Tag Archives: hipnj

NJ Celebrities: World Smile Day

By Kenneth Barilari

Today is #WorldSmileDay! They say you’re never fully dressed without a smile, so here are some of our favorite #NJCelebs showing theirs off.

Ashley Tisdale (Monmouth County)

My little lady. ? #maui

A photo posted by Ashley Tisdale (@ashleytisdale) on

Christina Milian (Jersey City)

Well Hello There Birthday Girl! @MamaMilian aren’t you a cutie ? #HappyBirthdayMom

A photo posted by Christina Milian (@christinamilian) on

Kelly Ripa (Starford)

My girl @instafaithford – sisters reunited. ? Hope and Faith est. 2003.

A photo posted by Kelly Ripa (@kellyripa) on

Teresa Guidice (Towaco)

?Happy 7th Birthday to my beautiful princess mommy loves you ❤️??

A photo posted by Teresa Giudice (@teresagiudice) on

Charlie Puth (Rumson)

Thank you for asking me to be a part of such a special evening. #SU2C

A photo posted by Charlie Puth (@charlieputh) on

Joe Jonas (Wyckoff)

Lots of laughs & games with @theashleygraham & @bravoandy @BravoWWHL #wwhl

A photo posted by J O E J O N A S (@joejonas) on

Nick Jonas (Wyckoff)

Clearly I’m really sad in this picture ? Photo credit @jeromeduran

A photo posted by Nick Jonas (@nickjonas) on

Lea Michele (Tenafly)

Wendy Williams (Asbury Park)

I love YOU for watching!!! See YOU Sept 19th. #stillnoseylikeyou #SEASON8WILLBEGREAAAAT!!! ?????

A photo posted by Wendy Williams (@wendyshow) on

Brooke Shields (Haworth)

The newest head shot!

A photo posted by Brooke Shields (@brookeshields) on

Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi (Florham Park)

Be sure to snap a smiling selfie and post it using the hashtag #WorldSmileDay!

Tim Green on “Left Out”

By Kenneth Barilari

Tim Green, former American football player, radio and television personality, and best-selling author, has just released a brand new novel, Left Out. #HipNJ spoke with the author to learn more.

Left Out tells a heartfelt and moving story about a deaf boy’s journey to change how others see him both on and off the football field.

Green, former linebacker and defensive end with the Atlanta Falcons, has aspired to be an author since he was in the third grade. “I really became a veracious reader and loved books,” he said. “I dreamed of writing them one day.”

He got the inspiration for Left Out a couple of years ago while on a book tour. He met two boys who were fans of his books, one from Kentucky and one from Arkansas. Both of these boys were football players, and they were both deaf with cochlear implants. Green got their contact information and reached out to the boys and their parents. “One day I want to write a book about a boy who has had the experiences that you have had,” he told them.

He then spoke to the boys extensively via Skype, trying to capture the essence of their lives, struggles, and triumphs. “So many kids strive to create an identity in sports, and they strive for excellence. There are obstacles for all of us. I just thought everyone would be inspired by someone who has an extra set of obstacles,” the author states.

He says that the majority of schools he visits will have at least one student who is deaf with cochlear implants. “It is important for other students to realize how those kids are sometimes marginalized, not only by children but also by adults.”

“Most people innately are afraid and suspicious of someone who is different, and what reading does is it allows us to understand other people’s realities and to have compassion,” he said. “We are all the same on the inside and that’s what’s important.”

Green said that his NFL background has had an influence on the story. His middle grade novels are set in the world of sports. “In the football books, I really rely on the experiences that I have had at the highest level of sports.” Furthermore, his experience can bring a credibility to the characters that is appealing to young readers who might not be all that interested in books. “Knowing I walked in those shoes and lived those experiences brings a kind of credibility to the sports on and off the field.”

When asked what he hopes readers take away from Left Out, Green states two objectives. “My first objective as a writer is to entertain the reader. That’s my number one goal,” he said. That’s why he writes short, action-packed chapters often ending with a cliffhanger. Next, Green hopes to inspire the reader. “The most gratifying part about writing is sharing life lessons with the reader.” He hopes the reader leaves with a better understanding of perseverance, teamwork, self-improvement, and forgiveness.

To learn more about Tim Green, head over to his website. Left Out can be purchased on Amazon now.


The Gloria Foundation: “Taste of Italy” Event

By Kenneth Barilari

#HipNJ spoke with Karen Arakelian, founder of The Gloria Foundation, about the foundation and its recent “Taste Of Italy” event.

The Gloria Foundation, founded in 2013, is a non-profit initiative helping victims of domestic violence. Their mission is to help provide resources to local safe houses and domestic violence organizations.

Arakelian told us that she founded the foundation in memory of her mother Gloria, who was a domestic violence victim. “I thought about what really formed me into who I am. Watching what she went through made me not ever want to depend on anyone,” she said.

Her mother went through a divorce in the 1970’s, a period during which divorce was highly stigmatized. Her mother had not worked and did not drive. After the divorce, she had to get her own job, learn to drive, and learn to be self-sufficient. This inspired Arakelian, and caused her to realize that she wanted to start something to give back.

The 3rd annual “Taste of Italy” event was held on September 28, 2016 at Design Consign in Fairfield. It was an evening of tasting delicious Italian specialties from the area’s finest restaurants, sampling wine from the beautiful countryside of Italy, and listening to live music under the stars. The event featured caviar by Calvisius Caviar and vodka by Claremont Distillery.

What inspired the event? “First of all, I’m Italian,” Arakelian jokes. “I love to entertain.”  This event was not just for fun. It also supported a great cause. Proceeds went to Partners for Women and Justice, a non-profit organization that provides free legal help in New Jersey to low income, abused victims of domestic violence.

They managed to raise around $15,000. About 100 people were in attendance, not including volunteers. “It’s a beautiful thing when the whole community chips in. It really is a team effort,” Arakelian said.

Every seven minutes, someone reports a domestic violence issue in New Jersey. For more information, head over to The Gloria Foundation’s website.