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Long Island’s 2018 Saint Patrick’s Day Celebrations

St. Patrick’s Day only comes around once a year, but there are celebrations all month long on Long Island including parades, bar crawls and other festivities where you can show your Irish pride. Here are some fun ways to get into the St. Patty’s Day spirit.

102.3 WBAB Presents Roger & JP’s 18th Annual Corned Beef & Chaos

Date/Time: Saturday, March 17th-1-5pm

Location: Stereo Garden

9 Railroad Avenue
Patchogue, NY 11772

Phone: 631-714-4486

Cost: Free Event

Join Roger & JP from WBAB as they host the 18th Annual Corned Beef and Chaos at Stereo Garden in Patchogue. Enjoy free corned beef and cabbage, limited edition t-shirts and Miller Lite for only $1.02. Rock out to the cover band 2U, play games and win fun prizes. Long Island’s own Scotty the Leprechaun will also be making an appearance.

 

St. Patrick’s Day Scavenger Hunt

Date/Time: Saturday, March 17th-10-2pm

Location: Suffolk County Farm and Education Center

350 Yaphank Avenue
Yaphank, NY 11980

Phone: 631-852-4600

Cost: $6

Get ready to hunt for the leprechaun’s pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! Go to the Suffolk Farm and Education Center’s for the annual Pot O’ Gold Hunt. The scavenger hunt also includes a wagon ride, refreshments and you can feed the animals on the farm. This is a fun way to celebrate St. Patty’s Day with the entire family.

 

Irish Comedy Night at Smithtown Center for the Performing Arts

Date/ Time: Saturday, March 17th- 8pm

Location: Smithtown Center for the Performing Arts

2 East Main Street
Smithtown, NY 11787

Phone: 631-724-3700
Cost: $40

Website: www.smithtownpac.org/theatre-schedule/special-events/irish-comedy

If you think leprechauns are funny, get ready to chuckle during Irish Comedy Night at the Smithtown Center for the Performing Arts. See some of the funniest comedians on Long Island this St. Patrick’s Day.

 

7-in-Heaven Spring Fling Dinner/Dance – St Patty’s Day

Date/Time: Saturday, March 17th-6:30-10:30pm

Location: Residence Marriot Inn (Terrace Room)

9 Gerhard Rd
Plainview, NY 11803

Phone: 631-592-9804

Cost: $44 in advance/ $49 at the door (*Cash Bar)

Long Island singles, don’t miss the Spring Fling dinner and dance on St. Patrick’s Day at the Plainview, Marriot. Enjoy a three course meal and green beer for toasting. Grooveline Entertainers will be playing upbeat, feel good songs so you can dance the night away.

 

LepreCon Long Island Irish Pride Bar Crawl in Farmingdale

Date/ Time: Saturday, March 3rd-12:00pm

Cost: $20 in advance/$25 at the door (this event is 21 and over)

Website: www.uniquebarcrawls.com/leprecon-long-island.html

Get ready for the hottest St. Patrick’s Day Bar Crawl on Long Island, Leprecon! Purchase a wristband and enjoy food and drink specials at the best bars and eateries on Main Street in Farmingdale. Locations include Library Café, Jade Palace, Croxley’s Ale House, Vintage Wine Bar, Blue Hawaiian Bar, Lithology Brewing, Daytona’s, Dark Horse Tavern and The Nutty Irishman. Proceeds benefit the Ashley Wade Foundation, a charity that raises money for children battling chronic illnesses. Admission will also get you into the after party and costume contest at The Nutty Irishman.

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Best Easter Egg Hunts on Long Island

Easter Sunday is a hop, skip, and a jump away. One of the best ways to celebrate is taking your children to a local Easter Egg Hunt. Enjoy collecting seasonal goodies, fun activities and you can even snag a photo with the Easter Bunny himself.

Here are some upcoming Easter Egg Hunts on Long Island

2018 Easter Egg Hunt in Northport Village

Date/Time: Sunday, April 1st-1pm

Rain Date: Sunday, April 8th-1pm

Location: Northport Village Park

Main Street, Northport, NY 11731

Cost: Free Event

Website: villageofnorthport.com/events

Be sure to wear your bonnet with all the frills upon it for the enormous Easter Egg hunt across Northport Village Park on Easter Sunday.

 

Long Island 2018 Easter Egg Hunt Babylon Village Chamber of Commerce New York

Date/Time: March 24th-11am-2pm

Location: The American Legion Hall in Babylon

22 Grove Place, Babylon, NY 11702

Phone: 631-669-0094

This Easter Egg Hunt is presented by the Babylon Village Chamber of Commerce. Be sure to register to find out where you can find clues to collect eggs. Return the tickets inside the eggs after the hunt for a chance to win some cool prizes.

 

Egg-Cellent Celebration

Date/Time: Saturday, March 31st

1 -2 pm (ages 2-4)

3 – 4 pm (ages 5-7)

Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum

301 Main St, Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724
Cost: $12 parent/child pair and $4 per sibling

Website: www.cshwhalingmuseum.org/calendar.html

Go on an egg hunt inside the Whaling Museum and decorate a Faberge “style” egg, a lavish egg that was made for royalty and is covered with gold and jewels. If your children are into animals, stay and learn about egg-laying creatures and even see a carved Ostrich egg.

 

Easter Egg Hunt

Date: Saturday, March 24th

Rain Date: Sunday, March 25th

Time(s): 3 years & under -10:00 a.m.

4 year olds-10:30 a.m.

5 year olds- 11:00 a.m.

6 year olds- 11:30 a.m.

7 year olds- 12:00 p.m.

8 & 9 year olds-12:30 p.m.

Location: Long Beach Recreation Campus

700 Magnolia Blvd, Long Beach, NY 11561

(Recreation fields are located on Magnolia Boulevard and the Bay next to the Long Beach Ice Arena)

Website: www.longbeachny.gov

Bring your Easter Baskets and get ready for the Long Beach Annual Easter Egg Hunt. Kids in the same age groups will gather eggs together. Prizes will be awarded to kids in each age group.

 

LI State Parks Recreation

Date/Time: Saturday, March 24 at 12 PM – 2 PM (new hunt every 15 minutes)

Location: Belmont Lake State Park

Exit 38, Southern State Parkway, NY, North Babylon, New York 11703

Phone: 631-321-3510

Age: Children 9 and under

Cost: Free

Don’t miss the 25th annual Belmont Lake State Park Egg Hunt in Babylon. Egg hunts will be conducted every 15 minutes. The first egg hunt will begin at 12:15pm and the last hunt is at 1:45pm. There will also be a petting zoo, pony rides, inflatables, food vendors, games and much more. The Easter Bunny will also be there taking selfies with all the kids.

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Best Flowers to Plant for Spring

flowers

One of the most exciting parts of the end of winter is planting  flowers. To get a beautiful garden flourishing, you need to get started in spring. However, knowing what type of flowers to plant the beginning of spring can be confusing. Here are some flowers to get your green thumbs on, the moment the snow disappears.

Pansy
Since pansies prefer the cool weather, they can be planted after the snow has cleared. However, if you get a few flecks of snow, pansies can survive. Pansies grow best under the sun or in partly shaded area, and prefer their soil to be moist and well-drained. These flowers can grow up to be 10 inches tall and provide a refreshing bout of color.

Yellow Trillium
Yellow trilliums have rich green leaves spotted with silver and bright yellow blooms.Yellow trilliums will in bloom in April, but die out in June. They also prefer shady conditions and well-drained, moist soil. These flowers can grow up to 16 inches tall.

Hellebore
Often called Lenten Rose or Christmas Rose, since these yellow flowers grow well in cool conditions. Hellebore’s are resilient, elegant and can even survive the frost in the winter. On average, they are expected to grow up to 12 inches tall.

Bloodrot
Despite its garish name, bloodroots are actually quite innocent in appearance. They resemble daisies except they are white with little dots of yellow. They grow in March and their bloom lasts until the end of the spring. They grow in shaded areas and since springtime is not always sunny, they are perfect flowers for planting. Bloodrots prefer moist soil and can grow up to six inches tall.

Lilac
Whether you wish to grow a shrub or a tree, your lilacs will grow provided they are given plenty of sunlight and drained soil. Keep in mind, blossoms prefer to bloom on old wood, so do not to prune the tree or shrub until after the blossoms have died off. With its sweet smell and beautiful color, lilacs are the perfect cure after a dark and dreary winter.

Tulip
Tulips are one of the best flowers to plant in spring. The tulip comes in a plethora of colors to choose from and can grow up to two feet tall. For those who wish to have smaller tulips, there are several varieties available. With plenty of sunlight, these flowers are perfect for romantic settings or for highlighting a casual garden.

Grand Maitre Crocus
The beautiful, delicate purple flowers of the crocus heralds the end of winter and beginning of spring. Of course, there are other colors you can select from as well; including, pink, yellow, and white. In order to grow to a full six inches, the crocus requires full sunlight and well-drained soil.

Puschkinia
Puschkinias comes in different colors and once its petals open, its striped coloration is revealed. They grow the best in sunlight and partly-shady areas and can grow up to eight inches tall and six inches wide.

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How the New Tax Plan Will Affect You

United States President Donald Trump signed into law the Tax and Jobs Cut Act last December 22, 2017. The law’s provision reduces the corporate tax rate from 35 down to 21 percent beginning this January. It also decreases individual tax rates to 37%. In essence, the Tax and Jobs Cut Act achieves three goals:

  • Cuts down income tax rates
  • Multiplies standard deductions by two
  • Eliminate personal exemptions

The corporate cuts become permanent. Individual amendments terminate by the end of the year 2025. Millions of American citizens have conflicting opinions and comments about this piece of legislation. However, some people see the most significant revision of the US individual and corporate tax system in the last three decades in this perspective. It provides massive tax reductions to developers, banking institutions, and the oil sector thereby promoting more the interests of business owners.

Tax Classifications and Standard Deductions

This legislation maintains the seven income tax categories but reduces the tax rates. The workforce can view adjustments in withholding taxes on their February wages. The 2017 rates revert to the original tariff in 2026. The deduction of an individual (Single Category) multiplies from only $6, 350 to $12, 000. For married couples and joint filing, the figures increase from $12, 700 to $24, 000.

You can expect more than 90% of taxpayers to opt for the average deduction which goes back to the present level eight years from today. However, reports pointed out that the National Association of Realtors, as well as the National Association of Home Builders, opposed this law. Fewer consumers will adopt the mortgage interest cutback by taking on the standard deduction. It lowers housing costs although the real property market remains in a bubble (run-up of prices) that could lead to a probable meltdown.

Personal Exemptions

The Tax and Jobs Cut Act abolishes personal exemptions. Before the passage of this statute, taxpayers took away $4, 150 from income for every claim. Henceforth, households with many kids pay higher taxes notwithstanding the augmented standard deductions. This latest enactment gets rid of nearly all itemized deductions including relocation expenditures. Only members of the United States armed forces remain exempted. You can no longer subtract payment of child support, but recipients can still deduct the alimony. Divorces granted this year can avail of the deduction beginning 2019.

This decree maintains deductions for interests in student loans, charitable donations, and individual retirement savings. It puts a cap on cuts for mortgage interest to the initial $750, 000 of the investment. You can no longer withhold interest on lines of credit for home equities. Nonetheless, the ruling does not impact Americans with existing mortgages. At the same time, taxpayers can now deduct a maximum of $10, 000 in local and state taxes. As a taxpayer, you must choose between the property, sale, or income taxes.

The law rescinded the Obamacare tax for citizens who do not have health insurance coverage in 2019. According to the Congressional Budget Office, around 13 million Americans will discontinue their plans without the authorization. The government, in return, saves about $338 billion as it will no longer answer for subsidies. However, health care expenses will inevitably increase with fewer people getting the necessary preventative care. Finally, the Tax and Jobs Cut Act boosts two times property tax exemption to $11.2 million for single taxpayers and $22.4 million for spouses.

Perceived Effects of the Act

Popular opinion of many Americans indicates that the redrafting of the United States Tax Policy favors enterprises more than the ordinary citizens. Business tax cutbacks become permanent. Individual reductions last only up to 2025. The decree boosts high-income families more than those belonging to the lower and middle-income groups. It makes the country’s growing income tax more in reverse. Taxpayers with the highest earnings benefit most from reduced tax rates.

The rise in the standard deduction favors roughly six million taxpayers (47.5% of people who file income taxes). It does not cancel out lost deductions. In fact, the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation stated this law raises the shortfall by $1 trillion during the next ten years. At the same time, it increases growth by 0.7% every year and reduces a portion of the revenue loss from the $1.5 trillion tax decreases. Meanwhile, the Tax Foundation asserted the Act adds nearly $448 billion to the shortage over the next decade (2028).

According to officials of the United States Treasury, the legislation generates approximately $1.8 trillion in additional earnings with an estimated growth of 2.9% annually on the average. The government agency’s report assumes the government will implement all stipulations in President Trump’s program. The bearing on the country’s $20 trillion national debt will go beyond projections.

An upsurge in sovereign debt dulls economic progress in the long-term. Investors consider this development more as a tax increase on future generations. A World Bank study discovered each percentage point of arrears costs the United States around 1.7% in growth. Many conglomerates affirmed not using tax reductions to create employment opportunities for the jobless. Ironically, the corporate tax cuts will not generate opportunities and only increase stock prices.

The truth remains. Hefty tax cuts must benefit the working middle class who will most likely spend every cent earned. Rich people use these deductions for investments or savings which boosts stock markets but fail to spur demand. Tax cuts for the middle class produce more jobs. The most effective remedy for unemployment should be government spending that will develop infrastructure and create work opportunities directly.

This new version of the Tax and Jobs Cut Act restricts the capacity of private corporations to minus interest expense at 30% of income. From 2018 up to 2022, salary depends on the principle of Earnings before Interest, Tax, Depreciation, and Amortization (EBITDA). The move makes it more costly for financial entities to borrow. Corporations will refrain from issuing bonds and reacquire their stocks. Stock prices will likely decline, but the threshold or cutoff point generates earnings to settle other tax breaks.

Now that you have read through the ins and outs of the Republican tax law, you can decide if it favors the majority of the American people or not.

 

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Easy Ways to Save on Your Taxes

Taxes

Resourceful taxpayers will always look for strategies to reduce yearly tax obligations. You should see the positive side. Many options remain open for Americans hoping to cut back on taxes or probably add to the number of refunds without breaking the rule of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Remember the revenue agency modifies its policies time and again, so deductions and credits also vary.

Know the Fundamentals

Ignorance of how things should work can cause you problems in the long run. To avoid this predicament, learn the essentials of federal tax legislation which includes saving tips. By claiming more deductions, you can get more refunds once the tax year ends. Spouses who get married or have a new baby also qualify for extra tax breaks. The government allows certain concessions like expenses taken away from gross income to lower taxable earnings. Other often- ignored tax cuts consist of deductions from the following:

  • Relocation expenses
  • Transportation costs while doing volunteer work
  • Payments in looking for employment
  • Charitable contributions

Eligibility for Earned Income Tax Credits

This type of credit benefits taxpayers with low and moderate incomes. The IRS laid down the guidelines for taxpayers who can claim Earned Income Credits:

  • Receive regular earned income
  • United States citizen or resident alien for the whole tax year
  • Hold a valid Social Security Number for the taxpayer, spouses (for joint filing), and qualifying dependents on your returns
  • Investment income must no go beyond $3, 450
  • File a tax return with the following status: Married (filing together); Single; Head of Household; or Widower even if the IRS does not require you to submit returns.

Contribute to Individual Retirement Accounts

Pay contributions to your Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or 401K. The tax due depends on adjusted gross income (AGI). You need to make adjustments, or you owe the government more. Reduce the overall amount by depositing pre-tax contributions into tax-deductible IRA. You decrease AGI as well as the amount you owe (taxes) by increasing contributions to your 401K. Two years ago, maximum 401K and Individual Retirement Account contribution limits consisted of $5, 500 and $18, 000 in that order for taxpayers (49 years old and below).

Anybody with age 50 years and above can add $1, 000 to the IRA cap and $6, 000 to the 401K ceiling. You do not pay capital tax gains while your money grows annually. The IRS does not require payment of income tax on any money withdrawn from these accounts. However, you fall under a lower income tax category upon retirement. Thus, you pay a reduced rate on these withdrawn funds.

Save for Retirement

Think short-term. Increasing your retirement contributions voluntarily while getting a lower take-home pay can disrupt your finances. Nonetheless, you get a couple of benefits from this approach. First, you augment retirement benefits. Second, you bring down tax burdens. The money you channel into specific retirement accounts means tax deductions with certain limitations.

Fund your Flexible Spending Account

Take advantage of the Flexible Spending Account (FSA) that employers offer to reduce your tax payment. The Internal Revenue Service permits channeling of tax-free USD from your paycheck directly into your FSA annually. Last year, the IRS-prescribed limit reached $2, 600. This year, the threshold increased to $2, 650. However, you need to spend that money during the current calendar year for medical and dental bills, daily first-aid stuff, pregnancy testing kits, acupuncture (needle treatment), or breast pumps. Your dependents also qualify. In fact, individual employers allow employees to carry a maximum of $5, 000 to the following year.

Funding for Dependent Care FSA

The DFCSA refers to a pre-tax benefit account for paying off entitled dependent care services including pre-school, summer camp, (before or after) school programs, and child or grownup daycare. This employer-sponsored scheme also reduces your tax bill. The IRS excludes a maximum of $5, 000 from your pay that the employer will redirect to the Dependent Care account. It benefits parents with children below 13 years of age. Make sure to check out the plan’s documents carefully.

Use Health Savings Accounts

Health Savings Accounts stand for tax-exempt programs utilized in paying costs of hospitalization. You can ease your tax load if you own a high-deductible health care policy by contributing to the HSA. All contributions qualify for tax reductions with tax-free withdrawals provided you earmark them for authorized medical expenditures. Last year, the ceiling for contributions stood at $3, 400 for the self-only, high-deductible health cover. The cap for 2018 increased to $3, 450. For family coverage, the 2017 rate stayed at $6, 750 and rose to $6, 900 this year. Many employers offer the HSA, but you also have the choice of opening a private account in an accredited bank.

Become a Full-Pledged Entrepreneur

You can also save on taxes by starting your enterprise. Business owners can control their tax payments. If you are an entrepreneur, you may keep more funds in the company instead of declaring the money as revenues. Business proprietors also consider specific activities as expenditures. Tax specialists offer services to assist startups or small enterprises in dealing with the rules of the IRS on certified expenses. Neophytes will need professionals to guide them through the long and tedious processes. Part-time or outsourced work provides substantial tax deductions for the following:

  • Office supplies
  • Vehicle mileage
  • Computers
  • Phone services
  • Internet access
  • Business travel and meals
  • Part of home utility bills

The Broad Objective

Look at the bottom line with the magic words being SAVINGS and TAXES. Try to prepare your tax returns instead of hiring an accountant or bookkeeper unless you have a flourishing business with lots of requirements and financial concerns. You can save a great deal by performing this function than pay another person. Besides, you need not get stressed about things like beating tax filing deadlines. Review the guidelines for the Internal Revenue Service published online. You will surely learn plenty of tips from the agency’s website.

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Hops & Props 16th Annual Craft Beer Festival

Every February, craft beer enthusiasts look forward to the Hops & Props Craft Beer Festival at the Cradle of Aviation Museum. This year the event changed hands and the Galaxy Events Company organized the event. Even though the homebrew clubs and some local breweries were absent from the event, the festival was more spread out and showcased a few new vendors. Here are highlights from this year’s event.

Cryo Cream

Looking to add a little sweetness to your day? Cryo cream uses liquid nitrogen to whip up ice cream, caffeine and other delicious confections. Watch your favorite frozen treats emerge from the cool smoke. Cryo Cream is truly revolutionizing ice cream making and is available for special events and parties.

Maple Craft Foods

Breakfast lovers were able to snag some sticky and sweet treats from the Maple Craft Foods booth. Some of items for sale included Blueberry, Salted Caramel, and Bourbon Barrel Maple syrups, maple candies, fresh waffles and pancake and waffle mixes.

Bra Pong

I’m sure you’ve heard of beer pong before or even played in college or at a house party, but have you heard of Bra Pong? Pure Romance was spicing up the game promoting their parties and line of lotions, candles and other products, perfect for bachelorette parties.

New Breweries

Some new breweries present at Hops & Props included Braven Brewing Company from Bushwick, Icon NYC from Astoria and Five Boroughs Brewing Company from Brooklyn. Mill House Brewing from Poughkeepsie and Rootstock Ciderworks represented upstate New York. Mill House Brewing Company poured Cucumber Blessing, this beer is trip to the spa in your mouth. If you are looking for something light and refreshing to drink when the weather gets warmer, definitely pick up a six pack of these. Six Harbors Brewing from Huntington poured their Bay Hill Blues, which was finished off with a few fresh blueberries; watch out Blue Point Brewing, a new blueberry beer making a splash on the local scene.

 

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Unique Valentine’s Day Date Ideas on Long Island

Valentine’s Day is a romantic day to spend with your significant other. Many people go to an overpriced dinner, crowded movie and buy red roses and a heart shaped box of candy, so cliché. This year surprise your Valentine with one of the unique date ideas below.

Be Mine Valentine’s Day Beer and Wine Couples Tour

Date: February 18-11am
Cost: $160 per couple
Website: LIBeerBus.com
Phone: (631) 913-3817

If you’re a craft beer-loving couple, join Tapped Enterprises for a Valentine’s Day Beer and Wine tour. This five hour tour includes round trip transportation, a wine tasting at Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard, a beer tasting at Jamesport Farm Brewery, gourmet fromage from American Cheese Shop, decadent chocolates, a couple photo and Valentine’s Day candy.

The Cast of Beatlemania – Beatles Love Songs

Date: February 14-8:00pm
Smithtown Center for the Performing Arts
2 East Main Street
Smithtown, NY 11787
Phone: 631-724-3700
Cost: $50
Sing along to the most famous love songs written by The Beatles performed by the cast of Beatlemania. Hold your Valentine’s hand and let these Brit Rockers serenade you with their most iconic hits.

Shakespeare In Love

Date(s): February 3 – March 4
Smithtown Center for the Performing Arts
2 East Main Street
Smithtown, NY 11787
Phone: 631-724-3700
Cost: $20 – $35
The highly acclaimed movie Shakespeare In Love (a film that won seven Academy Awards) has been adapted from screen to stage. Sweep your date off her feet with a Shakespeare’s sonnet and take her to see this timeless romantic tale.

View the Planets & Moon through a Telescope

Date(s): December 18, 2017 through May 3, 2018 7pm – 8:30pm
Northport Harbor Park
Bottom End of Main St. at Woodbine Ave.
Northport, NY 11731
Phone: 631-486-4818
Cost: Free Event Website: Visit telescope.hereweb.com for any last-minute cancellations
There’s nothing more romantic that gazing up at the stars. Northport Harbor Park offers free telescope gazing and lessons on how to navigate the night sky. Go to Staracle.com and you can even name a star after your date for free.

Cross-Country Skiing in the Parks

Date(s): December 15, 2017 – April 30, 2018 1pm – 5pm
Heckscher Park
Prime Ave
Huntington, NY 11746 (Map)
Phone: 631-486-4818 (Call first, they only do this is there is sufficient snow.)
Cost: Free event
Spend Valentine’s Day with your sweetheart on the slopes. Learn how to cross-country ski on Long Island from an experienced ski instructor. Avoid lift lines, long road trips and expensive tickets. Master the ski basics including walking and turning. Equipment will be provided.

Long Island 2018 Valentine’s ChocoVino Chocolate Wine Sensational Tasting Experience

Date: February 14-8pm
Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead
431 E Main Street
Riverhead, NY 11901
Phone: 631-208-9200 x 426
Cost: $195.00 plus tax per couple ages  21+ (reservations required)

Spend your Valentine’s Day enjoying a five-course dinner, sipping on wine and indulging in sweets at the Valentine’s ChocoVino Chocolate Wine Sensational Tasting Experience at the Long Island Aquarium. Satisfy your sweet tooth with decadent desserts while viewing soothing sea exhibits.

 

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How to Celebrate Galentine’s Day with Your BFFs

Galentine’s Day, a holiday for ladies celebrating ladies, was created on an episode of Parks and Recreation. The concept is to show love for your gal pals on February 13, the day before you spend Valentine’s Day with your spouse or boyfriend. This holiday went from fiction to tradition, finding a niche among real-life women. Commemorate your relationship with your BFFs and kick it breakfast style just like they did in Parks and Recreation. Plan an epic brunch for your girl squad with the helpful tips below.

 

Girls Brunch

Brunch is the best type of party, it is early enough for everyone to attend and still have time later in the day for whatever they need to do. There is no better way to start the day than enjoying a good meal and drinks with your girls.

 

Invites

Send out an e-invite to everyone you want to attend and to get a headcount on how many ladies are coming. Thoroughly plan every detail to guarantee success. Make lists and be meticulous about every item being handled.

 

Dress Code

Tell your friends to dress comfortably so they can sit on giant floor pillows (like Beyoncé’s house on MTV Cribs) for more intimate conversations or they can dress up and you provide adequate seating for everyone.

 

Tablescape

Create a beautiful tablescape using greenery from the backyard or a local nursery. Break out the china and silverware and use a pink festive tablecloth and napkins – cloth, not vinyl or paper. You can even put down place cards so everyone knows where to sit.

 

Drinks

Mimosas are a standard for brunch, but you can create your own signature drink. Your girls will appreciate the thought and personalization that went into creating your cocktail. As each guest arrives, greet her with a glass of champagne and tell her why she is special to you.

 

Food

Put out a nice spread of options for your friends. Purchase assorted canapés, pre-made frittatas, sausages, assorted breads and fresh fruit.

 

Set the Atmosphere

Create a festive atmosphere, by bringing the outdoors in by filling your party space with greenery and flowers. Make a playlist that everyone will enjoy and remind them of special times and adventures spent together.

Load an electronic frame with assorted pictures from the various occasions you have gone to together and have it streaming on a large screen TV or a blank wall. This will remind everyone of all the fun times spent together.

 

Gifts

In advance, pull names and ask each person to bring a gift to the person whose name they pulled to shows how special she is to her. Present gifts to each other, with each person sharing the reason she chose the gift for her friend. Most likely, you will need a box of tissues because it might get emotional.

Follow the tips above and plan a Galentine’s Day that you and your girls will treasure for many years to come.

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Romantic Restaurants on Long Island

This Valentine’s Day, sweep your sweetheart off her feet, by taking her to one of the most romantic restaurants on Long Island with great atmosphere and outstanding cuisine and cocktails.

Barto Restaurant

1024 Northern Blvd

Roslyn, NY 11576

(516) 277-2828

Barto’s menu is influenced by Italian, French, Asian and Spanish cuisine. They use fresh seasonal organic meats and produce, fresh herbs and the best spices from around the world to make delicious steak and seafood. They have specialty craft cocktails and a large variety of wines by the glass or bottle. Their dining room is sustainably designed with reclaimed and energy efficient materials. Your date will truly be wowed by Barto’s food and scenery.

 

Jean- Georges at Topping Rose House 

1 Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike

Bridgehampton, NY 11932

(631) 537-0870

Topping Rose House is a casual yet contemporary restaurant located in the Hamptons. They are open year-round and serve farm-to-table cuisine using seasonal ingredients grown on the premises as well as locally sourced fish and meats. The restaurant is located inside a luxury hotel and has a pool and spa as well as other amenities if you are looking to extend your date.

 

Jedediah Hawkins Inn

400 S Jamesport Ave

Riverhead, NY 11901

(631) 722-2900

Jedediah Hawkins Inn is an elegant boutique hotel with a restaurant and speakeasy. They carry the freshest local seafood, herbs and produce from their garden and eggs from their chickens. They have a large selection of local wines and micro brews in their romantic yet laid back atmosphere. Plan a sleepover date and enjoy all that Jedediah Hawkins Inn has to offer.

 

Grey Horse Tavern

291 Bayport Ave, Bayport, NY 11705

(631) 472-1868

Grey Horse Tavern is a farm to table restaurant that uses the best local, seasonal, sustainable, and humanely raised ingredients to make their hand-crafted cuisine. The carry a selection of the finest wines and craft beers from Long Island as well as worldwide. They serve up creative house-made cocktails made with ingredients grown in house. If you want quality food that will not break the bank, Grey Horse Tavern is the place to go.

 

The North Fork Table & Inn

57225 Main Rd

Southold, NY 11971

(631) 765-0177

The North Fork Table & Inn is rated Long Island’s best Inn & Restaurant. For Valentine’s Day, the restaurant creates a lovely shared dining experience. The menu consists of a steak for two, along with several sides, including green pea hummus with taro chips and risotto fritters.

 

Autentico

124 South St

Oyster Bay, NY 11771

(516) 922-2212

Autentico makes Italian cuisine that is Mediterranean inspired using farm fresh and locally sourced ingredients. Their Valentine’s Day dinner menu consists of crab cocktail with wasabi sauce, risotto with lobster strawberries, and balsamic vinegar of Modena, branzino with seasonal vegetables and a saffron sauce. For dessert, they have a traditional Neapolitan baba ‘au rum, topped with pastry cream and fresh pomegranate.

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Best Chocolate Shops on Long Island

chocolatier

In 1861, John Cadbury created the first heart-shaped box of chocolates and this Valentine’s Day tradition continues today. During the month of February, many of us are focused on romance and finding the perfect Valentine’s Day gifts. This year don’t settle for a card store box of generic chocolates, surprise your date with the best chocolates and confectionary treats made locally on Long Island.

Chocolate Works

916 Old Country Road
Garden City, NY 11530
(516) 833-9198

2350 Merrick Road
Bellmore, NY 11710
(516) 900-1119

371 South Oyster Bay Road
Plainview, NY 11803
(516) 252-3855

6401 Jericho Turnpike
Commack, NY 11725
(631) 486-8888

143B Main Street
Stony Brook, NY 11790
(631) 675-9366

Chocolate Works is known for their decadent chocolate dipped strawberries, chocolates and truffles. They also have handmade milk and dark chocolate heart boxes, perfect you’re your Valentine. For Valentine’s Day, they make a box, made of Belgian chocolate that is filled with delicious candies. If you are looking for a non- chocolate treat, consider a snapshots in sugar, they are a sweet way to capture a special moment in your relationship.

Kron Chocolatier

24 Middle Neck Rd

Great Neck Plaza, NY 11021

(516) 829-5550

Kron Chocolatier uses an old Hungarian family recipe to make their chocolates. They offer a plethora of delectable sweets that are all handmade and hand-packaged. For Valentine’s Day, indulge your sweetheart with long stem gourmet chocolate roses, edible chocolate heart boxes filled with gourmet chocolates, Budapest Truffles and solid chocolate lips in milk, dark or white chocolate.

Schwartz Candies

169 Voice Rd

Carle Place, NY 11514

(516) 294-2831

Schwartz Candies have been featured on the Food Network TV show Unwrapped. They were founded in 1939 and still dip their chocolates traditionally by hand. Their marshmallow heart is dipped in semisweet chocolate and come in boxes with eight assorted flavors, vanilla flavored marshmallows or vanilla flavored marshmallows with a caramel bottom. If you are looking for an eclectic mix, Schwartz’s also has assorted miniature hearts filled with caramels, almonds, apricots, creams and truffles.

Emile’s Candies

229 Merrick Rd

Oceanside, NY 11572

(516) 766-4402

Emile’s Candies is a third generation, 50 year old establishment, making their candies the old fashioned way, to ensure freshness and quality. They have a large assortment of heart-shaped Valentine’s Day boxes that you can fill with chocolate dipped creams, crisps, crunches, nuts, caramels, fluffy marshmallows and exotic fruits.

Bon Bons Chocolatier

319 Main Street

Huntington, NY 11743

(631) 549-1059

Bon Bons Chocolatier have been creating handmade chocolates for over 30 years in small batches that are fork-dipped by hand. Everything is made fresh to order including their signature chocolates and unique shaped candies. Make Bon Bons your one stop shop for Valentine’s Day, besides candy, they also carry cards, gifts and seasonal tableware.

Morgan’s Bay Confections

9 Post Place

Babylon, NY 11702

(631) 224-5959

Morgan’s Bay Confections in Babylon is well-equipped to fulfill all of your chocolate needs. If you cannot visit their shop, they can even ship goodies to you. For Valentine’s Day, try their decadent stuffed strawberries, dipped in chocolate and stuffed with cannoli cream.

Lazar’s Chocolate

350 Wheatley Plaza

Greenvale, NY 11548

516-484-1987

Lazar’s Chocolate family recipe dates back over 70 years ago to Europe and is still being used today. Surprise your Valentine with a Chocolate Non Pareil Heart Pop made with a Swiss-style of chocolate. This oversized milk chocolate lollipop is coated with beads of sugar for color and crunch. Looking for something more traditional? Try their milk chocolate heart candies, chocolate lips or a heart box filled with chocolates.

Sayville Chocolatier

6 Main Street

Sayville, NY 11782

(631) 589-6713

Sayville Chocolatier has been Sayville’s Premier Chocolate Shop since 1980. For Valentine’s Day they have fresh dipped chocolate strawberries, chocolate hearts and baskets. One of their stand-out items is their chocolate high heels filled with luscious truffles. If your Valentine has allergies, they also carry some nut-free sweets so he or she won’t feel excluded on this special day.

Afresh Approach LLC

82 Park Ave

Bay Shore, NY 11706

(631) 647-3535

Afresh Approach provides a wide selection of gourmet candies and delectable treats. Every treat is made by hand the old fashion way with loving care by experienced confectioners. They craft the best personalized chocolates with the themes and flavors that you desire. If you and your Valentine are expecting wedding bells, they are also known for their handcrafted wedding favors.

Kerri’s Kandies Inc

2160 NY-112

Coram, NY 11727

(631) 696-4947

Kerri’s Kandies is a family owned and operated store that uses pure couverture chocolate for all of their handmade creations. For Valentine’s Day, consider their chocolate puppy, truffles, chocolate dipped fruit (including strawberries) and large variety of fudge. If you are looking to make your own chocolates, Kerri’s carries chocolate melting wafers, molds, sticks, bags and custom printed ribbon for your DIY needs.

Ralph Rotten’s Candy & Nut Shoppe

2425 Middle Country Rd

Centereach, NY 11720

(631) 981-3051

Ralph Rotten’s Candy & Nut Shoppe has been operating under new ownership since November, but they are still whipping up the same delicious confections like they have the past 31 years. One local favorite is their chocolate covered gummy bears that are coated in rich Belgian chocolate. They offer a variety of Valentine’s Day baskets, trays and a pretzel boat filled with an assortment of goodies.

Kilwins Babylon Village

130 Deer Park Ave

Babylon, NY 11702

(631) 482-8551

Kilwins Port Jefferson

109D Main St

Port Jefferson, NY 11777

(631) 509-6555

Kilwins provides their customers with high quality products and a friendly atmosphere. Some of their trademark chocolate items include their hand dipped chocolate strawberries, Mackinac Island Fudge and chocolate dipped pretzels. If you’re craving something sweet that isn’t chocolate, try Kilwins Original Recipe ice cream. They have over 40 different flavors and even make ice cream cakes too, a perfect way to cool off after a hot date.