Though it seems as if any person or sentient cellphone can call itself a photographer these days, Heather Lussier represents the old guard of shutterbugs who go through rigorous classes and have to pass industry standards for both technical and artistic skills. Today, with more than 20 years of experience behind her, the certified professional photographer puts this know-how to use in connecting with all her clients, even the four-legged furry ones. With a passion for photography that began at age 5, she artfully frames and skillfully snaps portraits of families, kids, and pets. She powwows with clients before each session—either at their home or in her studio—before laying out a detailed plan and determining the best wall for displaying the portraits. While she takes her craft seriously, she keeps all meetings and shoots casual, with an aim toward capturing each subject at his or her most relaxed. Once images are trapped in time, she offers options other than standard prints, such as museum-quality canvas gallery wraps, hand-cut stone photo tiles, sterling-silver photo jewelry, and designer photo bags.
The chefs at Mikado have mastered more than 85 types of sashimi and sushi, from rolls packed solely with vegetables to rolls that are baked and tempura deep-fried. Mikado's breaks down the sushi menu even further, providing more than 25 specialty rolls made from unexpected ingredient pairings, such as eel with jalapeños, salmon with yogurt sauce, and spicy tuna placed in a full bottle of ketchup. Diners can dig into chicken teriyaki and tempura udon bento boxes, slurp up traditional stir-fried yakisoba noodles, or nibble on nearby bamboo accents.
Ever since Baskin Robbins began its dessert fashion show in 1953, more than 1,000 original flavors have delighted tongues, 31 at a time. With the ice creamery's iconic pink sampling spoons as a guide, customers can taste-test as many as they like, whether it's a classic flavor such as a scoop of rocky road in a cup ($2.39) or waffle cone ($3.18), or a seasonal offering such as Winter White Chocolate—white-chocolate ice cream loaded with chocolate-covered cherry pieces and a cherry ribbon. As the current flavor of the month, Winter Chocolate Marshmallow borrows the flavors of hot chocolate strewn with fluffy marshmallows and whipped cream.
Under the watchful eye of elite provider Dr. Boschken, an Invisalign procedure straightens crooked chompers through a combination of highly advanced, 3-D computer graphics and the spells of good old-fashioned orthodontia. The process eschews cumbersome braces for clear, removable aligners that are virtually invisible to the unclothed eye. An initial exam, including x-rays, photos, and impressions (a $300 value) of your mouth's terrain, will pave the way for a flurry of calibrated teeth sheaths that are designed to slowly shift your walnut crackers into perfect alignment. The total cost of an Invisalign treatment varies with each customer (starting at around $5,200 for 6–8 months); this Groupon gets you $1,500 to put toward that final cost. The credit can also be used toward traditional braces (starting at around $4,800 for 12 months).
Casablanca Market brings its collection of leather ottomans, hand-painted tables, Berber pillows, intricate mirrors, Moroccan tea glasses and tagines as they arrive stateside straight from the hands of Moroccan artisans, many of whom learned their skills as a family tradition. Hand-painted chairs and hand-woven carpets enliven rooms with vibrant colors and boast unique designs, unlike template rugs sewn by unimaginative robots. Shoppers can further their knowledge of Moroccan culture by attending the shop's cooking classes, which feature traditional recipes and ingredients. The market follows fair-trade practices to ensure artisans receive good compensation for their work and have their pay in hand before their goods ship overseas.