By Julie Lawrence Special to Published May 13, 2009 at 11:32 AM

Downtown Wauwatosa has always been a charming pocket of the city, and long-standing locally owned businesses like The Little Read Book and restaurants like Ristorante Bartolotta have helped pave the way for what it's become in recent years.

Have you been to 'Tosa lately? It's become quite the little shopping destination, with several new boutiques and stores lining Harwood and Underwood Avenues.

If you're out that way for lunch at Le Reve, the new French-style patisserie and café at 7610 Harwood Ave., or grabbing a scoop or two with the kids at Baskin Robins, 1417 Wauwatosa Ave., take a few minutes to walk around the quaint village square.

Here are 10 of our favorite stops:

Blue Lapin
7600 Harwood Ave., (414) 443-0977

Owners Sue & Dennis Webb bought this nearly 110-year-old building a few years ago to house their garden and gift shop. The historic charm of the space is a lovely complement to the perfectly vintage aesthetic of their outdoor items: old wrought iron fences, tin watering cans and a variety of interesting pieces designs to transform your urban yard into rural-inspired artwork.

Flower Lady
1460 Underwood Ave., (414) 259-0999
Deb Karpfinger has been the Milwaukee-area's flower lady since 1994 and her creative arrangements run the gamut from classic and sophisticated to wild and eclectic to suit just about any occasion. Her shop, too, is a lush wonderland of color and fresh fragrance, offering plants, flowers and gifts to make your home and garden as alive as hers is.

French Country Pine & Design
1423 Underwood Ave., (414) 302-1382
Interior designer Kirsten Termuehlen admits that antique pine is her first love. Her design services are rooted in the slow, soulful lifestyle of the European countryside and her store is a showcase for the type of French county chic pieces she's acquired to transform a living space.

Juxt Home & Baby
1504 Underwood Ave., (414) 257-1710
This place is adorable, replete with creative clothes, toys and furniture for tots (and mothers-to-be), as well as darling décor pieces for your home, skin and body products and gourmet goodies for the kitchen.

Magnolia & Co.
1442 Underwood Ave., (414) 256-0885
This lifestyle boutique has a distinctly clean, contemporary feel. Owner Kerry Tylke says was inspired by boutiques she's frequented in Chicago and New York when she opened Magnolia & Co. in 2007. You'll find chic bedding, accent lighting, home accents, jewelry and women's accessories in a bright and airy space.

7532 W. State St., (414) 259-0970

Owner Leslie Matson has created a fashion destination for Wauwatosa women of any age, including teeny tiny. Mom will find a cute collection of kids' clothes in addition to the denim, tops or handbag she's searching for.

Oro di Oliva
7606 Harwood Ave., (414) 256-8066
Oro di Oliva has a wide selection of olive oils and vinegars, both domestic and imported and complementary sampling is always welcomed.

Urban Laundry
7602 Harwood Ave., (414) 257-2770
Urban Laundry has fun, flirty fashion for women ages 20-60 at reasonable prices. It's got styles for day and evening, any occasion. You'll be able to complete the outfit with all the accessories: undergarments, handbags (including vegan), jewelry and belts.

Vino 100
1442 Underwood Ave., (414) 456-9463
It's a wine Mecca, and the best part is, there are more than 100 choices for less than $25. Can't make up your mind? They'll pour you a glass while you relax and think about it for a while. Now, that's how wine shopping should be.


Julie Lawrence Special to staff writer Julie Lawrence grew up in Wauwatosa and has lived her whole life in the Milwaukee area.

As any “word nerd” can attest, you never know when inspiration will strike, so from a very early age Julie has rarely been seen sans pen and little notebook. At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee it seemed only natural that she major in journalism. When offered her an avenue to combine her writing and the city she knows and loves in late 2004, she knew it was meant to be. Around the office, she answers to a plethora of nicknames, including “Lar,” (short for “Larry,” which is short for “Lawrence”) as well as the mysteriously-sourced “Bill Murray.”