Friday, April 24, 2015

If I Met You In A Scissor Fight, I'd Cut Off Both Your Wings On Principle Alone

Remember when I mentioned that I was a terrible Niagara-born chick, since I hadn't been to many wineries around here? (What, you don't remember? You can't recite every word of every blog post I've ever written? For shame.) Well, I made it my mission to rectify that. And thanks to Samba Days and our wine tasting & tour giveaway, you can too.

A couple of weeks ago, on Good Friday (which all you normal people get off work), my sister and brother-in-law came down for the long weekend and we decided to finally do the Wine & Tour Experience from Samba Days. We chose Tawse Winery, since none of us had ever been there.

From there , it only made sense to hit more wineries. Of course.

But to start, here's a taste of our Tawse visit and what you can win in this week's wine-tastic giveaway.

While on the tour, you learn a lot of cool things about Tawse - they're biodynamic, organic, and use natural gravity flow.

Lots of awards won here.

Sadly, we were here too early in the year to see the animals. Good excuse to go back in the summer? Probably.

Ask how long I held this pose for. Go ahead, ask.

The barrel room.

Pretty sure I couldn't lift one of those if I tried, but that doesn't mean I didn't consider doing it.

Mmmm. Barrel-y.
Check out the legs on that Merlot.

(It's difficult not to make a terrible leg joke in a wine-related post.)

This map outlines the different wine regions of Niagara.

Since we were in the area, we stopped in at Megalomaniac up the road.

My photos never do anything justice, but the view is pretty cool from up on the escarpment.

Red walls, chandeliers, hats and a place to take silly photos? Sold.

And then, since it was nearby, we stopped in at Vineland Estates Winery as well. Because... well, wine. That's why.

Looks kinda like a church.

Would you believe that Hozier's "Take Me To Church" came on the radio on the way here?

I admit that I know next to nothing about wine. I know what I like when I drink it, and that's about the extent of it. The guy at Vineland Estates was really knowledgable, and he handed me this list to help me out. 

Ah, this wine tastes like tobacco, kerosene, and cherry. Yup.

If I'm being technical, we hit another winery after these three - but it was only to pick up dessert (because 13th Street has some amazing stuff). No wine tasting there this time, but it counts!

After dinner, since it was a Friday night, we kinda maybe sorta had to go to Oast House for a pint.

The Easter Bunny said it was a rule, and I'm not one to mess with over sized demonic rabbits who give me chocolate.

So there ya go. Four wineries and a brewery on a Good Friday. Maybe a great Friday.

But let's get back to why you really bothered scrolling down this overly-photo'd post - the giveaway. Right. So here's the info:
  • The Wine & Tour Experience is a full winery tour for two, a tasting (each tasting is unique to the winery, and some include food pairings) and two bottles of the winery's wine
  • there are over 10 different wineries to choose from
  • for full info, visit the website 
As always, use the Rafflecopter widget below to win yourself some touring, some tasting, and some wine. And don't forget - Mother's Day is coming up. I bet yer mom digs wine.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, April 10, 2015

Leave Our Rain, A Cold Trade For Warm Sunshine

Last week I promised some upcoming giveaways, and I wouldn't lie to you (well... I probably would, but in this case I'm not). So no one should be surprised that the first of two giveaways is pet-related. Yeah, I like my dog a lot. I mean, I guess she's alright.

This Saturday, April 11th is National Pet Day, and we're celebrating with some awesome swag (I can't make myself use that word) stuff for your live-in animal friends. Piggie Smalls got to try out the items in the giveaway first, just to ensure that it was worthy of your beloved pets. And yes. It's all pig-approved.

Here's what you'll win, all from PetSafe:
  • Busy Buddy® Squirrel Dude™
  • Busy Buddy® Twist 'n Treat™
  • indigo™ Floss Bones™
  • Busy Buddy® Nobbly Nubbly™
  • Pet Loo Portable Dog Toilet

I realize that none of those titles mean anything to you. What, you don't know what a nobbly nubbly is? Come on! But that's why there's pictures.

The toys and treats:

Daisy always digs the PetSafe toys, because they tend to involve treats and some skill. It's a solid way to keep her busy/distracted/out of my fridge.

And the Pet Loo:

If you remember, we had one of these a year ago - it went to someone else before I moved to Niagara, but this is the smaller version which is better for Daisy. Cuz, y'know... she's little. Mostly.

This will be going out on the deck, where she'll either learn to use it properly or decide it's her personal lounge area. Either way, it's great to have.

Does this Pet Loo make my head look big?

So if you love your pet, which you kinda probably should, and you want to win this National Pet Day Giveaway - just use the handy Rafflecopter widget below to enter. C'est facile, non?

a Rafflecopter giveaway
And for my non-pet people, next week's giveaway will be less four-legged and more wine-related. Because I care about you. And I care about grapes.

Good luck!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Tossed Into My Mind, Stirring The Calm

When I look back to a few years ago, it's strange to see what a content machine I used to be. Blog posts every two days, a constant stream of randomness on Twitter, and everyone on Facebook was regularly updated. It's changed a lot. I've gone a bit mute.
In 2010, things were... different.

In the last while, especially the past few weeks, I've received a lot of messages about it:
"Why did you stop blogging?"
"How come you don't post on Twitter anymore?",
"I don't see you on Facebook much."
"Did you eat my chocolate?! You silly bitch."
"Are you ok?"

Yep, I'm ok. It was never a conscious decision to stop posting so much - truthfully, I will sometimes sit at my desk with the intent to throw some updates at the internets... and then nothing comes to me. I'm boring. "Wow, my daily steel cut oats are still a great breakfast choice!" is not the most exciting of updates. (Even if they are a stellar breakfast choice. Really.)

These days my main concerns are my business, my health, my Piggie Smalls, and my people. I'm always posting constant streams of content for my clients, and I guess my own stuff just had to take a backseat. And I'm ok with that. I'm quite happy to have no life crises to air online, no boy drama, and no pissed-off rants about whatever is currently on my shit list.

However, for those of you that are looking for some shamblin' ramblin' problems to solve, just this once, for old time's sake I'll give you one - her name is Daisy, and she is a jerk.

If you recall years ago, when I moved back to Toronto and started living alone, Daisy's separation anxiety made her freak out and destroy my place every time I left. So I crate-trained her, and all was (kinda) well on that front. Fast forward a few years, and we're living in another new place. She hasn't been as great in her crate here, but it was manageable - until suddenly it wasn't.

Last year's Daisy-shaming for past offences

Now she's decided that chewing up the plastic bottom of the crate and beating it until it breaks is fun, and so is barking and thrashing herself against it. I got a text from my downstairs neighbour at 2:30am on Saturday night while I was out at a bar, letting me know that Daisy was suddenly frantic and barking like she was distressed while banging into her crate. On Sunday I tried twice to crate her and leave, but as I waited downstairs for my ride, she made the craziest noises I've ever heard from her. So I took her out and, for the first time in 4 years, left her alone in my apartment uncrated. It seemed like the less upsetting option.

Well... I suppose it could've gone worse. It has gone worse. But history repeats itself, and my loving little pigdog went into my fridge yet again and left food around my place, along with other minor damage. Oh, the flashbacks. The stress. The ruined food.

So for those of you dog owners that are knowledgeable about four-legged separation anxiety (and insanely smart, wily dogs), what do you suggest? I have a few ideas in mind, but at this point I'll try anything to ease the situation for both me and the pig. So all suggestions are welcome.

(And to make up for my odd absenteeism and boring dog-post, I'll have two - count 'em, two - giveaways for you in the next week or so. Cuz when I apologize, I do it with FREE STUFF. So there.)

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