Bright eyes and toothless smiles are regularly flashed at Little Nest Portraits, where the photographers specialize in children's portraiture. Owner Laura Novak and her quirky, talented staff love to fish for spontaneity and smiles during in-studio and outdoor photo shoots. Like backwards magicians, their trick is preparation: they chat with families beforehand to run down the session, pick up personality traits, and dish out tips such as what to wear. After frames are snapped, their home-design specialists can augment the prints with accessories such as hand-painted frames, canvas wraps, and gallery mounts.
Moments are captured in the comfortable studio, which creates a natural aesthetic with charming textures and a blend of modern furniture and antiques. Not content with merely decorating walls and mantels, the studio also strives to make its community more beautiful, giving back to a number of charities and working with school fundraiser programs.
Operation Warm works with manufacturers to obtain new, quality winter coats at the lowest cost possible, and distributes them to children from low-income backgrounds across the country. Its goals are both to keep children warm and foster self-esteem by providing a first-hand garment in a way that helps preserve their family's dignity. The coats are specifically kid-friendly too, with deep pockets, detachable hoods, an emphasis on durability, and a permanent label that says, "Made Especially for You!" Since its inception, Operation Warm has distributed more than 1.2 million such coats to children in 41 states. It has partnered with groups and organizations such as firefighters, Rotary clubs, universities, and corporations to connect with the children in the greatest need as well as volunteers to help distribute the coats.
See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand to projects big and small at the Groupon Grassroots blog.
At Gadaleto's Seafood Market, owner and operator Andy Gadaleto knows a quality catch when he sees it. Since 1945, a member of his family has helmed the market, accumulating a wealth of knowledge on swordfish, lobster, clams, and wild salmon, as well as more than 60 years of vendor relations that helps them acquire fresh products. Four generations later, quality seafood is still a passion for the Gadaleto bunch. On top of daily shipments direct from Florida, Alaska, and Maine, Andy or a family member travels to the freight terminal and wholesale fish market in Philadelphia to pick up other fresh seafood, such as scallops, oysters, and crabs, or swap news of the latest tariffs imposed by the merpeople. Beyond buying and selling sustainable seafood, Andy and the staff happily share their favorite recipes with curious customers.
Inflated structures, slides, and games fill the climate-controlled environs of the numerous BounceU locations that speckle the nation. At each site, staff members closely monitor all activities as little ones traverse obstacle courses or pull on oversized inflatable boxing gloves. The crew also invites parents to join in on the fun, letting them bounce alongside their kids or make sweeping edicts from atop a bouncy-castle throne. In addition to open sessions, the indoor-play haven sets the stage for the Preschool Playdate program, where instructors lead games and activities. Special events include family-bounce night, which lets parents join in the bouncing or relax in the party room and do grownup things, such as eat marshmallows with a knife and fork.
To get to know Philadelphia's Main Line, visitors could spend days on the road, meticulously traveling from Bala Cydwyd to Malvern in search of new, notable hotspots. However, they could also save themselves the wear and tear by researching their destinations in Main Line Today Magazine. The glossy guide highlights area restaurants, boutiques, and salons while sharing background on the region's culture, stories, and most eligible eccentric billionaires. Striking photos accompany thoughtful feature pieces; recent topics of interest include everything from behind-the-scenes stories from multicultural weddings to lists of the area's best doctors.
Beth Kostans achieved her childhood dream of owning a horse farm on the day that she established Plainbrooke Farm. The lifelong rider and equine enthusiast also passed down her passion to her daughter Megan, who today joins her mother to teach lessons on horsemanship and riding to students of all ages. Alongside fellow instructor Katie Homer, the mother-daughter duo commands the farm’s fleet of horses with compassion and finesse, pairing each animal with a student who most closely matches its demeanor and sense of humor.