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Ways to Enjoy your Backyard Garden this Fall

Ways to Enjoy your Backyard Garden this Fall

Ways to Enjoy your Backyard Garden this Fall

Fall certainly has its benefits; the cool weather makes it pleasant to be outdoors and embrace the beauty of nature before the winter arrives. Your backyard should showcase what you enjoy; it should be a space that reflects your personality while accenting the exterior of your home. Here are a few ideas that will enhance to your backyard enjoyment during the fall months.

Plant some Veggies

Fall is a great time for gardening; many crops grow best during the cool weather. Several plants need to be watered less when it’s cold. Many leafy vegetables including kale, cabbage and Swiss chard grow best in cool weather. Experts suggest planning young plants rather than seeds and fertilizing before it gets too cold. Other vegetables that grow well in the fall include beats, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, peas, spinach, turnip, radishes, eggplant, cucumbers and squash. Fall gardens are also typically cheaper to create and maintain, just another reason to start planting. Fall is also a great time to repair summer lawn damage by seeding and fertilizing the bare spots on the grass.

Build a Butterfly House

Did you know that birds aren’t the only ones that need a home in your backyard? It turns out that you can attract more butterflies by building a butterfly house. Butterfly houses are tall and narrow structures with a few vertical slits in the front. They serve as shelter for butterflies during the colder months. A great way to add security to the butterflies’ home is by adding tree bark in a vertical position; this provides better protection and gives the butterflies something to cling onto when they go into hibernation. A butterfly home needs to be set up in a sunny location, mounted against a wall or wooden pole about 4 feet off the ground.

Prepare for Spring

Did you know that the fall is great time to start preparing your garden for next spring? Some plants need to set their roots before the ground freezes. Some of these plants include daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, and crocus. Perennial flowers are great additions to fall gardens because they come back every season without needing to be replanted. If you don’t have a green thumb, these flowers are beautiful and low-maintenance. Other flower options include mums, peonies, hibiscus, asters, and coral bells.

Create a Backyard Oasis

Create an area in the backyard where you can relax and watch the changing leaves. Take advantage of the end of the season patio furniture sales and score some great deals on outdoor furniture. Adding a bench, hammock or swing are great ways to provide comfortable and cozy seating. Buy or build a fire pit and gather around with friends and family, roast some hotdogs or make everyone’s favorite campfire treat, s’mores. Enhance the ambiance of your garden by adding string lights to illuminate the backyard during those autumn nights. Add a garden gnome, they are good luck and protect the garden.

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Long Island’s Best Baked Goods

Long Island’s Best Baked Goods

Want to know where the best local bake shops are on Long Island? We’ve narrowed down our favorite spots so you know where to go when you’re craving a cookie, brownie, cake or pastry. Here’s a list of incredible bakeries in Nassau and Suffolk County guaranteed to satisfy whether you’re craving sweet or savory baked goods.


The Vanilla Bean l Carle Place

242 Voice Road, Carle Place, NY 11514 l 516-427-5034 l

Mon—Sat: 8am-8pm l Sun: 8am-7pm

The Vanilla Bean Bakery & Espresso Bar is owed by self-taught baker Aida Antoun and her husband Emad. This bakery uses premium ingredients and sources their coffee from a roaster in Brooklyn. Their signature item is their Nutella obsession brownies. These decadent chewy brownies are filled with spoonfuls of Nutella and will satisfy any chocolate lover. They also have Nutella cheesecake, cupcakes, cookies and cakes if you’re looking to get your Nutella fix.


San Antonio Bakery & Restaurant l Valley Stream

174 Rockaway Ave, Valley Stream, NY 11580 l 516-568-0075

Closed Mondays l Tue—Thu: 8am-9pm l Fri/Sat: 8am-10pm l Sun: 8am-9pm

San Antonio Bakery & Restaurant is not your typical one-stop shop; this two-in-one serves as a remedy to any craving. If you’re in the mood for authentic Chilean baked goods, look no further, the San Antonio Bakery offers a variety of breads and pastries. Hallullas (Chilean biscuits) have a similar texture and taste to a scone except larger, circular and stuffed with savory fillings. These are delicious with spreadable fruit or butter. They bake a variety of Chilean breads including the Marraqueta (a classic Chilean bread that is crispy and slightly salty) Coliza (a flat square chewy bread with a flakey crust) and Dobladitas (a quick bread that is rolled out, cut into circles, and folded in layers before baking.)


Little Sugar Shop l Valley Stream

157 Rockaway Ave, Valley Stream, NY 11580 l 516-612-2697 l

Closed Mondays l Tue—Fri: 11am-6pm l Sat: 10am-6pm l Sun: 10am-2pm

Little Sugar Shop owner Vyancka Kilimet, started baking with her great aunt since when she was a child in the Dominican Republic. Her bake shop reflects her Dominican roots and the diverse population in the area. Her most requested item is a Dominican Style Cake, a moist pound cake filled with guava and dulce de leche and topped off with a marshmallow meringue frosting. Kilmet is always looking to add new items to her menu and travels around the globe learning techniques from the world’s top bakers.


Foughnuts l Great Neck

8 Bond St, Great Neck, NY 11021 l 516-466-0806

Mon—Thu: 9am-9pm l Fri/Sat: 8am-9pm l Sun: 9am-5pm

Foughnuts got its name because their doughnuts are baked, not fried like traditional yeast made doughnuts. These cake like doughnuts are moist and flavorful and are a healthier option compared to a fried chain store doughnuts. Some of the different types of doughnuts they bake include chocolate ganache, red velvet, cookies and cream, apple caramel and lemon poppy. This bakery is certified Kosher and offers gluten and peanut-free options. The doughnuts sell for $3.25 a piece and are guaranteed to satisfy your doughnut cravings.


Saint Honore Pastry Shop l Port Washington

993 Port Washington Blvd, Port Washington, NY 11050 l 516-767-2555 l

Closed Mondays l Tues—Sat: 7am-7pm l Sun: 7am-1pm

Saint Honore Pastry Shop, is named after their famous puffed pastry that is filled with vanilla custard surrounded by caramel profiterollers and topped off with homemade whipped cream. They offer a variety of pastries, breads, cookies, and custom cakes. Their croissants are perfect for breakfast; almond or chocolate seems to be the most popular. They are buttery, flakey and go perfectly with a cup of coffee.



La Espiguita Bakery l Brentwood

1995 Brentwood Rd, Brentwood, NY 11717 l 631-952-3441

7 days/week: 6am-10pm

If you’re craving authentic Columbian baked goods, this spot is for you. They have many beautiful cakes and desserts as well as some Columbian favorites including Arepa con queso (corn tortilla with cheese) and empanadas. Platanos asados con bocadillo y queso, resembles a hotdog but it’s a baked plantain split in half stuffed with guava jam and cheese. This Columbian staple is sweet and savory.


Fiorello Dolce l Hungtington

57 Wall St, Huntington, NY 11743 l 631-424-0803

Closed Mondays l Tues—Sat: 7am-7pm l Sun: 7am-5pm

Fiorello Dolce is a European style patisserie with Parisian flair. They have a variety of pastries, cookies and cakes but their claim to fame is their legendary croissants. The croissants they offer are: plain, ham and swiss, bacon and cheddar, turkey and cheddar, French onion, almond, and chocolate. They also make “fernagles”, a bagel/croissant hybrid. Danishes are made from the same dough but have fruit instead. The owners also claim the bakery is visited by ghosts and sprits and even had a medium confirm that.


The Rolling Pin l Setauket & Bay Shore

1387 Route 25A, Setauket, NY l 631-689-2253

Mon-Sat: 6am-7pm l Sun: 6am-5pm


184 West Main Street, Bayshore, NY l 631-647-5112

Mon-Sat: 6:30am-6pm l Sun: 7am-4pm

Culinary Institute graduate, David Dombroff, has been creating incredible deserts for over 20 years. His team of “confectionery wizards” helped him make The Rolling Pin one of the most sought out bakeries for wedding cakes on Long Island. They even offer 11 different cake fillings to choose from and a complimentary one year anniversary cake. How can you beat that?


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Five Clever Ideas for Organizing Your Home

An organized home is essential for maintaining a smooth daily routine. A cluttered environment is difficult to dust and clean and prolonged exposure to dirty and dusty living conditions can even affect your health. When you live an organized life, you will have less stress, get chores done quicker and have more time to do what you love. Organizing your home might seem like a chore, but once you discover these five clever hacks, it will quickly transform your life.

A makeover for your makeup

Looking for a great way to organize your makeup? A votive holder, vase and even a mason jar are great places to store makeup brushes and razors and are aesthetically pleasing. Fill your container with coffee beans; it will help to keep those brushes upright in the holder. Hanging shoe organizers also make great makeup holders. Hang your organizer behind a door for a plethora of storage and easy access.

Coffee that goes the distance

Before you throw out your old coffee canisters, give them good a wash so that they can be used to store items at home. You can also upcycle your coffee can by painting it or covering it with wallpaper. Coffee cans are a great way to organize nuts, bolts and nails in the garage, store items on the bathroom counter and hold kitchen utensils. They can even be used store pens, pencils and rulers on a desk as well as personal belongings on a dresser.

Spray bottles suspended to perfection

Looking to keep the area underneath the sink organized? Keep spray bottles off the ground by installing a tension rod under the sink or in a cabinet. A tension rod can be purchased at a local curtain store and will allow you to grab what you need when you need it, rather than having to dig through unnecessary items.

Magazine holders you were sure you’d never use

A magazine holder can be used for more than just storing magazines; it is a great kitchen hack. Place a magazine holder on its side for an easy way to stack frying pans or store rolls of aluminum foil and plastic wrap. Cutting boards and baking trays can also be kept in one place using a holder, genius!

Refrigerator storage at its finest

There are many ways that you can organize a refrigerator for more access and space. Try placing condiments and other items on a Lazy Susan (a rotating stationary dish) to make items easier to locate and reach. Kitchen organizer bins can be used in a pantry, refrigerator, freezer or storage cabinet. This is a great way to keep items neatly separated and returned to its original location. Another great way to create more room and store additional items is by adding a bonus shelf inside the refrigerator (a cooling rack would work great too.) This tip allows for items to be placed underneath and on top providing more vertical storage inside the refrigerator.

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2017 Fall Fashion Must Haves

Autumn is right around the corner and it’s time to start breaking out sweaters, scarves and boots and stocking up on the newest fall fashion trends. From bonfire bliss to apple crisp, fall wraps you in an immersive, sensual experience and your wardrobe should reflect that flavor. Fall is all about being cozy and comfortable, but you also want to feel confident. The good news is you don’t have to compromise comfort with these fabulous fall fashion tips.

Get the Skinny

Jeans are the building block for an entire look. Jeans are comfortable, flattering and flexible- the chameleons of the closet. Classic skinny jeans lend themselves to a wide variety of fresh fall styles. The clean lines mean they are easy to accessorize, plus they pair well with bulky sweaters, oversized tees and tunics. Finish your look with a pair of boots; short boots create a sexy flair, while tall boots flatter all shapes.

Take on Texture

Fall fashion is all about texture and interest, and there is something for everyone. Sweaters are a fundamental part of any fall wardrobe and come in a wide variety of styles, colors and patterns. If sweaters aren’t your thing, try tops embellished with fringe, fur, velvet, suede and sequins. Popular prints that you’ll be seeing this fall include plaid and animal prints.

Create a Capsule

Embrace the beautiful autumn color palette consisting of black, brown, camel, burgundy, olive, mustard, gray and pumpkin. These colors mix and match well. Build your fall fashion around a handful of key pieces that are interchangeable for a variety of looks. Capsule basics accessorize easily with pops of color. The monochromatic looks featured at the Fall 2017 New York Fashion Week showcased dynamic scarves, purses and shoes.

It’s All In the Details

Your personality is reflected in what you wear and details are everything. The straightforward nature of fall fashion makes it the perfect backdrop for accessorizing. Hats, scarves, jackets, boots and bags are taking over the fall runway. Denim jackets, purses and jeans embellished with patches and pins are popular this fall and are an easy way to update your current wardrobe. Deconstructed fashion is trending, it includes revealed linings, raw edges, fraying, unusually sewn seams and exposed zippers. Some people feel this is against the laws of fashion but many designers today would disagree and appreciate the relaxed look.

Layer It Up

One of the biggest wardrobe challenges is managing the unpredictable weather. You might wake up to a chill in the air but find yourself needing air conditioning by noon. Sweaters, scarves and jackets keep you cozy and can come off quickly when the weather calls for jeans and a t-shirt. A classic white tee is cute, comfy and can easily be dressed up or down. Pair a solid tee with statement jewelry that catches the eye. Motorcycle jackets are also a wardrobe staple and can be worn with a dress, jeans or button-down top.

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5 Top-Notch Vineyards on Long Island

Wölffer Estate Vineyard l Sagaponack l SOPHISTICATED l South Fork

 139 Sagg Rd, Sagaponack, NY 11962 l 631-537-5106 l
Sun-Thurs: 11am-6pm l Fri/Sat: 11am-8pm

Take a trip to what feels like the Mediterranean, at a vineyard that was specifically designed with a European touch. Wölffer Estates was born out of a vision to produce elegant, high-end, food-friendly wines in hopes of maintaining the style and creativity that was Christian Wölffer’s trademark. The estate is scenic and composes of a total of 170 acres, on which Wölffer Estate Vineyard and Wölffer Estate Stables are both situated.

Enjoy the view while you sip, sit back and relax under the vineyard’s stunning pergola. They have tons of comfortable seating options and a wonderful selection of snacks to enjoy. Their goat, sheep and cow cheese appetizer goes brilliantly with their popular rosé, “Summer in a Bottle,” known for its seductive floral aromas and hints of melon and lychee. If you end up going to Wölffer Wine Stand instead of the vineyard, they will also have cider available. Both the vineyard and wine stand have cheese and charcuterie (cold cooked meats) plates available.


Kontokosta Winery l Greenport l CONTEMPORARY l North Fork

825 North Rd, Greenport, NY 11944 l 631-477-6977 l
Sun-Thur: 11am-5pm l Fri/Sat: 11am-6pm

If you love breathtaking architecture, you must see the beauty that is Kontokosta Vinyards. It is one of the few wineries in North America designed to be LEED Gold-Certified. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The 9,000 sqft gray barnlike building is wind-powered. Its tall windows face both the Long Island Sound as well as the vineyards’ 24 acres. The interior is large and spacious, black and white and incredibly modern and elegant. Some people have said it’s like walking into a magazine. There are picnic tables scattered over the lawn and you can enjoy views of the water and the countryside as you take a stroll. For something mesmerizing, try their Riesling and caramel popcorn.

Croteaux Vinyards l Southold l BOHEMIAN l North Fork

1450 S Harbor Rd, Southold, NY 11971 l 631-765-6099 l
7 days/week: 12-6pm

Truly a bohemian paradise, Croteaux Vinyards offers an ambiance and experience like no other. They are the only vineyard in the United States that exclusively makes Rose. The vibrant and creative outdoor oasis has a tasting barn, as well as a stunning outdoor garden. They only allow small groups in order to maintain its charm and peaceful ambiance. Limos, buses, and taxis are not allowed. The largest group they will accommodate is a group of eight. They do not allow outside food but have cheese spreads, bread baskets and other snacks available for purchase. Both sparkling and still wines are available. They are kid-friendly and dog-friendly. Croteaux will make you feel like you are in magical Provence, France.

Lieb Cellars l Cutchogue l RUSTIC l North Fork

13050 Oregon Rd, Cutchogue, NY 11935 l 631-734-1100 l
7 days/week: 12-7pm

Boxed wine is here but that’s not the only good thing about Lieb Cellers. Their increased popularity has allowed them to do some incredible things. This summer they rolled out with the first canned wine product in New York State under their Bridge Lane brand. With a blend of industrial and traditional design, Lieb Cellers wants to make sure you will savor both the wine and the atmosphere during your visit. The charming and cozy interior, friendly staff and incredible live music certainly makes for a memorable experience. Pair your glass with a cheese board, warm up by their firepit and say a toast. If you feel adventurous, try their white merlot and don’t hesitate to bring Fido; they love dogs here.

One Woman Vineyards l Southold l QUAINT l North Fork

5195 Old North Rd, Southold, NY 11971 l 631-765-1200 l
Mon-Fri: 12-5pm l Sat: 12-6pm l Sun: 12-5:30pm

If you prefer cozy and quaint, subtle but sublime, simple and refined, this is for you. This vineyard is not commercialized. You will not find any buses, tours, frat boys or bridesmaids. While the tasting room is situated in a tiny rustic storefront, there is plenty of room to stretch your legs outdoors.

Have a glass of vino on their patio or even gather round one of their lunch tables. You can bring your own food and call it a picnic. This vineyard primarily focuses on white wines. Both the Gewürztraminer and the Grüner are incredibly popular. One person has even said that “the reserve Grüner is actually made of angel’s tears.” We kind of believe him. If you’re looking for a taste of heaven hidden in a small red home, you’ll find it here. The wines are distinct and elegant and not to be missed, and the story of the woman who founded this vineyard is sure to leave an impression.