Sunday, November 30, 2014

New Eye Shadow Shades for 2015 from MUD Cosmetics

New Eye Colors from MUD Cosmetics just in time for the holidays!

Here's a great idea for some stocking stuffers for this holiday season! The new line of shadows for Spring 2015 from MUD Cosmetics!

MUD’s new Eye Colors are set to join the collection this fall with eight beautiful new shades, from stable hues in grey like Statue, to the distinctive Deco blue, each new color comes with inspiration for some of the upcoming trends for Spring 2015.

Mud - Deco Blue
Photo Courtesy BeautyPress

The new colors include:

This is a matte, off white shade that can be used as a highlight, or applied on the entire lid. For a classic look, use on entire lid and add canyon in the crease

Mud Spring Summer Collection
Photo Courtesy of Beauty Press

A matte turquoise hue that’s great for a bold retro look. Use increase with a softer color like Pink Grapefruit, Sunflower, Daisy, Cashmere or Pixie on the lid

 A matte, soft burnt orange that’s perfect for applying on the lid or crease and can be
 used with any of the MUD Eye Colors

 A matte, neutral dark brown is great for brunettes as an eyebrow filler as well as
 adding depth to your look by applying on the lid or crease

 A soft matte, light gray that can be used with any color and looks amazing when blended with a darker shade to create a soft smoky eye

 A matte dark gray, Pavement can be used to add depth by applying to the lid and/or the crease

 A cool, matte medium powder blue for the lid or crease. You can create a demi-matte and lighten the color by mixing with Ice, Opal Sky, Honeysuckle, or Dulce de Leche

 A warm, demi-matte eggplant shade, Velveteen can go from subtle to bold with a simple mix or blending with a variety of shades.

 Available on 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Holiday Shopping at the Westfield Trumbull Mall CT

Every year I like to beat the crowds and find out what styles and trends are in for the season BEFORE the holiday shopping rush begins. This way, I have a better idea of what purchases to make for family and friends...and ideas for dressing up (or down) for upcoming holiday dinner parties and celebrations. Where to go? My local Westfield Mall!

And...of course, what holiday shopping visit would be complete without a visit to SANTA!!!!

Visit Santa at the Westfield Trumbull Mall 

This holiday season I partnered with the great folks at the Westfield Trumbull Shopping Mall whose management team arranged for us to visit four stores and talk to their management teams, store managers, and sales associates to find out what's on point in the coming season.

And the Westfield Trumbull's management team has some wonderful ways to keep us all on point this season as well, as they have some weekly surprises coming up for their shoppers! Be on the lookout for the Westfield Trumbull Merry Makers in their holiday attire throughout the mall beginning on November 28th (Black Friday!) The festively dressed Merry Makers surprise shoppers with unexpected acts of kindness and special holiday entertainment performances. And they're fun too!

Westfield Merry Makers at the WestfieldTrumbull Mall

This year Westfield is donating $1.00 to St. Jude's Research Hospital every time #MakeMeMerry is tagged in a picture from their malls! And you can help by stopping in the management office at your local Westfield Mall and making a donation too!

And now...let's get this shopping party started!!!

Francesca's Collections at the Westfield Trumbull Mall

We started at Francesca's Collections, a boutique that originated in Houston Texas and now boasts over 450 stores in 45 states and an online boutique! Each store is unique to its area, and offers a a beautiful array of carefully-curated clothing, bright bangles and baubles, bold accessories, and playful gifts.

Francesca's Collections at the Westfield Trumbull Mall

At Francesca's Collections we learned that accessorizing is in the details and it's their attention to the details that sets them apart. In every nook in the store are amazing finds. Whether you looking for cute boots, unique outfits, a clutch with a pop of color, or some statement jewelry, Francesca's Collections has you covered!

Francesca's Collections at the Westfield Trumbull Mall

Banana Republic at the Westfield Trumbull Mall

Next we moved on to the Banana Republic where the subtle style transformation that new Banana Republic EVP / Creative Director Marissa Webb, former designer for J.Crew,  is bringing to the organization was apparent. While still featuring clothing that is grounded in professional office  wear they are addressing the relaxed culture of corporate America, where fashion can be a bit more contemporary and reflect a more edgy street-vibe.

Banana Republic at the Westfield Trumbull Mall

We all loved finding out about the high-low (hi-low) trend taking place. While I had always thought it referred to a shirt or dress hemline that is higher in the front and lower in the back, we learned that the term also refers to the layering that takes place, where a short jacket is layered over an untucked shirt, or a sweater sleeve that is rolled up exposing the shirt cuff beneath. Banana Republic features both  men's and women's wear.

Banana Republic at the Westfield Trumbull Mall

F&F Clothing in the Westfield Trumbull Mall

The F&F Clothing Brand is a franchised retail subsidiary of the UK Tesco Company. Currently expanding in the U.S., they have  43 franchise stores in 10 countries - Saudi Arabia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Switzerland, Gibraltar, UAE, Bahrain, Jordan, The Philippines and Armenia (Source: F&F strives to be the global leader in affordable clothing for men, women, and children's fashions.

F&F Clothing at the Westfield Trumbull Mall

The F&F store opened this year in the Westfield Trumbull Shopping Mall. The entire outfit pictured above left, cost just over $300.00, including the overcoat, scarf, sweater, skirt, purse, and boots. I especially liked that consumers can pick up trendy accessories that often change from season to season at affordable prices.

F&F Clothing at the Westfield Trumbull Mall

The Limited at the Westfield Trumbull Mall

Our last store of the day was The Limited, known for offering high quality design at a great value. The Limited design team headed by Elliot Staples, has partnered with ABC's hit show Scandal's costume designer Lyn Paolo and Scandal actress Kerry Washington who plays lead character Olivia Pope, to design a fall/winter collection, The Limited Scandal Collection. The details in this collection are incredible. Soft luxurious fabrics, sharp collar designs, detailed cuts and hemlines, and tailored sweaters. Every piece just gets better and better.

The Limited at the Westfield Trumbull Mall
Featuring The Scandal Collection

In addition to the Scandal Collection, their entire line has amazing details, including lace insets, leather trims, sleekly cut blouses, stylish bags and purses, and of course, classic jewelry. There's something for everyone at The Limited!

Timeless pieces with quality design!

The Limited at the Westfield Trumbull Mall

After a long day of shopping we stopped at the Westfield Trumbull Mall's newest restaurant addition...The Cheesecake Factory! After a quick libation and lunch from the SkinnyLicious Menu, and, of course, pumpkin cheesecake (!!!)  A bit more shopping on my way out - and then I was on my way home. Full of ideas for the holiday season!

The Cheesecake Factory at the Westfield Trumbull Mall
Mojito, Chicken Thai Lettuce Cup, Pumpkin Cheesecake

I hope this little glimpse into four stores at my local Westfield Mall inspired you for your holiday shopping!

Have a merry merry!

Westfield Trumbull Mall

5065 Main St

Trumbull, CT

(203) 372-4500

Find out more about Westfield Retail Malls here ==>

Disclaimer: I was invited to this store tour by members of Westfield's Management Team. All opinions are my own.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Viale Italian Ristorante in Bridgeport CT

Some of the best kept secrets in Connecticut are the amazing restaurants found throughout the state.

And one of the coziest places we've found recently is Viale Ristorante in Bridgeport CT!

Viale  Ristorante in Bridgeport CT

Located on Fairfield Avenune in the Black Rock section of Bridgeport, Viale Ristorante has been serving fine Italian food since 2005. Walking in to Viale is like stepping back through time, when dining out felt special, food wasn't overly-complicated or pretentious, and the atmosphere was friendly and fun.

Well...welcome to Viale Ristorante, where music is soft in the background, service is fast - but not rushed, and enjoying great food with good friends is encouraged!

We started with some delicious crusty bread (made on premise) and some great red wine. You know you're at a traditional Italian restaurant when a cruet of fine olive oil, and both parmesan and crushed red pepper are on the table when you arrive!

Luckily, we were with a group of six and decided to share appetizers, so we each selected one apiece and passed our plates around!

We ordered some traditional favorites like the Viale Antipasto, Broccoli Rabe, and the day's special a creamy Burrato; some seafood, Calamari Meditteranean and Garlic Grilled Shrimp; and a simple salad, the Iceburg Wedge, that wasn't simple at all! It was packed with a creamy dressing and bacon pieces!

Viale Antipasto

Broccoli Rabe

This was the first time I've sampled Viale's Burrata Mozzarella and it was wonderful! So creamy good, made from mozzarella and fresh cream and was the perfect consistancy to mix with the red peppers, fresh tomatoes, pesto, and greens served with it.  Did you know that the word "burrata" means "buttered" in Italian.

Burrata Mozzarella

The Mediterranean Calamari was another beautiful dish and we loved the aromatic herbs, olives, and red peppers that flavored the dish.

Mediterranean Calamari

Iceburg Wedge

The shrimp was perfectly prepared and the toasty grilled garlic added a wonderful zest to the dish. And see that beautiful light garlic and herb infused oil? It was mopped clean with some of Viale's baked on premise crusty bread! Mmmmm good!

Garlic Grilled Shrimp

We ordered a wide variety of dinners too! Everything from a pasta, to seafood, to pork, chicken, and beef! That's the great thing about going out with a group of people - you get to see, (and if you're really good friends, you get to sample - chuckle-chuckle) a bit of everything and find out what YOU might like to order the NEXT time you return!


Pork Chops Scarpielo

Look at this rich sauce on the Shrimp Fra Diavlo! Did you know that Fra Diavlo translates loosely to "brother of the devil" - referring to the spicy hot fire from the spicy hot sauce! But don't let the definition scare you off, because we felt that this sauce packed more of a "medium" heat than a super hot fire - and was the perfect blend of spicy goodness!

Shrimp Fra Diavlo

Rich decadent Gorgonzola cheese made this chicken dish sing - and the mushrooms added an earthy and grounded flavor.

Chicken Gorgonzola

And I absolutely loved my dinner, a beautiful dish of Zuppa di Pésce. Although the name means "Fish Stew" - it's actually a seafood pasta dish.. This one was delicious! The pasta (linguine) was cooked to a perfect al dente (still firm)  - and it was chock full of sweet mussels, clams, calamari, shrimp, and scallops, gently covered with a wonderfully light broth-like and flavorful sauce.

Zuppa di Pésce

And look at this beautiful rib-eye, which was char-grilled beautifully, and cooked to a perfect medium rare.

Ribeye Steak

Believe it or not, after all this food we decided we simply had to sample dessert as well, ordering a medley of some of Patricia's made on premise cakes and treats.

Blueberry Creme Roll

Carrot Cake


While each dessert was incredibly good - I'm still raving over the New York Style Cheesecake which was quite possibly the best I've ever had. In spite of being creamy rich - it was also light. Even after all that food, it hit the sweet spot and felt like the perfect ending to a wonderful night with good friends and great food!

Over dessert we toasted happy birthday to me (YES to me!!!) over some sweet dessert wine and my favorite after dinner drink, an espresso martini, with three beans reflecting health, wealth, and happiness in the coming year.

Dessert Wine and an Espresso Martini

It's no surprise that Viale Ristorante is standing the test of time. After almost ten years you know they're doing something right!  Be sure you visit them soon.

Viale Ristorante Bar and Grill
3171 Fairfield Ave
Bridgeport, CT 06605

(203) 610-6193

Follow them on Instagram:

Viale Restaurant Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

Disclaimer: We were invited to this menu sampling by members of Viale's public relations and management team. However, all opinions are our own.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Bobby V's Restaurant and Sports Bar in Windsor Locks CT

Promotional Sampling

Last week we took a ride up the I-91 CT corridor to Hartford county to visit Bobby V's Restaurant and Sports Bar in Windsor Locks CT.

Bobby V's, who only recently opened in January 2014, is a joint partnership between Sportech Venues, Inc., Winners, and CT native and baseball legend, Bobby Valentine.

The Executive Chef is Jordan Stein, well known in the greater Hartford area from the Pond House Grille.

From the moment we walked through the door - we were wowed! The place is enormous, with seating for 300, a huge bar and dining room, a private meeting room, and a golf simulator room.

In addition, for the sports enthusiasts, there are over 70 television sets around the perimeter of the restaurant, and most booths have their own television monitors. There is even one television that is over 17 feet high, one of the biggest in New England! It's like the ESPN control room in there!!! IN-CREDIBLE!

Amazing! Bobby V's is definitely THE place to watch a game or sporting event!

And thanks to executive chef Jordan Stein, they have a menu that is equally crowd pleasing, as well as some innovative cocktails that you simply must try

Here's some of the items we sampled at this tasting event.

We started the night sharing a flight of two signature cocktails, the first the Cracker Jack Martini made with my favorite Onyx Moonshine, as well as a flight of Cranberry Margaritas.

Cracker Jack Martini Cocktail 

Cranberry Margarita

Sides, Salads, Small Plates and Sliders:

We then sampled several appetizers, small plates, and sliders, starting with the Asian Chicken Salad, Calamari, two types of artisan Chicken Wings, Flatbread Pizza, Seared Ahi Tuna, and the Filet Mignon Slider.

Asian Chicken Salad
chicken, napa cabbage & spinach mixed with bell peppers, 
carrots, red onion, cashews, wonton croutons & spicy peanut dressing

Calamari Sticks
rice flour dusted with sweet chili & snappy lime dipping sauces

Crispy Golden Wings with Habanero Mango Sauce and Sticky Soy Sauce 
Other Sauces Available: buffalo, chipotle bbq, maple mustard, roasted garlic & parmesan 
Dry Rubs: west indian jerk, mesquite bbq, pastrami

Broccoli Cheddar Flatbread
thin layer of mashed potatoes loaded  with broccoli
and melted cheddar cheese 

Filet Mignon Slider
 with arugula & house made 'bacon & onion' jam 

Seared Ahi Tuna
asian slaw, citrus ponzu & wasabi drizzle 

For entrees we sampled the Pork Tenderloin and the Seared Scallop Dinner.

Grilled Pork Tenderloin
grilled pork tenderloin with butternut squash, pears &
spinach, topped with caramelized onions 

Pan Roasted Scallops
pan roasted day boat scallops, with creamy
white truffle polenta & asparagus 

Our meal concluded with some amazing desserts, the White Chocolate Napolean, and the S'mores Fondue for two!

White Chocolate Napolean
white chocolate mousse with chocolate crackers
& berry coulis 

S'mores Fondue for Two
rich chocolate fondue with toasted marshmallows and
graham crackers for dipping 

Bobby V's Restaurant and Sports Bar is a welcome addition to the greater Hartford area! Whether you're there for the sports aspect - or to indulge in some really great food, I promise you that Bobby'Vs won't disappoint!

Chef Jordan Stein's delicious creations - and Bobby V's entertaining atmosphere guarantee a WIN-WIN!

Bobby V’s Restaurant and Sports Bar
11 Schoephoester Road
Windsor Locks, CT


Follow them on Twitter:  @bvssportsbar

Follow them on Instagram: @Bobbyvsrestaurant

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It's Tee Tie at Bobby V's Restaurant and Sports Bar in Windsor Locks CT

Disclaimer: We were invited to this menu sampling by members of Bobby V's management and marketing team, however, all views are our own.

Bobby V's Restaurant & Sports Bar on Urbanspoon

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Harbour House Restaurant in Mystic CT

Last weekend we joined our friends Wendy and Greg from Connecticut Lifestyles to visit the Harbour House Restaurant located at the Inn at Mystic.

We were thrilled to be joining them as their guests, as the Harbour House Restaurant was the winner of the August 2014 Open Table Diners’ Choice Award, which is awarded by patrons who have used Open Table to book reservations. Each month, the Diners’ Choice lists are featured on the Open Table website.

The Harbour House features fresh, seasonal and local cuisine served in one of Mystic’s most spectacular settings, the beautiful and historic Inn at Mystic.

Here's a pictorial of some of the foods we sampled on our visit.

Our starters/appetizers:

A side green salad with house Italian Dressing

Stonington Harbour Bommers
Scallops wrapped in slab smoked bacon
with a pomegranate molasses glaze baked in a brick oven

Our Entrees:

Butternut Squash Ravioli
Butternut squash stuffed raviolis served with a cranberry sage cream sauce
topped with candied pecans

Linguine and Clams
Chopped Fresh Clams tossed with butter, garlic, olive oil, parsley, basil, black pepper
served over linguine

Prime Rib of Beef
Served with mashed potato and vegetable medley

Charcoal Broiled Duck
St.Louis style half duck roasted with honey garlic, fresh thyme, butter and sea salt
Served with mashed potatoes and a medley of fresh vegetables

For dessert, we adjourned to the Harbour House Lounge where we listened to the cool brass stylings of the Mystic Horns, enjoying some rich chocolate desserts, and some dessert/after dinner cocktails.

Dessert and after dinner cocktails in the lounge

Offering a wonderful mix of casually elegant cuisine - mingled with traditional seafood staples, the Harbour House is pure New England cuisine at its finest. From wood-fired pizza from their brick oven, and freshly shucked clams from the raw bar, to gorgonzola-crusted filet of beef finished with a savory malbec demi-glace, there's something for every palate at the Harbour House!

In addition, Harbour House bar features 24 beers on tap along with fun list of signature cocktails.

We are already planning a return visit to spend the night at the Inn at Mystic, enjoy their amazing brunch, and do some shopping in nearby Mystic Village!

For more information on the Harbour House Restaurant, please visit

The Harbour House Restaurant at the Inn at Mystic

Three Williams Avenue
Mystic, CT 06355

Phone: 860-536-8140

Harbour House reservations using Open Table=>

On the web:


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Harbour House Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon
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