Wine Wednesdays: Adult Halloween Drinks

Friday we started the food aspects of Halloween, for a party, for your kids’ class event, or even just having around the house. It was all snacks, and I have entrees and desserts on the way. Today though, it’s all about the adult drinks…the ones you keep away from your kids, even making sure they stay away from that plate of jello (shots). 

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Starting off with this list of 25 Easy Halloween Punch Recipes, I started off liking it already, when I was browsing them! I’m really wanting to try the caramel apple sangria.

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For those who might be doing a Harry Potter marathon some time this month, or are re-reading the books, check out this Polyjuice Potion.

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For those Pumpkin Spice loving people, check out this sangria.

Moving on to the next article I browsed through, these are more cocktails than anything. Delish’s 13 Best Halloween Cocktails can be found here.

The first one looks cool as heck, and I so want to try. It’s called Jeckyll and Gin. Look at it. Just look at it:

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These margaritas look cool too. They’re regular margaritas, but with food coloring and black sugar to coat the rim.

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For those zombie lovers (like my boyfriend), here’s a strong one, made with Bacardi 151. Let us all die, here.

This one is more up my alley. Simple, and cotton candy flavored. I need this in my life haha. This is a cotton candy shot, and it’s a sweet treat for the season.

For those in warmer areas, or don’t mind a cold drink to match the cooler temps, try this frozen cocktail.

And for the good ol’ jello shots, here’s your recipe! It’s the edible vodka-soda, but much cooler.

What is your favorite Halloween drink? Do you usually make adult drinks and kid-friendly ones?

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Wine Wednesdays: The Elephant in the Room

We all need a drink for this. And I’m only slightly sorry right now for it. This is a post on my journey to researching the primary candidates for 2018.

These are my opinions, and my journey how I came to them, during the primaries, for the mid-term election. Hopefully they *aren’t* as rough on my stomach as the 2016 elections were. Just ask my dad-he knows all of those feels I had.

So I live in a swing state. Yes, I live in one of those states. I actually live in one of the 3 recounted states, from 2016. Guess which one (if you don’t already know). Just guess.

Answer: Pennsylvania. Where the OG capitol was, for the USA.

To have transparency, I’m registered R, but lean moderately right. I can make another post of major topics, and where I lie, if that’s wanted, but I won’t go into that here, as you’ll get bored by the time I get to the proper topic of today’s post (cough cough, the primaries, cough cough).

I might share my opinion on each major topic, towards General Election. Would y’all like that?

Okay, back to the point (because let’s be real, this is even sidetracking me haha).

So my journey is a little different than most millennials: I actually don’t vote the way my parents do (well, I do lean the way they do, but my reasoning behind it, on the issues, are what may differ. Even that, I don’t agree with everything they agree with, just like I don’t agree with everything that my “party” does), and I actually do my own research. And of course, my partner doesn’t tell me how to vote either. If anything, I give him my input, and that’s how he does “his research” for the most part.

For a bit of backstory: I was a first time voter during the 2016 elections, even though I was eligible to vote in the 2012 general. I had a rough time deciding in the 2016 primaries, as PA was kind of later in the season, and it was Cruz, Trump, and Kaisich left, once primaries hit my state. I was somewhere between a “never-Trumper” and a “hell, let’s MAGA”.

This is my first midterm. I am just as equally lost. I’ve spent hours researching (really googling, let’s be real) the people in my district. Let’s just hope there’s no suprise questions like last time haha (there was a local question last time that I had no idea what to put on as my answer. I don’t want that to happen again!).

I’m not sharing who I voted for, but I will share the results for my state:

New York Time’s Update

Waking Up to the Second Quarter of 2018

So yesterday, I gave you a recap on the first three months of 2018. Now I’ll be sharing my general plans and goals for the second quarter!

If you didn’t already know, I’m in the second year of THE Artist of Life Workbook program, created none other by Aileen Xu at Lavendaire. I’m apart of the OG from last year, as 2017 was her first year of the program. It’s a workbook, which can be done digitally (and printed, if desired…that’s what I did this year), or mailed to you, in a very cute smaller paged book (I did that last year). There’s also a private Facebook mastermind group that runs in junction with the workbook. You don’t need the workbook per se, but it is a huge influence into what goes on in the group.

Anyway, now that I’ve explained a little more of what that is, let’s jump into what I have going on, what I want to do, and where I want to see myself in three months time. Since it’s Wednesday as well, so I’m going to share my “wine Wednesday” choice, which is a chilled brut sparkling wine from California.

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What are you sipping on today (or looking forward to, since we’ve made it through half the week?)

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This is the quarter overview page, and as you can tell, I did the print version and typed up all that I could, then printed it out so that I could physically write down my progress during each month. The pictures I shared in yesterday’s post display the monthly outlook, as well as the quarter review. This is the other end of the quarter, since I haven’t share this end of it yet.

To give you some big goals for the overall year, my goal was to explore and learn. I wanted to read a book a month (or 12 books) at least. I’ve done 2.5 books so far. I want to read more, if I can manage, as I have a book given to me by my maternal grandma, but it is a heafty read, so I’m leaving that book for the months where I travel a lot, or when I have spare time at the end of the month, where I’ve finished the book that I have planned for said month.

The exploring end is my travel bug, that has been a general thing since I was younger. I traveled across the two US coasts near all of my childhood, and I want to actually travel. My grandparents asked me last fall if I wanted to join them on a trip, and I couldn’t say no, so hence this year is all about exploring and experiences, of all sorts.

My travels started over Easter weekend, with going to more properly explore Pittsburgh, as it’s one of a handful of close larger cities to me. I’ll be experiencing more come summer, but this was a nice introduction.

Going back to the “smaller picture”, this quarter is a strange one, at best. I have some self care and home care I’m taking care of, but in the same time, come June (the last month of the quarter, let alone the last month of the first half of the year), I’ll be traveling. To me, it’s a reward to both “adulting”, because what fun is it (and what good is it really, to your health) if you don’t have something to look forward to, and it’s also a reward for working on myself and the place I live in.

Our aparment isn’t messy or needs too much work done, but since babe was here long before me, and with the Universe granting it, we’ll be together a long time, I want to add a more personal touch that I like as well. Most of it’s just organizing and tiding up, as we’ve accumulated things. I’ve become more simplistic in material goods, and I want it to show throughout our apartment.

Organizing the house, is something that both Aileen targets in the goal setting and planning sections of the workbook, and she has a whole section devoted to the home. After reading Jordan B Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life (read my review), it solidified that I did need to get my house in order as well. He always says start with your room, and that’s always a work in progress. Then your house? That’s even more always a work in progress. Yet as long as you sort out and plan and try to expect things (like plan for when you need a new garage door, or if you have pluming issues), you’re doing pretty good.

So April is covering what I want or should get for the start of organizing the living room and attic, while May is the living room, and after that and into June, before my 2 week trip (yes half the month!), will be the attic. I have no idea what I’m getting into, but I hope I have enough time and stamina!

I have 3 books planned out, and already have two of them. I should get the third on audio book, so that I can listen to it while I’m organizing…or maybe I should just re-listen to 12 rules for life? I’d probably fall asleep on the couch if I did that!

During June, I’m letting myself enjoy things, and my biggest goal is to explore and work on photography while I’m on my trip. I have 10 busy days out of 14, which includes flying. I’ll be able to get some reading done, as well as some prep work for here.

Do you think I’m doing enough? Or do you need another drink to process all of that (haha)?

As you can tell, I’m planning to get some housework done before the trip, so that I can fully enjoy the summer, all the way through my birthday events, in September. After September, it’s all hustle and bustle to pay it off, and start saving for next year!

The fun is only starting to begin, and I can’t wait to share it with you all! Share what you have planned for summer, down below, or repost this blog and do it there!

Wine Down Wednesday: Make Your Time Work With Your Tasks

I know a lot of people struggle with time management, and let’s be real, I’m no different. I struggle with keeping my own schedule, and what I want to do that day, nearly every day. That’s part of my “I know this will help me, in what I want to do long term” and my “I don’t wanna, I’m spoiled” brains fighting. If I get a shower, it’s an accomplishment I can cross off my to do list, if we’re being realistic. I do shower regularly, but it’s the incentive to cross something off my ro-do list that makes me add it to my list.

So how do I get anything done? I have no idea, really. Other than writing down a to-do list, and aiming for 75%-80% of it completed, I don’t know what else to say.

Now, let’s grab some wine and settle into this post! I have my glass of Cabernet Savignon, what are you drinking as you read this? Comment and share your time schedule!

Through the past year, I’ve learned to be kinder to myself when I don’t meet 100% of what I want to do each day. That’s something I suggest to you to try: be easier on yourself.

Write down everything you need to do each month on a calendar of some sort, where it’s visible every day. It can be on your fridge, by your front door, on your closet door, whatever. If you have self projects (like me writing for this blog), write it down as well. Write in when you want to do what, even if it’s simple.

On that same note, make everything as simple as possible. Treat yourself like a 5 year old. Seriously. Simplicity is key. All of the time.

From there, take another calendar, and plan out meals. Put it somewhere in your kitchen. It doesn’t have to be for the entire month. It can just be for the pay period. That’s the easiest way to save time and money on what you’re going to cook and eat.

After you do that, make your list, and plan out your shopping trip(s) to the store(s) you’ll have to go to for food. Make it the same day of the week, so it becomes a mindless task. I also advise putting the list on your phone, and listening to music while you shop. Well, unless you are shopping with a spouse or kid(s). I highly advise against that, as they distract you.

Going back to some basic strategies, the night before, make a to do list of what you need to do, including shower (showering is a big thing, but things like brushing teeth don’t have to be written down). This can be on your phone or pen and paper. As long as you can remember to cross things off as you do them, and you like the method, go right on ahead! Don’t feel afraid to play around for a few months on what you like and don’t like.

Now, since you have some very basic layouts of what I do and use, I should show you what I really do and use.

For my to-do list, I write it down each day, on a little sticky note. I like the cute sticky note pads, and I leave it on the ream of sticky notes, until I’m done for that day, so I can cross things off easier and not necessarily need a hard surface.

I sometimes make deadlines for myself, especially for things I want to do around or right before bedtime, like yoga or showering. Everything else that doesn’t have a time on it, must come before bedtime, and if I don’t get to it, it gets moved to the next day.

On my regular calendar, I use a whiteboard, and look at my Artist of Life Workbook, and see what goals I have in place and mind, for that month. That’s where I draw part of my to-do list from. I also draw from the food calendar, to see how long cooking will take that day, and what I can do during cooking, off of my to-do list, so I can kill two birds with one stone, in means of time.

Another thing, as a good idea, is if you’ve upgraded a laptop, computer, or tablet, is to keep your old one if you can (if it still works, holds a charge, can still do some basics in terms of what you need to do). This will help you in times of “need”, when your “new” device needs a charge, but you need to do things.

For instance, as I’m crafting this blog post, I had intentions of using my new laptop that I was spoiledly gifted on black Friday, but it needed charged. It’s better to leave a device sit while it’s charging, especially if you drained all of its battery, and not use it. So I turned to the old chromebook that was giving me a headache, to kill it, so I could charge it!

With not having my laptop wired up with its charger, I can also move around better, so if I wanted to go make something, I could take the chromebook that I’m using, and place it out in the kitchen with me, instead of having to go back and forth, or leave what I was working on, for after I ate.

A good time management hack, is if you know you have some short errands to conquer, do it during your lunch break during work. I wish I could do this, as I work nights, but this is so helpful. If you need a manicure, it takes about an hour, and find a place close by that you like, and look fab when you come back. Even a hair appointment works!

Do you have to buy or mail a holiday card or birthday gift? Do it during your lunch hour! Is there a dreaded family member you should call, but takes 4 hours for you to hang up normally? Call them during your lunch, and when you have to go back to work, say so, and it’s easier to leave them.

Even going out and grabbing more foundation, or a new blouse when you got a coffee stain on one saves you time!

Another possible lunch hour hack, is see if you can catch up with a friend or two for lunch, if you can never find time to see them. Try a new restaurant even!

Currently, I work in retail, and the easiest thing for me is to shop for food after work. I know growing up, my mom would grab her check, pick me up from my grandparents’ house, or our house, and we’d go deposit her check into the bank, we’d grab food, then grocery shop. If she had errands close to any of those stops, we’d go there too. On the weeks she didn’t get paid, we’d go grocery shopping on Saturdays usually, and have an early lunch at somewhere cheap like Taco Bell.

When I moved to my dad’s when I was 16, it was so different, and there wasn’t a set day of the week when we’d shop. I quickly came to terms that I liked predictability, even if it’s something as silly as grocery shopping.

Since I’ve started working in retail (When I was 18), I’ve fluctuated on what works, because at the start, my schedule was always changing. Now that my schedule has been set (for now…), I have a schedule again, of grocery shopping. The “out to eat” days have changed from when I was younger, to days I do laundry, as I have to go out for that, and not so much for groceries.

When you have a dull day of to-do’s, I suggest adding something fun to it, or something you don’t get to do often, to make it less dull. Similar to the “eating out” of lunch with friends, or before shopping for food, or laundry, make sure it’s not so boring.

When it’s all said and done, make sure to treat yourself a little bit when you complete your to-do list! And appreciate yourself when you don’t make it to everything. We’re not meant to do everything.

Always keep in mind as well, from one of my favorite mentors, Aileen Xu- Done is better than perfect. So don’t strive for perfection, strive for done, and then go back and perfect it!

Do you have any tips on how you structure your day? Leave a comment, with what you’re drinking as well (even if it’s water or non-alcoholic).

 

Wine Down Wednesday: Intro Edition

Welcome to my Wednesday series, where every so often, I come on with a glass of wine, and discuss a topic that I feel needs addressed, that may not fit in with travel, food, and planning. As strongly as I feel that people (especially younger ones, like millennials and the next generation) need help planning and want to find new food dishes, and possibly a new place to travel to (or somewhere new in a place they’ve already been to), there’s still some topics that I can’t avoid.

Wednesdays are for those of us who don’t fit the norm, so to speak, and if you’re here, I’d like to assume that you like the oddball stuff, outside of what I cover on Wednesdays. So let’s get into this week’s topic: South Africa.

As I watch several travel YouTubers, several have gone to South Africa, and if they haven’t, they probably want to. Seeing what I have out of Cape Town, I don’t blame them. It seems cute, and very tourist-friendly. Yet as of the last handful of months, some of the other YouTubers I follow, that aren’t travelers, they’re saying that even Cape Town is going down hill too fast.

From the water shortages now affecting even Cape Town, to the not-so recent change of power from one president to the next, I find myself worrisome, even as a future traveler, in regards to this country.

Now South Africa hasn’t made my list of places to go, simply because most places in Africa in general don’t appeal to me, so I don’t feel like I’ll be missing out too much when things keep getting worse for them. Yet, from what’s been happening over the last 6 months to a year for them especially, I’m almost in fear of what could bring itself here to the States, in the next 5-10 years.

“Why are you talking about this at all?”, you are probably wondering. Insert Lauren Southern’s most recent series here. Grab your wine glass, fill her up, and take a look at her playlist so far. I’ve grabbed some Chardonnay for this.

Now let me make this very clear: I AM NO WHITE NATIONALIST NOR ALT-RIGHT FIGURE/SYMPATHISER. I don’t mind people of color, as long as they treat me nicely, and as a fellow human being. As an Irish descendant, by default, I’m looked down upon the same way Jews are in the alt-right. I’m not the right type of white for them.

Back to where we were: take a listen/watch to Lauren’s video here, that isn’t included in the playlist. This is why I feel the need to go a little bit further on what Lauren says in this video.

She goes to say that although she appreciates those who are now talking about the South African problem, with the switch of power, like the Daily Wire (see here and here), and the Blaze (see here there’s even a video), there’s still not enough coverage. Even the right-leaning sites that are covering it are late in Lauren’s eyes, which I don’t totally knock her for saying such a thing.

If you want a basic overview of what has happened recently, check out this clip from Tucker Carlson’s Fox show here. Vice covered this general topic 3 years ago. THREE YEARS AGO!!! Watch their angle here.

With all of what’s happening there, and with the rise of immigrants to the States, and the already prominent issues we have in our major cities, I fear that if what’s happening in South Africa goes north or west to western civilized countries, that we’ll land up like they are now. Europe is already having issues with the radical Muslims and those who want to do similar things, without affiliating themselves to Islam.

One thing I see here in the states is the growing appeal of nationalists, both of blacks and whites. I grasp and understand having pride in your heritage, which has some input on nationalistic ideologies. Yet while I see that, in South Africa, and I’m sure in other nations, the extreme tribalism that is occurring is what bothers me.

The tribal mentality is where I think Western culture may see a divide and have a large issue, at least in the US, in 5-10 year’s time. I can’t speak for Europe or Canada, but I see a three way battle so to speak coming here in the states. There’s the already building tensions of white nationalists and black nationalists wanting to fight it out, but then there’s those of us (like myself).

The way I see it, is that it’s all immature. We’re not acting like the evolved species that we’ve become over the last handful of millenia. In the same fashion that Dave Rubin says in his latest direct message, we’re devolving, not evolving.

Now that you’ve near finished your glass, and made it this far into reading (and hopefully watching some of the videos I’ve listed, or reading some of my links), what do you think? Are you getting cautious about the state of the world? If you’re not from the US, what’s it like where you’re at, in terms of nationalist thinking? Leave me a comment below with your thoughts!