Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Catching up

So much fun stuff has happened since my last post.  And you will all be proud of my new habit of taking pictures to capture these exciting moments.

We continued to celebrate my big 2-7

Birthday dinner out with me and my Hubby
Adam and I out to Sushi Den with friends for my Birthday Weekend celebration :)

All our friends that joined us for the Birthday festivities.

And I have to share these pictures because I just think they capture a funny part of the night perfectly (thanks Candi).  So as a preface...everyone felt that since it was my birthday I needed to do a Sake bomb, mostly because I'd never done one before.  I should have just left that tidbit out for the group and maybe they would have not been so adamant.  Anyway, I was completely not interested in it and used the excuse that I was getting to old for this....again that didn't help, but this is what followed:

"Do I really have to do this? Candi maybe you should do it instead."
Me: "Did I put this together right?"
Adam and Mandy: "HAHAHAHAHAHA you really don't know how to but it together?"
Me: "Duh, I've never done it before people!"
Adam demonstrating the fist pounding.
Adam continuing with the instructions.."Pound your fists three times (as he proceeded to count it for us) and then we all take the shot"
Me looking totally not excited.
And my favorite of them all...after all Adam's instructions, he hit the table too early and his shot glass fell in too early.  I, on the other hand, listened carefully and followed instructions.  So me and Mandy are laughing our butts off at him.

So you all know, I did take the shot...but that's a boring picture so I won't post it.  Just thought we got some good expressions in these pictures.

Outside of the week of Birthday celebrations, we finished up spring cleaning for the most part and FINALLY hung some of that wall art I talked about before.  Here's how they turned out.

The big empty space on our wall finally has some color.  I decided to use the stencil on a few tall canvases so it would take up a good chunk of the bare space.  For paint, I just use wall samples from the local paint store, that way I have tons to choose form and their only $3 a bottle. So it took $9 for the paint on this project.
Love waking up to some color finally.  According to my recent Real Simple magazine, seeing bright colors in the morning helps you wake up quicker.  I don't think it's helped either of us yet, but I can only hope it will soon.
And here is the new framed art in the dining room.  I found a gold linen fabric from Jo-Ann Fabrics and bought a sample bottle of a purply-gray Benjamin Moore wall paint, and this is what we got.

I also found some very cute Spring plates from Crate and Barrel and hung them above our laundry room doors.  The plan is to change out the plates every season....I have some great new Xmas plates that will fit in perfectly!
 And over the weekend we welcomed a new garage guest:
Adam's canoe.  I'm suprised he even found space for it.  Our garage is still on our Spring Cleaning to do list.  It seems like a never ending process.  But, back to the canoe.  Adam's been secretly planning to get one for longer than I think I even realize.  He made me go out and sit in it with him to "try it out" in the backyard, while he swore to me that our dog, Charlotte, could ride with us.  But, based on her track record with bikes and feeling the need to jump out of her basket mid-ride....I'm not quite sure bringing a 12lb dog that's never been dropped into open water before on a canoe trip.  Plus, it's not like she'll sit quietly as we glide along.  She'll be jumping around, trying to look over the sides and I'll be nervous the whole time that she'll dive out.  Anyway, this is the new adventure for us this year, canoe rides on the weekends.

The wine class continues.  The last two weeks we tasted wines from Argentina/ Chile and Australia/ Tasmania.  I didn't take pictures, so I'll just recap what we tasted:
-A Sauvignon Blanc from Chile
- A Sancerre (French Sauv Blanc for comparison)
- A Carmenere from Chile
- A Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile
- A Torrontes from Argentina
- A Malbec from Argentina

This region is probably most well known for it's Malbec, a wine that's gained a lot of popularity in the last few years.  And I do enjoy a glass of this wine, but honestly I enjoyed the Torrontes in this class.  It's  a white wine that is considered Argentina's flagship white wine.  It's very aromatic and has a high alcohol content.

- A Riesling from the Eden or Clare Valley
- A Semillon or Semillon blend
- An oaked Chardonnay from any region (we chose California)
- A Shiraz from Western Australia
- A Rhone Valley Syrah
-A Cabernet Sauvignon from Coonawara

Before these classes began, Australian Shiraz was always my go to wine.  Until I got to this lesson I didn't realize how big, juicy and inky this wine is.  Honestly, I preferred the Rhone Syrah over the Australian Shiraz- to me it just had a more calm, balance taste to it, not quite as overpowering as the Shiraz.  It's still something that you should all try, actually the majority of our group preferred the Austrailian Shiraz.  Outside of that, I really liked the Riesling.  It's surprisingly not really sweet.  It reminded me more of a Sauv Blanc.  But it's very aromatic and fruity.

Tomorrow we will be wrapping up our final three classes- that's right 3 in one night!  Luckily only 2 of them require wine, and there are going to be 10 of us.  We'll be tasting New Zealand and South African wine, as well as learning more about pairing wines with food- what we've all been waiting for!  

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