Posted by: sforshner | November 5, 2008

transient travels finally has a new look and a new home!

Thanks to Jessica at Delicious Design Studio, who interpreted my incoherent explanations into a design that couldn’t be more me, I will be blogging at transienttravels.com!

And if you’ve been so kind as to add me to your blogroll or Google Reader, I would be forever grateful if you updated to my new site. My blogroll has yet to be brought over, so it is extremely scarce, but I will be adding all of my favorite links and some new ones!

See you over there!

Posted by: sforshner | November 4, 2008

don’t forget to vote

This web site has moved to transienttravels.com – this post can also be found here: http://transienttravels.com/2008/11/04/dont-forget-to-vote/

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shepard-fairey-barack-obama

Posted by: sforshner | November 3, 2008

i can’t even believe it

Fall is all too quickly coming to an end. But CC at Fork in the Road, who has moved to Dallas where Fall does not exist, has decided to have a Fall contest to help her mourn the lack the best parts of this season. Readers sent her their best Fall pictures along with a short description of their favorite Fall activity and the recipe of their favorite Fall snack. 

Guess what!

Me and Mack of Oh..the life of me won! Here is Mack’s amazing picture, which happens to be of my favorite trees, in the mountains outside of Denver…

I am so honored to be recognized among this and so many other great photos.

P.S. I need to pass along a couple of awards and I have been terrible about getting that done, I promise I will be doing that soon :)

Posted by: sforshner | November 2, 2008

and we’re in

Halloween has come and gone and I was too busy moving to celebrate. But I was happy to catch up on the exciting parties and great costumes of my favorite bloggers – it definitely made up for it :) And, I can’t wait to read Kayleigh’s haunting story part 2 – it has been pulled up on my desktop all day for when I would have a chance to read it. 

Here is what I did ALL weekend…

That’s not even half of the empty boxes that Mike and I will have to throw away. On Saturday we moved with the help of my brother Patrick, my mother and Mike’s brother, Matt. On Sunday we headed to Target, Ikea and Market Basket (after a lovely brunch with Caitlin, who had driven up from NY for the weekend, and Lisa and Bryce).

It is funny, when you announce that you will be moving, lots of stuff comes out of the woodwork. Our plates, silverware, dining room table, mattress and television were all given to us by friends and family. But, this rad chair is something that Mike had all along. 

Mike’s two brothers bought him this as a joke at Salvation Army a long time ago because it was so crazy. It is actually so out of control that it is almost cool, so I was excited to inherit it in the move. It does fit into the style of our apartment complex, which was built in the 70′s. 

Don’t worry, it is merely an accent to the rest of my very sleek and very mature pieces of furniture. My cousin Colleen bought us an ottoman that also serves as a storage unit – the top flips to become a serving tray and inside is a smaller ottoman – I love it! I would take a picture, but as you can see above, Mike is engrossed in the Simpsons right now and after the day we have had, I can’t in good conscience ask him to get up so I can take pics. 

This is what I am doing right now.

Blogging, having a glass of wine and enjoying the amazing coffee table that Mike and his brother Matt built from scratch and stained to match all of my our furniture. They also made a larger version (back left) to hold the TV. 

Now, I have to figure out how to get to work tomorrow. Happy belated Halloween!

Posted by: sforshner | October 30, 2008

recession-proof your fancy meals

Just when I thought I had nothing to write in my Thursday food post, an article by Rebecca Ruiz on Forbes.com jumped out at me from my google reader: Ways to Dine Well During a Downturn.

From exploring how the newest trends, such as gourmet street food, can save you a buck, to choosing ways to dine well at home and knowing when to splurge wisely, Rebecca taps the experts…

For families that are looking to get more value for their dollar, Josh Applestone, owner and butcher of Fleisher’s Meats in Kingston, N.Y. at times recommends a grass-fed five-pound eye-round or an eight-pound, bone-in Berkshire pork shoulder at $7.99 per pound, as they are far less expensive than other premium cuts. They are also great for leftovers.

James Oseland, editor-in-chief of the Saveur says, “For me, the economic crunch equals, ‘Wow, I’ve got to get cooking at home,’ ” he says, “and experience the great sensory pleasures of cooking at home and eating at home.”

James also says that home chefs should have on hand essential staples that they’ll be able to “transform into all sorts of satisfying dishes.”

© Shutterstock

[Courtesy of Forbes.com]

Amanda Kludt, editor of the Web site Eater.com, says that “while Michelin-starred restaurants like Le Bernardin or Jean-Georges aren’t likely to start slashing prices anytime soon, some fine-dining establishments are offering recession specials.”

Posted by: sforshner | October 29, 2008

this week’s travel finds: is everyone moving?

Or am I just noticing it more because I am going through the same experience?

Jenn at Free and Flawed has recently moved and she has come up with the perfect guide to ensure a successful move at Guidespot - check it out if you are moving too! elle michelle found out how to have fun while moving. Hopefully I will be able to say the same after this weekend. And, virtually Intelligent Travel has moved to become a bigger part of the National Geographic Traveler website.

So, because I have been spending my nights packing, I thought I would round up some great packing tips -  whether you are making a more permanent move like me, planning a short trip or headed round the world…

Posted by: sforshner | October 28, 2008

why don’t we hang out at mike and susie’s apartment?

Not just because this is the first time you can say that, but also because we just got an awesome new sofa that you can sit on!

Pretend this peice had one less middle unit and then instead of the oversized ottoman, replace it with another corner unit. This will be making it’s debut in the new apartment next week…

Bob’s Discount Furniture was the best customer service experience I have had in a long time. Upon leaving, we were congratulated on the apartment and the purchase of furniture, all after a slew of solid hand shakes by our sales representative. 

While our transaction was being processed we waited in their “on the house” cafe, where they offer coffee, lemonade, iced tea, popcorn and candy. I opted for candy. The only drawback was that we weren’t told about the delivery cost until after we paid, but our sales rep stood by the entire process to ensure everything went smoothly. So, when we decided we wanted to nix the delivery and pick up the sofa in a week after having paid - we were able to refund it right then and there.

Posted by: sforshner | October 28, 2008

travel gear tuesday: one last pink push

During October, Travel Essentials will be donating $5 for each Anne McAlpin, a travel expert and author of Pack It Up, Pink Travel Towel sold. The donations will fund Breast Cancer research through the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

It can be used as a bath or a beach towel and it doubles as a sarong, shoulder wrap and airline blanket! The Micronet fibers allow the towel to absorb 5 times its weight in water, and 90 percent of the water can be removed by hand wringing. It can be machine washed and machine dried. It is 35 x 62 inches and comes with a deluxe travel bag so you can organize your swimsuit, sunscreen and sunglasses.

Did you ever think you would know this many details about a towel?


Posted by: sforshner | October 24, 2008

BlogHer Boston 2008

It has taken me so long to catchup on blogging about BlogHer Boston which took place two weeks ago. I learned SO much and met tons of wonderful bloggers. I will try to do a better recap at some point, but in the meantime, you can check out some great live blogging from the conference at BlogHer

I left each session amazed at what I had taken away…

Social Media Can Save Media & Social Media Can Save Dinner  

     Check out the live blogging by Andrea at LibraryTechtonics

Social Media Can Save Your Business & Blogging Basics: Managing Information Overload: How to find your blogging community  

     Check out the live blogging by LaurieWrites

Blogging Basics: I Blog, Therefore I Am… figuring out your blogging mojo & Blogging Basics: 6 Steps to Personalize, Polish & Promote Your Blog  & Closing Keynote: Change Your Future; Change the World  

     Check out the live blogging by Maris at In Good Taste

BlogHer was also a reason to overload my little book that holds all my business cards and my google reader. See what else I am reading these days…

Jane and Audrey of Mom Generations 

Annette from Catnip and Coffee 

The moms of Chester County at Chester County Moms

Renee at Almost Foodies 

Roxanna at Miguelina 

Dawn of My Tasty Space 

Alicia of Oh2122 

Rachel at The Metaphorical Magpie 

Kim at Busy Bee Lifestyle 

Posted by: sforshner | October 23, 2008

wine takes you places

Last week, Mike and I traveled to Lodi, California when I picked out this Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel. I was up for something red, because I am always up for something red, and for something new…

Sometimes I pretend that I am a wine connoisseur. When I drink wine, I read the label extensively to find out where it is from, I have a good grasp of the types of wine I like and I always “gurgle” my first sip- which consists of letting in the air to get the most flavor out of each sip.  

But because I am far from being an expert, below I have coupled a recent wine exploration with a lesson on how to taste wines on About.com by Stacy Slinkard. According to Stacy…

Look: Check out the Color and Clarity. Pour a glass of wine into a suitable wine glass. Then take a good look at the wine. Tilt the glass away from you and check out the color of the wine from the rim edges to the middle of the glass (it’s helpful to have a white background – either paper, napkin or a white tablecloth).What color is it? Look beyond red, white or blush. If it’s a red wine is the color maroon, purple, ruby, garnet, red, brick or even brownish? If it’s a white wine is it clear, pale yellow, straw-like, light green, golden, amber or brown in appearance?

I think this is more purple, what do you think?

Still Looking. Move on to the wine’s opacity. Is the wine watery or dark, translucent or opaque, dull or brilliant, cloudy or clear? Can you see sediment? Tilt your glass a bit, give it a little swirl – look again, is there sediment, bits of cork or any other floaters? An older red wine will be more translucent than younger red wines.

This was definitely very clear – I wonder if it is because it is a 2006? I tried numerous times to swirl it around and then grab a picture, but it had no “legs,” no sediment, it was almost watery and it was not very cloudy. 

Smell: Our sense of smell is critical in properly analyzing a glass of wine. To get a good impression of your wine’s aroma, gently swirl your glass (this helps vaporize some of the wine’s alcohol and release more of its natural aromas) and then take a quick whiff to gain a first impression.

I remember that it had a distinct smell. I know I am getting ahead of myself, but it was definitely wasn’t oak, berry, flowers, vanilla or citrus. It was more spicy than that.

 

 

 

 

Still Smelling. Now stick your nose down into the glass and take a deep inhale through your nose. What are your second impressions? Do you smell oak, berry, flowers, vanilla or citrus? A wine’s aroma is an excellent indicator of its quality and unique characteristics. Gently swirl the wine and let the aromas mix and mingle, and sniff again. 

I have heard that one should smell the cork too. Though this was not cork, but plastic I still decided to get a close up. When I was in Santa Barbara I learned that a cork is actually the least effective way to preserve wine. Boxed wine is actually the best, it just isn’t quite as classy.  

Taste: Finally, take a taste. Start with a small sip and let it roll around your tongue. There are three stages of taste: the Attack phase, the Evolution phase and the Finish. 

To check out the aforementioned stages, click here.

After you have taken the time to taste your wine, you might record some of your impressions. Did you like the wine overall? Was it sweet, sour or bitter? How was the wine’s acidity? Was it well balanced? Does it taste better with cheese, bread or a heavy meal? Will you buy it again? If so, jot the wine’s name, producer and vintage year down for future reference.

If you have a wine journal like me, that’s easy…

What a dork. This wine was good, but it was not my favorite. For a zin, it was a bit too peppery and spicy- which isn’t always a bad thing. However, the wine was also more thin than I like- in that respect, it was like a chianti. I am more of a shiraz type of girl, so I like a lot of body and a lot of flavor at the same time. That being said, I do typically love a zinfandel, this one was just a whole other experience.

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