Guest Blogger: Lindsay @ Neat As You Please

Hi bloggers!

My name is Lindsay and I write a small little blog called Neat As You Please. It’s in its baby stages, but it’s probably my favorite blog yet. I’ve had two other blogs in the past, but this one really hits on my passion: organizing.

HOW in the world can someone be so in love with organizing, you ask? I’m still figuring that one out. What I have realized, though, is that cleaning your best friend’s room for six hours as her birthday present in 8th grade is not something normal kids do.

After much debate, I’ve finally started to blog about my projects. I’ve learned that before and after pictures can be pretty rewarding! My future plans include joining the National Association of Professional Organizers and helping people that aren’t in my circle of family and friends! :-)

Helping Liz from iheartvegetables was my favorite project yet! Check out how we did it here.

In the organizing world, most people have a niche, something they’re really good at, so that they can get lots of clients wanting the same kind of organizing. As I build my portfolio, I’ll be doing all sorts of different rooms and spaces. My goal right now is to become as experienced as possible before going into my niche market.

A small digression:

One of my blogs, Over on 66, talks about the funny things that happened while I was living with my grandparents. What I don’t talk about too often over there is my grandma’s worsening Alzheimer’s/dementia. It was hard, and the amount of work caretakers have to do everyday to keep the other happy is astounding (especially when the caretaker is 88!).

IN conclusion, you can probably guess who I want to help: families dealing with a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. I must say, I’ve always been a fantastic labeler (*brushes shoulder off) and with these patients, everything needs to have a safe place.

So, there you have it! I wasn’t planning on giving you a complete history of why I’m passionate about organizing but it happened!

Love for organizing + sick grandparent= my new goal in life.

If you’d like to be one of the people that helps build my portfolio, or you just want some organizing tips and tricks, head over to my blog Neat As You Please and look around! I post something new every Monday.

Lindsay @  Neat As You Please 

Richmond Jazz Festival & Wine Tasting

Saturday afternoon, Brittany and Lindsay and I walked over to Maymont to check out the Richmond Jazz Festival. We all had press passes for the event from Chateau Ste. Michelle, a Washington state winery that was sampling three of their Rieslings at the event. I’m a sweet-wine lover, so Riesling is usually what I go for, which made this tasting especially fun!

We tasted them in order of sweetness:

  • First off was the Dry Riesling. Since I’m a sweet wine lover, this was as little dry for me, but still something I would enjoy drinking, especially with a meal.
  • Second, we tried the Columbia Valley Riesling. This one would probably be what I would be most likely to purchase, because it was sweet, but not so sweet that it wouldn’t appeal to the dry wine drinkers 😉
  • The last one we tasted was probably my favorite. The Harvest Select Sweet Riesling was sweet, and I would love this after a light summer dinner. If you don’t like super sweet wines, you might want to stick with the first two, but I loved this one!

Even if you’re not a “fancy” wine drinker, you should definitelygive these a try! All of these sell for $10.00 or less (which is totally my kind of wine…) They are available online, but I think you can also find them in some Virginia grocery stores.
Despite the crazy temperatures, we enjoyed walking around the festival, listening to music, and of course, taking pictures!

(Photo courtesy of Brittany)

Don’t we look so official with our badges and cameras? I loved the #ReasonForRiesling slogan that was used throughout the tasting. It was a really fun experience!

Did anyone else check out the Jazz Festival this weekend? I know Marc was there, taking some really awesome pictures!

Photo courtesy of: The Cheats Movement

Photo credit: The Cheats Movement

P.S. If you haven’t already checked out Marc’s Blog, he has some great coverage of Richmond people & events!

What festivals have you been enjoying lately?

Guest Blogger: Caught On A Whim

Hi!  My name is Erica and I blog over at Caught On A Whim.  In my blog I share my adventures in puppy raising, crafting, travels, recipes and more.  Here is one of our recent adventures in Virginia…

My husband and I decided to spend some of our time off this year on a staycation at home.  Maybe that doesn’t sound too exciting offhand, but a staycation doesn’t have to be a ‘bore’cation.  You just have to spice it up by being creative.  We decided to be local tourists by visiting local attractions, trying new restaurants and seeing Virginia with fresh new eyes.  One of our favorite day trips was to the Chateau Morrisette Winery.

The winery itself is a magnificent building which was built completely from reclaimed wood.  The architecture is stunning.
The views are nothing short of ahhhmazing!  Who doesn’t love the Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains?  We also ate at the winery’s restaurant, which has tasty gourmet food and even more breathtaking views on the expansive patio.  Plus, there is no shortage events and festivals to attend throughout the year.
Now, this is where the magic (aka wine tasting) happens.  It was fun to have the chance to taste multiple wines in a row.  I never get to do that on my own, because opening 10 bottles of wine at home is just a wee bit too expensive.
It was also fun to take a tour the winery.  On the tour we got a chance to learn the history and to also see how the wine was made.  Who doesn’t love a good wine with a paw print stamp of approval?
And of course, don’t go home empty handed.  Be sure to take home a few of your favorite bottles of wine from the tasting and check out the gift shop for fun trinkets like this buzzy wine stopper that I couldn’t resist bringing home.

Even the ride out to the winery is worth the trip.  All you have to do to get there is go for a little joyride on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  You might even make it to the winery eventually, after you are able to pull yourself away from the views you’ll encounter on the drive to get there…

Have you guys been to Chateau Morrisette? Care to share any other wineries in Virginia (or beyond) you’ve enjoyed visiting?  

Guest Blogger: Eating Appalachia

Hi fellow VA bloggers—so fantastic to join you all in celebrating Virginia! I’m Jes of Eating Appalachia and I hail from Roanoke down in the southwestern corner Virginia. Originally from Atlanta, I made my home here after earning my MFA at Hollins University in Poetry (I was in it for the money…wink wink) and falling in love with the mountains, local produce, and a fantastic fellow who goes by G here on the internet. My blog centers on food (hence the “eating!”) and features vegan recipes and omni restaurant reviews from around the world. I guess you could say I live to eat—and now I’m even making a little bit of a living off it. Can’t beat that!

Introduction aside, today I’ve decided to share with you all a recipe that incorporates everything I stand for food-wise (fresh local produce, booze, and preservation)—Strawberry Bourbon Brown Sugar Preserves. While strawberries are now a bit out of season, this is definitely a recipe to hold onto for next year or one to make with some of the strawberries you might have frozen. And what beats a recipe with bourbon? (I swear, if you can put liquor in it, chances are I’ve already made it or it’s on my list!)

A few years ago I jumped on the canning train and even worked for an entrepreneur who opened a small local foods restaurant & store here in Roanoke. While the business venture didn’t pan out in the end, the time that I spent culling through boxes and boxes of fruits and vegetables, slicing & seasoning, and standing over giant pots of boiling water instilled what I think will be a life-long infatuation with fresh food preservation. It’s amazing all the different ways you can pickle and preserve. If you’re looking for a good place to learn how to can, check out the blog Food in Jars or the book Canning for a New Generation–love them both.

This particular recipe focuses on the sweeter side of preserved food and is a great way to honor the late spring’s bounty. While I love strawberry jam, I found myself wanting to make a more updated version of the classic recipe. A quick Google search left me wondering why on earth no one else had thought to add bourbon to strawberry preserves—seems like a no-brainer, right? So I decided to run with it. The resulting preserves are light and tart with a mellow, caramel-oak backtone, perfect to serve on freshly baked biscuits. While not overtly boozy, the bourbon adds a nice warmth to the preserves and gives them just a little more depth than you’d normally find in strawberry jam. Light. Sweet. Tart. Dark. These preserves pack a lot of differing flavors that definitely complement each other—Southern to the core with a bit of Appalachian flair.

Strawberry Bourbon Brown Sugar Preserves

  • 6 c Crushed strawberries (about 1.5 quarts whole)
  • 3 tbsp Low or no-sugar pectin (I used Ball’s)
  • 2/3 c Bourbon
  • 1 c Brown Sugar
  • Jars & lids for canning
  • Canning supplies

In a medium stock pot, combine the crushed strawberries and pectin. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly.

Add brown sugar and bourbon. Return to a full rolling boil and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

If canning, process in a hot water bath per these instructions for 10 minutes to fully preserve and seal.

Makes 2 ½ pints.

 

Virginia Love,

Jes of Eating Appalachia

Meet Up Recap @ Kabab Grille

Saturday afternoon, we had another fantastic Blogger Meet Up, this time, over a delicious spread of Pakistani food, at Kabab Grille in Richmond! After Sarah and I tasted their food at the Richmond Vegetarian Festival (and chatted with the amazingly sweet staff) we knew it would be the perfect place for a meet up!

They were super accommodating, bringing out dish after dish of delicious food, explaining what everything was along the way! It was awesome, since most of us were totally unfamiliar with Pakistani cuisine. They had a range of vegetarian and meat options, which meant there really was something for everyone!

My favorites were the chickpeas (pictured above) and the zucchini. Both of them were so flavorful and delicious! I also ate quite a few pieces of Nann and lots of mixed vegetetables and rice.

They had a variety of sauces for us to taste, which meant you could pretty much customize your spice preference! And those mixed vegetables pictured above were incredible!

You can’t have that many bloggers and cameras in one place without getting a great group shot:

From left: Tatianna, Janieseca, Shaina, Sarah, Adrienne, Lindsay, Liz, Brian, Sydney, Anna, Mollee, Meg, Robin 

Such a fun group of Virginia Bloggers!

You can check out more of Kabab Grille on their Facebook page, and follow them on Twitter!

Keep an eye out for more meet up announcements and events to come!

Virginia LOVE,

Liz @ I Heart Vegetables

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