On The Side Spa, Photo by John Keon.

By Taylor Smith

The winter season brings heartwarming moments, like time with family and holiday traditions; however, it can also bring unneeded stress. This stress may come in the form of aches and pains, increased anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, and weight gain. To combat these common winter ailments, a little self-care is in order. Thankfully, our region offers a plethora of spa services, counseling professionals, and salons where you can melt the blues away. more

Photo Credit: Hugo Juarez

The winter season poses many potential risks to animal companions, from frigid temperatures to road trips, food, and holiday decorations. We spoke with some well-known area veterinarians to get their advice on what families can do to protect their beloved pets. 

By Taylor Smith 

Dr. Christopher Garruba of Nassau Animal Hospital, located at 3440 US-1 in Princeton, said that owners should be aware of salted sidewalks and roadways. “Dogs can slip and fall on the ice just like people and collect ‘ice balls’ between their toes,” he said. “Their paw pads may also become irritated by salt on the roads. It’s important to carefully examine your dog’s paws and paw pads after each walk.” more

By Ellen Gilbert 

Recent strides in the field of genetic engineering are generating tremendous excitement. Long in the works at university and company laboratories, the implications of this treatment are far-reaching.

The rapidly emerging immunotherapy approach is called adoptive cell transfer (ACT); it collects and uses patients’ own immune cells to treat their cancer. There are several types of ACT, but the star of the show right now is CAR T-cell therapy, which made medical history this last August when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first genetic therapy for widespread use. Called Kymriah, it is being marketed by Novartis, a global healthcare company based in Switzerland. more

The NJ Audubon Montclair Hawk Watch 

By Laurie Pellichero 

It’s an incredible sight to see each fall, flocks of birds making their way down south for the winter. One of the best places to witness the yearly pilgrimage of a variety of hawks and other birds of prey is the NJ Audubon Montclair Hawk Watch Lookout, a crushed stone-filled platform that sits on a basalt ledge high on a ridge known as First Watchung Mountain in Montclair, New Jersey. more

By Anne Levin

With a mother and two paternal aunts who died of breast cancer, the two sisters knew it was important to get tested to see if they carried the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene. Should the test come back positive, their risk of developing breast and/or ovarian cancer would be higher than average. And preventive measures—most likely mastectomy and/or hysterectomy—could be in order. more

By Taylor Smith

Describe your background and current specialty.

I am a graduate of the obstetrics and gynecology residency program at Saint Barnabas Medical Center (SBMC) in Livingston, New Jersey. While at SBMC, I served as administrative co-chief resident and am the incoming District III junior fellow chair of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, participating in community service, advocacy, and education of young physicians. more

By Taylor Smith 

Describe your background and current specialty.

I am a board-certified general surgeon specializing in evidenced-based breast care. I was born and raised in Sussex County, N.J. I graduated from UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School in Newark, and completed my residency in general surgery at Saint Barnabas in 2001. After residency I joined Dr. Jan Huston at Summit Breast Care, which joined Mountainside Medical Group in 2016. more

Photo Credit: Green over Grey Living Walls and Design | www.greenovergrey.com

The Department of Civil, Environmental and Ocean Engineering is co-hosting a one-day workshop with Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC) at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey on Monday, October 30 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.  more

 

Photo Credit: Trek Bikes

Plan your next biking adventure!

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Photo Credit: Wightman Farms in Morristown, NJ (www.wightmanfarms.com)

Friday, September 29

Pick-your-own apples at Hillview Farms in Gilette, producing 53-acres of locally grown goodness for almost 150 years. Also featuring locally-grown natural raw honey in the Farm Store.

Transport yourself to the Pacific Northwest by visiting the “Sea Lion Sound Exhibit” at the Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange. The exhibit has views from underwater in a lower level area, at water level under a “sea-side” dock structure and above water at the beach area (ongoing). more

Written by Saddle River Day School 

Saddle River Day School (SRDS) hosted a community build to finally complete the Lower School playground designed by last year’s seventh grade.The school integrates a concept called “design thinking” throughout many facets of its curriculum.  Unlike analytical thinking, design thinking encourages students to build up ideas, with few limits on breadth through a brainstorming process. This process encourages input and participation from a wide variety of sources in the ideation phases as students ‘think outside the box’ to come up with real solutions in problem solving through seven stages: define, research, ideate, prototype, choose, implement, and learn.  Within these seven steps, problems can be framed, the right questions can be asked, more ideas can be created, and the best answers can be chosen. more

By Taylor Smith 

Photography courtesy of Elements Truffles

Founder Alak Vasa was working on Wall Street, putting in long hours and filling her days sitting in a desk chair when she stumbled across a French patisserie close to her office. Going to the patisserie soon became a daily ritual. The beautiful desserts coupled with the elegant atmosphere made Vasa feel like she could “munch away her worries.”  more

Photo Credit: @athleta

Join Athleta for a Fun Friends and Family Weekend at 224 E. Broad St. in downtown Westfield, NJ!

Thursday, September 14

12–9pm Celebrate Bestfield Day with Chief Spirit Officer Meaghan Murphy! Athleta will be giving away prizes every hour donated by local businesses, the day will wrap up with a Ladies Night Out from 7–9pm featuring special guest Laurie Gelman who will be signing copies of her new book Class Mom, Mocktails provided by NosVino, Snacks provided by The Salad House of Westfield, and cookies provided by PeaPods Cookies! Books available now for purchase at the Town Book Store (270 E. Broad St., 908.233.3535). more

By Wendy Plump

No one is asking children to give up their sports. But it’s getting a little crazy out there.

In one generation, sports have gone from child’s play to a proving ground for elite athletes—many of whom haven’t even graduated eighth grade—who commit to strenuous schedules, trainers, travel teams, coaches, aggressive tactics, and year-round seasons that give a young body no quarter for rest and growth. Coaches book flights to cities far beyond their hometowns. Parents shell out thousands of dollars for participation fees. And college recruiters wait eagerly in the background until it’s time to dangle offers that are impossible to resist. more

Photo Credit: @bestfieldnj

Friday, August 4

9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.: Art Exhibit Hidden Under the Sea by Poramit Thantapalit at the Bergen County Administration Building in Hackensack, NJ.

8 p.m.: West Side Story presented by The Performing Arts School at bergenPAC in Englewood, NJ.

8:30 to 11 p.m.: Summer Movies in the Park presents the Lego Batman Movie at the Van Saun Country Park in Paramus, NJ. more

TEAM WORK: “The issue in aging is that everyone is an individual, and the issues are different for every family. The family dynamics are different, and the fragmented healthcare system is very challenging. We are the single point of contact, the quarterback who can help people find what they need.” Joanna Gordon Martin, founder and CEO of Theia Senior Solutions (back row, far right), is shown with the company’s team of experts.

By Jean Stratton

If indeed, as studies indicate, 10,000 baby boomers are turning 65 every day and will continue to do so for at least the next decade, the implications for the health care system, for seniors and spouses with health problems, and for adult children of aging parents are very challenging. more

Create a sacred space within yourself

By Erika Moritz

Improving physical health, mental health, concentration, productivity, and creativity are all benefits of a meditative practice.

Before opening her meditation studio Sacred Space Living, located at 15 Broadway, Suite 204 in Cresskill, NJ, Tania Gold used meditation as part of her daily practice to keep herself grounded. As time passed, meditation began to take a more prominent role in her life and developed into a passion. As such, Gold decided to immerse herself in the study of meditation. Soon, she was signing up for retreats and workshops. These experiences led her to (in her words) “follow the signs” and realize her own mission. more

Photo Credit: Marco Catini

By Doug Wallack 

Special Olympics New Jersey (SONJ) held its annual summer games last month. June 9th, the night of the opening ceremonies, showed the Garden State summer at its finest; as the sun went down, temperatures hovered at a dry 70 degrees. Nearly 2,500 athletes of all ages had come to that weekend’s games, held on the campus of The College of New Jersey, to participate in seven sports: aquatics, track and field, bocce, powerlifting, softball, tennis, and gymnastics. For some, the New Jersey games would serve as a qualifying event for the Special Olympics USA Games — which will be held in Seattle next summer — but for all, the weekend was an opportunity to push themselves and build friendships. more

By Doug Wallack

I turned off Route 206 and wound my way southeast toward Chatsworth, in the heart of cranberry country. Within a few miles, the farmland—acre upon acre of wheat and corn—was swallowed up by thick forest. A few miles further, the maples, oaks, and sassafras trees that form so much of the state’s deciduous canopy yielded almost entirely to pitch pines and shortleaf pines. The road became an evergreen-lined alley stretching out into the flat distance, where heat waves shimmered above the asphalt — looking for all the world as though the Atlantic had crept some twenty miles inland of its usual home along the Jersey Shore. The drive continued this way for some time, punctuated by the the occasional bog, until I arrived — almost without warning — in the middle of Chatsworth. more

The Seeing Eye, headquartered in Morristown, New Jersey, is changing people’s view of the world. 

By Sarah Emily Gilbert 

Photographs courtesy of The Seeing Eye

Meet Teddy, a five-year-old chocolate golden Labrador. Like most dogs, he loves to run around, greet people, play with fellow pooches, and chew on his bones, but Teddy is far from ordinary; he is a Seeing Eye dog. Teddy has been guiding his owner Jonathan Goodman since December 3, 2014, and in that role, he is more than man’s best friend, he’s his teammate. Each day, Goodman harnesses up Teddy and the handsome duo embarks on the world. While at work, Teddy displays his impressive skillset such as detecting potholes, finding elevators, and avoiding a car that’s run a stop sign. Simply put by Goodman, “Teddy is a rock star.” Indeed, Teddy is an extraordinary dog, but his rock star status didn’t happen overnight. His abilities are the result of round-the-clock training, dedication, and love that started the day he was born at The Seeing Eye breeding facility. Teddy and Goodman are one of over 16,000 partnerships between individuals and dogs formed since The Seeing Eye’s incorporation in 1929. more

Royce Brook Golf Club in Hillsborough features two celebrated golf courses in the heart of Somerset County. An Audubon Sanctuary Course, the vistas range from wetlands to thick forests. Private lesson programs are available with The Royce Brook Academy. Lessons are suited to the individual needs of each player and are taught by PGA golf instructors. Membership at Royce Brook Golf Club includes seven-days-a-week access to the member-only West Course and semi-private East Course, use of a 24-acre practice facility, extensive member tournaments, special events, and much more.  more

Liberty State Park

By Wendy Plump 

On a recent train ride home from Boston, surrounded by people tapping at computers and staring into cell phones, as well as my own pile of devices, the meaning of serenity asserted itself. It wasn’t gained by answering emails or texts or squinting through news feeds, but by looking out the window at miles and miles of wild coastline and coves, a great gray ocean, and a marbled sky. Every seabird scratching in the sand or stand of evergreens leaning out of the wind served to remind me that this is what saves. more

Photo Credit: @adidasrunning

The pros weigh in on how to best prepare your body for bathing suit season.

By Sarah Emily Gilbert 

Want to hear a fact that’s equally horrifying as it is delightful? Bathing suit season is just around the corner. Summer is the time to let loose and relax, but when it comes to our bodies, most of us would like to tighten up. Ready or not, now is the time to get in shape for sundresses, shorts, and bikinis, but where to begin? Embarking on a pre-summer fitness routine can be a daunting task, so we called in the professionals for guidance. Here, some of the area’s leading names in health and fitness share their tips on how to best prepare your body for summertime. more

Jana Mars is Making Some Waves with Her Stand Up Paddle Company, Aqua Vida

By Sarah Emily Gilbert

At the end of her emails, Jana Mars signs off with “make some waves.” It’s a fitting valediction for a woman whose career – and name are centered on water. more

Photo Credit: Audrey Blake Breheney

“The Parkslope of New Jersey”

By Sarah Emily Gilbert 

On the east side of the Watchung Mountains sits Montclair, New Jersey, an unhurried, charming town in Essex County that’s lined with thousand-year-old trees and architecturally significant homes. It boasts six historic districts and 43 locations on the National Register of Historic Places, including the Charles Shultz House, known as the Evergreens. A three-story Victorian mansion built by a respected New York architect in 1896, the home provides unobstructed views of the city skyline, marking the close connection between the suburb and New York City. Many Montclair residents commute to and from Penn Station for work, and with them come metropolitan influences. The small town is home to 39,000 people, seven train stations, two cinemas, a theatre, an art museum, and an endless array of cultural experiences. more

Photo Credit: Pratima Skincare

Elevate your self-care routine with these lovingly made soaps. 

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What started as a centuries old tea in Japan is becoming America’s latest food trend

By Sarah Emily Gilbert 

“Matcha, matcha man…” So maybe that’s not how the song goes, but with seemingly the entire food industry “going green,” the new lyrics seem appropriate. A tea that has been integral to Japanese culture for hundreds of years is having a major moment in the United States. Why? In short, because it’s colorful and healthy, and in the age of rainbow bagels and diet fads, what more could Americans ask for? more

Photo Credit: @sperry

Fresh and athletic, the slip-on sneaker is the must-have shoe for summer. 

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Meet NJ-Based Cheese Sommelier, Nadine Ryan of Common Lot Restaurant

By Sarah Emily Gilbert 

When it comes to selecting cheese, I have two options: extra cheese or extra, extra cheese. As sophisticated as my process sounds, it’s evident that my affinity for cheese clouds my decision-making skills. Fortunately, there are individuals whose job is to guide people like me through the over 650 varieties of cheese, and Nadine Ryan is one of them. more

Photo Credit: @crystalspringsresort

From cruises to 5Ks, Urban Agenda outlines a myriad of events in New Jersey to celebrate Mom.

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