Tag Archives: Healthy Living

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Get Fit with Legg Day!

You’ve heard it before and you’re bound to hear it again: DIETS DON’T WORK. Not beyond the short-term, anyway. What experts encourage instead is a healthy and active lifestyle for the long haul. But some folks need guidance in this arena. Besides cooking and eating healthfully, how do you choose the best workouts for your level of fitness? 

fitness

fitness

Local health and fitness expert Ashley Legg is here to help! Through her cleverly named business–Legg Day–Ashley provides nutritional and fitness counseling to people of all ages and sizes. All the counseling is done virtually (over the computer and phone), which saves precious time since you don’t have to drive to meet with a nutritionist/personal trainer; Legg Day is always at your fingertips. 

If you’ve run into Ashely in her new hometown of Cranford, then you’ve clearly seen that she practices what she preaches (she’s gorgeous!). But like many of us, she didn’t start out doing this dream job of hers. Ashley began her career in journalism and was a general assignment reporter with an NBC affiliate in Oklahoma City. She said, “I’d been a journalist my whole adult life, but when we made the decision to transition our lives east for my husband’s work, I left my job to start my own business, Legg Day Fitness.” 

Although she worked in journalism, Ashley was a fitness enthusiast all the while. She began competing in bodybuilding competitions in 2015, and along the way became an expert in healthy eating and fitness training. She has over 200 videos on youtube in which she discusses nutrition and shares workouts, and on Instagram, Ashley has almost 6,000 followers. She is certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a Fitness Nutrition Specialist. 

Regarding her client base, Ashley said, “Most people just want to feel better about themselves inside and out. I would say 95 percent of my clients want to lose weight. Some of my clients who come to me are already fit and active but want to improve their performance and nutrition knowledge. I also have a lot of new moms who want their pre-baby bodies back. There are also clients, both men and women, who want to build muscle. The short answer is I have clients all across the board, which is possible because all of my plans are customized to the individual based on his or her goals, body, age, and ability level.”

fitness

It’s so rewarding to witness people take action towards their goals day after day, week after week and month after month. I encourage them to earn their progress and we celebrate successes often! I’m there with my clients every step of the way, through the good and the bad, the lows and the highs. I believe my business stands out because I can relate to many people who have felt lost when it comes to eating right and working out. I have been there, I have felt low and I have doubted myself. I have tried every fad diet out there, my weight has been a rollercoaster from low to high, vice versa. The difference is, I have found my balance to live a healthy and active lifestyle and now, I just love sharing that knowledge with others so they can find their balance.”

For more information about Legg Day Fitness services and packages, visit http://www.leggday.com/

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The Gift of Heart Failure

Westfield’s Dan Weiniger Publishes a New Book: The Gift of Heart Failure

I’ve always admired people who are able to see the glass as half full even amid adversity. My friend, and Westfield’s eternal optimist, Dan Weiniger will inspire you with his newly published book The Gift of Heart Failure, in which he shares his hard-earned lessons on how to turn obstacles into opportunities.

The Gift of Heart Failure

Many of you might know Dan from his successful local business Home Video Studio (http://www.homevideostudio.com), which I’ve used myself and highly recommend! Having already endured a quintuple bypass earlier in life, Dan suffered another nearly fatal heart attack two years ago. Doctors declared that his heart was 80% dead, and he had extensive surgery in which an LVAD (Left Ventricular Assist Device) was implanted to keep his heart functioning while he awaits a heart transplant. His friend Doug Lynch helped to raise almost $9,000 to install a whole-house generator in Dan’s home to ensure that his LVAD will function even in power outages.

After recovering from that heart attack, Dan began volunteering for the NJ Sharing Network, a non-profit organization responsible for the recovery and placement of donated organs and tissue for those in need of a life-saving transplant. He started speaking at events, like the Heart Fair Symposium, and soon he felt compelled to get his story down on paper to spread the word to more people. About a year ago he began writing the draft for The Gift of Heart Failure. Dan said, “The words just poured out of me. I didn’t even know what I would do after finishing the book. I just thought my experiences might help anyone through anything by showing the value of having the right perspective.”

Dan didn’t write his book in the traditional way of putting pen to paper. He said, “I seem to write best when I’m driving in the car alone, dictating into my phone, and then later going back into the studio and writing. Talking allows for freer flow of thinking. You go places you never imagine.”

family

In The Gift of Heart Failure, Dan discusses 12 tools to help you to accept any situation in life, no matter how seemingly insurmountable. Among those tools are appreciating the little things in life, developing an insatiable curiosity, being kind, and turbocharging your enthusiasm. You’ll have to read the book to find out the other tools! Along the way you’ll be uplifted by Dan’s humor, truth, and endless encouragement. Rumor has it, you will not be able to put the book down (and aren’t those the best kind?).

 

You can order The Gift of Heart Failure on Amazon as a paperback:  https://www.amazon.com/Gift-Heart-Failure-Fundamentals-Opportunities/dp/0692877320/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1493053073&sr=8-1

And it’s also available for the Kindle: 

https://www.amazon.com/Gift-Heart-Failure-Fundamentals-Opportunities-ebook/dp/B071YCN8YX/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1493053073&sr=8-1

Follow Dan on Facebook @TheGiftOfHeartFailure, and stay tuned for local book signings with the big-hearted (pun intended!) man himself. Dan will be donating a portion of the proceeds of his book sales to the NJ Sharing Network and other organizations.  

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Say Bye-Bye to Mosquitoes and Ticks!

We’re well into spring, the flowers are blooming, the sun is shining, and it SHOULD be a wonderful time to get some fresh air! But two things can majorly get in the way of enjoying the great outdoors: TICKS and MOSQUITOES. I don’t know about you, but I’d like to enjoy my patio without having to worry incessantly about either of those pests!

 

With the large population of deer combined with the rivers and ponds in our area, it’s an unfortunate truth that we have to deal with ticks and mosquitoes. The threat of Lyme disease makes ticks particularly worrisome, and their tiny size means that many bites go unnoticed. As for mosquitoes: not only do their bites itch like crazy (and they just loooove biting some people more than others–you know who you are!), they also carry dangerous diseases and can cause secondary infections.

Last Bite MosquitoIn recent years I’d heard glowing reviews of businesses that will treat your yard periodically to ward off ticks and mosquitoes. One friend said it was “life changing,” now that her family was able to enjoy pest-free backyard living after suffering endless mosquito bites in years past. It almost sounded too good to be true. I caught up with the co-owner of Last Bite Mosquito Control to discuss these services and see what all the fuss is about. 

Last Bite is based out of Monmouth County but services all of Union County. They are members of the Westfield Chamber of Commerce and will soon be opening an office in town. Twin brothers and physical education teachers Jason and Jeremy Julio launched the company in 2013, after Jeremy’s son had contracted a staph infection from an infected mosquito bite (scary!). They thoroughly researched mosquito and tick prevention, got licensed, and their family company has grown exponentially ever since. 

When it comes to preventing mosquitoes in your own backyard, home remedies just don’t cut it. Jason said, “Mosquitoes can breed in something as small as a bottlecap.” So even if you get rid of a couple of mosquitoes here and there, it takes an expert to locate and treat the breeding areas of mosquitoes. 

The treatment process is described as follows on Last Bite’s website: 

Last Bite Mosquito Control has highly trained and licensed technicians that will survey your yard and identify any high risk areas that could be used as mosquito breeding grounds.  A fine mist of our Barrier Spray (derived from the chrysanthemum plant) will be applied to the perimeter of your home. cThe treatment will include trees, shrubs, evergreens, flowers, foliage plants and all landscaping within the treatment area. Larvicide will then be placed to all mosquito breeding grounds at no additional charge. Our Barrier Spray treatment kills mosquitoes and ticks on contact and continues to provide protection for up to 21 days. All products we use are EPA approved.

You and your pets can use your yard as soon as 30 minutes after it’s been treated by Last Bite! They offer a package where they will come spray every 21 days from spring through fall; a pay-as-you go plan; or or you can purchase a one-time spray, which could be a life-saver for a backyard party you might be hosting. Jason said, “We encourage our customers to have open communication with us to let us know if there’s ever a problem, and we will always come back to your property. Our treatments are 100 percent guaranteed.” 

I’m looking forward to getting my yard treated by Last Bite this month so I can put my feet up on the patio and relax without having to swat myself every five minutes! 

For more information about Last Bite call 866-742-4887 or visit http://www.lastbitemosquito.com

Stop by Last Bite’s booth at Westfield’s Spring Fling on May 7th and tell them Sharon says hello! 

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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 http://cnj.mom-mentum.org/

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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Strong As A Mother Fitness in Cranford NJ

We mothers have all been there–trying to get our post-baby bodies to look like they did pre-baby! But STRONG AS A MOTHER FITNESS classes are helping local moms gain strength and fitness (and quite possibly fit into those old jeans), all while bonding with their babies! 

Jenna Rosa and Dana Ryszetnyk launched Strong as a Mother Fitness in September of 2016, offering mommy-and-me exercise classes to the local community. “Each of us was drawn to postpartum fitness after the birth of our first child. We recognized that this type of fitness class was missing from our community.” Both Jenna and Dana are certified group exercise instructors, and Dana has been teaching pre- and post-natal exercise for 10 years, so she is an expert in this field. 

Jenna and Dana host classes indoors at the Strength and Fitness Club located at 570 South Ave E. in Cranford, and they also conduct outdoor classes at Unami Park during warm weather months. All fitness levels are welcome in Strong As a Mother Fitness classes. According to Dana, “It doesn’t matter if you worked out until the day you gave birth or if you have never stepped foot in a gym. We offer modifications to meet everyone’s needs and our classes are a judgment free space. We like to say strong mamas aren’t born, they’re made.” 

Mothers may attend the classes as soon as they’re cleared by their doctors or midwives to return to exercise (generally at least 6 weeks postpartum). Each mother brings her baby, and the ages range from 6 weeks old to 2+. Dana said, “Our moms like the balance between getting a good workout and tending to their child’s needs. We have eliminated the need for childcare, which they love. Beyond the physical health benefits of our classes, our moms appreciate the comaraderie of the group. We organize monthly events for our students outside of the gym. This further promotes our sense of community.”

Classes cost $18 each for drop-in, and there are significant savings if you buy bulk class packages (5 classes for $80, 10 classes for $150, unlimited monthly classes for $120). The fact that you don’t have to pay for childcare while getting a workout makes these classes such an excellent value. 

The Strong As a Mother class schedule can be found on their Facebook page @Strongasamotherfitness as well as on their website: www.strongasamotherfitness.com. You must register to attend each class by 8:30 am the morning of the class: https://strongasamotherfitness.com/classes/

Best of luck to all the mommies out there who take the leap and try a workout with Strong As a Mother Fitness . . . I’m sure both you and your bundle of joy will enjoy it immensely! 

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What Are “Ono Bowls”? They Are DELICIOUS!! And They Are In Westfield!

I don’t know about you, but I’m LOVING all the healthy choices you can find in Cranford and Westfield eateries nowadays. With my busy work schedule, I often grab meals on the run, and it’s a bonus if I can eat healthfully while still enjoying the convenience of quick meals. Ono Bowls recently opened in Downtown Westfield, and it has become a favorite spot for a fast but healthy and yummy meal! 

Tricia Caminos launched Ono Bowls this past November, but she’d been enjoying smoothie bowls for many years beforehand! A Cranford resident who’s been juicing since she was 19, Tricia is married to a native Hawaiian, who introduced her to the juicing trends of Hawaii. Tricia said, “I was eating smoothie bowls for 10 years. They became popular in Hawaii and California, and are only just becoming a thing on the East Coast. ‘Ono’ means ‘delicious’ in Hawaiian!” 

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Ono Bowls is located at 107 Quimby Street, next to the forthcoming Salad House. The menu has raw juices and smoothies typical of a juice bar, but the ono bowls are truly what set it apart. Each ono bowl consists of a thick smoothie base (often made with acai or pitaya for added heath benefits), topped with granola, fresh fruit, honey, and other delightful toppings. I sampled the PB&J ono bowl while I was there, and it was super tasty and filling. Tricia uses organic and locally sourced ingredients whenever possible.

Something I loved about Ono Bowls besides the great menu is the atmosphere! There’s a large room in the back with plenty of comfy seats for lounging, a table where you can enjoy your ono bowl while getting some work done, and even cute coloring books and such strewn about for kids (and kids-at-heart)! It has a definite “chill” California vibe that is such a welcome addition to Westfield. 

I was thrilled to hear that Ono Bowls has been super busy since day one of opening! Tricia said, “All the kids come in after school throughout the week. We’ve even hosted parties here for Girl Scouts and other groups. We’re looking into offering catering services in the future.” 

You might spot some of Tricia’s family members working in Ono Bowls–two of her three kids work there part time! I love supporting local businesses that are a family affair. 

Ono Bowls is open Monday through Saturday from 9-6, Sunday from 10-5. Look for expanded hours in the spring. You can follow Ono Bowls on Instagram @ono_bowls and visit their website http://www.onobowls.net/index.html to view their full menu.  

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Yoga Studios in the Cranford/Westfield Area of NJ

Ohhhhhhm … Are you a YOGA lover? Or someone who has always wanted to try it? There are so many great yoga studios in our area for seasoned yogis and novices alike; it’s truly just a matter of finding what studio and style you suit you best! Here is a list of many of the yoga studios in our local area where you can experience the physical, mental, and spiritual benefits of

this ancient yet still evolving practice. Namaste!

CRANFORD:

Alluem owner Gina Pachkowski (left) and manager Karen Gilmour (right):

Alluem owner Gina Pachkowski (left) and manager Karen Gilmour (right):

Alluem Yoga

347 Lincoln Ave. East, Cranford

908-276-9642

http://www.alluemyoga.com/

Classes include: Chair Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Gentle/Yoga Nidra, Beginner, Slow Flow, Flow, Flow 2, Rock Yoga, Mixed Level, Ashtanga Inspired, Family Yoga, Kids and Teens, Prenatal Yoga. Free adult class on Sunday 8/7 (9 pm) at Whole Foods Clark Commons, and free Yoga in the Street 8/12 (6pm Post Office Plaza, Cranford).

Hot Yoga Revolution

200 S. Ave East, Cranford

908-232-0142

http://www.hotyogarevolution.com/#home

Classes include: Beginner Hot Power Vinyasa Yoga, Hot Power Vinyasa Yoga, Flight School, Hot Yoga Boot Camp, Hot Vinyasa.

WESTFIELD:

Aquarians Yoga

812 Central Ave. #1, Westfield

908-232-1613

http://www.aquarianyogacenter.com/

Classes include: Vinyasa Yoga, Kundalini for Beginners, Power Vinyasa Flow, Kundalini Yoga & Meditation, Sound Healing, Hatha Yoga for Beginners, Mixed Level Vinyasa Flow.

Bella Vida

401 W. Broad St., Westfield

908-731-1336

http://hapiyogi.com/

Classes include: Core Strength, Power Groove, Renew and Restore, Power Basics,  Soulful Power, Power Flow.

POE Yoga

128 Elm St., Westfield

908-264-7995

www.poeyoga.com

Classes include: Poe Gravity, Poe Moon, Poe Earth, Poe Sun, Poe Air, Poe Wind, Poe Fire.

Satsang Yoga Studio

235 E. Broad St., Westfield

908-789-7203

http://www.satsangyogastudio.com/

Classes include: Liquid Flow, Satsang Basic Flow, Flow Hour, Beginner class, Sunrise Flow, Meditation, Flow & Align.

GARWOOD:

Moxie Pilates & Yoga owner Emily Miranda-Thompson

Moxie Pilates & Yoga owner Emily Miranda-Thompson

Moxie Pilates & Yoga

300 South Ave., 2nd Floor, Garwood

907-264-7146

http://www.moxiepilatesandyoga.com/

Classes include: Basic Yoga, Open Yoga, Gentle/Restorative Yoga, Pre- and Post-natal Yoga, Kids/Teens Yoga, Special Needs One-on-One Yoga.

Nicole’s Yoga Center

95 North Ave., Garwood

907-789-6426

http://www.sanaseido.com/yogaflow/About_Us.html

Classes include: Yoga 1, Yoga 2, Vinyasa Flow, Yoga/Pilates Fusion

KENILWORTH:

House Yoga owner Christa Lapinig strikes a pose:

House Yoga owner Christa Lapinig strikes a pose:

House Yoga

144 N. 14th St., Kenilworth

908-276-2510

www.houseyoganj.com

Classes include: House Flow, House Flow Basics, Hot House, Yoga Stretch & Rejuvenation.

MOUNTAINSIDE:

Bikram Yoga

1115 Globe Ave., Unit B, Mountainside

908-317-2727

Classes include: Bikram, Hot Vinyasa, Bikram Express

CLARK:

Heads & Tails Yoga

1049 Raritan Rd., Clark

732-388-2013

Classes include: Yoga Flow, Yoga 101, Friday Night Yoga, Yoga Flow 2, Midweek Restorative Reset, Slow Flow/Restorative

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Cranford 3rd Grader is Headed to the White House!

Once again I am blown away by both a Cranford student and her one-in-a-million teacher! America’s next top chef may well be Gianna Malecki, a talented 8-year-old student in Lori Talbot’s third grade class at Hillside Avenue School. Gianna just WON Michelle Obama’s Healthy Lunchtime Challenge for the state of NJ (for her “Salmon Paradise” recipe), and she will be flown to Washington, D.C. next month for a special Kids’ State Dinner!! 

Cranford 's Gianna Malecki and Lori TalbotMore than 1,200 students around the country and in U.S. territories entered the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, but only one from each state and territory was selected, based on their original recipe creations. I spoke with Lori Talbot about how Gianna was inspired to enter the contest, and the story gave me the feelies BIG TIME!

Lori has been teaching at Hillside for 28 years, and in fact she taught my son Jake in kindergarten! She is well known for being a highly dedicated teacher who is full of enthusiasm and who goes the extra mile for each and every student. That is more than evident in her relationship with Gianna, whom Lori describes as “the coolest kid!”

But how did the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge work its way into Lori’s class? It all started with Lori’s curriculum. According to Lori: “Part of our curriculum in science is nutrition, and it’s also a passion of mine. We have a working garden at school–and every year we team up with A Toute Heure, walk to their garden for a tour, and we also harvest their mint and basil and then make recipes using those herbs.”

Lori went on: “I had known about the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, and part of the contest this year was to include food that is grown in your home state. I invited Justine Gray from Dreyer Farms to teach the kids what is grown here; she did an amazing presentation and got the kids really fired up, Gianna especially! I encouraged the students to create recipes and enter the Challenge. Gianna was so motivated, she immediately started testing recipes with her mom, Lisa. She found that her original idea for sushi didn’t quite work, so she decided to make something similar to a dish that her mom had once made, and based on what Gianna learned from me and Justine, she made the recipe much more healthful and full of Garden State vegetables.”

Gianna Malecki's Salmon Cakes

Take a look at the photo of the beautiful dish that Gianna made–besides submitting the original recipe to the Challenge, she had to photograph it in order to enter the contest. I would never know the difference between that dish made by an 8-year-old and a meal plated at a top-rated restaurant!

In April Lisa was notified that her daughter Gianna was finalist in the contest, but instead of simply telling Gianna the news outright, Lisa contacted Lori to suggest they tell her together after school. Lori said, “Gianna’s reaction was a bit delayed, then she REALLY got it!” The fact that a parent would want to share such thrilling news in the presence of her daughter’s teacher just shows what an impact Lori makes on her students and their families!

Gianna Malecki at Dreyers FarmLori did not stop there with her support of Gianna. She reached out to Dreyer Farms again, suggesting that they feature Gianna’s recipe in a CSA box. Dreyer Farms went one step further and asked Gianna to come up with another recipe using veggies from the current CSA box. Lori said, “Within 24 hours Gianna came up with a recipe for zucchini cakes, and they were so delicious. She did a tasting at the farm this week, and everyone was raving about them!”

Lori treated Gianna to a special gift for all her hard work: a monogrammed apron from Williams Sonoma, along with a copy of Michelle Obama’s cookbook American Grown. 

Yesterday, Lisa came to pick up Gianna from school and pretended that she just wanted a photo of Lori and Gianna together. This time, BOTH Lori and Gianna’s jaws dropped in surprise as Lisa shared the good news with them: Gianna is the New Jersey winner of the Challenge! 

Lori said, “Gianna burst into happy tears. And Gianna said, ‘Yesterday I was famous, and today I’m even more famous!'” How adorable is that?!!

Gianna and her mom will be flown to D.C. on July 13th for an overnight trip where the winners get treated like royalty, with tours of the Smithsonian, gifts, and a fancy Kids’ State Dinner featuring the winning kids’ recipes. Here’s hoping Gianna’s Salmon Paradise makes it to the table!

It’s clear that Gianna Malecki is going places. But it’s also clear that having an amazing teacher like Lori Talbot helps children to soar to great heights!! Congratulations, Gianna!

Gianna Malecki

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Jay’s Cycle Center in Downtown Westfield, NJ

 Jay's Cycle Center

There’s one thing all businesses that have stood the test of time seem to have in common, and that’s INTEGRITY. Jay’s Cycle Center in Downtown Westfield is a shining example of a business that radiates integrity, which is one of the reasons it has been a thriving local business for more than 50 years!

Owner Jay Tintle is the second generation of Jay’s. Did you know that the business first started as a pet and hobby shop run by Jay’s mother in Scotch Plains? At the time Jay’s father “Big Jay” was driving a cab, but he was extremely mechanically inclined and noticed that a few bike accessories that they carried in the shop were selling quite well. Eventually Jay’s parents saved money and bought some bicycles, put a work bench in the shop, and according to Jay “slowly started pushing pets out and bringing bikes in.” The rest is history! At one point the Tintles had several bikes shops in the area, but by the 1960s they decided to focus on just one store in Westfield.

Jay’s moved to its current location in 1984, and last year they did some renovations to spruce up the place. Boy, does it look sharp inside and out! When you walk in you’ll see rows and rows of every type of bicycle, from children’s bikes to beach cruisers to mountain bikes and electric bikes. Jay said, “We have the largest inventory of bicycles in the area–besides what you see in the store, we have 300 built bikes off-site as well.” There is also a great selection of gear for bikers, from shoes to clothes to helmets . . . heck, even energy snacks!

Toward the back of the shop is Jay’s service center, where bikes that need it get TLC from the expert staff. Jay said, “We really pride ourselves on the team that we have here. I couldn’t even tally up the years of experience among our staff. Whether it’s working on an electronic-shifting bike, rebuilding shock for a mountain bike, or simply changing a flat tire, we can take care of anything. And we’re always happy to educate our consumers on how do to things like check air pressure, change their own tires, etc.”

Jay's Cycle Center

When I asked Jay what makes his business a standout in our community, he used that very word integrity. Jay said, “You can send your ten-year old son here alone and be confident that he won’t be taken advantage of, he’ll be treated with respect.” That is music to any parent’s ears, as I can attest!

Jay continued, “We try to cater to anyone who walks through our door and give them a positive, fun experience. You’ll always be greeted with a hello, maybe with some friendly sarcasm, and then we’ll get down to business without being intimidating. Whether you’re a seasoned racer or a family looking for a baby bike seat, we treat every customer with a great deal of respect.”

With the weather having turned beautiful, it’s the perfect time to get a tune-up for your bike, or maybe even treat yourself to a new one (I noticed some great sale prices on beautiful bikes while I was in there!). Whatever your reason for going to into Jay’s, you won’t be disappointed by the selection, the service, and that ever-present integrity.

Jay’s is located at 227 North Ave East in Westfield with FREE PARKING and is conveniently open seven days a week. Visit their website at http://jayscyclecenter.com/ for hours and information, as well as online shopping!

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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 www.njmileswithmoms.org.

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 http://cnj.mom-mentum.org/httpdocs/index.html.

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