The E List

An Excruciatingly Opinionated Guide to the Shoreline

October 31, 2016
Fun / Girls' Night Out / Madison Girls' Night Out Preview

Madison Girls’ Night Out Preview


We shopped around Madison to give you a preview of some of the goodies you’ll find at Girls’ Night Out on November 10th, 2016. Meet us at Cafe Allegre between 5 and 6:30pm for a glass of 1/2 price wine, then head out to browse the boutiques. Everything will be 20% off  all evening (some exclusions may apply). Hope to see you there!

Jennie Fresa Brow and Beauty Bar

We stopped in to Jennie Fresa’s shop the other day to see her new digs. It seems like she’s finally landed in the perfect spot, just a couple of doors down from her old one. The fresh space has a dedicated spa room for her magical facials (featuring products from cult favorite Tata Harper) and plenty of room to display her organic makeup picks. We always head to Jennie for her gentle eyebrow waxing and to snag some RMS goodies. I love this line of super simple, natural makeup. The blushes do double duty as lipstick and the neutral eyeshadows smear on with a finger.  Stop in during Girls’ Night Out for her 2nd Annual COME CLEAN with Indie Lee event. Meet the creator of Indie Lee Skincare and learn all about the importance of clean beauty. Wine, raffles, giveaways & discounts all night!



Local Jewelry Designer Aquinnah at Jennie Fresa


My favorite makeup line, RMS, at Jennie Fresa


Maggie’s of Madison

Maggie’s carries three things that you will always find in my house. When it comes to sheets and towels, I’m all about quality over quantity. I don’t have much, but what I do have is NICE: Yves Delormes solid white terries from France are on my towel bar, and my sheets are plain and simple white Sferra. I don’t know what the thread count is (the ladies at Maggie’s can help you with that), I just know that the bottom sheets actually fit on the bed without all that tugging and twisting and they are the most comfortable. Period. I’ve had a lot of sheets in my day, but now I don’t. Just a couple of Sferra sets. Oh, and the last thing is the Antica Farmacista diffuser. Believe me when I tell you the Prosecco scent is the perfect present and a great thing to have stashed away in your gift closet.

During Girls’ Night Out, Maggie’s is hosting a trunk show of Alicia Adams’ luxurious alpaca collection.  Alicia raises alpacas on her family farm in New York and designs a high fashion line with classic style and a unique urban edge. Alpaca wool is hypoallergenic and sought after for its incredible softness and durability. Stop by on Girls’ Night and  take 20% off a large selection of alpaca ponchos, fur vests, reversible blankets, hats and scarves.

Shop Maggie’s online here. 

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Alicia Adams Alpaca Poncho


Alicia Adams Alpaca Pom Pom Hat and Gloves



The concept behind Creations is a great one: all proceeds from sales benefit the endeavors of Vista Life Innovations, a local charitable organization that supports individuals with disabilities. This non-profit does amazing work for our community and their thoughtfully curated gift shop is a must see. Here you’ll find works from more than 100 New England based artisans. You can easily tick everyone off your holiday lists with goodies from maple syrup to men’s soaps. Here are a few standouts: Socks by American Trench: this company is entirely focused on American manufacturing and I LOVE  the socks for every guy on my list.  Whether for a hint of color under dress pants or a cozy layer with boots, any dude will be happy to find these under the tree. Also on our short list are the wrapped and beaded jewels by Crunchy Diva of Madison. My daughter and I are both fans of wrapping and stacking Heather Wright’s well-priced, on-trend bracelets up our arms. But that’s not all, you’ll find Burly Stone’s Beard Elixer and handmade soaps, Mission Maple Syrup, Maine Sea Salt and so much more.

Shop Creations online here. 



Crunchy Diva at Creations


We rely on owner Joanie’s exquisite taste for tabletop, jewelry and yoga wear, but as it turns out, she also knows her stuff when it comes to food. Her collection of delicate chocolates in colorful boxes from the London chocolatier Prestat come in flavors like Milk Chocolate, Orange and Cardamom Chai or Dark Chocolate, Sea Salt and Caramel. These paper-thin rounds of the highest quality, fair-trade ingredients make for a truly elegant gift. We’re obsessed with the Matcha Earl Grey here at the office and keep a box on the work table. Another don’t-miss is the Cloister Honey collection made by veterans of the corporate world turned bee enthusiasts in North Carolina. Carefully sourced honey infused with Ghost or Arbol Pepper piqued our interest, as did the Salted Honey and the Honey Simple Syrup but the most curious piece in this grouping has to be the Power Seed Spread – honey loaded with antioxidant-packed seeds including Chia, Flax, Hemp, Sesame, Sunflower and Pumpkin. Smart to add to your oatmeal, salad dressing, toast or…on a spoon. And if that isn’t enough, J.Horton has a supply of Torres’ Black Truffle Potato Chips from Spain, the heavenly marriage of two of our favorite treats rolled into one. Once you get your culinary fix, dive right back into the impeccable leather bags, soft blankets, impressive scarves, and extensive jewelry lines. And really, so much more.

Shop JHorton online here.

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RJ Julia

No trip to Madison is complete without a saunter through RJJulia and this time of year, we are all about the cozy cookbooks. Time to start combing pages for cooking inspiration and, of course, stockpiling for gift giving. First on our list, Dorie’s Cookies! We’re delighted to have local baking hero, Dorie Greenspan’s extensive collection of cookie recipes now at our fingertips in her stunning new book. Secondly, the subject of PBS’ documentary series, A Chef’s Life and darling of the Eastern North Carolina food scene, Vivian Howard has recently released her 584 page book Deep Run Roots. We can’t wait to dig into her 200 recipes and deeply rooted southern tales.  And for those on a more restricted eating regime, Against All Grain blogger, Danielle Walker’s latest, Celebrations: A Year of Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Paleo Recipes for Every Occasion may just save the day this season. She shares her careful but festive (and tasty) recipes for most dietary preferences. Think: birthday cake, finger foods for a baby shower, and stuffing.

Shop RJ Julia online here.

Join Dorie Greenspan’s baking revolution: Cookies for Kindness. Find out more here. 

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Ciao Bella

Ciao Bella is ready for chilly temps and wall to wall with ponchos and oversized sweaters in loads of shades of neutrals and black. We fell hard for the ivory cable-knit poncho with a cowl neck and fringe and then discovered it’s sister-sweater folded among the stacks. Hard to choose! And if you’re looking for teeny gifts, the Sugarfina collection is here. Adorable boxes of Dom Pérignon Champagne infused gummy bears, peach bellini hearts, almonds dressed as martini olives. There’s also the Minimergency Kits – genius travel kits filled (around 20 items!) with premium essentials you may have missed upon leaving the house. Airplane Mode has everything from earbuds to dental floss to stain remover while Bridesmaids packs breath freshener, double stick tape and earring backs — just to name a few. Be cozy, on-trend and well-equipped thanks to Ciao Bella.

Shop Ciao Bella online here.

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Bella Perlina

Whether you are after a fresh, cheerful new piece for your jewelry collection or hoping to outfit a team of bridesmaids with a custom design, jewelry designer and owner Andrea Panullo’s got you covered. Choose from a vast variety of colorful stone pieces in her Madison cottage – tassel necklaces, easy to wear suede lace chokers with freshwater pearls, chunky charm bracelets, rows and rows of earrings. And if there’s something else you have in mind, don’t be shy. Custom work is all part of the plan here.  In addition, she carries the perfect-for-gift-giving Dogeared jewelry line from Southern California. Rooted in positivity, this line of subtle treasures made simply from silk string, sterling silver (and gold dipped)  is worthy company to bellaPerlina’s collection. Maya Angelou quotes inscribed on charms, inspiration gems on chains, friendship bracelets are just part of the assortment. You’ll find leather wrap bracelets, decorative scarves and skirts and a handful of stylish ponchos. Stop in and stock up.

Shop Bella Perlina online here.

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Walker Loden

Walker Loden is always full of unexpected finds in among the antiques, colorful accessories, CT-made candy and nautical inspired gifts. The shop is stocked with traditional Christmas decorations – nutcracker collections, vintage-looking santas and ornaments. Happy to find locally handmade felt ornaments in the shape of Connecticut with a petite heart to mark the shoreline (or various areas). The clever collection of itty bitty cars made from recycled tin will make darling stocking stuffers. Plan to spend some time in Walker Loden perusing each brimful section. Walker Loden is hosting a Trunk Show featuring ABW Designs during Girls’ Night Out.

Shop Walker Loden online here.

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For a list of all the participating shops and more info, click here. 

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