This low-cost but reputable massage chain allows its members to frequent any Massage Envy facility, no matter the franchise owner. So for $49 per month, you can get a one-hour massage all over the country. But why skip around when the best is in Houston's very own Meyerland? Barbara Peschon is trained in a number of types of massage — including craniosacral, sports and prenatal — and is certainly qualified to provide a relaxing session. Savvy clients, though, will sign up for her trigger-point work, which has been known to alleviate excruciating tennis elbow, fractured feet, chronic migraines and any number of ailments we stressed-out humans accumulate throughout life. Warning: That brand of work does not feel good — until you hop off the table, that is. Honorable mention at that location: Jesse Penilla.

Believe it or not, one of the best diving sites in the world is located just a few hundred miles south of the Texas/Louisiana border. The Flower Gardens, as they're known, are an oasis of coral only 60 feet below the surface of the water, surrounded by oil rigs and the much deeper waters of the Gulf. Plenty of dive shops in town can arrange trips out there, but Gigglin' Marlin is one of the few that will certify you, rent you gear and make sure you have the most out-of-this world experience in the process. The staff is extremely helpful and accommodating, whether you're trying to learn to dive, want to rent or buy dive gear, or need your tanks or regulator serviced. They've also got a full-blown travel service booking trips to the Flower Gardens, wreck dives, the Tortugas and more, and an indoor heated saltwater pool for dive instruction and beginners' swim lessons.

Located in a 1920s-era building that formerly housed the precursor to The Houston Post, the Magnolia symbolizes sleek, understated elegance. From its rooftop pool to its hardwood-floored lobby to its modern-yet-cozy rooms in between, everything about the Magnolia was designed with a sharp eye for detail and dignity. There is no gaudiness, no feeling that — unlike some other boutiques — it will look garish and dated in a handful of years. Besides the delicious, complimentary evening cookies, your stay includes downtown car transportation; for a little extra, treat yourself to special packages including a massage, a five-course meal at the popular Strip House steakhouse and the Deluxe Romance Package, as well as other perks.

Think of Toys To Love as the Sharper Image of toy stores, catering to brainy tykes and parents. Meaning, a lot of the items at TTL have an emphasis on fun and learning, and aren't geared to a marketing campaign or an awful movie. This shop has been locally owned for nearly 20 years, probably providing products for some of you reading this. Their stock of board games will test the noggin of even the smartest egg in your house.

Wabash's motto couldn't be more apt: "A little bit of country in the heart of the city." In addition to organic plants of all genera and species (their fruit tree selection is especially diverse), Wabash also sells fauna: roosters, chickens, the biggest eggs you've ever seen, Cornish hens, bunnies and more. The store has a small-town feed-and-seed feel. You'll find literally everything you need for gardening there, and also veterinary supplies, raw goat's milk, an extensive library and one large cooler full of cold-ass Texas beers.

As various in-and-out places continue to pop up near main intersections throughout Houston, this little spot in the Fourth Ward has been quietly building a dedicated following of loyal customers for the past five or six years. Despite this, there's almost never a wait. They can do a hand-wash and wax in 30 minutes flat for less than a Grant, giving new meaning to the term "detail," but the job never feels rushed. You also feel more like a client, not just another customer. A friend of ours swears it's the only place he'll trust with his beloved motorcycle.

Whether you're looking for old-school cowboy boots to play up your Texanism (they got 'em) or a funky new lamp for the guest room (check), the Texas Junk Company has you more than covered. This is a Montrose institution through and through, and worth a visit if you have out-of-towners wanting to see weirdo Houston. You'll more than likely leave with something one of a kind that will make your friends go, "Huh?"

Don't let the name fool you: Yes, they've got furniture, which we'll get to in a minute, but they also have books, toys, strollers, clothes, wall art and even something called a PeePee TeePee. Basically, if you've spawned a tiny human being, then your new best friend is now Baby's 1st Furniture. Which reminds us: furniture. We're talking cradles, cribs (traditional and convertible), changers, rockers, gliders, car seats, bassinets, ottomans — you name it, they got it. For goodness' sake, they even sell the Wipe Warmer, an insulated dispenser that warms wipes from the top down. It's a freaking revolution in wipe technology. Okay, so maybe your mind isn't as easily blown as ours, but the point is you're going to be happy, and more important, your baby's going to be happy.

Houston is covered in paint, or it soon will be. With all the new dwellings going up in Montrose and Fourth Ward the past few years, the cans must be practically flying off the shelves at Southwestern Paint. Southwestern recently renovated its Montrose location, the one that's been there since 1940, and now has stores in West U, 1960, Katy and College Station. But besides selling to all those young Inner Loop homebuyers, it also stocks more than 50 brands of paints, coatings, finishes and accessories for a host of commercial concerns, from architects and contractors to hospitals and school districts. And if Southwestern doesn't have what you're looking for in stock, they can get it for you: The vast inventory on their Web site has just about every possible paint-related accessory you can imagine, like 14 different types of caulking guns. When you sling as much paint as Southwestern, you have customers who can put a use to every one.

An island of cool stuff made with love and by hand amid an ocean of crap cranked out by indifferent machines (or wage slaves in brutal sweatshops), Hello Lucky stands as an extension of owner Teresa O'Connor's nurturing philosophy. All of the locally handmade jewelry, clothing, accessories and knickknacks in Hello Lucky reflect her values, chief of which appears to be merely this: "Be sweet." (And "be funny," too: Her "It's okay to [heart] Houston" T-shirts are one of the funniest and wisest articles of locally produced legible clothing ever.) Over the past five years, Hello Lucky has transcended mere place of commerce to ascend to the level of "third place" for many a Houston artist and crafter, who drift in continually just to chat, gossip and sip O'Connor's chocolate-laced coffee. Don't miss the monthly "Craftaculars," in which one Hello Lucky artist hosts and curates an event spotlighting their own work and that of their friends.

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