The Tile Shop—as the name coyly suggests—specializes in tile for every imaginable surface and aesthetic style, making it easy for DIY handypeople to tackle small home projects, such as modernizing an avocado-green and penicillin-pink bathroom floor or re-grouting a small garden grotto. Underscore a kitchen with the appetizing orange of pirita siena ceramic tiles ($2.19 per square foot), then trim the counters in lizett beige ($3.99 each) for a complementary finish. Pick up a honeycomb pattern of hex matte black ($5.29 per square foot)—the quintessential backsplash for a gothy bumblebee—or add a touch of character to a small surface with a deep green verde butterfly mosaic ($11.99 per square foot). With its enormous selection of floor tiles, wall tiles, mosaics, and natural stone, the possibilities are as endless as a drive across Nebraska. The Tile Shop also has a plentiful selection of grout and tools for grouting it all together while grinning groutishly.
Physics and art collied on Clay Monet's six pottery wheels as students transform lumps of wet clay into delicate pottery. While the earthen heaps spin at high speeds, students mold them into curved bowls, vases, one-time-use bowling balls with subtle movements and gentle pressure. In lieu of pottery wheels, they can also sculpt rustic pasta bowls and whimsical clay garden mushrooms by hand. Alternatively, they can skip the sculpting process all-together and paint an already completed bisque piece, such as an animal figurine, mug, or dinner plate.
Dale Horn first began taking photograph portraits in 1988, and in the following decades he's begun to specialize in candid portrayals of graduating seniors, families, children, and weddings. Dale works in a relaxed setting that puts his subjects at ease, making portrait sessions fun even as he captures defining characteristics of individuals, families, or children. He harnesses years of creative knowledge to turn images of people into works of art, patiently waiting for the right facial expression to capture the subject's personality.
Eddie Z's Blinds and Drapery dresses dapper wall-holes in a variety of shades, shutters, and other window-covering garments. During a complimentary at-home consultation, a designer will help clients select window treatments, or customers can come to a showroom to observe blinds in their natural habitat. Homeowners can opt to add an earthy accent to rooms with woven wood shades ($72+), or trap runaway air in the insulating compartments of honeycomb cellular shades ($67+). Horizontal-line haters can choose vertical blinds that come in more than 300 colors, styles, and fruit flavors ($55+).
Originally opened as the Top Hat Drive-In in 1953, Sonic has grown into a burger-franchise mecca that today operates out of 3,500 locations across the country, making it the nation’s largest chain of drive-in restaurants. Sonic specializes in made-to-order American classics—including burgers, hot dogs, milk shakes, and marshmallow Ford Thunderbolts—which customers order and receive without ever having to leave their cars. Unique menu items include toaster sandwiches stacked on thick slices of texas toast, as well as the brand’s signature tots and fresh limeades.
Sonic’s numerous awards include a 2011 Zagat survey ranking it among the top five fast-food restaurants in three categories: Best Value Menu, Best Milk Shake, and Best Drive-Thru. The benevolent eatery has also donated more than $2 million to public schools throughout the country through their program Limeades for Learning, which helps to fund educational projects and retirement plans for classroom guinea pigs.
Since opening its doors in 1998, Language Stars has introduced more than 30,000 children to foreign languages with small-group classes and full-immersion activities. Through a selective process, Language Stars recruits ambitious teachers from more than 20 countries who share a common goal of revolutionizing how and when American children learn foreign languages. Parents and Tots Classes are available for children between 1–3 years old, and Kids Only classes are available for children 3–5, 5–8 and 8–10 years old. Absorbent little minds soak up Spanish, Mandarin, French, German, or Arabic with the help of their FunImmersion approach, learning naturally through games, songs, activities and art projects to help kids finally understand their foreign-exchange imaginary friends.