Sit 'n Sleep stuffs its showroom with brand-name mattresses such as Sealy, Sherwood, and Simmons in a variety of sizes and firmness, from twin to California king and Euro tops to ultra plush. Sleepers slumber effortlessly atop the plush Sherwood Fremont pillow top, designed exclusively with sustainable, organic fibers and powers of clairvoyance ($399.99 for queen). Avoid tossing and turning on the Sealy Balboa Island's firm layers, replete with patented posturepedic technology stoutly supporting finicky spines throughout the night ($859.99 for full). The half-bed, half-machine Simmons Kings Cove, imbued with hybrid spring technology, struggles with its identity while its BeautySleep memory foam cuddles bodies for maximum sheep-counting.
William Edwards Photography's studio, open in the Antelope Valley for more than 25 years, is really part studio, part playground. Outside, a tire swing hangs on a tree and a fire engine waits for kids to hop aboard it, and families can pose for natural-looking pictures on the portrait sets that occupy the studio's portrait park, such as country porch or a grassy area with a pond. But the team shoots portraits indoors too, snapping formal portraits, families posed around their beloved dog, babies napping in rug-lined baskets, or high school seniors preparing for college.
SunnyNight Events lights up soirees with a blaze of photo-booth flashbulbs. Its staff rolls out several different photo-booth packages, which all include setup, tear down, and whimsical props to embellish poses. The snapshots print on photo strips within seconds, and hosts get a DVD or USB drive of every shot.
At Smiles Dental Group, Dr. Irina Shahinyan and her team of dental specialists work to improve the health and appearance of teeth. They perform restorative services that range from deep cleaning to root canals and cosmetic procedures such as Sapphire teeth whitening, which gently lifts stains. Matilda, the practice's smiling, dancing molar mascot, travels to area elementary schools to educate students about dental health.
At Persia Cuisine, variety is key: kebabs come with lamb, chicken, or salmon, and there’s specially steamed basmati rice seasoned with saffron, plus sour cherry rice, or lima beans with dill rice. While variety defines the appeal of the eatery’s kebabs, a special process defines the signature taste and texture of its rice. First, the staff boils away the starch, then, they steam the rice to make it fluffy. With all the menu options, though, guests always find one constant—the dishes are healthy, containing antioxidant-packed sumac spice, fresh vegetables, and herbs. Persia Restaurant offers special events at certain times, too, whether a simple lunchtime buffet showcasing a slate of hot options or Saturday nights when belly dancers entertain guests by teaching them what was once thought to be impossible: how to look elegant while belly-flopping into a pool.
An accomplished actor and director whose clients have included Jenna Elfman and Bianca Lawson (“Pretty Little Liars”), Gloria Gifford unlocks the thespian in mild-mannered men and women through an eight-hour intensive workshop ideal for professionals and amateurs alike. Gifford distills complex acting jargon into easily digestible instructions, such as a heated beaker haunted by Laurence Oliver, igniting her students’ inspiration and instilling added confidence. The two sessions are also attended by special guest speaker Allan Miller, a stagecraft shaman who teaches professional actors to attack auditions with fervor and theater enthusiasts to incorporate prat falls and stage tears into talks with their children and sales negotiations. Even if students have little interest in taking to the theater professionally, Gifford’s central lesson of finding the love in one’s work pays dividends in almost any profession, encouraging participants to use themselves to book the jobs of their dreams.