Monday, July 30, 2012

Blanc and White

It's no secret that my love for red wine is deep and true. I've always favored Cabernet for being bold and sexy. She's the woman I want to be, the girl I wish I was. She salsas and sambas and saunters confidently in stilettos, tossing her perfectly tousled hair over her shoulders and whispering something sultry (in French, undoubtedly) through full, pouty lips. She's mysterious in a way that draws you in and leaves you wanting more. Exotic, intimidating, captivating.

Lately, though, I've been stepping out on her with a good, crisp white. Sauvignon Blanc, to be specific. She's bold and complex, never syrupy or saccharine. Not one to show off, but always exciting. An understated, low-maintenance, bronzer and mascara kind of girl. She's smart and interesting, but doesn't take herself too seriously.  She'd never claim to be the life of the party, but she'll beat you to the punch line every time. You feel refreshed after talking to her, and she puts you at ease.

The truth is, I'm a little goofy and awkward. I laugh at my own jokes and I have the body of a 12-year-old boy. Maybe I like Sauvignon Blanc because we are kindred spirits. And I'm ok with that. 

So here's a roundup of some recent faves, if you're interested.

Bronze: Bonterra- "Intense aromas of grapefruit, citrus, kiwi and fresh cut grass greet the nose. As you drink, the crisp acidity gives the wine a fresh vibrant feel with flavors of grapefruit, lime zest and grass that closes with flavors of melon and a nice tart finish." Scores bonus points for being organic.

Silver: Frenzy- "aromatic and lively, bursting with flavors of passion fruit, melon, citrus, peach and fresh cut grass. The palate is dry and vibrant with racy acid and typical pungency." Pair this with spicy Thai food, and you’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven.
Gold: Joel Gott- “bright aromas of Meyer lemon and key lime balanced, and made more complex, by notes of passionfruit and honeysuckle. The wine is round on the palate with mouth-watering acidity and a light, refreshing finish.” I love everything this winery does (as seen here). #fangirl

And did I just give them medals? Yes. Cheers & Happy Olympics. 
[Always be prepared: never leave home without a wine glass.]

p.s. tasting notes came from their respective wineries

Friday, July 27, 2012

Lessons, lately...

Sometimes you just need to hear your mom say, "I'm proud of you." Those 4 words can be remarkably reassuring, even when you're not so sure yourself. It's funny, because deep down I always know my mom is proud of me (just like I never question if my parents love me) but there are little moments in life when hearing those words can be so powerful and encouraging. I hope when I'm a mom, I know when to say them.

And even at 22, your dad can fix anything. He's the person I call when my iPhone is acting up (even though he isn't tech savvy... in the least) or when the water goes out mid-shower (mid-shampoo, nonetheless) and I have to be at work in 30 minutes (yep, that happened this week too.)

Know what makes you happy. I'm not talking promotion at work, new car happy. Coming home to a clean house and a glass of wine. A little something sweet. Glossy magazines. And take measures to ensure your happiness. Tidy up before you leave the house. Keep a bottle of wine in the fridge and a bar of quality dark chocolate in the pantry. Subscribe. 

Not to sound like a Jewel song, but there's something to be said for your heart & intuition. Listen to your gut. That nagging, gnawing feeling, the voice that says something's off. I've spent years trying to ignore it, writing it off as anxiety, fear, insecurity, and worry. But time and time again, life proves it right. The people you were leery of, the places you didn't want to go... right time and time again. 

New clothes. When all else fails, new clothes.

Go the extra mile. I wish I could say I've been doing this, but really I'm learning it from having other people do it. Example: A few nights ago, a friend offered me a bite of her turkey burger. I started to take a bite and then said "Oh, I don't like onions." So she pulled them off and passed the burger my way. Last night, she made Thai Noodles with Spicy Peanut Sauce. And brought me a separate container... without onions. This small gesture of friendship, movingly thoughtful, made my night. All I could do was wrap her up in a big hug. I want to be that person.   

As for reading in bed: stemless wine glasses for the win. Seriously, why didn't I realize this before now?
[p.s. I'm currently reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin & enjoying very much. It may have indirectly contributed to Lesson #3.]

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

fit to be tied... summer edition

Back in December, I fell in love with the look of a tied oxford. It lends an air of playfulness to a traditionally polished piece. But I grew up during the 90s, so the thought of an exposed midriff makes me a little nervous. Honestly, has anyone really forgotten this...
This summer, though, I've been warming up to the idea of just a sliver of skin. While we were in Floyd, we had the opportunity to attend a music festival at a local winery. And if a music festival at a local winery doesn't just scream "exposed midriff" I don't know what does.

I could edit this post to say I got dressed and felt fabulous, but really I spent 25 minutes going back and forth, getting snappy, and finally through tear-filled eyes whining "I just don't feel pretty..." In hindsight, it was a hormonal breakdown and I can't be held responsible for my actions. Taylor did a great job of diffusing the situation (as for hiding his dismay at my quickly deteriorating mental state... not so much.)
[details, details: top-J. Crew skirt-J. Crew Factory Sunnies-Ray Ban Sandals-Report]
When I look at these happy pictures, it's hard to believe that's the same girl that was staring back at me in the mirror that morning... frustrated, angry, and tired. I do this a lot. I get hung up on something, I get trapped inside my head. The view from the mirror that morning and the view from my camera that afternoon tell two different stories. And both hold some truth. But you can't get hung up on one point-of-view. I wonder sometimes, when I'm having a bad day, how long it will be before I look back on this time with fondness and think, "those were my salad days..." Sooner than later, my friends. Sooner than later. 
I would make a terrible style blogger. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

slow down, you crazy child

You know those songs that you've heard a million times before but one night you hear it and it just... resonates. Suddenly it's truer than ever. Suddenly it all makes sense. Suddenly it's written just for you. You can't pick a favorite line or even a favorite verse because each stanza speaks right to you?

Right now, Vienna by Billy Joel is it. 
22 and a million crossroads. 
Decisions and questions 
and hopes and dreams. 

There's something exhilarating and terrifying about the rest of your life. Sometimes I need a reminder to slow down, disconnect, and just be. I get too far ahead of myself. I worry about tomorrow and the day after that. It's silly. 

Happy Saturday. xo

Friday, July 20, 2012

Guilt-free Friday!

Hi kittens & happy weekend! What's on your agenda? I have loads of work to complete, so I'm not so secretly hoping for terrible weather to ease the pain of by being trapped indoors.  I hope you get to have some fun this weekend, or at least get lots of stuff accomplished. Until next time...

Hey! It's ok... 

... to  throw on a sweatshirt to answer the door, run errands, etc. in order to avoid having to wear a bra. Even if it is 100 degrees outside. 

... if going through your closet & donating clothes is a permanent fixture on your to do list. (and, let's be real, it's gonna stay that way.)

... to wash down your vitamins with coffee, which obviously justifies brewing another cup. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Roasted Garlic

Taylor and I had the pleasure of spending the weekend in Floyd, VA with his sweet family. I slept in late, ate too much, and drank lots of wine. It was a welcome break from the heat, and I was even able to run outside in the mornings. There's just something about running in the mountains... I feel like the queen of the world whenever I reach a peak. I'm 6 years old. 

Taylor's mom had the fun idea of each couple (there are 3 sons, and 3 girlfriends of sons) cooking something, but Taylor and I were total slackers. Meaning I just couldn't get my ish together and we didn't plan anything. So of course, as soon as we got there we started feeling left out. We stormed to the local Food Lion and quite possibly had people convinced we were contestants on Supermarket Sweep. But we walked away with the makings of a pretty fun appetizer. 
Ina's roasted shrimp (100x better than regular shrimp cocktail, I promise you'll never look back,) rosemary bread, olive oil, goat cheese, and the most delicious garlic you will ever put in your mouth. 

I love garlic, no matter how you slice it. But I'll be the first to admit it can be a little pungent. I can't explain it, but some kind of magic happens in the oven when you take the whole bulb, whack off one end, drizzle it in olive oil, and swaddle it in foil. The only thing I can compare it to is when the "tough guy" has a little girl and he's transformed into the biggest baby you've ever known. Roasting the garlic makes it softer, gentler, kinder. Delicate and delicious. You can spread it on a piece of bread like butter.  

Everyone raved about everything. I know that sounds like hyperbole, but really it's no exaggeration. And I'm not saying this to convince you I'm the world's greatest chef. I really can take no credit, it was just good, simple food. The only "ingredients" we used in the cooking process were olive oil, salt, and pepper. It's all about letting the food speak for itself. We threw it all on a big butcher's block (I'm my mother's daughter.) We didn't have a serrated knife at the cabin so we let everyone tear off big hunks of bread, which is exactly how I think entertaining should be.

Note: there are really no rules to roasting garlic, but here's a lovely how-to by one of my favorite kitchen ladies. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

On my mind...

To do: look into residential fork lift to pry me out of my bed after holiday weekends, vacations, or late nights at work. 
Monday, Monday... already come and gone
When are you grown up?
Maybe it's when you get married. Or have kids.
Maybe it's when you stop having constant bruises on your knees and legs.
Maybe it's not all it's cracked up to be.
To do: Conference call at 2. Finish posts by Monday.
Every vertebrae in my spine just popped.
Does that make me grown up? Or just old?
To do: take glucosamine and vitamins
so much content, going in and coming out
reading and writing and reading again
To do: go by the library. pay late fee. request more books.
sometimes it gets to be too much
talkin talkin talkin talk, baby lets just knock it off//
sometimes i just have to turn it all off
even then, the script in my head keeps right on going
but sometimes i just can't bring myself to share.
i missed you.
the truth is, i've been writing so much for other people lately, sometimes i worry i'm losing my voice.
and even then, sometimes, i just want to be quiet. 
all shared out. no more words. 
To do: swing by the bank. make deposit.
What are we sowing into?
Where does all this energy go? "It is neither be created, nor destroyed" (I think)
I'm no physics major, but maybe it's all being realeased as heat
warming up, cooling down, and warming up again.
day night day again
so rhythmic, so beautiful
power through.
your turn.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

She was... An American Girl

Well friends, are you gearing up for Independence Day? I must say it is one of my favorites... a house full of family, gorgeous, sunny beach days, watching fireworks from the boat, and eating so much delicious food (all while wearing a bikini... makes for quite an adventure.) And such a welcome break in the middle of summer. 

To prep for the week's festivities, my mom and I got mani/pedis yesterday (for America) and it left me feeling pretty patriotic from tip to toe. 
[Red Lights Ahead... Where? and Simmer and Shimmer]

The cute Vietnamese girl who did my nails realllly tried to talk me out of the blue sparkles on my fingers (she knows I usually go for coral, red, or orange) but I tried to explain that it was my civic duty to sport red, white, and blue this week. She wasn't buying it. 

I really love it though. It's super fun. And looks like fireworks on my nails. 

And, in case you were wondering, this song will certainly be blasting out my speakers for the next few days...
There's just something about driving around with the top down, hair blowing like crazy, and belting this song. That's America. 


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