Self Service Wine Bar

Ok, I really want to try this.

Self service wine bars are popping up around the country.

Here’s the concept: you purchase a prepaid card and insert it into a wine dispenser, choosing whether you want a full glass or just a sample.

Most offer dozens of wines on tap, using technology that prevents the wines from becoming oxidized.

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What a great way to try new varietals. I so wish there was one of these near me!



Back To School Shopping

About two weeks ago, I panicked and realized I had no clue when school started for the kids. Turns out, it’s next week.

MGM (7) is going into second grade and Trixie (5) starts kindergarten this year.

Clothes shopping is relatively easy since they wear uniforms (one order placed, check!), but we’ve only got a few days to get the rest of the gear together.

They both have a list of required supplies, but I’d like to throw in a few fun things, too.

These adorable backpacks are from Land of Nod:

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I also discovered this really cool site called Poppin that sells a variety of colorful school and office supplies:

Utility-Set%2C-Pink-%2B-Lime-Green-c Orange%20%2B%20Pink%20Orange%20Medium%20Soft%20Cover%20Notebook%20%2B%20Pink%20Signature%20Ballpoint%20Pens-c BTS_Bundle_Flying_Colors_One_Subject_Dotwhack_c crayons.2.3.2_c

This big pebble eraser comes in a several colors. I would have loved this as a kid!


Target is now carrying a line of school supplies called Yoobi that donates extra school supplies to kids in need with each purchase. I like this idea a lot!



You can organize it all in these cubbies from Land of Nod:


Finally, these scented markers were #1 on my wish list as a kid.





Early Riser

Like it or not, I’m definitely a morning person.

The rest of my family? Not so much.

Spouse comes from a long line of late snoozers. His parents routinely eat breakfast at noon and it is verboten to telephone prior to the ungodly hour of 10 AM.

MGM (7) and Trixie (5) are also going to be in for a rude awakening (pun!) when school starts on August 25th. Our babysitter reported that the two of them have rarely been seen before 10 AM all summer long.

Me? I’m a different sort.

In residency I could go from being totally asleep to performing surgery in an OR within 60 seconds. On weekends, I rarely sleep until 8 o’clock. Early flight? No trouble.

Take today as an example. Spouse wanted to do something at 9 AM, and I knew I had to get a long run in at some point. I could have waited until he returned this afternoon, but honestly, when I have an exhausting workout I know I need to accomplish, I just want to knock it out ASAP.

So I set my alarm for 5 AM. Except I didn’t even really need it since I slept fitfully, knowing that I had to be up early (I call this Back to School Anxiety, but it’s really something that happens to me all the time – including almost every Sunday night).

I was able to complete 15 miles by about 8 AM. I wanted to do a little more but had to get home before Spouse needed to leave.

Organization is key for being a morning exerciser.

Make sure you have everything you need set out ahead of time, including earphones, a water bottle, nutrition gels (for long runs), and put your keys next to it all. The last thing you want is to slow your roll and/or never make it out the door in the first place.

Today I forgot my Nike FuelBand, which was a bummer because I did a ton of steps with this run and it would have been fun to record it.

Here are some more tips for successful A.M. exercising. My favorite one was to wear your workout clothes to bed.

P.S. Kids were still sound asleep when I got home. They definitely inherited those genes from their dad.













I was so crazy busy these past two weeks that I didn’t get a chance to update the blog. Argh.

In between two work trips, I was running around like mad but I kept my eyes open to new little things over which to obsess.

Last weekend I admired this Tess and Tricia necklace my hair stylist was wearing:


 This jewelry is hand-made in the Twin Cities and features naturally shed antlers. Very boho chic and well-priced, too! I am waffling between a necklace with seed bead embellishment, one with a tiny tassel and one that has a gold ombre pattern. Decisions, decisions.

My first Graze box also showed up this week!

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The snacks were chili and lime pistachios, raspberry and coconut muffin trail mix, pecan pie trail mix and dried cherries and berries.

I wasn’t totally prepared for how small the snacks would be; they are approximately the size of a deck of cards. The truth is that they are appropriately sized for a snack, but I would normally dive headfirst into a giant bag of M&Ms, so this is an adjustment for moi.


C. Wonder is showing a lot of cute polka dot items for fall:

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Trixie held her own dance party last weekend, complete with a costume consisting of a dress, a winter hat and a fuzzy scarf that looks like it’s made of Muppet fur:


That girl looooves to dance.

Happy weekend!




Fat Free Cheesy Ranch Dip

Lately I’ve been hungry for dips, as in the chips-and-dip variety.

The main problem is that many dips fall into the less than healthy category.

For a casual lunch yesterday, I decided to make a healthier version of a cheesy ranch dip that I’ve had in the past.

Full disclosure: I shamelessly ate this with Fritos, but it would work great with jicama slices, baby carrots or other crudités.

First, some gorgeous pictures for veggie inspiration:

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And now the recipe:

Fat Free Cheesy Ranch Dip


  • 8 oz. fat free cream cheese
  • 1 container (6 oz) plain fat free Greek yogurt
  • 8 oz. shredded fat free cheddar cheese
  • 1 packet powdered ranch dip mix
  • 3-4 T. fresh chives
  • 1 clove minced garlic


  1. Mix all ingredients together in food processor.
  2. Pulse enough to break up shredded cheddar and combine everything together.
  3. Sample a generous amount.
  4. Thin with a few tablespoons of skim milk if the dip seems too thick.
  5. Eat!




Chunky Heels

Are chunky heels coming back in style?

Seriously, someone please tell me a tiny yes because I really love to wear tall shoes, I often trip or fall, and chunkier heels = sturdier me.

But, as a perpetual fashion victim, I gave up looks like this ages ago:


Vintage 90s.

Except these two styles are from the Fall 2014 Tory Burch line:

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 A Viktor & Rolf version:


 And a pair from Boden that’s being shipped to me as I type: