Category Archives: Clark New Jersey Community Information

6th Annual Miles With Moms 5K and Fun Run 4/23/17

Miles With Moms 5 K and Fun RunThe 6th Annual Miles with Moms 5K and Fun Run is fast approaching, and I’m thrilled to be a sponsor of this wonderful family-friendly race that raises money for the Mothers’ Center of Central NJ. The event will take place on Sunday, April 23rd at Oak Ridge Park in Clark, with the first race starting at 9 am, and it’s sure to be a memorable day for adults and kids alike. 

I caught up with Miles with Moms volunteer Jenn Gillman to chat about this year’s event. Jenn said, “This is an event that has something for EVERYONE in the family–a 5k race, 1 mile race, free fun run for kids, great music, delicious refreshments, wonderful raffle items, and ways to keep the kids busy. Runners, walkers, moms and dads with strollers, kids, friends and neighbors are all welcome.”

If you’ve been hesitant to do a 5K with your children, this is the perfect “ice breaker” 5K since it’s specifically geared toward families. Jenn said, “We have special crafts, activities, and races just for young kids. Our DJ will be playing fun music appropriate for young listeners; we have a face painter who will be offering free face painting for kids; and Creative Kids from Scotch Plains and Tinkergarten will be back with plenty of hands-on activities for kids to partake in. We also have a free Fun Run for children age six and under where everyone gets to show their speed.”

Besides all the races and activities, there will be refreshments and lots of raffles with chances to win some great prizes. And let’s face it, any event is better when you leave with a prize in hand! There will also be awards given out for the top finishers in several categories of the races.

Based out of Garwood, the Mothers’ Center of Central NJ is a nonprofit that creates and supports a community for all mothers. According to Jenn, “The fundraising done through the Miles with Moms 5K helps pay for our rented space, keeps costs at a minimum so all of our programming is accessible to everyone, and pays for exciting events for our members.” 

The Mothers’ Center has been around for almost 40 years, offering daytime and evening activities for moms and their children, fostering lifelong friendships among Union County mothers. For more information about the Mothers’ Center of Central NJ, visit

To register for the Miles with Moms 5K visit www.njmileswithmoms.org2017 flyerScreen Shot 2017-04-07 at 11.37.52 AM

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Miles with Moms 5K Run/Walk and Fun Run Sunday, April 24 in Oak Ridge Park in Clark

Miles with Moms 5K Run/Walk and Fun Run Sunday, April 24thThere are a lot of terrific 5K races in our area, but only a handful of them are geared toward the hardest-working people on Earth–MOMS! I’m a proud sponsor of the annual Miles with Moms 5K Run/Walk and Fun Run coming up on Sunday, April 24th in Clark. In its 5th year, this event is the sole fundraiser for the Mothers’ Center of Central NJ, and it’s shaping up to be the best one yet!

The races will be held at Oak Ridge Park in Clark, which is a great flat course. And for you serious runners out there, don’t dismiss this one! The 5K is chip-timed and USATF- and RCAA-certified! Trainers from RWJ gym in Scotch Plains will lead warm-up stretches before the races. At 9 am, the 1-mile run/walk begins; 9:30 marks the start of the 5K. After those races will be a FREE kids’ fun run.

There’s so much more at this event than races–it’s truly an outing for the whole family to enjoy. There will be a DJ, refreshments, and during the first two races kids can be kept busy with activities provided by Tinkergarten and Creative Kids! Strollers are welcome during the 1-mile run/walk.

I spoke with Trish Johnson, one of the volunteers who is organizing this year’s Miles with Moms event and a longtime member of the Mothers’ Center. Trish said, “When I found the Mothers Center almost six years ago, I was a first-time mom home with my baby, unsure of so many things–both about him and myself. I was lonely and craving the friendship and support of other moms. I stumbled upon the Center one day while doing an Internet search and went to my first Mom and Baby group. It was so nice to relax in a supportive environment with other moms and to know that I was not the only one struggling with an infant and first-time motherhood. I now have three children and the Center has helped me through so many ups and downs of motherhood, and continues to be a place of friendship for both myself and my children.”

Trish went on to describe how inclusive the Miles with Moms event is for families: “My whole family will be running the one-mile that day, from my in-laws to my two-year-old! We welcome strollers, kids, families, expert runners, beginning runners, and everyone in between! If you’re not ready for a 5K, our one-mile is a great way to get out there and get active with your family. The day ends with our free kids’ fun run, such a cute event for the little ones!”

According to Trish, this year’s raffle at the Miles with Moms event is going to kick some you-know-what! Here is a list of local businesses who generously donated prizes for the raffles at the event–as you can see, there will be a TON OF PRIZES (woot, woot!). Where you don’t see a prize listed, the business either donated a gift card or basket.

  • Alfonso’s Bakery
  • 4U Nails
  • Atlantic Beach Soap
  • Music Together
  • Kidz Village 2 VIP fun passes
  • Ferraros Restaurant
  • Brawl House gym 1 month membership
  • Westfield Y 3 month silver family membership
  • Dancers Pointe 4 $50 gift cards
  • Game Changer gym membership fee
  • MLB Network signed Al Leiter baseball
  • NY Jets signed poster
  • NY Giants signed poster
  • Alluem 1 month of yoga
  • River and Rail bottle of tequila and gift card
  • Patricia and Paul oil and vinegar set
  • Farmhouse Store coverlet
  • Angels Wings tray of wings
  • IPlay America free passes
  • Pastosa
  • Turning Point 2 complementary entrees
  • Echo Plaza Cleaners
  • Bloom Nail Salon gift cards
  • Devils Tickets
  • Dr. Feret teeth whitening
  • Wild Roots hair salon basket
  • Avon basket with gift card
  • Ambeli restaurant gift card
  • Vine Ripe Market gift card
  • Imagine That gift card for birthday party
  • Hunter boots for kids with personalization
  • Vanilla Bean Creamery gift card
  • Milk Money

For more information or to register for the Miles with Moms event, visit

From the Mothers’ Center of Central NJ website:

The Mothers’ Center of Central New Jersey (MCCNJ) is a nonprofit, nonsectarian organization providing friendship, education, outreach, and support for all parents across Central New Jersey.  Throughout the year the Mothers’ Center offers daytime and evening discussion and craft groups, book clubs, morning and afternoon playgroups, library and referral resources, and special events.  The center holds groups and events at the Garwood Presbyterian Church and Casano Community Center in Roselle Park. On-site babysitting is available for most daytime activities. New members are welcome at any time.

For more information about the Mothers’ Center and a schedule of their upcoming events, visit

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RUSTIC INK CO in Clark, NJ is One COOL Business!

Rustic Ink Co

You all know that I love shopping locally and I love handmade goods, so when a business offers me the best of both worlds, I am SOLD! That’s why I’m so enamored of RUSTIC INK CO., a Clark-based business that sells the cutest and coolest rustic burlap prints for your home or office. Seriously, as soon as you see one of these prints, you’re going to want one.

Cristin Sedelmaier launched Rustic Ink Co. in January of 2015. Someone had posted on a local buy/sell/trade Facebook page that she was looking for a unique engagement present. In response to that request, Cristin posted a picture of a monogram print she had made on burlap as an anniversary present for her own husband. According to Cristin: “From that little post, the responses were overwhelming . . . More than 40 people requested a monogram print, and Rustic Ink Co. was born.”

Cristin has been crafting for as long as she can remember. “Starting as a child, I was always coloring, cutting, pasting and creating. I took all the obligatory art classes in High School and College, and always enjoyed them. But for me, many things that I have made started out with, ‘I think I could make that!’ To me, that is the most enjoyable part of crafting – I love the process of designing and seeing what will and won’t work. I also love technology and graphic art design. Rustic Ink Co. is a blend of graphic art and crafting, my two artistic loves.”

Cristin was born and raised in Cranford and moved to Clark when she got married. She says: “Both towns have that small-town feel that I love so much.” Several of my local friends own her print featuring the coordinates of Cranford–Cristin can do it for any town, and it makes such a wonderful family heirloom or a unique gift for that person who already has everything (we all have those people in our lives!!). 

Cristin has a large repertoire of prints with designs and phrases ranging  from monograms to children’s sayings to famous quotes. If you have an idea for a print, don’t hesitate to run it by Cristin! She says: “I especially like custom requests because I get to know the customer throughout the design process. One particular custom order stands out – I designed a poem written by my client’s grandmother who had recently passed away. My client gave the printed poem to members of her family for Christmas. I felt privileged to be chosen to document her work.”

As luck would have it, the bestselling item at Rustic Ink Co. is the very first item Cristin created, the couple’s monogram! I can’t think of a sweeter or more personal gift for any bridal shower, engagement, wedding, anniversary, or even housewarming.  Recently, Cristin’s Star Wars family print has become very popular, as well as her NJ Home print featuring the silhouette of NJ, which can be customized for any state or country.

I just placed an order for my own custom print from Rustic Ink Co., but you won’t find a photo of it in this blog–the wording is a tad too … shall we say … salty. But I will tell you that the recipient of the print is going to flip her lid when she opens it!

You can view more of Rustic Ink Co. on the etsy shop: Follow Cristin’s facebook page for frequent updates on new designs and current promotions:

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The Deutscher Club of Clark is the Largest German Club in NJ!

Deutcher Club Of ClarkIf you are of German heritage — or simply love German beer, food, and music — you should definitely pay a visit to the Deutscher Club of Clark! The club is celebrating its 80th anniversary this September, and it has so much to offer local families.

The Deutscher Club is located on Featherbed Lane in Clark, and it is the largest German club in NJ — the 2nd largest in all of the United States!

On the club grounds is a ginormous wooden pavilion with a stage area, dance floor, and seemingly endless picnic tables. Outside are also the famous food and drink stands, where you can get a frothy cold “bier” to wash down your bratwurst and the world’s biggest darn soft pretzels. There’s also a great little playground for kids as well as an ice cream stand. The clubhouse has a bar and large dining area with a kitchen that can provide catering.

Throughout the summer and fall, the club hosts huge outdoor picnics with live German/American bands, Biergarten food and drinks, flea markets, and more. These events are open to non-members for a small entrance fee.

Regular happenings for members at the clubhouse include Friday and Saturday evening dinners (with live music every Saturday), and the bar is open most evenings. Members get together outside of the clubhouse for many activities supported by the club, such as skiing, German language classes, participating in the Steuben Day Parade in New York City, and German movie outings, just to name a few.

Deutcher Club Of ClarkTo become a member of the Deutscher Club, you need to be sponsored by a current member (of two years or more). Although most of the members are of German ancestry, membership is open to anyone! You can obtain an application on their website:

Follow the Deutscher Club on Facebook to hear about all their events that are open to the general public. You won’t want to miss the classic car show on August 28 and of course the annual Oktoberfest on Saturday, October 3!

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4th annual NJ Miles for Moms 5K Run/Walk 4/19/15

5kcollagepicsHave you heard about the local 5K race for the hardest-working people on the planet–I’m talking about MOMS, of course! Dads and kids are welcome too at the 4th annual NJ Miles for Moms 5K Run/Walk on April 19th in Clark’s Oak Ridge Park.c


The fun begins at 9:00 am with a 1-miler. At 9:30 the 5K begins, and 10:30 am starts the kids fun run and raffle. There’s still time to register (fees apply for the first two races; the kids’ run is free for children 6 and under):

The event will be held rain or shine on the certified traffic-free course, so you don’t have to fret about bringing your little ones, and strollers are welcome. The 5K is chip-timed, which is good news for the serious runners who want an accurate measure of their finish time, but all skill levels are invited to participate. In addition to the races there will be raffles, complimentary refreshments, DJ entertainment, kids’ crafts, and more. So make a day of it!

winners runnersMy friend and certified personal trainer Christine Cohen is running this 5K, and she said, “I wanted to get a few of my friends who have never done a 5K before to do a run with me, and this seemed like the perfect first race for them because it’s low key and non-competitive. Plus it benefits a great cause–all of the proceeds go to the Mothers Center of Central NJ.”

The Mothers Center of Central NJ (MCCNJ) is a local group dedicated to supporting moms in whatever stage of parenting they’re in. MCCNJ embodies the phrase “It takes a village,” and the group meets regularly in Garwood for a wide array of family-centered activities, including mommy-and-me playgroups, kids’ art and music classes, educational workshops for moms (childcare provided on-site), holiday parties, fun family movie and bowling excursions, and much more.

If you’re a new mom, or a mom who’s looking to make some like-minded friends, check out the MCCNJ website:

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The Exploration Studio in Clark NJ Offers Activities For ALL Ages!

image_2If you or your kids end up feeling more than a little bored during these cold winter days, consider taking one of the interesting hands-on classes at The Exploration Studio in Clark. This new facility just opened its doors in October of 2014 and aims to provide our community with creative and educational activities for all ages.

photo 3 photo 2Owner Vicki Herbig says that The Exploration Studio is a fun place where kids and adults explore, experiment, and enjoy classes and events that will appeal to many different interests and levels of expertise. “You can experiment with science, build memories, design with watercolors, sew your first piece, learn how to play chess, or make new friend. The Exploration Studio lets your imagination soar!”

I’m just amazed at the vast list of classes and events already scheduled at The Studio. To name just a few:

**Adult Night Out (paint on wine glasses; paint on canvas; decoupage)

**Tween Night Out (variety of activities chosen by participants, providing a safe environment to socialize with friends)

**Kids Night Out, aka Date

Night (one Friday per month, potty-trained kids up to age 8 will craft, eat pizza, and watch a G-rated movie while Mom and Dad enjoy a night on the town!)

**Adult Workshops (Pastels; Sewing; Drawing; Crochet)

**Kids Classes (Write & Illustrate a Book; Build with Blocks; Fun with Food; Games Galore; Science Exploration; Movers and Shakers; and many more!)

Best of all, the Studio classes and events won’t break the bank. For example, one of the four-week art classes for kids that I checked out costs only $60!

photo 4 photo 1And you guessed it–The Exploration Studio is a perfect spot for unique birthday parties. They offer crafty princess parties, tea parties, Lego parties, pirate parties, craft parties, paint on canvas, or pretty much any theme you can dream up, and they will customize the decorations and activities for each party/child. I love the idea of a birthday party with built-in favors, where the kids actually create something and get to take it home.

For more information and to register for classes/events, visit their very user-friendly website at The Exploration Studio is located at 1055A Raritan Road in Clark, in the Clark Village shopping center across from the A&Pc.

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Clark, NJ’s Manny’s Diner is THE Place To Go!

Manny’s Diner

mannys1We’re Jerseyans.  We know darn well that there is nothing better than a really good diner.  A place where you can get virtually ANY food you can think of, made to order, quickly, and at all hours.  A good diner is a gem.  And Manny’s Diner in Clark is a pure gem.

Manny’s Diner, at 1030 Raritan Road, has been in business in Clark since last year when the Windsor Diner closed.  This is actually the second location for Manny’s Diner; the original and still operating location is at 12 Church Street in Montclair.

The menu, and the portions, are enormous.  Truthfully, manny's dinerso is the diner itself. The recent renovations created an updated look and modern décor, with plenty of seating for the weekend crowd.   The diner is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, an even has a full bar.  You can enjoy a cannoli martini (yes, I said a CANNOLI MARTINI) with dinner!  And the food is out of this world.  I mean, how could you possibly do any better than Nutella banana pancakes for breakfast?!  And the chef is happy to accommodate specific requests or instructions from customers.

Why would you possibly want to cook and wash dishes, when you can get great food and make everyone happy without the work?  Check out their website Manny’s Diner ….it is currently under construction, but the menu is up.  That will be enough to get you salivating!

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Hyatt Hills Driving Range in Clark, NJ

Hyatt Hills Golf

Looking for something different to do with the kids?  Or maybe just something fun for yourself?  Why not get a bucket of balls?

The beautiful and well-maintained 84 acre Hyatt Hills Golf Complex, at 1300 Raritan Road in Clark (the course actually spans from Clark into Cranford),  is  a meticulously manicured public golf facility, with a lovely, scenic, regulation nine-hole golf course, ample parking lot, an elegant, full-service clubhouse, a putting green, an absolutely beautiful eighteen-hole miniature golf course, and a driving range. While local parents bring their kids out to enjoy the miniature golf course all the time, they may not think about the driving range as an option for kids.  Yet, it’s something the kids usually love to do.

golfJust have them bring a kid-sized club, get a bucket of balls, and grab a stall!  The kids feel like they are playing “real golf,” and its great exercise.  It’s also a great way to get them turned onto the sport.  Be sure to visit to print out a coupon for a free bucket of 50 balls when you buy two buckets.  The facility is open daily from 7:00 AM – 10:00 PM.  While you’re there, check out the other services they offer, such as golf instruction, or special celebrations.  (Who doesn’t love a miniature golf party?)  You can check out their entire website at .

Who knows?  You may have a mini Tiger Woods in the making . . . . a cub, if you will.  It’s a great day out, and easy on the parents!


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NJ Miles With Moms 5K and Fun Run at Oak Ridge Park in Clark NJ 5/3/14


You’ve probably seen the latest viral video sensation, with the fake interview for “the toughest job in the world.” It outlines the brutal requirements of a ridiculously difficult job, with no pay involved, only to find out at the end that it is the description of the job of “Mom.”  No one can deny that being a mom is, in fact, the most difficult, albeit rewarding, job on Earth.  But moms are human, and sometimes they need some support, some advice, a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen, or just an hour or two out of the house.

The Mothers’ Center of Central NJ is a non-profit organization committed to raising the status of women as mothers. Established in 1978, the local branch of the National Mothers’ Center meets at Garwood Presbyterian Church, at 341 Spruce Avenue in Garwood, and consists o members from Garwood, Clark, Cranford, Westfield, and surrounding communities. Through daytime and evening activities they offer opportunities for local moms to connect and maintain sanity, while the kids have other kids to play and spend time with.   It provides peer support and fun for both moms and children.  MCCNJ (Mothers’ Center of Central New Jersey) is dedicated to helping those within the community, whether organizing meals for new moms and others needing some extra help, or assisting other charitable projects within our neighborhoods.

The NJ Miles With Moms 5K and Fun Run will take place on Saturday, May 3rd, at Oak Ridge Park in Clark, NJ.  There will be times races, prizes, raffles, a fun run for the kids, and much, much more.  All the makings of a fun-filled day!  To register, or to make a donation, go to by April 26th for early registration pricing, although sign-ups can also be done for a slightly higher fee at the race site. (T-shirts may not be available that day.)  Proceeds will benefit the MCCNJ and the great work that they do with new mothers and their children.

Consider donating or running on May 3rd, and helping out some local new moms of the community.  Think of it as an early Mother’s Day present that you can give to fellow moms.

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Northern Lights The Salon in Clark NJ Salon Blow Out Fundraising Event 2/22/14

A Blow-Out Fundraising Event!Blow Dry



While we all learned one definition of the term “blow out” at this year’s Superbowl, this is another kind of blow out.  And this is one that is not only desirable for locals, but it can help others in need, as well.

On Saturday February 22, 2014, from 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM, Northern Lights the Salon in Clark will be holding a blow out event to raise money for the Junior League of Elizabeth-Plainfield. For the cost of $25, customers can get a full blowout treatment for a great cause! They will also be offering raffles for gift baskets, a 50/50, and gratefully accepting donations during the entire month of February. While walk-ins are welcomed, it is highly advisable to call ahead at (732) 333-0920 to schedule an appointment.

Northern Lights the Salon is a full service hair styling studio, located at 67 Westfield Avenue in Clark.  They also offer manicures, pedicures, consultations, and much more.  The business is celebrating its one year anniversary this month.  Check out their website at for a full list of services available.

The Junior League of Elizabeth/Plainfield is an organization of women committed to promoting and providing volunteerism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.  They provide numerous outreach programs, and arrange various types of community support to do so.  You can learn more about this wonderful organization by visiting their website

It’s a perfect win-win situation.  You can walk out feeling better because you look better, AND feeling better because you’ve helped a worthy cause.  How can you beat that?

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