Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Uncorked Ventures Wine Club Review

Okay, this post is for my fellow winos out there, or good friends of wine fans. Because today, I am reviewing Uncorked Ventures Wine Club.

For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, a wine club is a subscription service that sends you monthly amounts of wine. In this case, it's all wine rates at 90+ points (by professional wine critics), hand-selected by this family-owned and operated startup outside of San Francisco.

All of their wines come from California, Oregon, and Washington, from small and boutique wineries. This means you can try something new (to you), limited batch, and possibly impossible for you to get normally. Everybody loves scarcity- but also, it makes for a great gift for even the most hard-core wine lover in your life.

(good packaging- even my jackass mailman couldn't break these babies!)

As a wine club member, you get:

  • First dibs on wines before they're offered to the public
  • 15% off re-orders
  • Monthly newsletters with industry news and tasting tips
  • 2-3 bottles per shipment
  • Detailed notes about each bottle of wine, the winery it comes from, suggested pairings, and why that wine was chosen

Practicality-wise, I love that you can choose 1 red & 1 white, 2 whites, or (my choice, natch) 2 reds.
And at $40/month (for the Explorations level), it's less expensive than if you bought these wines individually!

Easton Wines H House Red is a very mellow, goes-with-anything red. It's not to my taste, because I like my reds bold and flavorful, but if you like Merlot this is a good one for you. You could easily drink multiple glasses because of the thin body (no legs) and full-palate soft flavor. Very general, good for people who don't usually drink red wine.

Fore Family Vineyards GSM is the standout wine for me. It's got a nice berry/cherry chewiness and some smokey flavors that made me think "this is a wine for red meat!" It definitely lingered in the best possible way, making it my favorite of the two.

Have you ever belonged to a wine club? Would you join one?

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

How to Clean your Eye Shadow Brushes

Sure it seems like a straightforward thing, but it took me over a year to figure this out.
I may be behind the curve, but I think all education is helpful,
so here it is: How to clean your eyeshadow brushes.
(and when)

The skinny is this:

  • Wipe them off thoroughly after every use
  • Once a week (or more, if you're so inclined) wash them with water and soap (and air dry)

So what other concerns, issues, etc can I help out with?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Eye of the Week: Peter Pan

That's Printcess' Narrative on my brow bone and Epilogue on the outer corner, blended over Mineral Basics' Wood Sprite, on the inter half of my eye lid.

I wanted to match a pop of eye color to these brilliant earrings, with my duochromatic, colorless dress. With hooded eyes, I find a small pop of color like this makes all the difference! 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Swapoween Recap Time!

This Swapoween, I was paired with the lovely Brandi at Lipstick & Tractors (who is a kick-butt nurse living the country life that always seems so romantically self-sufficient to me).

Check out the awesome goodies she found for me:
A skully glass, awesome board coffin filled with Tootsie Rolls, sparkly glitter pumpkin, Yankee Candle Co. "Autumn Harvest" candle and spider webbing.

Coasters, mini cupcake papers, ribbon, bottle labels, and a pumpkin LED necklace that will now live in my cubicle, always on. Muahahahaha!

Thanks so much, Brandi! I can't wait to break into all of these- the coffin is on the mantel already, and I'm planning cupcakes for those little papers.

On a related note. huge props to Starfish Stratagies, who makes delightfully odd stuff that I couldn't resist getting for Miss Angie:

Friday, October 17, 2014

Book Review: Book of a Thousand Days

Synopsis according to GoodReads:
"When Dashti, a maid, and Lady Saren, her mistress, are shut in a tower for seven years because of Saren's refusal to marry a man she despises, the two prepare for a very long and dark imprisonment.

As food runs low and the days go from broiling hot to freezing cold, it is all Dashti can do to keep them fed and comfortable. With the arrival outside the tower of Saren's two suitors--one welcome, the other decidedly less so--the girls are confronted with both hope and great danger, and Dashti must make the desperate choices of a girl whose life is worth more than she knows.

With Shannon Hale's lyrical language, this little-known classic fairy tale from the Brothers Grimm is reimagined and reset on the central Asian steppes; it is a completely unique retelling filled with adventure and romance, drama and disguise.

Book of a Thousand Days is a delightful, compelling tale with a female protagonist you can't help but cheer for. The narration centers around Dashti, and Hale does a fabulous job weaving in world building without a data dump, and using character voices to bring subtext.

I loved the mythology of this- it takes place in central Asia, near the Steppes (yay diversity!). It never explicitly says this, but the detail is there. It walks a line between historical fiction and fantasy, but retains a fairytale-retelling charm (it's a retelling of Maid Maleen). And did I mention the magical realism aspect?

It's sort of a coming of age, with adventure and romance thrown in. If you liked Disney's Mulan, you'll love this. I definitely recommend it for fans of YA, fans of Asian mythology, fans of strong female characters, and anyone who enjoys a fairytale retelling.

I also recommend the audiobook version, done by Full Cast Audio, which sounded more like a radio play and was utterly engrossing.