Monday, December 12, 2011


While I’m a little to old to make a list for Santa, I am not too old to share some of the things I find, that brighten the day. During this shopping crazed holiday season, be sure to check out some of these great things, because the people behind them are extraordinary.

It is no secret that coffee is on the top of my list. In a non-caffeine addicted way, I just love it, the taste the smell, the process from bean to cup, even the thought of making it or going out for it. And there is no better place than RocknJoe's. One of the first ever NJgreats blogs detailed just how great this place is, from the rock and roll memorabilia to the excellent coffee offerings. But what makes the place, besides the fact that it is yards from the ocean is Dave Terra Nova. He is a native of the Jersey Shore and knows just about everybody and everything about it. He is constantly supporting charities and local businesses and all around is a great guy.

While there are endless choices for skin care on the market today, Gia stands out as one of the most natural and effective lines I have come across in years. Gia brings 25 years of experience together with only the best ingredients to this line, and is beautiful both inside and out. Strawberry skin polish goes on very smooth and creamy, not gritty. The smell of fresh strawberries is invigorating and after you rinse, you are left with a soft lasting beautiful glow. A definite stocking stuffer, and my latest “can’t live with out” product. Be sure to look for an “Across the Border Greats” post coming soon.

Michelle is a gem of a woman, making the trip to Dumont worth it!  Her baskets are always full of wondrous treats  made to order and aim to please. Her site is shop and ship friendly and your gift giving is made easy. I highly recommend following her on Twitter. She is always doing something charitable and tweetin’ about it. She supports a local scholarship fund and puts her hand to the plow in so many selfless ways. I am such a fan, she is truly an “NJGreat” and I can’t wait to write about her.

Lauren and her amazing collection of vintage accessories was just featured on NJGreats.
Her pieces are so unique and her personal story will move you. Find her on Etsy and at the Health Shoppe in Morristown a few days a week. Her treasure trove includes such lines as Joolz Hayworth and Jillery. We LOVE her newest collaborative effort with Noel Grabow; vintage leather watchbands worn alone or adorned with a fabulous jewel. Hoping my stocking is stuffed with those!

The tag line says it all “Mae West meets Martha Stewart” This amazing collection of soaps, skin care, jewelry and accessories is one of a kind. Each product from the bath and body line moisturizes you clean and blended with essential oils, which keep you scented beautifully all day, and in most cases, you and the room you dress in. You must check the website for her amazing list of scents. The current favorite product from this great line is “whipped into a lather”. It’s a creamy whipped soap,that lathers up fast and leaves your skin feeling clean and super soft. There is nothing like it and life is not the same with out it. Coming soon, my interview with the AwesomeLori Abercrombie and her story of beading on a military plane!!!

This is one of the most innovative ideas I have come across on the web. Ficklets are accessories for your eyeglasses.  They make wearing glasses fun and fashionable, and most importantly, they take the stigma away from looking and feeling “different” because of wearing glasses. Wish these were around when my twin girls were younger. The Guerrero’s came up with the idea for their amazing daughter Gem. They are a hit with young folks adorning eye wear. Follow NJGreats to read more about Ros and her super invention…and her beautiful heart.

Another early post on NJGreats featured this beautiful piece of Jewelry inspired by the  hashmarks made by the wind on the sand of the great New Jersey coast. The vision of Anthony andKatie Marsala is beautifully created in gold, silver or a combination of both.
And, after meeting them, loving their creation and sharing a great cup of coffee at ….YOU KNOW WHERE…I saw how big their hearts were. That month a percentage of sales went to support Covenant House New Jersey. A few months later they donated to victims of the notorious hurricane Irene, that ripped through the Garden State. This a great gift to give any time of year, and most likely, it will keep on giving.

I am totally hooked on this product. It is literally is a spa for your eyes. There is no product on the market quite like it. In a sealed tray are two crescent shaped gel forms, drenched in moisture to be applied just below the eye. In 15 minutes the skin around the eye is hydrated fresh all day. For a cool shot, store them in the fridge, or for a double shot, put them on before entering the shower. Check out my write up on them in In With Skin magazine.

By far, one of my most favorite things has to be Twitter. With out it, this blog would not exist,I wouldn’t know most of these amazing folks. I would not have developed social media skills as Twitter has given me the opportunity to learn from the best from around the world. I am truly grateful for the following folks and chats that made NJGreats what it is today, and what it has the potential to be tomorrow….Amy Howell @HowellMarketing@DabneyPorte  I could write forever about her and her communities of fabulousness  #smmanners #smgirlfriends #slumberparty, @Adamsconsulting, the awesome Diana Adams,, @BrunoLoGreco #askthecoach  @iempoweru Linda Hughes @modlandUSA Gerry Wendel  @Lipingfeng #cmchat @melissaonline and many many more.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


One of the places I frequent is the Health Shoppe in Morristown, a pillar of the city, and hopefully, a future NJ Greats profile. While shopping for organic and gluten free treats, I found a table of the most interesting and beautiful jewelry.  I was greeted warmly as I could not take my eyes off earrings fabulous bracelets, gold and silver blends (love mixed metals) and great fabrics.  Many pieces had a vintage flair. I had to ask more.

Lauren Cohen introduces herself, family owns the Health Shoppe and she owns Lulu Belle’s Little Treasures. The name intrigued me. I commented on the uniqueness of the pieces. She detailed each designer. I loved the each story. But, by far, Lauren’s is the best. Growing up, one of her favorite things was her grandmother’s jewelry box. She would spend her time admiring and modeling all of her treasures. Little did she know right there, she was scripting her future. Educated in the mental health field, Lauren decided to follow her passion, and after just a few minutes with her and the collection, its evident she made the right decision.

One collection that caught my eye was Joolz Hayworth, out of California. The large bracelets with multiple-panel designs were so unique. Lauren commented that they draw compliments. The blue caught my eye and I made a purchase, along with some resin earrings for my daughters and a beautiful necklace.

 Her mixed metals line, Jillery by Jill Fagin is New York City based and made completely out of recycled gold and silver aluminum. The pieces are very light weight, yet carry heavy impact. They never tarnish, are hypoallergenic, and are reasonably priced. I helped myself to a great pair of earrings. I soon learned of Laurens talent in design and eye for style. She showed me her latest treasure, a collaborative effort with jeweler Noel Grabow. Gorgeous vintage leather watches bands that can be sold solo or adorned with jewels.

 I love them, so different and trendy.
She also let me in on a new spiritual based line, “Mali and Michelle”, she will be adding to her collection. This line includes beautiful hamsehs, evil eyes, and vivid floral pieces. Lauren was particularly moved by this line.

 If you are wondering where to find these amazing Treasures, Lauren will be doing two shows this holiday season. The first is this Friday, November 25 at The Health Shoppe in Morristown from 11-7, with a special 10% off of all purchases. The second is November 29th at Temple B’nai Jeshurun in Short Hills from 9-6.  Please check out her beautiful creations. She is also at the Health Shoppe Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  Lauren is also available to do private in-home parties. She is flexible and will tailor make the theme to suit not only the hostess, but the guest’s needs. Oh and by the way, she was right. EVERY time I wear the Joolz Hayworth bracelet, I get tons of compliments.

Visit her Etsy store

Sunday, November 13, 2011



I really had no idea what I was getting into back in August. I was reading Pam Kramer; @pamelmkramer, tweeting  about a burpee challenge. It sounded fun, and, after finding out in January that I have some cartilage issues in my hip, what better way to strengthen the hip flexors and prove the doctors wrong; that I can in fact train like I want to.
My fitness regime was stalled. One doctor told me to stop all activity and my trainer said she wouldn’t come near me until I got some rehab. I already lost strength and shape, so what else could I possibly have to lose. And it was only 100 days.
After tweeting with @pamelamkramer about different crossfit work outs, I have come to respect her and figured, if she’s got something to do with this, then I want something to do with it. So I did.


By day 60, my shoulders, triceps and trapezius muscles had toned nicely, my posture improved. By day 80, I was leaner, and was able to do more burpees in less time. However, I did stop all weight training as soreness every night was tough, and I wanted to be ready every morning to hit it. It had become clear that body weight training was not only convenient, it was effective.
About the same time, I learned that to complete the challenge, I had to do 100 burpees consecutively, record myself doing them and post it to the web. Right then and there, I considered dropping out. I was doing burpees as a circuit, maybe 10-15 at a time, along with abdominal work, steps, medicine ball reps; didn’t think I could bang them out at once. Then, to post it, publicly, oh I could never do that. I over came that fear ( along with some tech support from my son), and day 100 I completed 100 burpees in 19 minutes and 28 seconds; my fastest recorded time. The athlete in me still thrives, and the competitive spirit flows in my blood. For the record, I turned 42 days before day 100 and thought it would be a great way to mark the milestone. Some go out to celebrate, party, indulge. I did 100 burpees.
But by far, what had the greatest impact on me was that discipline and determination that still drives me. Many times in the past, when someone told me I couldn’t do something, I just didn’t. Realizing my potential, at a deficit, and a bit older, and a long way from the world of competition,  has a lot more meaning than when I was in high school or college. Now my kids are watching. More is caught, than taught, and if one of them understands what I did, it was well worth it.
Thank you Pam, Amanda @beeacutie2 and Sara @mamasarahjane. Your friendship and support made this such an adventure.
Special thank you to my kids, I could not have done this with out you, and it was fun when I got to do it with you!
To my husband, you are a daily example of strength and determination; you inspire me; you are my hero.
On to the next challenge.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Imagine a luxury hotel, top accommodations, decorated to your taste, breakfast and newspaper waiting for you after a workout in a top facility, a boardroom available for all media and corporate needs, and a concierge at your service. Now, imagine if this was the place you call home. It is not a dream it is the reality of AVE.  Located on Morris Avenue in Union, AVE is a beautiful customized residential community, an alternative to extended hotel stays or short term apartment living. And we had an opportunity to check out this amazing place.

Walking into the lobby, I was promptly greeted and invited to wait in a brightly decorated common area. Coffee and newspapers were available along with a beautiful view of the courtyard, complete with pool fire pit, patio and lush greenery. Wait, was I really on Morris Avenue??
Shortly after, I had the privilege of meeting Tracy Casale, Senior Resident Representative and Marketing Director Amy Barricelli. They explained the theory behind AVE, the client base they serve and the endless accommodations they provide. The concept is brilliant. As we spoke, a young woman with two children stopped in for a fresh cup of coffee and a quick hello. I was told they were an international family staying while Dad trains for a new job. Tracy explained that they were not only greeted upon their very long trip to the US, their suite was filled with groceries, and a list of schools and churches were provided to help them acclimate quickly. Having a great relationship with the local Chamber of Commerce, Tracy can access a wealth of information to make her guests feel more at home, than away.
They also cater to the part-time resident, who may reside else where. AVE not only provides custom accommodations but upkeep of such in the client’s absence. Everything from designed closet organizers to maintained parking and security system, maps and connections to all local entertainment, restaurants, transportation and events is available and made convenient at AVE. They also host several in house events, including pot-luck dinners and movie nights, both in and outdoors.

Next, I was treated to a tour. The layout of the suite was just perfect. Beautifully decorated, this particular one was done in dark wood an earth tones, each bedroom had a spacious full bathroom attached, granite counter tops in the kitchen, washer & dryer located just off the bedrooms and a spacious living area with a nice view of the courtyard. While discussing the concierge services, my mind went back to a condominium community I had stayed in recently in Colorado. The deal was sealed, definitely not on Morris Avenue anymore, even Toto knew it

I highly recommend visiting AVE. Tracy and the staff are not only making folks feel at home, they are making a difference in their lives.

1070 Morris Avenue
Union, NJ 07083
877 AVE 0246

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


 Well, we just got home from a weekend at the Jersey Shore. Seeing how different the beach is since Hurricane Irene blew in, I have decided to honor one of my favorite places, highlighting  a book that makes going to the beach, going “down the shore”.
Laura Scarpa Toombs has written a great little book called “Beach Rules”. After spending 48 summers at the Jersey shore; summers filled with conversations, observations and proclamations, she is an expert on beach behavior. Not to mention, royalty in my eyes as her family owned and operated Playland, located on the corners of Haddonfield and Brynmawr Aves in Lavallette ( but we are saving that great story for another post).  Having witnessed everything from people in alcoholic stupors, locals fighting with folks “not from here”, to being chased down the beach at plastic- knife point, she was asked by good friend Lisa Visconti “Why don’t you write a book ?”   So, she did.
Beach Rules is a quick run down of the do’s and don’t of beach etiquette, laced with humor, a touch of sarcasm and a healthy dose of truth. I  am of a “certain age” as she describes in the book and can totally  relate to just about everything she says, including the empty ride home, from exit 98 back up north to exit 145 ( sadly until I was 15 I usually cried most of the way).
Aside from advice not to feed the seagulls or the reality of personal grooming in the surf, Laura really hits home with the unspoken connections of shore friends and the freedom of an outside shower ( have to use one to experience this, there are no words).  She makes it clear that real Jersey shore folks are nothing like what is portrayed in reality TV, but mistake not the “vibe” that is only given off in this community. Along with Playland, Laura’s family also made famous, the Sugar Shack in Ortley Beach and Fred’s Peds, a moped rental; absolute Jersey shore gold standard.

Please don’t be put off if you have never visited this part of the shore, or if coastal living is not your idea of paradise. This book is really about people. People who make up a community,  the bonds of friendship and the activities and events that make up a life time of memories, some so vivid and real that when one brings up the juke box at Playland, with out missing a beat, Laura can tell you that B6 was the song “Good Lovin Gone Bad” by Bad Company.
I really enjoyed reminiscing summers that have gone by, laughing about things and realizing just how small the world is, when you spend your summers “down the shore”.
Please take a minute and visit Laura’s Facebook page and most importantly, read the book. It is a quick uplifting read guaranteed to please.

Friday, September 9, 2011


I chose to write this to honor those who gave their lives on a day that changed our country forever.
While there are great holes left in so many lives, and great sadness in many hearts, there is a message of hope left behind in the ashes of that September day.
The visual memory of the flag flying, reminiscent of soldiers who gave their lives to fight for freedom in the wars of our country's history brings tears to my eyes, every time I see it; our flag will fly proudly.
The hundreds of firemen, police, rescue workers and volunteers who selflessly ran into the hull of danger, while thousands were running out; we are the home of the brave.
The incredible fearless passengers on flight 93, successfully thwarting an evil plot, again selflessly giving their lives to save others; everyone of them a hero.
Hospitals make shift triage centers grief counselors and shelters opened their doors to help anyone on that day and days to follow to find answers; we are the land of the free.
Thousands of churches and worship centers gathered all who needed relief and prayed and ministered to so many; God blesses America
Seeing this country come together, hearing folks singing our nations anthem, saluting the flag proudly, supporting our military and genuinely caring for others is so inspirational. I am proud to be an American and to have the privilege to raise a family here.
I love and pray for those that defend this nation and stare down the enemy every day so my kids can lay their heads on their pillows and sleep safe every night.
I will always look back on September 11th as a day that changed our nation forever, but I will continue to look forward to the stories of hope that still rise from the ashes from that day.
Please listen to this beautiful song a beautiful person shared with me recently. I believe it captures this sentiment.
Gungor Beautiful Things

Sunday, August 28, 2011


Who would ever believe they could actually drive into a down draft of a tornado on Rte 24 in Chester, NJ? Certainly not Victoria Backle, founder of MCOM United Storm Chasers. Inspired by weather books at the age of 6, she has dreamed of becoming a storm chaser her entire life. Her goal is to be enrolled in University of Oklahoma School of Meteorology, the best in the country in the next year.
Meanwhile, on an overcast April 28, 2011, Vicky was sitting in her office in Morristown when her weather defender program, displayed the ominous TVS; Tornado Vortex Signature on the screen, over-come with exhilaration, Vicky ran out the door jumped in her car and realized her first ever storm chasing experience was happening in her backyard!

Just a few miles down the road somewhere where Mendham ends and Chester begins, she was lost in a sea of break lights and impending darkness. Even more excited she kept driving as her car swayed and she felt like she was “driving under a waterfall”. A tiny wave of fear washed over her as the lightening seemed to be right outside her door. Finally she pulled over, rolled down the window and scanned the sky. The overcast clouds had returned, the raging storm was gone, she thought..” I was just sideswiped by a dangerous storm”. Her mind was racing as she returned to work, realizing later, she drove through a “downdraft” This is a roll-off of a cumulus cloud, combining a multitude of rain and powerful wind, that moves outward from the storm and weakens as it moves.

As I spoke with Vicky about this experience, I was moved by her passion for storm chasing, “this was and always will be my first ever storm chasing experience”. She loved that it was so close to home and considers it a “preview” for what is to come. When I asked her if she ever thought she would see a tornado in New Jersey, she replied with an emphatic “No”. She was very moved by the recent storm damage across the south, describing Alabama as a “catastrophe”. She expressed feelings of guilt knowing how much damage these dangerous storms cause, while she lives for the excitement of studying and chasing them. But, the optimist she is, finding a silver lining in these overwhelming dark clouds, she plans to help out in recovery efforts as part of MCOM's mission. In case you were wondering, MCOM stands for My Crew Of Misfits.

Victoria was born in Ridgewood and lived in Vernon for most of her life. One year ago she birthed the reality of moving to Tornado Alley in the near future to pursue her dream. Our little state here, gave her an experience she will not forget. Thank you Vicky for sharing. Stay in touch so we can follow you chase your dreams.

 Since this interview, Victoria has relocated to Oklahoma, and will begin classes at Oklahoma University.
She has joined forces with Red Cross to bring relief to many storm victims. Njgreats applauds the efforts of many providing evacuation saftey and dry safe shelter to those victimized by Irene this weekend. While some of us were spared, the flooding and power outages are still plaguing the state.
You can find Victoria and MCOMUnited
on Facebook and 
and Twitter @mcomchasers

Tuesday, July 26, 2011



On a beautiful summer afternoon, I had the privilege to meet Anthony and Katie Marsala at my favorite coffee place at the Jersey Shore, RocknJoes in Point Pleasant Beach. A few months earlier, I found the Jersey Shore Bracelet on Twitter and knew I had found something special. Having nothing to do with reality shows, Katie, born and raised Jersey girl, came up with the idea after getting a Cape Cod Denis bracelet. This coveted piece of jewelry has local prestige, and was recognized everywhere in New England as the “in” piece of jewelry. Searching her heart, Katie and husband Anthony created a piece of jewelry unique to the beaches she grew up on. 

When visiting New Jersey beaches in late fall and winter, there are noticeable striations in the sand made by the atlantic crosswinds . This cross –hatching pattern is the inspiration for the beautiful Jersey Shore Bracelet. 

 The design is available in sterling silver, sterling with gold tips and gold dipped silver. It looks absolutely beautiful on, and the clean lines make it stackable.   What gives the concept more local flare is Katie’s childhood summers were spent selling Lemonade on the very streets she now resides on with Long Island native (won over by the Jersey Shore) and supporting husband Anthony. Married for three years, they both are Physical Therapists and share a creative passion that led to the creation of this lasting keepsake. One morning in 2010, walking out of church, Katie came up with the idea. A little divine intervention, one might say, led to the website launch in late November of that year.

My time with Katie and Anthony was inspiring. I love watching people chase their dreams, but was moved by their strong desire to give back. The week before, they participated in a fundraiser for Covenant House at the beautiful Normandy Inn . As a matter of fact, they are donating proceeds from all July sales to Covenant House.  sounds like an opportunity for early Christmas shopping. They also had the opportunity to participate in the premier summer kick off event at Jenkinsons Memorial Day event and are avid supporters of Childrens Specialized Hospital, where Katie is on staff.

I have to say I am thrilled to own this beautiful bracelet, and honored to be a part of the Jersey Shore Bracelet family. Katie and Anthony are genuinely great people who are making a lasting impression in New Jersey in a beautiful way. Please visit their website to see all of the pieces and like them on Facebook too.

Monday, June 27, 2011


For all of us who live north of exit 98 on the Garden State Parkway, there is always a landmark that we have that makes us officially down the shore. Growing up it was always the Edison Bridges; didn’t matter  how far south I was going.  Spending most of my 40 or so summers in Lavallette, as soon as we  hit the light on 35 in Point Pleasant, I just wanted to get out and walk the rest of the way. Now there’s actually a reason to. At the corner where the highway meets the beach is, the best cup of coffee and most amazing collection of rock and roll memorabilia that any WRAT (95. FM) fan could ask for. That place is Rock n Joes at Point Pleasant Beach.

Inside the doors, ( and sometimes the line is all the way outside) once you order from their excellent menu of coffees and culinary treats, your eyes are drawn to a vast collection of vinyl originals from the Sex Pistols, the Go- Go’s, Elvis and Oingo Boigo to name a few. Also adorning the walls are several gold records including Bon Jovi’s25th and a collection of autographed guitars; a music fan’s paradise. There is also a collection of black and white paintings of such famous artists as Ray Charles and Jim Morrison, all for sale by a local artist.

The collection of memorabilia is from the owner, Dave Terra Nova’s personal collection.  Long time local resident, Dave celebrates 2 years this month, of serving a great cup of coffee in a casual atmosphere in view of the ocean he grew up with. Listening to the great Matt Pinfield’s radio show, Terra Nova heard about the Rock n Joe franchise opportunity. The 15 yr business started in Cranford, and began franchising 7 years ago. Being a coffee and a music enthusiast and just looking for something new to do, he saw a need for a local hang out, different from the bar scene. The weekly event calendar is almost as diverse as the menu, ranging from local artists to family nights and ladies nights.

Aside from my personal love of an iced Americano in the summer, and the music memorabilia, what draws me there is the local feel. Terra Nova is life long Jersey shore resident, raising a family and giving back to the community he was raised in. A closer look at the rock and roll walls also reveals information and business cards of several local business owners, as well as support of charities and fundraisers. Most recently, Rock n Joes supported “The Cohesion Project” a documentary in production about the effects of Cerebral Palsy on some folks who live life in spite of their condition.
Something I not only supported, but wait eagerly for the release of.

As we begin the summer of 2010, when you find yourself in Point Pleasant, stop in, say hi to Dave and celebrate 2 years of great coffee and great fun, and tell him we sent you. If I happen to be there (which I am most weekend mornings and weekday afternoons) the coffee is on me.

Be the first to comment on this post and win a gift card to Rock n Joes at Point Pleasant Beach

The Cohesion Project

Monday, June 20, 2011




Whoever said Twitter is just people talking about what they ate for lunch, truly has no idea of the magnitude of Social Media. While tweeting about my New Jersey roots, with fellow Jersey Boy (part time, now since relocated),Bruno LoGreco,  creator of the famed,  “Ask The Coach” chat and blog ( hope to have the chance to write about  you soon) I met an amazing woman; Pam Stanton. Her website,  is impressive. It boasts of a long career in project management with some big name corporations.  However, it is her passion and communication expertise that knocked me out of my seat.

Meeting for coffee (one of my favorite things to do) in mid May, Pam told me her story of working under leadership that was fear-driven and destructive in a shaky and getting worse economy. As Director of IT for a huge NJ based company, she realized this short-term thinking and “at all cost” style of leadership opposed her core values. After a vacation, a “moment of clarity’ and some timely advice from life coach and good friend Bruno Logreco, she reframed the question Why to Why not. Shortly after that, she knew it was time to leave the big corporate arena and start out on her own, hence, The Project Whisperer was born.

Pam likens herself to “the sweeper” in the sport of Curling; she gets the team where it needs to go. She helps people find their gifting. I found it amazing that in a short period of time, I was talking about my last job before I became a mother. She knew even with out me saying it that it was a passion in my life. She enabled me to communicate that to her. It is this perception and communication that awards her success with every team and project she has embarked upon in her vast 25 year career. Very nice  statistics. 


Her book, “The Project Whisperer” outlines a 7 step process for a project team’s journey. From stage 1 “shiny happy people’ to the final stage “movin on” Pam offers excellent tactics along with real life experience and a splash of humor to keep the reader interested and the project manager excited to get started. It is an encouraging, easy read;  perfect guide to not only successfully execute projects, but to understand that projects are about people. Pam’s gifting is finding peoples passions and putting them to work. Something some of us may spend a lifetime trying to figure out.

As if our meeting was amazing up to this point, Pam shared her heart with me and told me the amazing story of her adopted daughter. She had me at “hello” but this peek into her soul showed me just how much she cares about people. Pam Stanton is more than a NJ great she is outstanding. Please go to her website and buy her book. Check her out and join her chats on Twitter and Facebook. It will be life changing.


Monday, June 13, 2011


Please indulge me for a moment as we approach Father’s Day. I wrote this awhile back. I  love the way the words flow, as it is an expression of the love I have in my heart.

Man is God’s most beautiful creation. By design he is complex, created in God’s own image.
A man is an example of strength, not just physical, but mental and moral.
A man is faithful to his word, and his family.
A man speaks with conviction. His words are truth.

A man is a comforter, because just being in his presence brings feelings of safety and security.
His children go to bed at night knowing all is well because Daddy is home.
A man is driven. There is no challenge too great for him, yet, he knows that his courage and strength come from God.
When you look into his deep brown eyes, you see strength, you see a life lived with a purpose and you see the endless possibilities of the future.
A man has a vast mind. He thinks through each move, sometimes, each word, because his words are powerful, effective and life changing.

A man comes home at night and lays his head on the pillow, knowing he did his job that day, ready to be refreshed and start again in the morning.
A man has the most amazing, powerfully sculpted arms, that when you are held by them, time stands still, there is no fear or concern. Your world is wrapped up and safe in them.
A man is the most complex creature, sturdy and unwavering, and yet, sometimes childlike and uninhibited.

A man loves his woman. When he looks at her, she becomes more beautiful.
He provides her with a wonderful life, the blessings of children, hope for the future, and love unconditional.
A man is a leader, a teacher, and advisor and an example.
He lives the legacy he will leave the future generations.
A man does have a soft side, but even that is powerful.
A man is the center of his family, he builds them up, is their strength and provider. He showers them with love and support. He is their past, present and their promise of the future.

This isn’t every man.
This is my man, who made me a wife, a mother and the woman I am today.

Share this with the man you are honoring this Father’s Day.
Happy Father's Day from NJGreats

Copyright 2011
All Rights Reserved

Friday, June 3, 2011


A group of girls from Mendham, tied together by a deadly disease decide to fight back with a little Dancing and Dessert. Four 12 year olds, Meaghan, Analisa, Ally and Katie all have family members with cancer.   “We all hate cancer because it has affected all of us personally in some way”.  Breast cancer took Meaghan’s mother.  Analisa’s mother fought breast cancer and is a 3 year survivor.  Ally has a history of different cancers in her family and” we lost my aunt to Neurofibromatosis Type 2 (NF2) last year” she said.  That’s a disorder that causes tumors to grow anywhere in or on the body. “ Tumors are terrible no matter what,” said Katie. 

The four friends put their heads together and got to work. They wanted to help raise money for cancer research and thought a 6th grade dance would be a great way to do it. In Mendham, 6th graders are rarely included in school or recreation sponsored dances. The Brookside Community Club, generously donated the perfect location and the girls  selected the Susan G Komen North Jersey Chapter as the beneficiary of the proceeds of their event.  “We did not want it to be expensive or to have our parents pay for everything.  “We wanted everyone to come and have fun and spread the message about breast cancer awareness.  For a little more than the $5 ticket price, people could make a donation or bid on one of our donated auction items,” Analisa  added.

Word spread fast. Kids were talking about it all over town and the girls collected several donated items for a silent auction, including a beautiful ruby heart pendant that adorns my neck, a Mother’s Day gift that gave back.  Pink attire was suggested and quickly the “pink and white party” was born. Weeks leading up to the big event included numerous trips to the mall, planned meetings at the nail salon and pre-dance picture parties.sw

While this was not a school sponsored event, Mendham Township Middle School Principal, Patrick Ciccone allowed the girls to hand out flyers in their homeroom classes and the 6thgrade teachers donated a highly coveted auction item. Several local businesses and families donated auction items and refreshments. Sal Biondo of 7pm DJs signed on to spin the music for the party. The girls really put together a wonderful event, driven by their passion to spread the news and help find a cure for cancer.

 After a tough week of NJ state testing in the schools, over 100 students and parents turned out from Mendham Township.  They were joined by a group from the St. Joseph School in Mendham Boro who heard about the event and wanted to participate. With admissions and generous donations, the girls were able to donate over $3300.00 to the Susan G Komen North Jersey Chapter.  A major success and super effort put forth by the four young ladies with huge hearts. 

It is an honor to write about these wonderful girls and their families. They understand the gift of giving back, to live life to the fullest, to stare down adversity and keep moving forward. To live these principles at such a young age, I know they are destined for greatness.
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Thursday, April 28, 2011


127 miles of sand between your toes - Atlantic coast; 1million acres of rolling farm lands; each season vividly expressed from the warm fall colors of the turning trees along Rte 24 to the brightest pastels of the wild flowers at Duke Farms. But this is not what makes New Jersey beautiful; it is the people who live here, who have built businesses and raised families here who watched their grandkids play on the same beaches they themselves, grew up on; who form strong community bonds and welcoming neighborhoods. The heart and soul of this state lies in the people who make it great. Join me in my journey as I visit the REAL people who make a difference in this state, who have a story to tell and a legacy to leave. I was born and raised here, watched my own father build and run a thriving business. And now, my amazing husband and father of our children has staked his claim as a leader in the small( and growing)business world of New Jersey. So many wonderful folks have made a difference in our lives. And all of them have a story to share. This blog is an opportunity to showcase the truly great in the Garden State.