Archive for August, 2010

$29 for Four Classes at Baby Boot Camp ($60 Value)

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010
$29 for Four Classes at Baby Boot Camp ($60 Value)

For $29, today's side deal gets you four classes at Baby Boot Camp (a $60 value, prorated from the $90 value for six classes). These group classes are designed to fulfill the fitness needs of new and expecting moms and dads and are held at outdoor locations in Los Altos, Los Gatos, Campbell, Palo Alto, Redwood City, Sunnyvale, and Santa Clara. Call the location of your choice to reserve your spot in class.

Fitness guru Kristen Horler developed Baby Boot Camp after she gave birth to her first child and realized the lack of appropriate prenatal and postnatal training programs currently available. The stroller-based fitness classes are designed to help moms get fit in a supportive and empathetic environment, combining strength-training exercises, cardiovascular drills, Pilates, yoga, and ab work. Eliminating the need for a babysitter and facilitating familial bonding, students are encouraged to bring along their new bundle and even use the stroller as a resistance tool. To ensure your utmost safety, all instructors are highly trained and certified, and the boot camp's structure abides by the guidelines of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the American Council on Exercise.

All four classes must be redeemed at the same location and used within 60 days.

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$10 for $20 Worth of Teas and Tea Wares at Puripan Tea Garden

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010
$10 for $20 Worth of Teas and Tea Wares at Puripan Tea Garden

Tea was discovered in ancient China when a leaf blew in the window and landed in the emperor's bath, which he was slurping through a straw. Sip leaves steeped more decorously with today's deal: for $10, you get $20 worth of tea from Puripan Tea Garden, located on Santana Row. This Groupon is valid for phone order and in-store purchases.

Puripan Tea Garden features more than 50 varieties of premium organic teas from all tea regions of the world. A bevy of choices include green, white, black and oolong teas, as well as deeply flavorful teas that aid in added tranquility and energy, subdued jubilation, resonance, and a variety of other sensations, depending on what you and your mind require. Sample the healing Ginseng Matcha ($19.99 for 35 grams), the aromatic Ti Guan Yin ($9.99 for two ounces), or the heady Jasmine Silver Needle ($15.99 for two ounces). You can even stock your tea cabinet with attractive handmade tea wares for entertaining stuffed animals that come alive after midnight.

Despite the cruelties of the world, never forget that the world always gives back, with soothing hot liquids that afford you a well-deserved time-out during the stressful moments of your day. Spend some quality time focusing deeply on your qi and forgetting about your problematic investment in that miniature-barn-animal company.

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America and England: What are the Differences?

What are the only four differences between America and England?

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$20 for $40 Worth of Peruvian-Style Cuisine and Drinks for Lunch or Brunch at Limón

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010
$20 for $40 Worth of Peruvian-Style Cuisine and Drinks for Lunch or Brunch at Limón

For hundreds of generations, Peruvian chefs have passed down the secret to capturing and containing the flying empanada by luring it into kitchens with Reese's Pieces. Taste the fruits of this confidential labor with today's Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of Peruvian-style cuisine and drinks at Limon, located in the heart of the Mission, on Valencia St. This Groupon is valid for dine-in lunch or brunch only.

Sprinkling traditional Peruvian cuisine with pinches of cosmic flavor dust from around the globe, Executive Chef Martin Castillo whips up Nuevo Latin fusion fare with a bevy of savory lunch and brunch options. Start out with freshly shucked oyster shooters in the leche de tigre ($3 each) or the ceviche Limon—a triad of fresh fish, calamari, and shrimp ($11). Animalicious entrees such as the pescado Limon, a mélange of crispy potatoes, spinach, and snapper ($12), peacefully coexist alongside herbivore-friendly offerings like the empanada vegetariana—a crispy puffed pastry filled with mushrooms, choclo, spinach, and English peas ($8). Patrons who prefer their lunchtime offerings brunchified can opt for omelettes, which are served with French fries, sweet potato fries, or mixed green salad ($10), as well as meaty fare, such as the lomo saltado con huevo—a top sirloin steak stir-fried with onions, tomatoes, and fries, and crowned with two sunny-side-up eggs ($14). Specialty cocktails ($8–$9) are also on hand to please parched palates.

Featuring a modern, citrus-hued interior, Limon boasts an upbeat mix of lounge areas resounding with Latin music. Communal tables encourage family-style dining, allowing customers to mingle with friends, coworkers, or complete strangers who have excellent taste in restaurants. Lunch is served weekdays from noon until 4 p.m., with brunch available on weekends from 11:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. Reservations are required.

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Important Moments in Nuclear Fusion

Was Einstein's most important theory "Love conquers all?"

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$6 Ticket to O Zone Event at Oakland Museum of California on September 10 ($12 Value)

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010
$6 Ticket to O Zone Event at Oakland Museum of California on September 10 ($12 Value)

Art is in the eye of the beholder, whereas swollen retinas are in the eye of the bee holder. Get soul-stung by provocative and powerful art with today's Groupon: for $6, you get one ticket to the O Zone Event at Oakland Museum of California on September 10 (a $12 value). Doors open at 5 p.m., and the museum is open until midnight. All ages are welcome.

Soak up new exhibitions and participate in a bevy of events, panels, and film screenings at OMCA. Explore The Marvelous Museum: A Project by Mark Dion—an exhibit dedicated to curios, overlooked orphan art pieces, and treasures from the museum's collection, including a baby elephant—throughout the art galleries. Go behind the scenes with the exhibition PIXAR: 25 Years of Animation, which includes more than 500 drawings, paintings, and sculptures by the artists at Pixar Animation Studios, revealing their creative process. Hear Pixar artists discuss the making of Up, followed by a viewing of the film (limited seating), and watch the Pixar short Tin Toy in the History Gallery’s Studio Screening Room. A limited number of passes can be reserved for this exhibit on a first-come, first-served basis when arriving at the museum.

Other events include free drawing classes (7 p.m.–9 p.m.), a Pixar artist book signing with Sanjay Patel, and a chance to break out your tap-dancing stilts to frolic with a New Orleans–style party band and a Bollywood dance troupe. If you need to fill grumbling stomach engines, refuel at Blue Oak café. Check in at the main entrance on Oak Street when arriving at OMCA to have an automatic get-out-of-boredom-free card, a thoughtful activity for out-of-town guests, or a surefire cure for writer's block.

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Museum of Roommate History

Or sublet your attention span at the Museum of Roommate History.

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$10 for Six Cannoli or One Cannoli Kit at Romolo’s Cannoli & Spumoni Factory in San Mateo

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010
$10 for Six Cannoli or One Cannoli Kit at Romolo's Cannoli & Spumoni Factory in San Mateo

Long considered a subset of hearing, taste wasn't recognized as a sense in its own right until scientists made the shocking discovery that all Beatles LPs tasted exactly the same. Reward your most neglected sense with today's Groupon: for $10, you get six cannoli or one cannoli kit (up to a $24 value) at Romolo's Cannoli & Spumoni Factory in San Mateo.

For more than 40 years, Romolo's carefully crafted cannoli have acted as the wormhole linking the Bay Area with sunny Sicily in the space-taste continuum. The sweet treats' combination of fried pastry shell and smooth, creamy filling creates a textural tandem that mouths find delectably disorienting, while a variety of custom toppings and garnishes allows each temptation to target taste buds more precisely than a smart bomb in the talons of a homing pigeon. Choose ricotta-cream filling—made with spices, sugar, citron, and other premium ingredients—and garnish it with chocolate chips, pistachio, or cherries. Or opt instead for a filling made from handmade ice cream in flavors such as vanilla bean, fresh strawberry, and chocolate amaretto. Like Belgian fried chicken, shells can come coated in dark chocolate or just plain plain (for ricotta cream only). All shells and fillings are made fresh daily.

Much like iPhones, Romolo's cannoli are hand-made from natural, premium ingredients according to a time-honored family recipe and draw envious stares every time you pull one out of your pocket. Although Romolo's makes all its cannoli to order, aspiring chefs who prefer to do their own dessert dirty work can take home a cannoli-making kit instead, which comes with enough ricotta-cream filling, shells, and garnishes to make six cannoli. Give yourself a sweet finish to dinner, an easy kitchen project with the kids, or a delicious way to taunt neighbors with today’s Groupon to Romolo's Cannoli & Spumoni Factory.

Romolo’s requests that all customers leave their guns before taking the cannoli.

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Cooking…at Home?

Is there anything wrong with cooking in the bathtub?

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$14 for One Ticket to Day of Discovery Festival (Up to $35 Value)

Monday, August 30th, 2010
$14 for One Ticket to Day of Discovery Festival (Up to $35 Value)

For $14, today's side deal gets you one ticket to the Day of Discovery Festival at Wente Vineyards in Livermore Valley on September 4 (up to a $35 value). Children ages 12 and younger can attend for free.

The Day of Discovery Festival provides patrons with the opportunity to kick back in a lush winery setting, while knocking back estate-grown grapey goods to the melodious offerings of 18 bands, including some Bay Area acts, on three different stages. Headlined by Luce, the festival also features the Bacchus Brothers, The Ferocious Few, and seven acoustic acts. Food, wine, and beer will be available for purchase all day and doors open at noon, with music starting at 1 p.m. Wente Vineyards offers an intimate viewing environment by each stage, ensuring that any spot you set down your blanket will give you a good view of the stage action, allowing you to shut off your internal bionic opera glasses.

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$99 for Tandem Skydive with Professional Jumper from Skydive Hollister ($169 value)

Monday, August 30th, 2010
$99 for Tandem Skydive with Professional Jumper from Skydive Hollister ($169 value)

Before Zeus found a convenient portal that took him from his Mount Olympus throne to his private vineyard in Athens, his preferred method of descent was the jack-knifed skydive. Experience the chariot of Grecian gods with today's deal: for $99, you get a tandem jump with a professional jumper from 10,000 feet from Skydive Hollister (a $169 value). The drop zone is about an hour from the heart of San Jose at the Hollister Airport. You may apply this Groupon toward upgrades and pay the difference. This Groupon is valid during the week and on weekends.

While spring flowers dramatically burst from the ground once a year, skydivers usurp daisies and tulips by dramatically bounding from the cloud tops. Each Skydive Hollister staff member has earned the highest ratings from the United States Parachute Association, and all crew members have a minimum of 1,000 jumps under their wind-resistant belts. Extremely safe equipment accompanies proper training instruction before boarding the Cessna for the nearly two-mile climb. Upon reaching jump altitude, divers leap from the plane for 20–30 seconds of freefall while confidently connected to their tandem master. Speeds reach upwards of 120 miles per hour before the parachute is pulled, signaling the start of a picturesque float to earth that lasts a few minutes.

A graduated skydiver lives with an expanded perspective of the ground and greater appreciation for the infinitude of California's vertical horizons. The entire experience is borderline comparable to escaping Plato's Allegory of the Cave, as the one-of-a-kind aeronautic adventure opens up a new world of augmented reality. Call ahead to schedule your jump.

Must be at least 18 and sign a waiver. Skydive Hollister has a weight limit of 300 lbs. This Groupon is not valid with other discounts.

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Playing it Cool

Can getting a second master's degree give you second-degree burns?

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$25 for $75 Worth of Wine from Wine Insiders’ Online Store

Monday, August 30th, 2010
$25 for $75 Worth of Wine from Wine Insiders' Online Store

Appalachian Dracula was famously quoted as saying, "I never drink…moonshine." Teach the original Dracula a thing or two with today's deal: for $25, you get $75 worth of fine wine mailed directly to your door from Wine Insiders. Shipping is free if you order a full case. Otherwise, you may apply part of the value of this Groupon to pay for shipping, as well as sales tax. This Groupon is not valid for club memberships.

Wine Insiders sprang fully formed from the head of founder John Davis 25 years ago, when he used his octopus-like industry connections to assemble a panel of wine experts for the sole purpose of seeking out the best and most affordable wines for his customers. On average, this league of extraordinary oenophiles approves only one out of every 100 bottles sampled, ensuring that only the most delicious wines stain their customers' lips a rich purple. They're fairly confident in their taste, too: if you're not 100% delighted by the vinos they've selected, they'll refund the full cost of the order, no questions asked—not even "So, you doing anything fun this weekend?"

Despite its legendary pickiness, Wine Insiders offers a huge variety of red and white wines, helpfully broken down into syrahs, pinot grigios, Rieslings, cabernet sauvignons, and more with informative descriptions of each. A 2006 Monarch Glen merlot ($9.99)—an aroma-rich varietal with notes of cherry and plum—is a good place to start, as is a 2008 Glass Ridge chardonnay, which has a rich baked apple pie and cinnamon flavor ($9.99). For a more targeted crash course in Bacchic beverages, try a wine assortment such as Big Bold Reds, Summer Whites, John's Favorites, and the anybody's-guess Mystery. All wine assortments come by the dozen and start at $107.83; each is carefully selected and can include wines that retail for more than $20 a bottle. Shipping is free with these boxed collections.

Ordering wine online straight from Wine Insiders' experts spares customers the hassle of scavenging through a confusing network of specialty shops and cavernous mega-marts or of building an enormous steel drilling rig in a misguided effort to draw wine from the bowels of the earth. Pay a visit to the Wine Insiders website and rustle up a panoply of grape-based potions with today's Groupon.

An adult 21 or over must be present to receive any wine shipments; first-time customers only. Available for redemption starting on August 31.

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Inside Wine

What's inside wine that makes our eccentric uncle sleep on the floor?

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$150 for Three Laser Hair-Removal Treatments at SmoothSF (Up to $600 Value)

Monday, August 30th, 2010
$150 for Three Laser Hair-Removal Treatments at SmoothSF (Up to $600 Value)

Laser hair-removal delivers the smoothness of a tomato without the worry of waking up as a caprese salad. For $150, today's Groupon ensures a deforested physique, with three laser hair removal visits to SmoothSF on Union Street. One Groupon gets you three treatments for the same area of your body. You can choose to de-fuzz chins, underarms, happy trails, female bikini lines, brow lines, center brows, ears, feet and toes, hands and fingers, lips (upper and lower), the fronts or backs of necks, and sideburns. Sessions range in value from $140 per treatment for hands and fingers to $200 for the standard bikini line. See prices here.

This Groupon is not valid for customers who purchased the previous Groupon.

Efficient and safe laser technology is administered by professionals who instigate and affront the hairs of the body region you wish to lay bald, until those hairs feel thoroughly unwanted and jump into the belly of a pelican. The staff at SmoothSF make your experience as comfortable as possible, with its luxurious salon space using calming white furniture, modern art, and natural accents. Pioneering hair-removal technology produces permanent results that require fewer treatments than other hair-removal methods, and it replaces the need to wax and shave all the livelong day. Since it is predicted that T-shirts will continue to be legal, and because hairy necks can be confusing to house pets, this Groupon can be used to eliminate confusing, peek-a-boo man fur. SmoothSF uses Cynosure Elite technology, which works on a wider variety of skin types than other systems.

Today's deal lets you buy a second Groupon for any area, except the bikini line, to double your smoothness capital with six full sessions (it typically takes six treatments to guarantee full hair removal, depending on the area of the body). If humankind can comb its hair in a variety of uncanny 'dos, then customizable follicles ought to bend to the will of laser devices as well. Call at least two weeks in advance to schedule an appointment.

Must not go tanning, use tanning lotions, or tan in sun for four weeks prior to treatment. Must be 18. Customers can upgrade to Brazilian bikini or male bikini treatments for $300, or to playboy bikini or shoulder treatments for $250. Treatments are limited to the areas listed above.

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Learn to Be Smooth

Will learning the state capitals make me smoother?

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$15 for $30 Worth of Italian Cuisine and Drinks at Venezia in Berkeley

Monday, August 30th, 2010
$15 for $30 Worth of Italian Cuisine and Drinks at Venezia in Berkeley

The best way to capture a wild, rampaging meal is to hook it with a gigantic pasta lasso. Test your throwin' arm with today's deal: for $15, you get $30 worth of Italian cuisine and drinks at Venezia, located walking distance from downtown Berkeley. This Groupon is not valid toward prix-fixe special menus.

Venezia is a locally owned and operated restaurant now in its 30th year, serving up delectable Italian fare for lunch and dinner. Kick off a memorable meal with house-made potato chips ($7) topped with reggiano and served with white truffle oil, or nosh on olive-oil flatbread ($9) flanked with an entourage of Licini sopressata salami, olives, and baked goat cheese with roasted garlic. Entrees include the spaghetti carbonara ($16), which tosses bacon with egg and chili flakes, and the malfatti hand-cut pasta ($17), which incites tongue tapping with a harmony of porcini and crimini mushrooms along with roasted tomatoes, vermouth, and cream. Satisfy an entire battalion of sweet teeth with desserts such as the Madagascar-vanilla-cream custard ($6.50) sprinkled with braised blackberries and strawberries and the bittersweet chocolate-mousse torte ($8) crowned with raspberry coulis and whipped cream.

Venezia's interior is reminiscent of an outdoor Italian piazza complete with floor-to-ceiling murals, a bubbling fountain, and clotheslines of laundry hanging from wrought-iron balconies. A full bar and wine list are readily available to quench the potable palates of thirsty time travelers and sentient martini olives alike. Venezia also boasts a private dinner room for larger parties, which is just right for birthdays, business lunches, and celebrating a graduation from mutant superhero wizard archetype school.

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America Improves Italy's Best

Which Italian invention didn't mean anything until we used it to play rock 'n' roll?

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