a rave, a review & a thank you!

the countdown to wiesbaden, germany is holding at 21 days. twenty.one.days.

{hello denial… let’s be friends.}

i wanted to take a moment to share with you all…

i have the privilege of knowing some pretty spectacular people. from mom experts like my amazing friend JLo, for sharing her favorite mom-to-be books with me, to my awesome sister for the most awesome body pillow for my ever-growing belly, i’ve felt exceptionally blessed as of late. a shout out to all of you for your overwhelming support & love, and for sharing our joy over new baby. it’s made the whole process an absolute blast. i say a ‘hip, hip, hooray’ every day for each of you!


oh, bubbles and froth how i miss you! when last week our mini holiday to chateau elán was on the horizon, i knew i wanted to find something {safe} to indulge in at least the ceremony of toasting with a bit of bubbly. i stumbled upon fre, alcohol removed brut and decided that it would have to do to give it a try.

we arrived in our room where a bottle of champagne was waiting on ice. i watched happily as captain unwrapped the foil & listened with delight as the cork was popped… and then… my bottle. i looked on with disdain as my bottle was opened and listened with contempt as the cork flew off. we poured, we toasted and then… *gasp* captain gave me the wrong glass!! he gave.me.the.wrong.glass! there i was drinking champagne.. i was pregnant & DRINKING ALCOHOL! cue freakout. which lasted a total of the 15 seconds it took for him to reassure that no, he had not given me the wrong glass. i stared, i sipped again. oh my, did that hit the spot. my alcohol removed brut was completely crisp and completely delicious. like, knock your socks off delicious. i am tickled pink to have found a wonderfully safe alternative to celebrate with these next few months. fre, alcohol removed brut = A+


to all for your wonderfully kind words and notes of encouragement these last few weeks. i am… overwhelmed.

until next time…



one for you, one for me.

i recently discovered a to-die-for fall cocktail. it begged to be shared. hand on heart… dreams are made of things this delicious.

what you’ll need:
cinnamon sugar
2-drops peach bitters
1-sugar cube
1/2-oz. Pama pomegranate liqueur
1/2-oz. Grand Marnier
Freixenet Cava sparkling wine

what you’ll do:

1. rim a champagne glass with cinnamon sugar.
2. add bitters directly to the sugar cube and drop the cube into the champagne flute.
3. pour the pomegranate liqueur and Grand Marnier on top of it.
4. fill the rest of the glass with sparkling wine.

sip and swoon!
recipe & pic from here: http://projects.eveningedge.com

for the love of wine

the arrival of cooler temperatures always seems to reignite my obsession love of red wine.

the bigger the better. the more spice, tobacco and leather i taste, the sweeter the experience. the deeper the berry, the rounder the finish, the more contented i am to enjoy.

we had dinner with some new friends over the weekend and i was introduced to a
Malbec that i absolutely fell in love with. and the price point? downright sinful.

Salvatore Principe Malbec

all this delicious information comes from: http://www.prestigewinegroup.com

Tasting Notes:
This Malbec has a complex nose of red fruit, chocolate accented by dark fruit
and silky tannins.

Food Pairings: (i’m pretty skeptical on food pairings, i say eat what you love and drink what you love with it… but, this is their take on it)
Pairs well with pasta, vegetables, mature cheeses, bbq, pizza, stews or roasted meats.

Varietal: 100% Malbec

Region: Mendoza, Argentin

Vineyard & Winemaking Notes:
The grapes are sourced from the highest commercial vineyards in the world in the Cafayate region of Mendoza, Argentina. The vines are grown in a mixture of sand and stone at the foothills of Andes. At over 5,500 feet above sea level, altitude plays an instrumental role in the development of the grapes. The warm, strong sunlit days followed by cool nights favor a slow maturation process allowing full development of flavors and acids. The grapes are hand harvested from low yielding vines.

i believe this beauty of a Malbec may be a staple for me this fall. icing on the cake? found at Fresh Market for $9.49/bottle.


cheers, to labor day!

tomorrow is Labor Day… hooray for long weekends!

now, perhaps everyone and their mamas knows exactly what Labor Day is, and why it is we celebrate. but for anyone who doesn’t *sheepishly raises hand* here is a brief background, courtesy of “How Stuff Works.”

“Labor Day is a day set aside to pay tribute to working men and women. It has been celebrated as a national holiday in the United States and Canada since 1894.

­­Labor unions themselves celebrated the first labor days in the United States, although there’s some speculation as to exactly who came up with the idea. Most historians credit Peter McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, with the original idea of a day for workers to show their solidarity. Others credit Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J.

The first Labor Day parade occurred Sept. 5, 1882, in New York City. The workers’ unions chose the first Monday in September because it was halfway between Independence Day and Thanksgiving. The idea spread across the country, and some states designated Labor Day as a holiday before the federal holiday was created.

President Grover Cleveland signed a law designating the first Monday in September as Labor Day nationwide. from here: http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/family/question459.htm

and there you have it.

in honor of this respite-providing holiday, here is an end of summer staple with an
adult twist. enjoy!

pic & recipe from here: http://www.thepreppychicblog.com

Lemonade Sparkle
2 cups lemon-flavored sparkling water or club soda, chilled
1/2 cup citrus-flavored vodka, chilled
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange liqueur
Crushed ice
Garnish: lemon slices

1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large pitcher. Serve over crushed ice.
2. Garnish each serving with a lemon slice, if desired.

happy bbqs, sleep-ins and get-togethers to you all!

it’s friday!

“smile, breathe and go slowly.” – thich nhat hanh

some weekends i can’t wait to completely let loose. some weekends, i’m ready to be challenged. this weekend? relaxation is the name of this girls game. laying by the pool. having dinner with new friends. long hikes with my husband. cooking some good food, baking… and breathing.

i may start with this…

frothiness like this. outside. book in hand. heavenly.
from here: http://eatshopblog.wordpress.com/

i’m definitely going gaga for this.

portobella lasagna from: the amazing smittenkitchen.com

i’m going to attempt to make this.

cross your fingers! from here: http://www.myrecipes.com

and maybe, just maybe, i’ll indulge in some of this…

gorgeous. it is impossible for me to not smile when i drink this.
the frivolity of it all is just… delicious.


what kind of weekend are you having?