Shop Local | Made on Long Island

Hi friends! Over the last year I have discovered a few small businesses that I want to share with everyone. I have purchased multiple items from each local Long Island business, and all are women-owned too. Whether you’re shopping for yourself or for a gift, I think these businesses have something you will love. Let’s get to it!

Love Struck by Two

I first discovered Love Struck by Two a year or two ago on Instagram. This business is run by Sheri-Lea Schultz, who is a wife, mom and teacher on LI. I instantly fell in love with the catchy tees, tanks and hats. The signature statements “Island Vibes” and “Raised On An Island” featured on their clothing totally spoke to the Long Island girl in me.

To date, I have two of each of the baseball hats, tees and sweatshirts. The quality of these pieces are excellent. The t-shirts and sweatshirts are buttery soft and run true to size. Earlier this summer I bought the new denim style hat; I’ve been wearing it constantly. It quickly became a summer staple. The signature styles are always in stock, but I especially love the seasonal pieces “Love Struck by Two” features throughout the year like the summer koozies pictured below. Last Christmas I was able to snag one of her limited additional 631 Christmas sweatshirts – I set a reminder on my calendar to be prepared! Other popular seasonal items include denim jackets, tie dye and flannels. The shop also has really cute tees and sweatshirts for Valentine’s and St. Patrick’s Day.

Two Bridges Handmade

I discovered Two Bridges Handmade (formerly known as Emily Makes) a few years back at a local market. My husband and I were walking through the market when a burlap clutch caught my eye. Around this time, I had actually been looking at similar clutches online for an upcoming trip. With the clutch in hand, I got my payment out and when I looked up I realized I recognized the gal behind the table. This small business is run by local Long Islander Emily Spada. Emily and I grew up in the same neighborhood and were in the same girl scout troop in elementary school. Emily’s girl scout craftiness is clearly still shining bright!

Two Bridges Handmade features a collection of hand-sewn pouches, bags, yoga mat bags and now face masks. Emily’s high quality pieces are top notch, and both products I own stand out for being meticulously crafted with neat finishes. You can tell Emily has a great skill and keen attention to detail. My mom was equally impressed when I showed her my most recent purchase. I have a envelope style burlap clutch and a pouch with a zipper that I am keeping in my everyday tote bag. I think it is so cool that these pieces are handmade, but even more so because I grew up in the same neighborhood as the woman who created them. Emily’s pouches are a great price point for gifts too. Be sure to keep her in mind next time you need a gift idea!

Madison’s Niche

Madison’s Niche is a Long Island boutique for women’s clothing, home decor, furniture and more. This business is owned by Karen McAvoy and now has stores in Huntington Village, Garden City, Sayville, and Stony Brook Village. You can also shop Madison’s Niche online. I love that Madison’s niche has so many great pieces for the kitchen; from serveware and dining to home decor. I recently purchased really cute wooden salt and pepper mills which I personally think look really cute on my counter. Although it is really easy to run to HomeGoods when you need to grab a gift, I think Madison’s Niche is a great alternative and you can support a local business instead. It’s the perfect place to find a special gift for housewarmings, holidays and hostesses.

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Pupdate: Henry Turns 2!

Hi friends! Our crazy goldendoodle Henry turned two years old last month. In today’s post, I am sharing a quick pupdate about how we celebrated his birthday. I am also going to breakdown why I love having a dog, a few things you should consider before getting a dog and some of Henry’s favorite products. Let’s go!

Henry weighs in at his second birthday around 50 lbs and 36 inches long. He is a pretty big pup which I have grown to really love. Although I thought he was done growing around his first birthday, he grew a bit more until about 1.5 years old. He still loves his crate {42 inch} and that is where he sleeps at night or when we leave the house. Overall, he is a great dog, but we are still working on some behavioral issues. His focus has slowly improved and he has been doing great on the leash. I really enjoy taking him for walks. We are still working on counter surfing and eating/stealing things he’s not supposed to have {pebbles, twigs and dirt are among his favorites}. I hope in time we can work through these things. If you have any tips, let me know in the comments!

To celebrate his birthday I made him homemade pancakes with oatmeal, banana, peanut butter and raspberries. This dog cannot get enough of bananas and raspberries. He literally comes running into the kitchen when I crack the peel of a banana. We’ve tried to limit Henry’s toy stash because he has accumulated so many, but he got a new toy for his birthday. I opted for a large heavy rope toy; so far he has loved it and it’s very durable. One brand of dog toys that I have continually purchased from Target is Boots & Barkley. Not only are these toys affordable, but have proven to be durable as well. And let me tell ya, Henry really puts his toys to the test.

Top 5 Things I Love About Henry

  1. He is the best snuggle bug.
  2. His goofy personality always makes us laugh.
  3. He waits for me at the window when I come home from work.
  4. He follows me around the house.
  5. He is always excited to go for a walk.

Top 5 Things You Should Consider before Getting a Dog

  1. Dogs are A LOT of work and he will be part of your life for many years. Time and patience are super important.
  2. Dogs are a large additional expense; even past the first year of puppy shots. Vet bills, the basic necessities, flea/tick/heartworm pills, training and grooming add up. Henry gets groomed every 6-8 weeks for about $100.
  3. You have to shift your life and schedule to make sure they are cared for. This may mean getting a dog walker {we love ours} or using a doggy care facility. Henry’s “grandpawrents” are helpful too!
  4. Despite your best efforts, you may run into some difficulties training your dog. All dogs are different and not all are perfect.
  5. Your dog will become your best friend…even when his muddy paws are all over the house and he chews your throw pillows.

Top 5 Favorite Products

  1. Safari Comb: The best tool to keep doodle coats matte-free
  2. Grooming Scissors: For trimming around his face and paw pads.
  3. Soft Frisbee: His favorite for fetch outside.
  4. Hips & Joint Supplements: These have made a HUGE difference on Henry’s mobility. Read my full review of them here.
  5. Slow Eater Bowl: Forces Henry to eat slower so he doesn’t upset his tummy. This shape can be hard to find, but has been the best I’ve tried.

Top 5 Favorite Bandanas

  1. Baseball Bandana (pictured in this blog post)
  2. Orange Plaid Bandana
  3. Patriotic Bandana
  4. Holiday Plaid Bandana
  5. Sprinkles Personalized Bandana

Don’t forget to follow along on Instagram, Pinterest and Liketoknow.it

Health and Wellness Tips

Hi friends! Today I am talking about health, wellness and a few ways I am incorporating both into my lifestyle again. I have put off getting back on the fitness wagon for way too long. Before getting married, I had a lot of self-discipline when it came to making time for fitness. I never thought there would be a time when fitness was not a part of my regular routine, but a wedding, full home renovation, a puppy and a few years later, here I am. In this post, I am sharing what I plan to focus on to get back into the swing of things.

Please keep in mind, I am not a fitness or health professional. This blog post should not be used in place of professional fitness or medical advice. Always consult with your doctor.

Annual Physical Exam: This is something I can already check-off my list. It had been ages since I had a physical and basic blood work, so I decided it was time. I found a great doctor’s office in my area and a new general physician. I am happy to report all checks out a-okay and now I feel even better having a doctor’s office I really like nearby. Sometimes getting yourself to schedule a doctor appointment, but once it’s done and over with, it is well worth the time and effort.

Drink More Water: Unoriginal, right? Unfortunately, this is something I have struggled with for as long as I can remember. A few things that I have incorporated into my day to help bump-up my water intake are 1) a great water bottle (like this one); 2) drink water when I wake-up and before bed and; 3) drink a glass of water before a second cup of coffee or wine in the evening. For me, the water bottle I have makes all of the difference. I realized I am pretty particular about the opening or spout/straw. This water bottle (click here) has been my favorite. It’s a manageable size, the top unscrews and I love the hourly reminder lines. The only downside is that since it is made of glass, it’s not that practical to carry with me while running errands because its a bit heavy.

Vitamins: I first discovered Olly vitamins and supplements about 2.5 years ago. What drew me to Olly was that the ingredients are limited and simple. My favorite and continually re-purchased vitamins are Flawless Complexion, Active Immunity, Immunity Sleep and the ProbioticPrebiotic. Although I am not sure if gummy vitamins are the best option, I find that I always remember to take these.

Flawless Complexion was one of the first Olly products I tried. It does not contain biotin, which I believe causes my skin to breakout. Along with a good skincare routine, I feel that these vitamins help keep breakouts at bay.

Active Immunity and Immunity Sleep: I started taking these vitamins (not at the same time) last fall after battling a bad cold. I spend a lot of time in the city and on public transportation, so I need my immune system to be strong. I feel like these have definitely given me a needed boost.

Probiotic Preboitic: After our trip to Italy last year, my stomach was all out of sorts. I know digestive changes are common when traveling, but I was not feeling myself at all and could not seem to shake it. These vitamins helped me get back on track.

Men’s Multi: My husband has been taking these for at least a year and has been happy with them. These vitamins are now part of his morning routine.

Walking: At the start of the COVID quarantine I decided to pull the trigger and get a Fitbit. I was on the fence for a while mostly because I did not love the look of it. It seemed bulky and I also didn’t see myself wearing it to work. Once the quarantine went into effect, I figured there was no better time to try it out. I went with rose gold and pink Versa 2 because I though it was pretty and would matched some of rose gold bracelets I wear. When I first put it on, I felt like it was gigantic {and it kind of is}, but after a few days I got use to it. The rubber band is comfortable and I like that I can eventually switch it out for other colors/styles. The Fitbit vibrates every hour to remind me to get moving. Another feature I have liked is the battery life. Mine has lasted a few days at a time. It also changes quickly. My Fitbit has definitely made me more aware of how little I was walking. I can’t wait for warmer weather to keep my steps up! My dog loves going for walks; so much so that we have to spell out w-a-l-k when we’re not actually taking him for one. My new Fitbit is definitely going to benefit Henry too!

SPF: I have been a pretty avid SPF user since high school, but I can’t say I am consistent all year-round. I have been trying to make a better effort to apply SPF daily to my face, under my makeup. Years ago a dermatologist recommended Elta MD SPF. It’s light-weight and a good option for break-out prone skin. During the recent Sephora sale, I purchased a translucent powder SPF that can be applied over makeup. There are a few different brands, but I went with a SuperGoop! product that is labeled “Clean at Sephora.”I think this will be handy to keep in my bag or at my desk {when normal work-life resumes}.

Healthy Snacks: Over the last few months I have found myself reaching for granola bars and other pre-packaged snacks often. I recently made a conscious effort to choose fruits and veggies instead. In my area, I think Costco is the best place to buy fruit. The price and quality are the best, so I have been stocking up on blackberries and raspberries – my favs!

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