Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fashion News

This is more national news than FFC news but I know everyone will be  excited about this new collaboration! Coming in June, Trina Turk is designing a special line for Banana Republic. I'm sure you all remember my enthusiasm over the Calypso/Target merger last summer! This isn't quite as exciting as it doesn't boast the $30 price tags that made shopping for fashionable clothes at Target so much fun. But this Southern California inspired, 60 piece Trina Turk capsule should provide some stylish new wardrobe updates for summer 2012 that are easy on the wallet. Sadly I can only track down one image from the collection - I certainly look forward to seeing more of what they have to offer!

Trina Turk for Banana Republic

Monday, January 30, 2012

Tasty New Trattoria in Darien

If you haven't tried Darien's newest Italian restaurant, Cesco's Trattoria, I recommend you call them right up and make a reservation for this weekend! Located in Goodwives shopping center, this classic Italian restaurant offers fabulous food in a relaxed and fun atmosphere. When we arrived at 8pm there was a family with their two young sons, a rowdy table of couples, an elderly duo and a full bar - a restaurant that truly appeals to any audience. Their food is beyond good and they have the service to match. Owner Aldo is out on the floor, greeting patrons, discussing specials and helping to create the warm family atmosphere. First to our table was this delicious antipasto platter. A great way to kick off the meal and let us munch while we enjoyed our wine and perused the menu.

And then a special treat from Aldo, a pasta dish not on the menu. Beat and ricotta "ravioli" with a sage butter sauce. It honestly might be one of the tastiest things I've ever eaten. I have to give my parents credit for receiving this treat as they frequent Cesco's on an almost weekly basis. 


Clearly we hated this dish!

Then on to the main courses. The specials list was a big hit that night - a paparadelle pasta with roasted red pepper cream sauce, italian sausage and broccoli as well as a roasted veal chop with a marsala wine sauce, mushrooms and asparagus. Both we're amazing! Highlights from the menu also include the tagliatelle bolognese, spaghetti alla carbonara, halibut burre blanc, veal picatta, ossobuco and chicken milanese. All receiving very high marks! The only dish not receiving rave reviews was the spaghetti alle vongole - if everything was a home run you'd think I wasn't being honest.

And last but very certainly not least was a delicious bread pudding toped with vanilla ice cream and hot fudge. This alone is worth coming back for! 

Needless to say we're hooked! I look forward to coming back often and making my way through all the wonderful entrees. It's one of the few restaurants I've been to recently where every time I leave I think "I can't wait to come back and try that other dish I was debating." 

Cesco's Trattoria 
25 Old Kings Highway North, Darien 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Winter Beauty Essentials

I've been on a master quest recently to find a new shampoo for my winter hating hair. It's been dry and brittle and generally creating a little halo of spiky straw around my head. I finally found a solution to my quest with Nexxus Color Assure Radiant Color Care Shampoo. I now have happy, bouncy, summer loving hair again!

This little venture got me thinking about all the other beauty essentials I just can't live without once the temperature drops below 50. 

My true "can't live without" moisturizer - Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer in SPF 15. I have rather dry itchy skin but I'm also prone to a breakout of two and this has proven to be the perfect cream for me. Light but nourishing and I feel like it makes my skin glow, perfect for year round. I even use it as my sunblock - it comes in SPF 30 for those more sun conscious consumers. A must have! Available at most drug stores. 

Second in my winter arsenal is Clarins Eau Lactee Auto-Bronzante. I for one believe in a year round tan and as I'm not lucky enough to have monthly vacations to the beach I need to rely instead on this great self tanner. A subtle glow for your face, it creates a perfect base for your favorite bronzer and helps me avoid that whole "Twillight" thing I have going on every January. Available at fine department stores or specialty drug stores. 

When you really need to pull out the big guns my secret weapon is Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer. This offers a wonderful foundation for when you have a busy day or night out in the cold. Layer over your traditional moisturizer, let dry and then highlight with bronzer. You'll have a sunkissed glow that will stay put throughout the day, even when that cold wind tries to whip the tan right off you! Available at Sephora and fine department stores. 

Lastly, if you don't have one of these in your makeup bag then you've spent one too many mornings looking fatigued. Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Radiant Touch is a miracle worker. This luminizing pen highlights skin and erases all signs of dark circles and redness. Dab a little under your eyes and around your noise and chin and voila, no one will know you had one to many pinots last night! Available at Sephora and fine department stores. 

Have a beautiful January! 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Haymarket Designs

Another of my favorite Christmas gifts this year came from my newest and most darling cousin. She was so sweet to include our new married monogram as well as our wedding colors. I just love Haymarket Designs and I was so excited to add this beautiful frame to our apartment!

Their designs make the most wonderful gifts, especially for engagement and wedding presents or even as a new baby gift! See some of my other favorites below.

Add a monogram to these frames for a new bride or a new baby

Going to a stock the bar shower? Or friends just bought a new house? Perfect!

Haymarket also offers great home goods - tissue boxes, wastebaskets etc! Do note however that these are hand painted so there will be some inconsistencies to the patterns and colors. That's what makes them special! 

Check out their site at www.haymarketdesigns.com or follow them on facebook at www.facebook.com/HaymarketDesigns

Monday, January 23, 2012

Cooking Classes

If you remember this post from back in March I've been dying to try cooking classes at Aux Delices for quite some time! I finally got my chance last week and it was so much fun. Lynn, who runs the classes, is such a great teacher and she had so many wonderful tips and techniques to share. This was one of her hands on classes - Quick Family Dinners - and we actually got to cook and then eat everything we made. I don't know if I've ever been so full before! On tap for the class was

Spaghetti All'Amatriciana - a delicious sauce with onion, pancetta and hot pepper flakes
Incredibly Juicy Cheeseburgers with Chipotle Mayo - mmm!
Chicken Milanese - crispy chicken with tomatoes and arugula
Chicken Piccata - with a yummy lemon butter sauce

She also taught us a few tricks - always heat a pan before adding oil for searing, it keeps food from sticking. Fry items in canola oil, olive oil changes composition at high heat. Use Diamond kosher salt when cooking. Get a fish spatula, its flexible and great for flipping burgers.

Here's the recipe for the Chipotle Mayo
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (chopped)
2 tablespoons honey
Kosher salt
Black pepper

In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients and taste. And salt and pepper and stir to blend. Top your favorite burger or sandwich.

You can find out more info about their classes and this springs schedule on their website

These classes are great with your girlfriends but also would be really fun to attend with your husband. Try the April 11th class - "A Hungry Man's Dinner" Pulled Pork Sandwiches, New England Clam and Bacon Chowder and Pizza. Maybe you'll even get your hubby to cook for you once in awhile!

Learning to make our Spaghetti

The tasting table

Prepping for Chicken Milanese

Adding the final touches 

Voila! Most delicious chicken I've ever had!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Football Sunday

Are you almost ready for the big games? I've cleaned the apartment and PK is busy making his delicious chili...


Looking forward to a fun afternoon of football. Go Pats! Go Giants! Could we be seeing a "New England" Super Bowl? I'm guessing that would cause quite the rivalry among our FFC football fans!

Happy Sunday Funday! 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Snowy Saturday

Hope all you FFCites are enjoying our first real snow of the season! I was so excited that I finally got to try out my new Sorel boots today. They have been sitting by the door since Christmas looking at me so sadly, just waiting for a good romp in the snow. I gave them a nice little spin around Todds Point and they were warm, cozy and very furry. I love them. Prepare yourself for the next snowstorm with a pair of your own.


http://www.zappos.com/sorel-joan-of-arctic-black (we still love Zappos too even after their security glitch)

Look how happy they look

A beautiful walk with the hubby

Hope you're making something tasty for football Sunday! Why not give these meatballs a try! 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Brunch Blues

The one thing the FFC area, especially Greenwich, is lacking is great breakfast spots! Growing up we used to frequent the Driftwood Diner in Darien almost every weekend. Housed in a trailer, with a grill that probably hadn't been cleaned in 25 years, they had the most delicious, authentic diner food! Then they upgraded and moved into a real restaurant, and while good, it was just never the same.

This place isn't a greasy spoon but it's one of the few places in Greenwich that offers good, inexpensive breakfast in a nice atmosphere. The Cos Cobber is located at 31 East Putnam Ave in Cos Cob. Serving breakfast from 7-11 on weekdays and 8-1 on weekends (one of my friends with a baby noted it's one of the few places that you can get breakfast in town early) their prices are actually incredible reasonable for the area. Two eggs with toast and home fries will run you just $4.50, a steal! They also make great omelets, pancakes and french toast. Unfortunately we tried them once for dinner and it wasn't a home run, so for now we're just going to promote their great breakfast!

We love eating breakfast at the bar with a mimosa!

I also thought it would be fun to start sharing what's coming up on the blog next week!

A recap on my fun cooking class at Aux Delices
Details from the book reading of Just Let Me Lie Down, by Kristin van Ogtrop (editor of Real Simple Magazine)
My favorite gifts from Haymarket Designs

Fingers crossed for some snow on Saturday. I have new Sorel boots that could use some love! 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Fire Safety

After the very tragic fire in Stamford over the holidays, I have been thinking a lot in the last few weeks about fire safety. With the New Year here and many resolutions being made, I think it's an important time to make a resolution that could affect your life a lot more than losing ten pounds. Take five minutes to read this great post by Summer is a Verb (she's very witty but all the important information is there too), check the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home and replace the batteries, purchase and learn to use a fire extinguisher (when your oven is on fire is not the time to be reading the directions or googling), and think about an escape plan for your family in the event of an emergency. I think the ladder in SIAV's post is a excellent investment. A friend of mine slept on the third floor of an older home one of her years in college and her parents got her one of these ladders - what could be a true lifesaver in a house fire. Unfortunately it often takes a neighborhood tragedy to finally push us to do these tasks we've been meaning to do for a long time. So please take this time to check these items off your list, it's a resolution we can all get behind!

Please read!
Fire Safety by Summer is a Verb

Kidde Fire Escape Ladder

Monday, January 16, 2012

Good Goods Sale

Starting today Good Goods begins their annual January sale. Enjoy 20% off fabrics and accessories as well as 10% off labor. The sale runs until January 28th so be sure to head to 859 Post Road in Darien to check out all their wonderful offerings. January is a great time to freshen up an aspect of your home to beat those winter blues!

When we moved to our condo we had these chairs recovered in this wonderful lime green fabric from Good Goods. Aren't they adorable? They make me smile every time I see them.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Who Doesn't Like Free Pizza

Tarry Lodge in Westport recently starting offering take out and to promote it they are offering a free Margherita Pizza with all to-go orders over $25! Orders can be placed by calling (203)571-1038 and picked up around the side of the restaurant. You can view their menu online at http://tarrylodge.com/. Pick your favorite pasta and a salad and you'll get the pizza for free! Only available in January so act soon.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thrifty Thank You Notes

Do you still have thank you notes to write for all the wonderful gifts you received this holiday season? Or do you want to get a jump start on some Valentine's Day Treats? One of my favorite stationary companies, Preppy Cards, is offering 20% off any order through January 20th. 

Start your shopping at www.preppycards.com. I think I'm going to treat myself to some shoe themed notecards with my new name! 

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

Another favorite Christmas gift from the hubby was The Meatball Shop Cookbook - perhaps one could see this as a gift to me, for him! But I'm very excited to start trying all the fun recipes straight from The Meatball Shop in NYC. Hopefully my reward for making him all these yummy dinners will be a trip into the city to try the real thing!

Surprisingly this cookbook also includes recipes for wonderful sauces, side dishes, vegetables and desserts. They are really turning meatballs into a meal! I think my first foray into meatballing is going to be the Buffalo Chicken Meatballs with Blue Cheese Dressing. I'm thinking about finding a way to make these into a sandwich smothered in dressing. Yum! Below is the recipe to make these as a delicious appetizer. Perfect for football this weekend!

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs courtesy of Martha Stewart


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup Frank's RedHot hot sauce, plus more for serving
  • 2 pounds ground chicken, preferably thigh meat
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 ribs celery, minced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 2/3 cups dried breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • Blue Cheese Dressing
  • Celery sticks, for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Evenly coat a large rimmed baking sheet with olive oil and set aside.
  2. Place butter and hot sauce in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, whisking, until butter is melted and hot sauce is well incorporated. Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl; let cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add chicken, eggs, celery, breadcrumbs, and salt to bowl with butter mixture; using your hands, mix until well combined. Roll chicken mixture into firm, 1-inch round balls and place on prepared baking sheet; arrange the meatballs in rows so that they are touching on all sides. Transfer to oven and bake until cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  4. Take out of oven and let stand 5 minutes before removing from baking sheet. Place on a serving platter and drizzle with hot sauce; serve with dressing and celery sticks.

Sliders Anyone?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Blogger Book Club

When I first moved to the suburbs we had a pretty active book club going but with everyones busy schedules, weddings, travel etc we've had a tough time keeping it going. And surprisingly one of my New Years resolutions is to plan less - I often worry I overwhelm my friends and family with the amount of planning I try to get them involved in! However I LOVE to read and I really miss our book club. In 2010 I read 45 books, that's almost a book a week. 2011 saw quite a dip so this year I'd like to try to get back in my reading groove. So I figured I'd throw out a book to my blog followers and see who'd like to read it with me!

Next on my book list is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Published in 2003, I guess I missed this great pick while I was busy wearing togas, eating pizza and trying to avoid reading at all costs. Now as a more responsible adult I'm glad it crossed my path again. It sounds like a fascinating story and I can't wait to dive in. Who's with me?!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Grocery Shop for Good

Tomorrow Greenwich Whole Foods will be hosting a special 5% shopping day to benefit Neighbor to Neighbor. N to N is a fabulous organization which provides food, clothing and basic living essentials to those in need in a very kind and respectful atmosphere - allowing individuals to come in and "shop" for these items. I have volunteered here in the past and it was one of the nicest community organizations I've ever helped with.

Learn more about their mission here: www.n-to-n.org

So if you're headed skiing for the holiday weekend, having a dinner party soon or even better if you'd like to go pick up the following needed foods to donate to Neighbor to Neighbor, you'll be helping them twice!!

100% Juice, Cereal, Soup, Canned Fruit, Pasta and Pasta Sauce, Peanut Butter (no larger than 28oz) and Jelly. These can be delivered to the Christ Church Annex, 249 East Putnam Ave Mon-Sat 8:30 to 12:30.

Please also consider a donation of clothes (especially for children and teens), linens, money or your time!

Friday, January 6, 2012

iPad Pretty

Did any of you get a new iPad for the holidays? I have one for work but it's always had it's boring black work issued case. My wonderful hubby got me one of these great Graphic Image cases with my new initials for Christmas and all the sudden I have a new found interest in my iPad. I love the case and the color and it's great for travel! These also have a fun iPad sleeve and lots of great options for iPhone cases as well. Take a look at their website - all orders come with a great plaid dusk jacket and a fun little gift. And the prices are so reasonable. I highly recommend their products!

If you join their email list you'll receive 10% off your first order.

My new case!

Next I'll need an updated case for my Kindle!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Flower Arranging

Is one of your New Year's resolutions to learn a new skill? Check out these fun flower arranging classes at Neilsen's florist. The first class starts this Sunday so be sure to call soon if you're interested. 

Also, if you're looking for great gifts, home goods or Simon Pearce glasswear, Neilsen's has a beautiful selection of these items. They also have an adjoining cafe so you can have a little nosh while you shop!

1405 Post Road, Darien 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Happy New Year!

2011 was certainly my best year to date so I was looking forward to ringing in 2012 with some great friends - two of who got married this year and two of who got engaged. 2011 was a big year for all! We went up to Okemo to celebrate and despite the lack of snow we still had a wonderful time.

My favorite part of New Years Eve was watching the ball drop on our iPhone bundled up around a fire pit and setting off these wonderful 'Wish Lanterns'.

I had never seen these lanterns before and they were the perfect way to send 2011 off in style. Make a wish, light the lantern, wait for it to fill with hot air and then off it sails. Sending your wish clear into 2012! These lanterns do have open flames so be very careful where you set them flying, based on the wind and the weather their flight pattern can be pretty erratic. We had a few "oh god" moments but all was safe. 

Available as individual lanterns or sets, these are a beautiful touch for a special event. 

Happy New Year!