Tag Archives: parties

2014 Best of Hartford Magazine Winners Party!

Oh how I have missed my Connecticut events! Boston events are great, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t have nearly as much of a network here as I do back in the Hartford area. That’s one reason why I was so excited to be able to attend the 2014 Best of Hartford Magazine Winners Party this past Friday! As first runner-up for both Best Twitter and Best Blogger in the 2014 Readers’ Poll, I received one ticket for me and one for a plus one – so I brought Rachel, the girl who named this blog. Of course that’s really a reason way down low on a very long list of reasons why I brought her with me. She’s a great friend and I was so happy to be able to share the special night with her!

Our red carpet glam entrance - thanks Sean!

Our red carpet glam entrance – thanks Sean!

And of course I got to reunite with all of my CT event buddies! That included Carolyn Paine (founder of CONNetic Dance, which I have blogged about before) and Emily Cahill, Community Manager for Yelp Hartford. Oh, and you know Kat was there. That’s a given.

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My First Nantucket Weekend!

This past weekend I had the opportunity to travel to Nantucket for the island’s annual Wine Festival! I worked the Saturday afternoon Grand Tasting pouring 90+ Cellars and Ironside Cellars, but the rest of the weekend was spent tasting wine and food, exploring Nantucket’s shops and restaurants, and drinking champagne. Lots of champagne.

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Jeannie and I hit the road Friday morning and JUST missed our high-speed ferry, but luckily we were able to walk onto a freight (aka slow) ferry so that we could get onto the island ASAP. Our next high-speed ferry option wouldn’t have had us on the island until about 6PM! The crew of the ship got a kick out of us for some reason and invited us up to steer the ship. Okay not actually steer, but I did get to sit in the captain’s chair and use binoculars!

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Oddball at Real Art Ways – Giveaway!

Remember to check out Friday’s post for a link to a Physique 57 online workout code that will give you a free 48 hours of access – up until 10/31!

This Saturday 10/26 I will be attending the Halloween event of the season – the 2013 Oddball at Real Art Ways in Hartford! Ticket proceeds will benefit Real Art Ways, an art organization that shows independent films, commissions public projects, and puts on other live and visual arts based events. This is the fifth year of the masquerade ball featuring “tricked-out art galleries, eerie photo opps, and outrageous tunes”. Doors open at 8PM!

The $65 ticket includes a specialty Absolut cocktail and food from some of the area’s best restaurantsMax’s Oyster Bar, ON20, Pond House Grille, Firebox, and Republic. Trust me, their food is good…I’ve been to all of them except ON20, but given all the awards they win and the fact that one of my favorite mixologists Brent Bushong is now in charge of their bar food and cocktail menu, I’m comfortable saying they’ll have some delicious offerings.

I actually had dinner at Pond House Grille on Saturday night. They’re doing all-hours happy hour food right now – buy 1, get 1 for a penny. These are the Gorgonzola sweet potatoes and crab cake croquettes. I enjoyed both, ESPECIALLY the sweet potatoes.

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Hartford Magazine October Launch with Hoffman Auto

This past Wednesday I was invited by my good friend Kat (of the Hartford Advocate) to attend the October issue launch party of Hartford Magazine.

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The event began promptly at 5:30PM at Farmington Gardens, a lovely event venue located in (obviously) Farmington, CT. Thankfully it was a fairly warm day so the patio was decked out in charming lights for guests’ enjoyment.

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Marvelous Moonshine: The Onyx Gatsby Ball

I received free entry into this event via a press pass. This is not a sponsored post and all opinions of the event and what I sampled there are my own.

Where do I begin?! I mentioned in Friday’s post that I’d be attending an event that evening that I was extremely excited for. Well, the Onyx Moonshine Gatsby Ball and Onyx 111 Infusion Challenge lived up to my expectations. The marvelous event was one of the best I’ve ever attended.

Join Katie’s link-up to stay focused on the positive on your Monday!

I pulled up to the gorgeous venue, The Wadsworth Mansion at Long Hill (Middletown, CT), and immediately knew why Kaitlin has chosen this as the place she will be married next summer. The entry way is what I can only describe as “grand”, and the inside was lovely and perfect for a party meant to transport guests to the past.

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Check out that peacock feather in an Onyx bottle – great centerpiece!

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Marvelous Massachusetts and Plan B

Man, I definitely need positive reminders of marvelous on this Monday morning. My morning commute involved a nose bleed and the shocking realization that my car’s tissue stock was depleted long ago – and never had been replenished. The fall air is here, with a vengeance!

Join Katie in this marvelous link-up!

Marvelous is…finally visiting my darling blend Kelly in Massachusetts! About a month ago, we made a plan for me to stay over this past Friday to Saturday. The timing could not have worked out any better and I was so happy to be able to be there for Kelly and her family during a tough time in their lives.

We’ve hung out a bunch on my CT turf, but this was my first visit to hers in MA!

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WIAW: A Super Super Bowl!

Never before have I watched so LITTLE of the Super Bowl. I usually pop into the TV room at our traditional gathering spot, the Gerber family’s house, to try and catch some ads. This year that didn’t even happen.

No Caitlin here!

No Caitlin here!

Aside from the halftime show (I think Beyone was hella fierce) I did not see a single second of the 2013 Super Bowl broadcast. I was too busy hanging out with family and friends, and tasting some fabulous food and drink. Seeing as it’s What I Ate Wednesday (thanks Jenn of Peas & Crayons for hosting!), today’s post is going to be heavy on both of those things!

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Best of Hartford Voting Party Giveaway!

Man-oh-man, you guys love your Oakley shades! So many people entered the Sunglasses Shop giveaway for a free pair – thank you for the participation! Drumroll please, the grand prize winner is…

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Karen M! Congrats and I will contact you for shipping info and your choice of shades (if different than the Dirty Dog Vendetta Fluro Pink 53215 Polarised you mentioned in the comments)! VERY cute choice BTW!

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Christmas Eve: Not So Kind

Thanks to all who entered my Mews Boutique giveaway for the same necklace and earring set I received to review!

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The winner is Keri! Thank you for entering and I will be contacting you for shipping info!

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Merry Christmas! I can’t believe the big day is here already, and I actually feel like it’s been over because not only did my family already open our presents on Saturday the 22nd (because of our travel plans – I’m writing this from FLORIDA) but I also have already spent most of the Christmas money I got (more on that later when I write about my Christmas Eve trip to Boston, hopefully tomorrow).

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Healthy Living Summit 2012 – Part One

I suppose I could have come up with a more creative title than that. I’m pretty sure a zillion other bloggers have been publishing posts this week that say the exact same thing. But #sorrynotsorry, I hope (I KNOW) the content of my posts make up for any lame titles I throw your way :) and remember if you missed my recap of the Chobani dinner I attended while in Boston for the 2012 Healthy Living Summit, you can check it out here!

Thursday:

Please keep reading. Don’t be afraid!

My HLS ’12 weekend actually started in a different MA town, home of my BB (best blend) Heather. Since her house is on my way to Boston, I decided to stay over with her Thursday night to make the drive in on Friday shorter. AND oh yeah, because I love hanging out with her. I took a half day at work on Thursday and got to her house before rush hour traffic hit (win) and we immediately hit the road for one of my favorite restaurants ever, Garden Grille…after we took some pics, of course.

We chatted away during that rush hour/accident-caused traffic I’d missed before, and arrived at Garden Grille about to eat each others’ arms off. Appetizers were necessary.

Instagram them apps.

I finally got to try the famous Garden Grille sweet potato fries, and was so impressed. I have to admit I prefer ION’s because those are crispier (more fried ;-) hehe) but these were still amazing, especially paired with that housemade BBQ sauce. We also went with the special side, garlicky sauteed greens. My Garden Party beverage (vodka, basil, mint, lime) matched perfectly!

I was so happy that we got to sit outside and savored my refreshing cocktail throughout the meal, which blew my MIND: blackened Cajun-spiced tofu with pepper jam, charred corn & black beans, squashes, and smoked paprika aioli. HEAVEN. I’m so glad I’ve gotten over my tofu-texture aversion.

I never wanted this to end! Unfortunately it did. I was tres sad.

A walk down Thayer Street and shopping trip in its Urban Outfitters location cheered me right up! I adore the artsy vibe from this college town. Every person and business I pass seems so open to new ideas and ready to learn. I could probably sit outside with a cup of coffee and people watch for a good while. Or maybe with a cup of fro-yo?

I knew the second I finished dinner that I was going to want a dessert. Do you ever have those evenings? I honored my craving (and am proud to say I did so) at a self-serve frozen yogurt shop whose name now escapes me. As usual I did mostly toppings. After I finished, we did a bit more walking and called it a night.

Friday:

I woke up at 8AM the next morning (I was shocked – that’s late for me!) and did two Tone It Up Beach Babe DVD workouts recommended to me by Heather, who happens to be a TIU enthusiast. The Surfer Girl and Summer Arms segments combined to give me a pretty good 45-minute workout, which felt pretty GREAT since I’d had two lackluster gym days previously. I only have one more segment to try out and then I will finally be able to review the DVD – and give you guys a GIVEAWAY! Oh I’m a tease.

I LOVE YOU.

After the workout I had one thing on my mind – my beloved vegan spinach and mushroom Wildflour scone. I don’t normally eat baked goods for breakfast. They don’t give me that energy I need to power through my morning. However, this savory scone does not have the same “crash” effects as most cafe offerings. I treat myself to one of these bad boys each time I visit Heather. Last time I went I went through a guilt-ridden debate over whether or not I should get it, but this time I just WENT for it without questioning whether or not I “should” get the scone – something I noticed and took pride in!

About to head to Boston with my Dino.

We blogged and I did encounter a challenge of “shoulds” and “should-nots” before we departed for HLS. I wanted a Wildflour green smoothie that Jenny had let me try last time the three of us went there and she ordered one. The Dino is made with good-for-you ingredients – spinach, kale, blueberry, banana, almond milk, almond butter – but I have always had a stigma in my brain about smoothies that says they don’t fill me up yet are still many calories, which can then result in me intaking too many calories. Heather was there for me as usual and offered to share the Dino with me on the ride to Boston. Deal! I was in heaven with each sip and am so glad that I fought the guilt and ordered it. And thankful too, because we got stuck in traffic and didn’t make it to our originally planned lunch at Flour Bakery & Cafe until an hour past schedule!

Salad as big as my head? Yes please!

I again went through a bit of an embarrassing debate in my mind – and at the counter – over what to order. The poor Flour employee had to deal with my questions about how much mayo was in the curried tuna salad I had my eye on. Even after trying a sample and LOVING it, it was hard to let myself choose that as my salad’s protein. Another stigma I have stored away…tuna/chicken/seafood salads are full of hidden calories from too much mayo. Finally I mentally said “fuck it” to the guilt and ordered the curried tuna salad on my greens. And then I threw in a side of homemade hummus for good measure, and ate every last bite. WHAT WHAT.

Lindsay, Chelsea, Meg, Heather, me, Lisa

Once Heather and I checked in at our hotel, the Hyatt Regency Cambridge, we grabbed our HLS swag and lugged it up to our room so we could get settled and ready for dinner. It was around this time that the weekend became all about connecting with so many of the bloggers I’d been following, chatting with, and relating to for as long as years in some cases. At BlogHer I learned so much about myself and experienced NYC through food, drink, and workouts. At HLS I forged bonds with girls I never truly thought I’d get the chance to meet. That was the main takeaway for me from this conference.

Meg, Lisa, and me at dinner at Figs.

Two girls I was most excited to meet were my Canadian blends Meg and Lisa. The three of us have bonded over our struggles, past for some and present for others, with our relationships with food. We support and guide each other in the journey to balance every single day. When I first saw Meg at the door of my hotel room, I hugged her so hard that I think I crushed her…and pushed her into a wall. Every single word we said to each other was just so US and we already knew that. Does that make any sense?! We just seamlessly transition from blend to friend. Of course I had to snap a picture of her with her MUSSELS and her MUSCLES, since she adores seafood and we are always sending each other photos of seafood we’re eating.

That broth was so good. I stole my fair share.

And I attacked Lisa the moment I saw her too! She is just as beautiful in person as she is on her blog – always looks SO put together and has the best wavy hair! And she was wearing a brightly colored dress, which I can always count on her for. I truly never imagined we’d meet one day, so I am just so thankful that I could hang out with the girl who encourages me anytime I open up on this blog about my guilt issues.

Our dinner group!

Oh yeah – the food at dinner! Well I had a late lunch so I just got a roasted beet salad with goat cheese. Very average, but Chelsea and Linz shared a slice of their fig and prosciutto pizza with me, and THAT was impressive.

Can I have a vanity moment here – arms?

After dinner it was time to head to the hotel for the HLS Cocktail Party. I wish the music had been louder – there was no dancing! I was too busy chatting and being a goofy ham anyway, though.

First stop: photobooth with costume props.

How funky is your chicken?

Call me DEFINITELY.

Who doesn’t love a good selfie?

There were apps and desserts there, but I skipped out on the latter. When there is cheese available, and when I am drinking wine, that is ALLLL I want.

CHEESE ME.

I’ll have some crackers with my cheese.

Kettle corn and Taza dark chocolate.

Regular, red velvet, and poppy (?!) whoopie pies.

Meghann, Julie, and the rest of those who put on HLS did a really great job. I cannot imagine undertaking such a task!

Kicking things off.

This girl does it all!

My BB has totally turned me into a Pinot Grigio fan!

I say YES to her dress.

What a fun evening of reuniting, meeting for the first time, and lots of PICS.

Meg, my love, you are so tiny!

I could squeeze her all day long.

I am forever in awe of Tina‘s amazing upper body. Hello Crossfit!

It was good to see Theodora again, in her trademark Lilly attire.

Courtney is so beautiful!

What a thrill to finally meet Sara. I could chat with her for hours!

The best moment of the evening (of HLS…of the week…the month…you get it) came courtesy of Becki. She approached me and introduced herself. I smiled and said hello back, but honestly didn’t at first make the connection that this was one of the girls who had written her own #AmazingMe post after I had written mine. However as soon as Becki said that she had to come introduce herself to “the girl who wrote #AmazingMe”, I immediately realized who she was…and felt tears come to my eyes. The comments and feedback I have gotten on that post have touched me several times over, but THIS was the culmination of it all. THIS was the chance for me to meet, in person, someone that I directly inspired and someone I made feel good about herself.

Two amazing girls.

Becki’s post about her accomplishments and why she is a wonderful human being was heartwarming to read, but to literally FEEL how genuinely thankful she was to have been inspired to write it was a feeling I really can’t even begin to describe. I am so thankful in turn to her for helping me see how beneficial it is to put myself out there as a blogger and be honest and myself in my posts, because not only will I get feedback from readers that will aid me in my journey to balance, but I also will continue to be someone readers can relate to and remember whenever they are fighting that negative voice themselves. THANK YOU BECKI for introducing yourself, and I hope that we can have a good long chat next time I am in town!

What is the most touching moment blogging has brought to you?

If you were at the HLS cocktail party, what was your fave photobooth prop? Your fave food item?

Out of all the eats in this post, what looks best to you? :-)