With the help of her grandmother, My Dream Cupcake's founder Julie L. learned to bake mouthwatering cupcakes at age 6. She discovered a natural passion for baking, and over the years, family and friends gushed with praise for her handheld treats. Since 2010, she's shared her gift with the public, crafting made-to-order cupcakes using quality chocolates, vanilla bean, and farm-fresh eggs. She eschews shortenings, oils, and prepackaged mixes, which ensures her desserts are free of trans fats and preservatives. In addition to their decadent taste, many of her desserts look almost too appealing to eat, such as her ornate children's birthday cakes and the cupcakes she frosts to look like hydrangeas and roses.
Air fills each piece of playground equipment at Inflatable Adventure Zone, which allows sock-footed kids aged 2–12 to safely jump, climb, and bounce. Kids can scale the towering double slide to reach the room’s highest vantage point, or frolic in an assortment of character-themed obstacles, from a Finding Nemo fortress to a Dora and Diego jumper for the shorter set. A snack area provides juice boxes and light snacks, as well as a place to discuss the bounce castle’s durability against invading packs of feral children.
The trained technicians at West Hartford Pain & Wellness Center help patients slim down and combat cellulite with a variety of treatments. They take advantage of technology such as the Lapex 2000 LipoLaser, which is designed to rid bodies of subdermal stores of glycerol, water, and toxins. Newly smooth-skinned patrons walk from treatment rooms after body-contouring wraps, which may also shrink circumferences. Chatter drifts from rooms where nutritional counselors discuss rules for a healthy diet low in saturated fats and unstated rules at plastic-fruit museums. Following all treatments, weight-loss professionals work closely with each client to design a custom weight-loss program with meal plans, workouts, and supplements based on body type and hormonal imbalances.
When the family in charge of Pho Vietnam Restaurant came to America in 1992, they were sure to pack their suitcases with recipes from their native land. These authentic meals now abound on a menu of Vietnamese entrees, from caramelized salmon cooked in a clay pot to rice vermicelli noodles with homemade fish sauce. You can also build your soup from the bowl up. Seven different kinds of pho feature different mixtures of meat, including brisket, flank, tendon, and steak. There's also pho made with free-range chicken, as well as specialty soups such as a Vietnamese beef stew.
New Britain-Berlin YMCA's 90,000-square-foot complex helps members improve their lives through community programs, personal training programs, and a variety of fitness facilities, including a new massage studio. Besides bulking up on full circuit of Nautilus strength equipment or powering through Precor treadmills, steppers, and ellipticals, visitors can join friends for games of basketball in the double gymnasium or chuck tomatoes at the walls of five on-site racquetball courts. The clear waters of the 25-yard swimming pool parallel the mirrored walls of an 800-square-foot fitness studio, where members can partake in several health and wellness programs throughout the week.
Known for his appearances on Comedy Central and NBC's Last Comic Standing, Jim McCue draws the audience into a rib-tickling, year-ending performance at convivial Italian restaurant Bucca di Beppo. With an impish grin, McCue picks out and good-naturedly picks on guests in a freewheeling set. The chief joke-slinger and supporting comics wrap up the fun before midnight, granting partiers the option to visit a different bar or return home before their cars revert to pumpkins.