Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Holidays!

We want to take the time to wish everyone, Happy Holidays!  Raise your full glass as you fellowship and celebrate with family and friends this holiday season.  Toast to all that you have overcome, all of the great things that are to happen, and all of the outstanding people who have been there for you.  As you sip on your libations (cocktails or mocktails) know that your perspective matters, place no limits on your dreams and aspirations, and don't do anything under the mistletoe that we wouldn't do *wink*.

~ Ladies n Libations

Monday, August 22, 2011

{Field Trip} Carpe Vino

Everything but the bottle of wine

Carpe Vino "Sieze the wine"! I wanted to share a quick post with you all about my field trip find on Saturday.  Yes, field trip.  Whenever I set out on retail ventures, I often find a bargain or two...or three. Hey, it's in my blood line.  My mother can find a clearance, sale, or a great deal just about anywhere...and I mean anywhere. My field trip adventures with my two favorite girls (my nieces) to our local Target welcomed me with dollar spot treasures.  If you can't tell by now, I am a wine-head (red preferred, but all is welcomed) *winking*.  When I came across the wine themed set and accessories, I literally screeched like a child...from pure excitement mind you.  I've been wanting to throw a little wine soiree for my close girlfriends for quite sometime and these wine themed field trip finds would make for great favors.

Wine buckets embellished with various grape varietals  

Wine charms, foil cutter, and wine key

    Wine bags

I purchased the wine journals, buckets, and bags in sets of six, two sets of wine charms, one foil cutter and wine key all for just . . . $22.  Not bad at all for my Saturday field trip find.  

Have you purchased any wine themed items or accessories lately? Were they used to entertain, as gifts, or to simply add to collection of wine paraphernalia ?

San, The Red Head

Friday, August 12, 2011

Don't Force It

Photo courtesy Shepherding the Home

Not all men and women are meant to be friends.  Many relationships at best are defined as associations, work related, or cordial candor.  Friendship is a luxury and must not be handled like you do your tooth brush…you know switching it out every couple of months or so.  The loyalty and heart of a friend should never be acquired out of convenience either.  I have had several years now to experience diverse personalities and demographics of friends.  Nothing like experience to teach you lessons that will stick with you throughout life.  

Here is my concern.  Sometimes friends of friends think that mingling all of their girlfriends together will produce this grand gesture of harmonious, drama free, lifelong acquaintances. Not exactly *blank stare*! Forcing a friendship onto someone is not only annoying, but sometimes it leaves you shining in a poor light.  Infringing connections and forcing them upon others is not only applicable to friendship, but also to boyfriend/girlfriend relationships.  Nothing worse than…
-being in denial that your relationship with someone is over
-pushing to make something work with that “special someone” that is not willing to commit fully to you as you are to them
-wrestling emotionally with the “in your face” evidence and facts that a long-termed relationship or marriage involving children is now…ovah
-and using your bedroom skills to keep the man or woman there with what little physical connection is left….

Hey *holding hands the air* don’t shoot the messenger.  The time and energy we spend in trying to make “that which is not” work with current boyfriends/girlfriends and spouses as well as the comingling of friendships can be exhausting and bare unnecessary emotional weight.  I am penning this blog post because I have been on the offenders’ end of attempting to force A LOVE with a man that was no longer IN LOVE with me.  And the offended end through being shoved by women who meant well, to have Ya-Ya Sisterhood moments {great movie by the way…reminds me of my relationship with my mother} with other females whose names I only learned five minutes prior to wanting to hold  hands and cry together WTH!? *shrugging shoulders*

No! I am not a frigid witch that walks into social situations with friends; mutual and non-mutual wearing a facial expression that gives off the look that something stinks, nor am I discouraging fighting towards make a relationship and/or marriage work.  I am simply stating don’t force that which has expired or shove platonic connections with your girlfriends.  Let chemistry with a current or potential boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse and associations that could develop into a friendship run their course. Just DON’T FORCE IT.

San, The Red Head

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Feliz Cumpleaños

Welcome to the magnificent decade of 30!  We want to wish one-third of Ladies n Libations, Tranae, a Happy 30th Birthday. We hope you look as good at 30 as we did. *winking* Love you much!

Your L-n-L sisters, 

Jenn and San

Saturday, July 23, 2011

{I Cooked} Italian

I. Love. Italian. Food. It is my favorite cuisine with soul food and Mexican and Latin food following in a close second and third. The flavors, the smells, the herbs, the pasta, the process of preparing many of the dishes and even their version of what we call ice cream…gelato (taste much better with less fat content). Admittedly, I was supposed to bring this recipe to you on Monday, but I promise this dish is worthy of my tardiness, cooking and sharing with friends.  Emeril is an enthusiastic and passionate chef, two reasons why I enjoy watching him and cooking some of his dishes.  In cleaning out my office to prepare for an interior design makeover, I came across Emeril’s Primetime Cookbook.  There were several pages folded down, but the Fettuccine with Bacon and Peas recipe caught my eye, moved me to get my inner chef on, and visit the local bevvie store in search of a wine pairing.  I decided on Pine an Post 2006 Chardonnay for two reasons: (1) Cash was a little low and it was reasonably priced, only about $10 and (2) I wanted to try a new Chardonnay. Here is the recipe along with a few photos! 

Adapted from Primetime Emeril Cookbook
Fettuccine with Bacon and Peas
·         1/2 cup fresh or defrosted frozen peas (I used defrosted frozen peas)
·         3/4 pound bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
·         3/4 cup finely chopped yellow onions
·         1 teaspoon minced garlic
·         1 cup heavy cream
·         1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
·         1 teaspoon Creole Seasoning (I used Tony Chachere's Original Creole Seasoning)
·        2 1/2 teaspoons salt
·         1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
·         12 ounces dried fettuccine or tagliatelle (I used whole wheat linguine)
**Additions to recipe**
2 cups baby portabella mushrooms chopped

(1)   Bring a small saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the peas and blanch for 2 minutes.  Drain and set aside.
(2)   Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until browned and crispy, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.

(3)   Pour off all but 1½ tablespoon of the fat from the pan. Add the onions and mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Whisk in the cream, then stir in 1/2 cup of the grated cheese, the Essence, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and the pepper. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring often, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.

(4)   Meanwhile, bring 1 gallon water and the remaining 2 teaspoons salt to a boil in a large pot over high heat. Add the pasta. Cook, stirring frequently to keep the pasta from sticking together, until al dente, about 7 to 10 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.
(5)   Return the pasta to the pot. Add the cream mixture, the reserved cooking liquid, peas, and bacon and toss over medium heat for 1 minute, or until the sauce is warmed through and coats the pasta.
(6)   Divide the pasta among four dinner plates, and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Serve hot.

I hope you all enjoy the cooking process with family, your boo, or to simply channel your inner chef!

What is one of your favorite Italian recipes to cook? Any recommendations for a good Chardonnay priced at $10 or less?


San, The Red Head

Thursday, July 14, 2011

What I'm Drinking

Photo via Brand Eating

I’ve been known to have a drink or two, okay, maybe three or four, LOL! I do, however, drink responsibly and encourage all of you to do so as well.  I’m not a big wine connoisseur; I think my palate just doesn’t respond well to certain wines, although I do love Moscato and Moscato di Asti. So if I’m not taking shots, I tend to stick to mixed beverages, such as tequila (Patron or Jose Cuervo) and cran-apple or Rum or Vodka (Ciroc, thanks Diddy) and pineapple. Lately I’ve been on something else and I’m pretty sure some of you have tried it too and if you haven’t, you should because it’s pretty tasty. McDonald’s has their new Mango Pineapple smoothies, which combine two of my favorite fruits and is very good all by itself, however I’ve added either Rum or Vodka to give it a kick and I must say I’m in love. Some people may find it to be too sweet, but I don’t like bitter alcohol drinks unless I’m doing shots. Let’s face it, in my opinion, straight alcohol taste just like it sounds... ALCOHOL! So I’ll stick to my fruity, sneak up on ya type drinks. I still achieve the same mission as someone who drinks something strong...BUZZED.

This is what’s in my bar, so let us know what’s in yours!



Wednesday, July 13, 2011

All the Single Mommies

Relationships are definitely not easy, but when a child is involved it becomes even more delicate. We have to be careful of every decision we make.  Making sure that we give our children the right amount of attention and still being able to make time for ourselves to have fun.  As a single mother, I find it especially challenging not to feel guilty when I go out with my friends and leave my child with the sitter. Now let me be the first to say, that I’m a Damn good mother and my son has everything he needs, but I still can’t help but feel some kinda way, when I want to hang out and just be me. I know I’m not the only single parent that feels this way. I know I’m probably over thinking this, but hell, this is what I go through and you probably do too.  

Someone, who shall remain anonymous, once told me that I shouldn’t go out and expect to find someone, especially since I’m already a mother. My response was, when and where in the hell am I supposed to meet someone to potentially spend my life with, if I don’t go out and mingle. Just because I’m a single mother doesn’t mean my life is over. I’m still worthy of true love. However, the problem is finding someone worthy of investing my time. Now don’t get me wrong, when I say worthy…I mean someone who is honest in their intentions. What most men don’t understand is that the stakes are higher for us as single mothers.  

No, I’m not looking for a father or provider for my child because he has one already, however, I have to be careful because I can’t just have any Tom, Dick or Harry or Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky or Mike and Ralph around my child...Bwahahaha! I want someone that’s willing to be serious about our friendship and possible relationship. A person who likes to go out, but also doesn’t mind having my child around once we get to know each other better and who will treat me and my child with kindness and respect.  If I take the time to introduce you to my son, it means that I think very highly of you as a human being. My point is, it’s not easy being a single parent, whether you are mommy or daddy, therefore don’t feel guilty when you step out to have a little adult time, just be careful of who you allow in your life because it’s not just about you anymore.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Say Yes to the Bottle

Before anyone gets their panties or boxers in a bunch, let me state that I am not encouraging alcoholism.  What I am asking, however, is that you need not be afraid to walk into a special beverage store or down a wine isle and be intimidated by the array of selections at your fingertips.  Wine is proof that you are loved and more than welcomed to partake in the hedonist pleasure of drinking it.  Yes, one can become a bit intimidated by all of the flowery language associated with wine, but ultimately in the end you will drink what you like.  Breaking down and decoding wine labels is not a rocket science, but it can be a bit daunting reading some of them.  The wine labels from the United States and other New World Regions (Chile, North and South America, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa) are simpler to read than many of the European ones.  Here is the best way to break down the front of U.S. and other New World Region wine labels:

 Label owned by Blackstone Winery and retrieved from

Vintage- The year located on the front of the wine bottle that indicates the year the grapes were harvested. i.e. (2008, 2000).
Alcohol level- Described in percentage by volume that indicates the alcoholic strength of the wine. Most labels will read anywhere from 7% to 15%.
Vineyard/Producer/Winery/Estate- Who makes the wine. Sutter Home, Hogue, Francis Ford Collopa, and Rosemount Estate are examples of wineries.  
Region- The place where the wine is grown. Napa Valley, Columbia Valley, and Walla Walla Valley are examples of wine regions here in the U.S.  
Grape Variety/Varietal- The type of grape used in the wine. Cabernet, for example, is a red grape variety and Pinot Grigio is a white grape variety.

The back of U.S. and other New World Region wine labels are typically filled with government warnings and may include tasting notes from the winery. I like reading the tasting notes to access if my palette favors some of the flavors mentioned.  My ABC version of reading a wine label will help many of you.  I am as adventurous as possible when it comes to drinking and learning about wine. If, however, there are other “nerds to core” like I, here is a detailed breakdown of a wine label from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau.  Head on into the special beverage store or down the wine isle with a little bit of sommelier swag in your step.  Read those labels, purchase what you favor, pour a glass, and have a drink.


San, The Red Head

Wednesday, July 6, 2011



This is not a male bashing post.  It is written on behalf of my experience in dating, being married, divorced, and re-entering the ‘single life’.  I titled this post Clueless because it was the only term or phrase that I could use to provoke directly how I feel.  Some of the men and to be frank, boys stuck in adult male bodies (I know…I know what I said “not a male bashing” post) have the slightest idea about being in a relationship with yours truly and some of them sadly have no idea of “how to date” AT ALL.  Before I go pointing fingers, I can assure you that serious self-reflective moments have taken place on various occasions before presuming the aforementioned.  Men, you think that it is frustrating dating us, but what about the underlined questions in dating you.  

I write this to be helpful and not to belittle, but some of you have or know great women that you could “wife” and choose not to do so because of your arrogance, selfishness, and /or guard in protecting your heart.  Clueless as defined by Google is having no knowledge, understanding, or ability.  Truth be spoken, some of you are still attached to former relationships, some are bitter from heartbreak {not all women are the same, so stop medicating old wounds with new love}, some are still attached to their mother with little understanding of not only, how to be in love with a woman, but how to 'be' with a woman, some choose to be a womanizer…you know establishing emotional/physical connections with several women, but never seeking to be monotonous with any of them, some choose to cover their sexual preference for other men with an aggressive and sexual dialogue about what they want others to think they do with women {just be openly gay, love and live your life}, and some of are afraid to exercise vulnerability which handicaps any potential of having a relationship.  

Fellas, when you are staring your ideal women in the face: don’t sleep on it, don’t over analyze it, don’t screw her and the relationship over, and don’t be an asshole. Seize the damn moment!  Take her into her arms, knock on her door until she answers, love her assertively even when she is difficult, and contribute constructively, physically, spiritually, and emotionally to making her a better woman for herself. Do not be clueless! 

Ladies and gentlemen: What characteristics about the opposite sex do you think renders them clueless?

San, The Red Head

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Short End of the Stick


Okay "ladies first" so of course Mothers Day comes first on the calendar and in our hearts.  As a mother I can't help but feel the love every May and I do appreciate it.  Now my definition of feel the love is not based on the gifts received, although I DO admit I look forward to the creativity my daughter puts into my gifts every year.  I have realized I lose count after so many strangers pass by saying, “Happy Mother’s Day!”.  They never ask if I am a good mother or have I made the sacrifices needed for my sidekick (my beautiful daughter).  Sometimes she may not even be with me and still random strangers pass by with a smile and send "Happy Mother’s Day" wishes.  I started to wonder if I was wearing a sign on my forehead OR are we more apt to say it just in case when it comes to mother's because we assume they are doing what they need to be doing for their children?  Sunday was Father’s Day as I paid attention to my Facebook and Twitter feeds.  Time and time again I read messages like “Happy Fathers Day to the real fathers” and “Happy Father’s Day to the father’s that are in their children's lives”.  Now don't get me wrong, I am VERY aware there are serious issues when it comes to father’s and the roles they should play in the lives of their children versus what is actually happening, but is it fair to specify the good fathers when offering a Father’s day wish?  Do we make this same separation when it comes to recognizing mothers?  

In my mind Mother’s day is every day for me and I celebrate it as such.  When I look at my healthy child, how proud she makes me, and the blessings He shares with us on a daily basis, I can’t help but smile.  Then I have to remind myself that God chose me to raise her and has given me the strength and means to do it despite the daily obstacles.  So when strangers stop and say, “Happy Mother’s Day” they don't know the half.  I am blessed to have a Dad and step-Dad, wonderful Grandfathers, Uncles, cousins, and male friends that deserve a rousing applause and Fathers Day toast, but I also know plenty that don't.  When you are not there for special events, birthdays, and milestones your child accomplishes, I am reminded of how much these men miss out on daily and for those dad’s, the celebration of fatherhood may only come once a year, if at all.  In all actuality, I have decided I don't have space to block my blessings trying to point fingers at the non deserving and truth be told I know some sorry mothers out there as well.  So next time you choose to give someone a wish like "Happy Father’s Day" concentrate on those you were referring to when you began the thought and less on those who don't fit the bill because chances are, they already know they are not on their game.  


Monday, June 20, 2011

Support Bra

As I sit here in the middle of my bed, it’s 11:24 pm, I’m drinking a glass of wine and talking on Skype to my two best friends Nae and San. I love these conversations, because we honestly start out with a specific purpose, i.e. brainstorming, planning or working, but we end up on another level. We definitely stray away from the plan. But hey, we wouldn’t be friends if we stuck to the subject. It’s moments like these that make us forget the problems in our lives. With all of the trials we face as individuals, it’s very refreshing to have two friends that can make them all go away, even if it’s only for a moment. That’s the true meaning of friendship, having someone that can make you laugh when the skies are raining on your head and you feel like you’re about to drown. We each have reached our own personal breaking points and we lean on each other individually to vent and let it all out, but I believe that it’s when we get together collectively, whether we’re in the same room or on Skype that the magic of our friendship happens. We can take one of our toughest moments and make it into a comedy special and laugh at each other and ourselves until that moment seems so long ago. I thank God everyday for these two ladies, their my BRA’s and with these 42DDs, I definitely need a lot of support!!



Friday, June 10, 2011

The Write Off


Ok people, that time of the year has come and gone...Tax Time, and being a newly single mother I have been hit with the big question. “Can I get some of your tax refund?” ARE YOU SERIOUS!!!!! Now, I know I’m not the only woman who has been hit with this question. If you’re not familiar with this, being able to claim your child adds on to your tax deductions and depending on your tax situation, this can mean a substantial tax refund. Single women, have you ever noticed that around this time of year we start to see an increase of guys who all of a sudden find you very attractive. Now I know I’m cute, not being arrogant, however, I’m not getting caught up in that trap. All of a sudden you want to be bothered because it’s tax time and then once I help you out of the goodness of my heart, you want to start acting like a jackass and I have to cut you out of my life. Then I’m out of a man and my money. Not happening here, because when I need your help with bills or childcare, you’re nowhere to be found. I thank God I don’t fall for that mess, Momma didn’t raise no fool! However, there are plenty of women that fall for these shenanigans and I’m here to say ladies, make sure you use your money wisely. It’s not going to last forever and if you start giving it to some man who’s not going to be around after it’s gone, then you’re the one that will be assed out in the end.