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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

New Jersey all around us -

what we can do to help.

Our Environment:

One of the primary categories of interest to AwareNewJersey is our environment.  It's where we live, after all.  Our directory includes a variety of environmental organizations through the state.  There are nature and environmental centers that provide information, programs, hiking, and preservation of local flora and fauna.  There are research and politically active organizations aimed to preserve our environment.

The Tenafly Nature Center provides information on their web site about New Jersey flora and fauna, and has hiking trails, and a variety of activities to offer.

The Wetlands Institute is similar but focuses on a different environment within New Jersey.  They also partner with other organizations to do important environmental research.

The Lakota Wolf Preserve in Warren County, while listed in our Animals category, is also an environmentally important business in New Jersey.  They have a great educational program.

The Delaware River Keeper Network, while located in Pennsylvania, is important for New Jersey as well since the river is our western border.  Having grown up on the East Branch of the Delaware in New York State, I'm very interested in the river and in this organization.  Their aim is to keep the river free-flowing, clean and healthy.

Environment New Jersey is an activist organization to protect the state's environment.  They provide updates on environmental issues throughout the state.

To our Business Friends:

I spend a lot of time searching on the Internet for new and interesting small, independent businesses throughout New Jersey.  I have a couple of thoughts to share with you:

First, Website design is important - what you look like - layout - information you provide about your business.

If you're a brick-and-mortar business, why would you not, on your home page, have your address and phone number and hours of business?  You want people to come to your shop, don't you?  Please make it easy for your customers to find you.  I can't tell you how many often I have to search from page to page to find out how to contact you, where you are.  If someone is in a hurry, they're not going to take the time for that, especially if there are other, similar businesses that make it easier for them.  So, standard information:

Who - Who are you?

What - What are you selling?

When - When are you open?

Where - Where are you?

Why - Why should someone come to your shop instead of some other shop?

All of that should be on your home page.  Please.

Second, Support each other - I know that many of you already do this.  Some of you do not

Our directory currently contains over 300 businesses and organizations throughout the state; we're just beginning.  I've recently found half a dozen small businesses finished, closed.  For us, if you fail, it affects us, our business, our directory, our potential.  It may be the same for some of you.

If you're in a shopping area where there are several small shops, if enough of them begin to fail, your shopping area will be less attractive to shoppers and eventually that downward trend will affect you.  

If you rely on other local businesses for supplies, shipping, advertising, etc., if they are in jeopardy, you may be too.  

What I've found among many of the entrepreneurs I've met is a different mindset than that of large corporations.  I may share my opinions about that some other time.   The small business community is better off learning from each other, supporting each other and cooperating with each other.  In my humble opinion.

In terms of our Environment, the small business community has an opportunity in New Jersey to protect and preserve our environment.  EarthShare New Jersey is a coalition of organizations.  They have workplace contribution programs, scholarship programs, and aim toward larger contributions than the average citizen is able to make.  They have excellent opportunities for New Jersey businesses to make a difference in our state's environmental health.

You might be interested in SituatioNormal, a New Jersey "...full-service creative agency ready to take your idea to the next level."  They provide video, writing, advertising, social media, etc. services aimed to promote your business.

New entries in our directory:

Animal Welfare:
        Safe Haven Rabbit Rescue
        New Jersey House Rabbit Society
        Little Miracles Rabbit Rescue
        For Bunnies Sake Rabbit Rescue
       New Jersey's Environmental Lobby
       Cattus Island Park/Cooper Environmental Center

The Arts
       Two River Theater Company in Red Bank

       Next Step Strategies provides a variety of holistic wellness therapies

       Gillian's Funland of Sea Isle City

      Solar Industries provides solar pool heating systems

      Allaire Village provides a glimpse into life in a historic village.

Have a great day.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Happy Mothers’ Day

As you know - Mothers' Day is this Sunday.

“Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis' work with women's organizations inspired the creation of Mother's Day as a national holiday.  She was born [Ann Maria Reeves] in Culpeper, Virginia, on September 30, 1832….   In 1850, Ann married Granville E. Jarvis….

[Mrs.] Jarvis organized a series of Mothers' Day Work Clubs … to improve health and sanitary conditions. Among other services, the clubs raised money for medicine, hired women to work for families in which the mothers suffered from tuberculosis, and inspected bottled milk and food. In 1860, local doctors supported the formation of clubs in other towns.

Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis died in Bala- Cynwyd, west of Philadelphia, on May 9, 1905. Her daughter Anna led a small tribute to her mother at Andrews Methodist Church on May 12, 1907, and dedicated her life to establishing a nationally recognized Mother's Day.” - Compiled by the West Virginia State Archive found at the West Virginia Division of Culture andHistory web site.

According to the Wikipedia article on Mothers’ Day, there were much older celebrations honoring mothers:  The Anatolian Earth Goddess, Cybele, known in Roman culture as Hilaria; the European Mothering Sunday derived from the former; but our American celebration is directly derived from the work of Anna Jarvis’s desire to honor her mother’s work.

It’s nice, as a mother, to know that it’s a day celebrated all over the world.

Happy Mothers’ Day

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Bangles, and Baubles, and Beads – Oh My!


Whether you just like to buy and wear or whether you like to make your own, we “girls” like our jewelry.

So here’s a selection of shops and jewelers where you can purchase artisan jewelry:

If you’d rather make your own:

The Birds and the Beads has a full selection of jewelry supplies.

Peters Valley Craft Center has a variety of jewelry making workshops.

And, Artful Beads Studio sells jewelry, jewelry supplies and holds jewelry-making classes.

Our Environment:

Continuing with information about plastics in our environment, the Plastics 2020 Challenge is a web site you might want to take a look at.  While it’s not a local organization, the web site has a lot of good information.

New Additions to our Directory:

The Book Garden in Frenchtown

and the jewelers listed above.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Have You Flossed Yet Today?


“Periodontal disease has serious health consequences that go well beyond cavities, tooth loss and, halitosis (bad breath)…Current research has clearly shown that periodontal disease is a known factor for increased risk of heart attacks and strokes, in addition to being a cause of nearly one in five preterm births and a factor in rheumatoid arthritis….” – The Oral Health Bible¸ Michael P. Bonner, D.D.S, et al.

Periodontal disease – gum disease.  Resolved by flossing, regular dental checkups and periodic professional teeth cleaning.

Flossing is essential to good health.


I bought a vintage, cherry chest/dresser yesterday and a large oval walnut framed mirror.  I’m not one for matchy matchy.  I think they look very nice together.  I brought the mirror home and the dresser will be delivered next week.  I was running out of space and have clothes piling up; and that’s after giving away quite a lot. 

I bought both items at

on State Hwy 57 in Stewartsville (Warren County).   I bought a cabinet there several years ago that I use for my fish tank. 
Harvest Star has a very nice collection of vintage and antique furniture, china, decorative items and jewelry.  I have to control myself when I’m in a place like this because I have a tendency to want to collect and I’ve tried to stop that.  Still when I’m in need of something, I often prefer something vintage over something new because of the quality of materials and workmanship.  The dresser I purchased is cherry.  I, quite honestly, can’t afford a solid cherry dresser. The one I bought cost about the same as one at a furniture chain and that dresser would be made from MDF (sawdust).  It was a very good buy.

You will find additional similar shops in our directory.