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Afternoon Delight


One of the best parts of summer vacation is the afternoon cocktail. Earlier this week, I was visiting one of my oldest and dearest friends in Seattle. On the last day of my trip, we enjoyed an amazing seafood lunch on the waterfront where I indulged in my first can of Sofia Blanc de Blancs. Coppolla had me at the super cute pink frilly can and mini straw, but as it turns out the drink was quite good and super refreshing on a warm, sunny day. It also got me to thinking about some of the summer cocktail recipes that I’ve been meaning to try this season. Last year, I discovered I liked bourbon – not a big old straight glass mind you – but enough that I would certainly try it in a few of my cocktails.

This list is compiled based on the personal preferences of our household, but you’ve been warned – if you serve my husband more than three whiskey sours he is staying at your house.


Whiskey Sour Cocktail Recipe

This one is for the serious aficionado as it is a bit more involved than your average recipe with the added steps of making your own maraschino cherries AND sweet and sour mix. I found it on a great site for the wanna be lady bartenderThis Girl Walks into a Bar.

  • 1.5 ounces bourbon whiskey
  • 3 ounces homemade sweet & sour mix (below)
  • 1 or more homemade maraschino cherries (recipe here)

Homemade Sweet & Sour Mix

  •  1 cup lemon & lime juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water

Mix and enjoy.

Cherry-Orange Bourbon

This one is right up my alley.

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen sour cherries
  • 1 strip orange zest
  • 500 ml Bourbon

Combine ingredients in a clean one-liter jar with a lid. Store in the refrigerator and shake daily for 4 days until infused, then strain and discard solids.

Peach Julep

  • 1/3 cup fresh mint leaves, plus sprigs for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups store-bought peach juice
  • 1 can (12 ounces) club soda
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • Crushed ice, for serving

In a medium bowl or pitcher, combine mint and sugar. With a wooden spoon, mash leaves until bruised. Stir in peach juice, club soda, and bourbon. Serve over crushed ice; garnish with more mint.

Limoncello Collins Cocktails

  • 16 ounces limoncello (lemon-flavored liqueur)
  • 12 ounces gin
  • 8 ounces fresh lemon juice
  • 24 paper–thin lemon slices
  • Ice
  • 16 ounces chilled club soda
  • 8 mint sprigs

In a pitcher, combine the limoncello, gin and lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours. Press 3 thin lemon slices against the inside of each of 8 collins glasses. Add ice to the glasses. Stir the limoncello mixture and pour it into the glasses. Stir 2 ounces of club soda into each drink and garnish with a mint sprig.


Bon Voyage, Bull


Photo credit:

In this life, you are very lucky if you have a few people who see something special in you. Well, besides your mother.  And if you are smart and aware, you embrace that good fortune and turn it into a belief in yourself.

Uncle “Bull” has always been that person in my life. We don’t have a ton of things in common with the exception of good TV, cooking, and an unwavering love and devotion for my mom – his sister. But he has always looked out for me and protected from afar in a way that has always held a really special place in my heart.

I’m just sorry I’ve waited to long to say that out loud.  Fear not, he is still with us, but he is moving to Florida – a bold, adventurous choice for anyone who has always lived in the same region all of their life. But in our family, it goes beyond brave. It’s groundbreaking since we all stay within a 15-mile radius much of our lives. I’ve got some wanderlust in my heart – not enough to admire or pursue in any real way – but it’s there. So my admiration for someone who chooses to explore unchartered territory on their own is BIG.

So dear uncle, thanks for always believing in me and seeing the best in me. You will always have a very special place in my heart – I just wish I told you sooner.

And fear not, I will be making good use of that guest room.



Finding My Way…Again


I usually embrace each New Year with a list of resolutions, several good intentions, and a bit of optimism. Well, the end of 2013 kicked my butt.  In fact, it knocked me on my ass and I’m just now starting to see a little bit of light. The hardest part of it all? I failed to use my tools – deep breaths, focus, meditation, a distraction, etc. I let it suck me in and own me for the past couple of weeks. I’m trying to let it go and stop beating myself up over it. Hey, maybe 2013 was supposed to end on rotten note so I could dispel all of that old junk from my system for a real year of change ahead…

But it always needs to start with something. A first step.  Or in my case, several. Our post-holiday cleanse is underway, I’m getting back on track with my meditation, and trying to take better care of myself altogether. I’m also doing/reading this thanks to a tip from a great friend. The Artist’s Way Challenge is a 12-week program for rediscovering your creative side. And it’s not just for artist. Anyone seeking self-knowledge, direction, or movement of some kind would benefit from this. Each week, you focus on a different challenge, which include writing your morning pages/journaling and a weekly artist’s date where you go off and doing something fun all by yourself.

Sometimes you just need that one thing to focus when things are weighing you down. This found me at exactly the right moment so I’m following the call.

Wishing you self-love, mindfulness, health, serenity and as much joy as you can handle this year!

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