Wine Glass Wisdom + Thanksgiving Coaster Giveaway!

On my recent trip to Willamette Valley in Oregon, I learned a little about wine glasses along the way. Well, specifically the Pinot noir glass. (We were in deep Pinot country!)

This glass is flared at the rim to help deliver the wine to the middle of your palate, where the wine is better experienced. The bowl of the glass is wider to give the wine space to “open up.”

I was fascinated by all of this and did a bit more research – and just in time for the biggest wine holiday of the year: Thanksgiving!

Where did all of this pairing begin?!

Legend has it, the idea of matching stemware to the specific type of wine was developed by Riedel, an Austrian company that has been making glass for 250 years. The company’s president believes, “You have to have the perfect messenger to deliver the wine.”

With that said, I found this cool chart that maps out each of these little messengers:

This can be helpful if you arrive at a party and have multiple glasses in front of you. You can be smart about what goes in what. Or if you’re hosting a party and you want to buy special glasses or borrow some from a friend, then this chart can help you know what to serve in what. 😉

Speaking of serving…

You don’t have to line a table with a dozen glasses for each guest. A good rule of thumb is to offer guests two types of wine: a red and a white. So you’d be solid if you had at least two types of glasses on hand: a larger-bowled glass for reds and a smaller-bowled basic for whites.

viv-20-oz.-red-wine-glass

{via} This is a nice option for a basic, red wine glass.

vineyard-12-oz.-white-wine-glass

{via} This is a great white wine glass that has a smaller bowl.

If you want to get fancy and pop open some champagne, you could include a flute in the mix. By the way, my awesome SIL found this article on the benefits of drinking champagne every day. Bring on the bubbles. Your health depends on it.

marika-champagne-glass

I think every nice glass of wine deserves a beautiful coaster. Wouldn’t you agree?!

So let’s have another coaster giveaway!

Our awesome friends at Qostr designed this adorable Thanksgiving coaster just for us.

November coaster

Qostr is a product of Matchstick Studio, and they’re the perfect way to personalize your table – especially for a lovely Thanksgiving meal.

We’ll giveaway one free set of 8 coasters (shipping included) this week. You have from now until Monday, 11/16 at 10pm Central to enter. Details below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
In addition, anyone can order from the Qoster site right now and get 20% off using The Neat Nook promo code of NOVEMBER20 at checkout. This code will be good through November 30th.

Happy shopping – and sipping!

-Kate

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Giveaway Winner & Weekend Update

This quote made me laugh, because I’m totally wearing my Sunday outfit to work today. Anyone else with me on this? Here’s to having one decision already made before I even woke up!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Before I go any further, though, I’d like to announce the winner of the coaster giveaway. Debbie Ray is the lucky recipient of a set of designer black and gold ampersand coasters from Qostr. Yay, Debbie!

qostr

A special thank you to everyone who participated. The 20% discount for Neat Nook readers is still valid through October, so head over to Qostr and use promo code OCTOBER20 at checkout. Maybe grab some Halloween party coasters?

The next Qostr giveaway will be in November – just in time for Thanksgiving. We’ll be unveiling a custom design just for Neat Nook!

Now back to the weekend for a moment, because I’m still relishing in its joy. It was such perfect fall weather here in Northwest Arkansas. Our family spent as much time as we could outdoors.

The leaves are starting to turn bright orange and red, and the air is so crisp it cools your skin and paints your cheeks the perfect shade of pink.

We had friends visit from out of town on Friday night, so we lit an outdoor fire, cooked s’mores and sipped on wine while we visited on the back porch. It was such a happy night.

PS. I highly recommend using Nutella instead of Hershey’s chocolate bars for your next s’mores experience. The chocolate melts right into the gooey marshmallow goodness.

Saturday’s plans took us to the soccer fields to cheer for Evan, then we walked with Leo all over the neighborhood. Now that he has all of his puppy shots, we can take him out on the town. He LOVES exploring the ‘hood more than anything. So far he hasn’t tried chasing the ducks in the lake behind our house. I’m sure that’s a matter of time.

leo morning

The biggest accomplishment of the weekend, though, was pulling down all of our fall clothes from the attic. It was like a mini Christmas. I finally have boots, scarves and sweaters to snuggle in this cool air.

I promise to share some organizational tips this week on how to store your fall clothes.

All in all, I’d say it was a successful weekend. The Nebraska Huskers even won their football game. Finally. And that made Brandon a happy camper to be around!

Now that Monday has officially kicked off, here’s to a brilliant week ahead with plenty of coffee and a shortage of drama.

Oh, and tomorrow is my first blogiversary, which is hard to believe. One year?! I’ll have some fun news to share, so be sure to swing back by.

Until tomorrow, my sweet friends…

-Kate

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Friday Wrap: Feeling Thankful

This has been a whirlwind of a week – in a positive sense. I have been overwhelmed by the support of so many friends and readers of the blog as I branched out in to completely new territory. Let’s dive right into the deets of the week, shall we?

Blogged while sipping on bordeaux. It was a long day.

{ONE} My first official giveaway!

Qostr giveaway

I’m teaming up with my friends at Qostr to give away one free set of designer coasters this week!

This is my first foray into giveaways, so I know it’s not perfect. In fact, I would love and appreciate any feedback on what you would change, add or keep. I’m using Rafflecopter as the platform for entering.

Anyway, my goal is to introduce you to new companies that have fun and beautiful products I think you’ll love. These coasters are one of them.

The giveaway is still on, so be sure to enter by 7pm Central tonight to get your name in the game!

{TWO} The Neat Nook Facebook page

The Neat Nook Facebook page

I went round and round over whether or not I should create a dedicated page for The Neat Nook. I was leaning toward a “yes, just do it already.” But I hadn’t set the time aside. I’m sure it was self doubt wondering who would even care, so why put time into it? That left me posting updates on my personal page from time-to-time hoping my friends would amuse me with all the Neat Nook talk. And they did. Because they’re sweet like that.

When it came time to launch the giveaway, though, I discovered I needed a fan page to promote things on Facebook. There was my answer and motivation. A fan page it is!

It launched on Tuesday, and I already have such wonderful feedback and many “likes”. It’s so encouraging, and I appreciate each and every one of you who took time to stop by and give me a shout out. I take it all to heart!

{THREE} The first blogiversary – coming soon!

first party

I swear, I blinked and whole year flew by. I’ll be celebrating my first blogiversary on October 20th. This endeavor has proven that I can stay dedicated to a hobby longer than 10 days, which is my usual attention/interest span for things. I really do love this. And I hope to keep sharing good and thoughtful ideas with you all. You deserve it. Especially if you’re reading every word of this post. You get bonus points for perseverance.

As for the celebration…I’m still planning a virtual party of sorts. All ideas are welcome. If you’re a fellow blogger, what has worked for you?! I do know part of it will include a special planner giveaway. Watch for more details next week!

{FOUR} Last soccer game of the season

IMG_6394

Life beyond the blog continues, and I can’t believe my two little bears are already finished with their fall soccer season. Weren’t we just in swim suits – like a few weeks ago? It feels that way, anyway. Thank goodness Evan still has a few weeks left, but the clock is definitely ticking.

Oh, and I have to share that Brandon received 100% thumbs up on his coaching skills – as voted by his players. He pretty much rocked it.

I know there are soccer mom jokes out there, but I wear the title with upmost pride. I think the sport is awesome for kids – and I love watching them play.

{FIVE} Rosemary gifts

rosemary

In the midst of total busyness this week, I was honored to have had a personal conversation with a new friend. As we both paused from our work, she shared with me that this week marks the eighth anniversary of her brother’s death.

She went on to tell me a little about his life and the impact he had on others. What struck me was the way she lovingly spoke about him and held back her tears. He’s still very much alive in her heart and spirit. It was beautiful to see, and it provided some much needed perspective. We never know when our time will come.

I wanted to comfort her in some way, so I did the only thing I knew and went to my garden. My mom taught me that rosemary is a symbol of love and remembrance, so I snipped a few sprigs and added some white coneflowers to the mix. After I delivered the bundle to my friend, I realized she was actually the one who had given me a gift this week. She opened up her heart and reminded me to “never give up” on anything in life – because it’s painfully too short.

Here’s hoping you make the most of today. It’s a beautiful Friday, after all.

Love and hugs,

Kate

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My First Official Giveaway! 10/14/15 – 10/16/15

Friends, I have exciting news to share!

An extremely talented designer and friend of mine is part of a company called Qostr, and we’re partnering for my official first giveaway. This is before my planner giveaway, which is still happening in honor of my first blogiversary. Stay posted for that announcement in the coming weeks.

So what’s Qostr?

Qostr (pronounced “coaster”) is your go-to source for custom and designer coasters. It’s a product of Matchstick Studio, and they’re the perfect way to personalize any party – or even day at the office. Our coffee mugs deserve a fun place to hang, too. Right?

Imagine the kind of coaster you’d find in a bar or restaurant, but printed on FSC-Certified eco-friendly paper. That’s what we’re talking about here.

Qostr

I love their Instagram coasters. You can turn all of your exotic vacay pics into party props.

qostr

So what’s the fun giveaway, anyway?!

My friend has graciously offered to giveaway one free set of coasters (shipping included) this week! You have from now until this Friday at 7pm Central to enter. Details below.

In addition, anyone can order from the Qoster site right now and get 20% off using The Neat Nook promo code of OCTOBER20 at checkout. This code will be good through October 31st.

qostr

Ta-da! These are the beautiful ampersand gold coasters we will be giving away this week. There are 8 coasters to a set.

(For anyone who saw my wish list for home office updates, don’t you think I need to get some of these for myself?!)

Now for exciting news, part two! The fun doesn’t end with one giveaway.

Qostr will be offering a custom design exclusively for The Neat Nook each month. I will be hosting a giveaway of these awesome coasters, and sharing a new monthly 20% promo code to all of my loyal readers and friends.

I’m thrilled to be able to offer you something special like this each month. I promise to keep looking for other fun new partners, too, so you can learn about new companies – and get some great products along the way.

Be sure to enter below for this month’s giveaway! Remember, you have from now until Friday at 7pm Central to enter to win. The best of luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

-Kate

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Time for a new planner (already?!)

Now that we’re into October I’m realizing my planner is about to expire! I’m already receiving dates for school events and family activities that spill into 2016. Crazy, right? I know there are school calendars that begin in August, but I’m a big fan of the classic January start date. So, I’m in the market for my next planner and contemplating all options – well, the prettiest and most helpful options, that is.

I’ve really loved my Day Designer this year. It was my first dive into these “strategic planners for a well designed life” by Whitney English. I started strong by going through the vision and mission exercises, but fell off the map when it came to the monthly exercises. If I go this route again, I need to figure out how to schedule time for those.

Here are options I’m considering. I’d love your feedback on which planner you love best!!

{OPTION ONE}

day designer

I could stick with a Day Designer and go “black spotty” this year. There’s also an exclusive pink stripe pattern from Belle & Blush that has my eye.

{OPTION TWO} 

The Simplified Planner is supposed to be super helpful. I love this "happy stripe". It would be a change from last year, but I'm considering.

The Simplified Planner is supposed to be super helpful. I love this “happy stripe“. It would be a change from last year, but I’m considering. This fellow blogger did a nice comparison between Day Design and Simplified Planner. Good research for me!

{OPTION THREE}

Katie Daisy planner

This is an adorable planner by one of my favorite designers, Katie Daisy. It’s a 17-month planner, which would solve my school-planning dilemma. If I get this now, it would last until Dec 2016, but what do I do until it starts back up in Aug?!

{OPTION FOUR}

Another personal fan favorite is Rifle Paper Co. This planner is also a 17-monther. Its compact size, but has more room than the one above for daily and weekly planning.

Another personal favorite is Rifle Paper Co. This “birch floral” planner is also a 17-monther. It’s compact, but has more room than the one above for daily and weekly planning. It doesn’t have any of the extras like monthly challenges, but I had trouble finding time to do that kind of thing anyway. Hmm.

{OPTION FIVE}

This option gets me back to the traditional 12-month planner. Its not as pretty as the others, but its filled with inspirational qoutes. You know I love that kind of thing. Am I judging these books too much by their cover?

This funky option from Sugar and Type gets me back to the traditional 12-month planner. It’s not as beautiful as the others, but it’s filled with inspirational quotes. You know I love that kind of thing. Am I judging these books too much by their cover?

I’m still leaning toward the Day Designer, because of the extra bells and whistles regarding the personal planning. Let me know what you think. If there’s an overwhelming favorite, I’ll buy and extra one and have a special giveaway! It would be my first, so be patient and kind as I work through the details. But yes, a GIVEAWAY!!

Here’s to a creative and organized day, my friends.

-Kate

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Friday Wrap

Another week, another wrap! I have some exciting projects and fun finds to share. So let’s get to it. Shall we?

{ONE} Free NatureBox

NatureBox

Thanks to NatureBox, I have three complimentary (and ridiculously yummy) snack boxes available to giveaway. The first three people to comment with “I want some snacks!” will receive a FREE box of delicious, healthy treats. You get to choose 5 of your favorite snacks from the entire Snack Catalog. (Offer expires 4/23. Shipping fees apply.) Here’s to happy snacking!!

{TWO} Personalized Umbrellas

Umbrellas

This was a project I worked on last weekend. The girls were all set with rain boots, but I discovered they needed new umbrellas. So…I looked no further than Walmart and found these clear umbrellas lined with darling flowers. I personalized them with Sharpie paint pens. Didn’t they turn out pretty cute? You should totally try one.

{THREE} Handwritten Letters

handwritten letter

This is a little thank you card I made for my MIL. I folded a piece of double-sided scrapbook paper, added a fancy sticker to personalize the card, then used an edging punch on the top flap.

April is National Letter Writing Month (among other things, I’m sure). I’ve latched onto this one because I love letters. Heartfelt notes of thanks, celebration, humor, or empathy can be some of the most treasured gifts. Letter writing is becoming a bit of a lost art – especially as more people are turning to emails, texts and posts. So why not take a moment to write a good old-fashioned letter to one of your long-distance friends? It will make him or her feel super special, and this is the perfect month to do it.

{FOUR} theSkimm

theskimmlogoI just started receiving theSkimm this week, which is considered to be “the daily newsletter that gives you everything you need to start your day.” I’m here to say that it’s pretty legit. It gets you up to speed on the news and what people are talking about in a single email. Sign up and see what I mean!

{FIVE} The 610 Stompers

I’m ending on a humorous note, because you know how much I love to laugh. Have you seen the 610 Stompers?! Holy hilariousness. Garden & Gun magazine recently featured them in a story about why they love the South. As described in the article, “This is an all-male amateur marching dance troupe of more than a hundred ordinary men clad in matching white headbands, red satin jackets, knee-high tube socks, and spray-painted gold sneakers.” You have to checkout some of their sweet moves. It will make your day. Maybe week.

That’s an official wrap. I promised to share some spring cleaning tips this week, and I won’t disappoint.

Check back tomorrow for five of my favorite cleaning hacks.

Until then, be sure to visit the beautiful and amazing blogs through Five on Friday with April, DarciChristina, and Natasha.

Fiveonfriday

Cheers, my dears!

-Kate

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