Wedding Dresses, Wine, and Whoopie Pies

8 11 2011

How was your weekend friends?

Chloe and I got another chance to hang out when we went WEDDING DRESS SHOPPING! In case you missed it, Chloe got engaged while on a fabulous trip to Brazil. When she asked me if I’d like to go wedding dress shopping with her, I jumped at the chance! Though we weren’t going to Kleinfeld’s, I could still pretend I was on Say Yes To The Dress. I may or may not really enjoy watching that show…

source

Chloe, her sister Jocelyn, friends Tyler, Jenny, and I all went with Chloe to her three appointments. It was pretty surreal, especially at the first place. Chloe’s getting married? Is this really happening?

We weren’t impressed by any of the dresses at the first place, though Chloe could rock even the simplest gown. So we moved on down Wisconsin Avenue to Carine’s. At this appointment, the consultant was very attentive and efficient. It was really fun watching her at work, trying to eliminate what Chloe didn’t want before honing in on what she did like.

The first dress she tried on was beautiful and Chloe was beaming when she put it on. She looked gorgeous.  But, we wanted to see what other options there were, so Chloe kept trying on dresses. As our appointment time drew to a close, Chloe requested to try on the first gown again before the appointment was over.

The consultant added a bit of bling this time, and when she opened the dressing room curtain, I started to tear up. Chloe looked absolutely stunning. Now if you haven’t noticed, I’m being vague here and not sharing pictures or describing the dresses in detail. Those details are not for me to share and I don’t want to spoil the surprise! You’ll have to wait until after the wedding to hear details from Chloe herself!

Despite loving this dress, today our intent wasn’t to purchase. We moved on to Hitched, where Chloe tried on some more lovely dresses. Chloe also fell in love with a dress here, which was very different from the other one. We all oohed and ahhhed, and before we knew it the appointment was over. She has a tough decision ahead of her!

After the long day of dress shopping, I headed straight to my friend Anna’s house for her birthday party! My friend Sarah had organized a private wine tasting for a group of her friends. A woman from The Vineyard Table and Wine Seller in Herndon, VA came over with 6 wines for us to try.

She brought a bubbly, two whites, and three reds. I was really impressed by the selection, and there wasn’t one that I disliked! I’m not even going to pretend to be a wine connoisseur and talk about the nose or the finish or the tannins. All I know is that they were all very good wines, and I went back for a full glass of the “Wildflower” Valdiguie. It was really nice to have our own private tasting in the comfort of our own Anna’s home.

To go with the wine, everyone brought something to munch on. We had a yummy cheese plate (obviously).

And mini cupcakes (hello birthday) which were either filled with a raspberry, or Nutella. What a great idea!

And my favorite appetizer? The savory whoopie pies.

Yes, you heard me right. They were jalepeño cornbread whoopie pies with a goat cheese, bacon and scallion filling.

OMG.

My friend Betsy made them, and she found the recipe on the Sing For Your Supper blog. I will be recreating these in the near future. I wanted to eat all of them, they were that good.

After lots of good food and time spent with friends, I was exhausted. But it was a fantastic Saturday! Is it the weekend yet?

Question of the day: Name one fun thing you did/saw/ate this weekend that begins with the letter “W”!





Blush N Brush

8 08 2011

How was your weekend friends? Did you sign up for any races? I didn’t, but I did spend some time in Florida with this guy:

The best part about the visit? (Well, besides seeing my boyfriend) I didn’t pay for it! I had enough credit card reward points to pay my way. Yay! And, speaking of deals, I cashed in on another deal on Friday before I left!

Back in February, I purchased a Living Social voucher for Blush N Brush. Blush N Brush is a group painting class that allows you to bring your own wine and snacks. Pretty cool right? I had heard good things about it from a friend, so when I saw the deal, I jumped on it.

The deal expires soon, so my friend Ann and I signed up for a Friday night class.

We brought our wine:

and some snacks:

Roasted eggplant and feta dip with pita (recipe to come soon!)

Since we arrived early (as suggested on the website), we were able to get settled, pour ourselves a glass of wine, and munch on our snack, before the teacher started the class.

A few minutes after 7, the class started. The instructor explained that we should just relax while we worked, and she said that the best paintings happen when you are having fun. So, just have a little fun with it!

Here’s the painting we were trying to replicate:

I love that this was the painting we were were working on. Anything ocean/beach related definitely has my name written all over it.

We started working from back to front, on the sky, then water, and then the hut. Despite feeling a little rushed at some points (we did only have two hours to do this!), things were going pretty well at the half way point.

Well, when we moved on to the hut, things got tough. There were lots of new colors to mix, a lot of fine details, and the teacher was going pretty fast through the steps. I took FOREVER to mix my colors (I didn’t fail art class when I was younger, I promise!), but by the time I finally got the color I wanted, she was on the next step. I started to get frustrated, because I didn’t like the way things were looking on my canvas. I am TERRIBLE at shading and creating shadows. I contemplated stopping several times, but I’m no quitter! But, I think I’ll stick to cake decorating in the future, which I find therapeutic, not stressful.

After relaxing and just trying not to stress about all the details, I was able to complete the hut to my satisfaction. I put my paint brush down and decided I was finished. And actually, it didn’t look as bad as I thought.

All in all, it was a good experience. I’m glad I did it, but I’m not sure that I would pay full price to do it again. I sort of wish they had a “difficulty scale” when they advertise the paintings, because this was quite challenging, and little above my frustration level. I didn’t give up, but I was definitely not enjoying myself as much as I could have. I think I also just need to remember to JUST HAVE FUN! It’s not like my livelihood depends on my artwork!

Question of the day: Have you ever taken a painting class? What did you paint?





{Guest Post} Are You A Triathlete?

28 06 2011

Hey there! I (Chloe) am currently in San Diego for a childhood obesity conference. No complaints here. I didn’t want to leave you with nothing to read while I was away though,  so I have 2 great guest posts lined up. Today, Chloe from Running With a Bottle of Wine will be sharing about what it means to be a triathlete.  Chloe is a 30 something from Florida. She’s a triathlete who loves fishing and wine…and trying to stay awake. 🙂

Have a great day!

Are you a triathlete?
I don’t know about you – but several triathlons in the south have become ‘duathlons’ due to crazy ass currents and waves.  So let’s say this is your very first triathlon.  You’ve been swim/bike/run training for this bad boy for months and are pumped to race.  You are ready for this bad boy.  But you hear the swim is canceled.  And it’s a duathlon.  This happened to me this year – granted it was not my first triathlon – but I was PISSED.  So I could not imagine how the first timers felt.  Unless you don’t like swimming – then you’d be pumped.  Anyway – you race and do awesome.  But are you a triathlete even though the swim was axed?  Hmmm?  Are you?
 
That question was brought up in one of my favorite pod-casts – Garden Variety Triathlon   If you have not listened to it – please do!  It’s awesome.  Anyway – YES!  You are still a triathlete!  Triathlon is a lifestyle, not just a race. Once you get into the zone – you eat, drink, and sleep triathlon.  All of your non-triathlon friends won’t even pick up the phone because they don’t want to talk about how awesome your new chamois cream is working or how you lost a toe nail.  You think about what you eat the day before a long training day because you don’t want to feel like CRAP 50 miles into a 100 mile ride.  Or you tell your friends ‘Sure we can go out to dinner – only if we can meet at 5’.  Sometimes it can be tough – but it’s worth it in the long run.  ‘Specially if you love the sport.
Thankfully I’m surrounded by people who support me and are used to my weird ways.  Specially when Ironman training rolls around.  No joke, but the week before IMFL last year, my training partner and I did not even wear heels.  We did not want to even think about a silly accident that would possibly ruin the last three months of training (talk about OCD). But your friends will get used to your ways – and be in awe when they see you rock out a race….and possibly decide to jump into the triathlon obsession as well.
 
So – go out there and kick some ass.  You know you can.  It’s hard at times to stay focused and yes, sometimes massive amounts or wine are consumed, but you are human.  And wine is needed sometimes.  But not before a long training day.
Happy Training!
XI(the other) CHLOE