I'm getting a landline

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Yup! You heard me right. I’m getting a landline home phone and no, it’s not due to a lack of cell phone service at our house. I’m getting a landline in an effort to be more present with my kids. I’ll be putting my cell phone down in the evenings until Lucy goes down at 8:30. As it is, I make a conscious effort to be present and focus on them, but there are instances where I check my phone or post a pic on Instagram and the reality is, all of those things can wait until after they go to bed.

This may seem like it’s coming out of left field, but I’m newly a parent of two. Being that I’m not pregnant anymore (thank GOODNESS!) and I’m starting to feel more like myself again (if myself was part dairy cow…mooooo), I’m starting to assess our daily routines. We, as parents, are creating our kids memories and what they will grow up to remember as their version of normal. I want to make sure that I’m mindful of that responsibility. I want them to see me being active, engaged, reading, playing, laughing, etc. I don’t want them to see us plugged into our phones and not plugging into our family.

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This can be really hard, especially when your jobs become more and more demanding with expectations that we are available 24/7. My plan is to give my close family, friends, and boss my landline number, so if there is an emergency or something time sensitive, I can be reached. Otherwise, I’ll be responding to texts, emails and DM’s after 8:30pm. The boundaries are clear and, as Rachel Hollis, author of Girl, Wash Your Face says, “It’s not about being perfect, it’s about being better today that I was yesterday.”

Questioning Moody Wine

I got an interesting email about a week ago. It was from someone inquiring to purchase the domain www.moodywine.com. It’s really gotten me thinking about the site: what it was, what it is, what it can be, should be...

To give you a little background, it was the first domain name that I ever bought and it was around 2006, shortly after graduating college, where I studied Wine and Viticulture. I was young, excited, and just went for it. Since then, I’ve probably bought 30 plus domain names for ideas that I’ve had over the years. Of those 30, I’ve maybe built 5 or 6 websites and still maintain 1, but I still have 10 or so active domain names that I own. 

Many of you would probably get an offer for $1000 for a website that you don’t maintain and jump at it (and I still may), but right now, it’s really gotten me thinking:

  • I’m no longer in the wine business

  • I’m still a fan of wine

  • How would I even go about reviving a wine blog

  • There are so many wine blogs and websites now

  • Does the world need another wine blog

  • I already have a side hustle - photography and a blog associated, do I need another project

  • There are over 3000 wineries in California alone, how would I navigate that to add some value to my readers?

  • My husband doesn’t like wine or wine culture, would he go to wineries with me? Or would it be a me hobby?

  • Winery culture, is it still popular? Or has brewery culture eclipsed it?

  • Is the wine industry the same as Twitter? Too much content and too hard to navigate, not literally challenging, but already contains too much white noise to make any sense of anything

You get my drift. There are a lot of unknowns and my mind goes in a thousand different directions. The bottom line is, I’m looking into some options and possibilities and yes, selling is one of them. If you feel like it, leave a comment or shoot me an email to let me know your thoughts on the matter.

Erica

~ The Moody Wine Drinker~

Pregnant and Over It

Wine: Fre Brut Sparkling

Mood: Frustrated

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I know there are pregnant women that glow, get energy, and feel amazing...and let me just tell you...I'm not one of them.  I thought my first pregnancy was tough, but that was a walk in the park compared to this one.  For those of you that may be reading this and are currently struggling with fertility, I want you to know how sorry I am and by no means am I ungrateful for being pregnant. I'm very thankful for the gift of being 10 days away from meeting this little man.  He's just not made it easy on me.  

Adding insult to injury, my whole family is on our annual family vacation without us right now.  We go to a small town called Downieville, CA and we couldn't go because it's 5-6 hours away, too far to travel, this close to him making his debut. 

This is the one vacation that I look forward to all year.  We've been going since I was 6 years old and growing up, this was often our only vacation of the year.  It's pretty hard to explain the charm of this place, but I'll try (see pictures from last year's tip at the bottom of the post).  We rent cabins on the north fork of the Yuba River at a place called Sierra Shangri-La.  We have no agenda except we have to take turns cooking a meal.  We often have a cocktail in hand and are floating in the river by noon.  We read books, take walks, fish, play card games and Scrabble.  Whatever we want.  It's just heavenly.

Being home, not on vacation, you know what I did today?  Went to Costco.  Yup!  My family is swimming and having a great time and I took Lucy to Costco.  Womp womp.

Fre Brut Sparkling Wine

Ok.  I'm done being a Debbie Downer.  I did stumble upon something that is kind of fun and wanted to share it with you.  It's called Fre wine.  They say that it's wine that has the alcohol removed.  I'm not really sure how it works, but supposedly there's a spinning cone involved.  Anyway, the result is kinda-sorta like wine.  It's kind of grape juicey with a little more tang that makes it wine-ish.  I liked the sparkling Brut wine vs the still Chardonnay wine.  I added some sliced strawberries to my champagne flute and pretended I was on vacation.  

There are a bunch of recipes for mocktails on their website that I haven't tried, but I'm sure are delish!

How to Hold a Knife

I'm not sure about you, but I follow a lot of people on social media that talk about food and recipes.  I have come to realize that just because these food personalities make yummy delicious looking food, they don't talk about cooking basics. 

How to hold the knife that I'm using to cut up the bell pepper.  What is the best way to cut an onion if I need to chop it?  Are there tricks to hard boiling an egg that makes sure it is just the way I want it AND is easy to peel? 

I'm starting a new category of blog posts to address these things, "Cooking 101."  I've got a list that I'm planning to address and as I post more recipes, I'm sure more will come up.  If there is anything you're interested in learning about, let me know!

Simply click the "Cooking 101" category at the top of the page, to get all related posts. 

This first post will be on some knife basics.  I'm sure you know the saying, "there's more than one way to skin a cat."  Well, there's more than one way to hold a knife, but there is one way that is preferred among the culinary world and there is a reason for it. 

First off, let's talk about the types of knives that I use most frequently (below):

 From left to right: Pairing knife and two chefs knives.  The middle knife has a Granton Edge which creates air between the blade and what you're cutting, making it easier to slice.

From left to right: Pairing knife and two chefs knives.  The middle knife has a Granton Edge which creates air between the blade and what you're cutting, making it easier to slice.

Now let's talk about grip.  In my opinion, this is the most important part of this entry.  I see a lot of people hold the knife by the handle, putting their pointer finger on the spine (along the top) of the blade.  This is NOT the best way to control the blade of the knife.  The best way is to grip the handle with your thumb and pointer finger on either side of the blade, and 3 fingers tucked under the handle, guiding it where you want (pictured below).

Give it a try and let me know if you have any success!  Happy cooking!

I'm in a Southern State of Mind

Hey ya'll (oh, I went there).  I had a work trip that brought me to Knoxville, Tennessee and I must say, I LOVED IT!  It was so green, there was so much water, I loved the southern hospitality and the sweet tea....oh man....it didn't disappoint!  Since I've been back, I've been dreaming about that sweet tea!  My preference was half sweet tea and half unsweet.  

For those of you that are loyal readers, you've seen me mention my grandma Helen.  She was a big part of my childhood, since she watched my brother and I while my parents worked.  In summer, she always made sun tea.  She had that same jug and it was often sitting outside in the sun, brewing up that amber gold tea.  

I decided to attempt to recreate that sweet southern tea, using decaf Liptons (avoiding caffeine since I'm pregnant) and steeping it in the sun.  It was fun for Lucy, too!

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 of your favorite tea bags
  • Container for brewing
  • Water 
  • Agave
  • Lemon - meyer lemon is my favorite
  • Rubber band - wide enough for the top of the container
  • Plastic wrap

DIRECTIONS

Add water to the container, about a quart.  Take all tea bags strings and put them over the lip of the container.  Put plastic wrap over the strings and rubber band them secure.  Let the bags steep for 2-4 hours, depending on the strength of tea you want.  Add Agave or honey to the finished tea in 1/4 cup increments to your liking (I ended up using 1/2 cup).  Squeeze lemon into the mixture, to your preference (I used one whole meyer lemon).

Pour over ice and ENJOY!