Friday, February 6, 2015

wine: Freemark Abbey

I stopped drinking wine when I started the IVF drugs. Oddly enough, I was totally ok with that. I know. shocking

Anywho, we have frozen our embryos, so we've got a bit of time while I'm not on anything that we can open a bottle of wine, watch the Bachelor and enjoy. Man oh man this crop of girls is a trip.  Don't tell me what's going on, we're a week behind...
Anyway, we figured if there's only going to be one bottle of wine opened between the meds, it better be a good one.  Scratch that. A wow-wee I love what Napa produces type of wine.  There are a lot of options when this is what you are looking for in a bottle of wine, but hello. We're doing IVF, it's not cheap and we've yet to find that tree that produces dollar bills. (still searching).

We stumbled upon Freemark Abbey a few years ago when Mike did a project about them for his MBA program.  We drive past their winery all the time when we are in Napa, and all we've done is jump out of the car and take a picture of Mike in front of their sign. Seriously, next time we need to actually do a wine tasting. So many choices, not enough time.  

But until we actually grace them with our presence. We did the next best thing by going to the grocery store and buying this bottle.  I imagine it was around the $30-35 range, but I'm not sure. Mike was in charge of picking out the wines that night.  Anyway, you'd think that since I'm so diligent with the blogging again (yes, by diligent, I mean 2 consecutive entries in one week. baby steps people.) I would have written notes about the bottle.  Well I didn't. But I can tell you examples of what we probably said when we tasted it.
Now, they know how to make a bottle of wine. 

While you may not think that list tells you enough about the actual taste of the wine, I'll go into a bit more detail:
pairs well with: The Bachelor
color: Cabernet-colored
taste: mmmm, good.  

Pretty much that can be translated into a great bottle of wine with plum, dark cherry, chocolate, peppery, oak, cedar, figs, dried herbs and great full body from start to finish.  I lied, I didn't gather that from my description. I googled Freemark Abbey 2011 Cab and the fine folks and Freemark Abbey gave me those suggestions.  And sure enough, I remember every single note. 

 Oh yes, and they also told me I was wrong on the price -- it's $44 per bottle. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

hey hey!

Hello! I know I know. It's been months, years, decades since I've blogged.  Let me explain...
I forgot my password. Yep. That's all. 

Well that was part of it. The other part was that I felt like I would have to address the fact that for the past 2 years I haven't felt like myself. My brain and body have been on baby-making mode and I was so very sad with the hand that we've been dealt. So very sad.  Like piano on my back, weight of the world, too many tears shed on Mike's shoulder type of sad. And I cry GIANT ugly tears.  My husband really really loves me. :) 

Well, 1 surgery, 3 failed IUI attempts and a bathroom vanity FULL of medications, we are now half way through IVF, I can say I am feeling so so so much more like myself than I have been for the past 2 years of monthly sadness.  I like plans, I like lists, IVF has given me this.  I get to check things off a list and watch the really expensive medications dwindle. These are the joys of my life right now and I couldn't be happier that we are making our way towards a baby. I know we aren't there yet, but I feel more positive about our journey than ever before.  This is our journey, we trust that a little bundle of joy will end up in our arms exactly that the time that God decides.

This. will. happen.  

So, that's why I've been avoiding you. It's not you. It's me. For 2 years, that conversation in the above would have lead to buckets of tears. Now, I don't have a single Kleenex within arms reach. Actually that's not true, I am my mother's daughter, there always seems to be a used Kleenex in my pocket.  

And so now that we've got that out in the open (and I've figured out how to access ye ol' blog again) I hope to stop by more often, and I hope you do too. 

Until then, Mike and I were due for new phones and finally upgraded to the iPhone 6. Hello, the cameras on these babies are amaze-balls! like, whoa-i-can't-stop-taking-selfies-I-must-be-a-teenager-again-this-camera-is-fantastic type of camera.  So, because I'm totally cray cray over the selfie camera, we've been taking nightly family selfies.  It might just need it's own hashtag. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

yep, you could say she likes it...

While walking through Costco a month or so ago, I saw this dog bed with a westie on the tag and thought, "OMG, Barkley would love this!" But I didn't buy it because I hate to go to Costco and come home with 12,000 extra things, typically I still do come home with 12000 extra things but the three flights of stairs and the full cart are enough to make me think twice if I really really need something.  

This time however, I kept thinking of this bed.  I knew that Barkley would love it and so I finally gave in and ordered it.  The bed was delivered last week and while it took Barkley a few minutes to figure out that she should jump in, she did and you know because there are 1137 pictures of Barkley on my phone at all times, I had to take a picture of her in her new bed... you know for the grandparents. :)   I'm also thinking that if the Costco dog moves onto bigger things (like the Cesar dogwood commercials) I think Barkley could stand in at a moment's notice.

{photo credit for the Costco dog bed -- or in case you need to buy one too!}

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

ready for a parade

OK, I'm a bit late...this post was supposed to be timely for the 4th of July...however I didn't realize that I never published it. I whipped up this bandana while Mike and Barkley were napping on the couch right before we went to our local 4th of July parade.  The best part is that it fits right onto her collar so she really doesn't ever realize that she's wearing it. Although who am I kidding, this dog loves to wear clothes.

...and a selfie for good measure. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

a little hometown + alma mater pride

So I was just browsing Tailgate today to see what's new and I came across this Badger blanket that looked like something the Faribault Woolen Mills would make.  So I clicked on the blanket to check it out even closer and sure enough! My hometown of Faribault MN is stamped right on the blanket! Way to go! Growing up, we always had a bunch of woolen mills blankets around the house and still today; we have a few we received for our wedding and my graduation in our apartment. They are such great blankets. The Faribault Woolen Mills has been featured nationally in Martha Stewart and West Elm and every time I see it, I'm pretty excited. 

(hence the need to blog about it.) 

Can I also mention that UW - Madison was rated as one of the top 25 universities in the world!?!  I'd like to point this out because Notre Dame (the school that all my siblings went to - they don't even read my blog but I still need to point this fact out) was NOT on the top 25 list.  But just to make sure you don't feel left out of everything.  Tailgate does feature 2 different Woolen Mills blankets for you.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

workout your workout (clothes)

Ok, first of all -- Hello! Seriously, in my head, I feel like I've come up with some many blog posts - like about the wineries we went to when we played hooky from work a few weeks ago or my birthday week or the books I've read or our trip to MN...but instead it's been all quiet on the blogging front.  I do apologize. I am going to try to be more chatty here on the blog. 

I'm a big fan of doing yoga and running.  (Not at the same time... duh!)
No, I really like to run on the hottest days of the year (which are right now) for some reason I don't mind running at the late afternoon when it's still 100 degrees.  It helps that we don't have high humidity but still it's hot...and I like it. While I've never tried Hot Yoga, I'd probably like that too. Especially because that would mean getting some hot yoga clothes, which are obviously different than regular yoga clothes. (I might, just might, have an addiction to lycra, but it's ok. First step is admitting it.)

To aid in my addiction, I recently tried out Kate Hudson's new line of clothing - Fabletics.  I have been so impressed.  When you sign up you get an outfit for 50% off and free shipping (SCORE!) so it basically runs you about $25 for a complete outfit (you can't even find a sports bra for $25 most places, and you get 2-3 pieces for $25!).  I mean, c'mon, you might as well sign up just for the one outfit and then you can quit right after that (this is what I thought, but you know...ahem, lycra addiction, cough cough.)  I am going to try not to purchase something every month, and just build out my errand running, Barkley walking, lounging nightly wardrobe with a few pieces here and there - like for instance, I might have just gone over board at Athleta with a few new pairs of capri tights for my birthday, so I'm good with the bottoms.  I just need some cute tops to go along with it, which is why I also purchased a sweatshirt/sports bra combo.  

I loved this green tank so much for running that I purchased it in black too. They are super light weight, and fitted but not too fitted that while you are working out you feel like you need to suck it in because your shirt is glued to you. The running skort is super cute too - the little fancy pants underneath are of the same multicolored pattern that the waist band is. Which was a fun surprise.  I love running in skorts, in fact I don't think I've run in my running shorts all summer, the skorts are way more comfortable and less constricting.  And as a bonus, if you need to run to your financial advisor's office before going for a run, you can, just toss a motorcycle jacket over the top of your running tank/running skort combo and you look normal...speaking from experience.

This sweatshirt is super cute on - great length and color.  And, I'm in love with this sports bra. It's not a sports bra to run in for me, it'll be more for lounging in the evenings and yoga.

Everything that I've purchased has been high quality, pretty much on par with Athleta or Lululemon (which by the way, I may have an addiction to yoga clothes, but I have to draw a line in the sand someplace, Lululemon's clothes are just plain old too pricey for me to justify an entire yoga wardrobe. That said, I did just get my first Lululemon jacket for my birthday from Mike - he's the best. Sensing a theme here?  There was a lot of lycra purchased for this girl's #34 year.)  Anyway, the Fabletics clothes are the right price, they have great designs, and are made well and I'll be a fan for life.  

If you want to join, help a sista out! Everytime a friend (like you!) joins, the recommender (me) will get $10 to use on a future purchase. How great is that?!?! I know! Now you need to join and then tell all your friends so that they can help you buy another outfit.  And because I'd feel bad if I didn't tell you all the fine print (no, I'm not long long sisters with Kate Hudson), when you join, you are then sent a monthly email with outfits picked out just for you on the 1st of the month.  You have until the 5th of the month to say if you want to pass that month or if you are going to make a purchase.  I don't think that you need to make that purchase within the first 5 days, but by day 6 if you haven't said you are going to pass for the month, you will be charged a specific amount -- which doesn't just vanish into thin air or sent straight to the man who invented lycra, it's applied to your next purchase.  Just wanted to give you the complete 411.  I (obviously) haven't cancelled my membership, but if you want to, you just have to call their customer service line. I've done this for other clothing memberships in the past and they always seem to be nice and understanding, not pushy in any way.  So you don't have to worry that you are going to be stuck in a gym membership like Chandler from Friends. Aww yes, it was a great one. 

Oh yes, and here's my Fabletics link. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

new at 52nd & Barkley {lovie blankets}

Great things continue to happen in the Etsy shop. I know I've said it before and I'll continue to say it again, but the ideas of my friends/customers are always fantastic! Recently I made a custom gift set which included two lovie blankets for twin girls. I loved how they turned out and then not even a week after they were sent, a great supporter/friend/customer (she wears many hats) asked that I make one for her little guy too! I am so loving all the ideas and I love that I can bring them to life.  I think the blankie holds a special place in my heart because I kept mine for so very long. (I still check on it when I go home to my mom and dad's house. Yes, I know I'm 33.75 years old, but c'mon, blankies are special! Mine was made by some ladies in my hometown and given to my mom as a baby shower gift, so I thoroughly understand the meaning behind creating something special and thus creating amazing memories.) I'm getting a bit deep here, sorry about that.  Anywho, let's talk about stegosauruses. Yep, totally a normal transition in my book...

These lovies range in size from about 18 inches square to about 24 inches square...depending on the blanket, so they are great for little ones to snuggle with and carry with them (are you thinking of Linus from Charlie Brown right now too?) So these lovie blankets are smaller than my normal size blankets which usually measure around 36 - 42 inches square.

{jump to 52nd & Barkley to check out the entire shop}