KATHIE LEE, COME HAVE A DRINK WITH ME!

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Posted by muffintopmommy | Posted in Awesomeness, Friends...you got what I ne-ed, Mom-ness, MTM hits the road!, Uncategorized | Posted on 12-10-2014

Tags: , , ,

It’s not really stalking if you’re at an official event, right?

So goes the story. Kathie Lee Gifford has a new line of wines out (in conjunction with a winery in Monterey) called, Gifft. I wanted to picture her stomping grapes like I Love Lucy but alas, no.

IT'S A GIFFT. NOT A GIFT. IT'S $15 U.S. SMACKERS. AUTOGRAPH, FREE!

IT’S A GIFFT. NOT A GIFT. IT’S $15 U.S. SMACKERS. AUTOGRAPH, FREE!

 

The wine comes in two varieties, Chardonnay and Red Blend. (Red Blend? Ooh, it’s a mystery!) KLG visited a market down the street from my house to promote her new vino yesterday. Kathie Lee, wine, the chance to pimp my book to a woman who relishes cocktailing at 11 AM? How could I NOT? Some people dream of playing major league baseball or finding a cure for cancer. I just wanna sip some chard with KLG and Hoda.

Stop. It’s not nice to judge.

 

STALKING IS LIKE 199 TIMES MORE FUN WHEN YOU RANDOMLY BUMP INTO A FUN FRIEND ON YOUR RECON MISSION!

STALKING IS LIKE 199 TIMES MORE FUN WHEN YOU RANDOMLY BUMP INTO A FUN FRIEND ON YOUR RECON MISSION!

I came, I saw, we faux hugged, I gave her a copy of my book, Mommy Mixology: A Cocktail for Every Calamity. Which, for all I know, later hit the circular file at the market though she did graciously accept it!

JUST HANGING BY THE BREAD AISLE WITH KLG. NO BIG.

JUST HANGING BY THE BREAD AISLE WITH KLG. NO BIG.

Tick, tock. Not sure why my people I haven’t heard from her people yet? It’s been almost 24 hours! Don’t KLG and Hoda know how much fun sipping cocktails with me could be!? For the love of God, I’m a professional! And, I’m even willing to even endure the mental anguish of seeing my muffin top x an extra ten lbs!

Until then, I’ll be enjoying the GIFFT at home. In my polka dot jammies. I knew you’d be wondering if this stuff was any good, so as a public service to you my bestest readers, I twisted open the chard to test it! The hubs and I found it to be quite light and refreshing. And as you know, we are quite the wine afficionados. (NO.)

I KNOW. I LIKE BIG BEERS AND I CANNOT LIE.

I KNOW. I LIKE BIG BEERS AND I CANNOT LIE.

 

But hey, we like what we like and there is no shame in that! Sometimes I find chards to be kind of heavy and this was not–I truly enjoyed it. And clearly, this is not a sponsored post. I stalked it out and paid cash money for the vino!

My only complaint with this wine is it’s a twist off. I’m not implying that makes it inferior as I know there has been much debate about this in the wine world—it’s only because I like to save my corks to make fun crafts at Christmas. Geek alert. But, otoh, yay for twist off if you’re travelling and don’t want to deal with toting a wine opener. Nuttin’ worse than finding yourself in a square hotel room in East Bumblebee staring helplessly at a bottle with no opener, am I right? (Now who’s a dummy for travelling with beer in a can???) I picked the red up for a friend so I’ll have to let you know what she thinks! Red + Muffintopmommy = fetal position! No bueno. Until then, for the good of my Christmas list, I’ll keep pressing on with mah corks……salud!

 

THE CORKS ALMOST RUNNETH OVER!

THE CORKS ALMOST RUNNETH OVER!

 

 

 

 

 

BOOK GIVEAWAY: THIS IS OUR CITY; HOW THE 2013 RED SOX KEPT BOSTON STRONG

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Posted by muffintopmommy | Posted in Awesomeness, MTM hits the road! | Posted on 05-10-2014

In 2013, the unthinkable happened when bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people, including a boy, and harming 264 others. As the world looked on in horror, Boston responded in a way that demonstrated a tenacity and spirit that has always been the undercurrent of that city. Boston showed the world that despite being assaulted on one of its most glorious days, a day that it proudly hosted runners and their families from across the globe, it was strong. Boston strong. As I wrote in the hours that followed that horrific day, Boston is grit and determination. Boston is courage. Boston is PRIDE. Boston doesn’t bow to queens. Or crazies. And definitely not to terrorists.

All that said, what wasn’t so clear, was how the Boston Red Sox would become improbable 2013 World Series Champions at a time when a broken city needed it most. This team, who twelve months before finished LAST in the American league, won the World Series for Boston, in Boston, for a people that badly needed something to smile about.

Forever & Ever Books of Wellesley, Massachusetts proudly announces the publication of This Is Our City: How the 2013 Red Sox Kept Boston Strong. It’s a lovely 32 page hardbound, illustrated book for children of all ages. It can be purchased on Amazon or at Forever & Ever Books. A portion of the profits will be donated to the Jimmy Fund and the One Fund Boston charities.

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However, you can enter here to win a free copy! Just leave your name in a comment below and you will be entered into a raffle to win a copy of this beautiful book. Name will be drawn on Friday, October 10th.

*I received a complimentary copy of This Is Our City to facilitate this review and one for the raffle. All opinions are my own, as always!

TELL ME ABOUT YOUR MOST AWKWARD JOB INTERVIEW

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Posted by muffintopmommy | Posted in MTM hits the road!, Uncategorized | Posted on 21-09-2014

Tags: , , , , ,

Okay, I’ll start.

Recently I decided to come out of retirement and seek full time employment. (Please feel free to besiege me with offers–I’m hard working, make awesome coffee, and can totally talk Modern Family and the Sox at the water cooler. I like to be paid well and frequently. I’ll wait patiently for your call–thanks!) Before you can procure an exciting new opportunity, we all know, you have to work the interview circuit.

Dun, dun, dun, dun.

As I prepared for some interviews the other day, I was laughing remembering the most bizarre interview I ever, ever had. I was interviewing for a position with a company that was based in Kansas City. They flew me out to the barbeque capital (yum) for a series of interviews. I left New Hampshire at the crack, on Valentine’s Day, and bonus, had a massive head cold. What do you do if you have a massive head cold and a company has already paid to fly you half way across the country? You get yo A&* on that plane and pound cold meds!

I get there, everyone is lovely, I have an interview with a few people, and then they tell me the CFO is going to take me to lunch. At this point, my ears are pretty well blocked but I’m rolling along on nervous energy and Hall’s. (Was the nervous energy from the interviews or the 375 Halls? We’ll never know.) So the CFO seems like a nice fellow, but I, the extrovert, who is interviewing for a sales and management type job, is making note that he is clearly a buttoned up, quiet, numbers guy, and I remind myself not to be too OUTGOINGHIIMOUTGOINGLETMESCAREYOUWITHMYPERSONALITYQUIETGENTLEMAN.

We get to the lunch place, sit down, and ohmahgawd there is a barbershop quartet of four adorable older men who are clearly loving life…..and yet? Despite their combined ages and presumed life experiences are incapable of realizing the buttoned up CFO fifteen years my senior and I are not a couple…and they proceed to stop at our table and PLAY US A SONG. Like a goopy, sappy, lovey song.

Because that isn’t awkward!

In fact, they proceed to blast the tunes all over the lunch place, so between my blocked ears and them spreading the love, I had to keep clasping my ear and saying, “Excuse me, could you please repeat that?” to my new CFO boyfriend. Because not seeming like you are listening intently is always awesome on an interview!

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As luck would have it, all ended well and I got the job! Cupid must have been smiling down on me. So much so, that the man who was driving me to the airport later that night? Made a quick phone call and then stopped on the side of the highway, got out with flowers, and gave them to his wife who had also stopped in the breakdown lane. Part of me was all, “Awwww” and part of me was like this is cute but I hope an 18 wheeler doesn’t hit us–does this rig have airbags? But really, I guess you haven’t lived til your guy woos you by the side of the road while a strange, mentholyptis smelling passenger looks on!

Weirdest interview day/Valentine’s Day ever!!!!! But I have to say thinking about it is making me much less nervous about any future interviews I might have, because really? What could be weirder?!!!!

What have you got???? Come on, tell us!

 

ALL ABOARD THE CROSS SOUND FERRY TO LONG ISLAND WINERIES!

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Posted by muffintopmommy | Posted in MTM hits the road!, Uncategorized | Posted on 18-05-2014


I can’t believe I made it FORTY years without knowing anything about the North Fork of Long Island. Growing up in the Boston area, anything west or south of Hartford is a Mason-Dixon line of sorts. Red Sox versus Yankees! When I think beaches, I think the cape or the Maine coast. When I think wineries, I think Napa. When I think quaint towns with cute shops, restaurants, and bars, I think quintessential New England. And when I think New York, I think the city–fun for a weekend.

How dare I be so ill informed! Who knew a two hour ride to New London, Connecticut and an easy, scenic 80 minute ferry ride (40 on the fast one!) on the Cross Sound Ferry would open my eyes to a gorgeous area that is part beaches, part farmland, part wineries, part small

I'M SMILING BECAUSE A FUN BOAT IS ABOUT TO TAKE ME AWAY WITH THE FUN AMY ADAMS DOUBLE, DOLLOPS OF DIANE, AND LOLLIE WEEKS FROM FORTUITOUS HOUSEWIFE!

I’M SMILING BECAUSE A BOAT IS ABOUT TO TAKE ME AWAY WITH THE AMY ADAMS BODY DOUBLE, DOLLOPS OF DIANE, AND FUNTASTIC LOLLIE WEEKS FROM FORTUITOUS HOUSEWIFE!

town charm? One quick ferry ride saves you 200 miles of potential gridlock and is the gateway to over 50, yes 50, producers of world class wines. Now you know!

 

North Fork of Long Island, where have you been all my life?! I can tell you this was my first trip to the North Fork, but certainly will not be my last. I was already planning a return trip while I was there—this would be an ideal girl’s weekend or quick getaway with the hubs. I went to Napa once with the hubs, pre kids, and while it was undeniably lovely and such a fun time, it is not feasible at this point in my life to haul across country when I have three young kids and a smaller budget—due to aforementioned offspring sucking me dry! North Fork is so doable from any part of New England for a weekend and it won’t bust your budget to get there.  And you get wineries AND the ocean. Wine + the ocean for the win!

As luck would have it, I got the unique opportunity to travel with a few dozen writers to experience all that North Fork has to offer on a whirlwind two day tour with my good friend of Muffintopmommy lore, Lisa the Crappy Photographer. After the mortifying experience of me looking like I was nuzzling Seth Meyers a few years ago when I stalked him, Lisa was expressly prohibited from operating a camera on this trip. (I wasn’t nuzzling Seth Meyers! I tilted my head so I would look like I had two chins instead of three!)

After a comfy ride to New York on the ferry, which is, by the way, stocked with roomy, cushy seats, a tv room, party snacks, drinks, and adult beverages, we were picked up by the lovely Vintage Tours and driven to a tasty lunch at The Loft in Greenport. By the way, you can bring your car on the ferry if you’d like (the fast ferry is passenger only)—but personally, I could get used to having someone haul me around and doubt I’d bring mine! And, although the weather was rainy, that did not dampen the spirits of anyone we encountered on our two day trip. I spied a fun looking deck at The Loft that I am sure is hopping when the weather is more cooperative. I do think springing for transportation or befriending a teetotaller to drive you is a smart idea and we were grateful for the safe and friendly transportation!

Bedell Cellars in Cutchogue was our first stop. A gorgeous, sophisticated operation, Bedell has been making wines since 1980. What’s interesting to note is that the climate for wine making here is similar to parts of France. Oui, it’s true. One of Bedell’s merlots was served at President Obama’s second inauguration. Well, well, well! While we didn’t get to taste that particular sold out wine, we did taste many and they were excellent. Um, I could say this wine had a hint of vanilla and earthy tones or I detected a note of pear in another, but let’s just say my palate is not that sophisticated. I just know if I taste something and I like it. I’m going to just admit it. I loved them all and we received an education from Richard the winemaker, who was so chill, I could listen to him talk about winemaking all day. Really. You want to really unplug? Listen to someone who has a passion talk about making great wine in a beautiful setting and then get to try it. I haven’t felt a calm like that in a while. Truly.

LISA THE CRAPPY PHOTOGRAPHER, NO SUDDEN MOVES PLEASE! I DIDN'T BRING ENOUGH CASH TO COVER YOU PULLING AN I LOVE LUCY WITH THE GRAPES!

LISA THE CRAPPY PHOTOGRAPHER, NO SUDDEN MOVES PLEASE! I DIDN’T BRING ENOUGH CASH TO COVER YOU PULLING AN I LOVE LUCY WITH THE GRAPES!

 

The Harborfront Inn graciously accommodated Lisa and me, as well as several other writers. This stylish hotel has an excellent in town location in Greenport, with lovely views of the harbor and carousel, and…..bonus…..is directly across the street from a wine shop and convenience store. Hey, you never know when you might need yet another glass of wine or peanut brittle that you cannot eat at home because your kids are deathly allergic so FYI, people! While the weather didn’t permit, it has a nice outdoor pool as well, and is in walking distance to bars, shops, and fine restaurants, like Noah’s, who catered our delicious tapas style dinner at Kontokosta Winery.

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KONTOKOSTA WINERY….GORGEOUS!

I'M A WRITER, NOT A PHOTOGRAPHER, BUT LOOK!!!!!

I’M A WRITER, NOT A PHOTOGRAPHER, BUT LOOK!!!!!

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Kontokosta Winery is a newer winery, set back from the street, with sweeping views of the water if you are not too lazy to meander across the expansive lawn to see. The building is architecturally stunning but what stood out to me was the genuine hospitality we experienced there. Polly, the manager, poured us everything from chardonnay, to sauv blancs, to viogniers, to merlots to blends and back again, and even let us try their special olive oils. I picked up a delicious tangelo blend for the hubs (he deserved a prize for juggling his schedule so I could go live the high life for two days!) and I can’t wait for him to make me some fish with it. (Ulterior motive revealed.) The owner, Michael Kontokosta, graciously gave us a behind the scenes tour and we were able to sample wines that are not yet ready for distribution. Delish and what a special night that I won’t soon forget.

HEY BUDDY, CAN YOU GRAB ME A GLASS OF WINE? FUN FACT: THAT PLASTIC TUBE HE IS USING TO GET WINE OUT OF THE BARREL IS CALLED A THIEF. NUM, NUM. I'LL TAKE ONE BARREL TO GO, PLEASE!

HEY BUDDY, CAN YOU GRAB ME A GLASS OF WINE? FUN FACT: THAT PLASTIC TUBE HE IS USING TO GET WINE OUT OF THE BARREL IS CALLED A THIEF. NUM, NUM. I’LL TAKE ONE BARREL TO GO, PLEASE!

WHO KNEW THERE WOULD BE OLIVE OIL TOO, AND THE SUPER HOSPITABLE POLLY, WHO LET US TRY EVERYTHING!

WHO KNEW THERE WOULD BE OLIVE OIL TOO, AND THE SUPER HOSPITABLE POLLY, WHO LET US TRY EVERYTHING!

 

A night that continued with an after par-tay at the fun, eclectic bed and breakfast, located in downtown Greenport, called Ruby’s Cove. People, this place is a treat, and I hear they serve a mean breakfast. The owner, Donna, is as warm and kind as they come, and rolled out the red carpet for us. I could have sat on her front porch all night, but the Greenport Harbor Brewing Company conveniently located next door beckened, and that’s when Lisa the Crappy Photographer tried to get me thrown in the clink! (Good to know if you need to make a safe dash out: Donna offers free bikes for her guests to use!)

SERIOUSLY LISA THE CRAPPY PHOTOGRAPHER, STOP TRYING TO GET ME IN TROUBLE. JAIL? NO THANKS!

SERIOUSLY LISA THE CRAPPY PHOTOGRAPHER, STOP TRYING TO GET ME IN TROUBLE. JAIL? NO THANKS!

The next morning we were treated to breakfast at Harvest Inn. This it the place to stay if you are a foodie and/or you really want to feel like you walked into the house that Martha Stewart and Ina Gartner would own if they hooked up. This house is the stuff my dreams are made of. A deep, comfy porch, wide pine floors inside, a soothing color scheme with beautiful furnishings….ahh! The husband and wife duo, Christopher and Daroyln, could not have been more gracious and BONUS, he is a native of Boston and is a Red Sox fan. No wonder why I felt so at home. Like that wasn’t enough, he is a trained chef and made a mad quiche with local ingredients that I am still dreaming about. No leggo my Eggo here!

CHRISTOPHER AND DAROLYN, WILL YOU ADOPT ME??

CHRISTOPHER AND DAROLYN, WILL YOU ADOPT ME??

After someone peeled me off their porch due to a quiche coma, we were off to the Old Field Vineyards. One of these things is not like the other…tada. At Old Field, you are greeted by chickens and roosters walking around, clucking (Ok, I’m not sure if clucking is the exact right term for this but they were hooting and hollering and it cracked me up. I was so wishing my boys were with me so I took a short video!). While the other wineries were more slick and sophisticated, this winery is much more an old skool family business, a working farm on land passed down for generations, and the love this mother/daughter farming/winemaking duo has for the whole process, and their clucking inhabitants, is demonstrated in some damn fine wine! While they might not produce the volume of some of their neighbors, they are clearly committed to putting forth the best product possible, and the heart and soul of the place is so palpable as you taste the wines. I just loved that place. I could have stayed all day.

WELL HI THERE, I'LL HAVE A GLASS OF YOUR FINEST CHARDONNAY, PLEASE!

WELL HI THERE, I’LL HAVE A GLASS OF YOUR FINEST CHARDONNAY, PLEASE!

Orient by the Sea was kind enough to fill our tummies with a delicious lunch right before we caught the ferry back to New London. It’s conveniently located right next to the ferry..which sadly, took us away from the North Fork!

Until we meet again, North Fork of Long Island………a sincere thank you for such lovely hospitality….cheers!

IS THAT A BEAUTIFUL SIGHT OR WHAT? FORGET YOU, CALGON...CROSS POINT FERRY, TAKE ME AAAAWAY!

IS THAT A BEAUTIFUL SIGHT OR WHAT? FORGET YOU, CALGON…CROSS SOUND FERRY, TAKE ME AAAAWAY!

*I received a complimentary tour and stay on Long Island as part of a writers’ tour. As always, all opinions are my own. Period. The end.