Tag Archives: cafes

New Haven: A Labor Day Tradition

Every Labor Day my parents do the huge New Haven Road Race, and the last several years I have been joining them to stay overnight at the Omni the night before. We feast and drink in Downtown New Haven (knowing we don’t have to drive anywhere), and the ‘rents do the race in the morning while I hit the gym (which is pretty darn nice for a hotel). Then I find an interesting cafe for coffee, followed by a unique spot for lunch, while my parents wait in huge post-race-beer lines.

This year my dad was away so my mom and I decided to still visit New Haven for a night, but she joined me in the hotel gym, because we stayed Saturday to Sunday (as opposed to the usual Sunday to Monday) this year. Our getaway couldn’t have come at a better time; I had a lot of anxiety and such going on after last Thursday night’s A Taste in Simsbury event, and I needed nothing more than a special weekend with my amazing mother.

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Wordless Wednesday: Las Vetas Lounge

First thing’s first…thanks to all who entered the giveaway for a free Lendperk dress rental! The winning comment was from Stephanie!


Congrats and I will contact you about getting your dress rental. For those who did not win, remember you can sign up for Lendperk for just $20/month and get a 9 day trial period during which you can cancel your subscription – no penalty!

Okay, I just started a Wordless Wednesday post with a whole bunch of words. But now I’ll stay true to my title’s words, because recent developments at work have led to me being busier than ever, and online classes mean my free time is more studious than blog-ious. I’ve been dying to share the pics I took of the charming interior (sadly, the employees were less charming) of Las Vetas Lounge in Fairfield, CT. Kaitlin brought me there when I went to visit her, and she hit the nose on the head – I fell in love with the decor. This place seemed like a cafe out of Gilmore Girls! Enjoy the photos!

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For Love of Fairfield

I’ve already showed Kaitlin (of For Love of Carrots) my turf, and the time came this past weekend for her to show me hers – Fairfield County! I visited her from Saturday evening to Sunday afternoon and she showed me a great time. Then again, I knew she would since our tastes are so similar! Prime example number one – we both wore black tops, black shoes, jeans, and statement necklaces to dinner.

Saturday Night


I borrowed the necklace from Kaitlin, the queen of statement necklaces!

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Three Things Thursday: Seuss Style

Thanks to all who entered my Tone It Up Beach Babe DVD giveaway! I enjoyed reading your comments about which workout you’d most want to try. Seems all of them are of interest! Out of 134 total entries, the lucky winner is…


…Loli! Congrats and I will contact you for shipping info!


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Father-Daughter Boston Trip

Thank you so very much for your kind words in response to yesterday’s post (no worries if you didn’t read, after all I’m the weirdo publishing on Christmas :-P) and my confessions about being NOT so kind to myself. I’m happy to report that so far since that night this past Saturday, I have been doing a much better job of enjoying this special time of year. After all, it’s not like I’m travelling and attending holiday events every day!

Each year, my family exercises a special holiday tradition (yup, another one!): my sister Hannah, my dad, and I travel to New York City from December 23rd to 24th for fabulous meals, shopping, and the Today Show (we get on TV every year!). But this year Hannah had to work, so my dad had the great idea to keep the tradition alive, just on a smaller scale. He and I set off for Boston this past Sunday morning to brunch, shop, cocktail-it, and stay in a fancy Marriott!

White wine and snacks for the Marriott rewards point holders! Unfortunately the apples were no bueno.

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So G Coffee Roasters

I’M SO GLAD IT’S THE WEEKEND. I have so much fun stuff planned. But that’s not unusual for a weekend in my life. Not trying to be a jerk, just saying – when you  have time off work, MAKE THE MOST OF IT!! 😀 You’ll be glad you did!

I’ve got another special place in CT to share with you all today…

Daybreak Coffee Roasters may be my favorite cafe, but Glastonbury has got another gem that is quite tasty and enjoyable to visit!

Another local cafe that has opened in my area fairly recently (when compared to how long Daybreak has been around) is So. G Coffee Roasters. I have to say they win the award for the most clever name. The cafe is located in South Glastonbury (hence So. G), but when you say the name it sounds like you’re saying “that place is SO Glastonbury” as in “SO G”. I get a kick out of that stuff!

Took this shot back around the holidays!

This quaint coffee shop roasts all their own coffees. They don’t have a lot of flavored varieties, but do have delicious bold and mild blends, as well as several types of loose leaf teas. My friend Kim‘s mom has a cousin located in California who  has their coffee shipped to him there!

The shop has adorable decor and cozy window seating – perfect for me. Oh, and the Wi-fi is FREE!

Food options available cater to both those wanting to keep it light (bananas, fruit cups, wheat bagels) and those wanting to live it up (pastries and chocolate).

I’ve only been here a few times, but each time I walk in I don’t even need to look at the adorable chalk menu board to know what I want. I always get the same thing – nonfat cafe au lait made with the boldest coffee on tap!

In love with this mug.

So G is green too, with 100% recycled napkins and plenty of to-go tumblers and mugs for sale.

Oooh…how about that specialty beverage?! Another photo taken during the holidays.

 This is another local cafe with a welcoming, comforting environment. I adore how almost every person who walks in the door knows the owner. You can tell they are regulars who are really dedicated to this place!

So G Coffee Roasters gets two thumbs up in my book – everything about local cafes that I love!

What’s your favorite thing about local businesses?

Daybreak Coffee Roasters

Sorry for the lack of a post yesterday! It was a busy day – I had work (punctuated by a gorgeous lunch break outside, oh this weather makes me so happy), a trip to the gym (Group Power and the elliptical), and q-time with my parents to watch the most recent ep of “Mad Men” and eat a taaasty meal. Thanks Mom!

Rocking my new Vera placemat – specifically for blog photos 😉

I felt a bit sore when I woke up this morning, and the stretching during P90X Yoga (my usual Tuesday morning thang) felt good, but all the leg-burning action also probably didn’t help my soreness. I kinda sorta definitely LOVE being sore though, so bring it on!

Half moon gives me the HARDEST time in this workout – anyone else? Source.

Let’s get to the goods. I am always tweeting about Daybreak Coffee Roasters and mentioning them on my blog, because they are a part of my weekend routine. In fact, I was recommending them to the Gossip Girls of West Hartford this morning!

But I thought you all may want to learn more about my favorite local coffee shop (which Heather has already fallen in love with).

Each Saturday and Sunday morning I work out, and then head to Daybreak with my laptop and homework in tow to get MBA/blog-related work done and sip on delicious coffee in the form of a nonfat blanc made with whatever flavored coffee they have “on tap”. I don’t usually like flavored coffees, but Daybreak roasts their own and the flavors taste so fresh, natural, and perfect. If I don’t like what’s already brewed, they will event let me choose any flavor bean I want to be French pressed! It doesn’t get much fresher than that, friends.

Nonfat amaretti blanc, with a side of homework, at Daybreak Coffee.

My favorite flavors, to name a few, are amaretti di sicilia, chocolate banana, toasted butternut, and pecan pie. The vibe of the cafe is fantastic, with cute local foodie gifts lining the walls.

The staff is so kind and helpful! They know me at this point, and my order. They put up with me when I stay there for hours at my favorite sunny table and only order one drink. It’s so comforting to listen to their friendly rapport with the shop regulars – it really creates a sense of community. I have friends I’ve met at Daybreak, and friends I’ve grown closer with because we kept seeing each other there. The owner, Carmelo, even offers patrons with dogs sitting at outside tables a bowl of water for their pups. Amazing!

Carmelo by the coffee roaster. How cute is that sign above?!

Though I’ve never had any, Daybreak also specializes in freshly-baked pastries. Judging by the number of people who order them I can only begin to guess how good they are.

They are most famous for their scones (pictured below at right).

In case you weren’t already impressed, Daybreak also houses an extensive collection of loose-leaf teas.

And those items in the glass case next to the teas are gourmet chocolates! Is there anything you can’t find here? They even sell Chobani, Odwalla bars, and Sports Beans to cater to the many athletes who stop in before, during, and after their outdoor workouts in the center of town. And if you’re gluten-free, that’s no problem – a few packaged gluten-free treats are available!

Daybreak Coffee is such a great part of my weekend routine that I wouldn’t give up in a second – any morning that I can’t make it is so disappointing. If only they were on my way to work so I could go on weekdays too!

What’s your favorite local cafe to get coffee and/or tea?

First Restaurant Visit of 2012: La Petite France

Happy Hump Day! For me it’s more like a Thursday because I’m taking this Friday off work, but not for a fun reason (hate you, wisdom teeth). Had a bit of a bummer yesterday when my favorite spin class was full – got to the gym a bit later than I usually do on Tuesdays. The combo of New Year’s Resolutioners and weather that’s too cold for outdoor workouts always makes spin hard to get into at my gym until about March or so. Hope I have better luck next time, but I got a class in this past Sunday that was great, so all is well!

Ended up doing the Step Mill, my go-to machine for an efficient HIIT workout. I worked my way up to Level 16 speed intervals for the first time recently, and always do 30 minutes, so I wanted to push it and see if I could do 40. Felt like I was gonna die by the end, but I did it! Magazines are SO helpful (and the evening news during the fast intervals, when I’m climbing so fast there’s no chance in hell of me reading a single word).

If you want some cardio machine reading ideas, Diva on a Diet might be able to recommend “Working Out Sucks!” to you, since she won it recently in my giveaway. Thanks for the shout-out, girl!

Workout talk done, now who’s hungry?!

Of course I had to start 2012 with a visit to a newish-to-me restaurant on New Year’s Day, right? The star of today’s post is La Petite France Bakery & Cafe of West Hartford, CT (conveniently located on Farmington Ave, right by Blueback Square). I call this place “newish” because I did have a chance to sample one of their indulgent plain croissants at Bethany’s holiday brunch last month! After one bite I knew I would need to make my own visit, since I am a self-proclaimed cafe-enthusiast.

Remember these? Plain, chocolate, and almond croissants.

My good friend Kelly has been away at law school in Michigan all semester, and after we figured out that between our schedules our only day to meet up while she was home on winter break was New Year’s Day, we knew we had to make a date. We frequented Starbucks and Cafemantic at UConn together, so a cafe seemed an appropriate choice for a lunch spot!

I loved the exterior of the cafe from the very start. I’ve never been to Europe but it certainly looked authentic to me! I was totally starved after a good Stair Master session at the gym, so lunch sounded great to me. Of course the pastries looked incredible…but at lunch time, I’m always craving savory.

It didn’t take long at all for me to decide what I wanted. I was sold when I saw a build-your-own salad option, with an ingredients list that included some of my favorite creative salad best ingredients!

I love the casual setup of the coffee prep table!

I ordered a mixed greens salad with prosciutto, goat cheese, roasted red peppers, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and balsamic vinaigrette. I couldn’t believe that the salad was one price, meaning I could add a ton of ingredients and get a more-interesting-than-chicken meat option, for a completely affordable price! The salad also came with a crusty piece of baguette.

This salad was so, so wonderful. The prosciutto was out of this world and the dressing was one of the best balsamic dressings I’ve ever had. The baguette was perfect, nice and crusty just the way I like them, and the veggies were abundant.

Of course, seeing as we were at a cafe, we had to get our caffeine on. When I saw that LPF has mugs for their coffee and espresso drinks, I was even more excited!

Jealous of Kelly's cute mug.

I selected my usual nonfat cafe au lait sprinkled with cinnamon, and Kelly got a cappuccino, which looked perfectly foamy.

I would love the chance to come back to La Petite France and do some studying sometime. The atmosphere is exactly what I work best in.

The cafe is also very active on social media. We’ve been known to trade a few tweets, and they even linked to my post about the croissants on their Facebook!

I will definitely be back to La Petite France Bakery & Cafe. A welcome addition to West Hartford Center!

When was the last time you pushed yourself extra in a workout?

Have you ever been to a French cafe – or France?!