My Favorite Discoveries of the Week

Just taking a moment to share a few of my favorite discoveries of the week (DOW).

I recently discovered this a channel called Back9 Network. Not sure if any of you have heard of it or have even seen it listed on your channel line-up, but it’s really a network for golf aficionados, of which I am not. However, it bills itself as a lifestyle network. (I guess for the ‘golf lifestyle’).  It’s channel 262 on DirecTv. I first discovered it while watching a show called “Wine Sense”, which was my only reason for turning to a channel focused on golf. I ended up watching two episodes back-to-back (one about sulfites and one about Sauternes, a French sweet wine).  I also set my DVR to record a future episode on Malbec grapes and wine. The rest of the evening line-up for this network included stories about golf, more golf and where to go if you like golf. I’ll just tune in for the wine shows, thank you very much. The Malbec episode comes on in a couple of days so I’ll let you know how that turns out.

Speaking of Malbec, I found a new label I’ve never heard of…Pampa Estate.  Guess where I found it? ALDI. Yep. Snagged a bottle for $4.99.  I actually wasn’t skeptical to try it because I’ve had several wines from ALDI and they have been quite good.  And the wine label, “looked” expensive, not cheap.  The color and type of font (embossed gold) screamed ‘expensive’.  Anyway, this wine didn’t disappoint, considering I judged it only on the label. And I was curious because this was the first Malbec I’ve seen at ALDI so I HAD to try it.  Did I say it was only $4.99?

Found this at ALDI

Found this at ALDI

I am a lover of Malbec and I’ve tried quite a few, but none more than $20. I’ve yet to determine why I need to spend more than $20 on a bottle though a couple of times I made an exception with Conundrum ($22 at most places) and it’s been a couple of years since my last Conundrum purchase. My budget is more like a “two buck Chuck” budget (my Trader Joe fans remember that wine). My wine budget is between $6 and $12 a bottle with an average price paid around $9, but lately I’ve not spent more than $6. I love a good discount. But I digress. This Pampa Estate Malbec was surprisingly good. Not as peppery as some Malbecs that I’ve had, but definitely one of my favorites. It wasn’t a thin wine, as most cheaper wines tend to be…I hate thin, watery wines that taste flat. Blech. Anyway, there are also other wines I enjoy at ALDI, but I’ll save those for another post.

My last new discovery of the week, the DW Home line of candles and home fragrances. I actually purchased one of these candles for $7.99 from TJ Maxx a couple of months ago, but I finally decided to look up DW Home online this week. They have a website, but there’s not much on it and you can’t purchase anything on that site.  They seem to update Facebook and Instagram more than their website.  I am now obsessed with this line of candles and I want more!

Fresh cut Gardenia - Image courtesy eBay

Fresh cut Gardenia – Image courtesy eBay

The candle I purchased is in a 15 oz glass jar and has very rich scent without being overwhelming or too pungent. You know how the scent of some strong candles gets caught in your nostril hairs and in your throat? This doesn’t do that at all. I purchased the Fresh Cut Gardenia scent and as much as I love gardenia (or Cape Jasmine as my mom would call them), the scent can be strong if you don’t really care for it too much. But this candle is subtle but has a very realistic scent and it smells as if you have a bouquet of gardenias on your table. I searched Amazon and eBay and the same size jar candle sells for $22 to $36! Whaaaa the whaaa?  I would imagine that if they carry it at TJ Maxx, you can also find this line at Ross and at Homegoods, but I’ve not search those places just yet. I recommend that you if you see this line of candles on the shelf at one of those places, snag a couple of jars. They would make excellent gifts and it’s a great buy for $7.99.



Why I Love Twitter, Despite The Trolls

When I joined Twitter in 2010 (has it been that long?) I did so because it was the next big thing to do on social media. But I didn’t understand it. I couldn’t understand why one would limit conversations and interactions online to just 140 characters. Who does that in real life? And what did that really mean? Also, I couldn’t possibly figure out why anyone would want to follow me (and I still don’t). But, I decided that even though it sounded crazy, I would try it. During that long, long time of being unemployed I had plenty of time to goof off and learn about tweeting, retweeting and modifying tweets (while also looking for a job, mind you). As a matter of fact, had I actually been working, I probably wouldn’t have ‘met’ half the people I know on Twitter and I definitely wouldn’t be as tech savvy (whatever that means) as I am now. I know that Twitter has come under fire because of the overwhelming presence of trolls and other nasty elements. But just like in real life, I’ve learned to ignore the negative stuff I see and I just choose not to follow those whose tweets give me headaches. Don’t need the stress.

Notwithstanding the trolls, below are the top five reasons why I love Twitter:

 5.  I’m not immediately expected to ‘do’ anything. No liking, no posting, no commenting, no replying to previous replies. Sometimes I just want to read a story, without being a part of that story, if that makes sense.

4.  I can pick any subject or word, attach a hashtag to that word, follow that hashtag and learn anything I want to know (from Emmy nominations to the top NFL draft picks to the latest political uprisings to the top tech gadgets). And I love it! And then I can stop following that hashtag…no commitment, no questions asked. And I love it!

3.  I learn so much by following diverse people who have taken immensely different paths in life than I’ve taken. I follow thoracic oncologists and surgeons, engineering and science nerds and legal geniuses. And some of them they actually follow me back!

2.  I love that Twitter is a ‘real-time’ tool that allows you to find out what’s going locally or globally (24-7). And for a news junkie nerd like me, that gives me an intellectual high.

1.  Through my Twitter group #LCSM (Lung Cancer Social Media) I ‘met’ some of my closest friends who have been on this lung cancer advocacy journey with me since losing my mom to this disease in 2012. We’ve laughed and we’ve cried and I’ve never met a single one of them, ever. But if anything ever happened to them, I’d fall to pieces. My #LCSM Twitter buddies are folks I love for real and they are the ones I know I’d be BFFs in IRL (in real life). I don’t regret that lung cancer brought us all together. It actually makes me happy to know that a tiny bright spot can emerge out of something awful and dark like cancer.

Twitter has been a safe haven that doesn’t require much of me. And sometimes that’s all I’m looking for in a virtual relationship.