Monthly Archives: September 2012

Yummy wine smoothies

Red wine, particularly Merlot, is my favorite libation (hence the name of my blog…duh!). I love the deep garnet color, inhaling the sweet, woodsy undertones as I bring the glass to my lips, and the rich, smooth, full flavor in my mouth as the liquid gingerly flows down my throat. Mmmm…

But I definitely enjoy drinking other wines – red or white, it doesn’t matter — because when it comes to wine, I am considered an “equal opportunity employer.” As Matron Mama Morton said in Chicago, “I love them all and all of them love me…”

Recently my mother and I were shopping at a local liquor/party store where samplings of some of their beverages are often provided. I love it because it gives you the opportunity to try something you wouldn’t normally buy. That’s where I sampled the Vine Smoothies, which come in peach, berry, strawberry and pineapple coconut. I was reluctant at first but was very pleasantly surprised.

Vine Smoothies contain Chardonnay, Dutch cream and all natural flavors. The flavors add just enough fruit without being too sweet, and there’s the right amount of cream to keep the drink smooth without being too heavy. As a big-time pina colada lover (did I mention that I also like mixed drinks?!), the pineapple coconut is my favorite, with peach being a close second. 

The drink is delicious enough on its own, but the Vine Smoothies website (www.vinesmoothies.com) includes several recipes, which I can’t wait to try.

These smoothies have turned into a nice little go-to beverage in my drink arsenal. Whether I’m entertaining a few people or if a friend and I merely want to chill out and shoot the breeze, Vine Smoothies are a light, refreshing drink that everyone is sure to enjoy!

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The Tamster Rule

When my husband and I had our first child, I’ll never forget how perplexed he looked when I told him I needed to buy our baby daughter new clothes. After all, just a few months before, we had received TONS of clothes from friends, family members and several baby showers but, as I had to explain to my husband, children grow rather quickly, which meant that replacement clothes had to be provided.

And now that our two children are getting older, taller and bigger, that definitely has not changed. I swear, it’s as if my kids grow every 10.2 minutes, which means that the shoes and clothes that fit last month are now too tight and way too small. So I’m quite often on the lookout at yard sales, consignment shops and clearance racks trying to get the best deals.
Just recently I was treated to some extra money that was remaining in our monthly household budget. I was so thrilled and thought about some of the things I needed that had been on my “want” list for a while: Marc Jacobs Daisy perfume (one of my faves), a gorgeous pair of black pumps I had been coveting from DSW, a long-overdue facial, Kiehl’s body butter, etc. But then my mind went to the kids and the things they needed. And, before I knew it, the extra “play” money flew out the window.
One day I was speaking with one my oldest and dearest friends, Tamster. Her real name is Tami but everyone knows her as “the Tamster.” She’s the one and only, kind of like other one-name phenomena such as Madonna, Cher or Rihanna. Like the aforementioned, she has the glitz and glamour of a true diva but, as she would say, on a very limited budget. 🙂 But that doesn’t stop her from living large and embracing each and every day with fervor, fun and passion. Her personality, as well as her heart, is spirited and gigantic!
Our friendship has spanned 20+ years, so when we talk on the phone, we can spend hours just laughing and reminiscing, but the majority of the time is spent sharing war stories about being working women, wives and mothers to our children, who happen to be around the same age. We commiserate quite often, talking about our nutty sons and why they just can’t seem to get a clue, and the latest hair products and styles we’ve tried on our daughters’ natural locks.
Tamster recently advised me that I need to make a point to do something for myself every pay check. She said, “Even if you just go to Marshall’s and buy a $5 pair of underwear, do SOMETHING to treat yourself!” I chuckled but realized that she was absolutely right. We as mothers are always sacrificing ourselves: our time, money, energy and efforts. Before we know it, our needs are placed on the backburner. (That’s why a lot of mothers look so tired and jacked up all the time! You might come across one of us in the check-out line at Target and wonder why our earrings don’t match or our elbows are dry and crusty. Well, that’s because we are spent from giving all that we have and putting ourselves last.)
Don’t get me wrong: I love my family ferociously and would GLADLY give up my right arm if needed, but we should never lose sight of our dreams, wants and desires. Even if it’s something small (like a lovely bottle of wine, a cute pair of earrings, or taking the time to check out a movie that isn’t animated or kids’-themed), or something larger (like an all-girls’ vacation getaway with friends), it’s important to put a few dollars away just for ourselves.

Tamster and me on a rare ladies’ night out.

And now I make it a priority to regularly treat myself as well as put a few dollars in my savings account. And when I go to Marshall’s, I simply cannot leave the store without checking out the panty section. If I find a good deal on a lovely pair of panties, I smile to myself and think, The Tamster Rule is in full effect!

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