Sunday Kind of Love

It’s finally February. Praise Be / Under His Eye. January suuuuucked, so I’m glad to have a fresh start. I did accomplish a few things in January, but overall it was a wash. Daylight Savings starts (ends?) in a month and I’m counting the days.

  1. The other day, I had a personal training session and my lovely trainer didn’t pull any punches! It was a full body workout like I’ve never experienced. Of course, because I’m an idiot, I went back to the gym that night to take a Vinyasa Flow class. I clearly can’t be trusted to take care of my own body. Friday night (the day after) I was hurting. Luckily, my brother had a foam roller, and I inexpertly worked out some of the knots in my back. Needless to say, I’m a convert! I’m snagging one of these ASAP!
  2. I was reading some tips on zero-waste living, and while I’ll never get 100% there (hell, I’m like 40% there), I was intrigued at the concept of reusable organic cotton pads. As you all know, I’m here for period gear, but I’ve been a little gunshy about the cost of converting. Well, enter the Hesta Menstrual Cup which is AFFORDABLE and comes with an organic cotton reusable liner! According to Clue, it should arrive via Prime before I’m stricken with the (lovely, natural) plague, so I’ll report back soon!
  3. One of my all-time Twitter/internet faves, Nicole Cliffe, was tweeting about vintage-looking Converse yesterday and, lo and behold, they are available for purchase! I’m currently on a non-athletic sneaker-purchasing hiatus, so I’ll just fantasize about owning these lil’ cuties for the next month, until I inevitably cave and get them. P.S. Apparently Miley Cyrus has a line? How dare shoes do this to me?
  4. I cannot stop listening to this Marvelous Mrs. Maisel playlist I made on Spotify. This series has the best music curation I’ve ever heard, and they’ve got that Amazon money so there are TWO Barbra Streisand songs! My playlist isn’t 100% accurate—it’s missing at least one song that wasn’t available on Spotify and the version of “I Enjoy Being A Girl” is different, but I did my due diligence and it’s pretty thorough. Check out this playlist, which is one of the sources I used for mine, and make sure to listen to the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Goys podcast!
  5. I assume you’re all watching This Is Us, correct? I am SO EXCITED for tonight’s episode, I could scream! We’re finally going to find out how Jack died…I think. Even though I’m a baby and will inevitably be asleep early tonight (even though “my team” is in the Super Bowl or whatever), I’ll be rushing home from work to watch it tomorrow.
  6. This series about Fifty Shades of Grey and Fifty Shades Darker by the incomparable Dana Schwartz has me cackling! I actually read Fifty Shades a few years back, while I was “babysitting” my mother-in-law post-surgery, and I have so many thoughts and feelings (about the movie too).I think it’s a gorgeous tribute to the inspiration for Fifty ShadesTwilight, that the two lead actors have zero chemistry. If there weren’t so many takes available online, I’d definitely write a post about it. P.S. I actually wrote a similar post about Dana Schwartz’s own book a few months back!
  7.  A Design Kit  is finally out! The ladies of ABM put out a companion app to their amazing A Color Story and it’s the best! I made the above graphic with ADK in about 5 seconds flat. There’s a great selection of brushes, fonts, and stickers to jazz up all of your photos!
  8. This is super random closer, but I just found these bookends on Modcloth (but cheaper on Amazon), and I must have them for when our renovation is complete…whenever that will be. It’s very apropos in a musician’s household.

Signing off until next week! Everyone enjoy the football sports stuff!

xoxo,

c

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Rosé All Day

It’s July, and I’m not sure if this is an official thing or not, but I’ve transitioned into a rosé-only diet. As in, I’m only drinking rosé right now. Girly pink wine, right?


Hell no. I think you’re thinking of white zinfandel, which is a literal abomination. It’s what high school Chelsea drank when she was first getting into wine, and it’s humbling every time I see a bottle to know that I was once so basic.

Rosé is the perfect middle ground if you’re like me and love the richness and flavor of red wine but love even more the drinkability & (literal) chill of white wine. It’s not like they mixed half a bottle of each and called it a day, but I don’t own or work at a vineyard, so I don’t know how they make it. Google it! Vast internet!

So, this is what I’m drinking right now. As in right now. The picture above with the strawberries? Half full at the moment.

Dark Horse Rosé (Limited Release!)

This wine so faaaancy it’s not even on their website! Just kidding, it cost me $6 at Wegman’s. And when I searched their “where to buy” with my zip code, they sell this rosé at the sketchy convenience store/liquor store down the street from my house! Finally, a reason to actually enter that building! All jokes aside, this is a tasty, tasty wine. I have no clue whether it earns a coveted 90+ points on the wine snobbery IQ test, but it tastes very good, and even more heavenly with the addition of chopped strawberries. My favorite summer thing is to put chopped fruit in wine. Watermelon in Chardonnay is a particular fave.

I appreciate that my wine tastes haven’t gotten too high-brow (I do have some limits though—I’m looking at you Charles Shaw), because it allows me to take occasional chances on cool-looking labels. You know I’ve had the Katy Perry song stuck in my head all afternoon…

Ruby Red Grapefruit Rosé

This wine. Oh my. This is the third bottle I’ve purchased. Yes, that’s right, I have spent $27 whole dollars on this stuff. My ex-boyfriend from high school Snapchatted me a bottle of this wine because that’s how hardcore I am about it. It suggests sweetness without actually being sweet! That’s my favorite taste! It is so grapefruit-y though. You have to be about grapefruit to like this. Sometimes I forget there’s even alcohol in it. It’s liquid summer. Literally if you comment on this post I will ship a bottle to your house if that’s even legal in these United States. Can’t wait to drink this with La Croix Pamplemousse when my best friend comes home IN THREE WEEKS.

I’m buying a case of it soon, because that beautiful Wegman’s display isn’t going to last forever. I might smuggle it into my wedding. I might drink a bottle of it at 10 am on my wedding day because holy shiiiiit you guys, I’m getting married.

I’m gushing…must be the 2 glasses of rosé I thirstily downed while listening to my new favorite podcast Stuff Mom Never Told You and doing housework/garden stuff.

What are you drinking this summer, and…can I join you?

—DellaBites

P.S. And yes, I used A Color Story‘s Rosé filter on the above pics. Of course.

P.P.S. Follow along with these shenanigans on Instagram with the hashtag #dblovesdranks!

Coffee Cocktails: Summer Edition

So, I realize typing this that there’s no “Coffee Cocktails: Winter Edition,” but everyone has had espresso martinis & coffee with Bailey’s! One thing I guarantee you haven’t tried? Vodka Mazagran! I was going to call this cocktail “Ghetto Four Loko” but I realized quickly that a. using the word “ghetto” to describe ratchet things is wicked offensive and b. this drink is actually way, way classier than Four Loko.

Those layers tho.

Mazagran is a drink that I discovered on my recent trip to Tallahassee, courtesy of Catalina Café. It’s lemonade over ice topped with cold brew. It sounds kind of weird and potentially gross, but it’s actually delicious. Not delicious in the way people say that kale is delicious—even a picky kid could get down with this drink.

Vodka Mazagran came to me while I was writing a paper for Philosophy of Law. I was drinking my afternoon cup and realized—this boring legal document would be a thousand times more interesting if I spiked my drink with vodka!

I’m a simple woman of simple desires.

So there you have it: a 3-ingredient cocktail that will make your summer. Seriously.

Vodka Mazagran

1/4 c. cold brew coffee

1 c. lemonade

1 shot of vodka (or 2, you do you)

1 tall glass filled with ice


The entry-level version of this cocktail just involves pouring these ingredients over ice, stirring, and sipping. The liquid measurements are relative to your glass size. Basically, you want more lemonade than coffee and more coffee than vodka (obviously).

If you’re not already making cold brew by the gallon every week (or like, three times a week) get on that.

Mazagran’s simplicity makes it a perfect platform for serious upgrades! Garnish it with a lemon wedge, and consider these options:

Fresh-squeezed lemonade sweetened with all-natural maple syrup

Rosemary (or rosemary-maple) infused simple syrup

Thyme-infused lemonade

Garnishing with sprigs of fresh herbs

Muddling raspberries into the sweetener

Shake these up and serve them in your best barware to dazzle your friends! Bonus points if you read up on mazagran’s Algerian origins…talk about cocktail party trivia!

Bon appétit…or rather, bonne soif!

—DellaBites

Author’s note: Please drink these babies responsibly! The mixture of coffee & vodka will result in a lessening of the obvious effects of intoxication, but trust me, they’re there! Also, who needs the calories? Savor, don’t chug!

*all photos taken with an iPhone 6 and edited with A Color Story

Progress Re-porch: Outdoor Spaces

As I mentioned in a recent post, our outdoor spaces are getting a facelift in preparation for spring & summer! My personal design aesthetic is more modern and neutral, but I wanted to brighten up this previously boring space by injecting it with color! Every time I walk towards my house I basically want it to radiate sunshine, even on a cloudy day, as the song goes. We had some super ugly & dirty plastic patio furniture, but to save money I decided to give it a makeover instead of ditching it for nicer new furniture. #reducereuserecycle!

Spray paint has been proclaimed by the Internet as the number one best hack to give old junk new life, so I obliged and bought some Rust-Oleum. I don’t have much experience with spray paint, but so far I’ve had the best results with Rust-Oleum. Plus, they come in every color and finish under the sun, so you can really flex your creative muscles! The best part about this is that I can retouch my work season-to-season to keep it looking so fresh and so clean for a long time! (Author’s note: Buy the comfort spray grip accessory. Trust me. Best $7 I ever spent.)

(Author’s note: Buy the comfort spray grip accessory. Trust me. Best $7 I ever spent.)

I bought a can of ocean mist and candy pink and  went to town!

Summer DIY gear, of course.

I laid out my gear on our lawn (and promptly got scolded by my fiancé for “ruining” the grass with the paint). Grass gets mowed and grows back, dude. Luckily the weather last week was stunning, so everything dried to perfection in record time.

img_0992
The almost-finished product, sleek AF! Barely any drips, which is amazing because I am the least patient person on planet earth!

In addition to the newly sprayed patio set, I added an Adirondack chair & cushion in similar colors, and a giant hanging fern! I feel like I’ve only just begun, and that there’s still so much work to be done, but so far it’s been great to have a chill spot to drink coffee and write (weather-permitting).

Pre-paradise. Now to fix the paint and wood stain!

Being relatively new to DIYs that involve more strenuous effort than cooking or knitting, I made some mistakes along the way. First big word of caution: read the instructions and shake the damn spray paint for the full minute. That massive splotch of dark pink on the table? Not a trick of the light. It was me sucking at following directions. Secondly, exercise patience! You can do it, I promise. The more slowly and carefully you spray, the more amazing and perfect your items will look. No drips or splotches.

Any tips on transforming your outdoor spaces?

—DellaBites

Follow the hashtag #DBoutdoorspaces on Instagram to see our progress!

*all makeover materials purchased at my local Home Depot for under $100

*all photos taken with an iPhone 6 and edited with A Color Story

Weekly Wares

2016 has seemed like a total “Invasion of the Body-Snatchers” scenario thus far. Get this: I’ve cut my caffeine consumption by 50-80% per day AND I’ve been practicing aromatherapy. I woke up on time for my 8 a.m. math class. 2015 me thinks that 2016 me is a hippie nerd.

Winter didn’t really come to New England this year. Sure, we’ve had snow and frigid days, but the usual onslaught of dampness and misery graciously spared is this year (unless we get another Easter blizzard). 65 degree February days are the only remotely acceptable part of climate change. This unseasonable weather, combined with my job in retail (where it’s been spring since Christmas!) have brought an unprecedented amount of bright, happy colors into my life during a month known for Groundhogs and below-zero temps.

All of this juuuuust so happened to coincide with the launch of the app A Color Story, so even our Instagrams have been brighter in 2016! I’ve been editing photos with A Color Story exclusively for the past week or so, and I’m really thrilled about the results. For a Photoshop pro, I’m sure it’s child’s play, but for the iPhoneographers among us, it’s an easy way to make your pics stand out.

So, other than ACS, here are a few of my other February faves!

 

purity by jonathan franzen, abm academic agenda, monq vibrant diffuser

 

 

Purity by Jonathan Franzen. So, technically, I’m a few pages from finishing this tome (I can’t accept that it’s almost over!) but I’m preemptively naming it my favorite book of the year. My Toasties/feminists hate Franzen, and there’s ample evidence to support such a view. However, a good story is a good story, and a writer who can make 500+ pages fly by pleasurably is okay in my book.

 

jacket-michael michael kors, scarf-magaschoni cashmere

Monq. Monq is a brand of aromatherapy “vaporizer” (I’m hesitant to use that term because of the connotation with e-cigs). They use unique blends of herbs and essential oils to create mood-boosting aromas and promote focused breathing. I splurged for the 7-pack (which contains Zen, Happy, Sleepy, Vibrant, Skinny, Sexy, and Healthy). My favorite is Vibrant (shown above).

 

Cigarette smoking is a vile habit that I never personally got into, but I am weirdly down with “vaping”. No nicotine, no tobacco–just aromatic healing!

What’s new for you in 2016?

–DellaBites