Eagle Oaks Aerial 13 - Photo Courtesy of Eagle Oaks Golf & Country Club
Monday, July 15, 2013, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.,
20 Shore Oaks Drive, Farmingdale, NJ
PRESS RELEASE: Holmdel, NJ (June 13, 2013)
–The New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Foundation (NJVVMF) will hold its 19th Annual Golf Tournament, sponsored by Jersey Mike Subs, on Monday, July 15 from 8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. at the Eagle Oaks Golf & Country Club at 20 Shore Oaks Drive in Farmingdale, NJ. A foursome is $1,700 and the per player fee is $425. The day includes breakfast, on-course refreshments, lunch, dinner and awards reception, access to club amenities, greens fees and gratuity. For a schedule of the day and to register or to sponsor the event, visit www.njvvmf.org
or call Bill Linderman, Executive Director, NJVVMF, with questions at 732-335-0033 x.102.
"We look forward to holding our 19th Annual Golf Tournament on this beautiful championship golf course. For more than 30 years, I've been involved in organizing golf outings and I promise that this is going to be the best outing to date and also one of the finest in the state,” said Jim Petillo, Chair, 19th Annual Golf Tournament, New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Foundation.
Proceeds from the event benefit the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial and Vietnam Era Museum & Educational Center. The Memorial "A Place To Remember, To Heal and To Honor" recognizes those who served, especially the 1,562 New Jersey born soldiers who never returned home. In 2013, the Vietnam Era Museum & Educational Center will celebrate its 15th Anniversary, which since opening in 1998 has welcomed more than 185,000 visitors of all ages through its doors. The nonprofit New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Foundation, with the help of volunteer Vietnam veterans, run the educational programming at the Museum and Memorial throughout the year.
During the Tournament's Dinner and Award Ceremony at 6:00 p.m., the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Foundation is proud to honor the late Ed Eget by presenting the Edward Eget Memorial Trophy to the foursome or team with the lowest score, using the Calloway method. Eget served in Vietnam as a helicopter pilot and was seriously wounded in action in June of 1969. His combat awards include the Air Medal with 16 clusters, the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. Prior to Vietnam, Eget also received the highest non-combat related medal that can be awarded for valor, the Airman's Medal, for pulling passengers and crew from a burning airplane in Bermuda. Other prizes awarded include Team Prizes, Closest to Pin and Longest Drive.
“We are proud and humbled by the sacrifices, courage and valor of the Vietnam veterans,” said Peter Cancro, founder and CEO Jersey Mike’s Subs. “It's our honor to continue supporting the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Foundation.”
"The Eagle Oaks Golf & Country Club is a championship caliber golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus and Johnny Miller. We are thrilled to be a part of this event held by such an honorable organization," said Domenic Gatto, Chairman and President, Eagle Oaks Golf and Country Club. "The New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Foundation is dear to my heart and I hope that we are able to raise enough funds to keep the Memorial and Museum going strong. As a Vietnam veteran, I am proud to be part of this patriotic day.”About The New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Foundation
The New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Foundation offers a meaningful and engaging experience that recognizes the sacrifices, courage and valor of Vietnam veterans and that encourages and fosters a thorough understanding of the Vietnam Era including the political, historical, social, cultural and military aspects, which affected the United States, and especially New Jersey.
Yes, I was the one you shout at when you watch a scary movie, saying, "No! Don't go in there! Don't go up those creaky attic stairs! Are you crazy!?"
So sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a ghostly trip....
One of the perks about living in the North Eastern part of the USA, is that if you are into places with American history attached to them, there are a lot of old buildings that are still standing. We’re talking centuries old – with creaky wood floors, eerie looking attics, and dark basements - buildings that George Washington had once walked through, for example.
The North East and Midlantic areas along the Eastern seaboard, were the first parts of the United States settled by Europeans hundreds of years ago; and many of those formerly inhabited structures are now historical sites. There’s so much history – and legend - associated with these places – it makes for some great paranormal investigation! Yes, I’m talking about “experiences” that people have had in these buildings or in certain places that just don’t jive with what you would call “normal”, which prompt others to try to find out the causes for them.
Upon my visit to the location of the “ghost hunt”, I was probably sitting in one of the same chairs that George Washington himself sat in, as I was being briefed on what I was about to possibly experience.
It’s really kind of cool when you think about how you are retracing the steps of some of our country’s greats when you tour some of these historical landmarks. So when the paranormal investigator Gordon Ward, a well-respected professional in his field (as well as author, musician, and historian) asked me to go on a “ghost hunt” – I jumped at the chance! I get to do a lot of amazing things in my travels, but usually I don’t go around interviewing ghosts. I wasn’t going to pass up this opportunity!
See, Ward isn’t on one of those trendy ghost hunting reality shows because he’s not about the dramatic. He will double check the facts of legends and tales associated with buildings against dates recorded in bibles and on tombstones. He cross-checks an area to see if trains passing by can knock pictures off walls, or old pipes creaking is really what someone hears, versus an invisible presence. If he can disprove a ghostly presence, he does; and he has. That said, if he can’t explain something, and he uses his cameras and recorders to capture evidence of a supernatural something, you can believe him that it’s the real deal.
The Schuyler-Hamilton House was the site of the paranormal investigation in Morristown, NJ (USA)
Ward was asked to investigate the Schuyler-Hamilton House
in Morristown, NJ. A bit of background on the house that was built in 1760: A man by the name of Dr. Campfield and his wife Sarah Ward bought the house in 1765. They had one child. They lived there for 56 years. However, as was commonplace during the Revolutionary War, soldiers and doctors needed places to stay.
Fast forward to the winter of 1779-1780. George Washington’s doctor, Dr. Cochran, resided here with his wife, Gertrude. Gertrude had a sister named Betsy Schuyler, who stayed with them at that house that same winter. (Ah-ha! That’s where the “Schuyler” part of the house name comes from!) Betsy fell in love with the
Alexander Hamilton – you know – the Secretary of the Treasury under President George Washington; one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Alexander Hamilton was stationed at George Washington’s headquarters, about a quarter mile away from this house at the time. Betsy and Alexander dated during this time – and spent time at this house, hence the name “Schuyler-Hamilton House”. So this place has some pretty impressive history.
This is a four-bedroom house that’s rather small. It’s amazing so many people PLUS their slaves and the children of the slaves all lived here. Talk about a full house! In 1895 the house was moved from its original location to where it resides now. There was a doctor who owned three acres of land which was devoted to different types of plants that he used for medicinal purposes. The Schuyler-Hamilton House was moved to this land.
Pat Sanftner and Kathy Cruger are the docents for the house now – which means they care of it. Sanftner’s mother used to be the docent, so she’s got a most comprehensive history of the events of this place all in her head, from recent times, dating back to its beginnings.
Photograph of Pat Sanftner's grandfather that kept falling down, despite how many times she rehung it. In centuries past, when photography was very expensive and not as accessible, photos were taken of the deceased prior to burial many times, so families could remember them, as it was the last time they would see them.
Sanftner, Cruger, and on prior investigations of this house, Gordon Ward, have all experienced and accounted for “the unusual”. Before Ward was called in, staff had been alone in this house and heard footsteps walking through the upstairs hallway – a clop, clop, clop on an all-wooden floor, from the front to the back of the house, which now has many area rugs strewn about. A photo of Sanftner’s great grandfather in the parlor kept falling down, no matter how many times she hung it back up; and last summer, every time Cruger went upstairs, she heard footsteps in other parts of the house. One time she heard a voice on the stairwell – a child’s voice – and no children have lived in the house since 1820. The house is empty most of the time except for once a week. So it’s restful – not disturbed. Well, not disturbed by humans, anyway.
This is the stairwell where a child's voice was once heard, but there was no child.
You know what? If I experienced these things, I might say “Who ya gonna call?”, too. And that’s when Sanftner called Ward, a professional in the field of discovering the undiscovered.
Ward sometimes gets calls from places that presume an unearthly presence. Sometimes the phenomena are legit. Other times – well, you just never know if an establishment is seeking some publicity by trying to gain credibility for being “haunted”. This is why he investigates a site multiple times. Just because you don’t find anything “strange” the first time around, doesn’t mean you won’t on a subsequent visit. At the same time, collection of evidence of the paranormal obtained more than once, does lend one to believe that a presence is indeed real.
Ward had already visited the Schuyler-Hamilton House before I came along. He had collected evidence of the supernatural in 2012: 2 EVP recordings – or 2 “sound” recordings if you will. One was of a man’s voice saying “You’re clumsy”, and the other was a woman’s voice saying “yes” in the stairwell, and laughing. (He has the sound bites to prove it.) He obtained a few more recordings on previous walk-throughs of the house, too. One woman’s voice in the attic said “I don’t think so,” when Ward asked the question if slaves were kept up there. Of note, the basement was built in 1895 when the house was relocated; and upon touring it at an earlier date, Ward recorded a whisper of “I’m here in the basement,” too.
Let me tell you – after I walked through this house – I can vouch that there is “something” in that basement. We’ll get to that.
So it was 1:45pm on a Wednesday in May when Gordon Ward showed me his camera, K-II meter (for measuring electromagnetic energy) – which tends to be present in larger amounts when spirits are present, and a sound recording device. No proton packs, no worries of getting slimed.
We all took a look at our battery powered devices – cell phones, recorders, etc. to check their charges. Sometimes when ghosts manifest, they drain the juice from batteries since they require energy to manifest. So I looked down at my phone and it read 98% charge. I was well-prepared for a supernatural syphon of energy. Bring it on!
There were 5 of us who were going to do a comprehensive walk-through of this house. It was daylight. We weren’t looking for the spooky effect. Ghosts can make themselves known at any time of day.
Ward started recording. He had himself, Sanftner, Cruger, one other interested party, and myself all introduce ourselves for the record. This might seem strange at first, but it sets a benchmark for establishing each of our voices. See, after Ward makes a recording of an investigation, he uses software to analyze sound and pick out voice patterns. If “someone” speaks on tape, that is not someone who was physically, and humanly present, he’ll know it, because every single person’s voice print is unique. He would know right away if it was me speaking versus someone from “the other side.”
So what do you do on a ghost hunt? You pick a room to start in and start talking! Seriously, you “interview” the “ghosts”. (I wasn’t kidding!)
We were in the sitting room with the Revolutionary War period chairs, and Ward asked who is in the house. When he did that, the dog started barking next door.
This was the first opportunity I had to use my electromagnetic field (EMF
) detector for my iPhone (Mr. Ghost
) and I put it to use. When that dog started barking my EMF reading jumped – a lot – to over 200. Normal readings are usually a bit lower than that, unless you are standing near wires or something that runs on electricity or battery power. I was starting to feel like we weren’t “alone”.
Ward didn’t get a response to his question – at least not one that we could hear. Many times a ghost will respond to questions asked but it is inaudible to the human ear. This is why it’s so important to make a sound recording and play it back on a computer. On a computer, you can visually see the wavelengths and patterns recorded to hone in on any inaudible sounds that may be voices. You can also peel apart the voices of the people present, plus weed out any background noise visually.
The downstairs hallway leading to the parlor on the right. Of note, area rugs cover all wooden floors in the house. When ghostly footsteps were heard, they were continuous as if the presence was walking on an uncovered wooden floor of long ago.
We went into the downstairs hallway and into the parlor. All of us took turns in asking the spirits questions – if they were there listening. I asked if s/he was the one knocking the photo off the wall. Different people asked the names of the spirits and what year it was, if they were slaves, and if they lived in the house at one point. We asked questions that if answered, would give us clues about who these people used to be.
We couldn’t be sure if the ghostly presences (yes, there’s more than one….you’ll see!) were there because of the land, the house, or objects in the house. Trying to establish a time frame of reference with any answers whispered to us would help us figure out who these people could have been.
The rooms were small, and the downstairs wood floor wasn’t particularly creaky. I had stepped on the boards trying to see if there was any plausible practical explanation for hearing footsteps. When trains passed by from the Morristown train station, I paid attention to see if frames shifted on walls or objects fell. None did. The heat was not turned on, and the water was not running, so there were no hisses and creaks generated by pipes. My mind thought about ways to disprove anything that we might encounter as we went from room to room. I couldn’t disprove a darn thing.
The downstairs front room of the house where Sanftner's deceased grandfather's photo of him in a coffin had kept falling.
We went from the parlor to the back room and then up the stairs to the very creaky floor of the upstairs hallway. We all took turns asking questions related to the history of the house and if there was anyone there. We didn’t hear anything – at the time. So far the house didn’t seem to give me any creepy feelings. I didn’t have a sense of fear. Cruger said she felt cold upon entering the room in the back of the house downstairs, almost as if you get that feeling of the little hairs on the back of your neck standing up, but everyone remained calm. There was no sense of dread.
The upstairs hallway, where continuous footsteps on an uncovered wooden floor had been heard by one of the docents when she was alone in the house.
We toured each of the bedrooms upstairs. The house looked old; quiet. Maybe a little too quiet. We walked up the narrow staircase to the old attic. I have to admit, this looked like a more likely place to get a case of the eebie jeebies than any part of the house we had been in so far – but – again, nothing jumped out at us. No one screamed.
Do we dare open the old, closed upstairs door? Yes, we dared!
The dark, damp basement was lit by a solitary light bulb. It was very cliché.
After walking downstairs again, we walked back into the parlor to see if that photo of Sanftner’s grandfather was knocked down again. It wasn’t. It doesn’t seem like we disturbed “anyone”. Ward was about to wrap up the investigation, when I reminded him that we hadn’t explored the basement yet.
I was facing this old, creepy looking door in the basement, while I stood under the single light bulb asking the ghost to flicker the light above my head if s/he could hear me. I knew ghosts gravitate towards any electrical devices to draw on their energy, so this prompted my reqeust. Yes, I'm an instigator!
The basement – with a low ceiling, and only one light bulb to illuminate the way because the main light was not working – was where I wanted to go. What was I thinking? This is the part of the movie – I mean adventure – when you are sitting there and should be yelling at me “Don’t! No! Don’t open that door! Don’t go in there!”
Yes, I was the crazy main character that did. But I had back-up! (Hey, if you’re going to go in a dimly lit basement, who better to go with than a pro!)
Ward and the three other women explored the underpinnings of the house with me. Sanftner turned on the one light bulb at the opposite end of the dank cellar, and that’s exactly where I headed. For some reason I was possessed to ask the “presence” to flicker the light if it was there. You know what? The light flickered. Ward saw it happen right after I made the request. (Remember, spirits need energy to manifest. They gravitate towards electrical sources…)
The basement was one of the areas of the house where Ward had previously recorded a voice, too.
I then asked what the spirit’s name was, and honestly, this was the first time, I had a semi-creepy feeling during the entire time we were there. Both Ward and I didn’t record any unusual EMF readings on our devices, though. I had later asked him if EMF’s are always an indicator of a supernatural presence. He said no. Sometimes you can see or hear or feel paranormal activity and your EMF readings will not jump off the scale.
The EMF meters are just a possible indicator. Sometimes the voices coincide with EMF fluctuations, and sometimes they don't.
“I have gotten great EVP when the meters are flat...and I've also recorded no voices when the meters were going nuts. EMF spikes don't equate to ghosts being present, but when they are, they often (not always) change the EMF fields. In the end, the meters are just another tool that is helpful in indicating the possible presence of an entity,” explains Ward.
A few days later I received an email from Ward after he had time to review his recordings made that day we toured the Schuyler-Hamilton House. Guess what? We were not alone. Ward obtained two voice recordings that did not belong to any of us humans who were on the ghost hunt that day. I’ve attached them to this blog. The best way to listen to them is on high volume, with headphones on.
The first evidence of a spirit in our presence is captured in the “Hello” file. You’ll hear Ward’s voice requesting the spirit to “Take a walk for us…in any room, just walk around so we can hear you.” Soon after, in a whisper, you will hear a faint “Hello”. It truly is ghostly. The “hello” is what investigators call a Class A/B whisper. It’s very faint and is easier to depict visually, or listen to with a good pair of headphones on. The first time I played the file I didn’t hear the “hello”. But on the second or third try, full volume, with headphones, I heard it.
This sound recording was made by Gordon Ward. Listen closely with headphones on full volume to hear the whisper of "Hello" from the other side.
If you are looking to being impressed more, check this second sound file out, also recorded on the same day. This was recorded in the basement – the room that creeped me out – the same place where I asked the ghost to flicker the single lit light bulb above my head - and it did. You’ll hear a “Thank you” very clearly, spoken by a woman in a high-pitched voice. This type of recording is a Class A voice, according to Ward; it’s clear, loud, and distinct.
You’ll hear Sanftner say “We’re doing a major electrical overhaul of the house because…” (and her voice coincidentally trails off) as you hear a different womanly high-pitched voice say “Thank you.” You can’t miss it.
This sound recording was made by Gordon Ward. Listen closely with headphones on full volume to hear a spirit say "Thank You".
Ward was impressed and finds these two recordings “amazing”. So do I. We didn’t hear these voices while we walked through the house. Perhaps because we were distracted by background noise, or our ears just didn’t hear them at the time. As I mentally retrace my steps through the house and know exactly where I was standing at the time these words were spoken, it gives me chills after-the-fact. We were not alone.
Right now it’s still a mystery as to who these voices belonged to. Maybe they belong to spirits just passing through; maybe to former residents of the house or the land. Ward is still investigating this house and hopefully after he compiles all of the evidence and recordings, he will be able to piece together and solve the puzzle of this “haunted” house.
To find out more about what Gordon Ward does, you can check out his website at: www.gtwservices.com
| || |
A great way to find out about historical New Jersey haunts is to take a look at Gordon Ward’s book (available in hard copy, and becoming available as an eBook Summer 2013):
Ghosts of Central Jersey: "What ghosts roam within the historic sites and buildings of Central New Jersey? How accurate are the traditional stories? From the shadowed woods of the Somerset Hills to the dappled banks of the Delaware River, Ghosts of Central Jersey delivers a rich mix of factual history and the sound investigation of ghostly phenomena."
Also available Summer 2013 is Ward’s latest novel: Tracing Infinity: Bridging the Gap between Earth and Heaven (available in soft cover and eBook): "Tracing Infinity takes you on an exploration to discover God’s immersion in our lives. The clues are all around us! We just need to learn to see the holy breadcrumbs, the evidence of the Infinite, on life’s paths. Find out how the Divine touches us all on our incredible journeys."
New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Memorial - Photo Credit: Stephen O'Byrne
Ceremony 11:00 a.m., 1 Memorial Lane, Holmdel, NJ Garden State Parkway at Exit 116, Adjacent PNC Bank Arts Center
PRESS RELEASE: The New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Foundation will hold its Annual Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 27, 2013, at 11:00 a.m. at the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Memorial
in Holmdel, NJ. Hundreds of veterans and their families are anticipated to attend. The guest speaker at this year's ceremony is Brigadier General (Ret) Vincent E. Stahl. The ceremony will also include the presentation of two scholarships to New Jersey high school seniors and the induction of five Vietnam Veterans into the Memorial's "In Memory" program.
"Veterans and their families from across New Jersey are invited to attend the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Foundation Ceremony. The emotional and stirring day pays real tribute to those who served and continue to serve this Country," said Bill Linderman, Executive Director, New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Foundation.
Brigadier General (Ret) Vincent E. Stahl of Milltown, NJ was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant after graduating as an ROTC Distinguished Military Graduate from Saint Peter's College. After completing Armor Officer Branch and Airborne School, he served in a variety of positions with the 4th Medium Tank Battalion, 37th Armor. Stahl joined the 5th Special Forces Group in 1964 and was assigned as a Detachment Executive Officer in the Central Highlands. Upon release from active duty, General Stahl joined the Army Reserve and served a variety of commands including Army Reserve Ambassador for the state of New Jersey. He has enjoyed a successful career in the Pharmaceutical Industry and makes frequent presentations related to his experiences
The New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Foundation will be awarding two $2,500 college scholarships during the ceremony. The scholarship recipients are Sarah Twomey of Pennington, graduating from Hopewell Valley Central High School in Pennington, and Steven Penna of Sparta, graduating from Sparta High School in Sparta.
During the ceremony, the Foundation will induct five Vietnam Veterans into its "In Memory" Program, which honors NF residents who served and died as a result of the war in Vietnam, but whose names are not on the Memorial. Some of these deaths are due to Agent Orange exposure, Hepatitis C and the physical or emotional wounds received in Vietnam. The inductees' names will be placed on an engraved stone inside the Memorial so that all who visit will know that they are with their honored comrades.
As part of the ceremony, family members will say a few words about their loved ones and light a candle in their memories. A book of biographical information, complied by the family, is also placed in the Vietnam Era Museum & Educational Center's Resource Room.
The five "In Memory" inductees are:
• Specialist 4th Class William D. Buist of Belleville, NJ
• Sergeant Michael J. Green of Harrison, NJ
• Specialist 4th Class Alan A. Howardell of Rahway, NJ
• Sergeant Daniel L. O'Connell of Atlantic City, NJ
• Sergeant First Class Daniel R. Shea of Lambertville, NJVietnam Era Museum & Educational Center Open Memorial Day
During the day, the Vietnam Era Museum & Educational Center will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Admission is free. Celebrating its 15th anniversary, the Museum’s exhibit hall features a chronology of the Vietnam War that presents a historical recollection of the events of the era, shown in two concurrent timelines – one reflecting the activity in Vietnam and the other reflecting the activity in the United States. The unique space offers visitors a full perspective of the political, military, social and cultural elements in play during the time. Interspersed along this timeline are touch screen computers that provide visitors with an interactive glance at historical events, as well as personal photographs and letters submitted by Vietnam veterans and their families.
“Dedicated in September 1998, the Vietnam Era Museum & Educational Center is the first educational center and museum of its kind in the United States,” said Bill Linderman, Executive Director, New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Foundation. “As a Vietnam War veteran, I am honored to pay tribute to the courageous men and women through the stories we share daily. Education is key to preserving our past and honoring the fallen and soldiers who valiantly served our Country.”
The Museum is located adjacent to the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial off the Garden State Parkway at exit 116 in Holmdel. The Memorial is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Museum & Educational Center is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. For more information on the Memorial or Museum, call 732-335-0033 or visit www.njvvmf.org
.Pavers Program at the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Foundation
For a $250 donation, a personal message of a person's choosing can be engraved on one of the pavers lining the sides of the Memorial walkway. New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Foundation's pavers are a tribute to the men and women of New Jersey who served this nation during the Vietnam War. If you have any questions about this program, please contact Lynn Duane at lduane@njvvmf or 732-335-0033 xt. 100.
Mikey Jr. & Stone Cold Blues (Credit: Dusty Blues Photography)
Jazz and Blue Lovers Celebrate The Jersey Spirit at Free Annual Music Festivals
PRESS RELEASE: Red Bank, NJ (May 13, 2013) –
Thousands are anticipated to turn out for the Jersey Shore Jazz and Blues Foundation’s (JSJBF) Jazz and Blues Summer Series Festivals. Each date in the series will feature crowd-pleasing jazz and blues musicians, food, crafters and activities for the entire family. Beer and wine gardens will be featured at Asbury Park and Point Pleasant Borough and fireworks at Long Branch. The festivals are free to the public, dog friendly and all ages are welcome to attend. Each year, sponsor donations from the events raise essential funds for the nonprofit Jersey Shore Jazz and Blues Foundation’s operational expenses. Sponsors include Comcast, Investors Bank, Hunterdon Brewing Company, Lagunitas Brewing Company and Alex and Ani. "After much devastation from Sandy, music lovers from across the Jersey Shore are in the mood to celebrate an exciting season of top-notch entertainment seaside. The Jersey Shore Jazz and Blues Foundation has been honored to present jazz and blues fans, young and old, with our award-winning Jazz and Blues Festivals for 25 years. The events are widely-anticipated by thousands of residents and shore visitors,"
said Dennis Eschbach, Event Director, Jersey Shore Jazz and Blues Festivals. "Thanks to the dedication of our 2013 sponsors, musicians and host towns, we anticipate this year's festivals to be bigger and better than ever!”
Jersey Shore Jazz and Blues Summer Series of Music Festivals • 3 Days of Jazz & BluesAsbury Park Blues and Brews Festival, Bradley Park, Across from the Convention Hall and the Boardwalk, Asbury Park, NJSaturday, June 8, Noon – 8:00 p.m.
Headliner: Mikey Jr. & Stone Cold Blues with Special Guest Steve Guyger
Asbury Park Lineup
12:00-1:00p.m. Carlos Colina & Straight Up
1:15- 2:15 p.m. Slim Chance & The Gamblers
2:30- 3:30 p.m. Chuck Lambert Band
3:45- 4:45 p.m. Sandy Mack & Friends
5:00 -6:15 p.m. Jon Herrington Band (Steely Dan Guitarist)
6:30- 8:00 p.m. Mikey Jr. & Stone Cold Blues featuring Steve Guyger Point Pleasant Jazz and Blues Festival, Riverfront Park, Corner of Maxson Avenue and River Road, Point Pleasant Borough, NJSaturday, July 20, Noon – 8:00 p.m.
Headliner: The Soul Project featuring Eryn Shewell
Point Pleasant Lineup
12:00-1:00 p.m. Barbecue Bob & The Spareribs
1:15- 2:15 p.m. Randy Napoleon Band
2:30- 3:30 p.m. Juke Joint Jonny
3:45- 4:45 p.m. Sandy Sasso Quartet
5:00 -6:15 p.m. The Incinerators
6:30- 8:00 p.m. The Soul Project featuring Eryn Shewell Long Branch Jazz and Blues Festival, Great Lawn at the Boardwalk, 28 McKinley Avenue, Long Branch, NJSaturday, August 24, Noon-10:00 p.m. followed by fireworks
Headliner: The Rob Paparozzi AllStarsLong Branch Lineup
1:00- 1:25 p.m. Gary Wright
1:30- 2:30 p.m. The Blind Tellers
2:45- 3:45 p.m. Dorian Parreott Jazz Ensemble
4:00-5:00 p.m. Bob Del Rosso Band
5:15- 6:15 p.m. The Long Gone Daddies
6:30-7:30 p.m. Al Chez & The Brothers of Funk
7:45- 9:15 p.m. The Rob Paparozzi AllStars
Founded in 1987, the nonprofit Jersey Shore Jazz and Blues Foundation remains dedicated to its efforts to preserve, promote and perpetuate jazz and blues on the Jersey Shore through performance and education. Visit www.jsjbf.org
for more information. Connect with the JSJBF on Facebook at Jersey Shore Jazz and Blues Festival and Twitter @JSJazzBluesFest. For information on becoming a festival sponsor, food vendor or crafter, contact Doris Lazur at 732-933-1984 or email@example.com
Debra Levy Picard of Rumson, NJ, Author of Tastosterone: The Best Cookbook for Men (Credit: Danny Sanchez)
“Tastosterone: The Best Cookbook for Men” Cooks Up Success with Recipes, Tools and Tips for Men at Work in the Kitchen
Wednesday, May 22, 2013, 7:00-9:00 p.m. Book Signing and Fundraiser to Benefit Move For Hunger, River Road Books, 759 River Road, Fair Haven, NJ
PRESS RELEASE: Rumson, NJ (April 25, 2013) – Although male chefs dominate television and the Internet, market research shows the role of cook at home continues to fall on women. Debra Levy Picard of Rumson, NJ found that men have a desire to enter the kitchen, but the motivation, support and resources are just not available. There are dozens of books on outdoor grilling, but Picard saw a real need to write a book that simply got them cooking in the kitchen. Tastosterone: The Best Cookbook for Men offers men an attractive road map of more than 100 recipes, photographs, tools, tips and techniques to navigate around the kitchen.
Tastosterone speaks to men of all ages – the son, husband, father, single guy, newlywed, college student, retiree, divorcé and widower. A man who is confident in the kitchen will find independence, health, sex, nostalgia and love through cooking; and, although a man’s role may change throughout his life, cooking will remain a constant passion and skill. A few chapters in the book include, “Why Should Men Cook?” that explores cooking and the various stages in a man’s life; “Homage to Mom”, which hits on childhood nostalgia with the meats and potatoes of a meal; “Do You Really Need Something on The Side?” enough said; “Happy Endings”, a selection of delectable desserts; “The Dirty Dozen” common cooking mistakes; and “The Real Men Cook Quiz” that tests one’s knowledge of who really cooks among celebrity men.
According to Allrecipes, men enjoy preparing meals more than women (men 82 percent, women 75 percent). Men are also willing to spend more time preparing meals than women with 57 percent of men stating that "40 minutes to as long as it takes" is acceptable, while 52 percent of women prefer to limit cooking time to "0-40 minutes."
Father and Son in the Kitchen, Steven and Oliver Schrenk Make Tastosterone Chili (Credit: Stephan Lowy)
“Men love to cook and they’re heating up the kitchen with their confidence and enthusiasm," said Debra Levy Picard, Author, Tastosterone: The Best Cookbook for Men.
"Martha Stewart has raised the bar for women in the kitchen for years. Well, I’m lowering it for men, expecting less and getting great results.”
Tastoserone is available at River Road Books at 759 River Road in Fair Haven, NJ and on www.tastosterone.com
and Amazon. Join Debra Levy Picard at River Road Books for her book signing and a sampling of recipes from her cookbook on Wednesday, May 22nd from 7:00-9:00 p.m. A suggested donation of $10 per guest is requested to support the work of Move for Hunger. A representative from the nationally recognized organization will share news about its upcoming projects at the event.About Deborah Levy Picard
Debra Levy Picard of Rumson, NJ started cooking at the age of 14 to help her busy, working parents get dinner on the table. As a child, she remembers watching Julia Child and writing down her recipes and preparing them for her family. Julia Child’s methods taught Debra how to work around the kitchen and create dishes and presentations to entertain crowds of people. Debra also takes inspiration from TV personality, author and entrepreneur, Bethenny Frankel. She admires her passion for knowing what she wants in life and going for it. Bethenny is the founder of Skinnygirl Cocktails, author of four self-help books and host of the TV series, Bethenny. Like Bethenny, Picard also has a passion – to get guys cooking and feeling confident in the kitchen. Picard blogs at www.tastosterone.com
and connects with her fans daily on Facebook at Tastosterone: The Best Cookbook for Men
and on Twitter @Tastosterone
.About Move for Hunger
Move For Hunger was established to strengthen the efforts of its communities’ food banks, while actively engaging in America’s hunger fight. By using the nonprofit organization’s unique knowledge and experience, Move For Hunger has leveraged its existing national network of transportation companies to create one of the nation’s largest, year-round service programs. www.moveforhunger.com
Laurita Winery to Host EarthShare Celebrates New Jersey on April 12th , 7-10 p.m. (Courtesy: Laurita Winery)
Friday, April 12, 2013, 7:00 – 10:00 p.m., Laurita Winery, New Egypt, NJ
PRESS RELEASE: Trenton, NJ (April 1, 2013) – Enjoy local wine, live jazz music and help raise funds for New Jersey's environment at the EarthShare Celebrates New Jersey Awards Reception and Wine Tasting on April 12, 2013 from 7:00 – 10:00 p.m. at Laurita Winery at 35 Archerton Road, New Egypt, NJ.
For the past five years, EarthShare New Jersey (ESNJ) has recognized the environmental accomplishments of individuals and companies making a difference in NJ’s environment at its annual event. In 2013 ESNJ honors Candace McKee Ashmun with its Environmental Stewardship Award and the Environmental Leadership Award will be presented to Phillips-Van Heusen.
Candace McKee Ashmun will be honored with EarthShare New Jersey's 2013 Environmental Stewardship Award at EarthShare Celebrates NJ (Credit: Dawn Benko)
EarthShare Celebrates NJ’s Annual Stewardship and Leadership Awards recognize individuals and corporations that demonstrate ongoing commitments to the protection of New Jersey’s environment through leadership, corporate action, philanthropic support and community awareness. Previous winners have included William de Camp, founder and former Executive Director of Save Barnegat Bay, Tom Gilmore, former President of NJ Audubon, New Jersey Natural Gas, iCIMS, PSEG and Prudential.
The evening will also feature a photography exhibition showcasing the natural beauty of NJ, an ecofriendly auction, 50/50 raffle, light refreshments, dessert, a wine tasting and live jazz by Stringzville. There are over 60 fantastic items in the auctions. Highlights include: two VIP tickets to The Colbert Report, an autographed Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band album cover, autographed Bon Jovi drum cover, autographed New York Giants football, wine refrigerator, Panera Bread for a Year Plus, and NJ experiences from across the state that include overnight excursions and theatre tickets.
Tickets are $45 and available for purchase at www.earthsharenj.org
($50 at the door). Call (609) 989-1160 with any questions or to purchase tickets by phone.2013 Beauty in NJ’s Nature Photography Competition
EarthShare New Jersey will announce the winner of its 2013 Beauty in Nature Photography Competition at EarthShare Celebrates New Jersey on April 12th. Over 70 photographers entered the contest and 140 images were selected that best showcased NJ’s diverse natural resources. About EarthShare Celebrate NJ’s Awardees
Candace Ashmun is Vice President of The Fund for New Jersey and consultant to the New Jersey Conservation Foundation. Truly an ecological pioneer, Ashmun is more than deserving of this honor. For more than forty years, she has been working to protect and preserve the state’s environment and public health. She began her career as a water quality researcher for the Raritan Watershed Association, but quickly moved on to found and organize the Association for New Jersey Environmental Commissions (ANJEC), serving for many years as its executive director. Ashmun was one of the first appointees to the NJ Pinelands Commission and has served on that body continuously ever since. She was also appointed to the original NJ State Planning Commission, where she served several terms. She started the environmental collegium, which today is known as the Environmental Summit and also founded the Coalition for Affordable Housing and the Environment (CAHE), where she continues to serve on its board.
For years, Phillips-Van Heusen has not only provided its employees with the ability to support environmental causes through a charitable giving program (PVH Cares), but has also provided employees with environmental education opportunities through lunch and learns, Earth Day activities, volunteer experiences and more. The company has supported Green Teams and the implementation of programs and policies to create a more environmentally friendly workplace. This includes the construction of solar panels and a firm commitment and action toward the reduction of the company’s carbon footprint worldwide. In the manufacturing component of the business, Phillips-Van Heusen has taken a bold step in committing to the vision of zero discharge of hazardous chemicals from the company’s entire supply chain within one generation.About EarthShare New Jersey
EarthShare New Jersey was founded in 1994 when 16 of the state’s leading environmental organizations joined forces to raise funds through workplace contribution programs. The organization now provides funds to more than 65 local and national environmental groups and has raised more than $5 million in employee contributions from over 60 workplaces. www.earthsharenj.org
Kids Kick for a Cause on March 10th - Courtesy: Kick Dance Studios
Sunday, March 10th, Performance Times: 12.30-2:00 p.m. and 2:30-4:30 p.m.
Two River Theater, 21 Bridge Avenue, Red Bank, NJ
PRESS RELEASE: Fair Haven, NJ (February 18, 2013) – Kick Dance Studios invite families from across Monmouth County to attend “Kick for a Cause” on Sunday, March 10th with performances at 12.30-2:00 p.m. and 2:30-4:30 p.m. at the Two River Theater at 21 Bridge Avenue in Red Bank, NJ. All ticket sales will be donated to the Monmouth Beach Elementary School PTO to purchase books, supplies and school equipment damaged in Superstorm Sandy.
Approximately 310 children from Monmouth Beach Elementary School remain displaced by Superstorm Sandy and currently attend classes at the following host schools: Wolfe Hill School in Oceanport (PreK- Kindergarten), Betty McElmon School in West Long Branch (Grades 1-3), Frank Antonides School in West Long Branch (Grade 4), and Shore Regional High School in Long Branch (Grades 5-8).
“I was saddened to hear that Monmouth Beach Elementary School, where I fondly remember attending school as a child had more than three feet of water in its classrooms,” said Vanessa Berry, Owner, Kick Dance Studios, Fair Haven and Rumson. “Sandy's flood waters devastated the building, books, supplies and, more importantly, the hearts of its children. My family and Kick's students wanted to help the school with a fundraiser that raised funds for essential school supplies, but also lifted its families and faculty's spirits with music and dance."
Video of dancers from Kick Dance Studios - Courtesy: Kick Dance Studios
More than 150 boys and girls, ages 5-17, from the Kick Dance Studios will showcase their talented moves during a variety of ballet, tap, hip hop, contemporary and Broadway-style dance performances. The show-stopping action will be followed by a special showing of big screen cartoons created by the young producers of the Emmy-Winning Small Factory Productions Studio of Fair Haven. Throughout the day, Monmouth Beach Elementary School students will sell concessions to raise additional funds for the school restoration.
General admission is $15 per adult/child with tickets sold at the door and online at www.kickdancestudios.com
. Doors open at 12:00 p.m. Gift card donations to Staples, Target and Barnes & Noble are also greatly appreciated. Children under one are free of charge. Donations can also be mailed to attention: Pam Ruoff, PTO President, Monmouth Beach Elementary School, 14 Cottage Road, Monmouth Beach, NJ 07750.“The Monmouth Beach School District and the entire community is so touched by the generosity of the Kick Dance Studios and alumni Ms. Vanessa Berry for putting this event together. Donating 100% of the proceeds to the Monmouth Beach School will go such a long way in getting student and teacher resources and materials,”
said Brian Farrell, Superintendent, Monmouth Beach Elementary School. “Our school has been so blessed with the charity from communities across the United States. What makes this a real special event is that some of our own students will be participating in the show! They are able to give back to their school and community. What can be better than that! ”About Kick Dance Studios
Kick Dance Studios, with locations in Rumson and Fair Haven, offer the highest quality dance and fitness classes for all ages and abilities in a non-competitive and supportive environment. Kick’s instructors teach a wide variety of dance styles as well as classes in acrobatics, acting and vocal lessons. Call 732-212-1322 or visit www.kickstudio.com
for more information.
Trying on the Choos at Coco Pari in Red Bank, NJ before I brought them home. I never pass up a GOOD shoe sale. Shoe sales I'll pass up, but not for a brand worth its bucks.
Shopping is a skill – and a practical one! I always thought that they could teach a course on it in college. It’s not just important how to make money; it’s important to know what to do with it when you’ve got it so you don’t spend it all! Shopping is fun. There’s a reason why they call it retail therapy. But if you want to get some bang for your buck, you have to pay attention to the items you buy, their quality, and the timing of your purchases.
Designer pieces mean extraordinary fabric, fit, and quality. The money you invest in a few classic pieces that last a lifetime, probably equals the amount of money most spend annually on less expensive brands that look beat up after you wash, wear, and later toss after one season. Here, one of my Hervé Leger dresses.
I wish I had millions of dollars. I don’t, but that doesn’t stop me from looking like a million bucks. (And not all the time - I’ve got my jeans days, and I break out my flip flops and cut off shorts…. but you can dress me to the nines when the occasion calls for it.)
There are three things I love: shoes, hand bags, and lip glosses. (And men have their addictions, too – I know several who can’t pass up yet one more watch, or another pair of sunglasses.)
Admittedly, I have a lip gloss addiction. There are worse addictions to have! At the last count I had over 50 in rotation, and that doesn't count the ones I carry in my purse. I need my mauves, reds, neutrals, sparklies, stains, and berries. All pinks are NOT the same.
Don’t ask me how many shoes and hand bags I own. I never counted. At last count I had over 50 lip glosses in my current rotation; and yes, I use them all! (But not at the same time!) However, when it comes to my first two addictions, not just any old bag or pair of shoes will do. Now, I don’t need designer flip flops, and quite frankly, I wouldn’t want any – because flip flops are meant to take a beating, get wet and sandy, and I think I would cry if I ruined any pair of Manolos. But to me, certain brands do mean quality, and I am willing to invest in quality that lasts over time, when I know that I’m not going to be in situations that demolish my designer duds. (I don’t paint houses in Prada, and I won’t wear Gucci gardening. Get it?) And even within designer brands, not everything is quality.
My new Jimmy Choo Perfume suede wedge sandals in fuschia. These are from the Spring 2013 line and I got them for 50% off. It pays to subscribe - to newsletters from your favorite fashion houses. Subscriber only sales are not always on clearance merchandise!
I’m not a coupon clipper. I can’t be bothered. I don’t have the time. I don’t want to fish through my bag for tons of clippings for percentages off that I may or may not use before the expiration date. And most of the time, for me, except for make-up, the fashion houses I covet know that their wares are worth it, and don’t even bother with offering the kinds of discounts you clip and snip. However, give me a good online offer, and you’ve got my attention. I can’t remember the last time I paid full price for something or didn’t get a freebie at Sephora
. And recently, Jimmy Choo
was having an online sale, and I super clicked my way to savings. That said, there are
sales on premium purchases. You just have to know where to look – and when.
So I will share some of my tips with you for shopping on the chic.
These new Jimmy Choos were on sale! Love them!
I got this Michael Kors Fulton bag for 50% off, too. It was the last one left in the store. The copper-brown color can be worn year-round, but I dream of summer where I can tote around everything from my sunglasses, iPod, and hat around in it with room to spare. I can pair it with neutrals or accentuate navy and white outfits with this bag.
It’s Not the Quantity; It’s the Quality
Yes, I have a closet devoted entirely to shoes. I don’t know how many pairs I have. It would take too long to count. Suffice it to say, the stacks of shoe boxes run as tall as me. However, I didn’t accumulate this quantity of quality overnight. It’s taken years of shopping to find what I like, and to get it at a price I can afford. I also have a large hand bag collection. Again, I didn’t just go out last weekend and buy them all.
What I do is buy maybe two or three high-end designer hand bags, or pairs of shoes every year that I truly covet. I look for luxe materials like the softest, buttery leather that will last a lifetime and in classic colors. Some people buy five, six or more bags a year – but they are cheaper and quite frankly, not quality, and they don’t last a lifetime. They are lucky if they last six months of wear and tear before the zipper breaks or the lining rips. So meanwhile, they are probably spending just as much or more on bags as me, for something that is here today, and gone to the dumpster tomorrow. I choose to spend my money on fewer designer pieces than a myriad of lower quality selections that won’t stand the test of time. Truth be told, I’d rather have one pair of exceptionally expensive sunglasses than 5 dime store shades that fall apart after a day on the beach, or a single big Bvlgari bangle than tons of trinkets I wouldn’t have a place to put. So if you want your brand names, save your money and shop carefully, occasionally, and remember, it’s not a race to the finish line – those with the most don’t win anything – except for disposable deals.
My Michael Kors charcoal Sloan bag has the softest quilted leather. He's one of my favorite hand bag designers. I love it when my bag feels like a leather pillow. This was an outlet find for 50% off. Michael Kors stores might be ready for Spring, but I, like the groundhog sometimes, have to get through at least 6 more weeks of winter. The color and style is timeless and I will proudly accessorize with this for seasons to come.
Don’t Let the Labels Lie to You
I remember about ten years ago, Coach brand bags were “all it”. If you had a Coach bag it was looked upon as a status symbol. It was worth something. Their bags were leather and withstood the test of time. Then something happened. Coach wanted to market to the masses. So they created this line called “Poppy”
. It was perky and trendy and guess what? It was canvas and crappy. The bags were lighter in weight and lower in leather. They were less expensive than their luxury leather line, but Poppy was still a pretty penny. Then, over the past five years, you could still find leather Coach bags, but they started to incorporate larger amounts of cheaper materials like straw, more canvas and cloth, and still charge the same price. So people were paying for the name, but not getting the same quality. Additionally, the lower price tags on some of the items made them more attainable for some to get their status symbols, but what were they really getting for their money?
So while certain brands may signify quality, the buyer should beware and really look at each item in terms of it lasting long enough for it to be worth their money. Every fashion house has higher end pieces in their lines and lower end ones. However, the price tags don’t always reflect this. Look at Louis Vuitton
. You’ll pay almost just as much for a denim cloth bag as you would for another purse from their classic monogram line. Decide wisely. Some pieces are not meant to stand the test of time. Usually accessories that are more trendy are meant for those where money is not a concern and they’ve got a landslide of Louis’s at home. Shop Sales – Designers Do It Differently
This may seem obvious but not too many people take advantage of seasonal sales – because they don’t know where they are and their timing is all wrong. Flagship and local stores want to clear out their winter merchandise and switch over to spring. Summer is barely over and they want to push their winter wares. They want to display the latest and greatest on their mannequins and in their store windows. Yet, the average shopper will never see a 50% off sign in a Michael Kors
store window, or a billboard saying that last season’s Christian Louboutin
s are now reduced. Why? Because these high-end designers do it differently.
Let me explain: About three weeks after the New Year, the flagship stores are gearing up for featuring their spring lines. They ship all of the leftover “last season’s” merchandise to their outlet stores all over the country. This
is where the sales are – the designer outlets. You’ll see sales (sometimes unadvertised) start to surface at the outlets pretty much at the beginning of that third week in January. Timing is everything. Remember, the sales people will get first picks. If they see something come off of those trucks that’s a good buy, they’ll buy it. But you want to be next in line. So stalk those stores. Go at an off-time if you can – like during weekdays. Develop a relationship with the sales people there so they will give you a heads up when the newest, “old” bags will arrive. And when I say develop a relationship – I mean that you have to buy things from the store from time to time. Don’t expect them to just like you for being you. They can spot a mooch in an instant. They know a loyal customer when they see one – come into the store and buy
things again and again (and sometimes that does mean paying full price … so save your money!)
Some people go outlet shopping year-round. While you can find eclectic pieces by chance year-round, the largest offerings with the biggest not-picked-through selections can be found in mid-January and mid-August, when stores do their biggest seasonal swaps.
There are also high-end stores, like Coco Pari
in Red Bank, NJ that cater to designer brands like Hervé Leger
, Christian Louboutin, Jimmy Choo, René Caovilla
, and a myriad of others. These stores want to turn over their seasonal offerings, too. Unless you do a drive by their store, you can find out about which lines are marked down periodically via Twitter
. Again, look for incredible finds at a deep discount starting around mid-January through the end of that month, and again in mid-August. There are other sales, but the size selection on those discounted items may be narrowed down at other times of the year. ebay is Your Friend
I’ve bought designer shoes and bags on ebay
. While this may sound scary to some, any vendor worth their weight will show many photos of the merchandise, with labels intact, from all angles, and have impeccable ratings. You can do your research, too, and email the men (and women) behind the madness. Ask them where they got their merchandise from or to send you additional photos if you are still not sure about something. Ask about their return policy. Ask if they have an original receipt or certificate of authenticity. And never, ever pay cash for something to protect yourself from fraud.
A great way to test the waters is to buy a previously owned designer bag or a once-worn pair of shoes in your size and see what you get. These kinds of classic pieces will be in excellent condition (or should be), and offered at a reduced price. Some people never want to be seen wearing the same shoes twice and their “trash” can be your “treasure”. When it comes to bags, look for natural
wear and tear on the leather. Ask to see the lining in photos. Some scuffs can be shined right out with a good leather cleaner and a bit of TLC. Shoes – they can always be re-heeled if they are worn a little thin or lopsided for under $20 at a shoe maker.
If you buy a second-hand pair of shoes, don’t worry – if they are Jimmy Choo, Christian Louboutin, or Manolo Blahnik – they should feel weightless on your feet and more comfortable than anything you’ve ever worn if you get the right size. There are European size conversion charts online
that are very accurate. You’re not buying Payless here. There is no toe-scrunching or heel pinching involved. You’ll get a great pair of shoes for your pennies.
Once you know that certain ebay vendors are not selling knock-offs by getting your goods and verifying that they sell authentic designer pieces, go back and see what they offer from time to time. Sometimes they get brand new designer duds that they offer up for a sale price, too, and you will know that it’s the real deal if you make the investment. I got some new Jimmy Choos this way, and a Prada dress
I don't see Spring 2012 tattooed on this gorgeous navy and white striped Michael Kors dress. I bought it brand new for a fraction of the original retail price just because it's a year old. Its classic cut and colors will seamlessly work from year to year and no one will know that it's not from THIS year unless you tell them.
Don’t Worry About the Numbers
A classic wardrobe addition is when you add something that’s tasteful and timeless to your closet. When I say don’t worry about the numbers, what I mean is that when you are wearing a tweed skirt, or a classic navy blue and white dress, a black pair of stilettos, or sport that charcoal gray handbag – no one will know that it’s from last season and not this one. They don’t tattoo 2012 on the tags or across the chest. If you are not buying a fluorescent orange tank top, that’s screaming “this season only”, you can feel confident that making an investment in something from a coveted designer you can wear year after year, will be worth it. Again, with certain designers, you will find that the comfort, fit, stitching, and attention to detail is what sets these threads apart from the rest.
Not everything I wear is designer, but I like to mix in a few quality pieces with what I have when I can. It’s fun, and I like owning pieces that won’t wear threadbare after one year of washing.
Recently I found this navy blue and white striped Michael Kors dress and I saved a bundle on it. Why? Because it’s from the Spring 2012 collection, and now it’s 2013. I can wear this alone or with a blazer, and not just this year, but I picture myself pulling this out in years to come. Similarly, I didn’t need a purple sweater, but I couldn’t pass up this one from Michael Kors (original retail price $100) that was in my size for $20. The store might want to think Spring, but it’s still 20 degrees outside and I’ve got a few more weeks of winter to wear this! And I couldn’t find one that was as high quality for less at a chain store if I wanted to!
My new Michael Kors $20 lavender sweater. I couldn't pass it up for the price. It originally sold for $100! You can't even get knock-offs for what this cost me.
Stalk Sample Sales
If you’ve got really tiny feet, or can slink into a sample size (0 or 2), it’s definitely worth your while to travel to sample sales. Designers sometimes do a practice run for fashion shows and come out with limited edition shoes and clothing (sometimes even hand bags – but not as often), that they offer up usually for one day only in a metropolitan venue like New York City. These sample sales also consist of items that have been on display in stores and haven’t sold by the time the season is up.
Sometimes you hear about these sample sales from fashion or clothing websites like Net-a-Porter
via their newsletters, or even the big Condé Nast publications (Allure
, etc.) let the news leak on their websites or Facebook pages. Beauty bloggers and vloggers sometimes share the news, too if you subscribe to any. I’ve even seen people handing out flyers on the streets of Manhattan announcing sample sales.
Again, let the buyer beware. Before you go – go do your research. Take a look at the linings, monograms, and labels of your targeted designer merchandise in stores so you know that you’re not getting knock-offs at the sale. And be prepared to pay cash with a no returns policy. This means know your size in each brand – jot them down on a sticky note, or key it into your iPhone – sometimes your size is specific to a designer.
I do mix and match. The raspberry sweater is one that came from my own closet but went perfectly with my new Ann Taylor Loft tweed skirt. Again, I spotted a sale on an outlet item in a classic look and did not break the bank.
It Pays to Subscribe
I subscribe to all of the online newsletters of my favorite fashion finds. You can do this right on their websites. Sometimes that’s the only way you can find out about an online sale! Subscribers snap up the sizes fast, especially when it comes to shoes, so be sure to click on over as soon as you have a chance. It’s not just last season’s clearance that they put up for grabs either! Sometimes designers want to get their new line seen and out and about in the real world, so you can find discounted new items this way, too. The key is to act quick. Most people think subscribing to newsletters provides them with an email box full of spam. While there can be clutter, you can usually quickly weed out the sales that interest you. I like looking at previews of what’s to come down the pike, too!
Happy Shopping! If you’ve got any shopping on the chic tips, please post them in the comments below!
Children at a Middletown Arts Center Miss Sherri Concert (Credit: Jennifer Smiga)
All Ages Celebrate Their Love for the Arts, De-stress and Get Fit with Heart Healthy and Fun Classes and Events
PRESS RELEASE: Middletown, NJ (January 31, 2013) – Throughout the month of February, the Middletown Arts Center (MAC), located in the heart of Middletown on 36 Church Street, will celebrate Valentine’s Day with themed events and classes for adults and children. From crafting and concerts to yoga and legos, there are many ways to celebrate your love for the arts, de-stress and get fit. Call the Middletown Arts Center at (732) 706-4100 to preregister for any of the events and classes featured below. For a full menu of classes, visit www.middletownarts.org
. Classes are prorated, so students are encouraged to join at any time. Saturday heART Fun
Saturday, February 9th, 9:30-10:30 a.m. (for children ages 3-5)
Saturday, February 9th, 11:00-12:30 p.m. (for children ages 6-10)
A “Let’s Get Messy” Saturday Art Fun class has your little artists exploring different art materials and techniques with Miss Laurie Ruggeri. Children will enjoy making their very own Valentine’s Day cards, heartfelt crafty paintings and more. To attend the February 9th class only, the cost is $10 per child. Cost to attend eight sessions is $100 for MAC members and $110 for non-members. Discover Your Radiant Heart Through Yoga
Starting, February 13th, Wednesdays, 9:30-10:30 a.m.
This February, it’s all about mind, body and heart health as students learn about the power and importance of the Heart Chakra in the MAC’s Gentle Yoga class with Cornelia Mazza. Students will learn to tune into this area of the body to find increased energy and love for themselves and for those around them. Drawing from ancient yogic teachings as well as present-day practices, let Cornelia guide you in exploring the different facets of your radiant heart center. Students will also learn relaxation, breathing, and stretching to benefit mind-body health. All levels may join this slow moving classical yoga. Each class ends with a guided relaxation meditation. Please bring a yoga mat and towel to class. Cost to attend for the month of four sessions is $44 for MAC members and $48 for non-members. Build Your Valentine with LEGOs (for children ages 6-9)
Thursday, February 14th, 4:00-5:30 p.m.
Create your very own Valentine with lego building blocks in the MAC’s Bricks 4 Kidz class. Each student will choose to build and take home their very own red heart, musical note or picture frame. Cost is $5 per child. “Miss Sherri Live TV” Lovey Palooza Anniversary Concert (for all ages)
Friday, February 15th, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Families will enjoy a rockin’ “Miss Sherri Live TV” Lovey Palooza Anniversary Episode filmed in the Middletown Arts Center theatre. This episode will be aired on Comcast 21 and Fios 26. Tickets are $5 per person and children under one-year are free. Kiddie Fun Valentine’s Party (for children 4 -8)
Friday, February 15th, 6:00-10:00 p.m.
There is no sweeter way for a child to celebrate Valentine’s Day then surrounded by friends making crafts, playing games, watching movies and eating yummy snacks. While parents are spending time together during a romantic night out, the little ones can celebrate too at the MAC’s Valentine Party Night with Miss Maria. Pizza, drinks and snacks will be provided. The cost is $25 per child. Pre-registration is required. Pump Up Your Heart at Zumba (for ages 16 and up)
Sunday, February 24th, 11:00 a.m. -12:30 p.m.
Join MAC Zumba Instructor Joanna Shearer for an exciting 90-minute Zumba Fitness Class with Zumba Jammer from Paris, Knzo Mendy. Doors will open at 10:30 a.m. Cost is $15 in advance or $20 at the door. The event is open to the public and space is limited. Relax Your Heart with the Ancient Art of Tai Chi Chuan (for adults)
Mondays 6:00-7:00 p.m. and/or Fridays 9:00-10:00 a.m.
Tai Chi Chuan is an ancient art that embodies China’s most profound concepts and principles of health and movement. Practiced at a slow and even speed, Tai Chi promotes relaxation, posture, and balance. These simple movements are widely acknowledged to help calm the emotions, focus the mind and strengthen the immune system. A simple 1-2-3 method of the popular Yang-style (24 poses) is taught, along with simple exercises that relax and rejuvenate. Cost to attend 12 sessions is $180 for MAC members and $200 for non-members. Art for the Mind, Body and Soul (for adults)
Mondays 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. or 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Relax and unwind in this enjoyable class that will guide you through the process of making your own special vision board, creating a mandala, designing a zen garden and more. Let go of stress as you take time out to be imaginative and creative. Cost to attend eight sessions is $120 for MAC members and $132 for non-members. About the Middletown Arts Center
The Middletown Arts Center (MAC) is an award-winning, state-of-the-art facility run by the nonprofit Middletown Township Cultural and Arts Council and is dedicated to bringing quality arts programming and events to Middletown and surrounding communities. The MAC offers affordable enrichment programs and entertainment for all ages and abilities. Visit www.middletownarts.org for
more information. The MAC can also be found on Facebook at Middletown Arts Center and Twitter @MiddletownArts
Miss Deena and Her Teen Dance Program (Credit: Jennifer Smiga)
Middletown Arts Center Registration Now Open for All Ages for Winter – Spring Classes In the Arts, Dance and Music
PRESS RELEASE: Middletown, NJ (January 11, 2013
) – Class registration for Winter through Spring 2013 is now open at the Middletown Arts Center (MAC), located on 36 Church Street in Middletown, NJ. The institution is encouraging adults and children of all ages and abilities to make 2013 the year to explore the arts. This past fall left many families with little or no time to spend together, but the Middletown Arts Center invites the public to visit its 23,000 square-foot arts facility for some much needed rest, relaxation and entertainment. Visit www.middletownarts.org
for a full listing of classes.
The Middletown Arts Center’s arts programming allows members and non-members to discover their inner artist, musician or dancer and also offers children unique activities to explore their imagination and express themselves. The classes offered for children include DoOdle Dude’s cartooning and animation, musical theatre fun, puppetry, fashion design, guitar, dance classes for boys and girls, kiddie rock concerts and music lessons with Miss Sherri and much more. There are also exercise classes available for adults looking to carve out some time to de-stress in the New Year. Classes include Tai Chi, Zumba, Yoga, Hula Hooping, authentic Argentine tango, Irish-step, tap and ballroom dance.
For individuals and families in need of financial assistance due to Sandy, please contact Maggie O’Brien, the Middletown Art Center’s Executive Director, at 732-706-4100 and she will discuss opportunities for discounted programming. MAC members also receive discounts on classes and camps throughout the year.Join the Middletown Arts Center Team
The Middletown Arts Center is currently looking for artists and educators to join its team. Individuals who are interested can contact Maggie O’Brien at 732-706-4100. The MAC is currently looking to expand its programing by offering classes in adult crafts such as jewelry, beading, fiber and photography, as well as children’s classes in film making, animation, advanced art, drawing and arts and crafts.About the Middletown Arts Center
The Middletown Arts Center (MAC) is an award-winning, state-of-the-art facility run by the nonprofit Middletown Township Cultural and Arts Council and is dedicated to bringing quality arts programming and events to Middletown and surrounding communities. The MAC offers enrichment programs and entertainment for all ages and abilities. Visit www.middletownarts.org
for more information. The MAC can also be found on Facebook at Middletown Arts Center and Twitter @MiddletownArts