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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Butcher Box Review

Hi Friends! Today’s blog is all about Butcher Box. The waitlist that was implemented earlier this year due to the pandemic has been lifted, so new customers can sign-up now. I am going to share all that I think you need to know before you first order. Speaking of first orders, Butcher Box is currently running a $15 off promotion for new customers (click here – I’ll get $15 back with this code too). If you’re on the fence about trying it out, I hope this post helps. We have ordered from Butcher Box a few times a year for just about 2 years. Overall we have been really happy with the quality!

If you take a peak at their website, you will learn that Butcher Box has quickly grown from a start-up company to one of the nation’s top online sources for grass-fed beef. They have very high standards when it come to product sourcing, sustainability and humanely raise animals (click here to read more on BB sourcing). This means that customers are getting high quality beef, pork and poultry. Butcher Box beef is 100% grass-fed!

Butcher Box is a subscription service for grass-fed beef, free-range and non-GMO organic chicken, heritage pork and wild seafood. Although it’s a subscription, you have the option to delay or change your shipment days. This means you don’t have to commit to it every month. We order roughly once per quarter to supplement our grocery store purchases. Usually we save our BB items for weekends when we have more time to dedicate to cooking a nice meal. It’s also a great option for a home date night.

Source: Butcherbox.com

You start by selecting your box type (custom or random) and size (classic or big). There is currently a $20 difference between the custom classic and custom random boxes. The random selections do allow you some preferences (see below), but you don’t have full control over your order. We are a family of 2 and have enjoyed the custom classic option. It allows us to pick 6 selections of our choice. I feel that this ensures we get our money’s worth and truly look forward to cooking each item. Something I also like about Butcher Box is that on their website they provided suggested uses for each selection along with more detailed recipes. You order will be shipped to you with dry ice. All of the items are frozen, so you should transfer them directly to the freezer upon arrival.

Although the pricing may initially seem high, think of it this way. The custom classic box is currently $149. Let’s say you chose 6 orders of organic chicken breast, you will receive roughly 18 lbs of chicken. That comes out to about $8.27/lb which I feel is pretty on-par with my local grocery store for organic chicken breast.

When it comes to quality, Butcher Box is top notch. We have loved just about everything that we have tried. My husband {who is not a picky eater} can always tell when I cook with Butcher Box. That’s how noticeable the quality is in comparison to organic brands you find in the grocery store. For the quality alone, I can’t recommend Butcher Box enough. I also like having the option to try beef or pork cuts that I wouldn’t typically pick up in the grocery store. It’s a great way to try new recipes at home.

Items that we have tried and loved:

  • Boneless Skinless chicken breast
  • Chicken party wings
  • Boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • Whole chicken
  • Ground beef
  • Steak tips
  • Stew beef
  • Sirloin steak
  • NY strip steak
  • Flat iron steak
  • Filet mignon
  • Boneless pork chops
  • Pork tenderloin
  • Ground pork
  • Ground breakfast sausage
  • Babyback ribs
  • Bacon
  • Whole turkey (available around Thanksgiving)

The only item we were not crazy about has been the pre-made beef burger patties. Otherwise, everything has been fantastic. There are few negatives I want to share to ensure you get my full and honest opinion. Since everything comes frozen, you do have to plan ahead to ensure you properly thaw you selection in time for your meal. Additionally, since everything is frozen it can be hard to tell how many pieces of chicken, wings or steaks are in a package. For chicken breast specifically, there have been times that I felt I did not get a full 3 lbs of chicken in my selection.

Through social media I have seen others highlight some packaging issues upon arrival. I did not notice any packaging issues with my orders until this year. One of our selections had a tear in the packaging. Fortunately, Butcher Box’s customer service has been great and they quickly made good on the issue. I carefully inspect each piece before putting in my freezer to ensure it’s fully sealed. I would encourage you all to do the same.

To see how I use Butcher Box in my kitchen, be sure to follow me on Instagram (@redroseandhoney). Don’t forget to use THIS LINK to save $15 on your first order – I’ll save $15 when you sign-up too!

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My Top 5 Reasons to Buy a Le Creuset Dutch Oven

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 Amazon.com and affiliated sites. All opinions/recommendations are my own.

Last year when I created my bridal registry I went back and forth on adding a Le Creuset Dutch Oven. The little dream-chef voice in the back of my head kept saying, “add it, add it!” I was hesitant because I knew it was a total splurge item and I already had a pretty full list. I wasn’t sure if I would receive it or if it would take the place of a many smaller items that I really needed. In the end, I decided to add the 5.5 qt Le Creuset Dutch Oven anyway. I knew there was a good chance that I would receive gift cards at my bridal shower and I could use them to buy this dutch oven. The month of our wedding my co-works threw me a bridal shower and bought me my dream shower gift!

Before adding this dutch oven to my registry I did do a good amount of research on it. I wondered if it would be worth the money and what size I should get. I also noticed that most of my favorite chefs on The Food Network and The Cooking Channel used them. It was this article that ultimately lead me to the 5.5 quart round dutch oven. Now that I have been using this Dutch oven for a while, I would say that it is a good size. We are currently a family of two and most of the meals I make in this Dutch oven yield enough for left overs.  It’s not too small or too big. It seems like just the right size for me, but I don’t think this size would be big enough for “one pot meal” for a family of 5.

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My #1 reason to buy a Le Creuset Dutch Oven is because it is so versatile. I have used it to make soupchili, chicken pot pie, all different types of sauce and pasta. I’ve also used it to sautee large batches of veggies to put in casserole type dishes. There are still so many dishes I want to try to. I would love to make bread or roast a chicken in it as well. It has really become my go-to pot to cook with.

I am a huge fan of oven safe cookware. It really gives you a lot more options when you’re preparing a meal. The Le Creuset Dutch oven is no exception; it’s totally oven safe. It transfers from stove top to oven with no problems (including the lid). I always start my chicken pot pie in on the stove and transfer it to the oven. I have also made really tasty bolognese sauce (blog in the works) which I put in the oven and was stunned with how well it turned out.

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I love how easy to clean my Dutch oven is! I always let my Le Creuset {and all of my cookware} cool completely before I clean it. Although the website says it is dishwasher safe, I always hand wash it with soap and a soft sponge. On days that there is some stubborn, stuck on food, I will let it soak in soapy water for a while. With any new {and pricy} cookware, it’s a good idea to read the manufacture warranty before trying any cleaners other than dish soap and a sponge.

My Dutch oven has got quite a bit of use in the last five months. Although it has some minor scratching inside {you shouldn’t use metal spoons} it still looks great. I’ve burned sauce and chili in it, but it has cleaned well and left no signs of damage. It’s super heavy duty, heats evenly, so I feel a great quality of this product helps to justify the price tag. If this dutch oven isn’t gifted to you, then it’s definitely an investment, but I am confident I will be using this pot for many years to come.

Although I went with the 5.5 quart Dutch oven there are so many sizes and shapes to choose from. There are smaller options for smaller or single house holds and large size for bigger families.  If I were to get a second Dutch oven I think I would go for a larger, oval shape to better fit chicken or roasts. I feel like there is a size {and color} for everyone!

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