Archive of ‘LIFESTYLE’ category

Oak by Absolut Vodka

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As a wine girl, most people don’t think I drink anything else. I enjoy a good cocktail with fresh ingredients and even better liquor. Absolut Vodka is a major vodka brand and is currently on my bar cart. So when they asked me to try their barrel crafted oaked vodka I was skeptical. Vodka. Being oaked?

Seriously.

If you are going to oak vodka, my expectations are going to be high. I expect it to be smooth, can stand alone on its merits, and doesn’t need a mix to make it taste good. Needless to say, I don’t want my vodka any other way now. Absolut Oak is so smooth. At first I tried it with cold apple cider in a cocktail, but the best way in my opinion is straight up on the rocks.

Here’s a great recipe for a fall gathering. Talk about a grown-up hot toddy.

  • Half a bottle of Absolut Oak;
  • One gallon of apple cider (fresh is the best);
  • Thinly sliced Honey Crisp or Fuji apple;
  • Mix all the ingredients in a large stock pot and simmer on low for 20 minutes;
  • Serve in a mug with an apple slice on top; and
  • Your guests will thank you.

Wellness Wednesday: Seek Retreats

Seek Retreat

It’s that time to start planning 2016 adventures of sun, sand, and surf. Three of my favorite things. One retreat group I like is Seek Retreat. Seek Retreat handles your lodging, your wellness, and your workout. They have retreats all over the world and you select one according to the destination and you will be on your way.

I always advise people when they are planning to attend a retreat solo to go with an open mind. I’ve met some of the best people in the world on a yoga retreat or wellness vacation when I was by myself. Also, you learn so much about yourself traveling alone. You discover the real you.

One of my favorite yoga teachers Mary Beth leads a retreat in Sayulita every year through Seek Retreat and it’s on my list to go in 2016.

Bespoke Tailoring with Kathryn Sargent

I recently had the pleasure of meeting and learning the art of  tailoring from Kathryn Sargent. You might say to yourself “tailoring?” Yes, I know. It may seem small or something that is not on your radar, but it should. We currently live in a world of cheap and fast fashion. I know. I’ve been there and bought the pieces. Now, I’m like no way. I’m done. Bespoke tailoring is very different than fixing a hem. It is custom clothing made to your exact body shape and only for you.

The Jefferson Hotel in DC has partnered with Kathryn and their distinguished clientele to create a partnership for bespoke tailoring. Kathryn was on hand to present the craft of bespoke tailoring, showcase a few items for her American clientele, and explain the bespoke process.

Kathryn spent 15 years working with one of London’s premiere Savile Row tailors to learn the craft. The work is impeccable and if I ever have the money I would live in custom clothing and a few pieces from Kathryn.

Kathryn Sargent Bespoke Tailoring
No.6 Brook Street
1st Floor, Mayfair, London, W1S 1BB

{Roses and wine at the Tailored Tea event with Kathryn Sargent.}

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{Details. Hand stitched.}

IMG_3714{Very English natty tweeds.}

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Feasting Pretty: Ted’s Montana Grill

Ted's Montana Grill

I recently had the pleasure of dining at the new Ted’s Montana Grill in Maryland. The restaurant chain owned by Ted Turner opened the first location of the popular chain in Maryland. Ted’s Montana Grill is based on bison cuisine which is leaner and has more protein than beef. I had only had a bison burger before experiencing the deliciousness of a bison steak.

Now, I am hooked. The meat had so much flavor and I love that it only came with a pat of butter on the top. This is all you need on a good piece of meat. No sauce, just butter. My meal started with the smoked trout appetizer with homemade bread and tortilla chips. I had to stop myself from eating the entire dish because I needed room for my steak. This is worth going to Ted’s just to try.

If you don’t eat bison, don’t worry. Ted’s also sells meat and fish entrees. The restaurant has other great food options to try. I have to bring my husband back because the cedar-plank salmon looked worth trying as well. The restaurant cooks everything fresh and also freshly presses their lemons for the house lemonade.

Would I go back to Ted’s Montana Grill? Absolutely. I plan on taking my mother there when she visits next month because it’s just that delicious.

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{Smoked trout appetizer}

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{Bison steak served perfectly}

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{Outdoor fire pit to enjoy}

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Ted’s Montana Grill
105 Ellington Boulevard
Gaithersburg, MD 20878

Le Weekend

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I’m currently in Fort Lauderdale at a blogger conference and I’m just overcome with how much fun this community and folk still are to me. Blogging has changed drastically in the last 9 years since I started, but I still enjoy it. I’ve learned some amazing insights and met some groovy people as Lou Rawls would say. I didn’t want you to miss out on all this week’s goodness so here are a few of my favorite finds. I hope you enjoy the weekend, stay safe and don’t eat too much candy.

  1. Lululemon has been having trouble for years due to the crazy ex-CEO and subpar materials. Hopefully, they can get back on track.
  2. Chanel bought a winery. I guess it’s time to get back to Napa.
  3. I’m an avid reader and as such there is something about the written word that I love. I recently had another disagreement with someone who only listens to audiobooks. I said, “they aren’t real books because you can’t get the nuisances of the book.” Of course, this is a constant debate. One of my favorite book podcasts doesn’t agree with me. What say you?
  4. I’m having surgery next month. I know I have to take it easy once the doctor releases me to workout, so I’m reading lots on how to come back to yoga after surgery. I’m a good patient and I like to be prepared.
  5. If you are going to eat tons of candy, you might as well enjoy it with wine. Wine + Halloween candy = sugar high.

 

Photo: Daily Paint Works

Reading Pretty: Love x Style x Life by Garance Doré

 
It’s hard to pinpoint the exact moment I discovered Garance Doré’s blog. It was around the time I started my blog and her blog focused on illustrations and fashion. I was hooked. As a Francophile, I loved her style and as an avid blog reader at the time I couldn’t get enough. Mind you this was 2006. Everything was about blogging. Instagram didn’t exist and not everyone had a smartphone.

The minute I discovered her book was coming out I had to pre-order it. Luckily, I was home to collect it and was actually stalking my mailman. I enjoyed the book with a cuppa tea while a pre-treatment hair oil, French, of course, was moisturizing my hair. I sat down to engage all my senses. No rushing. I took my time. There were moments I laughed out loud at her humor and the ability to laugh at herself and there were other times I’m like “I’m copying this exact look.”

If you are obsessed with style and love a good mix of both. This is your book. Garance is French by way of Corsica, so her perspective on the Paris and New York fashion aesthetic comes with a fresh set of eyes.

Also, it was the first time I looked at a style book and saw women who looked like me throughout. Go get this book now.

Le Weekend

Daily Paint Works

It’s been such an amazing and profound week. You know the saying when one door closes, one door opens. That has been my week and it was the best week ever. With that being said, there are a few things I’m loving this week.

  1. If you have not watched Drake’s new video, how are we friends. I love it for reaffirming my belief Drake is a nerd and I love him.
  2. Downton Abbey is starting its final season. I seriously need to spend the next few weeks catching up.
  3. I love a good statement piece of jewelry and these earrings are calling me. Big. Bold and so Julia.
  4. Apple and fashion are coming together. I can’t wait to see what they create.
  5. I love a good hat for winter and this one is on its way to me. I can’t wait to wear it on a cold day out with friends.

Image: Daily Paint Works

Le Weekend

Keep Calm and love Autumn

I’m so excited to go apple picking tomorrow, visiting a local winery, and having multiple laughs that I hope I sleep well tonight. I’m excited to make my apple and blue cheese galette. It’s one of the things I look forward to this time of year. The weather is crisp and the leaves are getting the beautiful orange and plum hue that signals fall.

  1. I love whipped body butter, but I realized I could just make it myself with a little elbow grease. I watched this video, gathered my ingredients, and now you can’t stop me. My skin is going to be so soft that I actually want to pet it like a puppy. Also, I like that the scent isn’t over-powering. I combined lavender and Madagascar rose essential oils, but only a little bit. Divine. I put mine in glass sixteen-ounce jars I picked up at Homegoods because they make my beauty shelf look purr-ty.
  2. I love Rihanna and her unapologetic love of herself. I think she is smart and badass at the same time. This article reaffirms why I love her. Some people on these interwebs were made that the writer focused on herself more than Rihanna. Tell me what you think.
  3. The Man Booker Prize for Fiction was just announced and I was ecstatic to hear Marlon James won for a Brief History of Seven Killings. The book is so good, but it is very violent. I mean it’s tough. But, if you can get past that it is worth reading.
  4. Every year Neiman Marcus comes out with their annual Christmas Book of ridiculously crazy expensive things that I would buy if I won the lottery. It’s hilarious to look at. I take the time with a cup of tea and laugh out loud. Sometimes, there are a few gems in my price point but not many. It’s an anthropological study in how the other half lives.
  5. On most Fridays, I’m exhausted from the week and normally I’m on the couch watching documentaries on Netflix. Tonight I plan to watch them from the bath because my new ISUN ORMUS bath salts have arrived and plan on soaking until I’m as wrinkled as a raisin.

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