Book Review – Of Mess and Moxie

Since I had oodles of time to read (*ahem* football season *ahem*) I downloaded this book after a recommendation from a friend.images.jpeg

Jen Hatmaker – Of Mess and Moxie.

Oh ladies. This book. It was/is exactly what I needed to be reading. I’ve been down in the dumps the last few months (symptom: not blogging) and this book really puts motherhood in focus for real life. Breaking it down into fact like all kids are crazy, all families are busy, and expectations for mothers these days are insane.

I’m looking at you, Pinterest. 

There is a lot in here about how faith plays into things – and even if you aren’t into that sort of thing – you will love her perspective on family and friendships.

My major MAJOR takeaway is that I don’t have a mom tribe. Living in a larger city, and also not in a neighborhood any of our friends live in, makes having that mom that lives 3 doors down and watches your kids so you can breathe or nap or just stare into space impossible. Don’t get me wrong – I have many lovely mom friends in the city (and from afar!) but when she talks about that “second mom” – the one that your kids saw as much as you and vice versa – it struck a cord. I had a few “second moms” as I grew up in my small town.

Thankfully, we can find a modern way to Mom Tribe through social media and checking in on one another through text. Who’s with me?!

-B

Product Reviews from Sephora

*not a sponsored post*

Saturday I stole an hour to myself. During this hour I was able to grocery shop alone (tiny victory) and also made a quick stop at Sephora.

The first Item I was looking for:

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer – Color Correcting Adjust IMG_6215.jpg

I had grabbed a sample size while standing in line (it’s worse than the dollar section at Target!) and loved it from day one. I tend to be a little red and using this has allowed me to just used powder to even out my skin tone after this little miracle has calmed down any red.

I also needed mascara. The ones I was using ALWAYS clump. This one – the Sephora brand Lash Craft Length and Volume is amazing. Not one single clump. It didn’t feel heavy either. New favorite for sure.

Lastly, I had my hair done last week and I left with some waves thanks to my amazing hair dresser, Joel (Q The Salon). He told me I need to texture my hair to get the curls to hold. I picked up this small can of Drybar Triple Sec. Again- LOVE. I have very very fine hair and I don’t like it feeling full of product and it didn’t all. Bonus – it smells great. Downside, I seem to not be coordinated to actually curl my hair so it ended up just being a nice tousled look.

I will have to keep trying on the curling iron front. The struggle is real.

What are some of your go-to products?

-B

Oh, Hello there.

Oops. Look at that. 3 months went by.

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Sorry about that.

True to form our summer was a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it summer. Yet…. we didn’t DO anything big. No large vacation. No big events. We just – well we lived our lives!

One notable thing Lee and I did was head to Oregon for a long weekend for wine tasting. IMG_5974.jpgIMG_0627.jpgIMG_5975.jpg

We had a great time and joined a few clubs. Shocker, I know.

We have spent the summer drinking wine, swimming in the pool, and enjoying our little family of 4.

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Then we had Harvey visit.

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Harvey was like that annoying college friend that comes to visit, overstays his welcome in a major way, and wrecks your house. Also, NOT invited back.

Thankfully our house did NOT flood but we were pretty nervous. This was our street:

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Currently we are in what I have decided is HELL WEEK. or The First Week of School.

We are beyond able to deal at this point. Getting up early (It’s. Still. Dark. Outside) and getting 4 people dressed, fed, and out the door for a 7:45am tardy bell. Rough.

Lucky the school is literally 1/2 a mile away.

Our kids did this really annoying thing this summer.

They got bigger.

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She insists on turning 2 in like 2 weeks.

This guy even had the nerve to start First Grade.

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Here we are. Navigating this new Public School chapter and enjoying our little family bubble.

I do hope to make a more regular appearance.

Until next time…

 

-B

Wine Review – Walt Rose′

More Rose′ because… Summer! Summer really seems to have brought out a taste of Rose′ for us. It’s light and easy to drink and honestly has low commitment. It is pretty hard to mess this stuff up!

One of the wineries we are members of put on Instagram their Rose′ and I logged in and snagged a few bottles.

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We are HUGE Walt fans in this house and this did not disappoint. A little strawberry here and a little citrus there with a bright finish. Super delish.

I have found some of Walt’s Pinot Noirs in large wine stores (Spec’s here locally) and at Central Market – but I am not sure how widely they distributed the Rose′. I will be a pretty happy camper if I see this on the shelf during my next excursion.

Learn more about Walt here – WALT

-Bre

Cookies on Saturday

Along with being an avid wine drinker I am also an avid food lover. I am constantly looking up new recipes and putting cook books on my wish list.

My favorite food blog, Pinch of Yum, featured a cookie the other day that I haven’t been able to get off my mind. It also prompted me to order a new cookbook:

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Cookie + Kate

Apparently I have been living under a rock and I had NO IDEA this blog existed. While I am not a vegetarian, I do enjoy meatless meals just the same. I read the cookie recipe on Lindsey’s site, ordered the book, and moved on.

Today the book arrived and I dove into during the Saturday “quiet time” (aka baby nap time and we all read/nap/chill for 2 hours). I want to make all the salads pastas but OH YEAH THE COOKIES.

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie: Excuse me while I eat the batter… 

I am a lover of coconut sugar, and many of the ingredients throughout this book, already and I had all the ingredients on hand.

As they baked I dug through the website and smelled the peanut butter goodness wafting throughout the house.

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Oh. My. Goodness. Gracious.

I am still nursing my broken heart and cookies are a surefire way to do that.

Even if it is swimsuit season….

-Bre

 

New Wine Club

Lee and I did join several wine clubs on our last trip to Sonoma, but we are always looking for interesting wine to add to our collection.

On the way back home from Hawaii, I re-watched Somm on Netflix. This is a very interesting film following a group of men studying to take the Master Sommelier Exam.

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SOMM on IMDB

Curious as I am, I googled “where are they now” and stumbled upon a wonderful find!

Ian Cauble has started a wine website with moderately priced bottles, complete with tasting notes, shipped right to you.

SommSelect.com

I have already ordered one of the wines of the day AND joined the monthly club (shocker).

When they arrive I will put my reviews up for sure.

-Bre

Too Soon

I intend to use this little writing space as more of a wine/food review and light touches on personal life. Today I will make an exception…

I took a short break for two reasons.

1 – Hawaii!

2 – The loss of my very best little friend the same day I arrived home from Hawaii.

Lola. My sweet pup. She was the little tiny furry pup that helped heal my heart from my childhood dog passing away. She was Lee and I’s first “baby.” #1 professional snuggle bug. Every night she was under the covers snuggled against me. For 11.5 years she was there when I was sad. She was here for two new babies coming home. She was there when I crawled into bed over and over while those babies learned to sleep through the night. She nursed me to health when I was sick. If you had a warm blanket, Lola knew your name.

I’m in a very deep state of grief over losing her very quickly and much too soon. She went downhill fast with an Auto-immune disease and the process to help her recover was lengthy and only had a 30% chance of getting her back. While I sit here and wonder if I should have maxed out a credit card to keep her, I know she was ready and didn’t need to go through all the pain. IMG_1279.JPG

My sweet Lola Belle. Forever my friend.

 

-Bre

Wine Review – Underwood Pinot Noir

When you live in Texas in the summer, there is one main survival tactic:

The swimming pool.

The #1 rule at our pool is NO GLASS.

I’m not a beer person. I usually pour wine into a tervis of some kind to enjoy without the worry of spills.

Until the invention of WINE in a CAN.

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Site: UNDERWOOD

The real kicker? It’s GREAT!

So far my preference is the pinot noir. It’s very very strawberry forward and easy to drink, chilled, in the sun. I am going to be on the hunt for the Rose′.

I was able to get the cans easily at Total Wine or Trader Joe’s and today found the bottle at H-E-B for $12.99.

Bargain!

The pinot gris is really good for super hot days, but a little heavy on the grapefruit for me. Sauvignon lovers should like it a lot.

Stock up! Enjoy!

 

-Breann

Monday Night Dinner – Wine Review

Our Monday was something else.

It was actually going quite well.

Put a chicken in the sink to thaw.

Get the kids to school.

Work stuff.

Pick kids up from school .

Then enter the MONDAY part of Monday..

Go back to the school that exists basically INSIDE the GALLERIA OF HOUSTON and retrieve left behind lovey.

This takes an hour.

Trade many phone calls with husband on dinner – deciding to let the chicken be a mulligan and order in . Chinese? Zoe’s?

Get phone call after I am home from hubby still undecided on dinner. You know what? This chicken is in the sink. I got this. COME HOME YOUR KIDS ARE WILD (in my voice, he understood it).

You see – I keep one of these in my freezer most of the time:

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It cooks in an hour.

It tastes like I made a fuss.

Paired with green beans and some rice pilaf (yes, from a box) and dinner is served and amazing.

The thing that undid the mondays of Monday was our amazing Houston weather. We opened our patio doors, played some Van Morrison, and drank wine while the kids chalk colored the entire patio.

We drank this – Rock AngelIMG_5284.jpg

Any Rose lover, as myself, has more than likely had Whispering Angel. I like it, but I often feel as though I am drinking pink water.

Enter Rock Angel. It’s like Whispering Angels’ older sister wearing eye liner and taking up the phone line all day with her friends.

Oops. Aged myself there.

This was made for almost summer days on the patio with wild kids covered in chalk. It was made for dancing in the kitchen while dinner is in the oven.

I highly recommend you grab this one. It’s clean. Crisp. Citrus forward.

NOT pink water. Definitely edges out the little sister.

Go forth. Stock your freezer with chicken and your fridge with this rose. Have Alexa play Van Morrison and enjoy a little sunshine.

What else are you going to do on a Monday?

 

-Bre

The Hangover

No, not the acclaimed movie.

My Monday.

(Hello as my boss reads this?)

Sunday night, infamous Sunday Night Dinner, included my best friend and his husband. He is always courteous to bring wine as we always provide the food. Sometimes we partake in his choosing and other times we don’t.

This time, my husband was out of town. I wasn’t keen on digging into the wines in our cellar so I shared Donald’s. I don’t recall the maker but I remember noting it was a bit on the sweet side.

I have discovered in my research that sweeter wine is hiding something. Imperfections, perhaps. We all know sugar in alcohol contributes to the “flu” the next day. I drank two glasses of his wine and a glass or two of mine (this is over a 5 hour period of time!) and went on to bed.

Oy. Monday. I felt just like I had drank all the wine all by myself.

I started thinking – seriously – can certain wines affect your headache?

YES. They also don’t have to be “Cheap.” I am not dogging on my best bud for grabbing interesting looking stuff at good prices – you can find hidden gems that way for sure. It’s really more in how it’s made. You will also note that my Rose taste testing of late included a $8 bottle – and no headache the next day.

Google and some books I have read informed me that it could be from any artificial “oak alternatives” that are trying to create that oaky taste that causes reactions from those who are headache prone (as I am). There are also tannins and sulfites that can cause reactions.

Lo and behold, so I have some smidgen of credibility, I found this article that helps explain it more than my hangover story.

https://vinepair.com/wine-101/wine-and-headaches/

After a lot of water, advil, and coffee I was back to normal by lunch.

Next time, I will drink more water….

Not necessarily less wine.