Stocking Stuffers for your Wine Lover

No one has invented a stocking-shaped bottle of wine yet, so for now we’ll content ourselves with these wine gadgets to fill your stockings. Whether you’re shopping for someone who just started to explore wine, someone who has fallen down the rabbit hole of Burgundian terroir, or someone who loves to throw wine parties, we’ve got you covered.

For the Novice
Wine opener and foiler : No wino should be without the basics. $5-30

Vinturi Wine Aerator: If you don’t have the time or the equipment to aerate your wine the traditional way, this quick-fix gadget can come in handy. $25

For the Wine Geek
Ah-So: This two-pronged wine opener extracts old or crumbling corks in one piece. $3

Wine bottle tags: Organize your wine cellar with tags for red and white wine. $6

Oenophilia Private Preserve : Protects your unfinished wine by replacing harmful oxygen with argon, the same gas used by wineries to protect their wine from oxidization. $10

For the Entertainer
Bouchon: Every hostess has a bottle of bubbly on hand, and every good hostess also has a bouchon, or Champagne stopper, to keep the bubbles from escaping. $6

Wine Away: A host’s secret weapon, Wine Away works magic on red wine stains. $19

Stay-on coasters: Protect your furniture during parties with these cute coasters that stay on the wine glass. $12

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Tips & Tricks from Grandma swears by

Grandma definitely knows best when it comes to keeping clean. Many of those cleaning tricks your nana taught you are solid cleaning methods. Moreover, so many of the methods we’ve rounded up are not only cost-effective, but also use common house items like lemon and vinegar.

Clean Cutting Boards

Rub half of a lemon on a cutting board to get rid of any unwanted smells.

Soak Burnt Pots And Pans

Soak burnt pots and pans in bicarbonate soda over night. The next day the stains should come right off.

Remove Stains With Cold Water

Grandma always says that cold water is better for stains and she’s right!

Remove Stains With Toothbrush

For more intense stains try scrubbing the affected fabric with a bar of soap and then applying an electric toothbrush to it. Remember to separate the soapy brush head.

Make The Kitchen Smell Nice

Mix white vinegar or lemon and bicarbonate soda to mask malodorous kitchen smells.

Homemade Toilet Bowl Cleaner

Squeeze lemon juice into the toilet bowl and let it sit for about two minutes. Then scrub away stains. This method smells great too.

Remove Wrinkles

Fix up wrinkly clothing by combining 10 parts water to 1 part fabric softener and spraying the mixture on to the fabric with an empty spray bottle. Make sure to hang up the clothing on a hanger as you spray.

Clean Stained Hands

If your hands smell less than stellar, after preparing fish for example, use lemon to remove less than desirable scents from your hands.

Clean Mirrors And Windows

It’s actually very easy to remove streaks from windows by spraying a mixture of white vinegar and water. This works on mirrors as well.

 

Spring Cleanse your body with water

SPRING CLEANSE ~ YOUR BODY ~

But if you really want to cleanse then DRINK, DRINK, DRINK. Here are 8 home made vitamin water recipes to help you keep the water flowing!

As a rule, you should try to avoid as much as possible industrial food and beverages

1) The classical : lemon/cucumber:
Mix in a pitcher: 10 cups of water + 1 cucumber and a lemon, thinly sliced + 1/4 cup fresh finely chopped basil leaf + 1/3 of finely chopped fresh mint leaves. Leave in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

2) The granite : Strawberry/Lime or Raspberry/Lime
Mix in a pitcher : 10 cups of water + 6 strawberries / 0r Raspberries and one thinly sliced lime + 12 finely chopped fresh mint leaves. Leave in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

3) The digestive : Fennel/citrus
First: infuse 1 to 3 grams of dried and crushed fennel in 150 ml of boiling water for 5-10 minutes. Allow to cool.
Mix in a pitcher: 10 cups of water + lemon juice (put the leftover lemon in the mix) + a small thinly sliced orange + 12 fresh chopped mint leaves + the infusion of fennel seeds. Leave in refrigerator overnight before serving.

4) The antiOX : Blackberry/Sage
Note that a part from the berries, sage leafs is the herb that has the highest antioxidant content.
Mix in a pitcher : 10 cups of water + 1 cup of blackberries that have been very slightly crushed + 3-4 sage leaves. Leave in refrigerator overnight before serving.

5) WATERmelon : watermelon/Rosemary
Mix in a pitcher : 10 cups of water + 1 cup of watermelon cut into cubes + 2 rosemary stems. Leave in refrigerator overnight before serving.

6) The exotic : Pineapple/Mint
Mix in a pitcher : 10 cups of water + 1 cup of pineapple cut into cubes + 12 fresh mint leaves finely chopped. Leave in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

7) The traditional : Apple/cinnamon
Mix in a pitcher : 10 cups of water + 1 cup of apple cut into cubes + 2 cinnamon sticks + 2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Leave in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

8.) The zingibir : Ginger/tea
In advance: heat 1 teaspoon of ginger in two cups of tea, let it cool down.

Mix in a pitcher: 10 cups of water with two cups of the ginger tea + 4-5 pieces of fresh ginger cut into cubes. Leave in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

A sexy idea for your Valentine’s Day

Valentines Day is around the corner, and we’ve given you some tame and even sweet ideas of what to get your S.O., but let’s be honest – ever since you’ve read 50 Shades of Grey – you know you want more.  Valentine’s Day is just the day to let out your inner sex fiend – so here we bring you some sexy ideas for the actual day.

Take her out to a nice restaurant but first give her a gift

There’s something sexy about a pair of black lacy panties already, and then add on the fact that they’re actually Remote Vibrating Panties and you’ve just set the bar a bit higher.  Slip on a pair of these panties, hand the remote over, and enjoy a night out at the restaurant.  Indulge in hours of foreplay, and you’ve just made your night that much more interesting.  

Go home, and set the scene 

Light the candle to enjoy the wonderful scent. Extinguish flame, then use it as a warm massage oil. Premium, food-grade ingredients and the wax’s low melting point mean the product is entirely skin-safe. 

Whip out your costumes and whatever else you have

Everybody needs a little spice in their lives. It’s great to have a regular partner, but after enough times, the Crab position will seem as mundane as the Missionary. So what can you do to change things up a bit? Costumes and role playing!

It’ll be easy to resuscitate your sex life dressed in a sexy nurse costume. You could break out the handcuffs and read him his rights. Or you can be his Super Bowl halftime show. If your pocketbook isn’t deep this year, just grab your shortest skirt, a pair of pom-poms, and improvise the rest. All is you need is your imagination. And very skimpy costumes. A word of warning to the guys: if your wife/partner constantly wants you to dress up like a UPS man, a plumber, or a cable installer, you might want to get her a full-time job.

Happy Valentines Day!

Shopping for Condoms – reinvented

This is epic.  Everyone knows how awkward it is to buy condoms at the store no matter what age you are.  How often did we buy a bunch of other useless crap at the grocery store just so it didn’t look like we just came in for rubbers.

Dollar Rubber Club is the answer.  They send you condoms every month and it’s cheaper than shopping at the store.  So now you can avoid the embarrassment, stay safe and it’s cheaper.  It is really a no brainer.  Order a 3-pack, 6-pack & 12-pack or variety pack.  You can pick the brand & style except for the variety pack with Dollar Rubber Club picks for you.

How we got out of debt at NYCDUMPLINGMAMAS

All of the fashion deals we’ve been dishing out to you guys have been over-whelming and exciting, and in our technological advanced age, it is just so easy to point, click and buy.  Consumption is just way soo easy these days.

So we do want to urge our readers that none of this stuff is really worth putting yourself in debt for.  We know first-hand, for we were in debt (a lot of debt) in our early 20’s.

First, how I DID NOT get out of debt:

  • No fairy godmother with a magic wand that magically erased credit bureau databases (we wish)
  • No hedge-fund sugar daddy.  (we wouldn’t want that anyways)
  • No publishing clearinghouse folks showed up at our door with a 100k check (we can always dream)
  • No we didn’t win the lottery (we’re  dreaming a bit more)

No quick fixes, but just a whole lot of hard work and honesty.

Here is how we did get out of debt: (and no, we’re not talking about mortgage debts – for we will forever be in that for the rest of our lives)

1)      Stop Spending.   I know this sounds simple, but it’s probably the most effective thing you can do.  I mean it, don’t spend a thing.  Don’t make an excuse for spending.  Just stop.  One thing we did was literally dunked our credit card in a tub of water and placed that in the freezer.  So when we decided that we “MUST HAVE” that pair of shoes, we literally had to defrost our credit cards to actually do so.  Trust me, it worked

2)      Admit you have a problem.  Admitting I was broke was probably the 2nd hardest thing after not spending.  Here I was, an college educated woman living in the big apple – unable to pay my bills in full.

3)      Face the facts.  Gather 3 months of bank statements and put all your spendings down on a spreadsheet, and categorize what you’re spending your money on.  I was shocked to discover I was spending north of $100 on things like taxi cabs when the good ole public trains worked just as well.

4)      Let go of the Princess Myth.  Look, so many of us have into what I call the “princess myth”.  We all deserve to have every material thing we’ve ever wanted – a luxury car, designer clothes, rich husband, etc.. I blame the media for shoving this down our throat through shows like MTV’s Sweet Sixteen, etc..  Really think about what would make you happy.  Most likely it’s something that doesn’t cost you a penny.

5)      Create a Needs vs. Wants list. Take your sheet with want you spent during the past three months and place them in either the Needs- things you need to survive, like your car, electricity, gas, and food or Wants- things you could eliminate immediately and still be able to survive like- cable TV, trips to the hair dresser, your BMW, and in my case, a soy latte at my local French coffee shop.

6)      Live below your means.  This is the reason why so many of us are in trouble. Keeping up with the Jones, means you may end up as broke as the Jones. You don’t need a luxury car and in some places you might not need a car period. You don’t need a flat screen TV or, unless you work from home and/or work in a field that requires one, you don’t need a computer- most local libraries have computer rooms with free internet. Take a peek at that needs list and see if there’s a way you can change or reduce the level of the needs. For example, we had two cars and we got rid of the one with the higher insurance and monthly payment.

7)      Remember This Too Shall Pass. Being broke isn’t the end of the world, especially if you’re actively addressing the issue. It’s often in times of great adversity, that great ideas are developed.

My Review on a New WorkOut Joint – Pure Barre

Before I start here, let me start by saying – I’m NOT trying to lose crazy amount of weight – but after kid # 2, the love handle has just become a little bit more pronounced, and my mid-section has a layer of flab on it that I just can’t get used to.  Summer is coming in a quick 6 months, and in my current state, I am embarrassed to wear a 2 piece out.

 

So when I saw on Gilt City a few months ago on a 3 class package to Pure Barre – which is marketed as the fastest, most effective ways to change your body with isometric movements at the ballet barre, yoga and pilates techniques – I was intrigued and slightly curious.  I will admit, the ballet barre was probably what grabbed out to me – since I did really did enjoy my ballet dancing days wayyy back in the days.

 

Their promise to tone my bottom, and work on flattening those abs probably also grabbed me.

 

So I went to my first class!  My legs and arms are still shaking.  My body is already hurting in places I never thought will hurt.  I want to stay as far away from that place as possible but at the same time go back as soon as possible.

 

The class is small.  They only allow 10 students at a time in class (and you have to sign up in advance), and everyone in class was tiny, and has muscle definitions I thought I only see in Shape magazines.  I’m probably a size 4 on my fattest days, and I was easily the largest one in class.  Hmm.  Not a great feeling.

 

But the teacher was extremely welcoming.  She introduced herself, and told me what I needed to get to get started which included a little ball, some hand weights, stretchy tube and then a spot on the floor.  You wear socks, pants and a shirt in class that doesn’t show off your midriff but with all the ballet barres and full mirrors around the full room; I almost felt like I should’ve been in my tights, leotards, and ballet shoes.

 

The music was AWESOME, and the class moved FAST.  We worked our legs, rear ends, abs (and oh, we worked our abs), our back and did lots of stretching and breathing in between.  At many points of the class, I wanted to pass out and was wondering if there was a good way to sneak out without getting caught.  Yes – it was THAT hard.  But the teacher was motivating.  “30 seconds!  You can do anything or 30 seconds!”, and come on – how can I not do anything for 30 seconds or 30 minutes or 55 minutes?

 

And with that mentality, I got through it, and before I knew it; we were at the end of our exercises and going back to getting changed and getting back to our day.

 

Over-all – it was probably the BEST work out I’ve had in ages in a very clean, friendly and incredible environment.  I still have 2 more classes in my Gilt package I purchased – and I intend to use them ASAP and get some more.  After all, if I really can see results in less than 10 classes, I’m ALL in.

2 piece bikini this summer – maybe?  Check them out for yourself and let me know what you think – www.purebarre.com