Thursday, June 30, 2016

Oyster Bay Sparkling Cuvée Rosé

Name: Oyster Bay Rosé
Varietal: Sparkling Cuvée
Country: New Zealand
Price: High $20 range

Why did I decide to try this wine? I always call her my university best friend, but really she is just plain and simple my best friend. She was the Maid of Honour in my wedding and has been a constant source of support friendship and happiness for more than a decade now! She visited us last weekend and in true "best friend" fashion brought a bottle of this wine for us to share. She had purchased it at a  wine festival and so was waiting for an occasion to drink drink it. I am really thankful her visit with us was that occasion!

Would I prefer one glass or indulge in the bottle? Glass. I need to qualify this though... the wine was excellent - I chose glass only because I am not a fan of carbonated drinks for more than "a glass". This would include pop, soda water, perrier water, etc. I am a "natural" water kinda girl. 

What shoes would I wear drinking this wine? Michael Kors Lee Thong Sandals in Pink. And, great news... they are on sale right now! The shoes matched the bottle and really, sometimes matching gives you that confident feeling you need.

How would I describe the wine? It smells like gummy bears... it's true! Close your eyes when you get the chance to try this wine and you'll smell those gummy bears yourself! As for the taste, it is bubbly of course and tastes like a "red" rosé with a similar after-taste you get when drinking champagne.

Monday, June 27, 2016

DIY Scotch Bottle Tiki Torches

I am a bit of a DIY enthusiast... I don't have DIY projects on the go all the time, but I always have them in the back of my mind. When I see something that most people would toss in the trash I tend to wonder "what could I make with that?". Thank goodness for pinterest! Pinterest has been my go to place for the answer to my "what could I make with that?" question.

I found a few empty scotch bottles in the closet not long ago and was trying to figure out why we still had them... the Mr. is adopting some of my "it's too nice to get rid of" mantra and so kept the bottles for a future project. Lucky for me! This was going to be great... I mean, look at the bottles! They are all different heights and widths and in perfect condition. Whatever they were to become would have to be great, right!?

Luckily, pinterest did not disappoint this time either! Another blogger, House Blend Family, had a post about turning wine bottles into "wine torches" - I decided immediately this would be the perfect use for the scotch bottles. After all, the mosquitos in our area can be really annoying, especially at dusk, so what better than to have a pretty solution to get rod of a few pests?!

I found the citronella oil and tiki wicks at Walmart and then purchased the copper couplings and copper coupling caps at Kent Building Supplies (you can get these anywhere that sells plumbing supplies). The citronella oil and wicks on the other hand were a bit more difficult to find (it took me three different Walmarts to find them!), so if you are planning to make these keep the items on your shopping list all spring so you don't have to go on a citronella oil hunt.

I ended up having the same issue as the House Blend Family where the wicks were not long enough. However, this wasn't a big deal in my case since I live on a beach with literally tons of rocks at my disposal. I collected enough to fill the bottoms of the three bottles, washed them in hot water (just to get any little bugs or seaweed off) and let them dry in the sun.
I then filled each bottle so that the wicks could rest on the rocks. You only need a bit of the wick to be above the coupling, so keep this in mind when filling the bottles with rocks. The next step was to complete the project - I removed the wicks once again and filled the bottles (about half way) with citronella oil using a funnel. I used more oil than necessary, but wanted to use the whole bottle between these three scotch bottles to avoid another DIY dilemma of what to do with the rest of the oil. Once the oil was in the bottles, I put the wicks back into the bottles by feeding them through the copper couplings, let the wicks soak up the oil and then lit them to try them out!

And, Voila!
I am thrilled with the outcome! I completely agree with the House Blend Family that these would make great hostess gifts. I think they are the perfect addition to any patio decor and of course the bonus is they help to keep the mosquitos away! The copper caps are used when they are being stored (especially if you leave them outside, which I do) to keep the wicks dry. I am definitely counting this project as a DIY win!
My shoes for that: The Mr.'s favourite shoes these days - Frost Grey Chambray Men's Classic Toms

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Finka Las Moras Cabernet Sauvignon

Name: Finka Las Moras
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Country: Argentina
Vintage: 2015
Price: $10.50

Why did I decide to try this wine? My brother tried this wine while on vacation in Niagara Falls (Canada) with his girlfriend (now fiance). He brought it to my house and left it...I still have the bottle, but if he comes looking for the wine he is out of luck!

Would I prefer one glass or indulge in the bottle? Bottle. 

What shoes would I wear drinking this wine? Gladiator Sandal. I don't own any, but feel they really would suit this wine.

How would I describe the wine? Light, fruity and easy to drink. I judged this wine before I drank it and assumed I wasn't going to really like it... as far as reds go - it is not a full bodied intense flavour that you would normally expect. So my overall classification would be a "summer red".

Side Note: Argentina is at the top of my list for South American destinations I want to travel to someday!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Road Trips with Baby

The Mr. And I live a pretty simple life... we don't eat out all that often, we don't meet people for wings every week & we don't typically have the most exciting weekend plans. When we decided it might be time to introduce a new member into our clan - we didn't think little dude would interrupt our lifestyle very much. And to be honest, he hasn't! The main reason... well, the one thing we do like to do is travel and explore. From the time our little dude was born we have made him into a fairly "mobile baby" and so, the travel (especially road trips) continue! 

Right now we are doing at least one or two overnight road trips per month - There are all kinds of articles online that are a huge help when planning a road trip with baby, but I am going to give you  a few of my own tips and tricks for packing and making road trips with baby enjoyable!

My #1 tip: Keep everything as simple as possible!
  • My little dude eats pre-made formula while we travel, we bring one bottle and wash it between feedings.
  • Now that he eats baby food we use store bought pouches that you can now get spoon attachments for ($1.97 for 4 attachments at Walmart) and also bring along the boon spoon for other puree type foods (yogurt for example).
  • A soother (pacifier) on a clip. And especially when travelling, ON A CLIP!
  • Wipes in a Huggies clutch to make it easy to grab and go for changes or clean up when eating.
  • A roll of bags to put dirty diapers in. Keep in mind that when in hotel rooms you will not have fancy diaper genies or have the luxury of taking your trash out to get rid of the poop smell! You can get these at Dollarama (4 rolls in a pack). Very useful on an airplane as well, but thats for another day...
  • Toys... and no, baby doesn't need everything he/she owns even though I am guilty of wanting to bring a huge variety along for the ride. Captain Calamari is a fan favourite in our household and of course Sophie, so these two make the cut every trip. Then, depending on space I may bring a few more, but really little dude is happy to play with one if his swaddle blankets or a bib for that matter.
  • Selfie stick... you might feel funny using it, but I keep it in little dude's diaper bag at all times. You can't repeat the picture opportunity, but you can be prepared for it!
  • iPad. This might seem a little premature, but I found a FisherPrice aquarium app that works like a charm to help little dude fall asleep in hotels just like we're at home. This is one of those tricks that if it works for you - stick with it!
Lastly, I would suggest you prepare and pack as much the day before as possible. The less you have to do the morning of the departure, the better! I am also a list maker and a planner so this part comes naturally to me... even if this is not your thing, keep in mind if you plan for success you will succeed!

There are tons of other things we bring along... play pen, sheet, sleep sac, diapers, clothes, back-up clothes, cereal, bowl, spoon, ziplock bags, etc. However, it would be a lot to write out every little thing - hopefully this helps for your next road trip with baby!

Let me know how your next road trip goes - I would love to compare notes!

My shoes for that: Sneakers [two reasons: 1) be ready for a walk if you can get one in when you arrive, and 2) I hate packing my sneakers... they take up valuable space in your luggage!]

Monday, June 20, 2016

Mommy Manicures

I was filing my nails in a hotel bathroom last week when it dawned on me - the last time I filed and painted my nails in a hotel it was for a very different reason. 

I was at a conference in St. John's, Newfoundland and would be attending a Gala Dinner the following night. My nails were already well-kept and polished in a light pink color. I remember choosing the color earlier that week to match the series of outfits I would be wearing to the conference... totally a "Jenna" thing to do as my younger sister would say, but hey... not only did my nails look great, I felt confident giving my sales pitch in my perfectly coordinated ensemble. 

So, before heading to dinner I took the perfectly good pink nail polish off and re-painted my nails in red to match my dress for the Gala. This series of nail painting events has stayed with me since one of the people I had dinner with that night noticed as soon as we met in the hotel lobby that I had changed my nail color. I didn't think this was weird or impractical at all at the time... It was simply the best choice given the dress I would be wearing to the Gala (and of course my shoes also had red on them!). Thinking about it now... I think this was a complete waste of valuable time and an ultra luxurious thing to be "able" to do!

My situation last week was completely different! The only two things the same were that I was in a hotel and I painted my nails. 

You see, painting my nails these days is a serious commitment - not only do I need approximately 20 minutes to file and paint them, but I also need a good 40 minutes afterward to let them dry properly. A whole 60 minutes with a baby of "downtime" is absurd! My nails needed to be done this time, whether I re-painted them or not, the previous polish ("Big Spender" by ESSIE) was chipped to the point that it had to go! With my little dude asleep for the night and the Mr. working away I had an opening... Fresh polish it was! ("Petal Pushers" by ESSIE). 

Why take the 60 minutes to "do" my nails... 

1) I knew I would have to be quiet in the hotel room as my little dude slept and the Mr. got his work done. 
3) It really is the little things in life that make a huge difference in our mood and overall well being.
2) I would strongly recommend doing any little thing that can make you feel like YOU. It is all about the baby... all of the time! Be the mom with painted nails at the grocery store and make everyone wonder "how does she do it?!" Nobody needs to know you used paper plates/plastic utensils for dinner the night before to avoid dishes and let your nails dry! 

My shoes for that: Hotel slippers (the kind you get for "free" in your room at really fancy hotels)

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Gabbiano Promessa Pinot Grigio

Producer: Beringer Blass Italia SRL
Name: Gabbiano Promessa Pinot Grigio
Country: Italy
Vintage: 2014
Price: $14

Why did I decide to try this wine? In March (2016) during a trip to Montreal I had this wine at dinner. I enjoyed it enough to take note and purchase it again once returning home.

Would I prefer one glass or indulge in the bottle? Glass. I don't typically drink liquid of any kind while I eat, but this wine I really enjoyed with food.

What shoes would I wear drinking this wine? Comfort Plus Pump. One of the most comfortable high heel shoes you will likely ever find... perfect for walking to/from dinner while visiting a new city.

How would I describe the wine? Best when really cold and served with food. It has a very nice fresh smell and very little after-taste.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Charlo by the bay

Located in northern New Brunswick, Charlo is a quaint little town with more to offer than what first meets the eye. I was inspired to write about Charlo while looking through the 2016 New Brunswick Tourism Guide - although the guide has tons of great ideas, I didn't feel it served Charlo its justice. So here are my tips to make your visit the best it can be:

FOOD - Whatever you do, make sure you are hungry before you arrive in Charlo! Find the small restaurant called "Le Moulin a Cafe" order absolutely anything off the white board menu and your taste buds will be delighted. You can't go wrong with the daily special - everyday it is a new delicious masterpiece! If you are travelling as a family I would recommend the pizza - it is the best pizza I have ever had, and I have a had ALOT of pizza! And finally, if you want to be really prepared, bring a cooler for the pie or cake you are going to want to bring with you when you leave!

FUN - There are several things to do in Charlo, but my top picks would be the Charlo Honey House and the Charlo Beach. Take the time to stop at the Charlo Honey House on your way into the town (it is close to the Trans-Canada highway), buy some honey and take the tour if you are really keen. Afterwards (and after lunch) go enjoy the beach for some rest and relaxation before driving to your next activity or destination.

FESTIVITIES - Charlo is home to some of the best community festivals in New Brunswick (in my opinion at least). The annual "Swim across the bay", "Summer Splash" and "Charlo Fall Fair" are the ones I am most familiar with and are sure not to disappoint. Be sure to book your cottage early to have the best location in town!

My shoes for that: Birkenstock Gizeh Thong Sandals

Monday, June 13, 2016

Cartoons are not just for kids

Have you ever watched Paw Patrol

Me either until a few months ago... it is one of the newer/popular cartoons on TV (also available on Netflix) that all the kids are into these days. The more episodes I watched the more I found myself thinking: "adults in project management, engineering, construction, offices, really any work environment should watch this show and remind themselves the value of effective communication and teamwork."

Let me explain...
  • In every episode there is a crisis of some kind.
  • Ryder (the boy and the leader) calls all the pups to the lookout.
  • Ryder explains the crisis and clearly assigns tasks to the pups with the required expertise to solve the crisis.
  • The pups with assigned tasks leave immediately to do their jobs while the others remain at the lookout (or close by) inc are they are required as backup as the crisis is being solved.
  • Once the crisis is solved, Ryder and all the pups meet up to discuss the job as well as the outcome. Ryder gives credit to the whole team, but especially those that had more difficult tasks to resolve that particular crisis situation.
  • The episode concludes with everyone feeling good about a job well done.

Doesn't this sound exactly like what should happen in the workplace?! 
Most days we get caught up in our day-to-day activities and forget the how significant effective communication and teamwork really are. It wouldn't hurt all of us adults to take 20 minutes and watch an episode of Paw Patrol once in a while to remind ourselves of the basic principles we try to teach our kids and that we should be praticing.

"No job is too big, no pup is too small!" - Ryder

My shoes for that: Wall Walkers - as worn by Chase in Season 2 Episode 1

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Luckett Vineyards Tidal Bay

Producer: Luckett Vineyards
Name: Tidal Bay
Country: Canada (Nova Scotia)
Vintage: 2015
Price: $22

Why did I decide to try this wine? A few weeks ago I was visiting friends in the Annapolis Valley (Nova Scotia). We went to Luckett Vineyard for lunch and this is one of the wines we tried.

Would I prefer one glass or indulge in the bottle? Bottle

What shoes would I wear drinking this wine? Wedge heels...not the strappy sandal kind, the kind shown in the picture... they are not too fancy for an afternoon lunch and since Luckett Vineyard uses a red phone booth as part of their branding (and there is one in the vineyard!) wedges work for both the vineyard or the cobblestone streets in London.

How would I describe the wine? Light and smooth with a fruity after taste. And, it
smells like the beach... it really just smells like white wine to me, but the appellation (Tidal Bay) put the beach in my mind.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Paris is always a good idea...

It likely will not take very much to convince you that Paris is always a good idea! The French Open (major tennis tournament) was just played over the past two weeks in the city of love and so I was inspired to look back on my most recent visit to Paris.

Two years ago, my sister-in-law and I had the opportunity to travel to Paris for a weekend. What more could two girls ask for!? Since we had two days, we made a checklist of all the "must-do" activities and landmarks we "had" to see and set out for 48 hours of fun!

There are more than enough landmarks in this city to keep you going for quite a while, but if you are there for 2 days and want to feel like you saw everything... well put on some comfortable flat shoes and hit the cobblestones.
Start your day at the Louvre and go from there. In our case this was about a 1-2 hour stop - we are not art lovers and really just wanted to see the Mona Lisa... Next, follow my notes which will lead you to the Champs Elysees. Side Note: "Pyramid" on my list is the pyramid in the courtyard of the Louvre... I have no idea the actual name but somehow remembered it as a landmark from a previous trip to Paris. Second Side Note: If you understand French listen to this song before your trip. As you walk down Champs Elysees it will surely play in your head and make you want to skip down the street basking in the pure happiness of being in Paris. Third Side Note: I speak French!

When your feet get tired, because let's face it... no matter which shoes you choose, they will - take a bicycle taxi. Completely a touristy thing to do, but honestly, it was super fun! Remember the next time you are in Paris you might have a stroller, baby and family with you... this would be one of those non-stroller friendly things to do. 
In my opinion there are a few keys for a successful 48 hours in Paris:
  1. Make a list of what you really want to see and do
  2. Take a moment to enjoy just being there
  3. Drink wine, not water, wine
  4. Eat cheese on a baguette 
  5. Take pictures 
  6. Save time for shopping

And speaking of shopping... The Christian Louboutin store was at the very top of my list this trip! If you have the chance and extra cash you are willing to invest (yes, invest... think about it... you only get one set of feet for your whole life - it's your duty to look after them and make them look as fabulous as possible!) go to this store! While you are there - try a few pairs on and enjoy the luxury experience! In my case, this could quite possibly be a once in a life time experience and I am thrilled (and very thankful!) to have shared it with my sister-in-law and have the shoes to remember it by.

Last, but certainly not least, and with risk of sounding like one of my favourite country songs, go see the Eiffel Tower at night! I had seen the Eiffel Tower before, but this was the first time I saw it at night... it really makes you feel like you are in Paris seeing it all lit up - don't miss the opportunity!

Bon voyage mes amis!

My shoes for that: Navy Michael Kors Loafers (2014)

Monday, June 6, 2016

Weeknights at hotels

To paint a picture of what you might see, here are the packing lists and matching outfits:
Business Trip                                                  Travel with a baby
Carry-on only.                                                 Stroller.
Purse.                                                              Diaper bag.
Heels.                                                              Sneakers.
Trench coat.                                                    Sweater.
Infinity scarf.                                                   Carry-on + another bag for baby stuff.
                                                                        Play pen.

At the check-in - I am being served by one person (an absolutely delightful person I might add) and the business man at the counter next to us is being served by someone else. We are hoping to check in about 30 minutes early and get to the pool, while the business man is hoping to check in early to ensure his hospitality suite is fully stocked and ready for the other business people that will join him later on. Did I mention this was on a Wednesday? Just keep that in mind...

In the elevator - I am sober. Again, it's Wednesday mid-afternoon... and well, the other person is not drunk, but let's just say I am pretty sure the important part of the conference or the high profile meetings were over by this time.

Later that evening - After we tried to go swimming (side note: a pool with only ladders and no shallow end doesn't work for a mom alone with a baby...) we decided a walk was in order. So, down the elevator we went. We walked by the bar... In that very moment I realized that I hadn't chosen to walk by the bar on purpose - It was the route I would normally take in that hotel to either get to the business area or to the parking lot. I immediately regretted this decision. I got the "why are you here" look several times and to be honest I was likely giving them the "why are you drinking" look as I passed by in my sneakers. I feel I can say this as before being pregnant and traveling for work I would have given others the "why are you here" look. Not to be mean to them or make them feel bad, but genuinely wondering what in the world would have possibly brought a mother and baby to a hotel mid-week. Now however, seeing the old me from my new perspective really made me wonder what these people thought they were accomplishing on a Wednesday evening at a hotel lobby bar (and why they didn't just go to the business man's hospitality suite) - the business traveler in me would answer "solving world issues and making meaningful business relationships". I still think this is somewhat true... only from the outside looking in, it really just looks like they are having a glass of wine and making small talk.

The next day - It was around 1pm when we were checking out. Yes, 1pm, make use of that
extra hour in "your own space" to get lunch time/diaper changes accomplished before hitting the road/shopping or wherever the day may be bringing you. With my fully loaded stroller I walked through the hotel cafe area where many business people (different people from the night before) got a glimpse of what it is like to travel with a baby. I received many of the same looks... from middle-age women mostly the "oh, the poor dear" look - from younger women mostly the "why in the world did she bring her whole life along with her" look - and finally, from men (of all ages) the "oh yeah, I guess other people stay here too" look or the "can you keep it down, we are trying to have a conversation" look even though we were passing through and did not stop.

All in all this bothered me when I reflected on the above scenarios not because I was insulted or sad they looked at me a certain way, but because I looked at them a certain way. I looked at each business person and thought "hmmm I wonder what they do?" and assumed they could be someone of significant importance that I would want to meet. When really... they might be very important, but they might not be either. The moral of the story is when you look at someone else don't assume they are important because they wear a suit and on the other hand don't assume someone is unimportant because they are wearing casual clothes and pushing a stroller. After all, my job that day was to keep a human alive, happy and teach him something - what were they responsible for?!

My shoes for that: Reebok Running Sneakers

Friday, June 3, 2016

About Me

Welcome to There's a Shoe for That! My name is Jenna and I am from a small town in New Brunswick, Canada.
About Me
I am a new mom to an adorable baby boy and wife to my best friend and partner in crime. I have been back to work for a few months now and am still learning so much about myself, life and taking everyday one step at a time. The goal of this blog is to capture a variety of my thoughts from my new perspective as a mom, share some of my favourite things (such as wine, travel and of!) and take you with me through my adventures.

There really is no "one size fits all" when it comes to parenting, wine tasting, travelling or living - but I believe there really is a shoe for everyone, everything and every moment in life. I hope you wear the most beautiful shoes as we live life one step at a time together!

Yours in stilettos,

All ideas and opinions on this blog are my own.