Some days are better then others. Fact. Some days work and family collide into one almighty I need a glass of wine moment. Sometimes, just when your wine rack is all but empty an email arrives asking if you would like to try out some wines from an online wine store.
You can imagine my (well hidden) excitement. I managed to sound like a super professional when I spoke with PR. Lucky they could not actually see me fist pumping the air. Finally, someone caught on to the fact I like a wine or two. Wine Selectors I salute you.
Now, as much as I love my local bottle shop, where the staff know my name and my drinks of choice, it is not always all that convenient. Sometimes I want to be able to browse wines while in my pyjamas. I know, I’m all class. Sometimes I’d like to buy more than a bottle here and a bottle there. Stocking up for when one of those days come along when you know it’s a glass of wine kind of day.
This is where wine selectors come in. An online wine delivery service. Where choosing hand picked and taste tested wine (now there’s a job I could get used to) is just a click away. Reds, whites, rosé, sparkling, mixed cases. They are all there. You can buy by price, set up for regular deliveries and (my favourite) choose via region. Too easy.
Best mail I’ve received for a while.
Wine Selectors choose their wines from over 400 producers. Prices start at the very reasonable end and move up from there. What I loved was that I could take my time choosing the wines I wanted. In my pyjamas. While tweeting. I wasn’t wrangling shopping bags, wondering if the traffic home would be horrid, or having to wait in line. I don’t know about you, but the cues at my local bottle shop can get pretty long some days.
Choosing the wines themselves was easy, each has a description, food matching notes, and an indication of how dry or sweet it is. My only real issue was actually making my choices.
Each Friday I meet up after work with a good friend, we share a bottle, debrief from our working week, and begin to relax into the weekend. Thanks to wine selectors, this lovely weekly tradition just got little bit easier.
Would you, do you buy your wine online? Or are you brave enough to enter your local bottle shop in your pyjamas?
Disclaimer: I received wine of my choice to the value of $120 from Wine Selectors.
When I was a child at one stage we lived in a house that had a built in bar in the lounge room. It hid behind a wood paneled wall, like a secret door. Our favourite thing to do was to sit on the bench top of the bar and swing it around so we were hidden in the wall. Best hiding place ever. Total waste of a good bar.
It was the 80s and this bar built some years before was seen as somewhat daggy and a bit of a laugh. Oh how my secret inner hipster laments that I did not appreciate this bar then. If it was in my home now it would take pride of place. And I’d still take joy rides on its counter top.
Alas, as it stands my cocktail cabinet does not reside behind secret silent swivelling doors. It is in fact an old (dare I say vintage) cabinet bought on the cheap, as someone had seen fit to make it into a TV cabinet and drill holes through the back for power cords. We bought it to have a fish tank on top. But we moved house, and as is my wont I like to rearrange furniture.
Anyway, the upshot of it is that Hubby and I, being in our forties and all grown up now, have decided that a cocktail cabinet is a must. No bottles in kitchen cupboards for us. No sir. We shall be all Don and Betty (in the happier days at least.) We shall pour and shake, stir and mix. We shall be olives on picks and twists of lime suave. Ahem
So, in light of our newly repurposed cocktail cabinet I thought I’d share some of our favourite cocktail hour drinks in some posts. You’re welcome.
If you have been following along at home for any length of time you will know I am partial to a gin and tonic. Now, while I’m not sure it classifies as a cocktail, being as it’s really only two ingredients, it’s where I will start.
I’m no cocktail making expert, but I’ve never heard a complaint about my G&T making, so here goes.
For me the drink needs to be cold. So lots of ice in the glass and then a little more for good measure. Pour over two ounces of gin (that’s about one and a half shots – an ounce is two tablespoons.) The ice should be cold enough to crackle under the gin. I do love that sound.
Now pour over tonic water. Tonic water is NOT soda water. Please remember this. (For the love of god I wish all bar tenders would.)
If you’re adding lime, squeeze the juice of a quarter lime over the ice before adding gin, and drop the squeezed lime in as well.
Or, for an extra delicious gin, forgo the lime and after the ice but before the gin add some slices (or as I do a chunk) of peeled cucumber. I can not explain this combination other than to say just do it. You can thank me later.
Now all that’s left to do is sip this delight of a beverage. Be it on a sunny deck with good friends, by the fireside, or to keep you company as you cook the evening meal. It is for me the perfect drink.
It appears to have been my week for bloggy special attention. One of those weeks where my email runs over with exclusive invites and offers. And it’s not that I’m not chuffed. I am. It’s just I wonder how much attention some of these companies really pay to the blog and blogger they schmooze?
I wonder too if they realise I have little paid or you scratch my back I’ll scratch yours content. Don’t get me wrong, I’d be happy to receive goods in return for blogging content… *cough* wine *sneeze* 2xu *nose wipe* Apple Mac. I’d be more than willing to write about something I loved, *ah-tish-you* gin, or could grow to love *yawn* Nissian Dualis.
Some of the offers this week have been kind of big compared to most, and I’ll be honest, I saw stars. I felt all special and wanted and important. Then I got that feeling… the one I wanted to ignore. The one that says, tread carefully missy. The one that makes me think my Mum is watching. Then I though about it, thought some more, chatted to someone about it and realised something. If I had to think about it this much, if the shiny fanciness of it didn’t win me over and I had to begin to justify doing it, then clearly, it wasn’t for me.
Another smaller offer was (it seemed) more tailor made. It appeared someone at the company had at least skimmed some of my posts, and I kind of liked what they were offering… but not all of it. So I did something, for me it was kind of revolutionary (my usual tactic is to ignore.) I replied to the email outlining that some of the promotion attracted me, other bits, not so much… then I suggested a kind of middle ground. I know, crazy!
The result of this little revolution remains to be seen. ÂBut really, I think it’s time marketing companies started tailoring their pitch to the blogosphere. I know I’m small time, but that doesn’t mean I have to roll over and do things their way, and to be perfectly honest, nothing puts me off more than clicking through blogs and seeing the same promotion, give away blah de blah 50 gazillion times over. Slight exaggeration, but you get the idea. The other thought I had was that really, if the marketing company don’t like my tiny negotiations it’s no big loss to me.
I also need to be true to myself, and remember that actually there are some people who come to this part of blog land and read my ramblings. I’m not all that sure they want to see me flog something I clearly don’t use/want/like. I assume people reading this blog can see through the hype. And just to be clear, I have no issue with bloggers who do choose to take on more promotions. No issues whatsoever. But as I pointed out earlier this week I’m a soy latte sipping leftie, so I need to be sure my blog represents that. Need to be sure my blog represents me… you know… me, the wine drinking, 2xu running gear wearing, apple mac using, gin swilling, Nissian Dualis lusting Naomi from Under the Yardarm.
Oh Wednesday, you have been a long time coming this week. A. Long. Time. I am so, so looking forward to the weekend, please may it come soon and swiftly.
Hump Day is the middle of the working week, the top of the hill, the downward slide to the weekend. Oh weekend, how I love you and your sleeping in ways… your coffee and your nothing much to do.
Each Hump Day I like to look back at the week that was and think about three things that made me smile, made me happy. A little bit of positive in a busy and stressful life, and this week it’s all about the Aussie Bloggers Conference. I’m not sure thought that I can contain it to three things, but lets see…
Waiting for my bags at the Sydney airport and being greeted by gorgeous Lucy and Annie… cue big squishy hugs!
Meeting so, so many bloggers, and being told by one that she had told her Hubby she was going to meet me and we were going to be friends. Which we did, and which we are. Bonding over gin, apple mojitos and laughter did the trick.
Finding my tribe. It’s not every day you do…
Image courtesy of Naked Promotions Sydney. Humidity curtesy of Sydney weather and the misleading direction from a taxi driver.
And winning a big box of stuff simply for choosing red wine over orange juice… ’twas not that hard a choice really.
Seriously, could I not have a decent photo taken of me? Image courtesy of Naked Communications Sydney
So, that’s my happy for the week.
Now over to you.
What has made you happy this week? What made you smile?
I’m not really sure how to describe the past few days… And I know I’m not alone in this.
Just how do you describe meeting for the first time, face to face, people you already know? How can I explain knowing someone so well that the first time I see them we embrace like old friends. What would make me share a hotel room with someone I have only known online, and know that it would be fine? I guess the reality is, it’s because we are friends already.
It is also somewhat head spiny to have people whose faces you don’t know walk up and greet you by name. Not to mention getting over the feeling of awe at meeting some people that I have the utmost respect for, and more than a little bit of blogger’s crush on. Or the overwhelming feeling when people actually know who I am, where I blog and seem to like it/me/the blog and want to meet me.
I have so much going through my mind at the moment, and while I am still processing it all, and remembering that tomorrow I must go to work and return to reality, I also know that I need to at least get a few words down now, however incoherent they may be.
So, for now I will dilute the weekend, and extract the most important things I have taken away from it. Support, integrity and honesty. Community, grace, and family. Acceptance. Laughter. Love. Friendship.
Someone who not only knows which Bon Jovi song to request, but isn’t afraid to sing to it… a robot dancing related injury… more toothpaste than I can poke a stick at…
In a little over a week, I will be on my way to Sydney, cue excitement. While there I will be attending the inaugural Aussie Bloggers Conference. Cue more excitement. I will be meeting lots of bloggers I chat to on line sometimes daily, face to face. Can I get a squeee? I will be roomy with the ever so delightful Lucy from Diminishing Lucy. There will be hugs. (Yeah, did I warn you Lucy, I’m a hugger.)
On twitter, on blogs there has been a lot of talk about this conference. A lot of it has been around what to wear, and about feeling nervous at not so much meeting other people, but at what other people may think of the real as opposed to the online. People have been, some for the very first time, putting their real face as avatars. I am no different. I have obsessed about what to wear. I have worried people will not like me. I have worried I will be nervous and come across as aloof, which is what I have been told I do. I am already scolding myself every time I cross my arms, incase I do it at the conference and people read it the wrong way. I am clearly neurotic.
Being neurotic is nothing new to me. I have always known this about myself. I have always obsessed about clothes and what to wear. When I was five I even had a special outfit I changed into when I had been slighted wronged in trouble to make myself feel better… hello purple flares, purple T with white trim, thick brown belt and hand me down brown sandals. Funky.
Fear of not being liked is, no doubt a hangover from the combination of moving schools a few times, and not figuring out soon enough that being myself is better than yearning to be someone else and acting a part. As well as a healthy dose of square peg syndrome.
The thing is, since I started blogging I have revealed a lot about myself. More than I did to most people face to face. People come, read, some comment, others don’t… and through it all I have found myself part of an amazing, funny, supportive, and intelligent community of bloggers.
So, why then am I worried about meeting these people face to face? I have already met some bloggers, and it has been great. No need for chat about the weather, we know a lot about each other already so when we do meet, it’s more like old friends. These meet ups have been a pleasure really.
I have come to the conclusion that a little worry is alright. I think we are all, bloggers, non bloggers, if we are honest, at least a little worried about not being liked, about making a bad impression, about being left out. We are after all human.
So, as I make final decisions on what to pack, and work out how many just-in-case changes of clothes I can fit in my luggage I will remind myself that I will be meeting some amazing people, that I will not need to hide in the corner, and that we are all feeling the same way. And, as the title of my blog suggests I may partake of a wee drink before the official wine o’clock time, really, all I need to do is turn up with a glass of wine in my hand to appear as real as I do in my blog. No problem.
And if all else fails, I’ll change into purple flares and brown sandals.
Some weeks end on a nigh note. Helping you see the world through a happy lens. Helping you remember to breathe, smile a little, laugh… this week ended in such a way. And I’m glad it did.
Sometimes getting off the work, home treadmill is just what was needed, even though you were not really aware it’s what you were looking for. Last night ~ Friday~ was one such night. Together with two friends we ventured into our beautiful Melbourne for dinner and to see a night of Paul Kelly’s A-Z tour.
So, this week I’m grateful for a lift out of the everyday. For the chance to see a wonderful story teller, musician and singer/song writer who is, as one friend said, food for the soul. Im grateful it was in a small theatre, with red velvet seats, a well worn rail to lean on, and a relaxed crowd. I’m also grateful for the theatre’s bar, which sold bottles of wine, so we sat, mesmerised, with cool white wine in a glass and a bottle at our feet.
I’m grateful to be living in a city I love, by day and by night, and for a friend who knows where the good coffee is… and the good macarons and pastries.
And I’m grateful for good friends, where conversation flows easily, as does the laughter.
This post is part of Maxabella’s weekend grateful. Have a wonderful weekend where ever you are.
While I am in Tassie this time, I am having a girls night. Folding up a dress into my suitcase, and packing heels, I thought of a few posts I wrote about girls nights out in 2009. Some things have changed, there is another child… there are new partners, there are new friends… this time the dress will be blue. But the sentiment is the same.
So then, here is a post I wrote about a night out in Hobart A (bad) tribute to Where the Wild Things Are – without a doubt my favourite childhood book. So here goes my version (with apologies in advance!)
The night Nay wore her black dress and drank cocktails of one kind and another her friends called her Wild Thing! and vowed to not tell anyone she was a mother (or them either)
That very night in a bar near you, the camera flashed, the iphone tweeted, and facebook was updated until the drinks were drank, and feet were sore and Nay sailed away through night and day and in and out of clubs and almost over a year it seemed, to the place where The Wild Things are.
And the Wild Things laughed their happy laughs, and drank their terrible(ly good) drinks, and rolled their shining eyes, till Nay said don’t stop!
So the Wild Things roared their drunken roars, and danced their terrible dance, and staggered home through day, and night, with bunting (don’t ask) and into the dawn of their very own (fold out) bed (at Sis’s).
and the next morning they found their coffee waiting for them and it was still hot! Did I say it was a good tribute? No! But for the family that was made, much lurve to you all xxx
You know that holiday haze where you’re not sure what day it is, or if it’s breakfast or lunch time? When a chat with friends turns into a lazy day on a deck in sunshine with sparkling wine and laughter… or a trip to the beach leaves you sandy, salty and oh so happy? Well, that has been my life for the past two weeks.
It has been a time of family, friends, and food. Of cafe’s, restaurants, shopping and bubbly. But, we all know this never lasts. That life is a hungry beats that often pulls us back to routine. I’m happy (almost) to be back to routine. I am still wading through the washing and the unpacking, but for the most part I am happy to be doing it. You see, we have had one of those rare breeds of holiday where we actually relaxed. The whole time. Where time with the people we love was joyful. Where the starts aligned and time moved slowly.
There was enough time for the conversations that had to be had. There was time for quiet and for tears that needed to be shed. There was time for questions that needed to be asked, and time for answers too.
There was time to reconnect with friends and with the place Hubby the kids and I called home for so long. To remember what we love so much about it, and why we had to leave and find a new home.
So, now we are home. Hubby is back at work, and the kids and I begin phase two of the holidays. I have missed blogging, but also really enjoyed the break. But I’m back again and normal blogging will resume from tomorrow with Hump Day Happiness.
I have almost made it. I am almost there. Almost. The end of the school year is less than a week away. Less. Than. A. Week.
I am so tired the thought of the alarm going off in the morning makes me teary. The house is in a constant state of piles. Washing, folded and unfolded, dishes, laundry still to do, paperwork, shoes strewn through the house, the fruit platter that lives on the kitchen table full of everything except fruit. My clothes cupboards, drawers, wardrobe are crammed full or clothes in a disorganised jumble of un ironed misery.
I can’t remember the last time we sat as a family at the table and ate tea. Something we used to always do.
But… come Wednesday 3.15pm I will be saying goodbye to my class for the last time. Come Friday about 3pm I will be heading home knowing my work year is over. This is what keeps me going.
This coming weekend I plan on donning horrid house trackies and not leaving the couch except for small bursts of suitcase packing and biscotti making. I plan on not straightening my hair… that alone will frighten any uninvited guests from the door. I plan on employing my offspring as child slaves and getting them to make lunch and hopefully tea, as they appear to enjoy this task, and wash the car, pack their suitcases, clean their rooms and please for the love of god do it quietly… Mum is feeling fragile…
There will be Dexter watching. There will be nana napping. There will be trashy TV viewing. There will be much sending of the children OUTSIDE!
There will be wine.
Then, on Monday there will be car servicing, final packing and house cleaning before we head off on holiday to Tasmania for two weeks.
Until then I shall repeat after Dory, my favourite fish of them all and sing, Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming… swim, swim, swim.