At Paint with Flair, instructors kick down the barriers that traditionally stand between beginners and a paintbrush, starting by creating a comfortable environment. Couples on dates, coworkers looking to bond, or friends out on the town sip on BYOB drinks and snacks as they loosen up and get acquainted with the provided materials (classes for kids and non-drinkers are also available on the schedule). Teachers get groups chatting as they take them on a step-by-step walk through the brushstrokes, color selection, and witchcraft necessary to whip up their own fetching painting, whether it be a reproduction of Van Gogh’s Starry Night or an original design.
Assured Self Storage has anything and everything necessary to safely store supplies for the short or long term. Most facilities boast climate-controlled storage spaces within larger fenced-in facilities, complete with key-coded gates, surveillance cameras, crocodile moats, and door alarms to protect your goods from vengeful ex-roommates and hopelessly lost apartment dwellers. The individual storage rooms, like summer romances, are available in month-to-month leases and range from the closet-sized 5'x5' unit ($34) to the expansive 10'x30' space ($189), which rivals a two-car garage in roominess and number of power tools.
To make the chore of cleaning the car easier, Ultra Shine Auto Detail brings its mobile-detailing act on the road. Its services range from hand washes that use water-conserving, no-rinse cleaners to Ultra Fine details, which are capped off with a protecting application of a polymer-Teflon shield. Like a nice warm scarf wrapped around the car, this finish can fend off attacks from the elements. Other a la carte services include headlight restorations, window treatments, and interior shampoos and stylings.
The corporeal caretakers at Texas Beauty Institute thwart the façade-fading effects of aging and natural wear with an enlivening array of noninvasive, anti-aging solutions. The less jaded cousin of microdermabrasion, the Jet Clear peeling system eschews irksome microcrystals for the lush, hygienic surge of saline to help correct skin imperfections such as acne, scars, wrinkles, and grossly mislabeled temporary tattoos. A nourishing medley of collagen and elastin widen skin channels to sink deep into pores and usher in a refreshing flood of beneficial skin serums. Jet Clear's procedure begets a gleaming facial transformation without the irritating ruddiness and scratchy sensation of microdermabrasion. There is no downtime, and faces leave the beauty institute with hydrated skin that's smoother than Barry White's pet dolphin.
Thomas Volmer credits his wife, Rachel, for inspiring them to start helming boot camps. She wasn’t always a fitness guru, though. "She was a commercial banker and she was 70 pounds overweight," Volmer recalls. Once she started to reclaim her life, "she just fell in love with fitness," he says. She eventually dropped 80 pounds with proper exercise and nutrition, spurring her to earn her AFAA personal training certification and pursue a career as a full-time trainer.
Personal experience lends Rachel and the other trainers—including Sharon Monk, who lost more than 200 pounds by exercising and eating healthily—empathy and a motivating demeanor when working with campers. At each location, they get groups doing pushups, swinging kettlebells, and flipping tires in a positive environment that's focused on teamwork, rather than competition. "You start as a group, you finish as a group," says Thomas. "But the activities that you do in between might be different based on your abilities."
In addition to leading sessions, Rachel creates easy-to-use online meal plans (including a vegetarian plan), which campers can customize to help them stay on track. Options range from the simple, such as cereal with fruits, nuts, and flaxseeds, to the creative, including honey-sweetened oatmeal peanut-butter cookies. She also includes the calorie count for each recipe. Users can pick from simple meals made for one person or larger entrees designed with an entire family or pet elephant in mind.