Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Rock ON with Marlton Rocks !!

Good Wednesday Morning all !

This is my office day so I'm usually not in here on a Wednesday blogging, yet the trip to Niagra Falls set my weekend a little awry.... funny how things happen..... see what you "gather" from this
 blog post...and thanks for spending some time with us here !

First, going to post this "ROCK" photo...then I'll share the story.....

Let's start with the beautiful Julian T. Ross who lost his battle with Cancer on Aug. 8th of 2015. 
(My thoughts are now connected to the family forever)
Diagnosed with a Neuroblastoma at just 6 years old, and no real way to treat it, Doctors were at a loss.....a clinical trial was what took place next. Of around 100 children, Julian was able to gain some time with this trial and the only one it seemed to work for. He was actually in remission for some time yet when the cancer returned, it returned with a vengeance. 
According to his Mom, Kristi, Julian had an army of supporters.  ( Over 30,000 on FaceBook) 
"He left his bed, he laughed and he met each day filled with joy. He did many incredible things in his short life. He was the 2nd youngest cadet inducted at West Point. He was made an honorary petty officer in the Navy at Norfolk, VA, an honorary sergeant with the 10th mountain division at Fort Drum, an honorary fireman and police officer and even has 2 flight hours flying a plane", Kristi tells us.... He got to meet people from all walks of life and careers.... Generals, singers, athletes...
Kristi goes on to tell us that the one thing closest to his heart was giving back. Julian would collect toys and would fill the treasure box at CHOP. He was passionate about raising money to find a cure for childhood cancer. You can read all about him and join his army of fans on FB at 
Julian's Joust !

Marlton Rocks was set up in Memory of Julian.... Now let me share how we got connected !
So my friend and business associate , Michelle, was telling me about this cool page MARLTON ROCKS. Her daughter, Gabby, shares the same birthday as Julian....So Michelle and I  met for coffee the morning of the day my husband ( ART) and I drove to Niagra Falls. I just love all that cool interesting "stuff" and with the pocketbooks approaching launch, we are still looking for a few more charities to help with our give back component. I was intrigued to hear more....
So I reached out to the page and received a phone call that evening at dinner.... we were still in our travels to the falls..... we spent the night in Syracuse, NY and then continued on the next day with only a few hours of driving left.... the funny thing was.... Kristi and the family moved out to Marlton from Syracuse , NY.... and when I mentioned going to Niagra Falls, Kristi proceeded to tell me about one of Julian's favorite places on the US side of the falls..... I was actually in tears talking with her about it.....

Marlton Rocks was created by Sharon Riches to help spread awareness and keep Julian's legacy alive. 

So initially, we were to visit only the US side of the Falls....that changed and we wound up on the Canadian side (gorgeous). We will be going back in the near future and visiting the site that Julian loved so much. In the meantime, I - also teary-eyed - said a great big hello to Julian from his MOM on the Canadian side where I shot this photo.... interestingly enough, I couldn't see what I was taking as the sun was completely taking over my screen..... this is what I got--including the natural rainbow !

This shot was taken through the restaurant window that overlooks the falls......

All amazing..... I was really proud that I was able to say hi to Julian while I was there.... never even knowing him.......

So let's get back to Marlton Rocks .......

Encouraging you to PAINT A ROCK,  TAKE A PICTURE OF IT, PLACE IT IN A PUBLIC AREA - AND POST IT TO THE PAGE...encouraging the finder to the FB page....the finder would take a pic. of the rock and where they found it.... 
You can honor anyone on your rock....Now ....there are rocks showing up all over the Country !

So visit Julian's Joust on FaceBook, find and paint your rock and let me know how YOUR magical journey puts a stamp on the World !

Enjoy !


#Julian's Joust
#Childhood Cancer

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Baby, Baby, Baby.....

Hello all,

Hope everyone had a nice 4th of July here in the U.S. and a great week elsewhere in the World. Thank you for taking the time to come over and read here.... We are getting very close to that 50,000 reader mark and I'm thrilled to share that with you. Thank you !

So this week....Step aside Oooh Baby -- move over  Happy Birthday, Baby --  Open up the circle Vegas, Baby --  there's some other "Baby's" on the block and there's plenty of room for all of you....

Let's talk CD BABY and BOOK BABY !

Meet President of Book Baby Steven Spatz and Senior Publishing Specialist Mike Taylor
(Not pictured: Ted Deacon- Account Executive CD Baby)

Located in nearby Pennsauken, New Jersey - CD Baby and Book Baby stem from a larger company called DISC MAKERS.  Seeing a need for a place to help Authors and Musicians move through the current climate of their respective industries, CD Baby and Book Baby bring you on that journey.  Of course, if you don't want to do all the work that goes with the process, come to 4 A STAR and we will handle that part of it for you.  CD Baby and Book Baby are providing a much needed service to those that are looking to get their books and music into the mainstream from a grass roots perspective. There is even an area where an established artist / author can take advantage of the services provided by both. From packaging to editing they can do it all....

Steven talks about -  Reading in the age of high tech, costs, publishing crossroads and more in his book THE END.  NOW WHAT?!

We start with Book Baby... taking self publishing to new heights. Book Baby is there with options including in house editors and various sizes and choices in the books you want to create and publish.
We, here at 4 A STAR, are there to help you bridge the gap in your self publishing goals and Book Baby is just the place to take those goals to a higher place....

What I loved most about meeting the "boys" at Book Baby and CD baby was their willingness to hear what I brought to the table and their willingness to engage in a business relationship with my Company.  We all had a chance to talk about our goals and projects, things that we offer our clients etc... I think it's going to be a beautiful relationship.... ( Oooh sounds like the end line of a movie !)

Thank you Maddie for the research in finding book baby and putting me together with them.

A couple of must haves at Book Baby are:

5 Steps to Self Publishing by Steven Spatz     and
The end. Now what?!  also by Steven Spatz

Let's now talk CD Baby.... CD baby, many of you know as the place that artists go to print/package and design their music discs...
There are also distribution packages available  ! ( For both CD Baby and Book Baby)

As 4 A STAR moves in the intricate places surrounding the entertainment industry as a whole, DISC MAKERS saw that same thread in the music and book scene. While working with CD Baby on the ways to improve and impact the music industry, they saw the niche and the need for the same type of concept concerning authors and their books.

This is such a natural fit for my Company, 4 A STAR,  as we will be able to offer more to our clients. By building the relationship with both CD Baby and Book Baby- new goals and dreams can be reached by all.

Both Ted and Mike took the time to go over all the products and services they can offer clients. We then talked about different options, packaging, offers etc... that would go along with any indie music artist or indie author.

It was truly an exciting meeting.  In my research, I have heard nothing but great things about  CD baby. Book baby also lives up to that standard of professionalism and follow through. Something many companies lack these days.

I am thrilled to be able to say that we are looking to build a long and lasting relationship with both CD Baby and Book Baby.

Now, get ready for an exciting  Conference they have planned coming this November, just before we launch Ava's Eye Bagz !

The Independent Authors Conference.... if you are in the Philadelphia area this November, check it out....

As always, you can contact me for any and all information from my blog posts.
Now go create.... and let us help you along the way !

Enjoy !

Saturday, July 1, 2017

A dozen bagels right here !


Well, returning from Vegas recently has been more than challenging.... missed you all last week yet we are back and talking bagels!  I wanted to title this the great bagel debate....yet I couldn't find the debate I was looking for in over a dozen
I decided that I would express my own thoughts on this.........and you decide on this particular bagel debate.

Today you can get bagels in any way shape or form ( of course, still round). I mean, gluten free, fat free, plain and a GA-Zillion flavors...never mind the flavors of jams , cream cheese and other toppings to create mouth watering eats !
In fact, I'm glad I'm heading out to meet my husband for dinner shortly as I got really hungry looking at all the bagels !!!!

So here's the thing.....

The bagels are on the tray cut in half for your convenience.... ( and that's the key--cut in half)
It doesn't matter if they are cut long ways.... or short ways.... Either way they usually look terrific on the tray.

So let's say you only want half a bagel?   How do you take that half?  Do you make sure you have a top and a bottom? you take the entire top half....leaving just the bottom ( with no toppings) for someone else.

I looked at over a dozen sites and I couldn't find this debate anyplace? I just don't think it's right to take the entire top piece of the bagel? Aren't you supposed to take a top/ bottom??? Isn't that fair to everyone ( including the bagel). Who is going to eat just the bottom ??????

I have seen it many times, people taking half a bagel yet just taking the top half. What is up with that????

If you find a site that addresses this situation , let me know and we'll talk further on this....

In the meantime, enjoy these dozen bagels here..... enjoy your 4th of July Holiday !  What?  Hot dogs, burgers, corn, chicken....step aside and let's grab a bagel !!!! ( well , at least in the morning !)

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Mama Mia !!!! Look what we have here.....

Hello friends and fans and welcome to Ava's Allocations with the Balcony Blogger....
Today, Saturday, I'm sending good vibes from beautiful Las Vegas, Nevada. What a great experience when we come here. I just love it out here.... so last year I met the most fabulous person ...and now I'd like you to meet her too.....

Meet Mia............

What makes Mia so special and deserving of a great blog post, is her positive and energetic personality for starters....

So Miss Mia is a wildly creative artist... I just love her work. We met in an interesting place, right here in Las Vegas last year.... we bonded over our love of "eyes".
I asked Mia this evening why she was attracted to "eyes".
I love what she said,  "Each eye tells a story"....... Hmmmmmm

so not only is Mia a fabulous artist, she is an accomplished soft ball player and is also working on becoming a 3rd generation pipe-fitter !

PIPE FITTER???? Where does THAT fit in ??? No pun intended.....

For 3 generations her family has had a hand in pipe fitting.... Mia feels this will give her opportunities that sometimes only come around once in someone's life....

Like working on the new Stadium/Arena that is coming here to Vegas, all aspects of large companies and attractions where Mia will be trained to set the stage..............

For now, we are so lucky to have met her. ( and those of you that know, know how I feel about that )
We are blessed to have her aboard to work on some 4 A STAR projects here in Vegas including
Ava's Eye Bagz,  Ava's Eye Mag and more....

Take a look at some of  Mia's work here... mostly done with pen.... some of the abstracts are little dots and lines that take hours to complete....

Mama Mia that's amazing !

Enjoy !

You can find out about Mia's work by contacting me, Ava, as always.... will even get to find her work in our new bags coming out in the fall...... WOW !

Friday, June 9, 2017

Rolllin' Rollin' Rollin'......Here we come.........

Hello  !

Welcome to Ava's Allocations and the Balcony Blogger !   Thank you for taking this blog to 48,000 readers and counting......

 I am so excited about all the crazy yet good things that are coming about. It has taken a long time yet we just keep Rollin' along and you have to do that too, no matter what your goals are....just keep rollin'....

We are Rollin' in this weekend with our soft launch of

                                             "EYE ON THE SHORE BRIDAL TOURS" !
                                          -We've put the celebration right into the planning !-



 Meet Mari Dattolo - Event Director
Meet Ava Holly ( Yours Truly) - Event Director

     Mari Dattolo and Ava Holly are no strangers to reinventing themselves as their careers in the hospitality field have evolved.  At a time in life when most people are planning their retirement years, these two longtime business friends are delving into the next chapter of their stories. Both having grown up on the beaches of Seaside Heights and spent decades since working in Atlantic City, their careers kept them loyal to the Jersey Shore.  As professionals in the wedding industry, their resumes have run the gamut from DJ-ing to Wedding Consulting, Officiating to Event Planning.  Ava, CEO/Owner of '4 A Star', coordinates all aspects of fashion, entertainment and events from Atlantic City to New York City. Similarly, Mari CEO/Owner of 'Little Angels Princess Events', coordinates both private and public events from small groups to larger scale productions.

This past year, they joined forces to develop a unique and innovative project for both the bridal market and the state’s tourism economy. In the spirit of New Jersey’s hospitality industry -in cooperation with  Ocean County based, 'Jersey Shore Wedding Association',  they hope  to elevate  traditional bridal marketing with the launch of  “Eye on the Shore Bridal Tours”.  According to Dattolo, “Galloway Township in Atlantic County offers more offshore function space per square foot than anywhere in the state. With Atlantic City and the shore literally minutes away, an event in South Jersey can easily become a Destination Wedding!”

This revolutionary concept takes the best elements of venue inspections and caters them to busy millennial brides. Luxurious 14 and 24 passenger shuttles will chauffeur brides and their guests from one venue to the next for a fun and interactive day of culinary indulgence! As a progressive tasting experience, the first wedding  venue on the itinerary will offer a champagne brunch followed by a  tour of their property. The morning also includes a special occasion make up demonstration by Image By Design and a personal stylist from Macy's to introduce their bridal registry program. Each venue to follow will present a chef’s choice tasting from appetizers through an indulgent pastry selection. With a  'Land' tour  that features some of South Jersey's finest off shore reception spaces and a 'Sea' tour inspired by our favorite  Jersey shores,  it's tailored to be a modern twist on  a timeless tradition!

It's exciting to be giving you a glimpse into some of the projects "I", "We" are embarking on.....

The "One if by LAND"....tour will take place on July 8th and starts at 10:00 AM  
The "Two if by SEA".......tour will take place on July 22nd and starts at 10:00 AM
Both with a champagne brunch to start off the day included in your tour reservation.

You can start reserving seats on the bus this Sunday via the    web page !
 ( for July 8th and/or July 22nd)

Check out the  web page  and see all the beautiful venues already on board to roll with us !
Save your gas, save your squeezing  venues in a day with drinking, eating, driving ....just relax and enjoy your time on the luxury bus complete with a movie while you travel.

We welcome Matt and Marco to our staff
We welcome Linda McLaughlin of Image by Design,
 Comedian Michelle Tomko specializing in  the "Bridal Roast"
and   Janet Trantham -Your Premier Macy's Stylist-

Thank you Mr. Rick of      FAST CAR SERVICE

Atlantic City Jitney's 

and of course, THE MISTER,  Mr. Panting Photo and Video making us all look good....

Roll on in with us and get ready for the ORIGINAL EYE ON THE SHORE BRIDAL TOUR ! 
Stay tuned for a full launch on Columbus Day Weekend this Oct. along with our "Eyes on Your Feet" Dance a thon !  So exciting.....Join us that weekend for loads of fun !

Enjoy !


Saturday, June 3, 2017

Reach and Pull and Kick .....

....that's what you will hear when you come into the World of the beginner Swimmer at the Brigantine Aquatic Center and the Galloway Swim Club....

Let me start by introducing the founders.... Meet Robin and Chuck Taylor.... giving a whole new meaning to a dollar and a dream..... well lots more than a dollar yet the dream is kept alive every day!

So what is Reach and pull and kick???? If you learned how to swim with this method, you know exactly what it is.... if you didn't, take a stroll into the Brigantine Aquatic Center during a child lesson and see how it is used....

With drowning still being on the forefront of infant/child death- see how the BAC ( Brigantine Aquatic Center ) is making a difference.

Swimming most of her life, Robing Taylor along with her husband Chuck, opened the BAC in 2001 to create a safe environment for children of all ages to learn to swim. Many people, both children and adults, that live here in the Shore area of New Jersey, still don't even know how to swim.


Reach out, follow that dream and don't give up on what you feel in your heart .


Pull for each other.... shortly after the center opened , a quest for a swim team became a reality.
 From naming the team - named for the ever popular green head fly that is the annoyance of any Summer Vacation here in Brigantine - to  cultivating, training, learning and teaching this young team how to PULL for each other.  How the team has grown in confidence and status is amazing. In a few short years the Brigantine Green Heads have become one of the top Swim Teams in the Entire State.
 ( Annoying the heck out of the competition like any good Green Head)

Pulling for each other takes on another meaning when you now teach children not only to Swim, not only to be part of a team yet now to give back.... with the USA Swimming Make a Splash Foundation the BAC is one of only a select few that is doing something. Make a Splash raises money to provide children who may not have the means - with towels, goggles, swimsuits, lessons and the list goes on.... encouraging the best exercise you can give to yourself....swimming !
 In 2014 , an opportunity came about to open a Seasonal Swim Club. The Taylors, along with a couple of partners, opened the Galloway Swim Club with the idea of doing fun and exciting things in this Seasonal Space around swimming... from Swim meets to dances, there is always something going on at the Galloway Swim Club. The Galloway Swim Club ( GSC) is open from  Memorial Weekend til the end of the Summer....
Next week, on June 10th , there will be "Make a Splash Day" with free swim lessons to Galloway Township Residents and healthy lifestyle vendors set up to teach us.... blood pressure exhibits, healthy food tables and the like....then back on the 11th for the Cannon Ball contest for Autism !
WOW !!

 If you are in the area, you should stop by and check it out. Say hi to Robin and Chuck and oh yes, tell them AVA sent you !
If you are reading from around the World, and I know you do, stay with us via Face Book , You Tube and all the social media places you can laugh with us and learn with us. Visit YOUR local Swim Center and take the plunge when you can.... learn to swim or teach... or exercise.... or relax .....

You just never know who you may see at either of the Swim Centers ( BAC) or (GSC)... like this photo taken with Olympic Gold Medalist Jason Lezak ! ( Jason was brought out to teach a Seminar)

And now we come to KICK !

Don't kick yourself because you can't swim !  Take that first step no matter how old or young you are.... Miss Robin takes babies as young as 6 months old.... (yet there have been circumstances where she will take them younger)  For the most part is 6 months and up....
Check out this video.... this video is several years old yet still warms your heart... with over 8,500 views...... Miss Robin in Action with one of the infant swimmers !

I have to give props to the wonderful staff that the Taylors employ. Many of them coming right out of the swimming ranks....
Being with the Centers since they opened are head coach Sari Puzio Carroll 
Instructors/ Coaches/   Cathe Wood, Brieanne Lewis,  Celeste Bryzgornia and Corrie Elich
Others have recently come aboard to make the Centers the most well rounded places to call your Swimming homes.... 

contact Miss Robin at 609 266 SWIM.... for all your swimming needs and concerns.... and as always, you can always reach out to me here or through our web page !  

Enjoy !