Index of Thoughts

Friday, October 24, 2014

Wine, Girlfriends, Bikes & an Education

A couple of weekends ago my girlfriends and I went to Palisade, CO for a weekend trip.  It was a much needed break for us all to laugh and have time away from the duties of every day life.  If you remember last year we did the same thing but in Paonia, CO.  You can read about it HERE.  Palisade is a little town east of Grand Junction, CO that has just the right climate and location to be the perfect grow spot for vineyards and orchards.  Plus, it's only a short drive from where we live.


Here's some of the notable spots & info:

Lodging - We rented a house in Palisade which was actually between Palisade and Clifton.  It was a great little place that totally reminded me of my grandparent's house.  Check it out HERE.  The fall is a busy time of year for visiting the wineries in this area so lodging was limited since we waited until the last minute.  I also recommend the Wine Country Inn which has a pool and a restaurant and is super close to everything.


Dining - We got a taxi to come pick us up Friday night and take us to Downtown Grand Junction for the evening.  It was a super fun time!  We made our crawl to Bin 707, 626 on Rood, La Rouge and then ended the night at the Rock Bottom Brewery where they had a DJ and dancing. The second night we decided to build a fire and stay in for a home cooked meal.




Wineries - We rented bikes from Rapid Creek Cycles.  It cost $39 a day for a 7 speed cruiser with a big basket on the back.  They were super helpful and provided us with a map of the wineries and a suggested route. We weren't able to make it to as many as we would have liked in one day.  You really need two days of touring to get them all in.  Here is a great list of them all.  We just did the several that were close to downtown and then ended at the Peach Street Distillery for some yummy cocktails made with their Goat Vodka.  They even have all kinds of infused vodkas too.


But I wanted to mostly share with you all the invaluable information on wine tasting that we received at the first stop at Varaison Vineyard.  It will forever change how you taste and buy wine.


  • When drinking wine, you should never hold the glass on the cup.  It can heat up the wine just enough to change the flavor by releasing alcohol into the air.  Always hold a glass by the stem therefore, stemless glasses are really no good.
  • When drinking red wine, you want to always ask what the % of alcohol is.  It should be between 13.5 - 15.5% for the optimal ripeness of the grape.  It is totally drinkable under that % but it tells you that the grape was underripe and the flavors will reflect that - grassy or herbal taste.  A higher % will tell you that the flavors will be more robust and pronounced.  In white wine you want to look for 13 - 15% alcohol.  By doing this you will already know what the wine will taste like without even tasting it yet.  And in restaurants if they are trying to sell you a really expensive glass of wine and the % is way low, then you should ask for something else.
  • Also with red you want to give your glass a good swirl to let in the air which also helps develop more flavor and then smell it.  
  • When tasting wine, you want to let it go down the middle of your tongue where you will pick up the flavors that are marked on the bottle.  In white wine if you let the wine fall to the sides of your tongue where the bitter/sour taste buds are then the wine will taste like vinegar and you will loose the notes of flavor.  In red wine, you let it go down the middle to pick up the notes and then let it fall to the sides to get the other smoky, rich flavors.
  • Eating with wine is now a new experience!  You aren't supposed to let the wine wash the bite down.  You are to get a bite of food and chew it a little.  Then add a sip of wine and chew it with the food.  The alcohol in the food is a solvent which enhances flavor.  All of a sudden a burst of flavor is released into your mouth when you do this.  We took some cinnamon sugar almonds and tried this out.  When we added the wine with the bite, the cinnamon exploded into our mouths.  It was really remarkable.  That is also why you add wine to recipes.  It brings out the flavors in the dish because it is a natural solvent.
I hope this helps you all as much as it helped us.  We went to the next winery and asked for the % in alcohol and the employee said that no one has ever asked him that.  We chuckled and told him that we like to be very thorough in our wine tasting.  Still makes me laugh!  I highly recommend Palisade being on your next little getaway.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Road Trip to Albquerque

Last weekend my husband and I went on a road trip to Albquerque, NM to see the Kings of Leon which is one of our all time favorite bands.  We almost flew over to Belgium to see them last summer for Andy's birthday.  What a fun getaway with my best friend and just what we both needed.

The drive down was so beautiful.  We got to see the southern San Juan mountains on fire with the autumn leaf colors.  Then we entered the beautiful and vast desert.  We jammed out our tunes and rolled the windows down.  Driving from Telluride to NM is such an easy drive compared to going to Denver.  The roads are pretty straight and there aren't really any mountain passes that you have to go over once you get over Lizard Head.  It took us about 5 and half hours since we packed a lunch and ate in the car.



We got a room at the Hyatt near the airport because there aren't any hotels close to the Isleta Amphitheater.  The hotel was pretty good and pretty affordable with a little mini bar downstairs, food and Starbucks coffee.  And the beds were comfortable.


We rested up for a bit.  Then we started looking at all the great options for restaurants.  I had no idea how many ethnic places that they have there.  Since we have plenty of New Mexican style restaurants  at home, we decided to spice it up with a Latin fusion restaurant called Pasion Lation Fusion.  It was just this little place that you would have driven right by without noticing.  The menu is incredible!  Such innovative items that were to die for.  I started off with a Jalapeño Margarita and Andy had a Mojito.  They also make their own house Sangria too.  We decided to get a bunch of small plates instead of entrees.  It was so hard to decide.  Here's what we went for:

Garbanzo cakes with spicy tuna

Yellowtail Ceviche

Fried Queso Manchego with a Honey Chipotle Dip

Duck Taquitos with a corn & cotija cheese & pickled red onions
We made our way to the Isleta Amphitheater which was so easy to get into and park.  We even got to park right up near the entrance.  We tailgated a little bit and then made our way in.  It's like a whole little complex in there.  Our seats were incredible!  They were super close and they only cost $80 compared to the $250 price tag that we were looking at Red Rocks.  You can also get lawn seats for $40 which are actually really good seats too.  Off to stage right and left they have common areas with lots of vendors selling food and drinks.


The Kongos and Young the Giant opened up for Kings of Leon.  They were incredible bands.  I downloaded their music.  Then Kings of Leon came on and I am telling you what - we were like two teenage girls dancing and singing and being completely silly.  We had such a fun time!  There was even talk of driving to Vegas to see the next show the next night. Haha!  That didn't happen.

After sleeping in on Saturday morning which translates to 7:30 am (Blerg!!), we decided on some good ol' comfort food to absorb all the fun.  We went to Cecilia's Cafe where they are known for their 10 lbs. burrito.  I got the huevos rancheros and Andy got the Chicken Fried Steak Breakfast.  It was just the right portions and with their own red and green chili that made it perfect.  Don't bother asking for the hot sauce because they don't have any.  Our server said that "it messes up her sister's chili".  


Cecilia's Cafe

We hit the road to go home but we seriously wanted to find a reason to stay another night.  We went home a different route through Durango, CO so we could go over Red Mountain Pass to see the beautiful fall leaves.  We stopped in Aztec, NM to see the ruins of the anasazi.  That was such a humbling experience.  

Aztec Ruins


We made a pit stop in Durango for a Cafe Mocha and listened to a little bluegrass band on the corner.




Red Mountain Pass
We made home just in time for dinner.  What a great getaway for us!  I can't wait to go back and try the Vietnamese Restaurant.  Little trips like this are so great and was the perfect little rejuvenation for me and Andy.  Plus, we were totally "tweakers by the speakers" together (you have to listen to the song by Keller Williams to understand).


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A classy {oh! so frenchy} list of cocktails

I just love a fun cocktail!  I sometimes get in the rut of wine and beer because it's just easy and satisfying.  But whenever I get the energy to make a cocktail, it just makes the evening turn into a celebration.  One of my faves to use is St. Germain Liquor.  I looked up some great ideas to help inspire a reason to celebrate.  It just reminds me of times of being young and in Paris and feeling so carefree.

Happy Wednesday Everyone!



St. Germain Mojito

St.Germain Champagne, The Pear Tree, The St. Germain Cocktail and Dia Del Amor

St. Germain Salty Dog

St. Germain Sangria

St. Germain Margarita

Stormy Morning Cocktail

St. Germain Rosemary Lemonade

Lady Germain (a twist on the French 75)

The St. Germain Cocktail

Friday, September 5, 2014

Why Simone Perele Lingerie is my passion & first collection

Marmie's first collection is from Simone Perele.  I chose this line for my first one because it was right in line with my personal style and my mission to empower women.  The sophistication and elegance in each piece is world renowned.  The comfort and fit is the best in the industry.  I also love my area representative who has made this process a breeze and is super knowledgeable.  All of these factors help me give all of you a top notch product that I am extremely passionate about and give you a personable experience tailored just to your needs.  And what's so cool is that I come to you in the comfort of your own home!

Simone Perele's Curvy Model Search Winner

I read a review of Simone Perele line of lingerie that is the perfect description of their line.

"Simone Pérèle’s collection infuses timeless grace and elegance in a tribute to all things sweet. Guipure lace inspired by the dentelle à gateaux (doily), matte thread in honor of the artistry of spun sugar, and carefully chosen hues reflect a delicate, irresistible palette of temptation." -girlsguidetoparis.com

A little history about Simone Perele:

"Simone Pérèle was actually a corset maker for the elite of France. She became tired, however of trying to fit women (sucking in, pulling up, tugging, etc.) into these corsets. She wanted the woman to be liberated; to feel comfortable in HER skin and not feel as if she has to conform to what others want or think is beautiful. She wanted the woman to embrace every curve or in some cases, lack thereof, of her body. Her passion was to help women feel beautiful, confident, inspired, bold, to love their body and their spirit. Her way of doing this was to create beautiful pieces of lingerie."
-Laura, a Simone Perele representative

Simone Perele and her husband
A woman should not have to choose between being comfortable and being beautiful? she can have it all.” 
- Simone Pérèle


Her daughter is still the head of the company and here is a great interview with her. Click HERE.

Catherine Perele with models wearing Simone Perele

"When a women looks at herself in profile wearing a bra, her bust must go up, never down. A good bra is something you forget you are wearing; you don't feel the straps, there is no pain, your breasts must look round and natural. And, a good bra always exudes good taste, according to Perele. The titillating and tacky are best left to others. There is a difference between being sexy and elegant. The Simone Perele woman values sophistication above being too showy." - Catherine Perele

I am so thrilled to offer to women in our country a product that enhances your figure, supports your "girls" and boosts your confidence while at the same time being comfortable.  It's a concept that I never knew existed until I tried on bras from Paris designers.  I experienced my own "life changing" experience that I want to share with all of you.  Are you ready to finally have the perfect bra?

My Services:

  • My services are free!  It is my goal to find you the perfect fitting bra.  
  • I carry several styles in sizes 32A-40F.  
  • I can personalize specialty sizes by letting you see the styles that I carry and then we can visit and decide together which bras would work the best for you.  I will then order your sizes on my next order so I can add it to my inventory if it isn't your perfect fit.  
  • After deciding which bra size, style and color is going to be your match made in heaven, I will order your lingerie.  Orders can be hand delivered or mailed to you.  
  • I also would love to make a wish list for you then it is so easy for your husband to get you a gift.
  • Parties are a great way to have a fun day or evening with your girlfriends.  Plus, hostess awards are the best way to get more lingerie at amazing prices.  Check out how many Free Garments you can get when you have a party. ------------>  Click HERE

***And Don't forget to follow on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest & Twitter).  I will be doing all types of great giveaways and promotions on there.  Right now, I have a HUGE giveaway.  $400 Lingerie Drawer Makeover.  You and a girlfriend need some pampering!  It's so easy to enter.  And GUYS you can totally enter for two special ladies in your life. Click Giveaway Photo Below To Enter and for Details!!

Link


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Refrigerator Pickles




I haven't been my regular canning self that I typically am this time of year.  Since I moved back to Telluride my plants still look about the same size that they did when I planted them.  But as I went to the veggie stand to buy my produce in town, I saw pickling cucumbers and had an intense craving of fresh pickles.  I had pinned a recipe that I have been wanting to make for some time.  My family can go through a huge jar of pickles in a couple of days!





Let me tell you what!  If you crave pickles, then you should make a batch of these.  It's super easy and they taste amazing.

Here's the recipe that I used - Click HERE

I tweaked the recipe a little bit though.

I changed the ratios of the vinegar broth.

2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup rice vinegar
9 cups water
1/3 cup of salt
3 T sugar

I also added peppercorns in the bottom of my jars too!

Enjoy!!


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Run Your Own Race... a dreamer's story

I thought that I would spend a little time writing about how I got here.  Well, to the place of Marmie Lingerie.  I have so many passions and loves and interests. It's hard to always just pick one.  I'm a dreamer and a doer.  

My first business, Ginger Magnolia Catering, was an amazing experience that I started with my best friend.  It was our shared passion of cooking together and our need to have something more than just being a mom & the household chores.  At that time life was just hard.  Andy was gone all the time working so far away, we had marital problems, and we were in a new town.  I just felt like I needed something/someone to give me that zest of life that I had been missing.  So a beautiful business and friendship bloomed.  I loved it and I will always, always have a passion for food.  One day I know that I will do something in this field again.  Writing a cookbook or several has always been on my bucket list.  After my partner moved away and the business was just mine, that zest diminished.  Then adding on top of that a third pregnancy, repeatedly losing my commissary kitchen due to the restaurants going out of business and then not having a staff since I couldn't provide full time work - just kept me in a feeling of extreme overwhelm.  Fortunately, my husband's business was doing well so he carefully suggested that I just be mom for a while.  It felt like such a relief to be given permission to fail.  Even though it wasn't really a failure because my business was doing so amazing but the timing was off for me.  It was just too difficult to do it all.

Mehana & I having more fun than working

During that time, I had also started sewing purses and had a second full-time job on top of raising a young family.  I loved loved creating Marmie Bags.  It was another outlet and direction for my creativity.  I had so many big dreams with this business.  I had hoped to transition from catering which had so many conflicts that I couldn't control to making bags and creating a brand and global business.  But after two years of working my tail off, it ended up being a really expensive & time consuming hobby.  I had to make some decisions.  I really enjoyed creating and connecting but I would have to manufacture thousands of bags to keep costs low and to really see any kind of profit.  The math just didn't make it possible to move forward plus the amount of time that it took to sew each purse completely consumed my days.  Therefore, I phased out the purses.  That also felt like another failure but I had to evaluate what my time was worth to me and to my family and especially after two years of not seeing any real profit or promise of a future profit.  My intention also with this business was to be big enough to make a difference.  To use the brand of Marmie to create a project that could make an impact on people.

My first Marmie bags photo shoot

What I found during this time was Writing!  I just loved it.  I just kept writing and writing which then led me to really examine myself.  What was my life's purpose?  Why am I here?  What am I supposed to be doing and for the sake of what?

My life's purpose is to help people.  To show them how wonderful they all are.  To love them and tell them that sometimes life is just too hard but that it's worth it all. That the darkness is just as important as the light.  To show them that they matter.  To also show myself that I matter.  I want to help change the world.  I want to empower women.  I want them to love themselves.  

It's a wonderful feeling to know what your life's purpose is.  Do you know yours?  Write it down.  Read it out loud.  

So, in this journey of mine I have actually found way more than I thought that I had lost.  Once you know the why, the path to get there just presents itself.  And if that road becomes closed then just pick a new one.  There are so many different ways that I can make a difference and fulfill my life's purpose.

Marmie Lingerie has been a business idea that I've had for years.  But for some reason I kept trying to get different friends to do it.  Again, I think timing is everything.  I think that at that time I didn't know my purpose and I was just trying to find that zest that I talked about earlier.  I also was lacking in a little confidence in myself.  Here's a little secret about me:  I am terrified of public speaking!  So, the thought of formally getting up before a crowd leaves me so anxious and nervous.  Plus, I am a TERRBILE, AWFUL BLUSHER.  But through Three Graces (community outreach program for women that I started with 2 other ladies), I have slowly been conquering that fear.  I'm still afraid though and am still a bad blusher but I'm not going to let that fear stop me.



So by taking the time to withdraw and pull in and work on myself, my writing (blog) and my family.  It opened up some space and time to let the light in.  I saw this quote above when I was searching on my Pinterest for inspirational quotes using the word "Courage".  I am devoting myself to the idea of helping and empowering women.  This is my dream! And while looking for encouraging words I stumbled across this phrase that I had never heard before and now I see it everywhere.  

RUN YOUR OWN RACE




This is such a great motto. Life is so much like a marathon.  Have you ever done any long distance running?  You have to get over that initial hump and chatter in your head that says I can't do it.  And then it's like you could run forever.  You get this steady pace and there isn't anyone else running with you.  It's weird but I just can't run next to anyone even when I've tried.  It's not a competition with anyone.  It's just you and the road.  The only competition is you and your thoughts.  I hope all the runners make it and if one falls you stop and help them up.  It's the best feeling when you get to the finish line.  

I have lots of metaphors for my life.  I'm adding this one too.  I think I'll even put a post it of it on my bathroom mirror.  So, you see when you get real clear with your intentions and your perception of reality then you'll see that there's nothing to worry about.  I trust in the unfolding of time and what the Universe and God will bring to me.  I have my Three Graces group that is already fulfilling my mission and my purpose.  It is almost a year of our group and is really blooming! I started back in February trying to make Marmie Lingerie happen and just wasn't getting anywhere with making contact with the Paris Lingerie company.  I just stopped pushing and focused back on my family and moving.  And then once I got all settled in and the timing was just right - all of a sudden the representatives starting emailing me back.  It really is so cool how it happens that way.   

I am putting it out there that after working regionally with Marmie Lingerie and impacting and touching the lives of lots of women that I could spread the love further and further.  Maybe one day being a global brand and sending my message everywhere.  Teaching women to truly love themselves.  I want them all to be able to say and believe "I am beautiful. I am love.  I am the light."  And even maybe design and create my own line of lingerie one day.

Dream BIG.  Trust in Yourself.  Be Clear of Your Intentions. Run Your Own Race.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

A {Blue} Birthday Party

My little Evelyn Blue turned 3 yesterday and she loves everything BLUE because she's Evelyn Blue. This year for her party she said she just wanted a Blue Birthday.  With the moving and unpacking into the new house, my motivation level for the party was way below par.  I didn't even come up with games to do until about a hour or two before the party started.  But she's 3 so it's all good.

But I was pretty happy with the small things that I did do.  Evelyn helped me decide on the cake, punch and ice cream.  We did a Southern Style Strawberry Cake with Blue Cream Cheese Icing, a Blue Sorbet Punch and Blueberry Ice Cream.  I served the kids on my blue trimmed little plates and cut crystal punch glasses.  They were all very excited about the fancy dishes (even the boys).


We ended up playing:

Duck Duck Goose
Freeze Dance 
Dance Off
Hokey Pokey (2 times because she loved it so much)


Southern Style Strawberry Cake

1 (18.5 ounce) box white cake mix
1 (3 ounce) package strawberry jello
1 Tablespoon self rising flour
4 teaspoons granulated sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine cake mix, Jello, flour and sugar in a large bowl.  Mix well.  Add the oil & add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition then add the water and mix.  Divide the batter evenly into three 8-inch round baking pans that have been oiled and floured.  Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until a tooth pick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean and the layers pull away from the sides of the pan.

Transfer the layers from the oven to wire racks.  Let them cool, still in their pans, for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, run a knife around the inside edge of each pan, then unmold each layer onto the racks to cool completely.  I like to flash freeze my layers before frosting them.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 (8 ounce) block cream cheese, softened
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
2 (1 pound) boxes powdered sugar
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
blue food coloring
Blueberries
Sprinkles


To make the frosting, in a bowl combine the cream cheese and butter.  Beat until soft and pliable and no lumps remain.  Add one box of the powdered sugar, salt and vanilla extract.  Beat until incorporated.  Add the second box of sugar and mix until incorporated.  If you would like a smoother consistency add a splash of milk.  If you would like a thicker consistency, and a bit more powdered sugar until the desired consistency is achieved.  Then add the food coloring.  Frost the cake and garnish with blueberries and sprinkles.



Blue Sorbet Punch

Get the Recipe HERE

And here is the delicious Blueberry Ben & Jerry's Frozen Yogurt that we had.




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