Victorinox Swiss Army – 2014 Fall Warehouse Sale

The leaves are changing colors and the air is getting crisper.  It’s near that time again to stock up on chef knives, watches, clothes, luggage and more at the Victorinox Swiss Army annual Fall Warehouse Sale!
I still ‘blame’ my husband for introducing me and making it a ‘must go’ every year! I usually arrive in the morning, wait for 1.5 hours, and then shop until hubby says stop.  By now, I am sure you are tired of hearing me talk about the wool/cashmere blend ankle length coat that my sister bought. It retails for $1,500+ and she got it for only $200!  Don’t need a coat? Don’t worry, other items are worth the wait, like a watch.
Interested yet?
The sale will be held at Victorinox headquarters at 7 Victoria Drive in Monroe, CT.  Hours for the Fall 2014 Warehouse sale are as follows. (NOTE, hours have changed this year):
  • Friday, November 14th — 11am to 8pm
  • Saturday, November 15th — 11am to 8pm
  • Sunday, November 16th — 9am to 3pm
They accept cash or credit cards.  Click here for directions.
I usually attend the event and write a details blog post.  I am not sure what will be manageable with the baby.  If you just can’t make it, you can always go to their company store that is open year round and save yourself the wait.  Happy Shopping!

Free Things to do this Summer {Ffld County}

The nice weather is upon us and with a little one with boundless energy, we can’t get outside enough.  Although we love playgrounds, it is nice to keep boredom at bay and infuse the weekly ‘routine’ with other activities. This is OberBargain, so the focus will be FREE activities to do in Fairfield County this summer:

Art/Festivals

  • KidsDrawFree in Kiwanis Park – Kiwanis Park in Stamford Saturdays, May 24th to October 15th from 12-4pm.
  • Art & Music Rowayton Arts Center-fest – 145 Rowayton Ave in Rowayton on Saturday, May 31st from 2-6pm.  Sidewalk art, free-form painting, and mask making. Music at 4pm
  • The Greek Experience – Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in Danbury from Friday, June 6th to Sunday, June 8th
  • 3rd Annual Summer Fun Fest - at Grace United Methodist Church in Fairfield on Saturday, June 21st from 10am-6pm. There will be music, arts and crafts vendors and inflatables. (Some activities require a fee.)
  • Trumbull Summer Welcome Craft Festival – field adjacent Marisa’s Restaurant in Trumbull on Saturday, June 21st from 11am-5pm. Feature local and other artisans.
  • Artwalk – Downtown Stamford on Friday, June 27th from 6-9pm to Saturday, June 28th from 10am-7pm.
  • Norwalk Art Festival – Mathews Park in Norwalk on Saturday, June 28th and Sunday, the 29th from 10am-5pm.
  • Arts & Crafts on Bedford – craft and artisan boutiques on Bedford Street in Stamford Saturday, September 20th from 11am-8pm and Sunday, September 21st from 10am to 5pm. Live music from 6-9pm on Saturday. Event features a rock-climbing wall and animals from Stamford Nature Center and Museum.

Summer Concerts

  • Waveny Summer Concerts – on the lawn behind Waveny House in Waveny Park in New Canaan every Wednesday from 7:30-9:30pm, beginning, June 4th and ending August 27th. Raindate is the following day, Thursday. Bring chair, blanket or picnic supper and enjoy the music.
  • Norwalk Public Library Family Concerts – at Norwalk Public Library Friday, June 6th and July 18th from 10-10:45am
  • Summer Fun at Mill River Park – at Mill River Park Playground in Stamford kicking off on June 7th from 10am-noon then at 11am on Saturdays beginning June 21st until July 26th.
  • Fairfield Summer Concert Series at the Sherman Green Gazebo in Fairfield on kicks off on Sunday, June 8th at 3pm and ends Wednesday, August 27th at 6:30pm
  • Music for Children – Cos Cob Library in Greenwich. Wednesday, June 18th at 3:45.
  • Corpus Christi Concert – in the parking lot of Basilica of St. John in Stamford at 6pm on Sunday, June 22nd. Bring chairs and picnic dinner.
  • Sing Me a Story – Weed Memorial & Hollander Brand in Stamford on Saturday, June 28th from 10:30 to 11:30.
  • Norwalk Summer Concert Series – at Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk. Series kicks off on Wednesday, June 25th at 6pm and ends on Wednesday, September 3rd.  Beach stickers are needed to enter beach, if without $5 charge (expect 4th of July, $20).
  • Alive@Five – at Columbus Park in downtown Stamford on Thursdays, July 10th through August 14th. Kids 12 and under are free and must enter before 7pm. Between 5-6pm $5 entrance fee, $10 entrance fee otherwise
  • Levitt Pavilion Summer Series – at Levitt Pavilion in Westport beginning Tuesday, July 15th. (Details and performers being finalized at time of posting.) Children concert series as well, but no details at time of posting.
  • Sand Jam & Movie Nights – at Jennings Beach in Fairfield. Dances begin at 6:30; Movie at dark. Most events are Fridays, starting June 27th and ending on Thursday, August 7th.  Beach stickers are needed to enter beach, if without $20 charge.
  • Peanut Butter Jam Concert – at the Sherman Green Gazebo in Fairfield every Wednesday starting, July 9th at 12:30pm and ends on August 13th. Pack a picnic and enjoy the interactive musical performances for kids.
  • Sound Beach Community Band Concert – at Binney Park in Greenwich on Sunday, July 27th at 7pm.
  • Sing-Along with Dr. Ev – Stamford Ferguson Library Main Branch, 3rd floor on Monday, August 4th from 1-2pm.

Movies

  • Animation Celebration – Mill River Park Playground in Stamford starting at 6:30pm every other Saturday beginning June 14th and ending August 30th.
  • Landmark Free Summer Movies for Kids – at Landmark 9 in Stamford and Marquis 16 in Trumbull.  Each Tuesday and Wednesday starting Tuesday, June 24th and ending Thursday, August 20th.  Seating starts at 9am and movie begins at 10am. First come, first served. Limited theatre capacity.
  • SYSB Drive-in Movies – every Saturday night in July and August at the River Walk in Shelton.
  • Sand Jam & Movie Nights – at Jennings Beach in Fairfield. Dances begin at 6:30; Movie at dark. Most events are Fridays, starting June 27th and ending on Thursday, August 7th.  Beach stickers are needed to enter beach, if without $20.
  • Norwalk Movie Time Outdoor Movies – at Shady Beach in Norwalk. Series kicks off on Saturday, July 12th and ends August 16th. Evening begins at 6pm with face painting and movie starts at dusk.  Beach stickers are needed to enter beach, if without $5 charge (expect 4th of July, $20).

Museums

  • Open House Day – Discounted, free admission or special exhibits at museums, parks and other properties around the state on Saturday, June 14th.
  • Worldwide Day of Play – free admission for all at Stepping Stones in Norwalk on Saturday, September 20th from 10am-5pm with additional activities and performances.
  • Museum Passes – free or discounted passes for area museums and state parks at your local library. My post Playgroups and Programs for Mom, Baby and Kids details the local library’s and links to their passes.

Theatre

  • Shakespeare on the Sound – performing “Two Gentleman of Verona” opens on Thursday, June 12th at 7:30 in Rowayton.  Performances will also be in Greenwich. Admission is free although donations are encouraged.

Storytimes

Of course there are the carnivals and the 4th of July fireworks during the summer that are fun.  I also love a good farmer’s market which are so prevelant in this area.

Events are subject to change.  Please check the website or call ahead to be sure there are no changes to the event from the date of this posting.

What do you like to do in the summer?

11 Free Things to do this Spring

One of the joys of living in New England is the seasons.  The wonderful Spring weather is upon us, so get outdoors and enjoy some FREE:

  • Greenwich Annual Kite Flying Festival – Greenwich Point in Greenwich on Saturday, April 5th at 11:30am.  Feel free to bring a kite of any shape or size made of paper, plastic or fabric.  Award ribbons will be presented to all high flyers.
  • Mystic Slow Art Day – Mystic Arts Center in Mystic will celebrate Slow Art Day that encourages art to be viewed slowly.  Saturday, April 12th from 11am to 1pm.
  • May Exhibit at the Geary Gallery – Geary Gallery in Darien on Wednesday, April 23rd to Saturday, May 4th.  Open Wednesdays to Saturdays. Featuring Peter Max: A Retrospective (1960-2014)
  • Annual Cherry Blossom Festival – Wooster Square in New Haven on Sunday, April 27th. There will be music, food and activities for kids and pets.
  • Mini Maker Faire - inside Westport Library and on Jesup Green in Westport on Saturday, April 26th from 10am to 4pm.  Family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness. Although the event is free, you must register for tickets.
  • Meriden Daffodil Festival – Hubbard Park in Meriden running Saturday, April 26th to Sunday, April 27th.  There will be food, crafts, music, fireworks and amusements.
  • Connecticut Sheep, Wool and Fiber Festival – Tolland Agricultural Center in Vernon, CT on Saturday, April 26th from 9am to 4pm. Demonstrations, crafts, music, animals, food.  Parking $5 per car, but free admission.
  • 79th Annual Dogwood Festival – Greenfield Hill Congregational Church in Fairfield on Friday, May 2nd to Sunday, May 4th.  Offers a range of entertainment.
  • Milford Living’s 7th Annual Kite Fly – Walnut Beach in Milford on Saturday, May 3rd from 12pm-3pm. Bring chairs, pack a lunch and the show.
  • Milford Harbor Duck Race - Fowler Pavilion in Milford on Sunday, May 4th.  Event will include food and family entertainment.
  • Music Haven Summer Performance Party – in New Haven on Friday, June 6th from 6pm – 8pm.  Celebrating the accomplishments of their 75 students with performances from the Haven String Quartet, Music Haven student soloists and ensembles.  Concert followed by a potluck reception.  Please bring a dish to share.

Events are subject to change.  Please check the website or call ahead to be sure there are no changes to the event from the date of this posting.

To find good sites for most events this spring, visit New England Travel and Tourism or New York Times Events in Connecticut.  What events do you enjoy in the spring for free?

Pinwheel Themed Dol

All this talk on my daughter’s Doljanchi (also referred to as a Dol), a Korean first birthday, and how to make a Dol Tower, I thought I would include a post of how I decorated with a pinwheel theme so you can see all the DIY and the final product.

As I mentioned in my post How to Make a Dol Tower, the Dol has the same constructs as the American birthday but combined with traditions like a Dol Table (featuring Dol Towers, fruit, banner, rice cakes, etc.), Hanbok (traditional outfit), traditional food and of course the Doljabi event (baby foretells the future).

Favors for the Dol

Favors for the Dol

Close up Favor for the Dol

Close up Favor for the Dol

The favors were Chinese take out contains with handmade pinwheels attached.  (Yes, I affixed silver beads to every pinwheel that decorated the Dol. Crazy, yes.) I only ordered 50 containers thinking only 40 people would attend the Dol.  When our numbers were finalizing around 60+, so I had to come up with alternatives.  So, the child favors were brown paper bags with handmade pinwheels attached.  (I looked for white bags, but couldn’t find any and in the 11th hour I just had to get them made already…so brown paper bags it was!)  The adult favors had candy and were given as they left the party.  (We even had a sign and placed the table near the jackets so people knew to take one as they left.)  The children favors were given as they arrived so they had a few little toys to entertain themselves.  The boy favors had bubbles, an inflatable ball and vintage painted wooden cars.  The older girl favors also had bubbles and an inflatable ball but they also had a princess ring and bracelet.  The younger girls favors had a rubber ducky instead of the jewelry.  The favors for the kids seemed to be a hit and giving them at the beginning of the Dol was the way to go!

Buffet at the Dol, featured on pinwheel food labels

Buffet at the Dol, featured on pinwheel food labels

Even the food got decorated with pinwheels!  I made food labels for each of the items served since we were not in a restaurant but had it catered in a clubhouse. All the food served at the Dol was a combination of my daughter’s nationality — Lebanese, Italian and Korean.

We also served the customary beverages, water, soda, wine (red and white) and craft beer.  I didn’t get a picture but instead of wine tags for the wine glasses, we had sharpies in the colors of the party for people to write on the glass.  (It comes off with water or rubbing alcohol. Yes, permanent marker comes off glass.) The special treat here was the craft beer.  There was three different styled IPA’s from Two Beagles Brewing. What a generous gift!

 

Doljabi board

Doljabi board

The Doljabi board goes along with the Doljabi Event.  The board is a decoration and placed on a table with small containers for party guest to “bet” on what our daughter will choose using a yellow ticket (featured in yellow on the bottom right corner of the picture).  Our daughter picked the microphone and we gave all those who selected the mic $1 scratch off lottery tickets.  The two grand prize winners won cash.

The board itself my husband designed and we had it printed at Costco on poster board paper.  We made the backing out of cardboard and affixed an easel to it.  Between the designing of the board, printing, and mounting you can easily spend well over $150.  These ‘decorations’ don’t come cheap, so planning a DIY way definitely can help make everything affordable!

It was a lovely party, but done completely for my husband and my daughter.  Our culture and heritage is important to my husband and I, and particularly important to preserve for our daughter.  So, I worked hard on putting this together and thinking through the details so it could be wonderful for them…and it was.  Now, next year I will be extremely small party and cake.  :)

Juliska – Warehouse Sale {3/1-3/9}

Juliska Winter Warehouse Sale 2014Juliska just announced their Annual Warehouse Sale!  It will be this Saturday, March 1st through Sunday, March 9th from 9am-5pm.

If you are looking for glass wear, stoneware, linens or other essentials, you shouldn’t miss this.  Prices are 40%-75% off of retail plus there is additional discounts on outlet merchandise!

Juliska F
441 Canal Street
Stamford, CT 06902

Gilt City – 20% Off Purchase

Gilt City is offering 20% off your purchase! Just use promo code 20HOLIDAY at checkout.

Not valid on mobile site or iphone app.  Other restrictions apply.  Maximum discount is $50.  Cannot be combined with other offers. Limit one per customer.  Offer expires 12/12/13.

Click here to start shopping!

How to Make a Dol Tower

Dol Table

Dol Table

My niece celebrated her first birthday last month seven months ago.  (I started writing this post a long time ago!) Like most American children’s birthday parties, it was accompanied by family, food and fun.  But this was not your typical birthday party.  It is a Doljanchi (also referred to as a Dol), a Korean first birthday, with the same constructs as the American birthday but combined with traditions like a Dol Table (featuring Dol Towers, fruit, banner, rice cakes, etc.), Dol-Bok (traditional outfit), traditional food and of course the Doljabi event (baby foretells the future).  This is a big deal.

So for my niece’s Doljanchi, I committed to making two Dol Towers — a chook-dol tower and the other with her American name, Hana.  The chook-dol tower means congratulations / celebration and the name tower can be the child’s Korean name.  Both will stay within the traditional confines and be decorated with dried beans.  It is also popular and more modern to make towers decorated with candy.  I did not go this route for this celebration, but considered it for my own daughters.

Dol Towers for Hana's 1st Birthday

Dol Towers for Hana’s 1st Birthday

For my daughter I decided to reuse the chook-dol tower from Hana’s party (so I didn’t have to make a new one!).  I did decide to make a tower with my daughter’s name and one with her Chinese zodiac sign, the snake.  Since the snake tower took over 60 hours I ruled out any additional towers.

Items For (One) Dol Tower:

  • Glue Gun
  • Glue Sticks (jumbo pack)
  • Cylinder Base (I used a paper towel roll individually wrapped)
  • Paper
  • Tape
  • Beans (2 bags of Lima beans, 1 black bean and 1 white bean)(snake: 2 white bean, 1 black bean, 1 green lentil bean)
  • Newspaper (to cover the work surface)
  • Clearcote or Shellac (optional)

I don’t have bulk food section in local grocery store so I had to buy bags of beans.  If you are going to buy bulk, don’t get the exact amount.  Allow for some extra as the size of each bean varies and it is good to have a selection when trying to fit it in certain areas. For the two towers (not including the snake), I used 3 bags of Lima, 2 white bean and 1 black bean with leftovers of each. The snake tower took a bag of lima beans, an additional bag of white beans as well as use of the leftovers of the white and black beans from the other towers.

For the cylinder base, there are a lot of options — concrete or building forms, cardboard wrapped around wood bases, formula canisters stacked together, oatmeal canisters or paper towel rolls.  Whichever you choose, you are looking for something 11″ high and 6″ wide.  The easiest route for me was a paper towel roll as I just had a baby.

If you are looking to use the tower again, I would recommend a sturdy base and sealing it with clearcote or shellac.

The two towers (not including the zodiac/snake tower) took me over 30 hours to do (not consecutively of course!).  I would give yourself a work space that won’t be disturbed and is comfortable! I was particular to how the beans were placed so it looked uniform.  If you are more casual about it, I am sure the time would take less!

OberBargain Tip: I used advanced planning again to use coupons for my Michaels trip.  For the paper towels, I didn’t buy an expensive brand but opted for the cheaper private label.  For three towers (chook-dol, name and Chinese zodiac) including the clearcote, cost $25.  Great savings when these go for up to $125 each!

 

Directions:

WHAT TO SAY

Typically the towers are featured in odd numbers.  What to say? As mentioned above, it is most common to have the traditional chook-dol tower meaning congratulations / celebration and a tower with the baby’s name (typically the korean name).  Another traditional tower featured is one with the Chinese zodiac sign.  These traditional towers are typically made with beans.  Outside of the traditional, towers are comprised of designs and decorated with candy.  For the purpose of this post, we are sticking with the traditional.  (Non-traditional will be another day ;)) So now that you know what you want to say.

1. Create the characters or image.  I did it in word and imported the Korean language.  (I also had my husband double check what it said.  I am glad it did because it wasn’t even close to correct.)

  • If you don’t want to create it, you can download a PDF of the chook-dol characters or zodiac symbol on the Korean 1st Birthday website

2. Then made a border around the characters and print it out.

 

PREPARING THE BASE

3. Place newspaper over the work surface.

4. Tape the paper printed with the design or wording onto the cylinder.

  • I also taped a blank paper to the other side of the cylinder since I used a paper towel and there was colorful writing on the other side that I didn’t want to come through.
  • Be careful not to use too much tape as the glue doesn’t stay very well on it.

 

ADDING THE BEANS

Outlined Details of Snake Zodiac Dol Tower

Outlined Details of Snake Zodiac Dol Tower

 

5. Using the glue gun, start glueing the beans to the paper.

  • I found it helpful to pour out the beans that I was using and segregate them into piles based on size as I went. This was quick and helpful for places I needed small beans or large.
  • For the chook-dol and name, I started with the black rectangle border first, then the body of the cylinder.  I left then did the characters inside the border and added the white beans last based on space.  I found this system worked best for me.
  • For the snake, I did the border of the snake first and then the detail (with the black beans).  I then added the green lentils.  Some recommended gluing a small area of the paper with hot glue and pressing the lentils into it.  It did not work for me (at all).  It made a mess and I found I had a lot of spaces that I had to individually glue lentils to (after cleaning the mess from my hands).  Maybe it will work for you!  I found it easier (and cleaner) to just glue the lentils individually.  Crazy, yes, but it came out so much nicer then the other method!  I then added the white beans.
  • I was going to add a chevron pattern to the back of the zodiac tower but it look HORRIBLE!  I ripped it out, taped paper to cover the area and just went with the basic pattern.  Should you decide to do a pattern on the back, my advice would be to stay with beans of similar size.  The beans I was going to use were too big and it looked awkward.
  • I saved the top of the tower last and added whatever patterns free handed as I glued the beans.

Although the project took a long time to complete, I am glad I had so much attention to detail as I am happy with the way it came out. These will be pieces that we can display for years to come!

Completed Dol Towers for my Daughter's First Birthday

Completed Dol Towers for my Daughter’s First Birthday

Dooney & Bourke – Winter 2013 Tent Sale

Dooney & Bourke LogoDooney and Bourke just announced their annual Winter Tent Sale!  If you are looking for a handbag, this is your opportunity with up to 50% off.  Merchandise will include discontinued items, seconds, and one-of-a-kind samples.  Items will range from women’s handbags and accessories, mens wallets and briefcases.

I was able to go to the pre-sale three years ago.  I scored a nice find and shared the details of the experience. It’s so worth the wait.  The sale will be held at Strawberry Hill Ave and Regent Street, Norwalk, CT.  (It’s a short walk away from the East Norwalk Train Station on Metro North.)  Hours for the Winter 2013 Tent Sale are as follows:
  • Thursday, December 12th — 10am to 8pm
  • Friday, December 13th — 10am to 8pm
  • Saturday, December 14th – 10am to 6pm
  • Sunday, December 15th — 11am to 3pm
For more information call: 800-347-5000 or click here for a map.

Wusthof Outlet – Holiday Sale {12/5-12/8}

The Wusthof Outlet in Norwalk, CT is having their annual Holiday Sale Thursday, December 5th to Sunday, December 8th.

Sale will feature regular discounts on the store models, overstocks, and discontinued models between 40% to 70% off – with an extra 20% off everything.

Hours for the sale will be 10 to 6 on Thursday and Friday, 10 to 4 on Saturday and Sunday.

WÜSTHOF
333 Wilson Avenue
Norwalk, CT 06854
Phone: 203-852-8000

Victorinox Swiss Army – 2013 Fall Warehouse Sale – The Details

Sigh, this year I could not go to the sale — but I had several different family members going so I felt covered!

Victorinox Swiss Army Grill 12" Wood Handle Fork

Victorinox Swiss Army Grill 12″ Wood Handle Fork

Victorinox Swiss Army Ergo-dynamic Vegetable Peeler

Victorinox Swiss Army Ergo-dynamic Vegetable Peeler

The overall offerings were the same as the past few years that I mentioned in an older post.  This year they had a large selection of coats ranging from wool, rain jackets, light jackets and for men, leather.  Some of the deal highlights we got were:

  • Grill 12″ wood handle fork (best deal!!) – $1 (normally $35)
  • Chef’s slotted fish turner 4″x6″ – $10 (normally $35)
  • Ergo-dynamic peeler – $4
  • Men’s Ts – $15 (normally $75)
  • Ski Gloves – $15 (normally $65)
  • Woman’s silver watch – $40 (normally $220)

We didn’t ‘need’ anything and came out relatively cheap with $75 worth of goods.  I know your question — is it worth it to go?  If you are looking for a high ticket item (like a watch) or just like to bargain hunt, its definitely worth it!

Victorinox Swiss Army Hooded Military Jacket

Victorinox Swiss Army Hooded Military Jacket

Victorinox Swiss Army City Jacket

Victorinox Swiss Army City Jacket

Victorinox Swiss Army Ski Gloves

Victorinox Swiss Army Ski Gloves