Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Fun Announcement AND a Cash Giveaway!

Happy Hump Day!  So I promised some news yesterday and I may be a late poster (#sorryimnotsorry) but I never want to disappoint.  So here we go…

If you know me at all or have ever visited my little space before you know I love wine.  But now, not only do I love wine, I sell wine.


Specifically, I am a wine rep for Ruby Blues Winery, the funkiest boutique winery located in the amazing Okanagan wine region, specifically in Naramata, BC.  This dream job opportunity was presented to me in August by the winery owner, Prudence Maher, whom I met in 2009 when my husband brought me to his family’s cabin for the first time and when I introduced him to wine tasting. (Side note: my hubby’s family has owned this place since before he was born, the nearest winery is 5 minutes away and go on as far as you can see, and he had never been wine tasting. He’s a pro now.)

Ruby blues Winery
The funky bus that greets you at the winery's entrance and the prop in many photo shoots


Ruby blues Winery
the wine shop


Ruby Blues wine and the community they built quickly became one of our favourites and a must-see every time we were at the cabin.  I was lucky enough to become friends Prudence, an amazing woman who I have always regarded as a mentor… I am barely breaking the surface but she was a Swiss Body Building Champion for 15 years, has her commercial pilot’s license, sold her original Naramata winery, Red Rooster, for a nice chunk of change to Peller Estates and then started doing it all over again with Ruby Blues.  I should also mention the amazing husband that supports her in everything she does, Beat, the kindest man you will ever meet.  Here is a link to some info on this dynamic duo.

We were lucky enough to have Ruby blues as our wedding wines and Prudence and Beat as guests.

Ruby blues Winery
You can't see the label but that is a bottle of Red Stiletto on our Chardonnay Table

And I am now lucky enough to represent Ruby Blues in B.C.’s Lower Mainland.  The wine isn’t carried in a lot of stores here so it’s my job to get it in the wine stores and get more exposure.  And also let the people who visit the wine shop while on holidays know that they can get it closer to home now.  So if anyone has any pointers on how to accomplish this, please please please share.  (pretty please).

I have never worked in sales before but after getting over the cold-calling nerves, actually selling the wine is pretty easy because I genuinely love it.  It’s delicious and because I have a sentimental stake in the wine it’s easy for me to try and get other people to love it just as much.

Ruby blues Winery
we always have Ruby Blues at home!


Over the next couple weeks I will introduce you to the Ruby Blues wines I love and sell: the Commune Pinot Gris, White Stiletto and Red Stiletto.  You will love the story, you will love the labels and maybe together we will learn a little something about wine.  I am not a wine expert – I just know what I like by taste.  And seriously, I am open to any and all suggestions because I want to rock this and make Prudence proud.

Wish me luck!

Oh and before you go, another super cool chick – who just gave birth 5 days ago to the cutest little nugget – has lovely little me not only for a Q&A on her blog, but I am also giving away $25 in PayPal cash!

Head over to Karli’s blog to enter!!


Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Today is Tuesday

Good afternoon friends, yes I made it for another day, better late than never right?  Still coughing like a 2-pack day smoker (I slept propped up on pillows in a seated position, might sound comfortable but it’s not) but showed up to work and have even been productive. Yay me!  And as a valued member (read: one of the only suckers left) of our company’s social committee, I even got to do some Halloween party planning and shopping.  The festivities will include a team building exercise in the form of a pumpkin carving contest and a pizza lunch with a nonstop stream of sugar throughout the day. 

Halloween party supplies
I love it when I get to shop for work... pumpkin carving supplies, prizes and so much candy.
If I were feeling better I would be really excited about today because tonight I go back to school!  Not that I have finally decided what I want to be when I grow up, but because my boss thinks I should get my Project Management Certification and because I heard this is an awesome thing to add to your resume plus my company is footing the bill.   So for the next 7 weeks I will be spending Tuesday night as a student.  Which obviously means I have to go back-to-school shopping, so fun.
And while I plan to get my study on, I think you should check out Kristyn’s post on how to use your DSLR camera.  I know I’m going to, I still use the automatic setting as you can probably tell from my photos which is pretty lame as a blogger.  Kristyn breaks it down into easy to understand terms (ie. I get it) plus she talks about me!  So please visit her so you can visit me… at least her thoughts on me, which if you know me at all, you know I enjoy being the centre of attention so this whole thing works for me.
And don’t forget to stop by tomorrow because I will be sharing some exciting news!!  (No I’m not pregnant).

Monday, 27 October 2014

At Least It's Not Ebola

Are you there World? It's me, Sarah.  That's right friends, I'm back!  Kind of.  I apologize for my disappearance last week and am hopefully back in action.  As I mentioned on Tuesday I had started coughing Monday night and by 2pm the next day it felt like I was swallowing shards of broken glass.  I was terrified it was strep throat and then thankful that it was just the plague a virus, but as I end day 6 still sounding like a frog with a hacking cough, I kind of wish it had been strep because I would have gotten antibiotics that kick in over 24-36 hours.  But no, after a steady stream of over the counter meds including Tylenol cold & flu, NyQuil, Buckleys and NeoCitron, I finally went to the doctor this morning for some relief.  Hopefully the cough syrup with codeine helps and we will be able to sleep tonight.  Decent shut eye has been MIA since my coughing is the worst when laying down.  And basically what all this boils down to is...

I didn't drink this weekend.  

And sadly I can't remember the last time I could say that so maybe this is a good thing?  I will be making this up though when the Mr. and I head on vacation November 6th!  We are meeting my sister B and her fiancĂ© in Las Vegas for a few days and then we're driving to Palm Springs for the rest of our vacay.  I am beyond excited and thankful that I got sick now and not while we are away.

But thankfully it's not Ebola.  Too soon?  Really though, that would suck.

I have also failed miserably at #Blogtober14 but such is life.  I may join in once or twice this week, I haven't really planned any posts this week so let's be honest, it's quite likely.  I also haven't made a weekly meal plan... oy epic failure!  We went grocery shopping on Friday night but I was kind of just going through the motions, feeling totally out of it and had no energy.  So I'm not exactly sure what we have in the fridge so it's going to be a play it by ear kind of week.  My hubby has been really good though and has done a lot of the cooking so I can rest.

I took Milo for a walk in the pouring rain on Saturday.  Probably not the smartest idea but it felt so good to get out in the fresh air, even if it was pissing rain.  And our little Milo-man loves walking in the rain.  He hates going out to pee when it's raining but if he gets to go for a walk, he's all for it.  I really want to get him a rain coat though because he also loves going through all the puddles and gets filthy.  

Walking with Milo along the water

Walking with Milo along the water

The rest of the weekend was pretty quiet and I had a lot of time for Netflix Bingeing (seriously Netflix, I would be the perfect #StreamTeam member so call me please!!).  I also had both fur babies constantly underfoot and Milo even cuddled up to me which I obviously caught on camera.

cuddles with Milo
See??  He's almost in my lap!

cuddles with Jinx
Jinx is a big night-time cuddler

Hopefully some of the above made sense and I'm also hoping that these meds I was prescribed mean I will wake up and be able to function well enough to make it to the office.   Whether I get any work done or not is another matter, showing up is half the battle right?
Any tips for evicting a cough beast from my chest??  All healing vibes welcomed!

Linking up with Bella and Lisa for the Weekend Recap, Biana, Monday Morning Gossip and Meg's Monday Mingle! 

Weekend Recap

Mingle 240

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

#Blogtober14: (Unoriginal) Dream Vacation

Is it really only Tuesday??  I got home last night (at 6:30pm after dropping off some of my first ever batch of homemade turkey soup to my parents and my hubby’s grandparents) and thankfully had dinner waiting for me (without even being asked, thank you!) when I started a kind of cough.  Not a full on couch but a little tickle in the back of my throat so I drank a bunch of iced tea.  My little tickle grew into a full-fledged chest hacking by 9pm.  Ouch.  I took apple cinnamon flavoured Neo Citron and crawled into bed to watch 2 Broke Girls reruns.  I woke up this morning feel about the same and praying for the day to go by quickly so I can go right home after work and crawl into bed until hump day.  A screwed up back and now a chest cough… thankfully I am falling apart two weeks before our Las Vegas/Palm Springs Super Vacation!
What a perfect time to ponder my dream vacation…


Hawaii.  I don’t even really care which island although I hear Maui is nice.   I know there are more adventurous places (like hiking the Inca Trail) and there are so many places I want to visit but I have always wanted to go to Hawaii.  One of the biggest draws?  Someone once told me that the smell is amazing.  I have no idea what it smells like but I know that I desperately want to smell it.  My husband went years ago when he was maybe 7 or 8 and although he doesn’t remember much, he remembers it being amazing.  So Hawaii is on our travel bucket list right at the top. 
Helene in Between Blogtober

Monday, 20 October 2014

#Blogtober14: My Biggest Fear

Confronting Monday and revealing my biggest fear… wow this morning feels like quite the whammy.  But I built this space of mine to say what I want to, a place for me to babble on about chapstick addictions, shopping dreams and TV bingeing… and sometimes to even say the hard stuff. 

I have the usual fears, like dying, snakes, spiders crawling into my mouth at night and laying eggs in my cheek. Those scare the crap out of me. But after putting some actual thought into it and being honest with myself, I need to come to terms with something pretty serious that scares me. 

I am terrified that I will never lose the extra weight I carry around every day and that my health will deteriorate even further.  Something is stopping me from waking up and changing, stopping me from choosing to eat a salad over fries and gravy, choosing a long walk over Netflix TV.  I drink glasses of wine to wash down McCain's Chocolate Deep & Delicious cake all the while knowing that I have a serious muffin top already in my "fat" jeans. I now wear leggings a lot not because it’s Fall but because nothing else fits.  I am also having major issues with my lower back and I'm about 99.99% sure it's a weight issue. I am literally sacrificing my body and health for fried foods and TV.  

How is it possible that I recognize this and yet - still keep living the way I'm living??

How am I supposed to get pregnant and have a healthy pregnancy like this? 

If I’m really honest another fear I have buried is that I will never be a mother.

I am going on a vacation with my husband in less than three weeks and even though I hate myself every time I look in a mirror I am not doing anything about it. 

When do I hit rock bottom and start to change?

Helene in Between Blogtober

Friday, 17 October 2014

#Blogtober14 | Netflix Expert

I think I am an expert at many things… sleeping in, drinking wine, spending too much time on my phone, taking too many photos of Milo, annoying my husband, just to name a few… but I am really an expert at Netflix Bingeing.  I have written about my addiction to Netflix.

And then yesterday I discover this thing called the Netflix Stream Team.  As in people on a team who watch Netflix.  Um what?  A match made in Heaven?  It most certainly is.

I would rock the Stream Team.

Netflix, this is why you need to make me part of your #StreamTeam:

1.       I can watch Netflix anywhere.  I have it on my phone, on my iPad, on Xbox in our living room and on Apple TV in our bedroom. 

2.       I watch Netflix everywhere. When I’m cooking dinner or doing anything in the kitchen, when I’m taking a bath (TMI? #sorryimnotsorry), getting ready in the morning, waiting for a friend to meet me for a drink - my headphones are out and I am connected. 
Seriously – check the activity on my account! I know you can.

3.       I watch all genres of movies and shows… depending on my mood I watch dramas, chick flicks, teenage content… all of it.  No judging.

4.       Benefits to my marriage.  More time in the kitchen means more cooking and baking for my husband which makes him all sorts of happy.  Things could only get better.

5.       I really want it.  I can write (see, I even have this blog), my eyesight is great (the only glasses I wear protect my eyes from the sun!) and I am an awesome team player.  I really really really want to be a #NetflixStreamTeam member.

I tweeted Netflix yesterday but no response.  I am not giving up.
Netflix stream team tweet


Helene in Between Blogtober
Alinking up  with Karli and Amy, and Leslie from A Blonde Ambition, plus the original 5 on Friday ladies: Darci, Christina, Natasha and Liz!


Thursday, 16 October 2014

#Blogtober14 - (Lack of) Fall Fashion

I am by no means a fashion blogger (check out my instagram for some entertaining selfie attempts) and I am barely what one would call fashionable in real life.  I am comfiest in a pair of pyjama yoga pants and loose shirt.  My poor husband!  

A couple days ago I bought a pair of earrings because I had an important dinner meeting and forgot to put on any jewelry besides my wedding rings and I felt blah.  So I saw this pair of cute earrings on sale and I thought why not?  They made me feel a little less dowdy... the fact that I showed up in a pant suit and everyone else was in jeans and comfy sweaters with cute scarves kind of sucked but at least it wasn't the other way around.  I like the earrings so much that I wore them again yesterday and I was honestly really impressed that I mixed patterns - seriously, this was a big step for me.

I even took a selfie to document the moment:

Another sad (as in bad) selfie

After taking eleventh selfies and settling on the best one (seriously, above) I decided I need to make more of an effort.  So I obviously went straight to Pinterest to find a couple looks that might work for me.  Of course I fell in love with fifty but this outfit basically sums it all up: comfortable, cute and oh so versatile.
the perfect fall outfit

It also means I need to invest in some items (yay shopping!):
  • quality black leggings (my TNA pair have seen some better days)
  • two tunic style shirts (light colours)
  • a soft gray cardigan (like the one above)
  • a statement necklace (bright and colourful)
  • a long necklace (not pictured)
So now I need suggestions from all of you - where do I go to get these items without breaking the bank??

Helene in Between Blogtober

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

#Blogtober14: My Favourite Quote

This has to be one of my #Blogtober14 prompts as I love quotes.  Love love love me some quotes.  I spend hours pinning quotes and one day I will do something amazing with them… one day… something… no clue what I will do with them but I am pretty sure I will. One day.
I like all sorts of quotes, wine ones especially grab me, but I was introduced to one a couple months ago by Whitney and I literally have it scratched out on a post it and stuck to my monitor at work.  And yes I have posted it here before but it’s just that good #sorryimnotsorry.
favourite quote by Erin Hansen
There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask “what if I fall?”
Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?
- Erin Hansen

This quote (I think it’s actually a poem) says something to me because I have fallen, fallen hard, but I am still taking chances and I so desperately hope that I will fly.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

#Blogtober14: Childhood Memories

Hello!  I managed to drag my butt out of bed this morning after an amazing long weekend with my hubby, the fur babies and our families… I love Thanksgiving!  Ours may be earlier than our friends south of the border but that just means we get to consume ourselves with all things Christmas a little bit earlier and that is totally ok with me.

We did some work around the house, slept in, watched movies, ate too much turkey with all the fixings and indulged in baking galore.  My hubby had to work yesterday so I indulged in a lazy morning/early afternoon before I started to feel yucky.  I kept trying to sit down and write today’s post (and even had dreams of working on some for the whole week) but my head was pounding and my thoughts were spinning.  Add a runny nose and a general feeling of blah-ness and you have what my husband had the pleasure of hanging out with last night.  Needless to say I crawled into bed early and knocked myself out with cold medicine.  I woke up this morning feeling groggy but better than I did yesterday so hopefully I managed to knock whatever it was out of my system.
I love short work weeks.
And I am now getting back on the #Blogtober14 bandwagon…

Helene in Between Blogtober

It is so hard to single out one memory from when I was a kid but I decided to help narrow it down by going through the photos that have actually been scanned.  There are 4 so that helps.  Oh and I’m old.
When we were living in Peru, my dad’s friend/colleague had a lovely dog named Natasha and she had puppies.  I fell in love with said puppies and would cuddle them every chance I got.  I begged for a puppy and I even had mine picked out and had named him Tigger.  Oh how I wanted my puppy and how sad was I when my mom kept refusing.  There was no way she was letting me take Tigger home and I just didn’t understand why not.  Tigger was SO cute… he was a snowy white with a couple of dark gray spots on his back and the biggest blue eyes you had ever seen.  He had the most adorable floppy ears and big paws… who couldn’t love him??  Oh, Tigger was also a Great Dane.
I understand now why my mom was so hesitant but back then I was devastated.
Until one evening when I went with my dad to his friend’s house and I’m not sure if it was the adorable scene of his daughter playing with “her” puppy or the beer that was consumed (who am I kidding, it was totally the beer) but I got to run home that night and tell my mom that Tigger was coming home to live with us!
Pretty sure my dad got in trouble that night.
But the next day Tigger came home to live with us and it was kind of like I got two for one - I got Tigger and I had always wanted a horse.  Tigger grew to the size of a pony.
Tigger, my Great Dane
Taking my puppy out for a walk... don't you love my rolls and slouch slock? 
Oh and the bang, I had killer bangs...


Friday, 10 October 2014

Friday Love and #Blogtober14

You should see the happy dance in my pants right now (sorry it just worked)... I have been up at 4:50am yesterday and today and while it's totally worth it, I am counting down the hours until I crawl into bed tonight knowing that I can sleep until whenever I want tomorrow.  Which means that I'll be wide awake at 6am. Le sigh.
Today's #Blogtober14 prompt:
purple sunrise
1.  Give me butterfly joy! Every time I get a comment I get so giddy.  If I could survive off comments alone I would in a heartbeat.

2.  Introduce me to people with LCHAD... I have had messages from two people now who have kids with LCHAD and they are doing really well.  It's great to find other people in the world when previously we didn't know anyone else dealing with it. You can read our story here.
3.   Get free clothes! When I was contacted by a company and asked to pick an outfit for a review I had to pinch myself. I get free clothes just for giving my opinion? Works for me!

4.   Consume me... I constantly think about blog posts and photos I need to take, this little space means so much to me that I want to out so much effort in. It's hard at this point in my life because I am juggling so many things right now but it's worth it (see numbers 1-2 above).
5.   Swap buttons... when I started this blog I never imagined that someone would want to swap buttons and advertise their blog on mine, more butterflies!  Speaking of, if anyone else would like to swap please click here.  I have met some awesome women already, check out my sidebar!
Helene in Between Blogtober

Happy Friday Friends!  Throw on your happy pants and bust out a dance... or a cocktail... or both! 

I am also linking up  with Karli and Amy, and Leslie from A Blonde Ambition, plus the original 5 on Friday ladies are back and I would love to win the sweet giveaway they have to celebrate their return.  Fingers crossed Darci, Christina, Natasha and Liz!


Thursday, 9 October 2014

#Blogtober14: Halloween Obsessions #TBT

When I saw today's #Blogtober14 prompt I was stoked because I knew it would be a slam dunk.  Maybe not the best writing but tons of photos for sure because if you know me and/or my hubby, you know that Halloween is huge in our house. HUGE.  Hubby’s birthday is November 1st and Halloween is hands down his favourite holiday and it’s one of mine too (after Christmas and my birthday obviously, because my birthday is a holiday… in my mind).  The first few years we were together we threw a Halloween/birthday party but now people are having kids and need to work in the morning… growing up is hard. 
But when we moved into the main portion of our house (we lived in the coach house out back and rented out the house) we entered a new Halloween phase.  Now it’s not about all about the partying (although cocktails are thoroughly enjoyed).
We decorate the front yard with tombstones and have lighted signs and a smoke machine, this year we found a string of skull lights that make noise when you walk by, and we love to see the kids in their costumes and hand out candy. 
My hubby gives out way too much candy to each kid.
Milo ha a skeleton that I force him to wear dress him in.
Like I said, Halloween is a big deal in our house.
Now do you think I could find a single photo of any of the things I mentioned above?
No.  WTF??
And then I remembered I was just starting to blog last Fall and knew I had to have posted some photos of our cemetery at least??
Short of going to my mom's house and digging out all her photos (which I obviously couldn't do because this one was going to be so easy I could procrastinate all I wanted) all I could find were these from last year:

As a member of our company's social committee, a costume was mandatory last year and I was a girl geek a la Big Bang Theory #TBT

We also had a pumpkin carving contest... my skeleton man won 2nd place! #TBT
So while we are a family obsessed with Halloween, I apparently can’t take a single photo to prove it.
Milo and Hubby – get ready for a few photo sessions this year!

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

#Blogtober14: Letter to Yourself in 10 Years

Dear Sarah,
Is it true what they say, that the 40’s are the new 30’s?  Do you still mentally feel like a 16 year old?
How is the lip balm situation?  Right now you are way too addicted for your own good and I’m hoping you managed to quit cold turkey or at least developed your own brand to capitalize on the habit.
Have you found your passion in life?  This is something you wonder about a lot as you dip your toes into a few different things… I’m sure the meditation you finally started doing was a huge help.
How is the Bailey’s investment doing for the bank account?  You were so smart to get jump on the IPO because you have obviously made millions.  And now that you finally have your driver you can enjoy it EVERY MORNING!
Now let’s get serious for a moment.   How amazing is having your very own cook?? Talk about living stress-free!  Hubby must be floating on cloud 9 as well.
You have had 10 years and I know you hit the ground running with these words guiding you (thanks Whitney!):
There is freedom waiting for you,

On the breezes of the sky,

And you ask "What if I fall?"

Oh but my darling,

What if you fly?

-Erin Hansen 
And most of all, I hope you’re happy.
Helene in Between Blogtober