March 21, 2023

Cinderella Ballet Brunch

On Sunday, April 23 from 11:00am - 2:00pm Ballet Theatre Company (BTC) will present its spring
fundraiser, Cinderella’s Ballet Brunch at Warehouse 635 located at 635 New Park Ave #2F West
Hartford, CT 06110.
The brunch will be a charming day filled with crafts, breakfast goodies, a silent auction and
opportunities for children to meet and greet and take photos with characters from the ballet such as
Cinderella and her Prince. In fact, children will get to choose what character they would like to sit with
during the Brunch! Will you choose to dine with the Evil Stepsisters? Or perhaps with the Fairy
The Ballet Brunch will directly support BTC’s sensory-friendly performance of Cinderella at The
Bushnell. BTC’s Sensory-friendly performance provides a safe, judgment-free environment for those
with sensory or any other types of challenges that may make them feel uncomfortable at a “typical”
public show. At the sensory-friendly ballet, the music and on-stage sounds are lowered, low-level
lighting is maintained for the audience, and adjustments to the production are made to ensure
everyone’s comfort.
Here is some feedback from BTC’s first Sensory-Friendly Ballet that motivates us to keep offering this
show; it made us smile, and it will make you smile, too.
“Just wanted to congratulate you on a gorgeous Nutcracker production! It was amazing - rave reviews
all around! Thanks also for the inclusion of the sensory-friendly Nutcracker this morning. [My children]
being there. I have never felt comfortable having them attend "regular" performances. …having the
staff there to help, the dimmed lights, softer music, and a very understanding audience were huge
helps.” - a mother of children with sensory sensitivities.
Tickets are $50-60 per child. To purchase tickets online please
Please note that there are a limited number of tickets for Cinderella’s Ballet Brunch so don’t wait to
purchase. Online sales only which end on April 14, 2023.
Adults who wish to eat at the event must purchase an "Adult Ticket" for $10. One adult is required to
attend per child, but no more than one adult per child in attendance. For any questions please contact or call the office at 860-570-0440.
Ballet Theatre Company is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization.
20 Jefferson Ave, West Hartford, CT 06110

February 22, 2023

Gel Blasters

Gel Blaster Starfire blasts eco-friendly, glow in the dark water-based Gellets which disintegrate on impact, leaving only a glowing trace behind. The water-based compound ensures a mess-free experience that will make all parents happy.

No mess, non-toxic and eco-friendly
Gets kids off of screens. It's like video games in real life!
The cost of ammo allows you to throw it at full speed with no regard for the price. Because they ship them dehydrated, a pack of 10,000 Gellets only costs $5!
Active, wholesome, family fun

Gel Blasters

Price: Starting at $68


Affiliate Opp: Walmart, Target, Amazon, Bass Pro, Shareasale and Skimlinks.


January 20, 2023

a new mattress that is designed to prevent plagiocephaly (flat head) in babies

Sleep Ovation Baby recently launched the first-of-its kind, tech-advanced mattress designed to promote a safe and restful sleep for babies while preventing the physical and developmental risks of positional plagiocephaly (creates flat spot on back of babies head and often need to wear a helmet).  While most new parents are educated that “back is best” to prevent SIDS, an unintended consequence has been the dramatic increase of positional plagiocephaly.

New studies have shown significant correlations between positional plagiocephaly and cognitive development.  The brand designed the mattress to reduce pressure on the head while keeping the baby’s spine correctly aligned.

December 13, 2022

LEONARDO AND THE TIME TRAVELERS By Patty McGuigan and Marian Lye Illustrated by Rebekah Reif

New Book Takes Children on the Adventure of a Lifetime with Leonardo DaVinci

What would you do if one of the most famous artists in the world landed on your doorstep? In Leonardo and the Time Travelers, cousins Jack and Nick are in Silicon Valley for a summer technology class, when they discover a secret time travel app on an old iPad. Upon using the app, they bring back the world’s first-time traveler, artist, engineer and scientist, Leonardo da Vinci, and adventure ensues!

This fun and entertaining book takes children on the adventure of a lifetime.  Joined by Jack’s sister Poppy, they solve problems, meet other time travelers, and have a summer they will never forget.

Leonardo, affectionately nicknamed “Nardi” by the kids, is shocked by his new surroundings but as a man who loves to learn, he is highly curious about the technology he discovers everywhere throughout the house. He just can’t resist the urge to play with things. And Jack’s feisty and artistic sister, Poppy, isn’t shy about sharing her artwork with the man who painted The Last Supper.

As “Nardi” tangles with today’s technology and traveling incognito, he and the kids bring other time travelers back from the past while facing up to challenges of their own. Nardi learns to ride a bike, makes a special drawing to tuck into a time capsule at Stanford, compares notes with the kids on delicious gelato, creates a bubble bath blizzard and gets stuck on top of the house when inspecting the solar panels!

As the summer ends, the kids celebrate their accomplishments with a surprise trip to the Magic Kingdom, and a tour led by none other than time traveler Walt Disney himself! Nardi upstages everyone in his final fling before heading back into history – but he leaves an enormous imprint on Jack, Nick and Poppy, his creative compatriots and proteges.

Leonardo and the Time Travelers is the product of a unique collaboration of five women from around the world who joined together to create a children’s book about learning and time travel during the pandemic.

In 2020, two grandmothers across the pond from each other decided to do something positive during the lockdown: to write a book inspired by their grandchildren. Marian Lye and Patty McGuigan share a set of lively grandkids, who were to be the heroes of a Silicon Valley adventure. But they needed an illustrator. Rebekah Reif, just turning 21 and graduating, joined the creative team. Next was Maria Mayer Feng, an incredible creative director in New York and then Kate Ryan, an editor who lives in Hawaii and understood the writers’ vision.  The Circle of Five was established: women of all different ages, from Hawaii to England coming together to create Leonardo and the Time Travelers.

“The pandemic has brought many changes to our world. We were determined to produce something positive out of this time,” says author Patty McGuigan. “The five of us put our creativity to work and created this fun and inspiring story.”

“The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.”- Leonardo da Vinci


Patty McGuigan is the proud grandmother of four grandchildren. She is also a successful commercial real estate agent, a past high school English teacher, and active in her San Francisco Bay Area community. Patty has created numerous books of her artwork and travel memories. Her creativity has been her defining factor throughout her life, and indeed she does believe in time travel.

Marian Lye lives in Weymouth, England. She and her husband raised three boys, and she worked in administration for a government department for many years. Her love of history led her to write Weymouth at War, an account of World War 2 on the south coast of England. The book, now in its second edition, features the dramatic build up to D-Day in June 1944, when thousands of American servicemen set sail from the twin ports of Weymouth and Portland, bound for “Omaha Beach” in Normandy. In this millennium, the arrivals of three lively grandkids in California have been magical milestones.

Rebekah Reif is based in New Hampshire, where she recently graduated from the School of Art and Design at New England College. An up-and-coming artist, she has a natural talent for drawing, and amazed her collaborators on this project with every new scene she sketched out. Rebekah specializes in comics and enjoys drawing stories from battles to slices of everyday life.

November 30, 2022

Gingersnap Snatcher

Award-winning children’s book author Vicky Weber is collaborating with the subscription holiday box, BāKIT Box, to bring her delicious story, Gingersnap Snatcher, to life.  The exclusive holiday box ($35 plus tax and shipping) features – you guessed it – all of the ingredients to make Gingersnap cookies alongside a signed paperback copy of Gingersnap Snatcher. These boxes are available to ship nationwide.

BāKIT Box and Vicky Weber are diverse, woman-owned businesses who are proud to continue elevating the voices and creativity of minority women in baking and writing.

November 25, 2022

How I Escaped the Corporate Rat Race--and Became a Goat Farmer!

In the mid-1990s, I lived and worked in New York City. It was the start of the software explosion and the dot-com era. I worked in sales and marketing, where I sold everything from software insurance services to pharmaceutical marketing business solutions. I even peddled an artist’s wood veneer invention! I had a long career and gained lots of experience. I had my share of wins and losses, successes and failures.

In 2017, my family and I moved to the old farmlands of rural Connecticut. One of our neighbors raised goats and I was often there for their births. I fancied myself a “kid wife” and relished the opportunity to help in these tiny miracles. To clean a newborn goat and watch it struggle to stand on its wobbly legs for the first time was a peak life experience for me. It wasn’t long before we adopted our own first goat – Lambchop, a.k.a. Lambie our O.G. (Original goat). But because goats are herd animals and become very stressed when they are by themselves, we quickly added a second goat. From there, it wasn’t long before I was delivering my own goat kids!

By late 2018, my second marriage had fallen apart and we moved to a farm with 10 acres of open fields stretching out behind our house. Our little herd of goats lived the best life. They slept on our stoop or the back porch during warm nights. They browsed the yard’s perimeter and grazed in the hayfields out back. We lived in goat heaven.

When Covid hit the United States at the start of 2020, my division was dissolved just as the whole world began to shut down. It was a terrible time for anyone seeking employment, especially an executive level position. As a single mom, I was forced to jump on the unemployment bandwagon. I entered a period of flux and reevaluated my life. What did I want to be when I grew up?

I turned 50 years old that year, and my eldest child Elena turned sweet 16. These milestones, like so many others that year, were disrupted. Celebratory occasions and traditions were replaced with disappointment and disbelief. It wasn’t even safe to blow out the candles on a cake and share it with people. My daughter couldn’t get her driver’s permit on her birthday because the DMV was closed. She couldn’t even get her first job because everything else was closed. We had to come up with a new way of filling our lives and making ends meet in a Covid world.

My daughter and I put on our thinking caps and we came up with the idea of starting a business with our goats. You see, the longer we had goats, the more we became aware of their entertainment value. We realized that goats bring joy wherever they go! From frolicking babies to big, pushy, jealous adult goats, they all are extremely captivating to us. We can watch our goats for days. Most goat farmers will understand when I say that my place of purest relaxation is sitting on the pile of sweet, smelling hay, being snuggled by a herd of loving animals.

Plus, my daughter thought it would be great to bring goats to kids’ birthday parties, while I envisioned taking goats along on one of my favorite activities: hiking. My kids came up with a business name that combined both services and Got Your Goat, LLC was born!

We did hit a stumbling block when the town asked us to cease and desist because it did not consider us an essential business for operating during the pandemic. We were saved when our story was featured in the Republican American newspaper. The final line of the article quoted me saying, “I’m sorry, I didn’t realize HOPE was not essential.” The town had a change of heart!

 By the time 2021 rolled around, and the business offices started opening again, we were able to properly set up our business with the town. In February 2021 we had our first hike. It took place on Valentine’s Day with a mother-daughter team from Pelham, New York. At the conclusion of the hike, which went very well, I asked their help in marketing our business. The mother was in marketing, and she and her daughter promised to help us out in lower Westchester where they were well-connected.

Over the next six months, we probably had 100 families from Pelham come to our little farm. As parents struggled to keep their kids engaged and entertained, they were on the hunt for outdoor activities. Families from all over occupied our weekend appointment spots, and our dance cards were full to brimming. We did birthday parties in garages, in snow storms and under heaters. We surfed this period of outdoor enthusiasm. It was the perfect time to start this business.

Today, the business is still doing well and growing. Now we often bring our goats to other people rather than them coming to our farm. Our weekends are now fully booked through December into January. We spend our weekdays at schools, senior homes, and special events like annual festivals. We also continue to hold some open farm days and public hikes and will continue to do them through the winter. When possible, we also stream our births on Facebook!

Our newest offering is the “Goatgram.” Goatgrams involve 2 to 3 smaller goats who stay no more than an hour… think singing telegram without the annoying singing! A Goatgram is the perfect way to brighten up someone’s day!

Got Your Goat is a year-round operation. We believe in keeping goats and people outside, celebrating and embracing nature. As the queen of this herd, nothing makes me happier than seeing the love and socialization that visitors give our goats--and the smiles that our goats give to everyone! We believe there are still many opportunities for goats to be added to any party, event, or gathering. Our next step? How do we franchise business so that anybody with goats can get them to pay for themselves. :)

Check out Facebook : Got-Your-Goat-Parties-and-Excursions  

November 2, 2022

Brave Like Mom

She cradles my sister and me and tells us she’s sick.

Sicker than bubblegum medicine can fix.

She tries different treatments now, hoping one day they will make her feel better.

My mom is strong.

As one girl watches her mom battle illness, she sees Mom being strong, brave, and fierce on both good days and bad ones. Mom is fierce as she catches and wrestles a fish and brave as she endures needles from the doctor. The girl wants to be brave like Mom! As she worries about her mom's health, the girl realizes that bravery comes in many forms and that she can be brave too.

Brave Like Mom teaches children courage, empathy, compassion, and about female strength and endurance. It is a poignant and sensitive story about a loved one living with a chronic illness, and an important lesson about how being brave doesn't mean you aren't scared.

Monica Acker is a writer and educator. She holds a BA in creative arts and a MAT degree in childhood education. Monica is a member of SCBWI, 12x12, and Children's Book Insider. She lives in Reading, Massachusetts, with her family.

Paran Kim grew up in Seoul, South Korea, but moved to Tokyo when she was twenty to study fine art. She realized her true passion lay in making picture books and became a full-time illustrator. Paran now lives in Dresden, Germany, with her husband.

Brave Like Mom by Monica Acker and illustrated by Paran Kim (Beaming Books; November 1, 2022; ISBN: 978-1506483207; Hardcover $17.99; Ages 4-8; 32 pages)

October 12, 2022

tinyB Chocolate Launches Monster Chocolate Pops

Families looking for a fun Halloween activity have a unique new option: tinyB Monster Chocolate Pops, an at-home chocolate-popsicle making experience.This easy-to-use kit helps kids of all ages make monster, ghost, or mummy popsicles with creamy brigadeiro (Brazilian chocolate truffle) filling.  The kit contains everything needed to temper and mold chocolate popsicle shells, fill them with brigadeiro and cover them with colorful toppings, making it simple to make chocolate Halloween ghouls and let children, family, friends and co-workers express their creativity.  Kits will be available exclusively online at 

“We’ve had such a great reception for our DIY brigadeiro kits, we decided to make a Halloween monster version,” said tinyB Chocolate founder Renata Stoica, who uses her Brazilian family recipe to make tinyB brigadeiros.  “The kits are a fun at-home activity for families and a great team-building activity in corporate settings. Besides, shouldn’t everyone know how to make a Monster Pop?!”

The one-of-a-kind popsicle kit comes with pouches of dark and white chocolate (used to make the outside of the popsicle) and 4oz of dark chocolate brigadeiro and pumpkin spice latte brigadeiro for the inside. The kit also includes an array of spooky decorative toppings like googly eyes, colorful sprinkles, nuts, popsicle sticks and a silicone popsicle mold. tinyB Monster Chocolate Pops are gluten-free and preservative-free.  Each kit makes four complete popsicles and retails for $59.

About tinyB Chocolate

San Francisco-based chocolatier tinyB Chocolate specializes in making brigadeiros, extraordinary Brazilian truffles that are adored the world over. Family-owned and operated, tinyB Chocolate makes its authentic brigadeiros fresh to order with founder Renata Stoica’s family recipe. Renata’s recipe strikes a perfect balance—avoiding the bitterness of dark chocolate or the sweetness of extra sugar. Perfect as gifts or wedding favors, tinyB brigadeiros are handcrafted, beautifully packaged and delivered within two days anywhere in the continental United States. For more information, please visit and follow tinyB Chocolate on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter @tinyBchocolate. 

September 14, 2022


Starting September 7, K-12 students have the opportunity to win up to $25,000

State Treasurer Shawn T. Wooden, Trustee of the Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET), today announced the dates of the 2022 CHET Dream Big! Competition. The competition will begin at 9 a.m. on September 7 and run through 11:59 p.m. on October 21. The competition is open to all Connecticut residents in grades K-12.

This year, the Dream Big! Competition prizes have increased in value. More than $450,000 in CHET 529 College Savings Plan – Direct Plan account contributions will be awarded to students in grades K-12 along with technology prizes to schools across Connecticut. Three prize-winning students will be awarded $25,000 prizes, 15 will be awarded $7,500 prizes and 240 will be awarded $500 prizes.

In addition, each school in Connecticut that is represented by at least one student entry will be eligible for a random drawing for a technology prize worth $7,500. A total of 20 schools will win a technology prize. Please see the 2022 competition official rules for more information on prize structure and awards.

To enter, students are asked to submit a drawing, short essay or video answering a question focusing on their dreams for the future (depending on their grade level group, as defined in the competition official rules). Submissions must be uploaded by 11:59 p.m. on October 21. For program details and entry process visit

“September means back to school for Connecticut students, and this year it also means it’s time to Dream Big!,” said Treasurer Wooden. “I’m thrilled to play a part in the Dream Big! Competition and see what creative ideas this year’s students come up with. This competition gives students the opportunity to be creative while also thinking about their futures. Similar to our CHET 529 plan it can also help families save for future education costs, to help make those dreams come true.”

Entry instructions, official rules and additional details can be found at No purchase is necessary to enter or win. Submissions must be uploaded by 11:59 p.m. on October 21, 2022.

About CHET

The Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET) direct-sold college savings plan was established in 1997 and has grown to more than $3.5 billion in assets and 132,000 accounts. Over $2.1 billion has been withdrawn from CHET accounts to help more than 57,000 students pay for college expenses. The State of Connecticut offers CHET to help families save for future higher education costs. Funds deposited into a CHET account have tax advantages and can be used at accredited colleges and universities across the country, including vocational and technical schools, and some colleges abroad. Connecticut residents are allowed to deduct 529 contributions from their state income taxes – up to $5,000 for an individual or up to $10,000 for a married couple filing jointly. Investment earnings are exempt from state and federal taxes if used for qualified educational expenses.

For more information, visit Find us on Facebook (, follow us on Twitter (@CHET529) or on Instagram (@CHET529).

About Fidelity Investments

Fidelity's mission is to inspire better futures and deliver better outcomes for the customers and businesses we serve. With assets under administration of $9 .9 trillion, including discretionary assets of $3. 7 trillion as of June 30, 2022, we focus on meeting the unique needs of a diverse set of customers. Privately held for over 75 years, Fidelity employs more than 58,000 associates who are focused on the long-term success of our customers. For more information about Fidelity Investments, visit­fidelity/our-company.

The Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET) 529 College Savings Plan - Direct Plan is offered by the Treasurer of the state of Connecticut and managed by Fidelity Investments. If you or the designated beneficiary is not a Connecticut resident, you may want to consider, before investing, whether your state or the beneficiary's home state offers its residents a plan with alternate state tax advantages or other state benefits such as financial aid, scholarship funds and protection from creditors.​

Please carefully consider the plan's investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses before investing. For this and other information on any 529 college savings plan managed by Fidelity, contact Fidelity for a free Fact Kit or view one online. Read it carefully before you invest or send money.

Units of the portfolios are municipal securities and may be subject to market volatility and fluctuation.

# # #


September 8, 2022

CT Kids and Family Car Seat Safety Tips

A recent survey from trusted car seat brand, Chicco, found that nine in ten parents (89%) have family road trips planned in 2022, meaning increased car time for baby. With that in mind, car seat safety and proper use has never been more important.

Some tips!

  • Comfort and safety go hand-in-hand: A recent Chicco survey found that nearly all (99%) parents cited child comfort as important to car seat safety, and they are correct. With a previous Chicco study finding that 42% of children spend 4+ hours in the car each week, not only does child comfort make for a smoother car ride, but it also helps to keep children seated in the correct position in their car seat. Chicco continues to innovate to provide options that fit family’s needs with fabric including ClearTex and Adapt technology. To find what car seat is best for your child, check out resources like this “How To Choose A Car Seat” guide.


  • Seek resources when installing a car seat: During the pandemic, Chicco found that 75% of parents had to install their child's car seat by themselves, without the help of a professional, while 49% relied upon information found online. Proper car seat use is critical to child safety and parents can look to resources like the QR code found on the OneFit ClearTex to instantly access videos on how to securely and properly install a car seat.


  • ·Look for these elements when researching a car seat: Choosing a car seat can be a big responsibility and Chicco found that car seats (49%) topped the list with parents spending the most time researching among baby products. While many may not know where to start when it comes to car seats, the top three features parents should look out for are ease of install, child comfort, and child fit.
<< prev - page 1 of 12 - next >>