When Setbacks Get You Down

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I haven’t blogged in…well…months. On this site, or my staciestoneycoaching site. And I want to talk about it. Because talking about what’s got us down is healthy. And I feel I best get my emotions out writing, and then I feel better. So bear with me today.

SO, the title to my blog here is The Whiskey Lover’s Wife. And gosh, I’d like to think that through this passion for smelling and tasting quality ingredients made from small craft distilleries has shown that, as a family, we have had some great adventures, seen beautiful places, and learned valuable lessons. Today, I hope you will learn a valuable lesson.

But you need to know, my husband obviously loves more that whiskey. In fact, we just thought it was a cute name for our blogs. What my husband truly loves is God, his family, and his passion in his career to lead others in education. In that order.

Understand, that while I am telling you my story today, it is really the story of my husband that creates this story today.

Right before Spring Break, my husband learned that his current role of a Jr./Sr. High School Principal would be reabsorbed into the current Superintendents role. Meaning, my husband is losing his job.

He knew this was something that was a strong possibility due to increased budget issues the district is facing. However, NO ONE likes to hear, “Hey, you are amazing at what you do but you don’t have a job after school is out!” Setback number 1. And man, yeah, it got our whole family down.

I’ve got to hand it to the man, he moved forward, helped us all to enjoy our vacation we took to Canada, and started right away applying for administration jobs. Early on, he was called to interview for a couple in Eastern Washington. Ultimately, the choice was made that while we would love to move to Eastern Washington SOMEDAY, that time is not now as we have a freshman son who is really rocking and rolling in high school, and it would not be in our sons best interest to move him now. Besides, as my husband said, there were many other opportunities for him on this side of the mountains.

Setback number 2 came when he interviewed in a district south of where we live. Going into it, we were aware the district more than likely already knew whom they wanted to hire, but had to do the legalities of interviews. Yet, my husband was optimistic and said he can always give them a “run for their money” and be the best candidate. Then then “NO” phone call came. And no matter the circumstances, that is very hard to hear.

Now, let me briefly take a step back in this story to explain to you that five years ago, almost the same exact thing happened. His position as an associate administrator was dissolved, and that spring and summer, my husband had 27 job interviews, all resulting in “No” or “It’s between you and another person…we went with the other person.” Finally, in the 13th hour, the current district my husband works in called him and praised him and I am forever grateful for all that he has learned and grown through there.

But why tell you this? Because it is incredibly important to the story, that’s why! And again, this is his story. But I live it with him as his wife every single day.

Yesterday, my husband interviewed for the job we have prayed for, for years. The. Perfect. Position. The job that would allow him to no longer commute, would allow him to have a great collaborative team, and that would allow him to be able to be an active participant in our sons daily lives.

I can not tell you if this is setback number three or not as the interview was yesterday. But I know that my husband came home because he said he messed up. He wanted it too badly and was nervous, and rushed, and he knew he wasn’t himself. He wanted it so bad that he lost confidence in himself. Do you know that feeling?

And that is why I am writing today. What do you do when setbacks get you down?

I have only one answer to that. You continue to PRAY. Yes, CONTINUE to PRAY.

My husband and I pray. I would say he is more academic in his prayer time, as I see him reading devotionals and listening to sermons and studying in books on the Word. I, on the other hand, am different as I use my morning “running” time (it’s really a very slow jog) to talk to God, I find myself finding odd connections through the day with God (for example, yesterday I yelled at my dog, and my dog reacted my simply laying his head on my leg and in his eyes I was reminded of Agape Love, the absolutely unconditional way God loves us. And I thanked Jeb the Dog for being God’s reminder), and I use prayer time at night when I lay in bed helping our youngest son fall asleep.

I can’t remember a time, since my husband and I committed to Christ, that we didn’t pray. I can tell you, we have leaned most heavily on Christ in these times of trials, praying for strength, praying for courage to move forward, thanking him for what we are learning through the setbacks. And the funny thing is, when life is really good, I honestly don’t think we rely on Him as heavily. I mean, I thank Him still daily, but what am I LEARNING? I don’t think I sit back and reflect on the lessons HE teaches when our times our good.

So, Setbacks do get you down. They totally bum you out. But then, a setback isn’t forever. And a setback helps you move forward.
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I have always loved the analogy of an arrow. You know, the archer must pull back the arrow, back behind it’s start point, but when the archer releases, that arrow flies through the air so far!!! And hey, even if the target was missed, it still went forward. You can still make your way because you are so much closer!

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When set backs get you down, it’s okay to take a moment and be down. God gave us emotions, after all!!! But more than emotions, HE have us HIM. So after you have had your quick little “well gosh, that bummed me out” moment, quickly praise HIM for all he has blessed you with, all HE is teaching you, and all HE will continue to do with your life!

My biggest hope is that one day, my husband will understand that HIS STORY will help others. God is using Josh is such a big way. Even if he can not see it now. How many times have you been through trials you don’t believe will even end? And yet, you came out of them for the better. Job didn’t ask for all the trials God brought forth, but in the end Job continued to have faith in God, and praise and thank Him. Let’s all try to do what God asks us to do…Trust Him, have Faith in Him, Thank Him…and ALWAYS LOVE HIM.

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A Weekend of Whiskey, Donuts, and more Whiskey in Portland

TAKE TWO…since the first blog I wrote today, after three hours of making it perfect, was accidentally deleted by my lack of mouse use and fat fingers! girlswhodrink

It is a four-day weekend for President’s Day and as educators, we rarely let an extended weekend pass by without going on some sort of adventure! 

You also know, if you are a regular reader, that The Whiskey Lover and I typically take our two sons with us on these types of adventures. However, it was also just Valentine’s Dayneat this last week, so we felt this was a great opportunity to have a mommy/daddy get-a-way. So, after dropping the dog off at the kennel and the boys at Grammie and Grandpa’s house, we were on our way to Portland, Oregon for a Distillery Row adventure!

I first decided to plan a trip for Josh to the Portland Distillery Row when I happened upon ProofPDX, which is a Portland Distillery Passport!passport-cover-and-mobile-3_orig

And again, if you’re a regular reading this, you know that I am married to The Whiskey Lover (check out his blog here!) and this blog serves as my take on the Wonderful World of Whiskey, such as the travels and experiences that come with this passion for the art of tasting! 

Today’s blog will be a long one…not as long as the original post that I ACCIDENTALLY STUPIDLY DELETED, but still, it will be a longer one because I am going to tell you about the FIVE distilleries we tasted at, the TWO donut shop comparisons we did, and about our hotel and dining experience. Keep in mind I am not receiving any compensation for any of the reviews or recommendations I post, I am just giving you reasons to perhaps get out there and have your own adventure! So hold onto your glencairn glassglencrainglass, because HERE WE GO! 

WHISKEY TASTING- Day One

One thing I will be doing in today’s blog is adding more pictures. I have always felt I add quite a few pictures, however, my mom says there are usually not enough! Of course, I wonder if she actually reads my blogs! But I think today, having already had practice writing this blog once, I will add more than enough pictures!

VINN DISTILLERY

IMG_2586Our first stop in Portland was the Vinn Distillery. We entered the tasting room and was quickly welcomed by one of the family members who is part of the Vinn Distillery.  The products made a Vinn are all made from rice. We learned that since technically rice is a grain, therefore their product can be made into whiskey! Their flagship product is theirIMG_2585 BAIJIU. The what? Yeah, we hadn’t heard of Baijiu either! It is the most popular alcohol in China and Vietnam, therefore, highest selling spirit in the world (due to largest population!) It is a white alcohol, and one may think it is like vodka, or even moonshine! However, tasting it, it was sweet, and I felt it had a cleansing aspect (not like medicinal, but just an almost refreshing feel.) I really liked learning about the product and the story as to WHY the family started distilling Baijiu. 

Then one day, one of the sisters took some of the Baijiu and placed it in a virgin oak barrel, just to see what would happen! Turns out, some really great whiskey was made! Josh really enjoyed the Vinn Whiskey. And since it’s made with the rice, it has a sweet taste to it, and he said, a really great profile. (You can read more about it on his blog, The Whiskey Lover.) 

IMG_2636Josh’s favorite part of the tasting was when our lovely tasting guide asked Josh if he wanted to help her make a Manhattan using the whiskey! (She claimed she wasn’t too sure how to make one, but I think she sensed that Josh really was passionate and allowed him to do something special!)  Josh was super excited because it’s not everyday you get to create a cocktail in someones distillery! 

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Josh’s version of the Manhattan using Vinn Rice 

EASTSIDE DISTILLERY

Our next stop was a few blocks down to the Eastside Distilling. We walked into a very organized showroom where you could make your purchases, then down a couple steps was a tasting bar, then back a bit further was a tasting room, complete with tables and chairs and couches to enjoy your tasting or cocktails! IMG_2628

What I really liked about Eastside Distilling was the story as to the WHY. First of all, how fascinating that the Master Distiller and brains behind this operation is a woman, named Mel. Which totally rocks because I think there should be more women empowered to distill! Go Girl Power! So, the story goes that Mel went on a vacation to the Caribbean and fell in love with the rum there. When she returned home, she could not find the same flavor she fell in love with, and because it was too expensive ship it here, she made her own! That’s awesome! IMG_2588

Also at the Eastside Distillery, whiskey created by Big Bottom Distillery is marketed and sold. So, we tasted a wide variety of whiskey’s at Eastside and then enjoyed a cocktail each. 

My cocktail was a Rita, using the rum and Cherry Bomb Whiskey and pineapple juice. Josh chose, can you guess, the Eastside version of the Manhattan! I can tell you, my cocktail was SOOO delicious and I probably could have drank several of them! But since we obviously needed to pace ourselves, we drank the one, walked around for a bit, then intended to head to the next distillery. 

GPS FAIL

I bought a brand new Jeep in October and I love love love EVERYTHING about it. The one and only drawback is that it does not have a built-in GPS like my old rig or like Josh’s Prius. And I don’t know what was up with Siri on my phone, she must have thought it was April Fool’s already, because we intended to go to House Spirits Distillery next, which was less than a mile on the map. As it turns out, Siri, Google Maps, and whatever Josh’s phone uses all sent us to the PDX airport area. And here is where we ended up:maxresdefault

Okay, okay, I am TOTALLY bedazzling the story right now, because we didn’t EXACTLY end up on the Tarmac, but Siri kept trying to make us drive down a driveway that was clearly taking us towards the tarmac! Stupid Siri! It got to the point where I couldn’t stop laughing and all of a sudden, Siri had no problem finding our hotel, so to the Paramount Hotel we went!

THE PORTLAND PARAMOUNT HOTEL

So, again, I do NOT receive any compensation for the reviews or recommendations I post, HOWEVER, I book 99% of all our hotel stays through Booking.com and IF you decide to ever book a stay through them, use my reference code to enjoy $25 off (and you’ll give me $25 off my next stay too! Win, Win!) https://www.booking.com/s/35_6/fdff9b7a

When looking for a hotel in downtown Portland, I knew I wanted to be near the center of it all. The Paramount Hotel was perfect! The staff was incredibly kind and helpful, the room was clean and nice, and the biggest plus was the Swine and Swank located off the lobby! The Swine is a moonshine and whiskey bar while the Swank is a nice restaurant on the opposite of the lobby. Can you guess where we chose to go?

IMG_2630The Swine Bar was a happening place! It was also Happy Hour, so we waited around a few minutes until some nice ladies saw us standing and offered us their seats at the bar since they were finished. We got seated and right away the bartender answered questions and was very attentive. Josh, with, let’s see, I think he switched over to an Old Fashioned, and me with a Winter Whiskey Sangria. In a mason jar! So naturally I loved this place since it decorated in my type of style! We also ate a little because we realized we hadn’t eaten anything and needed to have a snack prior to dinner. Fries and Chicken Sliders were shared. And then I noticed Prosecco on the menu and well, if you know me, you know I’ll have a glass of Prosecco! Everything was delicious! IMG_2635

After we were finished and noticed a couple waiting for seats, we gave up our seats at the bar and went up to the room to decide on dinner plans. We decided on Thai food. Once upon a time, a decade ago, Josh took me to a Thai food place and I think I might have liked it then (I was also about 7 months pregnant with Lane at that time), so I agreed to try this Thai restaurant. Long story short, I do not like Thai food. And that is all I have to say about that!

DOUGHNUT vs. DONUT

The hotel was located almost perfectly between Voodoo Doughnuts and Blue Star Donuts. And when Josh suggests we do a side by side comparison of the two donut places, um, like I need an excuse to eat donuts??!!! At 7:30am (because yes, we are THOSE early bird people) we stepped out of the Paramount Hotel, ready to head to VooDoo Doughnuts. Only we were met with wind and rain, so the sweet doorman encouraged us to borrow an umbrella! So, at 7:35am, we head out, with umbrella in hand, and head to the seemingly famous VooDoo Doughnuts. 

VOODOO DOUGHNUTS

To be absolutely honest here, Josh and I were shocked and saddened to see the amount of homelessness and mental illness on the streets of downtown Portland. Everywhere you looked, you saw a homeless person. We were followed to VooDoo Doughnuts by a man who clearly had mental health issues and was quite aggressive in his talk and walk behind us. Neither of us felt too safe, and I was so happy we didn’t have the boys with us. So when we got to VooDoo Doughnuts, we were relieved to walk in and the gentleman turned around and left. IMG_2598

VooDoo Doughnuts is iconic. I feel like everyone who’s anyone (in the PNW) has heard of, or been to, VooDoo Doughnuts. They have quite a large assortment of flavors and types to choose from. I finally decided on a Chocolate topped Portland Cream filled doughnut while Josh went for an Apple Fritter. (It was huge!) IMG_2627

We left there and headed for Blue Star Donuts.

BLUE-STAR DONUTS

To be fair, I have to admit to you that while we had never been to VooDoo doughnuts until this day, several years ago we happened upon BlueStar donuts and Josh still talks about how great they were. But do-nut worry (see what I did there!?), I am keeping this a fair competition!bluestar

I can tell you, the staff at the Blue Star struck me as way more helpful and friendlier. And offered suggestions. Which was good, because they had a lot of different, very gourmet type of donuts! I seem to remember hearing the man behind the counter explain to Josh that they make their special dough and once it’s gone for the day, that’s it! They close and wait for the next day! But I was only half-paying attention because I was drawn to all the fancy donuts. I finally settled on Valrhona Chocolate Crunch AND a PBJ filled donut. Josh got the Carrot Zaa-tar Fritter and the Meyer Lemon and Key Lime filled donut.

Upon leaving Blue Star, the same homeless man we saw there several years ago was standing outside (last time we bought him a donut and a coffee) and this time we gave him a dollar. Now, regardless of what his story is, both times he has been kind, opening the door for us and offering a good day. But again, it is sad to see so many people out on the streets.

LET THE COMPETITION BEGIN!

IMG_2600Armed with our VooDoo Doughut Bag and our Blue Star Donut Box (by the way, Blue Star gave us an extra donut for free, just because “they fit better in the box that way”!) We head back up to our room and begin our research! (You can really see the rain on the box!)

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At the top of the picture, you can see the Portland Cream filled and Apple Fritter from VooDoo. In the Box, you see the Carrot Zaa-Tar, the Valrhona Chocolate and the PBJ and Keylime filled, and the extra donut (which was a lemon powered cake donut.)

 

I tried the VooDoo Portland Cream. I literally ate half before I reached any cream. BOO! Then, I tried the Blue Star Valrhona Chocolate Crunch. O.M.G!!!  Cream in the first bite! Hands down, BEST tasting donut I have EVERY tasted! (I take that back, Josh’s Carrot Zaa-Tar Fritter is the BEST! Tasted like gourmet carrot cake! Oh wow!!!) 

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BlueStar’s Valrhona Chocolate Crunch- WINNER!!!

 

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VooDoo’s Portland Cream

At this point, I’m already stuffed, but I suck it up, and taste the PBJ filled donut! Oh, Lane would be loving it! So, my honest opinion of who the clear winner is, MOST DEFINITELY BLUE STAR DONUTS! They have several locations, however we have only been to the downtown location. I will choose them over VooDoo doughnuts, any day!

 

POWELL’S BOOKSTORE

IMG_2607No trip to downtown Portland would be complete without going to Powell’s bookstore! And since we consumed way too many calories in donuts, and still had over an hour to wait until the distilleries opened, we walked to Powell’s (0.8 mile away from our hotel!)

IMG_2638Powell’s is the largest bookstore I’ve ever seen or been to, and their selection of new and used books is crazy huge! So after roaming around for a good hour, we found a couple books for Luke (one on the American Spirit and one on Bass Guitar playing) and a couple books for Lane (both history chapter books, as he’s quite the historian at the moment) and got in line. We just chuckled. It was a LONG line! More time to spend together (and continue picking up books to look at!) We finally left Powell’s and got ready to go to the distillery Josh was most looking forward to going to, The Bull Run Distilling Co.IMG_2610

MORE WHISKEY

Josh has wanted to go to Bull Run Distilling Co. for quite some time. I will tell you, out of all the distilleries, it was the easiest for us to find! (Plus Siri must have been in a good mood Saturday afternoon!)IMG_2614 We enter and are immediately welcomed by the Ambassador of Great Taste(s), Jennifer! She was beyond knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and we thoroughly enjoyed visiting with her. 

Both Josh and I really enjoyed the Bull Run Single Malt Whiskey. I’m sure he will tell you all about it in his blog on The Whiskey Lover. But let me tell you why I liked it. I don’t normally like the Single Malts. But last July when we were in Scotland (yeah yeah, I know, I STILL haven’t finished the blog posts in that series!) we went to the Glenkinchie Distillery and it was my absolute favorite. They listened to Lane, who explained how he wants to be a brewer when he grows up and they told Lane that good brewers make great distillers, so they let Lane do special things throughout the tour, like ring the Scotch bell, and they really took interest in both our boys. And to me, that’s what this is all about. The relationship building, the memory making. I know it is what makes me taste something different in the whiskies, as so often your taste will mingle with a memory. ANYWAY, Glenkinchie had a single malt that to me, was the best I’ve ever tasted because it was something I could actually drink neat, and enjoy. However, they didn’t actually SELL that product, it is only available in their tasting room, as it is used for their blended Scotch. 

singlemaltBut then here is this Bull Run Single Malt Whiskey, and although not totally the same, has so many of the same tasting notes and danced on my tongue! I enjoyed it so much, I gave Josh the go ahead to buy the bigger bottle (like I really ever give or deny permission!) AND this will be the whiskey I feature in this months Wine, Whiskey, and Prosecco tasting event at my house! (Want to learn more about these tasting events, check it out here!

We also learned about, and picked up some bitters made by The Bitter Housewife (all organic and uses REAL ingredients that I actually knew!) and Josh really really liked the Straight Bourbon Whiskey, finished in a Chinato barrel. So we left there with some GREAT stuff! And we can’t wait for our next visit to Bull Run, where we will take the boys to tour the distillery! 

HOUSE SPIRITS DISTILLERY

We FINALLY made it over to House Distilling!IMG_2632 Siri certianly had been in bad mood the day before because it was actually very easy to find! House Distillery has a very nice tasting room, with big windows so you can look into the distillery and see their cooper stills. While Josh first did a tasting, IMG_2617I enjoyed a MagdaRita cocktail, which was the special drink as proceeds were going to the Pixie Project

This little cocktail showcased their Rum, and had a champagne float, so, right, of course I’d get it! While Josh was doing his tasting, I was busy looking around, learning more about the Pixie Project which is an animal adoption initiative, and checking out all they had for merchandise. 

I also noticed they had liqueurs, so I ended up doing a small tasting of three of the liqueurs. I absolutely loved the coffee liqueurspiritcoffee and convinced Josh we needed it! I can not honestly tell you what he thought of the whiskey, but I thought the rum was great, the Liqueur was awesome, and i really enjoyed talked to the tasting room guide, because he was of Scottish heritage! And you know already, I love to talk to people!

We finally decide to head back to the car, figure out where to go for lunch, and head home to pick up the boys and our dog! Our time in Portland was memorable, informational, and just plain old super duper!

After all the whiskey, cocktails, and donuts though, I think I’ll be back to my morning runs (well, except we came home to snow the next day!) and kicking booty teaching my Zumba class! 

If you are interested in learning more about our adventures, whiskey, or finding great deals on travels, please follow me, contact me, or hey, let’s just chat! I would also LOVE to hear about your experiences in Portland, your favorite distilleries, what you think about donuts, and where you like to travel! IMG_2626

Thanks for reading this LONG post today! 

***THE WHISKEY LOVERS WIFE DOES NOT RECEIVE ANY CONTRIBUTIONS OR COMMISSIONS FOR ANY OF THE PRODUCTS OR PLACES SHE REVIEWS. IN FACT, SHE IS PRETTY SURE THEY ARE PRETTY UNAWARE OF THE BLOGS THAT ARE WRITTEN! BUT IF ANY OF THE REVIEWS, STORIES, OR WORDS THAT ARE WRITTEN HELPS ANY OTHER FAMILIES OUT THERE, BECAUSE YOU REALLY CAN FIND A LOT OF FUN ADVENTURES WITH YOUR FAMILY WHILE STILL ALLOWING YOUR HUSBANDS PASSION FOR WHISKEY TO BE PURSUED, WELL THEN, SHE IS ONE HAPPY WHISKEY LOVERS WIFE! SLÁINTE!***

Oh My Goodness…today I BOUGHT CLOTHES!

Okay, okay, today is TOTALLY not about whiskey, or traveling, or even about my family. Today I am being selfish, and I KNOW IT. Today, I bought my whole box of Stitch Fix! Yep, the hubby (you know, The Whiskey Lover) is going to be SOOOOO mad! 

But, in my defense, The Whiskey Lover does have a whole lot of whiskey…and I haven’t bought myself new clothes since, well, Christmas…and, and, I guess I don’t have any reason or excuses!

stitchfixMy Stitch Fix came and I opened it up this morning. I am always so hesitant to try clothes on because I have gained quite a few new rolls around the tummy and have gone up several jeans sizes in the past two years! I really do love everything about my life, and have even embraced my new 41 year old body, but let’s be real…it’s still a struggle and I always cringe when trying on jeans. So, naturally, when I opened my Stitch Fix box, and wondered how bad the clothes would look on me! And to my pleasant surprise, every single item fit me PERFECTLY! It’s like my “stylist” knows exactly who I am and what I look like and what makes me feel pretty!

Here’s what I got in my box:

Super cute, right??? The pencil skirt and black lace sleeves top look AWESOME together and boy oh boy, you will see that outfit in upcoming pictures when I take The Whiskey Lover on a surprise weekend in Portland, OR to taste some great NW whiskies! (If it’s a surprise, why did I just write that, since I know he reads my blog??? Because I not super with surprises and already told him! haha!)

The cardigan is not actually a color I would ever buy for myself, but I love the cut and style. Then I put it on, and looked in the mirror ready for the worst, when I was SHOCKED to find the color really brought out the blue in my eyes and the rose in my cheeks! Okay Stitch Fix, you might know me better than I know myself!

The cross wrap top, another piece I would never have picked out for myself, but it’s very cute on and nothing like anything I own!

IMG_2471My FAVORITE piece, the piece I have been LOOKING for, the piece that MAKES ME CRINGE the most…THE JEANS!!! Holy smokes! I love these jeans! They are the Vigoss brand, and I’ve had a pair of jeans from Vigoss before and they were my favs! (unfortunately, that pair was three sizes ago…)

I have been wearing these babies all day! I am so in love! They have the perfect amount of “distress”, perfect amount of stretch, the pockets don’t sit down low which means my rear looks maybe a little more “perky” (if that can actually happen!!!) and the coloring is great! (by the way, do you LOVE my Seahawks slippers?! My oldest son gave them to me for Christmas!)

SO, the hubby will read this and not care at all about how cute I think things are or how great the quality I think things are…nope, he’s going to care about what I paid. I paid a grand total of…ready??? $160! Which makes each piece $32! Yes please! Sure, I could be a total bargain shopper, like how I am when I am planning vacations, but I do not find enjoyment trying on clothes and going store to store to figure out what is trendy or “me”. So, I think my Stitch Fix is TOTALLY WORTH IT!!! 

And in case you are wondering, NO!, I am not getting any commission for doing a Stitch Fix review. I am going to share my link that would give me $25 credit if someone decided to sign up for Stitch Fix (you get tons of perks!), so you need to know that! But, I honestly am so excited today, I just wanted to share with you! The same as I share our family adventure, travels, and whiskey experiences! Today, I just talked about clothes! And maybe you’ll back me a little when The Whiskey Lover complains about me and Stitch Fix! =)

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Interested in trying Stitch Fix? Here is my referral link, if you’re interested! https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/5025543?sod=w&som=c

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Perhaps you love Stitch Fix too! Let me know what your favorite pieces are! I’d love to hear from you!

***THE WHISKEY LOVERS WIFE DOES NOT RECEIVE ANY CONTRIBUTIONS OR COMMISSIONS FOR ANY OF THE PRODUCTS OR PLACES SHE REVIEWS. IN FACT, SHE IS PRETTY SURE THEY ARE PRETTY UNAWARE OF THE BLOGS THAT ARE WRITTEN! BUT IF ANY OF THE REVIEWS, STORIES, OR WORDS THAT ARE WRITTEN HELPS ANY OTHER FAMILIES OUT THERE, BECAUSE YOU REALLY CAN FIND A LOT OF FUN ADVENTURES WITH YOUR FAMILY WHILE STILL ALLOWING YOUR HUSBANDS PASSION FOR WHISKEY TO BE PURSUED, WELL THEN, SHE IS ONE HAPPY WHISKEY LOVERS WIFE! SLÁINTE!***

White Pass Nordic Center- Adventures in Snow-Shoeing

whitepassnordiccenterToday’s adventure with The Whiskey Lover’s Wife has nothing to do with whiskey, but rather, has us traveling almost two hours east to the White Pass Nordic Center, which is across from the White Pass Ski area, which is the Lewis County/ Yakima County line! (we live in Lewis County, and just a quick little shout out to the area of Washington State that I live in…it’s AWESOME! We can be at the mountains in less than 2 hours, to the Pacific Ocean in less than 2 hours, to Seattle in an hour and a half,  and to Portland, Oregon in just over an hour and a half. Pretty gosh darn spectacular!)

Today’s adventure at the White Pass Nordic Center was none other than one of our favorite winter recreation family outings- SNOWSHOEING!

IMG_2406But first…we needed to fuel up. And my by fuel up, I mean I needed to get my daily dose of caffeine. Fiddler’s Coffee in Centralia is one of my all time absolute favorite places ever! My drink of choice is a 16 ounce Sugar Free Vanilla Chai Latte with almond milk. Now you know, if  ever you feel like bringing me a hot beverage! Both boys got an ice cold milk (and Luke had one of their delicious jumbo chocolate chip cookies! Did I mention we headed out of town at 8am…breakfast of champions for my oldest kid, ha!) The Whiskey Lover himself declined a coffee, which I found quite unusual! (He says he has been drinking Zip Fizz in the morning…) By the way, we actually also literally fueled up, as the Jeep was needing a full gas tank so we didn’t have any worries about empty gas tanks! Then, we were off!

Today was a bright sunny day, other than some patches of fog, on the drive up to White Pass. Once at White Pass, it was quite foggy. That obviously did not deter any of the skiers, snowboarders, snowshoe-rs, cross country skiers, and other outdoor recreational junkies. It was PACKED! Finding parking was a bit hard.

But finally we found parking, on the highway, about a half mile from the Nordic Center. Okay, maybe NOT quite a half mile, but it was dang far away!

We chose to snow shoe at the White Pass Nordic Center today because a. we hadn’t been there for a few years, b. it’s groomed paths and marked trails always give us peace of mind, and c. today it was decided that Lane would create his first Vlog of “The Lane that Leads the Way”, therefore we wanted to be somewhere safe and easy for him to do. IMG_2430

You do have to pay to use the trail at the White Pass Nordic Center. It is $20 for adults, $14 for kids 9-17, and free for kiddos 8 and under. SO, yes, we did have to pay a bit. But that’s okay. And we already have our own snowshoes, all purchased through Costco throughout the years!

Once we had our trail pass, the task of putting on the snowshoes took a few minutes, and then, out we went! IMG_2410

While it was foggy, and a bit warm which led to some “melty” spots, (which was a bit hazardous as Lane feel into a couple holes like this…IMG_2411 …) we had a good time going on some different paths than what we had done the last time. Here is a map of the trails.map We hiked a good majority of it today, not necessarily on purpose! You see, we kept jumping onto the snowshoe only trails, which we found led us to some cool places, but then it seemed we would get turned around! Yeah…apparently I am not a great map reader so I relinquished my map reading responsibility and handed over to Josh!

The boys had so much fun climbing up hills, sliding back down, throwing snow at one another, and all the things boys do when snowshoeing and antagonizing one another! IMG_2417

About two and a half hours into our snowshoe adventure, Lane ran out of fuel! (haha!) And we realized that the last time we snowshoed (which was one year ago this weekend in Leavenworth, since we didn’t snow shoe a whole lot at Suncadia, if you remember that last blog!) Lane really only has a time frame of two and a half hours of active time, then he is ready for a snack and a nap!

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All in all, we had fun as a family, as that is the goal of every adventure and outing we do!

On our way home, the skies were blue, the sun was shining, and we saw Mt. Rainier in all her glory, which reminds us how great God is that HE created so much beauty, and has us a part of it all!

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Lane’s first Vlog is up and running on YouTube, so please check it out and subscribe to see what he comes up with next! (Yes, he will now be adding HIS perspective to Whiskey adventures as well!) Follow The Lane That Leads the Way by clicking here!

Thanks for reading today! If you could, I would love for you to “Follow” this blog! And look for The Whiskey Lover to have a blog our soon as well! You can really stay connected to our family, our travels, and our adventures!  I can’t wait to share our next adventure with you! “Follow” The Whiskey Lovers Wife so you never miss an adventure! Until next time, Love from the Stoney’s!

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The Lessons my kids Learned at the Blackfish Distillery

When my oldest son (he’s 14) was younger (perhaps 7 or 8), his most favorite television show was Disney’s Phineas and Ferb. I remember in every episode, Phineas would say, near the beginning of the episode, “Ferb, I know what we’re going to do today!”phinferb That is pretty much how it happened in our house on the last Friday morning of our Winter Break.

I had wanted to spend the day snowshoeing, however, Josh (aka The Whiskey Lover) has slept in later than normal and the kids weren’t in any rush that morning. So, after a little while of lounging around, Josh said, “I know what we’re going to do today! Let’s check out the BlackFish Distillery!” He explained with was less than an hours drive away in Auburn and he saw that they had a Rye Whiskey, which Josh has really been into lately.

So, we got up, got going, and set out for the day’s adventure in finding the Blackfish. As it was heading into New Year’s weekend, we did not take into account the traffic, so the drive that should have been less than an hour ended up being about two hours. It worked out though, since youngest son ended up taking a nap while older son amused himself by listening to his iPhone music…read that- THEY WERE NOT FIGHTING!

IMG_2361We found The Blackfish Spirits Distillery and entered their very nicely put together, though small, front tasting room. We were quickly greeted by owner and distiller, Micheal Gifford, who was at once inviting and full of energy! We explained that for us, Josh’s passion for whiskey was more than “just tasting alcohol”, it’s a family affair where we find many adventures together. We also mentioned that younger son wants to be a brewer when he grows up, and that, my friends, is the moment that what would have been just a normal tour and tasting, turned into a lessons filled, more personalized and in-depth experience! IMG_2362

“Learn to be a Learner”. That is what Michael told Lane several times. Michael explained how he has changed careers and had to learn new things his entire life. In fact, the distillery has only been open for three years, and he said he has had to teach himself so many new things, so you’ve always got to be ready to learn something new every day.

“There is Science in Everything!”. Michael talked to both of the boys how important science is, not only to distilling, but in just about everything we do. And math is actually used daily! He had cool atom manipulative that showed the molecular make-ups of a couple different alcohols. And that was pretty cool because I explained that we had just given Lane a chemistry set for Christmas! molecules

“Know how to tell a good story!” Since Lane wants to be a brewer someday, Michael kept reminding him that you can have the best product out there, but if people don’t know you’re there, you’ll never be able to sell your product. And for people to know you’re there, you have to be able to tell a really good story to hook them in quickly (and with in one to two sentences!) He encouraged Lane to remember his story (I have Lane’s story in an earlier post, “My Kids and their thoughts on Whiskey.”) as it’s pretty cool to know from age 3 on what you want to do!

“Taste a lot of food!” You know, this is seriously the first time, in all the distilleries we’ve been to, that the distiller really talks about needing to know flavors of foods and how important it really is to know how things TASTE, and how flavors taste TOGETHER. Be a chef. Take risks with flavors. But don’t go overboard or you can ruin an entire batch worth thousands of dollars! I liked that Michael told Lane he needs to taste a variety of foods…he never said he had to like them, just taste them. And our little Lane is a VERY PICKY EATER, so I really appreciated hearing this and it’s already been useful to get Lane to taste new foods! Whoo Hoo!

“Work with others around you and help one another out!” Like most local craft distillers, the Blackfish works with Washington State farmers to obtain their grains, fruits and spices. But then Michael talked about his friend that is a chef nearby who helps immensely with flavor pairing and when to NOT add any more vanilla! And while Josh and I were tasting their whiskey and liquors after the tour and lessons, we were offered chocolates by Gosanko Chocolates, located about a block from The Blackfish. And wow oh wow, that was some amazing chocolate! (Michael told us the brief story of Gosanko Chocolates and how every single chocolate is done by hand. And they are right there in Auburn! And you can find them at Pikes Place Market in Seattle, among other places!) They boys and I loved the chocolates and loved the lesson in working with others.

and probably the greatest lesson of the day…

“Family is where it’s at!” When we had first entered the distillery part, we met Michael’s two sons who are an important part of the making of spirits, marketing the brand, and running the business. It’s a family affair. Michael told us stories about the family adventures they had as the boys were growing up, always doing something different together, learning together. (Like one time, they made a boat. Okay, not just a boat, but an actual real working Pirate ship that is still on display at a dock near them!”) Michael reinforced to my boys that you HAVE to go to school, because they teach you good stuff, but it’s when you’re home with your family that the real important learning happens. He said to the boys to be grateful for all the places we’ve taken them, that by seeing new places, you always learn new things- about the people, about different cultures, about yourself. And you’re family is there to back you, and you’re there to back them. You’ve got to have your family, it’s what’s most important. Yep, pretty awesome for the boys to hear.

Yes, Josh and I did taste the whiskey and other spirits The Blackfish creates. You can readIMG_2363 Josh’s blog at The Whiskey Lover  (www.thewhiskeylover.com) to learn more about the whiskey (especially the rye whiskey he purchased!) because he really does a great job going into the depth of the tastes and smells. All I can tell you is that it was good!

But as I’ve mentioned before, and will continue to state, as The Whiskey Lover’s Wife, my job is to celebrate my husbands fulfillment of this passion for tasting and learning about whiskey in a way that allows my entire family to be involved and find new adventures! I didn’t know when we headed to Auburn on that Friday how much my boys would learn about life. It’s been said “It takes a village”, and I believe wholeheartedly that every person you meet and every experience you have is part of the village that teaches our young. Our family would like to thank Michael Gifford and The Blackfish Spirits Distillery for a positive life shaping day!  (Hey, we knew it was going to be a great day and experience when we saw that Luke and Michael wore the same type of hat and both had pea coats!) IMG_2364

If you get the opportunity, please visit The Blackfish Distillery, located at 420 37th St. NW Suite A, Auburn, Washington. www.blackfishdistillery.com 

 

***Please note that The Whiskey Lover’s Wife does NOT receive an compensation for any reviews of distilleries or products I talk about. And PLEASE always drink responsibly! Whiskey tasting is an art. We teach our sons that you should NEVER drink to get drunk, and we loved hearing from Michael Gifford that a good distiller simply tastes their product but never over-consumes because you’ve got to keep your head on straight! Another good lesson!

 

Suncadia and Brown Sugar Bourbon Holiday Adventures

suncadiawAs Christmas Break begins, I really don’t think anyone is more excited than the kids…unless you’re a teacher! Or even a principal! And the December 2017 start of break found the Stoney Family giddy for winter vacation! We left bright and early the Thursday morning before Christmas to head over the mountains and through the woods, to Suncadia Resort we went! The Suncadia Resort is located in Cle Elum/Roslyn, Washington, just east of Snoqualmie Pass.

Originally, Josh had suggested we go to my favorite place in Washington, which some of you may know or remember, is Leavenworth. However, this time of the year, if you hadn’t made reservations months in advance, there is no where to stay! So, I brought up the idea of Suncadia since our family had not been there before, and it is similiar to Sun River Resort, Oregon (as both resorts are owned by destinationhotels), where we had vacationed (rented a house there) several years ago and loved it! We had agreed on just one night at Suncadia, but I sure wish we would have stayed longer! Quite the fun place and I highly recommend a trip there. Plus, seeing it all decorated for Christmas was just spectacular!IMG_2261

At the resort, there was PLENTY for the boys and us to do, from ice skating at the outdoor ice rink (Lane taught himself how to ice skate, with big brother Luke’s help, and that was a joy to watch!), to sledding (although the fun was short lived when Luke annihilated his sled in an ice patch!), swimming at the large and very nice swimming and gym center, (the boys and I enjoyed swimming, water slides, and most importantly, the awesome outdoor hot tub, while Josh took an opportunity to use the gym facilities to get a workout in!), to many different and delicious restaurants. There was even wine-tasting for the mommy and daddy at the Swiftwater Winery and Restaurant!

But, being this is the Whiskey Lovers Wife blog, I need to begin with the true intent of the blog. Roslyn, Washington is a mere 10 minute drive (less than that if it hadn’t been snowy and icy) from Suncadia. Roslyn may be small, but it’s history is rich and the town became a bit famous due to a television show in the early 90’s called Northern Exposure. As we walked about the cute little town, after enjoying a wonderful meal at “The World Famous Brick Saloon”, we crossed the street to the newly opened tasting room in Roslyn, The Heritage Distillery. hdros

If you head on over to The Whiskey Lovers latest blog, he shares this week about his experience, gives tasting notes to the newest Heritage Rye Whiskey in the collection, and pairs his tasting notes with Scripture from the bible. Absolutely fascinating read.  https://thewhiskeylover.com/2017/12/24/whiskey-and-his-word-self-discipline-part-2/

The moment our family stepped into this beautiful showroom, all four of us found so much to look at and be in awe of! Luke found a black and white historical book on the Coal Mining History of Roslyn, while Lane was drawn to the design of the building (he says he’s always taking notes for how he wants his brewery to be some day!), while Josh and I were drawn to the tasting area…Josh to order up some whiskey to taste and I couldn’t stop staring at, the first of it’s kind that I’m aware of, Spirits Growlers Filling Station! Isn’t it amazing???!!!

 

Josh and I both ordered up two whiskeys to taste and one cocktail to enjoy. I tried the Double Barrel Bourbon and my favorite, The Brown Sugar Bourbon for my tastings and the Hot Buttered BSB. Josh tried the Old Fashioned Bourbon and the Old Fashioned Rye (it’s this Rye that was his muse for his latest blog), and he enjoyed a cocktail called The Bohemian, that included Angostura aromatic bitters and ginger ale.

 

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We thoroughly enjoyed our time spent at the Heritage Distillery in Roslyn, and left with many gifts for ourselves and others, definitely boosting the economy there!

Before leaving to come home on Friday, we took advantage of the snow that was falling and the well-marked hiking trails by snowshoeing down to the river to explore a bit. It was absolutely gorgeous!

 

I even caught a picture of my husband taking a video of himself, which may or may not have ended up on his  Aquavitae Facebook site  IMG_2291https://www.facebook.com/aquavitae.tasting.1 or his twitter site  https://twitter.com/aquavitaetaste 

He cracks me up! We had such a great time as a family, as we normally do on all our trips, no matter how big or small they are or where in the world these trips take us! As we returned home, tired from all the fun we had, but ready for Christmas to begin, we all agreed that this was a well spent two days. And, even though the boys were sad to leave the snow, the next after getting home, the clouds opened up and gave us a White Christmas Eve and Christmas! And, as I sit sipping my newest favorite drink (the Hot Buttered BSB, that my husband so lovingly figured out how to make for me and when we ran out of BSB, headed to our nearest store carrying Heritage’s BSB and bought THE VERY LAST BOTTLE!!!) I am reminded at how very blessed we are. Thank-you for allowing me to share with you!

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If you get the chance, please try to get a trip in to Suncadia and Roslyn. Make sure to head over to the Heritage Distillery for a one-of-a-kind experience! And may your Winter Holidays bring you the joy of being with your family, love for all you do, and always, a little adventure! Join me again soon, as you never know what or where the Whiskey Lovers Wife will travel to or review next! Life is a journey, not a destination, so embrace it!

***The Whiskey Lovers Wife does not receive any contributions or commissions for any of the products or places she reviews. In fact, she is pretty sure they are pretty unaware of the blogs that are written! But if any of the reviews, stories, or words that are written helps any other families out there, because you really can find a lot of fun adventures with your family while still allowing your husbands passion for whiskey to be pursued, well then, she is one happy Whiskey Lovers Wife! Sláinte!***

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Travels to Italy!

Okay, okay…I haven’t even blogged about all our days in Scotland, and now here I am, talking about being in Italy! And by the way, I’ve been home from Italy for a couple weeks. Then again, I haven’t finished telling you about Scotland, and we’ve been home from that trip for 5 months! Obviously I am not too committed to being timely in my writing! Sorry about that! But to tell you about Italy…

It was AMAZING! This was my second time there. Both times I was very fortunate to travel to Italy on a Missions Team through my church. Both times were to serve a missionary there that our church supports, and our main job was to help prepare and cook Thanksgiving meals and teach in Italian schools, talking about the American Thanksgiving. They are just fascinated with our Thanksgiving, and the idea of sitting around a table together, giving thanks while eating a turkey that was prepared WHOLE in the oven is mind-blowing!

But you can hop over to my staciestoneycoaching blog to read more about the missions trip. And hear me go on and on about Luke, my 14 year old, that had the opportunity to go serve in Italy with me. Here at The Whiskey Lover’s Wife, today, I am going to briefly tell you about my two favorite places in Italy. Next time I talk about Italy, I’ll take you on a food tour (because my son really ate his way through the trip!)

No, there was no drinking on our missions trip, other than the complimentary Prosecco and Limoncello at a restaurant we went to. Someday, I would really love to go to Italy and do a Prosecco and wine tour. Perhaps someone would LOVE for me to write about it and give my recommendations, therefore financing my trip??? Any takers??? Hmmmm…ANYWAY…The Whiskey Lover’s Wife enjoyed

FLORENCE

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and

VENICE

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Having been to both of these cities before, I was once again captivated by the beauty, but this time, I enjoyed seeing both cities through my sons eyes. I was very sad that we only had three hours in Venice. There is SO MUCH to see and do! Same with Florence…I was sad that by the time we got there, the Duomo (the major cathedral and dome) had just closed for the evening! Luke, being the ever-so-resilient kid he is, said, “That’s okay mom! We’ll just have to come back on vacation!” Yes, Luke, AGREED!

My drink of choice while in Italy, was of course, cappuccino! I had one, or THREE!, daily! I even bought a Moka pot and the ever popular Mokador coffee to bring home to get my fix!

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And the last little bit of info I’ll give you today, is to tell you about my MOST FAVORITE CANDY EVER IN THE WHOLE WORLD! Pocket Coffee!!! Seriously, best invention EVER!pocketcoffee

So, that’s it for today. Pretty short and sweet. Really, you can call me a “tease”, I won’t be offended! I’m just giving you a quicky. Just enough to make you wanting to come back for the full meal deal, because you’ll be given a lot to enjoy, as long as you’re patient! haha!

Join me next time where I’ll either be telling you more details about Scotland, or Italy, or a Washington Distillery, or HECK, my latest trip to Total Wine and More! Regardless, you’ll be entertained!

Saluti!

Adventures in Scotland- Day ONE

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At SEA-TAC airport, waiting our first flight to Philadelphia before our final destination to Glasgow, Scotland!

OH MY GOODNESS! What an amazing summer it has been so far, and it is only the beginning of August! Are you prepared for the Whiskey Lover’s Wife Blog to explode? Because now that we are done traveling (somewhat) until after school starts, I am prepared to flood you with “Adventures in Scotland” as well as adventures in Albuquerque, NM, Las Vegas, NV, and several amazing places in our beautiful Washington State! And I’ll be honest, many of these posts will, indeed, include talks about whiskey! But as I have explained in earlier posts, this is a family friendly adventure, and our boys are very interested in the history and science behind all the whiskey going-ons!

So, here we go!

Adventures in Scotland, DAY ONE!

We left on July 4th, out of Sea-Tac (Seattle, WA) airport! I was not too worried about the boys flying…I was more worried about The Whiskey Lover, who really doesn’t like the cramped feeling of flying in coach class! (But hey, flying with a family of four on our budget…yeah, coach class is perfect!) We made it to Philadelphia around 4pm and awaited our final flight to Glasgow, Scotland. You can see by the picture below that yes, there is MUCH “brotherly love” in Philly as I tried to get the boys to behave in the land of Rocky Balboa!

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We then got on the airplane, and off we went! We landed bright and early in the morning on July 5th in Glasgow, Scotland! And do you know what immediately impressed me? How nice everyone was! We went straight away to pick up our rental car and the computers were down. Normally, when I have dealt with customer service here in the States when computers were down, I have had to deal with overwhelmed employees and reassure THEM, even though I was the customer! However, in Scotland, I was impressed with the humor they had and how they completely bent-over backwards to make sure this would not dampen our beginnings of Holiday in Scotland! We soon got into our brand new Volvo V40, and while Josh was a bit nervous to drive (you know, the steering wheel is on the opposite side of the car, and they drive on the opposite side of the road than we do!), we were ready to go!

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So, what to do until we could check into our hotel? We checked out Loch Lammond, the largest Loch (lake) in Scotland, located not too far from Glasgow!IMG_0273

Then we thought, “Hey, let’s check out Stirling Castle!”

“Stirling Castle is one of Scotland’s most historically important sites and was once a favoured residence of the Stewart kings and queens who held grand celebrations at the castle.

 

Just walking through Stirling itself was a beautiful adventure, and had we more time, we certainly would have loved to spend more time there! We walked through the cemeteries and took in the sites. And waited to see the Queen!

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The Tower of Bruce, across from Stirling Castle

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We climbed a big hill to see beautiful country side, the Castle, and the cemeteries!

 While waiting for the Queen to leave her luncheon at Stirling Castle, the boys got to meet, and listen to, the Royal Regiment Pipes and Drums, and take a picture with these young men that were there to serve the Queen.  (pay no mind to the clothing my boys are wearing, remember, we hadn’t checked into our hotel yet, and at this moment, we had been awake for 23 hours!)

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Then we saw her!!! Okay, okay, they is a horrible picture! I didn’t take a picture because I was so excited, took a video clip (that wouldn’t upload for WordPress!) and so this is what you get! (Luke took this picture of Queen Elizabeth as she was being driven out!) She had waved to people prior to getting into her car, I couldn’t believe how close we were, and I also couldn’t believe how tiny and cute she it! (You know, if it was President Trump, there is no way we could have been so close!)

After all that excitement, we decided to finally head to our hotel to check in. We stayed at Gleddoch Hotel Spa & Golf , Old Greenock Rd, Langbank, Scotland, PA14 6YE, United Kingdom800-491-6126 (visit their website here to learn more about this fabulous spa and golf resort! www.gleddoch.com) I actually found The Gleddoch on www.hotels.com! And yes, it was VERY VERY affordable! (it was $99 US per night! We were there two nights!)

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Our Room!

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View from the outdoor hot tub (go to the website to see the amazing indoor pool and spa area!)

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The Bar at the hotel where we ate our first completely fabulous Scottish dinner!

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As we walked up to the hotel, this is how we were greeted! It was beyond exciting and amazing to have a bagpiper welcome us to the hotel! We knew we were truly in Scotland! (We later found out that this particular hotel was booked daily for weddings and was one of the most popular wedding venues in the Glasgow areas…we saw weddings each day we were there!)

Our first official “real meal” in Scotland (okay, we ate at a McDonalds near Loch Lommond earlier that day, but can I really count that???!!!) was here at the Gleddoch in the bar. It was classy, cheaply priced, and ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS! Luke and I both got the Fish and chips and I was delighted to find out that the fish they used was called Heke and was caught fresh daily in the river below! SOOOOO GOOOOOOOOD!!!!!!

We finally went to bed, already filled with so much love for Scotland after not even 24 hours there! We were ready to see what Day 2 would bring us! Come back tomorrow evening for “Adventures in Scotland-Day 2!”

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How this Green Drink Changed me in only 10 Days!

IMG_9452Warning! This post has absolutely NOTHING to do with Whiskey. Nada. Not. A. Thing.

So, with that in mind, I do hope you will continue to read on, because, well, the drink is green, I drank it for 10 days, and really, aren’t you just the wee bit curious?

Here’s the story: One day, while eating lunch with my two other PE/Health partner teachers, they were talking about “juicing” (as in, you know, actually taking vegetables and fruits, putting them in a juicing machine, and drinking the juice!) because they had seen something in regards to the film “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead” by Joe Cross.  I had not, and still haven’t, seen this film, but from the sounds of it, this Joe Cross guy really made some changes with his health by going to an all juice diet for 60  days. Hearing my colleagues talk, I started thinking. I had been eating poorly the last few months, was feeling really tired, bloated, and blah, and above all, my body hurt. Like my joints just all ached. Especially my knees. Which isn’t too groovy when you are a PE teacher and a group fitness instructor in a gym! I thought, “Hmmm, I should give this juicing a try. I know I can do it for at least 10 days.” SO, that next day, I bought fruits and veggies and pulled out my hubby’s old juicing machine and set out to juice!

So, very excitedly the next morning, I pulled out the old juicer, got my vegetables cut up and ready, and turned on the machine. Nothing happened. I fiddled with the machine. Still nothing. I asked my hubby for help, since it was his machine. And after a few brief moments of frustration, and perhaps a bad word or two, he came to the conclusion that motor must have burned out. My enthusiasm could have died there, but instead I shrugged my shoulders and did what any good Whiskey Lovers Wife does…I hopped on my trusty Chromebook and started researching (okay, or SHOPPING!) I found the juicer Breville BJE430SIL Large-Capacity 70-oz. Cold Juice Fountain at Macy’s was EXACTLY what I needed! Isn’t she pretty?! Since the nearest Macy’s is about 30 minutes away, I purchased it online and picked it up in the store after school that day! Check it out on Macy’s online…I see it’s even on sale today!!! (Mind you, this is May of 2017~) https://www.macys.com/shop/product/breville-bje430sil-large-capacity-70-oz.-cold-juice-fountain?ID=2374147&CategoryID=7583#fn=sp%3D1%26spc%3D23%26ruleId%3D78|BS|BA%26slotId%3D5%26kws%3Djuicer

So, here we go! It’s Tuesday morning now, the vegetables are cut up, MY new juicer is clean, set up, and ready to go! I’ve got to tell you, I LOVE watching the veggies go through and get turned into the juice! The clean up after was easy. The start of my 10 day juice cleanse was officially started!

Day One- My first attempt at making the juice…well, I made WAAAAAAYYYYY too much! I wasn’t quite prepared for how much I needed, so I suppose I over-did it! And as a result, had my one and only overflow accident! haha! Overall though, I was so easy and my goodness, the juice  was delicious! I did use a bit too much ginger though! WHOA! My “recipe” on day one was: 3 granny smith apples, 2 cucumbers, 2 stalks of celery, a bunch of kale and spinach, and ginger. Isn’t it pretty? IMG_9446

Day Two– I felt no hunger pains on Day one, and I had enough juice for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner, plus two smaller jars for “snacks”. Oh, my main jars were the 16oz Mason Jars (is that a pint???). So day two I tried adding carrots to the mix. Not too bad. It was sweet. But looked HORRIBLE! IMG_9447

Day Three- At this point, I stepped on the scale. Yes, I had weighed myself on Day One, and in two days, I lost three pounds! Nice! And in ONLY TWO DAYS, I felt more energetic and my knee joints felt great! On day three I added less carrot and more kale. And even less ginger, because I learned a LITTLE ginger goes a LONG way!IMG_9449

Day Four- Feeling AWESOME!!!!!! Down 5 pounds and boy oh boy, I feel GREAT at this point! Although, by the end of day four, I have to be very honest, I REALLY WANTED BACON! Why bacon? Why not?!!! Seriously though, I was feeling like I needed protein. But I was determined to stick to this juice cleanse for the whole 10 days. I will also tell you, as with any “cleanse”, yes, you will spend some time in your bathroom!!! But hey, if you’re a mommy like me, sometimes you look forward to some “private time!” haha!IMG_9452

Days Five-Ten–  Okay, starting on day 5, it got a bit rough. I really wanted to eat food!!! Other than craving meat, I didn’t crave sugar or anything else. I also didn’t have that “Hungry” feeling. I just really wanted some meat! I suppose, looking back, I could have had a protein shake and it probably would have done wonders! On Day 7, I had to teach a STRONG by Zumba class and then a Body Bootcamp class, back-to-back…I had no energy! I felt sapped. Usually I am the epitome of annoying, full of energy cheerleader (yes, even at 40 years old!) and on day 7, I just struggled to get through these two classes. By day 10, I was ready to introduce FOOD make to my body. And as much as I wanted a big ole greasy cheeseburger, I knew that would be SO WRONG, on so many levels, since I just cleansed my body for 10 days! So I was reasonable and had chicken breast and MMMMMMM, it tasted SOOOOOO good!

Overall, I did lose 12 pounds in 10 days. I did gain 5 pounds back in the two weeks after, but that was healthy, I think. I also felt LIGHTER and my joints still are not bothering me, which I found to be a win! I found my favorite recipe that I honestly can tell you, my body now CRAVES every morning! I now juice for breakfast, and many lunches, then eat a normal dinner and healthy snacks. And I have decided that once a month, I will do a FOUR DAY juice cleanse, because four days was easy and I felt the best!

More than that, I was reminded that I can do anything I set my mind to! Trust me, you can do that to! I’ll be YOUR personal cheerleader, if you want!!!

-Remember, with any change to diet, make sure to talk to your health provider!

My Favorite Recipe-

          Start with 4-5 leafs of Kale and a small bunch of spinach. Add 1 medium cucumber. Next, add 1 large Granny Smith apple, 1 large pear, half of a small lemon, and just a small amount of ginger!  CHEERS!

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Are you interested in learning more? Please feel free to contact me at anytime! I’d love to talk to you more about juicing, your favorite recipes, and just life in general!

My Kids and thier thoughts on Whiskey

I talk a lot about following your dreams and pursuing your passions. You have read that I fully support my husband and his journey of becoming one heck of an awesome Whiskey Master Taster. By now, you may be getting the sense that I look forward to planning trips for my entire family to enjoy while still allowing time for distillery tours and whiskey tastings. But have you every actually wondered, “What do those two boys ACTUALLY think of their parents and the whiskey???” (If you haven’t, I bet I just put it into your mind!)

A couple posts ago, I mentioned that I would discuss what my two boys think about their father becoming the “Whiskey Lover” and me writing as the “Whiskey Lovers Wife”, talking about their thoughts and feelings about whiskey (and alcohol.)

I strongly believe in transparency. I am an open book. And for better or for worse, that is how Josh and I parent. Open, honest, hiding nothing. I am not an expert parent. I am not perfect. I do have a lot of schooling that says I am knowledgeable in the areas of kids, teaching, counseling and coaching. But still, I can honestly tell you, Josh and I have had some major parenting fails. I hope and pray that Josh’s desire to educate others on whiskey is not going to end up as a parenting fail, or that my excitement to tie whiskey tastings into family vacations will not mentally scar my children!

So, what do Luke and Lane really think about the whiskey tastings?
kidandwhiskeyWell, you can see from this picture that they get the chance to play on some sort of technology (they were playing on a Minecraft app!) Really though, that doesn’t add to their thoughts one way or another.

First, let me back up a bit…around 6 years backing up! Our youngest was 3-ish, probably edging close to 4 years old. We live near Olympia, WA where, once upon a time, Olympia Beer was created and produced. Olympia Beer is no longer in Olympia (having been bought out and produced back east, thus losing it’s popularity) the big brewery building lays deserted, decrepit, and a constant reminder of what used to be. Slightly down the Deschutes River is the old brick original brewery. You can see it from the freeway, or by taking in the lovely sites at the Tumwater Falls park or Pioneer Park, both in Tumwater. Well, when our wee one was such the young age as mentioned above, he was at the parks with his grandparents (my parents) and he told them, “See that building over there? I’m going to buy it some day and make beer.” Here’s the weird thing…he didn’t know it had been a brewery. Also, while my hubby did try his hand at brewing beer as a hobby (yes, this was YEARS before he became a Whiskey Lover!), our little guy did not know anything about breweries! Crazy!

That little guy is now 9 years old. He still constantly talks about the brewery he is going to buy. We take him often to look at this building. olybeer

It is a beautiful building. And he has his business plan really laid out. Originally he was going to finance this dream by being a Seattle Seahawk football player first, but as he now realizes that is a long shot, and he is VERY talented in the world of Minecraft and all things technology, he figures he will go to college, get some sort of computer degree, be a YouTuber, AND find people that will loan him money to buy a brewery business and make his beer. Now that dad is quite knowledgeable in whiskey, our little guy said that by being a brewer, he can then distill. He also wants to have a restaurant in his brewery and says every Tuesday and Wednesday he will feed the homeless, but they aren’t allowed to drink any of his alcohol! Seriously, he has had this game plan for over half his little life now!

And the oldest child? He is into Agriculture and sees his future in Ag Engineering. He also had a long conversation with little brother on how he could be a business partner someday, ensuring the correct hops are found and purchased, that the barley, wheat, corn, etc for the beer and distilling were certified organic, and sourced locally. My boys have learned how many of the smaller distilleries we have visited sends the by product of the mash to nearby farms for their pigs and cattle to eat. Our oldest loved that and tells little brother that his services will be very useful with farm dealings. So, it sounds like this will become a family thing, someday!

As you can see, many dreams and passions are rolled into this Whiskey Loving adventure. Additionally, my kiddos have loved going on day trips, and longer trips, seeing new places, doing cool things in the towns and cities we visit. My oldest son would like everyone to know, “You must be responsible when you drink. But, you must be responsible with every thing you do. Don’t drink until you are legal. And never drink to get drunk, because then you act stupid and nobody likes a stupid person.” Preach it son!

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meandlane