Posts Tagged ‘wine’

Harvest Festival a la Damp

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

On Sunday we packed a picnic and headed over to Jonathan Edwards Winery for their annual Harvest Festival with some of our friends. We like it there, and not just because they never looked at you funny for wearing a baby during a wine tasting.

We’d only been there for an hour when it started drizzling. I kept saying hopeful things like “Maybe it’s just this one cloud! It could blow over any second!” but oddly that didn’t prevent the sky from opening and pouring on us a few minutes later. While all the sane people ran for the tents, we hauled our stuff up to the patio and rigged a little shelter out of sun umbrellas where we had our own party while the kids jumped in puddles.

We were all cold and wet and should have been totally miserable, but instead we stayed for almost 6 hours.

jonathan edwards harvest festival jonathan edwards harvest festival jonathan edwards harvest festival jonathan edwards harvest festival

My kids love these kids. They love their parents and grandparents and friends too. We hung out with them in various configurations all weekend and Caroline STILL cried going to bed because she missed her friends.

There are not enough words to describe how nice it is to have friends, especially real life “let’s go get ice cream” friends. Real life is hard, especially when you’re talking about couples-with-kids friends since there are three or four people involved instead of just two. My husband might not like her husband and my kid might not get along with his kid, and when you add MORE friends there are more things to go wrong. It’s a complicated dynamic and I’ve seen some friendships fall apart in totally fantastic implosions worthy of an epic novel.

I really, really lucked out with these people.

jonathan edwards harvest festival

They even tolerate – nah, ENCOURAGE – my crazy photo taking.

jonathan edwards harvest festival

jonathan edwards harvest festival

jonathan edwards harvest festival jonathan edwards harvest festival

jonathan edwards harvest festival jonathan edwards harvest festival My shoes are still wet from Sunday but we’re already planning a wine night to reprise our fun. Take that, Mother Nature. You may dampen our socks but you can’t damped our friendship. Especially when they’re already soaked in wine and paint.

Connecticut – As Much Fun As You Can Fit In One Weekend

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

It’s kind of hilarious that this post is sponsored by Connecticut Tourism, since my entire blog could pretty much be seen as a commercial for Connecticut Tourism. Between trips to the aquarium, the seaport, parks, and various bodies of water all I do is post about the fun we have living here. I’m constantly amazed at how much there is to do in an hour radius of my house. I’ve lived here 7 years and I’m still discovering new places and activities all the time!

A few months ago, my friend Erin said “Hey, so I’m getting four days off over Memorial Day weekend, would it be cool if I came up to visit you?” and I say “It would be THE COOLEST.” I warned her two kids kind of put a damper on the crazy, carefree, childless life she was used to but she assured me she loved my ginger babies and would be happy to hang out doing ginger baby-friendly stuff. Luckily, we managed to do plenty of things that were fun for EVERYONE – although I needed 18 hours of sleep and a diet of nothing but carrot sticks to recover from SO MUCH FUN.

Here’s a quick (but extremely picture heavy) rundown of all the things we did over Memorial Day weekend. I PROMISE it’s worth at least scrolling through so you can check out the giveaway at the bottom: Saturday morning we drove down to Mystic where we walked around looking at shops, watched the drawbridge go up and down and ate delicious ice cream at Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream(I highly recommend the lemon custard with shaved chocolate).

mystic connecticut drawbridge

mystic drawbridge ice cream

whale statue mystic connecticut

mystic river

Memorial Day Weekend mystical toys connecticut On the way home we stopped at two local vineyards – Stonington Vineyards and Maugle Sierra Vineyards– for wine tastings. E kindly volunteered to make wise choices and be DD so Erin and I could try all the wines. I came home with three bottles, include the most delicious Riesling ever.

stonington vineyards connecticut

stonington vineyards connecticut

stonington vineyards connecticut

stonington vineyards connecticut

stonington vineyards connecticut

maugle sierra vineyard connecticut

maugle sierra vineyard connecticut

In the evening, we took the stroller and walked down to the Norwich waterfront where the Rotary Club was having a carnival. My daredevil son enjoyed half a dozen rides while Erin and Caroline and I enjoyed a delicious fried dough.

carnival connecticut

norwich carnival rollercoaster

norwich carnival connecticut

norwich carnival connecticut

*That tall thing in the distance is Mohegan Sun Casino*

norwich carnival connecticut

norwich carnival connecticut fried dough

On Sunday, I took Erin to the Jewett City Flea Market, which is in a huge old mill building. We wandered around looking for treasures and wondering WHO exactly is going to buy something like this:

terrifying ventriliquist dummy

But we found plenty of cool stuff too:

jewett city flea market connecticut

jewett city flea market connecticut

jewett city flea market connecticut

jewett city flea market connecticut

jewett city flea market connecticut

jewett city flea market connecticut

On Sunday evening our awesome baby sitter came over to put the kids to bed so all the grown ups could get dinner and drinks at Mohegan Sun. We had dinner at Sol Toro Tequila Grill and spiked milk shakes at Bobby’s Burger Place. Then we played craps and tried a few slot machines until we decided we’d lost enough money. I always feel so glamorous at the casino, even if I’m playing penny slots.

mohegan sun connecticut

mohegan sun connecticut

black & blue mojito

mohegan sun connecticut

mohegan sun connecticut bobby flay's burger

mohegan sun connecticut bobby flay's burger

mohegan sun connecticut

mohegan sun connecticut

After sleeping in for a little bit on Monday we went out for family brunch and then walked down to the green where the town was having Memorial Day festivities – and my kids got to see a zillion firetrucks.

old tymes restaurant brunch

old tymes restaurant brunch

Even reliving all that as I was writing it was exhausting. We did a lot! And we only did a TINY bit of the stuff we could have done – we didn’t go out on the boat, or to the beach, or to the Nautilus Museum, or Mystic Aquarium or Seaport, or any of the other vineyards, or go get fresh seafood, or down to Clinton for antiques and outlet shopping.

Which Connecticut destination would you like to visit? Leave a comment below and you will be entered into a sweepstakes from BlogHer to win $1,000 to help you plan your trip!Advertisement (more…)

Steppin’ Out: Wine Festival

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

Turns out there might be just a FEW benefits to having a friend who owns a vineyard. Like, for example, free tickets to her fall wine festival. Unfortunately, both my guys were a little grumpy and the place was PACKED so we didn’t stay too long. Little Evan kept running away through the throngs of drunks shouting that he wanted “Lemonade! Lemonade! Now Mama!” and trying to grab people’s wine out of their hands. (I guess calling my nightly glass of Reisling “Mama’s Special Lemonade” was a poor choice.)

There’s nothing that ruins a great glass of Cabernet Franc faster than having to wrestle a screaming toddler to the ground. I think the appropriate wine pairing for 2-year-old is GIANT BOX. But even with all four hands full, E and I managed to snap a few pictures.

How many babies does it take to rip Daddy's glasses off his face?

I love how they look so much alike even though it's just the back of their heads

A nice cold Riesling makes a great teether

And here’s what we wore. I’m not thrilled with my outfit, but it was the first time all week I wore something besides stretchy pants so I felt it needed some documentation. I am very excited boots and jeans and scarves, but not so much of how sweaters make my arms look. Time for some more push-ups, I think.

Little Evan:
Shirt & pants – Old Navy
Shoes – Target

Head to toe – Carter’s (all from a hand-me-down box)

Sweater – Target
Tank – Express
Purse – Kate Spade
Necklace – Bought in Paris at a street market (don’t I sound FANCY???)

They also have a tiny kitten heel. They are FORMAL moccasins.

Shoes – SteinMart
Jeans – Courtesy of the Lee Denim booth at BlogHer. I love the color and the stretch, but I should have gone with a slightly lower rise. I swear there are NO JEANS anywhere in the world that fit me correctly, especially after 2 kids. All my mushy bits get strangled and my butt is sadly flat looking. I miss my old butt.

My Week(46) in iPhone Photos

Saturday, September 17th, 2011

Man, is there anything less fun than coming back to your normal, mid-sized, dog hair covered house after a luxury vacation? I have GOT to win the lottery. Or at least start making enough money so I can afford someone to come in and clean up this dog hair once a week. Sheesh.


Tiny bebehs, giant bathtub

Still not enough cheese.

No one can resist Caroline's cuddles


Screw you beach house. Screw you and your perfect sunrise.

Dog-hair free. And so so shiny.

At least it was a nice day for driving.


Crazy ass giant mouse thing at the Natural History Museum

I took approximately 500 pictures of butterflies, so if they all disappear off the face of the earth tomorrow I'M GOOD.

The only thing left on the Missoni accessory rack. I didn't buy it.


Luggage in my kitchen. Guess how much has been put away as of this morning. (Hint: NONE)


A photo of me editing photos. Aren't you EXCITED?


Blue cheese, bacon, tomato, carmelized onions on sourdough from the fancy grilled cheese restaurant in Mystic.

Toddler table. The cute is out of CONTROL.

Adorable thrifted vintage baby clothes (and handmade headbands) from an AMAZING internet friend. Thank you @heathermbyrd!!


First shoes!

Meal planning. It took me three days and I still haven't actually MADE any of them.

New (amazing) lens. I can now take pictures of each of Caroline's eyelashes.


8 am, where else would I be?

Swoopy hair, sleepy face

More wine, less whine.

I plan to spend Sunday napping as much as possible – I feel like I’ve been beaten (thanks to Stroller Strides) and sleep deprived (thanks to a teething baby) and starved (thanks to eating like a fat kid on vacay followed by a return to my diet) – while I thoroughly neglect my children. Luckily they’re pretty self sufficient if you throw a few cheese sticks at them and turn on Nick Jr. I am the best mother EVER.

Did you take any camera phone photos this week? Link up with one or lots using the linky below and grab the code (so it shows on your blog too!) over at Amy’s . It’s really fun!

Watching It

Friday, July 15th, 2011

My ankle is doing much better, thanks for asking, but it was probably a mistake to go to Stroller Strides on Monday and Tuesday. I thought if I just took it easy I’d be OK but by the time I woke up Wednesday I was popping Motrin like candy and had to put my ace bandage back on, so I think I’m going to give it a few more days before I try again. Or maybe I’m just projecting onto my ankle because my thighs hurt SO MUCH after all the squats and lunges I can barely carry the baby upstairs. My ass was kicked. And then I got a weird fever/body aches that felt like the start of another kidney infection (NOOOOO!) so I’ve been doing as little as possible all week. Again.

Not exercising is extremely frustrating right now because I’m on such a roll with Weight Watchers. I lost 3.8 pounds in the first week and 2.2 in the second week…which means I’ve lost 6 pounds in only 2 weeks. I’m hooked. I had this idea in my head that it was a super old fashioned, calorie counting type plan and I wasn’t going to like it and it wasn’t going to work no matter how good Jennifer Hudson looks in the ads. I mean, I don’t need to pay monthly dues just to have someone tell me Big Macs are bad for me. I’m not an IDIOT, I just lack self control and eat my feelings and love to sit down with a bag of candy and shove the whole thing in my face. THERE IS A REASON I AM OVERWEIGHT.

But it’s not like that at all. It’s all high-techy, with tracking online and calculators to figure out how many points are in the recipes I already make and I can stuff myself with as many fruits and veggies as I want and still have pasta for dinner AND an ice cream bar for dessert. (It helps that I get a special allowance for nursing. I might nurse forever, just so I can eat more.) After emptying my fridge the first week and making lots of healthy choices easily available, I think this is the kind of diet I can STICK WITH and maybe finally fit into some of those clothes I’ve been hanging on to for the past 5 years.

The best part is that if I DO want to shove a whole bag of candy in my mouth, I’m not breaking any rules. I can do it. I just have to be accountable for that candy and make better choices the rest of the week so it had better be a Real Chocolate Emergency. Or a Wine Emergency. Or a Chocolate and Wine Emergency. I can totally keep those down to only once or twice a month if it means I fit in my high school sundresses.