Holiday reflections and looking forward to 2015

Hello, hello!

I hope you and yours had a very merry Christmas!

I had planned on taking a few days off of blogging but certainly didn’t plan on a whole week!

Our Christmas was pretty fantastic.

Thing 2 had to work the early shift on Christmas morning but I still got up early.


I had muffins to make and deliver to her at work! 🙂


We did gifts when she got off work.

Let me tell you something – we clearly are still children because that was the LONGEST. WAIT. EVER! We kept looking at the gifts and then at the clock and then out the window. #impatient

Then, it was time for Christmas dinner!

Of course, we grilled our turkey. Thank you, Mother Nature, for giving us a gorgeous day for it!



Think this is enough for 4? 😉

And then the bubonic plague flu set in and we’ve been down for the count ever since.

I’ve literally been on the couch since Friday. It’s my new home.

There are only a couple of pictures of my misery.



As you can see, I was well taken care of. 🙂

Thing 1 came up the day after Christmas and took one look around and decided she was better off at home. It was nice to have her here but I understood her early departure.

My sailor got hit pretty hard too – he’s a day or so behind me in the recovery process so this New Year’s holiday and weekend is going to be filled with rest and recuperation rather than parties and celebration.

Speaking of the new year, ’tis the season for those resolutions!

Are you making any? Did you make any last year? How did that work out for you?

I find that most people make resolutions in hopes of “changing” something fairly ambiguous (usually revolving around a number on a scale) like a behavior. “I resolve to lose weight!” or “I resolve to get back in shape!” Gym memberships tend to spike in January and then, by February, all those “resolutioners” are back on their couches because they didn’t actually set GOALS.

Instead of saying, “I resolve to get back into shape!” say, “I’m going to train and run a 5k!” or “I’m going to learn how to dance.” (that’s fun!) or “I’m going to eliminate soda from my diet in January.”

Smart, attainable goals that allow you to see results and move forward from there!

I’d already been thinking about my goals for 2015 but all my recent time on the couch has afforded me some extra time for reflection. At least, when my brain wasn’t foggy, that is.

So, without further ado, these are my goals for 2015:


Well,  I have a few fitness goals. Barring any unforeseen accidents, one goal is to stay physically healthy. I should be able to manage this by working more on mobility and flexibility, upgrading my shoes on time, and listening to my body. Getting back to back fractures in my feet really stunk and I do NOT want to go down that road again. I also plan to run just because I love it. I’ve kicked around the thought of still shooting for a 50k. I obviously haven’t gotten the okay to run from the orthopedist (now THAT would be a sight since I’m still in the boot! ha!) but, once I’m clear, I just want to enjoy my time out on the road. I’ve got plenty of time to do a 50k if that’s what I decide I want to do. As far as CrossFit is concerned, I plan to really work on achieving chest-to-bar pull-ups, strict ring dips, and a bar muscle-up.



In case you missed it, I am starting back to school on January 5th! I’ll be completing my undergrad science pre-requisites this year and completing my application into the Coordinated Program in Dietetics. My goals are to earn all As and have a perfect application packet. 🙂


A friend/colleague of mine recently suffered a huge health problem. She went in for a hysterectomy and, while the doctors were operating, they discovered she had a severe case of flesh-eating bacteria. It was literally eating her from the inside out. She had 13 (!) surgeries, flat-lined twice, and spent some time in a coma. She was in the hospital for numerous weeks. During her first week back at work, we talked about some of the things she had experienced. She told me about this dream/vision she had during the second time she essentially died. I won’t go into the details because, well, it’s not mine to share and it was also a little scary but basically, she saw the face of evil. The take-away she got from it was that she needs to love people more. But not just her family and friends. ALL people. Especially the ones she doesn’t want to love.

I happen to think that’s an excellent idea.

There is entirely too much negativity and hatred in this world. But, just because we’re surrounded by it doesn’t mean we have to let it into our own world.  We certainly don’t have to add to it. Maybe we can even help to change it. A smile and a kind word go a long way, even if you’d rather give that person a piece of your mind instead. So, in 2015, my goal is to love more and to get involved with a humanitarian organization in my community.

Well, there you have it. It’s going to be a busy and fantastic year!

If you’re heading out to celebrate tonight, have fun and be safe! 2015 won’t be the same without you. 🙂

Talk to me: What are your goals for 2015?

– jennifer

Holiday gift ideas under $50 for people who love wine :)

Hello, hello!

Are you aware that Christmas is right around the corner?

Like, as in 21 days.

3 weeks.



So, you better get shopping!

1. Wine Cork Picture Frame

wine cork frame

2. Individual Mini Decanters

mini decanters

3. Wine Aroma Tasting Set

wine aroma

4. The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert

scratch and sniff

5. Wineopoly (I have this game and it’s fun!)


6. The Wine Bible

wine bible

7. Wine Cork Coasters

Wine coasters

8. Wine Journal

wine journal

9. Wine Charms

wine charms

10. Wine of the Month Club

wine of the month

**Please note that I am not in any way affiliated with any of these stores or products. I just think these are pretty neat. If you buy any of them, I will not be compensated at all. I will only receive the joy of knowing you bought someone what I thought was a cool gift.  I might be a little sad if you didn’t buy it for me. 😉

Talk to me: Are you a last minute shopper or do you pick things up throughout the year? (my mother does that, hides the gifts, and then forgets where she hid them. lol)

– jennifer

Wine Wednesday – Thanksgiving wine recommendations

Hello, hello!

Happy Wine Wednesday before Thanksgiving Thursday!

The weather outside is most definitely frightful and, if you’re traveling today, please be careful. I’m sure your family/friends would enjoy giving thanks for your safe arrival. If you’re traveling tomorrow, the same story holds. 🙂

So, let’s talk wine.

I mean, it IS Wine Wednesday, after all!



Do you have a plan for what wine you’re pouring with tomorrow’s meal?

If you do – Excellent! What are you pouring?

If you don’t, and you’re in charge of the wine, you’re in luck. I’m here to help!

Oh, and if you’re not in charge of wine this time around but are for Christmas, these tips will work for that meal, as well. 🙂

The first thing you need to figure out is how much wine to have on hand.

Generally, a standard bottle will yield about 4-6 glasses of wine, depending on who does the pouring. If it’s my dad, we’re looking at 4 glasses. 🙂

So, for math purposes, we’ll go with 5.

Plan for about 2 glasses per person (some will drink none and some will most definitely drink more) but 2 is a good average.



Then, you have to figure out how many people will be there.

Adults, not children. Please don’t give the children any wine.

We’re going to have 15 at my folks’ house but out of those 15, 6 are below the age of 21. So, we’ll have 9 wine drinkers.

So, 9 wine drinkers plus 2 glasses each equals 18 glasses of wine. Divide that by how many glasses you can get out of a bottle – (remember from up there?) – 5 and we’re looking at about 4 bottles of wine for the meal.

Now, you can mix it up and offer both white and red, if you want. You’ll still want to stick to those estimated calculations. If you know that people will drink more because they aren’t driving, then you can plan for that.

Whatever you plan for pre-dinner drinks is completely up to you and if it’s more wine, you’ll have to account for that in your wine bottle total.

Ooohh, you know what’s handy?


Wine charms! If you have quite a few people drinking wine, it’s very common for someone to put down their glass and walk away for a minute only to come back and discover that it’s gone. With wine charms, everyone basically calls dibs on their own glass with a little charm! They wrap around the glass stem, aren’t very expensive, and can be found in most wine markets and places like World Market, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and, who knows, probably even Target! (*note – if the store sells wine glasses, it probably sells wine charms)

And now it’s time for the good stuff!

What to drink!!



If you’re doing the traditional Thanksgiving meal with turkey or ham, there are a variety of wines that pair with both (and all the side dishes) quite nicely.

Let’s start with white wines, shall we?

Rieslings, Gewurztraminers, and Chardonnays are all excellent choices.

They’re all light and fruity without being overly sweet. Gewürztraminers bring a little bit of spiciness to the table and pair excellently with both pecan and pumpkin pie. When looking for a Chardonnay, you want to look for something “unoaked” or stainless barreled. Some oaky Chardonnays can be intensely buttery and might overwhelm your meal. The lighter, unoaked are both crisp and full-bodied and delicious.

Some of my favorite Rieslings include Fetzer, Chateau Ste. Michelle, and J. Lohr.

Favorite Gewürztraminers include Fetzer (again). I haven’t tried too many others so that’s all I got.

And Chardonnays include Kunde, Mer Soleil ($$), Fess Parker, and Josh Cellars.


For red wines, traditional choices are Beaujolais and Pinot Noir. You could also go with a Malbec or a Zinfandel. If you decide to buy a couple bottles of different kinds, serve the Beaujolais and Pinot Noirs BEFORE the Malbecs and Zinfandels.

Beaujolais and Pinot Noir are both light and fruity with a little bit of earthiness. Malbecs are a more lush, medium-bodied wine and Zinfandels are powerful and fruity and full of depth.

If your Thanksgiving crowd are wine lovers, you could definitely throw the Malbecs and the Zinfandels into the mix without worry but if you have wine novices or people who prefer a “lighter” wine, then you should definitely stick with the Beaujolais or Pinot Noir.

I don’t have a favorite Beaujolais as I normally grab a Pinot Noir. Some favorite Pinot Noirs include Rubeus of Lore, Edna Valley, and Decoy.


Favorite Malbecs include Middle Sister (SO GOOD!!), Acacia, or most Meritages (includes the Malbec grape).

Favorite Zinfandels include Four Vines, Seghisio ($$), and Rancho Zabaco.

So there you have it! You’re all set. Well, as far as the wine goes. I can’t help you with the cooking part. 🙂

Talk to me: Pumpkin or Pecan pie?

– jennifer