October Roundup – from Wagyu and Wine to Hartford Fashion Week

It’s time for Fall in New England, with all the traditional bells and whistles.  Apple picking, events, haunted hayrides – you name it, it’s happening this month.  Here’s a round up of a couple upcoming things I’m really looking forward to, in addition to two fall traditions I’ve already celebrated that will be available all month long:

Hartford Fashion Week kicks off tonight at Union Station in Hartford.  Friday and Saturday’s shows are SOLD OUT, but you can still buy tickets for Sunday (act fast!)  I attended a preview last night at the Wadsworth’s monthly First Thursday and was also interviewed for Telemundo as the only Spanish speaking committee member.  The interview was, hmmm, interesting, but the First Thursday collection was terrific.  I particularly enjoyed Redfield Design – the romantic steampunk collection jived very well in the Wadsworth’s space.

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With Hartford Fashion Week founder, Katrina, post interview.  This lady rocks!

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Redfield Designs models acting the part of living statues at the museum

For more info or to buy tickets for Sunday – visit here.  You can also purchase tickets at the door for $40 tonight or tomorrow, but those will most likely be standing room only and cannot be guaranteed for availability.

Signature Chef’s Auction for the March of Dimes The March of Dimes is committed to raising the standard of living for pregnant women and their babies, and they also are incredibly important in the care and wellbeing of preemie babies.  This signature fundraiser occurs annually in Hartford at the Riverview.  This year’s date will be October 15th, and you can purchase tickets here for the October 15th event. It’s for the babies.  And it’s also a terrific event with wonderful food sampling from some of the best chefs in the region.

Share Our Strength another collaboration from some of the finest and kindest Chefs in the Hartford area.  Share Our Strength benefits No Kid Hungry – a national charity which is committed to ending childhood hunger.  So again, it’s for the kids.  Chef Tyler Anderson of Millwrights is the chair of this year’s event.  The October 29th event will this year feature a full table seating by each participating restaurant, with a three course sit down meal: a truly great chance to enjoy an excellent meal with friends whilst giving back to the community.  Tickets are available here

Wagyu and Wine an annual offering from The Capital Grille – this special engagement will run through November 22nd, and allow you the opportunity to enjoy a delicious, fatty, crispy, flavorful waggly burger, paired with an excellent glass of red wine, for only $25.  I attended with my good friend Jon Aidukonis.  We took advantage of the free valet parking (so convenient, especially in Downtown Hartford!) and sat out on the lovely patio space on Front Street, as if was a beautiful evening to be outdoors

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Fancy

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I have tiny little T Rex arms coz I’m excited for burgers

I chose the Gorgonzola and Black Truffle Wagyu Burger and paired it with the recommended Justin Isosceles Cabernet Sauvignon (Paso Robles, 2012)

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Glamour shot

I’m an enormous fan of the following flavor combinations: gorgonzola, red meat, and red wine.  So naturally, the marriage off all three in this meal was right up my ally.  I also enjoy the technique that the Capital Grille lends to the wagyu burger – it’s a high quality product for sure, but in the wrong hands you can end up with a soggy, fatty burger with an overly rich finish.  The Capital Grille executes the wagyu burger with finesse and expertise, yielding a product which has a textural outer layer with a nice hint of salt and a creamy, meaty, flavorful center (which they will happily leave medium rare upon request).  Paired with a chocolatey, Bourdeaux style cabernet with an excellent balance and a big, strong presence and you have a symphony of textures and flavors for your palate to enjoy.  John also kindly allowed me to sample his paired wine: the Landmark Overrlook Pinot Noir (California 2013).  The spicy, fruity Pinot is an excellent fall wine, and I would like to go back and enjoy a full glass with the second pairing: the Wagyu Cheeseburger with fried egg and crisp onions. And I probably will.  Because for $25, why the heck not?  Thanks to the Capital Grille for inviting us in to enjoy this pairing and providing us with a lovely meal.

Apple Picking I took the little Miss Penelope out to Clark Hill Farms at Bushy Hill and we both had such a great time.  We enjoyed apple cider donuts:

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So nice

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And ran through the fields and picked a whole bag of apples!  Like a big girl

It’s peak apple season and we New Englanders are very spoiled with our options statewide

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Gorgeous

But I would recommend Clark Hill Farms in particular for their ridiculously good farm to table breakfast.  I’ve been three times now, and I’ll be writing a post JUST about their food at some point in the near future.  Granby is only a 30 minute drive from Hartford, and if you go out there, I recommend checking out Lost Acres Vineyard too!

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Visits with horsies for baby

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And delicious, crisp, fresh apple wine for Mommy.  I’m not a cider person, but the Apple Wine at Lost Acres is clean, well executed, and delightful without any of the vinegar aspects (pleasant to some I know) which characterize cider.  Highly recommended!

What do you like to do for October in CT?  Leave me some recommendations to try if you please!

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Brunch for Babies with the @MarchofDimesCT

June is a fabulous, busy, buzzy, wonderful month.  The weather is perfect – there are multiple events to attend, inside and out, really everything is quite exceptional.  Here’s a quick preview of some choice happenings I’m looking forward to in the upcoming weeks:

CT Music Awards (that was last night! the results are here!)

Hartford Magazine Best of Party (fancy fancy)

Farm to Street Dinner, (a giant potluck with some of Hartford’s finest, as well as Jeff Lizotte of On20 – who we will also be visiting for Happy Hour and I will be blogging about)

Talcott Mountain Music Festival (one of my favorite events of the year)

But first and foremost: a recap of the “Brunch for Babies,” hosted by the March of Dimes Connecticut at the Riverview in Simsbury!

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The March of Dimes mission: to improve the health and livelihood of babies everywhere!

Leigh-Anne Lefurge – the March of Dimes Communications Manager, was gracious enough to invite myself and my friend Amanda to attend this beautiful brunch:

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Thanks Leigh-Ann!  Awesome working with you as always

In keeping with their tradition, the “Brunch for Babies” featured famed New England author Elin Hildebrand, “the queen of the summer novel.”

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So talented yet also so stylish!

In addition to Elin signing books, the preview to the main event featured a pretty sweet silent auction:

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Mommy’s Time Out?  Yes, I’ll have some of that

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Plus these pretty rad bell bracelets.  Which I won!  And promptly wore to the Seacrest Beach Hotel (check name) with my friend Carolyn.  More to come on our adventures soon!

There were also plenty of food stations to browse and brunch through.  The March of Dimes does a great job with keeping their events light and fun with a variety of food options to circulate through, versus a sit down, formal brunch (the excellent Signature Chef’s Auction in the fall offers a similar feel and menu).

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Apple Mote Cristos and Watermelon Gazpacho – courtesy of the Riverview

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Always good to see the lovely Cheryl of Bear’s Smokehouse!  Carving up and serving some melt in your mouth smoked turkey

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And one of my absolute favorite “hidden gems,” the Grass Roots Creamery of Granby!  Serving “Humphry Slocombe” style gelato, they offer a variety of unique flavors.  My favorite (pictured) the Biscoff

The brunch was hosted by our very own Sarah Cody, host of FOX Connecticut’s travel series, in addition to the excellent “Mommy Minute” blog.

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She introduced the March of Dimes’ inspirational “Mom of the Year” Lisa Millerick: a mom of four NICU children, March of Dimes volunteer, and an affiliated children’s photographer for “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.”

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Pictured here accepting her very well deserved honor

We were also given the chance to donate directly to the March of Dimes cause, via table cards and hand knitted preemie hats which were then given to local intensive care units:

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So adorable

The March of Dimes is truly a worthy cause and, as a mother, so near and dear to my heart.  I was blessed to have carried Penelope healthy and to term, but many women aren’t so lucky – and there is always something that may be done to improve the health and well being of newborn babies and their mommas!  Please consider donating to this great cause, joining their March for Babies, or attending the Signature Chef Auction in the fall.  The babies thank you!

A Movement for Change with Kristin Taekman and Brunch for Babies with @MarchofDimesCT

Charity suffers long, and is kind (1st Corinthians 13:4)

In other words – “charity” is just another word for “love.”  People give because they love those who need help, they love to help others, or they love to be a part of something bigger than themselves.

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Take the March of Dimes CT “Mom of the Year,” Lisa Millerick for example.  She has four children, all of who were born prematurely, and is a NICU Nurse to boot.  If that wasn’t enough, she also specializing in children portraits for Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep – which helps to give portraits of children who pass away too soon to their grieving families.

That’s a whole lotta love right there.

The March of Dimes CT will host its annual Brunch for Babies on June 6th, at the Riverview in Simsbury.  I’ll be honored to attend and meet Lisa, as well as acclaimed author Elin Hildebrand.  If you would like to join and support a great cause, you can purchase tickets here.

I was fortunate enough to attend another great charity event several weeks ago the DeFilippo “Movement for Change,” raising funds to help families of those impacted by spinal chord injuries and celebrating their many achievements.

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Lot of beautiful families and equally beautiful stories.  All photos by Elisa E- you can find her website and more of her work here

The event featured a great host – Kristin Taekman of the Real Housewives of New York.  I’ll proudly admit that I’m a RHONY fan (ok, maybe “proud” is not the best word)… and Kristin is my favorite on the show.  It’s always nice to discover that someone is as nice and down to earth in person as they appear on television.  Plus – she has a very chic blog – check it out here!

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With Kristin and Carolyn Paine on the red carpet.  Not pictured but also present – my friend Diane Taha of Style Context

Carolyn also choreographed and performed and original piece symbolizing the strength and fragility of those impacted by spinal chord injuries

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Simply gorgeous

Just as gorgeous – the four tiered fashion show featuring the work of designer Karo Swim Wear

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Sexy and fierce

A sweet collection of Spring pieces curated from the vintage collections of my good friend Laree Salmon of Vintage Chic by Design

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Polka dots for days

The ethereal work of well known local designer, Nigel Ramsay

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Stunning and flowing

And to finalize the show, a final collection of vibrant floral hues, “Always Bloomin” – to celebrate the energy and vibrancy of those who thrive in the face of adversary

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A pretty way to finish the show

I’m blessed to be involved with so many local causes for good.  Please consider researching them more and supporting all the amazing local artists who give their time and talents to help them raise the funds they need to do good work.

October is a glorious month! Let’s do all the things

Greetings, friends, and welcome to a special events round up featuring my very favorite month of the year: October.  Without waxing too basic about pumpkins and the like, let me just say that I friggin’ love this time of year, especially in gorgeous Connecticut.  And today I am feeling particularly Octoberish – well – mostly orange – as you can see by my outfit:

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This dress is from a Posh Sale several years back – and yes there is another Posh Sale in several weeks, and more details are below

and my lunch as I write this:

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Roasted butternut squash soup, served in an awesome C Wonder bowl from the lovely Cait, and with a gorgeous skyline view of Hartford from our cafeteria at work

In addition to Halloween, there is a plethora of fun events coming up this month.  For example: apple picking, which is super fun no matter what your age, but even better if you’re 18 months old

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Just ask Penelope, who picked a whole basketful of drop apples (50 cents a pound at Lost Acres Orchard!  Can’t beat that) and then went on a tractor ride like a Very Big Girl

If you are looking for more of a round up of general events in Hartford, I recommend Real Hartford’s blog – she is the Queen of all things fun, and cool to do around town.  I’ve just hand picked a couple that I am personally attending and looking forward to this month, as there is so much going on, and it’s all very cool.  Without further ado, here goes:

We can with Mondo Guerra at New County Motor Cards on October 11th

Oookay.  I’m not sure if I am actually able to attend this.  I have both FOMO at missing the fashion AND sadness to miss an amazing charity event dedicated towards ending the course of AIDS.  And I want to see my favorite Titian, Carolyn, wow the crowd as an MC.  But – I know my limitations, and I know I need to have balance with my daughter and my social life (and my time on the couch in no pants watching baaaad Bravo TV, if we are being brutally honest).  So I might have to pass – but I still highly recommend that you go, and you can purchase tickets here as they aren’t available for sale at the door typically.  And there will be bubbles and food and amazing fashion and celebrity host, all for a great cause.  Gah.  So I might go.  But probably not.  But stay tuned!  Haha.

1st ever annual Hoptoberfest at Rosedale on Sunday, October 12th

OK, sorry folks – this event IS sold out.  But there are two more opportunities to partake in Max beer festivities – the first being a Hoptoberfest Dinner at Max Downtown on October 10, and the second is the Trumbull Kitchen Beerfest on November 2nd.  In addition to being stoked for all the rich local beers which will be poured and paired with Max appetizers, I’m excited to congratulate Scott Miller on his promotion to head of Max Catering (a new position).  So well deserved, as Scott has headed up the very successful Farm to Chef dinner series at Rosedale and other amazing farm locations statewide.

 

A Recipe for Healthy Babies: Signature Chefs Auctions for the March of Dimes on Thursday, October 16

Yet another wonderful, wonderful cause.  The March of Dimes makes its mission in helping  ensure that expectant mothers carry their babies to term whenever possible – ensure healthier babies.  How cool is that?  And their signature auction and chef round up (Cuginos, Bear’s Smokehouse, Barcelona Wine Bar, Salute, and more) will ensure an evening of wonder, wine and cuisine to raise funds for the charity.  It’s also at Simsbury’s The Riverview – one of my favorite venue spaces due to both the pretty layout and its proximity to my home.  Leeanne will be my partner in crime next Thursday at this event, and I can’t wait.  Tickets are currently on sale here.

“A Courant Affair:” 250 Years of Beats and Bylines from the Hartford Courant on October 24

Wow.  I work for the oldest continuously published newspaper in the United States.  The same paper that printed the Declaration of Independence for the public to read.  That’s a lot of history to explore, and the majority of this year has been spent exploring it, month by month, by delving into the rich history – visual and textual – in the Courant’s archives.  The gala, onsite at the Bushnell, will be a night to celebrate all of this.  The Trashion Fashion crew is busy assembling some really terrific newspaper dresses.  I don’t know what I’m wearing.  Probably at least some newspaper.  I’m awfully excited.  Tickets on sale here folks.

Blogger Preview of the Posh Sale (and brunch!) on October 25

The Posh Sale will be here from November 7-9.  That means that the most wonderful vintage clothing for men and women – from both the Wadsworth’s textile society and generous donations from the community.  I attended, as previously mentioned, two years ago, and I’ve been impatiently waiting for another Posh Sale since (it doesn’t happen every year so extra reason to be excited and to definitely, definitely go).  I will also be giving away a pair of tickets to the preview party on the evening of November 7th, after our blogger’s preview, with some sneak peek photos of what’s for sale, so stay tuned and check out all the event details here.  Oh yeah.  Vintage baby.

CRC Styles Fashion Gala to benefit Make a Wish Foundation on October 26

My goodness.  Another really great cause and wonderful charity.  What could be more wonderful than making the dreams of gravely ill children come through?  Rhetorical questions aside, this event is the 10th annual Fashion Gala, and it will be black tie fancy and full of fashion, food, and of course, raising funds for the Make a Wish Foundation (most important of all by far).  Tickets on sale hereYes, that is also two black tie galas in one weekend for me.  No, I’ve never been to a black tie gala before.  Yes I’m excited. No I don’t know what I’m wearing.  But: challenge accepted (style wise, that is).

ARTini on October 30th

The Greater Hartford Art’s Council’s signature cocktail fundraiser features a curated art deco show this year – a first!  As well as a roaring 20’s flapper theme.  Which will suit me just fine, as I’m headed there with Carolyn and will just raid her enormous costume wardrobe (read: basement).  Ooooh.  I haven’t managed to attend this event yet either, but I love cocktails and I love the arts, so this will be a lovely pre-Halloween adult festivity (Halloween is, of course, reserved for squiring Penelope around in her baby shark costume).  Tickets on sale here if you care to join us for ARTini!