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FASHION • For The Love of a cupcake • Holiday Guide • WEDDINGS • Cocktail •TRAVEL

Pets &

Holiday 2013


their people

DazzleA Holiday Guide.



Heritage Black Bay is the direct descendant of Tudor’s technical success in Greenland on the wrists of Royal Navy sailors. 59 years later, the Black Bay is ready to stand as its own legend. TUDOR HERITAGE BLACK BAY® Self-winding mechanical movement, waterproof to 200 m, 41 mm steel case. Visit and explore more.



As makers of handcrafted watches, bicycles, leather goods, and journals, we believe that products should be built to last, and they should be built here in America. Shinola stands for skill at scale, the preservation of craft, the beauty of industry.

LUX BOND & GREEN *%7%,297!4#(%3')&43s3).#%

46 LaSalle Road WEST HARTFORD CENTER 860.521.3015 416 Boylston Street BOSTON 617.266.4747 800.524.7336

Holiday 2013


63 28



Pets & Their People by Lisa Lelas

Four notable pets and their people remind you to remember your pet this holiday season.


Radiant Recognition by Lisa Lelas

Lux, Bond & Green’s John Green gains International position.



For the Love of A Cupcake by Cindy Scanlon

A memoir of how a cupcake led one couple to retiring in West Hartford.

Glam Girl Next Door by Bridgette Larcada

s! liday is for ho

Meet West Hartford’s own “glam girl next door”, and author of the blog “OhSoGlam”, Christina DeFilippo.


Happy Holidays from Tom and some community announcements

12 PEOPLE Notable events and galas worth celebrating

21 PEOPLE Around Town 23 WEDDINGs

Tyler & Eagan McEachern & Bermingham Richard & Kaletski


Escaping winter is easy as A-B-C!

Heavenly Hair-best tips for party season!


Financial empowerment for baby boomers


Our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide!


SECTION 65 SPECIAL Monarch Jewelers 2013 Magazine.


Catholic Charities Help & Hope Fatherhood Initiative: Pathways to Responsible Fatherhood!




Pairing wines with holiday foods

ON THE COVER Yellow lab, Tyson with Dan O’Brien, of Uberdog, West Hartford.




In the spirit of shopping local this season, meet Erica and her local boutique: Silkworm.


a holiday guide

Wadsworth Atheneum 40th Anniversary Festival of Trees. Keep potted gift plants looking their best!

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Publisher Thomas P. Hickey, II Chief Operations Officer Joy Brigham Taylor Managing Editor Lisa Lelas

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I am the proud husband of the Principal of St. Brigid School. If you haven’t heard yet, Shevon was named Principal this past July. Since Andrea (Andrea Austin-Thompson, Director of Advancement at SBS) has done such a great job promoting Shevon and SBS, I feel like you must have heard by now. For years, Shevon has been my supporter, date and partner at countless social events, so it is quite an honor to be her “right arm” representing her new vision at SBS. As with all new positions she has some major challenges ahead, but the outpouring of support for her and the school has been nothing short of amazing. Stay tuned for some big plans she has in store for our community! As an alumni (Class of 1974), I encourage you to call Shevon or Andrea and visit SBS (100 Mayflower Street, 860-561-2130). Special thanks to Nicky, Tyson, Bella & Phinneas and Sally & Shelby for allowing us to photograph their families (the Jones’, O’Brien’s, Humphries’ and Mascola’s) for our PETS and THEIR PEOPLE feature … which we plan on making an annual feature! We welcome you to submit photos before June 2014 to be considered for publication (see details on page 28) in our next Holiday Issue (November, 2014). It isn’t everyday that a local business owner is named chairman of an international association, so we were thrilled when John Green agreed to have us photograph him at his store, Lux Bond & Green on LaSalle Road. Best wishes to John throughout his tenure as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Gemological Institute of America (see page 38). ‘DAZZLE you once again this year’ is what we have done on page 65. We have selected some very unique and creative (ok and some just fun & frivolous) gift ideas for you to consider giving this Holiday Season. Enjoy shopping, and most importantly, SHOP LOCAL and support the fine stores and businesses within your community. Stroll West Hartford Center on Thursday, December 5th and as Media Sponsor join us at the Information Booth on Farmington Avenue where we’ll have lots of surprises in store for you. As Archbishop Mansell gets ready for retirement join us as Media Sponsor of the Annual Catholic Charities Breakfast on Thursday, December 12th and wish him well. Take time to enjoy some great champagne at West Side Wines Annual


Champagne Tasting Event @ Cuvee on Saturday, December 7 (see page 7). Ertan’s Wine Column is full of great suggestions for wine and champagne pairings for your holiday functions. As Media Sponsor we encourage you to enjoy and partake, but as always, do so responsibly. Some of us, like Shevon and I, have been lucky enough to be born and raised in West Hartford … for writer, Cindy Scanlon, all it took was a cupcake to get her to move to town! (see page 44). For 2014 I will be changing the focus of my Publishers Column to feature a non-profit organization in each issue. West Hartford Magazine is involved with many great causes and events I thought it would be more interesting to share who we are involved with and why. If you have subscribed in the past (the only way to guarantee delivery of every issue to your home or office), you will receive an invoice to join ‘Our Club’ (if you haven’t already). We have contracted with a mail house to coordinate this very important service so please let us know if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you in advance for renewing or starting your subscription. As always, our subscription club members (see page 20) are acknowledged and thanked in each issue. Worth noting that if you join the club you get lots of perks like FREE tickets to events! Your next issue of WEST HARTFORD MAGAZINE will be on-line and in your home just as we end our February School Vacation Week! Best wishes to you and your family for a Happy, Safe and Peaceful Holiday Season! Here’s to 2014, Regards,

Thomas P. Hickey II Publisher

photography by Christine Paluf Petit

Happy Holidays!

Best decision i ever made.

This is the world I CHOSE.

I have the freedom to do whatever I

want, with whomever I want. I get to

enjoy great food and fun activities. And

if I need some extra help down the road, I can get that too. This is my world, and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a real community.

2021 Albany Ave, West Hartford | 860-570-8400 Founded by the Sisters of Mercy


Lara Zier and her daughter Grace Zier.

Hunter and Hadley Cruz-Scheublin.


Lucas and Lilly Price-Glynn.

Moms & More Club of West Hartford

Hundreds gathered in West Hartford Center on October 26 for the annual Pumpkin Carnival & Halloween Stroll, presented by the Moms & More Club of West Hartford. Event began at the Town Hall parking lot with a festive carnival of live music, prize give-a-ways and games. Then, children of all ages dressed in costumes and went trick-or-treating at participating merchants in West Hartford Center and Blue Back Square. A fun evening was had by all. The event is produced by the Moms & More Club of West Hartford with collaboration of West Hartford Center and Blue Back Square merchants, as well as the town of West Hartford. Moms & More Club of West Hartford was formed as a way to help both working and stay at home moms. Their mission is to bring a small town atmosphere into a large metro area.

photography by Kathryn Deane Photography

Joumana Ahmed, Karma Elwan, & Ahmed Elwan.

Pumpkin Carnival Halloween Stroll

Connor Janis.

(Left to right, Front) Isha Khanna, Neerja Khanna, Samya Kanwar, Luke Rubino, and Neev Kanwar. (Left to right, Back) Jade Fraioli, Julia Deane, and Grace Rubino.


Trick or Treat...

Miracle League Style!

photography by Ronit Shoham

Sofia Turek is pretty in pink.

The MIracle League of Connecticut held its second annual Trick or Treat stroll this past Halloween week at the Miracle League baseball field. Children with special needs and their families enjoyed the event in a place that was designed and built to be accessible to all. Participants agreed that it was a huge success with about 150 children with special needs able to trick or treat once again this year. The Miracle League baseball field is located at the UConn Athletic Complex, on the corner of Trout Brook Drive and Asylum Avenue in West Hartford.

Christine, Christine, Kevin Kevin (aka (akaPirate) Pirate)and andMichael Michael Skeggs Skeggs at atthe theMiracle MiracleLeague LeagueHalloween Halloweenparty. party.

Left : Tess Michaud, Mary Lynn Michaud, Jamie Roland. Right: Ben and Lisa Roland, Marcus Apter, and Jamie Roland at the Miracle League Halloween party.

Holiday 2013

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MIRACLES Co-Chair Elizabeth Rubino, MIRACLES Co-Chairs Mario Cirikovic and Janice England-Cirikovic, Archbishop Henry J. Mansell, D.D, Honorary Chairperson – Pauline Nagle Olsen, M.D.; Eileen Dadlez and Christopher M. Dadlez, President and Chief Executive Officer, Saint Francis Care.

Miracles Gala XXIV

Dancing the night away.

It was another sell-out evening at the Connecticut Convention Center for this year’s gala,presented by Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center. Nearly 1,400 guests came to support this year’s beneficiary, The Comprehensive Women’s Health Center at the hospital. Since its inception in 1990 to celebrate the affiliation of the Saint Francis and Mount Sinai Hospitals, the annual Miracles galas have raised over $14 million for hospital initiatives. The event featured a cocktail reception, dinner, dancing, silent wine and wine dinner auctions.The Comprehensive Women’s Health Center will provide dedicated services for women in the nation’s most advanced stateof-the-art facility. Richard Maffiolini, Tracy Fox and Barbara Gordon.

photography by Brian Ambrose Photography

Joyce Mandell and Irene O’Connor.

Irvin D. Reid, Ph.D. and Pamela Trotman Reid, Ph.D., President, University of Saint Joseph .


Thomas J. Godar, M.D.; Mary Kay Godar; Robert M. Jeresaty, M.D. and Catherine A. Jeresaty.

Holiday 2013

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Chamber’s Annual Mark Milligan, Sean Doyle, Eduardo Gonzalez, Lary Levitts.

Golf Tournament More than 100 golfers came out to support the West Hartford Chamber of Commerce’s 27th annual Golf Tournament at Wampanoag Country Club in West Hartford this fall. Presented by Rockville Bank, the tournament featured brunch, 18 holes of golf, an on-course BBQ shack, and was followed by a cocktail hour and dinner, with many prize drawings and a live auction. Proceeds from the event make it possible for the Chamber to offer a wide array of activities and programs. Major sponsors of the tournament were: AAA and Westfarms at the Platinum level. Farmington Bank, People’s United Bank, Legrand/Wiremold, Blue Back Square, and Edens att the Gold level, and Comcast Business, Webster Bank, and TD Bank at the Silver level.

Chip Kohn, owner of Beechland Tavern.

photography by Ira Nozik Photographers

Rick Simon, Tim Giuliano.

Cindy Cicchetti, Marc Prendergast, Kevin Foster, David Fine.

Harry Captain, Barbara Keitner, Mayor Scott Slifka, Maryellen Milio and Peter Lisi.



Members of First Church (including Senior Pastor Geordie Cambell at far left), gathered with members of the Woods family at the dedication.

photography by S. IZARD, J. TAYLOR and courtesy of ST. JOHN’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH.

Bea Powell, representing the Clay Arsenal Neighborhood Association, offers a warm neighborly welcome!

Habitat for Humanity

Hartford Area Habitat for Humanity in partnership with sponsors from First Church of Christ Congregational and St. John’s Episcopal Church (both of West Hartford) built a new home on Liberty Street in Hartford that was dedicated on Saturday, October 5, 2013. The groundbreaking for this project was just one year ago, and the construction began in earnest during the winter. Volunteers weathered bitter cold to complete the aggressive construction targets set by Habitat’s building team. The two faith communities came together to work side by side learning some new skills and providing much needed sweat equity to get the job done. Over the course of the build, volunteers committed over 600 hours to this project. The Woods family took ownership after going through Habitat’s homeownership program, and as mom Stephanie Woods said “I’m ready for the responsibility!” Please visit,, and

Three of the five Woods family members were on hand for the dedication. From left, Stephanie Woods and two of her four children Garrian and Jaida.

Dale Wolfe, from First Church of Christ Congregational, proudly raised his shovel for the ceremonial ground breaking in October of 2012.

Mark Proft, from Saint John’s Episcopal Church, accepts a commemorative plaque from Habitat’s Interim Executive Director Don Shaw. Right: Church members from First Church of Christ Congregational and St. John’s Episcopal Church volunteered over 600 hours over a 12-month period to help build the home. Holiday 2013

west hartford magazine



AroundTown Companions for Living teamed up with Playhouse on Park and Dornenburg/Kallenbach Advertising to present its annual “Vino and a Show” which benefits the Alzheimer’s Association, Connecticut Chapter. This year’s event was an entertaining Senior Edition of “The Dating Game.” Rick Fountain hosted the game show on the Playhouse stage. Photography by Amy Melvin. Pictured above: Hall High School classmates (‘84) Jill Ehrlich Jarvis, Rebecca H. Selig, Amy Brigham Melvin, Companions for Living President Julianne Roth, Ellen Lerner Cyr, and Joy Brigham Taylor.

Rick Fountain played host to The Dating Game, Senior Edition. Behind him is the bachelor of the evening and three bachelorettes.

Jim Chapdelaine, producer, four-time Emmy winning composer, recording engineer, and guitarist sat down with Peter Occhineri, skilled guitar maker, during Peter’s exhibit of hand-crafted guitars at West Hartford Art League’s Salt Box Gallery. Photography by Joy Taylor.

The new local nonprofit, “Cut Out Cancer” recently unveiled “Mondays at Milano” to help those having cancer treatments with special care and healing through salon services. The event included a Screening of HBO’s “Mondays at Racine.” The program will start in 2014 and more information can be found online at Photography by Mitchell Marcus.

Pictured above: Rachel Marcus and Cindy Horowitz, two of the founders of Cut Out Cancer.

Cathleen and Fran Laffin at the recent Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of Hartford Annual meeting. Fran was awarded the “Help & Hope Award” for his development and dedication to the Residential Program. Photography by Keith Griffin

Deb Katz, Cynthia Sansone and Rachel DeMolfetto (Racine owners and sisters), and Ayelet Chozik, one of the founders of Cut Out Cancer. Holiday 2013

west hartford magazine


Bella Bridesmaid






Elizabeth Tyler & Mike Eagan, Jr. photography by Uplift Photography

(above) The happy bride & groom. Right: Elizabeth escorted by her father down the isle.

Far Left: Mike and his mom, Geralyn Eagan. Left (Inset): Elizabethâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mom made beach ornaments as favors. (below): The wedding party on the dock near the Riverhouse in Haddam, CT.

Childhood friendship can sometimes help solidify a romantic future. Such is the case for Elizabeth and Mike Eagan, Jr. Growing up as family friends, the newlyweds already have many years worth of stories, spending summers together with their families at the beach in Old Lyme. A few years ago, the couple started dating and realized they were meant to be together. While boating one day, last summer, Mike stopped the engine in front of Old Lyme shores. He popped the question and pulled out the ring, which was attached to a floating buoy keychain just in case it went overboard. Their relationship has been unsinkable ever since! The bride is the daughter of Ron and Ellen Tyler, of Old Lyme. She received her B.A. and M.A. from UConn in Speech-Language Pathology. Elizabeth is certified Speech-Language Pathologist and now working toward her PhD in speech, language and healing sciences. The groom is the son of Geralyn and Mike Eagan, Sr., of West Hartford. He graduated from Northwest Catholic and earned his bachelors degree from Endicott College, where he also played football, majoring in sports management. Mike is a personal trainer and also works for his fatherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s property management company in West Hartford. The newlyweds married on July 26 at Christ the King Church in Old Lyme and celebrated later at he Riverhouse at Goodspeed Station in Haddam. They reside in West Hartford. n Visit for more WEDDINGS.

Holiday 2013

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FAMILY FUN! SPONSOR AN ANIMAL Give a gift to help care for one of the many animals in residence at The New Children's Museum or Roaring Brook Nature Center. Your sponsorship helps us to improve our wildlife habitats, to provide our animals veterinary care and to develop educational programs for our visitors. Sponsors receive a certificate, a color photograph, a biography, and an opportunity to visit and learn more about their animal. Please contact The Wildlife Sanctuary at 860.231.2830 ext. 50.

HONOR THEM. SUPPORT US! Looking for a gift this holiday season for the person who has everything? Make a donation to The New Children’s Museum Annual Fund in someone’s honor. It’s a great feeling to know that because of you, The New Children’s Museum can continue its good work. We will send a certificate to your honoree. Thank you for considering The New Children’s Museum during your holiday shopping. It’s easy. Visit and click on Donate Now.

GIVE THE GIFT OF MEMBERSHIP Membership to The New Children’s Museum allows a family to enjoy our exhibits and daily activities as often as they like, for a full year, as well as discounts on programs. Call 860.231.2830 x32 or go to and click on Join Us.

See Planetarium info. and other events on back

950 Trout Brook Drive West Hartford 860-231-2824 Come on now, think of the children!

Let It Snow

Playing in the planetarium from November 29, 2013 – January 1, 2014.

VACATION SCIENCE CAMP 9:00am - 4:00pm at The New Children’s Museum. Members pay $60 per day, Non-Members pay: $70 per day. For Grades 1-5. Pre-registration is required. I December 23 Holiday Science - Grow crystal snowflakes, create chromatography ornaments, and experiment with candy cane slime. I December 27 Winter Animals- Meet the furry and feathered friends in our wildlife sanctuary who thrive in cold temperatures and learn how they stay warm. I December 30 Supercold Science- Examine the science behind cold weather. Make your own snow and conduct freezing cold chemistry experiments. I December 31 That’s A Wrap: Engineering Challenge- Use leftover holiday materials like wrapping paper, boxes, and cardboard tubes to design and build impressive structures.


Come have fun at the Roaring Brook Nature Center on Saturday, December 21, the shortest day of the year. Take a guided hike in Werner Woods, make a variety of winter-related crafts, or watch a presentation on the beauty of winter. Hot chocolate and cookies will be provided. No need to preregister, and the event starts at 1:00pm and ends at 4:00pm. Free with Nature Center admission.

The NEW Children’s Museum 950 Trout Brook Drive, West Hartford, CT 860.231.2824 THE NEW CHILDREN’S MUSEUM HOURS: Tuesday – Saturday 9:00 am – 4:00 pm • Sunday 11:00 am – 4:00 pm Closed Mondays (Open on 11/11) • Holiday Hours: Closed on 11/28 & 12/25 Open on 12/24 from 9 – 2:00 pm • Open on 12/31 and 1/1 9 – 4:00 pm

HOLIDAY CRAFT FAIR: NOVEMBER 24TH NOON-4:00pm Featuring nature-related gifts for all ages. Handmade crafts will include candles, pottery, jewelry, soaps, felted ornaments and many other items. Proceeds from this Friends of Roaring Brook fundraiser benefit the programs and activities at Roaring Brook Nature Center.

WINTER VACATION PROGRAM: WILD WINTER Join us for four days of fun over winter vacation. Learn how to identify animal tracks, follow them to uncover winter secrets, & learn about survival in the winter woods. Dates: December 26, 27, 30 and 31

Roaring Brook Nature Center 70 Gracey Road, Canton, CT 860.693.0263 ROARING BROOK NATURE CENTER HOURS: Tuesday – Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm • Sunday 1:00 – 5:00 pm Closed Mondays (Open on 11/11) • Holiday Hours: Closed on 11/28, 12/25 & 1/1 Open on 12/24 & 12/31 from 10 – 3:00 pm



Hannah Richard & David Kaletski photography by Matthew Lin Photography

Above top: The bride & groom share a moment. Above: Hannah & David with close family members. Left (inset): newly married Hannah & David. Below: The complete wedding party.

Newlyweds, Hannah and David Kaletski will forever be bound with ‘rainbow blessings’ of joy! After dating a few years, one Thanksgiving, David decided to take Hannah on a scavenger hunt throughout the town they were visiting. At the last stop, the final clue was to attend a Native American Folk Festival that was going on nearby. As they entered the festival, there was native music, dancing and singing all around them, but Hannah wondered what was going on when she suddenly noticed family members there with video cameras. As fate would have it, just as a bright colored rainbow stretched across the sky, David got down on one knee and proposed. The bride is the daughter of Jerry Richard and Faith DiMatteo, and the stepdaughter to Mario DiMatteo, of Burlington, CT. She attended St. Joseph’s College in West Hartford where she received both bachelors and masters degrees in early childhood and special education. Hannah is currently employed as a Pre-K teacher for the Bristol public school system. The groom is the son of Judy Kaletski and the late Benjamin Simon Kaletski, of Rhode Island. David attended the University of Rhode Island where he received a Bachelors degree in business administration concentrating in marketing and finance. He is currently a partner in the CT office of Datapay Payroll in Farmington. The wedding took place on August 3 at the St. Mary Star of the Sea church with a reception that followed at the Village Inn, both in Narragansett, RI. After a honeymoon in Hawaii, the couple now resides in West Hartford. n Visit for more WEDDINGS.

Holiday 2013

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Kathryn McEachern & Neil Bermingham photography by Katie Slater

Above Far Right: The bride & groom. Above Left: The wedding party. Above Center: Kathryn & Neil celebrate in Autumn leaves. Above: Neil with brother, Reed and sister, Kristen. Left: Bride’s flower bouquet reflects the Autumn wedding.

Newlyweds, Kathryn and Neil Bermingham admit that the day they met at Arch Street Tavern, it was love at first sight. When Neil eventually proposed to Kathryn, he took into account her love of children’s books, as she is an elementary school teacher. He decided to write and publish a children’s book for her, titled, “The Lucky Leprechaun” and hide it at the Hartford Public Library. With a little help from the school principal, she was told there was a book on hold for her class at the library. Later, as she sat in the parking lot reading the book about Hank the leprechaun searching for gold, she turned the last page, which asked Kate to marry Neil. She looked up and Neil was on one knee holding a ring in his hand. The bride is the daughter of William and Mary McEachern, of Carver, MA. She attended Trinity College and then Central Connecticut State University for her Masters degree. Kathryn is employed as a second grade school teacher with Hartford Public schools. The groom is the son of the late Bruce and Judy Bermingham, formerly of West Hartford. He graduated from Conard High School and Keene State College. Neil is employed as a Professional Liability Associate Account Executive with Travelers of Hartford. The couple was married on October 19 at the Trinity College Chapel with a reception at The Pond House in Elizabeth Park. On their wedding day, Neil gave Kate another children’s book he wrote called “Hank’s Happiest Day”! Their honeymoon was in the Cayman Islands and they currently reside in West Hartford. n Visit for more WEDDINGS.


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Holiday 2013

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Dogs Sally & Shelby with Dr. Lauren Mascola (center), her husband John Swift and their three sons Cooper, Baur and Easton. (Not pictured, Dory the cat).

Pets [and their people] Don’t forget about your furry friends this holiday season! by Lisa Lelas photography by Ira Nozik Photographers


espite this being the season of joy, the holidays can bring stress to all of us, and pets are no exception. When routines are disrupted and new activities occur, your pet may be the first to notice. More than half of all families in America today are pet owners. It’s important to give pets special attention during the holiday season. Many will get stressed with the added hustle and bustle of holiday guests and new routines. Always provide plenty of food and water and a quiet room where they can escape the social commotion and get some Z’s. While the holidays are a popular time

for welcoming a new furry friend into your home, make sure your entire family is on board with the decision. Surprises are not best for the pet involved. Consider opening your heart to the many homeless animals waiting for adoption right now at your local animal shelter and/or donating pet food and supplies to the shelter. With the premier of this new annual feature, West Hartford Magazine welcomes you to send in a favorite pet photo pictured with you or as part of your family. Deadline for submission is June 30. Selected photos will appear in next year’s Holiday issue. Submission details listed on the next page. Four notable ‘pets and their people’ from the area offer a few words of wisdom on taking good care of your pets this holiday season!

Holiday 2013

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Nicky with Karen Jones Nicky, an adorable 2-year old terrier mix, shares an important message with everyone this holiday season: “A short while ago, I was petrified, roaming the streets of West Hartford with no where to go. The Animal Control Center took me in, giving me food and a warm place to sleep. I am now happy go lucky, playing with my toys and awaiting a new home and loving family to adopt me! Please don’t forget about us this holiday. My furry friends and I at the shelter all need permanent homes!” Thanks to animal control officer, Karen Jones, Nicky at least now has a temporary roof over his head. Despite sometimes being depicted as the bad guy in Disney movies, Karen assures us that animal control officers really have compassion for animals in their community. Rather than having a stray animal endanger itself or others, they are taken into their facility and cared for. “We feed them and advertise to find their


owners. Our number one mission is to find the owner. Only then, after waiting a period of time, we will put them up for adoption.” Karen reminds pet owners that all dogs in Connecticut must be registered in their town. No license registration is required for cats. There are many animals waiting to find permanent homes. Interested parties can log onto with links to local pets in the community or throughout the state and farther. Each pet listed has photos and a description of their personality or needs. There is a $50 adoption fee, which includes a voucher for spay/neutering and some vaccinations. “Now, with the internet,” she explains, “getting a pet is so much easier but it doesn’t mean it comes without head-aches. People are getting animals they’ve never met. They have no idea what their behavior is or how they would blend in with their family. And people should not forget that there are so many pets available locally right here in the West Hartford community.”

Karen adopted her own pets from a shelter, too. Her dog, Giada, a Mastiff mix and Dharma, her cat, came from her facility. “Even my first dog as a child came from a shelter. ‘Dusty’ was a collie-shepherd mix I got when I was about 12 years old. I loved collies because of ‘Lassie’!” “If anyone is considering a new pet for the holiday, make it a group decision.” Karen says to make it your grocery list (priority list) of what’s important for your family, whether a dog that is active, quiet, good with kids, and so on. “Like shopping for cars. If you have a family of 5, a tiny sports car is probably not the best decision.” The animal control facility in West Hartford has many different animals for adoption throughout the year, aside from dogs and cats, including bunnies, guinea pigs, exotic birds, parakeets, and reptiles. The town of West Hartford does things right, according to Karen, “the animal control facility here is part of the town’s law enforcement.” As a division of the West Hartford police department, animal control officers are armed. They undergo extensive background checks, must pass lie detector tests and be finger printed. “It’s a long process,” admits Karen, “but one worth the time!” “I love my job!” she smiles, “I always knew I wanted to work with animals and wildlife. I especially love dogs.” With a degree in biology and looking for a job, Karen responded to a help-wanted ad for an assistant animal control officer at the West Hartford facility along with 300 other

Photo Submission & Contest Rules Send us your favorite pet photo pictured with you or as part of your family and your photo could be chosen to appear in our next Holiday “Pets & Their People” feature story! Deadline for submission is June 30, 2014. Send to :, and put “Pet Photo” in subject. Please include your name and address. You must be a West Hartford resident to submit. Don’t forget to include a photo caption of pet’s name, age, breed, and any family members included in the photo.

job applicants… and she landed the job. Karen, now the senior animal control officer, has been at her job for 19 years. The Animal Control center is a division of the West Hartford Police Department. www. Best advice from Karen for adopting a new pet: “The personality of the pet needs to fit the personality of the family to make a life long success story. We want it to be a win-win situation for all involved!”

Tyson [the “Úberdog”] with Dan O’Brien Meet Tyson O’Brien. Tyson is a big lovable 7-year old yellow lab that helped inspire the creation of Uberdog! Many might say that other people helped them kick start a new career. For Dan O’Brien, owner of Uberdog, a pet care facility, inspiration came from a different source. He explains, “the catalyst for my business was my dog, Tyson and his needs.” When he and his wife needed to find pet day-

care for Tyson, they were unhappy with the facilities available in the area. Soon after… Uberdog was created. What started out as a necessity for Tyson turned into a wonderful gift to the community. “People in West Hartford have very high expectations. We know they want the very best for their pets. We don’t let them down.” Dan says. Uberdog is an ever-expanding facility offering overnight care, grooming, and ‘play-care’ during the day. Currently, under expansion, the center will soon boast 13,000 square feet. “It will soon be the largest pet care center in Connecticut.” Dan says, “We were simply running out of space.” “It’s the alternative to typical kennels. We don’t believe in an old fashioned stale environment. Everything is over-sized at Uberdog. Plenty of room for each dog to run and play. There are even luxury dog dens with people beds, complete with chandeliers!”

Uberdog is unique in that each dog has its own indoor and outdoor play area. “We let dogs out by groups”, he explains. Divided into age, breed or size, careful that each dog in a play-group gets along well with the others. All pets are supervised by “wagologists”, trainers that are all fully experienced and knowledgeable in pet first aid, CPR and animal behavior. Uberdog runs on a very transparent policy. There are look-in windows and even webcams so people can check in and see their dog while on vacation. Just as people can get stressed when schedules get busy, Dan reminds us, “over the holidays, people don’t always take into account that when they travel or have extra guests and swarms of people at their home for parties, dogs get stressed out also! Give them a vacation too! They need quiet time. Time to rest.” Just ask Tyson! He warns pet owners to keep an extra eye on their pets this time of year. Dogs can get sick from drinking tree water and table scraps.

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Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important to give your pets special attention during the holiday season.

The personality of the pet needs to fit the personality of the family to make a life long success story. Keep an extra eye on your pet this time of year. Dogs can get sick from drinking tree water and table scraps.

Food allergies in pets are also on the rise. Be careful and diligent with pet food choices. Never feed them grapes, raisins or onions which can be hazardous to their health. Uncooked cookie dough and chocolate can also be harmful to an animalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s digestive system. Today, more than 50 percent of households in America have pets.


Need a special holiday gift idea? Uberdog has gift certificates available…think about giving your pooch a fun weekend retreat while you have a house full of guests or need to do some holiday traveling. Uberdog, 635 New Park Avenue in West Hartford. Dan admits he was always an animal lover but never had a pet growing up. “The first thing I did when I moved out was to get a dog.” Tyson came into his life at that time. Now, seven years later, his family also includes his wife, Isabella and their two sons, 2 year old Finn and 3 month old Tate.

Bella & Phinneas with Jason and Marcie Humphries It is estimated that 52 percent of all households in America have pets and although Bella and Phinneas are two very happy English Labs, pictured with their family, there is an increasing number of pets that are homeless and available for adoption. Jason Humphries, owner of Bella and Phinneas…and Pet Supplies Plus, offers advice for people thinking about getting or giving a pet as a holiday gift: “Families need to think about the well being of the pet for the life of the pet. Think about their


medical expenses, exercise, nutrition, spay/neutering…everything. This should not be a decision made on a whim.” Because there are so many pets in need of homes in shelters throughout the community, he doesn’t want to rule out taking in a pet as a holiday gift, as long as it’s a family decision. When the snow starts falling, Jason reminds pet owners to use pet-safe snow removal products, such as Safe Paws, for melting ice on your walkways. Always keep fresh water out for your pets and never leave them out in the cold, whether in your yard or in a parked car. Jason proudly works with several local pet charities, including making regular pet food donations to the Hartford Food Pantry. Providing the community with healthy, reliable pet friendly supplies and services has been Jason’s mission for almost 20 years. Known as ‘the neighborhood retailer’, Jason explains they take care of their neighbors with the best products at great prices. “We even have carry-out service, where we’ll carry bags right out to your car!” With almost 9,000 square feet and over 60,000 products, Pet Supplies Plus is more of a grocery store for holistic and health food supplies for pets. If you are looking for virtually any brand, chances are good that they will have it. For

example, in a regular grocery store, Fancy Feast, the number 1 selling cat food in the world typically carries 12 flavors. “In our store, we have 57 flavors!” he says. Everything you need for your dog or cat can be found at the store, including some small mammals and reptiles, such as fresh water fish, bunnies, and iguanas. “We don’t sell dogs or cats,” he explains, “but we promote local adoption agencies for new pets. We also have licensed vets and technicians that visit the store for affordable vaccines.” “There is a full supply of gift ideas for pets now throughout the holiday season,” Jason says, noting that business picks up this time of year because even non-pet owners shop for their pet-lover friends. “We have a wide selection of Christmas and Hanukkah themed toys for dogs and cats, as well as a great apparel selection and our exclusive ‘made in America’ section of rawhide products.” Jason opened the first New England franchise back in 1996, and was the youngest franchisee at the time, being just 27 years old. “My wife, Marcie and I were living in Michigan when I was introduced to Jack Barry, the original founder of Pet Supplies Plus. I had been contemplating a career change and I saw this as a good opportunity.

We came out to Connecticut on a fluke and loved it. We’ve lived here in West Hartford ever since!” Soon after the grand opening of the West Hartford store, and one in Manchester, he opened several more stores around the state. Most recently, last month, he opened another store in Wethersfield. But it doesn’t stop there, as Jason has his sights on more locations throughout middle Connecticut and the shoreline. Between his stores, Jason employs more than 150 team associates, assuring an extremely knowledgeable, fully trained staff available at every location. Pet Supplies Plus is located in West Hartford at Bishops Corner, 2480 Albany Avenue. Open Mon-Sat 9-9, and Sundays 10-6. “Marcie and I have always had a love for animals. I remember my first childhood pet was Dickens, a Yorkshire Terrier.” Now, Jason, Marcie and their two teen daughters, Stephanie and Ilana share their home with Bella and Phinneas, as well as 2 cats, Americat and Ashley.

Holiday plants, decorations and party food platters should be kept away from pets so they are not ingested. Put lights up a bit higher on your Christmas tree to keep your cats away from them. Also, I don’t recommend tinsel or sparkly garland, which can cause intestinal blockages if pets chew on them. Keep in mind that pets sometimes drink the water from the tree, which may cause it to dry out quickly, leading to a fire hazard.” The holiday season is a time when many families welcome guests, who may feed your dog food he’s not used to. Food allergies in pets are also on the rise. Be careful and diligent with pet food choices. Never feed them grapes, raisins or onions which can be hazardous to their health. Uncooked cookie dough and chocolate can also be harmful to an animal’s digestive system. Lauren suggests all pet owners keep the toll free phone number to the Animal Emergency Control Center handy, 1-800213-6680 in case of any unforeseen pet emergencies.

Giving a pet as a holiday gift only works if the whole family is on board with it. “You can’t surprise somebody with a pet,” she states, “Do your research ahead of time. Know what kind of pet your family can handle. Parents of younger children need to be aware that they will be the ones who take care of it. But, that said, we should remind people that are many animals in shelters right now that need homes.” Pet Care Veterinary Services, located at 64 Raymond Road in West Hartford. Thinking back to her childhood, Lauren fondly remembers her very first family pets, “Max”, a Doberman and “Cinderella”, a Weimarana, and has made sure her own children would also experience the joy of family pets. Lauren and her husband, John Swift have been married for 16 years, and with their 3 sons, Cooper, Baur, and Easton, they share their home with Sally and Shelby, as well as a cat named Dory. n

Sally & Shelby with Dr.Lauren Mascola & family Sally and Shelby are two very appreciative rescue dogs. They have found the perfect family! A mom and dad with three active hockey-playing boys…life couldn’t be better! And to top off their lucky charmed life, mom is an animal doctor! Dr. Lauren Mascola, of Pet Care Veterinary Services, says she was one of those girls who always had the dream of someday becoming a veterinarian. “I definitely was a child who loved animals but I wasn’t sure I could do it.” She explains, “I went on to be a psychology major at UConn but didn’t love that. One summer I worked at an animal shelter in Nantucket and fell in love with the idea.” From there, she enrolled at Tufts Veterinary School and eventually captured her dream. Lauren has been a veterinarian now for over 17 years, taking over her Pet Care clinic, here in West Hartford, in 2005. “It’s important to give your pets special attention during the holiday season,” the doctor reminds us, “dietary indiscretion is much more prevalent during this time.

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Travel Tips

As easy as A-B-C! Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao.


• Guarantee warm weather in midwinter...head south to the ABC islands of the Leeward Antilles, comprised of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao. • Bonaire is known for its reefs and therefore a perfect place for diving! • Curacao, is more known for a great European flare! • Aruba (the most visited and Americanized island) boasts white sand beaches and comfortable trade-winds that never stop making it truly inviting! • Bring your passport. Only the U.S.Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico are exempt from the passport requirement.

Aruba resorts, Bonaire snorkeling, and Island exploration.


byLydia Brown


my sweater on in Nassau during April. Early January in Cancun can actually be 65 degrees! So where do you go? You head south to the ABC islands of the Leeward Antilles (southern chain of the lesser Antilles) comprised of Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire. The islands are affiliated with the Netherlands but self governed for many years now. You are pretty much guaranteed 80 degree weather or better, warm water, white powder beaches and a variety of hotels and resorts ranging from bed and breakfast and boutique to all inclusive resorts. The island of Bonaire is known for its reefs and therefore is a perfect place for diving, whereas Curacao, has some diving and beaches but is more known for a great European flare in its downtown area of Willemstad and some fabulous restaurants. Aruba (the most visited and Ameri-

canized island) boasts white sand beaches and comfortable trade-winds that never stop making it truly inviting.

Aruba is the most popular of the three islands and becoming very congested. The first time I visited Aruba in the 1970’s, there were only 4 hotels. Today there are more than 25 resorts strung across Eagle and Palm Beaches. The downtown area of Oranjestad is like a mini Miami Beach, with great shops and restaurants. I can almost guarantee you will come back from Aruba with a tan. Aruba is a desert climate and rarely sees rain. There is a hotel for everyone: the new Riu Resort is the ultimate “all inclusive experience” while one of the original properties, the Divi Divi (low rise on Eagle Beach) gives a true island experience. Aruba has many time-share properties as well as the high-end resorts (Hyatt, Westin

photography by BIGSTOKCPHOTO.COM

ow that the weather has turned cold with a daily chance of snow…you are probably already thinking that by January you just might be ready to escape and exchange it all for a stretch of warm sun, sand and tropical breezes, holding your Kindle for a fun beach read. To make your decision easier, I have compiled an escape list to guarantee you a warm getaway this winter! If you are planning to travel right after the holidays or some time in January/early February, you definitely have to consider a few specific islands. The Bahamas, Bermuda and some of the Western Caribbean can actually be cold in January. I have been to Freeport in the Bahamas in January when they saw their first snowfall and sat with

and Marriott) so there truly is something for everyone here. It’s not a sight-seeing island, per se, but rather a place to really relax. It’s got warm sun, beautiful water, a very educated populous, and all the amenities you could ask for: golf, world class spas, casinos, fabulous shopping, great dining, excellent water sports and incredible deep sea fishing. The natural trade-winds also make for some of the finest sailing in the Caribbean, as well. Aruba truly has something for everyone.

Bonaire is the smallest of the three ABC islands and is the island that is most known for its scuba and snorkeling. Bonaire’s economy is mainly based on tourism. There are few sandy white beaches as the island is surrounded by reefs that are easily accessible from the shore. When you see white, its actually not sand but salt! It is renowned for being one of the top scuba-diving locations in the world and rightly so. Bonaire’s license plates carry the logo Divers Paradise (in English). Bonaire is also consistently recognized as one of the best destinations for snorkeling. Wind-surfers also make up a strong group of island tourists, as the east side of the island (facing the Caribbean Sea) has the large

passport requirement) so update your current one if needed. Don’t be left unprepared if you suddenly want to escape!

Curacao is a medium-sized island with a

Curacao reefs.

waves and wind gusts needed for windsurfing. Lac Bay, in the southeast is shallow yet windy, and hence is considered an excellent place for intermediate sailors to improve their skills. There are mainly time-share resorts here and a few small bed and breakfast properties, so if you are more into five-star resorts, this island is not for you. Most resorts here have on-site dive shops and the rest are affiliated with a dive operation. Alas, you will need a passport to fly to the Caribbean these days (only the U. S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico are exempt from the

focus beyond tourism. The main city of Willemstad has a justifiably famous, beautiful and historic harbor with its European influence and pontoon bridge. Isolated beaches scattered around the island offer some of the best snorkeling and diving anywhere. It’s a good island to explore by jeep, as well. While the beaches are smaller, the weather is still lovely and it’s a bit more intriguing to me than Aruba, since I am not really a beach person. Curacao was chosen as one of the best 3 locations for snorkeling and diving and macro-marine life by the readers of Scuba Diving Magazine last year. The people are charming and well educated, offering visitors an enjoyable visit. n

Lydia Brown Sanditz American Express Travel West Hartford (860) 523-5224

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Local jeweler, John Green appointed to International Position


by Lisa Lelas photography by Jane and Michael Shauck, Iris Photography



ohn Green, of Lux, Bond & Green, appears to have gemstones in his DNA. He is a certified gemologist appraiser and now embraces yet another prestigious title, as he is named the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Gemological Institute of America. As one of the country’s leading experts in the field of diamonds and colored stones, his selection really comes as no surprise. The GIA (Gemological Institute of America) is a non-profit worldwide organization, known as the leading source for education, research and laboratory services for gemstones. Established in 1931, the GIA is considered the authority on diamonds, colored stones and pearls. “It’s the number one source in the world for rating a gemstone,” John explains, “Any gem you see auctioned at Christies or Sotheby’s is usually accompanied by an official GIA report.” World headquartered in Carlsbad, California, the GIA has other offices throughout the world, including New York City and Hong Kong. “Not all jewelers are gemologists, although many of the better ones are,” he says, “Like in any profession, the more knowledge you have the better you can help clients. Most of us in the jewelry profession understand the need and took correspondence or residency programs offered through the GIA to become a gemologist.” The GIA offers Graduate Gemologists degrees, as well as individual courses of study, such as learning about diamonds or colored stones. After college, John went to California to take classes, full time at GIA. Even today, as a certified gemologist, he is required to take annual exams to keep up with changes, since there are always new dis-

coveries and new gemstone treatments. John has been a member of the GIA board since 2008. There are 16 board members, from all over the world, such as Hong Kong, Israel and Dubai. He is only one of three retailers on the board…the rest are comprised of other experts in the industry as well as experts in the fields of compliance, finance, education and research. “We have two in-person board meetings each year. One is always held in Carlsbad and the other in various locations around the world. This year we met in Botswana, Africa…the largest diamond producing country in the world.” John was born and raised in this profession. “We are the fourth generation in our family business. In 1898, my great-grandfather, known as M.A. Green, opened up our first storefront in Waterbury. Interestingly, in years prior to that, he originally started in the business selling jewelry from a horse and cart!” The second generation of Greens came to Hartford in 1932 and took over a company called, at the time, Lux Bond & Lux Jewelers. In 1933 it became Lux Bond & Green, and in the 1960’s, after John’s dad bought a store called Philip H. Stevens (sellers of fine china, glass and jewelry) and merged the two stores into one, it became ‘Lux Bond Green & Stevens’, located on Pratt Street, eventually turning into Lux Bond & Green. “I was always intrigued with jewelry and gemstones,” he explains, “at 7 years old, I started out as a gift wrapper in the family’s store. If I wasn’t in school, I was helping out at the store.”

“Our company and our family have been leaders in the jewelry industry. We are passionate about it and are lucky enough that the industry has recognized us for what we do.” • GIA is the number one source in the world for rating a gemstone. “Any gem you see auctioned at Christies or Sotheby’s is always accompanied by an official GIA report.” • John Green is the fourth generation of the family business.

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Currently Lux Bond & Green stores are in 8 locations, six in Connecticut and two in the Boston area (they are the official jewelry sponsor of the Boston Red Sox). Their flagship store is on LaSalle Road in West Hartford center. “Even with 8 stores, we like being a ‘family business serving a local community’,” he says. John and his wife, Norma

Jean, have four kids, Dan, Debbie, Allie and Charlie. “Our company and our family have been leaders in the jewelry industry. We are passionate about it and are lucky enough that the industry has recognized us for what we do. We are helping the world, one community at a time,” he says referring to much of

the world profits from the diamond mining industry given right back to the people of Africa. “A lot of good happens with profits made from diamonds, whether here in our own community or around the world.” So, what’s trending for this year’s holiday season? John says colored stones are very much back this year. “A woman wearing reds, pinks, greens or blues…it’s very much a part of her fashion wardrobe.” But, there are some jewelry items that are forever timeless. Lux Bond & Green is the #1 diamond engagement store in all of New England. “We always keep a full supply of good quality diamonds and settings. While we do have bigger inventory during the holiday season, we are pretty consistent throughout the year.” Also, this month, you’ll find many special holiday gift items, such as Santa cuff links and many specials under $100 celebrating the season. “The old slogan of my great-grandfather was ‘M.A. Green-Famous for Diamonds’. We continue to keep that tradition!” n

Knowledgable tips to help you shop this season... Gold is a perfect metal in jewelry because it will never rust, tarnish, or corrode, and it is very strong. Furthermore, gold is extremely malleable, allowing it to be made into virtually any shape. Because of this, gold jewelry comes in all shapes and sizes. Platinum is pure, an expression of integrity, a reflection of inner truth. Platinum’s purity endows it with a brilliant white luster. Due to this luster, platinum helps to reflect the true radiance of diamonds. Pure silver, also called fine silver, is relatively soft, very malleable, and easily damaged so it is commonly combined with other metals to produce a more durable product. Each setting has its own personality. Knowing your way around these selections will help you determine which setting suits your personal style and tastes. Find out more about settings at: 40


Eat, Drink and Be Merry! Exploring the Art of Wine Pairing with Holiday foods


photography by iSTOCKPHOTO.COM

by Ertan Sener ay “cheers” for a spectacular holiday gathering! There is a lot of planning that happens before saying the word “cheers” to make it super successful. Let me help you select a few perfect pairings for this Holiday Season. The Holidays are warm, festive and filled with great food. Because of the season, holiday wines can be bigger, heartier wines that stand up to traditional flavors like turkey, currants, cranberries, prime rib and other holiday delights, whatever they may be. While it can seem daunting to select the perfect wine, there are some choices that go especially well with holiday foods. These wines might include medium and full bodied reds with lots of spice, festive and sparkling wines, and even some richer whites. If it’s your turn to host that holiday gathering, take a few pointers so you can choose wines that should make you the ‘host with the most!’ With the wide range of foods and flavors at the holidays, providing some guidelines to food and wine pairing for the holidays with specific applications should make wine selection a little less confusing and more enjoyable. Here are the key concepts to think about when pairing: 1) Versatility 2) Consider texture not just flavor, and 3) Whether you want to compliment or contrast with the flavor of the dish. There are many wines that will be able to pair with any certain dish, let’s just remember to keep the options open. There is never one perfect choice, but there are choices that will work better than others. Let’s explore a few meal courses and see which concept works best.

Appetizers and hors d’oeuvres are always in abundance at holiday gatherings. These fun little hand to mouth bites are perfect to keep the crowd happy. What wine you ask? Well, versatility is the key. Bubbles, bubbles, bubbles! Champagne, of course is the king of bubbles and would be most welcome at any party. There are other choices that will also put a sparkle in your glass. Cava from Spain, Prosecco from Italy, any number of wines from France labeled Crémant, fine sparkling wines from a number of regions in France. Here is a list of a few of the Crémant wines areas and how it will be listed on the label. Crémant de Alsace, Crémant de Bordeaux, Crémant de Bourgogne, Crémant de Die, Crémant du Jura, Crémant de Limoux, Crémant de Loire and Crémant de Luxembourg. Bubbles are refreshing and cleanse the palate, getting it ready for that next new little bite of bursting flavor.

Cheese you ask? Yes please. If lactose doesn’t work for you, feel free to skip this section…or take a Lactaid. Well, this pairing is no laughing matter. Cheese, with all its beautiful varieties can be very difficult to pair. My usual go-to is white, white, white (except for hard aged cheeses that call for a red.) I like it when a wine contrasts with a cheese. For example, a rich creamy cheese like Camembert works very nicely with a wine that has a little crispness with some brighter acidity. I like the way it cuts through that beautiful fattiness. A wine with a little sugar like Riesling is great for some of those creamy, salty blues. Yum! To quote the great Maitre Fromogier, Max Mc-

Because of the season, holiday wines can be bigger, heartier wines that stand up to traditional flavors like turkey, currants, cranberries, prime rib and other holiday delights.

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WINE Calman, “My first instinct is to get away from traditional notions about pairings. I like to promote pairings of lesser-known, less “serious” or ponderous, but nonetheless delightful wines with cheeses. Savennières, Pinot Blanc, and Albariño are good examples.” Fantastic word to live by. Let’s use this thought for the next course. The main course is the main event at most holiday gatherings. Which will be the contenders for wine? Selecting the right wine for the main course is as simple as thinking ‘compliment the dish’. Think about the texture as much as the flavor. Match the textures and flavors and the two will dance nicely on the palate. A simple solution to pairing wine with the main course is asking yourself 4 questions: 1) Does the food overpower the wine? 2) Does the wine overpower the food? 3) When the wine and food are combined in the mouth, what tircheary flavor does it create? And finally, 4) is the flavor created palette pleasing? Done.


Ertan’s wine


• Key concepts to consider when pairing: 1) Versatility 2) Texture (not just flavor), and 3) Whether you want to compliment or contrast with the flavor of the dish. • Champagne is the king of bubbles, most welcome at any party but there are other choices that will also put a sparkle in your glass. • Cheese, with all its beautiful varieties can be very difficult to pair. My usual go-to is white, white, white!

For dessert, the simplest solution is to choose a wine as sweet as the dessert. The sweetness of the dessert subtracts the sweetness of the wine. One thing is for sure…the holidays are

upon us. Whether you are hosting or have to bring a bottle of something to add to the spirits of the occasion, think pairing and all the possibilities. There are no hard and fast rules to the art of pairing. So, I hope we have touched upon some of the ideas I like to run through when finding that perfect pair! I hope this will only add to the enjoyment, no matter where you are planning to spend these special times and that you are with the people you love, friends that make you laugh and wine that will pair and enhance the experience. Always remember, the bottle of wine is only as good as the people you share it with. Happy Holidays! n

Ertan S. Sener, wine educator, has been seen in Wine Spectator Magazine, and is the buyer/manager at West Side Wines & Spirits. 860-233-1241.



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Best Parking and Largest Indoor Waiting Area in Town! Dedicated to Service for over 50 years

1084 New Britain Ave. West Hartford â&#x20AC;˘ (860) 561-3800

Holiday 2013

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For the Love


of a Cupcake How a local bakery led one couple to their dream of retiring in West Hartford! by Cindy Scanlon photography by Amy B. Melvin


t all began with a simple chocolate cupcake. A coupon I had clipped was calling my name: ‘come and get a freebie from a West Hartford bakery’. Who could guess that a tasty treat would act as divine intervention and lead me to where I am living today? I began my quest to find A Little Something Bakery. I was totally distracted by how cute the Park Street neighborhood was. There were antique shops bursting at the seams with exotic treasures nestled against coffee

shops and narrow New York style restaurants. I glanced twice at a theater marquee and its enticing listings for live performances. An old silver diner and a huge ice cream shop rounded out the block. It had really changed over the last thirty-five years, since the days I used to visit Mom who had worked nearby at the credit union. I remember thinking how close it was to beautiful Blueback Square, and yet so intriguingly different. For me it was familiar, like an old pair of forgotten shoes you stumble on at the very back of the closet. From a distance, I had always been a big fan of West Hartford, even before Kiplinger’s labeled it as a “best town in America”. Growing up in New Britain, my girlfriends and I would often window shop in the Center. Pleasant memories of trendy shoe boutiques and chocolatiers signing handmade Easter eggs immediately came to mind. My husband and I had tried buying a home here long ago, but soaring prices in the real estate market kept that dream from becoming a reality. Today

Thanks to a coupon and a cupcake and a little I made a promise to return and plunder my something from way through this quaint Park Road area. My mission now was to collect that cupcake, buy the universe, we a variety of bakery goods as a litmus test, and found the perfect deliver them to my shut-in parents. The variety and sweet smells inside the place to settle into bakery made a quick selection almost impossible. A cinnamon sugary thing our new role as called a ‘dirt bomb’ seemed to be the grandparents and most curious of all. The question in the yeast-scented air: soon-to-be retirees. hung ‘could the items taste as good #HomeSweetHome

as they looked?’ Surely even the name “A Little Some-

thing” was a dare in disguise. Who could walk away from here on a cold February day with just a little something? Mom was a better judge of bakeries than I was. She was an accomplished innovative baker herself. Most of our family vacations included, what we called ‘the adventure of the secret bakery,’ like a sub-title listed on the back cover of a yellow Nancy Drew book. Mom would always scout out new bakeries in our travels and would return to the car with something warm and delicious for the family. So, naturally that afternoon, when I delivered the plain white pastry box to my parents, they instantly dove in! We tasted everything and each of us found a different something to love. The baked goods were so smooth, so creamy, so crunchy and yummy! Mom gave her seal of approval, along with an additional order if I was ever in that neighborhood again. A week later my car found its way back to “Little Something”. I needed to bring a gift to a sick friend, but more importantly, I needed to taste those cake balls again! Today I had the time to drink it all in. It was so cozy pink and pretty but not pretentious. It gave me the feeling I was standing next to mom’s old stove just waiting for something to appear. It took me back to a time before preservatives and plastic wrapped bread. Back to basics. After making my selection, I found myself unexplainably swallowing hard, and trying to follow the advice my daughter had given me long ago. “Just say it out loud and offer it up to the universe.” Beth had always advised me. Softly, so no one in the bakery could hear, I Holiday 2013

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made my confession, “I want to live close to this bakery,” I whispered. Could it be possible? I thought. My husband and I were empty nesters and we were in the process of downsizing. A little voice inside murmured, ‘what if we found an apartment to rent in a two-family house close-by?’ We had already taken an educated gamble by buying our retirement home on Cape Cod while the prices were plummeting there. What if we sold the McMansion in CT and were able to rent reasonably in West Hartford while we worked our way towards retirement? Normally that would not be risky business but in today’s market it really was a gamble. The same wave that brought crashing prices to the Cape was about to swallow us up whole. Could we swing it financially and satisfy one of our long lost dreams to live in this charming little city? On my next visit to my new favorite bakery, I quietly muttered to the clerk: “I want to live close to this bakery.” She smiled politely but said nothing. What possessed me to do that? Everyday I became seemingly consumed with the daunting task of fengshuing, painting and staging our oversized colonial for selling. What a full-time production for just two

“Just say it out loud and offer it up to the universe....Softly, so no one in the bakery could hear, I made my confession, “

people. And yet, this bakery seemed like a magnet drawing me closer to West Hartford with each visit. Too embarrassed to explain, I just ran out. The tide was now turning on us, as we, the buyers, became the sellers. We prepared ourselves for a long, possible two year battle in trying to sell. Surprisingly, in June, the perfect wave came in. The weather Gods were with us! The mercury topped 90 degrees, and the turquoise of our built-in pool worked its magic. By Father’s Day we had a solid contract after our home had only been listed for a few weeks. But the devil is in the details. The fine print specified: ‘closing to take place within four weeks.’ The buyer wanted to spend their summer by our pool. The pressure was on to find a home that met all of our needs and that of Clancy, our golden doodle…allowing us to move in in less than thirty days. The hunt was on. So, at the next bakery run, I decided to be bold. I uttered my request loudly, for all to hear: “I WANT TO LIVE IN WEST HARTFORD CLOSE TO A LITTLE SOMETHING BAKERY!” I yelled. I exited quickly, enveloped by silence. To help the dream along, we found a realtor specializing in West Hartford rentals, who quickly showed us a couple of properties that were just a five minute walk away. Location, location, location isn’t all it is cracked up to be when there is peeling paint or wobbly stairs. We consulted Google maps to help triangulate how close to the center we could afford to live. We drove street-by-street searching for rental signs for the perfect

I want to live close to this bakery,” I whispered. 46

two family charmer, like the ones our grandparents had lived in. Our timing was off. Our goals seemed as aligned as shooting stars in the summer sky. Nothing opened up. On the hottest day of the year last July, when everyone was warned to stay hydrated for fear of heat stroke, we had to pack up our suburban home. Moving close-by in Condocity to a small apartment in safe suburbia felt more like defeat than victory. Friends congratulated us on the miraculous sale of our home in a single season but somehow it all tasted bittersweet. We fed our cravings for a more bustling city-like atmosphere by making weekly visits to West Hartford for dinner with friends and of course a run to “our” bakery. Fall brought me back to my classroom with the strongest allergy attacks ever. In September the doctor called to confirm my worst fears. I was severely allergic to the invisible pet dander in the new apartment. The next day, I opened an email from our agent that would change my life forever. There was a listing so good that I called my husband before my students had even left my class. Within an hour we did a quick drive- by and made sure we were the first applicants to see it the next day. “I want to live close to my bakery” I screamed to the universe, as we drove by it the next morning. The charming Victorian duplex was just a half-mile away. It was built in 1890 but had been restored and updated. It had not one but two floors and a front and back porch. The master bedroom was the largest I had ever seen with five oversized windows facing east. It was also within walking distance of a church, the library and many of the best restaurants in West Hartford. It had that feeling of home from the moment we saw it! By October our dream of living in West Hartford, and moving back to the city became the final piece of our puzzling lives. Now we are able to enjoy the wonderful outdoors of Cape Cod and the bustling sweet life of our favorite little city, West Hartford. Thanks to a coupon and a cupcake and a little something from the universe, we found the perfect place to settle into our new role as grandparents and soon-to-be retirees. Back to basics and loving it! n

Hall’s Market: Your BBQ Headquarters since 1935

Superior Steaks • Fresh Seafood Store Made Deli Salads • Ribs Kabobs • Black Angus Burgers Native Produce • Catering

Assorted Cookies, Cakes, Cupcakes and more! Check out our photo gallery at

View our menu online at

331 Park Road, West Hartford CT 860.232.1075

335 Park Road, West Hartford CT 860.586.8711


Q&A Get to know Silkworm’s Owner, Erica... What is your background? I grew up in Torrington and decided after high school that I wanted to move to New York City. I was admitted into the Fashion Institute of Technology and never looked back.  The fashion,energy and fast pace of the city was invigorating. After graduating I was lucky to be a part of the Bloomingdales Buying Team. It was a fantastic experience, but I missed the one-on-one with clients. After working at Armani Collezioni and Dana Buchman, I decided to return to Connecticut where I met my husband Nick. While living in Essex, a local clothing boutique, Silkworm of Essex Village, was for sale. I jumped at the opportunity to own the store. After seeing the need for classic contemporary and preppy clothing in the Hartford area, I decided to open a second location in West Hartford at the intersection of Farmington Avenue and Lasalle Road in 2011. In a sentence of two, describe Silkworm and what its all about: Silkworm follows lifestyles more so than brands. Our women are students, mothers, executives, and retired. They travel, entertain, are very busy and need a wardrobe that accommodates their multifunctioning lifestyles.

...We have become

a destination for gift givers with our complimentary signature gift wrapping.



Whats new with Silkworm? Some really exciting things are happening at Silkworm! We launched our online store in September as well as a lifestyle blog.  We feature local models for the website and clients for our blog. We are now just a click away! We are enhancing our offerings to fulfill a growing need for our younger clients.  We will be bringing in competitively priced contemporary and preppy clothing and accessories.  Currently our accessories start at only $10!  We have become a destination for gift givers with our complimentary signature gift wrapping.  We are looking forward to the Holiday Season and have some special Silkworm events planned for our customers!! Why is it important to shop local? By shopping local, you are supporting not just the business, but the entire community.  We also like to support the community by donating to local hospitals, and other businesses. What does your blog focus on and why do you feel it’s important?

photography by Cheyney Barrieau. Models: Angelica Spanos, Beth Johnson, and Kara Dokas.

We feature our clients and local woman who share a passion for fashion. We all love our clothing and accessories and there are so many different ways to wear them.  By featuring them, we learn different ways to wear our clothes and we also make a connection to who they are. n

Erica Morizio, Owner of Silkworm Boutique.

Follow them: Find us at: or on: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Holiday 2013

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Looking your best under the Mistletoe this Season!


e all know that having a ‘good hair day’ pretty much assures us of a ‘good day’ in general! Quite simply, when we look better, we feel better. So much of our attitude and outlook for the day is directly reflected upon how we feel about ourselves at the time! So how do we face this crazy, busy holiday season head-on with a bright and bubbly attitude? Making sure our hair looks great, of course! Tickled pink to dish on holiday hair for any and every occasion, I’d like to offer my top three hair-do’s of the season. Whether you opt to have your hair professionally blow-dried or take your strands into your own hands, they are easy, nofuss remedies for taming wild hair into ‘heavenly hair’ this holiday season!



Since time is of the essence for all of us this holiday season, we want to be able to look good in as little time as possible! Buns, braids and ponies are a great twist on the classic up-do and just as easy to do in just a few minutes. Don’t worry about making your cinched hair perfect because even messy side buns, tousled fishtail braids and loose low ponytails make the list!


Everyone is crushing this season on curls and waves! A sleek blow-out with soft waves is so glamorous. Add extra volume and layers of headbands for a l’il va-va-voom at your next holiday party!


The faux bob has been all over the runway and we’re obsessed with that chic look! Curl your hair, tease it a bit and then tuck your hair under and pin. Add a brooch or sparkly clip to make this style super special! So, next time you are in a time pinch to get to a special holiday event and want to do something special with your hair, remember it doesn’t have to be complicated. Try these tips for a perfect hair-do. After all, perfect hair equals perfect confidence! n

Stacey Cohen aka @ScarlettOHair Franchise partner of Blo West Hartford, 71 Memorial Road. 203-213-5148 “Blo, North America’s Original Blow Dry Bar, is committed to combing through the coif ranks and changing the world one blo out at a time!”

photography by

by Stacey Cohen

Holiday 2013

west hartford magazine


: r e g g o l B n o i h s a F


the s nd tre e fiv Holidays, we took d winter an most sought after this ry sought paired them with a ve mention after blogger - did we DeFilippo sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s local? Christina and editor is the fashion maven .com. As behind OhSoGlam continue to personal style blogs the fashion be a huge influence on wait to sit industry, we couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t a big name down and chat with s to live in blogger who happen rhood. Let our very own neighbo ultimate us introduce you to the Glam Girl Next Door.


t im e


ette Larcada Written & Styled by Bridg Vargas Photography by Manny B. Beyer Assistant Styling by Anna

FASHION is brought to you by:



OhSoGlam. Glam girl next door.

Lilla P Sweater ($146), Reindeer Necklace ($54) at Kimberly Boutique. Open Ring, Knot Ring & Pyramid Ring ($39.50) at Banana Republic. Elinor Gay Skirt ($31.50) & Ferragamo Loafers ($15) at The Clothes Horse Thrift. On The Rack: BK&Co, The Clothes Horse Thrift, Kimberly Boutique & Lux Boutique. Holiday 2013

west hartford magazine


larity her blog has attained, but more ect with Target stores in which she is exposure leads to more emails and tasked to style falls trends and pieces, opportunities. Since this is not yet her check out her blog to see the latest fulltime job, she often feels guilty for trend. not responding quick enough. On a Local West Hartford is were Chrispositive note she says the best part of tina’s heart lies. As home owners not who has A bl og ge r is a person her blogs success is the realization that on far from the Center, Raja and Christina rm a platfo or updates a blog. A blog is she is able to achieve anything she puts couldn’t be more proud. She is currentgs are placed. which informational writin d her mind to. Well said! ly working with Silkworm Boutique on nge dly cha The blog has single hande Due to the Christina’s talents she a special project for the store’s blog. ormation on the way people attain inf has attained multiple sponsors, her the Christina is also quick to name quite d change the web and in turn it has first and dearest to her heart being a a few local stores in which she loves to ts, interests way we express our though are ntrya and couAs r the from all ove clothing company, Alley & Chris. Last findsen inspiration and shop. couple, cho of her stunne no e hav uld and perspectives. n, wo hio she fas s inwine and whom t influen besRaja year she was invited to Let Lucky MagChristina and lovecerto t with the me y vary from ma wn g kno blo a be it of ic top ed. e ph Th gra Speaking ning looks photo and Beauty Blogger nt.Cuvée, ainmeor and ent dine at places likeert Vinted and uty bea ess law to azine’s Fashion of otographs ph gs blo a y sports analytics to busin alit ne qu ryo the eve t h tha wit ed fill n bee have out with friends at Bricco withces a s, pre-selecenjoy elsnights pan el of success (FABB) conference ally lev eci e Th esp le. sty suc nal its h rso pe hel Zoe. Racwonderhas a lot to do wit to are moreyou Barrytime 300 slots, or m Drew Next froBartaco. solely on the tion process for isnearly creativiteisart any or le sty when writing a blog relies rm tfo pla to New r itedSquare if you was inv sheBlue cently,or strive to sattain. n! Re ing the Center Back Swoo es on average an invite most bloggers n eiv no Ca rec it ple ws vie cou s of thi nt ou It’s am attended for that matter. ek wh n Weout hiolook frommalllen over thea’s Fasto be sure forere thisshe wonderful York peting blogs. Attendees are chosen s, Raj 50m h wit when compared to its com ra she me Ca although Rebel events ws and love showould with gla thembest incouple, to, meet you as multiplethey take notice, country and are met gs ext blo l-n d gir ate rel r ’s pee ina , rist on So while standkeen eye, and Ch beauty and enterinspired themselves she was mo they tostimmerse says continue event invites fluencers in fashion, ne. do job the get t sponsors come calling, tha s fashtfit ou door Lincoln Center watching the have been ining theincommunity. ng events or tainment. Speaking ispanels g aki blo spe a ing and ain in, g int lin ma rol rt sta By no means from Drew Barryis also an opion elite come and go. It e. Now, your filled with everyone paying task a n eve t no it’s interviews are inevitabl k, tas y an eas while making Recently, portune time to network r audience. more to Rachel Zoe.r aSwoon! you rtto sta nt ce eva Sin rel y. bb hly ho hig is g he blo n. Currently, at first, but rat York Fashion oneself know and be know h Christina she was invited to New has had to ina rist Ch m, Such is the case wit Gla So Oh ional project ing multiple Christina is working on a nat OhSoGlam. Week where she attended rk, of wo r of ho rs aut ou erh o, aft ipp le Fil De she is tasked put forth multip she says with Target stores in which ned industry shows and events, although rizon at Ho 5 to 9 r ula reg com. Not only has she gai r he of on top ces, check out while standing to style falls trends and pie g, she also she was most inspired s blo say le sty she her ich wh for y job iet A . tor up no nd. Marketing gro the her blog to see the latest tre rd resident. in Lincoln Center watching ge of all ledfashow kn r he hed happens to be a West Hartfo ric en ly on has rd is where Local West Hartfo ; an awesome d. on ini ate op rel al dia son me per ial my soc in d and An things digital home owners Christina’s heart lies. As to know. he hardest “T , rds wo n ow personality you should get ’s ina rist ja and ChrisIn Ch not far from the Center, Ra tact with enag ma e tim is g blo my g After, getting in con part of runnin ud. She is curtina couldn’t be more pro g common the day.” She in urs ho re Christina and finally findin mo ed ne I nt. rm Boutique me rently working with Silkwo we managed g blo r he ity lar pu po the ground in our schedules store’s blog. is humbled by on a special project for the a successful osure leads exp re mo t bu an intriguing interview and , ed ain att has name quite a Christina is also quick to showcased ce Sin . ies nit rtu po op and photoshoot, in which we she loves to to more emails few local stores in which go-to trends. job, she often e ltim ful r he some of fall and winter’s yet t no is s As a couple, thi find inspiration and shop. gger started ly ick qu ing nd po res t no This Connecticut born blo feels guilty for wine and dine Christina and Raja love to ber of 2011, te she says the no ve siti po in Septem a On gh. ou vée, and enen at places like Vinted or Cu lover and saw rethe is s ces suc g’s blo r she had been a Pinterest best part of he s at Bricco or joy nights out with friend h admirable achieve anyto e abl is she quite a few stylish ladies wit t tha on ati wandering aliz Bartaco. Next time you are ’d try it for d! sai ll We to. nd mi r he style blogs and thought she ts uare be sure thing she pu the Center or Blue Back Sq . ents she has tal ’s ina rist herself – good thing she did Ch to e Du erful couple; to look out for this wond ise her boyfirst her rs, nso spo le Christina is quick to pra ltip as they attained mu hout y would love to meet you wit the a, Raj ther, ph clo a gra ng oto bei ph rt friend and and dearest to her hea mselves in the continue to immerse the t year Las ris. Ch & ey All y, ing compan community. Magazine’s she was invited to Lucky gger (FABB) Fashion and Beauty Blo tion process conference with a pre-selec an invite most for nearly 300 slots; it is Attendees are bloggers strive to attain.

dedly changed A blog has single han r thoughts, ou ss re p ex e w ay w e th tives. interests and perspec



BDBG Max Azria Blazer ($298) & Citizens of Humanity Coated Jean ($228) at Kimberly Boutique. Porto Blue Vest ($298), Fahrenheit Woven Earrings ($90) at BK&Co. Stateside T-Shirt ($66) at Silkworm Boutique. Suede Blue Loafers ($98) at Ann Taylor. On The Rack: BK&Co, Banana Republic, The Clothes Horse & SIGHT.

Holiday 2013

west hartford magazine


Sanctuary Clothing Peplum Top ($82) & Kiss Kouture Pumps ($60) at Lux Boutique. Tolani Plaid Shirt ($120) at BK&Co. David Brooks Ltd Plaid Skirt ($7) at The Clothes Horse. C&S Style Beaded Bracelets ($175) & Susan Leone Spiked Cuff ($150) at Silkworm Boutique. FRYE Overnight Bag ($598) at Kimberly Boutique. On The Rack: BK&Co, The Clothes Horse Thrift, Kimberly Boutique, Silkworm Boutique & StyleMint.



She was most inspired while standing in Lincoln Center watching the fashion elite come and go.

Bell by Alicia Bell Shirt ($213) at Silkworm Boutique. Floral Skirt ($89), Navy Fox Bracelet ($54) & Beaded Horse Bracelet ($48) at Ann Taylor. Tiffany & Fred Purse ($128) at BK&Co. On The Rack: Banana Republic, Kimberly Boutique, Lux Boutique & Silkworm Boutique.

Holiday 2013

west hartford magazine


exposure leads to more emails and opportunities. Since this is not yet her fulltime job, she often feels guilty for not responding quick enough. On a positive note she says the best part of her blogs success is the realization that she is able to achieve anything she puts her mind to. Well said! Due to the Christina’s talents she has attained multiple sponsors, her first and dearest to her heart being a clothing company, Alley & Chris. Last year she was invited to Lucky Magazine’s Fashion and Beauty Blogger (FABB) conference with a pre-selection process for nearly 300 slots, it is an invite most bloggers strive to attain. Attendees are chosen from all over the country and are met with the best influencers in fashion, beautyorand entert are your fav ite local Q: WhaSpeaking tainment. panels have been outs? hang filled with everyone from Drew Barrytaco vee, Vinted, BRICCO & bar A: Cu more to Rachel Zoe. Swoon! Recently, she was invited to New York na Fashion e your perso l hat arshe Q: W Week where attended multiple blogs? although she says ite events, favorand shows Jules (she emulates my cerely sheA:wasSin most inspired while standing )I se – it’s actually wearable ss senCenter in dre Lincoln watching the fashe her. Atlanalso met her and really lik Blonde Salad ticPacific, Song of Style, really love Maare a few more. Locally, I d Lynzy from rissa from Style Cusp an Sparkling Footsteps.

Q & A:

tasked to style falls trends and pieces, check out her blog to see the latest trend. Local West Hartford is were Christina’s heart lies. As home owners not far from the Center, Raja and Christina couldn’t be more proud. She is currently working with Silkworm Boutique on a special project for the store’s blog. Christina is also quick to name quite a few local stores in which she loves to find inspiration and shop. As a couple, Christina and Raja love to wine and dine at places like Vinted or Cuvée, and enjoy nights out with friends at Bricco cited to areareexwonderyouyou or Next ndstime Any tre Q:Bartaco. ing go?Center or Blue Back Square seethe pant (beharem be to’tlook wonderful the this off for pullout I can A:sure nd if mias uldn’t womeet couple, they you so Ito tried),love I’vewould lieve me they trend immerse themselves thatcontinue in the community.

favorite Q: Where are your places to shop?

had one A: ZARA online - wish they y wearable bahere! Michael Stars is ver Madewell and sics. Along with H&M, Anthropologie.

u this by d ire are particularly insp

Q: Are there any trends yo season?

anything especially for camo. Leather is so great, o love to mix the cooler seasons. I als textures and prints.

A: Yes! The Military trend… or


Q: What’s your favorite


clothing item?

forem my grandmost, my cowboy boots fro ge country girl. parents because I’m a hu e to say my CeHowever this year I’d hav which are lifeline and Chanel Purses, time investments to me.

and A: I actually have a few. First

Q: What beauty product

can you

not live without?


A: Bare Minerals – pressed fou And Benefit mascara.

ings you

Q: What are the last 5 th Googled?

sic artist)

A: - Kacy Musgrave (country mu - Beauty tutorial - Cat videos - farm house tables n - fed ex and ups tracking


Milly Sweater ($395) by Silkworm Boutique. Greylin Leather Skirt ($95) at Kimberly Boutique. Gold Knot Necklace ($70) & Ankle Socks ($11) at Banana Republic. Mayer Vintage Purse ($12) at The Clothes Horse Thrift. Lola Heel ($89.98) by On The Rack: BK&Co, Kimberly Boutique, Lux Boutique & Silkworm.


Financial Empowerment Boomers must face the ‘sandwich generation-challenge’ head-on to secure a financial future!


aby boomers are considered one of the wealthiest generations, but they are faced with a unique challenge: being sandwiched between caring for their aging parents while supporting their own children. Additionally, they must plan financially to ensure their wealth lasts so they can continue to provide for their families while also ensuring their children will not be responsible to care for them during their retirement. The United States Census Bureau identifies a baby boomer as someone born during the demographic birth boom between 1946 and 1964. In Europe and North America, baby boomers are widely associated with privilege, as many grew up in a time of increasing affluence. In contrast, their parents’ generation did not attain the same level of wealth. As baby boomers make their way through their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, their parents are aging and need assistance. Since most baby boomers have achieved financial success, they feel compelled to be accountable for their parents’ elderly care. One-third of Generation X and nearly half 60

of Generation Y now expect their parents or in-laws to rely on them for financial assistance at some point in their lives. Americans are living longer than ever before. Those reaching age 65 can now expect to live another 18.6 years, and the 85+ population is projected to increase from 5.7 million in 2000 to 12.9 million in 2020. This demographic shift will result in an increased demand for elder care services and increasing pressure on families. Of those 70 years old or older who need help with personal care or routine aspects of daily life, the majority receive help from family members. Among the costs baby boomers have taken responsibility for are their parents’ living arrangements, healthcare, financial planning and estate planning. Not surprisingly, in 2009, more than four out of five younger boomers reported moderate to high levels of stress as a result of responsibilities to provide care to an older family member. In addition, baby boomers are financially supporting their children throughout their various stages in life – whether buying a car, paying college tuition or purchasing a home. However, without a solid

understanding of their family’s wealth, some members of the next generation may be ill-equipped to handle it. To ensure their children’s long-term financial independence and understanding, baby boomers must prepare the next generation to make informed financial choices through a solid financial education around wealth – what it means and how to handle it responsibly. A recent 2013 U.S. Trust Insights on Wealth and Worth Survey® revealed that a sizable portion of wealthy Americans appears to be of two minds about fiscal tutoring. Most respondents believed their children would benefit from discussions with a financial professional, but more than three-quarters of parents have a professional advisor who has not formed a relationship with their children. Talking about wealth and education enables children to develop the art of agreement and good decision- making, whether for investment opportunities, family expenses or something larger, such as the family’s philanthropic mission. If the parents feel uncomfortable having “the talk” about money with their children, they should utilize their financial advisors. Many financial

photography by BIGSTOCKPHOTO.COM

by Daniel Casper, and Jane Connery

58% of wealthy parents are not fully confident their children will be well-prepared to handle a financial inheritance. institutions offer assistance with this. For example, U.S. Trust’s Financial Empowerment program was specifically created to help the next generation make informed financial decisions. The education program was developed for those in their twenties and thirties, tailoring the course to each family’s particular needs. This personalized approach makes the program a surprisingly powerful tool – all the more so because the training can be done online, where so many young adults spend their time anyway. The program can involve one-on-one sessions with a wealth specialist or in-group get-togethers for the entire family. Boomers must not only financially support their children, but educate them on their financial futures, as well. By doing so and giving their children more independence, they may feel less “sandwiched.” Research demonstrates that as a genera-

tion, boomers have tended to avoid discussions surrounding long-term planning and do not adequately account for all of the important factors on retirement. Yet, onein-seven middle-aged adults (15 percent) is providing financial support to both an aging parent and a child. Boomers must manage their finances and investments during their lifetime to ensure the wealth lasts through their retirement and beyond. To do this they need to establish trusts to provide financial security for themselves and their partners. Additionally, they must consider how to pass assets to future generations and the charities they care about. By making use of their financial professionals, boomers can plan for the decisions they will face as they or a loved one age. Additionally, their counselors can provide guidance on opportunities to educate their children, such as the Financial Empower-

ment program. By facing the “sandwich generation” challenge head on and partaking in financial planning, boomers can become confident and look forward to a secure financial future. n

Daniel Casper is Managing Director, Wealth Planning Solutions Market Director, U.S. Trust Jane Connery is Managing Director, Market Trust Director, U.S. Trust U.S. Trust operates through Bank of America, N.A. and other subsidiaries of Bank of America Corporation. Bank of America, N.A., Member FDIC. This content represents thoughts of the authors and does not necessarily represent the position of Bank of America or U.S. Trust.

This article is designed to provide general information about ideas and strategies. It is for discussion purposes only since the availability and effectiveness of any strategy is dependent upon your individual facts and circumstances. Always consult with your independent attorney, tax advisor, investment manager, and insurance agent for final recommendations and before changing or implementing any financial, tax, or estate planning strategy.

Questions About Buying or Selling Real Estate?

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with Jim (he’ll

Meet Jim in person and get ANSWERS


CALL JIM TODAY! Direct: 860.838.6291 Visit: “More than an agent, Jim is a seasoned advocate with the knowledge and skills to protect your interests in the purchase or sale of real estate.”

Holiday 2013

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Items Stolen from Vehicles.

A MessAge froM the Chief of PoliCe...

W by John DiSimone

hich item is most often stolen from vehicles in West Hartford? Is it: Stereo? Wheels? Air Bag? DVD System? Well, if you said stereo – you used to be right. But airbags have now surpassed stereos as the biggest target for theft in West Hartford – approximately 50,000 a year are stolen across the country. New airbags cost about $1,000, but go for $50 to $200 on the black market in West Hartford. Stolen airbags are making their way back into cars that have been in an accident. Of course, the danger to the consumer of having a stolen airbag installed is that you can never be sure what may have previously affected them and if they will work right when you need them. Contact Modern Tire of West Hartford for more information about where to get your airbags checked or replaced. There are reports that 1 in 25 airbag replacements are stolen or salvaged airbags – or no airbag is installed at all. That is definitely one car part you don’t want to take a chance with, so Modern Tire of West Hartford recommends following these guidelines: Use a reputable collision repair center that employs ASE certified mechanics (we can offer recommendations at Modern Tire of West Hartford). Inspect the invoice to ensure that the repair shop purchased the airbag from a manufacturer, dealer, or recycler. If you can inspect the airbag prior to installation, it should be packaged in a sealed container from the manufacturer. You will see the SRS light (Supplemental Restraint System) when you first start your vehicle up. This tells you that the airbag system is activated. If you do not see the SRS light, there is likely a problem with the airbag system. For more information, contact John at Modern Tire of West Hartford by calling 860.233.5177.

“Car breaks are one of the most prevalent property crimes we experience in West Hartford and they occur in all sections of town. More often than not, thieves enter unlocked vehicles hoping to make a quick and easy find. Please take the time to properly secure all valuables and keep car doors locked. Taking these simple actions can have a drastic impact on reducing these crimes of opportunity.” Chief tracey G. Gove Police Chief, town of West Hartford

a Word From NAPA. Those auto service schedules in your owner’s manual are there for a reason. If ever you don’t understand a recommended service, just ask your West Hartford service advisor at Modern Tire of West Hartford. We’ll be happy to explain. he function of the fuel filter is pretty self-explanatory. It filters your fuel. The fuel filter is in the fuel line somewhere in between the fuel tank and the engine. Both gas and diesel vehicles around West Hartford CT use fuel filters.

Full Service Auto Repair Shop Blue Back Square At West Hartford Center (Across from Whole Foods)

Modern Tire

Of West Hartford

Andy Rizzo, John DeSimone, Brian Hajdasz


860.233.5177 | | Book appointments online! |

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a holiday guide


LUX BOND & GREEN *%7%,297!4#(%3')&43s3).#%

46 LaSalle Road WEST HARTFORD CENTER 860.521.3015 Glastonbury South Windsor Mohegan Sun Greenwich Westport Boston Wellesley 800.524.7336

The Holidays Come Early at The Heights. Here’s one special gift you don’t have to wait for the holidays to enjoy. Receive up to $1,000 for Moving Expenses & One Month’s Free Rent when you make a commitment by December 15th.

Living at The Heights is a pleasure you’ll enjoy every day of the year. Explore our senior living community, tucked away on a 43-acre park-like setting, overlooking the downtown skyline and Avon Mountain. Everything from boutiques to breathtaking views and fine dining are a mere stroll away. Our state-of-the-art Wellness Center and full calendar of social activities keep our residents inspired to live life to the fullest.

Come explore all The Heights has to offer! Join us for our Open House and Luncheon: November 27th, November 30th and December 14th. Starting at 10:45 a.m.

To RSVP for upcoming events or for more information call:

860-953-1201 ext. 403

Come to our Holiday Tea! Discover unique gifts, clothing & jewelry at The Villager Gift Shop at The Heights. Plus enjoy holiday music and free refreshments!

Thursday, December 5th, 1:00 – 6:00 p.m. To RSVP, call 860-953-1201, ext. 403

550 Avery Heights Hartford, CT 06106

Happy Holidays to you- our very loyal readers and subscribers. To those of you receiving DAZZLE for the first time, and to those of you in Avon and Farmington who receive DAZZLE each holiday season, thank you for welcoming us into your home. (Watch for PALETTE next spring!) DAZZLE is full of wonderful “wrap-it-and-tie-it-with-a-bow” gift ideas and it also includes a few suggestions for how to give back to the community and/or help those less fortunate this hoilday season. Please consider ALL kinds of gift giving this season! Thank you for your support and we hope you find time to visit many of our advertisers and featured merchants- and tell them you were DAZZLED! Looking forward to 2014... Please have a safe, happy and healthy Holiday Season!

Thomas P. HickeyII, Publisher P.S. Periodically you will receive custom publications from us as a perk for subscribing and as a thank you for your loyalty as a faithful reader. Dazzle is a WHMedia custom publication. For more information, check us out on DAZZLE is published by: WHMedia, Inc. | 998 Farmington Ave., Suite 205, West Hartford, CT 06107 | office 860-523-1800 ©2013 WHMedia, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this periodical may be reproduced without express permission of the publisher. The opinions expressed by writers commissioned for articles published by WH Media, Inc. are not necessarily those of the magazine.

. . . e om Gurgle Pots in an array of colors... and they really gurgle, creating smiles around the table! $39. Pompanoosuc Mills. 21 Brace Road, West Hartford.

Brahms Mount 100% cotton throws handwoven and featured in Oprah magazine! $235. Pompanoosuc Mills. 21 Brace Road, West Hartford.

Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got Leather in their showroom houses & thousands of fabric samples. Re-upholster to recyle and restyle your favorite pieces. Imperial Decorating and Upholstery. Quotes available. 41 Prescott Street, West Hartford.

Deck the Hull Ornament: Trim your tree with this Chris-CraftÂŽ-inspired ornament! Made from hand-blown, handpainted glass, this work of art is a festive way to get in the island spirit. Tommy Bahama at Westfarms. $68.

This giraffe is made from eco-friendly 3-ply bamboo with white hour and minute hands and a gold second hand, run by a silent clock motor. Size: 6” x 15”. $68.00. Lila Mae: Sustainably Made in the USA. Holiday pop up shop at 95 Memorial Drive, West Hartford. Unique luminaries by Tabatha Henry, each piece is cast, decorated and fired in her VT studio. $59 to $99. Pompanoosuc Mills. 21 Brace Road, West Hartford.

Chandler 4 Corners hooked pillows in a variety of charming images and colors. $165. Pompanoosuc Mills. 21 Brace Road, West Hartford. from $55+

Original Buddha Board. Simply paint with water. $29.99. Jerry’s Artarama of CT, 1109 New Britain Ave., West Hartford.


. . . e om Give memories in the form of family photography gift certificates this season! Studio and on-location sessions available. Sessions begin at $150, with framed wall art starting at $375.  IRIS Photography, West Hartford Center.

Keep them coming back for more! Giftware department at Monarch Jewelers, 838 Farmington Ave., Farmington.

These beautiful hand blown Vermont Evergreens reflect candlelight brilliantly, by Simon Pearce. Lux Bond & Green, 46 LaSalle Road, West Hartford.


Treasured for a



LUX BOND & GREEN *%7%,297!4#(%3')&43s3).#%

46 LaSalle Road WEST HARTFORD CENTER 860.521.3015 Glastonbury South Windsor Mohegan Sun Greenwich Westport Boston Wellesley 800.524.7336

Why Miss Your own Party? Together we have over 25 years of bartending & event experience and offer our services to you for any type of occasion. Along with our staff, we are licensed, T.I.P.S. certified, and fully insured. John: 203-215-6701 Bob: 860-299-6161

Monarch Jewelers MONARCH JEWELERS 2013 | 2014

MJ MAGAZINE 2013/2014 • Vol.5/No.1


Luxury. Pre-Loved Luxury Watches*

Imagine one of these Pre-Loved Luxury Watches* on your wrist or that special someone in your life. These Pre-Loved Luxury Watches* can be passed on generation to generation so start your collection now or add to what you already own. *Monarch Jewelers is not an authorized dealer of any luxury watch pictured. Authenticity is guaranteed or your money back!   

MJ | Gift cards available | Visit us on Facebook



Color. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll turn over every rock to help you find that special piece you are looking for! Whether it be for everyday wear or that special night out our selection of Sapphires, Rubies and Emeralds will amaze you ... and if we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have what you want in the store special orders are welcome. Plenty of loose stones available to suit any budget and style. For a more affordable selection and vast array of colored stones choose from Amethyst, Citrine or Topaz to name a few ... have some fun and combine a color or two into your next piece!

MJ | Gift cards available | Visit us on Facebook



Mi Moneda means “My Coin” in Spanish and is already a big hit with the celebs like Rihanna and Halle Berry. The fashionable and luxurious brand is inspired by vintage coins and combines high style jewelry with ancient spiritual ideas. The unique interchangeable pendant, designed to change coins, makes it possible to create a personal necklace. With over 250,000 combinations you can create any look with a “flip of a coin.”


The Italian words Ti Sento mean “I feel you”. Poetry to everyone who is in love with jewelry. Today’s women feel comfortable with their free spirit and modern femininity. Our Ti Sento collection enhances this love affair. All stones are hand-set in sterling silver and backed by a two year warranty.



Elegance. MJ | Gift cards available | Visit us on Facebook

Color is by far the hottest trend in pearls right now and our pearls are known for their iridescent, vibrant, almost metallic colors, with the unique ability to display a variety of colors at the same time -- colors such as Peacock, Eggplant, Olive Green, Blue and Gold. From Classic White Strands to Trendy “Fireball” Pearl Strand or Pendant - our selection is a must see in person to appreciate the ultimate gift from the Sea!

Ombré Tahitian Opera Length Pearl Necklace

May want to describe how the pearls take on didfferent tones to what they wear.... ppl may not get it by the photo. MONARCH JEWELERS 2013 | 2014


Contemporary to Classic Designs best describe our selection of Dazzling Diamonds at MJ. We have been leaders in Diamond artistry and craftsmanship for over three decades serving generations of families for their Engagement, Wedding and Anniversary needs. We take great pride in our reputation for custom design work for not only the discriminating buyer but anyone who wants something special and unique to fit their personality and taste. Quite often family heirlooms from two or three pieces are brought in to be â&#x20AC;&#x153;marriedâ&#x20AC;? into one special piece suiting your style. Come on, bring it in we welcome the challenge.

MJ 10 | Gift cards available | Visit us on Facebook

Dazzling Diamonds. MONARCH JEWELERS 2013 | 2014

MJ 11

Simply Silver.

Our line of Sterling Silver Jewelry is affordable and most importantly features designers hand picked by Angela, Lee and Jesse including Alisa, Breuning, Ed Levin and David Wysor to name a few. The combination of silver, gold and rose makes each piece a work of art! Special orders are welcome so shop early to ensure prompt delivery! MJ 12 | Gift cards available | Visit us on Facebook

In addition to Gold Jewelry never going out of style ... today it is an investment! From Necklaces to Cuffs we have a variety of exquisite jewelry in Gold for both him and her. If you don’t see something you like just let us know and we’ll find it for you. Clean out your old jewelry box before you come in because you may want to trade in your gold and redesign an existing piece or use cash toward another purchase. FOPE’s FLEX IT bracelet featured here is still a favorite because it is so easily put on and taken off ... perfect for those of us who want to wear it everyday and appreciate its easy on/off again design and especially convenient for those of us with active lifestyles.

MJ 14 | Gift cards available | Visit us on Facebook

Gold Glam.


MJ 15

Great Gifts.

MJ 16 | Gift cards available | Visit us on Facebook

With brands like Nambe, Michael Aram, Camilletti and Olivia Riegel… featured in our 2,000 square foot Fine Gift Showroom … you need not visit the Mall or Center (free parking at MJ)! By the time we Gift Wrap your purchase (always FREE at MJ) your package will look as special as you are to us. Sometimes you can’t find exactly what you are looking for so consider a MJ GIFT CARD, and yes it is Gift-Wrapped in its own box. Special Gift Registration and Special Orders are welcomed!


MJ 17


Seiko. starting at 25% off.

Sterling Silver. $149.90 each.

Gift Sets. Bossa Nova Votive, 2 Piece Set offered at $19.90

Bossa Nova Serving Set, 3 Pieces offered at $29.90

Our Watch line includes Seiko, Saint Honore, Pulsar and private label MJ watches for him and her.

MJ 18 | Gift cards available | Visit us on Facebook

As always we have a complete selection of Riedel Crystal. Aspen Whiskey Decanter Set, 3 Pieces offered at $99.90

Monarch J ewelers

838 Farmington Avenue, Farmington CT 06032 (860) 679-7700 Vol. 5 / No. 1

Principles: Angela & Lee DeFelippi Publishing, Creative & Content Advisor: Jesse DeFelippi Co-publisher: WHMedia, Inc. Tom Hickey and Joy Taylor Graphic Designer: Jennifer Inocencio Photographer: Cheyney Barrieau Monarch Jewelers Magazine is published jointly by Monarch Jewelers, and WHMedia, Inc. It is distributed to the communities it serves. Š2013 Monarch Jewelers and WHMedia, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this periodical may be reproduced without express permission of the publishers.

. . . s obbie Alex Woo MLB Red Sox Pendants, 16” disco chain in three options. Sterling Silver: $178. 14K yellow gold: $848. With diamonds, 14K white gold: $1048. Lux Bond & Green 46 LaSalle Road, West Hartford. Cufflinks from actual MLB baseballs. Lux Bond & Green 46 LaSalle Road, West Hartford.

Hand-crafted guitars by skilled, West Hartford guitar maker, Peter A. Occhineri. See gallery at

Princeton SENSU Solo, the digital brush for touchscreen devices. 5 color options. $24.99 each. Jerry’s Artarama of CT 1109 New Britain Ave., West Hartford.

Decorative Papers from around the world. Prices vary. Jerry’s Artarama of CT 1109 New Britain Ave., West Hartford. Sports Memorabilia, and more at Monarch Jewelers. 838 Farmington Ave.

Custom bottled and private label soda available for any event via Avery Soda, or purchase West Hartford’s own label in a selection of your favorite flavors. Available for purchase at Effie’s Place Family Restaurant,91 Park Road, or Pet Supplies Plus, 2480 Albany Ave. in Bishop’s Corner, West Hartford.

& h t l ea eauty... b Tea sampler packs in a variety of flavors, including Green, Black, White, Rooibos, Pu-erh, and Oolong. $6.85 each. The Green Teahouse, 40 Isham Road, West Hartford. Shea Daily Duo from Lâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Occitane at Westfarms. $18

Wyndmere Essential Oils (to help you unwind from holiday stress!). Prices vary. Village Vitality, 982 Farmington Ave.

ULUX gift kit is an amazing gift, what woman would not want to be pampered with a shampoo and condition system containing crushed Tahitian Pearls? $84.00. Blo West Hartford, 71 Memorial Road, West Hartford.

Blo West Hartford offers gift cards and any denomination... remember, You’re not cheating on your hairdresser! Blotabs start at $245.00 for a package of 8 blow outs. Blo West Hartford, 71 Memorial Road, West Hartford. Aveda stress fix line: soaking salts $42, body lotion $30, and rollerball concentrate $24. A line clinically proven to reduce stress. Ecocert-certified organic. Aroma infused with French Lavender, lavandin and clary sage from organic farms. Per Se, 58 Memorial Road, and Matthew Phillips, 68 LaSalle Road, West Hartford.

Divine Star Gift from L’Occitane at Westfarms. $182 Hand Cream Bouquet from L’Occitane at Westfarms.

“You’ve Got My Whole Family Coming and That Includes 5 Vehicles.”” -Tony Everett, customer

It’s All In The Details!

“I Love This Car Wash” -Theresa Wright, customer

Absolutely the best car wash in New England! I am very particular when it comes to my vehicles. I love what I drive and I want what I drive to love me back. -John, customer

Gift Cards Available ! DETAILING: The complete detailing experience is second to none ... air

vents are cleaned, windows washed inside and out, carpets shampooed... you get the idea!

RUSSELL SPEEDER’S FULL SERVICE HAND WASH associates are hired because they are the best. They are friendly, speedy and passionate about customer service. Your visit starts with a hospitable greeting while you determine which service your vehicle requires. Then you are invited to one of the pristine waiting areas while your car is driven to the conveyor belt (no pull chains used here), then they vacuum the inside, wash the exterior by hand, clean the wheels, and dry the car. Then they clean the inside windows, wipe the dash and console and wipe the door jambs! When you mix CUSTOM CAR WASH equipment with the best cleaners available, the result is a car that is cleaner, shinier and drier than you could ever imagine.


265 West Main Street (Route 44, near TJ Maxx and WalMart) • Avon (860) 269-3136 Full Service Hand Wash Hours: Monday Thru Saturday, 8:00am till 6:00pm Sunday 9:00am till 5:00pm

Celebrate the

Holiday Season at the 40th Annual Festival of Trees & Traditions! This nine-day holiday event features trees and wreaths decorated by Hartford area artists and organizations displayed throughout the galleries. All items are for sale and proceeds fund the museumâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s special exhibitions, educational programs and operating expenses. Enjoy daily musical entertainment, family friendly activities and more!

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11/4/13 2:07 PM

40th Annual FESTIVAL OF TREES & TRADITIONS View the full schedule for the 40th Annual Festival of Trees & Traditions at ________________________________________ Festival Dates: December 5, 5 – 8 pm (First Thursday) December 6 – 15, 10 am – 5 pm Closed Monday & Tuesday, December 9 & 10 Admission: Adults: $13 Seniors (62+): $11 Students (13+): $8 Children (2-12): $3 Members: $3 Groups of ten or more will receive a discount by reservation only. To schedule a group visit call (860) 838-4046. Group rates: Adults $12, Seniors $10, Students $8. ________________________________________ SPECIAL EVENTS Thursday, December 5 | 5 – 8 pm FIRST THURSDAY: FESTIVAL!

Have the first opportunity to purchase your favorite holiday trees and wreaths! Listen to jolly tunes spun by DJ Jon Eastman and enjoy cocktails, snacks and a holiday-inspired art activity. Stay for an 8 pm screening of Love Actually! $8; $3 Members and college students with ID.

Friday, December 6 | 6:30 – 9:30 pm NIGHT OF ILLUMINATION

Celebrate the 40th anniversary of Festival with us! Sample festive cocktails and hors d’oeuvres provided by Onyx Moonshine and local restaurants, listen to live music by William Hall High School’s Choraliers and Jazz Combo, and watch a special preview performance of CONNetic Dance’s The Nutcracker Suite and Spicy! $55; $45 Members. Purchase Special Event tickets online at or call (860) 838-4100. The Festival of Trees & Traditions is presented by the Women’s Committee of the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art.

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11/4/13 2:07 PM


TREES & TRADITIONS December 5 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 15, 2013 Night of Illumination Friday, December 6, 6:30 - 9:30 pm Celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Festival!



& . p i g h , ot penin hap

Sunglasses by SALT, shown: Lester for men and Hanna for women, $419 each. Available at SIGHT, 17 South Main Street, West Hartford.

You can be dressed to the nines with a custom made suit to order! Gift certificates available. Bob DeGemmisâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Dressed To The Nines, 1000 Farmington Ave., West Hartford.

Menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bordeaux Leather Boot. $345. Carlo Pazolini at Westfarms.

Bordeaux Tote Bag in  Patent Leather. $295 . Carlo Pazolini at Westfarms.

Atlas® necklace in sterling silver. $250. Tiffany & Co. at Westfarms.

Atlas® earrings in 18 karat white gold with diamonds. $6,900. Tiffany & Co. at Westfarms.

Atlas® bracelets: 18 karat rose gold with diamonds, $750. Sterling silver, $250. Tiffany & Co. at Westfarms.

Mix and match C & S Style bracelets to create one-of-a kind stacks! Made from semi-precious stones such as fire agate, czech beads, jade and more. Single bracelets start at $50. Bracelets can be found at Silkworm Boutique, SilkwormOnline. com, and Spruce (both of West Hartford Center). Find us on Facebook.



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Get your Pandora at BK&Co, 64 LaSalle Road, West Harford Center. Snow Angel featured on the bracelet. Also pictured: St. Nick - $50; Winter Mittens - $45; Silver Bells - $50; Tree of Lights - $55.

Bronze Mid Buckle Flat “Soho Boot” with Fur and Suede Detail. $325. Carlo Pazolini at Westfarms.

High Heel Bootie with Bow Detail in Leather and Patent Leather. $395. Carlo Pazolini at Westfarms.

Peg and Awl’s wonderfully rugged is constructed with waxed canvas, vintage fabric lined-pockets, reclaimed leather straps and closures (from antique gun holsters and saddles,) brass rivets and Sam Browne buttons. $280.00. Lila Mae: Sustainably Made in the USA. Holi day pop up shop at 95 Memorial Drive, West Hartford.

From the IPPOLITA Rock Candy Gelato Collection, 18K Gold Sofia Short Necklace shown with a selection of IPPOLITA bracelets. Lux Bond & Green, 46 LaSalle Road, West Hartford

Joseph Ribkoff black sheer mesh and fabulous bordeaux matte jersey top. $154.00. BK&Co., 64 LaSalle Road, West Hartford.

Deep Sea Charms Necklace. Vintage claw, heirloom mollusk charm, quartz, abalone. 22â&#x20AC;? oxidized recycled silver chain. One of a kind. $430.00. Spruce Home and Garden, 973 Farmington Ave., You can be dressed to the nines with a custom made suit to order! Gift certificates available. Bob DeGemmisâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Dressed To The Nines, 1000 Farmington Ave., West Hartford.

The Maharani Wisdom necklace by designer Nina Nguyen. Legend has it turquoise will protect the wearer against negative energy and bring peace. Beautiful turquoise set in sterling clad in 22 karat gold. $1,495. DeRobertis Jewelers, 52 LaSalle Road, West Hartford.


Potted Gift Plants Keeping Holiday Plants Looking Their Best Into The New Year

A by Karla A. Dalley

s the song keeps reminding us, ‘it’s the most wonderful time of the year!’ And certainly the time from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day is a time to celebrate with family and friends. A great way to bring on the holiday season is to bring ‘gift’ or ‘seasonal’ plants into our homes. With very little extra work, these plants can actually become lovely additions to our homes year-round. You simply need to know what conditions these plants like and make sure they have it. Poinsettias are the biggest sellers in November and December, in fact, they are the most popular houseplant. Because it is native to Mexico, however, it is sensitive to cold, and unfortunately, we buy them in cold weather. When you purchase them, make sure they are wrapped before taking them from the garden center or florist. Exposure to cold will shorten the life of those colorful bracts (what we think of as ‘flowers’ are actually colorful leaf bracts). Because of their sensitivity, these plants cannot be left in

the car for a few more holiday errands. And once the plant is home, make sure it is not in a drafty place or too near a heat source. If these plants sound demanding, just remember that they are really outdoor tropical shrubs and we’re trying to grow them as houseplants. To keep these plants happy, keep them in bright light and evenly moist. Do this and these plants will retain those brightly colored leaves for quite some time…often right into spring. Poinsettias will re-bloom naturally if they are kept in an out of the way place in a cooler room. Try to avoid turning on the lights in that room at night. In the beginning of December, the poinsettia bracts will naturally turn red. Although the plants will not be quite as lush as the ones in the garden centers, there’s a pleasure in knowing how to make a poinsettia re-bloom! Another holiday plant some have trouble with is the poorly named Christmas Cactus. For one thing, the genus schlumbergera is neither a cactus nor does it naturally bloom at Christmas. It is a succulent, which means it needs a little more water than a cactus. They are native to Brazil, and there, they grow in humid, shady regions in the trees. Our homes are nothing like this so that is why when we take them from a greenhouse they might lose some of their buds. Once home, they are easy to care for if we remember two things: these plants should not dry out completely (they are not cacti), and they should be kept in a shady window. They can be very long-lived, some folks have them for decades. And in the following years they set their buds in relation to day length and temperature so again, a darker, cooler window is better if you want them to bloom earlier, or a brighter, (but not sunny) warmer one is better if you

want them to bloom later. Some people don’t decorate with poinsettias or Christmas cacti. There are still many plants available this time of year to enhance the home. Nothing dresses up a table like a phalaenopsis, or moth orchid. This is the second most popular house-plant, and it’s easy to see why. It comes in a lovely variety of pastel colors and will bloom for months. Phalaenopsis are also tough plants, as is obvious by the fact that they are sold everywhere, often right by the drafty front doors of big box stores. They do not need direct light and they usually only need water once a week, depending on how warm the home is. They will re-bloom easily too. Care is simple. In the summer, put them outside around Memorial Day in a shady spot. Bring them back inside around Labor Day. You’ll find that a new bud spike has formed by then. It’s that simple. A few other choices for holiday plants can be cyclamen, a bulb-like plant that prefers cool conditions and likes to be watered from the bottom. Norfolk Island Pine, a very longlived houseplant, as long as it doesn’t get too dry, and stephanotis, a fragrant vine with white waxy flowers. Plants brighten our homes during the dark winter months and with a minimum of care, ‘gift-plants’ need not be disposed of with the wrapping paper. They can remain well into the New Year to bring even more warmth and cheer! n

Karla Dalley is a garden writer and speaker from West Hartford.


998 Farmington Avenue, Suite 205 West Hartford, CT 06107


Holiday 13 West Hartford Mag  

Pets & People of West Hartford-Karen Jones, Dan O’Brien, Humphries and Mascola’s; “OhSoGlam” blogger, Christina DeFilippo; Wine, Travel, Wed...