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!***
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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!