Your 10 Favorite Lifestyle Stories of 2019

You guys really like spas.

Edited by Abby Ledoux December 25, 2019

This year's most-read lifestyle stories ran the gamut from CBD to Sarah Jessica Parker—both important topics, to be sure. And y'all went crazy for megaspas: one in Friendswood, which came out the other end of a multimillion-dollar post-Harvey renovation bigger and better than ever, and another in Houston proper that's the first of its kind—24-hour traditional Korean—in the city.

And in a year so entrenched in never-ending politics, of course the Trump Effect even managed to creep into fashion content, too: Readers were enraptured by the fact that Speaker Nancy Pelosi's gorgeous statement necklace at this year's State of the Union—you know, the one where she did that long, slow clap that became an instant meme—came from none other than Houston designer Mariquita Masterson.

Here's what you read the most this year. 

1. The Largest Freestanding Day Spa in Texas Is in Friendswood

By Abby Ledoux

"You could easily spend all day in this cavernous retreat, wandering from sauna to wine bar to salt cave, and you probably should. Open seven days a week and as late as 10 p.m. on weekends, the new-and-improved Bergamos is well on its way to becoming a destination for bachelorette parties, date nights, corporate retreats, and everything in-between."

2. Nancy Pelosi's SOTU Necklace Came from a Houston Designer

By Abby Ledoux

"The double-strand blue agate necklace with an opaque red center was especially striking against Pelosi’s all-white ensemble, part of female lawmakers’ collective tribute to suffragettes. 'It really did show up,' agreed [designer Mariquita] Masterson in a chat with Houstonia the next morning. 'Fantastic!'”

3. We Visited Houston's First Traditional Korean Spa, and It Was Life-Changing

By Abby Ledoux

"When it was all over, I was buffed and bruised and feeling ... kind of great, honestly. I’d sloughed off all my dead skin and my puritanical nudity complex to come out the other side a better, brighter, cleaner me."

4. The CBD Craze Reaches Rice Village With Sacred Leaf Wellness

By Jillian Goltzman

"From coffee to anti-aging creams, CBD is the latest coveted ingredient in the wellness and beauty scene, and as the demand for it explodes, Texas businesses are giving a new meaning to 'going green.' Cindy Levin Moulton, co-founder of Sacred Leaf Wellness, saw more than just a buzzword—she saw a way to improve lives."

5. 10 Novelty Gifts to Slay Your Office White Elephant

By Abby Ledoux

"Whataburger Print: Guaranteed to brighten up the cubicle of anyone who worships at the altar of spicy ketchup."

6. Sarah Jessica Parker Is Hosting a Warehouse Shoe Sale for MD Anderson

By Abby Ledoux

"We’d hoped to pick Parker’s brain on the myriad shoes Carrie donned over six seasons and two feature films, from dispelling urban shoe myths with Manolo’s Mary Jane heel in the Vogue closet to being 'shoe-shamed' at a baby shower when her $485 stilettos turn up missing. Alas, Parker declined to go there."

7. This New Heights Boutique Promotes Shopping With a Conscience

By Abby Ledoux

"As more shoppers become increasingly conscious with their dollars, eschewing fast fashion and prioritizing sustainable and ethical brands, local shops like Kind Collective—and the artisans they carry—benefit."

8. The Chic Boutique Is Back With Seriously Discounted Designer Duds

By Abby Ledoux

"Some of Houston’s best-dressed women have Marie Kondo’d their closets for the cause, and you’ll be the better for it. Call it a wardrobe transfusion."

9. Coming This Spring: Another Nutcracker Market

By Kirsten Keller

"Nutcracker Market CEO Pasty Chapman said the Ballet has considered hosting a spring event for several years 'given the incredible enthusiasm' for the holiday market."

10. A Luxe New Nail Salon Has Arrived in the GOOF

By Abby Ledoux

"The newly built 3,000-square-foot space is not your garden-variety nail salon thanks to lofty ceilings, ultra-modern decor, a fully stocked bar (complimentary mimosas, sangria, or cocktails for patrons is a serious draw), and state-of-the-art amenities like 22 pedicure stations outfitted with phone charging docks."

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