Say YES to a Happy Life!

S’mores Frappuccino with Nutella Marshmallows

The line in the Starbucks drive-thru has been horrendous the last few weeks because the suns out and everyone and their mother is ordering a frappuccino.  I have strict guidelines for what I think should be allowed to be ordered in the drive-thru: no ordering for more than four people at a time, no ice cream or special order items (mainly at Burgerville), and no fancy coffee drinks at Starbucks.  If you have the time to wait for that stuff, you should go inside and let the rest of us order our kids meal or tall latte and get on our way. (more…)

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Lemon Pineapple Mint Wine Cooler

I’ve been working in my garden the last few days and have finally gotten around to planting my herbs.  I use herbs all over my garden because they are pretty indestructible and I don’t have to deadhead like most perennials or annuals, and unlike with vegetables, you can pick and use any time.  Plus, herbs are great for cocktails like this pineapple mint wine cooler. If you plant mint, you most certainly should do so in a container. (more…)

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Strawberry Vanilla Frozé Wine Slushie

This week I celebrate my birthday and Mother’s Day. It always signals the beginning of the summer season for me because the trees have finally leafed out, the flowers are blooming, my allergies are in full-swing, and we usually have our first hot day.  As the temperature starts heating up and we are hanging out more on the back patio, I like to make a wine slushie.  They are quick, easy, and can be made with virtually any wine: red, white, and rosé. (more…)

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Wine Storage for Beginners

Wine storage can seem like a foreign concept for novice wine drinkers.  I didn’t even think about wine storage when I first started drinking wine because I immediately drank everything I purchased.  Things changed when I started buying six bottles at a time at the grocery store to take advantage of the discount and Tim took me on my first trip to Napa.  Over a few months, we built up a little collection with no storage plan.  It gives me shivers now, but we placed the cases of wine in a storage area under our stairs where the temperature fluctuates and at times can be very warm.  I had no idea this was a bad idea until I took my first wine class.  Keep reading below so you don’t make the same mistakes I did when it came to wine storage. (more…)

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Agave Lemon French 75 Cocktail

I used to tune in on the reg to watch Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee on Food Network.  While I thought she was a little over the top, I LOVED that she always had a cocktail time.  Back then, our Friday night usual was enjoying a cocktail recipe from her show while hanging on the back deck with friends.  Oh the days before kids!  A French 75 cocktail reminds me of a drink Sandra Lee would chug while decorating her “tablescape” and whipping up some dish in her microwave.  This is not her recipe, but I give her credit for the inspiration. (more…)

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The Best Sherry Cobbler Cocktail

Sherry is a style of wine made from the Palomino grape mostly in the area of Jerez, Spain.  The Palomino grape thrives in this area due to the hot climate and the chalky soil called Albarizo.  The grapes produce wine low in acid and that lack aroma which is a benefit for making sherry because oxidation and fortification add the main flavors to the wine. (more…)

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Top wine books to get you out of your wine rut

With thousands of options available, shopping for wine books can be overwhelming. Some books are great for learning more about wine regions, some teach perfect food and wine pairings while others can sweep you away to vineyards in faraway lands.  I’ve put together my four favorite wine books that I use on the regular and that will help you get out of a wine rut when needed. (more…)

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