Bubbles & Such

Wine On-The-Go: Canned Wine and Wine Accessories

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Our (semi-secret) love affair with canned wines began about 5 years ago. It was probably some mid-summer weekend when we were shopping at our local Safeway and came across a cute little pink hexagonal shaped box in the sparkling wine section. Intrigued, we picked up the box and found it was a four pack of cans of Sofia sparkling wine. Perfect for poolside sipping, and with straws attached like they are on kids juice boxes, we were instantly hooked. Ever since we have been on the lookout for new canned wines to try and in the past year, canned wines have really stepped up their game! Here is a list of some of our favorites. We promise there's a canned wine for everyone!

xxx Ivy & Eve

 

For the eternal wanderer: Nomadica Wines

This California company was created for the nomads, a place to sip wine before resuming their travels. We totally love that! Nomadica cans are also special because each label is different with art designed by various artists. The pink river rosé is bright and crisp. The sparkling white (our favorite) is fresh, citrusy, with a hint of green apple.  The chenin blanc smells and tastes of white peaches is light and refreshing. The red wine blend tastes of chokecherry, plum and slight tannins with a long smooth finish. The Oregon white blend (love the label) is lightly bubbly, dry, and minerally. Pop the top, start the playlist, sit back, and sip...you'll feel like you're away on an adventure even from your couch.

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For the anti-canned wine friend: Alloy Wine Works

Alloy canned wines will impress and most likely change the views of all canned wine haters. These wines taste the most like a wine that is produced/bottled in a glass bottle. Honestly, if someone brought us a glass without the can we probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference. This Paso Robles winery has a variety of high-quality canned wines and also does a canned wine club! Their wine club #yeswecan is $30 a month and includes 4 shipments a year, 6 wines per shipment.  We tried their 12 oz tallboy rosé it was delicious. Strawberry, citrus on the nose followed by a crisp, dry rosé that tastes like strawberries, sour patch kids, guava, grapefruit, and rose petals. Their chardonnay smells like it's out of a bottle (none of that tin can smell) tastes of vanilla, citrus, and pears and pie crust (nom). The pinot noir is also delicious with hints of cherry and vanilla, and tastes of those and some earthy mushroom, tree bark, and cola. Our local indie cinema Osio Theater carries them as well which makes us SO happy!

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For the health conscious drinker: Social Sparkling Sake Wine

Social is slightly different in that it is a sparkling sake wine (wine made from rice). There are four versatile flavors to choose from toasted coconut almond, pink grapefruit ginger, hibiscus cucumber, and elderflower apple. The great thing about SOCIAL is that they are organic, superfood infused, gluten and sulfite free, have 1 gram of sugar, and ONLY 88 calories!! These cans are ALL about fun without the guilt! 

We teamed up with them to create a cocktail with one of their flavors so stay tuned for that recipe coming soon!

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For the party girl: Fiesta Winery

Fiesta Winery located in Texas just recently started dipping their toes in the canned industry. We loved trying this wine since we rarely venture from California wines and the can design is super cute! The Tex Way Rosé is perfect for any summer activity. It smells of pink starburst, rose, and raspberry and tastes of raspberry and rose with a light creaminess to the finish. We recommend it served very chilled with a side of bright sunshine!

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For all the bubbly babes: Wine House Rosé Bubbles

House Wines' Rosé Bubbles is a party in a can. Crisp, with notes of citrus, tastes of strawberries and is lightly carbonated, this is an upgrade from the Sofia bubbles in flavor and size! ;) It's perfect to pack for a picnic or a day at the beach. The size is large enough to share (or not) and we LOVE the millennial pink can design.  

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For the serious sipper: West Side Wine Co.

The West Side Wine Co. from California is another great option for real wine lovers. The chardonnay had a slightly carbonated taste with hints of toasted vanilla, grapefruit, and green apple. The cabernet sauvignon is jammy with hints of boysenberry, fig, and has light tannins. 

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For the cocktail enthusiast: Pampelonne Sparkling Wine Cocktails

One look at these insta-worthy cans and you're transported to the striped umbrella dotted beaches of the French Riviera! These three newly released flavors are perfect for your casual backyard, beach bonfire setting. Since they are "wine cocktails" they taste less of wine and more like a cocktail. We thought they were great straight out of the can but add a little fruit and a tall glass with ice - sangria style - and you've instantly got a vacation in a glass! The Black Cherry Bicicletta is the most flavorful with a nice citrus kick while the Negroni Sbagliato is perfect for the classic cocktail lover (Eve's pick). The Watermelon Americano is the lightest and driest in flavor and tastes the most like wine (Ivy's pick).

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For the instafamous (or almost): Ramona Ruby Grapefruit Wine Spritz

We've been seeing these cans all over Instagram lately so when we found them stocked at our local Whole Foods, we decided to test them out. This sparkling wine spritzer is dangerously delicious and perfect for a hot summer day. We wouldn't say it tastes like wine, more like a grapefruit sanpellegrino, but who doesn't love those! We will definitely be stocking up on these all summer long.

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For the wine adventurer: Goverre Modern To-Go Cups

We discovered these gems recently and are obsessed. They are perfect for all types of on-the-go wine activities. These glasses are spill-proof with their locking drink-through-lid (also great for keeping sand out of your wine - yuck). These glasses are made of glass (yay!) but have a protective silicon sleeve. They have tons of trendy colors to choose from as well so you won't get confused with what glass is yours!

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For the beach babe: Porto Vino Wine Bag

We saw these bags on Instagram a few months back and HAD to test it out. Porto Vino Wine Bags come in a variety of colors and styles. Inside is roomy with an insulated zipper compartment and a wine bladder attached to a spout that discreetly pops out the side for easy pouring. You just chill your favorite wine (or not if its red) fill the bladder, and go! This is the classy way to carry around wine to sporting events, BBQs and beach parties. We love how much room there is for your beach towel, glasses, and snacks while filled up with your favorite rosé.

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For the party hostess with the mostest: Wine Glass Writer

We ran a fabulous giveaway with Wine Glass Writer a few months ago and have used these markers for all sorts of parties. Simply pick a color and write on your glass, let it dry for a minute before touching (or filling it with cold wine) and your design will stay on till you wash it off with soap and water. These have been a great addition to our parties, we ask our friends to write their name (or draw something fun) so they know which glass is theirs. It has cut down the number of glasses we have to wash by a dozen or so! These pens are also great for writing on mirrors (wedding seat assignment) and serving plates.

Use our discount code everyonewins10 for a 10% discount on your order!!

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10 Things We Learned At The 2018 Pebble Beach Food & Wine

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The 2018 Pebble Beach Food and Wine has come and gone and we are SO sad. We had so much fun tasting and nibbling on all the food and wine sent from heaven under one giant white tent.  If you are a lover of food, or wine, or both like us, we highly recommend attending. It is seriously so amazing! 

We learned so many new things during the weekend, we wanted to put together a list of 10 things we learned at this year's event.

Here they are:

1. The Year of Foie Gras - We are calling this years event "The Year of Foie Gras" because so many of the chefs under the big tent on Saturday and Sunday were serving up delicious bites of foie gras. Eve has always adored Foie gras but Ivy, on the other hand, tends to steer away from these dishes because of the earthy liver taste. This year Ivy couldnt help but fall in love with Foie gras though. This year's chefs foie gras dishes all had such distinct tastes- some were fresh like Hudson Valley's brown butter foie gras crumble & strawberry...or the English pea panna cotta with spring vegetables, Meyer lemon and foie gras by Chef Blom. Foie gras can be made in so many ways it really can be delightful to all pallets!

 Hudson Valley's brown butter crumble & strawberry foie gras

Hudson Valley's brown butter crumble & strawberry foie gras

 English pea panna cotta with spring vegetables, meyer lemon and foie gras by Chef Blom

English pea panna cotta with spring vegetables, meyer lemon and foie gras by Chef Blom

2. Eat Your Invasives - Chef Lofaro had one of our favorite dishes of the weekend. Why? Because it was delicious, the presentation was beautiful, and the concept behind it was so awesome. Lafaro had made his dish out of kiawe bean flour and strawberry and guava plants which are all invasive plants in his home state of Hawaii. He decided to use these invasives for good - eating! As he removes the plants from the landscape, he uses it to create this delicious dish. No waste for the bettering of the ecosystem. SO COOL!

 Eat Your Invasives! kiawe, walawf, and white bread poke by Chef Lofaro

Eat Your Invasives! kiawe, walawf, and white bread poke by Chef Lofaro

3. Time For Vegas - We were invited to the Venetian Hotel happy hour on Saturday evening. This event was held at the fire pits at the Inn at Spanish Bay. The happy hour included a few signature cocktails that were tasty and unique and Chef Lorena Garcia was serving up delicious tacos! Ivy has only been to Vegas overnight on her way back from college and Eve has NEVER been! From what The Venetian did with this event, we know where we're headed next! Vegas Baby! We're planning to go to Vegas in the next several months to get the FULL Vegas experience!

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4. There really is no substitute for bubbles - This year we were lucky to catch up with our "spirit sommelier" Kim Beto and attend his Sunday Bubbles Seminar, which is similar to the Big Bottle Bubbles seminar we attended in 2016. If you love champagne like us, you MUST attend this seminar. At 10 am on a Sunday you are greeted with a tasting flight of 9 different champagnes/sparkling wines to taste along with your new best friends (the five champagne experts on the panel).  

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This year our favorite quotes from the seminar were:

  • Magnums are the perfect size for two if only one is drinking.
  • Drink Champagne right out of the bottle! "great on buses when you don't have glasses" - Kim Beto
  • Sabering party "If you haven't had one you're not living" - Kim Beto
  • England is the new "up and coming" producer of sparkling wines. Two of the nine wines we tasted were from Jolly Old England and we were shocked at how delicious they were! We honestly didn't think good wine could come from such a wet, mild climate. Boy, were we wrong!
 Us with "spirit sommelier" Kim Beto at Sunday Bubbles

Us with "spirit sommelier" Kim Beto at Sunday Bubbles

5. Good bread and butter is one of life's greatest simple pleasures - We are always down to eat fresh bread and homemade butter, but it's not something you are expecting to eat at the Pebble Beach Food and Wine. A day full of foie gras and delectable cheeses is more the norm. However, this year we stumbled upon the Kerrygold butter booth and were pleasantly surprised and instantly comforted by the simplicity of quality bread and butter. After hours of trying new wines and rich bites, the bread and butter was a welcomed change! Such a simple food really can be delicious.

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6. Lanson Champagne is still our favorite! - We are always looking for new champagnes to try but we honestly still adore Lanson Champagne the most. #sorrynotsorry

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8.  Berries by themselves - Driscoll always makes an appearance at the PBFW event. The berries are served as is and are always one of our favorite snacks in between the richer bites chefs prepare. The acidity and sweetness wake up our pallet so they are ready to try the next thing! We also loved the tasty berry popsicles they handed out as we all left the tent. 

9. Sake for wellness sake - This year we sampled TYKU sake which has a variety of flavors. Tyku is a clean alternative to wine because it has lower acidity, no sulfites which sometimes irritate people, and has no tannins. You can literally "unwine" with TYKU. Our favorite flavor was the refreshing cucumber. We think it may be time to explore the world of sake soon. 

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10. There really is NOTHING like PBFW - We haven't been able to attend any of the other Food and Wine events around the world but we have been told by many who have that the Pebble Beach Food and Wine is the BEST. And jousting by the location, the chef and winemakers who attend, and our experience, we can't see how anywhere else can compare!

 Avacado, mint and cucumber shooter topped with créme fraîche and wild flowers

Avacado, mint and cucumber shooter topped with créme fraîche and wild flowers

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 Bone marrow, butterscotch, panna cotta with blueberry and bacon relish by Chef Jin from Paws Up Resort

Bone marrow, butterscotch, panna cotta with blueberry and bacon relish by Chef Jin from Paws Up Resort

 It was our Mom's birthday on Sunday we were so happy to be able to spend the day sipping and tasting with her!

It was our Mom's birthday on Sunday we were so happy to be able to spend the day sipping and tasting with her!

 Kona kampachi tartar with shallots, chives, avacado puree, radish, lemon aioli and honey crumble.

Kona kampachi tartar with shallots, chives, avacado puree, radish, lemon aioli and honey crumble.

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 Marinated salt spring mussels

Marinated salt spring mussels

Food & Wine Event Tips & Attire

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If you haven't heard yet, we are SUPER excited to announce we are attending the 2018 Pebble Beach Food & Wine- Saturday & Sunday events this coming weekend! We attended the 2016 Sunday Big Bottle Bubbles and the Lexus Grand Tasting event (which you can read about here) and it was such a blast. We have put together some tips for you to keep in mind as you prepare to attend all of this year's Food and Wine events. 

xoxo Ivy & Eve

  • Make sure you are FULLY hydrated before the event and drink water between each taste. 

  • Eat something before the event! Otherwise the alcohol will affect you sooner!

  • Make sure you have your designated driver/transportation home figured out before you get to the event. We all want to be responsible imbibers!!!

  • Wear darker colors, or patterned clothes. During these types of events, you are walking and standing in tight quarters so spills are very common (at least for clumsy people like us!), Wearing patterned or dark colors will hide spills so you can keep looking flawless. #goals

  • Comfy, chic, closed toe shoes are best for such events since there are lots of people and the possibility of being stomped on is high. We recommend wearing shoes you are comfortable in since these events are hours long and you'll be standing/walking around the the whole time.  

  • A small yet roomy bag to carry all your personal items (camera, tickets, business cards collected from vendors, etc.). We love using cross body bags because they leave both hands free for carrying our wine glass and small bites. :)

  • Wear layers that can be easily carried (you'll need both hands for food/drinks). The weather in Pebble Beach can go from chilly 50's to sunny 75 in a matter on minutes, so layering up is always a good idea. That being said, make sure whatever layers you wear can be either tied around your shoulders/waist or stuffed in your bag.

  • Long lasting lip color/no lip color (greasy foods and lots of wine will make it rub off easily). We recommend Lipsense (our new favorite brand!) but if you don't have time to get some...our second favorite is Maybelline Super Stay 24 Color

  • Start with bubbles! Sparkling wine excites your palate and gets you ready for what is to come!

  • Go from light to dark wines. Since you wont be guided through the hundreds of wines this guide comes in handy: White before Red, Dry before Sweet. 

  • Use the 5 S's - Sight, Swirl, Smell, Sip,  Savor!

  • Bring your sense of adventure! At all food & wine events, we highly recommend keeping away from your favorites and trying something new that you never thought you would like! Last time, we tried Chef Todd Fischer's Bacon Chocolate Covered Chicharrones which Eve was actually addicted to for weeks (we asked the Chef Todd for several take-home bags!!).

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Wine of The Month Club: Wine Subscription Service Review

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If you didn't already know, subscription services are one of our guilty pleasures. We've love receiving packages in the mail, and what could be better than receiving a package of wine?! Last year we reviewed the WINC wine subscription HERE. Now we want to share with you the Wine Of The Month Club!

So why join Wine Of The Month Club? Well, being the original wine shipping subscription service (started in 1972), they have had time to perfect. Why do we love WOTMC so much? They offer 10 different club levels to choose from, ranging from the classic membership to the more specific rosé only club.  You can be as picky or nonchalant as you wish with shipments. We subscribe to the "Classic" Cellar Series club which ships six bottles (4 red, 2 white) to our door every other month. We love this club because we try amazing value wines from around the world. All wines have a 100% guarantee so if you don't like the wine, you don't pay for it. Also, if you like something, they have fantastic reorder prices! Take a look at one of our most recent shipments!

xxx Ivy & Eve

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Rockus Bockus Proprietary Red Wine / 2013 / Sonoma, CA

This mega red-blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Zinfandel has a deep crimson color with blackberry and spice notes acommpanied by intense fruit flavors and a hint of bright strawberry at the finish. We would pair this bold red with and equally big flavored dish and red meats. 

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Pietra Santa Sangiovese / 2013 / Monterey, CA

This dark ruby colored classic Italian varietal has a slightly "hot" alcoholic smell with subtle scents of damp soil and dark fruit - bursting flavors on the tongue of black cherries and licorice. Nice long finish. We would serve this up with steak or game!

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 Pietra Santa Merlot / 2013 / Monterey, CA

This lush merlot was our favorite out of the shipment. With an intoxicating aroma of dark fruits, spice, and leather. On the palate we tasted dark fruit and berries, vanilla, and a hint of tobacco. This wine had a nice smooth finish with silky tannins. We would happily sip on this alone or pair it with a great cheese board. 

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 Pietra Santa Zinfandel / 2012 / Monterey, CA

While completely drinkable this was our least favorite of the shipment. This Zin had a dark rusty red color, smelled a bit like straw and had dry, dusty tannins. We would recommend decanting it (which we did after our first taste) giving it a chance to open up a bit.

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Back Story Sauvignon Blanc / 2015 / CA

This Sauv Blanc had a very pale yellow color with a citrusy nose and a hint of green bell peppers. Pleasingly, it tasted much less acidic than what the scent hinted. We would recommend drinking this wine with a nice light veggie dish or fish. 

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Kunza Sauvignon Blanc / 2015 / Maule Valley, Chile

This wine had a bright yellow color and aromas of grapefruit and pineapple. The taste was tropical with a nice mineral finish - very crisp and refreshing. We would suggest pairing this wine with fish or a fresh salad!

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Whole Foods Wine Sale + Food Pairings!

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Who loves a great wine sale? We sure do! Whole Foods Market is holding an awesome wine sale ONE DAY only-Friday, September 8th. For that one day only, you will get 30% off any 6 or more bottles purchase (excluding wines with prices ending in .98). We have partnered with our favorite grocery store to share with you some of our wine sale recommendations as well as some great food pairings so you can make the most of this great sale. 

Everyone also knows we LOVEEE wine tasting. Be sure to stop by the store this week for some of exactly that! There will be wine tasting going on Aug. 29th & 30th (4pm-7pm). This will is a great way to try out some of the wines on sale before purchasing them. And if you do find something you love we suggest pre-ordering to ensure you get the wines you want. Plus you will receive a coupon for 50% off your olive bar purchases when you come to pickup your wines on the 8th! We know we'll be heading over to our local Whole Foods to sample before we buy!

xxx Ivy & Eve

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**Sale excludes Three Wishes & wines ending in .98 cents.**

Here are just a few wines we sampled that will be included in the wine sale: 

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AVA Grace Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc / 2016 / CA / $9.99 each

Tasting notes: Pale straw color, notes of grapefruit, grass, and melon. Crisp.

Pairing: We love to pair Sauvignon Blancs with briny things like olives and oysters (YUM!). 

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Le Galantin Bandol Rosé / 2016 / France / $22.99 each

Tasting notes: Light salmon color, notes of rose, strawberries, summer fruits, with a slight minerality. Dry.

Pairing: We tend to pair dry rosé with goat cheese, prosciutto and other cured meats, and our ultimate favorite...pizza!!

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Lan Reserva Rioja Tempranillo / 2010 / Spain / $14.99

Tasting notes: Inky color, notes of subtle spices, jammy, black berry, black cherry, and slight tobacco. Light tannins.

Pairing: We love to pair our favorite Spanish red with a great Spanish sheep's cheese like a Manchego! We suggest the Mitica 3-month aged Manchego alongside some 34° Crisps crackers (Ivy's absolute fave) and Guayeco Guava Paste all from Whole Foods! This is seriously the ultimate single bite!

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Domaine Allimant-Laugner Sparkiling Rosè / Nonvintage / France / $21.99

Tasting notes: Pale peach color, notes of strawberries and cream and lightly toasted brioche. Small, tight bubbles and nice acidity. 

Pairing: We would totally love to nosh on some brie and baguette with this sparkling rosé, but we could also see this pairing perfectly with brunch (eggs benedict anyone?!?) or even enjoying sans food poolside!

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Do you have any Whole Foods wine recommendations or food pairing suggestions? Let us know!

Rosé Punch

Rosé season has arrived! WOOHOO!!! We are so happy to be enjoying the sunshine and warmth of summer after such a wet winter here in California. With rosé season upon us, we wanted to create a tasty cocktail worthy of sipping poolside. This rosé punch is just that: light, refreshing, and low in alcohol compared to other cocktails. It's the perfect drink for your #roséallday festivities!!! 

Ingredients:

  • 3 bottles Rosé- We used Gruet Rosé
  • 3 cups lemonade (freshly squeezed or just not from concentrate)
  • 3 cups citrus flavored sparkling water- We used La Croix Grapefruit
  • 3 grapefruits
  • 3 lemons
  • Ice
  • Edible flowers for garnish (optional)

Directions

  1. Squeeze 2 grapefruits and 2 lemons. Slice the last grapefruit and lemon into thin slices for garnishing glasses and adding to the punchbowl. 
  2. In a large punch bowl or drink dispenser add the rosé, lemonade, grapefruit juice and lemon juice. Stir.
  3. Add grapefruit and lemon slices.
  4. Fill the punch bowl or drink dispenser most of the rest of the way with ice and stir. 
  5. Add the sparkling water and gently stir. 
  6. Top the punchbowl with edible flowers and serve. 
  7. Enjoy!
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Staves and Steel

Last Saturday, April 8th, Cima Collina Winery threw their second annual Staves & Steel party. This  gathering - held at their warehouse winery in Marina, CA - offers a unique experience featuring new release artisan wines, barrel tastings, and of course delicious food! 

This year was this first year we had the opportunity to attend the event, and we had such a great time! It was also our Mom's birthday and we couldn't think of a better way to begin her birthday celebration than to start at this awesome party! This event had live music by the band the Hovering Breadcat Folk Ensemble, who were so fun and lively, and the local ate3one food truck which provided delicious bites available for purchase. We ordered the shrimp taco and two pork sliders...YUM! 

An awesome part about attending the event was the discounted prices off the wines for sale: 10% off any bottle, 15% off cases, and 25% off everything if you were a club member. We loved their "mystery case" deal which was filled with an assortment of wines: some reserve wines, some new wines, and some older wines too. Not to mention you were getting the case for basically half off the retail value!

Our personal favorite part of the event was tasting wines from the barrel. Barrel tastings give you the opportunity to try wines that are still aging and gives you a completely unique sneak peek of the wine to come! They had two wines to taste, the first was their 2016 Argyle Petit Syrah and the second was a 2016 Chalome Petit Syrah. It's crazy how different they tasted! The 2016 Argyle was totally drinkable now, where the 2016 Chalome tasted very young. We spoke to the winemaker, and she said that while the Argyle tasted great now, the Chalome is a much more complex wine and will turn into the more superb wine in the long run. 

In the end, we purchased a few bottles of their newly released Rosé Pét-Nat. A Pét-Nat is a naturally bubbly wine, similar to a sparkling rosé. We highly recommend this one on a warm summer's day, or for a Sunday brunch party. The color and taste will win over anyone! 

If you want to hear more about Cima Collina, check out our previous post here!

xxx Ivy & Eve

Ivy & Eve Champagne-rita

Last weekend we were having a family get-together to watch some Sunday Night Football. We were having Mexican food and wanted to try and make a bubbly cocktail to go with the feast. Right then and there, the Ivy & Eve Champagne-rita was born.

At first we were apprehensive about mixing sparkling wine with anything, let alone tequila! We shuddered at the thought of wasting sparkling wine, in the event that the concoction was awful tasting. Luckily, we ended up LOVING it so much we are making it a signature Ivy & Eve cocktail from now on (we knew it was good when Ivy, who cringes at the thought of a shot of tequila, sipped on hers rather quickly). We hope you try it out and let us know what you think!

Tip: Sip slowly as this has quite a bit of alcohol (about 1/2 a glass of champers and 1 shot of tequila). 

xxx Ivy & Eve

Makes one drink.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 of a lime
  • 2 tsp agave syrup
  • 1 shot (1.5 oz.) tequila
  • Ice
  • Champagne or other brut sparkling wine

Directions:

  1. In a tall glass, juice 1/2 of a lime and add the agave syrup, tequila, and a few ice cubes. Stir until cold. 
  2. Pour the mixture into a champagne flute.
  3. Top with Champagne of your favorite bottle of bubbles.
  4. Garnish with a twist of lime.
  5. Enjoy!

Top 5 Sparkling Wines to Toast the New Year

This year, we are hosting a small New Years Eve party for some of our friends and family. We will be snacking on tasty Italian antipasti, making wood-fired pizzas, and sipping tasty drinks throughout the night. The most important task on our party planning list is finding the perfect bubbles to celebrate with! Here is a quick round-up of our favorite affordable sparkling wines that will go well with any dish you serve this NYE. 

1. Domain Chandon Sparkling Wine- $15

Check out this fun video from our friends at Winc for some fun sparkling wine trivia that will surely amaze your party guests!

xxx Ivy & Eve

Cranberry-Rosemary Champagne Cocktail

The holidays go with champagne like Christmas goes with Santa. So naturally we drink champagne during the holidays...a lot. With all of the festivities surrounding the season, it is one of the busiest times for everyone, so many parties to attend and to host. We decided to create a holiday cocktail that is simple, festive, and almost entirely effortless. This drink combines our favorite drink champagne, festive cranberries, (we recommend making our Sugar Dusted Cranberries, but plain works too), rosemary (basically the tasty version of a Christmas tree), a splash of simple syrup or bitters. Put them together and you get a drink that will simply WOW your guests and leave you time to actually enjoy your party! You're welcome. 

xxx Ivy & Eve

Ingredients:

  • Cranberries 2-3 for each cocktail (see how to make these pretty & tasty Sugar Dusted Cranberries HERE)
  • Sprigs of rosemary 1 for each cocktail (length depends on champagne glass 3-4" should work)
  • 1 bottle of Champagne
  • Simple syrup left over from the Sugar Dusted Cranberries (optional)
  •  Your favorite bottle of bitters (optional)

Directions:

  1. Remove leaves off the bottom half of the rosemary sprigs.
  2. Slowly poke the stem through each cranberry one at a time.
  3. Pour champagne in glass. (add simple syrup from the Sugar Dusted Cranberries recipe for a touch of sweetness and/or a dash of bitters)
  4. Place cranberry-rosemary garnish on each glass.
  5. Serve!

Cheers!

Cotton Candy Champagne Cocktail

We love sweet things and cotton candy has always been one of our favorite treats to buy at fairs and carnivals as kids. 

We have seen similar cocktail on Pinterest and always wanted to try but we could NEVER seem to find cotton candy in our hometown. So when we happened to find a shop that sold the real deal, we bought some for our carnival themed Halloween party we decided we must take full advantage of the opportunity. 

Our recipe is different to others in that they all let you dip the cotton candy into the glass of champagne, where we pour the champagne on top of the cotton candy. This recipe is much quicker to make then our Autumn Champagne Cocktail recipe since it only has two ingredients. Surprisingly, we found that the cotton candy did not make the cocktail super sweet. If you want it to be sweeter, just keep adding more cotton candy! The cotton candy melts within seconds so be sure to serve it in front of your guests so they can see the magic. We loved the bright color we got from the blue cotton candy but feel free to test out all the different colors! We are definitely planning to make for our next girls night or brunch.

xxx Ivy & Eve

Makes 4 cocktails.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle of brut champagne
  • 1 bag of cotton candy

Directions:

  1. Place a small pinch of cotton candy in glass.
  2. Pour bubbly in glass over cotton candy
  3. Enjoy!

Autumn Champagne Cocktail

2016-10-09 12.53.54.jpg

We love champagne, and by now you probably know we LOVE autumn, so what better than combine two things we can't live without! We love drinking champagne on its own but sometimes it's fun to spruce it up a bit and make a champagne cocktail. With all the autumn festivities going on, we started brainstorming cocktail ideas. Quickly, we narrowed it down to something with champagne and then decided to pair it with the quintessential fall apple cider. We are pretty happy with the results and it takes 5 minutes or less to make! This cocktail is perfect for any fall gathering and screams to be served during Thanksgiving dinner. 

Makes 6 cocktails

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Drizzle the caramel sauce on champagne flute rim.

  2. Turn over the flute and roll the rim in the brown sugar.

  3. Pour about 1.5 oz (one shot) of apple cider into the champagne flutes.

  4. Pop that champagne!

  5. Pour champagne into flutes, fill to brim.

Cheers!

Red Wine Sangria

Sangria is one of our all time favorite drinks. It's cool and refreshing and has yummy fruit snacks to munch on while you enjoy it. We have put together one of our favorite red wine sangria recipes for you using Pacificana Zinfandel from our second Winc shipment (we will be reviewing it shortly). We hope you enjoy this as much as we do!

xxx Ivy & Eve

Ingredients:

1 bottle of chilled red wine, like this Pacificana Zinfandel from Winc

1/2 cup brandy

1/2 cup orange juice

1 cup club soda

1 orange (cut into thin round slices)

1/2 Meyer lemon (cut into thin round slices)

1/2 lime (cut into thin round slices)

1 apple (sliced into 1/2 inch chunks

10 Maraschino cherries

2 tablespoons Maraschino cherry juice

Directions:

  1. Slice and dice fruit and place all in a pitcher.
  2. Pour orange juice and brandy into the pitcher, mix, and let it marinate in the refrigerator for 15 or more minutes.
  3. Add club soda and wine into the pitcher and mix.
  4. Place pitcher back in refrigerator to marinate for 30 minutes or more. (optional step)
  5. Add ice cubes to serving glasses and scoop out sangria fruit as you pour.
  6. Serve! 

Cheers!

Winc: Wine Subscription Service Review & Free Bottle Code!

We love to get mail. Who doesn't? We also love wine. Also, who doesn't? We recently wondered why we had not tried out one of the many wine subscription services, we really had no good explanation. We are members of many Carmel Valley wine clubs and get most of our wine locally but we rarely try wines that aren't local let alone produced outside of California. We decided that trying out a wine subscription would be a great way to try something new, and have the excitement of waiting for the mail to arrive as well!

First up on our quest to find the best wine subscription service is Winc (formerly known as Club W). 

Winc is a L.A. based start-up winery who's mission is to provide the world with stellar wines at reasonable prices. Working directly with vineyards and winemakers, and distributing directly to the consumer (us), they keep prices down so we get these wines at a great price!

To get started, you sign up and take a quick quiz to identify your palate profile. Then they suggest several wines for you based on your profile and you can either keep the selections or pick from the ever changing range of wines on offer.  

We ended up selecting our own wines, some of them were matched to us from our profile, and some were not. We were SO excited to get the package...we actually ran right out to the delivery man when he came. The package includes the wines and cards with a description and a recipe to pair with each bottle. You can also get these recipes on the Winc website. 

First up: 

2015 Copycat Barbera

Paso Robles, CA

We adore this label! A cat in a triceratops costume, what could be cuter?! We thought the wine was very light for the color of wine and had no lingering finish. It tasted of red cherry and raspberry with a touch of herbs. Overall we would drink it again but we wouldn't go out of our way to purchase it. 

2015 Cocomero Rosé of Barbera

California

The label is fun and definitely eye catching. It grabs our attention but it also makes us a bit weary since fun girly labels tend to be on the sweet side. In this case it was not sweet. This was definitely a darker rosé in color. The flavor matched the color, it was a very flavorful rosé. It really tasted like drinking a bowl of fruit salad (a lot of things going on). Overall we thought it wasn't that great of a rosé. We like our rosés on the lighter side with less complexity. 

2015 Wildest Dreams White Blend

Central Coast, CA

We really love the labeling on this wine. Ivy also like the name because it reminds her of Taylor Swifts song "Wildest Dreams". The label is definitely "trendy' and has a really cute heart stamped on the top and bottom of the cork. The wine itself was our favorite of the four. We liked its crisp acidity, and that it was pretty dry. Their were flavors of peach and honeysuckle with a little bit of lemon. We could see ourselves drinking this with our nectarine and burrata salad or even a thin crust veggie pizza. It's a great all around white wine. 

2015 PYT Malvasia Bianca Pétillant Naturel (called Pét-Nat for short) 

Paso Robles, CA

This wine style has recently become popular in the wine industry although its one of the oldest ways to make sparkling wine. The reason its becoming more readily available is for two reasons, the first being sparkling wine is becoming really popular to all wine consumers, second being this is the simplest and most cost effective way to make a sparkling wine (more on this at a later time). 

Being sparkling wine lovers we decided we should give it a try and see what the rage is all about. The label itself is pretty and would stand out well on a shelf. When we opened it, as warned on Winc, the bottle fizzed out the top of the bottle all over our hands and counter. We quickly poured it into our glasses. The color of the wine was straw yellow and hazy because there's no filtering involved. The taste was a little tart with a lot of melon, honey, and lychee flavors. While this isn't our typical favorite sparkling wine we thought it was fun and festive to drink.  We are looking forward to trying a few more Pét-Nats in the near future. 

Overall we thought this wine shipment was good, we will likely try it again once more to see if we find wines that better fit our personal preferences. We would recommend this wine subscription to new wine drinkers or people looking to try something different. We wish they would give a bit more background on where they source their grapes from. One of the wines just said it was sourced from California. Bonus: Winc definitely wins for having the cutest wine branding. 

If you are interested in trying Winc out for yourself use our code to get a free bottle of wine with your shipment (worth $13!). 

Use the code: https://www.clubw.com/iqabcrvz0wi

xxx Ivy & Eve

The Drink of Summer 2016: Frosé

You may have noticed a certain pink drink popping up on social media...no we don't mean the Pink Drink from Starbucks (although that one is delicious!) we mean Frosé!

Frosé is a slushy like drink made of...you guessed it, ROSÉ! As soon as we saw a photo of this magical beverage, we knew we had to try it. We haven't seen it on any drink menu near us so we looked at some recipes online and the recipes vary a lot. We picked up a bunch of strawberries from the farmers market so we thought why not add that to the mix? This recipe would also be great to make cheeky alcoholic popsicles as well. Enjoy!

xxx Ivy & Eve

Ingredients

1 bottle rosé

3 oz. sweet vermouth

1 cup strawberries

Agave syrup to taste (optional)

Mint to garnish

Directions

  1. Cut the tops off the strawberries.
  2. Place the strawberries in a blender (or food processor) and puree.
  3. Strain the strawberries using a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl. Use the back of a spoon to push the puree through without pushing the seeds through. 
  4. Pour the bottle of rosé through the strainer to help get the last bit of puree through the strainer and discard the leftover seeds and pulp.
  5. If there are some seeds and pulp in the bowl you can strain once more.
  6. Add the sweet vermouth and stir.
  7. Taste test to see if you would like to add any agave syrup and add if you would like. 
  8. Pour the liquid into a large glass dish or several ice cube trays and place in freezer until frozen (depends on the dish you use but this should take around 4-6 hours)
  9. Once frozen, break up the frozen mixture with a spoon  and place in a blender. 
  10. Blend until smooth, pour into glasses, garnish with a strawberry and some mint and a straw.
  11. Serve immediately!

Joyce Vineyards Winery Party

For the past few months we have been anticipating the opening of our nearest and dearest local winery's new tasting location; Joyce Vineyards Winery Tasting Room in Salinas! (Ivy's boyfriend happens to be the assistant winemaker here!) Although it's location is not as convenient for us as their Carmel Valley tasting room which we told you about here, the new location is at their winery! This location is awesome because it gives the enophile's and devoted club members a chance to peer into the making of delicious wine. Although it would not be our first time visiting the winery, we were still very excited to see the changes they had made to the facility since the last time we visited. As soon as the date was announced for the 'Open House', we marked our calendars and crossed off each day in anticipation. The open house was free for club members and $40 for nonmembers. This ticket included 3 glasses of wine, and unlimited food. What a great deal! 

The location of the winery is in a warehouse in Salinas, California. From the outside you would never know there was wine nearby. When we stepped inside the winery's large processing room, there was a long table for people to stand and eat with additional tables around the edge of the room. Along the sides were barrels full of wine and stainless steel tanks ready for this years harvest. Within the big room there were two wine tasting bars set up. Each bar was pouring something different. One area poured the reds, the other poured special estate wines under a canopy of moody bistro lights. Off to the left was a room which is going to be the new tasting room. This bar was pouring white wines. In this room they also featured Buzz Light Beer from a wine barrel keg in the wall by Alvarado Street Brewing, which happens to have their brewing facility and new tasting bar open just down the street.

 The food at the event was amazing! Hawaiian food truck Pono served seaweed salad, manapaul (steamed pork bun), Kalua pork sliders, and pork or shrimp tacos! Catering company Tasty Solutions, with Chef Marc Jones served up the best tri-tip sandwiches, grilled corn on the cob, quinoa salad, and a large assortment of other delicious grilled veggies. Plus he served the most heavenly blueberry bread pudding cobbler with stone fruit and blueberries topped with a lavender chocolate sauce and whipped cream. Seriously delicious!

Outside, they had our friend and local artist Casey Frazier playing tunes for everyone sitting outside enjoying the wine. They also had a cornhole game set up for people to play in the sunshine! 

The event brought in over 250 people from around the area. This new winery tasting location plans to be officially up and running for weekends and special events sometime after this years harvest. There is a lot to be done at Joyce Vineyards between now and then. They not only have harvest just around the corner but they also are moving their Carmel Valley tasting room to another location down the street. Definitely keep an eye on this winery. They have big and exciting changes coming soon! Be sure to follow them on Facebook for the most up-to-date info on the upcoming changes and events! 

xxx Ivy & Eve

 Brothers Todd (left) and Nick (Right [Ivy's wonderful boyfriend]) pouring a selection of red wines offered at Joyce.

Brothers Todd (left) and Nick (Right [Ivy's wonderful boyfriend]) pouring a selection of red wines offered at Joyce.

 Looking towards the estate wines tasting corner among the barrels

Looking towards the estate wines tasting corner among the barrels

 Music in the sunshine

Music in the sunshine

 The entrance to the winery

The entrance to the winery

 The DELICIOUS cobbler!

The DELICIOUS cobbler!

 Seaweed salad and pork bun...and lots of wine!

Seaweed salad and pork bun...and lots of wine!

 Tri-tip, grilled veggies and grilled corn

Tri-tip, grilled veggies and grilled corn

 Inside the winery

Inside the winery

 Awesome chalk map and beer on tap (left)

Awesome chalk map and beer on tap (left)

Biscuit Roses de Reims- Cookies You Dip in Champagne!

During our recent trip to Reims (see full post here), the champagne capital of the world, we passed Maison Fossier, who's windows were filled with adorable tins and bags filled with rectangular pink biscuits. Naturally we had to go inside the shop to see what these little pink biscuits were all about. Walking in, we were immediately surrounded by the warmth and delicate sweet scent of sugar and vanilla. Best of all - there was PINK everywhere! We sampled one of these pink beauties and with one bite we were in love! They have the texture of an un-soaked lady finger and are subtly sweet with a touch of vanilla. A perfect accompaniment for champagne.

These biscuits were invented in the 1690’s by bakers in Reims who wanted to make something that could be made to use the heat of their ovens between baking batches of bread. The shop, Maison Fossier, has been making Biscuit Roses de Reims since it opened in 1756 and now can be found throughout France and around the world. These biscuits were even served during the Coronation of Louis XVI at Reims, and Maison Fossier became the biscuit maker for the royal family.

You are supposed to serve these biscuits with champagne (preferably champagne from Reims) and they are made to be dipped into the champagne to bring out the subtle flavors of the cookies. Of course, you don't have to try to sell us on anything that involves champagne so we bought a few tins as gifts and a bag for us to enjoy on our trip. Once we were home, we missed having these cute and crunchy biscuits and decided to make them ourselves. We found the original recipe on the official website for France so we decided not to alter it much because if it is on the official website for France, it must be the good.

xxx Ivy & Eve

Adapted from the recipe on France.fr.

Makes about 45 cookies.

Ingredients:

4 large eggs at room temperature (separate the yolks from the whites)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups flour

1/3 cup cornstarch

1 tsp baking powder

6-8 drops of red food coloring (depending on how pink you want them)

Powdered (confectioner's) sugar for dusting the cookies

Pastry bag with 1/4-inch smooth tip

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 275°F. Mix the yolks, sugar and vanilla in a bowl using a hand blender with a whisk attachment, on increasing speeds over a period of 5-6 minutes. Beat in 2 of the egg whites for another 2 minutes. Beat in the remaining 2 egg whites and the food coloring for an additional 5 minutes until the mixture begins to form stiff peaks.
  2. Sift the flour, cornstarch and baking powder into the bowl, folding in gently with a spatula. You want a final result that is smooth and uniform  in color. Scrape it into the pastry bag.
  3. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with non-stick baking spray. Squeeze out strips of the mixture that are 1/4-inch wide (about as wide as your finger) and about 3 inches long and 1/4-1/2 inches apart. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and bake for 10-15 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. (You don't want the biscuits to start browning though, or else they won't be pink!) Take the biscuits out, sprinkle them with more powdered sugar and place them back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes. 
  4.  When you take them out, quickly cut the edges of the biscuits so that you have even rectangles. Do this before they cool, or else they become rather difficult to cut. If they cool before you finish, you can place them back in the oven for a few minutes to soften. If once they cool, they aren't completely crunchy, you can always but them back in the oven at 200°F and dry them out for about 20 minutes. 
  5.  Serve with champagne, dip, and enjoy!
 Our dog Pearl and cat Fatty Pants loved them too! 

Our dog Pearl and cat Fatty Pants loved them too! 

DIY "Cheers" Cocktail Napkins + Printable!

We decided we wanted to add a little glamour to our bar cart and upgrade to linen cocktail napkins. They make any event seem fancier, plus they are good for the environment since you won't have to throw them away! Eve came up with the cute idea to make our own stencils with "cheers" printed in different languages on each napkin. 

Cheers around the world:

Cheers: English, means "good wishes"

Skál: Icelandic, equivalent to "cheers" or "good health"

Sláinte: Irish Gaelic & Scottish Gaelic, translates to "health"

Kanpai: Japanese translates to "dry glass"

 Prost: German & Austrian, in latin the translation for prost means "may it be good/beneficial for you!"

 Saluti: Italian, translates in english to "regards"

xxx Ivy & Eve

Materials:

Linen cocktail napkins - 6"x6" (we bought ours here)

Fabric paint (choose any color your heart desires!)

X-acto knife

Sponge brush

Cardboard

Newspaper

Our paper stencil (here

Directions:

  1. Print out our paper stencil HERE!
  2. Cut out each card (follow the black lines)
  3. Once you have 6 separate cards use the x-acto knife to carefully cut out each letter.
  4. Prepare an area for painting with newspaper 
  5. Place stencil on the napkin where you want the word printed
  6. Sponge fabric paint lightly till each letter has been filled in with paint, be careful not to move the stencil while painting.
  7. Let dry for 48-72 hours.
  8. Hand wash recommended to prevent fading.

Cheers ! Skál ! Sláinte ! Kanpai ! Prost ! Saluti !

Santa Lucia Highlands Gala

The Santa Lucia Highlands Gala (also called the SLH Gala) is an event put on each year that showcases 40 plus local wines grown in the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA (American Viticultural Area...fancy talk for a grape growing region). On top of premier wines, the event has small bites of some of the best local flavors. This year the event was held at Mer Soleil Winery and Vineyard. Surrounded by vineyards and sunshine, it was the perfect setting for a wine party! This event is really unique because only wineries that produce wines from grapes grown in the SLH are invited. You can taste anything from dry Rieslings to bold Syrahs. Some of our favorite wineries attended such as Morgan Winery, Joyce VineyardsBoekenoogen, and Scheid Vineyards. We found a few new favorites along the way though. The Odonata winery had a very dry riesling which was fun to try. While we were talking to the winemaker Denis, he mentioned having a sparkling wine down the road at his wine tasting room and winery. So naturally we stopped in for a glass on our way home, and left with two bottles. Oops! Here is a link to their online shop

As for the small bites, options ranged from a huge cheese table presented by the local Star Market grocery store, to waffles with fresh sweet corn topped with lobster from Chef Soerke from Basil. Just delicous! If you needed a break from the wine you could stop at the Bar Cart Cocktails Co. table where Katie was serving chilled herbal tea made from ingredients picked on the Apex Vineyard in the SLH. 

On our way home we stopped at Joyce winery to regroup with friends. We caught a glimpse of their new tasting room (scheduled to open this summer) and jumped in a few tanks before heading home. Shout out to our dear friend J for hooking us up with tickets to this event! It was fab!

xxx Ivy & Eve

 What a view!!!

What a view!!!

 YUMM from Chef Todd at Tarpy's

YUMM from Chef Todd at Tarpy's

 Delicious Noodles from Shiho at Ocean Sushi

Delicious Noodles from Shiho at Ocean Sushi

 Eve used to work at a tasting room so when Morgan needed a helping hand, she gladly stepped in!  Photo by: Morgan Winery

Eve used to work at a tasting room so when Morgan needed a helping hand, she gladly stepped in! Photo by: Morgan Winery

 Katie from Bar Cart Cocktails Co. pouring some of her tasty tea!

Katie from Bar Cart Cocktails Co. pouring some of her tasty tea!

 Goofing off at Joyce! :)

Goofing off at Joyce! :)

Rosé Roundup + Free May Calendar!

May is just one of those "happy " months. The weather is warming, the flowers are in full bloom, and the days are getting longer. When the days get warmer and longer, we love to come home after work and enjoy a glass of rosé together on our patio. Rosé has become very popular in the past few years. Many wineries have come out with crisp, dry, and minerally rosés which we LOVE! If you haven't tried rosé yet, we dare you to test some of our favorites! 

To go along with our pretty pink drink, we have paired some of our favorite rosy fashion favorites. Ivy designed the tote, and we can't wait until we get the samples in! 

Ivy also made the adorable and FREE printable calendar. We both have one pinned at our desks at work to remind us that life is better when seen through rosé colored glasses. Print it out and enjoy!

xxx Ivy & Eve