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Welcome to Fairfield County Lifestyle!

Helping Fairfield County residents discover the best of wellness and lifestyle. We feature local female entrepreneurs to inspire you!


  • Writer's pictureSherri Bartley Rivera

Meet Janice McGuire, owner of Painting with a Twist, located in Westport, CT. This charming, inviting studio is the perfect destination for an artist or aspiring artist to come and paint and be taken away for a few hours!

Janice studied art in college and crafted stained glass windows in Vermont after graduation. She then moved to New York and worked at Citicorp for several years where she met her husband. She then moved to Westport to raise her family. When her kids were grown she became a mortgage broker and then came the real estate crash. Janice returned to her art roots and Painting with a Twist was born!

Janice told us, “it’s a really gratifying business because our goal is to make people happy in a beautiful, upbeat, colorful environment. We do get people who know how to paint, but the vast majority haven’t painted since grade school and come out just to try it out or to have fun doing something different. It’s a popular Girls’ Night Out, date night or family activity. We’ve shared important moments in people’s lives – birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, bridal and baby showers, and we’ve had 6 marriage proposals!”

I attended a class at Painting with a Twist this past weekend with family and friends and had a great time! The night started with 80’s dance music playing, and an impromptu get up and dance for a minute to rid any inhibitions before we picked up our brush. Agata, our art instructor, provided clear instructions of what brush to use and step-by-step directions on how to paint. We all left with masterpieces!

Painting with a Twist

1460 Post Rd E

Westport, CT 06880










  • Writer's pictureSherri Bartley Rivera

Meet Merrilee Ganim DeFarias, owner of Ganim’s Garden Center and Florist, LLC, a staple to Fairfield and mom to amazing daughters. Ganim’s opened as a simple fruit stand called Ganim’s Outdoor Market in 1938 by Merrilee’s grandfather, John Ganim. The Route 8/25 highway connector system forced John to leave his North Avenue location. In 1969 the business moved to its present location at 320 Kings High Cut-Off. John and his son Lee worked side-by-side to expand the business to becoming the premier garden center in the area.

Merrilee and her brother Austin joined their father at Ganim’s after they both graduated from college. Merrilee is the Floral Department manager and designer and Austin is the owner of Austin Ganim Landscape Design, LLC and Lawn Care of Fairfield LLC.

During COVID shutdown Merrilee navigated the task of getting product to her customers while limiting her and her employees’ contact. She stated “we created home projects: kids seed starting kits, succulent kits and more to help keep gardening alive during this wild virus. We offered free local home deliveries as well as limited contact curbside pickup daily. Employees that typically worked outdoors were now working indoors to answer phones and take orders – we worked overtime to get orders ready the next day. We created a Mother’s Day quarantine basket and tried our best to help local businesses – we survived and are thankful for our employees – without them we wouldn’t have made it happen! We still offer curbside pickup for those unsure of coming in and for parents who don’t want to take their kids out of the car!”

If you haven’t taken a holiday class at Ganim’s be sure to mark your calendar for a wreath making class this December! Classes are COVID friendly as the classes are outside! Ganim’s hosts several wreath and boxwood decorating classes. I’ve taken both classes numerous times. Lee and Merrilee are the kindest and most patient instructors to take a class with. Not only do you decorate a gorgeous wreath but you get to adorn your wreath with a stunning bow of your choosing! I’ve gone back Ganim’s to purchase extra ribbon and pre-made bows for decorating my home!

Fun Fact: Merrilee played rugby in college and is a huge animal lover – she’s someday would lobe to work or run an animal sanctuary – we’re thinking she’ll be expanding Ganim’s!

Download their app, Ganim’s Garden Center & Florist and earn $10 off your purchase of $50 or more and $10 off your purchase on your birthday!

Ganim’s Garden Center & Florist

320 King’s Highway Cutoff

Fairfield, CT 06824










  • Writer's pictureSherri Bartley Rivera

Updated: Jul 26, 2020

Good day Fairfield County! I had two different experiences for being tested for COVID-19 and wanted to share both in case it saves you time when doing your own research. I had a job in June that required everyone involved on the project to be tested. I went on on a Friday and made an appointment for a drive-thru test in Fairfield that very day. What I liked about CVS was that I had an appointment, only waited 20 minutes for the test, felt the whole experience was completely sterile, I never had any physical contact with the pharmacy staff administering my test, never left my car and swabbed the back of my nose myself. This COVID testing site takes medical insurance. I had test results the next Monday.

I had to get tested again this past week. I did try and the locations in town were completely booked so a friend told me about DOCS Urgent care which takes medical insurance as well. This experience was great as well because I received my results the same day. If you choose DOCS I’d recommend bringing a folding chair, getting in line at 6:45am even though they open at 9:00am and bring your laptop or a book. At DOCS I waited outside the office yesterday starting at 7:00am, was 8th in line for testing and left with results at 12 noon. While I waited for DOCS to open, I waited outside their office on a sidewalk, once DOCS opened I wrote my name on a waiting list, waited in my car till a staff member called my cell, went into the office to get swabbed by a nurse, went back in my car to wait for results, was called again to inform me my results were in, came back in office to receive my results from a physician. DOCS does a great job of requiring patients to wait in their cars so there is never more than one person in the waiting room and there is hand sanitizer in several different locations in the office.

Although both were two different experiences, I would recommend both companies based on your individual needs.

DOCS Urgent Care has locations in Fairfield, Bridgeport, Stratford, Norwalk and Stamford.

With love and wellness!

#fairfieldcounty #wellness #staysafe #safetest

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