February Loves

I am in love with this Saarloos and Sons white wine! This wine.  So yummy.  I had gotten a bottle of this white and a red from Saarloos and Sons in a silent auction gift basket from my son’s preschool.  I didn’t know too much about the company so the bottles have just been hanging around.  Well, the other night I decided it was time for the white to get chilled.  I’m a Sauvignon Blanc kind of gal.  And I’m not totally sure how these two wines stack up against each other.  But I can tell you this.  I opened the bottle, and on first sip, I hated it.  It was one of those days so I decided I’d drink the glass but I left the bottle on the counter with the intention of dumping it out that night.  But something about the second sip got me.  And I began to really enjoy the glass.  I went and put the bottle in the fridge and drank the rest of the bottle over the next few nights.  Turns out I REALLY like this wine.  Maybe the first sip just wasn’t what I was expecting but I’m glad I continued to drink it.  And now I want to go to their tasting room and drink more.  Lots more.  And go read their story.  Super cool.

My favorite candy of all time.  That I only eat at Valentine's DayThese hearts are one of my favorite candies.  And I only eat them at Valentine’s Day.  They really are just Gobstoppers.  And they used to even come in the normal Gobstopper colors but within the last few years, they have changed them to be only pink, red and white.  I realize that they are Gobstoppers and I can eat them all year long, but there is something about waiting for them to arrive in stores that makes me love them even more.  My sister and I always by them for each other.  And once that bag (or two) is gone, that is it until next year.  Have you ever tried these?

Live your passion!  My pal shared her stint on Cougar Town with us.  So proud of her! If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen me post about this the other night.  I am super proud of my friend, Erika, for following a passion of hers.  She, just recently, decided to do extra work and start acting.  She was over the other night and I got to see her in an episode of Cougar Town and it was amazing.  I’m so excited to see where she takes it and know that she is doing what she loves.  I am lucky to know this gal and look forward to seeing her in more things!!

My husband has taking to making us pancakes on the weekend!So I’ve been married for 10 years now.  My husband hardly ever cooks.  So color me surprised when he decided to make us pancakes one morning.  We liked them so much he has taken to making them for us on the weekends.  So fun!  Food really does taste better when you don’t have to cook it.

blair-ritchey-for-meg-biram-gator-phone-caseI’m totally in love with my new phone case.  I got an iPhone 5 for Christmas so I had to get a new case.  This gator skin case by Blair Ritchey found in Meg Biram’s shop is so great.  I love everything about it.  It looks like it is sold out but they do have it in olive which would also be super cool.

One Hope Wine BBQ Pack is the Perfect Summer Hostess Gift

Wine and BBQ gift pack Hope at Home and One Hope Wines teased me on Instagram this weekend.  They shared this amazing picture of a delicious looking sangria.  When I asked where to find the recipe, they pointed me to this wine and barbecue gift pack.  And I instantly fell in love with it.  I think this would be the perfect hostess gift for you to bring along or send to your gracious host.  The pack comes with 3 bottles of Sauvignon Blanc (my fave!), 2 bottles of Pinot Noir, sangria recipes, a spice rub and recipe packet.  You can order the kit from their site.

*This is not sponsored, I just thought this kit was super cool.  And I like wine.  And BBQ.

Happy Birthday to Lauren

cheers to a fabulous feteToday is Lauren’s birthday you guys!!  Send her some love today, won’t you?  Here are some reasons I like Lauren:

-She does my hair when we travel

-She has never said no to drinking wine with me

-She has taught me a ton about crafting and tells me it is ok to not be perfect

-She is fabulous to brainstorm with

-She has AMAZING style

-She’s super funny in a quiet sort of way

-She has become a trusted friend and let’s me whine and vent

-She is all around awesome and I’m so glad that this online world led to a real life friendship

Happy Birthday!  I can’t wait to celebrate with you!

 Tweet her a birthday wish! 

Stark Raving Wines Equals True Passion

white wineIt is no secret that I like wine.  And I have always wanted to go wine tasting.  I live in California for goodness sake.  We have some of the best wine producers in the country all right here.  So until I can get to a real wine tasting retreat, I make an effort to try new wines, or rather, new to me wines.

Stark Raving BottleI had the opportunity to try some Stark Raving wines recently.  I love their marketing and graphics.  The wine is quite tasty as well.  But when I read up on the wine maker, John Kane, I learned of his life passion to make wine.  Being passionate about how you make your living is very important to me and I love to support those that make it happen for themselves.  And that is John Kane.  I encourage you buy a bottle in an effort to support someone making a career of doing what they love.  And while you are enjoying the wine (the white is my fave!) think about what you are passionate about but aren’t doing as a career.  What is holding you back?

Stark Raving Wines RedStark Raving has 4 wines to choose from and you can check out tasting notes on each of them on the website to help you figure out which one you might like best.  Also be sure to check out The Wine Bar for recipe pairings.  How delicious do these Bacon Bites sound?  Best when paired with the Stark Raving Malbec.  I wish Mr. Kane much success and look forward to watching what he does next!

Disclosure: On occasion, I receive products, compensation and/or services gratis or at discounted rates. This practice does not influence my point of view or the outcome of the review. All descriptions are factual and accurately reflect my experience. The opinions are my own.

 

Fall Sangria Recipe

Fall Sangria with cloves and vanillaHow yummy does that fall sangria look?  When this recipe came across my inbox I knew that I had to try this.  I am generally a white wine drinker and have always preferred my sangria to be tropical and fruity.  But with temperatures dropping I decided to challenge myself and see if I would like these new flavors in my wine.

Ingredients for fall sangriaThe recipe is really easy and the ingredients are easily found in any supermarket.  And how cute is that Flirt label? My son’s kept coming in to the kitchen hollering, “That bottle has eyes!!  It can see us!”

Vanilla and cloves in cheese clothThe spice bundle is where it’s at.  This is how all those amazing fall flavors get in to your drink.  You can find cheese cloth at Target or your grocery store.  I always have some on hand for making quinoa or ghosts…its very versatile.  Let’s talk for a minute about how amazing a fresh vanilla bean smells.  And mixed with the cloves…I mean…

Plums in juice for sangriaYou will want to plan ahead a smidge to give the spices time to marry with the juice (from 4-24 hours).  Instead of finding a really large pitcher to transfer the juice in to, I poured a little juice out to make room for the spice pouch and the plums.  That really is the only option for a lazy person like me.  And don’t even get me started about pitcher sizes and how they go from small to OH MY GOSH HOW AM I GOING TO FIT THIS IN MY FRIDGE large with nothing in between…

Pitcher of fall sangriaI left the plums and spices in overnight.  I like maximum flavor output so I always leave things for the longest possible time.  Then I added the wine, heated it up a bit and then finally got to taste it.

warm fall sangriaAh-mazing.  First off, the Flirt California red was super smooth and a touch sweet so it was perfectly paired with the juice and plums.  The vanilla and cloves really rounded out the drink with their subtle notes and made it feel very comforting.  I love the idea of serving this at a party.  It was really easy to make and smells delightful while heating.  Seriously, the perfect fall beverage.

Recipe:

Ingredients

2 tsp whole cloves

1/2 of a vanilla bean, split lengthwise

64 ounces apple-cranberry juice

4 medium purple and/or green plums, pitted and sliced

1 bottle red wine

Directions

Place cloves and vanilla bean in center of a double-thick 6-inch square of 100% cotton cheesecloth.  Bring corners of cloth together; tie closed with clean string.  Pour apple-cranberry juice into a large container or pitcher.  Add plums and spice bag.  Cover and chill for 4 to 24 hours.  Remove and discard cheesecloth bag.  In a 4-quart Dutch oven, heat the juice mixture and wine until hot.  Serve in heatproof mugs.  Makes 10-12 servings.

fall red wine sangria over iceBut this recipe can also be served over ice.  And it was GOOD!  Simply follow the recipe above and instead of heating the wine and juice together, just serve over ice with plum slices.

white wine fall sangria recipeI have not tried the above recipe with white wine yet, but I imagine it too will be quite tasty.  This Yellow Tail Moscato is slightly fizzy so it will add another fun element to the drink.  Have you ever had a fall sangria?  Are you a white or red wine fan?  I hope you will all try this and let me know your favorite!

Disclosure: On occasion, I receive products, compensation and/or services gratis or at discounted rates. This practice does not influence my point of view or the outcome of the review. All descriptions are factual and accurately reflect my experience. The opinions are my own.