I want to start the new year by reintroducing myself and why I’m here. By the 12 month milestone, my blogging peers have followers in the thousands, fill their calendars with sponsored posts, and hustle like nothing I’ve ever seen. Me? I’m just getting warmed up. I’ve been blogging for about 16 months now. If I were a 16 month old toddler, I’d be learning how to communicate verbally, throw tantrums when frustrated, get fussy about food, and “no” would be my favorite word. Actually…that’s not far from me in real life. Virtual toddler me is still growing, learning, and having a lovely time flailing about. I’ve had some glorious adventures traveling, made some fun crafts and costumes, drank a lot of wine (and ate a tad), and did a whole lot of whatever I wanted.
Strange, the Things You Remember*
Without boring anyone with my life story (some of which is in my introductory blog post), I’ve spent all of my adult life busier than the busiest of bees. While in college, I also served in the Air Force (ANG) and worked full time. I started my career as a geocartographer before finishing my undergraduate degree in geology, and then went on to earn an MBA, still working full time, and planning my wedding. I’ve always had a project, something fun to keep me busy. I
multi-task juggle! So after grad school, settling into married life, and traveling whenever we could, something was still missing. Busy me. Despite my introverted need for privacy, I started this blog as a creative outlet. This is one of my many hobbies. The blog doesn’t make any money, which means I control the content, from the pictures to the horribly misgrammered stories. Red Shoes. Red Wine. is as much a creative outlet as it is a travel & adventure diary, recipe book, craft & costuming how-to journal, and wine confessional. It is that simple. The blog will continue as such, and may even evolve into something more in the future.
Not All Who Wander Are Lost*
The travel bug bit me hard. It crawled under my skin and bored its way to my heart. My home is in Houston, but I find the most joy when I’m exploring the world, whether it’s a road trip to the Texas Hill Country, or a flight across the Atlantic to Europe. I revel in the planning of every detail in every itinerary. And it has been observed that the only time I truly relax is on a cruise ship. Just in the past year I’ve shared our adventures around the British Isles, Rome and Tuscany, a Mediterranean cruise, Big Bend National Park in Texas, and an Alaskan cruise (soon to be published). Some of our travel plans for 2017 include a Caribbean cruise, another Mediterranean cruise, half marathons in New Orleans and Las Vegas, seeing the solar eclipse in Nashville, DragonCon in Atlanta, and a long weekend in Hilton Head & Savannah.
The Effort Yields Its Own Rewards*
I’ve always enjoyed making my own costumes for Halloween, but my selections were limited by my skills. I do, however, have an extreme appreciation for detail, screen accuracy, and aesthetics. But after learning how to sew, I kinda went a little crazy. I love the challenge of seeing a character on screen, dissecting their entire look in my head, and deciding I’m going to go for it. I’ve recently shared costuming Missy from Doctor Who, Littlefinger’s Brothel Ladies from Game of Thrones, Artemisia from 300: Rise of an Empire, Das Sound Machine from Pitch Perfect 2, Ursula from The Little Mermaid, and Pilots from Battlestar Galactica (to name a few). For 2017, I have plans to make Day of the Dead costumes from Spectre, a new Artemisia outfit, Black Jack Randall for my husband to accompany my Claire from Outlander, and a burlesque version of Loki from Thor/The Avengers. And this is just the short list! I’ve also crafted some fun things with wine corks and learned how to quilt. I told ya…crazy!
I Drink and I Know Things*
Oh the eating and drinking! After 20 years of making preserves, I finally released my recipes on Red Shoes. Red Wine. I’ve shared my mathematical formula for all jam/jelly/marmalade, recipes for salsa, cranberry sauce, and salad dressing, and figured out the only thing that makes scotch whisky more awesome is chocolate. And since I’m a wino, not a wine connoisseur, I’ve shared my unpretentious and relatable tips for wine & food pairing. There’s plenty more where that came from, because during our travels this year I’ll be sharing new wine tastings and culinary adventures from places like Spain, Sicily, and the US Lowcountry (including some local food & wine festivals around Houston).
Take a stroll around my subtly redesigned website if you’d like, and let me know what you’d like to see more of. I tend to write blog posts about once, maybe twice a week, so subscribe to the newsletter for post updates (below my profile photo). In the meantime, you may follow me on Instagram for daily adventures, highlights, and flashbacks. Cheers!
“Strange, the Things You Remember” (from Outlander by Diana Gabaldon)
“Not All Who Wander Are Lost” (from the poem All that is gold does not glitter, written by J. R. R. Tolkien for The Lord of the Rings)
“The Effort Yields Its Own Rewards” (from Star Trek: The Next Generation)
“I Drink and I Know Things” (from HBO Game of Thrones)