Roxy’s Best Of…Far Hills, New Jersey

The Best of Far Hills, NJ, from kid stuff (including summer camp) to restaurants to shopping

Aug
02

From Pure Exhaustion to a Feeling of Momentum… Thanks to Nutritionist Corinne Bush at the Far Hills Pharmacy in Far Hills (actually Bedminster), New Jersey

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Over on  my Roxiticus Desperate Housewives blog, I’ve decided to chronicle my latest 90-day-plan to a lifetime of diet and fitness (I’m actually about two weeks in with my 43rd birthday approaching as a milestone in October).  While my most loyal readers can say they’ve heard this song and dance before when I try to commit (again and again) to a healthier lifestyle, I haven’t said a lot here about the constant fatigue I’ve been battling for several months, mostly because I like to serve up answers instead of questions and I’m still in the midst of working it out… with a little help from nutritionist Corinne Bush at the Far Hills Pharmacy. However, as I was drinking my daily dose of pond scum in the name of Green Vibrance, I snapped a photo to share with all of you — one of those “you have to see it to believe it.” Before adding the little packet of Green Vibrance 9.0, that was a bright red glass of V8… now green black as the top of the type pond I wouldn’t choose for swimming. When Dr. Glenn Davis of Chester Medical Associates couldn’t find any reason for my fatigue in his analysis of my blood work, he referred me to nutritionist Corinne Bush, with Rex as an enthusiastic supporter who credits her with saving his life two years ago. One of the questions she asked me was to name my favorite five vegetables… “corn, potatoes, tomatoes, string beans, carrots.” She gave me the last three just so I’d have something to start from, but noted that while I may not be quite as anti-vegetable as my daughters, I don’t seem to get a lot of green in my diet.

The ingredients read like something a spammer might leave behind on the comments section of my blog: spirulina, alfalfa, barley, oat, wheat grass juice powder, hydrilla verticillata, alfalfa sprout powder, Kamut grass juice powder, pharmaceutical grade soft cell Chlorella, parsley and beet juice powder, freeze dried Zucchini powder, carrot root powder, freeze dried green bean powder, broccoli sprout powder and freeze dried spinach powder for nutrient dense health support; soy lecithn poder, Vitamin E, and Policosanol for for cell membrane and nerve support; larch arabinogalactan, stablized brown rice bran, whole apple powder and milled flaxseed representing the high fiber foods and probiotics… the list goes on and on.  Aunt Veg and Uncle Quiet were just here for their annual visit, and militant vegan Aunt Veg gave it her seal of approval, though I’m sure she wishes I would join her for a big bowl of tofu, mushrooms and broccoli instead.

I’ve been at it for a bit more than two weeks, and have rarely missed my 3:30pm dose of Green Vibrance, even the night Rex and I went out drinking with our new colleagues from the Firm.  So far, I’ve had my ups and downs, which don’t necessarily correspond with a good night’s sleep/bad night’s sleep or good day of nutrition/bad cheating fast food binge.  I’m discovering that my level of energy can be boosted by better eating, but there’s nothing like a signed engagement agreement from a brand new client to take me to the top.  There are many more elements to the customized nutrition plan Corinne worked up for me, and I’ll be sharing them here and over on Roxiticus Desperate Housewives as I go along.  I’ve still got the feeling of momentum that comes with a new health, diet and fitness program… let’s hope by sharing it with you I can keep it up.

In the meantime, I give you the best nutritionist that Rex and I can recommend:  Corinne Bush at the Far Hills Pharmacy, 405 Main Street (Route 202) in Bedminster, NJ.  Phone (908) 234-1101.  Don’t forget to tell her Roxy sent you.

Aug
02

Can’t Wait Until October? Get a Taste of the Far Hills Races this Thursday, August 6th

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This year’s Far Hills Race Meeting is scheduled for Saturday, October 17th, 2009 but if you can’t wait for the big event, you can get a Taste of the Far Hills Races this Thursday, August 6th from 6 to 8pm at the Steeplechase Cancer Center at Somerset Medical Center, 30 Rehill Avenue in Somerville, New Jersey. For the first time, Somerset Medical Center is hosting a pre-event to the Far Hills Race Meeting. Caterers and fashion boutiques alike will be showing off their best.  Race-goers will get a sneak peek at what everyone will be wearing to this year’s race, and you’ll have an opportunity to get new ideas for your race spot and tailgating experience, try out a new caterer with complimentary food samples, and see if you can upgrade or move to a different spot.

RSVP to A_Taste_of_the_Races@somerset-healthcare.com with the name(s) attending, contact name, address, phone number and e-mail address.

Jul
07

Ah, the Sweet Routines of Summer… London and Maddie Start Summer Stars Camp at Annie’s Playhouse

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I’m working from home today, since I need to be here to take London and Maddie for their annual doctor visit with Dr. Eric Yorke of Somerset Pediatric in Bedminster, so I had my first opportunity to drive the girls to camp… it’s a top down day, and we had our CD of last year’s musical favorites from Annie’s Playhouse Summer Stars blasting as we drove to the Bernardsville Presbyterian Church in Roxy’s red convertible this morning.  On Broadway, Love Potion Number Nine, Lipstick On Your Collar, Heartbreak Hotel… I had the good fortune of seeing Annie this morning, and learning that London has wasted no time in putting the moves on Annie’s brother, who is one of the reasons my girls jump out of bed in the morning excited to get to Summer Stars camp.

Annie’s Playhouse Summer Stars summer camp in Far Hills, New Jersey (actually, while Annie’s Playhouse “headquarters” is located in Far Hills, the camp sessions are held at the Presbyterian Church in Bernardsville, New Jersey). This year, the girls will be attending Annie’s Playhouse Summer Stars camp for four weeks, and I’m really looking forward to another terrific performance on Friday, August 7th. So far, it sounds like London and Maddie will be performing Under the Sea (from the Little Mermaid), Be Our Guest (from Beauty and the Beast), and We Rock (from Camp Rock)… my little divas were hoping to sing the Hannah Montana fave Best of Both Worlds, but apparently they started camp a week too late to get in on that one…we’ll keep you posted as the show gets closer!

In addition to Summer Stars, Annie’s Playhouse offers classes in Musical Theatre, Dance/Acting, and “Young Starlets.” Fall classes include:

  • MUSICAL THEATRE WORKSHOP (separate classes for ages 8-12 and 13+): This specialized performance class will expand skills in music, movement and performance. Singers, actors and dancers will all benefit from the techniques studied here. Students will work with scripted material, providing them with the opportunity to practice and strengthen presentation techniques.
  • MUSICAL THEATRE JR. (ages 5-7): The first in Annie’s series of musical theatre classes. Students will learn songs, dance, and expand their comfort with performing.
  • MUSICAL THEATRE DANCE (all ages?): Get dance skills you need to succeed with comprehensive curriculum in Jazz, Tap and Ballet for the musical stage. One class for all three, or individual Jazz, Tap and Ballet dancing classes available.
  • HIP HOP (separate classes for 5-7 and 8-12): This fun-filled class opens the stage door to street dance. This class is for everyone interested in energy driven dancing.
  • ACTING: The perfect class to explore and understand the foundations of acting for the stage. Students will be exposed to exercises, monologues and scene work.
  • YOUNG STARLETS: Pre-Musical Theatre (ages 3-5), Sing and Play (ages 3-5), Act I (ages 3-5), and Pre-Ballet/Tap (ages 2+)

Annie’s Playhouse is filled with young, hip, up-and-coming artists and working theater professionals who have the cutting edge needed to prepare your child for the future world of musical theater. Annie’s Playhouse offers a widely diverse curriculum of acting, singing, dance, and a variety of musical theater workshops and combo classes as well as private study in voice and instruments. I may look into piano lessons for London and Maddie in September….Santa brought the girls a keyboard for Christmas 2006, and they really enjoy playing simple tunes, but our in-home instructor quit after only two or three lessons because we “took too many vacations!”

Annie’s Playhouse also offers extraordinary birthday parties; however they are only for registered Playhouse students.

Annie’s Playhouse is owned and operated by Annie Forgione. Annie has over 13 years of professional performance experience. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Central Florida and holds a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre. Annie is an accomplished performer and an active member of Actors Equity Association. Recently she performed as a Disney princess in various shows in Orlando, Florida. Her favorite roles include Rose Petal in My Perfectly Princess Tea Party at Walt Disney World. Annie developed the interactive show Cinderella’s Princess Court with Walt Disney Entertainment, currently playing in New York City. Annie has been a Broadway Kid since age 10 and has performed in numerous benefits in NYC including Friends of Center Stage at the Hudson Theatre alongside the very popular Kristen Chenoweth. Annie has also provided numerous commercial voice-overs for companies such as Coca-Cola, Metlife, and General Motors. As a certified teacher Annie taught Theatre at Bernards High School and directed productions “I Remember Mama” and the unforgettable “Wizard of Oz.”

Jun
23

Music at Moorland Returns to Far Hills, NJ — Thursday Night, June 25, 2009

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Music at Moorland, a magical evening of open-air dining, classical music and spectacular fireworks on the lawn of Moorland Farms in Far Hills, New Jersey, is a much-anticipated event for kids and Roxiticus Desperate Housewives and Husbands alike. The 8th annual Music at Moorland to benefit Somerset Medical Center returns to the Roxiticus Valley on Thursday night, June 25th.

Gates open at 5:30 p.m, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra concert begins at approximately 7:30 p.m., and the amazing Grucci fireworks begin at approximately 9:30 p.m.

This wonderful family event offers a wide array of entertainment opportunities for everyone—from corporate tent parties held on the hilltop overlooking spectacular Moorland Farms to casual picnics with friends and families on the lawn.

You can buy tickets online for as little as $25 per person in advance, or spend up to $300/seat for reserved Benefactor seating tickets.

Music at Moorland has been generously presented since its inception in 2002 by sanofi-aventis, whose commitment to the event, the community and Somerset Medical Center—the beneficiary of all of the proceeds of this event—is extraordinary. This year, the Grammy® Award-winning New Jersey Symphony Orchestra will once again be presenting the evening’s program. The music will start at approximately 7:30pm.

Also back due to tremendous popularity is Fireworks by Grucci, the Long Island-based company that has been presenting extraordinary fireworks displays throughout the world for generations. From the Olympic Games to presidential inaugurations, Grucci provides a ground-shaking performance that is second-to-none.

The painting you see at the left was created by New Vernon artist Janet Tribus, who has always found inspiration in the pastoral farmlands of New Jersey. Tribus’ oil painting showcases the beauty of Moorland Farms in Far Hills on a summer evening, its rolling hills illuminated by a spectacular fireworks display.

Rex and I took London and Maddie when they were really little… back in June 2004, just after we moved out here from New York City. They were a little too young to enjoy either the fireworks (”loud, Mooooommmy!”) or the music, but now that the girls are old enough to help us to lug all the lawn chairs and picnic stuff up the hill, we may give Music at Moorland another try…so join us for a wonderful evening under the stars!  This year, it looks like the weather will be nice on Thursday evening, and our friends from Hilltop Presbyterian Church in Mendham, NJ, have invited us to join them on the lawn at 5:30 for a bit of fellowship before the musical evening begins.  Hope to see you there, too!

Here’s a list of the local ticket outlets, where you can buy tickets for $25 each and avoid paying $50 each at the gate:

Basking Ridge 
Bamboo Grill
185 Madisonville Road
908-766-9499

Bedminster
Willie’s Tavern
Rte. 202 No./Hillside Ave.
908-234-1596

Far Hills Pharmacy
405 Main Street
908-234-1101

Peapack-Gladstone Bank
Village Shopping Center
68 Route 206 North
908-658-4500

Gus & Bucky’s Car Wash
185 US Highway 202-206

Bernardsville
Gary’s Wine & Marketplace
100 Morristown Road
908-766-6699

Monterey Gourmet
167 Morristown Road
908-766-2000

Peapack-Gladstone Bank
35 Morristown Road
908-766-1711

Bridgewater
Peapack-Gladstone Bank
619 Main Street
908-429-9988

Roman Jewelers
400 Commons Way
Suite 281
908-575-1242

Califon
Peapack-Gladstone Bank
438 County Line Road
908-832-5131

Chatham
Peapack-Gladstone Bank
311 Main Street
973-635-8500

Chester
Peapack-Gladstone Bank
350 Main Street
908-879-8115

Clinton
Peapack-Gladstone Bank
189 Main Street
908-238-1935

Far Hills
Butler’s Pantry
Route 202
908-234-2186

Joseph D’Apolito & Son
16 Peapack Road                                                         
908-234-0399

Peapack-Gladstone Bank
26 Dumont Road
908-781-1018

Flemington
Garden Gate Garden Center
101 Route 31
908-788-4255

Gladstone
Peapack-Gladstone Bank
190 Main Street
908-719-4360

Green Village
Peapack-Gladstone Bank
278 Green Village Road
973-377-0081

Hillsborough
Peapack-Gladstone Bank
417 Route 206 North
908-281-1031

Long Valley
Peapack-Gladstone Bank
59 East Mill Road
908-876-3300

Mendham
Peapack-Gladstone Bank
17 East Main Street
973-543-6499

Windswept Boutique
4 East Main Street
 
Morristown
Peapack-Gladstone Bank
233 South Street
973-455-1118

Oldwick
Oldwick General Store
Main Street
908-439-2642

Peapack-Gladstone Bank
169 Lamington Road
908-439-2320

Pottersville
Peapack-Gladstone Bank
11 Pottersville Road
908-439-2265

Somerville
The Gift Gallery at Somerset Medical Center
110 Rehill Avenue
908-685-2200, ext. 3362

Mannion’s Pub & Restaurant
150 West Main Street
908-203-0700

Summit
Peapack-Gladstone Bank
48 DeForest Avenue
908-273-2890

Warren
Peapack-Gladstone Bank
58 Mountain Boulevard
908-757-2805

Whitehouse Station
Peapack Gladstone Bank
Routes 523 and 22
908-534-5590

Apr
27

The Tents Are Up… Time for the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) Rummage Sale in Far Hills, NJ

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Visiting Nurses Rummage Sale Far Hills NJAs we headed through Far Hills and down our beach house in Bay Head, NJ this weekend, Rex and I noticed that the tents were up for the semi-annual Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) Rummage Sale. The bad news is that our family has been so busy that we actually missed the spring dates to drop off donations.  The good news is that we’re in plenty of time to shop, as the Spring Sale dates are coming up this weekend:

  • Friday, May 1st from 9:30am-3:30pm;
  • Saturday, May 2nd from 9:30am-3:30pm; and
  • Sunday, May 3rd from 12:30pm-3:30pm.

The famous VNA Rummage Sale, held every fall and spring at the Fairgrounds in Far Hills, New Jersey, is New Jersey’s largest and oldest. As a major fundraiser for the VNA, one of the Roxiticus Desperate Housewives’ favorite charities, 100% of the proceeds support the VNA’s programs and enable the VNA to care for those who are uninsured or underinsured. If you haven’t been before, prepare yourself! Bargains are everywhere, and the selection, spread out over 75,000 square feet, is incredible: clothing, appliances, antiques, sporting goods, furniture, dishes, books…you name it and you’ll find it there.

PAYMENT FOR MERCHANDISE:  Shoppers can pay for goods with cash or checks (proper identification needed). An ATM is available on site. Credit cards not accepted. Admission and parking is free.  For more information, the Rummage phone line is (908) 781-6445.

Since I dropped the ball on donation drop off dates for the Spring 2009 VNA rummage sale, I’m going to give you plenty of notice for the Fall 2009 sale.  Fall Sale Dates 2009 are as follows:

  • Friday, October 2 and Saturday, October 3: 9:30AM - 3:30PM
  • Sunday, October 4: 12:30PM - 3:30PM

In advance of the Fall rummage sale, the VNA will have the tents set up to accept donations, Monday-Saturday 10am-1pm, starting in early September for about three weeks.

What the VNA Rummage Sale accepts, and other guidelines:

  • As you box your household items or bag your clothing, please sort like items together.
  • Keep in mind that if the VNA cannot sell an item at the end of the sale, they will have to use Rummage Sale proceeds to pay for disposal, so please only donate saleable items.
  • Please limit the weight of each box or bag of donations to less than 20 lb. for easy handling by volunteers.
  • CLOTHING, SHOES, & CLOTHING ACCESSORIES: The VNA accepts clean items in good to excellent condition. The VNA cannot accept clothes with stains, tears, worn elastic bands, broken zippers or are missing buttons, shoes without buckles or laces, and belts that are tattered and worn.
  • ELECTRICAL: The VNA Rummage Sale accepts clean electrical items in working condition. Vacuum cleaners must have all parts and model must be less than 10 years old. Please box or bag all parts together and attach to the electrical item.
  • FURNITURE: The VNA will accept furniture in good to excellent condition. Luggage must be in excellent condition. No locked luggage without keys or combination. Car seats for infants and children must be manufactured within five years, a SAFETY CODE requirement.
  • HOUSEHOLD/KITCHEN: The VNA accepts clean, saleable items in good to excellent condition. Pots and pans without lids or tops are acceptable. Tupperware and other containers (cookie jars, canisters, etc.) must have lids. They cannot accept items that are broken, chipped, or are missing pieces.
  • TOYS: The VNA will accept all games, stuffed animals, dolls, toys, and puzzles. They cannot accept large plastic toys that are broken, missing pieces or have split parts.

Proceeds from your generous donations directly benefit VNA patient services and hospice program.

You’ll find a list of items that are unacceptable at the VNA web site.

INTERESTED IN VOLUNTEERING?: Join over 250 individuals who volunteer at the VNA Rummage Sale. There is plenty to do, and the Visiting Nurses welcome whatever time you can give whenever you are able. For information, call 908-781-6445.

Jan
28

The Butter Bites Get Ready to Rock The House at Somerset Hills YMCA at Bedminster/Far Hills

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Well, maybe when they’re a couple of years older…

I just received a postcard from the Somerset Hills YMCA about a bunch of cool new winter programs for kids at the Bedminster/Far Hills location.

“Your kids will love coming to The House at the Somerset Hills YMCA, Bedminster.  It’s cool enough for them and safe enough for you.  Tell your kids about some of the things they can do at The House.  There’s Improv, Group Guitar & Drum, “So You Want to be a Rock Star,” and Lab Rats.  There’s even a Middle School Friday Program; your kids can take a short walk after school to The House and join a band, watch a movie, record music and play in a video game contest.  Classes for this mini-session begin February 14th.”

I know London and Maddie would love the YMCA’s Recording Sessions:  Learn to record your music like the pros.  Students will learn digital audio recording, “micing” techniques, how to track and mix all of their instruments.  Work will be done on today’s top software like Pro Tools, Albeton Live, and Reason.

Unfortunately for London and Maddie and the rest of their Butter Bites girl band, the Group Guitar Lessons, Group Drum lessons, and Recording Sessions at the Somerset Hills YMCA are all for ages 10 years and up.

I found a few more programs worth noting:

  • Theater Games (ages 4-12 years):  exciting and hihgly interactive sessions of acting, movement, and musical activities that will bring out the star in all of us.  Each week, students will have a chance to express themselves through games and activities designed to build confidence, critical thinking and concentration skills, all while having a blast!
  • The Improv Workshop (ages 9-17 years):  flex your creative muscles as you dive into the world of improvisational theater.  Get in touch with your mind and your body as you learn the basics of improv, physical comedy and slapstick, and create your own characters and sketches.  A must not only for aspiring actors, but anyone who wants to develop their confidence, brain power, and public speaking skills.
  • Pantomime (ages 9-12 years):  this class teaches the art of silent acting.  Be the next “Marcel Marceau.”

Contact Carolyn Vasquez at the Somerset Hills YMCA — Bedminster/Far Hills branch.  84 Somerville Road (Route 202), Bedminster, NJ  07921.  Phone:  (908) 296-0618.

Nov
26

Looking for Clues: Is There A Fluoride Shortage in the United States?

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It’s all I can do to keep up with the bizarre fluctuations in gasoline prices, nevermind what appears to be a national shortage of fluoride. In October 2003, our family left New York City, where there’s flouride in the city water, and moved to the Roxiticus Valley , where we have well water and with no fluoride in it. Now, I’ll save the story of Maddie’s pre-school experiences with pediatric dentistry for another day, but let’s just say I became convinced that she was at risk of tooth decay. Worried about the effect of the lack of fluoridated water in our area on London and Maddie’s teeth, we consulted Dr. David Matthews of Far Hills Dental Care in Far Hills, New Jersey. He recommended prescription multivitamins with a fluoride supplement included, and the girls have been taking PolyVitamin Fluoride Tablets for a few years now.

Then, at the end of the summer, we started having problems refilling London and Maddie’s fluoride vitamin prescriptions at CVS in Chester, NJ. The pharmacist suggested a fluoride supplement combined with Flintstones chewable multi-vitamins, and we made the switch around the start of the new school year. When we went back to CVS to refill the fluoride supplement prescription in early November, however, the pharmacist was stumped. CVS (not just in Chester, but apparently nationwide) was now out of the fluoride supplement, the recalled PolyVitamin Fluoride Tablets were still missing in action, and we were out of fluoride options for London and Maddie’s growing teeth.

Looking for clues online, I found an article about the fluoride crisis from the Times Leader in Wilkes-Barre, Pennylvania and will share a few of the highlights and recommendations:

  • “If you are a parent attempting to stave off your child’s cavities using fluoride supplements, you may have noticed that filling these prescriptions has been a little challenging lately. Many area pharmacies have experienced shortages or no supply of fluoride tablets and multi-vitamins with fluoride for anywhere from two weeks to sometimes five months.”
  • The shortage stems from the Actavis Group’s recent recall of its multi-vitamin/fluoride supplements due to the product being “out of specification results for assay at the stability time point.” Other manufacturers of similar prescription products were unable to increase production.
  • “These prescription fluoride supplements are known as systemic fluorides because they are ingested and absorbed by the body to strengthen the enamel of the permanent teeth that are forming. This process makes the teeth stronger and more resistant to cavities and tooth decay.” The fluoride supplements are produced in three different strengths which are prescribed by pediatricians and pediatric dentists based on a child’s age
  • Although I’ve considered giving London and Maddie bottled fluoridated water until the Fluoride Crisis is over, the Times Leader article quoted Dr. Richard Brown from the Children’s Dental Center in Kingston, Pennsylvania, who does not recommend using it as an alternative to the supplements “because it is not known how much fluoride is in the water.” Excessive fluoride could cause a complication called fluorosis. It is characterized by yellowing of teeth, white spots or pitting of the tooth’s enamel. In severe cases, teeth may have black or brown spots and/or cracks or pits in the teeth. Eew!!
  • Of course, topical fluoride products such as fluoride rinses (my girls use ACT “pink bubblegum rinse”) and toothpaste will also help prevent decay in your child’s existing teeth. Unfortunately, Dr. Brown advises that brushing and rinsing is “not going to help the forming teeth.” Systemic fluoride benefits the formation of teeth because fluoride is easily absorbed by the body. Fluoride works in conjunction with other minerals—calcium, magnesium, zinc and phosphorus — to help form and maintain teeth. Calcium has long been recommended for healthy teeth, but it is digested at a slower rate by the body than fluoride.

Separately, I also stumbled across some statistics from a 1982 article in The New York Times, when there was a shortage of the fluoride additive used in public drinking water. The American Dental Association estimates that every dollar spent on fluoridation of public water supplies saves $50 in dental costs. In 1960 Antigo, Wisconsin, a town of 8,600 people, halted the fluoridation of its water. In the next four years, tooth decay rates among preschoolers rose by 92 percent.  Scary!

What’s a mother like Roxy to do? The Times Leader article advises us not to panic. Some pharmacies are beginning to receive stock of the fluoride supplements. “Even though the orders are being shipped slowly, local pharmacists expect the [fluoride] shortage to be short-lived.” In the meantime, kids’ developing teeth might benefit from an increase in calcium consumption through natural sources such as dairy products or plant sources like tofu, kale, spinach or other green leafy vegetables. Just don’t try to get Maddie to eat “that green stuff.” My girls will stick with an extra helping of ice cream followed by two minutes of tooth brushing and pink rinse.

If you have any questions about fluoride supplements or the recall, talk to your pediatrician, pediatric dentist or pharmacist, or call Actavis Group directly at 800-432-8534. I’m seeing Dr. David Matthews at Far Hills Dental Care next Friday for my cleaning and Invisalign appointment, so I’ll see if he has any new advice and I’ll share it with all of you next week.

Nov
18

When Rex Is Away, It’s a Girls Night In with the Forbidden Food from Pizza Brothers in Bedminster, New Jersey

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Those of you who know my husband Rex know that he’s a terrific cook and he is NOT a pizza person.  For many years, I simply lived without the forbidden food, but now that London and Maddie have “come of age,” we have a plan whenever Rex travels on business.  London actually takes after her father and doesn’t eat pizza, which makes her a challenging kiddie birthday party guest, so we have a standing order with Pizza Brothers of Bedminster, New Jersey, one of the few places that will deliver dinner out here in the Roxiticus Valley:

  • One small plain pizza for Maddie and me;
  • Six or twelve plain chicken fritters for London, depending upon her appetite;
  • Twelve atomic wingers for Roxy; and
  • An order of cheddar cheese fries for the three of us to share.

We usually have a coupon for $1.50 off a large pizza or any order of $10.00 or more (watch for them in the mail), so the three of us turn out to be a pretty cheap date.  We spread out an outdoor tablecloth in the family room, London and Maddie set it up for a picnic, and it’s the perfect Girls’ Night In, complete with Hannah Montana reruns on our HDTV.

Every now and then, we’ll even “dine in” at Pizza Brothers in Bedminster…Rex describes it as “a roadhouse,” but we bring our own microbrews and enjoy a casual dinner with something for everyone.

Pizza Brothers of Bedminster, NJ.  Phone:  (908) 470-4457.

Other Pizza Brothers locations include Hillsborough (908-874-0779); Green Brook (732-968-6363), Martinsville (732-469-6611); Raritan (908-526-7474); and Scotch Plains (908) 490-0007.

Nov
11

Roxy’s Pants Are Falling Down… D’Apolito! D’Apolito and Son Tailors in Far Hills, New Jersey

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Please sing along with Roxy to the tune of “London Bridge is Falling Down“:

Roxy’s pants are falling down, falling down, falling down

Roxy’s pants are falling down…. D’Apolito!

My loyal Roxiticus Desperate Housewives readers know that when London and Maddie headed back to school at Mendham Township Elementary this Fall, their out-of-shape mom started a diet and exercise program with the goal of losing a pound per week until I lost 25 pounds and reached my “fighting weight” of 135 pounds. The first three weeks went well, with three or four times per week workouts on the elliptical trainer in our basement gym, healthy foods, and a positive mental attitude.  I was feeling great and losing weight at the rate of 2 pounds per week.  Then the stock market crashed, Wall Street needed a bailout, and I lost my appetite.  I wish I could claim that it was Roxy’s Back-to-School fitness program rather than stress over the U.S. economy that has caused my 15-20 pounds of weight loss since early September, but no matter how I got here, the fact is that I’m looking slimmer than I have in years.

While I have a fine wardrobe of pre-pregnancy 1990’s clothing that I can take out of the closet to show off my svelte new self, I have grown quite fond of many of the newer size 10 clothes I’ve added to my collection over the past 8 to 10 years…but those hot new low rise jeans don’t look quite right crumpled around my ankles or held fast below my waistlne using safety pins on either side.

It’s time for D’Apollito and Son Tailors to come to the rescue! Since Rex has been working out consistently since August 2007 and eating much healthier under the guidance of his nutritionist, Corinne Bush at the Far Hills Pharmacy, we’ve been sending quite a bit of work D’Apolito’s way, and Rex has never looked better in his exquisitely tailored business suits.

Now the only question is when to take my clothes in for alterations.  Weighing in at 140 to 145 pounds, I have about ten pounds to go before I reach my weight loss goal, and despite dropping the weight, I haven’t really toned up my tummy and abs.  Should I wait and see if the pounds and inches continue to melt away over the next couple of months, or should I take it in (pun intended) to D’Apolito and Sons Tailors right away?  I’d appreciate advice from Roxy’s Best Of… readers, and I may just stop by D’Apolito and Sons to see if the tailors have any recommendations for me.

Joseph D’Apolito and Son Tailors, 16 Peapack Road, Far Hills, NJ 07931. Phone: (908) 234-2857

Oct
20

Results and Photos from the 88th Annual Far Hills Race Meeting in Far Hills, New Jersey

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As I posted here on Saturday, it was a gorgeous autumn afternoon for the running of the 88th annual Far Hills Races at Moorland Farms in Far Hills, New Jersey, benefitting Somerset Medical Center Foundation. The serious fans of the Hunt, who come out every year, rain or shine or mud, had arrived hours ahead of the 1:00pm post time for the time-honored ritual of setting up their party and viewing spots, ranging from lavish feasts provided by local caterers, laid out in white tents with formal tables and chairs up on the hilltop…to SUVs loaded with six-foot subs and parked at tailgating spots passed on from generation to generation… to tables, chairs and small tents carried in on people’s backs and set up along the infield fence. The crowd numbered 50,000 or more, and included socialites, local Somerset Hills and Roxiticus Valley families, as well as steeplechase fans and partygoing singles who had donned their elegant equestrian gear (and/or high-heeled boots!) and taken a train or a limo in from New York City. Rex, London, Maddie and I boarded one of the shuttle buses from the Gladstone train station for a quick trip to Far Hills. Not quick enough, though… we made it to Moorland Farms by 1:00pm, but by the time we had made it to our friends’ tailgate party along the infield fence on the back stretch, we had missed the first race, The Peapack, won by Class Shadow.

With about a half hour between races, London and Maddie settled in with their girlfriends, roughing it up with the boys playing football in the grass nearby, while Rex and I analyzed the Official Track Program for the horses in each race…Who did he beat? Who had the mount? How fast did they go? What’s his breeding? We mostly used the short race analysis provided in the program and, when all else failed, picked one of the names that stood out from the rest. The second race was the 2.5 mile Foxbrook Supreme Hurdle, a race that always showcases future stars and included five horses this year. Be Certain was the horse to beat, but he didn’t run, going in the Grand National (fourth race) instead and leaving the race wide open. Classy Brute proved his mettle with two wins this spring and a quality fourth in his most recent try at Kentucky Downs. Rex and I agreed that Classy Brute could pull a mild upset and put our $2 on him to win. The girls climbed up on the infield fence to cheer Classy Brute on, and I snapped a few photos as they jumped the hurdle and passed us on the back stretch. We had high hopes as Classy Brute looked good for a while, but the news came to us from the Jumbotron that Swagger Stick was the winner of the Foxbrook.

The third race was the 2.125 mile Appleton Stakes, with 9 horses running. Last year, Planets Aligned nearly won the Foxbrook with a solid effort despite getting too free on the lead early. The race analysis suggested that if he saved some energy for the finish, he could be tough here, so Rex and I put down our $2 on Planets Aligned. Our air guitar playing hostess, however, was wise to choose Cradle Will Rock, and taunted us with Van Halen lyrics as her horse won the Appleton Stakes.

History was made at last year’s event when owner Michael Moran’s remarkable 10-year-old gelding, McDynamo, won his fifth consecutive Breeder’s Cup Grand National Steeplechase. This feat was even more spectacular as it was his seventh consecutive victory at the Far Hills Race Meeting (2001-2007). Shortly before the start of the Grand National Hurdle Stakes (the fourth race), there was a special ceremony honoring McDynamo (“King of Far Hills”), now retired from racing, who joined the festivities at Moorland Farms to receive the accolades he so richly deserves. Our only disappointment was that the ceremony took place entirely in front of the Officials’ stand… we would have liked to see McDynamo take a victory lap around the course.

At last, it was time for the big race of the day, the 2.625 mile Grand National, in its first edition without McDynamo since 2003. Seven horses ran, including Be Certain, Best Attack, Good Night Shirt, Istibee (New Zealand), Dalucci (Ireland), Red Letter Day, and Orison. We put our $5 on Good Night Shirt for two reasons. Most importantly, “Good Night Shirt!” is an expression my mother always used when I was growing up, her form of “For Pete’s Sake.” I’ll have to check in with my mom to find out exactly where she got that expression that brought us all kinds of good luck at the Far Hills Races and I’ll report back to all of you. The second reason is that the program’s race analysis informed us that “the Grand National showcases a worthy replacement [for McDynamo] in Good Night Shirt. The 2007 steeplechase champion rides a four-race winning streak into today and can set a single-season earnings record with the $150,000 first-place check. He lost this race last year (to a superstar in McDynamo) but avenged that defeat later in the year. A solid favorite.” The race analysis goes on to assume the win for Good Night Shirt and goes on to say, “ The race for second should be heated. Upstart 4-year-old Be Certain deserves a look, though he gets his toughest test yet. Orison looked great in a training flat tuneup for this last week and got close to the favorite once last year. Best Attack is capable of a quality effort and was third here last year.” Good Night Shirt didn’t disappoint, and Rex and I collected our $15 winnings. While I’m sure you can do the math and see that our net earnings for the day were only $2.00, it was still exciting, since neither of us had ever bet on a horse and won before Saturday’s Grand National.

We stayed to see the running of the fifth race, the 2.125 mile Gladstone Hurdle, featuring 9 three-year-old steeplechasers… the equivalent of rookie baseball players – raw and unproven, but potential stars. Class Bopper defeated older horses in a maiden hurdle a week ago, and looked good doing it, so we put our $2 on Class Bopper to win. While Class Bopper was in the lead for a while, our luck had run out, and I don’t think Class Bopper even finished the race. We bid farewell to our gracious host and hostess, and headed back across Moorland Farms to the Far Hills train station and home.

Net proceeds from the Far Hills Race Meeting are earmarked for Somerset Medical Center’s Steeplechase Cancer Center, which contains state-of-the-art equipment, as well as highly trained specialists and technicians to help diagnose and treat this insidious disease. Since my mom is a breast cancer survivor who was and is treated at Somerset Medical Center, this charity is especially meaningful to my family and I’m proud to be able to be a part of an event that enables the Steeplechase Cancer Center to continue the battle to help eradicate cancer once and for all. It’s a great day for a great cause, and I’d encourage all of you to come out and participate in next year’s Far Hills Race Meeting. We’ll be posting all the details here as plans are made for the 89th Annual Far Hills Race Meeting at Moorland Farms in Far Hills, New Jersey….See you there!