If you would like to ADVERTISE on this blog, contact us.

To purchase anything mentioned in the posts or in the shop, just click on the link to make your purchase. Thank you.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Yoga in New Jersey

In Twitter, we're following and being followed by:

Power Flow Yoga in Morris County and Hot and Soul Yoga in Monmouth County and have added them to our database.  

You can find them listed under Wellness with other yoga studios like Ananta Yoga Studio in Passaic County and Yoga Healing Arts Center in Salem County .

Some yoga studios ae exclusively that, yoga.  Other wellness centers include yoga as one of several modalities.

Whatever your preferences, we continue to search and find the unique products and services you can't find in malls all over New Jersey.

Today, we also added the following:

Jane Consignment - Mercer County (also following on Twitter)

Lee Van Zyl - Psychic - re-added after some kind of computer glitch (also on Twitter)

Earth Spring Wellness - colon health - Passaic County

Pooka Pure and Simple - natural handcrafted beauty and personal care products - Essex County

The Bent Spoon - Mercer County - "artisan ice cream and good ingredient bakery"

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Arts in our listings

I've been really busy trying to get as much into the database that I can and to get AwareNJ noticed that I haven't had much time to do anything else.  I keep looking for interesting shops and companies all over the state and I enjoy finding them.  There so many creative and talented people all over the state who have started businesses with unique products and services.  I want to make time to visit as many of them as I can. Here are a few i just added to the database:

Grounds for Sculpture in Mercer County is a destination to plan for with 35 acres and over 250 sculptures, events, workshops and an online shop.

The Center for Clay Art in Morris County has pottery wheel and hand building classes where you can make your own pottery.

Another place to indulge your own creativity is Glass Works also in Morris County.  They have classes for adults, children and teens.  Take a look at their gallery on their web site to see what's been done there.

 in Burlington County, also has stained glass classes and does custom stained glass window projects.  It's good to know there are resources all over the state.

Glassblowing is a little more than I think I can handle but, if you'd like, you can take classes at Hot Sand in Monmouth County.  It's just one type of workshop they offer.

Just a few new entries we keep adding.  Tomorrow, I'll focus on some of the yoga studios I've located.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Computer problems et al

Computer problems and stalled web site.  Lots to fix.  Hoping to get some helpful advice from a tech friend later.

Looks like it's going to be a beautiful day again today.  GET OUTSIDE.  Plant something.  That's what I'm planning to do.  I have some transplanting to do too.

If you stop by, please at least say hi in a comment.  Thanks.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Being safe with wild mushrooms

I'm looking for sources of locally cultivated mushrooms.  I haven't found any yet.  In the course of searching I've found several references to mushroom poisoning in New Jersey.

It's really not a good idea to hunt funghi without training or someone with you who knows what's what.

I grew up in rural New York state.  My families hunted and fished and collected a variety of wild foods.  My father picked field mushrooms when we happened on them on our treks.  They were big, looked a lot like portabellas and tasted like them.  My mother always had a fit about him bringing them home and especially about feeding them to my sister and I.  I loved them. 

At one point, probably when I was in high school, I asked him to show me how to tell which mushrooms were safe.  He tried but, to this day, I can't tell so I don't try.  I let someone else find them.

This is the little I know about wild mushrooms.  Don't pick or eat them unless you know exactly what you're doing.  Don't take wild mushrooms from anyone you don't know very well.

I lived in California for nearly 20 years and met a very interesting woman who knew mushrooms.  There are some different varieties there than here.  There are some that are the same.  I went on a mushroom hunt with her and several people and we ate what we collected at the end of the day.

Don't ever pick, touch or collect any nearby funghi to these:

These are Fly Agaric or Amanita muscaria - THEY ARE POISONOUS.  Very beautiful but poisonous.  They send tiny threads through the soil to collect nutrients.  The threads contain the same poisons.  If normally safe mushrooms are growing close enough, they could contain the same poison.  Don't take the chance.  If an expert reads this and can refute it, so be it but, better safe than sorry.  There are people who peel the caps and injest small amounts of the amanita for their own reasons.  I suggest not.

I saw one of these

 on our hunt:  Amanita ocreata - death angel mushroom.  Also very beautiful, the one I saw was about 2 1/2 inches tall, translucent, almost glowed in the light that touched it.  It was very delicate.  I took a photo with a friend's camera and have never seen the shot but I remember it.  I've seen less than half a dozen in my life.  They are Amanita - poisonous.

We found quite a few Chanterelles:

As far as I know there is nothing else that looks like them.  They are edible.  I found them nearly tasteless but they add color and substance to dishes.  I tasted them raw and sauteed. 

These are the field mushrooms I remember

my father collecting.  We sliced the cap horizontally, fryed them in butter on bread with butter.  Delicious - like portabella - lots of flavor, meaty.  There are, I understand, other mushrooms that look like them that are NOT safe.

So, don't pick wild mushrooms on your own.

There are plenty of tasty varieties of mushrooms available at markets, and, I'm still looking to see if there are mushroom growers in New Jersey.  I haven't found any yet.

(all photos collected as public domain photos online)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Little Bit of This....

A little bit of this, a little bit of that this morning, experimentation with logos, as well:

The Importance of Art

We recommend visiting River Queen Artisans web site and visiting their gallery in Lambertville.  They're open today.  Art galleries are great places to visit.

An interesting post from Facebook: shows the importance of art in so many ways.

In addition to the River Queen Artisans Gallery, visit our site, do a search on the category Arts and see what else we're listing - so far - around the state.  Add your county and see what's near you.

Making art is also important.  You'll  also find, under Arts, a variety of places where you can do arts and crafts.  One that we going to add today is the Center for Clay Art in Lake Hiawatha.  There are many others.
It's also important to support the arts when you can so that places like
can exist and be enjoyed by everyone.

Healthy Cosmetics
Another interesting post on Facebook goes to this interesting video at Youtube.  Whether or not you agree with the information in the video, it's food for thought.  And, considering what your daily personal care routine might be, there are alternatives: 
The Little Egg Harbor Soap Company makes handmade soaps and skin care products:

And there are plenty of shops selling healthy cosmetics and skin care products and we keep searching for more.  Search on our site under Beauty.
Visit us frequently as we add more links.  Let us know how we're doing.  Give us ideas of more things to find for you.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Buy Local - II

AwareNJ doesn't list eateries - too many and plenty of directories to do that.  We do list, however, businesses that make foods, like chocolates and other sweets, ice cream, cheeses, buffalo, etc.  Do a search on Food.  Great Stuff!

However, we will blog about local eateries that we frequent and like.  So...

Last time we wrote about The 3/50 Project.  We support them and their idea.  The idea is to identify 3 local businesses that you appreciate and spend $50 a month among them, thereby having a major impact on the local economy.  Visit their site.  Great idea!

I, owner of, am a creature of habit.  I often hole up, work early and late trying to get this enterprise off the ground, then run out at lunch or dinner time, or both, drive 5 or 6 blocks to the local chain mart for a quick order sandwich to bring home.  After reading the thinking of The 3/50 Project, I decided to break the habit.  But to start this a little differently.

First, find a local business where I can get a good sandwich, preferably fast.  And, drop the chain.

So, I would like to recommend Marianna's Pizza Cafe in Phillipsburg and Bernardsville.  It will now be my preferred local sandwich place.  I was recently treated to a delivered lunch from Marianna's.  It was incredible.  I had the Lacquered Salmon.  Fantastic!  Yesterday, I called in an order for their Marianna's Cheese Steak sandwich.  Wonderful!  Fresh, tasty.  Really, really good.  I met the new general manager.  Today, I had their The Blue:  roast beef, caramelized onions, bleu cheese, horseradish mayo.  Excellent.

Try Marianna's.  Visit The 3/50 Project.  Follow their plan and support 3 of your local businesses by spending money there regularly.  Think of the things you spend money on regularly, at chains, at the malls, make a difference, find local independent businesses that provide the same thing, maybe a little differently, maybe a little better, maybe a little more personally.  Spend your money there.