The window dressers at Connecticut Shade and Blind have embellished bare panes with custom blinds, shades, and sumptuous draperies for more than a quarter century. Interior rooms exposed to overly enthusiastic sunbeams or binocular-bearing blue jays cover vulnerable windows with light filtering double-cell shades ($546 for a 36"x54" panel). The futuristic blinds are energy efficient, helping to defend against winter drafts and roasting summer suns. Wood blinds ($549 for a 36"x54" panel) or faux-wood blinds ($413 for a 36"x54" panel) add texture and a touch of the outdoors to stylish interiors. A variety of fabrics in woven blends or ethereal sheers dress window interiors as curtains or human exteriors as stylish togas. Any accrued shipping costs are included in this Groupon.
Owners Carolyn and Stan Giliberto of Over the Rainbow Toys, one of CBS Connecticut's Best Toy Stores of Hartford, regale youngsters with specialty toys from trusted U.S. manufacturers and importers, as well as one of the largest selections of toys from Playmobil. A cheery sales staff stands by to help parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles discover age-appropriate gifts, while warning customers against common child-gifting flubs, such as presenting second graders harboring tightrope-walking aspirations with wire and a balancing pole. Arts-and-crafts projects, science and learning kits, and both kid and adult jigsaw puzzles fill the bright store. Young ones can sputter airplane impersonations with a Playmobil Click and Go jet ($11.99) or hone pin-toppling skills with the sunny colors of a Happy Giddy bowling set. A set of frog-shaped baseball mitts ($12.99) enables kids to impersonate their favorite major leaguer in the backyard and prevents calamities in china shops. The shop also offers creative, free gift-wrapping, sparing parents the inconvenience of hiding toys by putting them inside of other toys.
Somerset's team of certified dentists and technicians polishes pearly whites by using the most up-to-date technology in general and cosmetic dentistry. Zoom! teeth whitening can brighten dull cuspids up to eight shades in 45 minutes, broken down into three quick sessions of 15 minutes each. Dental technicians first apply a cover to lips and gums to ensure the treatment is administered only to the teeth, before gently painting a Zoom! gel onto tarnished tusks. As you relax in a comfy padded exam chair, the gel joins forces with a specialized light that penetrates the stained surfaces of teeth, correcting discoloration and saving smiles from the stigma of a stained reputation brought on by red-wine-and-coffee cocktails and tea-flavored cigarettes.
Jeff Lederman took a hobbyist's interest in personalized crafts more than 30 years ago, and today that hobby has blossomed into a gift mecca tinged with a distinctively masculine edge. RhinoGifts.com and its sister storefront Recognition Inc. fill orders big and small for all kinds of inscribed paraphernalia, from apparel and watches to cedar humidors for stogies, and incorporates customers’ own artwork, logos, and personalized messages to complete each gift. The outfit also emblazons trinkets for companies with no minimum order sizes, meaning big corporations and mom-and-pop shops alike can treat their employees to a commemorative pen on Dr. Spock’s half birthday.
Over the course of 20 years, family-operated Just Like New has inspected apparel, accessories, and home furnishings from thousands of consigners, accepting only the pieces that meet strict quality and style standards. At the start of each fashion season, the family treks to New York City to gather enough designer duds to restock two 5,000-square-foot locations. Clothing, shoes, and accessories by classic brands such as Coach and Ann Taylor adorn shelves and keep mannequins from being charged with public indecency, and a children's section outfits youngsters in apparel purchased exclusively from catalog brands and specialty stores. Just Like New's jewelry selection glitters with 14-karat gold and sterling silver; vintage and costume jewelry occasionally makes the cut by way of jingling the shop owners' favorite songs. Vintage glassware, furniture, and artwork make unique design accents for the home.
Trainer, groomer, and unabashed dog lover Jessica Edgerly has had a lifelong interest in animals. Among many career accomplishments, Malone's resumé includes several training certificates, but perhaps more relevant is the fact that she has seven dogs of her own. Her passion for all things pooch serves her well at Central K-9, where she and her staff provide a variety of services including daycare on a full- and half-day basis. They also offer grooming, obedience training, and, on Saturday mornings, socialization classes where groups of dogs gather to interact and trade tips for seducing fire hydrants.
Joining the witness-protection program is the best way to disguise your identity, but the vast array of costumes at Halloween Express gives the program a run for its money. For more than two decades, the chain’s 300+ stores have supplied customers with costumes year-round from vampire capes for Halloween to Caesar togas for the Ides of March.
In preparation for the fall of 2012, they’ve added new items to their Halloween collection. These costumes range from fuzzy blue monsters to skeleton zombies and can transform groups of four into Raggedy Andy and three clones spawned from his DNA. The store’s party supplies add a spooky touch to festivities and include tombstones, rotting pumpkins, and giant hairy spiders.