Salted Caramel Apple Sangria

salted-caramel-apple-sangria-1

Are you looking for the perfect Sangria recipe for your Fall party?

How about mixing some crisp chopped Honeycrisp apples with some light citrusy Pinot Grigio, decadent Salted Caramel Vodka and apple cider?

Drizzle a little caramel sauce for the finishing touch…. and you have

Autumn in a glass!

salted-caramel-apple-sangria

Doesn’t that sound divine?

Here’s how I made it for a recent gathering I had.  It was quite the hit!  Hope you’ll give it a try.

Salted Caramel Apple Sangria

Ingredients:salted-caramel-apple-sangria

Directions:

In a large punch bowl, combine chopped apples drizzled with caramel sauce, wine, vodka, and apple cider.  Stir to combine.  Cover and refrigerate overnight or several hours.  Pour over glasses full of ice to serve.  Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

A Wine Basket of Firsts – Bridal Shower Gift

wine bridal shower gift 3

I had a bridal shower to attend this weekend for the future daughter-in-law of one of my besties.

I thought it would be cute to make a wine basket gift of “firsts.”  I had seen these before and thought they were cute for couples who already have most of the “basics.”

In a large tin beverage bucket, I put a box of 4 red wine glasses, a box of 4 white wine glasses, a cork screw, and 6 different bottles of wine with fun names to celebrate some milestones and firsts.

The first one is Champagne (actually Prosecco) for “The Wedding Night.”

wine bridal shower gift wedding night bottle

The next one, Entwined, is for “The Honeymoon.”

wine bridal shower gift honeymoon bottle
For “The First Fight,” I thought a bottle of LOL!!! was fitting.

wine bridal shower gift first fight bottle

To toast at “The First Dinner Party,” I provided a bottle of HobNob.
wine bridal shower gift first dinner party bottle

When “The First Anniversary” rolls around, a bottle of Two Vines can be shared.

wine bridal shower gift first anniversary bottle

And if they are blessed with “The First Baby,” a bottle of Menage a Trois can be enjoyed.  (and if they want to use it for something else, I just don’t need to know about it!)

wine bridal shower gift first baby bottle

Anna and Kyle’s wine rack is now stocked.  Bring on the wedding!

wine bridal shower gift 2

Cheers & Hugs,

Jodi

 

DIY Scrabble Coasters

scrabble coasters bundled

I had a ball trying to think of fun four-letter words with Scrabble tiles to make these DIY Scrabble coasters as Christmas gifts for family and friends.

I really wanted to share them before Christmas, but I didn’t want to spoil the surprise for the recipients.

scrabble coasters

They would also be cute birthday, Valentine’s, new home, and anniversary gifts too!

I simply purchased a couple of sheets of cork tile, glued Scrabble tiles in a 4×4 pattern onto them with E6000 glue, hit them with a spray of clear polyurethane spray, then trimmed with a utility knife.  Voila!  Cute handmade gift!

scrabble coasters coffee mug

I bought bags of Scrabble tiles at Amazon, but if you have time, you can start scouring Goodwill, second hand shops, and garage sales for used Scrabble games cheap to get the tiles.  You might also just find yourself wanting to play this classic game again, too!

Cheers & Hugs
Jodi

PS.  If you want to make these and need further directions, there are some great Youtube videos or other DIY sites you can check out by simply searching Scrabble Coasters.

Un-Thanksgiving

un 7We had the pleasure of spending an unforgettable Un-Thanksgiving with some of our undeniable favorites this past Saturday.

Now before you get all, “What the heck?  Aren’t you thankful?  Are you anti-Thanksgiving?” on me…un 6I LOVE Thanksgiving, and I am unbelievably thankful for so many un-deserved blessings in my life.un 3It’s just that it is impossible to be with everyone you want to be with on that one certain day for that one certain meal at that one certain time.  Right?un 1So my unparalleled cousins, Nikole and Michael, undertook the task of preparing an unforgettable Un-Thanksgiving feast and family celebration.un 2Unlike your traditional Thanksgiving meal, we had the most unequivocally sumptuous pork roast with an unbearably amazing vinaigrette, roasted potatoes, the most unfathomably incredible roasted brussels sprouts with chorizo and chopped almonds, roasted fresh carrots, and fresh baked bread with oil for dipping.un 4We uncorked unlimited bottles of vino (apparently too many as I certainly did not have my camera focused for this timer-set group shot!)…un 9We laughed unstoppably….un 8We even unleashed our inner Broadway talents while singing and dancing to “Frozen” after unsparingly stuffing our tummys and snuggling on the couch.

The unlimited love unraveled that day was unmistakable.un 5So think about doing something untimely and unexpected like an Un-Thanksgiving or Un-Christmas or Un-Whatever…… You might just unravel some unexpectedly untouchable moments and memories.

Now do you understand?  🙂

Until next time…
Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Painting with a Twist

“Who has more fun than us?”  That’s what my buddy, Oh Rob, always says, so I try to live up to it as often as I can!!  🙂

painting with a twist 14I was so fortunate to be invited to the Grand Opening and Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony of the new Painting with a Twist in Wexford from a dear friend, Matt, who’s sister, Amanda is the proud owner of and that he will be managing.  I was allowed to bring a guest, and since Marty declined, my BFF, Jill, was my fun date for the night.

painting with a twistWe got to be the very first artists to break in the easels.

painting with a twist 2Look at this gorgeous cake.  And the Food!  Ooooo  Laaaa Laaa!  They outdid themselves.  I feel bad I forgot to get a photo.  Matt made the MOST AMAZING Pesto Penne Pasta with Feta and Roasted Red Peppers.  I was much too busy eating it to remember…  (ooops!)

painting with a twist 3 Amanda was such a gracious host, and I am so happy for her and her family.

She couldn’t find a pair of scissors to “cut the ribbon,”

painting with a twist 4so she used a knife!  WHACK!

painting with a twist 5What started like this….

painting with a twist 9Ended list this.

painting with a twist 6So much fun to have Jill by my side while we simply enjoyed ‘creating together.’

painting with a twist 7It was unbelievable how different each canvas looked doing the same painting with the same instructions.

painting with a twist 8Talent – Schmalent – I think it has more to do with the amount of wine….

painting with a twist 10Amanda was just radiant, and I smile looking at this photo of her.  Isn’t she a doll?!

painting with a twist 11So I’m not an artist – but I sure had fun.

painting with a twist 12And we even got PRESENTS!

painting with a twist 13

Thanks Matt and Amanda for a very fun and memorable evening!  Congratulations on a beautifully executed grand-opening celebration.  I know you are going to be a huge success, and I look forward to coming again soon.

If you would like to learn more about Painting with a Twist, check out their website and/or Facebook page.

And tell them Jodi sent ya!  🙂

Cheers & Hugs,

Jodi

 

 

Lake Erie Wine Country 2014 Harvest Celebration

wine tour 1

After a Friday evening with the gang of “The Best Book Club Ever,” Marty and I got to join some of our favorite fun peeps for a Lake Erie Wine Country Harvest Celebration in New York.

wine tour 11

It was a crisp Fall day,

wine tour 2

but we couldn’t have felt warmer bopping around from winery to winery, tasting and sipping with this gang of folks we love dearly.

wine tour 10

We managed to visit 8 or 9 wineries between noon and 5 pm.

wine tour 3

Each winery – some quite simple  – others more elaboate – had their own individual style, appeal, taste, smell, and “feel.”

wine tour 5

Each one also served a lovely food pairing along with 4 or 5 samples of their best wines.

We ate everything from lasagna soup at our first stop at Liberty Vineyards and Winery to sliced tenderloin on garlic crostini with roasted red pepper aioli at our last stop at Presque Isle Wine Cellars.

wine tour 6

We learned about grape varietals and the fermentation process.

wine tour 7

Packaging sure sells – eh?  These bottles made me think of our dear Jake Henderson, who will be shipping off to the Navy soon.  We are so thrilled to get to have him here for Thanksgiving this year.

wine tour 8

Marty sure had a good time.  He loves spending time with this gang as much as I do.  We are so blessed to have Joyce and Rob, Kathleen and Jack, and Laurie and Ed in our lives.  We have learned and experienced so much from sharing time with this group of retired school teachers experiencing life to its fullest.

wine tour 9

Each winery had it’s own personality, as did their wines.

wine tour 15

My favorite wine of all was at 21 Brinx Winery, where we bought several bottles of the 2012 Noiret.

wine tour 16

But I couldn’t resist getting some photos of the wines names after our dear Ella 🙂

wine tour 17

Marty fell in love with Ports and bought several from different wineries.

wine tour 18

The absolute BEST hospitality and our favorite “snack” of chicken and biscuits was at Willow Creek Winery.  You know the old adage: “You can’t judge a book by it’s cover?”  Well – it sure rang true here.  Marty bought an entire case of assorted reds, whites and Port here, and the people were the sweetest, kindest, and most generous of all.  Keep up the great work Willow Creek!

wine tour 12

Until next time – –

Cheers & Hugs,

Jodi

One Word Photo Challenge: Scarlet

scarlett seven deadly zins red zinfandel wine

7 Deadly Zins

This week’s One Word Photo Challenge by Jennifer Nichole Wells is Scarlet.  Oh what an easy one for me.  And what fun I had setting up my photo!  My favorite evening consists of a glass or two or (ahem – never mind) of red wine — typically scarlet in color.  And in case you are wondering….  (Christmas is coming soon you know..) 7 Deadly Zins Red Zinfandel just happens to be my all-time favorite shade of scarlet.  🙂

CHEERS & Hugs & TGIF!

Jodi

 

 

 

Dear Malbec – Where do I submit my resume?

1000Dear Friends –

Thanks for visiting.  Today was kind of an exciting day at lifeinbetween.me.  I received a notification from WordPress first thing this morning that I had exceeded 1,000 likes.  Then later in the day, I received notification that today, October 1, was my all-time best day for “Likes.”

So THANKS!  Thanks for “Liking!”  I Like “Likes!”  Actually I LOVE “Likes!”

It is such great encouragement to me to continue writing and sharing here at lifeinbetween.me.

And speaking of writing, today’s #Writing101 Assignment is entitled, “To Whom it May Concern.”  Our task is to pick up the nearest book and flip to page 29. Find a word that jumps out at us, and write in the form of a letter.  (Keeping with the “theme,” I am writing to all of you in the form of a letter also.)

The nearest book to me as I sit here watching the Pittsburgh Buccos (we made the Wild Card Playoffs this year!) this evening is “All the Light We Cannot See” (our current “Best Book Club Ever” selection – which I am VERY much enjoying by the way).

all the light we cannot see

So I turned to page 29, and lo and behold, the word “Malbec” (fancy that!) shouted out to me…  (Doesn’t it just bounce off the page and glare at you?!)

page 29So here goes…

Dear Malbec –

There’s something I really need to tell you, and I’m just not sure how to say it.  I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but there is something about you that really gets on my nerves.  It’s just one small thing, but it’s been bothering me for some time.

First, let me tell you there are many things I do really like about you.

I love your dark, inky purplish color.  Red wines are by far my favorite over white.  And pink?!  I would rather drink nothing than drink pink or rose!

I love your ripe fruity flavors:  black cherry, plum, blackberry – awwhhh!

I love your spicy aromas and smoky, earthy, tobacco, peppery flavors that create such interesting complexity on my palate.

But here’s the thing:  I am so irritated that you are called full-bodied, and IT’S A COMPLIMENT!   It’s so unfair.  I want to be a Malbec!

Where do I submit my resume?

Sincerely yours,

Jodi

 

 

Girlfriend Camp 2014 #GFC2014

Oh what a glorious TWENTY FIVE hours I got to spend from 11 am Saturday to 12pm Sunday with some of the best of besties at our Annual Girlfriend Camp 2014!

What started like this…

Morning Toast GFC2014

Toasting the beginning of Camp with Prosecco, Limoncello and Fresh Raspberry Cocktails

GFC2014 police

What happens @ #GFC2014 stays at #GFC2014

…ended like this…

but I skipped a few things in between….

So first – Meet the campers:  Camp Host – Yours truly… “Tipsy”

GFC2014 Jodi Tipsy

Our Amazing Activities Director “Chitfaced”

GFC2014 Pam Chitfaced

the Baby – or should I say “Babe” of the group – “Bombed”

GFC2014 Renee Bombed

Social Media Director “Buzzed”

GFC2014 Jill Buzzed

The tart “Pickled”

GFC2014 Joan Pickled

The Lovely “Loaded”

GFC2014 Aline Loaded

And the Terrific “Toasted”

GFC2014 Janet toasted

Every camp has to have craft time – right?

GFC2014 Painting

GFC2014 Aline Painting

GFC2014 Janet painting

GFC2014 Pam Painting

GFC2014 Jill painting

GFC2014 Joan Painting

And goody bags and gifts from friends….

GFC2014 wine glasses

Silly glasses and blowing bubbles…

GFC2014 bubbles

 

And Camp Activities…

GFC2014 Minute to Win It

Minute to Win It Buzzed Whippin’ it good

GFC2014 Minute to Win It 2

Minute to Win it Top Technique!

GFC2014 Minute to Win It 3

Minute to Win It Loaded with …. errr…. Vaseline on her nose

GFC2014 MInute to Win It 4

Minute it to Win It Cotton Ball Challenge

GFC2014 Minute to Win It 5a

Minute to Win It TEAMS!

And #Selfies…

GFC2014 Aline and Renee Selfie

And Smart A$$es…

FU GFC2014

And “Take our Picture!” s…

GFC2014 glasses

to refreshments….

GFC2014 Wine Tasting

and group photos….

GFC2014 group glasses

GFC2014 group

and when in Mars, PA – you must visit the infamous spaceship in town square ….. go there in camp jammies….. in the rain….. and find random (somewhat sober) people to take your picture…

GFC2014 Spaceship

GFC2014 spaceship 2

And the best Chef Merv made us an amazing Morning After Breakfast – and this is the only photo we will share of the morning after…

GFC2014 morning after

Because some things that happen at Girlfriend Camp, need to just stay at Girlfriend Camp!

Thanks for a great time “girls!” Love ya!!! Couldn’t have had more fun – Until GFC2015….

Cheers & Hugs,

Jodi