BRECA Rosé 2018

BRECA Rosé 2018

$13, Top Ten Wines

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Breca Rosé is the most confusing rosé I’ve tasted thus far since I’m typically into French rosé. What really drew me in to this rosé was the sophisticated packaging. Looks like rosé, but tastes almost like chardonnay (when compared to all the other rosés I’ve ever sipped on). Don’t get me wrong, I love a good buttery chardonnay, but when you expect one thing & get another it’s always a bit shocking. If you like the taste of a typical rosé, this may not be the one for you! But hey, for $13 it’s worth a shot!

I picked up this history-rich wine at one of my fave spots in Columbia, MO, Top Ten Wines. Everything about Top Ten Wines is so my vibe! Low lighting sets the mood & the walls of this quaint little place are lined with every kind of wine you could dream of. Columbia is pretty much your typical college town (M-I-Z!), so you can image the bar scene–what I love about Top Ten Wines is that the typical patron is someone out of college that is there to have a meaningful, intelligent conversation with their cell phone tucked out of sight (crazy, right?). I can’t wait to try more of the rosé they carry!

Breca hails from Calatayud, Spain (a little northeast of Madrid) & is 100% Grenache from the oldest clone of Garnacha in the entire world. It is definitely on the dry side & has bold notes of watermelon & vanilla. Immediately upon opening the bottle it smelled strongly of florals–I’m not super into florally wines which is why this may not be at the top of my list. Overall, I give BRECA 3/5 stars. I may buy another bottle in the future, but it def isn’t my go-to.

If you’re a chardonnay gal (or dude) looking to branch out into rosé this may be your perf gateway to the rosé life! Cheers!

xo, Han

Silver Pieces: Reviving a Lost Art

Silver Pieces: Reviving a Lost Art

I wouldn’t consider myself to be your typical 23 year old–I enjoy collecting silver pieces, antiquing on the weekends & rearranging my china cabinet. You may think that sounds a little old-fashioned, but I’m just that–old fashioned.

This year I became very interested in collecting antique & vintage silver pieces to add a little interest around my home. I had no idea where to begin when it came to determining the quality or value of pieces I saw around antique stores & estate sales, but after reading countless articles online & enlisting the help of my mother-in-law I finally have a grasp on finding the perfect pieces for the right price, & how to bring them back to life when they’ve been neglected for years.

That being said, sometimes you find the most gorgeous silver tray, coffee serving set or vase & it seems like it could never be revived from the tarnish that has taken over. With the right cleaning tools, a whole lot of time & more elbow grease than you could dream of using, these beautiful antiques will shine!

These pieces were horribly tarnished when I found them.
After hours of scrubbing, this gorgeous coffee & tea set came back to life.

Forget the messy silver polish–the best tool ever for making your silver shine like new again (besides some good ol’ fashioned elbow grease) are the Connoisseurs Silver Wipes. You can pick them up at Bed, Bath & Beyond for $6.99.

This brilliant invention is SO easy to use! First, get your silver piece wet, then rub the tarnish off with one of these wipes. The wipe will look super dirty (so will your hands, so girl take those rings off!), but it’ll still get that stubborn tarnish off when the wipe is black. When you’re satisfied with the amount of tarnish you’ve taken off, run the silver piece under water and gently wash it off with Dawn dish shop. Dry with a microfiber cloth and make sure it’s completely dry before closing any lids–if you don’t make sure it’s dry you’ll get some nasty staining on the inside of your piece. It is highly advised to N O T let your silver air dry!

If you have some silver pieces that need brought back to life, I highly recommend trying these silver wipes out. I’d love to see how your piece turn out; drop some photos of your favorite pieces in the comments below!

xo, Han

ROSÉ-VOUS? Rosé 2018

ROSÉ-VOUS? Rosé 2018

$4.99, Aldi

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Have you ever tasted something that tastes like a sunny beach day with your very best friend (okay unless you hate the beach, then wherever your dream vacay is!)? Well, this is it! I thought I had a favorite that stood out against all the rest, but California Roots rosé has some S E R I O U S competition with ROSÉ-VOUS? rosé–it is perfectly delicious & smooth. Since this rosé was only $4.99, I was a little skeptical at how good it would taste & its overall quality, but dang it’s good!

During my last Aldi haul this bottle’s aesthetics drew me in quickly. I immediately fell in love with the color of the wine & the label / info on the back quickly convinced me to give it a try. This is the first time I have ever seen this rosé at Aldi, so I’m not sure how long it’ll stick around.

ROSÉ-VOUS? hails from the Languedoc South of France & is 70% Syrah / 30% Grenache. Syrah is a dark-skinned red grape that is very floral-y in its youth, & Grenache is a red wine grape that is extremely versatile. Grenache-based rosé is a signature wine style of south France & is common among Côtes de Provence wines. Grenache’s ABV can be as high as 15% because it is grown in very hot environments; most rosé has an ABV of 11-13%.

This fresh, fragrant rosé is medium-bodied & dry with sweet notes of strawberry & berries. ROSÉ-VOUS? is definitely more delicate than some of the other rosé wines I’ve tried, & it’s easy on the palate. I have to say this rosé has the most delicious aroma of any rosé whose bottle I’ve popped! It is clear in appearance & there has a great flavor intensity. The quality of this rosé is definitely unmatched in my opinion for the price point. Overall, I rate ROSÉ-VOUS? 5 / 5. No matter where you are in your rosé tasting journey, this dense rosé will be your new fave!

Fruity & fabulous–this rosé will not let you down. This is definitely something I want to stock up on before Aldi doesn’t carry it anymore. I know you will too!

xo, Han

Chloe Rosé 2018

Chloe Rosé 2018

$9.68, Sam’s Club

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I was immediately drawn to this cute little label on this sleek bottle of rosé I came across at Sam’s Club. Of course they make you walk past the wine section to get to the the deli (smart product placement!). At $9.68, I thought it was a super affordable price for a brand of rosé that isn’t as mass-produced as a wine such a barefoot.

Chloe hails from the sunny central coast of California & the vintage is from 2018. The name came from an ancient work meaning “blooming,” according to the bottle. Being the color of the wine was a little darker (due to longer maceration of the grape skin) than I typically like to sip on, I figured I’d give Chloe the benefit of the doubt. Upon opening the bottle it had a strong floral aroma and was clear in appearance. This rosé is definitely more structured than its counterparts I’ve reviewed thus far & is dry with a distinct aftertaste of rose petals. Sam’s Club’s site describes this rosé as “delicate,” but I venture to say there’s nothing delicate about it–Chloe is a full-bodied & bold rosé. Chloe isn’t quite the quality of taste I look for when purchasing a bottle of rosé. Overall, I rate Chloe 3 / 5. Bold rosé’s not really my thing, but I’ve had far worse!

I hate to admit it, but I did it & fell for the cute bottle & ended up with a rosé I wasn’t in love with. If a rosé with some personality is your thing, go for it! If you enjoy rosé that’s not so in-your-face you may wanna pass on this one. While it’s not bad enough to dump it down the drain, I won’t be making this purchase again.

xo, Han

California Roots Rosé 2018

California Roots Rosé 2018

$5.00, Target

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This is the absolute best rosé for the price & quality. To those just joining the rosé party, this could be your new fave! At $5.00, California Roots Rosé is a steal. California Roots Rosé is my staple rosé! The quality for the price seriously CANNOT be beat.

Who doesn’t make a Target run every once in awhile . . . by that I mean every other day! It seems like several times a week I’m in need of something I’m out of at home, and Target is the only store on my way home from the gym in the morning (convenient, right?!). Whether I’m stocking up for a girl’s night in or buy something tried & true, I have a secret for you! One thing you may not know about Target is that when you buy 6 or more bottles of wine (yes, you can mix & match) you get 10% off your wine purchase, & it’s automatically taken off at the register.

Some of you have already turned your nose up to the thought of buying 6 bottles of wine at once, but let me tell you — if you will eventually drink it anyway, why not save 10%??? Seriously, tell me why you don’t want to save money on wine you’ll drink anyway!

This perfect rosé hails from the golden state of California, & like I said this is my go-to. California Roots is the rosé I have on hand 365 days of the year. Compared to some of the more expensive rosés I’ve tried, this one reigns superior (if you don’t believe me, try it!). California Roots Rosé’s aroma is very berry & fresh. This rosé is clearer than the La Rue Côtes de Provence and has even less of a chemically taste (& the La Rue Côtes de Provence was good!). My favorite rosé (California Roots, duh!) is dry without tasting bitter or cobwebby, as I like to describe some horribly dry wines. Medium-bodied describes this wine perfectly, & I love it’s color. This rosé is refreshing & one that you can have a couple glasses of without feeling like you’re getting a “sugar rush.” If you read my last Rosé Review you’ll know how picky I am about my rosé color, & consider this wine to be my baseline. I have yet to find any other rosé (or any type of wine for that matter) that can touch the quality of California Roots Rosé for the low price of $5.00. Overall, this is a 5/5 rosé.

Next time you’re popping in for a Target run (yes, I’m talking to YOU), pick up a bottle of California Roots Rosé along with that mascara, top & earrings you didn’t stop in for. 😉 Seriously though, you WILL NOT regret it. I would l o v e to hear what you think of my all-time favorite rosé!

xo, Han

La Rue Cotês de Provence Rosé 2018

La Rue Cotês de Provence Rosé 2018

$7.99, Aldi

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Not ready for summer to be over yet? It’s always summer when you’re sippin’ La Rue Côtes de Provence! If you’re late to the rosé party this is the perf starter. At $7.99 what do you have to lose (besides literally $7.99, but you’re going to fall in love with it!)?

I’m an Aldi regular–I won’t let anyone take my designated quarter from me! This is a rosé that Aldi used to carry & they brought it back in the spring. If you L O V E this wine like I do, you’ll def want to stock up because in year’s past Aldi restricted the number of bottles you could buy because their stock was so limited.

This fruity, delicate rosé hails from France & is truly one of the better rosé wines I have found, especially for its quality & price point. Its taste is smooth and not “artificial” tasting. The aroma of La Rue Côtes de Provence smells of fresh berries and its appearance is clear. It falls a little more on the dry side than some of the sweeter rosés I’ve come across, but remains lively & crisp. Aldi’s site describes this wine as “full-bodied,” but I would have to disagree & call it medium-bodied. I prefer to chill this wine in a wine cooler as opposed to the refrigerator–it is more flavorful when it’s not ice-cold. Overall, I rate La Rue Côtes de Provence 4 / 5, all things considered.

I may be a little picky with my rosé preferences, but I typically look for a rosé with a lighter color–I usually like the way they taste better in comparison to the darker rosés. La Rue Côtes de Provence has nearly the perfect color I prefer!

Pop in Aldi & grab a bottle of this amazing rosé & get pumped up for Bachelor in Paradise (yeah, I know you secretly love to with BIP)! ‘Til next time, cheers!

xo, Han

Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken

Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken

There’s only a few hours left in the work day, & I know what you’re thinking…ugh, what am I going to make for dinner? Let’s face it–your husband’s going to be starving and if you have kiddos they’re probably asking you every 5 minutes, “Mom, what’s for dinner? When’s it going to be ready? Can I have something else? I don’t like that.” I don’t have any kids of my own yet, but I know all too well these are the questions that will haunt me someday!

Dinner seems to be the time of day that so many people dread, but eating well doesn’t require standing in the kitchen for hours slaving over a hot stove. Thanks to the best invention EVER aka the Crockpot, you can throw this easy meal together in less than 5 minutes & have a tasty, nutritious dinner waiting for you when you drop your purse and shoes at the door.

INGREDIENTS:

24 oz (1 1/2) lbs chicken breast

14.4 oz can diced tomatoes with mild green chilies

15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained

8 oz frozen corn

14.4 oz can fat free chicken broth

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp cayenne pepper

salt to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Combine chicken broth, beans (drained), corn, tomatoes, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, cayenne pepper and salt in the crock pot.
  2. Season chicken breast with salt and lay on top.
  3. Cook on low for 8 – 10 hours or on high for 4 to 6 hours.
  4. Thirty minutes before serving, shred the chicken.
  5. Stir & adjust salt and seasoning to taste.
  6. Serve over rice, on tortillas or with tortilla chips.

And just like that you basically have homemade Chipotle or Qdoba or whatever your vice is! A special thanks to Skinnytaste for the yummy recipe–I omitted some of the ingredients to suit my taste.

Pico de Gallo

Pico de Gallo

Who doesn’t get a craving for some down right tasty Mexican food every now & then . . . okay, like ~everyday~ if I’m being honest.

Pico de Gallo is one of my all time fave chip dips! I used to buy to pre-made from the store, but nothing tastes as good as homemade. I’m a firm believer that homemade is A L W A Y S better–let’s face it, homemade means it was a labor of love.

Love tastes better than whatever preservatives keep that store Pico “fresh” for so long, ha!

Ingredients

6 Roma tomatoes
1 jalapeño 
1 white onion
1 red onion
1/2 a bunch of cilantro
minced garlic to taste
lime juice from 1/2 a lime
salt to taste

Directions

  1. Chop the tomatoes, jalapeño, onions & cilantro.
  2. Combine the ingredients in a large bowl & add minced garlic, lime juice & salt.
  3. Gently mix (as not to smash the tomatoes!) until the salsa is well combined.
  4. Grab some chips (& maybe a marg) & E N J O Y! ***To keep this salsa’s freshness for a few days, use a container with an airtight lid. Store up to several days.
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7 Things I Wish I Knew Before Wedding Dress Shopping

“At the end of the day, it’s the bride who makes the dress, not the other way around.” — Kang Chun Lin, designer

The day every girl dreams of the day she says yes to the dress!

I had this day planned in my calendar for months. A special trip was arranged for me to go back to my hometown to meet up with my Mom, Mother-in-law, & very best friend/maid of honor to go dress shopping, but fate had a different agenda.

My Mom’s mom (Grammy) ended up in the hospital & was dying with the flu. Being the woman she is, my mother was trying to stay tough for everyone, but I could see she was wearing down after spending the entire night prior to dress shopping in the hospital by her mother’s side. We had plans to shop in Kansas City, MO at a couple boutiques and find T H E O N E! Long story short, my Mom got a phone call from her brother that she needed to rush back to the hospital & I was left with my Mother-in-law & MOH to keep shopping. Of course I found my dress with the very first one I tried on, and sadly my Mom wasn’t there to share that moment with me. It’s one of the most melancholy days I’ve ever had, but I count my blessings.

We set our agendas & expect everything to go as planned, but remember to be flexible. Little things will come up during your wedding planning & threaten to throw you off or make you question what you’re doing—stay positive! Everything will work out exactly how it’s supposed to.

After navigating all things wedding dresses over the last year, I’m confident I can say there’s some things I wish I’d known before shopping for my wedding dress.

  1. Know who to bring. This one might be the most important of all! Take too many people & there may be too many opinions; take the wrong people and there may be hurt feelings. Experts say it’s best to stick to a couple family members & maybe some of your wedding party, but at the end of the day this is your experience. Bring people who will surround you with love and support on this special day.
  2. Make appointments in advance. Most bridal salons require that you make an appointment to shop for and try on wedding dresses—don’t expect to walk into a salon & try on dresses without an appointment. The sweet spot for booking appointments is 6 weeks or more in advance to the day you want to shop. Remember, you can always try your luck on last minute cancellations, but don’t make that your only game plan.
  3. Bring the necessities. This is something I failed to completely research before arriving at my first dress appointment: wear/bring a strapless bra and nude undies!
  4. Have an idea of what you may want. The first thing every consultant at different salons asked me was, “What kind of dress are you looking for?” For me it was easy; I wanted a fitted, long sleeved lace gown with a long train. Search online or in magazines for what you think would look & feel good on your body & what may go with the vibe you want for your big day. Even a few pictures of dresses online will help consultants guide you in the right direction. Don’t get fixated on a certain dress or style though—you never know what dress might surprise you!
  5. Set a budget before you shop. It doesn’t matter if you, your parents, in-laws, fiancé, or whoever else are paying for your wedding dress…talk about the budget! Let’s face it—talking about money can be awkward, but it will be way less awkward to do it anywhere other than the bridal salon when you’re standing there in a gown you can’t afford.
  6. Get what you want. When shopping for a wedding dress there can be a lot of pressure to please whoever has the checkbook or to get what your mother wants you to wear. In the end this is your wedding day, not anyone else’s, so get a dress that you feel comfortable & BEAUTIFUL in. Don’t settle for any less! On that note, make sure it’s physically comfortable (or have a different reception dress)!
  7. Remember why you’re there. It’s so easy to get caught up in finding the perfect dress, worrying about how expensive or inexpensive the dress is, among a million other things; don’t lose sight of what finding this dress is all about. You’re here to find the dress that you get to marry the person of your dreams in! Cheers to that!