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Monday, December 31, 2012

Shiny New Year on the Horizon

Greetings from Florida! I am here with my extended family enjoying a gorgeous lake house with an incredible view of the sunset. Tomorrow we will be on our way to Orlando. I hope everyone has a shiny New Year!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Tis the season

I hope everyone had a Cool Yule! I spent the holiday weekend in Cleveland with family and friends, it was absolutely wonderful with snow and plenty of cheer.  Sadly, I had to drive back on Christmas day and despite my sadness of leaving, I'm feeling in a much better mood this afternoon.  Some highlights:

The Champagne Bar at Hilarities in downtown Cleveland

Mistletoe cocktail: From what I remember, it involved tequila, champagne, pomegranate juice, and candy canes.  Phew!
The Popcorn Shop in Chagrin Falls... a childhood memory
Vintage ornaments turned into wine glass charms.... what a cute idea!! My mother-in-law crafted them :)

The charms in action, aren't they fun... how perfect for parties!

GASP!  Jadeite mixing bowls and teacups with saucers... I want to cuddle with them at night but I will try to contain myself.  Aren't they beautiful?  I have quite a soft spot for these treasures.

Close up of the teacup and saucer, so detailed.  The photo doesn't even do the color justice.

A bit of 1950's kitsch for the Tiki Bar!!

A set of AMAZING bamboo cups and ice box, can't wait to use them

Hubby outdid himself this year... a gold ring with opals and 4 little pearls.  I. LOVE. IT.  Keep a look out for photos of one of his xmas presents.... his grandfather's incredibly handsome cuff links and tie clips!
Well it's snowy and very cold here in Cincinnati... I spent the day curled up by the space heater with the pups.  Only a few more days before the big trip to Florida to see my family, I cannot wait! 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Good Tidings of Comfort and Cheer

Oh my how this month has flown by, it's nearly Christmas! Here is a recap of some of my holiday festivities thus far.
Mimosas in the afternoon during Thanksgiving dinner preparation

Our feast: Mushroom gravy, mashed potatoes, Hawaiian sweet rolls, cranberry sauce, Tofurkey with veggies, sweet corn, and of course, wine!

Hubby diggin' in

Sweet Potato Pie
Later on in the week we drove down to the Cincinnati Zoo's Festival of lights, it was so darling!! This is my (gulp) FIFTH Christmas in Cinci and I had never made it to the zoo lights before. 
Hubby was excited

Here is one of the mountain lions... Here Kitty, Kitty!

Friendly little fellow, isn't he?!

I really do have a way with animals, don't I :)  For those of you that haven't realized it yet, there is a glass panel separating the large cat from my grabby little hands.

The park really was wonderful in the dark.  It did the trick to put me in the Christmas spirit.  We sipped on hot cocoa (with a dash of Kahlua and Peppermint Schnapps) as we walked around.

A bit of holiday kitsch... flamingoes!

This section of the park was all decorated in purple and pink lights, it was delightfully girlish.
After the zoo we came home to add some holiday decor (or as I like to call it, Holi-decor) to our own apartment.
Clearly I did most of the work

White Christmas was playing in the background

Here's the final product.  Even the Tiki bar got some lights this year :)

What are you doing to enjoy the holiday season?  Baking cookies, sipping eggnog, night time light walks??

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

I do hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday. This year it is just Hubby, the pups, and me. While we love spending time with our family and friends, it has been a lovely thanksgiving for us so far.

This year, I tried a brand new recipe... Sweet potato pie with fresh sweet potatoes from our local delivery! We still have about an hour to go before dinner time, can't wait!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Bourbon Trail: Day 2

After waking up and enjoying the delicious breakfast at the B&B, we made our way out to the Bourbon festival in Bardstown, KY.
There were a few antique cars on display before we walked into the festival

Each of the distilleries along the bourbon trail had these little pavilions with merchandise, food, and drink.

Wild Turkey

Maker's Mark... we visit this distillery later in the day and all of the buildings look very similar to this one

Bourbon barrels!

Next stop: Maker's Mark, just a short drive away

While we were waiting for the tour, we walked around the house and I just fell in love with this atomic style kitchen!
Close up of the formica table

Beautiful fridge!

pretty stove

Looks like some red fiesta ware... I'm not sure what I am doing...
After only 10 or so minutes of waiting, our tour began:
our tour guide... he certainly knew his bourbon!

At Maker's Mark, you can actually stick your finger into the fermenting mash and taste it, the alcohol kills any germs.

Joe and Leigh :)  The mash tasted very grainy and the flavor differed with each tank, depending on how far along they were in the process.

Aren't the buildings darling?!  The red shutters are so charming.

aging barrels

Our tasting table, at the end of the tour

From left to right: White dog (bourbon that hasn't been aged yet... reminded me of tequila), Maker's Mark, and Maker's Mark 46 (aged in seared French oak)

At the gift shop you can actually hand-dip your own bottle!

After Maker's Mark, we made our way home, it was a wonderful trip and I would highly suggest going down to the Bourbon trail for a little getaway! 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Bourbon Trail: Day 1

Whew... sorry for the extended absense! There has been a lot going on that has kept me away from the blog-o-sphere lately. Little C.B. suffered a broken jaw that required a surgery, he is recovering nicely :)

A few weekends ago, Hubby and I, with our good friends Joe and Leigh, traveled along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Our first stop was Woodford Reserve:
The Woodford Reserve visitor's center.  The tour costs $7 a piece and includes a tasting at the end.  We only waited a few minutes before our tour group was called to meet outside.

Leigh and Joe on the bus down to our tour.  They are all ready with their ear pieces in place!
The tour started with an explanation of the grains that go into Woodford's recipe.  Their amount of rye is higher than most other bourbons which gives is a spicey tastse.

Fermenting... sugars are slowly turning into alcohol

Close up of the plaque.

Woodford's delicious small batch bourbon is triple distilled in these gorgeous copperpot stills.  These gigantic beauties came all the way from Scotland and cost a pretty penny.

Here are some of the aging barrels
For some reason this photo won't upload in the right direction, sorry!  The tour was about 45 minutes long, the Woodford grounds were just lovely.  At the end, we were able to enjoy a taste of the bourbon along with a bourbon ball.  We also got to keep the souvenir glass.

Up next we drove to the Four Roses Distillery

Here I am, lost among the barrels

Four Roses had a lot of their old products on display which I really enjoyed. 

The tour began with a movie about Four Rose's Bourbon making process


The buildings are spanish Mission style


Some of the old bourbon tasting tools

The many roses on their grounds were very ejoyable.

Miss Leigh on the barrel swing.
The four roses tour was free and included a tasting at the end.  We were able to try the Four Roses bourbon that is only sold in Japan, the regular Four Roses Bourbon, and the Single Barrel Bourbon (YUM!).

After Four Roses, we checked into our Bed and Breakfast in Versailles, KY:

The B&B (the Montgomery Inn) was adorable, antiques everywhere!

This daybed was in our BATHROOM, it was huge!  To the left was a jacuzzi bath tub.  To the right was a large vanity.

We found a nice place for dinner... we all ate until we couldn't move.

After dinner we strolled along the streets of Versailles and found these rocking chairs.

View of the town

another view of the town

Hubby enjoying the nice evening.

A tired yet happy Lindsay

After heading back to the B&B, we all watched Jurassic Park and sipped on wine... what a fun day!  Up next is the Maker's Mark distillery and the Bourbon Festival.