Hump Day Love: The Wharf at Madison Beach Hotel

With this snowy Spring, it’s likely that you’re looking for a little fresh air and something that reminds you that it truly is Spring and Summer is just around the corner.  Well, we’ve got the perfect spot for you.  The Wharf Restaurant at the Madison Beach Hotel is the perfect getaway.  If you’re looking for a relaxing lunch getaway with friends, a romantic dinner with a significant other, a spot for a drink with clients, or just want to try a new restaurant then The Wharf at Madison Beach Hotel is for you!  Located in Madison, CT, your meals and drinks will be complimented with views of the Long Island Sound as is it

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My Family and I enjoying our lunch at The Wharf at Madison Beach Hotel

right on the beach.  Whether you’re sitting in the dining room, enjoying the fresh air on the porch, or sitting at the bar, your view is stunning!  My Mother, Sister, Aunt, Cousin and I topped off a very fun girls day with lunch at The Wharf.  We had meals ranging from a classic burger to salmon nicoise salad to a beautiful tuscan chicken sandwich.  All delicious!  Service was exceptional.  Wine was oh-so-satisfying and in case we haven’t mentioned it enough…the view was stunning!  This was my second time at The Wharf and it won’t be my last.  Next time, I’d like to try a romantic evening dinner and maybe even top it off with a stay at the hotel for a perfect “staycation” weekend getaway.

Interested in finding a property in Madison?  Maybe a beach house?  Search here! 

Hump Day Love: Bakery at Best Market

Who doesn’t love a good, classic cake? I think its a hard thing to accomplish…a cake that please the masses.  Our kids birthday parties have ages ranging from 1-81 so getting a cake that the majority likes and that our children are excited about in terms of the design can be a challenge.  Not to mention, we’d like it to be affordable and easy to order and pick-up.  The Bakery at Best Market in Newington always accomplishes this for us.  It’s become the

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A Best Market Cake!

place we turn to for cakes.  We’ve gotten birthday cakes there for large birthday parties and a small cupcake tray for an intimate gathering.  While you’re there picking up your cake, be sure to check out their bagel cart, delicious and extensive array of pastries and have a small, complimentary coffee.  The experience is always enjoyable and the results always delicious.  For your next cake needs, head over to Best Market in Newington!

Hump Day Love: Muse Paintbar & Eatery

muse1The odds are that you’ve already done a paint night or gone to a paintbar because it really is the newest craze.  However, if you haven’t tried Muse Paintbar & Eatery in West Hartford then you must!  First of all, they have at the least one “paint party” a day so the variety of days/times to choose from is plentiful.  Also, the variety of paintings really does suit everyone.  Whether its a couples painting, paintings about animals, nature paintings….there really is something for everyone.  If you follow their Facebook page, they even offer opportunities to vote on which paintings they should include each month.   They’ve also started to include wine glass paintings!  It’s located conveniently in the middle of Blue Back Square, West Hartford so whether you want to get dinner before or after, its in the perfect location to accompany dinner with some painting.  They do offer some light appetizers and a bar though to help you work your way through your painting.

One of the things I like most about them is their ability to do a private party.  You can rent it out

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One of my Muse Masterpieces

for a party.  They have 2 separate rooms so even if there is a paint party going on, you can throw your party in the other room and it’ll be just you and your friends for a party.  Managers take note….this is a great place to do team building and have a little office party as you can host a private party for just your office!  Parents take note….they have family day sessions so you and you can even book your child’s next birthday party here!  If you haven’t been to muse yet, then take a look at their website and Facebook page to find out about their upcoming events and book a spot today!

Interested in what properties are currently available in the West Hartford area?  We have the best resource for you here!

Hump Day Love: Mandell JCC Valley Sports Arena and Community Center

Winter for parents can just be described as a season of patience because your kids’ energy will be completely bottled up so your patience is tested.  It’s no surprise that I went looking for any outlet I could do get my son’s energy out. Thankfully, I found Mandell JCC Valley Sports Arena and Community Center in Canton that had a great indoor preschool soccer program on Saturday mornings.  

Per their website:

As a trusted, local name in sports, fitness, and building community, the Mandell JCC of Greater Hartford is proud to expand its reach into the Farmington Valley. Formerly the Valley Sports Center, the Mandell JCC Valley Sports & Community Center branch offers a variety of youth and adult sports programs, leagues, children and preschool enrichment classes, along with Jewish holiday and cultural events. No membership is required. Team rentals, drop-in play and pre-registration for classes and leagues are available.
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SCORE!!!

They offer preschool, youth, teen and adult programs and leagues.  There are parent and child programs for 2-Year olds. Then in the next hour you can go to a small group personal training session for yourself.  Or maybe you’re looking to join an adult basketball league or your teen is looking or some indoor hitting practice?  Need a place for a birthday party?  This complex has everything and its all indoors so your fun can extend across any season! 

Are you interested in the town of Canton or learning more about what it offers?  Visit properties here!

Hump Day Love: Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse – W. Hartford

Ok, let me begin by saying that we’re parents of a 3-year-old and 1-year-old so our ability to enjoy a full night out, just the two of us is rare.  Therefore, when we get the chance to do it, we fully enjoy it.  My parents graciously got us a gift card for Christmas for Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse in West Hartford.  We couldn’t wait to use it and we already knew exactly for what occasion (again, we’re parents of youngsters so we know and look forward to which days we can get out).  Jason’s birthday was the perfect day to treat ourselves.

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Two parents happy for a night out

I made us a reservation for the evening of his birthday.  It was very easy to do.  I went to their website, chose the date and time and was able to write in that it was Jason’s birthday.  I immediately received an email confirmation and received an email confirmation a few days before our reservation.  All very easy and all very accommodating.

We get to the restaurant and they greeted us by saying Happy Birthday to Jason.  They sat us at a very comfortable table where we immediately previewed their wine menu off of an iPad (very 21st century).  After ordering wine, we immediately got to the menu.  We ended up with the Fleming’s Salad (delicious) and I must say definitely enough to share especially since the food that followed was plentiful.  Jason treated himself to the Aged New York Strip Steak and I had the regular New York Strip Steak.  Both were cooked exactly the way we asked for them (I’m very particular about how I like my steak cooked so this was especially pleasing to me) and both were phenomenal!  I do have to say that it was surprising to me how much richer in flavor the aged strip steak was in comparison to the regular.  So if you can go and indulge yourself, get the aged version.  We ordered 2 sides to share.  Off of a recommendation from a friend we got the Fleming’s Potatoes.  We would have never ordered them to begin with because they have jalapeno and I’m not a jalapeno fan but I’m glad we followed the recommendation because they were heaven.  In addition we ordered the chipotle mac and cheese and if you don’t like spicy things then don’t order this because the chiptole was very evident.  It was good but I’m not sure I would order it again…a little too strong for me.  In the middle of dinner, the server asked us if we wanted the chocolate lava cake because they cook each one fresh and to order so it takes about 30 minutes to cook and we needed to order it in the middle of dinner.  With that lead up, how can you resist?  It was decadent and the calories were worth it.  Upon enjoying our chocolate lava cake, Brandy and coffee, they treated Jason to a birthday card and some chocolate truffles to take home.  a nice touch!

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I mean…how good does that look?!

My only negative (and I use that for lack of a better word) experience was when Jason ordered Brandy.  The service was impeccable, but when Jason noted that the Brandy selection seemed thin she said “Yea, we don’t have a big brandy option.”  So we accepted it and moved on.  Then we went to the bar after dinner and saw all of the Brandys on the shelves of the bar and were surprised.  When we asked why they weren’t on the menu, the bartender said they can’t list everything because then their menu would be too long.  Understood.  However, it would have been appreciated if the server had mentioned that they have more Brandys than what’s listed and if we asked for something then she could find out if they had it.

The entire experience was the perfect way to indulge in a rare date night out.  We must warn you that it’s not easy on the wallet but if you’re looking for a treat….this is the place!  

 

Hump Day Love: Thirty-One Gifts

31-logoI’ve admired them from a far, but now I’m the proud owner (and obsessor) of Thirty-One Gifts.  I treated myself to the large utility tote this Fall.  I love it.  I carry my groceries in it.  I carried presents at Christmas time in it.  I carry the kids toys in it.  Really, the possibilities are endless.

Then, I treated Jason to the Fold ‘N File.  It’s perfect for the car.  We keep all of our necessary work documents in it so that we’re ready at a moment’s notice to file any paperwork that your transaction needs.  T

hen, I treated family members for Christmas.  I bought my sister-in-laws and my son’s teacher the ever fabulous large utility tote as well.  I bought my young (8-10 year old) cousins the hanging travelers case and 24/7 case , which is perfect for them because not only do they take family trips but as they’re getting older and doing travel sports, its the perfect sports bag accessory.  For Jason’s nieces in their 20’s I bought them the zipper pouch and when they say there are 1,001 uses for this pouch, they mean it!

I continually find uses Thirty-One Gifts and have with great certainty that they make the perfect gift for anyone, which is why I’m always browsing for the next best gift (and resisting the urge to simply shower myself in gifts)! My favorite part is the personalization that it offers.  Initials, designs, full words/names…you name it and they imprint it.  It adds a level of thoughtfulness and sincerity to every gift.  And of course, if I need to purchase, I go to Paula’s Boutique.  Visit her website today and place an order.  Remember- Valentine’s Day is coming up!  Lots of useful gifts for men, women and kids!

Hump Day Love: AMC Plainville 20, Plainville

We absolutely love the AMC Plainville 20 Movie Theater.  They’ve brought back comfort to movie theater watching!  The red leather reclining lazy-boy style chairs is a big reason for that comfort but also spaciousness. There is no more squeezing into small seats and being stuffed into a theater like sardines.  Not to mention, there is assigned seating.  So, you can pre-choose what seats you’d like to sit in.  This is ideal for children!  I can pre-pick our seats to ensure that our son can see.  However, the reality is that the way the theater is structured there is almost no bad seat in terms of being able to see well.

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Our oldest son at his first movie ever this Summer!

The ability to pre-choose seats is a testament to their step into the “technical age.”  Lines are decreased thanks to the ability to pre-purchase but also there are multiple kiosks where you can purchase your tickets and again, leads to shorter lines and quicker moving lines.  I recently went to another theater where they didn’t have kiosks and the line was outrageous because only 1 person was working the desk.  Unnecessary.

Also, the concessions stand is well-stocked, has plenty of choices and very clean as is the rest of the theater and the restrooms.

It is for all of these reasons that this theater is constantly busy.  We recommend pre-purchasing your tickets to ensure that you get a ticket and plan to get there early if parking in a convenient spot is important to you.  Parking is always available but if you get there later it may be a bit of a walk.

As your planning your weekend, think about seeing a movie at AMC Plainville 20.