Thursday, November 24, 2011

Ten List Thursday: Thanksgiving

We knew it had to be this way, 10 things I'm really REALLY Thankful for. As always though, not in any order

1. My beautiful daughter, who makes me happier every day, I am thankful for her health, her sweetness, her beauty, her giggles and everything about her. I look at her and have my Faith renewed.

2. My husband, this probably also goes without saying, but he is a wonderful thoughtful man who will always support me, even if he mocks me lovingly anyway. He is brilliant, funny, handsome, and I love him so much.

3. My job, yeah I've made more money in other jobs (pre-econopocolyse), but I've never been happier at a workplace. I have a boss I adore. He's amazingly smart, and fun to be around and is also a great teacher. There are grad students whom I really enjoy working with (mostly :P) and I'm encouraged and pushed all at the same time. I really am blessed to be here (and I know it!)

4. My husband's new job. Seriously, this is amazing for us in so many ways. We are so lucky and so happy that this happened. Walking to work and working in the district your daughter will attend: priceless

5. Having family close by to watch the baby.

6. Our friends. I love that we have a core group of couples to spend time with and share life with. It's great to have them close enough to visit often.

7. My 'online' friends who are really so much more than that. I love you guys (especially my T&C's, past and present)

8. My E-group, even when (as I mentioned before) I want to strangle them :P. As a wise man once said "We'll be friends forever, you know too much" If only the rEtrEat was more than once a year <3

9. Sweet little Tully, I am really enjoying living in our town. I think it will be a good place for my darling to grow up in. <3

10. Knowing that no matter what, we'll be ok. Everything is getting better, little by little every day. I am grateful for the good things, the bad things to make us appreciate the good ones, and having the Grace to know how good we have it, even when things look bleak.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Product Review: Black Box Wines

So I love wine. I love the way it feels on my tongue, makes my tummy warm, and even the way one glass will show up on my cheeks (who needs blush when I can have a nice dry oaky red). Going wine tasting is my favorite hobby. Someday I'd love to take classes to develop my pallet. Therefore when Bzzagent invited me to a campaign reviewing wine and hosting a wine tasting, I was like heck yes sign me up!

Note: Wine is a hobby for me, I am no expert, I just know what I like and take a lot of notes. As I was hosting here my notes are lacking, so take it for what it's worth. Wine is deeply personal so what I hate, you may love etc. I hope I don't sound pretentious here. :)

Black Box is a company bringing bottled wine quality to the boxed format. Each cute little box has four 750ml bottles worth of wine and it keeps at peak quality for four weeks. It's about $21.00 a box and available in a lot of places: will have a list of where to buy it.

I had a small tasting party and we tried four wines. Here's my opinion on them.

Sauvignon Blanc: They describe it as "fresh, zesty wine boasts vivid tropical fruit and herbal spice aromas and crisp, richly fruity, citrus flavors." I found it to have a lovely light bouquet with a hint of pear, a nice clean finish, just tart and refreshing enough to be a perfect summer picnic wine. I'd also love this wine watching the sun set with my honey on a lake some place. Will definitely be buying this one again.

Chardonnay: The tasting notes for this one made me nervous as I HATE banana (like the smell of it makes me nauseous, so yeah) "Tropical fruit aromas of Pineapple and banana are accented by hints of floral spice and creamy oak. The rich palate of lush citrus, pineapple and mango flavors persists through a long, refreshing finish." I was excited to see that it contains some gewurzttraminer which is becoming a favorite of mine. I'll be honest, it's not my favorite chad ever. I did like it though, it's a nice pleasant lower end chard (sorry Black Box), It's mellow, with a smooth finish, I like a bit bolder mouth feel in a chard and want it to hold up to really spicy food. I don't think this one would, I'll save it for a lovely roast chicken dinner thanks.

Merlot: They said: Its lavish red fruit aromas introduce a plush palate of rich plum and black cherry flavors, with smoky, vanilla oak nuances enriching the smooth, concentrated finish. The problem with merlot is, that I freaking love it. Therefore I am hella picky about it. This one did not impress me. I found it was lacking in body, and the velvety texture was missing for me. I definitely got a hint of vanilla, and I liked the bouquet quite a bit, but just not one I think I'll be buying again. Which is ok. I mean I can't like every wine I taste, and I was dreadfully spoiled with good merlot when I was younger.

Malbec: Now this one was very exciting to me because it's a varietal I haven't tried before. YAY New Wine. Probably because this is a pretty white centric area of the country, we just don't have the climate for reds. I was kinda nervous when they used the word tobacco as a flavour, but it was really well liked by my guests. I liked it a lot too, and will more than likely be buying it again. I'd also love to try more of them. They said "This wine has luscious floral and cherry aromas. The palate is dry and medium bodied with juicy blueberry flavors and hints of tobacco and chocolate. The earthy, robust structure and well bodied acidity lead to a smooth finish. Pairs well with juicy steaks, grilled meats and vegetables, Italian entrees, mild cheeses and tapas" I thought that it had a lovely musky aroma at first, with a lingering cherry at the end. It felt nice and warm sliding down my throat. It was lighter than I expected but not in a bad way. I like a full bodied red, but the medium body of this was a nice change up for me. It left just the right coating on my tongue and I think this will be a lovely wine for many a pasta meal.

Overall, I have decided I want to taste the other Black Box varietals, especially the Riesling as I am really enjoying dry Rieslings right now, I also really want to dry the Cabernet Sauvignon, as a good cab can take you far with a good steak. Yum Yum.

This little at home tasting was a lot of fun, almost makes up for not being able to afford the holiday wine shopping spree event on Cayuga this year. Although my parents leave on Saturday to go and I'm secretly (or not so secretly as I'm posting it on my blog) am hoping for a bottle of the sparkling cranberry wine as a present for watching their dog....

Disclaimer: I am a Bzzagent, I received a discount on this wine in exchange for my honest opinion and sharing it with my friends. All opinions expressed are my own. If you want more information on getting free products to review and share, feel free to ask.

Ten List Thursday: Fitness

So I need to write a real post eventually, but here it is Thursday once again.

10 (of many) things I'm looking forward to about being a healthy weight again:

1. Helping my daughter to have a healthier relationship with food than I have..

2. Wearing clothes that fit, meaning new wardrobe baby!

3. Reclaiming my sweet little sundresses.

4. Not wanting to cry every time I look in a mirror undressed.

5. Not having to worry about friction burns on my legs (aka chub rub)

6. Having more energy (I'm already feeling this).

7. Throwing away my scale. (Once I'm to my healthy goal, I am only going to measure my health by the way I look/clothes fit...ok, and the wiifit...but sticking to BMI not weight on that). I hate cleaning the darn thing.

8. No more stockings/spanx/smoothers in the summer time.

9. Having my outer body be more as I picture it when I'm not looking in a mirror (does this make sense?)

10. Having a longer lifespan and healthspan, so I can enjoy things with my family for longer.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ten List Thursday: Fashion icons

A simple one this week, ten people/designers who's style I admire and would love to emulate in an ideal world.

1. Katherine Hepburn: So classic, no one could do undone chic like Miss Kate. So elegant, even in a flannel shirt.

2. Audrey Hepburn: (almost no relation to the above) She was so lovely, and always maintained herself with such grace.

3. Grace Kelly: Her style was perfection to me.

4. My friend Jan: She's like my style sister.

5. Kate Middleton: a new addition, I find her style to be like a modern Princess Grace, so I think that has a lot to do with it.

6.Calvin Klein: Ok, so he's a guy and all, but his classic tailored designs are very me.

7. Kate Spade: I generally really like her silhouettes.

8. Marlene Dietrich: No one could ever make a top hat and tails look as elegant and feminine as she could. I also am in love with her eyebrows

9. Ava Gardner: She knew how to use her elegant curves to the best advantage

10.Barbara Billingsley: June Cleaver, this is almost a joke. People seem to think I am the quintessential 50's housewifey. Even though my home is currently a mess and I work full time.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Ten List Thursday - uncommon courtesy

10 Items of courtesy that I thought were common (then again, I'm wrong a lot) and wish people would do again.

1. Waiting for people to exit an elevator before entering.

2. Saying "thank you" when someone holds a door open for you. Especially if they had to wait for you to arrive.

3. Saying "you're welcome" or something similar when someone says thank you to you.

4. Asking permission before sharing someone's seat on the bus. Especially if the person already there is busy doing something and may not have noticed you. It startles me when someone plunks down next to me without some warning.

5. Not touching other people's things. If my bag is in the way, simply ask me and I'd be happy to move it. I assume most people feel the same way.

6. Waiting for someone to finish speaking before you enter a conversation.

7. Saying "excuse me" when you need to squeeze by them. Giving them a dirty look for daring to be in your way is not exactly the same thing.

8. Moving aside to let someone pass. Especially if you are walking 3 abreast in a hallway designed for two and someone is trying to get down the hall and can't. Even more especially if they are pushing a cart of molten agar.

9. Not standing clumped in doorways having long conversations. People need to use those doors.

10. Waiting your turn. This includes when the light turns red, that doesn't mean that ONE more car gets to go. This holds everyone up and will possibly get you rear ended. You are not that special.