A Wedding and Valentine DIY Jar of Kisses

Weddings...I have been married for nearly thirty years.  So going to a wedding like the one we attended a couple of weekends ago is always a reminder of that beginning.  When everything is new and those vows haven't been tested by  everyday life.  It's the laughter when you want to cry.  The phone call that asks "how is your day going?" To me, that's where the challenge lies, the everydayness.  It's who will take out the trash and unload the dishwasher.  Who is the cook and who cleans up? Picking up the slack when your partner needs some extra help.  Those little mundane things that could possibly drive each other crazy. That's where the rubber hits the road baby!  The little things...that's where the honor and cherish happen.

There were several beautiful moments at this wedding.  Although, to be honest it started 35 minutes late and John and I were taking bets (I mean wondering) if someone had cold feet.  Turned out not the case at all, just some technical and scheduling issues...as in the priest thought the wedding was at 2pm instead of 12. 

But one thing in particular at Anna and Joseph's reception made me sigh.  We were talking to the lovely bride and her new groom.  The first dances were done, the cake had been cut and they were making their way around the hall, talking and thanking friends and family.  I told them how beautiful the ceremony and reception were and that's when Joseph turned to me and said with the utmost sincerity and love in his voice that "It was beautiful.  But none of it was as beautiful as Anna."  Mic drop...

Cue the harps and hearts floating in the air...   

All that newness and love is contagious and a good reminder of your own beginning and soon enough they will get to the everday...just not right now.

Just in case you don't have any weddings to attend in the near future, here is a little DIY project full of love and kisses...

DIY Valentine Jars

This is a cute idea to easily put together for a teacher, friend or your sweetheart.  I found these jars at Ikea but you could easily use mason jars or those cute little milk bottles I've been seeing everywhere.

  1. So I started out with four containers...I used the black labels on two and smoothed them over the front of the jars to create a window that you can see the candy through. 
  2. I used chalkboard spray paint and gave them a good coat.  Once dry I removed the labels.
  3. If you want a great resource for tags, cards, etc. there are very talented people out there who create them.  Most of them are free for personal use.  I found mine at this cute site .
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4.  Once the tags were printed on white cardstock and cut with a paper cutter I played around with ribbon wrapped around the top of the jars but I wasn't loving it.  Enter the red tulle. 

5. Creating the little top knot was a cinch (ha ha) by making about four loops and tying it in the middle with twine; then using the twine to attach to the lid.  I gave it a haircut to the length I wanted and fluffed it out...voila! 

6. Use a hole punch and attach the tag with another piece of twine.

7. Now the fun part, fill with the candy of your choice!  I used Hershey Kisses but you could use Conversation Hearts, etc.

Disclaimer for my Whole Life Challenge peeps...no candy was consumed by me for this project.  Sigh

So there you have it...a few kisses to get you through that normal everydayness!

Elementally,

Michele






The Space Between...It's Called January

                         Wooden spheres created by Tricia Wessling

                         Wooden spheres created by Tricia Wessling

I love January.  Now.  Not when I was a kid who had a birthday right after Christmas.   Now, I embrace this month of a fresh new year and celebrate the birthday it holds.  I linger in the promise of a new year.  After all the Christmas decorations have been put away.  The quiet of it after all the holiday parties are memories in our phones. I love putting in my  new planner that has lots of crisp white pages yet to be filled with things to do and places to go, deadlines to meet.  And yes,  I still use an old school planner and calendar along with my iPhone.  We  people of a certain age like to see things written down on paper!  If I write it enough times, I just might remember that dentist appointment I scheduled six months ago .

It's that space between and before...

Before the hearts and kisses of February, then it's on to Spring and Easter.  Before you know it, we are sliding into June...so I just breathe in this space in between.  And organize, and rearrange furniture, maybe a tabletop but definitely the mantel...and stand back and really look at my goals.  For me personally and our family.  For my business.  For my fitness.  Our home.  And breathe in that space in between...

And then I rearrange something else.

How about you?  Now that this month is more than halfway over, have you set some goals? Make some resolutions?  I am happily filling in the spaces.

Elementally Yours,

Michele

 















Portland Street of Dreams and a New Street to Call Home

It's Friday morning and I'm sitting at my daughter Meghan's kitchen table. Some much needed rain and clouds outside the window. Yes, even in Portland they need rain. Coffee cup in hand and chatting about what we want to do today. I love coming to visit  

                                                         I Am Grateful!

This is my third year to come up and attend the Portland Street of Dreams with my daughter Meghan.   It is an interior designers dream. A chance to see some of the latest materials and architecture put into play. Sponsored by the Home Builders Association, this is their 40th year and has offered five to nine houses to tour in different suburbs of Portland.  This year it is in Lake Oswego. 

Modern, Mid-Centry, Tudor, Cape Cod to Traditional and everything in between! 

Builders, architects, designers, landscapers and home furnishing stores all get to strut their stuff. This year all  homes were required  to be LEED certified, include solar energy and rain gardens to manage rain water.  

The homes range from 4,000-6,000 sf and $1.5 to $2.9 million...chump change right?  What do you get for that kind of money you ask?  Well, for starters, some amazing materials. Most had some or all of the following:  an office, outdoor kitchens, basketball or tennis court,  a gym, wine room/cellar, media rooms, game rooms, huge laundry/mudrooms, closets you could live in and views of Mt. Hood...when it's not cloudy or drizzly. 

       Have you been to Portland? It's cloudy and drizzly a lot!

 Some design choices were perfect, spot on, best thing ever. Others you look at and go "huh".  Ok. Really?  But that's the beauty of these show houses. You get to dissect, inspect and expect a little more. These are talented people with lovely budgets. Some continuing trends were reflected with the selection of materials.  Large tiles were used in bathrooms, along with mosaic and glass tile.  Metals of all kinds, chrome, bronze, brass and nickel.  Globe pendant lighting in various styles and subway tile in various colors and textures.

So here we go...Some pics of the 2015 Portland Street of Dreams.  These were taken and edited with my iPhone so bear with me.

      This table was Rustic and beautiful.  Love pairing it with the modern chandelier

      This table was Rustic and beautiful.  Love pairing it with the modern chandelier

                          There were some really cool sinks like this one... 

                          There were some really cool sinks like this one... 

                                                                     And this one...

                                                                     And this one...

            Meghan really liked this tub and if anyone deserves to relax, its this girl

            Meghan really liked this tub and if anyone deserves to relax, its this girl

Not a good pic but the windows were the statement here. It's very challenging taking pictures with a couple hundred people wandering into your shot. 

Not a good pic but the windows were the statement here. It's very challenging taking pictures with a couple hundred people wandering into your shot. 

             Fashion statement...booties over shoes  Required in all the homes. 

             Fashion statement...booties over shoes  Required in all the homes. 

Bedrooms

 

        Fun use of color and texture.  The sheer drapery panels had smocking with rhinestones...design is in the details.

        Fun use of color and texture.  The sheer drapery panels had smocking with rhinestones...design is in the details.

                  Trust me when I tell you this was some gorgeous wallpaper.

                  Trust me when I tell you this was some gorgeous wallpaper.

                        Playful teen girls room with wall color that was ombre.

                        Playful teen girls room with wall color that was ombre.

    Lots of upholstered headboards seen throughout the homes...metallicswere popularfor accessories like these pillows.

    Lots of upholstered headboards seen throughout the homes...metallicswere popularfor accessories like these pillows.

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                                Love the corner window and lighting.  

                                Love the corner window and lighting.  

                                 And now for the teen boy's room.  

                                 And now for the teen boy's room.  

Living Spaces... 

                                                                   Fun bonus room

                                                                   Fun bonus room

                   Natural wood tables with the shiny mirror art...Great Wall color.  

                   Natural wood tables with the shiny mirror art...Great Wall color.  

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                             Beautiful light and texture in this room

          It was too dark to get a good pic but on the wall to the right...huge movie screen

          It was too dark to get a good pic but on the wall to the right...huge movie screen

Taking a break.. Beer and wine please! 

                                                  Meghan, Kate and adorable Lilly

                                                  Meghan, Kate and adorable Lilly

There were a lot of contemporary kitchens...this one proved that white kitchens will be around for along time with this classic look.  We saw variations of the subway tile throughout the homes.

There were a lot of contemporary kitchens...this one proved that white kitchens will be around for along time with this classic look.  We saw variations of the subway tile throughout the homes.

 There was a huge range of countertop materials. Lots of marble, some quartz, Ceasarstone and a couple granite slabs that were pieces of art. Like above...

 There was a huge range of countertop materials. Lots of marble, some quartz, Ceasarstone and a couple granite slabs that were pieces of art. Like above...

                           Also, black hardware for drawer pulls, knobs and hinges

                    And here.  The veining and colors in this slab were stunning.

                    And here.  The veining and colors in this slab were stunning.

                                                    Lighting is jewelry

                                                    Lighting is jewelry

Even million dollar homes have DIY projects.  

                                             Industrial chic anyone?

                                             Industrial chic anyone?

                                                         Hand painted trees

                                                         Hand painted trees

Are you still with me?  

 

                                                        My home tour posse... 

                                                        My home tour posse... 

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Overall they were beautiful homes and a fun day spent with my daughter and her friends. Which brings me back to being grateful...

Grateful for visits to Portland. For a grandson who is thirteen and still loves to give his Mimi hugs. To offer support and wine during an extremely stressful, most convoluted home sale I have ever seen...because now Meghan, TK and Brannon have bought their first home (I was waiting to post this til after their close) and have their own street of dreams journey to begin. I'm grateful to help in any way I can since we have some DIY experience.  Many blessings in your new home...love you!

Elementally,

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Memories Uncorked & A DIY Cork Monogram

They tell you to keep blog posts short and use lots of pictures because people scroll and click through quickly and have short attention spans.  Usually I try to do that but this one's a little longer and if you want to jump ahead to the DIY portion of our program, I'm OK with that.  Or you could grab a cold drink and take a moment to read what I hope conveys a moment in a lifetime of moments.

Last weekend we took a trip to Sonoma for John’s college fraternity reunion.  He was looking forward to seeing these guys who were so much a part of his coming of age with a mixture of emotions and a little bit of “God, I hope I recognize them.”  It had been 35 years since seeing many of the 20-25 fraternity brothers that were slated to be there. 

1.    fra·ter·ni·ty

noun: fraternity; plural noun: fraternities

1.    1. a group of people sharing a common profession or interests.

2.    2. the state or feeling of friendship and mutual support within a group.

As we turned off the highway and headed down a winding gravel road to our destination, we marveled at the acres of vineyards and the beauty of the early evening.  It was a perfect setting to renew this brotherhood who met as boys and were now men with stories to tell.

We parked and walked to the open patio where several people gathered in small groups, a table and easel set up with pictures definitely showcasing 70’s style and hair and lots of it.  Greetings echoed and introductions were made.  Some were instantly recognizable and some took a little nudge to the memory after three decades but the handshakes and hugs were genuine and heartfelt.  Conversations swirled like the wine in our glasses;  introductions of significant others, kids and grandkids information exchanged,  and where are you living now?

When dinner was announced, we made our way down the tunnel to the wine cave,  set with beautiful tables, softly lit and surrounded by wine barrels. 

God…is this heaven? 

As dinner was being served, our hosts Fred and Nancy Cline of Cline Cellars welcomed everyone.  Fred then asked that all his fellow AGR’s stand up at each table to tell a little about their life in the present and a favorite memory from their frat house on the UC Davis campus.  Since the wine had been flowing for a couple of hours by now, this was both heartwarming as some shared that had it not been for the support of the fraternity and the men in this wine cave, they most certainly would not have finished college.  Some were hilarious as escapades were revealed, one in particular involved dropping pledges off in San Francisco wearing lingerie and cowboy boots to stand on a corner for the night, only to be picked up in the morning; of having to do dinner dishes for time (3 mins.) as pledges or face the consequences and walking away from rolling a van that may or may not have included alcohol consumption and did not include seatbelts. 

The years melted away as the stories flowed more freely.  It was a joy to observe.  The origin of this reunion was due to a  diagnosis for one of their own.  He is battling Stage IV Melanoma and wanted to see all of these guys that had been such a meaningful part of his life.  The positive, healing energy that was sent his way just added to this once in a lifetime evening.  These men walked in with their memories of that time in the 70's but left with a renewed connection and appreciation for the brotherhood their shared.

  I know it will not be another thirty years before they plan the next get together.

                                   A little older and wiser...um well maybe

                                   A little older and wiser...um well maybe

DIY Cork Monogram

Now you may know that we drink a little bit of wine around here...and where there's wine bottles, there are corks.  Well usually, unless they're screw caps and I'm not passing judgement, I just haven't figured out a DIY for them.  So I've seen lots of monogram projects on Pinterest that involve wrapping jute around a letter, which are really cute but I've got lots of corks and we are slowly turning our never used Living Room into a wine bar area so a cork monogram it is.

Here's what you'll need:

  • Corks
  • Hot Glue Gun and Glue
  • Chipboard or Wood Letter
  • A knife or box cutter

I started by cutting the corks in half.  I wanted them to stick out but not the full length of the cork.  You can create color interest by using the wine stained ends in with the normal cork color.

Then you just start gluing them to your letter. 

                                         This glue gun has seen many a project...

                                         This glue gun has seen many a project...

Many wineries have cool logos and sayings on the side of the cork.  These I laid on their side to showcase.

I also cut the corks in thirds and slivers as needed to fit edges and fill in holes.

   It'll be just between us if you happen to be drinking a glass of wine while doing this project

   It'll be just between us if you happen to be drinking a glass of wine while doing this project

Ta Da...depending on if you are going to hang it or have it sit on your wine bar, you can hot glue one of those zig zag picture hangers to the back. 

Thank you for letting me share this moment with you and let me know if you have any cork projects you've created.  I need to go check out Pinterest now for screw top projects.







IKEA + Target = Rescuing My Countertops

You know when you see something and you know it will be useful...somewhere, sometime, somehow?  That was my thought when I saw the Fintorp at IKEA on my last visit.  So I bought a couple.  Plus some of the cute little thingamabobs to go with it.  Also, did you know that some of the IKEA names are not even Swedish...sometimes they're Estonian or Klingon or just plain made up.  Doesn't make me love them any less, just um interesting.

So they sat around

For awhile in their boxes

Have a told you that I hate my white tile kitchen countertops?  Yep, I do.  In our previous home, we had Corian counters, which are solid surface and about as low maintenance as you can get.  Our new home came with white tile countertops, with grout and shows every little thing and they will be replaced eventually but we have other projects that are jumping up and down, saying "me first."

Oh, and a daughter who is heading to college in August.

So white tile it is.

But what if I could make the area above the countertops look better?  Distract me from my dislike.  Enter IKEA's Fintorp and a new wooden tray and utensil holder from Target to keep me away from a sledge hammer. 

 

                                         No dimming here...

                                         No dimming here...

I rescued the IKEA boxes from their dust gathering spot and got to work.  Plus I got to use my power tools.  These little metal bars offer a great secondary storage solution, get stuff off your counter and are cute too.  The Fintorp , I  love that word that probably isn't a real word,  comes in two or three different styles with all kinds of accessories to hang from the "S" hooks.  Case in point, the little wire basket above and below and the enamel white bucket with the fake plant that is very low maintenance.

                                Look at my fancy salt hanging out...

                                Look at my fancy salt hanging out...

You'll want to try and install these into a wall stud if possible so they won't go anywhere.

Here's the second one I installed,  that is next to the stove.  I used the new wooden tray from Target to corral the oil, vinegar and salt collection that seems to grow on a consistent basis.  Looks so much better...

                       

                       

and that is good news for the white countertops!

Thanks for stopping by,


Loving Today...Mexican Artisan Glassware

Found this beautiful glassware here via Wisteria, so in honor of Cinco de Mayo, thought I would share.  The colors are stunning and perfect for summer!

                                                    

                                                    

How beautiful would these look on a bar cart or an open shelf?  Great for lemon water, cocktails and wine of course.

How beautiful would these look on a bar cart or an open shelf?  Great for lemon water, cocktails and wine of course.

Good Mexican food tonight for our families version of this made up holiday...not that we need an excuse since it's a favorite.  How about you? Tacos and beer/margaritas tonight?


Ten Years of Following My Passion and Special Offer!

Its hard to believe that ten years ago this month I was finishing up my degree for Interior Design and embarking on this journey.  It has been hard work, late nights on job sites and at the computer but I wouldn't change it...because I love it.  I never thought when we returned to California that I would follow my passion for interior design.  Like a lot of life changing choices, it took a conversation with a good friend for me to see the possibility of pursuing that dream.  I love creating rooms that make people happy. 

I started out working three years for a flooring design company.  I learned so much about materials and how to use them for both commercial and residential projects.  I took that leap of faith and started Michele Beatty Interior Design and learned a lot about the business of design...sometimes the hard way but that's how you grow.

In 2011, I joined forces with my good friend Linda Porhat.  We had met in the Design Program and done a couple of projects together.  She brought her passion and creativity for Event Décor and we created Elements of Chic Interior Design and Event Décor.  We have done everything from party décor to high rise luxury condominium models! 

I love interior design because I never stop learning.  There are always new materials, new formulas and new trends.  Every project brings its own unique challenges and triumphs!

Linda decided to retire from Elements of Chic but has still helped me out with some holiday décor and will be there if I need her creative way of looking at things.  I have continued Elements of Chic but have returned to doing just the interior design portion.  That being said, I find it hard to resist decorating for special events too!

So now for the good part...the Special Offer part.  It's perfect that it's TBT because I am offering for a limited time...

60 minutes of Design Consultation

for $50.

That is the hourly rate I charged when I first started, that is at least half off.  So if you need help choosing a paint color, arranging furniture, hanging art, selecting flooring or countertops, maybe just help picking out pillows and accessories, now is your chance!  This will be for a limited time so don't wait to give your home a little love.

Call me or email me to set up your consultation!

(209)606-7518 or elementsofchic@gmail.com

Elementally yours,






Pinspiration Monday - Spring is Blooming

All the almond orchards in our area have been putting on a show these past two weeks and are making way for the peach and cherry trees.  I wish we could let the world know how beautiful it is here and share some positive love for the Central Valley, instead of all the negative...cue heavy sigh.

I found a bright spot today though.  I received my little Pier 1 catalog the other day and had to check out all the cute, new Spring and Easter items.  Some cute little eggs may have found their way into my hot little hands but...

Put them down Michele...walk away!

I knew I needed to check what I have in my stash at home because I am trying to be good since our move to our new house last Fall when I donated, and sold and downsized and told myself that I don't need all this Stuff!  But I digress...let me show you the cutest vignette they had set up in Pier 1 and that became my Pinspiration for today.  So let Spring be sprung!

                                                     It's beginning to look a lot like Spring

                                                     It's beginning to look a lot like Spring

Oh, and I'm pretty sure I'll be going back to Pier 1...you know, just to look.  (wink wink) 

Are you ready for Spring yet?  My guess is if you live on the East Coast, that's a big he$$ Yes!

Elementally,




                                     

Pinspiration Monday

So this is the week of all things hearts and cupids.  All the ads in yesterdays paper were pink.  I don't generally go crazy with decorating for Valentine's Day but I do like to do our mantel and I do enjoy a little chocolate and bubbly on this holiday,  that may or may not have been made up. It is however,  a great excuse to spread a little more love around and can't we all just get on board more of that in the world.  I love this Pinspiration from Hymns and Verses.  It's clean and simple and not too sweet...the red just pops against all the white. Oh and I'm a documented sucker for cake stands so this is a no brainer for todays pick.

                                      Love the tassel garland...

                                      Love the tassel garland...

All you need is love, love. Love is all you need!
— The Beatles

Do you do any V Day decorating...maybe just a wreath on the door?

Elementally Yours,



Valentines DIY - $3 Wooden Hearts From Target

IMG_2921.JPG

You know that $ section of Target when you first walk in their store...it calls to me every time I walk in.  You may have seen my Instagram pic last week in which I showed my Valentines haul from that very section.  They had the cutest tags, bags and these wood hearts that were only $3.  Score!  A bargain is not a bargain unless you use it though right?  So here is what I did with the wood hearts.

I absolutely love CeCe Caldwell Paints...they provide good coverage and have a lot of pigment so the color is lovely.  I purchase mine at Unique Boutique on Bangs Rd. in Modesto. 

So there you have it...an easy afternoon project for just a little moola.  Hope you're inspired to get in the Valentine mood.  Got a couple more projects in the works so check back!

Elementally Yours,





Strung Out...New Way to Use String Lights

Just when you thought you had packed away your Christmas lights, here are some really cute ideas for hanging your lights in a new and creative way that I want to share via Apartment Therapy.  I love the strings using the Edison light bulbs, so this fun idea might just be making an appearance at the Beatty Bungalow!

 

                    Love this on the mirror but so would my dog and cat! This is a fun idea for kids and teen rooms...oh the possibilities. Elementally Yours, Michele  

                    Love this on the mirror but so would my dog and cat!

This is a fun idea for kids and teen rooms...oh the possibilities.

Elementally Yours,

Michele

 

Favorite Things Day 2 - Christmas Shopping with My Husband

🎶the shopping can't wait

            🎶baby it's cold outside

🎶let's go right a way

        🎶baby it's cold outside

It won't take that long

     🎶No parking to be had outside

This morning has been

🎶 This morning has been

🎶Was hoping to maybe sleep in

🎶So very Nice...

We did a good portion of our Christmas shopping this past Saturday morning. With the practice of thirty years of Christmas shopping, hats on, and Starbucks stop, we hit the mall.  Can I just tell you that there was no one out that early. It was awesome. We walked and talked, just the two of us, choosing things we carefully considered. The best part...we were home by noon and didn't have to deal with crazy Black Friday stuff and still got some good deals.  Now just need the elves to show up for the wrapping party. 

Merrily, 

Michele

These Are A Few of My Favorite Things...Christmas Music

Only ten days left til Christmas...am I the only one who thinks that we just celebrated Valentine's Day?  This year has flown by and whether you're savoring memories from these last months or ready to kick 2014 to the curb, I always enjoy this time of year.  I love to get my Christmas on, from decorating to baking and hanging out with friends with some wine and cheese or bunco dice and crazy sweaters.  I was making a little list in my head and checking it twice (mostly because I kept forgetting what was on the list) and Christmas music came to mind right away.  Not because you can't escape from it but because it plays a part of our holiday story.

Decorating just does not happen without a little help from Karen and Richard Carpenter around here.  Our CD has been worn down and scratched but that's the beauty of iTunes.  Once we've listened to them having a merry little Christmas then anything else is fair game.  Our library is quite eclectic from Manhatten Transfer (yes, they are a vocal jazz group) to Mariah Carey, James Taylor, One Republic, Country Christmas, Celtic Christmas, and some classics from Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby.  It spans generations and genres and I love it!

Throw in iTunes and Pandora and the possibilities are endless.

It is also the way we honor Jesus' birth with our voices and there are so many beautiful sacred songs to sing.  Silent Night in a softly lit church on Christmas Eve gets me every time.

So how about you?  What are your favorites that go with your traditions? Or...what song would you rather not hear ever, ever again?  I personally don't care that grandma got run over by a reindeer, seriously!

Merrily singing,

Michele

 

Moon Over Cabernet

Did you see the moon Thursday night?  When I walked out into what is finally feeling a little like Fall, it was there waiting for me.  Big, golden and beautiful.  It followed me home, shining its light to guide me.  It was the perfect ending to a very lively winetasting theme we're pouring this weekend of Napa Cabernets Under $25.  Red wine always brings out a crowd and the lineup didn't disappoint. 

Cabernets are always a little intimidating because there is so much written and discussed about this "king of the grapes".  Luckily, Tom Bender, our Wine Steward created a tasting that  doesn't get too caught up in all that and focuses on discovering a cab that doesn't break the bank and finding a wine that we might really, really like.

This was the five wines we poured...

                                                             Thursday Night Wines...Napa Cabs Under $25

                                                             Thursday Night Wines...Napa Cabs Under $25

#1 Avalon 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon $15.99

With grapes from the Atlas Peak and Rutherford AVA's, this was a nice, soft and drinkable cab.

#2 Ca' Momi  2012 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon $15.99

This 100% Cab is one of my favorites.  It is smooth with cherry and spice flavors.  Not exactly Cab-like, which is probably why I like it!  We visited them in April and their wines are all really good.  They have a restaurant called Enoteca that serves authentic Italian food and the handmade pizza is heaven. 

#3 Educated Guess 2012 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon $17.99

This Cab is produced by Roots Run Deep Winery and pokes fun at the art vs. science process of winemaking.  Their label is a very cool graphic of the actual chemical process of making wine.  88% Cab, 8% Merlot, 2% Cab Franc and 2% Petit Verdot and aged 12 months in French and American oak.  This was probably the most polarizing wine on our tasting list...people either really liked it or not so much.

#4 Twenty Rows 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon $19.99

Twenty Rows is a family owned and operated winery in Napa.  This vintage consists of 90% Cab, 4% Petite Verdot, 4% Cab Franc and 2% Malbec.  It has a nice oak nose to it with cherry, cedar (I think of eucalyptus) and overall good flavor. 

#5 Hindsight Winery 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon $18.99

Hindsight is the result of three friends who were passionate about wine and winemaking that wanted to answer the questions of what makes Napa wines so good? And why are they so expensive?  Their goal was to produce affordable, great wine.  This wine smelled the most earthy and had hints of berry and spice.  It was probably the least favorite of the folks on Thursday night.

Overall, my winetasters loved the lineup and gave it high praise.  They lingered over their pours, with much discussion and laughter.  There is not a bad wine on the list above.  If you are looking for an approachable, affordable Cabernet to drink with dinner or on it's own, you could buy any of them.  If you are looking for a "softer" Cab, I would recommend the first two. 

I know one or two of the wines will be changed for today and tomorrow's tasting.  Prices are sale prices for the weekend at O'Briens.  Thank you Mark and Laura for your generous spirit and Happy Birthday Kim!

Cheers,

Michele


Introducing Elements of Chic New Website ...

I have been so excited to unveil my new website...it's a little like giving birth.  What?  No, it's nothing like giving birth.  Yes, there was conception and maybe some growing pains as I decided what I wanted it to be, how I wanted it to look (you really don't get those options with a baby). Thank God there was no morning sickness or stretch marks, although I did have some sleepless nights thinking, planning, thinking some more.  So, it is in its infancy and I hope you like it as much as I do.

I couldn't have done it without the brilliant talents of Lucretia (Lu) Ranere of LR Designs  .  She is amazing at what she does...web design, social media guru, photographer and so much more.  I was able to tell her what was in my head and she brought it to life.  It is a work in progress, like any baby, and we will see how it grows and changes as time passes.

 

The main focus will still be my passion for Interior Design but my blog name has changed to Design, Wine and Other Musings because well, I like a lot of things and life is crazy and an adventure and this is my place to document this awesome, funny, frustrating ride that I am grateful every day to be on.  If you know me and you've seen my FB posts, you know that John and I have been tasting our way through wineries for almost thirty years.  Wow, did I just say that out loud?  That's a lot of fun in a barrel.  We've shared many a bottle with family and friends and for the past year now, I have been moonlighting at a local grocery store pouring wine and making friends.  This is not snobby winetasting...it's mostly social with an ever changing cast of characters.  It's a great way to learn more about wine without feeling like you're an idiot because you don't know a Chardonnay from a Viognier (how do you even pronounce that?) or a Cabernet from a Zinfandel. So if you are not into countertops, window treatments, DIY projects and paint colors but you're a wine drinker, then we have something to talk about.

We all have many facets to our lives from kids, to grandkids, fitness journeys and trips we've taken across town or across the world.  You may get a little of that here...oh and we just got an Australian Shepherd puppy named Sydney so you will definitely get to know her and our adventures!

So look around and I hope you will take away some great tips and observations, plus have a little fun along the way.  I would love to hear your design, wine and other musings as well!

Sincerely,

Michele

 



Friday Faves...Rodeo Weekend & Rustic Glam

It's time to... um circle the wagons as this is our first experience with Rodeo Weekend in Oakdale since moving here.  It began with the Cowgirl Luncheon on Wednesday and the parade of motorhomes, horse trailers and pickups started to arrive.  I was told that it's best to just leave town, get outta Dodge so to speak but I think it will be a little interesting to see how this plays out.