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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Amazon Roundup|September 2019

Disclaimer: I am participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. All opinions/recommendations are my own.

Hi friends! I can’t believe September is over. I know everyone says the same thing, but this year has been flying by. Each month seems to come and go more quickly than the last. I have a lot on my plate this fall with grad school, working full time {commuting part time} and spending time with my family. Amazon is my go-to for just about everything. Who doesn’t love fast shipping and good prices? Here is a roundup of my Amazon purchases that I have been loving this month.

Bluelight Glasses | Brita Pitcher | Body Wash | Patio Umbrella Cover | Bronze Apothecary Jars | Travel Laundry Bag | Solar Garden Lights | Shark Vacuum Filter Replacements |Dog Car Seatbelt

My job, commute and this blog all have me on my phone or computer many more hours of the day than I would like. It has definitely been tough on my eyes. Since I started working after college, I have noticed a downfall in my vision. While blue light blocking glasses don’t really help with vision, they do help my eyes feel less strained and tired. I keep a pair of these glasses in my night stand, home office and desk at work. I really like the most recent pair I got from Amazon.

I am always trying to drink my water. It is so difficult for me! To help ‘up’ my water intake, I recently bought a Brita pitcher. Although we have filtered water in our fridge, it is painfully slow and I don’t really care for ice cold water. I can fill this pitcher up quickly from our kitchen sink instead. It has also come in handy for refilling our coffee machines, the tea kettle and for cooking.

Puracy is one of my favorite brands that I discovered on Amazon. I have bought their hand soaps, cleaning products, bathroom sprays and body wash. I am really loving this coconut/vanilla body wash scent! I have been on a mission to slowly change our cosmetic and cleaning products over to safer options. This month in the Amazon cleaning department, I picked up vacuum filter replacements. Amazon is the only place I can find these.

Sticking with new bathroom staples, I love these little apothecary jars! They came in a set of 3 and are great quality. I have them on my bathroom shelves with Q-tips, cotton balls and cotton rounds.

I actually purchased these travel laundry bags in August for our trip to Baha Mar, but I loved them so much, I am including them here. These helped to keep our suitcases organized during our trip. When we got home, we just threw the bags into our laundry room.

Moving to the outdoors! These two purchases are totally random, but that’s one of the reasons I love Amazon. It literally has almost every item I can think of. We recently finished up our backyard landscaping, so I bought these solar lights to add a little extra touch to our new gardens. My husband says that I put so many out that our yard looks like an airport, but I love them! I also picked up a cover for our patio umbrella. We have a similar Amazon Basics cover for our outdoor chairs too. I think these covers are great quality especially for the price.

Last but not least, something for the pup. I picked up this dog car seatbelt for my parents to keep in their cars for Henry. We have a different version for our cars that clip into the seatbelt holder, but sometimes Henry steps on the button and releases it. This version clips around the head rests. Henry LOVES riding in the car and I feel better knowing that he’s secured to the seat.

Breakfast: My Favorite Meal

Breakfast is hands down my favorite meal of the day. I never, ever skip break or skimp out. It’s always a meal full of tasty nutrients. I am a huge believer in starting your day with a healthy meal to set the tone for your food choices the rest of the day. I am also the type of person who wakes up starving. If I skipped breakfast I would be miserable. Here are some of my favorite breakfast choices.


I LOVE oatmeal. I could eat it all day long. There was a point in time where I ate oatmeal for breakfast every day for at least a year. I only eat real oats. None of that instant oatmeal non-sense here. While instant oats are a good attempt at eating a healthy breakfast they are loaded with unnecessary sugars. If you are short on time in the morning and like the efficiency of instant oatmeal opt for the plain kind. I order my gluten-free  Bob’s Red Mill Oats from Amazon. They usually cost around $30 for 4 bags and I use about 1 bag per month. It’s the best value I’ve found.

Now, for some gluten-free clarification. Oats technically are gluten-free. If you compare Quaker Oats to Bob’s Red Mill you probably can’t tell them apart. Oats are not gluten-free if they are grown in a field and processed in a factory with wheat, barely and rye gains. If you have a gluten intolerance or allergy make sure you buy gluten-free oats.

I have tried so many different ingredients in my oatmeal, but I always use unsweetened vanilla almond milk, cinnamon and flax seed as my based ingredients. I actually prefer the taste of Almond Breeze almond milk, but have stopped using it because this brand contains carrageenan. I now only use the Silk brand. Cinnamon is good for your metabolism and flax seed is an excellent source of fiber. About 4 months ago I started making overnight oats. I fell in love with oatmeal all over again (overnight oats post coming soon!). Letting the ingredients sit over night really infuses the oats with flavor.  Overnight oats are also a time saver in the morning. You can eat them cold or quickly heat them up. I learned from following the Acid Reflux Diet from The 30 Day Heartburn Solution that soaked oats are easier on your body to digest. Right now my go-to combo is banana and almond butter. Here are my other favorite combos:

Banana & walnuts

Blueberry & walnuts

Apple & walnuts

Banana & peanut butter


You really can’t go wrong with eggs for breakfast. They are full of awesome nutrients including a good serving of protein. If I am having eggs without toast or a waffle, I always have 2 whole eggs. I like to have my eggs scrambled with a sprinkle of cheese and bacon or breakfast sausage. If I don’t feel like adding meat to my breakfast, I will add spinach, feta and tomatoes to my eggs. I love the runny yolk of an over-easy, but I have to have something to dip in it! Nothing beats a perfectly cooked over-easy egg with a slice of toast. Lately, I have really been enjoying heating up left rice or potatoes and veggies with an egg over easy.


Sometimes I like switching up my breakfast and I will have gluten-free frozen waffles. I like to top my waffles with slices of banana, walnuts and organic pure maple syrup. When I buy gluten-free waffles I usually opt for the Van’s or Nature’s Path brands. One of these nutty waffles goes great with scrambled eggs.


When I have a little extra time in the morning I will whip up oatmeal pancakes. They’re pretty easy, filing and of course gluten-free. I like to top them with walnuts or sliced almonds and banana  with organic pure maple syrup.



-1/2 cup of dry oats

-1 tsp cinnamon

-1 TBSP flax sead

-1 egg or 2 egg whites

-1/2 medium banana

-1/8 to 1/4 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk

– Dash of baking soda

-Dash of vanilla or almond extract


Warm your oven on a low heat (my oven actually has a warm setting) and place an oven-safe dish inside. Using a blender (I have a magic bullet)  blend the oats and cinnamon into a fine powder, about 10 seconds. Next, add the rest of you ingredients and blend until smooth. Heat a small frying pan on low/medium head and grease with coconut oil or gluten-free cooking spray. Cooking your pancakes 1 at a time just as you would with a normal pancake. You will know it’s time to flip when you see bubbles in your pancake. As you finishing cooking each one, place them on the warm plate in your oven. If you skip this step I find these pancakes cool quickly. Once you’re done, top with your favorite toppings.

xo Miss Alyss