@NolchaShows is coming + my favorite looks of the last year

It’s almost time for NYFW!  And Nolcha.  Showcasing a plethora of up and coming designers (the “ones to watch”) this day and evening of runway shows provides a seamless fashion experience.  Check out my previous excursions here and here.

In honor of Nolcha, here’s a look back at some of my favorite looks from the last year(ish)

style blog 14

Standing fierce in New Haven in a cool graphic tee from the talented ladies at Hartford Prints.  And my beloved H&M high heeled sneakers.  Check out my photographer’s new photo blog here.

style blog 16

I love a good over the knee sock.  These are from Free People.  The Elyse Ryan statement necklace, with gorgeous tigers eye gemstones, really set off the black and grey of this look.

style blog 13

What one wears to the FountaineBleu in Miami.  All your little sister’s clothes.  Naturally.  And my go-to chain strap classic Chanel bag.

style blog 11

I looove this vintage, high waisted bikini from Venom Vintage.  It’s so flattering and also stylishly modest for mommy pool excursions (or reading Wuthering Heights in Elizabeth Park).

style blog 9

A classic Little Black Dress and cork clutch from Therapy Boutique in New Haven, plus some vintage BCBG heels.  With my good friend Kat at last year’s Hartford Magazine Best of Party!

style blog 8

Pre Best of Party, there was a photoshoot.  And this is what I wore.  Not for any specific reason, nor was I being photographed.  I just really love a good tutu/tuxedo skirt.  Who doesn’t?

style blog 7

Another LBD, also from Venom Vintage.  This long sleeved, criss cross sequined number is seriously sexy and great for that special occasion party – or fashion week – or date night – or whatever.  I wear it all the time.  A great find from my friend Dina’s collection.

style blog 6

Runway style at last year’s Winter Fashion Week at Nolcha – here’s a close up of the look:

style blog 5

Alexis Bittar necklace, Moschino heels, 70s vibe shift dress.

style blog 4

This is not, techically, a LBD.  It’s a crop top, and a skirt, and one of my favorite rose gold and pearl long necklaces.  And a cigar.  Because cigars are important.  At the terrific Angry Moon Cigar Bar in Palm Beach Gardens.

style blog 2

More vintage with my good friend, Carolyn Paine, at a Greater Hartford Arts Council fundraiser and costume party.  I’m not sure on the details as everything I’m wearing came directly from her (enormous) costume closet.  It’s good to have friends with their own ballet troupes.

style blog 1

Last but certainly not least, this amazing corset was hand woven from newspaper by the incredibly talented artist Nina Salazar, just for me, in honor of the Hartford Courant‘s 250th anniversary.  It’s still one of the most amazingly cool things I’ve ever worn.

 

 

 

 

Taste of Hartford + a Recap of the @MaxsOysterBar Taittinger Champagne Dinner

It’s time to eat well.  OK, it’s always time to eat well.  But Taste of Hartford offers the chance to do so for $30.16 and try some amazing multi-course menus in Hartford.  Here’s the full list of participants, plus the menus for Trumbull Kitchen and Max Downtown!

taste of hartford max downtown

TK_Taste of Hartford_Winter 2016-3

So, yes, make a reservation, go “taste.”  It’s a good time for your mouth (and your wallet).

And now, let’s discuss bubbles.

max champs 9

Aha.  Yes.

The good folks at Max Oyster Bar were kind enough to invite me – and guest!  to a lovely, multi course tasting of the cuisine of Head Chef, Hunter Morton, paired with the the expertly produced champagnes from one of the oldest establishments of the region: the Taittinger Group.  Hunter’s food pairing ranged from oysters and caviar to prosciutto wrapped veal loin.  The bright, creamy and well balanced acids of the selected champagnes cut through the rich proteins like a well balanced piano wire through a stick of butter (an elaborate metaphor perhaps but try a glass of champagne and rich, well executed dish and tell me if I’m wrong).  Visually appealing vegetables helped the champagnes with their balancing act, and regional brand representative Christian Dalbavie of Taittinger was on hand to introduce each varietal and walk guests through its distinctive tasting notes.  Below is a visual tour of our incredible meal.  Please enjoy.  We certainly did.

max champs 4max champs 6max champs 7max champs 8max champs 3max champs 11max champs 12

 

 

 

[oink] Brunch @CaseusBistro and Penelope’s big year in review

2015 has drawn to a close… but not before the recap of Penelope’s year!  This is the second installation because, well, she is two.  Read the first one here.

And do yourself a solid favor and check out [oink] – the new concept from Chef Craig Hutchinson in partnership with the ever so delicious (and cheesy!) Caseus Bistro of New Haven.  This is a month long event, kicking off with the first Sunday in 2016.  Menu is below and tickets are available for purchase here!

caseus brunch

This year, Penelope and Mommy enjoyed some excellent adventures.

We went brunching with dolly at the American Girl Store

photo-45

Pancakes, matching outfits, on pointe everything

As well as attending an American Girl Fashion Show in Stamford!

IMG_3763

In addition to micro-fashion, Penelope went with Mommy to Hartford Fashion Week and enjoyed the red carpet experience in vintage apparel from Venom Vintage

IMG_2492

We also had some cultural experiences at Playhouse On Park

IMG_3238

Enjoying the Three Little Pigs

photo-40

Watching Gwendolyn and the Graceful Pig with the Ballet Theater Company

IMG_5393

And more red carpet fun at the annual CONNetic Dance Nutcracker

We enjoyed a beach trip or two in the summer

IMG_0113

Becoming mermaid in Wells, Maine

IMG_5674

Playing with cousin Orlando on Singer Island

And we enjoyed some traditional New England activities in the fall, such as

IMG_3344

Pumpkin painting

and

IMG_2090

Apple picking!

We enjoyed many amazing mommy/daughter dates, including a tea party photoshoot

XD_7recy9xohexkyEG1QI8stxeS58kgtHUnk3nlAffo

Courtesy of Sassy Mouth Photo

and a Farm to Table brunch at Clark Hill Farms in Granbyphoto-38

We finished out the year with our first ever trip to Disney

IMG_5734

Mickey Mouse ice cream, Mickey wand, Elsa dress.  Peak toddler.

And celebrated Christmas Eve with a candlelight service at Grandpa’s church, Christ Fellowship

IMG_5783

Holding our candle like a big girl!

To finish, we would like to wish all our friends and family a very Happy New Year, with many more to follow!

 

@AbsoluteElyx Martinis @MaxDowntown + a Champagne Taittinger dinner @MaxsOysterBar

True confession.  I’m not much of a vodka girl.  I’m a whiskey girl.  Oh, and a champagne girl.  Definitely that.  So I cannot TELL you how excited I am for the Taittinger dinner tonight at Max Oyster:

taittinger

Nicolas Delione will be present for this event on behalf to Taittinger – a centuries old house of bubbly which is the third oldest producer of champagne.  The vines extend across a broad swath of the Champagne district of France, which allows for a massive terroir replete with different subtle characteristics.  Paired with the cuisine of Head Chef, Hunter Morton?  I.  Can’t.  Wait.  Full write up to follow.  Oh, and seats are – or should be – still remaining for this, depending on when you call, so please join me if you’re so inclined!

Ah, but back to my more questionable companion, vodka.  I’m just not – into it.  Typically.  However, Elyx Vodka is a higher proof, luxurious label which almost has subtle moonshine characteristics.  It has more body and flavor, is what I’m saying.  I sampled the ‘perfect’ martini at a sampling event held at Max Downtown several weeks back.  The copper pineapples are a lovely touch, and I now want some for my own bar (naturally):

elyx martini blog 1

So pretty!

elyx martini blog 2

Stirred, not shaken.  But of course.

Below, please find – and enjoy! Head Max Mixologist Brian Mitchell (also Beverage Director) recipe for “Pickle Me This” – a playful, sour, and spicy vodka martini.  Which has, quite honestly, swayed me to order a drink with clear liquor more than once following the Elyx mixer.  ;)

Pickle Me This

2.5 oz Elyx Vodka

1 oz Dill pickle brine

Cholula Hot Sauce

Build in cocktail shaker, quick shake for not he rocks, or shake well for up.  garnish with a lemon peel and bread and butter pickle slice.

#GivingTuesday with @CONNeticDance plus a tour of @Bvssportsbar

Happy Giving Tuesday everyone!  It’s time to give back as well as to shop all those sweet deals at Target.  We recommend checking out CONNetic Dance’s #GivingTuesday deal: $100 for tickets the opening night of the Nutcracker Suite and Spicy (Wadsworth Atheneum, Downtown Hartford, December 12th), plus a piece of an original painting created through dance and expression in collaboration with Open Studios!

giving tuesday blog 2

Also created in collaboration with Penelope!  Check out the full Youtube video of the dance here plus a link to purchase the tickets and painting!

giving tuesday blog 1

A scene from the “ugly sweater party” for Carolyn’s Nutcracker – a signature dance of the performance

Penelope and I will both be attending the matinee on Sunday, December 14th, which includes a special appearance from SANTA and a dance party.  Very exciting stuff.

Other exciting stuff – allow me to introduce my new favorite sports bar in the entire world: Bobby V’s

giving tuesday blog 10

A terrific place to watch the Giants lose 14-20 to the Redskins.  Oy.

Head Chef Jordan Stein is an old friend, and he was kind enough to invite myself and Jenna Kijowski and Jessica Brigham Bishop (of CT Ain’t So Bad) in for a lovely sampling of cocktails and food last football Sunday!

giving tuesday blog 3

Squad!  Check out Jenna’s blog here!

We sampled multiple drinks, including:
giving tuesday blog 14

Caramel Apple Martini (Caramel Vodka, Sour Apple Pucker & a caramel swirl)

giving tuesday blog 17

Thin Mint Martini – ooh lala! (3 Olives Vanilla Vodka, Kahlua, Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur, White Creme de Cocoa, Cool Swan Irish Cream, Creme de Menthe)

giving tuesday blog 19

Pumpkin Spice Martini – for those of us, like myself, who can’t get enough pumpkin even after Thanksgiving (Pumpkin Spice Liqueur, Cool Swan Irish Cream, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, topped with nutmeg and cinnamon)

giving tuesday blog 15
The Leaf Peeper – my personal favorite! Spicy and refreshing (Pineapple & Mint Infused Tequila, St Germain, Apple Cider & a splash of OJ)
We didn’t finish these drinks, full disclosure guys.  Way too many and there were a couple more that we tried that aren’t pictured.  In the interests of it being 1:30 pm in the afternoon, small sips of the cocktails were enjoyed by all, and we switched to beer for the food ingestion (plus beer & football, what can I say?  I’m a sucker for a classic pairing)
giving tuesday blog 8
Broad Brook Porter Ale for me – a nice fresh, crisp, dark brew
giving tuesday blog 7
A super rare Lawson’s “Double or Nothing” for my pals – a delicious blend with notes of buckwheat and maple.  Yum!
 Ok, on to the foods.  Jordan’s philosophy is simple: make scratch bar foods and execute them very well, with people’s dietary restrictions in mind.  The Portabella Poutin is a hearty vegetarian dish which I would eat RIGHT NOW if it magically appeared in front of me, and the Nachos are made with rice chips and gluten fee!  Side note: get the wings.  Just do it.  Try a couple of the adventurous toppings – you won’t be sorry.
giving tuesday blog 12
Portabella Poutin – roasted portabella mushrooms over potato wedges, smothered in a porcini gravy and topped with havarti & muenster cheese
giving tuesday blog 9
Clams Casino Flatbread – surf & cockle clams, north country bacon, tomato, fresh herbs, mozerella & parmesan cheese blend
giving tuesday blog 4
Nachos (glamor filter intentional – nachos are glamorous business) Pulled pork, melted cheese, guacamole, pico de gallo, sour cream
giving tuesday blog 5
Calamari Sticks – rice flour dusted calamari served with sweet chili & snappy lime dipping sauces
giving tuesday blog 6
Wings – peach fire, sticky soy, chipotle BBQ, pastrami, chocolate & coffee

In addition to football, or the sport of your choice (I just watch football so you tell me) there is also horse and jai alai betting for those so inclined.  A fun way to spend an afternoon indeed!  Will be back often.  And next time, we can only pray, my G Men will WIN instead of – ugh.  Enough on that.  Thanks again to Chef Jordan for a delightful showcase of his cuisine.  A highly recommended spot!

 

 

 

@Avertbrasserie and a bloggers event

I have had the distinct pleasure of beginning to work with one of my very, very favorite restaurants for social and PR work – A’Vert Brasserie in West Hartford.  We recently hosted a blogger event with very talented Head Chef, David Borselle.  He sampled a showcase of small bites featuring a tour of the tastes of A’Vert, from petit duck sandwiches to charcuterie to macaroons.  In addition, we sipped a “French Maid” cocktail (Remi 1746, Fekner cucumber, mint, lime, ginger beer), in addition to a Cote Mas Cremant De Lux Brut Rose and a Cote Mas Blanc Mediterranee.  Below is a smattering of photos from the event, taken by myself, Diane Taha, and Kerri Provost.

Thanks to all the bloggers who attended, and check out the links to their own story places here:

Lady Diana’s Pearls

Wine Esquire

The Deviled Egg Wears Prada

Ron’s Food Trips

Check out their write ups too, and be sure to visit A’Vert soon, for a glass off bubbles, their magnificent happy hour menu, a romantic dinner, or whatever your heart desires.  Your palate will thank you!

 

 

 

Time for a very special @American_Girl fashion show

Penelope loves fashion, and she loves her American Girl dolly

american girl blog

With her Itty Bitty baby at the American Girl Cafe in Natick, MA this spring

Therefore, we are very, very excited to attend the American Girl Fashion Show, hosted by The Ballet School of Stamford, tomorrow!

ballet school of stamford

Thanks to the school for the tickets!

This show will feature students with their dollies in a variety of stories and situations.  Show times are 11 am, 2 pm, and 5 pm, and dollies may also have their hair styled during the show.  An American Girl goodie bag will be provided to all the little people attending.  Tickets are available here, and below is a preview of some of the lovely models (and their dollies of course)

Savannah Murray, Stamford

Savannah Murray

Lucy Goldstein, Stamford

Lucy Goldstein

Sophia Alexander, Lia Barlow, Maya Patterson,Malia Patterson, Salma Thomas, Stamford

Sophia Alexandar, Lia Barlow, Maya Patterson, and Salma Thomas

This is a perfect preview for the trip we will be taking to NYC in December to get a ‘big girl’ American Girl dolly for Christmas.  We can’t wait!  Hope to see you there