Category Archives: Garden State Living

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

grape gallop

Grape Gallop

A glass of wine makes for a great trophy!

A race for the sweet taste of wine, the Grape Gallop at Alba Vineyard mixes fitness and wine tasting.  Exercising the mantra “Run, Walk, Taste,” the two-mile hilly course is quite the workout with a great time to follow.

#HipNJ’s Kimberly Merlo was on the course—rocking workout clothes, microphone in hand. Race Director Rober Barwick said the unlikely pairing for the event was sparked by his own interests and the owners of Alba Vineyard were all for it!

“I happen to do a lot of events in running, but I also like to drink wine as a lot of other people do as well,” Barwick said.

Last year, 115 participants ran the course and this year registration increased by 115% making the course a bit more crowded!

The out-of-breath two-mile race winner Christian Husby said he ran the course with his colleagues.

“It’s a fun course with the elevation, the beauty, and the scenery…it was really good,” Husby said.

To win the race, Husby’s strides were intense, but participants were welcomed to stroll the course and enjoy.

“You can run or you can walk, jog if you want somewhere in between, and then right after that you taste Alba’s wines and they’ve got a great variety,” Barwick said.

Lace up your sneakers and get your taste buds ready, a special treat awaits you at the finish line!

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pet spa

Just 4 Paws Pet Spa

Just 4 Paws Pet Spa of Lyndhurst offers more than fur fluffing and frilly bows; they offer a calming experience for your pet!

#HipNJ’s Kimberley Merlo chatted with Just 4 Paws Owner Erica Salvemini about one of the salon’s specialties: animal Reiki. Erica herself is a pet stylist and Reiki master!

“Reiki is a healing modality that’s a very gentle healing therapy. It’s hands-on, but you can also do it as either a light touch or even at a distance if you need to,” Salvemini said. “Reiki works on three levels. It helps with physical, emotional, and the spiritual level.”

Although it may appear as if she is simply petting the dog and nurture as you would your own pet, a transfer of energy takes place.

“You’re learning how to harness the energy just how to bring it down from the universe and to harness it and bring it into the animal,” Salvemini said.

Like humans, animals carry baggage. They have stress, anxiety, some have been beaten and even left behind.  “That little bit of a touch gives them a sense of peace and comfort,” Salvemini said.

At each grooming at Just 4 Paws, you will find gentle pet pamperers hard at work. Rarely and hesitantly they turn pets away, but sometimes they are too difficult to work with….but Reiki can solve that!  Salvemini shared a story of how Reiki instantly calmed one dog that otherwise would have had to be sedated.

To solve your pet’s woes, a dog whisperer or feline psychiatrist won’t do. The gentle touch of Reiki is the therapy they need!

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Starship Pediatric Dentistry

Board the spaceship, they’re ready for take off! Next stop: the planet of pearly whites. That’s right, this is a dentist’s office none other than Starship Pediatric Dentistry in Madison!

Dr. Sky Berdahl started the practice not only to subtract fear and add fun to any child’s trip to the dentist, but to make one of his childhood dreams become reality. That dream: to become a pediatric dental astronaut.

This dentist’s love for sci-fi originated from the first movie he ever saw: “Star Wars”.

“I’m a boy at heart,” Dr. Sky Berdahl said. “I’m a collector, I’m an avid fan of mainly all things sci-fi whether it’s ‘Star Trek,’ ‘Dr. Who,’ anything on television I’m a fan.”

Dr. Sky Berdahl said he tried to incorporate a little bit of everything, as evidenced by his shelves stocked with R2D2 models and Rainbow Bright figurines.

Pediatric dentist Jennifer Wilbur walked us through the space-themed dental experience complete with cleanings, fluoride treatments, movies and puppets.

“A lot of times kids get very nervous about going to the dentist or doctor because they come in and know it is something maybe they should be nervous of,” Jennifer Wilbur said. “What we wanted to do was make it a very exciting experience from when you first walk in.”

Surrounded by toys, iPads, movies, TV and the spaceship décor the kids are put at ease.

“We try to make it a completely different experience—more like a ride than a dental experience,” Wilbur said.

Parents tell their kids they’re not going to the dentist, but going to the spaceship. All aboard and smile bright!

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Photo courtesy of Momagama Madison | Chatham.