While chatting on the phone with a friend, Katrina Uhls had a startling realization: her kids had been playing video games for hours. She discovered that by effectively “unplugging” her kids, she could steer them toward more creative, introspective pastimes.
Now, as the owner of Unpluggits Playstudio, she fosters a safe, welcoming space where all kids can "unplug" and explore their artistic sides. Kids will find shelves stocked with play-doh, stamps, stencils, and other craft supplies. They can don smocks and wield nontoxic paints at miniature easels. Paint’n take projects give them personalized crafts to take home, such as picture frames and piggy banks useful for saving up to buy new toys or a gold-plated piggy bank. For more active playtime pursuits, kids can gambol toward the indoor playground, which features slides, a pirate ship, and air-hockey tables.
As kids explore the 3,000-square-foot studio, parents are welcome to cruise free WiFi or monitor tykes from the snack bar, which serves freshly ground organic coffee, juices, and soda. Special workshops open the space for toddler-specific activities, adults-only craft time, and parents' nights out.
A member of the Drycleaning & Laundry Institute, Legacy Cleaners and Laundry harbors a slew of cleaning techniques that help extract stains and grime from garments. For laundry services, customers can forage closets and or pilfer a tailor’s piñata for clothes such as shirts ($2.25) and pants ($5.25), which the staff will clean and drape on hangers. Alternately, dry-cleaning machines sidestep water to vanquish wrinkles from sweaters ($5.25) and men's or women's suits ($9.25+). Clients can spruce up bedclothes without overworking washing machines or novelty-size toothbrushes with comforter cleaning ($35+).
Though Randy Taylor’s passion for photography has taken him to the Iditarod dogsled race in Alaska and back, he spends most of his time at Taylor Made Photography capturing shots of families and kids. Back in the studio or outside in its gardens—complete with footbridge, tire swing, hay bales, and stone archways—Randy and his staff compose classic portraits marked by vibrant colors and flattering light. To keep his skills up to snuff, the 30-year industry veteran regularly participates in photography competitions and acts as a judge himself at national circuit conventions where he’s impervious to bribes, no matter how much saltwater taffy they entail.
Photo Card Café' presents an array of customizable templates that customers can amend and adorn with up to four uploaded photographs, resulting in bundles of cards for holiday greetings, special announcements, invitations, or thank-yous. Purple floral ornate wedding invitations ($1.16 for each 4"x6" card-stock print) set nicely against black and white, color, or sepia images of the soon-to-be newlyweds, and come accompanied by matching save-the-date cards ($0.89 for each 4"x6" photo-paper print), thank-you notes ($1.25 for each 5 1/4"x4" folded card), and animatronic carrier pigeons. Pictures of future astronauts find a fit with the rocket party invitations ($1.10 for each 5"x7" photo-paper print). Instead of replacing all condiments with eggnog, lend your fridge some holiday cheer the easy way with the 4"x6" magnetized Christmas cards ($2.15 each), which are festooned with nuzzling reindeer or bedazzling ornaments.
LifeStyles’ showrooms brim with upscale light fixtures and accessories that send style and faux sunlight streaming throughout abodes. Single pendants ($44.95 for a 9-in. pendant, $139 for a 20-in. pendant) with nine interchangeable lampshades add festive colors and patterns to rooms, and tortoiseshell sconces ($89.95 each) illuminate dark spaces or permanent couch forts. Patrons can brighten a dim dining room with a five-bulb walnut chandelier ($119) or julienne a piñata with the blades of a lighted ceiling fan ($64.95+). An array of outdoor fixtures ($4.29+) resist weather damage, and an assortment of knobs and drawer pulls ($1.69+) in pewter, bronze, or nickel finishes give furnishings refined style.
Ageless Athletics' professional, certified trainer, Steve Ruiz, incorporates a mixture of kettlebell and Z-Health exercise techniques into his clients' workouts to help increase strength, flexibility, and endurance while facilitating fat loss and recovery from injury. During your four personal-training sessions, learn how to effectively use the Russian kettlebell, a hooked, cast-iron weight that's said to yield faster results than dumbbells and more-noticeable results than wearing a monocle. Using fluid, natural movements, kettlebell exercises will help you improve balance, strengthen your core, and engage long-forgotten mini-muscles.