Butter, sugar, and flour. These three simple ingredients form the basis of each treat cooked up at Oakleaf Cakes. While the ingredients are straightforward, the cakes are anything but, as proven by head baker Amanda Oakleaf and the 4-foot-tall Dora the Explorer cake she constructed on the Food Network?s Cake Challenge. At her shop, Amanda and her team of artists, sculptors, and bakers create treats that run the gamut in flavor and function, from elegant tiers of red velvet to sugary cartoon figurines placed atop marshmallow fondant. Guests can dream up flavor combinations such as gingerbread cake slathered in white-chocolate buttercream or chocolate samoa layered in honey icing, or offer up a 3-D object for Amanda and her team to re-create in meticulous, edible detail. Regularly scheduled cake-decorating classes impart visitors with some of the team?s creative tricks of the trade, such as leveling cakes and keeping schoolchildren from swarming in through the doggy door at the sight of snickerdoodle cupcakes.
The bakery's from-scratch approach extends to the attached caf?, as well. Rather than keeping coffee warm throughout the day, staffers ground and brew each cup to order, using custom-roasted Barrington Coffee beans and an Aeropress. This cutting-edge brewing method is designed to extract exactly enough flavor from the beans to create the best brew possible, and achieves it in less than two minutes. Each sultry cup of joe perfectly complements the bakery's wide assortment of baked goods, which range from classic cupcakes, cookies, and muffins to wholly unique goodies including made-from-scratch pop tarts, artisanal marshmallows, and miniature cheesecakes.
At Fit Lifestyle Studios and Move Fitness, dedicated instructors impart knowledge during spinning, Pilates, dance, and other group fitness classes to shed pounds and improve cardiovascular health. During spinning classes, a small class size of no more than 18 students ensures individual attention from the instructors, who have all received certification from Mad Dogg Athletics. Students of all levels may attend spinning classes with full water bottles in hand, sparing them the trouble of biking to nearby creeks or fire stations. To get the most out of each 45-minute class, students are encouraged to arrive 10 minutes early to meet and greet their stationary steed.
Kickboxing classes deliver a knee to the face of fat, burning up to 860 calories an hour with the high-energy striking moves of martial arts and boxing. All four limbs get in on the bag-bludgeoning action at iLoveKickboxing as each class provides a full-body workout that tones arm, leg, and tentacle muscles while tightening the body’s core and improving balance. Hitting the heavy bags won't skin your knuckles once you don the included boxing gloves, which also double as excellent spring-loaded props for re-creating Three Stooges gags. Class times and dates vary based on location.
At Oceanside Pilates & Yoga Studio, owner Ellen Conti and a crew of enthusiastic instructors help bodies look and feel their best with daily fitness classes. Burnt-orange and creamy-yellow walls surround a dimly lit workout area where students can roll out their mats or hop on a Pilates Reformer. Nearby, a turquoise statue of Buddha keeps watch over students from atop a black dresser, quietly reminding them to retain their inner calm whether working up a sweat or sinking in quicksand.
Classes include Kundalini yoga, which combines intense exercises and breath work, and gentle-flow yoga, which focuses on basic yoga poses, relaxation, and meditation. Based on the ballet barre, barre classes improve range of motion, balance, and flexibility by blending Pilates moves, yoga stretches, and fitness accessories such as weights and thera bands. Oceanside also offers organic spray-tanning services that coat freshly forged muscles in bronze, creating the illusion of a day spent at the beach or on the assembly line of a copper-tubing factory.
At Greater Boston Fitness, there's a class for everybody. Martial-arts enthusiasts will be drawn to combat classes, which include jujitsu, MMA, boxing, and muay thai kickboxing. Meanwhile, conditioning fiends can get fit and sculpted at spin, yoga, boot-camp, and zumba classes. Gym members enjoy amenities such as free WiFi, access to gym equipment and locker rooms, and introductory personal training.
Boston Firearms Training Center's instructors train out of a private indoor shooting range, which accommodates handguns and rifles.
Instructors can supply guns; all firearms and ammo are included for the live-fire portions of their classes.
At Boston Firearms Training Center's full-service facility, instructors certified by the Massachusetts State Police who adhere to NRA standards train clients in both private and group classes. They teach pupils?ranging from everyday citizens to aspiring security guards?how to responsibly wield a handgun. Beyond demonstrating proper firearms operations, instructors also train clients in self-defense as well as first aid and CPR.