A peek into Puddleduck Farm at Christmas
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019 | $5.95
LIGHT A FIRE
HONORING OUR LOCAL HEROES DESIGNER TIPS
FESTIVE DECOR ADVICE FROM THE PROS
things for those on your nice list
‘Tis the Season
Our Our Beef Beef Wellington Wellington is is specially specially prepared prepared just just for for you, you, Your Your guests guests will will be be wowed...you’ll wowed...you’ll have have nothing nothing to to do! do! You You can can pretend pretend that that you you made made it it (your (your friends friends will will not not know), know), It It comes comes wrapped wrapped in in puff puff pastry pastry and and topped topped with with aa bow! bow! V V II E EW W T TH HE E H HO OL L II D D AY AY M ME EN NU US S O ON NL L II N NE E AT AT W WW WW W .. PA PA L LM ME ER RS SD DA AR R II E EN N .. C CO OM M
Gourmet Foods Gourmet Foods
Scratch Bakery Scratch Bakery
Custom Butcher Shop Custom Butcher Shop
26 4 HEIGHT S ROAD, DARIEN C T 26 4 HEIGHT S ROAD, DARIEN C T
Hostess Gifts Hostess Gifts
Gifts & Decor Gifts & Decor
Wreaths & Garland Wreaths & Garland
PRINCESS & VENETIAN PRINCESS COLLECTIONS
136 MAIN STREET WESTPORT 203.227.1300 GLASTONBURY MOHEGAN SUN WEST HARTFORD BOSTON WELLESLEY
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contents NOV/DEC 2019 vol. 19 | issue 6
14 EDITOR’S LETTER 17 STATUS REPORT
IN THE SPIRIT
BUZZ Entertating tips from Walter Stewart’s and Palmer’s Markets; Beauty comes to you; Acupuncture can take the stress away. SHOP The best gifts ever. GO Plan your next getaway to Portugal; A review of Infiniti’s new ride. HOME How to organize your playroom like a pro. EAT Grab a cocktail and a hot dog at The White Buffalo in New Canaan.
A peek into Puddleduck Farm, decked for the holidays. b y m a l ia mc k i n non fr ame
ALL THAT GLITTERS Six local interior designers offer up expert holiday decor advice. b y m a l ia mc k i n non fr ame
TOGETHER WE RISE
47 PEOPLE & PLACES
Shakespeare on the Sound Fairfield County’s Community Foundation Greenwich Education Group LiveGirl Carver Foundation of Norwalk The Rowayton Arts Center
Meet our 2019 Light A Fire honorees by ji l l joh n s on
87 INDEX OF ADVERTISERS 88 LAST WORD
Holiday decor inspiration from Puddleduck Farm and six local design pros.
c ov er ph ot o by ja ne beiles
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NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019 / JULEE KAPLAN
THE GIVING TREE
hen I was a child my most favorite story was The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. I loved the story of the little boy who grew older as the tree he visited regularly changed purpose. I never realized then how that story would stay with me into adulthood and become somewhat of a foundation for giving in my own life. Giving is not about money (although there are obvious ways and needs to give financially). It’s about giving what you can, how you can, when you can. A friend just had surgery and can’t drive? Pick her up and take her for coffee. Bring the kids to a local shelter to help serve a meal, donate old clothes or toys. Giving is important any time of the year, but at this time of the year—when the kids’ lists for Santa are extensive, I always find it the best time of the year to teach them the importance of giving and not always getting. On that note, this year marks our 12th year honoring some of our most prized local heroes for our Light A Fire awards (page 72). I love this feature because hearing their stories inspires us to be stronger, better people. These are people to look up to and strive for our children to become. And, in this season of giving, it’s important to hear the
voices of our community members who so generously give back. And, if you’re looking to find a new place to eat, entertaining and decorating advice, we have you covered there too. Take a peek into Puddleduck Farm (page 58), the New Canaan home of Amanda Loehnis and her family— she takes holiday décor to the next level. There’s also a slew of tips that writer Malia McKinnon Frame has gathered from the six local designers who worked tirelessly on the homes we will see in the Newcomers Club of New Canaan Holiday House Tour (page 66). You’ll have your own home decked like a pro. There’s an expertly curated gift guide from market editor Megan Gagnon (page 20). And, Julia Dzafic, our fab Last Word columnist highlights some of the best gifts you’ll want to give (and get) this season. Happy Holidays!
PHOTO BY KYLE NORTON
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buzz STATUS REPORT
by julee k apl an
WALTER STEWART’S AND PALMER’S MARKETS CAN HELP YOU THROW FLAWLESS HOLIDAY CELEBRATIONS illustr ations by jessica stephen-kuser
Walter Stewart’s Market
ANN CHENEY, Store Manager,
MEGAN PALMER RIVERA, Founder, Catering and Events, Palmer’s Market
Walter Stewart’s Market WHAT DO THE HOLIDAYS LOOK LIKE AT YOUR HOUSE? When I was growing up my family was larger and there were many eager hands to prepare the many courses of the holiday meal. Today, my family is smaller, but we still like to sit down to an extravagant holiday meal and enjoy ourselves around the table. Since I am busy at the market during the holidays, I need to be smart about my time. This is when I grab the Walter Stewart’s catering menu and get to work.
floral department brightens up our guest rooms and holiday table. For Christmas, our prix fixe meal boxes are unbeatable in terms of ease and deliciousness. I usually opt for beef tenderloin—it’s perfectly cooked, sliced, and arranged on a platter. Since it’s served at room temp, all I need to do is take off the cover and let stand for 30 minutes. Soups and sides just need to be reheated. And what guest wouldn’t be impressed with a bûche de noel for dessert? Pick up essentials a week or two before the holiday—good coffee, paper goods, sparkling water.
WHAT ALWAYS WORKS FOR YOU WHEN ENTERTAINING AT HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS? I love to cook, but I take smart shortcuts. For Thanksgiving, I always order what I can in early November for pick up the day before Thanksgiving—turkey, pies, sides and gravy. Many of the vegetables I need for recipes are already prepped so a stop in our produce department is a must. And, fresh flowers, always, from our
WHAT DO YOU THINK PEOPLE SHOULD MAKE THEMSELVES AND WHAT SHOULD BE CATERED? We focus our efforts on family recipes. For us, that usually means making some of my grandmother’s Christmas cookies as well as some Southern Italian Christmas Eve dishes. Outsource the low-impact items and focus your efforts on your Aunt Gussie’s special holiday recipes.
WHAT DO THE HOLIDAYS LOOK LIKE AT YOUR HOUSE? I absolutely love to entertain at Christmas. I always have about 50 or 60 people at my house. And sometimes I do Christmas Eve and Christmas and go all out. My husband gets a 12-foot tree for the entrance and another in the living room and we decorate it in a different theme. WHAT ALWAYS WORKS FOR YOU WHEN ENTERTAINING AT HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS? I’m a trained chef so this is really my thing. The key for me is to be organized and have everything in place as far in advance as possible. I set my table a week before and throw it all together in the end with some flowers from our floral department. I love to have a good bar set up and pre-batch cocktail. Last year I had mistletoe martinis set in a large pitcher so that guests could help themselves and I could concentrate on cooking and socializing. One easy trick is to put
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019 NEW CANAAN•DARIEN
the dressing at the bottom of the salad bowl and pile the veggies on top. When you’re ready to serve you can just mix and go… and nothing is soggy from sitting in the dressing. Also, I make sides ahead—mashed potatoes go in an oven-ready dish and then heated just before I serve. And, I always find it helpful to write out a timeline, so I know exactly what to do and when to do it. WHAT DO YOU THINK PEOPLE SHOULD MAKE THEMSELVES AND WHAT SHOULD BE CATERED? Those traditional things you cannot live without—make them. I do love to cook, but I never make dessert, especially since Palmer’s has amazing desserts. That said, we do have an amazing full-service catering option at Palmer’s. We will bring your whole entire holiday dinner—set the table, bring the flowers... you don’t have to lift a finger. And order the Beef Wellington. It’s truly special, beautiful and impressive. I serve it every year.
Messina’s tips for staying beautiful between treatments
Messina offers a range of in-home treatments including facial waxing, threading and brow tweezing, lash lifts and tints, full body waxing and organic spray tanning. Services range between $6 for a brow trim and $150 for a leg and bikini wax. Packages are available at special pricing and there is a $40 minimum for in-home services. If you’re into keeping the summer glow going all winter long, Messina says her spray tan is the way to go. She even has express tan services available for those with less time. “I use only natural organic spray tanning verses non organic because I try to provide the healthiest tan possible, avoid toxins and an unnatural look,” she explains. “This tan is also cruelty free, gluten free, paraben free, sulfate free, non-comedogenic and vegan. It is formulated with cosmetic violet brown based bronzers, which helps counter the unwanted orange undertones.” And, as a major bonus, there’s no mess. Messina brings a pop-up tent and extraction fan that absorbs any overspray. She also comes armed with disposable adhesive stick-on feet pads, protective hair nets and disposable underwear. Booking a time for Messina to come to your home is pretty easy; simply text her at (914) 357-6732 and tell her what service you’re interested in. Or, you can book online at allaroundbeautyllc.com. She lives in Stamford and travels throughout Fairfield County.
above: Jill Messina at one of her clients’ homes in New Canaan.
ou might recognize JILL MESSINA. The former fitness trainer most recently worked at Benefit in New Canaan for over three years, whipping locals into beautiful shape—waxing brows, tinting lashes, spray tanning. She left that gig earlier this year in order to start her own business, All Around Beauty, a traveling esthetician service that provides
customers with beauty treatments in their own homes. “It’s hard for people to get to a store because of their kids’ school and sports, and their own work schedules,” Messina, who is licensed by the New York School of Esthetics, says. “So, I’ve decided to create a mobile beauty business. It allows moms to spend more time with the kids, it’s private and you’re cozy at home.”
STAY HYDRATED Use body lotions or oils and drink lots of water, she recommends, if the skin is dry your spray tan can end up looking unnatural.
EXFOLIATE Use an exfoliating wash regularly to keep skin healthy and smooth, especially 24 hours prior to your scheduled tan.
USE BROW PRODUCTS Using a clear or tinted brow gel like Beautycounter’s Brilliant Brow Gel helps keep them from looking messy. Also, Anastasia’s Dipbrow Promade can fill in those sparse areas.
GO FOR A TWEEZE If your skin is sensitive to wax then threading or tweezing are both great alternatives.
Learn more about Messina’s services online at allaroundbeauty.com
PHOTOS BY KYLE NORTON
ALL AROUND BEAUTY WILL COME TO YOU
buzz sore and tight muscles. She’s also on a mission to educate patients about the benefits of Chinese medicine. That said, her new book, A Patient’s Guide to Acupuncture, explains it all. It’s for sale at her office as well as on Amazon. Here (and in her book), Swanberg answers her five most-asked questions about acupuncture: What can acupuncture treat?
The most common issues people see an acupuncturist for are anxiety, insomnia, headaches, digestive issues, fertility and hormonal issues, and pain. While acupuncture can help reduce pain and inflammation after an injury, it is always wise to have an evaluation done by a medical doctor to rule out fractures and structural damage before trying acupuncture.
Sarah Swanberg in her office at Indigo Acupuncture + Wellness
GET TO THE POINT
Does it hurt?
Acupuncture needles are hair-thin filiform needles (meaning solid, single-strand needles, not syringes used for injections or drawing blood, which are hollow), and their insertion is virtually painless. Points on the hands and feet can sometimes feel a little sharp, but the sensation is brief. It is not uncommon to feel warmth or a dull ache around the point after the needle is inserted, and you might even feel a slight pulling sensation. Once the insertion of the needles, or needling, is finished, most people feel a sense of deep calm and relaxation— similar to a daydream state. (I call this the acu-nap!)
FROM STRESS TO WRINKLES AND INFERTILITY— ACUPUNCTURE CAN HELP
PHOTOS BY JULIA D’AGOSTINO
alking into SARAH SWANBERG ’s sunny
Stamford office on Morgan Street, the feeling of Zen almost immediately happens—this is clearly the place for wellness. The scent of lavender diffuses through the air, soft music plays in the background, and a prominent wall fixture is filled with the latest balms, tonics, candles, supplements and jade rollers. This is INDIGO ACUPUNCTURE + WELLNESS, the practice Swanberg founded in 2018 in hopes of achieving just that for her patients: a place that combines ancient Chinese medicine with modern wellness practices. “Anything that your body can heal from, acupuncture can help,”
explains Swanberg, a licensed acupuncturist and board-certified diplomate in Oriental medicine. “We help to figure out where chi is stuck in order to balance the body.” In simpler terms, Swanberg says that while acupuncture can help you to manage stress (among other issues), “it doesn’t change the stress that’s coming at us. It lowers the baseline. It takes you out of that fight-or-flight feeling and puts you into a rest and digest mode, where you feel less stressed and more balanced.” Swanberg’s mission from the start has been to offer a range of wellness services including LED light therapy, acufacials which help target antiaging concerns, and cupping, a miracle cure for
effects are very small. The most common side effects are minor bleeding and bruising at the needle site or dizziness after a treatment. Acupuncture may not be suitable for people on blood-thinner medications, with pacemakers, or with a history of fainting and seizures. Stephanie Zaccario and Ana-Maria Lemming
Is it expensive?
Private acupuncture can run anywhere from $70 to $150 per session. Several health insurance plans now cover acupuncture, so I always recommend checking with your insurer to see if you have acupuncture benefits. How many sessions will I need?
The more chronic the issue, the longer the course of treatment. Because your acupuncturist is working to restore balance and promote your body’s own healing mechanisms, it can take some time to see results. I typically recommend weekly treatments for four to six weeks before judging if acupuncture is helping your issue.
What are the risks?
Licensed acupuncturists receive thorough training in needling technique and safety, which means that risks of serious side
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019 NEW CANAAN•DARIEN
Hair-thin needles target points to help the body manage a huge range of issues including stress and headaches.
shop by megan gagnon
Holiday Gift Guide Holiday Gift Guide Give the gift of color (and okay, black and white) with festive finds in seasonal shades
WEST ELM Kraft + glitter silver leaf wreath; $54. Westport; westelm.com
ALL IMAGES COURTESY OF DESIGNERS/BRANDS
Cavawinebar.com New Canaan
harvestwinebar.com Greenwich Westport New Haven West Hartford New Haven,
southbayct.com Greenwich New Haven
shop / Holiday Gift Guide
J.CREW Lodge moccasins in metallic gold; $59.50. Greenwich, New Canaan, Westport; jcrew.com
CHARLOTTE TILBURY Magic Star highlighter; $45. Sephora, Greenwich; charlottetilbury.com
Nadeen top; $298. Greenwich, Westport; joie.com
Classic gold slinky; $150. The Glass House Design Store, New Canaan; theglasshouse.org
Baby, itâ€™s gold outside
JOHN M. KOSTICK Foldable star sculptures; $245 for set of three. Design Within Reach, Stamford, Westport; dwr.com
Hupo candle; $125. Grayson De Vere, Greenwich; graysondevere.com
Pedal to the (richest) metal
MARTONE CYCLING CO. Limited Edition Grand Step Thru bike; $1,700. martonecycling.com
RALPH LAUREN HOME Garrett mixing glass; $195. ralphlauren.com
ALL IMAGES COURTESY OF DESIGNERS/BRANDS
Pearl spring gold cuff bracelet; $2,940. Henry C. Reid, Fairfield; hcreidjewelers.com
Heaven in ConneCtiCut Far from the madding crowd, in the Litchfield Hills, lies a quiet getaway. Set on 113 acres and bordering extensive woods and lakes, Winvian Farm was created to recharge and indulge. The five-star cuisine, the wines, the spa and the service are as unexpected as the experiences that one ultimately enjoysâ€” and itâ€™s just around the corner.
shop / Holiday Gift Guide
It’s French, so it must be good
DIPTYQUE Giant Ambre candle; $350. diptyqueparis.com
MILÈO NEW YORK Elixir Oud collagen creating facial oil; $295. mileonewyork.com
VINCE Double breasted long coat; $1,200. Greenwich, Westport; vince.com
SHREVE, CRUMP & LOW 10.24 C Ruby three stone ring in platinum; price upon request. Greenwich; shrevecrumpandlow.com
GIORGIO ARMANI Lip Maestro & Rouge D’Armani Matte set; $38. Lord & Taylor, Stamford; lordandtaylor.com
CHERRY CHRISTMAS Sweet picks in the season’s hottest shade
Macmillan parka; $895. Saks Fifth Avenue, Greenwich; saks.com
HERMÈS 100% Calfskin leather bracelet in fuchsia and silver; $560. Greenwich; hermes.com
Cubebot ® robot puzzle by David Weeks; $20 Christ Church Books & Gifts, Greenwich; areaware.com
TORY BURCH Heart statement earrings; $228. Greenwich; toryburch.com
ALL IMAGES COURTESY OF DESIGNERS/BRANDS
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shop / Holiday Gift Guide
TALBOTS Metallic short puffer in silver; $169. Stamford, Westport; talbots.com
OLIVER THOMAS Wingwoman tote in silver metallic dot; $125. Kirby and Company, Darien; kirbyandcompany.com
Shine brighter than all the holiday lights
BETTERIDGE Seven diamond chain drop earrings; $3,900. Greenwich; betteridge.com
JUDITH LEIBER COUTURE Silver crystal heart minaudiÃ¨re; $2,995. Richards, Greenwich; mitchellstores.com
SAINT LAURENT Small Lou Lou crystal messenger bag; $9,500. saks.com
6 GET LIT
Deck your halls with this crisp pine scent
VERONICA BEARD Nila dress; $750. veronicabeard.com
GROWN ALCHEMIST Hand care kit; $100. grownalchemist.com
18 K White gold and gray diamond ring; price upon request. mitchellstores.com
MER-SEA & CO.
Sea Pines ornament candle; $28. Beehive, Fairfield; thebeehivefairfield.com
ALL IMAGES COURTESY OF DESIGNERS/BRANDS
SYLVA & CIE
More bags please!
GUNS N’ ROSES
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS
COUTURE GREEN DAY
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Since 1989 BEASTIE BOYS
Greenwich, Westport New York City
STONE TEMPLE PILOTS
roundaboutcouture.com NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019 NEW CANAAN•DARIEN
shop /Holiday Gift Guide TWINKLE TWINKLE
The stars of any holiday ensemble
JONATHAN ADLER Ornaments; $24 each. Bloomingdales, The SoNo Collection; bloomingdales.com
ASHA Paris chandelier earrings; $295. Greenwich; ashabyadm.com
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b y kim-marie evans
hile all the millennials are flocking to Lisbon, we suggest visiting the ancient city of Porto a few hours to the north, or the fairy-tale-like Sintra, just nineteen miles to the north and west. Whichever you choose, you’ll see why Portugal was just crowned the “Hottest Travel Destination of 2019” by the World Travel Awards. newcanaandarienmag.com
above left: Riverboats in Porto above right: What the Initiation Well was used for at Quinta da Regaleira in Sintra is still a mystery.
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A little rain can’t dampen our travel writer’s spirits as she strolls to Gaia.
STOP 1 / Porto
Porto is the second largest city in Portugal and is more than just home to its namesake after-dinner drink. This riverside town is a heady jumble of Art Nouveau and a hot culinary scene set amidst ancient architecture. The city is a UNESCO Heritage site with cobblestone alleyways laid in the middle ages, but the vibe is decidedly not stale.
GETTING THERE There are plenty of daily flights from New York to Lisbon, but you can fly to Porto directly from Newark for about half the price. After a few wine-soaked days exploring the local landscape, you can hop the train to Lisbon. The trip is only two and a half hours, and tickets are around $30.
WHERE TO STAY The Torel brand of hotels has three luxury properties in Porto—a town of fewer than 300,000 residents— and two were opened within the last year. Torel Avantgarde features edgy rooms named after artists like Warhol, Pollack and Kahlo. Torel 1884 and the new Torel Palace are both housed in former
bourgeouis palaces but feel more like the well-decorated homes of your wealthiest jet-set friends. Because 1884 and the Palace are newly opened, they are less expensive than Avantgarde. A Torel Palace room for spring break 2020 is just 120 euros ($132 at current rates). The Flower Room at Torel Avantgarde
DON’T MISS Hit Livraria Lello, the bookshop rumored to have inspired JK Rowling’s depiction of Hogwarts (she taught in Porto in the ‘90s). It still sells books but charges an entrance fee to stem the tide of selfie taking nonreaders. MISS A fado show. Fado is traditional Portuguese folk music, generally sung by a Fadista with an accompanying guitar. The songs are usually quite sad, not that you can understand the lyrics. The emotion is conveyed by a wailing vocalist. There are a variety of reasons that even the Portuguese aren’t fans. Don’t fall for the “To do in Portugal” lists; a Fado show is a to-don’t.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: CONTRIBUTED; DUORO VALLEY BY ©KATE_RIN/STOCK.ADOBE.COM; CONTRIBUTED
DRINK If you can’t fit in a proper Duoro Valley wine tour (but you really should), walk fifteen minutes across the double decker Dom Luis bridge from the city center to the port wine lodges in Gaia (technically a separate town but is referred to as the Gaia side of Porto). There are many tours and tasting rooms. The one thing they won’t tell you is the secret production process behind the grape-spirit added to wine to make it port. Also look for Vinho Verde, a Portuguese “green wine.” Where port has more alcohol than regular wine, Vinho Verde has less. Stay along the river for a local meal but bring cash; many restaurants don’t take credit cards. We learned this one the hard way.
EAT Portugal is famous for its Pasteis (or Pastel) de Nata, an egg custard tart with an origin that involves monks, as all good origin stories do. Though the treat is ubiquitous and found in every café in the country, you won’t find it almost anywhere else. The other dish that feels like a national treasure is anything made from cod, usually salted cod, or bacalhau. The north Atlantic fish is not local, so it takes a history lesson to understand why it’s on every menu. When the Brits took a liking to port in the 1500s, they began trading cod for barrels of wine. The pervasive presence of this bland fish says a lot about how much the English enjoyed the drink. Bacalhau is so ingrained in the Portuguese culture that it’s the main celebrational meal at Christmas. You’ll find it on every menu in every form you can imagine; try the popular bacalhau à Gomes de Sá (baked with potatoes, onions, boiled egg and olives).
Hitting the beach at Praia da Ribeira in Cascais
The stunning view of fairytale-like Sintra
GETTING THERE Sintra is a quick fortyminute train ride from the center of Lisbon and trains leave every half hour. Or come directly from Porto by train or car, travel time is about three hours.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: ©SEAN PAVONE/STOCK.ADOBE.COM; CONTRIBUTED; @ALEXANDRE ROTENBERG/STOCK.ADOBE.COM; CONTRIBUTED
STOP 2 /
This tiny mountain village has hosted royalty and aristocrats escaping the Lisbon heat for centuries. The pine covered forests wind up the granite mountains and catch the salty breeze from the nearby ocean. Though it’s often thought of as a day trip from Lisbon, Sintra is a destination in its own right. The poet Lord Byron spent much of his youth in Sintra, and his description of the area as a “glorious Eden” is still accurate. A little sand and surf for Kim-Marie
GETTING AROUND A day in Sintra can be an enchanting escape or a miserable slog of entrance lines to the many palaces and estates. Either stay overnight at one of the stately resorts like the Tivoli Palacio (around $300 per night) or book a proper VIP tour. Scratch that, even if you stay overnight, book the tour; lines are for suckers. There are countless tour options available, but Flamingo Experiences is the only one that will zip you around Sintra in a vintage UMM Jeep (a seriously funky 4X4 built in Portugal that’s no longer in production). The guides are natives and have fabulous stories about the region. Flamingo offers two VIP tour options. The Cultural Tour includes front-of-line access and a private guide at both Pena Palace and Quinta da Regaleira. The Safari (our favorite) includes front-of-line access to Quinta da Regaleira only, a local lunch, an off-road ride to the coastline to find secret spots and visit beaches (Praia da Adraga and Azenhas do Mar depending on the day). The tour ends with a photo shoot at Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point in Europe, and a drop off at Cascais, the
upscale seaside town (think Nice without tiny dogs). The tour is only $55 per person or book a private tour, $320 for up to five people, and choose which palace (or palaces) you want to explore. flamingoexperiences .com
WHERE TO VISIT Pick a palace, any palace; they’re all amazing examples of romantic architecture. They all have cafés that serve wine, an important feature. Quinta da Regaleira is a favorite, though it was never a palace. The sprawling mansion and surrounding gardens were built in the early twentieth century by an eccentric millionaire. There are underground grottos, hidden walkways, Rapunzelesque turrets and, most strikingly, an eighty-eight-foot deep “Initiation Well.” What the well was used for nobody knows, but you can circle down the nine platforms of the stairway thought to represent Dante’s nine circles of hell. The well and many of the buildings around the estate have symbolism tied to the Knights Templar and the Freemasons.
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019 NEW CANAAN•DARIEN
DRINK The area’s most typical tipple is ginjinha, a sweet, cherry-based liqueur sold in shots. Our favorite was served in a chocolate cup filled with the sweet drink. It tastes a little like cough syrup and a Hershey bar, but oddly pretty good.
EAT Try any one of the fabulous local mom-and-pop restaurants. The goose barnacles, called precebes are a must. Much like truffles, these sea treasures can only be harvested, never cultivated. Divers risk their lives gathering these delicacies that fetch around $50 per pound. They’re impossible to transport, so when you find them on a menu you need to order them. What they lack in beauty (they really do look like the crust gathered on the bottom of a boat), they make up for in extraordinary taste— a tiny salty cross between a lobster and a clam.
DON’T MISS Sintra is perched above the coastline. All of the beaches are a part of the SintraCascais National Park and range from hidden coves to vast expanses of sand. Closest to the main square of Cascais is the small Praia da Ribeira, also known as Fisherman’s Beach. Watch the the boats come and go as you lie on the sand. Larger beaches like Conceição and Praia da Duquesa are just up the coast, and it’s easier to find somewhere to lay your towel, though weekends can be packed with Lisbonites escaping the city for some sun and sand. MISS Did we mention to avoid the lines?
Once you get past the looks, you’ll be glad you ordered precebes.
THE SWEET SPOT TAKING MEASURE OF INFINITI’S NEW QX50
by chris hodenfield
the snowdrifts. Price for a wellequipped version undercuts much of the European competition. The revolutionary engine, being a “variable compression” turbo, provides a pleasant thrust. All I noticed was that it had pep enough for frisky moves on the Fairfield County back roads and returned acceptable fuel mileage. Vehicle dashboards these days go all over the place, and any serious shopper needs to spend time working the controls of the QX50 to see if it fits their sensibilities. Adapting to the Infiniti’s dash came quickly for
The exterior lines are also refreshingly modern without any silly grills. This vehicle looks like it’s going somewhere. And it will likely hold its looks for a long time. Infiniti also sells a more compact model, the spritely QX30, and bigger, beefier brothers, the QX60 and QX80. But our tester had plenty of hauling space and a refined poise and balance. While a basic version of the QX50 with front-wheel-drive can be had in the mid-30s, the luxe version with all wheel drive is the one to get. The drive system was utterly unobtrusive and will navigate
me. But those discrete buttons won’t be handled by anyone wearing heavy work gloves. Still, the QX50 had a dashing sense about it with just enough luxury to feel good and plenty of room in back for all the dogs. It’s well worth a look.
STATS INFINITI QX50 Base price: $41,000 (luxe model) Drivetrain: 268-hp, 2.0-liter four AWD EPA mileage ratings: 24/31 mpg
he car market will take care of your primal needs. There are those solemn, portentous SUVs that make you feel regal. And there are the shifty, ultra-sporty crossovers that will positively shred your driver’s license. Then there are the few that hit the sweet spot exactly. Infiniti’s newly designed QX50 is such a beauty. For one, the QX50 provides superb visibility. In an age of cocoon-like interiors, you get a feeling of light and space. The materials are impressive and the passenger space plentiful.
home by anna l ane / photos by j ulia d’agostino
CHILD’S PLAY HOW TO TAKE THE PLAYROOM FROM CHAOS TO CONTROLLED—AND KEEP IT THAT WAY
MILY MAIOCCO of NEXT LEVEL ORGANIZING clearly has a gift for transforming messy interiors. Maiocco and her team of expert organizers have spent the past ten years teaching residents of Fairfield County how to declutter and organize. With the holidays—and their influx of new toys—looming, we asked Maiocco to share her tips for the best way to organize our play spaces. What’s the number one issue you encounter when it comes to playroom organization?
The biggest challenge we see in playrooms is a lack of systems, with a close second being an accumulation of too much stuff. In order to address both of these challenges, we talk about what is working and what is not. What are the kids playing with or not playing with? Why are things not being put away? Getting to the root of the problem is necessary before we can come up with a plan to address the space. Many times there is not enough storage or not the right storage to fit their family’s needs.
you would like to give to someone else? Give them an opportunity to share their likes and dislikes with you. Once the space is organized, share with them where everything is. Ask them if they think they can put items back where they belong. Does it make sense to them? Should we make some adjustment together that you think would work better for you? Once it’s organized, how do we keep it that way?
Making cleanup time part of your routine is the best way to keep things organized. In my home I tell my kids that we choose
here: Emily Maiocco of Next Level Organizing works on a local playroom. below:Keeping like items together where kids can see them helps them to keep things organized.
Should we get our kids involved in the process?
Yes! They don’t have to be involved in the whole process or be the final decision makers, but it is great to get their feedback on their things and create a dialogue about “stuff ” and managing it. We like to ask them, “What’s your favorite thing to play with? Is there anything you don’t play with anymore? Is there anything newcanaandarienmag.com
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home Now that they are four and seven, this is something they can do on their own with little help from me—although they always prefer my help even if they are the sole mess makers. How do you handle the onslaught of toys that is inevitable from well-intentoned relatives and/or Santa?
Taking the time to sort items is key in the process of getting organized.
one game or activity at a time. Before we can move onto the next activity, we have to clean up from the previous one. Does this work all the time? Absolutely not. But, they are listening and I am establishing that this is what we do in our home. If your kids are of school age—even preschoolers— this concept is something they are already familiar with as it’s typically what also happens at school. Until cleanup is a habit, I believe that following up with my kids each and every time is my responsibility as I teach them to be responsible for their things. This will look different at different ages. When my girls were younger I would clean up alongside them.
Having a list of gift ideas for my kids is a great way to bring intentional items into our home and keep the excess out. I keep a running list on my phone on an app called Wunderlist. When family members ask what my kids might like for a holiday, I have a few ideas at my fingertips. To add to that, ask if instead of toys they would like to do something meaningful with your child? A special lunch, movie date, museum pass, or an art class together would all be wonderful ideas that don’t involve cluttering up the playroom. My daughter’s favorite gift for her birthday last year was playing hooky from school to see a play with her grandmother.She talks about it all the time and I am sure it is something that she will remember her whole life.
Keeping items neatly visible for children makes it easy for them to put things away.
Let’s Organize Five tips for a neat and tidy room 1. SORT Pull everything out and sort so that like items are together. By doing this you can clearly see how much you have of everything in each category. How many dolls, cars, blocks, puzzles, etc. Use baskets and bins that you already have to help in this process. 2. DECIDE Make decisions as to what will be kept versus what should be donated, recycled, trashed or stored for younger siblings to use at a later time. Go through one category at a time, making decisions until all
Maiocco says to make sure you take the time to sort through everything and decide what stays and what goes, or you’ll end up with a bunch of containers that don’t work for your space.
categories have been addressed. Once your decisions have been made, take the extra time to donate, recycle, trash and store away as needed. 3. CONTAIN Get creative to see what bins, baskets and shelves will work for your “keep” items to create zones in the space. Use what you own or shop for something new now that you know what your needs are. 4. LABEL Where appropriate, label your storage containers or shelves so that all the adults in the home know where
things belong. Picture labels can also be used for pre-readers to help in the cleanup process. 5. MAINTAIN Think about your needs/wants and space before buying items for your home and to purge on an ongoing basis. As soon as you notice a toy that you no longer want in your home, pull it out of the rotation and add it to a donation bag. Having a spot tucked away in a closet or laundry room to collect items is a great way to get things moving out of your home that no longer serve you.
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GOOD TIMES LOCAL HERDS GATHER AT THE WHITE BUFFALO
oam into The White Buffalo in downtown New Canaan, and you may think you’ve been here before. Enjoy a satisfying dose of déjà vu, as you recall your favorite college watering holes. Only now, your feet don’t stick to the floor and the “jukebox” is a giant iPad using WiFi to play music. The nostalgic vibe is intentional, as two of the owners graduated from New Canaan High School in 1993. Dave Tonkovich and Dominick Valente are childhood friends, while co-owner Doug Harris met his White Buffalo partners six years ago after moving to town. “We affectionately describe The White Buffalo as a college bar for
people 20 years out of college,” says Tonkovich. “It’s an affordable place where you can let your hair down and show up in shorts.” As for the name, the partners cite everything from Native American folklore to a play on words— “Everything’s better in the buff.” They ultimately offer this explanation: “The birth of a white buffalo is a sign of good times to come.” Both a Happy Hour spot and post-dinner destination, this familyfriendly restaurant specializes in hot dogs like the Classic Dog (served with ketchup, mustard and relish) and The White Buffalo hot dog (covered with chili and cheese). The hot dogs come from a Hungarian butcher in newcanaandarienmag.com
clockwise from above: The interior of The White Buffalo. The hot pretzel comes with mustard and cheese for dipping. Owners Dave Tonkovich, Dominick Valente and Doug Harris. Hot dogs (served with chips) with all the fixings are the bar's signature food.
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eat Fairfield, offering high-quality meat low in fat and nitrates. Other fare includes nachos, pizza, chicken nuggets, soft pretzels and, of course, buffalo wings. The ample 26-foot bar accommodates crowds, serving cocktails, wine and a variety of local, domestic and imported beers on tap. Multiple TVs, jerseys, helmets and team photos add a sports bar feel, except featured athletes are youth from the New Canaan fields. One recent addition is a signed jersey from Zach Allen, a former New Canaan Rams football player drafted by the Arizona Cardinals. While the proprietors are ingrained in The White Buffalo, they joke their “best experience is on the other side of the bar” and rely on a manager and staff for daily operations. “We’re learning the restaurant business on the fly,” says Valente. “Doug and Dave are Wall Street guys, and I’m an insurance guy. This was new to all of us.“ Located at 136 1/2 Elm Street, this hot spot is in an alley formerly occupied by New Canaan Music. While the town supported the establishment, there was initial concern it was a “bar in drag.” Not missing a beat, the owners titled their menus “Legislative Requirements.” On warm days, families eat outdoors and play backyard games like cornhole and football toss. Live music and movies are also featured “in the alley” outside. The narrow indoor space is
and New Canaan’s
B E ST B A RTE N D E R CONTEST
brightened up with an oversized American flag painted on wood-paneled walls, complete with signature buffalos as stars. Other themed décor features a white buffalo head mounted on the bar, which the owners admit isn’t a “natural blonde.” (Belly up to the bar for that story sometime!) For Tonkovich, Valente and Harris, it’s a family affair. They credit their wives for “playing a huge role in all of this” and enjoy dining here with their children’s sports teams after practices or games. Giving back to the community, they support local organizations and host fundraisers. Eventually, they may consider branching out to other towns, assuming each spot is owned by locals for an authentic vibe. Harris explains they want to be profitable, “without trying to kill it.” “The reality is…we want to offer the cheapest drinks in town. We want to have a proper pour, and we want people to have fun,” says Harris. “That’s what’s most important.”
Winner! THE HIBISCUS BUFF INGREDIENTS 3 oz passion fruit and hibiscus tea .5 oz fresh squeezed orange juice .5 oz lemon juice 1.5 oz Tito's vodka .5 oz St. Germain Pinch of cinnamon Dash maple syrup Slice of ginger or orange to garnish
THE WHITE BUFFALO 136 1/2 Elm Street New Canaan, CT 06840 (203) 594-7212 thewhitebuffalonc.com
HOURS Monday 4 p.m.—Late Tuesday Closed Wednesday 4 p.m.—Late Thursday 4 p.m.—Later Friday 4 p.m.— Really Late Saturday 12 p.m.—Latest Sunday 12 p.m.—Early
above: Patrons gather at The White Buffalo on a Sunday afternoon for drinks, food and football. top: Kids can safely play backyard games like cornhole out front.
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SAVE THE DATE
Thursday, December 5, 6 :30 – 9:30 p.m .
Photos by Melani Lust
Please join us as we honor the extraordinary work of our community heroes. Plus: Community Impact Awards, honoring two outstanding nonprofits Presented by Fairfield County’s Community Foundation
A portion of the evening’s ticket sales will benefit Fairfield County’s Community Foundation
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For more information & participant opportunities please contact Gabriella at 203.571.1626 • Gabriella.Mays@moffly.com
Moffly Media’s 12th Annual Light a Fire awards reception and cocktail party at the Westport Country Playhouse
people&PLACES PHOTOGRAPHS BY MOFFLY MEDIA’S BIG PICTURE, BOB CAPAZZO 1
SHAKESPEARE ON THE SOUND / The Loading Dock
Shakespeare Turns Twenty-Four
hakespeare’s still got it! Two hundred fifty guests attended Shakespeare on the Sound’s annual gala at The Loading Dock Stamford to celebrate its twentyfourth season. Lorah Haskins, Sarah O’Keefe and Rachel Ranieri cochaired the gala. The event honored Rowayton families Susan and Paul Tierney and Melissa and Andrew Wolford and raised $100,000 in net proceeds; the money helps keep ticket prices low and supports education programs in area schools. For summer 2019, Shakespeare on the Sound performed Twelfth Night in Rowayton’s Pinkney Park. shakespeareonthesound.org » 1 Susan Tierney, Paul Tierney, Cherie Burton, Emily Bryan, Melissa Woolford, Andrew Woolford 2 (Back Row) Avery Russey, Chloe Smith, (Front) Kaitlyn Knowles, Elise O’Keefe, Lucy Lavigne 3 Mark Mills, Bonnie Mills, Buell Duncan, Tracy Duncan 4 Sarah Wayland, Alyson Smith, Jessica Morin, Laura Mantoura 5 Sarah O’Keefe, Kelly Lavingne. Kristin Cottrell, Emily Candee 6 Pamela Murrin and friends 7 Lorah Haskins, Sarah O’Keefe, Rachel Ranieri 8 Anthony Lofrisco, Lauren Lofrrisco 9 Buell Duncan, Colan Liander 10 Leslie Lawrence, Bob Lawrence 11 Nick Rehberger, Emily Schultheis, Emily Ferranti NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019 NEW CANAAN•DARIEN
FAIRFIELD COUNTY’S COMMUNITY FOUNDATION / The Klein Memorial Auditorium 1 Michael Hall, Laurence Caso, Meg Hall 2 Helen Koven, Doreen Madden 3 Sana Sarr, Ainsley Novin, Brian Bish, Kristi Novin 4 Evelyn Isaia 5 Money raised for Fairfield Center Stage 6 Brenda Schoolfield, Elancy Cromwell, Robie Spector, Carolyn Vermont 7 Brooks Truesdell, Aidan Wildes 8 Olivia Daniels, Leah Glover 9 Robie Spector, Bill Tomins, Fiona Hodgson
airfield County’s Community Foundation (FCCF) kicked off Giving Day 2019 with a breakfast celebration at The Klein Memorial Auditorium in Bridgeport. Business leaders, policy makers and donors gathered together in the spirit of generosity and to raise awareness for the twenty-four-hour online fundraising event. At the end of the day, over $1.7 million was raised for 415 area nonprofits, including Curtain Call, Inspirica and LifeBridge Community Services. In its sixth year, the day of philanthropy encourages local giving to nonprofits serving the towns and cities of Fairfield County. Fccfoundation.org »
PHOTOGRAPHS BY MOFFLY MEDIA’S BIG PICTURE/MARILYN ROOS PHOTOGRAPHY
6 SPECTACULAR HOMES 1 UNFORGETTABLE TOUR
ALL FOR CHARITY
Â© Jane Beiles Photography
The Newcomers Club of New Canaan cordially invites you to the 2019 HOLIDAY HOUSE TOUR
Friday & Saturday December 6th and 7th
10am - 2pm
Purchase tickets in advance at newcanaannewcomers.com/purchase-tickets Standard Tickets $95 ($85 for Senior Citizens) Car Experience Ticket $50 (Saturday Only) $125 Standard Tickets may be purchased on days of tour at Carriage Barn Arts Center, Waveny Park 681 South Avenue, New Canaan
GREENWICH EDUCATION GROUP / Eastern Greenwich Civic Center
1 Cheryl Plummer, Keith Radcliff 2 The Lilly Family 3 Sara Lynn Leavenworth, Peggy Hersam 4 Ayesha Qureshi-Amin, Zainn Amin 5 Coleman Church, Harry Church, Jamie Funnell 6 Donna Moffly, Jonathan Moffly 7 Making connections at the event 8 Darien Espinao, Eva Cruz , Maya Cruz 9 Dana Thomas, Henry Lazareth
undreds of students and parents from Fairfield County and beyond attended Greenwich Education Group’s Private Day & Boarding School Fair at Eastern Greenwich Civic Center in Old Greenwich. Representatives from more than 100 schools were on hand to meet prospective students and their families and to discuss the opportunities. The fair helps to educate families about top-ranked independent day and boarding schools from throughout the U.S. and Canada. greenwichedgroup.com »
PHOTOGRAPHS BY MOFFLY MEDIA’S BIG PICTURE/MARILYN ROOS PHOTOGRAPHY
nua 4 An th
and New Canaanâ€™s
B E ST B A RTE N D E R CONTEST
Presented by NEW CANAAN-DARIEN+ROWAYTON MAGAZINE
to all of our sponsors for helping to make our 4th annual event another huge success!
PHOTOS BY JENNIFER OCCHICONNE
BUSINESS SPONSORS Helen Ainson
EXCLUSIVE WATER SPONSOR
A PORTION OF TICKET PROCEEDS to benefit the Darien and New Canaan libraries
1 Laura Magnotta, Rebecca Holshauser, Sarah Greenwell, Kate Tremaglio 2 Dr. Vida Samuel, Sheri West, Juana Yanes, Chelsea Starks 3 Nell and Mindy Jones 4 Mackenzie Moche, Stephanie Guza 5 On display 6 Cheyenne Tyler Jacobs 7 Artist Michele Utley Voight painting 8 Adrienne Djilani, Al and Ximena Iparraguirre 9 Victoria Iparraguirre, Sabrina Ahamed
LIVEGIRL / Carriage Barn Arts Center
iveGirl’s “The Art of Being a Girl” benefit drew an enthusiastic crowd to the Carriage Barn Arts Center in New Canaan. Partygoers enjoyed music by Sariah and Hope In Harmony as well as spoken word by best-selling poet Cheyenne Taylor Jacobs. Additionally, awardwinning artist Michele Voigt, who was featured in the corresponding exhibit, created a work of art in real time. New Orleans-based artist Ashley Longshore was also featured in the exhibit. Longshore donated an original work for sale; 100 percent of the proceeds benefitted LiveGirl. The nonprofit provides leadership development and girl empowerment in Connecticut. Golivegirl.org » newcanaandarienmag.com
PHOTOGRAPHY BY MOFFLY MEDIA’S BIG PICTURE/DANIELLE ROBINSON CALLOWAY
RESTAURANT WEEK SAVE THE DATE
OPening Night Party @JHouse March 4 2020 6:00 – 8:30 •
Hungry for Business? We’re serving up Sponsorships! To be a participating restaurant or for sponsorship opportunities please contact Trish Kirsch 203.571.1644 • email@example.com
Greenwich Restaurant Week 2020 Runs March 7th-14th greenwichrestaurantweek.com
1 Meg Warren, Kristen Shas 2 Jeff Manchester makes a bid 3 Tom McLaughlin, Fred and Terri Wilms 4 Waid Ramsubhag, Clinton Hamilton 5 Erika Hoke, Stephen Sander 6 A healthy treat 7 Theresa and Alejandro Rangel 8 Annie and Gerry Allen 9 Jonathan Crow, Bryan Meek
CARVER FOUNDATION OF NORWALK / Shorehaven Golf Club
he Child of America Gala at Shorehaven Golf Club in Norwalk raised more than $500,000 for the after school and summer programs of the Carver Foundation of Norwalk. Theresa Rangel, principal of Tracey Elementary School, received the foundation’s Child of America award. During her tenure, Tracey Elementary has gone from one of the lowest achieving schools in the Norwalk district to one of the highest performers. Partner Sponsors included Dalio Foundation, GE Capital, Richard & Barbara Whitcomb Foundation and the Stephen M. Sander Foundation. Moffly served as exclusive media sponsor. Carvernorwalk.org »
PHOTOGRAPHS BY MOFFLY MEDIA’S BIG PICTURE / DANIELLE ROBINSON CALLOWAY
grace farms foundation’s 4th annual benefit
our sustainable future championing ethical and environmentally-responsible supply chains
thank you to our co-chairs Abby Bangser & Amanda Martocchio for your leadership we are also grateful to our dedicated benefit committee, guests, event sponsors, performing artists, falconer, chefs, and auction donors for your commitment to advance good in the world.
visit us year-round
© James Florio
THE ROWAYTON ARTS CENTER / The RAC Gallery
Food For Thought 1 RAC Board President Steve Mernick, artist Heidi Follin 2 Sophie Larrizza, Leo Gonzalez 3 Geoff Shafer, Andrea Letters 4 Kate Larrabee reads from her winning essay collection 5 Jane Seymour, Andrea Letters, Suzy Aubrey, Leo Gonzalez 6 Sarah Barnes reads her poem, which won second place 7 First place winner Drew Lamm reads her poem 8 Erin McDonough, Ben Larrabee 9 Partygoers in the RAC Gallery
he Rowayton Arts Center (RAC) hosted a “Farm to Gallery” fundraising event that celebrated all things culinary. Partygoers enjoyed the At the Table exhibit on display while nibbling on light, summery fare and sipping well-crafted cocktails and seasonal wines. Winners of the “Food for Thought” writing contest were on hand to read their food-inspired short poetry and prose. RAC celebrates the study, creation and appreciation of the arts through classes, exhibitions and events open to the community. Rowaytonarts.org
203.254.4010 • QuickCenter.com • @fairfieldquick
Out of the Eclipse Friday, November 8, 2019 | 7 pm
“Goodness. Glorious.” – Theater Pizzazz Straight from a sold-out run at Feinstein’s/54 Below, experience this Tony Award-winner.
Fear and Greed
Thursday, November 14, 2019 | 8 pm Friday, November 15, 2019 | 8 pm Saturday, November 16, 2019 | 8 pm
“For a thought-provoking and aesthetically on-point show that will make you chuckle with delight and rock out to your own existential crisis, check out Fear and Greed.” – Montreal Theatre Hub FAMILY FUN
Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy
A Celtic Family Christmas Thursday, December 5, 2019 | 8 pm
A Celtic Family Christmas includes a line-up of familiar Christmas songs intermingled with classic Celtic and Irish tunes.
Puddleduck Farm, built in 1780, is classiclly decked for Christmas with a grand tree and vintage stockings.
b y m a l ia mckinnon fr ame / ph ot o g r a ph s by jane b eiles
A NEW CANAAN FAMILY’S HOME reflects an adventurous life
abroad—and the joys of staying put for the holidays
tep into Amanda Loehnis’ house on any given day of the year, and you’ll feel as if you’ve met an old soul. Her home evokes a wise worldly vibe, full of fabulous artwork, accessories and furniture curated from a nomadic life, but during the holidays it’s also a study in festive beauty and about spending quality time with loved ones. “For us, the holidays are all about family fun, friends and food,” she explains. “We play lots of charades and board games like Masterpiece, and we have a puzzle out in the family room.” NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019 NEW CANAAN•DARIEN
Amanda and her husband, Barney, moved into the colonial farmhouse, built in 1780, with their two children ages 12 and 14 five years ago. The property was once a working farm, aptly named Puddleduck Farm after several ducks who roamed the property. Today, 13 Cayuga, Khaki Campbell, Peking, Indian Runner and Saxony ducks reside there, along with one rabbit, two dogs and three hives of 150,000 bees. The home, which sits on a sliver of land and sprawls along the edge of a steep ridge, has been through a handful of renovations, including one on a grand scale by the Loehnis family in 2015. During this project, they built a bright new kitchen, mudroom, butler’s pantry, office and an outdoor terrace. A few doorways were opened-up to improve flow, but otherwise the home retained its antique charm and an array of interesting rooms. For the holidays, the family likes to decorate for a classic Christmas, hanging garland and lights along their front stone wall and going big inside with lots of poinsettias and amaryllis. “In the beginning of December, we buy a big round wheel of Stilton and raclette and chip away at them throughout the season when friends come over,” says Amanda. They spend much of their time in the backyard at the homemade hockey rink, constructed by Barney, enjoying s’mores and cider and skating with friends.
“It’s nice to have a mix of things that are clearly old and clearly modern.” —amanda loehnis
Though the couple loves living on a farm, don’t let their down-toearth personalities fool you: Both are impressive overachievers and world travelers. Amanda grew up going to school in Europe, Mexico and Aspen, spent 15 years in publishing and has been a handbag and children’s clothing designer. She’s in the process of getting her real estate license and is cochair for the Grainger Society to support the Phillip Johnson Glass House. Barney hails from the UK and has literally walked all over the world: In 1994, he was the first person to retrace Mao Zedong’s famous “Long March” through China over a period of 10 months. The couple has lived in London, Hong Kong and New York, and their home’s interiors reflect an avid love of art and design. “We’re moderate collectors and always buy each other art for our anniversary,” she says. With her creative eye for interiors, Amanda decided two years ago to put another official stamp on the design world, launching her own firm named—what else—Puddleduck Design. “I love to have a classic room and then add an unexpected element—a painting, a
right: Amanda Loehnis decorates with items she’s collected while traveling over the years. opposite page: Original fireplaces are used a great deal by the Loehnis family.
above: Thirteen ducks reside at Puddleduck Farm and can often be seen and heard roaming the property. opposite page: Amanda turns her library into a â€œcandy roomâ€? for her holiday party. newcanaandarienmag.com
fabulous piece of furniture, unusual wallpaper— while keeping the space equally warm, inviting and functional,” she explains. One of her recent projects was decorating Chef Prasad’s Indian restaurant in New Canaan, in which she chose bright aqua walls trimmed in white with the Tree of Life motif, evoking the feeling of a maharaja’s palace. In her own home, some objets d’art you’ll find include a masked Batman painting that was picked up on the streets of Cuba, a rustic copper mesh light pendant from Santa Fe, a whimsical parrot by well-known Mexican sculptor Bustemente, a chiseled wooden block sculpture by notable Beijing artist Wang Keping, artwork by British pop artist Peter Blake and Australian artist David Bromley, as well as a dining table made by City Bench in New York, fashioned out of a salvaged white oak tree and anchored with plexiglass legs. Amanda has combined a mélange of curios with some older, sentimental items including a set of intricate antique English brass andirons from Barney’s mother and an English secretary desk and bureau from her family. “It’s nice to have a mix of things that are clearly old and clearly modern,” she says. “It gives more of a timeless look.” The result is a home that weaves an exotic tapestry of the family’s past, culminating in a rare display of color, texture and layers. Each room is like a wonderful jewel box of treasures. The living room is Amanda’s favorite because, “there are so many elements from our past.” During Christmas, this space is anchored by a giant, brightly lit tree as well as a freestanding white vinyl bar from the fifties, a Warhol silkscreen of Mao Zedong, a pair of leather sofas bought with Barney on King’s Road in London and two striking lenticular prints by French artist Pascal Dombis. It’s no surprise that this spot is the focal point of the family’s annual Christmas party, a cheerful fete where champagne flows, guests can sample raclette and fill up a goody bag of sweets to take home from the library, which gets converted into a candy room for the night. With so many sophisticated items of interest in one place, how does she manage to make it all blend so beautifully? “It becomes less about the design, and more about a narrative of where you’ve been in your life and the fun you’ve had,” she says.
left: The classic formal dining room painted in bright green glossy walls and some unexpected art pieces. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019 NEW CANAAN•DARIEN
b y ma lia mcki nnon f r a me
all that glitters SIX LOCAL DESIGNERS REVEAL THEIR FOOLPROOF HOLIDAY DECORATING TIPS
PHOTO BY © МАРИЯ БАЛЧУГОВА - STOCK.ADOBE.COM
f you’re looking for some seasonal home decor inspiration, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve teamed with THE NEWCOMERS CLUB of New Canaan Holiday House Tour to gather advice from the locally based interior designers behind this year’s tour. They’re working overtime to deck the halls of the six New Canaan homes on the biennial tour that opens on December 6 and raises money for various charities and service organizations. In the meantime, we spoke with the talented designers behind the tour for their tips on how you can get your place holiday ready.
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019 NEW CANAANâ€¢DARIEN
KATE FERGUSON, Palomino Bazaar
s a designer I’m known for incorporating vintage and antique elements in my work, and this is true for holiday décor as well,” explains KATE FERGUSON, founder of PALOMINO BAZAAR, who is decorating a home this year with Palomino Bazaar principal Joanne O’Neil.
Get the right garland. “Use a mix of juniper, cedar and Douglas fir and braid them together.” Weave in a pretty holiday ribbon, and you’ll end up with a thick lush garland that looks natural. She also tucks in giant sugar pine cones, magnolia leaves and dried artichokes that are spray painted gold. Attach the garland with floral wire (available at a florist or craft store) to your mantel, banisters and outdoor light posts.
Buy a piece of your favorite fabric from the fabric store (plaid or sparkly print), take it to the dry cleaners and have them make it into a custom tree skirt. This little trick will elevate your Christmas tree and is an inexpensive and custom way to decorate your home, she says.
Fill a large mixing bowl halfway with water, then put a smaller bowl inside of it, weigh it down and put the stacked bowls in the freezer overnight. The next morning, turn it over and you’ll have a pretty ice dome that can be placed over a candle and antique silver platter to make a pretty centerpiece. Or, for a cocktail party make several of these ice globe luminaries to light up your walkway.
Thick and full garland is easy to craft on your own, Ferguson says.
hen asked about her holiday style, SAMANTHA KING, owner of SBK STAGING + STYLING, says she likes to keep her decor pretty traditional. “We hang the ornaments we’ve collected over the years on a giant tree, and I use the same creche I’ve had since the kids were born,” she says. King, along with interior designer Debbie Jackson and DesignDot founder and CEO Megan Wunderlich, will be collectively decking the halls of one of the homes this year.
SAMANTHA KING, SBK Staging + Styling
WREATH PHOTO BY © LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS - STOCK.ADOBE.COM; ORANGE PHOTO BY © AGNESKANTARUK - STOCK.ADOBE.COM;
“Load up on vintage and antique Christmas ornaments throughout the year from Ebay, Etsy and Chairish.com, as prices go up around the holidays,” she says. Ferguson likes to pile a bunch of the Shiny Brite collection glass ornaments in a vintage silver punch bowl to make a pretty focal point in a room.
1. THROW A THEME DINNER Some of Karlan’s past parties include Christmas at Sea, Parisian Christmas, a Woodland Christmas, Alpine Christmas, and Really Red Christmas. Her guests dress up for this annual fete, and everyone participates in a small skit. Karlan outfits her home each year based on the annual theme, starting with a base of white twinkly lights in every room.
Last Detail Interior Design
y philosophy around Christmas decor is ‘more is more,’” explains CAREY KARLAN, a self-proclaimed maximalist during the holidays.
2. USE WHAT YOU HAVE “Use favorite objects you have and decorate them for Christmas.” For example, Karlan customizes a special antique tea caddy every year to match her theme. For Christmas at Sea she transformed the caddy into a treasure chest overflowing with glittery shells and garland made to look like jewelry. For her front door wreath, she attached a small Nantucket basket inside the wreath and filled it with shells and greenery. Her bronze boxer dog statues that greet guests at her threshold always wear festive Santa hats. 3. DON’T OVER SPEND Visit a store like Trader Joe’s to find reasonably priced orchids, then source some inexpensive mirrored or wood containers, place the orchid inside and surround it with greenery or moss. “You can even tuck some small ornaments into the moss or a pretty faux spray, available at stores like Michaels. “Mixing faux with real makes the arrangement last longer,” she says.
Themed dinner parties are a holiday favorite.
4. PERSONALIZE IT Karlan personalizes her home during Christmas by gathering photographs of family and friends who attend her dinner party each year. She mounts the photos on colorful postcards, glues on a border of glitter, and punches a hole in the top tied with a ribbon. “I like to hang these ornaments on my banister and mantel garlands, and I put ones from dinner parties past in my dining room so guests see them each year.”
Small trees line a windowsill at Karlan’s Darien home.
1. BRING THE OUTSIDE IN Start at the front door. “Every year on the top right and left corners above the door frame I experiment by adding different accents of branches, berries, eucalyptus, holly, magnolia, or even ribbon to the garland,” she says. Once inside her home, you’ll see her favorite hand-crafted garland made of sheet music formed into paper sunbursts. In the middle, there are scrabble letters that spell NOEL. “Other than the tree, this is always the focal point of our home,” she explains.
Studding oranges with cloves adds a festive scent to your home.
2. GET THE KIDS INVOLVED Make pomander balls. If you’re on a budget, try studding some oranges
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019 NEW CANAAN•DARIEN
with cloves. “They last for several weeks, smell great and can be a fun activity with your kids,” she says. Children have a great time making their own designs or spelling out words with the cloves, and when done you can display them on a pretty tiered tray or stand. 3. CHANGE UP THE MANTEL “I always use cypress for my mantel, but this year I’m going to accent the garland, not with the usual peacock feathers, but with white plumes,” she says. The stark white peeking out of the greenery is a welcome contrast and will also look great if you are decorating a modern home,” she adds.
LORA GRAY, Gray Interiors
live in Vermont in an old farmhouse, so I like to keep my holiday decorating very simple,” explains LORA GRAY, owner of GRAY INTERIORS. She uses tons of fresh greens, white lights and silver to stay in keeping with the style and neutral color palette of her home. “You can’t go wrong with garland and a lot of white lights, which sets a peaceful and soothing mood during the busy holidays,” she says.
1. GO FAUX Get a white (or colorful) faux throw and wrap it around the base of your tree. “It makes the room feel luxurious and like a winter wonderland, and it won’t break the bank,” she says. Add faux fur throw pillows, wreaths and ornaments. 2. WORK WITH COLOR Don’t fight your existing color scheme. Gray suggests planning holiday decor that goes along with your existing palette. “If your home is mostly blue and white, add in a color like silver by polishing your silver candlesticks or buying some inexpensive
silver candles, accessories and ornaments.” For your dining room table, she likes filling two glass hurricanes with silver and blue ornaments, or with tiny batteryoperated LED fairy lights. 3. BRING ON THE GOOD STUFF Break out the best. “The holidays are the time of year to get out your nicest china, silver and crystal,” notes Gray. She suggests setting a beautiful table around December 1st so you can enjoy it for the entire month. “If you need to freshen things up each year, make small adjustments like switching out napkins or adding a new set of placemats,” she says.
A faux fur tree skirt adds luxury to Gray’s own home at Christmas.
1. PLAN IT OUT “In the fall, head over to Terrain or your favorite nursery and look at their ideas to get in the mood,” he says. Put your plan down on paper. Shop Michael’s, Walmart, Home Goods and Target to find fun theme-related accessories. “Mix in a few new items with special ones you have on hand.”
y number one recommendation is to plan your holiday decor in the fall so you’re organized and decorating doesn’t become a chore,” says MICHAEL CANORO, Principal at EASTMANINTERIORS based in New Canaan. He loves a traditional aesthetic—think Ralph Lauren—and suggests implementing lots of reds and greens, wreaths on every window and multiple-themed trees throughout the house. Here’s how he gets it all done.
2. START WITH TREES If you’re willing to have more than one, try a traditional tree in the living room and a casual one in the family room. “Buy one strand of lights for every foot of
CINDY LEVI AND TERRANCE RHODES, Lillian August
ccording to CINDY LEVI and TERRANCE RHODES, both Design Consultants at LILLIAN AUGUST, a worldwide trendsetting brand as well as a retailer of home furnishings, accessories and textiles, holiday decorating should always be classy and fabulous.
“For the holidays, we favor a classic traditional feel, and for added ‘pop’ a little twist of color is always fun,” explains Levi. She also offers the following go-to tips to instantly make a home feel more festive: Play holiday music to get into the spirit. String some white lights for a magical and soothing feel and light a scented candle to add a bit of nostalgia.
When asked how to prevent getting in a decor rut, Rhodes suggests creating new decorations that the whole family can make together, as well as using memorabilia from holidays past. “This way you can tell friends and family about the decorations being used year to year,” he says.
Often, the most significant decor trick is something very simple. “This year, we’ll be incorporating a popular cut greenery into the decor. The use of fresh eucalyptus with its soft silver blue hues throughout the interiors brings a clean and aromatic scent into the house,” he says. Rhodes also likes to turn to nature for inspiration and one-of-a-kind finds. “Your very own yard can be a tremendous resource for holiday decor. I love evergreens, but my favorite elements are bare winter branches as they are so versatile, natural and organic,” he says. Going for more glam look? Suggests Rhodes, “Add a touch of spray paint and glitter to heighten the holiday mood.” Greenery adds beauty and a fresh holiday scent to the home for the holidays.
GREENERY PHOTO BY © SONYACHNY - STOCK.ADOBE.COM; COOKIES PHOTO BY © VADYM - STOCK.ADOBE.COM
tree, and get LED ones as they last longer,” he says. 3. CREATE MEMORIES Pick a tree-install date (Canoro opts for post-Thanksgiving weekend) and turn decorating into a fun family activity by making ornaments together or baking gingerbread cookies with the kids and use them as a display. For a traditional tree, mix in sprays of winterberries, then add some crystal spikes and lots of glass icicles. For a woodsy tree, use burlap intertwined with grapevine (find spools of it at your
branches flocked with snow and flocked pine cones to fill in your tree. “Artificial winter birds are another favorite,” he says. “I buy them at stores or on Etsy in red, gray or white and they add an unexpected touch.” 4. GO GREEN When trees are decked, choose garlands for the bannisters and fireplace surrounds. Canoro likes using grapevine mixed with cedar sprigs, magnolia branches, or another evergreen such as a traditional Frasier Fir. “You can also find great artificial garland
Baking gingerbread cookies with the family helps create memories.
local nursery) to make a garlandlike ribbon that can be threaded throughout the tree. For a snow tree, use lots of white elements. You can buy pre-made evergreen
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019 NEW CANAAN•DARIEN
that lasts a long time and doesn’t make a mess, so no need to go real,” he says. 5. STICK TO A THEME Once the trees are done, focus on the rest of the house. “Keep your decor in line with the aesthetic of each room,” he says. If you have a snow tree, add some other items of interest that blend, such as large white branches or flocked white sticks in a big vase. Or, create a snow village by placing glass trees and houses on top of cotton batting on a sideboard or coffee table.
meet our 2019 light a fire honorees
TOGETHER WE RISE Their causes are varied, their goals are not—change lives and leave your corner of the world better than when you found it by jill johnson | phot o gr aphs by mel ani lust giovanna miller
s the year comes to a close and we reflect on the ups and downs in our lives, we here at Moffly Media would like to take a moment to celebrate the people and organizations that make it their mission to bring others up. Year after year our Light a Fire honorees prove that the desire to help others burns brightly. The class of 2019 continues the tradition: They engage kids with disabilities through animals; empower teenage girls; fund scholarships and mentor students; provide supplies to those wounded in combat; spend Sundays teaching peers coding; help immigrants integrate into the community; connect those in poverty with businesses that can guide them; give those with mental health issues a safe haven. One of these organizations touches 134 million lives each year. Another gives every one of its 32,000 employees two days off annually for volunteering. We have also partnered with Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, an organization that promotes philanthropy as a means to create lasting change. We invited FCCF to highlight two groups that are closing the opportunity gap for the underserved of Fairfield County. This year’s honorees, Connect-Us and Building One Community, will each receive a $2,500 grant from FCCF. Our other honorees were chosen through nominations submitted by readers who were touched by their fortitude and compassion—as we know you will be as well. » greenwichmag.com
a. reynolds gord on
reed ex h ibition s, yancy we inrich, c o o
tracy mchale stuart
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019 NEW CANAANâ€¢DARIEN
dr. nol an zeide & dr. steven zeide
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
a. reynolds gordon
organizations: Myron L. and Claire B. Gordon Foundation, Princeton, Yale, the Fugees (an immigrant soccer team), among numerous others
inspiration “My father founded our family’s foundation, so part of my inspiration is simply continuing in his footsteps,” says Renn Gordon, an Easton resident. “Part of it is that I consider myself very lucky. I was born from bright parents and I was able to go to the very best schools from grade school through law school.” The foundation’s focus is education, and Gordon, who attended Princeton and Yale Law School, actually funds half of the scholarship donations himself. Mary Kay Frost, V.P. of Scholarships for the High School Scholarship Foundation of Fairfield, applauds Gordon’s generosity, humility and dedication to helping students “with substantial financial need attend college. Mr. Gordon shares with our graduating seniors the rules for a successful life that he inherited from his father—namely, work hard, be kind and do a good deed each day.”
courage into action The Myron L. and Claire B. Gordon Foundation has donated over $500,000 to Fairfield, Bridgeport and Easton schools. Gordon credits his father with funding the foundation, but he has added to the fund for the past decade and his commitment goes beyond finances. “He shines light through the interest he exhibits in the students and the advice he so willingly gives,” says Frost. “He meets with the proposed recipients, asks them about their interests and their goals, makes a connection with them and then offers advice that will be helpful in their individual situations. He has attended every award ceremony at both Fairfield Warde and Fairfield Ludlowe.” newcanaandarienmag.com
In addition, Renn and Janet, his bride of twenty-five years, have been mentors for Princeton students interning in Connecticut, through Project 55, a Princeton class of ’55 project. Gordon has donated to Princeton annually for sixtyfour straight years and to Yale Law School for sixty-one years. The Gordons also have established a charitable remainder trust. “Upon our death, the money is Princeton’s, to be used for a series of lectures on the Rule of Law,” explains Gordon. Always humble, he’s quiet about the fact that the remainder trust reaches seven figures. Gordon sat on the Board of Directors of Park City Hospital in Bridgeport for over twenty years, and enjoyed being a Junior Achievement advisor in Bridgeport in the past. “I also had fun playing Santa Claus at Mercy Learning Center and handing out gifts to the poor at Christmas parties,” he says. Gordon is active in the Democratic Town Committee in Easton and is a recipient of their Neary Award for community service. He has served on both the Pension and Benefits Committee and the Tax Relief for the Aging Committee for two decades.
hopes & dreams Grateful for the educational doors that have opened to him in his life, Gordon says, “I would love for other people to have the same opportunities I’ve had—as much and as many as possible.”
giovanna miller organizations: American Red Cross, Greenwich United Way, YWCA, Stanwich School, Greenwich Country Day School, Greenwich Hospital, Breast Cancer Alliance, Junior League of Greenwich
inspiration “Inspiration came very early on,” says Greenwich resident Giovanna Miller. “My parents were both immigrants. They worked very hard. My grandmother always said no matter what you have, you have the capacity to give something. I was a Girl Scout. I volunteered at food banks. I learned that no matter what our financial responsibilities are, we have the responsibility to give back, and that’s what I try to teach my kids.” Miller put her career on hold to raise her boys and expected to return to work. “I started volunteering and was so moved, I never looked back,” she says. Once she learned the scope of the work of the Red Cross and that of every dollar, ninety-one cents goes to programs and services, she was hooked.
courage into action “Giovanna is the current Board Chair of the Metro NY North Chapter of the American Red Cross. Under her leadership over the past six years, she has grown the size of the board to forty members. It is now considered one of the most active and engaged American Red Cross boards in the country,” says Mary Young, CEO of the Metro NY North Chapter. “She also motivates a 700-plus volunteer workforce with her enthusiasm. Giovanna leads by example—you can often see her donating blood, installing free smoke alarms, participating in CPR training, compiling medevac bags for wounded military members at
Walter Reed Medical Center, writing Holiday Mail for Heroes cards at Greenwich Hospital, or encouraging others to join our mission.” Miller says: “It’s easy to write a check, and I’m always happy to do that; but what is most rewarding is being on the ground, helping the actual wounded and their families, walking the halls at Kids in Crisis or the YWCA, doing smoke alarm installations. We knock on doors in lower income housing, where often residents don’t have smoke alarms. That $10 alarm really may save lives.” Miller reflects on her first visit to Walter Reed Medical Center: “It was so eye-opening seeing the patients there on crutches and in wheelchairs. We now put together medevac bags for them: basic hygiene items, snacks, water, blankets. We are Skyping with installations overseas to see what supplies we can send. We are constantly taking on these projects that no other board in the U.S. has taken on. The enthusiasm and passion among our board is infectious.”
hopes & dreams “I hope that more people get involved. Think of something you are passionate about. You are never too busy. In every area, there are people who have a need and don’t have the opportunities many of us have. I hope my kids will follow in my footsteps, and it will continue for generations and generations.” »
BEST FRIENDS TO ANIMALS
dr. nolan zeide & dr. steven zeide
organizations: Stamford Animal Shelter Alliance, Project Precious, Save a Lab, Stamford Regional Agriscience & Technology Center, Stamford Dog Park (founder), Stamford Arboretum, St. Paul’s Day School, AVID Program and more
inspiration “It starts with the kids,” says Dr. Steven Zeide, who runs Bull’s Head Pet Hospital in Stamford with his son, Dr. Nolan Zeide. “Pets and kids are so similar. They’re honest, sincere and, in their own way, extremely appreciative. I’ve had a few people guide me along the way, and I feel we are on this earth to help, whether two-legged or four-legged creatures.” The Zeides enjoy educating young people about pets and career options in veterinary medicine and animal science. “Encouraging them to reach for their dreams is rewarding. In some cases, kids don’t have direction, and we help them get back on track,” explains Steve. “I think our enthusiasm is contagious; we love what we do!” Nolan adds, “When I was five or six, my dad would take my brother, me and our dogs to a senior home. This is what my dad had us doing when we were little kids. It has been a lifestyle for him and for us our entire lives.” Nolan was born and raised in Stamford. “I love this city and our schools,” he says. “I want to give back to the community that gives to me.”
courage into action For the forty years that Bull’s Head Pet Hospital has been open, the Zeides have spread kindness throughout the community: caring for the schools’ pets, teaching students of all ages about animals, speaking at events, promoting the dog park, improving the animal shelter. The Zeides also
extend a 50 percent discount to nonprofit rescue organizations and mentor student volunteers. “I’ll brag that five out of five [students] we’ve written recommendations for have gotten into vet school,” says Steve. The heartwarming anecdotes are abundant. “I remember going to Stillmeadows School and speaking to some kids who had significant disabilities,” says Steve. “A month later I was at a cancer walk with my dog, and this girl in a wheelchair who could not speak indicated she recognized me and the dog. I had a similar experience at the Jewish Center, with a kid in the pool with an aide. When they remember you and they smile, you know you’ve touched them. It’s nice to feel you have made a mark.” Nolan recounts coming full circle at an Earth Day Festival: “I spoke to 300 kids in the auditorium at Cloonan Middle School; I used to sit in those seats!”
hopes & dreams Nolan: “I want to inspire my kids so they inspire others. I want them to take it to another level in spreading love and positivity.” Steve: “For me, the future is now! It’s also important to look back, improve on who I am and the role our family plays in making this city a better place. I hope to continue helping pets and teaching people how to care for them.”
BEST FRIEND TO GIRLS
sheri west inspiration “I grew up in a small town in Michigan, and giving back was something we always did as a family,” says New Canaan resident Sheri West. “Working in corporate finance at GE, I had great success, but I also encountered obstacles that are unique to women. When I had kids, I began thinking more about this issue. About six years ago, we hosted a middle school girl through Fresh Air Fund. She was the same age as our middle child, and it really struck us that she had all the smarts our daughter has but none of the access to opportunities or mentors. At that moment, we sat down as a family and discussed starting LiveGirl.”
courage into action Since founding LiveGirl in 2014, West says she “spends every moment, even in my dreams, thinking about how to close the female leadership gap and how to achieve gender parity.” In 2018, LiveGirl enrolled over 1,200 girls in its free leadership and mentoring programs in Bridgeport, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Ridgefield, Stamford, Waterbury, Westport and Wilton. This year, LiveGirl partnered with the Connecticut Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs to expand its middle school program statewide, and last summer 200 girls attended LiveGirl’s annual summer camp in New Canaan, with transportation provided from as far away as Waterbury. Kate Reeves, LiveGirl Youth Advisory Board president and recent high school graduate, comments: “LiveGirl taught me to advocate for myself. For many of NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019 NEW CANAAN•DARIEN
my friends, LiveGirl allowed them to aim for goals or roles they had never pictured themselves in. For many middle-schoolers, LiveGirl is a community of kindness and support in a time when girls are so often taught to judge and compete. Sheri has mastered the art of empowering girls to empower each other. This work is more vital than ever. Middle school girls face quickly decreasing rates of selfconfidence, which often continue into adulthood, manifesting in workforce trends where women are less likely to ask for a raise or less likely to speak highly of themselves in interviews. Sheri has identified this crisis and created an organization that teaches girls how to support each other, shows them the success they can achieve, and inspires them to advocate for themselves and one another.” West is now established as an expert in girls’ leadership. “It’s really rewarding to have organizations coming to us and asking us to run workshops,” she says, adding, “What we do resonates with parents now more than ever. The world we live in is challenging for girls, especially girls of color. We need to build up girls’ self-esteem and social and emotional intelligence.” She has a practical outlook regarding social media and the ills it feeds: “Teens aren’t going to give it up, so we have to teach them how to curate a positive experience.”
hopes & dreams “I have many: I dream of gender parity, of a female president, of more young women having the confidence to raise their hands and to step up into leadership positions.” »
inspiration “I believe it’s really important to give back,” says Michael Parker of Greenwich. “I started with Laurel House because I wanted to help people who were completely underserved. The stigma around mental health made it unpopular. I liked that we were working with people who had no champions.” Parker had no relatives plagued by mental illness but was aware of the scope of the problem. “Seventy to eighty percent of the homeless were suffering from mental illness,” he explains.
OUTSTANDING HEALTH ADVOCATE
michael parker organizations: Laurel House, St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University, Americares, Baker Institute at Cornell University
courage into action “It’s rewarding making a difference at a hands-on level, newcanaandarienmag.com
which is what Laurel House does,” says Parker, who became involved when he joined its board in 1994. “I’m very proud of the progress we’ve made, especially over the last ten years.” Linda Autore, Laurel House president and CEO, says: “During its thirty-five-year history, Laurel House has been served by many talented board directors, but none have devoted more time or energy or been more dedicated to mental health recovery than Michael. He has served an unprecedented two terms as chairman of the board. In his early years, Michael played a key role in the Capital Campaign Committee, which raised the funds for Laurel House to purchase the building it currently occupies in Stamford. During his second term, he led a strategic planning process and search for a president and CEO. In 2014 Michael participated in the planning of two key initiatives: the Thinking Well program, addressing cognitive impairment associated with mental illness, and rtor.org, a website for those seeking help for mental health.” Parker has overseen Laurel House’s transition to an organization with metrics showing outcomes. “We maximize services across a much broader age range than before. Mental illness is now manifesting younger, unfortunately,” he says. Over the decades with Laurel House, Parker’s children have taken notice. “They understand how good it feels to give back. That legacy is the tremendous gift of this whole process.”
hopes & dreams “That Laurel House will continue to do what it’s doing and evolve to meet needs. I’ll continue to support Americares—I love the mission and that it’s local. We all need to look for the greater good. There’s nothing better than giving back.”
MOST DEDICATED BOARD MEMBER
tracy mchale stuart organization: Save the Children
inspiration “I’ve always felt a deep commitment to helping people, particularly those who are most vulnerable,” says Tracy McHale Stuart of Fairfield, who is a member of the Board of Trustees at Save the Children. “Save the Children focuses on the most vulnerable populations in the world and delivers amazing work on a huge, huge scale. I’ve gone to see its work in several locations and each time I’m more impressed by the commitment and talent of its people. I’m very business oriented, and these people could work wherever they want and they choose to commit their time to this organization. It’s really humbling.” Stuart, who is managing partner and CEO at New York City-based investment firm Corbin Capital Partners, supports more than a dozen local charities and has gotten her children involved in giving back through Southport Congregational Church. But despite running a business and having young kids, she’s eager to contribute on a larger scale. “Save the Children is going to places where people are in desperate situations and dire conditions, and they are making an incredible impact. They get involved in the communities and just make things happen.”
courage into action Stuart was making things happen at Save the Children long before joining the board last February. “For three years Tracy cochaired the Illumination Gala, our biggest
fundraiser of the year,” says Ann Marie Miles, senior director of Individual Philanthropy. “She has visited our programs around the world and taken the time to understand and support our mission to reach every last child.” Save the Children has touched the lives of 134 million children in 120 countries this year alone. “That’s a mind-boggling number,” notes Stuart, who took her family to Indonesia to see the work Save the Children is doing there. “Save the Children is so important to their community. It was fantastic to have our kids get a sense of what’s happening around the world outside their bubble.”
hopes & dreams “I’m on several committees, diving headfirst into the board, and going out to see the programs as much as I can. There is a lot going on at the organization regarding effectiveness: how to take the best ideas and best practices from any given location and apply them and scale up. The businessperson in me is interested in how to operate more effectively and more efficiently over time. But for now I have to earn my stripes.” »
high school at Greenwich’s India Cultural Center (ICC). Perhaps Angreji’s pressing urge to give back developed in Scouts. “I started scouting in kindergarten,” he says, now an Eagle Scout. As a child of immigrants from India and a new kid in town, Angreji found it difficult to meet kids. “Scouting was a great way to get involved in the community, and it blossomed into meeting a group of people who were engaged and had a shared goal of creating a better future for people around us.”
courage into action
inspiration “When I was younger, I thought a lot about how I could amplify the impact I have on the world,” says Purab Angreji. “It was kind of like a midlife crisis but in eighth grade. How do I benefit others rather than living in a bubble?” When his sister asked for help with her Girl Scouts Gold Award, Angreji started brainstorming. “I gave her ideas on how to benefit the community longterm,” he explains. “With the current global state, a lot of professions will become our future, and the most important is technology. Tech coding classes for youth would help the next generation be prosperous.” The result was a coding curriculum he created and taught throughout
MOST DEDICATED TEEN
organizations: India Cultural Center, Scouts (Eagle Scout), Wilton High School Model Congress, WHS Debate Team, WHS International Club, WHS Band
“Since he was a freshman, Purab traveled from Wilton to Greenwich twenty-four Sunday mornings a year to teach coding to grade-school students at ICC,” says Margie French, executive director. “Purab’s impact on ICC and on his students has been enormous,” she continues. “He is motivated to do good and do well. He is a role model to ICC children and admired by parents.” Angreji recalls a highlight of teaching: “A group of kids decided to take what I was teaching them out of the context of making a game and think about how it could be applied in other fields, like medicine. That was rewarding, watching these kids who are just ten years old, applying what I was teaching them to better the world.”
hopes & dreams “I’m young still, so I tend to be quite optimistic,” says Angreji, who is a freshman at NYU’s Stern School, studying business and political economy. “Business I think holds the most versatility for an individual to have the biggest impact.” When he graduates, Angreji hopes to move up the corporate ladder in a larger firm so that he can implement programs for social good. “I’m interested in how to use business and capitalist benefits to directly benefit the social flow,” he says.
CORPORATE GOOD NEIGHBOR
organizations: Kids in Crisis, Bridgeport Rescue Mission, Norwalk Mentor Program, Connecticut Food Bank, Homes for the Brave, Ronald McDonald House, Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary, Habitat for Humanity, Ludlow Senior Center
reed exhibitions inspiration “Giving back is very important to our company,” says Yancy Weinrich, COO of Reed Exhibitions. The 32,000 employees at the U.K.-based company, with North American headquarters in Norwalk, are given two paid days off each year for charity work. “We encourage volunteering, and this goes from the top down across all our business units,” says Weinrich. In the past few years, Reed Exhibitions employees have started volunteering together— forming teams, choosing a project and working together. “For example, building a house for Habitat for Humanity,” she explains. “They spend a day together and feel good about what they’ve accomplished. It really builds morale.”
courage into action
“Employees at Reed Exhibitions are some of Kids In Crisis’ most dedicated and passionate volunteers,” says Beth Jabick, Corporate Partnerships Manager at Kids in Crisis. “Many volunteer on their own time, in addition to using their RE Cares time [their paid days off for volunteering].” Beyond helping at the shelter, a holiday gift drive and monthly pizza dinners for Lighthouse meetings (for LGBTQ youth), Reed Exhibitions’ parent company, RELX, has helped fund the Kids in Crisis Teen Talk Program through an annual grant. Reed Exhibitions has raised more than $64,000 for Bridgeport Rescue Mission, and employees help distribute Thanksgiving food to the needy. During and after school, NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019 NEW CANAAN•DARIEN
employees mentor children in Norwalk schools through the Norwalk Mentor Program. Reed Exhibitions also donates to Connecticut Food Bank throughout the year; and employees did seven projects with the Food Bank in 2018 alone. They also volunteer to create, serve and share a dinner with the homeless veterans served by Homes for the Brave. “Our company has a number of veterans on staff, and this project is very close to their hearts,” comments Weinrich. Other partners include Ludlow Senior Center, where Reed volunteers host a Christmas party annually; Ronald McDonald House, where volunteers create healthy lunches and give their time to help with Trees of Hope, the annual fundraiser; and the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary in Newtown, being built in honor of a first-grader killed at Sandy Hook in 2012.
hopes & dreams “We hope that even more employees will get involved in volunteering,” says Weinrich. “We hope to broaden our partnerships and footprint in the community. We are also moving to a new location where we are focused on creating a company culture our employees want to tell their friends about. We want to be known as a place that really cares.” »
FAIRFIELD COUNTY’S COMMUNITY FOUNDATION COMMUNITY IMPACT AWARD q&a with executive director of connect-us
to twenty-five, come together to take responsibility for supporting the growth of other young people. They watch a lot of documentaries to understand what’s going on in the world and become critical thinkers. They invite others to participate in our programs. Since 2014, over 2,400 young people and their families have been engaged with Connect-Us.
What’s the mission of Connect-Us?
We bring together suburban and urban neighbors to improve the quality of outcomes for young people living in communities of concentrated poverty. How does your mission fit with Fairfield County Community Foundation’s values?
One of the programs FCCF supports is our Connect-Us Academy. The academy is for young people, ages sixteen to twenty-one, who want to cultivate skills and learn to work in a professional business setting. For fourteen weeks students attend after-school workshops at companies throughout Fairfield County. It helps all involved—not just the kids—to better navigate this increasingly complex world. We have corporate partners in various fields: finance, law, marketing, energy, interior design, fashion design, health administration. The graduates are placed in paid summer internships. We placed twenty-four interns last summer, working for $14 an hour. FCCF actually had two interns. State officials complain that it’s hard to attract businesses to Connecticut. I’ve spoken up about working to impact the culture. Businesses should
What does the future hold for Connect-Us?
I’m excited about the growth of our business partnerships. I think we could place twice as many interns next year. We are finding ways to tap into resources to support the growth of our kids. We have twenty-five partners, including Bridgewater, which leads résumé writing workshops. JPMorgan Chase is coming up to lead workshops. We are getting traction, and I’m excited about that. Words of Praise
invest in the kids of Bridgeport. Millennials want to work for companies that are socially responsible. We are that bridge— between the kids and the community/businesses. Our goal is to continue to find ways to bring people together who don’t normally come together. There’s no reason Connecticut couldn’t
be a good model for the country, given the level of inequality that exists in Fairfield County. What is your organization’s biggest accomplishment?
I think it’s our youth leadership team. The team meets every Tuesday, September through May. These young people, ages fifteen
Jill Egan, event planner at Bridgewater Associates, comments: “Pam’s after-school program adds huge value to the underprivileged population. Connect-Us teaches important social skills, gives academic resources and really captures the essence of what it is to develop young leaders for society.”
FAIRFIELD COUNTY’S COMMUNITY FOUNDATION COMMUNITY IMPACT AWARD q&a with executive director of building one community
catalina horak we understand that fear and we address it and work with local elected officials, our partners and the community at large to provide the stable environment that everyone needs, that kids need. We are committed to advocacy and applying our knowledge to shape immigration policies. We are a new organization—we are only eight years old—so also making sure people know who we are, build our brand, and be the go-to place for area immigrants.
What is the mission of Building One Community?
To support local immigrants on their journey toward being successful members of the community—what we call their integration journey. Our goal is to advance successful integration of all immigrants and their families regardless of where they are on that journey. Some have been here working for ten years, with a basic level of education, and they still are not speaking English. Others, from the Middle East for example, have been exposed to English and a higher level of education and learn English rapidly. Each has different needs on their path to becoming contributing members of the community.
Words of Praise
How does your mission fit with Fairfield County Community Foundation’s values?
Immigration is one of FCCF’s core issues. They are all about closing the opportunity gap, serving the community, making sure everyone has a fair chance. It’s exactly what we do. Ethnic diversity and inclusion— 80 percent of our staff are people of color, so we represent the people we are serving. We are about equity and collaboration.
the solutions many times are at the local level. We are part of the local solution.
What is your organization’s biggest accomplishment?
Making sure that we stay true to our values and mission during a time of very rapid growth and that we continue to facilitate the programs based on real needs and not our perception. Immigration is such a national issue but also a local issue, and
What does the future hold for Building One Community?
These are very challenging times for many of the people we serve. It’s a time of uncertainty and fear, so we need to make sure that
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019 NEW CANAAN•DARIEN
Robert Wells, program coordinator of MAV Foundation (an organization dedicated to eradicating hunger) comments, “Through its Workforce Development Program, B1C offers an underserved immigrant population a chance to participate in certificate-based training in culinary and catering, home health aide, and construction and landscaping at no cost. B1C offers English language learning instruction for all ages. True to its name, B1C collaborates with over fifty organizations to provide access to education, healthcare, childcare, legal advice and more. These collaborations are vital for the holistic, wraparound services that B1C supplies to over 3,300 community members a year.”
24 HOURS TO GIVE WHERE YOU LIVE FEBRUARY 27, 2020 Be part of our region’s Biggest philanthropic event of the year – fairfield county’s giving day Powered by Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, this dynamic 24-hour fundraising event unites our community — all 23 towns and cities — around local causes and nonprofit organizations that are closest to your hearts. And with your help, we’re set to break records in giving in 2020!
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by McArdle’s, 48 Arch Street to TMK Sports & Entertainment. Over 125 Participating Retail Come Stores, L ocated at 59 E ast Putnam Avenue, this dramatic repre- to Santa and his LIVE Reindeer sentation of the birth of C hrist will feature a camel, donRestaurants and Community Businesses k ey, llama, cow and five sheep. G reenwich areaHoliday churches R Photos with Santa begin!
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We welcome wedding announcements together with candid photographs. Weddings should have a current New Canaan, Darien or Rowayton family connection and must be submitted within three months of the wedding day. Regretfully, we are unable to run every wedding submitted. Send Information to: firstname.lastname@example.org New Canaan • Darien Magazine | 205 Main Street Westport, CT 06880
Ownership Statement New Canaan/Darien Magazine U.S. Postal Service. Statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation. (Required by 39 U.S.C. 3685) 1. Publication Title: New Canaan/Darien. 2. Publication No.: 1942-1028. 3. Filing Date: October 1, 2019. 4. Issue Frequency: 6 times. 5. Number of Issues Published Annually: 6. 6. Annual Subscription Price: $19.95. 7. Complete Mailing Address of Known Office of Publication: 205 Main Street, Westport, CT 06880. 9. Full Names and Complete Mailing Addresses of Publisher, Editor, and Managing Editor: Lisa Hingst, Publisher, 205 Main Street, Westport, CT 06880. Julee Kaplan, Editor, 205 Main Street, Westport, CT 06880. Amy Vischio, Managing Editor, 205 Main Street, Westport, CT 06880. 10. Owner: Moffly Media. 11. Known Bondholders, Mortgages, and Other Security Holders Owning or Holding 1 Percent or More of Total Amount of Bonds, Mortgages, or Other Securities: None. 12. For Completion by Nonprofit Organizations Authorized to Mail at Special Rates: Not applicable to New Canaan/Darien Magazine. 13. Publication Title: New Canaan/ Darien. 14. Issue Date for Circulation Data Below: September/October 2019. 15. Extent and Nature of Circulation: a. Total Number of Copies (net press run): *7,629 **7,601; b(1). Paid/ Requested Outside-County Mail Subscription Stated on Form 3541: *586 **586; b(2). Paid InCounty Subscriptions: *2,819 **2,822; b(3). Sales Through Dealers and Carriers, Street Vendors, Counter Sales, and Other Non-USPS Paid Distribution: *692 **700; b(4). Other Classes Mailed Through the USPS: *0 **0; c. Total Paid and/or Requested Circulation (Sum of 15b (1), (2), (3), (4): *4,097 **4,108; d. Free Distribution by Mail (Samples, Complimentary, and Other Free): d(1). Outside-County as Stated on Form 3541: *0 **0; d(2). In-County as Stated on Form 3541: *1,207 **1,172; d(3). Other Classes Mailed Through the USPS *0 **0; d(4). Free Distribution Outside the Mail (Carriers or Other Means): *1,367 **1,371; e. Total Free or Nominal Rate Distribution (Sum of 15d (1), (2), (3), (4): *2,574 **2,543; f. Total Distribution (Sum of 15c and 15e): *6,671 **6,651; g. Copies Not Distributed: *958 **950; h. Total (Sum of 15f, 15g): *7,629 **7,601; i. Percent Paid and/or Requested Circulation (15c divided by 15f. times 100): *61.4 percent **61.8 percent. 17. This Statement of Ownership will be printed in the November/ December 2019 issue of this Publication. 18. I certify that all information furnished on this form is true and complete. I understand that anyone who furnishes false or misleading information on this form or who omits material or information requested on this form may be subject to criminal sanctions (including multiple damages and civil penalties). Elena V. Moffly, Business Manager/Treasurer, October 1, 2019. *Average No. Copies Each Issue During Proceeding 12 Months. **Actual No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date.
ALSO COMING UP
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advertisers index AUTOMOTIVE
FOOD, CATERING & LODGING
KARL Chevrolet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
55 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
ROXOR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37
Cava . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Harvest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
BUILDING & HOME IMPROVEMENT
Palmer's Darien . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cover 2
Grand Entrance Gates . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Scena . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Neil Hauck Architects . . . . . . . . . Cover 3
Sono 1420 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
Walpole Outdoors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
South Bay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Winvian Farm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
BUSINESS & FINANCE Cummings & Lockwood LLC . . . . . . . . 43
HEALTH & BEAUTY
Davidson, Dawson & Clark LLP . . . . . . . 41
Hospital for Special Surgery . . . . . . . . . 5
Navesink Wealth Management . . . . . . 39
Nuvance Health . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 ONS Orthopaedic &
EDUCATION & CHILDREN Fairfield University's College of Arts and Sciences . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 The Children's School . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
ENTERTAINMENT 95.9, The Fox . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27 Fairfield University Quick Center for the Arts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .57 The Ridgefield Playhouse . . . . . . . . . . 86
EVENTS 11th Annual Greenwich Reindeer Festival & Santa's Village . . . . . . . . . 85 A-list Awards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Darien and New Canaan's Best Bartender Contest Thank You . . . . . . 51 Fairfield County's Community Foundation Giving Day . . . . . . . . . . 84 Grace Farms Foundation's 4th Annual Benefit/Our Sustainable Future . . . . 55 Greenwich Historical Society
Neurosurgery Specialists . . . . . . . . . 9 Paul D. Harbottle, D.D.S . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Riverside Pediatrics . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Stamford Health . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 The Residence At Selleck's Woods . . . . . 8
HOME & HERD providing sanctuary for more than 20 years
Lux Bond & Green . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Manfredi Jewels . . . . . . . . . . . . Cover 4 Roberto Coin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Rolex . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cover 4
NONPROFIT Americares . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Breast Cancer Alliance. . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Darien Nature Center . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 The Elephant Sanctuary . . . . . . . . . . 87
PET & PET PRODUCTS Connecticut Humane Society . . . . . . . . 43
PHOTOGRAPHY Portraits, Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Antiquarius . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85 Greenwich Restaurant Week . . . . . . . . 53
Light a Fire 2019 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
Newcomers Club of New Canaan Holiday House Tour . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
International Realty . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 William Raveis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Mitchells/Richards . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2, 3
Hollow Tree Self Storage . . . . . . . . . . 29
Roundabout . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27
Westy Self Storage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019 NEW CANAAN•DARIEN
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last word by julia dz afic
THE NICE LIST GIVE THE GIFTS THAT GIVE BACK THIS HOLIDAY SEASON
love buying gifts for family and friends, even more than I like getting them. My sister jokes that I should start a gift-giving business because picking out thoughtful gifts might be my greatest talent. But the holiday season can feel especially overwhelming as a consumer and a gift-giver. We all want to buy the best gifts for our loved ones, but why not do that while also helping people who are in need? I’ve rounded up my five favorite gifts to give that also give back this holiday season.
LOVE YOUR MELON HATS
Who wouldn’t appreciate a cute and cozy winter hat in their stocking? But what if that hat could also help fight pediatric cancer? Fifty percent of net profits from the sale of all Love Your Melon hats is given to the Love Your Melon Fund to help fight the disease, create therapeutic experiences and fund charitable programming initiatives for children and families battling cancer. Hats range from $25 to $45. YANKEE SWAP:
of Napa Valley wines, you give back to a wide spectrum of charitable causes. Bottles range from $20 to $125. The One Hope Wine community has donated nearly $5 million to non-profits around the world. Pretty darn impressive. SECRET SANTA: THE HOME T
Showing some Connecticut pride just got even better. The Home T makes soft and comfortable tees, perfect for lounging or working out. They cost about $28 to $38 and they donate 10 percent of profit to multiple sclerosis research. Total win/win.
fell apart. Pura Vida Bracelets look like the elevated version of those friendship bracelets of our youth. And they have partnered with more than 175 charities around the world to donate $1.7 million to multiple causes like Alzheimer’s research and funding the Boy’s and Girl’s Clubs. Bracelets start at $6.
ONE HOPE WINE
A bottle of wine always makes a winner at Yankee swaps, and One Hope Wine will make you feel even better when you buy it. Simply by shopping the vast selection
FRIENDSHIP BRACELETS: PURA VIDA BRACELETS
Last summer, my group of friends and I bought friendship bracelets partly as a joke, but we ended up wearing them until they
FOR THAT SPECIAL SOMEONE: THE GIVING KEYS
I wrote my college thesis on homelessness in the U.S. so it’s
an issue that always lives near my heart. The Giving Keys, which calls itself a “pay it forward company” sells key necklaces with inspiring words on them. The company sells jewelry and provide jobs to people transitioning out of homelessness. Their mission is to help break the cycle of generational poverty and homelessness. I just love that so much and plan to buy these for multiple people on my list this year. Keys start at $36.
JULIA DZAFIC is the creator of Lemon Stripes, a lifestyle blog covering everything from wellness and design to style and motherhood. She lives in Westport with her husband Anel, daughter Amalia, and pup Boots. lemonstripes.com, @lemonstripes
PHOTO BY JJULIA D’AGOSTINO
THE DATEJUST The archetype of the modern watch has spanned generations since 1945 with its enduring functions and aesthetics. It doesnâ€™t just tell time. It tells history.
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