Category Archives: Fanwood NJ Community Information

Give Back During This Holiday Season With “Blessing Bags”!

Give Back with Blessing Bags 

The elderly often are overlooked during the holidays. But one Fanwood resident is making sure that dozens of local nursing home/assisted living residents feel LOVED this Thanksgiving, by distributing a Blessing Bag filled with goodies to each of them! 

nursing-homeKorri Toll lives with her husband and two high-school children in Fanwood. She said, “We don’t have any local family here, and we really wanted to give back this year. We thought about volunteering on Thanksgiving at a soup kitchen. Then I saw a friend successfully create blessing bags for cancer patients, and I thought it could be a great way to give back locally. I live in Fanwood and work in Cranford at Trinity Episcopal Day School (TEDS), so I contacted both The Chelsea assisted living facilities in Fanwood and Cranford Hall Nursing Home in Cranford, and both facilities were so appreciative and welcoming. I talked with staff members about what residents would need, and together we came up with the Blessing Bags. We hope to get one into the hands of every resident of both nursing homes by Thanksgiving.”

blessing-bagKorri is doing all the shopping for the items that will go into each Blessing Bag, including toiletries, snacks, large-print activity books, and fuzzy socks and gloves, and more. It costs a little over $25 per bag, so Korri is seeking sponsors–for every $25 you donate, another Blessing Bag will be created and distributed. Just imagine how happy these residents will be when they get surprised with a special bag full of items that they want and need, not to mention they will be reminded that they are appreciated! 

According to Korri, the students at TEDS will help assemble (and possibly distribute) the Blessing Bags to the Cranford Hall residents, and Korri’s own children have been busily making the bags for distribution to the Chelsea. Few things make me as happy as seeing kids gladly volunteer to help others! This could be a great fundraiser for any local volunteer organization (Girl Scouts, etc.) where they raise funds to sponsor some of the Blessing Bags.

So how can YOU help? You can personally sponsor a Blessing Bag by donating $25 by paypal or check

  • To donate via paypal: Send your donation to Korri Toll (username [email protected]), select “friends and family” as your recipient to avoid any fees, and in the Notes section write “Blessing Bag” and write the name of the Nursing Home you’d like to receive your bag (The Chelsea or Cranford Hall). 
  • To donate by check: Make your check out to TEDS Preschool, and in the memo write “Blessing Bag” and write the name of the Nursing Home you’d like to receive your bag (The Chelsea or Cranford Hall). 
    • If you select The Chelsea, mail your check to: Korri Toll, 62 Montrose Ave., Fanwood, NJ 07023. If you select Cranford Hall, mail your check to: TEDS Preschool, 205 North Ave. East, Cranford, NJ 07016

Spread the word about these Blessing Bags and donate by NOVEMBER 15th, to ensure that the bags get out by Thanksgiving! It’s acts of kindness like this that will make sure everyone enjoys the holiday this year. 

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As soon as I saw a photo of the lovely Scotch Plains Fanwood Community Garden, I just knew I had to blog about it. When I see people come together to make a difference in their community, it gets me right in the feelies. 

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LynnSusan Wurzburger of Scotch Plains is a retired attorney and avid gardner, as well as the chairperson of the SPF Community Garden Committee. Along with several other invaluable committee members (Billy Malone, Joyce Johnson, Wanderlan Silva, and Patrice Barth), LynnSusan has put her blood, sweat, and tears into this project of launching a community garden. After their original site location fell through, the Community Garden found its current (and perfect!) home on the grounds of the historic Frazee House in Scotch Plains. 

According to LynnSusan: “The Frazees always treated their property as a gathering place, even hosting meetings during the Revolutionary War. We want to salute them and bring people back to the land. With the Community Garden, we’ve returned part of their land to its original purpose, which was a farm.”

The SPF Community Garden occupies an 80′ by 80′ plot that is fenced in, plus another 20 feet beyond the fence line. The organization Groundwork Elizabeth: Come Grow with Us provided materials for the first 14 beds and set up a helpful irrigation system for the Garden. The remaining 14 beds were built by the committee and volunteers using materials that were donated or purchased using rental fees. In addition to the 28 beds, there are six “demonstration gardens.” 

The Garden officially opened in late July 2016, and already the beds are flourishing! Tomatoes, eggplant, squash, cucumbers, pole beans, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, beets, onions, garlic, parsnips, and a variety of flowers (specifically those that attract pollinators) all are growing in abundance. But the Garden is about more than just plants. LynnSusan said, “We’ve built a sense of community here, and it has been so gratifying to see the gardeners who ordinarily would not have met each other in day-to-day life come together and be so welcoming and helpful to one another.”

LynnSusan went on to tell me about some of the goals of the Garden. “We hope to demonstrate how easy it is to grow your own food. We also want to inspire a sense of charity as we try to establish a giving garden to donate to El Centro in Plainfield. We encourage our gardnerers to ‘grow a row,’ meaning grow an extra row of a vegetable or fruit for donation purposes.” 

I loved hearing about how children are welcomed in the Garden. “We have a lot of young families who bring their kids with them. They children learn valuable lessons on how to plant, nurture, and harvest as well as eat what they grow. It’s essential to give kids an appreciation of the earth and teach them how to take care of it.”

Residents of Scotch Plains and Fanwood as well as local organizations (one bed is currently being tended by a Girl Scout troop!) can rent a garden bed for $40 for a year. According to LynnSusan: “Next year we’re hoping to add 10-12 additional garden beds. We also plan to incorporate special gardens accessible to the elderly and disabled children.”

In October, the Community Garden will begin accepting applications for spring 2017. Current gardeners have first choice of beds, then it opens up to all the local residents and organizations on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

If you’d like to see the beautiful SPF Community Garden in person, visit the Harvest Homecoming fundraiser on October 1st from 11 am to 3 pm! This fun-filled family event is being cohosted by the Community Garden and the Rotary. There will be live music, food trucks, a petting zoo, face painting, children’s crafts, square dancing, games/prizes, and more! Although admission to the Harvest Homecoming is free, donations are welcomed that will benefit both the Garden and the Frazee House. 

The SPF Community Garden is located at the Frazee House: 1451 Raritan Road in Scotch Plains. If you would like to learn more about the Community Garden, visit their website at, or donate to this wonderful grassroots organization through their GoFundMe page:

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Need a GREAT Night’s Sleep? Check out Shovlin Mattress Factory in Fanwood NJ

Shovlin2It’s a new year. A time when people focus on getting healthy again. For many, that means re-joining the gym or cooking healthy recipes. But one key ingredient to good health that we ALL tend to neglect is SLEEP!! And the foundation (literally!) for good sleep is the very mattress under your back. I know firsthand how a great mattress can improve your sleep, and I’m proud to say that I purchased mine at a local family-run business that has been making mattresses in the USA for more than 30 years. 

Shovlin Mattress Factory (formerly The Mattress Factory) of Fanwood has been owned by the Shovlin family since 1987. The original factory was located in Garwood and later moved to its current home in Fanwood. Ron Shovlin started working at the factory even before his parents bought it, when he was just 13 years old! In 2008 Ron took over as primary owner of the family business, and he has brought it to new heights.  

Both Ron and his wife, Kara, grew up in Westfield and are raising their children there today. Kara is heavily involved in the family business as well, managing the marketing and social media for Shovlin Mattress Factory. Recently they opened a pop-up store in downtown Westfield on Quimby Street to introduce their business to the local community and reveal how very different Shovlin is from every big-box mattress store.  


I bet many of you didn’t know that every single mattress sold by Shovlin is built in-house, right in their Fanwood factory! That’s right, they don’t sell any mattress brands other than their own. They use top quality materials that outperform and outlast the big-box competitors. One of the things that distinguishes Shovlin is that they utilize 2-sided inner spring construction in their mattresses, which means their mattresses can be FLIPPED for longevity. (Go ahead and ask a big-box store how many of their mattresses can be flipped–the answer will be few to none!) 

The signature “Nirvana” is one of the top-selling mattresses at Shovlin. It is similar to the Tempurpedic, but the Nirvana is crafted with the highest quality latex materials in the industry, which makes it second to none. 

And get this–Shovlin mattresses can be CUSTOMIZED to your preference! Ron says: “We can tweak any mattress in our showroom to make it firmer, softer, etc. We can modify it to suit your needs. It really is a custom mattress.” For our master bedroom, we purchased a California king trip-zone pillow top (the pillow top is on BOTH sides!) with extra lumbar support, and we couldn’t be happier with it. 

Shovlin4The customer experience at Shovlin is also markedly different from that at other mattress stores. You’ll notice as soon as you walk into their showroom that you’re not accosted by a used-car type of salesperson. According to Ron: “We don’t pay our employees on commission. Our team builds relationships with customers. We have a genuine conversation with you to learn about your specific needs and how you sleep. It’s not a one-mattress-fits-all mentality.” Clearly the Shovlin style of low-pressure sales works: A whopping 80 percent of their business is either repeat customers or referrals!  

And speaking of customers–you’ll never guess who have been some of the top customers of Shovlin Mattress Factory. FIREMEN! Ron has carved a niche in the firefighting industry and is currently the #1 provider of mattresses to firehouses in NJ, with more than 200,000 of NJ’s Bravest getting the best night’s sleep courtesy of Shovlin mattresses. 

Besides superior mattressess, Shovlin also sells a wide range of bed frames, from traditional to day beds, trundle beds, bunk beds, platform beds, and more. They also carry mattress protectors, pillows, sheets, and some furniture. They deliver fast and will take away your old mattress/box spring at no cost. 

Here’s an interesting tidbit about Shovlin Mattress Factory–they’ve never had a sale. Never! They simply don’t need to have sales because their customers are literally getting factory-direct mattresses, so there’s no inflation of prices like you’ll find at chain stores. I appreciate that kind of directness and fairness in a business. They currently offer financing packages as well. 

If you notice a camaraderie among the employees at Shovlin, it’s because many of them have been working with Ron and family for 10, 20, even 30+ years! Ron says, “We really are like a family here, and we celebrate one another’s birthdays, milestones, and achievements.” That kindness extends outside of the factory walls, as the Shovlin family is heavily involved in the community with charitable sponsorships of townwide events and partnerships with such organizations as Furniture Assist and Habitat for Humanity. 

Shovlin Mattress Factory is located at 35 South Ave in Fanwood and is conveniently open seven days a week. Visit them on Facebook or on their website:, and tell them I said hello (and good night!). 

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Seafare Chippery in Fanwood, NJ

Want to feel like you’re on vacation when you go out for casual eats?  Then you’ve got to check out Seafare Chippery in Fanwood, where you can get the freshest seafood around and savor it in their new nautical outdoor dining area — nicknamed Captain Chip’s Dock — that will transport you to the shore.

Owned by the Walter family, Seafare Chippery reopened in November of 2012 with a distinct image4vision: to recreate the family-friendly fish-and-chips restaurant that the Chippery was known to be back in the 1970s. Chef Brian Walter has brought back the exact fry batter from that decade, the same round “chips,” and even hired some of the original staff members. He says, “I ate here as a kid and even worked here. My goal was to replicate the Chippery of my childhood.”

If you love seafood, you might start salivating at the description of the food at the Chippery. Arctic cod arrives fresh EVERY day, and you can taste the difference, folks, because it all but melts in your mouth. The fish is hand-dipped in their signature batter and fried right in front of you. The delicious bread buns at the Chippery are provided by Cranford’s own Breadsmith.

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Besides the classic fish-and-chips platters, the Chippery offers NJ diver scallops (so fresh that some of Brian’s acquaintances have eaten them raw); soft-shell crabs; lobster rolls (hot or cold!); shrimp; clams; fish tacos and sandwiches; house-made clam chowder; and a daily broiled special such as mahi mahi. You can also order a variety of more adventurous fried items, including fried pizza, fried burgers, fried pickles, fried oreos, and more. Got kids who might not be fish lovers? No worries. The Chippery has a kids menu with plenty of non-fish options (hot dog, mac-and-cheese, chicken tenders), and the kids’ meals can be served with chips or fresh fruit.

Brian listens to his customers and has now begun offering money-saving specials: on any given day you can order from the $10 dinner menu, which includes a choice of entree, a side, and a drink. There’s a $7 lunch menu as well. Brian says they are experimenting with delivery service, so if that’s something you would take advantage of, please write a comment on their Facebook page!

Don’t you love the idea of a fish-themed party this summer? The Chippery can cater your event! In fact, Brian also runs Catering by Bayberry, which provides catering for all types of events with cuisine ranging from casual to gourmet. Brian was trained at the French Culinary Institute in NYC and has more than 20 years of experience in the industry; he has worked with such renowned chefs as Mario Batali and Daniel Or.

The Seafare Chippery is located at 383 South Ave in Fanwood and is open 7 days a week from 11:30 am to 9 pm. It’s BYO. Call ahead for faster pickup: 908-288-7741.

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“Celebrate Spring” Arts and Crafts Fest in Fanwood Saturday, May 9.


Forget window shopping . . . in this gorgeous spring weather I prefer OUTDOOR shopping. So I’m excited to check out the first ever “Celebrate Spring” Arts and Crafts Fest in Fanwood on Saturday, May 9.


From 10 am to 5 pm, more than 100 artisans will showcase their handiwork in the train station parking lot of Fanwood. Do not expect the flea-market type merchandise that you find at most festivals; all the items for sale at this show have been handmade with with tender loving care. If you like to shop for handmade goods on, then you will certainly enjoy shopping the Arts and Crafts Fest.

Among the items for sale you will find glassworks, pottery, jewelry, fashion clothing, gardening items, woodwork, paintings, sculpture, photography, and much more. And it just so happens that this Arts and Crafts Fest is the day before Mother’s Day–so you can pick up something unique, handmade, and fabulous for the mothers in your life! Or get a jump start on shopping for Father’s Day.

In addition to the crafts vendors, there will be lots of gourmet food for sale. Everyone will be entertained by live performances throughout the day featuring jazz, acoustic, oldies, and more. And don’t forget to bring the kids: there will be a FREE craft section for children where they can make take-home crafts! There’s truly something for everyone at this festival.

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“Be Craftful” is a Fanwood Gem for Kids AND Adults!

Welcome to yet another edition of “Why Wasn’t This Place Around Years Ago?” This time we’re talking about Be Craftful, a relative newcomer to downtown Fanwood that has enamored countless crafty kids and adults in our area.
In a nutshell, Be Craftful is a children’s toy store, party place, and creative space for children and adults. Launched in 2013 by husband-and-wife team (and Fanwood residents) Amy and Demian Boroff, Be Craftful immediately filled a void in Fanwood for a store that sells unique birthday gifts and favors, offers personalization, and hosts parties. The idea for Be Craftful came to Amy while she was involved with the McGinn school PTA. “I attended a craft fair with my daughter, and the idea of having a storefront where people could drop in to make gifts for others came to fruition.”
What makes Be Craftful so different from any other toy boutique is its aptly named “Craft Pit,” where patrons can hand-craft their own creations using the oodles of art supplies in the shop. According to Amy: “Our craft pit is usually active with drop-in crafters, Girl Scout Events, camps, birthday parties, ladies BYOB nights, kids-only events, workshops, classes and community events. We encourage crafters to have fun and use a lot of glitter!” I love the idea of making a giant mess in someone else’s place! The craft pit is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm during the week, 10 to 4 on Saturdays, and 11-3 on Sundays. Amy suggests that you call ahead or check their website/Facebook to make sure there isn’t a private event during those times. There’s a small seating fee to use the craft pit, as well as a charge for whatever item you want to make, such as a birdhouse, wooden mask, canvas tote bag, the list is endless.
Be Craftful offers several art classes for children of various ages, including “Storytime Crafts” and “Three-Dimensional Art.” Adults can enjoy themed art and craft nights. Every third Thursday of the month is  BYOB Ladies Night from 7-9 pm–gals have already made cute wine bags, painted wineglasses, memory cubes, and memory boards. Amy says that Ladies Night has become such a big hit that they now offer private ladies craft nights for businesses or friends wanting a relaxed night out.
Looking to get a breather from those kids of yours?? Be Craftful hosts a Kids Only Drop-Off event every last Friday of the month. These themed events, such as last month’s Luau, are from 6:30 to 9 pm and give parents a well-deserved night out while their kids get to enjoy an artistic environment and make new friends. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather pay for my kid to make cool art than pay a babysitter to watch my kid play video games! Starting next month, Be Craftful will be introducing a pre-teen night as well as painting parties at the store.
Birthday parties at Be Craftful are truly something special. Kids get to create not one but two crafts at every party (so basically, each kid leaves with 2 handmade party favors!), and all you have to bring is dessert, everything else is provided. Amy and her staff customize everything according to your theme, right down to the music playlist. Some popular themes have been Frozen (duh!), Despicable Me, Harry Potter, Rock and Roll, Construction, Pinkalicious, Pirate, Princess . . . really anything you can think of can be turned into a crafty party.
And let’s not forget the boutique side of Be Craftful. I just love shops that carry items you won’t find in a typical big-box store, and Be Craftful is just such a store. You can find craft kits, construction toys, funky puppets, room decor, baby gifts, personalized items (many done while you wait!), craft supplies, and even furniture, all from high-quality, hard-to-find independent brands. Some cool items we spotted: body crayons, a customizable knight’s shield, and DYI kits created by the Be Craftful staff, such as make-a-fairy-wand kits. Be Craftful will gift-bag your purchases for free. And to add to the convenience: they provide curbside service for quick pickup, and even offer local delivery!
You can find Be Craftful at 250 South Ave in Fanwood. Tell them we sent ya!


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Easter Events in the Cranford Westfield Area of NJ

When You SHOULD Put All Your Eggs in One Basket!

Easter Eggs


Easter is right around the corner, and after the brutal winter we’ve endured, we’re due for a warm one! That means the kiddies can hunt for Easter eggs outside without freezing their bushy tails off. Dig out your baskets from the basement and check out this list of some eggs-cellent local hunts that are sure to bring smiles to everyone’s faces. I strongly suggest you arrive early since parking can be tricky at popular hunts, and most of them separate age groups so you have to find your child’s appropriate section upon arrival.

When: April 5th

Where: Cranford Community Center

Featuring: Breakfast with the Bunny

What’s more exciting than lunch with a leopard, or dinner with a dingo?  Why, breakfast with a bunny, of course!

The Cranford Junior Woman’s Club is once again hosting the annual “ Breakfast with the Bunny,” on Saturday, April 5th,  at the Cranford Community Center at 220 Walnut Avenue.  Families can enjoy some breakfast with local neighbors and family, as well as some photo time with the Easter Bunny.  There will be two seatings to choose from, the first at 9:30 AM, and the second at 11:00AM. Tickets are $6.00 (plus a $1.00 convenience fee) online at the CJWC website , or can be purchased at the Cranford Public Library (224 Walnut Avenue) or at Periwinkle’s Fine Gifts (17 North Union Avenue), through March 31st. Advance tickets ARE required for both parents and children.

The Cranford Junior Woman’s Club is a service organization of Cranford area women dedicated to the enhancement of the community and its residents. Since its installment in 1949, they have used multiple mean to support, aid, and promote public improvement for the benefit of the township and state.  And they are great friends with the Easter bunny.  Mention them, and he may give you some extra jelly beans.


When: Saturday, April 12th, 10:00 am SHARP

Where: Orange Ave. School Fields, Cranford

Cost: Free

Hosted by: Cranford Jaycees

Featuring: More than 3,000 filled eggs, contests, giveaways, and a visit from the Easter Bunny, all for ages 9 and under. Bring a canned or boxed food to be donated to Cranford Family Care.

More info:


photo 2When: Saturday, April 12th, 10:30 am sign-in; hunt begins at 11:00

Where: Cranford Historical Society, Cranford

Cost: $8 pre-registration, $10 at event (all proceeds benefit pediatric cancer research!) For advance tickets e-mail: [email protected]

Hosted by: Friends of Colin

Featuring: More than 1,000 filled eggs, games and raffles, face painting, tattoos, balloon animals, bake sale, and of course a visit from the Easter Bunny, for ages 10 and under.

More info:


When: Sunday, April 13th 7:30 am -12pm

Where: The Cranford VFW Hall

Featuring: A benefit breakfast to support the Cranford First Aid Squad

The Cranford VFW, at 479 South Avenue in Cranford, from 7:30 AM – 12:00 PM on Sunday, April 13th, will be offering a complete breakfast of pancakes, eggs, sausage, bacon, and beverages, with the Easter bunny, once again, on hand.  (Man, that rodent really gets around!)  Cost is $7.00 for adults, and $5.00 for children, and all proceeds will benefit the Cranford First Aid Squad.


When: April 13

Where: The Office Bar & Grill in Cranford

Featuring : Easter Egg Decorationg for kids

Like Easter eggs, but hunting for them not your thing?  Well, how about decorating  them, instead, with the Easter bunny.  On Sunday, April 13th, families are invited to The Office Beer Bar & Grill (1 South Avenue East, Cranford) to enjoy some Easter activities.  Kids can decorate eggs with the bunny, and enjoy lunch, face painting, games, prizes, and even a balloon animal, for only $5.00 per child.


When: Saturday, April 12th,10:00 am SHARP

Where: Forest Road Park, Fanwood

Hosted by: Fanwood Recreation Department

Featuring: More than 1,000 eggs filled with goodies and hundreds of prize tickets, contests, and giveaways, for ages 10 and under. Kids: bring your own drawing of a bunny and your own decorated egg for more chances to win prizes!

More info:


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When: Saturday, April 19th, 2:00 pm SHARP

Where: Williams Nursery, Westfield

Cost: Free

Featuring: A whopping 5,000 filled eggs and a visit from the Easter Bunny, for ages 10 and under.

More info:








When: Sunday, April 20th, noon

Where: Bowcraft Amusement Park, Scotch Plains

Cost: Free (but amusement rides/games vary in prices)

Featuring: Thousands of filled eggs, many containing free ride tickets, and one golden egg that will be redeemed for the grand prize of a Nintendo Wii.

More info:

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How Scotch Plains and Fanwood NJ Got Their Names

Stage House in Scotch Plains


Did you ever wonder how Scotch Plains, and Fanwood, too, got their names?

In the late 1600’s,  a small village was created and  settled by Scottish immigrants who had landed at Perth Amboy under the leadership of George Scot.  Hence, the village was known as “Scot’s Plains.”   In these early days Scot’s Plains was part of West Fields (which is now Westfield) which was a suburb of Elizabethtown.

Scot’s Plain, (including what is now Fanwood), was a steadily growing farming community for many, many years.   In the 1720’s, William Darby, a Baptist, donated a portion of his land to build a meetinghouse and a cemetery, and it was on this land that a Baptist church was dedicated in 1747.  A few years later, he also gave land for the town’s first school, an academy standing next to the church on Park Avenue, which was then called Darby Road.

The documents incorporating Westfield as its own townships, separate from Elizabethtown, were actually signed at a gala event at the Stage House Inn in Scotch Plains, a popular venue along the stagecoach line.

In subsequent years, Scotch Plains saw a time of enormous growth, with the building of schools, homes, and businesses.  In 1867, the train station on Midway Avenue was named Fanwood,  and the 350 acres around it called Fanwood Park, in honor of  Fanny Wood, a daughter of a railroad official. And it was in 1877 that Scotch Plains divorced itself from Westfield and became Fanwood Township. In 1895 one mile of land in the center separated itself and became Fanwood Borough.  Although, to this day, Scotch Plains and Fanwood share a single school system . . . . as they always have.  SP Fanwood 002

Today, Scotch Plains retains its quaint, small town image.  Its location and proximity to the railway and transportation make it a desirable community . . . no longer for its farming plains, but for the wonderful suburban lifestyle it offers its residents.



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K-9 Resorts in Fanwood NJ is a 5 Star Doggie Hotel!

 K-9Summer is a great time of year to pack up the family for a few days and head out to . . . . . wherever.  Beach, mountains, amusement parks, foreign lands . . . . travelling can be a great family experience.  For MOST of the family, that is.  But not always for the fuzzy family members.

Finding the right care for your dog while you are away can be incredibly stressful.  You wonder if they are miserable, if they are eating, if they are being cared for properly . . . it can really diminish the whole vacation.  Well, fret no more!  Because now there’s a way to practically insure that your dog will have almost as good of an experience on his vacation as you are having on your vacation.

K-9 Resorts is actually one of the first facilities of its kind in the entire country. It is, truly,  an actual hotel for dogs . . . and a five-star hotel, a that.   What makes K-9 unique is that it offers human quality amenities in every aspect of the facility . . . . from luxury suites with color TV’s and actual Simmons dog beds, to room service with grilled chicken and bottled spring water imported from France (That’s right.  Bottles.  No tap water for these pooches!)

The K-9 Resorts also offers daycare options for your dog, as well as cage-free luxury suites for overnight stays. The pampered pooch who is used to being catered to can finally go to a place that will give him “paws” to reflect on how much his family loves him.  It is, truly, a state-of-the-art hotel, and an ingenius, well-equipped pet facility.

Brothers Steven and Jason Parker grew up here in NJ as animal lovers, and earned money as teenagers by “pet-sitting” for others when they would be away.  Today, they are the creators and operators of  K-9 Resorts Daycare & Luxury Hotel, the number one rated pet service in New Jersey.  It was in 2005 that Steven and Jason purchased a commercial building, and had it custom engineered and constructed to be an upscale pet facility.  And that one did so well, that in 2009 the business expanded to include other locations.  K-9 Resorts is the only facility in New Jersey that is rated # 1 by multiple major publications, and there’s one nearby, at 43 South Avenue in Fanwood.


To learn more about the facility, pricing, and what is offered, check out the website at K-9 Resorts You may decide to throw on a dog suit and pass ourself of as a guest of these fine accommodations.  The pooch pampering is tempting!


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The “Wellness Group” of Fanwood NJ

                                          The “Wellness Group” of Fanwood NJ

Fanwood NJ


Earlier this year, the town of Fanwood welcomed a new business!  The “Wellness Group” of Fanwood is made up of four women dedicated to different areas of the wellness profession,  including food and health counseling, spiritual life coaching/self-care/journaling, massage therapy,  and psychology.

Sharon Goldner is a certified health counselor and Professional Chef who originally had her business “Recipe for a Healthy Life,”  in Westfield, her town of residence.  She is a certified health counselor who works to assist men and women who want to lose weight and gain more energy. Her specialization is clients with food allergies or gluten intolerance, as she, herself, is sensitive to many foods. Then Goldner found that the space above Fanwood Cleaner’s was available, and grabbed it.  Goldner has kept many of her Westfield clients, but also gathered some newcomers since the move to Fanwood. One of the biggest draws to her business are the grocery store tours she offers for for $15.00 a person. (The next one will be on Dec. 13 at Stop & Shop in Watchung.) During the grocery tours, Goldner brings a group around the store to show them healthier options from what they currently purchase, new healthy snack and meal ideas and assistance buying food when suffering from food allergies.

 Laura Madrigano is a Certified Spiritual Life Coach who holds Journaling and Self-Care workshops.  She was just starting out her business “Nourish My Spirit,” when Goldner approached her about joining the suite, and she jumped at the opportunity. She also suggested the massage therapist she was using, Elizabeth Shults.  The final member to joinThe Wellness Group was Francine Conway, a licensed pyschologist. Conway is an author of numerous articles on psychotherapy and pyschological well being.

The Wellness Group suite has a room for each of the women, as well as a kitchen area and restroom.  By working together in a shared space, the women can synergize their areas of expertise to offer a more well-rounded program, that they label as “separate but complimentary,”  of wellness to patrons.

Right now the group holds Glutten-Free meet ups in their space. The next meet up will take place on Dec. 12, which will be a holiday themed gluten-free cookie exchange. The plan is to take advantage of the space they have and host additional events and speakers.

The Wellness Group is located at 36 South Martine Ave in the heart of Fanwood N.J.  The Wellness Group was founded by four women with a passion for Health, Healing, and serving the community . . . . so why not give them a try and see what they can do for you?  Check them out at

The “Wellness Group” of Fanwood…. give them a call!

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