The Nearly NewYorkers

The Nearly NewYorkers… A Cranford Culinary Workshop

Let’s face it–everyone loves to EAT, but not everyone loves to cook or knows how to do it well! Two savvy Cranford mothers came together to launch The Nearly NewYorkers, a culinary workshop that will light up your kitchen, enhance your cooking techniques, and bring your loved ones together for an evening of full bellies and lively conversation. 

 

Erin Reilly and Sydney O’Hagan both were born elsewhere and found themselves living in Manhattan. With all the joys and changes that children bring, they independently took the big leap and decided to move to the suburbs and each fell in love with Cranford…and the very same street. Sydney moved to Cranford in 2014, while Erin and her family moved in the following year, and Erin said, “We got along really well right away.”   

As Erin and Sydney’s friendship grew, they found they had a mutual love for wine, food, adventure dreaming, running, and travel. They started training together for a half marathon, and during the long runs they’d pick topics to discuss. On one such occasion, “dream vacations” was the discussion … for 11 miles. Each took her turn, and Sydney revealed her secret desire was to attend a culinary workshop hosted by renowned food writer and French chef Mimi Thorisson. Later that night Sydney sent Erin the details of the workshop: it would take place the Thorisson family’s 19th century, 27-room, sprawling French chateau nestled in the countryside of Médoc, France. (Discover Mimi’s stunning blog at thttp://mimithorisson.com/). With Sydney being the “dreamer” and Erin the “doer,” the trip was decided! It took a year of planning and funding along with a whole lot of support from friends and family, but soon they found themselves ready to board a plane to France!

The four-day workshop in the gorgeous French countryside was a dream come true for both of these moms as they sampled the very best of French wine and food and learned to create phenomenal dishes. Sydney shared, “We had an incredible time and we came home and were like” –as Erin finished her sentence–“it just followed us, the feeling. We had all this stuff we brought home … we thought we should have a dinner where we bring France home to everyone!” “As a thank you to them,” Erin added. “We tried to emulate what Mimi did.”

The concept of their business was easy. Sydney mentioned, “We constantly share meals with each other–eating each other’s food all the time. We know how the other person cooks.” The two families are always together eating lunches, snacks at the pool, dinner prep collaborations–the total advantage of living so close! They set out to create their workshop, focusing on what they thought was current and poignant to today’s households. Erin said, “This was a combination of the two interests – entertaining in a beautiful way to make people feel loved and special … and a workshop where we can teach people how to do something and maybe make it a little more easy, or fun, or try something they’ve never tried before.”

Why the name The Nearly NewYorkers? Don’t be offended thinking that they live in the suburbs yet are longing for their old NYC life. Just the opposite. They are loving the location of Cranford in such a rich, cultural environment. “You can have the best of all worlds here,” they agreed.

Their concentration is spot-on; how to cook meals using fresh and wholesome ingredients and stretch your dollar as far as it can go. They both grew up being taught that you “don’t throw things away – no one has the budget for it.” Sydney added that they want to teach you “how to use a product and get the most out of it.” And cooking novices need not fret; Erin said, “We’re not technical – we try to be ‘easy’ and ‘useful.’”  

The Nearly NewYorkers

Their first workshop focused on cooking with CSA produce, and the feedback they received from attendees was glowing. Erin said, “After our first night – it was literally roaring in here — everyone having such a good time– it was exactly as we wanted it to be! We want them to come in and be chilled out – have a cocktail and get to know each other.”

Have I piqued your interest now? Go to www.nearlynewyorkers.com and click on “Workshops.” Each workshop costs $40 ($5 off if you bring a friend) and includes cocktails and food pairing, cooking demonstrations, hands-on food prep, learning how to extend the ingredients into other meals, and an adorable take-home recipe package. These intimate workshops are held at Erin’s beautifully renovated Cranford home with an open concept great room that opens into a picturesque backyard deck and outdoor space perfect for entertaining!

Now here’s the scoop for what’s in store for the summer:

Canning and Fermentation Workshop (July 15): You’ll sample cocktails based on the theme – we’re talking Bloody Marys and “Red Beer” (secret recipe from Sydney’s mother!). Learn how to make homemade kombucha, pickled vegetables, kimchi, and sourdough bread. You’ll come away learning the entire canning process for preserving fruits/vegetables and how to store those more difficult liquids (broths, soups). Expect a memorable dessert – a little birdie mentioned sourdough waffles …  yum!

Back to School Lunches and Dinners Workshop (August 26): “Our kids like to cook and are adventurous eaters – they are interested in food. If they make it, they are more prone to eat it. School lunches are a good opportunity to engage kids in their food.” This workshop will focus on how to give kids their “protein” when many schools are nut-free, how to prepare fun bento-style lunches versus boring sandwiches, how to make the most of meal-prep Sundays, and “what tools are essential, and how to really stretch your dollar.”

  

What’s their vision for the future: bridal showers, Couples Night, Kids Baking Parties, Cooking Essentials for New Parents, What Every Newlywed Needs to Know, and more. And while their gorgeous and inviting homes are perfect for the intimate gatherings they currently offer, their big dreams may lead to their own commercial space one day. In the meantime – it’s another brilliant concept put into place by two moms with small kids who dreamt big and made it happen.

“Food is the central thing to everything– how we show our family we love them, how we entertain, how we take care of people. That’s how I want people to feel making food with us – they feel welcome, warm and special.”

Let The Nearly NewYorkers help you be the cook and entertainer you always dreamed to be!

 

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kids-summer-camp-clipart-SummerCamp

Last-Minute Summer Camp Ideas in the Cranford/Westfield Area

Some parents plan ahead when it comes to summer camp. I knew one mother who kept a spreadsheet detailing the various camps that her children would be attending! But for those of us procrastinators: this list is for you! Here are some fun camps in Cranford and Westfield that still have openings. This list is by no means exhaustive, so feel free to share if you know of a great local camp that has availability this summer! And although I didn’t include them here, there are still many openings for camps at the Westfield Area YMCA and through the Westfield and Cranford Recreation Departments. Here’s to a happy summer for the kiddos!
Camp: Camp Invention
Location: Orange Avenue School, Cranford
Description: hands-on STEM type activities
Date(s): July 10-14, July 17-21st (camp goes from 8:30-2:45 daily)
Ages: entering grades K-6
Cost: $250 per week
 
 
Cesar-KaiCamp: Cesar Kai Academy
Location: Wanut Ave, Cranford
Description: martial arts, games, crafts, outdoor play, field trips (no uniform required)
Date(s): July 17-Sept.1 (half and full-day options)
Ages: 6+
Cost: Half day = $149 per week; Full day = $249 per week; One-day = $55; snack included
 
ColoCamp: Color Chips
Location: United Methodist Church, Cranford
Description: art and craft camp with art show at camp’s end
Date(s): July 10-Aug.17 (9:30am-12:30pm, M-Th)
Ages: Enterting grades K-5; Entering grades 6-10
Cost: $175 per week; sibling discount
Fire Me Up!
Camp: Fire Me Up
Location: Downtown Cranford
Description: various pottery, craft, and painting camps
Date(s): June 26- Aug.24 (1-4:30pm)
Ages: 6-10+ depending on camp
Cost: starts at $249 per weekly camp; snack included
Camp: Hoops There It Is
Location: Cranford Community Center
Description: coed basketball fun, games, and skill-building
Date(s): Aug. 14-28 (9am-3pm; early drop-off available for additional fee)
Ages: 5 through high school
Cost: $235 per week; can purchase lunch for additional fee
Camp: Jump Immersion School
Location: South Ave, Westfield
Description: immersive language learning (Spanish or Mandarin); crafts, games; outdoor play; theater
Date(s): June 26-August 18 (9am-3pm; before and after care available for additional fee)
Ages: 3-7
Cost: $145-$305 per week depending on how many days per week you choose (2-week minimum); sibling discount
Camp: AR Workshop
Location: North Ave, Westfield
Description: a unique DIY craft project each day
Date(s): June 26-29 (9am-12pm)
Ages: 8-14
Cost: $40 per day ($20 gift certificate towards future workshop if you book all 4 days)
Camp: Just Bead Yourself
Location: Downtown Westfield
Description: beading and craft activities
Date(s): June 21-August 31 (half and full-day options)
Ages: 6-17 (age ranges vary per camp)
Cost: varies per camp
 
Camp: St. Paul’s Day School
Location: E. Broad St., Westfield
Description: Weekly themes, playground fun, crafts, water play, and more
Date(s): now through July 14
Ages: 2-6 (must have completed a 2’s program to enter; cutoff is having completed kindergarten)
Cost: $285 per week
Urban Sewciety
Camp: Urban Sewciety
Location: South Ave, Westfield
Description: Weekly themed sewing projects and a Teen Fashion Design Camp
Date(s): June 26- Sept 11 (younger) and August 7-11 (teen)
Ages: 7 and up and 12 and up (if no prior sewing experience must have completed a Beginners Workshop to enter)
Cost: $250 per week (materials included)
 
Camp: Valencia School of Music
Location: Elm Street, Westfield
Description: Intro to Music Performance; Rock and Roll School; Godspell theater
Date(s): July 10-14; July 17-21; July 31-Aug. 25 (
Ages: 6-10; age 10+ depending on camp
Cost: varies per camp
 
Camp: Westfield Indoor Tennis
Location: Grove Street, Westfield
Description: tennis fun and skill-building
Date(s): June 26-Aug. 18 (half and full-day options)
Ages: 4-17
Cost: mornings 9-12 = $365 per week; afternoons 1-3:30 = $305 per week; full day 9-3:30 = $630 per week
Camp: Winning Writing Academy
Location: Westfield
Description: writing and reading proficiency, games and activities
Date(s): July 31-Aug. 4 (morning and afternoon sessions)
Ages: Entering grades 3-9
Cost: Each half-day camp is $249 for the week; save 20% when you sign up for both morning and afternoon sessions.

 

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Have a wonderful and fun summer!!

 

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Open HOuse pIc

GSMLS Open House List For Cranford, Westfield, and Surrounding Areas of NJ

 

Click here for the Open house list, and call if you have any questions! 908-447-3579 cell

Here is the scheduled  GSMLS Open House List  for residential real estate in Cranford, Westfield, Clark, Garwood, Kenilworth, Mountainside, Scotch Plains and Fanwood NJ for the weekend of June 10 and 11th. Open Houses are on Sunday from 1-4pm unless otherwise noted. (A few are Saturday!) Please let me know if you would like information about these, or any other properties. Please let the hosting agents know that I sent you! Click this link if you would like a Free, No Obligation Market Analysis on your home, or click below to view all available GSMLS listings:

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Be Van You

Have Paint, Will Travel!

Be Van You

You’ve probably have heard of these paint-and-sip shops and events that are trending right now, and for good reason–it’s a blast (I can say that because I’ve done it myself!). But two Cranford moms have a new spin on the paint-night business that will bring the artsy fun right to your front door! 

Be Van YouTammy and Jeanette launched Be Van You this March as a mobile paint-and-sip business that brings painting and crafting parties directly to clients. The name is a nod to Van Gogh–the idea being that even you (yes, YOU) can be an artist, because with Tammy’s expert yet gentle guidance, even those folks who can hardly draw stick figures become something of a Van Gough, and clients marvel over the beautiful art they never knew they could create! Jeanette said, “We want people to find the creativity in themselves. Just like in the movie Ratatouille, where the lesson is that anyone can cook, we believe that anyone can paint!” 

Be Van You isn’t just for adults who want to paint while enjoying a glass (or two … or three) of wine. Tammy and Jeanette offer parties for all ages, including kids, and they also cater to corporate clients as well for creative team-building events. 

What can you expect if you hire Be Van You to host a party at your home or business? Jeanette said, “We bring everything from tables and chairs to all the art supplies … we even have lighting to set up outside for under-the-stars parties, tarps to cover floors, and aprons. The only thing we don’t provide is liquor and food.” An adult paint party costs about $35 a person (8-person minimum at that price), and Be Van You makes everything super easy so that you can include a payment link for guests in your online invitation. And if you don’t want the party in your house, Be Van You will travel to the location of your choosing. 

They have several art party packages for children, and you can choose to add on face painting and goody bags to make it a party that the kids will never forget. These parties are terrific because each guest gets to go home with a work of art!

You can find more information about Be Van You on their Facebook page @BeVanYou or call (908) 324-8364

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Cranford/Westfield NJ Area Market Activity May 2017

The Spring Market is still going strong, and the activity in our local towns is brisk! Let me know if you would like a No Obligation Market Analysis of your home…..I would be happy to help!

Call me at 908-447-3579 cell                              Or email me at [email protected]

SCROLL DOWN TO SEE THE REPORTS FOR EACH TOWN!

May 2017 - Cranford May 2017 - Westfield May 2017 - Scotch Plains May 2017 - Mountainside May 2017 - Garwood May 2017 - Fanwood May 2017 - Clark

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Cranford Home For Sale! $539,000 Open House 6/4/17 1-4pm

406 Central Ave Cranford Open House 6/4/17   1-4pm

This charming three bedroom dutch colonial situated on a tree-lined street in the heart of Cranford is the perfect place to call home! High ceilings, hardwood floors, and period details beautify the first floor, which includes an entry foyer with closet, living room with fireplace, formal dining room, den, powder room, and spacious eat-in kitchen with granite countertops and stainless-steel appliances. Enjoy outdoor entertaining on the covered deck and patio. The second floor offers three bedrooms and an updated full bath. A walk-up attic provides ample storage space and the possibility for expansion. A recreation room, office, and laundry can be found in the partially finished basement. Detached 1-car garage. Don’t let this one slip away!

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View more photos and floorplans here: 406 Central Ave, Cranford

*This property is listed for $539,000 with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Westfield West Office 908-233-0065.

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“THE EYES” Have It In Westfield NJ May 31, 2017

The Eyes

There’s no shortage of talent in the Cranford-Westfield Area, but this is the first time I’ve met a local resident who directed a feature film with well-known actors! And lucky for us, his movie “The Eyes” will be showing this Wednesday, May 31st at 7:30 pm at the Rialto Theater in Downtown Westfield! c(Link to purchase tickets is at the end of this article.)

Robbie Bryan has been living in Westfield for the past 15 years with his wife, and has been working in the film industry for quite some time. He first caught the acting bug while attending Ryder University, where he performed “Godspell” his senior year. Robbie said, “An elderly woman came up to me after the play and said, ‘My husband passed away six months ago, and you made me laugh for the first time since then.’ That’s when I knew that this is what I have to do with the rest of my life.”

After college Robbie went to New York and acted for a decade, serving as a stand-in for Michael J. Fox in many of his movies, as well as for Elijah Wood and Woody Allen! Being on-set for hundreds of hours gave Robbie an education in filmmaking. He said, “I learned so much standing next to the camera, watching what to do and what not to do.” 

Eventually Robbie realized he wanted to be a storyteller behind the camera. He was inspired by the auteurs of the 1990s such as Kevin Smith and Ed Burns. But it was only after an acquaintance of his made his own independent film that Robbie decided make a go of a filmmaking career. 

“My wife Christie and I opened our company Good to Be Seen Films and made our first feature film in 1998 called ‘The Stand-In,’ based on my experiences as a stand-in for well-known actors. Kelly Rippa acted in it!” Since then Robbie has worked as a producer, director, and/or writer for six feature films and one short film about cancer. 

Robbie was diagnosed with Stage 4 tongue cancer mid-production of “The Eyes,” and he underwent intensive chemotherapy and radiation. Robbie said, “In June 2015 I told my wife and the cast and crew that if my pet scan was clean, we would finish shooting right away, even though I wasn’t fully recovered. I got a second chance, and I want to live. We finished post-production at Skywalker Ranch, which was a dream come true for me, and the film won the Rhode Island Film Festival. ‘The Eyes’ officially premiered on April 7th in LA, and New Jersey is the 6th city where it’s being shown. Even though I’ve seen the movie what seems like thousands of times by now, I’m so excited to watch it in my hometown.”

As for the the movie “The Eyes,” it’s a taut psychological thriller starring several actors you will recognize, including Vinny Tastori from ‘The Sopranos’ (who might be visiting the Westfield premiere!!), Nick Turturro from “NYPD Blue,”  and Danny Flaherty from “The Americans” (who also might make an appearance this Wednesday). 

Don’t miss your chance to see this award-winning independent film and shake hands with the director Robbie himself! This is a one-time showing at the Rialto. 

Tickets are available for purchase in advance through Fandago:  

http://www.fandango.com/newvisionrialtotheatre_aabmg/theaterpage?date=5/31/2017

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Cranford ROCKS!

Cranford ROCKS! A New and Fun Tradition!

My Assistant Angela is in LOVE with this rock... she tells her kids "Don't forget to be awesome!" before every soccer game!

My Assistant Angela is in LOVE with this rock… she tells her kids “Don’t forget to be awesome!” before every soccer game!

A Cranford mom (and one of my favorite clients EVER!) has brought an adorable new tradition to town that is making people smile left and right! It’s called Cranford Rocks, and it has nothing to do with music.

Kristen Mider moved with her husband and children from Brooklyn to Cranford 3 1/2 years ago. Back when she lived in Brooklyn, her family participated in something that is unofficially known as Kindness Rocks, where people of all ages paint rocks and hide them in the neighborhood for people to find. Kristen said, “The idea is that someone will stumble upon one of the rocks, and it will brighten their day.”

 

 

One of Kristen’s friends lost her son to suicide and asked that people create Kindness Rocks in his memory, and that further inspired Kristen to continue this activity.

 

Around 6 months ago Kristen launched the Cranford Rocks Facebook  group to introduce the Kindness Rocks theme to our town. “We were the first to create the rocks in Cranford, hide them, and post about it on Facebook, and as soon as we did, it just took off. The page went from having just a few followers to several hundred.”

Kristen stresses that everyone is welcome to participate–even adults who don’t have children have painted and left rocks. The rocks are often painted in very bright colors, sometimes with messages on them such as  “Let the Sun Shine” or “Be Kind.” 

Kristen’s kids have found rocks at Lincoln Park, Unami Park, Nomahegan Park, and even Eastman Plaza in Downtown Cranford. And they’ve made sure to hide just as many rocks as they’ve found. Kristen said, “It empowers the kids–I want them to know they have the power to make the world a nicer place and lift someone’s spirits. They get so excited when people post photos of their found rocks online.” 

So go out in your backyard, find a rock, paint it, and leave the rock where someone will find it and then hopefully pay it forward! 

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123 Besler Ave Cranford

Exclusive! Rare Multi Family Opportunity in Cranford NJ

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The possibilities are endless in this bright and airy 2-family Cranford home! Lower level unit features 3 bedrooms, 1 full bath, living room, dining room, and kitchen with lots of cabinets. Upper level unit has been totally updated with 3 bedrooms, beautiful full bath with dual sinks, living room, dining room, and modern kitchen with cherry cabinets, new countertops, and stainless steel appliances. The finished basement is accessible from both units with spacious recreation area, laundry room, and gorgeous full bath. Hardwood floors and central air throughout, 2-car garage, and fenced backyard. Just over 1 mile to downtown Cranford and .5 miles to Garwood train station, close to parks, and top schools. Not in a flood zone! Great income opportunity!

*This property is exclusively listed for $575,000 with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Westfield West Office 908-233-0065 

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Welcome Home!

New Listing In Cranford, NJ! $699,000

Cranford NJ Home For SaleThe minute you step foot on this special property, you’ll NEVER want to leave! Located on one of Cranford’s prettiest streets, this classic colonial has curb appeal in spades. The entire first floor has newly installed hardwood floors, thick chestnut trim, and oversized windows that let sunlight pour in. Relax in the spacious living room with wood-burning fireplace and a stunning view of the gorgeous grounds and Rahway River. The dining room opens into a totally updated kitchen with granite countertops, ample cabinetry, recessed lighting, and stainless steel appliances. A cozy sun room and powder room complete the first floor. Just off the kitchen, a brick patio extends the entertaining space outdoors, where the parklike backyard and welcoming gazebo at the water’s edge make every day feel like a vacation. The second level offers two good-sized bedrooms, an updated full bath, and a spacious master suite with vaulted ceilings, skylights, walk-in closet plus a double closet, and en suite full bath. The living space continues in the walk-up attic with finished office/4th bedroom and two large storage rooms. Laundry is located in the full basement along with ample storage space. With multiple zone heating and central air, a detached garage, million-dollar views from almost every room, and an unbeatable location close to top schools, parks, and Downtown Cranford … this home has it ALL!

 CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE PHOTOS AND FLOORPLANS!

*This property is listed for $699,000 with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Westfield West Office 908-233-0065. It will be available on the GSMLS 5/17/2017

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