Kir Royale- New Cocktail for the New Year

Dry White Wine + Crème de Cassis = Kir
Dry Champagne + Crème de Cassis = Kir Royale

This was the perfect choice for a celebratory New Year’s Eve cocktail, we all liked it! Perfect for a party yet fuss free.

I’m all for the crossroads where easy meets sophisticated. And if you don’t care for sweets in general, this is your drink. Stick to a 1:4 ratio of cassis to champagne to keep the liqueur’s sweetness in the background, and use the more dry champagne (Brut) or wine (SĂ©millon, Sauvignon Blanc).

Read up at TheKitchn.com for more info, that’s where I found the directions and ratios- Kir and Kir Royale: Two Iconic French Wine Cocktail.

Wishing you all the best in 2016!

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Good Old Friends and Complete Silliness

What happens when you put a family of five into an SUV for thirty hours of nearly straight-through driving to visit their old friends and attend the Rose Bowl? They have fun. We helped our old friends get their wiggles out by putting them through our Tourist Treatment, specially constructed for Hoosiers.

You get some terribly centered selfies…

Some Christmas Card worthy photos…

 

A whole LOT of drinking…

 

And pics that were as much fun to see and share as the whole day.

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Seven years ago we were all canoeing on Sugar Creek in central Indiana:

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And this is the ridiculousness into which we have degraded:

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“Look, Mrs. J! I bet she’s not wearing any undies!”

 

 

 

 

Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men -or- Exceeding Expectations

“The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”
adapted from “To a Mouse” by Robert Burns

-Date Nights
-Book of the Month
-Monthly Project

What happened to my goal of trying a new hiking route once a month? When did an Official Date Night get dropped from my monthly calendar of new stuff? The Monthly Project fell by the wayside, too, disappeared around the same time as the Book of the Month I hoped to read. I could do one, but not both.

By the time this school year picked up steam (which, in my defense included not only moving an international student into our home, but also my own teen moving north about 1,200 miles), the well planned months of new things to do seemed to go from a fun challenge to fit in everything… to darn near impossible.

Daily new things happened though, just in a slightly different way  for the second half of 2015. Even though “Date Night” never seemed to materialize, The Husband joined me in close to half of the new adventures this year. We spent the better part of the year finding new restaurants, breweries, and touristy outings, most without any teens to accompany us. What a strange occurrence this was, as for about the last 18 years nearly every activity has been a family activity. We all went to sporting events, concerts, work parties and vacations together. Now our life is different, with two freshman- one in high school and one in college.

And so, with my family growing up and away in the best ways possible, I am very glad that I started this adventure to find new things to do in 2015. Just for me. Myself. I had forgotten how much fun comes with novelty and curiosity and exploring. I really needed this project!!

What will 2016 bring?

 

A Few of the Worthwhile Things I’ve Learned

1.  Own a cast iron skillet. Or several. And learn how to properly use and care for them.

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2a.  Life is too short for mediocre coffee and bad wine. Buy the best you can afford.

2b. Even if it is just for you.

2c. Especially if it is just for you.

3.  A hybrid car is sooooo worth it.

4.  If you can make spaghetti sauce, baked chicken, and muffins from scratch you can save big bucks.

5.  Real friends stay with you until the tow truck arrives.

6.  Everyone should own at least one Hawaiian shirt. You never know when a party might break out.IMG_5604_2

 

 

 

 

 

7.  Electric kettles are the best!

8. So is iced tea made from plain, black tea.

9. Screen time is overrated. People are underrated.

10. Mom Advice that we don’t appreciate until later: “The days are long but the years are short.”

cute relationship quotes
Be This Person!

13. You need a community- humans are social creatures. Join and meet regularly with at least one spiritually/socially edifying group be it a church, synagog, club, society, etc.

14. Stop being so offended by everything, people. It offends me.

15. Spend time with people who lift you up and make you want to be a better person- spiritually, mentally, emotionally. And in turn, be that kind of person for others.

16. Pop your own popcorn. On the stovetop. In a heavy pot. It’s an entirely different species than the microwaved stuff.

17. Everyone thinks they are the most interesting person in the world on social media. They are all wrong. I am the most interesting person. I can prove it: https://www.pinterest.com/DDWJ/

18. A trick I learned from a dear and darn near holy woman: want to be the favorite big person with all your friends’ little ones? Always carry candy to share.

19. Pay attention to details. They might be important! Or not… it really isn’t that important that there are no numbers 11 and 12 in this list.

20. Start Small. If you want to try something new every day but don’t know where to start, pick one small project- a new book, decorate an area you have neglected, try a new cuisine. Nothing big- Re-landscape front yard! Read the complete works of Shakespeare!. You’ll be surprised how great it feels to simply repaint your front door.

 

New Things to NOT Do Again…

#1 Take The Boy to an R Rated movie.
#2 Gain five pounds from all the new foods tried.
#3 Try to cram too much stuff into each month (a book, a project, a play, a tourist attraction, four new restaurants, four new menus, a date night, a couple of random acts of kindness, including moving one kid out of state and moving a new kid into our home… August was a bit… much).