a new season for cocktails…

It’s finally cooled down here in Southern Louisiana to a brisk 85 degrees, so that means it’s finally time for fall cocktails.

About this time last year in Texas, I made a Maker’s Cider because for some reason we had nine bottles of Maker’s in our pantry.

Fast forward to this year in our new home in New Orleans.  While at the grocery store I saw it was cider time of year, so I bought an orange, cloves and a bottle of spiced cider.  Went home, then started to put all my ingredients together:

I baked the clove stuffed oranges at 350 for 20 minutes.

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I put the cider in a pot on medium heat.

I went to add whisky and, imagine my surprise, we had none left. I guess moving to a different state and renovating a house for 6 months will do that to your liquor supply.  I’m honestly surprised it was only nine bottles.

But guess what I do have a lot of.  Wine.  Me without a full stock of wine is like The Boyfriend not screaming at the TV on LSU game days.

So I swapped a copious amount of whisky for a bottle of wine.  Either way, win-win.

Other than the wine, there was only one other little change.

Me cider drinking last year vs. me cider drinking this year.

cider me

Apparently the only thing that didn’t change in a year is my love of cocktails and dark nail polish.

wednesdays are for cocktails…

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Today is the first day of fall.  And so to celebrate (as I always do when I’m celebrating) I made cocktails.

I found this pink elderflower rose sparkling lemonade on my last grocery store venture, and since, I can describe it as nothing short of life changing.

I mean, it’s great alone but, as I’ve found with many (all) other things, it’s better with vodka.

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I added a little ice, Ketel One, lime and springs of lavender.   I used to order Stoli but one night when I ordered it, a friend of mine made the comment, “how can you drink that?”.

So now I order Ketel One, which I don’t know if you know this but it tastes like Stoli.  And since I care little for getting reprimanded (ask my mom), I order differently now.

Ketel One it is!

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On another note, I’m currently trying my hand at growing lavender; ask me in three months how that went.

Actually you can ask me now.  It’s dying.  But just another reason to make cocktails!

weekend…time for cocktails

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Saturday I woke up with the idea I needed to make some Sangria.  I looked online for recipes (hello my dear friend Pinterest) and came to the quick realization, apparently I might not have the patience for making Sangria.

The first recipe I stumbled upon would have me slicing grapes (slicing grapes?!) along with some liquor I’ve never heard of.  I almost lost my thumb last year tying to slice a giant tomato.

Four stitches later, I’m still scared of tomatoes.

So I decided to improvise.

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Improvising to me means lazily walking down the aisles of our local grocery randomly picking things that sound good together.  Grapefruit? Check.  Rosemary?  Check.  Flavored San Pellegrino?  Throw it in.

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One bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, two cans of Grapefruit San Pellegrino, a couple springs of rosemary and some sliced limes and grapefruit later I had White Sangria.

I had found another recipe online for white sangria that looked amazing but in the pic it was pink at the bottom.  Then I noticed the caption read “we added a little red wine to the bottom to add a little color for the picture.”

I like their style.

DSC_0335Around glass two, I told The Boyfriend I was going to rename the sangria “Margria” (I’m Margaret).

Funny story, The Boyfriend and I went to the Caymans a couple years ago and they had a drink (which was just a piña colada with Chambord swirled in it) that we loved (probably too much).  Fast forward a couple months and we were in Vegas around the pool at the Wynn (this story makes my life sound cooler than it actually is…).  I asked the bartender to make me the jazzed up piña colada.  He tried a little of the leftovers and said he was going to add it to their pool menu.  Since I was the reason, I got to name it.

“Margaret”.

“Well…………….maybe something else.”

“Ok, ‘Margaret goes to Vegas.'”

“We’ll probably just name it Pina Colada with Chambord”.

So alas, if you’re ever hanging around the Wynn pool and drinking some ‘Margaret goes to Vegas’ enjoy.

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But what does one do with their leftover Sangria ingredients?

Red Sangria Sunday!

books…check ’em out

This morning I started promptly at 6am, was at Home Depot by 7 (to buy at lemon tree that I decided I absolutely had to have at 6am), had painted a fence by 8am (sounds weirder than it was and it was spray paint;  I freaking love spray paint) and by 9am was over this day already.

reading corner

That was, until I walked into the garage and saw we still had one last box to unpack.  Just when I’m positive I couldn’t possibly own any more crap, another box materializes.

But then I got excited.  What could it be?  More dresses?  Suddenly I couldn’t wait to get it opened.

Books.

Womp.

book table

How did I not notice we lived in a  library before we left Texas.  The last book I read that was actually made out of paper was probably over four years ago.

So as I unpacked (and was heckled for my slowness incredible accuracy), I started to wonder where exactly these new found books were going to go.  And then on a sidenote, wondered why we have four copies of Runaway Jury by John Grissom.  Honestly, who even needs one copy?

I had set up a reading nook under the stairs the other day, but quickly realized that while antiques add an amazing aesthetic value, they’re a horrible option when aiming for comfort.

So this time I set out to create a more comfortable sitting/reading area in our bedroom.

vintage vogue

I had to work within a budget of $0 on this improptu project, so I, once again, went shopping in my garage.

I remembered seeing a table of some sort in there fairly recently, so that combined with some vintage Vogue magazines, I was still within my budget.

marble coaster

Oh, and some granite coasters I had made from leftover granite from the kitchen remodel.

So for the rest of the day, I’m going to sit in this chair, read non-paper books on kindle and drink margaritas.

wine wednesday…

My friend in LA sent me this from Refinery29.  ‘What Your Signature Drink Says About You.”

I probably couldn’t have described myself better.  And wine happens to be my drink of choice.

As they said, “easiest to refill…”

wine

 

Personality Type: You feel generally happy and dissatisfied at the same time. You are ambitious but don’t feel lucky. You would call yourself jealous because you are also very self-aware. Your preferred party position is talking late into the night.

Signature Drink: Wine. It’s the drink that’s easiest to refill.

what drink are you? : Refinery29

one bar cart, two bar cart, three…

I saw on the internet the other day (I’m being vague on purpose, I was pinning) the idea of taking an IKEA laptop table and making it into a bar cart.  Honestly, who would’ve thought.  Definitely not anyone who has ever met me before.

IKEA, you just sold yourself another junky laptop table.

I LOVE bar carts.  I already have two, but they’re currently in storage (and I’m over them) so I’m using that as an excuse to make another one.  So not only do I love bar carts, turns out I love DIY too.

red table bar cart

{pic of previous bar cart area…}

Unfortunately when I get an idea is my head, it quickly becomes all I think about until exorcised.  This time it has proven to be a little harder because there’s not a single IKEA in the state of Louisiana.  Although I really didn’t imagine that to be a problem, I’d just do what I had originally planned to do and order from the website.  Apparently they’re shipping straight from Sweden because the shipping cost on my $38 table was $150.

Pass.  I don’t really need a third bar cart that bad.

Except apparently I do; I could not stop thinking about how I desperately wanted this dumb table.  Like I said, there is no moving on (for anyone) until I make this table.

How bad did I want it?  Not bad enough to drive five hours to Houston for it, but evidently enough to pay someone else to drive to Houston for it.  The most amazing company exists for people who live too far away from Ikea (or are too lazy).  I found Love Blue Bag online and they make weekly trips and charge a small percentage to pick up your Swedish junk for you.

They will even put it together for you.  I have my fingers crossed my table will come in a table sized box.  I didn’t pay extra for construction.  Although I probably should, my IKEA creations always end up slightly lopsided.  Or in the case of our old dresser (sold on craigslist to a artist who specializes in erotic art – that was a weird meeting), a hammer went straight through the side.

So wish me luck.  I get it next week.

Brittany's Bar Cart

On a side note, my close friend in LA had her bar cart featured on Popsugar as the “casual cool” alternative for a bar cart.  Love this idea.

Don’t drink that cat wine though.  Terrible.

thursday is not the new friday…

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I woke up this morning with the excitement of it finally being Friday only to have the sharp disappointment follow with the realization today is Thursday.

So close…

sundays…

mardi grasMy Sunday took a turn for the lazier when I decided to bring The Boyfriend with me to the grocery store.  This is when I find things like $20 bison jerky or a family sized box of Fruity Pebbles in my cart.  He discreetly puts them in, I less discreetly toss them out.

But here we are, 9am on Sunday, with King Cake and Mardi Gras beer (which tastes like cheap beads mixed in with poor choices).

travel…staycation

Sometimes it’s nice to stay home and take your vacation there.  And it’s even nicer when you get to stay and call the Monteleone your home for the weekend.

My mom came in for a short visit; she might have stayed back in Texas had she known all the non-stop fun we were going to have.

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As soon as she landed, I took her to see the house we just finished remodeling.  She “oohhhed” and “aahhed” and that was the only productive thing we did all weekend.  After that we checked in and the weekend became a blur of cocktails and restaurants.

monteleone christmas

{Monteleone lobby}

We twirled around the Carousel Bar, had Gin Fizzes at the Sazerac (I actually had two because my mom did not care for hers), oysters at Cafe Amelie and Pimms at The Columns.

french quarter

We wandered the French Quarter, stopped in Lafitte’s (the oldest bar in America, not to mention where someone is now the proud new owner of my credit card), went to the open air French Market along with more general touristy shenanigans.

And in the end as much as I hated to see her go, my liver needed a much deserved break and I was ready to get out of the French Quarter.

A little bit of that place goes a looong way.