Tag Archives: wine

BFF Birthday Haul

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BFF Birthday Haul

Hiii everyone and TGIF! My best friend, Lea, and I have been gifting birthday and Christmas presents to each other since our Freshman year of high school in 2008. So, of course, this year was no exception! We always seem to know exactly what to get each other, so it was no surprise that I loved her birthday presents to me seen below:

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The Haul:

  • A bottle of moscato (My favorite!)
  • A bag of vanilla Starbucks coffee grounds (Also my favorite!)
  • A darling new coffee mug (My other favorite!)
  • A Starbucks gift card (My most favorite!)

The best part about Lea’s gifts, is that they are always things that I wouldn’t buy for myself. And, in my opinion, that makes for the perfect present. I have so many amazingly cute mugs and knick knacks from Lea throughout the years of our friendship and I cherish all of them and have them displayed proudly in my room. I am obsessed with the stonewear “Hello Gorgeous” mug that will be perfect to hold my morning coffee in. The bronze pineapples add an amazing touch of summer fun, which is great for my early summer birthday!

And, of course, who doesn’t love wine?! 😉

What kind of prezzies do you love to gift your BFF with? How long have you been friends with your bestie? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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Treats That Won’t Throw The Diet Out The Window

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Treats That Won’t Throw The Diet Out The Window

We all need a treat from time to time. The opportunity to indulge. For most people, that opportunity is all about sitting down with something delicious. However, if you’re dieting, it might feel like you’re forever cut off from those treats. But that might not be the case. In fact, there are some treats that might not be as bad for you as you think, and even have their own benefits, like the following:

Chocolate:

This one might have alarm bells ringing for some as, indeed, it can be one of the most tempting treats of them all. But chocolate isn’t something that you have to avoid entirely. In fact, dark chocolate, in particular, can be quite good for you. Not only does it have some benefits when it comes to fighting aging and cancer, but the flavanols in dark chocolate have been proven to improve heart health, improving circulation and helping you control your cholesterol levels. This doesn’t mean that you should have a huge bar every day, but when you’re craving a sweet treat, it’s not as bad for you as you may have been led to believe.

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 YUM!

Butter:

It gets a bad rap, often considered to be one of the worst fats you can put in your body. But the truth is, that butter isn’t as bad for you as previously thought. Butter is a saturated fat, but now studies from places like the World Health Organization are saying that saturated fats can make up to 10% of your calorie intake without too much danger. What’s more, livingthenourishedlife.com shows that butter has plenty of benefits of its own, improving your gut health and boosting your metabolic system. That means that a little helping of butter on your baked potato can actually help you burn calories better. Who would have thought?!

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 Lol, that butter looks so picture perfect.

Popcorn:

When you think of butter, your thoughts might immediately go to what it’s best served with. There’s no competition there, of course: it has to be popcorn. Popcorn is fast becoming one of the favorite treats of those trying to control their weight, especially those with stronger cravings. As healthline.com shows, popcorn is a high-volume, low-calorie food, meaning that you can eat more of it without increasing your calorie intake too much. Toffee popcorn doesn’t quite have the same benefit, unfortunately, so you have to be selective.

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 Love me some popcorn!

Wine

Too much alcohol consumption can drastically increase weight gain, there’s no doubt about that. However, a glass of wine with dinner can do you a world of good. Moderate consumption, i.e. a small glass, can boost your body’s calorie burning processes for up to 90 minutes after you drink it. Wine has also been shown to have some benefits in cognitive health, improving long-term memory, as well as preventing the clots associated with heart disease. How awesome is that?!

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#bottomsup

Set aside a treat for yourself every now and then but, as with everything, do it in moderation. Schedule it in as part of your regular routine, keeping it under control so that you don’t end up slipping into the deep end with your diet.

Valentine’s Day Gifts For You

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Valentine’s Day Gifts For You

Hi! The last two posts on lifewithlilred were special for the couples celebrating Valentine’s Day. But what happens if you’re riding solo this year on V-Day? Of course, moping in bed with chocolate and chick flicks is always a viable option, but if you want something more out of Valentine’s Day even though you’re single as a Pringle, then this post is for you!

Treat Yoself:

If you envy the guys and gals that are being spoiled on V-Day, then spoil yourself, instead. Take a trip to the mall or scroll through your favorite online store with a glass of wine in hand and get yourself a special V-Day treat. Nothing perks the mood up like a new pair of shoes, a Pandora bracelet, or some bath and body care goodies. Be good to yourself on Valentine’s Day and get spoiled rotten by the most important person on the planet… you!

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Galentine’s Day:

Misery loves company, so grab all of the single ladies in your life and have a day together. Watch some rom-coms, drink some wine, and eat all of the chocolate – because that literally sounds like a perfect day! And if you’re feeling frisky, you can get yourselves dolled up during the evening and go out for a night on the town. Members of the opposite sex, who?

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Single’s Party:

If you’re looking to celebrate singleness on a larger scale, then give hosting a Single’s Party a go. Round up your infamously single friends, and give them a place to celebrate among like minded people for the night. Do be sure to play “Love Hurts” on repeat the entire time! You can even plan the evening in a potluck style manner and have your guests bring their favorite break up vices to share, so you should have plenty of booze, pizza, and candy for all.

(And, as always, I have no rights to this song or video!)

Focus On Other Things:

If you would feel better about Valentine’s Day by just pretending that it doesn’t exist, then that’s fine too! Go about your day as normal, but maybe do something a little special for yourself to not make V-Day a total bust. Order your favorite takeout, grab a new nail polish color from the store and give yourself a manicure, or just tuck in early with the book that you’ve been meaning to read for months. Valentine’s Day is only a big deal to the people who make it out to be, so if it’s not your thing, then don’t let it get in the way of going about your day.

Whether you’re treating yourself to a shopping spree or if the real Valentine’s Day gift for you is spending it with your friends, just try and enjoy your day as best as you can. No matter how you spend it, V-Day isn’t an excuse for the day to be an instant throw away. And, who knows, you could end up having a lot of fun by starting new traditions with friends or by riding solo and vegging out to your must watch or read list!

How do you treat your sassy, single self on Valentine’s Day? Do you have any V-Day traditions with your friends? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: Mr Tumblr

Christmas Surprise Pt. 3

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Christmas Surprise Pt. 3

Hey! For as long as I can remember, my BFF Lea and I have exchanged presents for Christmas. Earlier this week, we had our annual best friend jamboree, where we gave each other our prezzies, drank wine, and had hella girl talk all while lounging on my basement futon. It was a blast! Lea and I love to shop for each other, and this year, she knocked it out of the park with my gifts. Take a look:

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The Haul:

  • A bottle of wine (Already used!)
  • An elephant tealight holder
  • A minion ornament!!!
  • Bath and body goodies (Bath salts, lotion, and a scrub)

Lea knows me all too well, because I seriously loved everything that was in my gift bag. Wine is a must, and we shared the bottle together during our afternoon hangout (“It’s five o’clock somewhere”!). I love knick knacks so the gorgeous elephant candle holder and minion ornament were perfect. And, what girl doesn’t love bath and body products?! I’m always looking to add to my B&B care hoard, so it was great to put some extra goodies in my stash.

Even if Lea and I hang out once a month or once a week, depending on our schedules, we always pick up right where we left off. She really is the best friend a girl could ask for and we will be going on ten years of BFFhood in the new year. I LOVE HER SO MUCH!!!! :*)

How do you and your BFF celebrate the holidays? Is your best friend easy or hard to shop for? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Happy 23rd Birthday, Best Friend!

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Happy 23rd Birthday, Best Friend!

Hellooo everyone and happy weekend! Today is an exciting day because it’s my best friend, Lea’s, twenty-third birthday!! Lea and I have been best friends for close to ten years now and I consider myself the luckiest gal in the world for it. Whether we’re taking one of our BFF day trips or hanging out in my basement and drinking boxed wine, we always manage to have a total blast during every hang out. Even in the early stages of our friendship, I knew that Lea was always going to be someone that I wanted in my life, and we have just about ten years of BFFhood under our belt to show for it.

Lea is and will always be my A1 from the day one and I am so excited for ten more years of best friendship and probably drinking boxed wine in my basement. I am so incredibly proud to have Lea as my best friend and, like a fine wine, she just gets better with age! Happy birthday, darling! I can’t wait to celebrate with you soon!

I LOVE YOU!!!! ❤

leaaa

Which Drink Should You Be Serving With Your Food?

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Which Drink Should You Be Serving With Your Food?

If you’re a bit of a foodie, you probably love cooking for your family and the people that you love. However, it’s important that you make sure that you serve the right drinks with your food, too. The right drink will complement the different flavors of the food that you’ve made, and will make the whole experience so much better. If you serve the wrong drink, the whole thing can taste off and become a bit of a dinner disaster. Some people think that it’s all down to the perception of the person eating and drinking, but the experts disagree! 😉

Here are some tips to help you discover the best drinks to serve with your meal:

Contrast: One thing that you can do to make sure you have the perfect pairing of flavors, is to choose flavors that will contrast your food. This might sound counter intuitive, but it can create a mind blowing flavor experience. It doesn’t have to be too dramatic. Just think about how things like lemon and lime can contrast flavors and make them so much better with just a drop!

Alcohol Level: The alcohol level of the beverage is also important. It isn’t just about the flavor! If you’re serving a light meal, then something with a light alcohol content should be served. If you’re serving a heavier dish, then you can afford to do so with your beverage, too. Bottoms up!

Have Fun With It: And, of course, you can experiment! Read the different flavors in beverages and see if you think that they will pair nicely or contrast with your food and test them out. Eventually, you’ll be able to pair things all by yourself. Just make sure that you pay attention to the temperature of certain beverages, as that can also make a big difference.

Check out this awesome infographic for more on the perfect serve of vino! Cheers!


Thanks To: winecoolers.reviews

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Cooking The Perfect Coq Au Vin

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Cooking The Perfect Coq Au Vin

We should all cook to suit our individual tastes, but there are certain dishes where the cook simply needs to stay true to the dish; its reputation, its history and, for lack of a better word, its soul. If there’s one meal that falls into this category, it’s coq au vin. The chicken, the garlic, and the bottle of wine all need to be prepared in a certain way, even if it is just a chicken stew with a fancy name! Here are some pointers on how to prepare the perfect coq au vin:

The Chicken: The older the chicken, the richer the sauce will turn out. Talk to your butcher ahead of time to ensure that you get the perfect bird for the job. Tell them that you want a chicken that will be good for some long, slow cooking, and they may be able to order an extra-mature bird for you. The best places to look for these are generally farmer’s markets, traditional butchers, and online stores. You should always go free-range, as well. With regular access to fresh air, free-range birds develop stronger, thicker bones than any chickens kept indoors, and will therefore make for a better sauce.

The Wine: Many people think that the wine used in coq au vin is a negligible detail. Don’t believe them! Using a good quality wine in your cooking can make all of the difference to the taste, so go for a full-flavored, fruity wine rather than anything thin and lackluster. You don’t need to really push the boat out, even though some chefs will insist that you can only use a wine from Burgundy in this particular dish. If you can’t make heads or tails of wine in general, then do your homework before you run to the liquor store and buy a bottle! Here’s how you can open wine without a corkscrew in case you’ve forgotten this crucial detail! Yikes!

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YUM!

The Aromatics: The aromatics that go into your coq au vin are another very important detail that will hold a considerable sway over the overall taste. A lot of recipes that you’ll come across online will only call for onions and carrots, but we recommend adding celeriac and celery for their potent, earthy notes. Large French onions are an essential foundation for the actual stew. You can add little, tight-skinned onions near the end, but this ups the risk of you putting in too much or too little. A few bay leaves and some fresh thyme are the only herbs you’ll really need, but don’t be afraid to experiment.

The Bacon: Your coq au vin simply wouldn’t be complete if it didn’t have some strips of thick, juicy bacon to complement the chicken. The thin, common rashers you use in a fry-up will be way too thin. If you don’t manage to burn them when you’re preparing your stew, the meat will disintegrate in too much heat. Ideally, you should source a tough, solid lump that you can easily cut up into thicker strips. Most brands of pancetta will do nicely.

Bon appetit!

Featured Image By: Wikimedia