Thursday, October 30, 2014

Last Minute Halloween Costume Idea...

a Gypsy, Bohemian Lady, and/or Fortune Teller!
I start planning my Halloween Costume roughly 364 days in advance. I know not everyone is as psycho prepared as me. So I thought I would help you out with a last minute costume idea. Not only is this Gypsy, Bohemian Lady, Fortune Teller costume cute and creative, but every item was something I already owned. Here is what you need:
Long Skirt
Bright Colored Top
Long Necklaces
Hoop Earrings
I didn't have these but you can also add some bangle bracelets and/or carry a Christmas ornament as your Crystal Ball

Tie the scarf in your hair, don your jewels, and get ready to party!

Some other easy last minute ideas:
Lumber Jack-flannel shirt and you are good to go
Mime-all black clothes and some face paint
Football Player-favorite jersey and some eye black (black eyeliner)
Betty Crocker-apron and some flour in your hair
Selina Meyer (from VEEP)-Red Power Suit and heels

Happy Almost Halloween!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Rehearsal, Rehearsal Dinner and Some Words of Wisdom

From the Bridal Brunch, I went to the pool with my Mommasita. We found my Daddy there, floating in the water and making new friends. He had been there all day and knew everyone. I swear that man is a Texas celebrity! After some time in the shade (didn't want to get sunburned before the big day), I went to our room to rest and get ready to meet everyone by 4:15PM. 

Word of Advice: Have everyone arrive much earlier than your scheduled rehearsal time. We had a Catholic ceremony at one of the largest churches in San Antonio. They have many Masses everyday and host several weddings every weekend. As a result, they are sticklers on time. You have an hour for rehearsal and that is it. That might seem like a lot of time, but, as in our case, if flies by! We had everyone meet 45 minutes before our rehearsal time. This gave us plenty of time to gather the troops and travel the two blocks to the church, but still left some leeway for any stragglers. 
My sister (the MOH) gave me rehearsal bouquet at the hotel. Isn't it amazing!!! All of the ribbons are from wedding gifts received but she formed them into actual flowers and roses. Plus she added neon, battery operated lights. She was a great support throughout the wedding process and I am so thankful for her.

My Bridesmaids wore festive dresses to go with the Mexican theme of the dinner! I had the best group of girls by my side, and I am thankful for their friendships everyday!

Word of Advice: Do not stress if your rehearsal is a total disaster. I think both Josh and I were a bit unsure if rehearsal helped us or confused us even more. Catholic ceremonies have a lot of moving parts. Lots of kneeling, standing, wedding party up to the alter, wedding part back to their seats, etc. Our Priest and Wedding Planner assured us that on the day of everything would go without a hitch, and they were right. Adrenaline kicks in, and everyone knows what to do and where to go. Do not worry!
Almost Married
I bought this dress (on sale now) to take on my honeymoon, but then decided I wanted to wear it to the Rehearsal Dinner too. It was fun and lightweight which kept me cool despite the Texas heat. I wore it again on the honeymoon but I am glad it first got the spotlight on the wedding weekend :) 

Following wedding practice, I know we were all ready for a giant margarita. So off to the rehearsal dinner we went. Josh planned the entire dinner himself, and it was fantastic. It was held at Casa Rio, the oldest Mexican restaurant on the Riverwalk. The food was plentiful, the drinks kept flowing and the decorations were festive! Our friend Chris who is a talented musician, played the guitar and sang during the cocktail hour. His voice is better than Kenny Chesney's. We have enjoyed singing along with him throughout the years, so it was very special to have him perform at the dinner.

Jeremy, Phil, Chris & Josh

During the dinner, Samantha gave her Maid of Honor speech. I am not being biased when I say it was THE BEST wedding speech I have ever heard. Not only was it sincere and sweet, but it was hilarious. To give a short summary of the main part: I have slept with a bear named Gungie since I was born. Everyone in my life knows this bear (roommates, friends, colleagues), but especially Samantha and Josh. Samantha talked about how there was a new man coming into my life...not Josh, but Jongie! Haha! She created a mix of Josh and Gungie by taping Josh's face on top of a new Gungie Bear. I am not doing the speech justice with this synopsis, but believe me when I say it was incredible. Everyone was roaring with laughter (minus the real Gungie).

We kept the rehearsal dinner small including only wedding party and immediate family. I loved this because we were able to get a lot of one on one time with everyone before the main event. Our guest list was big so this extra time was special and just what we needed. Word of Advice: While I got some great pictures at the rehearsal, I didn't get pictures of everyone (IE more of Josh and his groomsmen #fail). If it is in your budget, I suggest hiring your photographer to come get some pictures during that time too. Or, designate a friend or family member to become one with your camera. These pictures are just as important as the ones on the wedding day!
Maxwell/White Family
Vickers Family
Mommasita, Josh, and Donna (Josh's Mommasita)

Jersey Girls for Life

Ever Loyal Kiowas with our True Tonk

Some people went out after the dinner, but I wanted to get my beauty sleep. I knew the next day was going to be long and if I wanted to enjoy every second, I needed to be rested. My Mommasita and I climbed in bed with some champagne and watched Crazy Stupid Love. I loved being with her on my last night as a single lady. We sipped our champs, giggled at the movie, and I got emotional. But then I snuggled my Gungies and fell right to sleep!
Gungie and Jongie
More to come next week...

Wedding Wednesday

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Pairing Wines with Halloween Candy

I love going wine tasting especially when the winery offers a food pairing to go with it. Sometimes a wine that is only so-so by itself really comes to life when paired with the right food. Wines can be paired with cheeses, different meats, and various fruits. Because of wine's versatility, I thought why not pair it with different Halloween candy? Talk about a yummy way to get in the mood for the upcoming spooky holiday! Turns out, this isn't a new idea, and if you Google "Halloween Candy Wine Pairing" you will find lots of suggestions and options. But, I still felt pretty creative and decided to host my own small tasting.

Since there would only be three of us participating, I kept the menu small featuring my four favorite varietals. I then did some research to see what candies would pair best with my beloved vinos. All of the wines (minus the Petit Verdot) cost between $11-$14 dollars (so in Texas they would have been like $7-$10...damn you city prices). They are my go-to grocery store/weekday wines. The Petit Verdot was from our wine tasting adventure a few weeks ago and we decided to pull it out for the special occasion. 

Once you have your wine it is time to select your candies. I did a lot of Googling on the flavor components of the wines we were featuring before making my final choices: 
Lunetta Prosecco with Candy Corn: This sugary corn is probably the low man on the Halloween Candy totem pole. But, since it is so synonymous with the holiday, I felt like it had to be featured. Luckily, sparkling wines and champagnes pair well with most sweets. They are the O Positive of the wine world.
Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc with Skittles: This fruit forward wine pairs nicely with a fruity candy like Skittles. Other options would have been Swedish Fish or Gummy Bears.

Barrel Oak Petit Verdot with M&Ms: Before moving to DC, I had never tasted a Petit Verdot. But, the grape grows well in Virginia making it a popular varietal among Virginia winemakers. Petit Verdot's concentrated tannins and dense fruit notes compliment sweetness of the M&Ms.
J. Lohr Cabernet Sauvignon with Snickers & Reese's: This is my favorite grocery store Cabernet. Josh and I buy it so often that we should just start purchasing cases. Cabernet brings out the flavors of nuts like the roasted peanuts found in Snickers and Reese's. I couldn't pick between the two so I decided to feature both. 

Going into the tasting, I assumed that the Cabernet with Snickers & Reese's would be my favorite. But the overall consensus was that the Petit Verdot and M&M's pairing was the clear winner. They went so well together. Although we didn't hate it, the Sauvignon Blanc with the Skittles was the least favorite. While it wasn't horrible, we just all thought they were better enjoyed separately. 

If these wines are not your favorites or you want to feature more pairings, here are some other options. Yet, when candy and wine is involved really any combination can be tasty:
Chardonnay with Butterfingers 
Moscato with Starbursts
Pinot Noir with Twizzlers
Zinfandel with Kit Kat
Malbec with Twix
Port with Tootsie Rolls

We had so much fun, and I feel like this might become an annual Halloween activity. Plus it was easy to put together and required minimal preparation. You could host a pairing party before heading to a costume party. Or if you have kids, after they go to sleep following trick-or-treating. (Added bonus, just use the candy they have in their bags.) The sky is the limit! Our pairing party got Beth and my brains working on what other tasty things we could pair with wine. I see a lot of wine pairing parties in our future :)

Happy Tasting!