This week I have a variety of items that I've found helpful, delicious, and fun!
Cooper's Hawk Winery and Restaurants
This past weekend, Rachael and I, on a whim, made an early reservation at the new Cooper's Hawk Winery and Restaurant in Kenwood. It was delicious! Cooper's Hawk has their own wine selection and delicious menu choices (including everything from burgers, to steaks, to fish/seafood, pork, pasta, and chicken). On their menu, they offer a wine pairing with each menu choice, or you can just order a wine based on what you're feeling for the night! They even have their own barrel-aged wine that's a blend of many different kinds.
That night, I didn't have the barrel-aged wine. Blends tend to give me headaches, so I stuck with the Pinot Noir. It was smooth with fruity notes, not dry at all. I really liked it. Rachael and I also got Mexican drunken shrimp (cooked in tequila) with guacamole as an appetizer. So yummy! For dinner, we both had gnocchi with butternut squash, sage, cream sauce, and Parmesan cheese. We are suckers for gnocchi and butternut squash! It was to die for! I highly recommend Cooper's Hawk! The staff was friendly, polite, and knowledgeable. The service was also very fast. It's also a very calm and relaxing atmosphere to eat in. Very enjoyable.
Rachael and I were so full after dinner that we had no room left for a big dessert! We decided to head over to Kenwood Mall and visit Godiva. Every month we get a free piece of chocolate because we both signed up for their Rewards Club years ago. What did I say? Yes, we get free chocolate every month! I have said this to some of my friends lately, and they didn't know this! I am telling you, if you are not signed up for a free piece of chocolate a month, you should sign up! You just walk in the store, show your card or give your email (once you've signed up), and you get a truffle or piece of chocolate for free! Some exclusions do apply; for example, some of the monthly specials don't count and chocolate covered oreos and strawberries never count. Here is a link to sign-up for the free chocolate each month, or you can sign up in store.
Rachael and I have been bummed because our favorite chocolate had been taken out of the store until this February! We had to wait a whole year to get our favorite chocolate! We were so bummed that we were going to email Godvia! Don't mess with a girl and her chocolate, right? But thankfully, it was back this month for Valentine's Day! Yay! Our favorite piece of chocolate from Godiva is their Marzipan Heart:
I love the smooth, decadent dark chocolate outside mixed with the taste of the creamy, almondy flavor of the marzipan middle. All I gotta say is that they better not leave me hanging again until next February!
Thrift Your Heart Out Contest
I love thrifting and antiquing! I have loved going to thrift stores since I was younger, and my love continued into my high schools years. I stopped thrifting in college as much, mostly for a lack of time, but I have recently refound my love for thrifting! I have also found a blogger/youtuber who I love, and she is also a thrifter! Her name is Katie and her blog is adorable! She blogs at Thrift Your Heart Out about how to save money thrifting, finding one-of a kind pieces at thrift stores, and putting outfits together with your thrifted finds. Recently, she announced a contest to be featured on her blog. The theme is "date night." You can put together up to three thrifted looks under $50 each and submit them for the contest. I think I'm totally going to try to put some looks together! I told my sister I am going to go through my thrifted finds and see what I can find. I'm sure I can get a few looks together for the contest with what I have found over the years!
Here are some recent things that I've thrifted, even though they're not for the date-night theme, I still thought they were good finds!
Thrifted Sweater: $1.99 Similar looking sweater Target.com
Brand: Merona, $29.99
White House Black Market Pumps $3.50
Maybe for date night theme?
Vintage Coach Crossbody Purse: $4.00
I have a serious love with Anthropologie. I mean seriously. That store is quirky, fun, and beautiful all at the same time; however, so many of it's quirky, fun, and beautiful pieces are seriously our of my price range. I mean, I just cannot justify paying $200 for a tulle skirt. I seriously found I one I loved there (I have always wanted a ballerina tulle skirt), but that is seriously a lot of money for a thrify shopper.
That's why I shop the sales. I can wait it out. I am a really good waiter. If I really like something, I can wait until the Anthropologie price drops it big time and then snag it up at what seems to me like a dirt cheap price (for Anthropologie). And if it doesn't ever go on sale, or it's gone before it does, than it just wasn't meant to be :) My tulle skirt, however, was meant to be. After a birthday savings coupon, a serious holiday sale, and who knows what else, I ended up getting that skirt for a grand total of $40! But anyways, that's a big round-about way of saying that I like to pay as little as possible for my clothes and the things I wear, even though I am very picky and particular about what I like. I like quirky, different, and fun :)
Anywho---that whole story just proves a point: when you look hard enough, you can find good deals. I found the cutest bracelet at Anthropologie on a sale day that I absolutely love now! It's an initial bracelet with a "G" on it for my last name, and it is too cute! And I did get it on sale for a whopping $8.00. So, moral of the story is, yes, it will go on sale!
I love to wear my husband's sweatshirts to bed, plus I'm always cold, so they make for good old comfy, roasty, toastiness at night! I love them! I always borrow his t-shirts, pajama pants, and sweatshirts, so after some pangs of guilt on my part for always leaving him with no clothes to wear, I ended up buying myself a few warm and toasties of my own to wear to bed. I went to the Target clearance section over winter break and have been loving the oversized sweatshirt that I found there! It's actually a men's sweatshirt, but it's nice, oversized, and fleecy on the inside. I got a black colored one in a medium. Online there are red, navy, and gray still available.
Udi's Muffin Tops
Since I started trying to follow my "do not eat" list for my headaches, I've been having trouble finding things that I can eat for breakfast. I basically had to give up a lot of things that I ate "before the do not eat list period." Since I now try to limit chocolate (my LUNA bars), nuts, eggs, bananas, and nut spreads among other things, I've really been struggling. I try to make a smoothie every morning, but I also sometimes want something else to go along with my smoothie. I am always trying to find ways to get more fiber in my diet too. I recently found the brand Udi and their muffin tops in the frozen organic section of Kroger. A lot of the muffin tops that I have found have a lot of calories and sugar and were made of chocolate, but not Udi's! I love their blueberry oat flavor! It is so good! And they have 170 calories, they're gluten free, and they have 6 grams of fiber per serving. I have been loving them! They are $5.99 per box of 4, but I don't eat them every day. I do make oatmeal too and whole what toast. It just a nice treat to look forward to some mornings for breakfast.
Naked Grape Pinot Noir
I also tried another great wine this week! This time it was Naked Grape Pinot Noir. I've been drinking mostly Pinot Noir when I do drink wine because I know it doesn't give me a headache! Ha! I'm learning how to play this game :) This wine is delicious! It's very smooth and refreshing like the last wine I tried, but this one has hints of blueberries in it.
Whole Food's Macaron'sI love Whole Foods. Bjorn, Rachael, Bjorn's friend Fox, and I used to go down every Friday for their 5 After 5 wine and appetizer tastings. We love to eat lunch there and look for new, fun foodie finds. Recently, I asked Bjorn to stop on his way home from getting his haircut to look and see if they sold macarons.
One of my students never wears her glasses. Her lovely teacher, Amy, and I pulled out all the stops trying to get her to wear them! Amy had an International Glasses Day in her classroom! She wrote about it on her blog The Art of Teaching. I also told my student that if she could wear them for a week straight (it ended up being two weeks) that I'd get her any kind of edible treat she wanted. She told me she wanted to try a macaron. Seriously, my 5th grade student wanted to try a macaron! Of course, this was the cutest request ever, so I had to oblige!
Bjorn ended up finding that Whole Foods makes their own macarons in-house and they come in all kinds of delicious flavors: pumpkin, pistachio, raspberry, cappuchino, eggnog, salted caramel, and coconut (those are all I can remember). I got my student a raspberry, and Bjorn and I tried pistachio and salted caramel. All I can say is, "Hello, Whole Foods macarons! Where have you been all my life?" They are a.ma.zing. Seriously. You.have.to.try.them. My student loved hers. We loved ours. It was a win-win and a macaron love story. The End.
Victoria by Victoria Secret Body Spray
I really like perfume. When I walk out the door without any on, I feel naked for the day. It's like when I forget to put earrings in or put my wedding rings on--okay that one's a little more extreme, but I think you get the point. I like to smell good. I love Victoria Secret's new perfume, Victoria. It smells a little bit rosy, a little bit like berries, and a little sweet (like dessert). I love it. Perfume, however, is not cheap! And until I decide if I actually want to fork over the money to buy the perfume, I bought one of the $10 travel sized body spray containers of Victoria. Since this perfume is a little stronger (as I like perfumes), I think it tends to last most of the day, even though it's a body spray. Love!
I recently found a YouTube channel called Home Organizing by Alejandra.tv and WOW, she is amazing!!! She's a professional organizer and offers some great tips on organizing your home. You can check out one of my favorite videos of hers that I recently watched below about how to organize your refrigerator. She also has one on organizing small bathroom spaces that I love!
One of my favorite bloggers Franziska on her blog Franish recently tweeted about this song, and I can't get enough of it! I've been playing it on a loop! It's so great. It's "This Love Won't Break Your Heart" by Annelise Emerick.
I heard this song driving to school the other morning, and I love it too! It's so beautiful.
Adam Crossley, "Beautiful World (And We're All Here)"
And a morning car ride 90's hit, "Back for Good" by Take That. I forgot how much I love this one!
I just had to throw this one in there; this commercial kills me! I laugh every time!!
Have you tried anything new this week?
Love and happiness <3 Holly