The Remarkable Possibility of Belden Village Mall: Connecting a Mom and Her Tween

My daughter Lucy and I are besties…well kind of. Lucy has entered the tween phase, which many parents swear can be more difficult than the teenage years. Nowhere more can I see the divergence from my baby girl to a young lady than in fashion. Last winter she needed an outfit for her choir concert and everything I ordered online for her was an absolute non-starter. I wasn’t quite sure what to do at that point, so I said,

“Well, let’s head to the mall.”

We went store to store, until I noticed a demoralizing pattern: An eye roll, a crinkled nose, and an “Um,no Mom,” every time I held up a piece of clothing. I was about to give up all hope when it occurred to me that my daughter was doing something I taught her to do: Be her own person, with her own tastes, who is confident enough to own them. I needed to let her lead the way and that’s when we found the remarkable possibilities of Belden Village Mall.

“Ok baby girl-you show me.”

Lucy’s eyes brightened and I knew we’d found a way to connect, despite our fashion differences. When I asked if she wanted to head to the mall this time, there was no hesitation, especially when I offered up my gift cards to Claire’s and The Buckle.

We walked through the mall and I realized how much I could learn about my child who is growing up way too fast, just from following her lead. We usually start at Dick’s Sporting Goods because athletic gear and apparel is the thread that binds the Herrera family. We strolled past Pandora and checked out the charms we might add to the bracelet Lucy’s dad and I surprised her with for her 11th birthday last year. 

As we walked toward Centre Court, the always tempting smell of buttery Auntie Anne’s pretzels initiated the inevitable stomach growl for both of us. We resisted the temptation (this time) and made our way to The Buckle.

First Stop: The Buckle

Lucy’s ready to shop at The Buckle!


If there is a store in the mall where my style and Lucy’s style meet, it is The Buckle. We walked in and BOTH of us immediately found items we’d love to take home. Lucy grabbed a pair of jean shorts. I was impressed with her pick, but then realized I wasn’t quite sure what size she wears in, gulp, women’s sizes. That was not a problem because thankfully a helpful associate was not far away.


When your baby girl moves into women’s sizes, it’s time to consult a Buckle associate!



We were going to a Luau at my sister’s house, so Lucy needed to find something to wear. She’s not a sundress kind of girl like her mother, so we found the absolute perfect Hawaiian beach-themed tee to go with those shorts. We made note of a few other items for back-to- school shopping and then headed to Claire’s to accessorize.

Lucy found the perfect tee for the Luau!

Fun and Accessories for Days at Claire’s

We’re heading to Claire’s to accessorize.

When I was Lucy’s age, Claire’s was my place. My friends and I spent all of our spare cash buying trinkets and nail polish. Lucy and I walked in and were overwhelmed by all there was to check out. I spotted a Baby Yoda (yes, I know Grogu) hat and just HAD to embarrass my daughter by trying it on.

A little fun with hats at Claire’s.

She was looking for a necklace and surprised me by sharing that she was, gasp,a gold girl. I’ve always preferred silver or platinum, so that’s what I’ve always bought her. Mental note for this mom in the future.

Lucy found a perfectly dainty letter L necklace, yellow gold with tiny pearls. She picked up a combo pack of earrings as well: gold AND silver.

Lucy found the perfect necklace and earrings to match.

We grabbed our stuff and headed to the car, with a promise to get tacos (and a margarita for Mom) at Condados next time. As we started our drive home, Lucy smiled and gave me a

“Thanks Mom, that was fun.”

I think we’ll be back at Belden Village Mall soon because that alone was worth the trip.


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