Sometimes I forget this is REAL. One day I avoid the news at all costs. The next, my Google search looks something like this: “Coronavirus, NY updates” or “Coronavirus in Colombia” — my family is in quarantine there, too. Is it just me?
At times it’s so easy to forget about it in the comfort of my safe home. I’m also busier than ever. Homeschooling, saying “no more snacks, you just ate!!” all day, trying to work with my laptop, going from one room to the other, plus all the cleaning and cooking.
But then I check my sister-in-law’s texts and see a selfie of her prepared for war. Or another with her face full of red marks after a shift. She’s an ER nurse at a hospital in one of the most affected areas of NYC. “Please, stay home” she keeps telling us.
So with her image and words in our minds, we have not left home. That’s how we do our part to save lives.
Local Loves Westchester: Small Businesses To Support
But now, how do we save small businesses? My husband, dad, father-in-law, friends all have small businesses. Even myself. The short answer is: support whenever possible. The list below compiles a lot of local mom entrepreneurs with businesses that can serve you in any part of the country, and some of my favorite places to get food in lower Westchester, NY.
Favorite Local Restaurants For Take Out
Aqui es Santafe – Colombian mom and son duo take traditional Colombian ingredients and recipes, and give them a modern and fresh perspective. The arepas topped with all kinds of things are my favorite. Join their “Frontline campaign” focusing on feeding the healthcare workers in the NY area. You can donate here and follow their Instagram for all the updates. It’s heart-warming to see.
Pizzeria la Rosa – By now I’m an expert at making pizzas using Trader Joe’s cauliflower crust, but whenever I need a break from the kitchen, this is our go-to pizza. Fresh ingredients, thin, crunchy, delicious. My kids love the meatballs and dipping the pizza in the sauce. It’s just that good. IG: @pizzerialarosa
Cantina Lobos – Even the simplest thing like rice and beans can make your belly jump. My kids LOVE the beans. My husband and I LOVE the Spanish Pulpo (Pulpo a la plancha), which comes with a bean, jalapeños sauce that gives the perfect flavor to the octopus. Enchiladas, skirt steak and all the salads are always on my list. And please don’t forget some churros for dessert. IG: @cantinalobos
Favorite Westchester Boutiques
Lola New York – 25% off and free shipping on all orders! This is one of the best boutiques in Westchester. It was started by two moms in a basement. Their loungewear selection is one of my favorites. Shop for quarantine or find something to wear a little later. As the weather warms up, I know I’ll be rocking their spring dresses for the kitchen for sure, because sweatpants life is not my best life. Tip: If you like something, get it right away — I’ve waited and then it’s always gone. They’re always posting updates on IG Stories here.
Jolie Gotique – 20% off through May 1st and free shipping! Can you imagine shopping in a truck? Most of Jolie Gotique shopping is done that way (aka ‘fashion boutique on the go’) giving a unique shopping experience for kids and women. Of course, right now hopping on a boutique truck is not possible, but you can still find everything Jolie Gotique has to offer on their website. Owner Penny, a mom of two, hand-selects everything from LA and NY designers. I especially love her leggings selection. Find them on IG: @joliegotique
Favorite Westchester Virtual Services
Julieta Torres Virtual Styling (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | IG: @julietatorresd) – My not-so-secret “secret” is out. My CEO husband encouraged me to put myself here. While I love blogging and this space here on TME, I was missing something. I knew I wanted to help you feel more confident, to love and dress the body you have today, to avoid unnecessary shopping and to own your unique style in a more personal way. It’s been a year of working on my new venture while raising two little ones. You may have read this in some posts about my Image Consulting Classes, right? Well, I’ve taken all that knowledge and put it in practice on everyone who has let me until actually getting paid for it.
If you can do it, I’d love to help. Do you rotate the same five outfits even though you have way more clothes? You’re not sure what colors look best on you? Or do you keep buying clothes that end up in the back of your closet for some strange reason? My life and style are forever-changed after discovering my best color palette.
Joanie Johnson, Pre and Postnatal Corrective Exercise Specialist (One-on-One OR Group Zoom Sessions) – If you happened to follow my tummy tuck journey video series last year, there was a video I did about diastasis recti. If you’re expecting, Joanie’s workouts will get your body in optimal shape for birth and help you recover faster/better after. If you’re postpartum, you’ll feel your abdominal and pelvic floor muscles again, learn how to activate them, and even avoid peeing your pants when sneezing. You can be years postpartum and still have muscles not working properly. Even after my abdominal repair, I had to train my muscles to work again. I wish I’d had someone like Joanie walking me through all the changes my body went through, the pains, weaknesses and many nights crying, not understanding why my body was like that. She is a mama, pre & postnatal fitness expert, and PregnancySāf Elite Coach through Fit For Birth. She has trained over 4,000 pre-conception, pregnant and postpartum women through their fitness journeys and has been featured in publications such as Women’s Health, Parents, Forbes and Fast Company. You can follow her on Instagram here: @joaniejohnson_
I know I missed a ton of places/businesses. This are just some of my favorites. Do you live in the city or another part close like me? Have friends with small businesses in the area? Let’s extend the list.
Stay safe! at home if possible and if you’re an essential worker…thank you. I pray with my kids for you every night.