Category Archives: Garden State Living

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

elend mortgage

eLEND Mortgage

#HipNJ and eLEND are teaming up for a #hip promotion with the stars of HGTV’s “America’s Most Desperate Kitchens”, Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri (aka “The Cousins!”)  

For the week of June 29th, the guys are taking over with exclusive video content of their adventures around the Garden State.  The fun kicks off with a LIVE Twitter Q&A on June 29th at 1pm!

“The Cousins are New Jersey, we’re New Jersey, and we’re excited to see their growth,” explained Robert Pieklo, Chief Strategy Officer and EVP of eLEND.

eLEND is a division of Parsippany-based American Financial Resources, Inc., a national mortgage lender.  eLEND strives to provide affordable home financing options to first time buyers and existing homeowners.

“There’s a lot of press out there saying that you need ‘large down payments’ and ‘people can’t qualify for loans’.  We’re helping people realize that’s not the case,” explained Robert.

eLEND is helping the millennial generation establish roots in the Garden State by utilizing the latest technology and delivering educational resources to simplify the mortgage process.  This helps “empower our customers to make well-informed decisions.”

eLEND also offers renovation mortgages, perfect for the young homeowner looking to turn their fixer-upper into real estate gold (like Anthony and John do so perfectly!)

“Whether you want to fix up a kitchen or renovate a whole house, we have the financing that can help make that a reality,” proclaimed Robert.

What sets eLEND a part from the pack is their vision.  While other companies are focused on the “now”, eLEND is focused on tomorrow and beyond.  They are someone you definitely want in your corner while making the biggest purchase of your life!

For more information on eLEND, log onto  And don’t forget to watch the debut of “America’s Most Desperate Kitchens” on Wednesday, July 1 at 8pm on HGTV!



The Connie Dwyer Breast Center’s 3D Mammography

It’s #hip to be #healthy, and #HipNJ is helping fight breast cancer by celebrating the 10th anniversary of The Connie Dwyer Breast Center!

Founded in October 2004, The Connie Dwyer Breast Center at Saint Michael’s Medical Center is a comprehensive, state-of-the-art facility providing expert diagnosis and treatment of breast disease.  Further, the Center stresses  prevention, early detection, and educational outreach programs in northern New Jersey.

#HipNJ’s Maria Falzo picked the center for her first base line mammography.  The center’s sunny decor, warm staff and positive aura put “my anxiety at ease,” she explained.

Why is it super important to be on top of your mammos?  One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime. That’s why it is vital to make sure the cancer is discovered early when prognosis for treatment and a complete recovery is best.

Maria, along with Director of Development for The Center, Janet Lesko, embarked on their mammogram journey together.  Janet’s is a routine annual mammogram, and has been getting her done at The Center since its doors opened.

After checking in with the staff and consulting with the radiologist, Maria and Janet had their 3-D Tomosynthesis mammography.  These machines take 3-D images of the breasts. This revolutionary technology gives radiologists the ability to identify and characterize individual breast structures without the confusion of overlapping tissue. Viewing breast tissue in 3-D images allows for clearer more accurate readings that can identify breast cancer in its earliest stages, when prognosis is best.

Soon after the mammogram, Dr. Ami Shah read the results, and gave both Maria and Janet a clean bill of health!

For more on The Connie Dwyer Breast Center, log onto

my gym

My Gym of West Orange

#HipNJ sat down with Gina Simmons, the owner of My Gym in West Orange, to talk about a new, fun way to keep your kids active and healthy!

My Gym is a children’s fitness center that offers a wide variety of activities and classes from “Little Bundles” to “Cardio Kids.” Parents can bring their children to My Gym as early as 6 weeks, where they participate in songs, swings, dances, and infant-safe rides.

“I think it’s really important, at a very young age even, to have children associate fitness with fun,” explains Gina. “My Gym’s main concept is to build confidence and self-esteem, because if they have that, they can do anything in their lives.”

For the younger tots, the focus is on songs, visual stimulation, dances, and just plain fun! As children get older, the activities become more athletic and they can engage in classes such as “All Stars Sports” and “Champions.” Kids gain strength, balance, coordination, agility, and flexibility while hanging out with their friends in a playful, encouraging environment.

My Gym of West Orange stands out with it’s expert staff, headed by Gina Simmons. Gina has a B.F.A. in Theatre with a background in children’s musical theatre and dance. Gina uses her talents to inspire children and help them lead a healthy, happy lifestyle from the beginning. Her background makes her the perfect fit to lead in My Gym’s award-winning programs including classes, camps, and birthday parties!

“It’s so important that they (the My Gym staff) have some sort of Early Childhood development background or physical education background. Also, often some background in theater or dance,” says Gina.

My Gym of West Orange is currently offering some amazing specials, including $50 off the One Time Lifetime Family Membership and $50 off the first four weeks (with a minimum of an 8-week commitment). Also, with summer just around the corner, they are offering 30% off their summer camp price.

For any parent or guardian, this is a must-see segment!

For more information on My Gym of West Orange, please visit their website.