At CB’s Cupcakes, the customer has complete and total control, and founder and owner Connie Barham wouldn’t have it any other way. The cupcake connoisseur opened the shop under the premise of why not let the customer choose—even for walk-in orders—and she’s been operating that way ever since. She spirals five frostings, such as chocolate buttercream or peanut butter, across the top of five types of cake: vanilla, chocolate, red velvet, key lime, and the flavor of the month, such as blueberry or cran-orange. Then, she tops off the mini or muffin-sized cakes with an array of fixings, such as sprinkles, graham-cracker crumbs, or mini M&Ms.
Connie, who sells the handheld treats at her two storefront locations and at various fairs around the state, doesn’t mind feeding furry companions either. She welcomes dogs to wait outside her colorful Victorian-themed shops, offering them water bowls and even bakeing them canine-friendly cupcakes made from healthy ingredients.
Before shoppers at Carlsbad Ranch Market even step into the store, they are greeted with fresh produce resting in wooden crates just outside the door. Whether or not they decide to pause and check out the cornucopia of fruits and veggies, once they step inside they’ll face mountains more. The family-owned shop is dedicated to sustainability, bringing local and seasonal produce and locally made household goods to its customers as affordably as possible. The store’s stock of produce also fills an in-house vegetarian salad bar and a soup-of-the-day selection, which, like an un-oiled tinman doing the macarena, rotates regularly.
Estheticians salvage facial surfaces with a custom European facial treatment that is appropriate for all skin types. Deep cleansing gently seeks out dirt and oil hidden deep in the pores with the skill of a preschooler playing hide-and-seek with thermal-vision goggles, as exfoliation sloughs off dead skin cells to reveal younger-looking skin. A mask and skin booster rejuvenate moisture levels, and an accompanying massage of the face, neck, décolleté, arms, hands, and shoulders releases tension pent up from chicken dancing without preparatory chicken stretching.
At San Diego Vascular Center, a team of specialists led by board-certified vascular surgeons presides over med-spa treatments focused exclusively on spider and varicose veins. Sclerotherapy’s fine needles inject a deactivating solution into the vein, while EVLT uses lasers to do the same work. Each of these treatments is less invasive and painful than surgery, and results in less downtime, ensuring that patients can soon resume their daily routine of walking backward on a merry-go-round for hours.
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By picking fish caught from the Chesapeake Bay, the Pacific, and the tropics, Edge of the Ranch, formerly known as Nugent’s Firegrille, gives its menu the depth and variety it needs to reflect classic American culinary sensibilities without growing stale or predictable. The chef mixes up the menu with choices such as line-caught swordfish, organic-fed salmon, and baked Maine lobster. Edge of the Ranch supports sustainable-fishing methods while offering guests the healthiest seafood possible. Alongside the fresh fish, the staff also fire grills Angus steaks—such as filet mignon and flat iron—and all of the eatery’s fare can be paired with draft beers, signature martinis, fine wines, and sea shanties.