Month: May 2017

Jet-setting soon? Use these stylist’s packing tips

Written for MyCentralJersey.com on 5/23/17

Summer is almost here, which means the much-coveted time for beach getaways, family vacations and exotic retreats has arrived. However, before you hop on that plane, you need to fly over one final roadblock — packing.

For those of us with a penchant for overpacking, overplanning and overshopping, packing can be a real pain — especially with airline luggage fees continuing to skyrocket. Nevertheless, with some thoughtful preparation, you can open your suitcase upon arrival and actually be happy with what you’ve packed.

Tiffany Pinero, fashion and brand stylist based in Scotch Plains, is known throughout the tristate area for her personal wardrobe styling, personal shopping and ability to help those getting ready to embark on a trip pack their bags with her Pack Light Pack Right service, which stemmed from her own experience as an overpacker.

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Local hidden gems: 5 interesting items from your farmers’ market

Written for MyCentralJersey.com on 5/17/17

Everyone loves their local farmers’ market — from fresh produce, to locally grown meat to quality dairy products, the grub you can find at a farmers’ market simply cannot compare to what’s on the shelves at the grocery store.

However, another upside to shopping at a local farmers’ market is that besides the typical goodies you would find like fruits and vegetables, you can also to shop for interesting, artisan items such as pickles, hot sauce, jams, specialty breads and more. Read on to find out what quirky items you can find at your farmers’ market this spring.

Boston Cream Pie doughnuts from Curiosity Doughnuts. (Photo: ~Courtesy of Curiosity Doughnuts)

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How to infuse your love of travel into your home

Written for MyCentralJersey.com on 5/16/17

If you have been finding that your living space has been looking a little drab and you’re eager for some redecorating, you may be able to find some inspiration in a seemingly unlikely place — your passport.

That’s because these days, a new trend in interior design — one that’s easily re-created using your own past experiences — is to use your travel aspirations, favorite destinations and “happy places” to inspire your interior décor.

“Travel is a really big part of my life, and by decorating my home with photos and trinkets from my travels, I am constantly reminded of some really great memories,” said Fiona Andrews, Montclair resident and avid traveler. “Plus, it’s unique — I don’t know anyone else who has a tapestry from Lake Titicaca hanging in their kitchen.”

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Enlist these East Brunswick experts to plan your cruise vacation

Written for MyCentralJersey.com on 5/9/17

EAST BRUNSWICK – With summer almost here, those who love to hop on to their “instant vacation” — a cruise — are already scouring the internet for the best deals, newest ships and coolest amenities.

However, with the new Expedia CruiseShipCenter that is set to open at 285-291 Route 18 South, East Brunswick, in about two to three months, vacationers who love to set sail will be able to enlist a local expert to help them plan their trip.

“You don’t get individualized service when you try booking a cruise on your own, and booking one isn’t like booking a hotel room,” said Brook Smith, founder of the new location, East Brunswick resident and travel agent for the past 17 years. “There are a lot of questions you need to answer pertaining to dining times, types of rooms, dietary needs and more, so having an expert to speak with beforehand is very beneficial.”

~File photo

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A spot for upscale dining or a cold brew at Capital Craft

Written for MyCentralJersey.com on 5/2/17

When you walk into Capital Craft, a rustic-chic tavern that opened in January of 2016 at 171 Route 22 in Green Brook, you’re not just going to find craft beer fanatics enjoying a coal-fired pizza and a local beer.

You’re also not just going to find couples alongside the virtual fireplace enjoying fine dining entrees, such as the red wine-braised short ribs or the pan-roasted chicken.

Instead, you’re going to find both.

That’s because Capital Craft, which prides itself on having a seasonal, upscale-casual menu as well as a rotating craft beer selection, is constantly evolving as the local watering hole of Green Brook and the surrounding area.

“There’s not many places that are doing casual food really well,” said Wayne Mascola, Capital Craft chef. “But here, you can come in and get a pizza or burger with a beer, or you can get a bottle of wine and have a seafood dinner.”

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Designers deck out historic estate with modern twist for Mansion in May

Written for MyCentralJersey.com on 4/30/17

Just a few months ago, Alnwick Hall, known today as The Abbey, was an empty, yet notable, 20,000-square-foot home, a rare survivor from the early 20th century’s ‘Millionaire’s Row’ of estates, on a portion of Madison Avenue between Morristown and Madison.

Since its elegant heyday as a palatial home, The Abbey at 355 Madison Ave. has served as a bank, medical offices and church administration offices.

Now, thanks to 64 top designers from around the region, The Abbey has been restored to a grand estate setting for this year’s Mansion in May, a fundraiser for Morristown Medical Center. The designers have enhanced and beautified its 41 spaces and gardens with their personal twists and modern spins, while retaining the mansion’s original charm.

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