What’s that? I’m writing a product review that isn’t about food? In fact, I’m writing two of them, just in time to tickle on your Christmas gift-buying toes. Obligatory disclaimer: I received all of these items for free as samples from the companies. It’s up to you to decide if that makes me biased or not.
The first item, the Wojo Wallet, does qualify as blog-related even without being edible, and that’s because it’s intended for travel.
It’s a much sleeker option for stowing your absolutely necessary wallet items than whatever clunkier one you use for everyday use.
Yep, that’s my clunkier wallet. I love it and its many pockets, but as I just tested out on my Thanksgiving trip to LA and Universal Studios, the Wojo Wallet takes up a lot less space and declutters the travel experience. It’s light, easily slips into—but not out of—any pocket, and fits up to 6 cards inside the sleeve plus cash under the outer band. I had five cards + cash in mine; those passengers were tight and snuggly—no fear here that the cards would fall out! That can be hard to accomplish without making the outer band so strong that taking cards out is a pain, but I had no problem removing them.
Read more →
Maryhill Proprietor’s Reserve 2011 Tavola Rosso
Columbia Valley, WA
Last time I reviewed a Maryhill wine, I pledged to have my pictures edited from our winery visit before the next one. I am happy to say I completed that mission!
Click 2x for the panoramic view.
And wow, Maryhill is a breathtaking winery (9774 Hwy 14, WA). It’s hard not to be right on the Columbia River Gorge. I honestly think being there on a stormy, foggy day added a whole other level of beauty to the location.
Of course, my friend Cassie, who works at Maryhill, also ups the pretty factor.
Cassie and I looking adorable, if I do so say myself.
We met at the 2014 Wine Bloggers Conference, and she graciously guided my husband and I through the tasting then strong-armed me into buying a few of Maryhill’s wines reserved for wine club members, the first of which I reviewed last month for you.
Read more →
Last summer, the husband and I moved away from the Research Triangle Park area of North Carolina after spending eight years watching the cities expand and their food scenes skyrocket off the heat-charts. Seriously, the New York Times is obsessed with the place! So I was excited to head back for the weekend in mid-September—my head’s still spinning from the other side of the country over all the new foodie destinations that have sprung up just this past year.
While my husband gave a presentation at NC DevCon, I decided to spend my weekend exploring as many of downtown Raleigh’s newly opened spots as possible. Why Raleigh and not the rest of the Triangle? I had no car and was staying downtown. It’s that simple. I needed to focus on places I could walk to.
After our flight in, my first stop was Jose and Sons (327 W. Davie St.) for dinner. It’s the newest incarnation of one of my favorite Triangle restaurants, Jibarra, located in the fast-redeveloping Warehouse District right by the train depot.
Jose and Sons is now more Southern-Mexican fusion, whereas it had been pure upscale Mexican food in the past. While I remain skeptical about the value of $8 guacamole—
–and the shrimps and grits didn’t have nearly enough heat for me—
–I have to give solid props to the Booze and Mango cocktail.
That’s dessert in a glass, and it’s a beautifully balanced one, too. Vanilla rum, Grand Marnier, cream, and what Jose and Son’s calls a mango popsicle and I’d call a mango-flavored ice cube make for a worthy night cap.
Read more →