Escape to Winter

I have something to share with you. 

Six flights in one month- I needed to find a book series that would keep my interest.  And since I love Elin Hilderbrand books, I decided to escape the Texas heat with the Winter Series.


Four books that follow the Quinn family on all the ups and downs over years of good and bad.  Marriage, divorce, infidelity, abuse, war, love and loss – it’s all there.  A nice way to get your mind off of anything important for a short while!


Wine Education….in Sonoma

I have something to share with you.

There is a mom get together coming up and I need to bring a bottle of wine. Do I know a lot about wines? No. Can I use my Vivino app at Trader Joe’s?  Sure.  Or I can head to Total Wine and ask for help.  But I wanted to learn.

So when my daughter left for sleep away camp, we headed to Sonoma.  Here are the four wineries we visited- an easy day or two in wine country.

Day 1:

Schug Winery:  Hal was there to greet us and my husband and I shared a tasting since it was 10:30 in the morning.  I also shared that it was my first time in Sonoma and so he gave me some lessons on the best way to taste wine and what to look for on the label.

Gundlach Bundschu:  Also known as “Gun Bun”, we drove up to the tasting area and found ourselves in the middle of a picnic area.  They had a larger tasting room than Schug with a “concierge” at the front entrance.  We had the option to do the tasting inside or out or purchase a bottle of wine and sit and enjoy the scenery.  We did the standard tasting, actually shared it, and really enjoyed the Gewürztraminer and Chardonnay.

St. Francis Winery & Vineyards:  I was looking forward to this for weeks.  I read amazing reviews about their food and wine pairing and I got the last open reservation.  We had a late breakfast and skipped lunch.  When we arrived, we were given a glass of wine to start and told to walk around and enjoy the vineyard.  And then they lost power.  Unfortunately, we did not get to do the complete food tasting but the two dishes we had along with the wines were fantastic.  Plus it was complimentary due to the outage so we will definitely go back the next time we head to Sonoma.

Day 2:

Gloria Ferrer:  We met some friends in Sonoma and there was a request for sparkling wines.  And so we headed to Gloria Ferrer for a noon bubbles and bites tasting.  We had a chef explain the pairings and a wine concierge to tell us about each wine that was selected.  The property was beautiful and the company was fantastic.  My favorite:  the Royal Cuvée.

Check out my post (coming soon) on where we stayed and where we ate!


BK’s Book-Marks – The Misadventures of Max Crumbly 1: Locker Hero

I just returned home from sleep away camp and before I left, I read The Misadventures of Max Crumbly 1: Locker Hero by Rachel Renée Russell.  Here are the answers to Mom’s four questions.

What is the book about?


Max C. keeps getting thrown into his locker by Thug Thurston, the school bully.  He gets stuck on Friday when there is a 3 day weekend.  He has to find his way out, defeat burglars and keep his dad’s comic book safe.  Can he do that all in one weekend with the help from his friend Erin?  Read the Misadventures of Max Crumbly: Locker Hero to find out!

What is your favorite part?

My favorite part was when Erin let him out of his locker and she is so surprised to see him in there.

Anything in the book that parents should know about?

Yes.  There is a burglary and bullys.

Why do you think other kids should read this book?

It is really funny and it has these weird, handwritten raps(it is a cool song).

Rating: 5 out of 5 Book-Marks

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On the Road Eats: Vegas, Baby!

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Vegas.  I go for the food.  Well, technically I went for a tradeshow with 30-thousand other people but I look forward to the food.  Although I stayed off Strip, many options to hit some great restaurants.  I spent most of the evenings at the Cosmopolitan and had some great meals.

Blue Ribbon at Cosmopolitan
My colleague and I arrived early and being on different time zones decided to grab an early dinner.  Once we saw a pu pu platter on the menu, we decided to hit the Social Hour at Blue Ribbon.  Great bartenders and definitely enjoyed the food!

China Poblano
Group dinner of 7 colleagues- pick a place that has lots of small plates that we can all share since we all like each other.  A few misses but overall a good meal and a fun experience.  I even did a tequila tasting!

Beauty & Essex
Love that I get to walk into a pawn shop in order to eat dinner and extra points that they had a Biggie Smalls figurine for sale!  Great atmosphere, a bit dark and great food!

Sometimes you have to have dinner twice in Vegas.  I met a friend early for dinner at Beauty & Essex and then walked over to the Aria to meet another friend who I had not seen in 11 years.  Not only did I get to reconnect with her, but she picked an amazing spot for dinner.  I loved this place and will definitely go back!