NaBloPoMo, Pandemic

5 Things I Hope Last When the Pandemic Ends

Boy, did the last 30 days fly by! I did it – 30 posts in 30 days…AND I didn’t drive Mr. KK crazy in the process!

November 30 is also my cancerversary – 16 years today I had the surgery that saved me. I love that this special day falls on the last day of my blogging. It’s like I’ve reached two accomplishments in one fell swoop.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect blogging this year. I wanted to be careful to not make every post about the pandemic (though, let’s be honest, have we focused on anything else in the last 9 months besides COVID and the election? And lord knows, I don’t want to talk about the man-child who is sitting in the White House right now – when he’s not playing golf, that is.)

2020 is one for the books. It’s a miracle we made it out unscathed and mostly sane. It was a year that made us relook at how we did everything – from going out to eat to visiting an amusement park to picking up milk at the grocery store. In the blink of an eye, the way we’d become accustomed to living had changed. Schools were taught on a computer. Businesses shut down. Travel ceased.

And in the midst of it all, we learned how to live with it. We changed how we did things, and what we expected. Surprisingly, there were some silver linings that came from the “new normal”.

I’d like to celebrate my last post of the month with a list of things that I’d like to continue after the pandemic is over (whenever that may be):

  1. Zero wait times at the doctor. For a variety of reasons, I had to visit multiple doctors, for multiple reasons, in multiple venues this year. The one common denominator: I never had to wait to be seen. Gone were the days of sitting in a waiting room for God knows how long at the mercy of the doctor’s schedule. Instead, I found myself parking my car, calling up to the receptionist, being ushered inside and seen immediately, and back in my car in about 15 minutes flat.
  2. Outdoor dining at restaurants year-round. If you live in a warmer climate, you likely already have this luxury. But us New Englanders, we have a very short season for dining al fresco. And for someone who loves eating outside (but hates being cold!) this is a huge win! Restaurants across the country are suffering right now, and pulling out all the stops so they can continue to stay in business. Climate controlled yurts, greenhouses, heat lamps…anything to keep you toasty warm while dining at your favorite establishment.
  3. The ‘do whatever makes you happy’ mentality. Christmas decorations up in October? Sure! Candy for breakfast just because? Don’t mind if I do. Ignoring your to-do list because you just can’t bring yourself to get up off the couch? You betcha. Do whatever floats your boat without worrying what others think about your watercraft.
  4. Respecting your schedule, and not over booking your life. Don’t get me wrong, I miss doing things. Doing anything, really. But what I don’t miss, is mentally – and physically – over extending myself and our family. This place in the morning, this chore in the afternoon but be home by X time so we can meet up with friends. It was a little exhausting. There’s something to be said about picking one thing to do each day and enjoying the crap out of it.
  5. Having my WFH partner. Back in March, Mr. KK’s company closed down, moving all employees remote. It was an adjustment for me, to have someone home, and for him – to all of a sudden be away from his normal day-to-day and amenities. But as time went on, we both got used to working together. I no longer had to talk to myself; I had another human to chat with! We could bounce ideas off of each other over coffee. Tag team walking the dogs and making lunch. And just get to spend more time together.

There you have: the last post. Thank you all for reading along this month! Cheers to another successful NaBloPoMo!

See you in 2021!

Christmas, NaBloPoMo

How to Buy a Christmas Tree

Every year we go out on the weekend after Thanksgiving to get our tree. And this year, since we decorated the house so early, it was hard to wait until after the turkey was cooked to bring home that Frasier fir. But even I knew that getting a tree earlier than Thanksgiving was a recipe for a dried out tree disaster.

This year, because it’s 2020 and nothing is remotely normal, it was almost 60 degrees on the day we went out for the tree. That’s about 30 degrees warmer than normal. Little Mister, who is a creature of habit and Type A personalty, insisted on wearing a winter hat (and one that was way too small) because he wears a hat to get the tree every year. I tried to explain global warming to him, and that it was too hot for a hat, but he insisted on wearing it and then complaining to me that he was sweating. Kids are awesome.

We went to our usual tree place, which is actually a local produce store that gets a shipment of precut trees each year that are fresh, well-shaped and reasonably priced. Because even though I love Christmas, I won’t spend a fortune on a tree. (Also, we usually get more than one tree so I need to be smart about my tree dollars). And I will not be trudging out into a field to cut down my own tree because I’ve been there and done that, and for me it’s completely overrated.

Here are the steps to getting a Christmas tree, according to KK:

  1. Get a real tree. I know artificial trees are a better financial investment in the long run, and there’s no mess, etc. But a fake tree – no matter how expensive – will never be mistaken for a real tree. Real trees are just imperfect enough. Plus, no scented candle can replicate the spicy piney smell of a real tree in your home.
  2. Be picky. Years ago the family joke was how long my mother would take to pick our her Christmas tree. She would evaluate at least 20-30 trees before deciding. I’m picky also, but I can pick out a tree in 10 minutes and be in love with it.
  3. Look at all angles. In most homes, one side of the tree is going to face a wall. Use this to your advantage! Very few trees are 360 degrees of perfection. Wonky branches? Gaping hole hear the top? Funny shape on the left? Put that side to the back. No one will know.
  4. Measure! If it were up to me, we would get a 10 foot tree each year, even though we only have 8 1/2 food ceilings. That’s why Mr. KK comes along, to bring me back to reality. We also use his homemade measuring system, when he stands next to the tree with his arm straight in the air. If the top of the tree and the top of his hand are the same height, the tree will fit in the house. Works every year.
  5. Don’t feel pressured. Some places have workers who want to follow you around and pull out the trees for you to look at. Try and avoid this at all costs. Not only is it awkward picking out your family Christmas tree with a stranger, I am forced to say not-so-nice things about their trees in front of them. (No one wants to hear they have scrawny trees).
  6. Use decorations to your advantage. Lights and strategically-placed ornaments can make or break a tree. Admittedly, some trees are beyond salvation, but twinkly lights and themed ornaments can really go a long way.
  7. Don’t settle! If you don’t find a tree you love, move on. There are a million trees out there, you will find yours.
  8. Be prepared to compromise. I love big, fat trees. Mr. KK likes more tapered, thinner trees. And I feel badly that every year he has to concede to a perfectly fat tree because they are the best trees around.
  9. Make a fresh cut. If you cut down a tree, be sure to bring it home and put it in water right away. If you bring home a tree but you want to let it “settle” outside for a day, that’s fine – just make a fresh cut so that baby will start drinking water once you put it in the stand.
  10. Accept the fact that come December 26th, you will hate your tree. Well, you won’t hate the tree itself (unless it has completely gone the sh*t) but you will hate the idea of your tree, and the fact that you have to take the tree down, put the ornaments away, and clean up. Even for someone who loves Christmas as much as I do, come the day after, I’ve already written the holiday off.

I’d like to say that we got our tree this weekend. However, we did not. After going to two different places, we didn’t find our perfect tree. Plus, at each place, we had tree workers following us and asking if we liked certain trees. I didn’t want to be rude, but when I go shopping for clothes, I don’t have someone following me around asking if I like a certain sweater, and if I don’t why not. Christmas trees are a personal preference, so please, kindly back away.

We’ll be back on the hunt next weekend, I know my perfect tree is out there!

NaBloPoMo, only child

It’s Tough being an Only Child During a Pandemic

Mid-pandemic I sent a text to my Boston friends saying “Check on your only child friend, she is not OK.”

I’ve written about how hard it is to have an only child during this pandemic, but man has it been hard to be an only child this year.

I feel there are two types of only children: those that grow up to crave togetherness (Mr. KK) and those people who loved – and still love – alone time (me!).

I loved growing up an only child. I was never bored. I entertained myself for hours, and I brought that special talent into adulthood. Before kids, I would spend an entire day by myself: cooking, reading, shopping, doing things around the house, and simply enjoying time alone. It didn’t matter if I spoke with anyone the whole day because I would often find myself having faux conversations with myself.

When the Little Mister was still little, I relished nap time because that became my “alone time”. Also, when I could sneak away for a few hours on the weekends to wander around a few stores, it was heaven. I even counted my time at barre class or kickboxing “kk time”.

Fast forward to 2020, and all of that alone time just vanished. Poof! I wasn’t leaving the house to go shopping. Poof! All kickboxing classes became virtual. Poof! Nap time was just a distant memory. I was spending 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with other people. I couldn’t find 5 minutes alone, let alone a full hour!

At work, we were encouraged to take our vacation time. For what? I would think. What the heck am I going to do? Where the heck am I going to go?

As someone who worked from home before it was required, I would have 8 hours to myself each day. Rocco was with me, but he was small and quiet, and usually spent the better part of the day curled up behind me on my chair. But now, there is always someone home – and at times, multiple someones. We brought Bruno into the mix, and boy are puppies needy (and does that teething stage every end? This dog is part goat, he chews everything in sight!) Gone were the long stretches of time when there was just silence. Part of my job is content creation: blog posts, website pages, marketing materials. The quieter it is, the more productive I am. Now, however, I find myself trying to multitask writing and keeping one eye on the puppy while shouting things like, “No!” and “Leave it!” and “We don’t eat chairs!”

I had to work hard to find “alone time” this year, outside of the work day. I started waking up extra early and reading quietly in the darkness before it was time to start the day. I was reading a few books a week and I felt a little more like myself. I scheduled “work out” time a few days a week. I started taking walks, just to get away from my computer and to be lost in my own thoughts. I solve a lot of problems of the world during my alone time.

Just last week, Mr. KK – whose makeshift ‘office’ was a desk in our kitchen – moved into the back office with me. It’s a small room to begin with, and now it has twice the amount of furniture (and bodies!), and boy is it cozy! I haven’t shared an office with some one in a very long time. We’re finding our groove when one of us has a call, I’m trying to reduce the amount of reading aloud I do when writing, and Mr. KK is working on reining in his ‘sighs’ while working.

I miss being alone sometimes. And if you don’t like being alone, it’s hard to understand. But I like my small doses of solitude. They keep me sane. And that has been the hardest struggle for me this year. Being the best me I can be, while still being good to me.

Don’t get me wrong, I will cherish all of this family time. Mr. KK and I have found our groove of working from home together. Our Little Mister seems happier because we’re always around. We’ve played lots of games, watched lots of movies, drawn so many pictures.

And now that the weather is turning colder we’ll find ourselves in the house even more. We already weren’t going anywhere, now we won’t even be able to hand out on the patio with friends (or, in my case, to sit down outside alone and read for a half hour).

Only children, I see you. And I feel for you.

Now if you need me, I’ll be hiding in the bathroom. Shhhh…

Christmas, NaBloPoMo, shopping

A Whole New Day After Thanksgiving

It used to be, that Black Friday meant kicking off the Christmas season with shopping. I’m not talking about getting in line at 3am for a TV. The one time Mr. KK attempted to leave the house at the crack of dawn for a good price on a TV, he got up and dressed and when he got into the car, it wouldn’t start. So he came back upstairs to bed.

For me, the day after Thanksgiving was simply the start of the Christmas season: Christmas music, Christmas shopping and Christmas decorations. I loved going shopping and seeing everyone carrying bags and smiling. If I’m being honest, about the half the gifts I would buy would be for myself; I would shop with the “one for me, one for them” mantra.

When Mr. KK and were first married, we would make a day of Black Friday. We’d get up early – but not too early – and head to the mall, and then an outdoor shopping center. The whole day would be planned around where we’d go for lunch. So, basically, we’d go for lunch on Black Friday and maybe buy a gift or two in the process.

The first few years after Little Mister was born, we’d bring him with us. We’d strap him into his stroller as we perused Crate and Barrel and West Elm, stopping at the huge kids’ section in Barnes & Noble to feed him and let him play for a bit and stretch his legs.

Eventually, Little Mister reached the age when it was less productive and fun taking him with us on Black Friday. So I started shopping alone or with a friend. It was still all about the feeling of the holiday, and it put me in such a good mood. I still planned the entire day around lunch.

THIS year, however, like everything else in 2020, Black Friday was off. Instead, gifts were bought online. Movies were watched. Pajamas were worn until after lunchtime. Cupcakes were eaten for lunch. Cocktails were had before 5pm. Our Elf arrived.

Masks are worn at the North Pole too!

Our house has been decorated for over a week, so Thanksgiving was a bit of ‘holidays colliding’. This weekend we’ll get the tree, and pray that the puppy doesn’t knock it down, eat the ornaments or pee on it.

The alarm to move the elf has been set, and the season has officially started!

(Perhaps the pajama-cupcake-eating part of Black Friday can become the new tradition, because I can totally get behind that!)

NaBloPoMo, thanksgiving

Still So Much For Which to Be Thankful

I’m sitting here on Thanksgiving Eve, remembering the old days when at 10pm I’d just be getting dressed to go out on the biggest party night of the year (we’re talking 20 years ago, here). How when tonight I’m using toothpicks to hold open my eyes, back then I’d be applying eye liner. I’d be wondering who I was going to see (vs now when I go out and pray I don’t see anyone!).

But for so many reasons, this year is different. I’m old, for one. Two, I have a kid. And three, I have zero desire to be out past 8pm (pandemic or no pandemic).

2020 was – and will continue to be – a dumpster fire.

But even with all that has happened – losing my grandmother, getting Lyme disease, Mr. KK falling off his parents’ roof (he’s miraculously ok!) – I still have so much to be thankful for this year.

Our health. We’re all healthy. Yes, I was slightly neurotic about it, but it was for good reasons. When the pandemic started it was like herding goats keeping the seniors at home. But, thankfully, they are all healthy, too.

Our time with Little Mister. Was it always perfect? NOPE. Did I want to hide in the bathroom some days? YEP. Are we closer because of it? Absolutely. We’ll never have time like this again. I’ll blink me eyes and he’ll be telling me, “You can leave now, Mom.” Oh, how I wish he could stay small forever.

My time with Mr. KK. In March we found ourselves both working from home. And our work schedules – and responsibilities – couldn’t be more different. My work days consist of back-to-back meetings pretty much the whole day, with me multi-tasking and trying to get work done in small pockets of time between my meetings or when I’m scarfing down lunch. Basically, my entire days are planned out. Mr. KK, on the other hand, rarely has meetings. Instead, he has random coworkers and clients calling him throughout the day to ask him questions. That would drive me bananas! I could never work like that! So we had to coordinate work schedules, Little Mister schedules, and dog schedules. And through it all, we got a better understanding of what each of us did every day. I can’t believe how much he’s responsible for, and he can’t believe how many hats I wear and positions I “cover”. Last weekend, in an effort to get our kitchen back and provide a better workspace or Mr. KK, he moved into the office with me. COZY! It’s nice having a coworker officemate!

I learned to appreciate doing nothing. I don’t know how to relax. It’s a personality flaw that I’m not proud of. I can never just sit down and watch a movie, I need to be doing something else: making a grocery list, folding laundry, going through emails. Because I can’t let myself do nothing. Well, over the last 8 months, I learned how to do nothing. And, not only that, I learned to like it. Having a blank social calendar meant finding myself on a Saturday morning wondering what we were going to do all weekend. Some weekends, it would be 2pm and I would realize that I hadn’t gotten dressed yet (gone were the day of my early morning grocery store and Target runs). One rainy afternoon, Little Mister and I laid on the couch and watched movies all day. And you know what? It was awesome. Things I would obsess over getting done over the weekend no longer mattered. Honestly, if I accomplished one thing on a Saturday, I chalked it up to a good day.

Little Mister is thriving in school. As I mentioned in an earlier post, we chose full remote learning for him because we had the resources to do it successfully. We had no idea what to expect. I had heard horror stories from friends who had kids who moved to remote learning this past March. What would kindergarten be like for him on a computer? But somehow, it’s all working out. He loves school, he’s starting to read, he likes having us next to him when he’s learning. Once we got through the initial Chromebook issues, everything fell into place. Thank goodness!

We’re appreciating the little things. Family dinners each night. Game nights. Impromptu games of hide and seek. Things we didn’t have time for before, are suddenly the most important things we do.

I am thankful for my family. And for my sanity – however much longer I can hang onto it.

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

Christmas, Elf on the Shelf, NaBloPoMo

Guess Who’s Coming to Town?

I think we can all agree that this year was lacking in the “awesome” department. And some people may be thinking that the last thing they need right now is the arrival of…The Elf.

Here’s….Jack!

I may be in the minority here, but I’m actually looking forward to the little bastard’s arrival. If nothing else, it will give me something to look forward to at the end of each night: finding a new creative spot for our little Jack to land.

Don’t get me wrong, our elf will be abiding by CDC guidelines, and he will be wearing a mask, and he will keep a respectable distance from Little Mister. I will not be “quarantining” him in a glass jar or box, but instead embracing all of his “elfness”.

Of course this year, we have the added element of BRUNO, king of getting into everything. I wouldn’t be surprised if this puppy took down the tree AND ripped Jack to pieces. Guess Jack will need to stay up high this year.

To me, the Elf is a sign of normalcy. And if there was ever a year that needed normalcy, it’s this one. Our Little Mister is already missing so much in his life – school, friends, going places, etc – that I couldn’t imagine not having his little elf come entertain him.

During the days leading up to Christmas, the Little Mister practically jumps out of bed every morning (score!) and the first thing he does is look for Jack the Elf. After he finds him, he runs to his advent calendar to see what Jack has put inside the little drawer (oh, the advent calendar with the drawers that are just TOO small for most toys!). Little Mister wakes up smiling every day.

In our house, Jack makes his arrival on the day after Thanksgiving. But the surprise is that he can come at any time. Usually there’s a knock at the door, and we find a package on the steps addressed to Little Mister from the North Pole. Inside the box is a note from Jack, a new pair of Christmas pajamas and a Christmas book. And while Little Mister is opening his gift, I sneakily hide Jack somewhere in the house – so he can go and look for him. And how excited is he to find Jack in a place that we’ve been in all day but now he’s there!

Last year Jack had quite the shenanigans…and I’m sure this year will be no different.

So the countdown is on…3 days until the Elf arrives…masked up and ready for Christmas mischief!

Maine, NaBloPoMo, Uncategorized, Vacation

The Best Things to Do In Maine

One of the things COVID robbed me of this year was my annual trip to Maine. Whether it was a weekend away with Mr. KK, a beach house for me, Little Mister and Mr. KK, or our big family vacation in either Wells, Kennebunkport or York Beach, we always found ourselves up north along the Maine coast. And boy, did I miss going to my Happy Place this year.

So, in honor of the vacation that didn’t happen, I compiled my favorite things to do and places to visit in Maine.

Best Things to Do in the Southern Coast of Maine

Go to the Beach

Every beach in Maine is gorgeous. The sand is soft and the water is cool, with just the right amount of waves. We particularly love the beaches in South Portland and Cape Elizabeth, where we’ve spent most of our time.

Eat Lobstah

The best lobster roll in Maine from Bite Into Maine food truck in Cape Elizabeth.

There is no shortage of lobster in Maine. Whether you want fresh steamed lobster, a famous lobster roll, or want to experience life on a working lobster boat, Maine has it all. We love the Lucky Catch Cruises lobster tours, and even Little Mister loved heading out to sea and helping pull up the lobster traps and holding a starfish right in his hand. Lobster is priced right all along the coast, and you can buy lobsters right from the fishermen and some will even steam it for you. My favorite way to enjoy lobster is in a lobster roll, and the best lobster roll in Maine is by far from the Bite Into Maine food truck that parks at Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth. It is filled with fresh lobster meat (big chunks, not shredded pieces), just enough mayo on a toasted bun. Perfection!

Have Dinner and Walk the Rocks at The Lobster Shack at Two Lights

Mr. KK and Little Mister exploring the rocks one summer.

This institution definitely fills up with tourists during the summer, but the view and atmosphere can’t be beat. The Lobster Shack at Two Lights is an outdoor, BYOB restaurant set on gorgeous rocks over the Atlantic Ocean. Is it the best seafood in Maine? Nope. But when you pair the view with your own cooler of beverages and some fried scallops and shrimp does it feel like quintessential Maine? You betcha.

Eat Like a Local

I mentioned in my post about pimento cheese that Scratch Baking in South Portland makes the best. I literally lived on this and some of Maine’s best beer for a week straight. And it was awesome. A must-try when you’re in the area. And the baked goods are pretty amazing too.

Explore a Lighthouse…or Five

Portland Headlight in Cape Elizabeth.

There is no shortage of lighthouses in Maine. Visiting one is just something you do when you’re there. My favorite way to view them is by relaxing on a boat ride while a native Main-ah shares the history of the light house, the coast and sea.

See a Sunset

The fishing huts at Willard Beach in South Portland.

Whether you’re on a beach, at a restaurant or on a boat, you will see some of the best sunsets on the Maine Coast. Golds, pinks and yellows paint the sky. And if you’re an early riser, the sunrises aren’t so bad either.

Get Your Craft Beer On

On one of our trips to Portland with the Little Mister, we thought we’d hit a brewery one afternoon. After a morning at the beach our Little Mister was exhausted, and he fell asleep on the short 10 minute drive from our beach house to the brewery! And since you NEVER wake a sleeping child, Mr. KK and I backed our car up against the patio and took turns going in to have a beer. One person would drink their beer right at the patio where the car was parked, while the other person stood next the car chatting with them while they drank. And then we would switch. Ah, parenthood!

The number of breweries in Portland alone is astounding. You can brew hop all day and still not hit all of them. We’re bit IPA fans (the hoppier and hazier the better!), and some of our favorites are Bissell Brothers and Goodfire Brewing. Bring a cooler so you can bring some home.

Rent a House and Relax

Our most relaxing vacations have been on the coast of Maine. There’s just something in the air, the laid back attitude of the locals and the amazing cuisine. Falling asleep to the sound of the ocean, and having a little chill in the air at night after a warm summer day. I really missed being at a beach house this year with our family, cooking up dinners, mixing up cocktails and playing games. Fingers crossed we make it next year.

There is truly something magical about Maine. I can’t wait to go back and do some of my favorite things.

Christmas, Gifts, NaBloPoMo, shopping

It’s Here! KK’s Favorite Things 2020

If you asked me 6 months ago what would be on my “favorite things” list, I likely would have told you a strong cocktail and some alone time.

(And, if I’m being honest, I would still take either one of those things, no gift wrap necessary).

But now, I’m in full holiday mode. In fact, today Little Mister and I decorated our house for Christmas. In a text to our family I told them: “The only turkeys you’ll see here on Thanksgiving are the ones ON the table and sitting AROUND the table.”

Christmas, I’m ready for ya!

And while I quickly learned this year that I literally need nothing, it wouldn’t be a month of blog posts without my favorite things. As a family we’ve decided that we’re not doing crazy gifts, so this list isn’t meant to make anyone go out shopping (I’m talking to you Mom and Mother-in-Law!). This is simply me, sharing things that I find comfort in during the craziest year I’ve ever been alive.

KK’s 8 Favorite Gifts Things in 2020

  1. Fuzzy Beanie from Banana Republic

While I have a hat I love (and can pull off), I’d like to branch out a bit. I’m quite particular about hats: they need to fit snugly and not give me a weird-shaped head. This beanie from Banana Republic is a soft cream, and looks like it’s warm as well as fashionable. Also, I like having the option to pop on a hat for unexpected Zoom video calls.

2. Sip by S’well Wildflower Tumbler

Move over, Starbucks! We have perfected the vanilla iced coffee in the KK household! Now, I need a new tumbler to enjoy my tasty concoction in each morning! I love anything by S’well, and this tumbler will not only keep my coffee cool, it will look pretty while I sip from it on my video calls.

3. Feejays

Let’s face it: who wears real pants anymore? Work from home chic plus a cold New England winter means warmth over everything. Feejays are pants AND socks, all in one. Put them on, you’ll never take them off.

4. Rothy’s The Chelsea Sneaker in Black

While I don’t have a pair of Rothy’s, I know from friends that they ridiculously comfortable. And I am in dire need of a new pair of high top black sneakers. And since comfort is the name of the game. these are the perfect solve.

5. LL Bean Sweater Fleece Coat

Warm? Check. Pairs well with leggings? Check. Acceptable for video calls? Check! Sign me up! I don’t imagine I’ll every take this off once I put it on!

6. Braided Apple Watch Band

I got an Apple watch for Mother’s Day this year and it’s the first time I’ve ever committed to wearing a watch. I love it! And this stretchy watch band will add the perfect pop of pink.

7. LL Bean Cozy Pullover

Do you think LL Bean is short for Ladies Love Bean? (LL Cool J joke…anyone?). Because kk LOVES all of their cozy tops. Plus, they come in petite, and beautiful colors like this teal…double win! Plus, thumb holes!

8. Sunbeam Heated Blanket

When I was little, I slept with an electric blanket on my bed. Then, there were stories of electric blankets catching on fire while people slept, and then electric blankets disappeared for a while. So between when I was 8 and right now, I would just a fleece to bed to keep warm. BUT, electric blankets are everywhere again…and one needs to be on my bed, pronto.

Happy holidays!

cocktails, Gifts, Mr. KK, NaBloPoMo

Give the Gift of Drink

Gift giving is especially interesting this year. But based on the last 8 months, I feel you can’t go wrong with alcohol. And if you have friends who enjoy fancy libations, this will be their favorite gift.

For Father’s Day, I got Mr. KK a 3-month subscription to Shaker & Spoon Cocktail Club. Our date night’s out had turned to date night’s in, so why not kick off the night with craft cocktails?

The idea behind this subscription box is simple: each month you receive a box of 3 recipes and everything you need to make 12 drinks (4 from each recipe) of cocktail goodness. The only thing you need to purchase is the spirit: one bottle makes cocktails for the entire box (and then some).

The recipes are crafted from mixologists across the country, with little-known ingredients such as fancy bitters or aromatics, hard-to-find sodas and garnishes.

For our subscription, we enjoyed the tequila, Japanese whiskey and mezcal boxes. It was fun trying new cocktails, and pairing foods and snacks to match.

Tonight we sampled the El Palenque, made with Mezcal, pineapple shrub, lime ginger beer.

Each drink comes printed on it’s own recipe card with full directions, method and glass type.

This was my first mezcal drink, and it was…smoky. Not offensive, but you can definitely taste the smoke. When we make our second drinks (each kit makes 4 of each kind of cocktail!) we substituted tequila for the mezcal, and I got stronger notes of pineapple. Both versions were good, and were a drink I would never think up on my own (let alone have pineapple shrub lying around!)

We had so much fun with our subscription box, and helped us try new cocktails and break us out of our “old standbys”.

I love this gift!

Past subscription boxes have included vodka, aperol, elderberry liquor and more. Each cocktail is unique. You can skip any box you’re not interested in (how cool is that?) And the best part of the gift is the active social community on Facebook for members: people who post photos of drinks, their at-home bar set ups and glassware – these are my spirit (animals).

Cheers!