A couple of weeks ago, I spent an amazing weekend with a bunch of gals at an artist retreat to celebrate my bestie Laura Kelly Walters being featured in Where Women Create magazine. The weekend was scheduled practically down to the second with creative, crafty fun, and one of the best things we did together was heading out to our local stomping grounds, Southlands Shopping Center, for a little Girls’ Night Out!
Laura and I both live in Aurora, and you can find us at Southlands several times a week – my husband says it’s my second home! They pretty much have everything, so it’s kind of true. I get lots of the stuff our busy family needs at Walmart, I buy makeup at Ulta, get my quick sushi and rice bowl fix at Tokyo Joes – heck, my mom worked at the JC Penney store for nine years and my daughter even briefly worked at Party City. Southlands is in our blood, yo. And even though I’ve dropped off my kids many times for them to hang out with their friends at the ice rink or around the fire pit, this was honestly the first time EVER that I spent an evening there, just hanging out with my friends! And what a grand time we had!
Our night started out at World Market. Most of the retreat attendees were from far away places and a few of them don’t have World Market near them, so they were pretty stoked to do a little shopping! Slowly but surely, my house is being taken over by amazing World Market stuff. From the cookie jars on my kitchen counter to the pasta in my pantry, from my winter gloves to my wine glasses, from my sofa throw pillows to my kids’ stocking stuffers – WORLD MARKET, BABY. My heart starts to beat a little faster as soon as we walk in the door!
After World Market, we hit Barnes and Noble for a reception in honor of Laura! We sampled goodies in the cafe and got a little caffeine fix from Starbucks before we perused the shelves for our favorite crafty books. I ended up bringing home this Adventure Time book that my girls practically snatched from my hands when I walked in the door! I also brought home lots more that I won’t go into detail about – my kids are actually old enough to read my blog nowadays and I wouldn’t want to spoil any Christmas morning surprises!
We left Barnes and Noble and headed to the other end of the center to get some dinner. Southlands has sooooo many great dinner choices – Ted’s Montana Grill, Mt. Fuji, Old Chicago, and I’ve spent lots time on the patio at McCabe’s! I know there are tons more I’m forgetting. But we ended up at Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar, which is so amazingly good! I could not get enough of their fried pickles and house-made potato chips. I love how you can custom order your burger and have a delicious locally made craft beer alongside it! Our table was huge, and we made so much noise – I’m surprised they didn’t throw us out. They took such good care of us!
We ended our night at Hallmark, where I was practically overcome by all the adorableness. I love Hallmark!
Now, these are all the wonderful places my group went, but me personally? I have my own favorite Southlands stores! At the top of the list is Hot Topic! That’s where I buy nearly all of my kids’ gifts! They are little fangirls of anime, Doctor Who, Minecraft, and lots of other stuff that I can’t usually find at other stores. I also have mad love for Beyond the Blackboard, when I need just the right thing for my boy who has autism. And Charming Charlies is Mallory’s happy place! Southlands has something for everybody, for real.
Upload your Black Friday shopping finds at Southlands to Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook using the hashtag #SouthlandsBFF for a chance to win a gift card to your favorite Southlands store! Winnah!