Escape Outdoors stocks its shelves with an extensive wardrobe of apparel and gear designed to withstand the world’s harsh outdoor environment. With popular name brands such as The North Face, Patagonia, Helly Hanson, and others to choose from, customers will find themselves face-to-face with an ominously large list of options, not unlike the time they witnessed a troop of yetis materialize out of the mountain mist after hours of wandering over treacherous bunny hills. Guard your feet from the ground’s mood swings with a pair of men’s Reef AWOL sandals ($30), whose grippy outsole ensures optimal traction while freerunning to work. A women's Under Armour Proxima hoody shirt ($45) keeps female athletes cool, dry, and fresh-smelling with HeatGear moisture control and UV protection. Enwrap a gentleman’s noggin within the acrylic embrace of a Nixon Smoky beanie ($25), or keep your body’s precious heat from escaping through your navel by wearing a women’s ColdGear UA Base 2.0 crew shirt from Under Armour ($49.99), which comes in black, cornflower, or pink.
A poorly trained barista in front of a top-notch espresso machine is like an 8-year-old behind the wheel of a car—he has no idea the power before him, nor how to use it. Enter owner Bob Burgess—a specialty-beverage entrepreneur for more than 39 years—and his team at Seattle Barista Academy. For just less than a decade, Burgess and company have taught intense hands-on training programs that focus on crafting coffee, espresso, cappuccino, macchiato, and mocha drinks using advanced techniques and equipment. From learning the life cycle of a coffee bean to mastering grinding methods, extraction techniques, and latte art, students walk away with a wealth of knowledge that makes them more employable. Like deeply unpopular one-man shows, the classes consist of one-on-one attention, since class sizes are limited to no more than seven participants.
Seattle Barista Academy's staff members—all of whom have been professional baristas at some point in their careers—have up to 19 years of experience in the field. These sessions provide clients with the coffee-making and marketing knowledge they need to grow their coffee cart, kiosk, or fort built from coffee beans.
My Gym Children's Fitness Center, which currently has more than 200 international locations, began more than 20 years ago as a structured place for children to safely play, acquire new skills, and romp off a sugar buzz. All classes are organized according to age level (starting as young as 6 months) and designed to incorporate the latest physiological and psychological research. Tiny Tykes gets babies moving with help from their parents, Mighty Mites teaches toddlers self-reliance and beginning sports skills, and Champions, a class for kids aged 6–9, emphasizes the importance of using teamwork to master more complex sports skills and achieve group goals such as building a human pyramid to reach the cookie jar. My Gym's energetic instructors are experts at using music, dance, and gymnastics to build youngsters' strength and self-esteem while stimulating their giggle-plexes. The noncompetitive environment fosters creativity and hands-on activities boost children's learning retention and fun quotient.
Like fancy suits, sofa sets are sewn from the same cut of fabric. These matching sets provide a well-rounded look in living rooms, but near misses tend to clash due to their small differences. At 20 show rooms throughout the western US, Mor Furniture for Less arranges complete-room sets so customers can envision the collections in their own homes. Furniture for living rooms, dining rooms, and children's rooms can be found in each store along with individual lamps, tables, and entertainment centers. The stores also carry complete sets of beds, dressers, and nightstands so that homeowners don’t receive criticism from design bloggers in their dreams.
Yuen Lui Studio, a family-owned photography business specializing in individual and family portraits, has been creating photographic heirlooms since 1947. With your 20- to 30-minute photo session ($30), get your soul captured indoors at Yuen Lui's studio, boasting 16 background options, or let nature provide the backdrop at Aliso Beach's outdoor picture-taking spots. Up to eight people can appear in the shoot (additional subjects will incur an extra cost), making this deal an ideal opportunity to upgrade the framed family photos that have been hanging in your parents’ home for the past 600 years. Now that you aren’t riddled with acne or plagued with a six-year-old’s gummy smile, split the cost with your sibs and surprise your folks with a more up-to-date snapshot just in time for the holidays.
The staff members at Sylvan Learning's numerous study facilities understand that each child learns differently. Therefore, they don't try to implement a uniform tutoring system; instead, they design custom lesson programs based on the results of standardized testing, diagnostic tools, and one-on-one interviews.
Tutors work with students from kindergarten through grade 12, illuminating topics ranging from basic reading and writing to remembering complex algebraic formulas without having them tattooed on your chest. Many of Sylvan's instructors work in local schools, so they are intimately familiar with common curricula and understand how to gear lessons toward optimal results.