Healthy Inspirations’ weight-loss programs help women shed pounds by tweaking everyday routines. Throughout each four-week course, trained weight-loss experts oversee a diet metamorphosis, helping clients reshuffle priorities in lifestyle planning, balance old habits with new ones, and resist the lilting songs of sentient pound cakes. Thrice-weekly one-on-one coaching sessions teach clients how to replace food faux pas with nutritionally sound selections, and expert-advised workout regimens combat stresses that lead to overeating. Before-and-after measurements help track progress, and nutrition plans and easy-to-follow cardio workouts reestablish control over fitness and help clients self-monitor progress. Like a street luge drawn by cheetahs, Healthy Inspirations' program gets off to a fast start, with many clients dropping between three and six pounds in the first three days.
The eagle-eyed shutterbugs at Lasting Memories capture fleeting moments with pristine, high-resolution pictures. During photo shoots, the skilled photogs encourage groups to forgo complicated cheerleading pyramids and instead line up in front of the camera casually for a more natural feel. Cameras snap away at weddings, preserving the day in printed images. Digital images are also available, enabling easy sharing online or photoshopping into pictures of historic events. The company’s wide-ranging services also include video transfer and photo-booth rental, where party guests can hop in and create their own memories in 4”x6” images.
The Chimney Sweeps' certified technicians have been making sure chimneys breathe easy for more than 20 years. Depending on the type of fireplace, they can perform either a rotary or manual cleaning, each of which ousts creosote, soot, and ash with the aid of a brush and HEPA vacuum. Thorough cleanings not only help prevent chimney fires but can also reduce the amount of smoke backing up into the house and leading to chimney smell. The crew also performs related services such as animal removal, furnace cleanings, crown seals, and dryer-vent cleaning for people who like to roast marshmallows in their dryers.
Kidtown USA came from the minds of educators and recreation specialists who created a program licensed by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. Each location’s activity stations cater not only to entertaining kids, but also helping them develop skills for creative self-expression and social engagement. Kids explore the indoor play area, which consists of climbing structures—including a pirate ship and a train—before watching puppets act out classic kids’ tales such as Uncle Vanya Goes to the Zoo at Storytime Theater. Make Believe City’s open air and small, miniature rooms emulate imaginative settings such as a firehouse, veterinarian's office, or construction zone. Elsewhere at The Diner, red-and-chrome furniture and a classic checkerboard floor sets the stage for cooking lessons or snack time.
In the past two decades, few industries have experienced the seismic change that swept through the photography industry. But as the field transformed from a film-based realm to a digital one, Reliable Photo changed with it. The team still processes film and makes prints—a service it's provided for more than 20 years—but now also works with digital formats. Customers now come to Reliable Photo knowing they can print wedding pictures, enlarge portraits from film or memory cards, put together vivid photo greeting cards, and convert old film to more modern formats. In addition, the team’s video archivists can transfer media from formats such as VHS, DV, 8-mm tape, and stone tablets to DVD, helping preserve memories and keep them accessible.
Threaded with dramatic marble patterns or shimmering quietly in zinc, Precision Stone Designs' countertops are eco-friendly and backed by a one-year warranty. Slabs of granite, marble, quartz, and engineered stone—all available in about 200 colors—await choosy renovators, as does 3D design software that helps homeowners realize their design dreams. Technicians typically install countertops and cabinets themselves, but industrious customers can opt for customizable DIY packages.