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Thinking of Kyrzayda…

So you may all ask why am I blogging about Kyrzayda,  when I didn’t go to the wake. Well I have my reasons and my story.

I met Kyrzayda in 2009.  The Riverside Manor.  Paterson, NJ.  What I most remember is her perkiness and positive energy.   She always complimented me on my style. Ha!  I was ten years older and I dressed well but I wasn’t styled.  Not like her. 

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This is about the time that I met K.!

But we connected.  I remember one of the first conversations we had was about her wanting a boutique.  She loved fashion.  She loved clothes. She wanted to go places.  She wanted to do things. 

She was this petite bundle of energy with a beautiful smile and BIG, BIG, BIG dreams.  Now let me back track by saying that we were in the hood and this was way before fashion blogging and social media were anything familiar to many of us here, at least me.

Anyway, eventually I became a bartender at the Riverside and it was always refreshing to run into K (as I heard she was lovingly called by many).  She eventually started working at Once Upon A Skirt and she helped me choose outfits a few times.

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This is how I want to remember you!

Always had an eye and was always honest with me about what worked and didn’t. We talked about life and boys and fitness while I tried on outfit after outfit.

So, being a non-fashionista-wanting-to-have-my-own-boutique kind of person, when Kyrz started blowing up my FB thread with image after image of her fitness and fashion journey I unfollowed her.

For no other reason except that it would take me 3-5 minutes to get to any posts of family or other friends. Seriously.  (Not understanding that this is part of the business, right?) Building your brand.  

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Even while dealing with her health issues, she continued her hustle. One of my favorites!

Fast forward to last year when I believe it was that I saw www.liverpooljeans.com post something about her that I started following her again and learned of her diagnosis.

I began to follow her journey which now included cancer.

Some people may have loved her and some may not, but there is a lot to be learned from her journey.

I recently watched a Super Soul Sunday with Oprah featuring Dr. BJ Miller https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0TAs_QQKHM.  (If you guys haven’t heard his story, you should head over there and watch it.)

In a freak accident Dr. Miller lost both his legs below the knee and his arm.  Instead of feeling defeated, he decided to embark on a career in palliative care (caring for people who are dying) and now works with the Zen Hospice Project in San Francisco.

That is neither here nor there.  What I want to share is that he says this of death: We view death as an occurrence separate from life, when in reality death is a part of living. Because we are all going to die at some point.

When we hear that someone is dying from some incurable disease, such as cancer, we automatically start viewing or treating that person as if they are already dead, when in reality, they are living to the moment of their last breath.

Kyrz was the epitome of this theory.  I mean a week before she passed she was “deciding” whether or not she would go to NY Fashion week and had her outfits laid out. 

This was a woman who was in so much pain, but still kept her faith and believed she would be there.  No she didn’t attend, but that’s beside the point folks.  Imagine the joy she felt just believing and imagining herself there.   

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Grace under fire…

The morning before I learned she had passed I watched an episode of Dr. Oz and his guest speaker, Dr. Sam Parnia https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHcZc-JJEFw who conducted a research study on what happens when a person dies. Guys! It sounds morbid, but let me tell you, what a refreshing eye opener.

We fear death so much.  And we worry so much about the pain and suffering.  But this speaker explained what happens physiologically to our bodies right before we die.  The first thing is we start losing oxygen, when this happens we fall into a deep sleep – a coma.  He describes it as going under (anesthesia). 

He then said that of course your heart fails.  This is when doctors record a time of death.  BUT! you’re not yet done.  Your cells can take a few hours to shut down.

So it is in this space when your cells are still alive that near-death experiences occur. This is the time when people who have had this experience and come back describe a very blissful existence, they see the doctors working on them from above or a removed space, they see a flashback of their life.  They oftentimes don’t want to come back because it is such a beautiful feeling.

I know, I know ! Kyrz didn’t come back but what a relief to know that she was in this space of bliss and joy and comfort.

Listen, I lost touch with Kyrz however her journey touched me too.  I kept thinking and I have often said this to people like “we” could be her.  What happened to her can happen to any one of us.

As humans we question like “why?”.  “Why” .  She was in her prime.  Her blogging career was taking off.  “Why?”

We can be angry at God for taking her.  But I am a firm believer that though she served her “fashion and blogging” purpose here on earth, her death is meant to serve an even greater purpose.

That purpose is that she and her journey will hopefully teach people how to live! Now! because folks as we all know and say – “Life is entirely too short.”  And our time of death is pre-written and set in stone. But we forget quickly.

Kyrzayda’s journey left an indelible imprint on me.  I found myself constantly sending prayers for her, I started reading the bible in her name even bargaining with God to give her more time.  Lord, I’ll quit drinking, I’ll go to church, I’ll volunteer with the needy.  Anything to gain her more time.

It broke my heart to hear she passed, but it also cheered me (after hearing these podcasts) that her transition was easy, and pain-free and joyous.

I chose not to go to the wake because #1 I am way too emotional and didn’t want to be that person in hysterics and #2 I wanted to hold with me the memory of Kyrzayda as I knew her back in 2009.

AND #3 I had a dream with her the night she passed.   Random, right?

I dreamt we were in this outdoor space like a vineyard or some kind of outdoor courtyard.  We were talking and laughing and she had on this flowered two piece flowy pant suit.  She kept saying she wanted to go down to beach and so she went.

I didn’t follow because I felt like she was happy and she was joyous and ok.  So she went down this staircase filled with flowers and gone. 

I woke with this sense of “Oh! She’s fine!”  Kyrzayda is good.

Kyrzayda did what most people wouldn’t dare do and even if some do not agree with her decisions or her way of living – who fucking cares?!?!

What we should be focusing on is how we are going to live.

We shouldn’t be questioning God or the Universe or whoever we believe in “Why her?” or “Why did this happen?”

We should be asking, “What have we learned?” What has she taught us?” “How are we going to live OUR lives NOW?”

Hey we could even ask: WWKD? “What would Kyrzayda do?” 

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Continued to work, blog, shop, post..

I am not concerned with K now and where she is because I know she is fantastically and amazingly and joyously existing in another space. Happy, pain-free, resting.

I just ask the Universe to comfort her mother, her family and her friends in this difficult time.

And more importantly, I pray that we figure out “Why?” not for Kyrzayda but for ourselves and how is having known Kyrzayda going to fundamentally push us to not be left with the question “Why?” at the end of our lives.

Kyrzayda, may you rest in eternal peace and may the Lord grant your mother and family the most comfort at this time.

It was a pleasure knowing you doll! 

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She did more than most … without fear!

LolaUncorked♥

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I committed 19 crimes…. not really but it got your attention…

Hi guys!  Haven’t featured a wine in some time and I have tasted several since last time.

But I watched a movie last night about prohibition and gangsters and it reminded me of this week’s Wine of the Week!  19 CRIMES.  http://19crimes.com/

Absolutely delish.  I really thought it referred to Bonnie and Clyde or something like that because of the label.  And we know how I love Bonnie and Clyde (see previous post).  But upon doing some research the term “19 Crimes” refers to individuals from Britain who upon committing one of 19 specific crimes were shipped off to Australia and basically rehabilitated.  Pretty cool right?

* Upon conviction, British rogues guilty of a least one of the 19 crimes were sentenced to live in Australia, rather than death. This punishment by “transportation” began in 1783 and many of the lawless died at sea. For the rough-hewn prisoners who made it to shore, a new world awaited. As pioneers in a frontier penal colony, they forged a new country and new lives, brick by brick. This wine celebrates the rules they broke and the culture they built.   http://www.marketwired.com/

They became productive members society!  Imagine doing that today! Hey! we are not sending you to jail for robbery, we’re going to banish you off to some uncolonized or underdeveloped region to sweat and toil.  Hmm.  Maybe not a bad idea. 19crimesstory

The labels feature some of these real-life criminals. 

Anyway, so let me talk about the wine and then I’ll give you a little bonus at the end!!

So the Australian label carries 8 wines – 7 reds (Red Blend, Cabernet Sauvignon, The Banished -Dark Red Blend, The Warden -Red Blend, Uprising Red and Shiraz) and one white (Hard Chard – Chardonnay). 

 

I’ve only tasted 3 of the 7 reds.  Can you believe that?!?! But that’s because my local liquor store doesn’t carry them all.  So far I love them all. I  may even step out of my red zone and try the white as well since the reds are so delicious!

I have had the pleasure of imbibing in the Red Blend, Cab and the Uprising!  Let me tell you what I love about these.  They are all so bold, yet so smooth.  I tend to enjoy spicy wines that burst in my mouth, so I was surprised that I liked these as much as I did. 

Even though they have a smooth finish, the flavor is so full in your mouth and caresses every part of your tongue and mouth – the back, the front, the sides, the roof!!!  And the finish lingers for a while after. In all of them. To different degrees!19crimes3

The Red Blend is medium bodied but flavorful.  Has some hints of berries.  Dark full berries. The Cabernet has a little sweetness, very slight but great for you guys who enjoy red but want something on the sweeter side.  The Banished Red Blend is a blend of Shiraz, Cabernet and Grenache, but definitely leans more towards a Shiraz (which if you have had any my favorites come from South Africa and Australia).  Definitely the boldest of the three I’ve tried.  Tastes really dark in your mouth like dark chocolate.  

I am not a wine expert (by far).  Sometimes I think I taste a certain flavor in a wine, but am unsure, so I’ll ask someone else’s opinion or go on the wine’s website to check it out. 

This is great for those of us who are trying to become wine connoisseurs. Of course wine tastings are great too!  And you can find those locally and pretty inexpensive. 

Just Grapes Lounge in Elmwood Park, NJ host a few throughout the year.  (I used to work there).  Check out their website https://www.justgrapeslounge.com/ and sign up on their Facebook for upcoming events.

These bottles are super well priced for the taste.  They range from $8 to $10 a bottle locally, except for The Warden (which I am dying to try) which goes for about $20.

So this is your bonus!!!

Go check out:  https://www.livingwinelabels.com/.

This is definitely a fun adult app that brings the criminals on the wine labels to life. They tell you their history.  How cool is that? And creepy actually.

Check out my video playing with the app at home.  Love it! 

Anyway, I hope you guys all go out and try a bottle tonight and come back and give me some feedback!!!

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CHEERS!

♥LolaUncorked

 

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Why Rosé?

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Hi, guys! The wine or wines of the week are Rosés.  I’ve been a red wine drinker for many, many years.  Anything full, dark and spicy just sets my tongue a tingling.  But as I started to experience those good, ole hot flashes (thanks to aging), it was no longer enjoyable drinking too much red wine.  Especially in the summertime.

I had to come up with an alternative.  Beers are great in the summer, but I can only have so many before I start feeling bloated.  I am not a sweet wine drinker, so White Zinfandel or Moscato were not an option.  I still wanted something dry, but light and crisp.  I tried adding ice to my red and well, ugh.  No judgement here guys!  But that did not work for me.

So I embarked on a journey to find the perfect Rosé.  And I’ve tried many, but recently for Easter Sunday I had one of the best ones up until now.  “Pink wine, or rosé, happily spans the colorspace between red and white wine, in a way, rosé is more like a state of mind.” –http://winefolly.com/review/what-is-rose-wine/  Rosés to me are reminiscent of picnics, a drive along the countryside, or sitting outside at a cafe.

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Rosé by the beach!

Anyway, do you guys remember Francis Ford Coppola?  Yes, the screenwriter and director.  Did you know he owns a famous winery in Napa Valley?  I had no idea.  I won’t bore you with all the details, but you can read all about it here:  https://www.winemag.com/2012/08/06/francis-ford-coppola-from-feature-films-to-fine-wine/

In the meantime, let me tell you about the wine.  I picked up a bottle of Sofia Rosé.  Definitely one of my favorites right now.  The bottle averages about $14.99, but its flavor is worth more than the price.  sofia31.jpg

Sofia Rosé hits your mouth with a burst of berries that might appeal to those of you who like a tinge of sweetness.  But, it also has a perfectly balanced dryness. Sofia has a lot of body for being a Rosé which reminded me of some reds that I enjoy.   Because of its crispness you can pair this with chicken or fish, but it’s body also make it great with steak (if you’re into that).

I just tried it, but I definitely will be drinking this poolside this summer, even though I don’t have a pool.  But hey if you guys invite me I will definitely bring you a bottle…or two.

But seriously, great wine, great price, can pair with meals or drink alone.  By the way, ShopRite in Little Falls, those of you who are local, have an abundance of Rosés to choose from.  Can be a little overwhelming, but I suggest, picking one from a region you are already familiar with.  For example, if you love California Reds, try a Rosé from California.  If you like reds from Argentina, try a Rosé from argentinian grapes.  You can start there.

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This is just one of the racks of Rosés at Little Falls ShopRite.

Some of my other favorite Rosés so far are:

  1. Dark Horse- averages about $10 has a lovely finish.
  2. Whispering Angel- a little pricier, but one of the first ones I tried and pairs lovely with cheese. Yum! Yum!  Averages about $22
  3. White Girl Rosé – nice and crisp- averages $15 a bottle and apparently launched by an IG star (fun fact).
  4. Barefoot Bubbly makes a brut Rose which my sister in laws and I love.  Averages about $10 a bottle and perfect for  bridal showers or brunch.
  5. Luc Belair Rosé is ABSOLUTELY fantastic.  Averages about $30 a bottle.  I got TWO for my birthday last year…and guess what I drank both alone.  Too delish to share!!!

I hope this inspires you to go try a rosé if you haven’t already.  If you have I would love to hear what your favorite is.  Click on the comment link and leave me some suggestions!

Is it too early to rosé ?

♥LolaUncorked

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$250 Bottle of BS….

 The $250 Bottle of Wine

Hi! This blogging business is no joke.  Just trying to decide how much to post, what to post next, ideas, etc.    But, I am back!!! and though I am supposed to be highlighting a wine of the week, this blog is purely for shits and giggles.  This really wasn’t a $250 bottle of wine – by far.

A little over a year ago some guy requested me on IG.  I don’t typically accept random requests on social media, but he was decent looking, I was bored, we had a couple mutual friends and hell! Isn’t that what we people do?? Maybe? No? Help me out people.

Turned out he was according to him – a celebrity chef (en su casa solamente), had a brand new condo in Jersey City (I only saw it in photos), and he was over 6ft tall (winner!) LOL.

Anyway, we talked for a few months, made plans to meet up but he was supposedly always traveling for work.  He was kind of like a restaurant whisperer (again according to him).

We connected once – went for drinks. It was cool, except for the fact that all he did was talk about himself (again) and how wonderful he was (again) and all the bougee places he could get my friends and I into.  But of course (like I mentioned in my last blog), I ignored all the warning signs.  SMH!

Against my better judgement, I invited him to a holiday party at a very formal venue and the first thing I noticed was his very ill-fated, for lack of a better word, “ugly” suit.

It wasn’t even a suit, but more like black worn slacks that were too short (maybe his chef pants), a shirt he said he ran out to purchase last minute (didn’t look like it) and this tweed jacket that matched nothing else.  He reminded me of one of my professors.  I might have pics of this guy, but I don’t want to get sued for posting – for like defamation of character (insert eyes rolling).

But, he had a gift!!! Like a present!! I thought, yes, he redeemed himself.  I don’t know about you, but I love gifts.  He gifted me a bottle of wine nicely wrapped in foil with a bow.  My excitement bubbled!!!

He proceeded to tell me a client of his (from the bougee places he was going to get me into) gifted him a few.  We were not allowed to take into venue, so we coat checked it.  He joked with the coat check attendant to make sure to watch it as it was a VERY EXPENSIVE bottle of wine.

Now, as you will learn in this blog I am a WINE lover!! On a scale of 1 to 10, I am probably about a 7.5 in the wine knowledge department.

This doesn’t mean I’ve tasted hundreds and hundreds of different wine, (maybe I have), but I have SOME knowledge, especially locally.

Anyway, we proceeded to party our butts off, eat, drink and be merry.  It was a holiday party after all!  Had a great time, except again, all he talked about to anyone who would listen was what a great chef he was.

By the end of night I had decided I probably wouldn’t go out with this guy again.  Just no “click”. But I was excited about the wine I was very much looking forward to opening.

Imagine my surprise when I took the wine out of its wrapper, only to discover this:bogle

Let me just segue with this – I am by NO MEANS a wine snob!  AT ALL!!! I can drink a $10 bottle of wine as easily as a $80 bottle of wine.  And I take great pride in finding a really good bottle of wine for under $10.

HOWEVER, Bogle is NOT, and I repeat, NOT a $250 bottle of wine.  The most expensive bottle of Bogle which is their Bogle Phantom Red averages about $18.  That is not the bottle he gifted me.  The Bogle he gifted me ranges about $6.99.  Really. No lie. It left me wondering like why and it raised several issues for me:

  1. Why lie? Who cares? I mean, I’d like to think I am pretty down to earth and I don’t present phoniness.
  2. How social media allows people to create these fake personas that are pretty difficult to live up to or follow through with,
  3. Finally, again, another moment, when even though I knew better, we (women) don’t pay attention to the warning signs – I had several, yet I ignored them (read previous blog)

For the record, I don’t have a problem with the $7 bottle of wine, because you’d best believe I drank it and it wasn’t awful- the first glass anyway, by the second day, it was tasting a little rancid even though I placed in fridge. By the third, I was done and resorted to using it as vinegar for my cooking.

My issue is with the lies and fakeness.  And trust me, women do it too.  We present fictional selves.  HE clearly must have known because eventually I told him we weren’t really a match and his response was ,“Oh, well Good luck, hope you find someone better.” (Dodged that bullet). Like dude, the bottle of wine was the least of your issues, but ok.

I took the higher road, instead of bursting his ego and sending him a pic of his $7 of wine from liquor store, I wished him the best and kept it moving.

Ladies, don’t be so easily impressed with a fake $250 bottle of wine.  Don’t be impressed with a nice car or nice teeth.  Dig for substance, dig for character, dig for something that will last longer than a simple gift.

I won’t highlight a $250 bottle of wine on here unless someone else is treating, because at the end of the day it’s not about the cost of the bottle, but about the quality of the wine and even the company who its shared with.

I never saw the “chef” again. I also later found out those mutual friends we had, he friended randomly too!  Social media is the devil! For sure.

Remember, not everything that glitters is gold and if he or she sound too good to be true, they probably are. And I promise my next wine blog will be about good wine!

Cheers!

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PC | geralogy.co

♥LolaUncorked

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Silk and Spice Red Blend

Hi, everyone, as promised I will also be trying to feature a wine of the week on here for you guys.  Being that my blog is called LolaUncorked it seems only fitting.

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Wine and photos on a Sunday afternoon.

PC| http://www.geralogy.co

So I started drinking red wine probably about 15 years ago.  I was always a white wine or vodka drinker.  My brother came home one day with a bottle of Yellowtail Shiraz and I was hooked!  Since then I’ve moved on from Yellowtail – not that there is anything wrong with it- to explore so many other reds.

I got the opportunity to bartend (yes one of my many side gigs) in a well known wine and tapas franchise and it was there that my love and knowledge of wine expanded.

Who would have thought that the burst of spice I get from some wines is called tannins or that wines had a finish to it.  Or that some wines are tasted on the tip of your tongue, the sides or the back.  So much I didn’t know. I will share some of that knowledge along the way with you or just some really good wines to pair with your food.

Recently they opened a World Market near me which carries just about everything, but imagine my surprise when I walked in and discovered a corner with wines from around the world!!! Heaven!

After browsing for a bit, I grabbed a bottle of Silk & Spice Red Blend.  I don’t even know how to explain the smoothness yet boldness of this wine.  This is a Portuguese blend and I won’t bore you with all the technical stuff, you can go to www.evaton.com/product/silk-spice/ to read up on it.  silk-and-spice

I will tell you this, this wine I think is a great starter for anyone that is not too sure if red wine will be their thing.  It’s got enough spiciness to make it interesting, but not too assaulting.  It gives you an initial burst in your palate, swirls around with some vanilla-ish things going on, and a nice, full, finish that lingers long after your last sip.

True story- I love this wine so much, I bought it as a thank you for geralogy.co/blog  after our photo session.  I forgot to give it to her.  She left on vacation, I ended up opening it and drinking it all myself.  Gera is back now from vacay, so I have to hurry and go grab another bottle, or two.  One for me and one for you!  Enjoy…Let me know what you guys think of it!

♥LolaUncorked