Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Etsy Obsession

So I discovered Etsy awhile ago, but just recently became obsessed. Do you know how many fun things you can find on there?? It's all hand-made stuff - crafts, jewelry, paintings, photography, paper good, baby gifts, etc. The baby gifts have been especially fun - I like to make baby blankets, but I got an idea from Etsy to make burp cloths, which I made for my cousin's new baby. They turned out really cute. And the ideas I'm getting are almost endless! Yeah!

I may even get all creative and start selling some of my photography. That will mean I'll have to start taking new pictures, but it's something I'm thinking about.

So far I've only purchased from one vendor - three Cozy Corset Cuffs. One for me, one for Kristi, and one for the Fixen Vixen. They are meant to replace the cardboard cuffs that normally come with your cup of coffee, and of course, they're reusable! Not to mention the fact that they're just plain cute!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Almost done...

This week has been a bit of a whirlwind! I've been back and forth between the U and Hamline trying to finish up my requirements for my mentorship that I've been doing with a prof at Hamline. I gave two lectures on Monday and Wednesday, and today I'm off to serve on an undergraduate honors thesis committee. But then I'm DONE! No more need to run back and forth to Hamline - and no more dressing up, which is good, because I'm pretty much out of clean dress clothes (back to the sloppy jeans and t-shirts that are much more lab-appropriate!). Now I just have to get through 3 more weeks of class...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Rice St Pub Crawl '08 T-shirts!

Just designed the t-shirts for this year's pub crawl - can't wait!!


The male model for these t-shirts kind of creeps me out. But you get the idea. The lineup for this year's pub crawl is the same, but the drink requirements have slightly changed, and are visually depicted on the front of the t-shirts.

Lamplighter: 2 drink minimum (hopefully it's still 2-for-1s, because that worked out well for us last year!)
Chalet: you-call-it shot
Dean's: vodka drink (can be vodka-redbull, but it's not energy-drink specific this year)
Brady's: rum drink (replacing the vodka drink since we moved it up)
Hoggsbreath: pitchers only

I think it's going to be another memorable crawl!!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Congrats!

Congrats go out to my cousins in Colorado, who just had their second baby boy yesterday - Jonathan David Cole. How exciting! We've also been reminded from my uncle that the score is officially 3-0 (he now has 3 grandkids and my mom has none). I keep trying to tell everyone that it's up to one of my little brothers to provide the first grandkid...

Chi Chi Punch

This recipe is for redevetter, who enjoys a good punch, with or without the booze. I remember my parents making this punch a lot when I was younger, and they had to make a nonalcoholic version for us kids because we liked it so much!

Ingredients:
1 (12 oz) can of lemonade concentrate
1 quart pineapple juice
1 (15 oz) can cream of coconut
2 cups vodka (I think you can just skip the vodka here, or add the equivalent water amount)

Freeze in an ice cream bucket. Scoop out individual servings and top with 7-up or Squirt or another citrus-y carbonated beverage of choice.

Yum!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

My husband, the stud.

A fire call my hubby was on last week made a national fire fighter website - you can check it out online here. The top photo from the news story is shown here - David is the white helmet on the left that's cutting into the garage doors. He's not in the later pictures, but that's because he crawled into the smoking hole they are cutting in this picture.

Cool, huh?

More Wineries

Day two in Napa involved us hopping on a short bus and being shuttled to seven different wineries around Napa Valley by our chauffeur, Lawrence. We shared the bus with two other young couples and a trio of 50-60 yr old sisters from Jacksonville, Florida. The young couples were nice, one was from England on "holiday," but the sisters were something else! They were southern belles, to say the least. They spent the majority of the time flirting openly with our chauffeur, and the other half of the time tasting the "sweet" wines (too bad they were with predominantly red wine drinkers!). At one point, one even asked if we could go to Beringer Winery, because they had had that wine before. Thank goodness it was too far away! Luckily they found a wine sweet enough to satisfy them at the second winery we went to - a late harvest Riesling that I have to admit was yummy but way too sweet for me! :) It was a pretty interesting day - you never knew what they were going to say or do next, and they were quite tipsy by the end of the trip!

Laird Family Estate
This winery was the first stop on our trip - so we were tasting wine at about 10:30am. They started out primarily selling grapes they had raised, but would always keep a few behind a make some wine of their own. Eventually their wines started getting attention, so now they have a shiny new tasting room and some pretty good wines. We bought a bottle of their 2006 Pinot Grigio (which ended up in the lab - yet to be drunk). David also liked their 2004 Dyer Ranch Syrah; it had a good smell with a quick finish. I would suggest a quick trip here - the best part was we got to share a $15 tasting, which they waived once we bought a bottle of wine (which was only $18 - one of the cheapest bottles we found on our trip!).

Trefethen Family Vineyards
This was our second favorite vineyard of our entire trip. We only walked out with one bottle of wine, but could have easily bought all of the reds we tasted (and maybe a bit of that sweet late harvest Riesling!). The tasting room has recently been remodeled to look like the original winery of the late 1800s - so it's high rafters, dark woods, big wood bars and tables - beautiful. Worth a trip just to check it out. So we bought a bottle of their 2004 Merlot (lots of flavor, bold; David loved!), but we also tried their 2006 Pinot Noir (I loved, smooth and soft; this pinot, unlike other pinots made in Napa was made from Napa Valley grapes), and their 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon (which was AMAZING - probably the best cab we tasted on the trip, but it was a $50 bottle and it was only the second vineyard of the day, so we held off). They had a few other cabs (older vintages; reserves) which I think I would try if we went back again, but it was a different tasting menu that was more expensive and we knew we wouldn't be able to afford any of the wine we were tasting! There was a $100 2003 Reserve Cab on that menu!Monticello Vineyards
I don't even remember much about this vineyard, so not too much to say about it. Wine was okay, but nothing that got us very excited.

Black Stallion Winery
New winery and tasting room just opened - the owners actually live in Mpls/St. Paul and also own the MGM Liquor Warehouse chain of stores here. The tasting room and grounds are gorgeous- they used to house an equestrian center that was hand built out of river rock. The wines were pretty good - we actually liked their 2004 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc, but didn't buy a bottle. The sisters loved their sweet wine, a 2006 Napa Valley Muscat, which was only sold in half bottles for $36 and had a 2 bottle limit.Silverado Vineyards
The locals refer to this place as the Disney winery, because it's owned by Walt Disney's daughter. The only Disney thing you see is an art deco movie poster for Ratatouille. The grounds are gorgeous - built into the hillside. Their wines are a bit different, but all good. We bought a bottle of the 2005 Sangiovese for my mom (kind of wished I would have bought one for myself in hindsight!).

Diamond Oaks
Cheap tasting fee for Napa - $7 per person. Only a few wines to taste, but we bought a bottle of their cheap (by Napa standards) Cabernet Sauvignon for $22. It was smooth but had a good "oomph" finish.
Andretti Winery
Our last stop of the day was at Mario Andretti's Winery - yes, the race car driver. We got excited when we saw a fancy sports car in the driveway because we thought he was in town, but it was just another tourist with a fancy rental. We each did a tasting here, so we got to taste a bunch of different wines. We bought a 2005 Zinfandel-Primitivo and a 2005 Merlot for my mom. Good stop. Also, we got a 12 bottle shipping box for our wine here for only $12 (which was pretty cheap compared to other spots!).

That was our second day - we were EXHAUSTED by the end of it! Our last day we hit Mumm Napa to see how they make sparkling wine - and then enjoyed 6 flutes of sparklers at noon. Yum! Then we hit Rutherford Hill, which had another great port, but we took our free wine glasses and left without buying any. We hit a kosher winery along the way, which had only so-so wines, but we had a free tasting, so that was okay. We ended up at Folio (again!) on our way back to Sonoma where we bought 3 more bottles of wine...then we got lost trying to find the Fig Pantry in Sonoma to grab a very late lunch! Luckily we found it, but by the time we finished our quick lunch the wineries were closed. Good thing we were in great moods after our scrumptious meals, so we wandered around town until heading back to San Fran, and eventually home that night!

Seriously - can I just go back this weekend? Because I would. In a heartbeat.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Brew's Crew

The Gophers got a new football coach last year, Tim Brewster. The Gopher Goal Line Club (football booster club) had t-shirts designed which said "Brew's Crew" with a football on the front and "Gopher Nation Tailgating Division" on the back. Subsequently, the t-shirts were banned by University officials because they felt the shirts advocated drinking and alcohol because they said "Brew." The hubby and I saw these shirts and of course wanted one (they were clever) but couldn't get one due to the ban. The Minnesota Daily newspaper ran a story today about the ban on the t-shirts being lifted, so evidently we can order them now, which I'm pretty happy about. The best part of the entire story was the quote at the end - "Warsett said he liked the shirts because they're creative, and an atmosphere of 'hooligans and drunken underagers' happens with or without an item of clothing." Awesome.