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royal typewriter

Sometimes technology is advancing at such a quick pace, I find myself constantly racing.

A sweetness of fresh air came over me when I purchased a manual typewriter.  The clickity clackity of the keys are so refreshing to hear.

I recently had the pleasure of visiting Gramery Typewriter in Manhattan to have one manual typewriter completely overhauled.    The owner is a celebrity in his own right as he shared that there are various youtube videos highlighting him and his business which was created by  his father.

If you are looking to slow down a bit, enjoy writing but are not quite ready for a vacation, see if a manual typewriter could do the trick for you.

Happy typing!

By Laney Liner

Spooky pumpkins

The Haunted Hay Barn is back by popular demand for its second season. This haunting show will take place from 6pm-10pm on October 16th, 17th, 23rd, 24th, 25th, 30th and 31st of 2015. This experience may not be appropriate for children under 10 years of age. The location is handicap accessible.

For those who want to participate and desire a less frightening experience, there is a “Chicken Walk” scheduled for October 25th from 5pm-6pm.

It is $13.00 per person and all proceeds will be donated to HorseAbility, a 501(c) 3 charity.  The haunt is located in the historic F. Ambrose Clark Broad Hollow House Barn on the campus of SUNY Old Westbury, Route 107 North, Old Westbury, NY.

To learn more, visit HorseAbility.org or call 516.333.6151.


By Laney Liner

On the picturesque Saturday evening of September 19, 2015, there was a great showing of supporters to raise funds at the Crescent Beach Club in Bayville, NY for HorseAbility, a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit. HorseAbility began in 1993 and exists to enrich the lives of both children and adults with special needs. Individuals receive many therapeutic benefits through the equine facilitated programs offered by HorseAbility. Kids and adults with disabilities can benefit from HorseAbility programs.

During the event, Nassau County Legislator, Donald MacKenzie, presented Rae Natale with a Citation from the Nassau County Legislature. A Citation shows governmental recognition to individuals “who exemplify integrity, commitment and concern for the well being of the community and its residents”. Her dedication as a board member and longtime volunteer has helped hundreds of special needs individuals in a variety of ways and has even helped her daughter, Tory.

Entertainment during the beautiful event included Joanne Hutchins and Bobby Sarnowski who performed an acoustic set during the cocktail hour followed by the Sleepwalk Dance Band who played all original tunes.

Joanne Hutchins and Bobby Sarnowski singing their hearts out at the HorseAbility Fundraiser
Joanne Hutchins and Bobby Sarnowski singing their hearts out at the HorseAbility Fundraiser

The final entertainment for the evening consisted of local musicians, including Hutchins and Sarnowski, and local resident and supporter Alan Tabaldi of Bayville, amongst others. This band was formed specifically for this event, and was named “Honky Tory”, in honor of Rae Natale’s daughter!

Many local businesses and residents of Bayville, NY and beyond supported the event by donating items for the Chinese Auction. Everyone from HorseAbility is grateful for the kindness they showed for this event.

Getting to Know Tory Natale and The Hampton Classic

Rae’s daughter, Tory, born with Cerebral Palsey, credits her time at HorseAbility with her ability to walk as well as she does now.

Tory Natale
Tory Natale

Tory has been with organization since the age of eight and participated in their summer camp program. “Horseback riding brings a lot of happiness to me and I feel privileged to be a part of it. They have made me the person I am today. I hate the word “can’t.” I push myself and am willing to try things. HorseAbility helped bring out my inner strength,” said Tory Natale.

Through the The Long Island Horse Show Series for Riders with Disabilities (LIHSSRD), Tory is one of the first riders ever to compete in the Hampton Classic Horse Show in Bridgehampton, NY in the divisions offered for riders with disabilities.

Tory is one of only two riders that have competed in all ten seasons and finals for the LIHSSRD show program. She currently is the rider with the most cumulative points for overall competition in any division.

Al Staab, Co-Founder of Oak Neck Athletic Council, said “You won’t find a greater representation of desire and determination than Tory.”

If you want to learn more about HorseAbility located on the campus of SUNY Old Westbury in Westbury, NY, and the programs they offer, please visit HorseAbility.org or call 516.333.6151.


A couple of years ago, my best friend the iPad came into my life. My poor laptop was jealous, but he did not offer me anywhere near the same flexibility or benefits. I loved my iPad! It was nearly perfect. One of the only “cons” I ran across was printing. I could not print from my iPad (or iPhone for that matter) on my wi-fi printer. Truth be told, there may have been a way for me to figure it out, but I am not significantly tech savvy and was not interested in spending several frustrating hours trying to figure it out.

HP Envy 5530
HP Envy 5530

So I started to do a bit of research to see if there was a printer that would suit my OCD requirements. Since, this was going to be my second printer and I am limited on space, it needed to be small, EASY to install and quiet. And if that was not enough of a list, since this was not a necessity but a convenience, it needed to be very well priced.

Enter the HP Envy….aahhh. Yes, that is the sound of angels singing. This has to be the best printer hands down that I have ever had. It not only fit all of my crazy criteria, but it has added features I never thought I would use, but now cannot live without.

My HP Envy is small and quiet as could be, but installation you ask? Plug it into the wall. Yup, that is basically it. Once it is plugged in, your iPad/iPhone (smartphone) will pick it up as a device and you can print. You can do a bit more detailed install if you want to scan and take advantage of some other features, but it is not necessary for basic printing. I chose to do the whole installation. I readied the phone next to me, knowing that I no doubt would need HP to walk me through the installation, and it was truly simple, even for the technically challenged!

This little printer, is not so little, as it:

  • makes copies
  • scans to your email or computer
  • sends and receives faxes (you even get your own fax number FREE)
  • prints beautiful photo quality prints on 4 x 6 photo paper and
  • has an added feature that I did not know existed, but now I cannot live without – you can assign an email address to the printer and by simply sending an email to your printer, it will print whatever you emailed.

Cut to a year later…I have started a business making gift baskets for people that are going through chemotherapy and radiation treatment. My parents (who I bought this printer for last Hanukah) very generously offered me their basement as my “factory”. As my business has grown, my HP Envy has kept right up with the pace. But here was my “AHA moment,” as Oprah would say. Last week, I needed to travel for a few days. My amazing parents offered to ship any orders that I received while I was out of town. The only problem was that they are REALLY not tech savvy and it would have been impossible for me to walk them through all the steps needed to print shipping labels and the gift cards. Then I remembered, I can email their printer (it was so worth buying them the printer!) So instead of canceling my trip, or worrying about burdening my parents with cumbersome tech lessons, all I had to do was bring my laptop with me (he was happy to be top dog again, albeit temporary and email the gift cards and shipping labels to my parents printer. Viola! Problem solved! And it worked like a charm!! HP Envy…best money I have ever spent!!

If you would like to know more about the model I purchased HP Envy All in One 5330 click here.

I bought mine on Amazon.com (love their Prime shipping model) but HP is having a sale now and this printer is only $89.99. And if you can believe it, they are offering free shipping too. They must have known I would write this review to tout their product so they wanted to be prepared, LOL. So HP may be your best bet!

If you would like to learn more about my gift basket business for people going through chemotherapy and radiation treatment, please check out my website, Rock The Treatment, by clicking here. While you are there, please connect with me on social media. Thanks, Stacy

A BIG thank you goes out to Stacy for being my guest blogger 🙂

Rock The Treatment
Women’s Large Chemo Basket

In the past couple of months, it has been refreshing to read customer service books by Chip R. Bell, Peter Shankman and Randi Busse & Carol Heady.  They all shared the good and the bad of customer service that exists in businesses today.

While each author has a different voice and approach to their books, I enjoyed each one immensely.  I found myself nodding my head in agreement with the statements, observations and recommendations they shared to the point that my head almost fell off.  Okay, I am not a comedian, but I try 🙂

Today, I strongly believe that customers own brands.  If they don’t have a positive experience, they will share it with someone and it is at that point that the brand needs to respond and try to make that person HAPPY again.

Go The Extra Mile

sprinkles chip bellMany companies think it is too expensive to go the extra mile, but as Chip Bell points out, it is even the little things that can have a positive impact on someone’s interaction with a brand.  In his book entitled Sprinkles, Bell retells of an experience where he ordered a Jack Daniel’s on the rocks. To his DELIGHT, he was presented with a bottle of Jack Daniel’s. The drink was made for him right at the table.  Wow, what a special touch.


While I hzombie loyalistsaven’t dined at Morton’s Steakhouse yet, it is certainly on my list thanks to Peter Shankman.  In his book entitled, Zombie Loyalists Using Great Service To Create Rabid Fans, he shared that as a long time customer of that steakhouse, he “joking tweeted the following: Hey @Morton’s — can you meet me at Newark Airport with a porterhouse when I land in two hours? K, thanks :)”  Well, guess what, there are BRAINS behind the Morton’s brand because they carefully monitor the social media waves and recognized one of their loyal customers made a request.  A Morton’s employee was waiting to present Peter with his porterhouse steak and much more.  What a nice sur”PRIZE”.

Employees Making People Happy

In Randi Busse & Carol Heady’s book entitled Turning Rants Into Raves, they retold a story about how Brandon Cook’s grandmother loved Panera Bread’s clam chowder. “My grandmother is passing soon with cancer. I visited her the other day and she was telling me about how she really wanted soup, but not hospital soup because she said it tasted ‘awful’ she went on about how she really would like some clam chowder from Panera. Unfortunately Panera only sells clam choCustomer Servicewder on Friday. I called the manager Sue and told them the situation. I wasn’t looking for anything special just a bowl of clam chowder. Without hesitation she said absolutely she would make her some clam chowder. When I went to pick it up they wound up giving me a box of cookies as well. It’s not that big of a deal to most, but to my grandma it meant a lot. I really want to thank Sue and the rest of the staff from Panera in Nashua, NH just for making my grandmother happy. Thank you so much!”

Tory Burch Stands Behind Her Brand

I often share a story about the Tory Burch brand.  My friend’s Tory Burch flip flops broke while we were laid over in Beverly Hills en route to Australia.  Our baggage had been misplaced by the airline so she had no other shoes.  We found a Tory Burch store in Beverly Hills and went there for help.  While they were able to give my friend a new pair of flip flops, they did require a small fee for the exchange.  It wasn’t the money, it was the principle that a high-end brand was so petty to ask for money given that the flip flops were unwearable and our luggage was lost.  I found this to be highly ridiculous  and I tweeted Tory. She reached out to me lightening fast to provide me with the appropriate customer service contact to write upon our return to the states.  P.S. Tory Burch’s customer service department ROCKED IT.  They made the situation all better and to this day, I am a loyal Tory Burch shopper because of how they made good on an experience that didn’t feel right.

Again, it is the little things and UNEXPECTED DELIGHTS that stand out in people’s minds and make individuals want to share a great story.  If you want to purchase any of these customer service books referenced above, you can find them on Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.