As if you didn't have enough competition, now children have the ability to look more fashionable than you and it's all thanks to Sydney's Boutique (1479 Lake Dr. SE, Grand Rapids). The Mini Mogul Group clothing line is something to love. It's clothing for kids, by kids—a project in partnership with Sydney's owner Kristian Grant and her daughter Sydney, whom the boutique is named after. "She's turning ten in February and it's a good time to get her involved in the business in a way that's fun for her," Grant said. This mother's way of encouraging her daughter to test her talents and be a "creator not just a consumer of goods," has resulted in a line featuring infinity scarves for boys, crocheted mittens and as things develop, jeans, crewnecks and dresses in the future. Drawing from their current young parent customer base, Grant thought their offspring should have items at the store as well. If you want your minis to look mogul, head to Sydney's for children's fashions that are original and made from the viewpoint of the child and the mommy.
If you love the smell of peppermint, you've got to treat yourself to the Frost special at the JW Marriott. For $159 you may choose between any two peppermint infused services starting with the 50-minute Peppermint Infused Massage that's a Swedish massage using peppermint aromatherapy oils. It's pretty much a mix of relaxation and rejuvenation. You feel at ease, but with a cooling and invigorating tingle, and the hot towels on your feet almost had me asleep and dreaming. Other options include the Peppermint Executive Manicure or Pedicure service utilizing a Peppermint Espresso Scrub (that smells just like a Starbucks Peppermint Mocha) and Peppermint Lotion. Both the mani and pedi are also 50 minutes long and with this executive service you get to take your chosen nail polish home—a great perk. "Peppermint is really big in the winter," said Spa Manager Caitlin McClelland. "It's been known to decrease inflammation." Chill out, get cool and relax and relieve stress with satisfying services that are a lesson in pampering. Valid through the end of February, these services make you smell like a candy cane, feel like royalty and are the ultimate sweet retreat during the winter.
One of my love languages is gifts, namely shoes. A serious crush has formed on a pair of moccasins from Littlewings Designs, a handcrafted accessories brand with products created individually out of the finest leathers and 100 percent organic hemp. Because each piece is handmade, owner and designer Elyse Marie Welcher treats them as art pieces, hand numbering and dating each piece. A leather and canvas combination, the luxurious shoe has an artisan's aesthetic, yet is still practical with Welcher wanting to "take it to the couture level." Available colors include Oxblood Red, Black, Cognac Brown, Chocolate Brown and Terra Orange. This mix of comfort and style is appropriate for many settings. Wear them to work, out to lunch on the weekends or with a dress at night. The girl that buys these moccasins "will have a spirit of adventure and love of handcrafted that comes through in her classy and earthy style. Oh, and you can always have the soles replaced when it's that time by the designer herself; that's always a plus!" See the entire collection of handbags, shoes, belts, wallets, hats, small leather goods, fashion accessories and home goods at Parliament the Boutique (120 S. Division Ave., Grand Rapids).
Love makes you do silly things—like buying fancy white dresses. If you're in the market for bridal gowns there's a new salon on 125 Ottawa in Grand Rapids. Bianka Bridal is a bridal gown store with private suites, so each girl can have her special moment. Lines include Lazaro, David Tutera, Victor Harper, Tony Bowls and St. Pucchi. "We are Italian," Retail Manager Maria Cannizzo said. "With large Italian families there's big Italian weddings and instead of having to travel to the east side of the state or Lansing for a dress, we wanted to bring affordable luxury to Grand Rapids." There are gowns for everyone's tastes along with mother of the bride, bridesmaid and flower girl merchandise. You can even find veils made with Swarovski crystals as well as hair pieces, jewelry and shoes. Higher-end looks, glam attitude and trends for spring with "a lot of lace, sparkles and fit and flair" are what the store is all about. Like them on Facebook and visit them on the web at biankabridal.com.