and shopping to create a special day of romantic bliss won't be alone. It turns out that most of us will be buying for the special people in our lives. According to the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics, shoppers are predicted to spend a staggering $25.9 billion on Valentine's Day this year – one the highest spending years on record.

To ease the shopping pressure and increase the shopping pleasure – we've put together a list of the best places to shop for everything Valentine's Day related across all categories, including romance, gal pals, self-care, and of course, our furry friends.

Elizabeth Anthony

Elizabeth Anthony is hosting can't-miss events in the Uptown Park boutique. Highlights include the store's annual Designer Evening Showcase featuring eveningwear with an opportunity to earn a $1,000 gift card and an exciting shopping event for Galentine's Day. On February 9, the store will host Girl's Day Out featuring in-store sweet treats, drinks, and shopping surprises. Shoppers can also check out trunk shows from Assael Fine Jewelry, Judith Leiber Couture Handbags, and the Chris Davies Fine Jewelry Collection Trunk Show with a personal appearance. Details for in-store happenings are available here.


Luxury brand Finley shirts, known for their soft cotton and ruffled collars, have mastered closet staples since they began designing clothing 25 years ago. Finley Shirts are made for the gal that loves all things pink for Valentine's Day. The line features shirt dresses, skirts, and tops perfect for the pink and red-themed holiday. Finley can be found at Tootsies and Neiman Marcus.

Golden Boutique

The coveted Ellsworth+Ivey Crewneck "HOU" sweater is back in stock at Golden. The custom knit sweater is made from an acrylic blend and is lightweight enough for Houston's temperamental weather. Snag one before they are gone again.


Southern Cali-based brand Gorjana will launch a new collection of stunning, heart-shaped pieces just in time for Valentine's Day. The new line, available in stores on February 6, features rings, earrings, and necklaces in Gojana's signature laid-back style.

IW Marks Jewelers

For nearly 50 years, IW Marks Jewelers has been a go-to for great Valentine's Day gifts. On the heels of its complete renovation, they put together a gift guide perfect for the most romantic day of the year. Dazzling diamonds, engagement rings, fashion jewelry, and gifts for him are available at the Bellaire store.

Kendra Scott

Beloved jewelry maven Kendra Scott recently released two new capsule collections. Yellow Rose by Kendra Scott is a Texas ranch-inspired capsule collection exclusively online and at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. The 56-piece collection was designed with the Modern Cowgirl in mind, and for those looking for something to wear on Valentine's Day, the brand just released its Valentine's Day collection with pieces for both men and women.

For those wanting even more of Kendra, the Houston Rockets are hosting a Kendra Gives Back Party at the Kendra Scott Houston Heights store on Tuesday, February 7, from 6:30 pm-8:00 pm. During the event, Kendra Scott will give 20% of the proceeds back to Clutch City Foundation. Guests can expect special appearances from Clutch, KJ Martin (Houston Rockets Forward), and the Clutch City Dancers. RSVP to the event here.


Léránt is one of Houston's top destinations for gifts and decor. Score colored glasses, gorgeous dishes, and V-Day-themed linens to create a stunning tablescape for a Galentine's Day dinner or shop for unique gifts. Visit the Galleria-area store for a Margarita Mercantile Pop-Up on February 8 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Shop Mexican-inspired dresses, Valentine's Day gifts, and decor. Margarita Mercantile merchandise will remain in the store through the weekend.

Lewis & Maese

Art and home decor enthusiasts will be delighted to shop the Lewis & Maese's Sawyer Yards location closing event, The Sale at Sawyer. Deal-savvy shoppers can take advantage of huge savings on thousands of items, including new, gently used antique furniture, rugs, lighting, paintings, sculpture and accessories, handbags, and jewelry. The sale has also helped shoppers find great deals on statuary, pianos, linens, fossils, furs, crystals, and southwestern silver and turquoise pieces – among many other finds. Saturday, February 4 – doors open at 11 am, and the auction begins at 1 pm; Sunday, February 5 – doors open at 11 am, and the auction starts at 1 pm.

Native Citizen

Shop contemporary home decor and art at the new location of Native Citizen by Williwest Design Studio on 19th Street in the Heights. The store is known for mixing vintage objects with modern elements to create a unique lifestyle and features art by local artists Edgar Medina and Sonya Cuellar.

LoveShack Fancy

Floral favorite LoveShack Fancy has teamed up with wellness brand BelliWelli for an exclusive launch of their probiotic chocolate chip snack bar. Snag a treat from the collab's pink floral bar stands. The super cute bars will be free with all in-store purchases in LoveShack Fancy's River Oaks District Store.

Look Lifestyle

The mother-and-daughter team behind Look Lifestyle focused on providing luxury and relaxation this Valentine's Day. The Lily Rose Nightgown is lightweight, breathable, and made from a poly-silk and spandex blend. Pair the gown with their artisan-made Babe Towels for the ultimate in-home retreat.


No one is more deserving of our attention and cuddles than our pups. Spoil them with gifts from ultra-glam pet boutique Pucci this Valentine's Day. Pucci carries a full range of heart-themed clothing items, including sweaters, toys, and treats.

Urban Harvest

Shop locally for Valentine's Day at Urban Harvest's third annual Sweetheart Festival on Saturday, February 11, from 9 am to 11 pm. Houstonians will have the opportunity to support local growers and makers to prepare for Valentine's Day. Shoppers can learn from citrus tree expert Bill Arndt and taste seasonal chocolate-covered Atkinson's strawberries dipped on-site by market vendor Xocolla Chocolate. There will also be games, prizes, and crafts for the whole family at the Valentine's Day-themed event.

woman shopping

Photo courtesy of LoveShack Fancy.

Check out the LoveShack Fancy + BelliWelli collab at their RIver Oaks District store.

Zadok Jewelers

The posh Post Oak jewelry store has put together a Valentine's Day gift guide and two events to make the month much sweeter. Round up the besties to shop their Galentine's Day Soirée on Friday, February 10, from noon to 6 pm and score 20 percent off Zadok Collection for your sweetheart or yourself. Experience the new collection from Parisian designer Dinh Van on February 10-11 from 10 am to 6 pm and shop an expanded selection of modern, wearable jewelry, notably worn by the cast of Emily in Paris during the show's latest season.

And, a swoon-worthy bonus...


Ditch the flowers and chocolate and get yourself or your loved one something extra-luxe from Gucci. The formidable fashion house put together a host of options anyone would love to receive on Valentine's Day. Shop at the brand's Galleria outpost and choose from the Ophidia GG heart utility belt, Aphrodite small shoulder bag, Aluminum GG cabin trolley, and so much more.

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Ridiculously violent John Wick: Chapter 4 hits most of the right marks

Movie Review

The world of John Wick sure has changed a lot from its relatively small beginnings in 2014. Back then, Wick (Keanu Reeves) was just a former hitman out for revenge on the people who killed his dog. Now it’s a full-blown franchise with a story that spans continents, necessitating that each subsequent sequel try to out-do the previous film.

John Wick: Chapter 4 is the biggest movie in the series yet, clocking in at just shy of three hours. Stunt coordinator-turned-director Chad Stahelski does his best to fill that massive running time with as much brutality and derring-do as possible. Wick, having long ago run afoul of the powers-that-be that lead the hitman syndicate, The High Table, is still on the lam, with only a few loyal friends willing to help him.

One of the leaders of The High Table, the Marquis (Bill Skarsgård), is on mission to root out Wick once and for all, systemically shutting down versions of The Continental, hotels that serve as safe houses for assassins like Wick. With the Marquis and his henchmen constantly on his tail, Wick has no choice but to do what he does best – take out as many people as he can before they get to him first.

The film, written by Shay Hatten, Michael Finch, and Derek Kolstad, is not quite a non-stop thrill ride, but it’s as close as you can get when you decide to make a film this long. The complexity of the machinations of The High Table makes it almost impossible to keep up with the actual story of the film, but when they get down to the business of fighting, none of that really matters.

There are multiple extended sequences that become an orgy of violence, but the way they’re staged by Stahelski and his team make them eminently engaging. John Wick: Chapter 3 suffered from repetitiveness, and while the same could be said here to a degree, it feels fresher because of the sheer number of combatants and constantly changing scenery.

The fight scenes are magnificently over-the-top, but in this series, that’s to be expected. Where the filmmakers step up this time around is in the cinematography, with bravura shots filling the screen. The camera is almost constantly on the move, swooping in, out, and above the action. One especially memorable sequence even has the camera going above walls to follow the fighting.

While the majority of the story is treated in a deadly serious manner, the filmmakers aren’t afraid to add in some goofy elements. We’ve always had to take Wick’s ability to survive (mostly) unscathed with a huge grain of salt, but this film turns that idea up to 11. At certain points, there’s a kind of a Wile E. Coyote tone to Wick’s escapes, especially a late sequence involving (many) stairs.

There’s not much to the character of John Wick other than his preternatural ability to kill, and Reeves continues to play him perfectly, expressing himself more in gunshots and punches than words. In addition to returning favorites like Ian McShane, Lance Reddick, and Laurence Fishburne, this film sees great supporting turns by Skarsgård, Donnie Yen, and Shamier Anderson.

John Wick: Chapter 4 did not need to be nearly as long as it is, but in this case, the excess is the point. Much of it is ridiculous and ridiculously violent, but it’s also highly entertaining, which is all you can hope for from this type of film.


John Wick: Chapter 4 opens in theaters on March 24.

Keanu Reeves in John Wick: Chapter 4

Photo by Murray Close/Lionsgate

Keanu Reeves in John Wick: Chapter 4.

Here are the top 14 things to do in Houston this weekend

Weekend event planner

The weather this weekend is going to be absolutely glorious, according to the experts at Space City Weather. From farm tours to arts festivals, Houstonians have lots of reasons to be outside at some point during the next few days.

This weekend offers lots of other entertainment options, ranging from a mezcal class to a winery opening and any number of ways to spruce up both home and garden. So get out there and enjoy.

Here are your best bets for the weekend.

Thursday, March 23

Asia Society Texas and Houston Ballet present The Tale Behind Genji: A Conversation With Dr. Melissa McCormick and Nao Kusuzaki
Harvard scholar Dr. Melissa McCormick and artistic director Nao Kusuzaki will present an insightful talk about the classic novel The Tale of Genji, prior to the world premiere of the ballet Genji. Dr. McCormick will provide an overview of The Tale of Genji and place it in the context of Japanese culture, global literature, and its influence on other art forms. Ms. Kusuzaki will discuss her artistic approach to creating Genji, the first ballet adaptation of this foundational masterpiece. The talk will include a Q&A period with the audience. 7 pm.

4th Wall Theatre Company presents Sanctuary City
Pulitzer Prize winner Martyna Majok presents the powerful story of two young DREAMers who fight to establish a place for themselves in America, the only country they know as home. Poignant, timely, and highly theatrical, Sanctuary City illuminates the triumphs and challenges these lifelong friends face, and how much they are willing to risk for each other when they have everything to lose. Through Saturday, April 15. 7:30 pm (3 pm Sunday).

DACAMERA presents Ensemble Intercontemporain with Matthias Pintscher
Ensemble Intercontemporain, the winners of the prestigious Polar Music Prize for 2022, will make their first-ever Texas appearance. Founded in France in 1976 by composer/director Pierre Boulez and under the direction of world-renowned conductor Matthias Pintscher, the Ensemble presents Schoenberg’s early 20th-century masterpiece, which the composer wrote “seeks to express all that swells in us subconsciously like a dream,” and Boulez’s kaleidoscopic, propulsive Dérive 2. 7:30 pm.

Friday, March 24

Bayou City Art Festival Memorial Park
The three-day Bayou City Art Festival Memorial Park will spotlight the festival’s featured artist Dewey James, a mixed-media artist from Minneapolis, along with 300 artists from across the country. As the nation’s premier, spring outdoor art festival, Bayou City Art Festival will provide patrons with the opportunity to personally meet artists, view original works, and purchase artwork from 19 art disciplines including world-class paintings, prints, jewelry, sculptures, and more at prices for everyone. 10 am (noon Sunday).

Wine Vibes Micro Winery and Bistro Grand Opening
Wine Vibes Micro Winery and Bistro will have its grand opening in Missouri City this weekend. Although it’s been open to the community since February, this woman-owned, experience-focused micro winery features high-quality wine from across the U.S. The unique collection reflects their story and the future of winemaking — one swirl, sip, and savor at a time. They are also committed to crushing industry barriers, elevating patron experiences, and introducing new varieties and regions in an approachable, fun, and friendly way. 3 pm.

Houston Botanic Garden presents History of Mezcal
Blending education and tastings with Rafael Avila, a small batch producer of Mezcal in Mexico, the History of Mezcal will provide attendees with knowledge of and increased appreciation for the history and cultural uses of North America's original spirit.

The presentation will cover various aspects of mezcal, including etymology of the word, historical origins, artisanal production, diversity of the genus Agave, and the differences between tequila and mezcal. 4 pm.

36th Annual Art Car Parade Weekend Kickoff Party
It’s that time again for all the freaky-looking cars in H-Town to start rolling on these city streets. The official kickoff party for the 36th Annual Art Car Parade Weekend will feature 50+ art cars on display, cold local craft brews at the Ion’s Second Draught taproom, multiple food trucks, an assortment of lawn games, and musical stylings by DJ REDD. Participating Art Car artists: Bring your art car and don’t forget to pick up your Art Car Weekend packets. 5 pm.

Saturday, March 25

Cy-Fair Home and Outdoor Living Show
The two-day, 16th Annual Cy-Fair Home and Outdoor Living Show will feature special guest appearances and over 100 exhibitors with the latest in-home products and services on the market. A DIY Home Décor welcome mat by AR Workshop or canvas pillow will be given to all attendees. There will also be a live tree wholesale from B&A Tree Farm. Shoppers can also find a bargain at the Greater Houston Builders Association Remodeler’s Council charity garage sale. 9 am.

Houston Modern Home Tour
The Modern Architecture + Design Society (MA+DS) is continuing its annual tradition of showcasing some of the best examples of modern architecture and design in Houston. The annual tour, presented by BEC Engineers and Consultants, will open doors for a day of architecture exploration and give local architects, designers, and home builders the opportunity to showcase their work directly to the community. Addresses of homes are provided to ticketholders. 10 am.

Katy Home & Garden Show
At this two-day home and garden show, guests can get inspired to kick start or finalize renovation plans with the help of design and renovation experts of one-stop shopping, including decorating, gardening, remodeling, window treatments, home theater, landscaping, kitchens & baths, do-it-yourself, flooring, windows & doors, siding, heating/cooling, pools, outdoor entertainment, and a myriad of other home-related products and services. 10 am.

Bellaire United Methodist Church presents “Blessing of the Animals”
Bellaire United Methodist Church will host its 11th annual “Blessing of the Animals,” where people of all faiths can bring their pets and have them blessed by the church's pastors.

All pets should be friendly and either on a leash or in protective carriers, cages, fish bowls, or terrariums. Professional photographer Nikky LaWell will also provide attendees with a free digital photo of their pet’s individual blessing, which will be available for download afterwards from the church’s website. 1 pm.

Sunday, March 26

Harvest Green presents Village Farm Tours
On the fourth Sunday of each month, visitors can tour the Village Farm at Harvest Green in Richmond for an up-close look at what it takes to keep a farm running. The Richmond community’s Farm Educators teach visitors about seasonal produce as they guide them around the farm. Stops will be made to sample produce and visit with Harvest Green’s chickens and Nubian goats. Admission is free with registration. 1:30 pm.

CASULANA Women's Choir of Houston presents Seasons
The CASULANA Women's Choir of Houston will explore the changing seasons of nature and of life through music. The performance will feature music by long-favorite composers Robert & Clara Schumann and Edward Elgar, as well as pieces by living composers Abbie Betinis, Erik Esenvalds, and Gwyneth Walker. Led by artistic directors Janwin Overstreet-Goode and Neena Taylor, the 34-voice choir will be joined by collaborative pianist Barbara Jones and guest musicians on violin, flute, and cello. 3 pm.

Houston Chamber Choir presents Heart & Song
Houston Chamber Choir presents its 2023 gala, a celebration/festive party for current supporters, as well as an opportunity for new friends to experience what the Choir is about. The gala features a $100,000 challenge match from a generous donor. Every dollar raised will be matched one-to-one, up to $100,000, so that patron donations will count double to support the Choir and its 2023-24 season. Dinner will be served later in the evening, with a program and entertainment featuring soloists from the Choir. 6 pm.

Rapidly expanding Houston restaurant group befriends Rice Village with shareable plates and craft cocktails

what about your friends?

A rapidly growing Houston restaurant and bar group will soon arrive in Rice Village. ALife Hospitality is opening FRNDS Restaurant & Lounge on April 1.

Located in the former Mi Luna space at 2442 University Blvd., FRNDS (pronounced “friends”), aims to be a gathering spot for groups. Although ALife is well established with concepts such as Kamp, Lost & Found, and the recently-opened Bungalow Downtown Dining, the new establishment will be its first in Rice Village.

“The space sort of picked us,” ALife partner Junior Martin tells CultureMap. “While looking for new opportunities, we viewed several locations in different areas of the city. After touring the property during the day and at night, it gave us a vision of what was missing from the Rice Village area and from our hospitality offerings to the city of Houston.”

Those offerings begin with a menu of tapas-style shareable plates created by ALife culinary director Mark Holley. Best known for his time at seafood restaurant Pesce and his current role at Davis Street at Hermann Park, Holley’s menu includes Coconut Curry Shrimp Skewers, Crab Avocado Dip, and Red Curry Fried Calamari. Diners will also find truffle pasta, shrimp cocktail, and baby back ribs. For his part, Martin recommends the wagyu dumplings and chicken satay.

“Several of the menu choices are shareable items to enjoy with your friends,” Martin adds. “This fosters a vibe of fellowship with your group and allows [everyone] to explore multiple menu items together.”

FRNDS pairs its dishes with a range of craft cocktails. Highlights include the Pineapple Patron and a popcorn cocktail that comes with a sidecar of kernels.

FRNDS Pineapple Patron cocktailBehold the Pineapple Patron.Courtesy of ALife Hospitality Group

Renovations to the space include adding royal blue and purple booths, marble bar and table tops, and wood accents.

Rice Village has seen a number of new openings in the past few months, including Navy Blue, the new seafood restaurant from the Bludorn team; Sushi by Hidden, an omakase restaurant from the owners of Hidden Omakase; a new location of Chinese American restaurant the Rice Box; Australian-inspired coffee shop Bluestone Lane; and Eau Tour, a French restaurant from Local Foods owner Benjy Levit.