I was on the phone with a friend last week and she was frustrated. Her husband was trying to help out by making bacon, but he was burning it. I teased her by saying, you can’t ask him to be more helpful and then criticize him when he tries. She disagreed.
This sparked a conversation of the “life rules”. The ones that we want others to follow, but that we occasionally want to break, such as ’don’t ask for help then criticize it’. So I have decided to publish in writing a “new” set of life rules to use at your discretion when you need life to work in your favor:
- Life IS fair. This means that if something is unfair, you have the right to be upset, cranky and consume chocolate and wine.
- You CAN have your cake and eat it too. Especially if you wash it down with wine.
- You CAN look a gift horse in the mouth. If you don’t like the gift or the strings attached to it.
- Treats others as you would like to treat them. Especially when you’re mad at them, they deserve it or you have run out of chocolate and wine.
- A penny saved is a penny wasted… if there is a sale on shoes!
- Good things come to those who DON’T wait. Carpe diem baby, make things happen, take action!
- If you want something done, don’t give it to a busy person. I am a busy person and can’t handle anymore. Why should the people who aren’t busy get a pass?
And a few that are perfect just the way they are…
- Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned - Two words: Lorena Bobbit.
- Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die - Even if we know we will live for years, eat, drink and be merry!
- Tomorrow is another day - which means I have another opportunity to
be a better momdemonstrate that I am enough.
What other life rules do you love or need revised?
If their library books are overdue,
If you’re shelling out the dough for soccer, ballet and Tai Kwon Do,
If you’re a mommy and you know it,
If CPS knows what your address is,
If you bribe to keep them quiet and lie to avoid a riot,
If you’re a mommy and you know it,
If homemade gifts have made you cry,
If you wouldn’t trade it all for a maid and the Taj Mahal,
If you’re a mommy and you know it,
If you know how lucky you are, to raise your little stars,
If you’re a mommy and you know it,
I am a professional. I am a mother. I am human and need a coping mechanism, for life’s normal stresses. I have tried cocktails, sweets, exercise, retail therapy, gossip, movies and have done many of these things at the same time!
Below are a few words of wisdom that I either personally learned or discovered through a friend. Stress is unavoidable, but follow these lessons to get the most goodness and least ill-effects form a popular mommy coping method – cocktails!
- Beer and Poptarts will cure a hangover brought on by Jager and Root Beer
- If you run our of shot glasses, a belly button makes a good substitute
- Using reusable ice cubes is far more acceptable than putting ice that can melt into your white wine
- If you suspect your friend is drunk, but there is no alcohol in sight, give her a second hug and take a deep breath. You can’t hide the smell.
- If you stupidly decide to give up alcohol during the week unless you’re with friends, start returning dishes, kids clothes or anything else you can find. When they invite you in for glass of wine, it would be rude to say no…
- Liquor is a requirement for karaoke, either for the singer or the listeners, but everyone can’t be sober.
- Wine doesn’t have to be expensive to be effective.
What lessons can you share?
After my kids pushed me into the mommy wall this week, I could really use a glass of wine! But, I am sticking with this Lent thing and actually doing pretty good. As long you don’t count sniffing people’s wine glasses and trying to lick my daughter’s cookie crusted face.
This is a bottle that I selflessly drank on Fat Tuesday in order to have a wine review for today. Yes, I am a giver.
Insatiable Red Wine California
Alcohol Content: 13.5%
Price: Purchased for $5.99
Insatiable Red Wine (non-vintage)
Description per label: We have been insatiable in searching all of California’s premier growing regions to bring you this mesmerizing and exotic blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Barbera, Zinfandel and Syrah. We invite you to be insatiable in your quest for incredible wine at a great price.
Insatiable means always wanting more; always needing more and impossible to satisfy (thank you to the label for the handy definition).
I want to squeeze life for every drop of enjoyment, excitement and experience. I will always want more vacations, more career success and more… [edited to keep the blog clean]. Needless to say, I am insatiable. I found this bottle on the night I was grocery shopping to host a Passion Party – coincidence, I think not.
This wine is a fraternity boy’s dream. It has a catchy label and is cheap enough to buy enough to get enough out of his date. In college my husband’s fraternity used to host wine and cheese parties- they would refill the bottles with boxes of wine in a back room. College girls rarely have a well-developed palate (I didn’t back then) so the guys usually got away with their “refills”. Insatiable is a great second bottle, once your palate is muddled, your sense of taste dulled and your sense of adventure heightened. Just drinking a wine called Insatiable throws a particular mood in the room. And there’s no need to take the bottle in the back room to refill it.
It has a fruity nose with hints of blackberry and currant. It is surprisingly smooth and balanced for the price point. It presents as jammy and slightly spicy. It has a reasonably smooth finish that blends tannins with a tartness.
On a scale of 1-10, I rate the Insatiable Red Wines a 5 for being a cheap way to set the mood.
Suggested pairings: Tacos, skirt steak, chocolate and candlelight.
I am sitting here drinking this delightful Pinot Noir on Fat Tuesday before I give up wine for Lent. A couple of thoughts come to mind – why am I giving up wine? And if I am, I had better drink something good tonight. The Cakebread Pinot did not disappoint. In fact, I have never met a disappointing Cakebread wine, have you?
2008 Cakebread Cellars Carneros Napa Valley Pinot Noir
Alcohol Content: 14.7%
Description per label: We craft this complex, aromatic Pinot Noir from multiple, high quality clones grown in several outstanding vineyards in the Carneros district of southern Napa Valley, a cool-climate region renowned for its peerless Pinots. In 2008, spring frosts in Carneros reduced yields, concentrating flavors in our Pinot Noir grapes. Vinified exclusively from free-run juice and aged 15 months in French oak barrels, our 2008 Carneros Pinot Noir boasts vivid black cherry, blueberry and rose petal aromas. Its succulent cherry, plum and red berry flavors are lifted by fresh acidity and fine, supple tannins.
I first discovered Cakebread before I had children. It was an idyllic point in my life when I had an income, without the financial (but worthwhile) drain of children. I drank good wine, ate in great restaurants and had wild adventures. This Pinot Noir took me back to that time of civility and excitement, it is the perfect balance of spicy and smooth. The wine leads with a smooth and supple blend of dark cherry flavors. It reminds me of my organized, serene life before my priceless children. The finish is brings the excitement and adventure of the spice. It’s reminiscent of salsa dancing at the Capitol Club in the Bay Area.
Cakebread harvests their Pinot Noir grapes at night to protect workers from the summer heat. I can relate to this, as I do my best work at night, when protected from the distractions of my children… usually.
On a scale of 1-10, I rate the Cakebread Pinot Noir a 7 for its complexity and ability to transport me back in time.
Suggested pairings: Salmon, barbecue, Thai food and any time you want to reminisce.
Gosh, Wednesday comes up fast! As promised here is a review of a bottle of wine for under $10. I went in search of something new and cheap that I had never had to add to the fun of Wine Wednesday. I admit it, the immature part of me (aka the real me) could not resist the “Naked” title.
I served this at my Book Club and they loved it and we went through several bottles!
The Naked Grape California Chardonnay
Description per label: Light bodied and smooth with aromas of pineapple and peach.
Review: My six-year old son recently took his pictures for the basketball team and then had to go straight to his basketball game. As we went from the pictures to the game I told him to flip his jersey inside out to change the color from purple for pictures, to white for the game. I didn’t think much of it, until another dad looked at us and chuckled. I looked over to see my son standing in a public area with his shorts around his ankles. My perfectionist son didn’t simply take the jersey off and flip it inside out. He took it off, flipped the jersey inside out and dropped his shorts in order to appropriately tuck in his jersey. “Honey, we don’t get naked in public,” I had to remind him.
Went I went in search of an affordable, every day, Chardonnay, “The Naked Grape” seemed to understand my life and my need for wine.
This wine far surpassed my expectations! It was smooth and buttery. There was less fruit than I anticipated and the subtle blend of flavors was well balanced. The finish was slightly sweet, with a hint of Riesling, but I tempered the sweetness by keeping it cold while I drank the whole bottle. (I had four children in the house, the dosage seemed appropriate). As I took sip after, deliciously smooth, sip, I realized that if one was not careful, this easy to drink wine could lead to one getting naked from consumption. The name began to make more and more sense.
As a mother of two young children, wine is an everyday occurrence, and at $6.99 per bottle, I have just found a wine that I can drink as often as my kids get naked.
On a scale of 1-10, I rate the Naked Grape Chardonnay as an 8 for being smooth and affordable.
Suggested pairings: Salmon, chicken and every time your child strips down in public.
Alcohol Content: Not listed
Price: Purchased for $6.99 – What mom doesn’t need an affordable
bottle case of wine?!
Yes, I can read your mind and I know you are looking for some wine recommendations.
My friend Eileen, started participating in Wine Wednesdays, the brain child of Alana at Life on the Mom List. Each Wednesday they selflessly consume bottles of wine to review. I want to be selfless too! (Or I just want an excuse to drink wine every Wednesday).
Drink wine? I am really good at that! Write about the wine I drink, hmmm… sounds fun. It also sounds dangerous if I write while consuming, so I may need to work on the logistics.
You may be thinking, “Paige what qualifies you to review wine’. My response to this is if experience leads to wisdom, I am very wise about wine.
I must add that I am not being compensated or encouraged to drink any particular wine. I am going to drink whatever I feel like drinking. But if someone wants to give me wine to write about… I would love it! But, be warned – honesty is my
best worst quality.
Without further ado, I present my first review: Hunt Cellars “Rhapsody in Red” Reserve Red Wine (2001)
Description per label: Hunt Cellars is dedicated to producing “Memorable Wines”. Here is our 2001 Rhapsody in Red Reserve, a meritage blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc from our estate.
Smooth delicious flavors will dance on your palate teasing you with wild cherries, red, black and Bing cherry flavors with overtones of jammy cassis, vanilla, chocolate, coffee beans and the perfect induction of layered oak. This lush delicious wine has been hand crafted in small lots and barrel aged 28 months in French and American oak creating perfect balance and concentrated Bordeaux varietal flavors.
Review: There are two types of days that call for a unique bottle of wine: a fabulous day and a horrible one. On a great day, you mark the occasion with something special, you want to savor the memory of this day. On my son’s first day of kindergarten, I drank a good bottle to celebrate not severely warping him… yet. On a bad day you look for something amazing that has the power to erase the day. When my daughter emptied my make-up drawer into the bath, it took an exceptional bottle to keep me from giving her away.
When I sat down to enjoy this wine, it had been a day of highs and lows. We had new furniture delivered and the sofa was perfect, better than expected; but the rug was an atrocity and the table was damaged. With each sip, the negative aspects of the day dissipated and I was transported to a dreamy place of gourmet food, flattering lighting and soft music. My first impression was smooth chocolate, but not sweet. It is a big, chewy wine that has subtle tannins through the finish. This deep wine did not smack me with fruit, but rather lulled me with accents of cherry and coffee. I am confident that this bottle could suit the best or worst day. Although, the current retail price demands this level of pleasure, so as not to disappoint (price appears at the bottom).
They say that when a person loses one of their five senses, it makes their other senses more acute. This exceptional wine proves that true. The winemaker, and owner, David Hunt is blind and it certainly has enhanced his sense of taste and smell.
On a scale of 1-10, I rate this “memorable” meritage as a 9.
Suggested pairings: Steak, lamb, game and the day you lose your job or win the lottery.
Alcohol Content: 13.9%
Price: Purchased for $35. Current retail price: $90 *A note about the price, I won’t always review something this expensive. In fact, my next bottle will be under $10!
I know what you’re thinking – “Paige, don’t you mean treading water?”
Do I ever mean water over wine? Not unless we’re talking about laundry and I rarely talk about laundry.
For the last several weeks I have been struggling to tread wine. You see, if I was struggling to tread water, I would have simply gotten out of the pool (or lake, or ocean). But wine is complex, sometimes surprising, occasionally corked, but usually delightful, just like life. So therefore, treading wine is worth the struggle.
So what I have been struggling with that has kept me off-balance (and writing very little) for the last few weeks? I think I have it mostly figured out (how’s that for confidence and conviction?). I have shared on occasion that I haven’t always been happy in my job. The thing is, I love what I do and I am
good great at it. But I am a perfectionist and it had gotten out of hand. I had gotten to a point where nothing felt good enough. My confidence was slipping and my self-critical side needed a beat-down. It had started to spill in to my personal life. Everything felt hollow and I had stopped trusting my own instincts. Very few people knew how it was affecting me, because, like my dramatic diva of a three-year old, I can put on a show. The irony is during this time, I received a promotion, a raise and several accolades and still didn’t feel like my work was good enough.
But I am very fortunate, I am surrounded by smart, caring people (and a few paid professionals) who have helped me get things under control. By examining my perfectionist tendencies, I realized that perhaps I am a wee bit… off-balance, unrealistic and um… crazy. As I thought about the standard I was
holding strangling myself to, I had to laugh. It was absurd and not the level I hold others to. My higher self-bar was not because I thought I was better than the average person and could deliver more, it was because of that pesky perfectionism. This may confuse you since I talk about mold in my shower and all of my follies, but there are parts of life where I feel safe being “normal” and parts where I wasn’t giving myself that same luxury. (Trust me, the mold is still in the shower and I think the whole house needs dusting).
So I have perfectly cured myself in about two weeks. (When you’re done laughing, feel free to continue reading).
Welcome back, need some water or a kleenex?
In lieu of an instant cure, which I was dismayed to discover does not exist, I am being more thoughtful about my goals, my decisions and my feelings. I am letting myself off the hook a bit. I am taking risks again and know that sometimes I will… eek… fail, and gulp… that’s good for me. I am also reminding myself that my job is only one facet of my rich, tannin filled life. I am treating myself the way I would treat any of my precious friends and family members: with support and encouragement.
I know that I will have to keep an eye on that bothersome perfectionist side and I may have to occasionally smack her around, but just being aware makes me feel so much better!
So I am again successfully treading wine and enjoying it. Not to mention that cabernet-colored skin is more attractive than some of my spray tan debacles in an effort to avoid my natural pasty white color!
Thanks to a Mad Women who inspired me to share the hard, not always funny, parts of life.