Posts Tagged ‘hosted’

Bloggers Take Boscov’s

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015

Last week Lincoln and I were invited to a preview of the new Boscov’s store at the Westfield Meriden Mall to get a tour and do some shopping before they opened to the public on Saturday. (That means they’re open RIGHT NOW. You should go.)

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We met up with a handful of other local bloggers to check out the store. If you haven’t heard of Boscov’s before, they’re a family-run department store founded in 1914 in Pennsylvania but now they have locations from Maryland to Connecticut. They’re similar to Belk or Dillards or Bon-Ton, none of which we have around here, so the next closest thing is probably Macys or Kohls. But I’m not a huge fan of either of those stores. I’m always worried I’m missing out on a coupon code, or rewards dollars, or some sort of secret friends and family sale that would give me half off. At Boscov’s, they don’t do any of that. Stuff is always on sale, no coupons.

And the sales are really good. All the kid’s Carters stuff was 60% off the tags. I bought Evan a high-performance winter coat for $9.99. There were racks and racks of holiday dresses for Caroline for under ten bucks. They also had a candy counter and a toy department, which is where I almost lost Linc, because he was SO excited about the stuffed animals.

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The staff was also incredible. They were very friendly and even though the store wasn’t even open yet they gave great directions. We also met not one, but TWO Mr. Boscovs. Albert, the original founder’s son and his nephew Jim Boscov, who is the current CEO. Jim told the ladies at the candy counter to give us all the samples we wanted. I like Jim.

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They make their own fudge. It was delicious.

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That’s the excellent Mr. Jim Boscov.

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Linc and I did a ton of shopping. Boscov’s had everything from blinds to Barbies, an eyewear department, appliances, all the kinds of clothes and more. Some of my favorites were accessories (because who doesn’t love trying on hats?) and the seasonal departments (I would have spent all day looking at Christmas decorations if I hadn’t been afraid the baby on my back was going to smash something).

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I wish I had bought that sweater dress behind me. Isn’t that a great color?

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Their dressing rooms had TWO awesome things: first, that seat where I could strap Linc while I tried stuff on. GENIUS. And second, the kind of magic mirrors that make you look thinner. They also made a great spot to nurse a tired baby who couldn’t focus with all the people walking around.

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One of the other things that makes Boscov’s a great addition to the area is their community outreach. On the day I visited, they had sold early shopping passes for $5 and every single one of those dollars went to charity. They sell those passes as fundraisers for local organizations all the time, you can check out details here for the Meriden store. The store also has an auditorium room built into their space that they allow the community to use during the year. When their spokesperson was talking about Boscov’s involvement with the local area, you could really tell that it was a passionate part of their business.

It was a pleasure to be invited and such a treat to get to shop without three kids in tow. There was an unfortunate incident with one of my tires (stupid tires!) in the parking lot so Linc and I had a little extra shopping time while we waited for a repair. I had no idea the Westfield Meriden Mall was such a great shopping spot. Plus also their kid’s play area was Linc-sized. He could have played for another two hours if I’d let him.

Now I’m going to go finish off my box of fudge while wearing my bus stop slippers*. Thanks again Boscov’s for the great day!

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*slippers I wear to the bus stop. Ain’t nobody got time for shoes.

I was invited to the new #BoscovsMeriden store as a member of the Connecticut Bloggers group. I received a store gift card to spend during my visit but no additional compensation was included. All opinions, words and photographs are my own. 

Fun Stuff To Do: Cirque Eloize iD at Foxwoods

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

I was lucky enough to be invited to a blogger workshop with the Cirque Eloize iD cast as well as an evening at Foxwoods to see the show. All opinions are my own and they didn’t make me promise to write nice stuff (or anything at all, actually). 

We live really, really close to Foxwoods which happens to be the biggest casino in the whole country. It’s less than 20 minutes from our door to their’s and less than 10 minutes from that lake where we have the summer membership, although it feels like it’s on a different planet. It means we get a lot of cool shows and concerts only a few minutes from our house rather than having to drive an hour to a “real” city. They also have a California Pizza Kitchen, an arcade and they do fun stuff like set up an ice skating rink in the winter, so even with kids we go to Foxwoods pretty regularly.

Last Friday, E and I left the kids with some very helpful friends and went to the Fox Theater for what I was told was a “blogger workshop” with the cast of Cirque Eloize. It turns out by “blogger workshop” they meant “get right up there on the stage” and “take as many pictures as you want!” and “do you want me to balance on that chair again so you can get a better video?” and even “sure, come jump on our high-powered trampoline!”

I kept wondering if I had forgotten to sign a liability waiver at some point, because surely they don’t just let people do stuff like this?

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This was one of my fellow bloggers who made the mistake of saying she wanted to volunteer:

And THIS is the CEO of Foxwoods, who came down to welcome us and said he had personally asked Cirque to come after seeing their show in Canada.

 

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The show is called Cirque Eloize iD and it’s a combination of contemporary circus meets b-boy hip-hop (so very So You Think You Can Dance) meets West Side Story. That doesn’t sound like it makes much sense, but it absolutely does.

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I cannot believe I just posted pictures of myself jumping on a trampoline on the internet, but how often in real life do you get to jump on a super high-powered trampoline? It was so much fun. I’ve definitely added “trampoline” to my list of things in my dream home.

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Their trampoline tricks were just SLIGHTLY more impressive than ours:

 

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In theory I know how to juggle, because I read Juggling For Dummies as a teenager. But juggling bean bags in my basement 16 years ago didn’t do much to prepare me for the stage. I think I did better than most people though (and by most people I mean my husband). Embarrassing video evidence:

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The cast couldn’t have been nicer or more friendly to all of us. Considering they do 8 incredibly hard, physically demanding shows a week I was so impressed they were willing to take time out of their schedule to hang out with us and tolerate our questions. Did you know there’s a huge kid circus program in Minnesota? The only American in the cast was from St. Paul and said he got started just by going to a circus camp when he was seven. Most of the rest of the cast member we met were either French or French Canadian. Did you know you can go to circus college and get an actual four-year degree in circus? I’m pretty sure if I knew that was an option I would have signed up immediately – although the guy who did the bike tricks told us he actually has a degree in marketing.

After the workshop, E and I actually had time to pick up the kids and leave them with a second babysitter (because 3 kids is a lot of kids to leave with someone for 8 hours) and then come back for the BEST sushi we’ve ever had. Every single thing at Red Lantern was delicious, but if you go I forbid you to leave without trying the lobster rangoon and the ronin sushi roll.

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Pirate Punch OBVIOUSLY comes in a pirate themed cup.

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Mine was a sake sangria, because I can’t have sushi without sake but I am a 33 year old mother of 3 and doing straight sake shots is just a really poor choice.

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Dessert was a caramel banana bread pudding. E told me we couldn’t have dessert or we would be late for the show, but how can you not order caramel banana bread pudding? He fully admits he was incorrect and it would have been a crime not to eat this.

There’s a no photography rule during the actual performance (and my photos would have been incredibly inadequate anyway) but here are some of the professional stills Foxwoods sent me so you can see how totally different that boring gray set looks during the actual show.

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The show was amazing. Super amazing. I am kicking myself for not bringing Evan and Caroline, because even though it was 2 hours long the time completely flew by and I am positive they would have LOVED everything about it. Besides the bike thing and the trampolines and the juggling there was all the other stuff you think of when you think of Cirque, including a contortionist and a girl who hung by her toes from a spinning hoop. I’m a little sad they didn’t let us try any of that during the workshop (because in my head I’m incredibly graceful and flexible and would be a total natural at hanging from scarves or hoops). Which is probably exactly why they didn’t let us try it.

If you’re anywhere in the area – I mean area very loosely, since Foxwoods is a resort with plenty of hotel rooms and plus if you come to Connecticut you can come over for dinner – I highly recommend the show. Cirque Eloize iD is playing at the Fox Theater from now until August 30th, and you can follow that link to see showtimes and buy tickets. Thank you again to Foxwoods and Cirque Eloize for inviting us!



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