A weekend of merry and bright

As some of you may know, it’s been a rough and bumpy road for me for the last couple of months.  I haven’t been ignoring Christmas, per se, but I certainly haven’t been plunging into it with the gusto and fervor that I normally do.  So I feel awfully lucky that last weekend, Christmas found me, in two nights and one day of gloriously fun festivities with some of my closest and dearest friends.  Oh so good.

It all started with dinner with Caitlin at the Capital Grille on Friday night:

yaaas best champagne shot

More to follow on this soon!  There was Moet & Chandon Imperial involved however.  Lots and lots of it

hallo hallo

Love you lady

We followed this up with more drinks and dancing – ok – watching other people dance really – at Nixs for the official Nutcracker after party for CONNetic Dance’s Nutcracker: Suite and Spicy!


With our favorite, @Johnnie_Divine

And with Caitlin’s lovely sister, Hannah:


Twinning in our black dresses with sheer panels yaaas.  Mine is from Lux Boutique in West Hartford!

We enjoyed prosecco and, in my case, some reeeally good coquito featuring Tanduay rum (currently in a cocktail contest – vote for it here – I promise it’s worth it). And so the night passed in a blur of glitter and fun (where there are ballerinas, there will be glitter – it’s science)


Photo of the very talented cast, courtesy of Alex Syphers for CTNow

Saturday was the much anticipated, never imitated annual Charcutapalooza and Nick and Emily‘s house.  We had charcuterie galore:

charcuterie yaaas

Oh hey there.  Check the chicken liver mousse on the far left.  At some point in the evening I was basically just speed dipping crackers straight into that pot.  No regrets.

Emily also demonstrated her amazing baking skills with perfect macaroons:

macaroons by emily


And Nick flexed his culinary muscles over some damn good Asian style buns, barbequed pork, and slaw

ban mi bun

Come on man

But the highlight of the party was, by far, the three smoked pig heads provided by Jamie of Bear’s Smokehouse.  I mean, come on.  Look at these things:

3 little pigs

Merry Lord of the Flies!  I mean, Christmas

I managed to procure a pigs head which I will be chopping up and cooking into Congri – that’s Cuban rice and bean for those who don’t know – throughout the winter.  So very good.  Nothing like a good pig head.  Oh, and here’s a bonus shot of Penelope enjoying the festivities on Saturday night, like a Big Girl:

p smiling w macaroon

That smile just melts my heart

P and I hit the town together on Sunday for the Nutcracker matinee and Ugly Sweater Party.  And yes, thanks to Venom Vintage, P had her own tiny ugly sweater to wear:

p in the snow wadsworth

Pictured here, post show, enjoying the show and dancing

I’ve not been in town for the Nutcracker before, and I thoroughly enjoyed Carolyn’s hip rendition of this holiday classic – and also enjoyed Penelope enjoying it too!  Plus – we met SANTA:

santa claus at the wadsworth

Hi Santa!  We would get a picture with Santa against a step and repeat.  Very typical.

The Wadsworth hosts Carolyn’s Suite and Spicy Nutcracker annually and was also home to the Festival of the Trees, featuring uniquely designed Christmas trees which are produced and sold for charity.  Simply gorgeous and quite perfect for persuading me to discard my inner grinch and enjoy the season.  I’m very fortunate to have such an amazing group of friends – thanks to you all for what you do, you know who you are and you are appreciated.



We ate all the meats @BearsSmokehouse and it was glorious

Bear’s Smokehouse has been wowing the residents of Arch Street for several months, as well as operating a small location in Windsor for over a year.  The transition from a piece of counter top space to two large and gorgeous locations can’t have been an easy one – but Jamie and his family handled it like pros, and the soft opening of their new space in Windsor last Saturday went off without a hitch.

p next to vip sign

Penelope realized after we arrived that she left her wallet in her other purse – but thankfully all the delicious BBQ was FREE!

Jamie invited us in to sample his menu, and it was a good chance to bring P along, as its a very kid friendly venue and vibe – and what kid doesn’t love mac and cheese?

p w her dessert

Not to mention peach cobbler.  This was her favorite and she insisted on eating it all by herself.  Like a Big Girl

My good friend, Amanda, chose the smoked chop special
smoked pork chop


And I selected my most favorite Mac Attack (actually – second favorite – my heart belongs to the Burnt Ends on the Bear’s menu – but who doesn’t love mac and cheese?  I got a version of the mac attack today with pork.  Again.  Mmmm)

bbq and merlot

Paired with a very nice mini bottle  of blue label Francis Coppola Merlot.  Great pairing and a great wine for a BYOB event

There were many friends out and about that night – including one of my favorite bloggers, Jenna from CT Ain’t So Bad

ze gang yaaas

Always nice to see you and your crew Jenna.  🙂  And hey!  There’s Jamie on the far left.  Thanks so much for the great meal Jamie!

Oh and we DID get the requisite girl ‘shoe pic’ on our way out – early due to P’s bed time – but how cute are her toddler sneakers in this picture?  I just can’t:

SHOE stitch

So classic.  So necessary

It’s wonderful that Bear’s new location is only minutes from our house.  We will be back often, and you should go to.  There’s nothing wrong with really, really good BBQ with all the fixings.