Thursday, December 31, 2009

Almond Creek Vineyards Sparkling Wine

Wine: Almond Creek Vineyards Almond Flavored Sparkling Wine
Store: Trader Joe's
Price: $5.99 (or maybe $4.99-the hubs bought 2 bottles but he couldn't remember which was which)

I apparently have never reviewed a sparkling wine on here before...I shouldn't be surprised as we really only drink it on special occasions-tonight's occasion being both New Year's Eve and our 4th wedding anniversary. The hubs made us a lovely salmon dinner, and we enjoyed this wine with it. As with any sparkling wine, it has a lovely effervescence to it. The almond flavoring has just a hint of sweetness to it, but it's definitely more of a meal wine than a dessert wine. It was a great addition to our meal, but I would be apprehensive to use it with any champagne-inspired cocktails (i.e. mimosas).

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Our Trip to Ikea

The hubs and I both have a bit of an obsession with Ikea. He loves the kitchen items they have, and most of the decor and furniture is up his alley, too. We live about 3 hours from one, but his parents live about 45 minutes from. Since we were up there for Christmas, we decided to take a little trip up to Ikea.

Now, we only go one or twice a year, and this time we had a mission to buy a big piece of furniture, so we knew it was going to be an expensive trip. Here are some of the spoils of our visit:

My guest bedroom finally feels complete with my Myken Mirror and Reslig Frame. I'm still not happen with the picture in the needs some adjusting, but I looooove this mirror. It makes me so excited.
We have had issues with a towel rack in our bathroom since we first moved in. We could not get a traditional towel rack to stay in the wall. We found this Grundtal towel rack that the hubs said he might actually use. The bathroom needs a little touch up work where the old rack attempted to hang, but overall, I'm quite happy.
We hated our old, ugly florescent light fixture in the kitchen. A couple months ago (sometime during the summer), the fixture stopped working correctly. We switched out the bulbs, but nothing. When we hung the Kramare light fixture, we could see again! The only problem is that it is a bit skinner than the fixture hole, so I'll be off to Home Depot or Lowes in order to get that covered.
And finally, our piece de resistance. I had been searching for something for to house our massive DVD collection for 2 years now. Nothing I liked would house it all for an agreeable price. So we got one of the Billy Bookcases with the glass doors and two extra shelves. I think it looks great in the room, and I'm love how it stores our DVDs. We have plenty of room to keep expanding, too.

Now if only there were an Ikea closer...

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Secret to a Great Margarita

I was over at friends house last night, enjoying some yummy beef fajitas and he made some of the best margaritas ever. I didn't ask his proportions (and I should have), but he revealed his secret-half margarita mix and half limeade. It really made for the sweet and sour combo for the drink. Note to self-I'm going to have to try this in the blender come summer!

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Christmas Wish List Revisited

I don't usually make lists, but since I did this year, I thought I'd revisit it. I cannot believe how generous my family was this year. But to start off on a negative note, here's what I didn't get.

A monogrammed wine stopper.
I thought this was a shot in the dark. When I didn't receive it, I thought, "Well, I'll just buy it myself." No such luck. 2 BB&B were sold out of my letter...but I found a really cute one in Wegman's. I was so excited I had to buy one for myself and one for my mother in law.

Elements to go with my Fontanini Nativity scene. They're expensive, but my Nativity is really special to me...I wish I had more pieces, but I guess I'll just have to get them myself.

An Electric Tart Warmer and Yankee Candle Wax Tarts. While I didn't receive any tarts or a tart warmer, my in-laws did give me a yummy French Vanilla Jar Candle. I can retire my tarts for a while in honor of that.

Bath and Body Works Foaming Antibacterial Hand Wash. I'll have to hit Bath and Body works during their semi-annual sale.

LLBean Ultra Absorbent Monogrammed Towel. No towel this year. I guess I'll have to get one myself if I want to make it a pair.

So here's what I did get

Shiatsu Neck Massager.
My aunt got me a Shiatsu pillow, which is fabulous. My neck has really been sore and it's helped it out a lot! My mom got me an actual neck massager, too, so I'm in style this year.

Fuzzy, Comfy Socks. The hubs finally did a stocking for me this year for the first time ever, and he put these in there. Woohoo!

Victoria's Secret Sleepover Flannel Pajamas in Red Stars. The hubs attempted to order these, but they were sold out. *Sigh* I thought I would have to get another style sometime later. Mom came through, though, and while the red ones were sold out, she got me the white ones with blue stars and matching slippers. I'm so excited to put them on tonight.

A Nice Travel Coffee Mug. My cousin's wife drew my name in the Secret Santa Exchange we do, and she got this exact mug, but in emerald green. It's lovely...and she put it together with a basket of Lindt and Ghiradeli chocolates and a sampling of Starbucks hot chocolate. So thoughtful...and yummy.

Wizard of Oz Pez Dispensers. Mom and Dad came through for this one. I was soooooo excited to open these up this morning.

Cuisinart Gourmet Griddler...the hubs and I went ahead and bought this for ourselves. We just couldn't pass up the deal on it. My parents also couldn't pass us the deal either...the one we purchased will be going back to the store

Other Gifts:

The hubster got me a iBook G4. Yes, it is a used old school iBook, but it is actually perfect for what I need. Now I won't have to lug my work computer home and deal with the eccentricities of that any more in my personal life.

The hubs also got me a warming electric throw blanket. I had one a few years ago that got ruined, so I'm so excited to have one again. I'm constantly freezing and love to be bundled up. The hubs knows me well. My parents also got me one, which makes the hubs happy as now we can both curl up in one.

My in-laws were super generous. In addition to the aforementioned candle, they also gave us some cute ornaments, Bath & Body Works Sea Island Cotton Lotion and Body Wash, and a Fossil make up bag along with a gift card to Dunkin Donuts.

My 4 month old nephew gave me a cute magnetic frame that says "I Love My Aunt." But who am I kidding, it was really from my sister. A four month old doesn't do much shopping.

And finally, my parents gave me a cute ornament of a train, in honor of a favorite Christmas song of mine.

I cannot believe how generous my husband and our families were to us. Gifts aside, it has been a spectacular Christmas, and when you add them back in, it was a Christmas waaaaaaaay beyond expectations.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Voulet Antichi Giochi Piemontesi Casorzo

Wine: Voulet Antichi Giochi Piemontesi Casorzo
Store: Found it at the In Laws House
Price:??????? (found for $12.99 online)

"A delicious red Malvasia made to be semi-effervescent and semi-sweet. Great on its own or pairs well with chocolate. This is one of kybecca\'s most popular wines."

This wine tastes like sparkling grape juice with a kick. It is quite smooth drinking. I can't say much about the bouquet as I'm so congested I can't smell anything.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

Christmas Morning

My body somehow decided this morning it wanted to be up early, so I here I sit, Christmas Morning, waiting for the hubs to get up so we can go to my sister's house for Breakfast. It has been a fantastic Christmas thus far. We had a great time with my family last night-my grandmother's health was good, my nephew is doing remarkably well, and in general there was a sense of happiness and frivolity.

The hubs and I came home last night and enjoyed Christmas between us. He was extremely thoughtful with his gifts this year, and really seemed to enjoy what I had for him. On top of all that, we really enjoyed each other's company last night.

Today the plan is to go to my sister's for breakfast and be with our nephew for his first Christmas. From there, we will stop and see my grandmother who is in assisted living and then make our way up to his parents house for the next couple of days. We'll get the opportunity to see his grandparents and his uncle who, in our 7 years together, I have never met. We also have plans to go shopping and enjoy Ikea.

In the midst of all this exciting, I'm so thrilled to be able to share it with close family and friends. It is important for me to keep perspective on this Holiday. And while I am a Christian, I think that there is a lot to be taken from this season regardless of what belief system you follow. Love, kindness, and peace are all universal ideas , and I hope that you see examples of them throughout your day, week, even year.

God bless us, everyone.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Gift Giving

This morning I was reminded of why we give gifts, even small, seemingly insignificant ones. A teacher I work with is going through a very rough time. Her husband has been going through some quite severe health issues. They thought they had a diagnosis, but now the doctors are not sure. He's dealing with something that appears to be terminal, and they really do not know what is going on.

This weekend, the hubs and I were making some home made fudge and Chex Mix. I was putting together little gift buckets for some friends here at work and decided on a whim to make one for the aforementioned teacher. When I gave it to her this morning, her eyes lit up. She's going through such a hard time right now, something so insignificant as my little bucket of goodies made her day a little better. I'm sure it wasn't the prospect of fudge or Chex mix that made her particularly happy, but the unexpected gesture in such a dark time. I had no idea it would have such an impact, but I'm so glad I did what I could for her.

While I may have made her day a little better, she certainly made my Christmas.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Forbes Creek Vintage Selection Cabernet Sauvignon

Wine:Forbes Creek Vintage Selection Cabernet Sauvigon
Price: Unknown-Gift
Store: Unknown-Gift

"Our 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon exhibits aromas and flavors of blackberry, black pepper and tobacco. French and American oak add complexity and motuhfeel. Forbes Creek Cabernet Sauvignon is the perfect partner to most red meat dishes." -back of the bottle

This is a smooth drinking red wine. I'm loving it. The bouquet is slightly floral, and the taste has a slight hint of oakiness. It's a full bodied wine, but has a very smooth after taste. I enjoyed this tonight with a burger, while wrapping gifts, watching a little tv...overall, a swell wine.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A bit weak at the knees...

It's been a while my friends...and I'm sorry to inform you that tonight's post has nothing to do with wine or other such alcohol. It has nothing to do with entertaining or my house. It has to do with the sad, sad situation I experienced at school today. It's a bit gross, so if you're faint of heart, stop reading now.

I have never given blood before because I usually have something physical going on.That was not the case today, so I signed up.

I was very nervous when I went in, but that's normal. As they are taking my blood, at some point it switched over from a nervous stomach to be nauseous and light headed. Next thing I knew, I had to vomit. They get this huge bag thing which proceeded to heave into, and start to feel better. I sit there a few more minutes, and realize they are cleaning something off the floor. I'm thinking I didn't realize that I had been that violent with it...but it was blood. They were changing the bag when I got sick, and ended up spilling blood all over the floor.

So I get myself together, go get some juice and snacks...and I start to feel really bad again. A kind nurse asks if I am OK, and I replied, "No." The world was getting dark and all sounds were getting so far away. Two nurses help me back to the "recovery room" which is really a mat on the floor and a partition. I pretty much pass out as they are helping me back there. All I know is the world got very dark, and had they not been helping me I would have ended up flat on the floor.

Oh yeah, and did I mention that students were watching the whole thing as it was a school blood drive?

And the absolute best part is they had to throw my blood as it was contaminated when it spilled. I went through all that for nothing. I will never ever ever give blood voluntarily again.