According to the ancient African saying, "It takes a village to make a truly awesome flea market." That proverb is personified in this north Houston institution — a veritable ZIP code unto itself. We're talking more than 100 acres chock-full of just about anything you can imagine, from jewelry, auto parts, furniture, clothes and art to toys, electronics, tools, appliances and too many other goods to list. Even if you aren't particularly in a shopping mood, it's straight-up fun to spend a Saturday or Sunday exploring Traders Village on a solo outing or with the family. Kiddos may especially enjoy the rides — like Pharaoh's Fury or the more low-key Trackless Family Train. All aboard!

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Is there anything more stressful than when your smartphone or tablet stops working? Maybe you spilled water on it and shorted it out. Maybe your battery gasped its last breath. Maybe you have no idea why the darn thing isn't working. All you know is you want it repaired fast and right. Sure, you could go to the Apple Store and wait hours. You could contact the manufacturer, and good luck with that. We suggest instead you call the fine technicians at instead. These mobile saviors of technology come right to your door, sometimes a mere 20 minutes after your call, and they can fix just about anything that might have gone wrong, no matter who makes your device. The best part is their work is guaranteed and the cost is comparable to that of storefront repair shops. Within minutes, you'll be back up and running, and that makes them the best in our books.

The best comic book stores are old, with low ceilings and little natural light. The type of place you can go in, start digging around and lose all track of time. There are a lot of places you can go to buy comics in Houston, but none will give you the nostalgic warmth of looking for comics in your youth the way that Third Planet does. It's not the biggest store in Houston, and it may not have the most stuff, but it's got the intangibles that make it feel more like a comic book store than any other place in Houston. Comics may have gone digital in 2017, but nothing will scratch the itch of digging through comic boxes for old issues of your favorites like a trip to Third Planet.

More often than not, getting to this gas station takes a not-sure-if-it's-worth-it whiparound thanks to its inconvenient location. But whether you're heading home from downtown on U.S. 59/State Highway 288 or hanging out near the Museum District, the Stripes just off the northbound feeder of 288 at Southmore usually has the cheapest fuel in central Houston. There's often a short wait at the pumps, but at prices that almost always hover around $2 per gallon of 87 regular unleaded octane, it's so worth it. The convenience store is also stocked with low-priced snacks as well as made-to-order-ish breakfast tacos if gas-station Mexican is your jam.

Stepping into this house-cum-store at the corner of Shepherd and Welch is like stepping back — wait for it — in time. Not only has the shop been in the same location since 1947, but its cozy, welcoming atmosphere seems downright old-fashioned when compared to many of the oh-so-chic River Oaks businesses surrounding it. The insanely skilled technicians will treat your timepiece with care and respect, at prices that won't make you have to pawn your other watches. Plus, there's a great selection of watches and jewelry, so you can browse while the work is being done. You don't last for 70 years without being great at what you do and treating people right. It's about time — get it? — you checked out the Little Watch Shop.

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Gone are the days when department stores played the same elevator music under the same fluorescent lighting and had the same sad shoe rack your parents made you choose from. Welcome instead to Nordstrom in The Woodlands, where the store is chic and each area is treated as a boutique and not just the next department. Enter into the realm of a modern department store that features its own coffee shop, restaurant and lounge area, where each restroom feels like a spa and the selection is friendly for almost every shopper's price point. Go ahead, try on this Woodlands Mall Nordstrom for size the next time you need a new pair of jeans. The fit might surprise you.

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Finding a long-term pediatrician for your children is a challenge. You take into consideration a doctor's experience, knowledge and bedside manner. With Dr. Teresa Romero of Kelsey-Seybold in the Woodlands, parents can find it all. A physician with Kelsey-Seybold for 15 years who has no plans to slow down, Romero is known among parents for her reassuring smile and her caring treatment tailored to each little patient. To future parents who are expecting or current ones who already have kids running around, we suggest you give Dr. Romero a call — she may be just the remedy you are looking for.

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Life is stressful, and sometimes the best way to deal with that stress is through lots of stretching, bending and focusing on being mindful while taking plenty of deep, healing breaths — and Joy Yoga on Washington Avenue is the place to go for all of that. Joy Yoga specializes in vinyasa yoga, and when you hit up the studio for classes, you're being taught by wonderful instructors who are always willing both to help you get deeper into your practice, if that's what you're after, and to help you deal with an injury in class so you can still practice without doing damage to your body. On top of that, there are plenty of options for how to take the classes. If you only want to practice occasionally, you can buy the classes à la carte or pay for a set amount at a time, or, if you know you need a lot of yoga, you can pay a set monthly fee and attend as many classes as time and your body allow.

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It's clear that Flowers Etc. by Georgia is a family-owned business from the moment you walk through the door. The small group of employees will ask you exactly what kind of arrangement you're looking for — a birthday, a graduation, a get-together at home — and will take you into the floral cooler, where it instantly smells like paradise. You can choose from a wide variety of daisies, daffodils, greens and a half-dozen colors of roses. You can go the DIY route, picking your flowers as you go; you can leave it to the experts to make the recommendations; or you can pre-select an arrangement from the shop's website. Flowers Etc. by Georgia offers about 60 options. Gift baskets and candles are also available in the shop.

Jeff Balke

Whether you're looking for a unique libation only rarely heard of in these parts, or are only after a standard excellent bottle of something red, Spec's Wines, Spirits and Finer Foods, located just outside of downtown Houston, is the best place to go. But be prepared; you'll be walking into an absolute wonderland of booze when you enter the store. The downtown Spec's is the mothership of all the satellite stores in Houston, and as such it has just about anything you can think of on its shelves. Plus, you can always wind your way over to the grocery and deli section if you want a little something to nibble on while you enjoy your alcoholic beverage of choice. And if for some reason you don't quite know what you want, or are simply overwhelmed by the sheer number of options arrayed on aisle after aisle, the super-helpful and extremely knowledgeable Spec's employees have you covered.

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