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Archive for November, 2013

Thanksgiving Food Safety

It’s too easy to make a mistake when you’re preparing a traditional Thanksgiving meal. Thanks to the Food Sci people at the University of Massachusetts, here’s some info on Thanksgiving Food Safety.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Food Pantries

There are an almost unlimited way you can make a difference this winter. Here are some food pantries that would welcome your donations of time or money:

Cranford Family Care Association – 61 Myrtle Street, Cranford, 908-276-3530,

Elmora Soup Kitchen – 402 Union Street, Cranford, 909-352-0579

Linden Interfaith Network for Community Services (LINCS) – 45 E. Elm Street, Linden, 908-925-2523,

LPC Mission Project – 1506 Orchard Terrace, Linden, 908-486-3073

Grace’s Kitchen – 600 Cleveland Avenue, Plainfield, 908-756-1520, mjbuch@att.netSaint John the Apostle Pantry – 1805 Penbrook Terrace, Linden, 732-388-1216,

Homefirst Interfaith Housing and Family Services – 905 Watchung Avenue, Plainfield, 908-753-4001 x 13,

Plainfield YMCA – 518 Watchung Avenue, Plainfield, 908-756-6060,

Salvation Army – 615 Watchung Avenue, Plainfield, 908-756-2595,

Starfish Food Pantry – Covenant United Methodist Church, 631 East Front Street, Plainfield, 908-755-8888

Rahway Food for Friends – 1221 New Brunswick Avenue, Rahway, 732-388-3988

Loaves and Fishes at Saint Teresa – 306 Morris Avenue, Summit, 908-277-3700

Sage – 290 Broad Street, Summit, 908-273-5554,

Westfield Food Pantry at Holy Trinity – 336 First Street, Westfield, 908-232-2311,


Where do you volunteer your time and talent?


Real or Artificial Tree?

Americans have mixed opinions about real and artificial Christmas trees, and everyone has an opinion.

Here’s a comparison of both kinds of trees – with the pros of each – to help you decide:

Real Christmas trees

  • smell better
  • family fun time cutting down the tree
  • helps support Christmas tree farms
  • more easily recycled than artificial trees
  • do not contain plastics that may contribute to indoor air pollution

Artificial trees

  • less expensive
  • easier to set up and take down
  • more durable
  • less messy

Which is better for the environment?

The manufacturing and shipping of artificial trees causes a much larger carbon footprint than the cutting down of a real tree, especially when one considers that 98% of the real trees used in the United States were grown on tree farms and not cut from the wild. If an artificial tree will be kept and used in place of a real tree for 12-20 years (depending on size), then the carbon footprint may become even. When it comes to indoor air quality, artificial trees may contain plastics that can contribute to indoor air pollution and may trigger respiratory symtpoms in sensitive people. Real trees that aren’t properly watered or that are kept in a heated environment for too long may dry out and become a fire hazard.

So what’s your pleasure – real or artificial?

Who do you know that needs a Realtor?

Did you know you have a Reticular Activator?

It’s the part of the brain that makes you ultra-aware of certain things and ignore other things. For example, once I bought a teal car, and, suddenly, there were teal cars everywhere I went. My initials are JZ and I notice license plates with JZ all the time. At the same time, your reticular activator might help you to ignore the dirty dishes you leave in the sink or the sound of a car alarm. It’s the reason you can sleep through your spouse’s alarm but your own alarm wakes you up.

So today, you need to turn on your Reticular Activator.

When you hear someone say “my friend is getting married” or “my aunt is having a baby,” your Reticular Activator will help you to notice that the person you’re talking to has a contact that needs a Realtor. When you go to a retirement party, remember that retirees often sell their homes and need a Realtor.

And then, I hope you’ll refer them to us!


Getting Ready for the Great American Smoke Out!

You don’t still smoke, do you?

The physical withdrawal associated with quitting smoking lasts only a few days. After that, the withdrawal quitters feel is psychological. Three months is considered to be the time when the psychological withdrawal stops.

Here are 20 ways to quit smoking today:

  1. Set a date to quit and put it in writing.
  2. Tell everyone that you’re quitting and ask for their support.
  3. If the attraction is oral, chew gum or brush your teeth instead. Try a cinnamon flavored toothpick.
  4. Partner with someone – the first to have a cigarette owes the other one $200. 
  5. Acupuncture.
  6. Learn to play the piano. Or the drums. Or write a book. Whatever it takes to keep your hands busy.
  7. Nicotine patch or gum will reduce the physical symptoms.
  8. Avoid situations where you normally smoke – carpool instead of driving your car temporarily, or don’t hang out with the people you normally smoke with.
  9. Replace smoking with another activity – running, crocheting, playing Soduko puzzles.
  10. Have a long glass of water. Not only does it keep you busy while the craving passes, staying hydrated helps minimize physical withdrawal symptoms.
  11. Drugs such as bupropion (Zyban) and varenicline (Chantix) will reduce the physical withdrawal symptoms without using nicotine replacement.
  12. Hypnosis.
  13. Acupuncture. We’ve heard that acupuncture in the ear can curb cravings.
  14. Throw away your ash trays, lighters, and cigarette holders.
  15. Try oat extract, available at health food stores. 1 milliliter four times a day can curb cravings.
  16. Put the money you’re saving every time you would buy cigarettes into a large glass jar. After a week, buy yourself something special.
  17. Cut back on caffeine. Quitting smoking, coupled with caffeine, can cause jitters.
  18. Wear a rubber band on your wrist and snap it whenever you feel a craving.
  19. Learn the symptoms of lung cancer. Look at photos of lung cancer and its victims.
  20. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for more help.


Standard of Identity

What’s in your food is regulated.

If you’ve never heard of Standard of Identity, you’re not alone.  The Federal Government has identified what can, and can not, be present in your food in order to be labeled as that food. For example, milk chocolate has to have certain ingredients, in certain percentages, in order to be labeled as milk chocolate.

And, before you ask, cheese flavored puffs don’t actually contain cheese.

Read more about it here.


Clark Townhouse Under Contract!



Are proud to announce that

35 School Street is Under Contract

Schuduled closing on 1/15/14

If you’d like to get your home sold quickly, call us at 908-917-4189!

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