Sunday, September 30, 2012

wine o'clock

I am a wine lover and in our house we have wine o'clock pretty often.  
Its like any other o'clock during the day, expect you get to pour yourself a glass of wine.
Or maybe two. 

We typically have a pretty good selection of wine hanging around our place and when we find a wine we like well we usually stick with it.  Last Sunday when Dan and I were sick and feeling terrible we mustered up enough energy to drag ourselves to the grocery store.  On our trip out we made a pit stop at the liquor store to pick up some fall beer {Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale....yum!} and a few bottles of wine.  While we were there the store owner insisted we taste test some new bottles of wine he got in from 90+ Cellars.  They were so delicious that we bought a bottle of Cabernet.  It lifted our spirits a little.

I didn't know a whole about 90+ Cellars but they are a Boston based company that takes pricier, really great wines and sell them for less.  You can read about their story here.  We also tried a Malbec along with the Cabernet and they were both fabulous.  Next time your out buying wine I suggest taking a look at 90+ Cellars.  It will be a staple in our house from now on.
I mean who doesn't like to save a little money and still drink great wine?   

Thursday, September 27, 2012

three totally unrelated things

First things first, I have to tell you a little fact about myself.  I am a picky trail mix eater.  When I buy trail mix I have aspirations of grabbing a whole handful of it and loving every last bite, but to be completely honest with you I pick through the trail mix.  It drives my husband crazy.  I leave the worse parts of it for raisins. 
Don't ask me why I didn't have this brilliant idea before but I finally decided  to just make my own darn trail mix with everything I love.  I headed to the grocery store last night and stalked up on some pretty great treats.  Sliced almonds {for some reason I don't like whole ones in trail mix}, walnuts, chopped dates, craisins, and of course a wonderful mix of dark chocolate and milk chocolate bits.  Perfect combo of sweet and salty.  Now I can grab a handful of trail mix and enjoy the WHOLE thing.  

Secondly I am not an avid t.v. watcher.  I don't have shows that I follow but I have to say that there is one exception.  Wednesday night at 9pm I do enjoy watching Modern Family.  I am just a little in love with this show and this week new episodes started.  Another reason why I love fall.  If you haven't seen the show I suggest tuning in.  It cracks me up but still has a very sweet side.

Last but not least, House Beautiful October issue.  Just feast your eyes on a few things I fell in LOVE with when I opened this magazine.  Has anyone else gotten there hands on this?

This is a gorgeous abode in the Bahamas.  I am partial to blues and whites.  Its a problem.  But how could you not love those bright white stairs bordered with the bright pink or all that art.  Just saying I wouldn't mind living there.

This home you can find in Kenya and well it is beautiful.  I cannot say enough about that open air dining room.  I would eat there any day of the week.  And that outdoor shower!  I have wanted an outdoor shower since the age of 15 {take notes honey!}.  Plus they have an orphaned cheetah cub just snoozing around their house.  No. Big. Deal.

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

the first day of fall

I am completely aware that the first day of fall was Saturday but I have this awful cold that has kept me from posting anything about my weekend.  I am feeling a bit better thanks to my lovely husband who literally waited on me hand and foot as soon as I got home from work yesterday.  He's a keeper! 

Fall is definitley here folks.  It seems as soon as September 1st rolled around the Northeast was ready for the crisp cold air to settle in.  It is already dark before 7, I have started turning the heat on in my car, and have been sporting a long sleeve t-shirt when I go on a run. 
I have found that the I get older the more I love fall. Funny how that happens.  Around these parts fall is just an indication that soon there will be piles of snow.  Regardless I find myself excited about sweaters and carving pumpkins.  Maybe even excited about listening to Christmas soon?

Dan made it home on Friday night and on Saturday we slept in {one thing about fall I LOVE is the perfect sleeping weather!} and made our way to one of our favorite spots for brunch.  I had my first hot latte in a long time.  

We sat and talked for about 2 hours until we both had drunk enough coffee for about ten people.  There is nothing like not seeing your husband for a week or two to really appreciate your life and what you've got.  Once again, he's a keeper!  Our plan was to head out and do some apple picking but with this dumb cold we didn't get any further than pulling out our fall decorations and sipping hot cider.  By Sunday I did manage to make some chili and curl up to my hubby on the couch.

I hope all of you had a wonderful first day of fall!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

the man spa

Dan has left for a few weeks which is always a bummer.  In light of him leaving I did get to accompany him to the barber, or as I like to call it the man spa, before he left.  Usually I am the one who is getting my hair done, making an appointment for a pedicure, or heading out for some cucumber water and a massage.  But not this time...

Since Dan was leaving he had a list of things he had to get done and true to form he had procrastinated.  On that to do list was getting his hair cut.  Of course he had left it to the last minute and the only time he could fit it in before he left was at 8pm on a Thursday night.  To my surprise he found a barber in the south end of the city who was open until 9 pm.   He somehow turned this into a date night by promising dinner and drinks afterward...I mean who would pass that up?
So off we went to State Street Barbers.

Boy I gotta tell you this place had me at hello.  They offered us drinks as soon as we got there {yes I  accompanied him to his appointment} and the whole place had the vintage barber shop down.  Not only was the music and decor fitting but the service was too.  Dan got his hair cut and then got an old fashion hot lather shave.  It was like man heaven in there.  Dan even let the barber put product in his hair.  And I have to say he looked pretty darn sharp.

Ladies if you are looking for something to get the man in your life I would find a place like this.  It is a perfect place to pamper your favorite guy while it still stands the manly test.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


So I was a little late on the instagram train.  Don't get me wrong I have been using it for a long time but I missed when it turned into a complete social network.  I used it just to edit photos and such.  

Just a few weeks ago {I know so sad} I realized I was being tagged in photos, people were commenting and liking my photos.  I love going on instagram to see what people are up to and admire beautiful photos.  I thought of it like blogging with no words....right?  Wrong.  
And I have to be honest with you I love it even more now than I did before.  I am commenting, liking, and following up a storm.  Because that is what I need...more time on my iphone.

Anyway, I have had my instagram tab up on the blog for a while and now I am much more fun to follow.  
Believe me I am.  I finally got it together.

This is my latest and greatest photo on instagram. 
Are you sick of the cat photos yet?  I promise I'll stop.

Monday, September 17, 2012

yes it is true, I paint

I started painted while I was in college.  It was a stress reliever that has turned into something I hold dear to my heart.  I sold a few pieces in art shows and it helped me make money while I was broke in college.  But mostly I do it just for me and these paintings are starting to fill up our apartment.  It is just one of those things that I get lost in and before I know it the whole day has gone by.  When the weather is warm I take up our whole front porch with paint bottles and half finished canvases lining the window sills.   

  I don't have good brushes and I usually paint with the canvas on my lap.  But boy do I love layers of color and getting paint underneath my fingernails.   

Do any of you have something you do just for you?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

me and the cats

Dan has been gone for almost a week now so I have been hanging out with the cats....a lot.  They are there every time I get home, waiting for food in their bowls.  And they have been keeping me company as I read before bed.  As much as I love having those furry little felines to keep me company I have to say they are odd little creatures.

In the morning you can find them here, on our bed and waiting to be fed.

Abby is pretty pushy when it comes to snuggling.  Especially since the weather has cooled down.  Dan is her absolute favorite and you can bet that as soon as he sits down she is in his lap.  Since he has been gone she has been snuggling with me just about anyway she can.  She also drools when she gets really comfortable and purrs forever.  Crazy little cat!

Brody, well he is a whole different breed {not really}.  You can find him lying on everything he is not suppose to or hiding in some sort of bag.  He adores my yoga mat even if I am on it.  He is a curious cat and often needs help getting out of whatever spot he has found cause trouble.  We can't let him in the bathroom because he chews the shower curtain and loves to hide under the bathroom rug {I have almost stepped on him twice}. 

As much as these two little buggers puzzle me they sure do keep things interesting.  And adorable. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

national yoga month

When people find out that I teach yoga they usually tell me how much they love it or how they are to scared to try it.  I get it, yoga can be intimidating.  There is a lot of breathing, sometimes chanting, and a series of poses you may or may not know.  Even now when I take a new class I still don't know all the poses and sometimes I don't want to om at the end of the class. That is the beauty of only have to do what feels good {as long as your being safe}.  I have had people come to my class and just hang out in child's pose for the whole hour.  To be completely honest, most people once they try it they LOVE it.

Yoga has a tremendous amount of health benefits.  Not only does it do a  number on your mental health and stress level but the physical benefits are wonderful too....just think lean muscle, flexibility, and a strong core.  My hope is that everyone will at least consider trying yoga.  If you are still worried about going to a class I suggest you get a DVD, try a you tube video, or buy a book and give it a whirl in the comfort your own home. 

September is National Yoga Month and if you go to the Yoga Health Foundation they have yoga studios all over the country that are participating. What does that mean??  Free yoga.  Go to the Yoga Health Foundation website and check out the local yoga studios in your area and you can sign up for a whole week of free yoga.  It is a great way to try out a new studio or take your first yoga class. 
Happy National Yoga Month!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

cream cheese toffee apple dip

We celebrated Labor Day this weekend with a big old fashion BBQ.  You never really can beat beautiful weather, the people you love, and some good food.  We {of course} had more than enough to eat and drink.  And I made my favorite treat for fall...cream cheese toffee apple dip.

What you need:

~ 8 oz. of cream cheese {you can use a low fat version}
~ 8 oz. package of toffee bits
~ 1 cup of firmly packed light brown sugar*
~ sliced apples of your choice

*I usually don't end up adding a whole cup of sugar.  I will add a little at a time and taste as I go along.  But the original recipe I have says to add a whole cup.

To make this very easy and delicious recipe just mix together your cream cheese, toffee bits, and brown sugar until smooth.  Slice your apples and serve immediately.  It is perfect for fall and I promise it will be a crowd pleaser.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

ode to the sea

This past Saturday, August turned to September and it seems as if overnight fall began.  I spent the first day of the new month at one of my favorite places, Parsons Beach.  I realized while sitting there in the sand, breathing in what could be my last beach day, that Maine's Coast has been a place of solace for me my whole life.  Oh there has been other beaches, but even when I lived on the island of Oahu surround by the Pacific nothing compared to the ocean back home.

In high school I can remember driving down the tree lined road to the beach.  The car windows down and the air filled with Van Morrison.  Sometimes it was a visit to clear my head or to cry, but often times it was to night swim and spend time with dear friends.  Even when I would make my way home fro college for Christmas break I would run the beach as many days as I could and talk to God.  Again it was either a prayer or a praise depending on where life was.  

The ocean I have found has taught me to just be.  Whether it is an awful day or the best weather you have seen in months, when I stand before the vast expansion of the Atlantic something always stirs inside of me.  A place so tucked away in my heart that we had our engagement photos taken there.  It was right before Dan's last deployment and even though we were excited to enter this next chapter of our lives together the thought of him being away for a year was terrifying.  I think the ocean brought us both peace that day.

  So here is to the sea, a place that has nurtured my sometimes weary soul, kept secrets, and let us enjoy, laugh, and rest.