Category Archives: Garden State Living

Hip New Jersey spotlights the businesses and communities that are making the Garden State fabulous!

Cucina Camp: A Taste of Summer

Summer is so close, we can practically taste it!

While the coming change in season screams for warm weather, beach weekends and layers of sunblock, it’s also a time for summer camp! #HipNJ’s Lisa Marie Latino welcomes back our friend Cara Di Falco, who has cooked up a special summer experience, Cucina Camp!

Cucina Camp welcomes campers ages 8-15 years old, with lessons broken out by age group. Students are introduced to age-appropriate kitchen skills and grow a deeper understanding of where our food comes from in a hands-on way. Class sizes are kept smaller so that campers experience more than a demonstration, they are fully immersed in the culinary experience.

While the camp boasts a full kitchen and dining space (thanks to partners at Culinary Concepts!) the activities are not limited to cooking. Campers learn the importance of where our food comes from, including the quality of the dirt, and how certain foods can affect your health.

To demonstrate the type of activities a camper might enjoying during their time at Cucina Camp, Cara invites Lisa Marie to whip up some pasta dough.What kid wouldn’t love getting their hands a little messy and playing with dough!?

Cara’s philosophy is that food is creative, so she even incorporates some fun crafts projects that help provide a linear look at food preparation. For example, campers can paint and decorate their own terracotta pot, learn how to properly plant seeds, and then later, cook using fresh herbs.

For more information on this fresh take on summer camp, visit Be sure to follow Cara on social media for all her latest creations! You can find Cara’s Cucina on Facebook and Instagram.

GlamLife Lounge

When looking for a cosmetologist, you want someone who is passionate about what they do, someone who loves their craft.

Jennifer Capella, owner of GlamLife Lounge in Maplewood, NJ, couldn’t just focus her passion on her clients outward appearance. Jennifer needed to transform her clients confidence to truly feel like her job was done.

#HipNJ’s Vanessa Coppes welcomes Jennifer to the studio to discuss where this passion came from. When Jennifer relocated from Brooklyn to New Jersey, she struggled to find a place that met her expectations. So she did what most strong women who find something lacking in their community do: they build their dream.

And so, GlamLife Lounge was born. This ‘one-stop shop’ brings all of the most sought after beauty treatments and services under one roof: hair, make up, nails, eyelashes, facials, extensions, and even custom wigs.

That’s where GlamLife Lounge truly stands out; marrying the trendy looks with custom creations. Rather than providing a service just to turn a profit, Jennifer and her staff take the time to educate themselves and their clients on what is truly best for them and their hair.

Jennifer’s prime example of this is extensions, where Jennifer works with clients to make sure their hair and scalp are healthy enough to be candidates. She also prefers micro-links, a version of extensions that often leave hair in much better shape than their sewn in counterparts, even after removal.

This dedication to providing custom service to each client is everything to Jennifer. She tells Vanessa, “If you walk out of my shop with your back a little bit straighter, then I did my job!”

Glam Life Lounge is located at 491 Valley Street, Maplewood, NJ. Be sure to follow them on social media, on Instagram or Facebook!

New Jersey Family Magazine

Happy Mother’s Day, New Jersey!

It’s no secret that most mothers could use a little bit of help every now and then – and maybe even plan something just for her. One of the best and all-encompassing resources for New Jersey moms is New Jersey Family magazine.

#HipNJ’s Lisa Marie Latino welcomes Dina El Nabli to the studio to discuss all the things this family-focused magazine does to help Garden State Mamas!

Having been around for nearly 30 years, New Jersey Family magazine has evolved to keep up with the changing pressures of Motherhood and New Jersey life. Most recently, the platform has under gone a mini-makeover, with a fresh new logo and a re-focusing on the role of “Mom” in the family.

“We are moms, and that’s our most important job, but we are women first, and so we really need to fill our own cups to be there for our kids.” To reinforce this philosophy, New Jersey Family has put a bigger focus on topics like healthcare, fitness, beauty, and even tips on girls’ night out and how mom can finally score some “me time“!

One awesome new feature in the magazine is their “Mom Crush” where they place a spotlight on one inspiring woman who is taking strides in motherhood and work-life balance. Recent Mom Crushes include author Kate Parker and Jersey Shore Cosmetics creator, Jacquelyn Foster-Quattro.

New Jersey Family also knows that different moms have different needs, from what information they need to how they get it. They offer magazines for Moms at all stages of Motherhood, from New Jersey Baby, to Raising Teens! And while you can find a copy of New Jersey Family at grocery stores and your local rec centers, they are also available at and across social media!