Wining Wife®

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Tag: Shopping

Thanksgiving 2012

Ah the list of things I am thankful for – it’s that time of year again. I like to make sure I give credit where credit is due, and let’s face it, making gratitude lists don’t happen enough – this practice should happen on a regular basis. It’s good, though, that we do have a holiday during which it is common practice to express gratitude.

I begin my expression in a spiritual way, for I am a spiritual woman. I thank you, God, for

  1. God – because God is good, and I’m glad he is always looking out.
  2. My wonderful husband and son. Both of you are always there right when I need a smile – and in totally different ways. You guys keep me going, even when the chips are down. Wining Husband, you’re the most positive, optimistic person I’ve ever met, and I love you for that…and your laugh…definitely thankful for that. It’s freaking contagious. Tiger boy, your smile lights up a room. Literally. I think it has the power to bring the power back on in a black out. You two are both incredibly special to me, and I don’t know what I’d do without either one of you. Therefore, I intend to enjoy every moment I can with you.
  3. Friends and family far and near – I have a LOT of friends, while the number of close friends living far away from me far outweighs the number of friends living close by, that doesn’t make anyone any less special or important in my life. You guys have been a great and powerful force in my life, and I am so, so thankful for each and every one of you for reasons as diverse as the people you are.
  4. My beautiful home. Sure it’s not the cleanest or most organized place at the moment (um…Tom the Turkey kind of took over this week). But that doesn’t matter. I love the cherry floors, the warm walls, and most importantly the memories housed between the “four walls.” It’s definitely a great place to be and work.
  5. My 3 kitties. They make trouble. They can be nuts, but they also are always ready to curl up on your lap the moment you’re starting to feel a bit lonely in the world. It sounds goofy, but Stripes, Lady, and LuLu are great companions.
  6. My career – it’s been a rough year. Last year I was given advice never to go into business with friends. I know why now. That being said, I feel stronger and better than ever when it comes to knowing what I want out of my career. I love writing, I find joy in it, and I’m thankful to have projects to work on that are exciting and fun.
  7. Food – it nourishes the body. Like anything, in excess, it can make one sick, but in moderation, it can be amazing. We had an absolutely decadent Thanksgiving this year. That being said, none of us “stuffed” ourselves, and I’m happy to have the next little while off from cooking duty. Food is tasty, nutritious, and fun to share with loved ones.
  8. Wine – Tonight we started with d’Arenburg’s Hermit Crab with appetizers and our parsnip-apple soup, then moved on to Chateau Ste. Michelle‘s 2008 Ethos Chardonnay with the pasta and then the salad. The main course featured Antigal Uno 2009 Malbec. We plan on opening a port with dessert. Wine can enhance dishes like nothing else. It’s best when enjoyed in moderation, of course.
  9. Movies and old TV shows – there’s no better way to wind down at the end of  a long day (or a cooking marathon) than sitting down with family and enjoying a movie or a fun TV show. Except…
  10. Books – I love books. I love reading books, I love writing, I love editing books. I guess you can say I’m a bibliophile.
  11. Life and relative health – It’s good to be alive. I mean, it means I get to enjoy my family, friends, food, home, wine, etc. Additionally, even though I’m still dealing with quite a few issues from a reaction I had to a medication in March, it’s nice that we’re finally getting to the bottom of what works in terms of healing. I’m thankful for that.
  12. Health insurance. See 10
  13. My camera – it makes it so I can take lots and lots and lots of pictures of our life as it happens.
  14. My computers/technology – as much of a headache as these are, it’s nice to know that they allow me to communicate with others and run my business.
  15. The Internet – it’s great to be able to research foods that are local, in season, and organic. Plus, see number 13.
  16. The vast amount of knowledge available. Sometimes it can be small or overwhelming, but it’s always out there.
  17. Autumn – it’s my favorite season of the year.
  18. All of my clients. You guys rock. Seriously.
  19. Electricity. Without it, there wouldn’t be the lifestyle that we have today. It might look like the TV show Revolution it might look like S.M. Sterling’s Sci-Fi vision. Who knows, I’m just happy it exists.
  20. Sleep – I love sleep. Who doesn’t?
  21. Running – I love to run. It’s been too long since I’ve done a 5K. I’m looking forward to the next one – AND – to training for a 10K.
  22. The couch I currently sit on – because oh my goodness it’s comfortable.
  23. My readers – you guys are pretty cool for reading what I have to say.
  24. Shoes – and for that matter clothes – because, well, I have a bit of a problem lol…and even though I try to not be materialistic, I’m still pretty fabulous when it comes to these things…
  25. President Obama – Because things are getting better, economy wise. I can feel the hill climbing.

I could list so much more. So, so much more. What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? Please post your thoughts in the comments section.

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Life: Inexpensive Dates with Your Spouse


lunch-2007-04-03a (Photo credit: flakyredhead)


It’s so important to continue to date your spouse after you get married, and especially after you have kids together. However, it’s not always cheap to go on dates – and not having money for a date can be a deterrent for many couples who would otherwise go out. In Success in Life Through Personality Engineering, my co-author (Murali Chemuturi) and I give a list of ideas for inexpensive dates. Here are a few suggestions.


  • Go on a walk around a park together, take a picnic lunch made at home, enjoy the picnic lunch
  • Visit a library book sale – our local Friends of the Library sale has books for as low as 25 cents! It can be fun to explore these sales together
  • Take advantage of some of your local businesses and farms. Many of the local wineries here will have new release parties where the tasting is either free or only $5 a person
  • Go out for dessert together – this will get you both out of the house, and you won’t spend as much money as you would on a full dinner
  • Visit a restaurant that has a happy hour menu or cocktail menu, often you can try out their dishes as “small plates” for far less than you would pay for a full meal
  • Try having lunch out instead of dinner, if you want to go to a fancy restaurant; lunch prices are usually less than dinner prices
  • Keep a jar filled with low-cost and free activities you’d like to try out. When boredom hits, pull an activity out of the jar and do that
  • Volunteer together – it can be a lot of fun to team up with your spouse to help others, plus by working together toward a common goal, you can help build your relationship


What do you and your spouse like to do that’s inexpensive or free? As a family, we enjoy going to our local observatory, which is volunteer-led and always free. It could also make a very romantic date for a couple. Please leave your thoughts in the comments.



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Office Makeover Part II – Fabric and Patterns

I have a closet filled with fabric and white binders filled with patterns. How do you organize your sewing projects?

I have a LOT of sewing patterns. I also have a LOT of fabric. I currently have almost all my fabric hanging in our office closet, and my sewing patterns in binders in the closet. Of course, the binders are overflowing. I’m trying to figure out what the best way to organize fabric and patterns may be. I was thinking of perhaps pinning sewing patterns to fabrics, but there are sometimes multiple fabrics I want to use for one pattern and multiple patterns for one fabric. I also thought about scanning my patterns, taking a photo of each fabric, and then creating an Excel file so that I could prioritize projects. (The photo to the right only shows about 1/3 of my fabric collection and half my pattern binders).

This brings me to the question: How do you organize your sewing supplies? I’m looking for the best method that will allow me to streamline my sewing projects as I get to them. Please leave your tips in the comments section.

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Sewing Pattern Stock Up!

I’ve already talked on this blog about how I enjoy sewing. This past weekend, Joanne’s Fabric and Crafts had a sale on sewing patterns. Naturally, this was very exciting to me. I was able to grab several patterns. Since I’m in desperate need of new clothes, these patterns were a welcome addition to my collection. I’m hoping that I’m able to get started on creating a new wardrobe by hand soon. Among the many patterns I grabbed, I snatched up the following patterns at the sale. I grabbed up a bunch more as well. I also purchased some fabric so I could start making some of these outfits. I’m looking forward to posting my progress!

What are your favorite patterns from the Simplicity Fall Collection? Have you sewn any of these patterns?

Simplicity Pattern 1808

Simplicity Pattern 2154

Simplicity Pattern 2703

Simplicity Pattern 5914

Simplicity Pattern 4044



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Confession: My Shoe Obsession

Theme Song: “North, South, East, Wes” Rick Wes (Yeah, it’s such an old, obscure song, but I’ve got it stuck in my head.)

Okay, so here’s something I don’t often talk about: my obsession with shoes. I think I have 70 pairs of shoes. I know at one point I had close to 100 pairs. Then, I had to get real and get honest with myself, and give away pairs that didn’t quite fit. I’m a size 11-12, so size 10 really just does not work on my feet. But for a while, if a pair was on sale, and I could squeeze my foot in, I’d pick them up anyway. Now I’ve realized that no pair of shoes is cute enough to justify injury to wear.

Why shoes? I just read a post on HuffPost by Natalie Thomas about wearing six inch heels to a wedding. They were Jimmy Choos, nonetheless, a brand that I can only dream of owning a pair of. Everyone at the wedding poked fun at her, and yet she still wore them. Kudos to her! I fully plan to wear a pair of super-high heels at my wedding, even if it means I need to change into flats at the reception. My fiance loves me in heels!

As a philosopher and ethicist, it seems really shallow to have such an obsession. Yet, when I walk into a store and see a cute pair of shoes, I squeal. I can’t help myself. For a while, I thought I would purchase shoes from online vendors, because in my city it’s sooooo difficult to find shoes in my size. However, there’s something about trying on shoes before buying them (you know, to make sure they don’t hurt your feet!)

Here are some shoes I’ve pinned on my Pinterest that I love:

This pair is from Zappos – I think they are super cute!

I would soooo love to own a pair of these – they are spectacular! Look at how sleek these are!

I don’t normally like animal print anything, but I think these are too cute to pass up.

What is it about shoes that gets women so excited? I think part of it is the fact that I can buy a pair of shoes and know that pair will fit in a year (given that I buy the right size!), no matter what I weigh, the shoes I purchase will fit! But that’s not all. Shoes are one of the easiest ways to totally change the look of an outfit. When you wear a cute pair of shoes, your jeans and t-shirt totally look different all of a sudden. My fascination with the items we walk on didn’t begin right away – in fact for years I had two pairs: Buster Browns and a pair of black loafers. I’m not sure what changed that.

If you love shoes, what is it about shoes that makes your heart skip a beat? If you aren’t into shoes, why not?

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