SELF MANAGEMENT TOOL BOX: Str8-n-Up – The Simple Solution to Slouching & Stress

This weeks self management tool, Str8-n-Up, was recommended to me by my acupuncturist, Jennifer Zitkov, L.AC.

Slouch LESS. Hunch LESS. Stress LESS. Str8-n-Up MORE!

Str8-n-Up is an easy to use and portable product that I have been trying out for over 5 weeks with great results!

My goal in trying this product was to improve my posture, decrease pain and fatigue after working with clients, after  traveling, and while working on the computer.

The material is lightweight, breathable, and the product is easy to use.  I love that I can throw this product in my purse and put it on when I need it.  It provides a subtle stretch for 30 minutes at the shoulders, but still allows movement and does not feel restrictive in any way.

After I take off Str8-n-Up, I feel more open through my pecs,  have noted decreased pain and fatigue through my upper traps and back and feel as though my posture is improving!!!

I purchased the black Str8-n-Up with the black buckle for $38.00. Other colors, product information, and sizing information are available at:
LOCALLY in the office of:
Jen Zitkov, L.Ac, CBP  and Dr. Tina Nagle, Chiropractor  located at:
PAINTED POST, NY 14870-1131
Phone (607) 684-7068 or (607) 936-1552

This is a wonderful product and I would recommend checking out the Str8-n-Up website, my testimonial , or visiting the Painted Post, NY office for more information or to purchase a Str8-n-Up!!




LOCAL PICK – *Earth Suds* bar soap

I have been in need of a new, moisturizing hand soap… For the past few days I’ve been using a lovely, local hand soap that I really enjoy…

Earth Suds – Tangerine Vanilla

Stephanie Hafl, soap creator, has been making these handmade creations on a small scale for about 4 years out of Spencer, New York.  Along with my pick, tangerine vanilla, she currently offers lavender, citrus, and mint chocolate round bar soaps.

Ingredients listed for my tangerine vanilla soap:  Saponified Olive, Coconut, & Palm Oil, Tangerine Essential Oil, Vanilla Extract, & Paprika

  • This soap lathers so nicely,  has a pleasant, light fragrance, and moisturizes well without leaving a greasy residue 🙂 Thumbs Up!!!

Earth Suds Soaps are currently available at the following locations:

Bun Appetit,  located on 215 Main St, Groton, NY 13073.  (607) 898-4162 (my full bar soap was $3.50 and half bars were also available for $2.00 at this location)

Spencer, NY –  Farmers Market, their season begins June 23rd and the market is open from 9:00am to 1pm every Saturday until October 1st.  Located at Nichols Pond right in the heart of Spencer, NY.

OR –

Purchase online at


It’s Sunday afternoon… How about a manicure.. & a chair massage? :)

It was gorgeous, sunny, and 35 degrees today in Corning, NY.   After a long walk this afternoon, I felt refreshed but was in need of a bit of pampering.. Winter is leaving my hands a bit dry and tired…

I decided to explore a new spot for a quick manicure.

Modern Nails & Beauty Spa, located at –  Arnot Mall 330 Chambers Road South, Horseheads, NY 14845

(607-796-2866) was open until 6:00 – walk ins welcome…

Here  I come!

Staff was friendly and attentive upon my arrival… Nice selection of colors. I chose – Essie  DBP, Toluene and Formaldehyde free  polish –  playa del platinum

I decided on their basic manicure, $12.  I was seen promptly by the nail technician.  He did nice work cleaning up my cuticles and shaping my nails.  The hand massage for each hand was done very quickly with no forearm work… ehhh.

I did appreciate the warm, moist towel after the massage, covering my hands for a moment and removing excess lotion from the fingers and nails.

The manicure was over with in less than 15 minutes, but my nails do  look nice.

  • I noticed 2 massage chairs in the middle of the spa and decided I could really use a quick shoulder and neck massage… 20 minute chair massage $20.. Sign me up!

The massage chair was comfortable and clean.  A face shield was used.  The therapist did not introduce herself or ask me any areas I would like there to be a focus.  I told her I felt most of my tightness in my neck & shoulder region.

Shortly after starting, she began coughing and another therapist took her place.  I appreciate that she did not continue working on me if she was feeling ill, but no introduction to the new therapist.

Pressure was moderate throughout, and overall the chair massage was fair.  I did not enjoy  the use of  lotion near the end of the massage on my neck and upper traps.  I had on a nice long sleave top and did not like feeling the lotion stick to my shirt while he was working on my neck.  I did not expect the therapist to use lotion on the neck or upper back during a chair massage.  I  have only experienced the use of lotion on hands & forearms in a chair massage session.  I did feel relaxed after the session.

I would revisit Modern Nails & Beauty Spa in a pinch or on short notice for a mani or pedi, and appreciate their customer service and am happy with how my nails look today.  I would pass on the chair massage at this location.

Ahhhh, Lovely Day 🙂

Hello Friends of the Finger Lakes!


I’m Erica & I am so pleased to share some of my favorite experiences, tools, and resources for  healthy living and wellness  in the Finger Lakes region.

I am a  Pennsylvania licensed massage therapist & physical therapist assistant with over 13 years of experience in both of these fields.  My Husband & I relocated to the Finger Lakes region in June, 2011 from Pittsburgh, PA .  I left my home massage therapy business, spa, my dear friends… and here we are! – I couldn’t be happier.

It can be a whirlwind transitioning from one place to another, but I was ready to leave my home & city of almost 8 years.  My Husband & I took a leap of faith for a fresh start in New York, just south of Ithaca.  New York started to feel like ‘home’ almost right away 🙂

Sailing & swimming at Cayuga Lake through the summer, kayaking on Keuka Lake & taking in all of the peacefulness, sunshine, &  beauty… Ahhhhh..  This is wonderful… and brings me back to what I enjoyed so much growing up in the small village of Henry’s Bend, PA… the beautiful outdoors…

Upon my arrival to the Finger Lake Region, I had some difficulty finding reviews for all of the wonderful spas, salons, beauty studios, and activities offered to us and visitors to the Finger Lakes… “Where do I go for a hair cut or a massage or to get a pedicure???”  This blog was created to share experiences and  provide you with information that you may use to promote wellness in your life, links to spas and favorite services they offer, bodyworkers, ideas for activities in the area for active  residents and visitors of the Finger Lake Region.  I hope you enjoy!

Thank You!