In Praise of the Five O’Clock Cocktail

Morning brings the ritual of coffee.  When bedtime draws near, I often fantasize about having it in the morning, waking up to the amazing taste, smell, and enveloping warmth.  I have been known to audibly moan upon taking my first sip.

Midday I am walking or running my gorgeous mutt.  Okay, most days.  When it’s not brutally cold.  It‘s very difficult to say no to that face.

And at day’s end, you will find me in the kitchen making dinner for my family.  This is also when I have my evening glass of wine.  Sometimes I believe it is the act I enjoy as much as the wine itself.  I take great pleasure in the ritual of uncorking, pouring, and relaxing.  On the nights when basketball games, swim lessons or a scheduled sunrise workout preclude this, I will pour Pellegrino with lemon or lime into a beautiful glass to take the place of my 5 o’clock cocktail.  Tonight was one of those nights, and while I did enjoy the bubbles, a great Malbec would have been heaven.

image 1 via thatbow.blogspot.com, image 2 via dillydallas.blogspot.com

The Winter Blues

This long sloooow march through the colder months often saps my spirits and ambition (cue The Dream Academy’s Life in a Northern Town).  It is much easier to spring out of bed when the sun’s rays embrace us early.  I am sharing a short list of things that carry me through the winter doldrums, and would love to know what works for you, too.

1) Coffee.  Coffee.  And more coffee.  I tried to give it up once and lasted until 10:30am.  Some things we must accept about ourselves and that I need coffee to survive is, for me, one of them.

2) My Quoddy Twin Strap Shearling Boots.  Gorgeous they are not, but let’s be honest, neither are Uggs.  And these are made by hand in Maine, and guaranteed for life.

3) Flowers.  I almost always have them on my bedside table and in the foyer.  An instant mood lifter, fresh bouquets or potted bulbs (loving fragrant hyacinth right now) are a reminder that things will, indeed, turn green again.

4) Regularly scheduled workouts with friends.  Again, it’s easy to jump out of bed and throw on your running shoes when you don’t have to layer up and freeze your way through the first half mile.  When I’m tempted to throw the covers back over my head and skip it, I won’t when I know there is someone counting on me for motivation, too.

5) Casual, intimate dinner parties.  I love hosting laid back dinners in winter, when no one feels like going out.  There is nothing better than sitting elbow to elbow with good friends over a rustic meal, then cozying up around the fire place for great wine, dessert, and conversation. (And yes, I actually baked that apple pie pictured below.)

6) My evening glass of wine.  Okay, if we are being completely honest with each other, this ritual occurs during all seasons.  But in the winter it is always red.

So tell me, what brings you pleasure throughout the cold season?

image 1 via www.nataliefrenchphotography.co.uk, image 3 via citified.blogspot.com, image 4 via vintagealbum.blogspot.com

What is sexy?

What is sexy?

My 9-year old daughter recently asked this from the backseat of my car (isn’t that where all of the amusing/difficult/serious inquiries come from?) after hearing the word in song lyrics.  The question gave me pause.  Not because I didn’t want to answer, but because sexy is undeniably subjective.  I responded eventually in a generic, text-book sort of way (my mother’s voice in my head saying, “answer honestly, giving no more information than they ask for!”), but the question stayed on my mind.

So I set about asking.  One sister responded, “Food is sexy – I am currently eating filet mignon wrapped in bacon with spinach and brie melted on top.  Gant videos.  Edith Piaf.”  Another said, “men with deep voices and strong thighs, confidence, solid ground strokes and a great sense of humor.”  And from sister number three, “confidence, charm, passion for life.  And a well-tailored suit!”

Friends – male and female – also weighed in:  A devilish smile.  A woman in a tank top and a baseball hat. A man with confidence toeing the line of arrogance.  Intelligence.  Great legs in heels.  The well dressed man.  Wit.  Ripped abs.  A woman who can pull off glasses.  Accents.  Bare shoulders in winter.  The dip in her lower back.

What do I think is sexy, you ask?  French press coffee with the New York Times.  Bill Evans.  Working up a sweat.  Red by the fire, white on the beach.  Salted caramel ice cream.  Grey cashmere.  Stolen, knowing glances.  And the sound of a spinnaker catching the wind.

*image via jennafifi.tumblr.com