I had these elaborate aspirations of coming home from work and cooking dinner for Beth and I to enjoy while trying a new wine for Wine o. Wednesday.
But. . .then, this amazing weather rolled in and it was most definitely a “patio weather” kind of day! So when dad asked if Beth & I wanted to go grab a drink, how could we say no?
We headed up to Antonio’s (in Addison Circle) and both ordered a Pinot Noir, just like Dad did. Since we were all drinking the same thing Dad opted for a bottle. The restaurant didn’t have many options so we went with the 2006 Toasted Head Pinot Noir.
Previously I’d had the Toasted Head Cabernet and am a fan. In fact somewhere back towards the beginning of this little blog I talked about it. The price point on it isn’t bad and I’m assuming based on the price of the Pinot at the restaurant, it wouldn’t be too pricey either.
One of my favorite things about Pinot Noir is the color. It’s a nice pinky-red instead of deep crimson, which means it’s a lighter red wine with a hint of sweetness, but not too sweet.
It was the perfect ending to a long day at work. The Toasted Head Pinot Noir is definitely a great wine to share with friends and I highly recommend it.
Posted by Kate O. on Sep 27, 2010 in me | 1 comment
Tonight I got to be Beth’s Monday Night Movie Buddy, so we went to see a girlie movie for our girl’s night out. . .I know it was a Monday night but I was surprised there was only one woman in the theater when we arrived. Then, I was even more shocked when just before the movie started, a guy walked in all by himself we kept hoping his wife was in the bathroom. . .
Before I really jump in, I should say, by no means do I call myself a movie expert, nor do I read up on movie reviews to determine what movies I want to go see in the theater. I’m just your average run of the mill movie-goer, so with that said. . .take this as you will.
I love a good chick-flick. The type of movie I can just run in the background for noise while I’m trying to get things done around the house or finishing up a project. Though I’m not sure this one would fall into that category. And, despite the efforts of the TV ads to convenience you that you’ll want to “see it again and again,” I was would not agree.
To say this movie is cheesy is an understatement. It was funny, in parts, but it was also painful in parts. Watching Kristen Bell’s character repeatedly trip, or spill something or hurt herself got old about 30 minutes into the movie.
Though if I’m completely honest, there is no way I could hate this movie all the way around because I do love Kristen Bell; even though she can be a bit corny, she is the voice of Gossip Girl!
On the positive side, movies like this always come with a healthy supply of eye candy for everyone. That is one thing you can always count on a good chick-flick for. The girls are beautiful and the boys are hot!
If you don’t believe me, then go check out Kristen Bell, Odette Yustman, James Wolk and Sean Wing’s IMDB pages.
Though, the number one redeeming quality of this movie was the comic relief of the screen stealer, Betty White. I mean who doesn’t love Betty White?
If you are a fan of overly cheesy movies, then this one will be right up your alley, if not then I suggest you wait to see it on DVD and save a few bucks!
I finally got to try a wine I’ve wanted to try for years. . .Silver Oaks! This wine has always been one I’ve seen at fancy restaurants or in the “Fine Wines” section at the liquor store, so to get to try one for free; needless to say I was ESTATIC!
Last week my sister got to go to a Silver Oaks wine dinner and came home with a party favor; a 2005 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
The bottle has been sitting out all week, taunting me. . .to drink it.
(sorry about my messy counters!)
While Beth was cooking dinner we opened up the bottle and used our fancy Reidel glasses with our initials etched in them we got for Christmas from Todd & Lindsey.
Drinking this wine, I was reminded what a Cabernet is supposed to taste like. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think the only good wines are the expensive ones, but this was such a smooth delicious wine that’s definitely way out of the league of what I normally drink.
I’m not quite sure I have the right words to describe why this wine was so good, but here’s my feeble attempt. As I said it was smooth, not sweet but not bitter, and just the right blend of tastes to accent the true flavor of the grapes instead of the wood it was aged in. It was amazing! When the bottle was empty I was disappointed. . .to say the least.
While dinner was cooking I ran to the liquor store right outside the neighborhood. Originally I was excited about this store opening, but I’m finding they don’t seem to ever have the wines I’m looking for which is frustrating. I was looking for the Twomey Sauvignon Blanc but came up empty handed.
I think I have pretty decent wine tastes, but apparently the gentleman at the store does not agree, I could sense his judgment as I told him some of the wines I enjoy.
Because of that I took him up on the suggestion he made to me and bought a 2007 Montoya Cabernet. It was on sale for $13.99 and the display rack was full, those should have been enough clues. To me this wine was entirely TOO sweet. Though that didn’t stop us from finishing the bottle, we are true winos through and through.
If you get the chance to try a Silver Oaks Cabernet, do not hesitate. In fact give me a call, I’ll help you drink it!
Thanks to the brilliant advertising efforts of Barnes and Noble I purchased and read, Star Island by Carl Hiaasen.
I had never read one of his books and was surprised to discover that this was the man who wrote Striptease, and series of children’s books; odd mix if you ask me.
This was the fifth book I took on my trip to the Dominican Republic a little over a month ago and I have just finished it this past weekend. No it isn’t that long it was just that boring to me. Well boring might not be the right word. Complicated is probably more accurate. There were entirely too many characters and story lines. In fact at the end of the book in the author’s epilogue I didn’t remember who a few of the characters were he mentioned.
Star Island is the story of a troubled young pop star, Cherry Pye, who can’t seem to keep herself out of trouble for more than a few minutes. The entourage around her has hired a double to stand in for her when she is too high or drunk to function, which seems to be the majority of the time. Despite their best efforts to keep Cherry out of trouble she seems to be attracted to it and finds it everywhere she goes.
The range of characters Hiaasen includes is quite impressive.
The most unexpected and intriguing character to me was Chemo. An ex-con with a weed whacker for an arm, hired by her manager to be Cherry’s body guard because he isn’t afraid to do whatever it takes to get his job done.
Ann DeLusia the actress that was hired to play Cherry’s undercover stand and is flown all across the country on a moment’s notice to make sure Cherry’s reputation stays intact in the public eye.
Bang Abbott, a paparazzi with poor grooming habits, who thinks he is entitled to invade the private lives of anyone famous simply because he has spent decades perfecting his craft, building a network of informants to tip him off to the stars whereabouts and networking with top tabloid magazines to ensure his pictures get published for top dollar.
However, my favorite character was Skink, who I hear is one of Hiaasen’s reoccurring characters. He is a colorful and lively old man who was surprisingly a former governor of Florida but is currently parading as a homeless superhero.
This book might appeal to you if you don’t mind keeping a cheat sheet with you so that you can keep all of the characters and story lines straight, but for me it took entirely too much effort to keep up with just a mediocre story.
Posted by Kate O. on Sep 19, 2010 in me | 0 comments
Today Ainsley turned 8. You might be asking who Ainsley is and why is this so exciting? Well, Ainsley is my best friend from high school’s oldest daughter and the first person to ever call me Aunt Kate! She and I have a special bond because her middle name is…Kate!
I love this little girl, but now that she is in school (well technically she’s been in school a few years) we don’t see each other often. So, I decided I wanted to spend some time with her for her birthday. It worked out perfectly because she had her birthday party yesterday that was followed by a slumber party so I’m pretty sure her parents enjoyed one less child in the house even if it was for just a few hours.
Trying to come up with something to do that an 8 year old would find fun had me completely stumped. After asking around, someone suggested that I take her to Sweet & Sassy. I had heard of this place before but obviously had no reason to actually go there.
They had one opening today for a mani & pedi, which I thought was perfect. I picked up Ainsley and we headed straight to the mall for her appointment. She picked out a blue color for her fingernails and purple for her toe nails. Not to brag, but she had a total blast!
I think the concept behind Sweet & Sassy is great, however. . .being in there for about an hour, I have nothing but sympathy for the employees known as “party girls.” These girls host and facilitate birthday parties for little girls all day long, singing, dancing, and MCing fashion shows.
I do NOT know how they do it. In the hour I was there, all of the noise and commotion was enough to drive me nuts. There are so many people and things packed in this store that you can barely hear yourself think. It is so chaotic I don’t know how anyone over 12 can manage to be in there for an 8 hour period. The best way I can describe the scene is organized chaos. With that said, these little girls there for the two birthday parties going on while Ainsley and I were there, were having a BLAST.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you…
Posted by Kate O. on Sep 18, 2010 in dallas, wine | 0 comments
The thing you should know about me before I go too far is, I hate dealing with crowds. You will never hear me ask to go to Six Flags or the State Fair. . .it won’t happen. To me it’s torture. But for Grapefest I will make an exception.
It has been a couple years since I went to Grapefest and I was really looking forward to the People’s Choice Wine Tasting. However, when I last went the event did not sell out so I didn’t even think about pre-buying tickets. Imagine my sadness when we arrived and saw “SOLD OUT” on the sign.
Though I have to confess, I was already a little disappointed that Flat Creek wasn’t going to be pouring in the wine tasting. They are my favorite Texas Winery and I haven’t had a chance to visit the winery in awhile, so I was looking forward to see them at Grapefest.
Because the wine tasting was off the agenda we decided to venture up to the Champagne Pavilion and do a little sampling there. It didn’t work quite the same way. . .instead of sampling the different champagnes when you turned in your 14 coupons (or $7), you got the souvenir champagne glass and ONE glass of champagne, well technically sparkling wine. Of course you could “taste” as many champagnes as you wanted, so we worked the system.
The selection of “champagnes” was nothing to be impressed by, though I must confess I am no expert when it comes to the bubbly. All I know is that I don’t like my champagne too dry or too sweet, somewhere right it in the middle is perfect for me. The only one that I liked was the Cross Timber. It is actually from a winery here in Grapevine, Texas.
The Cross Timber sparkling wine had the perfect amount of fizziness and it wasn’t too sweet or too dry, so just the way I liked!
Despite the heat and the crowd it was still a good time, though next year I will remember to pre-buy tickets for the wine tasting.
Tonight’s adventure in wine tasting was a Sancerre, please do not ask me to say it I will kill it with my horrible pronunceation. I had a bit of a hard time finding a Sancerre. The first store I went to did not have any and the second store I visited only had 4 options. They ranged in price from $22 to $35.
Because I’ve never tried the Sancerre before I decided to go with one of the more inexpensive options and see what I thought. I went with:
Unlike the Albarinos last week, the Sancerre, even though it is a white, it was not sweet. In fact it was quite tart, but not bitter like I think Pinot Grigi s tend to be. The Sancerre had a crisp and clean taste to it. As odd as this sounds, since know that wine is made of grapes, I did not detect any hints of fruitiness.
I wish the Sanceres had not been so pricey though, I would have loved to have had two to compare like last week. To see what it is that really distinguishes the Sancerre.
So far I have loved the wine suggestions I have gotten on Twitter, please send more my way. I LOVE finding and trying new wines.
Next week Beth has agreed to share her “party favor” from her wine dinner tonight. . .I believe it is a Silver Oak Cabernet. I’ve never tried a Silver Oak before; they are always a bit out of my normal price range so I cannot wait!
Posted by Kate O. on Sep 14, 2010 in me | 0 comments
It was such a fun weekend, but SUPER busy! Friday night was the rehearsal followed by a small rehearsal dinner at Bene Bene (sadly it is now closed) which means we had some GREAT Italian food. Sorry I don’t really have any pics from that.
Saturday morning I drove out to Arlington to pick up the cupcakes for the wedding at The Red Oven Bakery (sadly this place has also closed so now you’ll never get to experience their greatness). They are the best!
Then I headed up to Frisco to meet up with everyone else and help set up the reception. They had almost all of the tables finished by the time I got there so I helped with the finishing touches and then worked on folding and cutting the programs. I thought the tables turned out really cute…
(that’s my L on the table, LOVE that! I got it as a hostess gift for throwing a baby shower a few years before.)
Posted by Kate O. on Sep 12, 2010 in me | 0 comments
I am so excited, today is my brother’s wedding day! I’m about to head out for the start of today’s activities to celebrate with these two:
I don’t think Scott could have found anyone more perfect to marry. Beth and I are super excited to have a new sister, well really two because we adore her sister Chrystal too!
Not to mention, as of today, Beth and I are officially aunt’s to the cutest little guy:
That’s all for now. . .but wedding details and pics will be posted soon!
Congrats Scott & Tiffany we are all so excited for you!
Tonight’s wine is an Albarino. This wine was recommended to me by two of my Twitter friends, who truth be told, I can’t wait to have a glass of wine with, in person. . .now if I could just get myself to Cali. . .
I picked up an Albarino last week, it was the last bottle of the only Albarino at the store I stopped at, and then today I ran by the store right by my house and picked up another Albarino. Because I was going to be sampling the wine with a few friends I thought it would be fun to have more than one so we could compare them.
Side note: Albarino is a white wine that is predominately produced in Span and Portugal.
First we tried the 2007 Nessa. This was my favorite of the two, but of the four of us drinking it I was in the minority, they all preferred the second one. We all thought you could detect a hint of Chardonnay in each one, but to me Albarino isn’t as bitter as a Chardonnay. This wine is smooth but with an unexpected zip. It is a smooth and fresh wine that is easy to drink, and because it is chilled it is a perfect hot weather wine.
The second bottle we sampled was the 2007 Nora. I can’t quite put my finger on what it was about this bottle that I didn’t like. I think it might have been the hint of grapefruit I could taste, which is not my most favorite fruit. To me this was more like a Pinot Grigio than I typically like. But the other three described this wine as cleaner and less sweet. We all thought we could detect the flavor of a Granny Smith Apple in both of them; what about you (if you’ve tried an Albarino)?
Don’t get me wrong I didn’t dislike the second bottle I just preferred the first bottle. These are the 3rd and 4th Albarinos I’ve had, and I have to say, I am a fan. I am so excited about his recommendation from Monica and Beau and want to make sure everyone else I know gives it a try.
Of course, now that I am getting on a white wine kick, the weather is starting to cool off and it’s time to head back to the red wines. . .feel free to send your suggestions my way!
Posted by Kate O. on Sep 7, 2010 in dallas | 1 comment
Sunday we decided to try out a new restaurant for Brunch and headed south to the Knox-Henderson area. Brunch was at Sangria, and it was awesome.
After brunch we decided to check out some of the shops along Knox. Even though I’ve lived in Dallas all my life I’ve never really visited any of the shops down there.
My favorite find was the Knox Street Market. I didn’t even realize I was looking for things for my house until I found this:
I have been looking for something to cover up my A/C controller in the kitchen because I think it’s in such an odd place. This was just the right depth to do that. Apparently I am a sucker for decorative metal pieces and feel in love with these:
Originally I thought they were priced individually and they were too pricey for me to buy two. But, when the woman in the store went to get it down she told me they were sold in a set of four. Needless to say I was excited! However I’m not sure what I will do with the yellow one, I don’t have anything in my house that is yellow (even though I’ve been told Mustard is in this season).
After I dropped a small fortune, we drove across the highway, where Knox becomes Henderson to visit the Gypsy Wagon. Somehow I ended up on their mailing list but had never visited. The store is huge and has everything from home décor, to jewelry, to fabric, to clothes. I only ended up making one small purchase:
This was only because I had spent so much at Knox Street Market. But they had this mirror that I absolutely loved with an amazing wooden frame. Though with a $250 price tag, I just couldn’t justify buying it.
Before heading home we wondered into The Wooden House, which is just next store. I don’t need any furniture right now, but if I did this is the place I would go. They have the most amazing pieces that are mainly one of a kind.
Even though I’ve been in my house for over 4 years now, I seem to lack the ability to pick out things to hang on my walls and have a house full of empty walls. For the most part I don’t really think about buying things, but Saturday while I was at a friend’s house she had this really cool Pottery Barn mirror she didn’t want any more and offered it to me. This got me thinking about where the heck I would hang it and all my empty walls. Since my house is still a work in progress I thought I would share these fun finds with you and these great local stores.
Posted by Kate O. on Sep 6, 2010 in books, chick lit | 0 comments
Next week I promise I will be taking a break from “Chicklit” books. . .but you’re out of luck this week. . .
This was actually a book Meredith found because she was in a book club sometime last spring but she never read it until we went to the Dominican Republic. This week’s book is “The Importance of Being Married” by Gemma Townley.
Jessica Wild receives a surprise inheritance from her grandmother’s neighbor in the nursing home. Going to visit her grandmother had been more of an obligation than something she looked forward to doing. Until, she met Grace. After her grandmother passed away, Jessica continued her weekly visits to see Grace.
Without fail, every visit included Grace interrogating Jessica about her nonexistent love life. One visit Jessica decides the best way to counteract Grace’s disappointment would be to make up a boyfriend. She had to keep the relationship going and eventually she was married to her imaginary boyfriend and Grace was thrilled for her!
Unexpectedly Grace died, and Jessica receives a call from Grace’s lawyer. Turns out that Grace wasn’t just her grandmother’s sweet old neighbor, but she is quite well known and wealthy. However, the one catch is, the inheritance was left to Jessica Milton; of course in her stories she’d taken on her “husband’s” last name.
Interestingly, her “husband” is actually her boss. She sets out, with the aid of her roommate, to make her boss fall in love with her so that she can claim the 5 million pound inheritance.
While the book is pretty easy to predict, Gemma Townley does a good job of throwing in a few twists. If you love the Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella, you will love this book. It is a quick and easy read but it is also very entertaining.