A Crafty Project for the Weekend

I am excited that our new bedroom furniture has arrived.  I decided that I wanted to line the drawers of my dresser but I wanted something a little more fun than the traditional drawer liners found in stores.  So after a quick Google search I found many ideas and a new blog to follow!

Take a look at http://blueeyedyonder.blogspot.com/2011/02/diy-drawer-liners.html.  Complete instructions can be found here to give your drawers a fresh look.

I would stay and blog…but, I need to get to the fabric store.  I can’t wait to pick out something fun!  Hope everyone enjoys the beautiful weather this weekend.  I just love fall!

Love this idea!

Treadless

I apologize for the long time in between posts.  We had a great time at the beach and other than that little choking incident by yours truly it was all fun!  I highly suggest that you make sure that the “Mr.” 25th Hour Gal in your life knows the heimlich maneuver.  Yes, my “Mr. 25thHG” saved my life last week.  I sure am glad he knew what to do!

The weather was great at the beach and it was nice to get away for a short trip and visit with some terrific friends.  Our dream is to retire in the Charleston area.  We just love it up there.

So back to the theme of this post….tread life of your tires.  I had noticed that the tread on my tires seemed very low which was odd since my tires were purchased 18 months ago!  I called around to get quotes for new tires.  My last call was to the original shop that put the last tires on the car.  They looked up my record and my tires came with a 60,000 mile warranty.  I had only driven them 27,000 miles.  The good news was that I got more than 50% of my original purchase price back and applied to the new tires purchased!  This was a huge savings!

My tip today is to always go back to your original mechanic if something fails or wears out sooner than expected.  Your part or service may not always have a warranty but if it does, you may very well be entitled to money back.   The 25th Hour Gal always enjoys getting money back and I bet you do too!

Off for a Last Splash of Summer

Heading to the beach for a long weekend and I can’t wait to get packed!

Next week I will let you know about one of 25th Hour Gal’s favorite travel products.  It is a wonderful time saver and a huge help in packing.  So stay tuned for that but in the meantime, let me know about your favorite packing tips.

Hmmmm, I wonder if I will see any white shoes or white pants still lingering at the beach.  I will keep you posted!

Hug your loved ones this weekend and remember what a great country you live in!  Thanks to all of our military and their families for their sacrifices and their continued commitment to keeping this country safe.

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” – Ronald Reagan

 

Ode To White

Happy Labor Day everyone!  Those of us in the south know that this day holds special significance for us southern ladies!  My cousin Jackie was kind enough to send out this reminder today and I wanted to share it with all of you.  Thanks Jackie!

Ode to “White”

That time of year has come again

As we have all been taught.

To pack away till May 29th,

The WHITE that we have bought.

Good-bye all you little shorts,

Capris and strappy shoes.

Blouses, tops and underwear

Are all that we can use.

The west may laugh.

The north may sneer.

But here way down in Dixie,

We hold our values dear!

Alas I know it’s painful

To put them all away.

But every Southern lady knows

YOUR DON’T WEAR WHITE AFTER LABOR DAY!!!


25th Hour Gal TimeSaver – Got Gold?

Unless you have been on a very long vacation without access to the news, you know that gold has recently hit an all time high.  On a recent episode of Good Morning America, they talked about how to sell your gold jewelry.  When I heard that an earring back was worth $53 based on the gold price that day, I stopped what I was doing and went straight for my jewelry box.  I had some assorted broken jewelry, my add-a-bead necklace from the 80’s and some jewelry from old boyfriends.

Now…where to sell?  This is the big question and I hope to save you some time here.  My line of thinking was that all of these stores that had banners up saying “We Buy Gold!” would probably offer the best price since this is all they do…Buy Gold!  I decided to get three estimates all on the same day so the price of gold wouldn’t fluctuate too much.  I went to my favorite jewelry store in Roswell, then I checked with a jewelry store in Cumming.  I was pleasantly surprised by the quotes offered and both quotes were within $40 of each other.

My last stop was at a “We Buy Gold” (WBG) place.  I have never been too fond of patronizing establishments that have people dressed in costumes or waving signs on the side of the road but I thought I would make an exception.  I had already checked out this business on the Better Business Bureau website.  The process to receive a quote was much different at WBG.  First, they didn’t take my word for the fact that all of my jewelry was 14K gold.  The first jewelry store I went to had already confirmed this fact.  WBG even went so far as to put a scratch in the surface of a bracelet and put a drop of solution on it to see if it turned bronze which is a sign that it is 10K.  She informed me that if it turned bronze the color change was permanent!  This process confirmed that my jewelry was in fact 14K.  They then quoted me a price that was about HALF of what I had been quoted an hour ago at the two jewelry stores.

The next step of the process was interesting.  The sales person told me that she was going to call her manager to get me the absolute best price possible.  After that phone call, I was offered a “Friends & Family” gold rate.  I guess it was my lucky day!  This new rate was less than fantastic and still more than 20% below the other quotes I had received.  I told the sales person that their quotes were very low compared to the other quotes I had received.  The sales person then told me that they would beat any other quote and offer an additional 10%.

I don’t tend to do business with people or companies that do business this way.  If they could offer me more, then they should have offered it up front.  I don’t have time to waste and I don’t like to do business with people who seem to want to play games and waste my time.

So lesson learned for me.  Get your gold price quoted from a reputable jewelry store.  I still recommend getting a couple quotes but hopefully the 25th Hour Gal has saved you from wasting your time at an extra stop.  Now you have time for an extra glass of wine this holiday weekend!  Enjoy!

A Day In Healdsburg – Good to the Last Drop!

Jordan Wine Tasting & Food Pairing

We spent the last day of our trip in Healdsburg.  I love this town for a lot of different reasons.  The town square is wonderful for dining, shopping and entertainment.  Healdsburg is also centrally located to over 100 wineries!  What’s not to love!

After breakfast at the Vintner’s Inn we headed to J Vineyard & Winery.  Sunset Magazine named J Vineyard & Winery the “Best Tasting Room in the West!”  The vineyard was founded in 1986 by Judy Jordan (yes, the famous Jordan name). The winery began as a producer of sparkling wine.  Now they feature Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in addition to sparkling wine.  The facility is beautiful and they serve a full lunch if you are hungry.  We opted just for the tasting since we had other plans for lunch.  WOW!  We are their newest fans.  It didn’t take us long to decide that this was our favorite new winery and we had a case of wine shipped back to enjoy.

For lunch we visited one of our favorite stops, Oakville Grocery Co.  The location in Healdsburg is located right on the historic square.  It is a great place to pick up picnic supplies or have them make you one of their fantastic sandwiches and dine on their patio.  It is always on our “To Do List” when we are in the area.  Their original location is in Oakville on the Napa Valley side.

We had a 3:00 pm reservation for a tasting appointment at Jordan Vineyard and Winery.  I was very excited about this tasting as we have been a fan of Jordan for years.  They do require reservations and they only have 12 people per tasting so it is a very enjoyable way to spend an hour.  Claire Holloway with Jordan was our host for the tasting and she was extremely knowledgeable about the Jordan history and their wines.  We started the tasting with their Chardonnay in the library and it was very good.  I have always known Jordan for their Cabernet Sauvignon so the Chardonnay was a nice surprise.  We then moved through a secret passage way to an adjoining room for the Cab tasting.  They poured three different Cabernet vintages and we really enjoyed all of them to the last drop!  As you can see in the picture above, they offered a food pairing with the tasting that was perfect.  We took a few bottles with us and also plan to order a bottle of their olive oil that we tried with the food pairing.

After taking lots of pictures of the beautiful estate of Jordan, we decided to drive over to White Oak Vineyards & Winery.  We are in their wine club but haven’t visited in about five years.  We were the only ones at the winery since it was so late on Sunday but it was a fun way to end our trip.  They have a great tasting room and a lot of great tasting reasonably priced wines ranging from $16 – $50.

Our dinner reservations that night were at Scopa in Healdsburg.  We definitely saved the best for last.   Scopa is a fun intimate restaurant with some of the best Italian food we have ever had. We were so lucky to get a reservation…Make sure you call early in the week to get in for the weekend. I had the grilled peach salad followed by the spaghettini with a braised short rib meat sauce. “Amazing” is the best word I can use to describe this meal. Mr. 25th Hour had a cremini mushroom salad as his starter and then the veal Bolognese over tagliatellle pasta I typically can’t finish a pasta dish but I was determined to not let a forkful go to waste. The service was energetic and perfect for the restaurant.

We had a wonderful trip and we can’t wait to plan our next adventure!

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend and for those on the east coast stay safe!  My thoughts are with you this weekend. ~ 25th Hour Gal

Napa Wine Log – Day 2

Afternoon Tasting at Honig Vineyard & Winery

This trip we stayed at the Vintners Inn in Santa Rosa.  This is a convenient area on the Sonoma side.  We loved this location and the Inn was very beautiful.  The John Ash & Co restaurant is on the property and it also has a great bar.

We had planned our Saturday starting with an early lunch at Bouchon in Yountville on the Napa side.  We put the top down and took the scenic route over through Sonoma.  It was a beautiful day!  We arrived early at Bouchon and we were very glad that we had a  reservation.  I wasn’t sure if we needed one for lunch but it was a necessity.  The restaurant is a lively french bistro.  Their dinner menu is the same as their lunch menu so the prices are more inline with dinner offerings.  We finished our lunch with “bouchons” or chocolate corks.  It was a great dessert served warm with raspberry sorbet.  Think warm chocolate brownies!

After lunch, we headed to our first winery of the day:  Plumpjack.  This is a great small winery.  Plumpjack is owned by former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and by Gordon Getty of the Getty Oil fortune.  The winery is very approachable without a lot of the Napa snobbery that can be found in many places.  Their cabs were wonderful.  We had an excellent server that spent a lot of time with us explaining the wines.  We always like to ask the servers where they like to go tasting on their day off.  She recommended Miner Family Vineyards which was about a 1/2 mile from Plumpjack.

Next stop Miner Family Vineyards!  Unfortunately they had several large and loud parties that were there for tastings including a bachelorette group.  So, it was a quick taste for us.  I should mention here that we usually visit Napa during the off-season when the crowds are few and the tastings are really nice experiences.  Ok, back to Miner.  The standouts here were the Viognier and the Oracle.  Wine Enthusiast awarded the 2007 Oracle  95 points.  I would love to go back in the off-season.

Honig Vineyard and Winery was our last stop of the day.  This winery does require an appointment but we called and they were able to fit us in the last tasting of the day.  They have a beautiful outside tasting room.  It is a garden type setting with patio tables and umbrellas overlooking the vineyards.  It was a very peaceful way to end our day.  The tasting is not rushed and they encourage you to enjoy your time there.  They pour an award-winning Sauvignon Blanc and a yummy Cab.  Unfortunately we didn’t get to meet the Honig wine dog.  Apparently wine dogs get the weekend off!  Highly recommend a tasting at Honig on your next trip to Napa.

Two more tastings planned to Sunday.  More About That later…

Napa Valley One Tasting At a Time…

My anniversary gift this year was a trip to Sonoma and Napa Valley.  My wonderful husband knows me well and knows that this is one of the best gifts he can give me…or us since he came along as a package deal!  We have been many times before and always discover new favorites as well as revisit old favorites.

We flew into San Francisco and drove out to Napa.  It was a beautiful day.  Our first stop is always Gotts Roadside for  a white and black milkshake & one of the best hamburgers I have ever had (yes better than In-N-Out Burger).  It is always important to have a good solid meal before wine tasting and I can’t think of a better place to do it other than at Gotts’.  We usually go to their location in St. Helena but this time we stopped at the Oxbow Market in downtown Napa.  They do serve wine and beer here but I prefer their fantastic milkshakes as my beverage of choice.  Their hamburgers are big so sharing an order of fries is my recommendation.  Their shakes are fantastic so I don’t recommend sharing one…keep it all to yourself!

After we finished our late lunch at Gotts, we knew we had time for one wine tasting but we wanted to squeeze in two stops.  We didn’t have any tours or tastings pre-arranged so today’s stops were just random.  Our first stop was at Whitehall Lane Winery.  I had tried their Sauvignon Blanc before and it is still very good.  What really got my attention was their new glass closure system for their Cabernet Sauvignon – Vino-Seal.  It looks like a glass cork.  It will be interesting to see if Vino-Seal starts showing up at more wineries as cork shortages become more of a problem.  I really don’t have a problem with screw-tops but I know that there are a lot of wine snobs out there (and you know who you are) that just can’t drink from a bottle without a cork!

We lucked into finding a winery that was open until 6:30 pm.  So, we got to squeeze in a second tasting of the day at Merryvale Vineyards.   Merryvale was the first winery built in Napa Valley after the repeal of Prohibition.  I highly recommend stopping here just to see the Cask Room.  Two stories of 2,000 gallon casks line the stone walls.  It would be a beautiful room for a special event.  The tasting here was a lot of fun.  The staff was playing Led Zeppelin and seemed ready for a relaxed Friday evening.  The highlight was when our server decided to offer us some of their Profile wine.  It was amazing and a great finish to the day!

From here we headed to the Vintner’s Inn….More later about our Saturday in Napa !