Friday, September 15, 2017

Shell and Bones Hurricane Relief Benefit

New Haven's Shell & Bones Restaurant 

Raising Money for Hurricane Relief Efforts/American Red Cross 

on Monday, September 18

On Monday, September 18, Shell & Bones will be raising money for hurricane victims, donating a portion of
Monday’s sales to the American Red Cross.

The restaurant developed three specialty cocktails to be served that evening, inspired by the islands of Cuba, Puerto Rico, St. Maartin, Dominican Republic and Virgin Islands, including:

Avast Ye! – Havana Club White (PR),  Old Man Guavaberry 8 (St. Maartin), 
Escubac Sweetdram Lime, Grapefruit

Walk the Plank – Atlantico Private Cask (DR), Banana Liqueur, Pineapple, Orange, Cream of Coconut

Davy Jones’ Locker – Bones Rum (USVI), Bacardi 8 (PR), Falernum, Passionfruit, Suze Bitters

Be sure to visit them at

100 S Water Street
New Haven CT 06519

(203) 787-3466

Friday, September 1, 2017

Trees of Hope at the Long Wharf Maritime Center in New Haven

The 2017 Trees of Hope to benefit the Ronald McDonald House 

The 28th Annual Trees of Hope at the Maritime Center in New Haven is back!

December 2nd-10th, 2017 

at the Maritime Center in New Haven

Long Wharf

from 10am to 5pm daily

For 28 years, the Ronald McDonald House of Connecticut and the greater New Haven community have partnered together to raise funds for the children and families staying at RMHCT through Trees of Hope. What began with a dozen trees at the Governor’s Mansion has flourished into a nine-day event displaying over 140 beautifully decorated trees, wreaths and holiday baskets decking the halls of the Maritime Center in New Haven. Trees of Hope is a dynamic and festive holiday spectacular – one that is enjoyed by more than 4,000 people each year!

The event, now in its 28th year, features:
  • Family-friendly event!
  • Free and open to the public 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily.  *Free parking on the weekends.
  • Raffle tickets are only $1.00/each and can be purchased on-site daily throughout the event.
  • Holiday Boutique open daily
  • Live musical performances and visits from Santa on the weekends.
  • Featuring over 145 holiday displays and gifts, generously donated by individuals, organizations and groups in the community, to be raffled off to lucky winners on the last day of the event!
Last year, Trees of Hope sold a record-breaking 63,000 raffle tickets helping support the families and children of the Ronald McDonald House of CT! Help them make 2017 an even bigger success!

If you are interested in participating in this event, or would like to receive event sponsorship information, please contact Melissa Funaro at 203-777-5683 x407 or at

If you visit, hashtag your photos with #RMHCTTOH17

View pictures of the 2016 Trees of Hope here ==>>

View pictures of the 2015 Trees of Hope here===>

View pictures of the 2014 Trees of Hope here===>

Every year I make sure to visit the Maritime Center  at Long Wharf in New Haven to view the Trees of Hope display. You should too! Make it a family day and visit these beautifully decorated trees!

Below are pictures from the 2012 event!
Tree of Hope Ronald McDonald House New Haven Home Place Blog
Tree of Hope decorated with feathers, berries, leopard and plaid bows. 

All proceeds from this event benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Connecticut (RMHCT). Here you'll find row after row of beautifully decorated trees.  It's a true holiday-season-spirit-lifter!

Trees of Hope Long Wharf New Haven Home Place Blog
Trees of Hope at the Maritime Center Long Wharf New Haven
The display attracts nearly 3000 visitors each year.  Each tree is raffled off at the conclusion of the event - and raffle tickets are only $1.00!

And there are more than trees to win!  Many organizations donate baskets and and complete table settings.

YES!  That's right!  You can win a tree AND have your holiday table all set for you!

Each and every single item on display is raffled off to a lucky winner!  Oh!  And there's even a silent auction!

Here's just a glimpse of the many trees on display from 2012...

A "Yankee" Tree - winner gets four tickets to see the New York Yankees!

Crystal Fairy Revolving Sculpture

The Irish Tree

Lucky Lottery Tree
And there are even some unusual trees!
One made of stacked books....
 And a garden arbor draped with evergreen and twinkling lights.  Absolutely breathtaking!

Note: Speaking of gardens, my favorite gardener over at Idyll Haven tells me that the Wadsworth Museum has a similar Festival of Trees every year that benefits the museum's special events.  If you're not in the New Haven area...this is a great alternative! Read about her visit to the Wadsworth here.
I'm hoping one of these beautiful tablescapes will decorate my dining room table this season!

Saturday and Sunday visits by Santa and Rudolph!
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
...and in 2012 there was weekend Face Painting!!
Face Painting at Trees of Hope New Haven CT

Visit the Trees of Hope at the Maritime Center at Long Wharf New Haven!

The Maritime Center
555 Long Wharf Drive
New Haven, CT 06511

Free admission every day

Holiday Musical performances and visits from Ronald McDonald and Santa Claus on weekends!

Have you visited any tree or light displays this season? 

I'd love to hear about them in the comments below!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Shop and Nosh at the Cafe at Middlebury Consignment

Social Media Promotion: Sponsored

Cooking Class at the Cafe at Middlebury Consignment

If you follow my blog even semi-regularly, 

you know there are two things that I absolutely love to do 


The Cafe at Middlebury Consignment Cooking Class

And now I've found a way to roll my two very favorite things to do into ONE, by taking part in a cooking class held at The Cafe at Middlebury Consignment! When an invite rolled into my inbox to visit the Middlebury Consignment Store, needless to say, I was thrilled!

I was familiar with the store through some television advertisements, and several friends have visited on a "destination day' to shop Middlebury, but until now, I've never had the opportunity to visit Middlebury Consignment for myself.

Opening in 2009, Middlebury Consignment is a one stop shopping store for all your home design needs. Not your typical 'consignment' store - Middlebury Consignment mixes a bit of  upscale consignment pieces with new design furniture and fixtures.

The Cafe at Middlebury Consignment

I spotted pieces from Lillian August, Howard Miller, Barkman, and more! The original store has since expanded to three buildings, the second two dubbed "the annex" located a few miles down the road. In addition, full design and decorating services are offered, as well as culinary accessories, tools, and utensils.

The Cafe at Middlebury Consignment - Culinary Utensils

But on this visit we primarily spent time in the kitchen of the Cafe at Middlebury Consignment, taking part in one of their popular cooking classes. This particular class featured the preparation of appetizers, but they offer a wide and varied range of classes! A quick glance at their cooking class events lists dates that feature Cowboys and Campfires (Aug 6. 2017) Trip to Morocco (Aug 16, 2017) A Tuscan Grigliata (Aug 27, 2017)  End of Summer Tapas Party (Aug 30, 2017) Provence Inspired Steakhouse (Sept 7, 2017) and many, many more in the months to come.

Check out their event calendar at

We started with a nice glass of wine and some cheese and crackers. Our cooking group consisted of a wide range of Connecticut social influencers invited to experience the fun of an 'appetizer' based cooking class led by The Cafe's own Chef Mary Kravec.

In attendance were Natalie from New England Foodie,  Brittny from Basic Britny, Hannah from Sometimes Social, Amanda from the Amanda Bella, Christine from Vigora and Vogue, Nonee from Nonee's World, and Yinka from Yours Truly Yinka and Linked Media.  (If I missed anyone - let me know and I'll link back to you too!)

Visit them all in the days to come for their details of this fun event!

The Cafe at Middlebury Consignment  - Cooking Class
Chef Mary instructs her cooking enthusiasts!

We jumped right in and donned our aprons and Chef Mary would rotate around the kitchen island recruiting the nearest participant to prep that particular portion of the meal. By the end of the cooking class everyone had some "hands on" experience and she included lots of great tips for food prep like how to use a spoon to peel ginger, blanching the broccoli rabe with salty water to draw out the bitterness and retain the crisp green color, and so many more!

Here are some photos of our food preparation:

The Cafe at Middlebury Consignment - Cooking Class
Here I am --
so intent on stuffing those artichokes
Photo Courtesy of Linked Media

The Cafe at Middlebury Consignment - Stuffed Artichokes
Voila! Stuffed Artichokes -
Ready to pop in the oven!

The Cafe at Middlebury Consignment Cooking Class
Amanda works on the flatbread dough!

The Cafe at Middlebury Consignment Cooking Class
Nonee works on the rosemary kebobs

The Cafe at Middlebury Consignment Cooking Class
Marinating the Balsamic Wings

While everything cooked up in the oven 
we had a wonderful tour of the store!


I'm definitely making a return trip just to shop!

When we finished touring the multiple floors of furniture and home decor we returned to feast on the fruits of our labor!

The Cafe at Middlebury Consignment Cooking Class
We made this!

The Cafe at Middlebury Consignment Cooking Class
My plate full of goodness!

The Cafe at Middlebury Consignment Cooking Class Broccoli Rabe
Broccoli Rabe
The Cafe at Middlebury Consignment Cooking Class Stuffed Artichokes
Stuffed Artichokes

The Cafe at Middlebury Consignment Cooking Class Roasted Grape Flatbread
Roasted Grape Flatbread with Ricotta 

The Cafe at Middlebury Consignment Cooking Class Balsamic Wings
Balsamic Wings

The Cafe at Middlebury Consignment Cooking Class Polenta Squares
Polenta Squares

The Cafe at Middlebury Consignment Cooking Class Creme Brulee
Blueberry Lavender Crème Brûlée

I think I can speak for everyone and say we ALL thought the cooking class was a wonderful experience! We each felt like we had a part in the preparation and we certainly walked away with some great tips! I've already replicated the roasted grapes into a chicken dish I prepared this weekend with the same great results. DELICIOUS!

If you haven't already, visit Middlebury Consignment and treat yourself to one of their upcoming cooking classes!  You'll be glad you did!

Middlebury Consignment
The Cafe at Middlebury Consignment

1365 Whittemore Road
Middlebury, CT 06762
Phone (203) 528-0130

Store hours:
Monday through Saturday 11AM - 5PM
Sunday 11AM - 5PM

Disclaimer: I was invited to tour the store and take part in the cooking class by members of Middlebury Consignment's management and marketing team, however, all views expressed are my own.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Test Drive a Tesla at Saybrook Point

Tesla Visits Saybrook Point With First-Ever Mobile Gallery

Guests to enjoy free test-drives of new Model S and Model X luxury vehicles – the fastest accelerating four-door production sedan and SUV ever made

Tesla will visit Saybrook Point with its first-ever mobile gallery. Pulled by Tesla’s Model X SUV, this custom Airstream trailer is retrofitted with a complete design studio, showcasing all Tesla interior and exterior vehicle options. Guests will also enjoy free test drives of the new Tesla Model S and Model X luxury vehicles.

Monday-Friday, July 24-28, 2017
11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Saybrook Point Inn, Marina & Spa
2 Bridge Street
Old Saybrook, CT 

Tesla is traveling across North America with its first-ever mobile gallery. Pulled by the Model X SUV, which can tow up to 5,000 lbs., this custom Airstream trailer is retrofitted with a complete design studio, showcasing all interior and exterior vehicle options.

Guests of Saybrook Point will have a unique opportunity to explore the mobile gallery and experience the groundbreaking features of the Model S or Model X - the fastest accelerating four-door production sedan and SUV ever made. During personal one-on-one appointments, guests will get behind the wheel to experience exactly how Tesla has redefined vehicle engineering, as well as discover how easy a Tesla is to charge, safe to drive, and fit seamlessly into anyone’s lifestyle.

To schedule a test drive, please call Saybrook Point at 860-395-2000. More information is available at

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

First Annual Sun Tequila Tasting at Mohegan Sun

Mohegan Sun Tequila Tasting

Friday, July 28th, Mohegan Sun presents their First Annual Sun Tequila Tasting in the Uncas Ballroom.


Friday, July 28, 2017
8:00pm - 11:00pm
Uncas Ballroom

It’s not a party without tequila and the festivities get underway on July 28th at Sun Tequila Tasting!

DJ Tom Macari mixes the beats while you hit the mixology and margarita bars, sample an array of tequilas and savor the memories with our fun photo booth.

The fiesta wouldn’t be complete without Mexican-themed favorites like tacos, guacamole and more to complement your cocktails!


Price: $85 - includes samples, food and access to the photo booth

Tickets are on sale now at the Mohegan Sun Box Office & Ticketmaster!

Purchase Tickets HERE

A portion of all ticket sales will go towards the Southeastern CT United Way.

Mohegan Sun

1 Mohegan Sun Boulevard
Uncasville, CT 06382
General Information: 1.888.226.7711
Hotel Reservations: 1.888.777.7922

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Mamma Mia at Foxwoods Resort Casino

Broadway Series at Foxwoods Resort Casino

Mamma Mia

Don't miss this fabulous show at Foxwoods Resort Casino!

Mamma Mia is such a wonderful finale to this incredible Broadway Series at Foxwoods!  I also know that Foxwoods' Fox Theater will undoubtedly have some equally great shows coming up soon!

Mamma Mia is one of the most successful musicals of all time. In fact, it's the eighth longest running show in Broadway history and one of only five musicals to have run for more than ten years on Broadway.

The West End production is now in its eighteenth year.  Yowza! That's incredible!

To date, MAMMA MIA! has been seen by over 60 million people worldwide in 50 productions in 16 different languages.

If you're a 70s or 80s fan, the musical is inspired by the storytelling magic of ABBA’s songs from “Dancing Queen” and “S.O.S.” to “Money, Money, Money” and “Take a Chance on Me,”

You'll see that MAMMA MIA! is a celebration of mothers and daughters, old friends and new family found.

The show runs Friday, July 14th through Monday, July 17th. 

Mamma Mia Showtimes at Foxwoods' Fox Theater

Friday, 7-14-17 at 8:00pm
Saturday, 7-15-17 at 2:00pm
Saturday, 7-15-17 at 8:00pm
Sunday, 7-16-17 at 1:00pm
Sunday, 7-16-17 at 6:30pm
Monday, 7-17-17 at 7:00pm

It simply can't be missed!

Purchase your tickets for the musical HERE

Or include a hotel stay with your ticket - see more HERE 


350 Trolley Line Boulevard
Mashantucket, CT 06338

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Wine Down on The Block in Norwalk CT

Here's a fun event happening at The Block on Waypointe!

Wine Down on The Block at Waypointe

The Block at Waypointe invites you to “Wine Down at the Block” next Thursday, July 20 from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30p.m.

Relax and enjoy some live music, delicious light bites, signature cocktails and special in-store promotions from the local merchants for an exclusive immersion of all that The Block has to offer.

With a purchase of the $25 ticket, you will receive the following food and beverages from The Block at Waypointe's featured restaurants:

  • Sedona Taphouse | Appetizer of choice + glass of wine, mixed drink, or martini
  • Colony Grill | Choice of a cold brew + hot oil pie bites
  • Barcelona | One glass of sangria + one tapa from a special chef's selection

And there's MORE!  Wine Down at The Block ticket holders will enjoy the exclusive in-store promotions / discount specials at the following merchants:

  • Endurance House | Free bike clinic + natural oil samples + muscle ache therapy
  • Pinot’s Palette | Open studio with a special $15 paint + prosecco class
  • Salons by JC | Wine + cheese mixer + express mani’s & blow out specials, plus the first (15) guests receive an exclusive gift

Purchase your ticket HERE or at

Check in with your printed ticket at the registration table located in The Waypointe’s Central Piazza | 515 West Ave. Norwalk, CT 

For more information on the shops and restaurants at The Block at Waypointe and to stay updated on news, events and happenings, please visit

Wine Down at The Block

Where: The Block at Waypointe
Date: 7/20/17
Times 06:30pm-08:30pm
Location: The Block at Waypointe, 515 Merwin Street, Norwalk, CT 06850
Event website:

Contact information: Melissa DiMercurio 
Event Phone Number: Ph. 202-696-1862
Event e-Mail address:

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Plan B Burger Bar for Sunday Brunch

Social Media Promotion: Sponsored

Plan b in Fairfield for an Early Brunch

Last weekend I headed out to Plan b Burger Bar in the beautiful town of Fairfield Connecticut after being invited to sample their Sunday Brunch. 

The b restaurants bill this brunch as a Boozy, Bourbon-y, Burger-y Brunch.

Heck, yes. Now we're talking!

And what I love best is that on Sundays, this particular b opens at 10 a.m. to celebrate everyone’s favorite excuse for day drinking --- BRUNCH! Perfect for early get togethers - that allow you plenty of time to fit more fun into the last day of the weekend!

And hey! 
You've got to love a place that bills a portion of their menu as SUNDAY FUNDAY!

Plan b - Sunday Funday
Plan b Brunch Menu
(June 2017)

And every good brunch has some great brunch cocktails!

Of course, we started with their well known version of a Bloody Mary, the “Meat” Our Mary - made with Tito’s Handmade Vodka,  house-made bloody mary mix, lime, olives, tomatoes, half sour pickle and a mini cheese burger.

Yes, people. A cheeseburger slider size comes with the cocktail!

"Meat" our Mary  - Plan b Bloody Mary
"Meat" our Mary - at Plan b Burger Bar

Now that's what I call a garnish!

If Bloodies aren't your thing, there's lots more to sample, like the Hand Squeezed Salty Dog, the Modern Screwdriver, and the The American Cucumber Basil Gimlet. There's coffee specials like the Rejuvenator  (cold brew coffee, Myers’s rum, coconut water, simple syrup & almond milk on the rocks) and the Kentucky Coffee (making coffee very interesting with some bourbon & cream).

And there's always something special being offered, like this delicious Berry Sangria, that was the special of the day when we visited!

Plan b - Berry Sangria
Plan b
Berry Sangria

And then we were off to the brunch samplings!

Plan b Brunch

Who says you can't have an appetizer at Brunch? 

We certainly did! Like this amazing dish of Breakfast Tots!

Plan b Breakfast Tots
Breakfast Tots
Crispy tots, 
cheddar-jack cheese, bacon, 
scallions, gravy & a fried egg

How about this delicious duo of Hot Fried Chicken and Biscuits?

Plan b Hot Fried Chicken and Biscuits
Hot Fried Chicken & Biscuits “Nashville style,” 
country pickle & home fries

Or do it up right with this Breakfast Burger!

Plan b - Breakfast Burger
Bacon, cheddar cheese, 
fried egg, spiced maple aioli 
on a croissant bun

Is sweet more your thing? 

How about this Bourbon Soaked French Toast?

Plan b - Bourbon Soaked French Toast
Bourbon Soaked French Toast 
V Thick cut brioche & bacon maple syrup, 
with seasonal fruit

Looking for something more traditional?

How about the Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict:

Plan b - Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict
Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict
Poached eggs, toasted English muffin,
Boursin cheese, chive hollandaise & home fries

Feeling like a little something more 'south of the border'?

Try this Breakfast Burrito on for size!

Plan b - Breakfast Burrito
Breakfast Burrito
House-made sausage burrito,
crispy potatoes, cheddar cheese & pico de gallo

I mean, really. 

Just look at that fluffy light goodness backed in one crazy good burrito!

Plan b - Breakfast Burrito
Breakfast Burrito
House-made sausage burrito,
crispy potatoes, cheddar cheese & pico de gallo

Be sure you visit participating Plan b Burger Bars for brunch soon!

These offerings are from Plan b Fairfield. Other participating b restaurants for brunch are located in Glastonbury and Milford CT.

Plan b Fairfield

1262 Post Road
Fairfield, CT 06824

Phone: 203-955-1208

Mon-Thu: 11:30am – 12:30am
Fri-Sat: 11:30am – 1:30am
Sun: 10:00am – 12:30am

Disclaimer: We were invited to this sampling by members of Plan b Burger Bar's marketing and management team, however all opinions expressed are our own.

© Home Place 2017

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