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.