December 2011


December 31, 2011

Sometimes there is the restaurant that you remember checking out a few years ago and liking but never really get back to give it another try. That is Spasso for me. I had been shortly after it opened and had a good experience but just never got back. Location wise, it is about 15 minutes from work so it is a good after work dinner option.


Scott and I decided to check it out for a date night. The unique thing about Spasso is the wine shop that is attached let’s you buy a bottle and bring it over to dinner. We wandered the wine shop and decided on a good Australian red blend. Troublemaker retailed for around $20 and was a very good blend. I would buy this again.




We grabbed our bottle and headed into the restaurant, we were pretty early so it was not busy at all. A quick look at the menu and we had decided what we wanted to enjoy with your bottle of wine. Sharing a pizza and the meat and cheese plate seemed like the best option. While the food was good, it was overpriced for what you actually got. The meat and cheese plate was $16 and you had 3 small pieces of meat, 3 small servings of cheese, nuts, olives, bread and some dried fruit. Not really all that exciting. It was good, just not enough.




The pizza was pretty tasty and something unique, with a white sauce, asparagus and arugula. Small enough for us to share comfortably but still have enough food.



It was a decent meal, we enjoyed our wine, but our service was less than fantastic. It took about 5 minutes to even get waters or our wine opened and the minute we stopped taking a bite the waiter brought over our bill. It was supposed to be a leisurely date night and ended up being a bit too rushed. The saving feature is the wine shop next door with a great selection and a fun tasting that just so happened to be going on when we were there. A little bubbly and fun Italian reds to end the night.


We would go back to the wine shop but I think I would pass on dinner. You can’t love them all.


What A Year

December 30, 2011

The last year has been quite the adventure. Some of the days everything felt like it was too much to handle but there were the days that everything just seemed to be working. I have come so far in the past year. Such a cliché but it is really true. I am not the same person I was a year ago. Not at all.


So what’s different?


  • Going from a really crappy breakup to meeting the perfect person for me. Believe when I say that I struggled with this. I took things slow, went on some really really really horrible dates that I really should write about sometime, and then one day I met this guy who wanted to go to a yoga sculpt class with me and then out for wine. He said he knew the second he saw me, it took me a bit (ok a lot) longer.


  • Strengthening the good friendships and letting go of the bad ones. I feel so incredibly lucky to have great friends in my life. Old friends and new friends. It was hard to have a set life and it see it go away but once you realize just how backstabbing, rude, and fake those people are you feel so much better. Their life must be so sad to have to take the time to email, leave comments, send mean texts to someone else. Looking back it is funny to me now that they even still try to contact and say horrible things. I don’t ever respond and I truly hope that they find peace in their lives instead of saying spiteful things. It feels so good to have positive and supportive people around me.


  • I spent time in the kitchen just cooking. Making up recipes, trying new foods, cooking because it made me happy. I didn’t blog about all of it but the kitchen had a lot of love in it this year.


  • Working out was so therapeutic. Yoga, boot camps, zumba, lifting weights, teaching others about fitness. It all makes me so happy. I am strong and healthy and will continue on that journey.


  • Travel really does cure all. Short trips, long trips and life changing trips happened in 2011.


  • Without a doubt I 100% know who I am. It took going though hell to reinforce all those things I already knew. There will always be negative people other there who will try to bring you down, but now, I know how to move past that.



What about 2012? I have a few things I need to work on. Just like everyone else. I will work on them and I will continue to be a better person. I am not a big New Years Resolution Person but I have a few things in mind.


  • Kick butt in the gym. A strong and healthy body that will continue to support me.


  • Keep working in the kitchen, develop recipes, take better pictures and enjoy food.


  • Be who I am. Roll with criticism and negativity while embracing support. All of those will make me a better person.


  • Learn something new. What that is? No clue. But an opportunity will show up and I will embrace it.


  • Continue to work on relationships, with friends, with family and most importantly with Scott.


  • Travel. Shorts trips, long trips just travel to new places. Enjoy every second of the time I spend traveling because it is so much of who I am.


  • Be more outgoing. I can be very social but it can be hard to go into a situation where I don’t know anyone and strike up a conversation. I will do this multiple times and I will work on it being easier.


  • Plan a wedding that is 100% representative of Scott and I. It is about the day, the family/friends and the food and wine. It will be an amazing event where I, for the first time, know that this person loves me for who I am.


  • Most importantly, let go. This may not mean forgive but I am letting go of the pent up frustration and moving on. My life is a million time better than what I thought it would be a year ago.




A random image found on Google years ago and I found it cleaning up my email box today. If I could provide a source I would but I have no clue where it is from. How fitting that I have had this saved for 10+ years and it has been more true than ever in 2011.






The winner of the V8 Giveaway is LeAnn V, please email me your address. Enjoy! 


A Few Things to Make in 2012

December 29, 2011

I did quite a bit of cooking for all the travel I did in 2011. Of course I would have loved to do more but I made the best of it. So here a few of my favorites from 2011. Enjoy!



Build Your Own Dip Bar



Salty Sweet Fudge


Main Entrees

Tex Mex Pork

Roast Chicken with Lemon

Turkey Stuffing Bake

Salmon with Chickpeas and Spinach



Beer Cheese Soup

Split Pea Soup



Asian Chicken and Cabbage Salad

Bean and Feta Salad

Chickpea and Vegetable Salad


It is Wine Wednesday and I will be doing no partaking in wine for a few days because I am sicker than sick. Emergency Room for a few hours pumped full of medicine sick. But I will survive, as always, I am tough, stubborn and actually taking some time to rest. But I can’t leave you without some nugget of knowledge on this Wine Wednesday.

The one downside. It’s not wine, but it is even better. Tequila. Now, I am by no means a tequila lover. But give me good tequila, really good tequila, and I might just say yes. Enter in this tequila sent to me to review. 3 three little bottles with about 3 shots in each. We made Margaritas with one and sipped the other and still have one bottle left. Maybe if I am feeling better by this weekend.

Tequila Partida, makes a blanco, anejo and repasado. I am sure you know what tequila is but do you know much about other than the shots you took of it or margaritas you made with it?

A spirit made from the Blue Agave plant and just like wine the type of Agave plant impacts the flavors. There are four main types:


  • Blanco ("white") or plata ("silver"): white spirit, un-aged and bottled or stored immediately after distillation, or aged less than two months in stainless steel or neutral oak barrels;
  • Joven ("young") or oro ("gold"): a mixture of blanco tequila and reposado tequila;
  • Reposado ("rested"): aged a minimum of two months, but less than a year in oak barrels of any size;
  • Añejo ("aged" or "vintage"): aged a minimum of one year, but less than three years in small oak barrels






The blanco and the repasado were pretty darn tasty but I am very excited to anejo to sip. Scott and his parents were big fans of the margaritas we made Smile


Christmas Recap

December 27, 2011

A weekend full of great food, wine, fun cranberry cocktails, family, 3 dogs, a bit of driving, 3 nights of decent sleep and some amazing presents. I couldn’t ask for more.               Funniest part? Watching Tanner, Clifford and Ajax open their bones.       Scott did a great […]

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Working Out at Home

December 26, 2011

Come January 1st you know the gym will be very busy! As much as I want to see everyone succeed with their workout goals, it can be a little bit stressful to have to wait for equipment and weights. The answer? Workout at home for a few weeks. I recently participated in a 30 Day […]

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Christmas Cranberry Cocktail

December 24, 2011

Since getting completely sucked into Pinterest a few months ago I have been making boards full of recipes, home ideas, and now wedding planning. If you are on Pinterest, please add me. I would love to see what you are finding.   One of my recent pins was a Cranberry Mojito, and I knew I […]

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Giving Spirit

December 23, 2011

I can’t believe Christmas Eve is tomorrow. Where did this month go? I am really looking forward to a weekend filled with friends and family, good food and wine and a chance to actually relax a little. All of my presents are wrapped and we are heading to spend time with Scott’s family. But I […]

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Chickpea and Vegetable Salad

December 22, 2011

Even though this year hasn’t really been that cold and for the first time that I can remember our chances of a white Christmas are pretty slim, I have been craving a fresh and crisp salad. The salad that you bring to a Summer BBQ and enjoy with a crisp glass of white wine.   […]

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A Typical Wine Conversation

December 21, 2011

A second post for Wine Wednesday just because. There is that rhythem and typical interaction between you and your significant other. Last night was the perfect example of that interaction between Scott and I.   Picture this scene; we had just gotten home from a butt kicking hot yoga class, we were soaking with sweat […]

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