Cheers to Craft Beer!

I’ll admit. I’ve never been a big beer drinker. More of a wine girl, really. But when I recently launched “Seasons: On the Road with Hilary Russo,” a new show being co-produced by Seasons Magazines, I was in for a surprise.

Click the Pic To Watch the CT Beer Trail episode of "Seasons: On the Road with Hilary Russo"

Click the Pic To Watch the CT Beer Trail episode of “Seasons: On the Road with Hilary Russo”

My first episode: The CT Beer Trail. A historical article on the trail was already planned for the summer issue of Seasons Magazines, but I wanted to take people on more of a video adventure about what exists across the state. Clearly I was going to have to try a few brews and I knew the story would be a fun one. I could see it in my head before I even hit the first microbrewery. I thought to myself, “this could be a fun ride.” That was just the beginning…

Along with my amazing videographer/editor John Mongeau, we hit three breweries to get an idea of “what’s on tap.” From the brew pubs like The Cambridge House to the larger microbreweries like Thomas Hooker and even the nano breweries that fit nicely in between like Relic Brewing, we covered our bases for sure. We toured and tasted and it’s clear to me, creating craft beer is really just as much of an art as what goes into fine food and wine. Each brewer truly has their own unique flavor and feel. From herbs and spices to fruits and yes, even chocolate.

From L-R: (1) Cambridge House with CT Beer Trail's Bryon Turner, Owner Scott Riley and Brewer Mike Yates. (2) With Thomas Hooker Brewery owner Curt Cameron. (3) With Relic Brewing Owner Mark Sigman.

From L-R: (1) Cambridge House with CT Beer Trail’s Bryon Turner, Owner Scott Riley and Brewer Mike Yates. (2) With Thomas Hooker Brewery owner Curt Cameron. (3) With Relic Brewing Owner Mark Sigman.

Bryon Turner is the man behind the beer trail and definitely a guy who not only loves his lager but knows his stuff. With only a few hours to check out the trail, there is definitely a lot more exploring one can do. We’re talking 30 breweries and counting! The cool thing is, Turner has set up quite a website to make sure anyone interested in Connecticut’s craft beer is going to know how to get it and where. Sure, “Seasons: On the Road” may be able to whet your whistle and give you a behind the scenes tour of some of the best pours around the state (so be sure to watch the FULL EPISODE)… But don’t forget to visit to get your fill!


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Let There Be Light

We’ve all heard the saying, “You only get one chance to make a first impression.” That includes your home and outdoor space where curb appeal is an important part of the decor. From walkways and driveways to porches and patios, doesn’t the exterior of your home also deserve to shine? And let’s face it, wouldn’t it be better to not go broke in the process? Yep, me too. Solution: GO SOLAR.

Every year, homeowners spend thousands of dollars on landscaping, making sure that “first impression” is a welcoming one. But when the sun goes down, your curb appeal gets lost in the darkness. Those flowers you planted or that funky mailbox you installed are just a memory until morning. Or are they? Lighting adds a dramatic addition to your outdoor space – and makes your home safer, too. By going solar you eliminate the need for wires, outlets, changing bulbs and more. That’s one less trip to the hardware store. Plus, by going solar you’re also going green – and that means lower electric bills, while beautifying your home!

One of my favorites are solar spot lights. In addition to adding extra security, they are also a great way to add drama to the outdoors. Shine them up on trees to add dimension or illuminate that colorful garden you’ve spent so much time creating. As for safety, add some shine to your walkway, mailbox or front door. Homes that are well lit are less likely to be vandalized. With solar, the possibilities are endless. The best part, if you don’t like where you place your lights… MOVE THEM! It’s that simple.

Solar Spotlights
So, what are you doing to create the ultimate curb appeal?

I’ll be on QVC Sunday, June 8th at 4AM EST with more bright ideas to make your garden… GLOW! Share your own tips and I may mention them on air.

With Love & Light


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Brunch Anyone?

Happy June!  When the weekend hits, in New York City there is one thing that comes to mind: BRUNCH!  I love a good Sunday Brunch in my city. There are so many great restaurants to meet up with friends and family over a this weekend fare. But who says you can’t bring the brunch back home?

No matter where you live, herb gardens are an easy addition to your space. And you don’t need a backyard to do it. Trust me, in NYC, that’s a find in itself. Use a window ledge to start. Or if you have a bit of outdoor space, spruce it up! In my herb garden, I have cilantro, dill, rosemary, basil, mint and even a little lavender. Sound like the workings of a great omelette to me!

I made a lovely egg white omelette with my cilantro, dill and rosemary. Added some mushrooms and onions to the mix and voila! I’ll leave the beverage choices up to you.

Love & Light!

Herb Breakfast

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In My Own Little Corner

I’m what you call an urban gardner. Love all things green. But when you live in a city like New York, you need to compromise. Notice I didn’t say sacrifice? It’s hard enough finding closet space for my wardrobe. But small spaces does not have to mean small ideas. I’ll be sharing ideas from my little piece o’ heaven on this page: my deck. And exploring the community around me. With the help of fellow green “thumbers”, I’ll share ideas on how you can enjoy your own green space amidst a concrete jungle.

Love & Light

Garden copy

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