FMF – enduring the frigid temperatures in style

My thermostatfur says -1 degree.  It’s time for the man-fur!  Calm down PETA, it’s a faux-man-fur (FMF).  The picture really says it all.  Perfect for erands to The Home Depot, a drink at the Golf Club to retire the February minimum,  of course – church, and even a casual dinner with the fam at Chili’s.

I’m a growing fan of direct order clothing from Korea.  I’m liking their approach to slim fit and the prices are fantastic!  The only problem is the sizing.  My 6’1″, 180 pound European frame doesn’t quite jive with the Asian sizes.  I end up returning 1 out of 3 orders.  This one worked out though – Korean XXL fits like a glove!

No need to exclusively sport the puffy jacket this time of year.  The FMF allows weathering the winter chill in style.

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In Season Cuisine: No Fat-Pants!!! Video Blog

5 weeks later – how’d everyone do?  I put on three pounds, well within the range of norm (and this is the day after New Years eve and where many an IPA was had, plus the 3AM pizza).

 

In Season Cuisine: No Fat-Pants!!! Video Blog.

Trending: Rocking in the New Year with Faux Fur!!!

Rocking in the New Year with Faux Fur!!!

Cable knit zip with a faux fur collar. Loving the faux, and craving more. 2013 could be the year of faux.

Revelry Cab: The Perfect Choice for Your Holiday Revels

Forgot that last minute gift for Christmas dinner? Here’s a great recommendation!

Merry Christmas all…

The Rambling Vine

Revelry Vintners Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 Walla Walla

Happy, merry, gay, gleeful, blissful, carefree, joie de vie, ah, words

that should be apropos adjectives of all holidays. I hope that between December 1st and January 1st, your days are filled with festivities, loved ones, good food, and great wine!

Here is one word you might want to add to your favorite word (and wine) stock pile: Revelry.

Revelry Vintners makes terrific wine. When my husband and friend and I were in Walla Walla this fall, this was one of the wineries we stumbled into that we hadn’t researched and reviewed ahead of time. More often than not, when I venture into a tasting room I haven’t heard of before, if it’s recommended by another tasting room, it’s generally outstanding. I fell in love with a couple of their reds and especially their Riesling, which I plan to review later.

For now, I’m sticking with their grand master red, their 2009 Red Mountain…

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Trending now: Holiday Cocktail Party

I’m serving three Spanish reds at this years Holiday Cocktail Party.  (Starts at 6:30, no need to wait.  It’ll end up late night, if it’s done right).  Why Spanish reds?  Mostly because they rock and a bit mysterious for the novice to journeyman taster.  My prejudicial general comment – they taste somewhere between a Chianti and a Merlot.   But I also do get the side benefit of saying, “We’re serving three Spanish reds this evening”.SP Wine

I’m very familiar with Rioja, which I love.  I wanted to try something else though.  I went with two Tempranillos and one Monstrell.

First up, the 2011 Paso A Paso Tempranillo – 2011, This one tastes young.  Almost beaujolais like.  Loving it with the pigs-n-blanket hors de houveres accompaniment, as I lose my thoughts staring at the leg lamp (yes, of course I have a leg lamp).lamp

The second Tempranillo is the 2007 Codice.  Hoping the extra age will do wonders.   Ugh – Watered down raisins.  Not prune juice, which could be rich and raisen-ey.  Just blah.  Nothing.  Not offensive.  Just $5-clois-du-bois-like.

Third up, Tarima 2010.  Made from 100% Monstrell: gets right to it. It starts out powerfully, strong, but not too kung pow. A pleasant peppery finish.  My neighbor, Steve, loved it.  Steve likes good reds.

So the Monstrell rocked.  One out of three aint bad for me.  I did enjoy the Paso A Paso.  Will let a bottle sit on the shelf for 2 years.  Patience is a virtue, so I’m told.  However, the Codice will remain on the store shelf, as I pass by in the future.

Steve actually liked all three, which is what it’s all about.  Like what you like.

Silver lining – I like the variety.  Average wines make a great wine taste even better.  Plus not everyone loves the “tasting” factor.  Some just like an easy drinking red and all three qualify.  All three were a hit!

Wardrobe in Transition – Black Friday Score!!!

My closet is tight.  Not just tight, as in stylish and cool.  Tight meaning there’s lots of clothes crammed in.  Recently realizing this, I am more selective with what I buy.  I don’t hit every sale and try to reserve my dollars for the truly special pieces and exceptional sales.

The Black Friday marketing machine had its sights on me and definitely grabbed my attention.  After a recent custom fitted FAIL (post coming soon), I zeroed in on a two national branded stores Banana Republic and H&M.  BP always has sales and H&M is always cheap.  My goal was twofold – to find perfectly fitted pants and really squeeze the price.

I’ve been swapping out my previously-cool flat front pants from a few years ago for the recent style shift to lower waists and tighter hips.  BP was a little late on this, but their current offerings seem there.  I’ve had my eye on the Tailored Slim Camel Striped Wool Trouser at $108, but I’ve been waiting, stalking for the right coupon.  The 40% off Entire Purchase Black Friday Special was it.  I like ordering on-line, but I needed to try them on.  To quote Liam Neeson/Ottway from The Grey, “One more time, into the fray.”

Fast-forward through the traffic, parking, crowds, etc.  I have a nice lunch and a fabulous Blue Point Pale Ale (Long Island, NY).  I’m ready to shop.

H&M was not for me on this day.  The stuff with the big sales did not fit like I wanted and I was determined to not further cram my closet with impulse buys.

On to BP.  I see my target and sift through the size tags.  After double-checking all 12 pairs, my nemesis kicks in – they don’t have my size.  KAHN!!!!!!  I shift into problem solving mode – find a different color in my size.  I’ll then order online.  Then, a Black Friday Miracle – around the corner, 6 more pairs of the Camel Stripe.  Score!  Positive thinking always pays off.  I grab my size and head for the changing room.  On the way, I peruse the clearance rack….

SCORE!!!!!  A Tailored Slim pair in my size in a charcoal/brown – a color on my acquisition list.  They are also 40% off and only $28!

Out of the dressing room, two thumbs from me, and confirmed by the doll-of-a-dressing-room-attendant.  Both pairs look awesome, and will wear both to work this week.  Now that I know the BP Tailored Slim are a win, I’ll have no issue ordering on-line in the future (with an aggressive promo code, of course).   We’ll see what Cyber Monday brings…

In Season Cuisine: Taking up Smoking

So the big day has passed.  Too much food, although most of it fantastic.  The corks were popping, yet a pleasant pace set.  No post-turkey naps necessary, no outbursts conjuring long ago wounds.

My traditional Thanksgiving experience is a marathon “visit”.  A family spread across the fruited plane, gets together once a year, and crams in so much conversation that the brains may burst before the bellies.  Although the backdrop of football and dusted-off board games offer some reprieve, they come too late in the day – a day, which often starts the day before.

What’s the best way to make a non-stop visit more palatable?  Give it a break, an interlude.  This is unheard of in my family.  So I took up smoking.

I’ve never been a cigarette guy, although I have inhaled.  I’m not from a smoking family.  I did have a cigar phase, but determined they take a toll on me – either unnecessarily amplifying the buzz factor or killing my voice the next day.  I reserve my cigar chomping for those truly special occasions, which are always initiated by others.  It was my time to initiate.  This was a “special” occasion.  My sanity depended on it.

So I just belt it out, “I’m going outside for a cigar”.  The heads turned in response to the abnormal declaration.  I brought an extra, suspecting company may join me.  After 5 seconds of furrowed brows, I stepped outside alone.

A Punch champion is a $5, medium body, medium length cigar, that takes about a half hour to smoke at a normal pace.  The weather in the north was top notch this year.  I brought my field coat – enough to keep warm and the smoke off my cardigan.  I decided to venture on a walk.  The half-hour went by quickly, but I felt great but the time I got back.  The fresh air refreshed, and the exercise got the belly full of gravy and stuffing to begin the un-congealing process.  I was able to reenter the visiting process revived, and eager to engage.

My only regret was not pushing for company.  The 1:1 “visit” would have been more memorable (for both of us).  I have a goal for next year now.

(I guess I could have just gone for a walk, sans cigar, but after all, it’s about doing everything in style!)

Also: Smoking is bad for you, as the Surgeon General will tell you.  If you partake, understand and accept the risks.