Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Great Bourbon Heist

So, those of you attuned to the world of bourbon may have already heard this story. For those of you who are not, I’ll provide a little background.

In the bourbon industry, there are several spirits from which to choose. Many are distilled in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. We’re pretty famous for it, in fact. One bourbon, in particular, though, is considered the Holy Grail among bourbons: Old Rip Van Winkle. (We call it Pappy around here.)

Because of this distinction, Pappy is very hard to come by. And it's looking to be even more elusive because a large batch has disappeared. It recently was discovered that 200 bottles of Pappy went missing from Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Ky. That’s about $26,000 worth of bourbon. Two hundred bottles may not sound like much, but considering how small a batch of Pappy is made each year - only about 6,000 to 7,000 9-liter cases are distributed annually- that's a big portion. In comparison, Jim Beam sells about 7 million cases a year.

The thought is that it’s an inside job and that the bottles were smuggled out over a period of time, because Pappy 23-year is said to be under lock-and-key in a special area of the warehouse.

Now, the cynic in me first thought it was part of a publicity stunt because the revelation of the theft, and media coverage of it, happened about the same time a new merchandise venture, Pappy & Co., was launched by Van Winkle descendants Louise Van Winkle Breen (below) and her siblings. Her father, Julian, is the head of the family business. 

In addition to the new line of merchandise, the news of the heist also happened right before the launch party for Pappy & Co. at Foxhollow Farm outside of Louisville. But, apparently that's not the case and I need to keep my cynicism in check. The police are investigating and are said to have a "person of interest" in their sights. Stay tuned.

A local eatery is capitalizing on the media hoopla by hosting a five-course, "Stop the Panic" meal featuring flights of Pappy. The meal ends with a glass of 23-year Pappy, perhaps the best of the best. And, yes, I have had a glass of Pappy, the 20-year variety. Yes, it's a mighty-fine bourbon. Would I pay for a $50 glass of 23-year Pappy at the Brown Hotel in Louisville? Uh, no. But, there are plenty who would.

Have you ever tried Pappy Van Winkle? If so, what do you think? Worth the price? 

Have a terrific Tuesday, friends!

Images from Food Republic and Style Blueprint Louisville

Thursday, October 24, 2013

And the new Christian Grey is...

So, after the debacle with actor Charlie Hunnum pulling out of the screen version of "Fifty Shades of Grey," a new actor has been cast as Christian Grey. He is:

Irish actor and model Jamie Dornan. Yeah, I can live with this. 

When Hunnum was originally cast, I, like many others, was greatly disappointed. Then he dropped out of the film. In interviews, he's said that his current acting schedule and some family commitments forced him to back out of the role. Hmm. That could be true. Or the fact that fans of the series of books were so vocal over their dislike of the casting of Hunnam that he was pulled from the film. You wonder if the studio heads were concerned how his involvement would impact ticket sales. 

So, now it's Dornan alongside actress Dakota Johnson. Not thrilled with that choice, either, but she was pretty good in "The Social Network," so we'll see.

And, yes, I hang my head in shame that I've even read the "Fifty Shades" trilogy. The writing was less-than-stellar, to say the least. But, as many have said, it's not read because it's a great work of literature. 

So, for those of you who have read the book(s), what do you think about the casting of Mr. Dornan?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Saving Mr. Banks

Can you believe it's been 50 years since the release of Disney's "Mary Poppins?" How I love this film. One of my all-time favorites. 

And coming in December is "Saving Mr. Banks," about how the beloved children's novel by P.L. Travers was brought to the big screen. Emma Thompson plays Travers and Tom Hanks plays Walt Disney. There's a wonderful supporting cast that includes Colin Farrell, Paul Giamatti, Rachel Griffiths and more. (I love the shadows in the above poster.)

British actress Victoria Summer plays Julie Andrews in the film. (I think she's adorable. I'm getting closer and closer to this length of hair!) If you recall, Julie Andrews won the Oscar for her role as Mary Poppins. 

So, I can't wait for the holiday season and to catch what is already being call a lovely film about another lovely, endearing classic. 

Images from Disney and IMBD

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Always treat yourself to something fabulous

I needed a little "fabulous" this morning, so here's a touch of it. 

Another way I like to add some fabulous to my life is by treating myself to a well-deserved gift. If you recall, for my 40th birthday, I gave myself a much-longed for David Yurman ring. Then, when I completed chemo, I treated myself to another much-wanted item: a classic tank watch. 

This puppy will never go out of style. Love it!

I'm thinking that when I complete radiation - which will mark an end to the year-of-cancer, that I need to celebrate that momentous occasion as well. Hmm, diamond earrings? A car? No, I won't go that extravagant, but there will be quite the celebration. One of my girlfriends, who also had a tough 2013, agrees that we need to have a New Year's Eve party to end all parties. 

I think Holly Golightly would agree. 

P.S. - Don't think that you need to spend a mint to treat yourself to a well-deserved gift. Even if it's a nap after a long day, a moment in the sun or curling up with a good book, take the time to take care of you. In the words of Donna and Tom from Parks and Recreation, "Treat Yo' Self!"

Image property of A Place to Dwell Blogspot; film image from "Breakfast at Tiffany's

Monday, October 14, 2013

The shoes say it all

I TOTALLY think I deserve this pair of Stubbs & Wootton velvet slippers, which cleverly displays my retort to cancer:

A highly unlikely purchase, given that these bad boys cost $400, but a girl can dream.

Happy Monday, friends! 

Image from Stubbs & Wooten. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

See Blue Day

Happy Friday, friends!

For those of you lucky enough to live in or near the Bluegrass state, today is See Blue Day at Keeneland Race Course

The fall meet is underway and each year, a day is set aside to honor our flagship university - and my alma mater - the University of Kentucky. Attendees are encouraged to wear Kentucky blue and enjoy a day of tailgating on the hill, live music, bourbon and good southern food. Oh, yeah, and placing a bet or two on the ponies. Then tomorrow, UK plays Alabama at Commonwealth Stadium, so if you want to enjoy a day at the races, do so, then hop a shuttle to the game. (Fingers crossed that my Cats won't be completely rolled over by the Tide.)

What are your plans for this gorgeous fall weekend? 

Image from Keeneland's Facebook page.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Break out the boots

We're heading into my favorite time of year: autumn.

This means, it's time to start sporting those boots. And if it's still a bit too warm to wear tights or stockings with your boots, consider these adorable boot socks. How cute are these?? 

Boot socks are available at the Urban Farmhouse Market in Louisville, but I'm sure if you did an online search, you could find other retailers in your area. 

Health update: Thanks again for your kind words when I wrote about my breast cancer diagnosis. Now that I have chemo and surgery behind me, I have one last stretch of treatment ahead, which is radiation. I had my "markings" done last week, along with a CT scan, to line up where the radiation will target my chest wall. So, just waiting to find out when I start. It'll be six weeks, Monday through Friday. I will be so happy to enter the holiday season with no cancer treatments on my plate. 

And, my hair is growing in nicely. In fact, I had a visit with my stylist last week to color it a warm brown. It was coming in very dark with touches of gray and I just couldn't have that!

Have a terrific Tuesday, friends!