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StayGrapeful

Welcome my fellow winos and foodies and everything in between. My name is Kim and I am so excited you are here! StayGrapeful was born in March of 2018. Formerly known as Namastaygrapeful. After some intense hypnotherapy sessions this name came to mind and is now my everything. StayGrapeful to me is “living a simple and grapeful lifestyle one glass at a time.” Its about being you, enjoying life, living it to the fullest, having a heart of gratitude and enjoying some wine along the way. Thank you for being here! I can’t wait to see where it goes! 🙂

Benefits of Matcha

Hey Everyone!

If you follow me on instagram you know that I love having matcha in the morning to start my day.

2 weeks ago I shared my favorite matcha tools so this week I am going to share with you the wonderful benefits of matcha.

1.) It is high in antioxidants – antioxidants help stabilize harmful free radicals, which are compounds that can damage cells and cause chronic disease.

2.) Boosts brain function – researchers found that matcha caused improvements in attention, reaction time, and memory.

3.) May help to prevent cancer – matcha is especially high in epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a type of catechin that has been shown to have powerful anti-cancer properties

4.) Matcha is calming

5.) Matcha Boosts Immunity

6.) Matcha increases energy levels with out the jitters

7.) Matcha Improves skin health

So give it a shot! Try it in the morning or switch out your afternoon cup of coffee!

Bibliography:

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/7-benefits-of-matcha-tea#4.-May-help-prevent-cancer

https://www.healwellnutrition.com/blog/top-5-health-benefits-of-matcha-green-tea

https://www.lofficielusa.com/wellness/6-health-benefits-of-matcha-green-tea

My Intentions for 2021

Hi Everyone!

Finally 2021 is here! Well it has been for 2 weeks now….. I am little behind but that’s ok. It’s never too late to start any goal list or as this will be, an intentions list.

I posted this quote last year in my blog post for 2020 intentions and this still holds true. Ditch the resolutions. To resolve means to find a solution to a problem. You are not a problem.

This is why I changed resolution to intention. The definition of intention is a thing intended; an aim or plan. Much better right?

And it is ok if you don’t reach any of your intentions or goals in 2021. I know 2020 was rough for all of us and hard to hit those intentions and goals. A year is a long time but also it goes by so fast.

So here are my intentions for 2021. I am going to share it all.

  • Meditation – I know I am a yogi and all but having a consistent meditation practice has been so hard for me. Trying to find the right time of day and right moment. So I want to really get better at meditating daily.
  • Move more – I sit all day at my job. I work from home for a renewable construction company as a Project Coordinator. So I want to move daily and move through out my day.
  • More time with my bible/ read the bible in a year – I don’t like to put myself in a category of what faith I am. I was baptized Presbyterian and re baptized 3 years ago in a Pentecostal church. I am really drawn to a Baptist church. But ultimately I believe in God and I just want to get to know him better. I downloaded a PDF of what to read each day for a year to read the bible in a year and my friend Claudia is joining me. If you want to do this feel free to join in and let me know.
  • Vlogs? weekly life vlogs – I really love youtube. I also love sharing my life with people. So I was thinking of doing weekly life vlogs. We will see though.
  • Drink less – ohhhh thats rough right? lol as a wino I am like oh but wine! But ultimately it is not healthy to drink a few glasses a night each day of the week. No judgement if you do. You do you. But I am trying to live a healthier life style. And there may be times where it is every day. I know summers are normally harder for me. Give me all the rose. I want to be more intentionally as why I am drinking or what I am drinking for. I spent a lot of time in 2020 drinking out of boredom and stress. And it is ok. We are only human and 2020 was a shit show.
  • More yoga and body positivity on my instagram.
  • Commit to my 6AM morning routine.
  • Enjoy my Peloton bike when it arrives.
  • Explore more local wines in NY (Niagara, Finger Lakes, Upstate).
  • Explore more local restaurants in Buffalo. I hope things open up so we can go out to eat again.
  • Create a Gratitude journal this year to sell in 2022 🙂 – you heard it here first. If you read this and your excited about it please share that with me on my instagram.
  • Breathe in that good ass prana (life force) daily.
  • Use liketoknow.it more – I am not talking about pushing stuff onto you guys for what to buy but it would be nice to share the things I love with you and maybe earn a little $$.
  • Talk about Young Living more and get at least 5 people to sign up under me 🙂 – I am obsessed with Young Living.
  • Get clear on what business I can start for myself.
  • Create GoFundMe for blankets and gifts to give back to Children’s hospital in May for Brain Tumor Awareness Month ❤
  • Get certified in 1 of these (energy work, wellness coach, spiritual coach, manifestation coach).
  • Reiki and wine tastings? – explore this.
  • Spirituality coach and wine tastings? – explore this.
  • Don’t be so quick to “fix” when I am feeling down. Feel the feels. Just have the day.
  • Cook out of my cook books. Starting with Healthy-ish
  • WSET 2 ? – maybe
  • Learn Italian
  • Exlpore French Wines

I hope you enjoyed my list. Share with me how you want to show up in 2021. What are your intentions? What would you like to achieve? Cheers and namaste!

Reflecting on 2020

Oh hey hi!

Welcome to this post. I like to reflect on each year at the end of the year. And normally my years are pretty full of positive events and this year was very different. Mostly negative honestly. And my shit year started before Covid even took over.

I think its safe to say how ever 2020 looked for you, it was a complete dumpster fire.

I had all the plans in the world, just like everyone else, to make 2020 my year. I was moving home, I had so many ideas I wanted to hit the ground running on when I got back to Buffalo. The restaurant scene, Niagara wine Region, and the Finger Lakes wine region. I was so pumped! I was so ready!!! But 2020 had a different plan for me and my husband.

On January 9th 2020 my husband and I had a fatality at work. Never did I dream that I or my husband would experience that, and grieve that. And grieve it a year later. The flash backs of that day have gotten worse as we creep up on the year anniversary. I am grateful my husband is safe and my other coworkers are safe. That was truly one of the hardest things I have had to experience and go through with my husband. I think it will always hurt. Its not something we take lightly at all.

On a positive note or turn. Even though we left the state of Washington on poor terms, we did move back to Buffalo NY. A few days later than what we planned. While I will never drive cross country again. I am grateful for the experience and all that we saw. We moved into our first home. I am so grateful to own this home. To live in this home. To have a roof over my head for me and my little family.

We stopped at Mount Rushmore on that trip. And that was so cool to see in person. Definitely need to go back when things are not closed and or when covid has calmed down.

My last trip was to Texas for our company holiday party at the very beginning of February. I wish I would have known that was going to be, maybe we would have done more. But I am grateful for that last little trip. I think we would have traveled this year a little more over the summer. It is just hard to do that when Kurt was away in South Dakota.

Getting settled into a house is overwhelming!!! But also fun at the same time. To create spaces in your house and decorate. Redo things. Home ownership is wild! And because of Covid and being stuck at home we were able to do a lot of things that probably would have had to wait.

Shortly after that was when Covid hit. The anxiety set in. The worry, the fear and the unknown of what was going to happen. Things shut down, I felt trapped. I was angry! I was confused. How the heck am I supposed to live life and do all of my ideas for 2020 being trapped in a house and worried if I am going to get Covid or not.

I feel like from March 13th till about the beginning of May was all a blur. We were home, doing all the puzzles, drinking all the wine and eating all the food. Covid 15 anyone? And honestly can you blame anyone for doing any of those things?

Then the beginning of May was when Kurt left for South Dakota and that was a new mountain to climb. I was only in a big ole house, new neighborhood, and I hadn’t been solo with out him in 3 years. The first week was really rough. I wasn’t sleeping well or a lot. Things were still shut down so I was navigating stay at home order solo. Huge shout out to single people and them getting through this chaos alone. You deserve an award.

The summer was much better, much easier to get through because we had nice weather and things were kind of opened and you could go places and see friends if you were comfortable with it.

My biggest win of 2020 and the my best moment of 2020 was having my last MRI and getting my all clear. 20 years brain tumor free. That’s the shit worth celebrating and nothing was going to take that away from me except my anxiety (lol). You think you are all fine and dandy and then anxiety knocks at your door and goes “mmmmm not so much.” I got my all clear and 10 minutes later I was in a puddle of tears. I was overwhelmed, worried, scared and wondering “omg am I actually ok?” I know doctors/surgeons need to cover their butts to a certain extent but closing an all clear call with “if you get any symptoms of a tumor please seek medical attention or call us.” Gee thanks! It took about a week for me to settle into my new norm. To close out a huge chapter of my life. To start a new one. It was all I ever knew. It was apart of the routine. Every 4 years I needed to go get checked out. As nerve racking as it is. I am happy to close that chapter. I am happy to never need an MRI for my brain hopefully ever again. I am just navigating this all one day at a time.

At the beginning of September I lost my Papa. To Covid. Oh you better believe I was about to raise hell for that. Were honestly not even 100% if that was why but it is on his death certificate and we couldn’t get him retested before he passed. The home he was in said it was possible they screwed up someone else test results with his because of similar names. How fucked up is that? There is still a lot of anger around that whole situation. My husband and I were supposed to take Papa in for his final days and then he got Covid and the next day he was gone. 94, a long life, loved by many, served in the Navy and Covid took him from us. Took away the opportunity for him to be with family as he lived out his final days. I was so angry. I still am. But in a weird way I have peace. I believe God was with him as well as his wife, my Grandma and that 94 years is a hell of a life. I miss him every day. The holidays were weird this year with out him. And the last time I saw him was in March when he first got sick. I never got to see him again. My heart is full of gratitude for him and him being apart of my life as my Papa.

The last 3 months of 2020 we celebrated a lot of firsts with holidays in our house. It was so fun to decorate. Passed out candy at Halloween. Had my parents for Thanksgiving and it was just the 3 of us for Christmas. Kurt, Brooke and I.

I wrote it in an Instagram post a few weeks ago on one of my Gratitude Monday posts and I just want to re write it here.

2020 was for sure the year that was so uncomfortable, painful, scary , insanely raw and saw. But can’t we all agree it grew us or is growing us in a new way we never saw coming? 2020 isn’t about the things we missed out on, or the trip we couldn’t take. 2020 is about the year tha tmade me grateful for the little things around me that I took for granted. 2020 is the year that helped me learn patients a little more, kindness a little more and love a little more. And for that, I am grateful.

This post isn’t to have a pity party of how shitty my year was. This is to reflect and to learn and grow from all of 2020. And to have hope of the year ahead. I hope and wish that 2021 is a little calmer for everyone. Less hate and more love. Less fakeness and more realness. Less divide and more unity.

I’d say cheers 2020. But Fuck 2020 seems more fitting. See you in 2021.

Unwrap the Trail Wine Pack

Hello Everyone!

I am so excited to bring you this awesome wine pack from the Canandaigua Wine Trail. It is there Unwrap the Trail Wine Pack. Did you know Canandaigua means “the chosen spot,” so the chosen spot for some of the best wine.

The Canandaigua Lake Wine Trail features 30 miles of Finger Lakes wine and food experiences in the heart of the country’s top wine region. The Canandaigua Lake Wine Trail is the closest Finger Lakes wine trail to Buffalo, and makes the perfect choice for a weekend getaway. The Canandaigua Wine Trail has just released the “Unwrap the Trail” holiday wine pack, which includes 10 handcrafted wines, glassware and a virtual tasting. Perfect gift for your family and friends or yourself this season!

Lets unwrap this box and taste it with some friends!

I was so excited to dive straight into this box and try everything. It was fun to try ones I haven’t before and or revisit some that I have. I am going to break down these wines by how I would enjoy them at Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving, Christmas and New Years Eve. Let’s head to cocktail hour!

The Pink Cat from Hazlitt winery was the perfect option to create a spritzer to have before dinner. The back of the wine label even tells you it is perfect for a spritzer so I decided to make a spritzer with my friend Kat. Pink Cat is a sweet blush wine thats delightfully refreshing. With notes of berries, and some citrus it was perfect for the spritzer we made.

This spritzer is super easy! And so delicious! I did equal parts Pink Cat and tangerine La Croix. Muddled some cranberries and thats it! And it was so yummy! I really liked it because the tangerine La Croix cut the sweetness of the Pink Cat and the cranberries added some tartness to it. Perfect drink to have before dinner and getting into more wine.

Next up is appetizers. My go to for an appetizer is a charcuterie board or something with crostini’s. The bottle of Cuvée would be perfect to have with an appetizer. Produced in the methode champenoise, this sparkling is a blend of Chardonnay (78%), Cabernet Franc (16%) and Pinot Noir (6%). This is also perfect for NYE. Pop that bottle open or saber this bottle as you will see in my photos.

We have gotten through cocktail hour and appetizers and now its time for the main meal. A lot of these wines would go well with poultry when I tasted them. This box is really good for Thanksgiving and or Christmas. I thought the Vergennes would go well with stuffing or poultry. Moscato would go well with ham if you are not doing a traditional Thanksgiving or if you have ham for Christmas. Chardonnay is going to be so yummy with poultry and all your sides if they are savory. The Cabernet Franc is going to pair well with Turkey too. You can’t go wrong with anything out of this box for Thanksgiving or Christmas. If you are having a game bird like duck at Thanksgiving or Christmas the Pinot Noir in this box is going to be fabulous!

Last but not least is dessert. Open that bottle of Cuvée, Gruner, Moscato or the Red Cat Dark. The Gruner I think would go well with Apple Pie as well as Moscato. The Red Cat Dark would be good with Cherry or Chocolate pie.

Lastly I was thinking that normally there is one family member or friend who is stuck on white wine and wants white wine only. The Semi Dry Riesling from the box is the perfect go to just for that.

If you would like to purchase this box and taste your way through one of the Finger Lakes head to the link below and use “namaste” for 15% off.

https://www.canandaigualakewinetrail.com/canandaigua-lake-wine-pack

They are also doing a virtual tasting on December 10th at 6:30PM if you would like to join! Here is the link. https://www.canandaigualakewinetrail.com/tastings

Cheers Everyone and Happy Holidays!!!

Married to a man on the road

Hi everyone!

This week I am going to talk about something a little more personal in my life. I am married to a man that works on the road. It can be really hard at times and I have worked through a lot of stress and anxiety of being alone while he’s on the road working that I wanted to make a blog post about it because I noticed not very many exist. I remember trying to google for blog posts on this topic in hopes to find someone that understands what it is like and has tips on how to get through it.

Kurt and I have been together for 7 years and married for 4. Road life is all I know for us minus the 3 years we actually worked together and I went on the road with him. I learned very quickly road life was not for me but I wanted to be with my husband. I knew what I was signing up for when I married Kurt. Was it easy? NOPE! Has it gotten easier? Unfortunately not, but I work through it. I know some couples are conditioned to it and used to it but I am not. And hopefully this winter that changes for us and he’s home more instead of gone most of the time. Cross your fingers!!

We met on a construction site for a wind farm. And we both thought it was just going to be a summer fling and I was going to go back to my life and he was going to continue on the road. Oh but isn’t falling in love a funny thing! After that project, which we spent 3 months together, till he was moved to another project in NY. Before he came home to NY for the project we met on, Kurt was in Pennsylvania, Texas and Alaska. He’s from upstate NY and I am Western NY. The project we met on is one that brought him home essentially for a short period of time. After 3 months together it went to every weekend for about a year and month. In that time frame we got engaged and he left for Minnesota. This is where life apart started.

Boy was that rough the first few months. I had taken our dog Brooke from his parents and she became mine and I was still living with my parents. This made it hard at first when he would come home because he was basically coming home to me and my parents…..which was not great because my parents were strict and wouldn’t even let us stay in the same room even though we were engaged. I only had 3 1/2 days with him. Thats all his rotations were and its the same amount of time to this very day unless he takes PTO. Shortly after this we got our first apartment which made things a little better when he came home for his rotations. But it was also my very first time living on my own. Lots of anxiety, and lots of stress of the unknown. Lots of balancing time with family because everyone would want to see him when he came home. Lots of missing out on important dates or events. It was just what was part of road life.

After Minnesota he was in Upstate NY near Plattsburgh. After we got married I moved up their with him and then a year later I started working for the same company and went on the road with him. Luckily my first project was close to home and then we moved to Texas and then Washington. I am not going to go into the nitty gritty or arguments and how at one point I did want to give up. I just want to better prepare you for what you are going to go through as a couple and yourself being alone. Currently Kurt is on the road in South Dakota and like I said hopefully this winter things will change. Cross your fingers for that!

Here are my tips!

1.) Get a dog or cat or a pet – if you like dogs or want a pet this is a great companion to have while your husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend whoever, is on the road. You spend a lot of time taking care of them which makes you forget sometimes how you are alone and your significant other is gone. Taking Brooke for walks or places to hike and swim were and are helpful. So is sitting on the couch with her with a glass of wine :).

2.) Get cameras for your home – I am not sure if you can do this with an apartment but you can absolutely do this with your house. I did not have anything at an apartment but I wasn’t as worried as I am now being alone in a house. We have a full surveillance system and it makes me feel so much better. Ring is the company we went with. Research and look into it. It gives you peace of mind to know things are caught on camera and or it make scare someone off if they are thinking about doing something.

3.) If you get cameras get signage!! – make it known! I know some people may not agree but I wanted it known like “hey I have cameras so don’t mess with me.”Just a few weeks ago I had some random guy in the middle of my driveway and I think he saw my sign in the flower bed and I think thats why he left or he realized oh shit I am practically at her front door. I am not sure what agenda this guy had but I did not like it. I have 2 signs on my mail box and one in my flower bed in the front yard so it is known, do not even try it will get caught on camera! Call me crazy but I have had a few things make me feel like I needed this and with being by yourself, I think it is helpful.

Here are the signs I bought on amazon. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07KQ4VBHR/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

4.) If you just bought your first house or moved into a house please change your locks!!!

5.) Personal Protection – I can easily get some really negative comments about this but I do not care. It is your right if you want to, to get a pistol permit. Look into your state regulations/guidelines for owning one. I have my NYS pistol permit, have a had it for a few years now. And PLEASE, please, please if you want to do this, take the courses and practice, practice, practice. In order to safely use a pistol you need to know how to use it confidently! Do not get your permit and hope to god you know how to use it when you actually need it. Practice! If you do not believe in guns and the 2A right then maybe consider pepper spray, or a baseball bat. Or if you are ok with out personal protection, that is ok too. But do not judge someone else who feels they want this as an extra layer of protection.

6.) Keep the romance alive! – guys if you are reading this and you are the one on the road and your wife is alone at home holding down the fort with your dog or if you have kids please work on making her feel special and appreciated for all she does back home. Flowers, cards, gift cards and words of affirmation go a long way. Girls if you are reading this and your man is on the road, it is just as hard for them to be gone and away. Thank your husband often for putting in the work out there on the road to make a decent paycheck. Make sure you aren’t complaining too much about him being gone. Its ok to communicate how hard things are in a healthy way. FaceTime dates are great. Read the same book at the same time. Watch the same show at the same time. This won’t work or will be way harder on you both if you go without trying to keep some sort of romance alive. Gotta keep the spark some how. It doesn’t just stay forever without doing anything.

7.) If you get really bad anxiety with your husband being gone maybe consider seeing a counselor. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I know with my husband being gone it sparks some new anxiety that I don’t necessarily worry about when he is home. Counseling has been a huge game changer for me.

8.) Keep yourself busy – find hobbies, treat yourself to a facial or massage. Make sure you are taking card of yourself.

9.) Lean on friends and family – they make the time in-between rotations fly by.

10.) If you can’t sleep at night like me, get a tv in your bedroom – Our house is super quiet at night and it freaks me out and then any little noise the house makes Brooke bark. A tv playing at night took care of that real quick! I also sleep with an eye mask to block the light.

and lastly,

11.) You got this! If you truly love your significant other you will put in the work and time and they will reciprocate. Take it one day at a time. Some days are easier than others. Some days you are going to want to give up but as long as the work is done it can work for the 2 of you.

I know some people may have it a little harder than me, like your husband has always been gone and there is no end in sight of him coming home full time. I hope my small experience of this lifestyle can help someone else. This isn’t really talked about. There really is not much support out in the online world for this. I wish there was! Its not the same as someone who is deployed but it would be nice to have a road life wife group on FB just to have fellow people who are in it too to talk to and lean on. Who knows! Maybe I will start one! 🙂

Thanks for reading this! I hope it helped you if you are in this situation 🙂 Best of luck to you and your significant other!

Friday Night Girls Night!!

Hello! Welcome to the 2nd Girls Night post!!!

I went on instagram to have you all vote which appetizer to make and the peach burrata crostini’s won! And they were fabulous. I got the recipe from food blogger How Sweet Eats. I love her recipes. I have made quite a few from her. And this was another winner.

It was super easy to make. I started with cutting my 3 peaches in half and drizzling with some avocado oil to put them on the grill.

I then made the garlic basil butter to put on the crostini’s before grilling them. The garlic basil butter really added something special special to the taste of this when you had a bite.

I then put the peaches on the grill and my crostini’s. I quickly learned my grill has hot spots. I think all grills do but some of my crostini’s cooked quicker than others and same with my peaches. But grilled fruit is a game changer. While those started grilling I put my pancetta in a pan to crisp up.

Pancetta is basically fancy bacon. It makes everything better. I was using the Pancetta as a garnish. The crostini’s and peaches do not take long on the grill so don’t walk away for too long.

You are going to slice your peaches once they cool down and then start building the crostini. Taking a crostini you put a little bit of burrata on it and then a grilled peach. At the end when I had them all on a plate I took the Pancetta and sprinkled it over the crostini’s. This was such a perfect combo of salty and sweet.

On this girls night I had my friend Kat over. We were actually celebrating a big milestone for me, which was my all clear from a brain tumor I had when I was 8. 20 years later I got my all clear and I was able to close this chapter. I sabered my first bottle which was a Brut Rosé Champagne from France. I picked it up from a local wine store here in Buffalo called Winkler & Samuels. They have such a great selection and this Champagne was fabulous. I have never had anything like it or that tasted so good. I would splurge on that bottle again. I would put in the video of me sabering the bottle but WordPress doesn’t have an option to add videos. So head over to my instagram to see it. @namastaygrapeful . Link to the recipe will be below! Thank you for stopping by and reading this! Cheers!!

Basil Butter Crostini with Burrata, Grilled Peach and Pancetta.

Wine and Grandmarheas cookie pairing!!

I am so excited about this blog post! I am obsessed with Grandmarhea’s potato chip cookies. They are unique and delicious. The perfect combo of sweet, salty and crunchy. Who would have thought that potato chips in a cookie would be so good!

I discovered her a few years ago from a YouTuber I love, April Athena, and April would always rave about this cookies so finally I had to order some and wow I was blown away. I knew I had to do a cookie and wine pairing with them. I figured it would be a fun experiment to see how the cookies tasted with the wine.

I picked out 6 cookies. 3 for red wine and 3 for white. I picked out 2 red wines and 2 white wines. The cookies for the red wine were her Chocolate Macadamia, Marj’s Amazing Grace and Christina’s favorites. I paired them with a Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley and a red blend from Naked Winery. The 3 cookies for the white wines were Peanut Butter Dream, Jewelz Truly Scumptions and Luis’ Dark Side. The 2 white wines were a semi dry Riesling from the Finger Lakes from a winery called Lakewood. And I also had a white blend from Empathy Wines.

I really liked all 3 for the red wine. They seem to compliment each other well with both reds I picked out. So you can’t go wrong with either of the 3 I picked out for the red wines. The Pinot Noir was from Willamette Valley from the winery Averaen. And then I had a red blend from Naked Winery called Climax. The semi dry Riesling went well with the Jewelz truly scrumptions because it had butterscotch in the cookies and the white blend went well with the peanut butter dream cookies. I liked the Luis’ Dark Side with either of the white wines.

These cookies are so good with the mixture of potato chips and sweetness. You definitely have to check her out! If you have a sweet tooth you will definitely love them! She can even do gift bags of her cookies for bridal showers or baby showers and even more!

Cheers everyone! Thank you for stopping by! Feel free to let me know if you try these cookies! Even if you don’t pair them with wine!

Grandmarhea’s website – http://www.grandmarheas.com/home/Welcome.html

Averaen Winery – https://www.averaenwines.com

Wine.com – https://www.wine.com/product/averaen-willamette-valley-pinot-noir-2016/343863#

Naked Winery Red Blend – https://www.nakedwinery.com/?method=products.productDrilldown&productID=10B12C9D-CB36-3641-BF8B-5321503AF48B

Empathy White Blend – https://empathywines.com/products/white-2019

Lakewood Vineyards – https://lakewoodvineyards.com

Friday Night Girls Night!

Hi everyone!

It has been a minute hasn’t it…. I am sure everyone can understand that quarantine kind of squashed the creative mind. It was hard to come up with content besides what I was doing to pass the time. Now that we are on a little bit of a different side of quarantine I was excited to finally start up a monthly blog post called “Friday Night Girls Night.” I want to bring you a recipe of some sort and a wine to pair it with for you and your friends! So happy to be able to see people and to have people over. I love hosting!

This post I have a blueberry balsamic goat cheese appetizer, paired with a New Zealand Sauvigon Blanc. The recipe is from Danielle who has the blog https://www.thecreativebite.com/ .

Gosh this was sooooo good! If you like blueberries and goat cheese you are going to love this appetizer. Here is a photo of all the ingredients you will need. I will like the full recipe below so you can check out Danielle’s post about it.

You first start with cooking the blueberries. I used frozen blueberries and agave instead of honey for this part. You add salt, balsamic and rosemary to a pan.

While that is cooking I mixed together the goat cheese and cream cheese. I took them out about a half hour before so they could warm up a little so that way I could mix them a little better.

After the blueberries are done and your cheese is mixed its time to add it to a plate. You put the cheese on the bottom and then add the blueberries on top.

I probably could have eaten this whole thing! I had my friend Sam over and we were able to catch up and eat and have a great time! If you make this let me know! Cheers everyone! Here is the recipe! https://www.thecreativebite.com/blueberry-balsamic-goat-cheese-appetizer/

Sauvignon Blanc goes great with goat cheese. This wine is light, smooth, dry and acidic. With notes of red fruit, plum and an earthy side. Here is the wine on wine.com. https://www.wine.com/product/auntsfield-estate-single-vineyard-sauvignon-blanc-2018/515366

Our Plank & Mill Accent Wall!

Hello my Grapeful Fam! It feels so good to be back and posting something! 🙂

It’s been a bit… And some things have been kind of whacky in the world, but I am here to bring you a blog post and a how to on the accent wall we completed in our master bedroom.  This is not sponsored, we bought everything from Plank & Mill on our own.  I wanted to make this blog post to show you how cool this stuff is and how quickly you can upgrade any room.

It did take my husband about a month to complete it.  He did all the “heavy lifting.” Between our normal full time jobs, the pattern we chose and getting back home to Buffalo we were busy!  Kurt did his research on Plank and Mill and we decided to go with their reclaimed wood paneling.  If we hadn’t had anything else to do it definitely only would have taken us a week to do this.

We ordered 140 sq ft because our wall is 16 ft wide and 8 ft tall.  They suggest buying 10% extra for any room if you are doing a herringbone pattern.  Which is the pattern we chose.  We also did not subtract the area of the windows which provided us with some extra waste.  Once our order arrived we had to open everything up and put it in the room it was going to be in for 48 hours so the wood could acclimate to the temperature and humidity of the room for the best outcome and longterm ware of the wood.  Before we started installation there were a few recommendations.  The first was one that we found during our research or planning that recommended painting the wall a dark color to help hide if there were any gaps caused by the rustic or weathered nature of the boards — fortunately for us our wall was already a dark grey.  We found that Plank & Mill addresses this issue by putting a black paper on the back sides of their boards where there are holes.  The next recommendation that Plank & Mill makes is to ensure that the wall is cleaned with warm water prior to starting.

After 48 hours it was time to get to work!

Kurt measured and marked the center of the wall.  After that we marked the center of the board ends on 2 boards.  Then we lined the 2 boards up on the wall matching the center of the boards to the center of the wall.  We used a speed square to ensure that these first boards met at 90 degrees.  Next we continued to add boards on the first line of the pattern to the edges of the wall.  Please note that Kurt was using a compound miter saw to cut the boards to size and the angles.  In using a herringbone pattern the majority of your cuts should be 45 degree angles depending on the length of the boards you have.  With Plank & Mill, the boxes of boards come in lengths of 1 ft, 2ft, 3ft and 4 ft.

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After we completed the first we began installing the pattern row by row moving up the wall.  We filled in the lower portions and corners with the cut ends which reduced some of our waste.

Thanks so much for stopping by and giving this a read! Cheers! 🙂

Plank & Mill Website

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Resolutions are over rated

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Nothing like sipping on rose bubbles the day after NYE. I made it till 9:30 and I was out. This tends to be the norm for my husband and I on NYE. But we are going to be in our house this year for NYE and I plant to have an epic party. Kind of like how Amy Landino does her parties. You need to look that girl up! She’s the guru for morning routines.

Anywho!

Resolutions…. ugh, yuck and fuck that. Let’s set intentions people. Resolutions are like trying to find the resolution to a problem that you have. YOU are not a problem! So why do we year after year try to find this solution or resolution to what ever problem is apparently in our lives! So I really encourage you to set intentions instead.

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The definition of intention is a thing intended; an aim or plan. I find this more achievable and honestly more motivating for the new year. 9 times out of 10 your resolution involves the gym right? Working out? Getting fit for summer? Getting fit for that trip in the new year? I am right aren’t I? and 9 times out of 10 that fails. I AM just as guilty girl, I am right there with you, I have failed year after year except for last year because I made this whole getting fit thing a little less scary by having the intention to move more. Thats just an example for an intention. We put these crazy goals that aren’t achievable at the beginning of a new year and it’s all thus pressure and its go go go right now get that goal and eventually we explode. Kind of like my anxiety. It builds and I don’t talk about it and then boom!

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So what are your intentions for the new year? Self care? Have the intention for a little more “me time?” Move more? One of my intentions is to walk more with my dog. I know to work out I want to work out. I have an accountability partner in my life. But the intention to just get my body moving outside of the hard core exercising sounds wonderful. I have the intention to meditate more because I know its success when I am consistent. I want to check in with loved ones more because I find I don’t do that enough. My intentions for the year are in the main image above if you would like to see them. I am not shy. Also, read the messages I have scattered in here because this has motivated me so much for a more enjoyable and powerful year. I really hope you ditch the resolutions and find your intentions instead.

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