Thursday, May 29, 2014

Bye bye baby - I bought a new (to me) car

A few vehicle facts about me:

  • From 1997-2003, I owned 5 cars. Do the math.....I got a new car almost every year.
  • I made my first "big" purchase in 2004, a brand new 2004 Infiniti FX35. I named her "baby" (original I know).
  • From the moment I drove off the lot, I never longed for another vehicle. 
  • I paid off said Infiniti in 2007. I haven't had a car payment since.
  • I drive to Orlando, Daytona or Jacksonville at least once a week (or all of the above)
  • My "baby" never gave me a single issue in the 10 years of owning her, nearing 170,000 miles
  • I hate being "sold" anything (including wedding dresses) and car shopping is my worst nightmare
my "baby" - 2004 Infiniti FX35
About 3 weeks ago, I went to start "baby" and the battery was dead. I shrugged it off as that battery was nearing 5 years old. I called AAA and decided to purchase a battery directly through them for multiple levels of convenience. 

4 days later, my brand new new battery was dead after a girls trip at Loews Don Cesar. AAA claimed the Valet left my lights on (yeah right). A quick jump start later, my car was perfect....until it sat for a few days. Groundhog day - jumped my car and took it to my mechanic. He put it on the computer and nothing came up - the starter was in great shape, the alternator was in perfect condition and there was no battery draining. Everyone stated AAA sold me a bad battery - and they replaced it. After our trip to North Carolina this weekend, I came home to another dead battery. 

We put the car on multiple computer tests, all of which read perfect. I knew it was time for a new car. I wasn't prepared to car shop and had no idea what I wanted. I did some research and found that Volvo had the best certified used car program. I could get the features I wanted with a car payment I was comfortable with. So let me introduce my new (to me) car!
We replaced my Infiniti with a Volvo S60. This thing is crazy fast - a 5 cylinder turbo. Volvo's have the most comfortable seats in any car - we learned this after renting a Volvo last year during a trip to New Orleans. Prior to then, Volvo wouldn't have been on my radar. My new car has all of the technology I was looking for, with the exception of a reverse camera - that will take some getting used to after 10 years of having one. BUT it does have blind spot lights - if there is a car in my blind spot, a light by my mirrors shines. Pretty awesome actually. Check out this interior, my car is smiling at me!
I do have to admit, I cried leaving the dealership. My "baby" was there with me for almost 10 years and I hated leaving her behind.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

runDisney Star Wars Race Weekend Challenge Coming to Disneyland, 2015 #LetTheWookieWin

Dum Dum Dum, Dum-te-Dum, Dum-te-Dum 
runDisney has announced another race competition weekend. The rumored and highly anticipated Star Wars race has been announced for Disneyland. I do have to put on a sad pouting face for a second as I was certain this series was coming to Florida.

The race will take place from January 15th through January 18th at Disneyland Resort. There will be multiple races throughout the weekend including a 5K, 10K and Half Marathon along with a special participant medal for those who sign up for the 19.3 mile Star Wars Challenge.

Registration opens on June 4th for Annual Passholders and June 10th for the public. Due to the popularity of runDisney events and combining it with Star Wars, be ready for a record sell out time. May the Force be with you.............sorry, I had to :)

From the official runDisney press-release:

Joining forces with one of Hollywood’s most iconic brands, runDisney is creating another transportive race weekend – the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend presented by Sierra Nevada Corporation at Disneyland Resort. The intergalactic journey begins January 15 and runs through January 18, 2015. The Star Wars event is the fourth runDisney race weekend scheduled for 2015 at Disneyland Resort, doubling the number of races held in 2013.

The new race weekend offers runners a variety of race experiences for all levels, from Padawans to Jedi Masters – kids races, a 5K, a 10K and a half marathon. And for those who show an event greater strength for the Force, there will be a two-race challenge involving the 10K and the half marathon with a commemorative medal awaiting every finisher.

In addition, there will be a slew of family-friendly events throughout the weekend, including a Health and Fitness Expo and a Star Wars-themed pre-race party, plus popular Star Wars and Disney characters and other entertainment. Registration opens June 10 at www.runDisney.com.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Memorial Day Weekend - Brevard, North Carolina

While Gabe and I were both raised in Daytona Beach, FL, only one of us was born there (moi). Gabe was born in North Carolina and lived there until he was 5 years old. We had a very quick trip to the base of the blue ridge mountains. Brevard North Carolina. We made the trip up for his Grandma's 75th birthday, which turned into a family reunion. It was great spending time with Gabes familiy I already know and love while meeting many new faces!
Brevard is known as the land of the waterfalls and Triple Falls, was used as a filming location for The Hunger Games.
We saw many fly fishermen on our trip. The water was 50-60 degrees - more power to them! Gabe's cousin and his daughter even went down the famous sliding rock. Can you imagine sliding down this thing? Not this girl....
We visited Looking Glass Falls twice and got a lot of great family photos. It was a stunning location to visit and I even climbed rocks wearing a maxi dress and flip flops....not smart and I do not suggest it (states the bruise on my bum).
We are already planning our next trip to Brevard - 2 days was not near enough time. We had a fantastic Memorial Day weekend and it was wonderful spending time with Gabe's family!





HOW NOT TO DRESS FOR THE MOUNTAINS
The girl above me is thinking the same thing........... 

#ad Tyson Day Starts, a protein filled breakfast #StartWithTyson

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for #CollectiveBias and its advertiser. 

Good morning! I am getting married 4 months from today :) Where did time go exactly?!

What is your morning routine? Are you an early riser or someone who loves the snooze button a little too much like yours truly? Since the time I hit middle school, I was never a morning person. Even back then, my morning breakfasts consisted of an instant breakfast for an out the door quick fix. Today, nothing has changed, even while working from home. With that said, I am all about easy healthy breakfasts, especially those which taste great.

I had the opportunity to check out Tyson Day Starts, #startwithtyson, a line of quick fix breakfasts options which are high in protein (24%-34% of your daily protein requirement). In less than two minutes, your most important meal of the day is ready and you will not be disappointed in the quality.

Move aside golden arches, Tyson has made a new place in our home for our go to breakfast biscuit. The Sausage egg and cheese breakfast biscuit is delicious. Both Gabe and I were expecting only what is to be expected from most frozen breakfast sandwiches. Not the case here. By the time my homemade cappuccino was ready, I had a hot breakfast sandwich which one would have never thought came out of the microwave. It was really really really good.
I also tried out Tyson Day Starts Southern Style Chicken Sandwich. I have an obsession with Tyson chicken fingers and upon seeing this breakfast item, I knew it was for me. Giving word to the wise - if you purchase these, use the suggested cooking method by defrosting the sandwich the night before in the fridge or your biscuit will be overcooked. Once defrosted, the biscuit came out perfect and I paired it with homemade carrot orange juice. I had the perfect protein packed breakfast in under 2 minutes.
You can find Tyson Day Start in your local Walmart store in the breakfast aisle. There are a few options available from quick omelets to flat breads and everything you saw above.

Learn more about Tyson Day Starts Online | Facebook | Twitter

Monday, May 26, 2014

2014 Runners World #rwrunstreak


Although this blog is named 'I Run For Wine', I have to make a confession. I have not ran since March. I have not ran much but I have drank the wine.......I did too much in a short period of time and ran my body down. After our last half, I gave up a few weeks of running, which turned into a few months. Then I lost all my motivation to lace my sneakers up.

Here I sit at the end of May and have become a lazy person with a lot of excuses. Although there are no races on the horizon, I have the biggest event of my life - our wedding - FOUR months from tomorrow. When I heard about Runner's World Summer Challenge - a running streak for 40 consecutive days (Memorial Day to 4th of July), I knew this was what I needed to get my shoes laced up again.

It's pretty simple, you are required to run at least one mile a day, log it into Map My Run and tag your social media outlets with #rwrunstreak

Click here to join the running streak. Even if you missed Monday, this is the perfect time to get off the couch and get fit for the summer. Excuse me while I streak for 40 days and try to get my body kick-started for the wedding diet! FOUR MONTHS?!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Happy National Chardonnay Day!

Today is National Chardonnay Day! My favorite wine of all Chardonnay. To celebrate this day, I wanted to list a few of my favorite wines in multiple price points.

14 Hands Vineyards Chardonnay $12
From Washington State, this Chardonnay offers bright aromas of apples and pears with a touch of caramel and spice. Elegant fruit flavors give way to hints of butter and vanilla, ending with a juicy finish.














Cakebread Cellars Chardonnay $36
For many many years, Cakebread was my favorite Chardonnay. It's a bold chardonnay that is fragrant, with aromas of ripe pear, apple and guava fruit complemented by hints of honeysuckle, mineral and toasted oak. .











Landmark Vineyards Overlook Chardonnay $25
Landmark is my new favorite Chardonnay. We were introduced to it at my fried Tara's bacherlorette weekend. Overlook Chardonnay has a golden hue with complex aromas of lemongrass, freshly peeled grapefruit, and honeydew melon. On the palate, white peach, chalk, and lively citrus notes complete this refreshing wine.












Columbia Crest Grand Estates Unoaked Chardonnay $12 
The Grand Estates Unoaked Chardonnay is a light-bodied wine that reveals a pure expression of the varietal. The wine displays aromas of lemon seed, green mangoes and orange blossoms. On the palate, layers of citrus fruit flavors combine with lively acidity, creating a refreshing style of Chardonnay.













Le Crema Chardonnay $23
"This vintage opens with bright aromas of lemon drop, supported by ripe pear, toffee and hints of jasmine. The palate adds flavors of stone fruit and yellow plum, with lively citrus notes. Sweet vanilla and lingering baking spice add richness and texture to the long, fresh finish." - Elizabeth Grant-Douglas, Winemaker












Jacobs Creek Chardonnay $10
This Australian Chardonnay is medium-bodied Chardonnay offers attractive lemon, ripe peach, melon and subtle oak flavors.














Bonterra Chardonnay $12


A rich, buttery chardonnay that is fragarent with aromas of honey and lightly toasted almonds, followed by tropical aromas of pineapple, citrusy lemon and crème brulee. The wine is refreshing on the palate, with a minerality that is both bright and clean, drawing you into a vibrant tartness and lemon zest.

#Giveaway - Traveling and working out with Tommie Copper Compression Wear, #Liferecharged

I was recently invited to try out some apparel from Tommie Copper - the original copper-infused Innergywear™. Infused with copper, Tommie Copper is the next evolution in performance apparel. While wearing their clothing, Tommie Copper helps speed muscle and joint recovery while finding relief from aches and pains. Tommie Copper was founded in 2010 as a natural solution for reaching peak performance.

When Tommie Copper offered to send me a sample kit, my mind didn't go straight to running gear. Instead, I thought about what Tommie Copper products I could cross over for travel and working out. Gabe and I are traveling to Europe for our honeymoon this fall. Since we will be gone for 12 days, packing light takes over everything else. Our clothes will have to be multi-functional with pieces that can be worn in multiple outfits. Tommie Copper is the perfect crossover travel gear, being able to wear it on the plane for circulation assistance while being able to wear it for running for pain relief.
Bhakti Compression Capris
The Bhakti Compression Capris are extremely comfortable leggings. They do not slip and are perfect for running, road trips and lounging around the house. These will absolutely be coming along with me to Europe and they are UPF 50+ with Cool Copper moisture management to keep your skin cool and dry! I think I need another pair in black now. They are  designed to help relieve pain from muscle stiffness and soreness, aid in muscle performance and recovery and stimulate oxygen delivery to the muscles throughout the hips and legs.
Charisma Compression Camisole
I chose the Charisma Compression Camisole since I could wear it under cardigans or while working out. This is a great tank for Yoga but I wouldn't suggest it for running. It is beyond comfortable and has a patented 4D compression which supports your back, torso, and stomach to help relieve muscle and joint stiffness and soreness. This tank also features the Cool Copper™ technology that the capris have - which regulates moisture and airflow so you can feel comfortable wearing this layer all day and even to sleep.
Takeoff Compression Over the Calf Socks
The Takeoff Compression Over the Calf Socks will become my new BFF on our trip to Europe. I am a huge fan of compression socks and wear them for nearly every long distance race. I also travel with compression socks and haven't boarded a plane without wearing them in quite sometime. The Tommie Copper compression socks feature PRO+IONIC™ copper yarn which permanently eliminates odor while the graduated compression fit helps with muscle and joint performance and recovery. Keeping with the trend, these socks also feature the Cool Copper™ moisture wicking technology, keeping your feet cool and dry.

I couldn't be more pleased with the Tommie Copper line of #Innergywear apparel. I am giving one pair of Bhakti Compression Capris to a lucky reader (valued at $79.50). Visit tommiecopper.com and let me know which product you like the most in a comment below. Then use the raffle copter widget to access additional entries!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Wedding Wednesday - Inviting Mickey Mouse, President Barack Obama and Queen Elizabeth to your wedding

The invitations are calligraphed, sealed, stamped and ready to be delivered. The huge box sitting on my living room floor contains a few addressee's who will never show at the wedding. If you have extra envelopes, you can invite the President of the United States, The Queen and Mickey and Minnie Mouse are a few things you can do with extra invites. You may receive a letter in the mail congratulating big day.

The President:
The White house will send you a letter, congratulating you on your big day, signed by Barack and Michelle Obama. I have a letter signed by President Clinton when my Grandfather passed away back in the mid 90's. I don't care what your political stance is, getting a congratulatory letter signed letter from the big guy is pretty awesome.

The Honorable Barack Obama and Mrs. Obama
The White House Greetings Office Rm. 39
1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington, DC 20500
Mickey and Minnie Mouse
There are two addresses you can send Mickey and Minnie an invite to - one in Lake Buena Vista and the other in Burbank. I sent one to each. While they used to send you a hand signed photo, rumor has it that this has switched to a post card. Either way, I will report back with what I receive.

Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Disney World
The Magic Kingdom, Letters to Mickey and Minnie Mouse
PO Box 100400
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Disneyland
The Walt Disney Company
500 South Buena Vista Street
Burbank, California 91521
The Queen of England
While I am not English, I still went ahead and used one of my extra invitations for the Queen. Sadly, I am not sending this one for two reasons. Majesty was spelled incorrect and the overseas shipping on irregular shaped envelopes is outrageous. I wanted to go ahead and provide the address. Sometimes the Queen will send you a letter congratulating your big day.

The Secretary to Her Majesty
Queen Elizabeth II
Buckingham Palace
London, England
SW1A 1AA

Cinderella and Prince Charming
America's favorite Prince and Princess will send you a signed certificate for your wedding. This would be very cool if you planned on having kids. I could only imagine how cool a little girl would think their parents were by receiving a certificate from the Prince and Princess!

Cinderella and Prince Charming
PO Box 10000
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

I will report back with whatever I receive from the above addressed! Time to go hand stamp 95 envelopes at the post office. This is a piece of advice I received from my friend Darlynn who got married a year ago. Hand Stamping your envelopes means you personally cancel out the stamp vs. it going through a machine (potentially harming your invitations). It also helps cut down on all the ink and markings that are all over the invitation. While it may take quite sometime, I will have the peace of mind knowing that a machine will not eat my wedding invitation.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Dining at The Sea Porch, Loews Don Cesar

Two weeks ago, I posted about a girls trip I had at Don Cesar in St. Pete Beach with my friend Amanda (wheresamanda.com). The two days we had at "The Pink Palace equaled beautiful views, white beaches, craft cocktails and delicious food. Our first night at the resort, we dined at The Sea Porch with our friend Jeff. The Sea Porch has seating inside and out, allowing for some of the most breathtaking beach views and sunsets you have ever seen.

We started with Conch Fritters with Burnt Orange Mustard Sauce. I've been to the Keys quite a few times and every visit, we order conch fritters. I can honestly state these lived up to the pressure.
The second starter was Blue Crab Cakes with Habanero Remoulade and a Red Papaya Chutney. I usually turn my nose up to blue crab but I enjoyed this very much.
We received a bowl of sweet potato soup, compliments of the chef. The southern girl in me eyed this soup very suspiciously. Upon first bite, I fell in love and do not know if I can ever get over the short affair I had with this soup. Seriously, it was THAT good. Topped with bacon dust (yes you read that correctly) and a horseradish cream. Sigh. 
The star dish of the night was Amanda's whole crispy Snapper. It had teeth, a tail and eye sockets. This fish caused quite the fiasco with Amanda and I taking 1,000 photos of it. It was worth - very delicious, crispy and not fishy at all. It was accompanied with coconut lemon balm rice, pea tendrils, pickled onions and a citrus mojo.
I ordered a pork chop topped with apple slaw. When I heard it was accompanied with collared greens and sweet potato mashed potatoes. After the sweet potato soup, I knew this Chef was talented in southern cooking so there was no question - I had to order it. Those collards would have made my Grandmother happy, and that is saying a lot.
Jeff ordered Grilled Swordfish with Cannellini Beans, Roasted Fennel, Little Neck Clams and a Orange Basil Gremolata. This was a great dish with a ton of flavor.
Now it was time for the above mentioned famous St. Pete Beach sunset. This was Amanda's first visit to the gulfcoast and we couldn't have asked for a better night.
With full belly's, we waddled back to the table. Only to find ourselves in company of a dessert menu. Amanda ordered the Chocolate Coffee Crunch Bar with caramel popcorn and mocha meringue. It was to die for times 1,000,000. Seriously, if you ever find yourself at the Don Cesar, you owe yourself this dessert (coming from someone who doesn't really care for dessert).
Meanwhile, I got the Carrot Cake Dome. If I order dessert, I tend to go for Carrot Cake, Red velvet or salted caramel something or another. This carrot cake had a salted caramel glaze with sweet cream cheese. It was delicious and beautiful but I still liked Amanda's better.
This was a wonderful dinner with stunning views. There is one thing for sure - Gabe and I will be returning to Loews Don Cesar sooner than later for dinner.

Along with amazing sunsets, The Sea Porch at Don Cesar also serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and brunch.

The Sea Porch at the Loews Don CeSar Hotel on Urbanspoon

Saturday, May 17, 2014

New Castaway Cay Challenge Added To 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

Historically, my best friend and I have gone on a cruise following the runDisney Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. To us, it was a treat for completing a distance challenge and a perfect way to relax. Year after year, we have seen multiple other runners adorned in their shirts commemorating their race.
runDisney and Disney Cruise Lines picked up on this trend. Earlier this week, runDisney announced the ultimate finish to the race experience – a joint venture between runDisney and DCL, the new Disney Castaway Cay Challenge. Runners who participate during any Marathon Weekend event (5K, 10K, half marathon and/or full marathon, January 7-11) and book the January 12th Disney Dream Cruise can compete in the inaugural Castaway Cay Challenge on Jan. 14. The new Challenge, a special 5K race, on Disney Cruse Line's Private Bahama Island, Castaway Cay. Every runner who finishes this new runDisney Challenge event will earn two medals - an inaugural Disney Castaway Cay Challenge medal and a Castaway Cay 5K medallion, plus any medals earned for running any Disney Marathon Weekend events.
This means any Dopey runner who adds the Disney Dream experience to their race weekend will walk away with 8 medals!!!!!! The Castaway Cay Challenge takes place during the 4-night Disney Dream cruise itinerary that sets sail Jan. 12, 2015 from Port Canaveral, Florida and includes a stop in Nassau in addition to Castaway Cay. The cruise will feature exclusive activities designed for Castaway Cay Challenge participants, plus special menu items and merchandise. To sign up for the Castaway Cay Challenge, runners must book the Jan. 12, 2015 Disney Dream cruise at www.disneycruise.com and then register for the Castaway Cay Challenge at www.runDisney.com. Race registration opens May 23.