Go Ape! CT’s Longest Zip Line

img_7658-2October boasts some of the year’s most beautiful days, so it makes perfect sense to want to spend them outdoors enjoying all that nature has to offer! Instead of spending your day looking at all the beautiful leaves, spend your day among them in a treetop adventure that challenges both your mind and body. Although it’s a bit of a drive from Fairfield County, but Go Ape! Adventure park in New Britain, Connecticut is a fun and exciting experience for older kids (minimum age 10) and adults.

Go Ape features 5 action packed treetop obstacle course sections, leading you higher into the forest canopy. Guests will navigate 40 exciting crossings like, the Half Trapeze, Wobbly Ladder, 2 Tarzan swings and 5 exhilarating zip lines (CT’s longest sends you fling over a lake not once, but three times!). The park is challenging and can be a little scary for younger kids (I had two athletic 13 year-olds with me that looked a little shaky at times!), but it’s great for building confidence and self-esteem.

On Sunday, October 2, Go Ape! is offering an “kids go free” special! Check out their website and call for details!

 

Summer Classical Concert Series in Weston

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One thing that’s always on our summer bucket list (but often never gets done) is exposing our children to more cultural events. But trudging into the City in the heat and humidity with irritable children and sitting through a two hour concert really isn’t fun for anyone. This summer, Emmanuel Church in Weston is making it easy (and far more delightful) to enjoy classical music with a series of concerts that not only offer music, but ice cream as well!

The Emmanuel Church 2016 Summer Concert Series will kick off the season on June 22, at 7:30 pm with the Greater Bridgeport Symphony’s Brass Quintet coupled with an ice cream social in the church hall. A follow up concert featuring jazz musician, Dr. Joe Utterback, and vocalist, Kristin Huffman, will take place on Wednesday, July 13, also at 7:30 pm. Both musical programs will last one hour, sans an intermission. Admission is free (though donations are welcomed) and the event is open to the public. Emmanuel Church is located at 285 Lyons Plain Road, Weston.

For more information, visit www.emmanuelweston.org or call the parish office at (203) 227-8565.

CT Open House Day Invites Residents to Explore All The State Has to Offer

UnknownResidents are invited to explore all the state has to offer at its 12th annual Connecticut Open House Day on June 11! More than 170 attractions across our cosmopolitan cities and charming towns are participating in the event with free admission and special events at select historic and cultural sites, so there’s sure to be something for everyone. Locally, the 1750 Ogden House and Bellarmine Museum of Art in Fairfield, Art at Ives in Danbury, New England Ballet Company in Bridgeport, and the Westport Historical Society are participating.

For a full list of events, click here: CT OPEN HOUSE EVENTS!

Interiors: Color Lifts Your Spirits

It’s been scientifically proven that color can rejuvenate your body and positively impact your mindset. Today, Denise Davies, founder of D2 Interieurs of Weston, and Kerri Rosenthal, D2’s creative director, show us how to reinvigorate your home for spring with their signature look – bold pops of color and clean, sophisticated modern design.

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Tip #1
Don’t be afraid…it’s only paint, right?!  A fresh coat of paint can be a real game changer!
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Tip #2
Wow with wallpaper! Wallpaper can make a big impact. We like to use wallpaper even in small spaces such as powder rooms and laundry rooms. It’s an unexpected and fun surprise.
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Tip #3
See the light. Bring in new lighting with modern and updated light fixtures – let the light shine in! Even replacing your lampshades can give a room a fast, easy and fresh look.
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Denise Kitchen Spring Tip Lighting Tip
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Make your art work. Switching out artwork can give new life to your home. Don’t worry about matching the art…mix it up! Have fun! And most of all, buy art that makes you happy!
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Need a refresh? Contact Denise at:
Denise Davies
D2 Interieurs
646.326.7048
denise@d2interieurs.com

Connecticut Staycation Guide!

UnknownSticking around for spring break? The Connecticut Office of Tourism unveiled its new 2016 Official Spring/Summer Connecticut Visitors Guide, an inspirational travel storytelling magazine for planning vacations, getaways and outings in Connecticut.

The new, re-envisioned guides offer seasonal-specific travel experiences designed to inspire visitors to travel to Connecticut multiple times year-round. Each features current travel stories, experiences, events, attractions and destinations. The 2016 Spring/Summer printed guide is available now for free at Welcome Centers throughout Connecticut, by calling 1-888-CTvisit, and through www.CTvisit.com, where consumers can also view the digital edition.

“With this type of experiential storytelling, the new Connecticut visitors guide is revolutionary in state destination marketing,” said Randy Fiveash, director of Connecticut Office of Tourism. “Through these stories, Connecticut destinations come alive and allow prospective travelers to immerse themselves in the place and experience. The reimagined guide better reflects how today’s travelers look for ideas and inspiration.”

The 72-page seasonal guide is ideal for families, couples, groups and individuals interested in discovering or rediscovering Connecticut. Reinforcing Connecticut’s still revolutionary branding, it is filled with colorful images, travel stories, experiences, ideas and information and includes a state map. For additional travel ideas and information, clickable graphics are interspersed throughout the guide so consumers can click to www.CTvisit.com, Connecticut’s official tourism website.

The inspirational guide is organized by features such as “Six Summer Escapes,” “Lobster 24/7” and “If Walls Could Talk”; by departments including “Live from CT,” “Make a Splash” and “License to Thrill”; and by Connecticut’s five tourism regions.

Stately Gifting with Uncommon Goods

Gift giving can be so….generic. A beautiful scented candle or an amazing bottle of wine make great housewarming or hostess gifts, but honestly, how many candles can you burn at once? While one can always enjoy a bottle of wine, it doesn’t last as long as say, a cast-iron frying pan in the distinctive shape of your home state or a pillow emblazoned with your town’s zip code – after all, there’s no place like home!  IMG_5646

We partnered with our friends at Uncommon Goods, a Brooklyn-based curator of unique, eco-friendly gifts to bring our readers a selection of Nutmeg State themed gifts (we chose Connecticut, but, of course, these items can be adapted for just about any of the glorious 50). With an eye for design and sustainability, Uncommon Goods brings together some of the finest craftspeople from around the globe to deliver a selection of interesting, thoughtful, and yes, uncommon goods.

Even better, as an independently-owned business, they have the freedom to support causes they believe in and positively impact the world. With every purchase, Uncommon Goods donates $1 to your choice of not- for-profit partner organizations. Since they started their Better to Give program 15 years ago, Uncommon Goods has donated over $1,000,000 dollars to charities around the world including, RAINN: The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, American Forests, Women for Women International, and Reach Out & Read.

Check out our list of their fun state-themed products, then visit Uncommon Goods website to explore their home and garden items, handcrafted jewelry, natural beauty products, cool (and safe) kids toys, and much more!

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Side tables handcrafted in the shape of your favorite state!

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Whiskey tastes smoother with a little southern (or northern) comfort.

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When worlds collide! Handmade art using maps to illustrate a couple’s journey to each other.

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Bacon and eggs cast in your favorite state! 

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Hand embroidered pillow depicts noteworthy state landmarks.

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Wear your home state close to your heart with these clever pendant necklaces.

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Tie one on a cook up a local feast in this apron embroidered with state-themed locales.

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Rest easy knowing that you can bring a little piece of home with you with this zip code lumbar pillow.

Like what you see? Uncommon Goods has tons of fun home and garden decorating ideas! See them HERE!  Looking for a creative housewarming gift? Click HERE to see dozens of sophisticated options. Tired of looking at bare walls? Uncommon  Goods curated collection of artwork is just one CLICK away!

*images courtesy of Uncommon Goods

FUN EVENT! CT Chefs Battle For Title

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Area chefs are sharpening their knives and preparing for battle! On September, 18 at 7pm, eight of the area’s finest chefs will compete to win the 2015 “Connecticut Chef Challenge,” and earn the grand title belt, $1,000 cash prize and a year-long reign as champion. The culinary showdown will take place at the Lincoln Culinary Institute in Shelton.  Tickets are $50 for general admission and $100 for VIP and include beer, wine, and food (of course!!) and proceeds benefit the Optimus Health Foundation which provides healthcare to people regardless of their ability to pay.

The event will consist of two rounds of culinary battle, each chef has one hour and a maximum budget of $300 to prepare 10 plates of their signature dish. No ahead of time cooking in this battle of culinary excellence. Each chef is allowed to bring one Sous Chef as well as utilize Lincoln Culinary students to help them be the champion. The dishes will be judged on “Taste, Creativity and Presentation”. The top scoring dish will win the championship belt and the $1,000 grand prize! Attendees will also have the chance to choose a “People’s Choice” winner with a purchase of a Tasting Ticket that allows guests to taste each chef’s dish at the tasting tables.

Participating Chefs
Mark Vecchitto – Seehund German Pub: 2014 Winner
• Adam Bedini – StrEATery
• Jared Falco – Fortuna
• Justin Kern – Meeting House Pub
• Carlos Baez – The Spread
• Joshua Morosi – A Chef’s Choice
• Jason Maur – MaurPowerFoodie and Masterchef Season 3
• Carol Koty – The Waterview and Lockwood Lodge and World Food championship competitor

Host
Our host this year is Chef Plum owner of Plum Luv Foods and Pork Belly Productions. He has had multiple appearances on Food Network, ABC, CBS, BET, Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube and more.

The distinguished panel of judges includes:
• Chef Derrick Prince of Stanton Social (owned by Chris Santos) who made it as a finalist on Masterchef. He’s also no stranger to the judges chair, having helped decide winners at the recent Bacon and Beer Classic, NY Best Wings Festival, and the NYC Hot Sauce Expo.
• Judy and Joy They have been featured on The Talk alongside Julie Chen and Sharon Osbourne and so much more. The Wonder Twins have been all over TV, have their own cookbook, their own newspaper column, and even their own radio show
• Ken Tuccio of Welcome to Connecticut Podcast. He’s interviewed countless people in the food field so it’s time for him to share some of that food knowledge that he’s absorbed and built up.

1 more super secret judge to be announced soon!

Ticket prices and options:
-General Admission for $50 which includes complimentary beer/wine, apps, food buffet, coffee from Shear Water Coffee Roasters, and dessert.
-Tasting Ticket for $100 which includes everything that the general admission ticket provides plus a reserved seat at a shared table to vote for the People’s Choice Award.

 

Corn Maze Opens at Lyman Orchard

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Ready to jump head-first into fall? Get lost in Lyman Orchard’s corn maze! Each year, the maze gets twistier and turnier and this year’s theme promises a head-popping ride. The theme is Pez and the maze was created to resemble a giant Pez dispenser when viewed from the air. Click on the link or watch the video to learn all about this year’s maze and how you can be a part of this local family tradition.

Art Show Blooms in Weston

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Emmanuel Church in Weston will celebrate local talent with its second annual community happening and exhibit, The Arts Bloom. A variety of artwork created by local artists will be showcased at the event which will be held on Saturday, May 16 from 6:00 pm. – 9:00 pm. in the church hall, 285 Lyons Plain Road. The celebration’s cause is two-fold — to provide local artists with an opportunity to sell their work and to support nearby non-profits with a portion of the evening’s proceeds.

The Arts Bloom highlights the work of professional and amateur artists hailing from Southern Connecticut. The categories are paintings, ceramics, mixed media, textiles, collages, sculpture, glass, drawings, printmaking and photography. Featured Weston residents include the following: Joel Sobelson, Maureen Tartaglia, Nancy Reinker, Carole McClintock, Carol Baldwin and Christine Juneau.

Wine and refreshments will be served as guests mingle and enjoy the music of pianist, Justine Macurdy of The Schubert Club. Many of the pieces of artwork on display will be available for purchase. Tickets are $35 per person and can be purchased HERE.

For more information on The Arts Bloom in Weston, contact the Emmanuel Church office at 203.227.8565.

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ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Sobelson was a top advertising creative director in New York before shifting his focus to art; his work reflects an exquisite mastery of contrast. Tartaglia has been expressing her artistry through interior design for over 28 years; in her artwork, she interprets the things that move her, like a Cape Cod landscape or child caught in the reverie of play. Reinker excels in multiple media and says her art is a “visual expression of the spritual self,” and wants that it “provoke myriad responses and countless questions.” McClintock is a collected artist with international stature. Her artistic philosophy is “to paint from a place of authenticity not to be inhibited by what a viewer may or may not think.” Subjects in her paintings appear to move on the canvas, like the clouds and flowers in her stunning piece, “Poppy Power,” which will be auctioned off on May 16. Baldwin, an Academy-Award winning film producer and the driving force behind the preservation of Weston’s Lachat Farm, paints with a pastoral, sensual style. Lastly, Juneau’s art spans the spectrum from intricate cityscapes to impressionist garden-scapes. Chris “loves the process” of painting and uses an exacting method and unique insight in her sought after work.

Participants will receive a minimum price requested for works sold and additional funds raised will benefit Weston’s Friends of Lachat (www.friendsoflachat.org) and The Schubert Club of Fairfield County (www.schubertclub.org).

Artists entry fees are $25 for the first piece; $15 for subsequent works and includes admission to the event. Instructions and applications can be found at Emmanuel’s website at www.emmanuelweston.org

Fabulous Mother’s Day Gifts From Around Fairfield County for Every Type Of Mom

Mother’s Day always kind of sneaks up on me. Sandwiched between Easter baskets and Memorial Day party prep, I’m always a little surprised to look at the calendar and see it staring me in the face…which usually facilitates frantic calls to the local florist and a mad dash to the card store!  This year is different…thanks to Google and Apple. I set an alert on my iPhone a week in advance and scheduled some time for browsing to find the perfect gifts for all the moms in my life. Below find a few of my favorite finds from Fairfield County shops! Maybe you’ll find something to give (or receive!) from our list and avoid the last minute rush!

 

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For the fitness fiend – workout pants with stylish sheer inserts from Yogasmoga in Greenwich.

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For the mom who wants to make a red-carpet entrance, a maxi-dress from Bianca Boutique in Westport.

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For the mom who wants to make a statement, boldly beaded necklaces from Walin & Wolff in New Canaan and Westport.

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For the mom who knows that turquoise is trending, baubles from the Blue Star Bazaar in Wilton.

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For the mom who’s always toting the mother load…the cutest bag ever – from SheLaLa in Westport and New Canaan.

 

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For the mom who likes to keep her littles close to her heart, a Monica Rich Kosann locket with sapphire accents. At Craig’s Fine Jewelry in Ridgefield.

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For the mom who lives by Coco Chanel’s famous quote, “A girl should always be two things, classy and fabulous,” a jacket worthy of both. From Spree in Darien.

 

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For every mom who deserves a big hug and kiss…from Darien-based VisibleInterest.com (overnight shipping available!).

unnamedFor the earthy mom, a handmade pendant from The Funky Hippie artist collective in Stamford.