Category Archives: Westchester Woman Wednesday

Westchester Woman Wednesday:  Meet Rachel Chan

Westchester Woman Wednesday: Meet Rachel Chan

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Each month we feature a woman in Westchester who falls into one of our preferred categories:  eat, shop or play.  This month we are featuring someone who falls into the “play” category, mostly for kids.  Rachel Chan is certainly our youngest Westchester Woman Wednesday yet.  She’s 23, a Westchester native and she’s the founder of the Westchester Gaming League.

I met Rachel this fall when I signed my son up for the Fortnite League at the Microsoft Store in The Westchester.  A few days after I registered him, the doorbell rang and she was there to deliver a t-shirt and Fortnite themed treats for him.  I asked her if she worked at the Fortnite program and was shocked when she replied, “I’m the founder.”

WHAT?   You’re practically a teenager!    To my surprise, she’s so much more than a teenager and gamer.  Rachel is a Tarrytown native, having attended The Hackley School and the University of Pennsylvania, where she majored in computer science and math.  She now splits her time between Westchester and midtown, as her full time/day job is in tech consulting in Manhattan.

About a year ago, she met her mentor, who introduced her to the world of entrepreneurship and planted the initial concept for the league.   After spending hours and hours researching how gaming leagues worked (combined with the popularity of Fortnite) the idea came to life and she began registering students for classes at The Westchester this fall.   For Rachel, it was important to create a community where kids could have fun and foster in-person relationships.

Working with Microsoft as a sponsor was a win-win-win.   Microsoft gets the traffic into their stores, Rachel fills the classes (estimating 60 kids per weekend!)  and The Westchester, gets shoppers into the mall each week. I have not been into The Westchester on a weekly basis for YEARS– but for the past 8 weeks, I walked in and shopped in the stores and enjoyed dinners with my husband and daughter while my son attended classes.   I won’t disclose the dollars spent during these eight weeks, but if not for this league, those dollars might have been spent online or in other retail stores.

Here are Rachel’s top choices for places to eat/shop/play in Westchester:

Favorite Salad: Lefteris Gyro, Tarrytown
Favorite Pizza: Wood and Fire, Pleasantville
Favorite Sushi: Kyo Sushi, Hartsdale
Favorite French Onion Soup: JP Doyles, Sleepy Hollow
Favorite Wings: SmokeHouse Tailgate Grill, Mamaroneck
Favorite Ice Cream: Main Street Sweets, Tarrytown
Favorite Store: Lush in the Westchester Mall
Favorite Apparel Store: Century 21 in Yonkers
Favorite Coffee Shop: Coffee Labs, Tarrytown


Follow Westchester Gaming League online now:  

Instagram for the league
If interested in signing up for the Winter session, beginning on January 18th, follow the link below.

Winter Registration is open now.  To sign up, click here

Westchester Woman Wednesday: Meet Nicole Steinthal

Westchester Woman Wednesday: Meet Nicole Steinthal

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This month’s Westchester Woman Wednesday is Nicole Steinthal.   She’s a lifestyle blogger as well and she’s got one foot in Westchester and one foot in Greenwich.  She’s a supermom to her college-aged son, TJ and two daughters, Daisy and Peyton.   She posts on her blog daily and covers topics related to fashion, dining, entertaining.  Her blog is called NS Lifestyles and while it is kind of like our “eat/shop/play” posts, it’s another level!   She posts recipes that she uses, gives her rundown of recommendations at HomeGoods and organizes group outings of 40-50 people to Broadway shows monthly.   I will include some favorite posts below.

Nicole’s December Broadway Outing:

Trader Joe’s Favorites:

Fall Decorating Ideas:

Home Goods Roundup:

When I was thinking about how to properly interview Nicole, I thought, let’s keep this totally natural.  When scrolling through my recent texts, I realized how we go back and forth.   One day recently, I had a car maintenance appointment in Greenwich so I texted her asking her.  “In Greenwich.  Good salad?” and she answered back with a suggestion immediately.  The best was the day at my son’s school book fair when I snuck a pic on my phone of a woman’s purse that I admired.  I did not have the nerve to ask her what brand it was. “Excuse me, I’ve never spoken to you.  What brand is your bag?”   So I snuck a pic sent it to Nicole and within minutes, she replied with links on where to buy the bag!!    Our text chains are so random and while we might not talk or see each other frequently, we pick up where we leave off each timer we do meet up in person.   So her interview is basically her list of favorites, tried and true or what I would call her personal Rolodex for just about anything you could ever want or need!!

Nicole is proof that even when you have older kids, there are always things going on and she’s the kind of person that everyone knows and stops to say hello to!  Each time I’ve met Nicole for lunch in Rye, she seems to know just about everyone– which brings me to how we met, and that’s through Instagram.  We found each other because we were always liking the same things and commenting on the same pictures so the conversation started and we’ve been friends ever since.

In Nicole’s voice from here on:

I am honored that Erin an Shawna consider me a mom “just like us” because I think they are beyond fabulous and I am soooo honored to be picked for their Wednesday girl!!!  This fall marks my 4 year (!!!) blogging anniversary.  As a lifestyle blogger, I’ve seen and tried it all…here are some of my fav’s around Westchester and Beyond…

Salad:   Asian Chicken Salad at The Kneaded Bread – Port Chester
Casual Eatery:   MIX Kitchen – Greenwich healthy lunch spot with quick snacks that make you feel good about what you eat.  I love their greek salad, protein bits, and their gluten-free donuts!!!!
Restaurant for date night and also girls night out:  Le Penguin- Greenwich  The floating Island is my fav dessert ever…
Pizza:   Sals – Mamaroneck HANDS DOWN
Baked Goods:   Sugar Hi -Armonk
Coffee Shop:  CF – Greenwich
Local Deli:   Jerry’s Post Road Market – Rye
Movie Theater:  IPic – Dobby Ferry
Outing: Gallery or Museum tour with Emily McElwreath expert art docent!!!
Hair Salon:  Beauty Box in Rye (ask for Melissa for your color) 
Mani/Pedi:  Coco Nail Salon – Rye Brook
Facial Services/Treatments/Anti-Aging Center: Skin Westchester in Rye
Dermatologist:  Dr. Anetta Ressko – Rye
Laser Hair Removal:  Westchester Laser in Rye Brook
Asian Foot Massage and Reflexology:  Footsie – Mt Kisco
Pharmacy: Rye Beach Pharmacy
Doctor Concierge Service: HealthSapiens 
Best Work Out: Pilates Reformer
Florist: McArdyles Greenwich
Local Artist: Katy Garry Fine Art
Lighting Store: Padto Port Chester
Consignment Shop:  Penny Pincher in Bedford Hills
Fashion Styling and In-Home Consignment Services
SC Style and Cosign
Gourmet Grocery and Wine Shop: Citerella in Greenwich
Ice Cream: Carvel
Interior Design and Staging: Iconic Modern Home
Home Zhusher:  Cricket Burns..using what you already own, your house will be ready to be photographed for a magazine in a few days…Brilliant!!!!!
College Prep:  Carnegie Prep – Greenwich
Personal Shopper:  Monica Naro – Saks Greenwich
Fur Designer:  Linda Richards – NYC & Port Chester
Best Jewelry Selection: Queens Antiques
Favorite “Something For Everyone” Shops:
Lola NY – White Plains
Style – Armonk
Anthropologie – White Plains, Greenwich
Zara – Yonkers, Greenwich
Our Etsy Shop

Our Etsy Shop

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Your business isn’t complete until you have a website;  And Facebook page, a Twitter Account and an Instagram.  A pinboard on Pinterest is on the back burner right now….a YouTube Channel is likely NEVER going to happen, a podcast is in our near future (yes, we have this in the works) and we’ve just opened our Etsy Shop.   Just when we catch up, the next big thing happens.  Let’s enjoy this for a while.  Here’s the link to our Etsy Shop.   Yay!!

Simply click the link to see this screen appear.   We’ve got mugs, tees & journals so far.

***The women’s tees run small, sort of “junior sizing” so I suggest sizing up on these.   The unisex cut is a little more forgiving…..wider arms and fuller at the bottom.  ***

MUST give credit to our graphic designer Cassandra Caruso for making this all possible.  From the logo to the products, she’s helped us figure out what we wanted.   Our love for Cassandra started in early 2017 when we asked her to be our FIRST Westchester Woman Wednesday

Here’s the background on who Cassandra is and what she can do for you!

Shawna’s article focuses more on what Cassandra can do for your business!  (see our avatars below!) 

Westchester Woman Wednesday:  Meet Shannon, Lori & Christine

Westchester Woman Wednesday: Meet Shannon, Lori & Christine

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I’m thrilled to share this month’s choice for Westchester Woman Wednesday.   In fact, I should say “women” because it’s a trio of talent that has taken The Dance Gallery in Tuckahoe to a new level.   The Dance Gallery had been previously owned by Stephanie Urbina (since 2012) and it was pretty much a one woman show.  In 2018, Shannon DiNota stepped in as the new owner of The Dance Gallery and helping her with the transition are Lori Mortensen and Christine Magliari.  Each one has their own skill set that they bring to the table, but the commonality is their shared vision for the studio.

Besides already having been instructors at The Dance Gallery, they were also parents (one an aunt) of dancers at the studio.  It was a natural move for the three of them to come together and build upon the things that were already great about where they worked and chose to have their daughters (and nieces) dance.  Each brings a different experience;  Shannon is a lifelong dancer who has studied, performed and taught in cities across the US and London. Lori has a music and theater background and is the business manager for the studio. She brings along her communications background and experience. The office manager is Christine, who wears many hats.  She’s an actress, a pilates & yoga instructor, stylist and musical theater instructor.   All three women have ties to the Tuckahoe/Bronxville/Eastchester community and are truly an asset to the young dancers at The Dance Gallery.

Their mission is to offer quality dance instruction by experienced professionals who possess a passion for teaching students of all ages in a disciplined and nurturing environment. The Dance Gallery teaches dance as an art form, emphasizing fundamental technique and diversity of styles including classical ballet, jazz, tap, modern, musical theater and hip-hop.  Since the takeover in early 2018, new programs such as Irish Dance, Bollywood (Indian dance) and Adult Tap Dance classes have been added.

What I love personally is their gentle, yet serious approach. It’s age appropriate and allows girls a safe and comfortable dance environment. It’s a mixture of traditional and “new” which was evident in the June recital.  Some classic ballet pieces, some modern selections and my favorite, the “Annie Fusion” where the younger girls performed Annie’s “It’s a Hard Knock Life” the traditional way (imagine buckets and rags) followed by the older girls who performed the modern version of the same song, with choreography and outfits that were a little more mature.  Everyone gets what they need and everyone leaves happy.

THE DANCE GALLERY is located at The Main Street Depot, 25 Main Street, 2nd Floor, Tuckahoe, NY 10707​​

Phone: (914) 255-4092

Email: ​  

Fall 2018 Class Schedule can be found here.

DGNY bracelets made by Beads by Meg… @beadzbymeg on IG or
L to R- Lori, Shannon and Christine at The Dance Gallery Recital, June 2018.













Links to all Bios can be found here.

Westchester Woman Wednesday:  Meet Lauren Ferrara

Westchester Woman Wednesday: Meet Lauren Ferrara

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Lauren Ferrara, Precision Spa

We’re slowly getting back into the routine of weekly posts but we never want to miss the chance to highlight a Westchester Woman.    Lauren Ferrara is an aesthetician at Precision Spa in Harrison.

About 18 months ago, I went for a routine brow shaping at a local spa and the aesthetician asked if I had considered microblading.   She herself was not trained, but was considering it because this form of cosmetic tattooing was becoming the craze in Westchester.   After learning more about it (and realizing that my brows were not quite keeping up with my dark hair color) I asked her, “Where’s the best place to have it done?”

Her response, “Precision. It’s like a factory.  They are the best.”

So, I went home and googled it, called and made an appointment for microblading.  At that point, there was a 3-4 month wait.  I was placed on a cancellation list and I was called early, about 5-6 weeks later.   I was greeted by Lauren, who spent a good two hours with me from start to finish.   Almost a year and half later, my brows are still looking great and I will go for my second treatment in September to avoid having them fade this summer.

Lauren was introduced to Nicole Zillitto, the owner of Precision Spa in early 2016.  She calls Nicole the “pioneer” of microblading in Westchester, which is why she went to her for her own brows in February 2016. By June 2016, Lauren was working alongside her at Precision Spa.  Although Lauren had been working as an aesthetician at another spa, she felt it was an incredible opportunity to work and learn from Nicole.  Lauren’s first customer was her husband, Jesse, who volunteered to be her first microblading client!   Currently, Lauren and Nicole take turns doing brows for each other on their days off.

At Precision, Lauren sees 40-50 clients per week between microblading, brow shaping, tints, lash lifts and facials.   I’ve gone to her for pretty much everything at this point and besides getting exceptional services, Lauren is completely entertaining, genuine and fun to talk to about pretty much anything and everything!   It’s for this reason, that I decided to discuss “eating, shopping, playing in and around Westchester” with her and surprising her with this article today!

She’s not a cook.  Both Lauren and Jesse work long hours and enjoy going out to places like Mason Sandwich Co in Eastchester and Harvest on the Hudson in Hastings.   She’s obsessed with working out at SLT Studio in Scarsdale and enjoys browsing the aisles at Home Goods.  She is a dog mom to her beagle-mix, Rosie.

Follow Lauren on Instagram (by clicking here) or visit Precision Spa online at
Before and After Pics

The stages of microblading.   Before and After, with some steps in between!