NATIONAL ROSÉ DAY

The second Saturday of each June is deemed National Rosé Day. Some people get annoyed with all these “made up” national holidays; I my friends am not one of them! There are several reasons why I love this holiday, faux or not.

Firstly, I love champagne! To me it represents celebration and joy and how could we ever have too much of either? Although Rosé generally refers to wine, like all great things it can not be boxed in and has found its lane in the champagne world. My favorite champagne Veuve Clicquot offers a Rosé label and I love everything about it from the taste to the pink branding.

Secondly, I love the history of this holiday! In 2014 Bodvár – House of Rosés submitted a request for the holiday to be added to the National Day Calendar (yes, this is a thing!). I am low key fascinated with marketing and branding and I find it absolutely genius for a rosé house to capitalize on the fact that this day did not previously exist. Rosé is chic and trendy and many brands have benefited from the holiday’s existence. Celebrating National Rosé day has become the premier summer kickoff celebration meaning not only an opportunity for brands & businesses to grow but also opportunities for us rosé consumers to have a great time!

Lastly, I now have a personal connection to this celebratory holiday. My friends (and now business partners) and I have been working hard to launch a brand that started as a simple vision. Although the master plan has not yet been fully achieved, we decided to stop waiting for that perfect time and share with the world what we had been working on so far. On National Rosé Day we came together to finalize details and talk future moves, of course over a few types of rosé! The result was the launch of our baby Aglow Event Styling. Aglow will specialize in floral backdrops and other luxe event rentals.

We all have this undying desire for good vibes. Good vibes in the moment means laughing until we cry, dancing even if we look foolish and bantering back and forth with the wittiest of jokes over great food and better cocktails. Good vibes is also the feeling of all of those great memories bottled up and creating a space in your heart that no one can take away. We understand how essential celebrations are in curating these vibes and we want Aglow to be an inspiration for these positive feelings. While life is not about material possessions, being surround by pretty things always sets the tone for a good time in the now and a great memory in the future.

Trying out a new brand of Rosé and it looks great with our Rosé All Day floral backdrop!

Of course we had to have a good ole trusty as well! I’m sure there are fancier Rosés out there but you can never forget your humble beginnings. Barefoot has been holding it down since Drake put us on to Moscato lol!

For Valentine’s Day I tried the Angry Orchard Rosé Cider and wasn’t really impressed. I’m glad to say the girls and I enjoyed the Strongbow! It is very light and refreshing. The perfect summer with a crisp taste and the right amount of bubbles. 

This is our premier Aglow floral backdrop, Rosé All Day! She’s a beauty!

Needless to say, I enjoyed National Rosé Day 2018. It was spent working hard with some of the people I truly love creating memories with. Next year the holiday actually falls on what we are calling our official anniversary, June 8th. So you know what that means? Everything rosé business anniversary party with the coldest of rosé bottles and the prettiest of backdrops. See you next year!

MEXICUE STAMFORD

I am always on the hunt for new places to eat and drink. Because I’m so invested in these vibes that I’m constantly mentioning, I get really excited when I find modern restaurants with great interior design and an upbeat atmosphere. Its not just the food thats important, I need to feel comfortable while I’m dining. Scrolling through instagram I came across a location I had never heard of, Mexicue. Now I reside in the Hartford area and this spot was all the way down in Stamford which is a 1.5 hour drive sans traffic. But based off the vibes I got from the photos and website I just knew I had to visit!

 

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Mexicue is a lively restaurant inspired by Mexican tradition and down south culture. It started out as a food truck in NYC and has expanded to four locations. The staff is super pleasant (shout out to our waitress Melissa and the management staff Lynn and Annie who made my friends and I feel so at home) and the place is just gorgeous. The Stamford location is set right at Harbor Point with large floor to ceiling windows that give you a great view of the dock and an endless supply of sun if the weather is good. Even the about section of the website matches the vibe I’m seeking when choosing where to dine: “Just good music. Strong, quality drinks. Shareable, mouth-watering food. That’s all the ingredients you need for the perfect neighborhood escape.” Mexicue definitely lived up to this expectation.

I went with three friends for Sunday brunch. Keep reading to get a peek at everything we ordered and devoured!

DRINKS

Pictured is the Seasonal Fruit Margarita. Chipotle Pineapple steals the show on the cocktail making it a fresh and spicy refresher.

There were so many other great cocktails on the menu but some of us opted for classic mimosas since we were ordering lots of bites from the menu. The mimosas had the perfect proportion of champagne and OJ and were honestly strong (the way I like them). The next time I’m at Mexicue I’ll definitely be trying the Grapefruit Paloma which looks so amazing on the restaurant’s instagram account!

APPETIZER

We kept our appetizer light with a round of chips and guac. The guacamole had the perfect hint of heat which is always nice. The chips were something else! Very thick but somehow still airy at the same time. They didn’t crush and crumble when it was time to grab some guac but they had the perfect crunch once we were ready to taste! The bartender Nicole explained to us that the chips are special ordered and a very popular menu item!

ENTREES

There was sooo much to try. The menu is primarily a la carte tacos, sliders and burritos which are ordered individually. There was also a brunch menu with lots of great offerings.

At the table we also had a ton of sliders, tacos and burritos. Some of the favs were the Bacon Egg and Cheese slider from the brunch menu and the Chicken Avocado taco from the main menu.

I ordered the Cornbread French Toast which is exactly what it sounds like! Thick and sweet cornbread cooked with cinnamon on the outside. Topped with thick and fluffy whipped cream and the seasonal fruit chipotle pineapple. This dish was very hearty and I was actually able to share it with a friend.

 

DESSERT

Of course we couldn’t leave without having dessert. The four of us shared Mexicue’s Churros Nachos which were the thick chips covered in chocolate sauce, caramel, cinnamon and sugar and topped with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and fresh mint. This was an interesting take on the classic dessert and something I’ll probably try to recreate at home on a hot summer day!

ATMOSPHERE

While the food was delicious I seriously was most impressed with the atmosphere. There was a really good playlist going at a modest volume and the weather was simply perfect on Harbor Point.

Check out these installations in the ceiling and the light fixtures!

Full bar on the main floor.

Annie and Lynn were nice enough to give us a tour of the rooftop bar and patio which they explain gets very busy on great weather days. It was stunning! I loved these paper lamps and all of the greenery!

 

Full bar on the rooftop.

Patio over looking Stamford’s Harbor Point. Melissa told us there’s a water taxi in the summer season that can take you across to check out the restaurants and bars on the other side of the harbor!

I truly enjoyed my visit to Mexicue! Between the food and the atmosphere it was worth the drive. There’s a new train service coming to Hartford this summer so as soon as that is up and running I’ll definitely be back at Mexicue to take advantage of the beautiful patio, try more menu items and indulge in more cocktails!

Donut Crazy

I’ve been team sweet tooth all my life. So I had to get my hands on one of the fancy creations from Donut Crazy in New Haven. Donut Crazy has a big line up of unique and desert style donuts that are not for the faint of heart.

I was told to try the pop tart donut which as you can see from this photo is very intense! This is not something I could finish but I had to get it just to say I did! I love pop tarts so this was a cool find for me.

I also picked up the strawberry cheesecake donut. This one looked right up my taste bud’s alley. I ended up giving it away to someone outside the restaurant so I’ll have to add this back to my to-do list for next time.

Now this here! This angelic avocado toast with bacon and an egg over easy? Yea, I finished this. No question! This was soooo *expletive* good. If I had an avocado toast budget I would eat this daily! I liked that Donut Crazy not only had the extravagant pastries but also classic breakfast menu items that one can eat any time of day.

I think the carrot cake donut will be next on my list!

I’ll be back here soon to try more goodies and do a repeat of the avocado toast 😉

I Heart Chicago

I love Chicago. I’ve been once on a baecation and most recently on a girl’s weekend with one of my close friends. We actually went specifically to check out the XScape reunion tour but of course we had to do all of the classic Chicago things as well. I had to pack very light so unfortunately I didn’t bring my camera but I still wanted to share a few iPhone photos of places I feel are absolutely worth the mention.

Kimpton Allegro

I can’t stress enough how much I love a good hotel. My favorite boutique hotel brand is Kimpton so of course I had to find a location in Chi Town. The Kimpton Allegro is ridiculously gorgeous. Gold hardware, jewel tone furniture, ornate art all over the walls. It was simply beautiful and a dream come true for any one who appreciates a good selfie!

 

I love the fact that Kimpton’s usually do a wine reception in the evenings for guests. Happy hour and its complimentary? Definitely count me in!

Then in the morning they offer tea and coffee. I’m a tea girl. I loved sitting on the big comfy couch in front of the gorgeous Christmas tree and just soaking up the genius interior design.

Hampton Social

While googling places to visit in Chicago the Hampton Social consistently came up as a must do. This is a very modern restaurant made up of all of my instagramable dreams. A bright space with a clean beach feel and Rosé and the menu’s MVP is alright in my book. We had the frosés and the infamous chicken and doughnuts. The food was SO good. Like really, really good. Even the bread and butter before our meals was perfect. Seriously wish I had my camera with me because the iPhone photos do not do it justice.

Prime & Provisions

Okay… moment of transparency. I am a big steak and potatoes girl. My favorite steakhouse is STK. Like I stan for it. There isn’t one in my city so every time I travel, I’m looking for an STK. STK Chicago was actually my very first STK experience. Sadly they were closed for a private event the weekend I was in town. So I sought out to find a replacement. I came across Prime & Provisions and hoped for the best. When I tell you it was GOOD. It was good! Firstly they accommodated us even though we were late for our reservation (too many drinks in Kimpton’s lobby). The atmosphere was very lively and loud which is the way I like my restaurants.

We started out with the warm crab salad. This is an absolute must try if you ever visit this restaurant. It comes to your table as lump crab on a bed of lettuce then your waitress proceeds to chop and toss it. The crisp lettuce against the warm crab was amazing. For our meals we had classic steak house picks: filet mignon, loaded baked potatoes and broccoli. Everything met my standards. If we didn’t have tickets for the concert we probably would have ordered more food!

Another must see spot that we visited was Giordanos pizza. Quick tip: don’t go to Giordanos starving! If you’re ordering a deep dish pizza it can take up to 45 minutes. Of course there are great appetizers but an impatient girl like me needs to be mentally prepared for that kind of wait!

I can’t wait to get back to Chicago and try more food! If you’ve been please let me know which places I need to add to my list for the next time! 

The Study New Haven

Hey y’all! Just wanted to drop a quick line about a gem I came across in the Elm City. The Study at Yale is a boutique hotel conveniently located within the widespread campus of New Haven’s Yale. This spot caught me eye because you can see through the lobby window that it’s set up like a study! I saw a large wall filled with books and modern comfortable seating and just had to get a better look at what The Study had to offer!

The lobby area does have a little station that sells coffees, teas and pastries making it the perfect place to take in a new read. I was not a guest of the hotel so I didn’t get a peak at the rooms but the lobby alone gave me a fresh vibe. Inside the hotel is a restaurant called Heirloom. It’s dimly lit with marble table tops and a nice exposed wine cellar.

There’s also a hidden gem that I must share with you. Heirloom at The Study has a private events room that is a must see. Boasting its own bar and gorgeous views of the city, this room is the perfect setting for a small private gathering. I don’t live in the New Haven area so it may be hard to get my people out there for an event but someone needs to take advantage of this space! Check out the photos below!

Amazing view of the city out of a large window that spans the room!

There are also additional meeting spaces on the first floor but this room really impressed me. Hopefully I’ll be back one day either throwing or attending an event!