Thad Siemasko and Jean Verbridge lead a skilled team of organized, disciplined architects whose greatest talents come from knowing what makes a house a home, as seen in such recent projects as a cozy mountain retreat built into a quiet urban hideaway. Beverly, MA svdesign.com.
True Yankees maintain a healthy skepticism of anything dreamt up in La-La Land, but this Hollywood-spawned fitness empire has won us over. Claim your spot early, then reward yourself with a smoothie from the Fuel Bar. 30 Chauncy St., Boston, MA 02111, barrysbootcamp.com.
You don't have to be a high priestess to shop here. With an intriguing array of crystals, incense, jewelry, and d̩cor, Ritual Arts is welcoming to anyone who appreciates a good Nag Champa. For extra good vibes, end your visit with head scratches for LoveBomb the cat. 153 Harvard Ave., Boston, MA 02134, .
With games, prizes, and lollipops, getting trimmed becomes less an errand than an adventure. Each Snip-Its stylist is specially trained to work with children, and can even give parents a photo certificate along with those precious clippings upon your kiddo's first haircut. The Street, 25 Boylston St., Chestnut Hill, MA 02467, snipits.com.
Kick back, relax, and indulge in the lost art of a good conversation while Jeanne Lee treats your digits to a detail-oriented manicure ($32) and spa pedicure ($85) that leaves no nook, cranny, or hangnail neglected. The finishing touch? A positively blissful massage. 115 Newbury St., Boston, MA 02116, jeannesalon.com.
Choose from one of nine signature blowouts ($45), then hand yourself over to a professional who will wash, dry, and style your locks into bouncy, shiny submission in just 45 minutes. What's more, you get to do it with a magazine in one hand and a beverage in the other. 234 Clarendon St., Boston, MA 02116, thedrybar.com.
Skipping the flash and frills, Sedurre proffers soft camis from Eberjey, flowy sleepwear and tanks from Only Hearts, and, yes, a few choice flatteners from Yummie Tummie. The vibe is relaxed, leaving you more room to ponder your undergarment strategy. 28 Prince St., Boston, MA 02113, sedurreboston.com.
Owner Andrea Halliday and her team create pieces ranging from fragrant, fresh strung garlands to mossy terrariums with carefully perched succulents. Simple and modern or baroque and traditional, Table & Tulip's arrangements come packaged in a range of beautiful vessels—or you can bring in one of your own for an even more personal touch. 461 Shawmut Ave., Boston, MA 02118, tableandtulip.com.
This Dorchester destination offers up traditional home-style dishes for those daring to venture beyond bowls of pho or bánh mì. Hungry? Pair ca kho to (caramelized clay-pot fish) with an order of canh chua (sour soup) and a side of white rice, or spring for the seven-course beef, bò 7 món. 291 Adams St., Dorchester, MA 02122, .
Housed in an 1872 mansion, the NCAAA is one of the region's largest depositories of art from the African diaspora. The biggest draw is the replica burial chamber of the sixth-century B.C. Nubian King Aspelta, rescued from a Sudanese dam project. 300 Walnut Ave., Boston, MA 02119, ncaaa.org.
Having endured all kinds of spa mumbo-jumbo and dubious beauty-boosting therapies ("And the final step is a blast of air from our oxygen machine...."), we began to wonder: Since when did facials become more about the experience than the result? Thank goodness Skoah has its priorities straight: At this Vancouver-based mini chain's first U.S. outpost, the service menu lists facial and only facial treatments. We like that the extractions are virtually painless and the treatment tables feature fluffy down comforters—but we love our crystal-clear and glowing skin. 641A Tremont St., Boston, MA 2118, skoah.com.
A sex boutique, without the emphasis on booty, tucked like a Venus charm inside Brookline's kosher bosom. Owner Kim Airs gets a lot of press (see our profile of her in the June issue) since she also offers fun instructional classes ("Spanky and Our Gang," "Bi Bi Love, Bi Bi Happiness"), yet her shop feels as threatening as Bloomingdale's. For breadth of porn, try what's left of the Combat Zone. For choice literary erotica, lubes, "body treats," and the city's perkiest wall of stand-ins for the male member, this is the place. 318 Harvard St., Suite 32, Brookline, MA .
Never mind our underutilized brains: Experts say most of us tap only 10 percent of the capability of the whiz-bang high-def TVs, sound systems, and talking refrigerators we use to decorate our homes. Tweeter's solution is its adult-playground stores—there's just one in New England—where the latest technology is set up in replica kitchens, dens, and bedrooms. The chain's hyperinformed tech-heads walk buyers from room to pretend room, demonstrating features meant to keep them entertained in space-age style. One Wheeler Rd., Burlington, MA .
We hesitate to draw more attention to this morning-to-midday sandwich shop, given the competition for seats. But we must evangelize the epic “eggwiches,” frittata-style patties with choose-your-own toppings such as fire-roasted peppers and fried shallots. 59 E. Springfield St., Boston, MA eatblunch.com.
Perusing Jan Gleysteen’s portfolio, one word repeatedly comes to mind: timeless. With nearly four decades of experience under his belt, the Wellesley architect knows his way around traditionalism, dreaming up classic abodes—such as a grand suburban homestead with coffered ceilings and dramatic archway—that are built to last. 888 Worcester St., Wellesley, MA 02482, jangleysteeninc.com.