Monday, December 28, 2009

So many things to talk about!

I visited the most delish restaurant a few weeks ago. It is just a few blocks away from me (which is really helpful to you, I know) on Shepherd. I'm sure by now you have to have heard something about it. Block 7 Wine Company is amazing. I went there for a little get together in the back room they have available for parties. It was so good. First, I love that the owners decided to keep the decor of the restaurant so closely related to what the building's original use was: a warehouse. Block 7 has everything a foodie could ever want. A bar, restaurant, separate store (although in-house, just separated by a door) for wine lovers to pick up a bottle of the fab vino they just had at dinner, an Ah-mazing chef (Miguel Hernandez-former sous-chef for The Rainbow Lodge) and a menu that will make your jaws jitter just at one glance.

Miguel let me try some of the homemade sausage with homemade mustard sauce. I was in the kitchen with the Miguel and one of the owners, Stephanie Roman, because I am very cool. That was some darn good food. They have 21-day dry aged beef burgers with homemade frites as well as truffle popcorn, grilled cheese sandwiches, prime rib-eye (aged as well) and rice krispies. In addition to the huge array of special wines that the sommelier would be more than happy to help you choose.

Wanna know something else cool about this place? They have free wine tastings on Saturdays as well as educational classes that you can sign up for to learn more about wine. They have a full service wine tour operator who can set up a wine excursion for you and your loved one(s)-travel and accomodations included.

Lastly, Block 7 is a huge supporter of local artists. Local artists grace the walls of Block 7 with their finery each month for all patrons to enjoy and buy! The best time to get a beautiful piece of art is when the artist is still local.. You'll regret it if you don't buy it now and then you see the same piece you fell in love with for 5 times the price in a few years.

Block 7 has so many wonderful attributes, I can't even name them all. You will just have to go to their website and see. Or, even better, hit up the restaurant for one of their signature dishes. You won't be sorry!

Pic of bar, courtesy of

Pics of restaurant and store, courtesy of Tracy Scott,

Block 7 Wine Company Hours of Operation:
Retail store
Mon-Sat 10am-10pm
Sun Noon-6pm
Mon-Thurs 4pm-midnight
Fri-Sat 4pm-1am
Sun 4pm-11pm
Go there asap, you will thank me later.

So, every year around the holidays, I start to go into full-on panic mode as to what to get my mother. It is the same argument every year. "Well Dan-eeeelllleeee, I don't neeeeeed anything....Having you guys as my daughters' is present enough". Imagine that being said in a very southern accent along with a hint of whining. When I am finally able to get her to give me some type of clue as to what she would like, it usually consists of some weird tool she saw on a DIY show. Like, a jigsaw or something. Ok, my mother is still 29, but she has arthritis, some type of auto-immune problem the doctors still can't diagnose, she's had back surgery, needs help taking out the trash and can barely walk to the mailbox. Why does she need a jigsaw?

Therefore, I took it upon myself to decide what she would be getting for Christmas. Not just from me, but from all of us. So, my sisters and niece and nephew and I got together with a fabulous lifestyle photographer, Tracy Tesmer, and had our first real family portraits made for her. She was clueless to this, so I had to keep my mouth shut forever, which is very hard for me. But, the payoff was worth it. She was so touched. By far the happiest I've seen her in a long time. I must say, if you are thinking of having portraits done, Tracy Tesmer is the best there is. By far. Here are a few of my niece and nephew along with my mom's favorite of me and my sisters:



Dawn, Me and Dee Anne:

This was little baby Trevor's very first experience taking pictures, other than Aunt Nellie shoving a camera in front of him whenever possible. He was such a good boy!! He still runs around saying "Cheeeeeeese" whenever someone picks up a camera, even if they aren't taking a picture of him! He also got his very own camera for Christmas, just like "Miss Tracy", whom he now forever loves.

Taylor, as always, was quite the little ham. She is such a beautiful girl and it freaks me out to see how well she does in photoshoots. She is perfection wrapped up in a tiny little 6 year old body. I love that little sweetie so much it hurts. She is going to be a force to be reckoned with; watch out for Taylor.

Ok, enough boasting on my little sweeties. If you want to have some awesome pics taken, anytime, not just for the holidays, contact Tracy Tesmer. You will not regret it!

Tracy Tesmer Photography


  1. Isn't my kid cute? He just needs to learn that when he says "cheese" he's supposed to SMILE. :) Love you!

  2. Are you kidding? It's even more adorable when he is sitting there staring so intently into the camera whilst saying "Cheeeeese". I love it!! And, you!!

  3. got my coffee!! omg. more beautiful baby pictures! Those photos are amazing!!! that restaurant looks fab! and free wine tastings? mnn..... Hope you had an amazing holiday!