Archive of ‘Home + Entertainment’ category

Meet SYLTBAR: low-calorie, low-sugar, environmentally sustainable wines that taste great

Syltbar low calorie low sugar fine wines | The Champage Supernova

I love wine. I love drinking it, I love pairing it with meals, and I love sharing it with my friends and family.

What I do not love is the commercialization of the wine industry. I prefer to support growers who farm organically and sustainably. When wine is made the way nature intended, it tastes pure and clean, without the bad side effects like feeling awful the next day.

I’m going to be transparent: with all this Covonavirus madness and trying to work remotely while homeschooling my Kindergartener and second grader, I’ve been drinking a “LITTLE” more wine than usual.

Okay, a lot.

But here’s the thing: I love the taste of SYLTBAR, it has low sugar content and calories, and I have NEVER felt bad the next day after enjoying some (unlike most other wines.) I have been telling EVERYONE about SYLTBAR.

How is SYLTBAR different? It contains very low sugar, is low on sulfites, and it’s vegan. It’s also affordable, with prices ranging from $19.99 to $29.99 per bottle.

Did you know that alcoholic beverages aren’t required to carry nutrition facts labels, so the calories in a bottle of wine can be a mystery.

The amout of calories in wine varies, depending on the type of grape used, how long the wine was fermented, and the amount of sugar added to the product. To help eliminate some of the mystery, the United States Department of Agriculture has come up with an average caloric content for various types of wine.

What is it? Get ready everyone!

Red table wine: 125 calories per 5 oz glass, or 625 calories in a bottle.

Syrah, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon: 122 calories per 5 oz glass, or 610 calories in a bottle.

Zinfandel: 129 calories per 5 oz glass, or 605 calories in a bottle.

White table wine: 121 calories per 5 oz glass, or 605 calories in a bottle.

Riesling: 118 calories per 5 oz glass, or 595 calories in a bottle.

Sauvignon Blanc: 119 calories per 5 oz glass, or 595 calories in a bottle.

Chardonnay: 123 calories per 5 oz glass, or 615 calories in a bottle.

Are you a fan of dessert wine? There is 165 calories per 3.5 oz glass.

One of the reasons SYLTBAR is so great is because it contains less calories!

SYLTBAR fine wines low calorie cabernet franc fruilano pinot grigio low sugar | The Champagne Supernova
SYLTBAR fine wines: Cabernet Franc, Pinot Grigio, Friulano, and Pinot Grigio Ramato.

The SYLTBAR Pinot Grigio– available ONLY at the SYLTBAR website- is light, airy and fresh from which its name was inspired. It is 100% naturally produced from Friuli, Italy, and contains only 125 calories per 6 oz glass. (Note the figures above reflecting calorie counts for the average wine are for 5 oz glasses and not 6 like SYLTBAR.)

SYLTBAR’s Friulano is the Sauvignon Blanc of Italy. This white wine is dry, fresh and elegant, with low acidity, balanced by a pleasing roundness and a good structure. There are only 125 calories per 6 oz glass.

The SYLTBAR Cabernet Franc, made from 100% Carmenère Grape , is an intense full bodied red wine, harmonious with round tannins. This is my #1 FAVORITE SYLTBAR wine, which tastes as smooth as cashmere. There are 115 calories per 6 oz glass of Cabernet Franc.

SYLTBAR Junior is the Pinot Grigio traditionally made in the 1970’s style by leaving the Skin on for one night to macerate. Not only does this change the color to apricot, but the wine also has more character than the Pinot Grigio we are used to. It contains more decisive and evolved aromatic notes in a young wine, which is unusual. The people who say “I don’t like Pinot Grigio” should try out Junior. Best of all, there are only 98 calories per 6 oz glass.

SYLTBAR low calorie low sugar prosecco sparkling rose | The Champagne Supernova
Mrs. and Mr. SYLTBAR sparkling rose and premium prosecco.

Mr. SYLTBAR, otherwise known as Premium Prosecco, is straw-colored with notes of pear, golden apple, and white peach with a hint of lemon. It is comprised of 100% Glera Grape with 49 calories per 6 oz glass. (The entire 23 oz bottle packs just under 200 calories!)

Mrs. SYLTBAR, their Sparkling Rose, is light pink with notes of citrus and lychee. It is made of 100% Merlot Grape and there are 63 calories per 6 oz glass. (The entire bottle contains just under 250 calories!)

Not only does SYLTBAR produce quality wines, but it is also involved in Green Project, which is a set of actions put forward to contribute to the environmental sustainability of their business. “Social liability” has always guided our wine producer, shaping their line of work with maximum respect for the communities in which the winery operates.

US Wines - not organicMost people don’t realize the bad side effects of commercial wines are caused by toxins added during the farming and manufacturing processes. Most of the wines you are buying in stores are farmed with chemicals like Roundup, irrigated water, and genetically modified yeast. This results in high doses of added sulfites, loads of sugars, and higher alcohol levels.

The U.S. wine industry has spent TENS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS lobbying politicians to keep contents label off of wine. Manufactures are not required to list their ingredients on the label. Because wine is not regulated by the FDA, wine makers are not required to list their ingredients on the label. This means that a bottle of wine (even the most expensive, highly rated wines) can contain up to 72 “ allowed” additives.

It’s a little known fact that 52 % of all the wines manufactured in the U.S. are made by just THREE companies. They hide behind boutique labels, but their wine is manufactured in enormous facilities. Not only are you paying for these additives, but you are also putting these toxins in your body, like mega purple coloring dye, fish bladders (used to filter the juice), and corn syrup.

Rather than support the junk food equivalent of the wine industry, the makers of SYLTBAR decided to travel the world to find and support the natural wine makers. SYLTBAR wine is made the way nature intended. With only healthy grapes and wild yeast, you get a pure wine that doesn’t have the nasty effects (like bloating and headaches.)

Elle can’t wait to turn 21 so she can enjoy SYLTBAR, too!

You can find MR. and MRS. SYLTBAR (prosecco and sparkling rose) at your local Whole Foods Market, Total Wine & More, Redneck Wine in Tampa, and on their website. Due to limited production, SYLTBAR’s fine wines are available ONLY on their website.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, SYLTBAR is grateful to continue offering wines shipped directly and safely to your door with contactless delivery.

I highly encourage all of my wine drinking friends to give SYLTBAR a try.


    Don’t Sweat Your Pet with Febreze and Swiffer

    May is National Pet Month!

    I’m an animal lover. I love dogs, cats, rabbits, horses,
    even cows. Give me all ‘dem animals (except reptiles… those can go somewhere else!)

    Before we had kids, we had two black labs. You can read about them here.

    I loved those dogs. When I was at work, I would literally sit at my desk and wonder if they were thinking about me at home. I even once asked my veterinarian if he thought dogs could feel love. He looked at me like I was weird and then said “yes, of course!” (After that, the vet also stopped calling me to report about the dogs and instead, called my husband, but that’s a sensitive subject for another time.)


      Say Goodbye to Bugs with Zevo

      In Florida, the only thing worse than hurricane season is bug season.

      They’re everywhere: on my clothes, stuck to the side of my house, and all over my windshield. Their presence is a nuisance and they completely deter me from wanting to go outside.

      When any bugs invade, most of us are faced with choosing between two evils:

      1. Using traditional insecticides, knowing they’ll kill the bugs, but also worrying about the chemicals being used inside the house; or
      2. Using sprays advertised as safe and natural that make us feel better about using them, but they perform poorly and don’t actually kill the bugs.

      With Zevo, you don’t have to choose. 


        Internet Dating for Parents and Caregivers Part 2: Blind Dates

        This is part 2 of a 4-part series about finding a nanny. Part 1 is here. It was authored by my friend and one of the baddest mamma jamma lawyer moms around, Shylie Bannon.

        Once you’ve posted the personal ad for a nanny and the applicants start rolling in, you get to start evaluating potential candidates!

        It’s just like Tinder—should I swipe right or left?

        You should pay attention to the detail contained in the response. Did the candidate personalize her response, or did it seem like she copied and pasted the same message she sent to 20 other jobs? Did she proofread her response before sending it? And although it sounds shallow—how does this person look in her profile picture? Do you want someone who thinks that posting a sultry “duck lips” photo on their caregiving profile to be responsible for your child?


          Spring Cleaning with Febreze

          How I spring clean with Febreze | The Champagne Supernova

          For me, home is where the heart is. There is no place I’d rather be. From all the laughter, tears, and memories, everything happens in the home, making it the greatest place to be. Not only that, but all you need to do is think about the appliances that are in your home and it feels you with instant joy, provided that you have looked into something like this Colorado home warranty so you can provide these appliances with added protection, especially if they break and you need to either repair or replace them. Whilst it doesn’t sound like the most enjoyable activity, it is definitely the most important.

          Things I like to put off more than cleaning:

          1. Literally everything on this planet.

          When my girls were little, I hired a mother’s helper to help me get stuff done around the house. You can read the post here. Now that they’re older and we are more interested in saving money, we’ve scaled back on the Mother’s Helper and the cleaning is now left to me.

          My strategy: one big clean every quarter, followed by smaller follow-up cleans
          each week.

          What does this mean?


            I am not a Pinterest Mom

            I am not a Pinterest mom | The Champagne Supernova

            Last week, I was at the courthouse when opposing counsel told me his wife was busy hauling their eight year-old daughter, who is a couple years older than my daughters, to after school activities.

            Let me see if I remember this correctly. His daughter partook in ten activities. You didn’t read it wrong. Ten.

            Chess, soccer, French lessons, dance, competitive gymnastics, swim, violin, Girl Scouts, mini yoga, and sewing. My colleague said his daughter didn’t get home until after 9 p.m. each night and that she still had to do her homework and shower before bed.

            Hearing this child’s schedule was exhausting.

            Then it started creeping in: MOM GUILT.

            As background, I have a personal policy in my home that each of my kids is allowed two extracurricular activities at a given time. Two activities gives my kids freedom to decide what to do without them burning out. It also allows me to maintain sanity, as I work part time as a lawyer and have a crazy schedule. I know my personal limits, and any more activities will trigger irritation that results in impatience, yelling, and nothing good.

            Notwithstanding this personal rule of two activities, I began comparing myself to my colleague’s wife and felt like a crappy mother. I questioned whether my two-activity policy was selfish. I asked myself whether I was depriving my kids of amazing opportunities because I didn’t want to chauffeur them anymore than I already did.

            “What if the girls have more talent than Frederic Chopin and I’ll never know about it because they don’t take piano lessons? Should I go online and order a Baby Grand?”

            I stressed about it for a couple days.

            Then I had the epiphany.

            I have to do what is best for me and my family and own it.

            I can lie to myself all day and pretend to be the type of mom that I want to be instead of the mom I actually am. You know what would happen? It would never fly.

            Here’s the reality.

            I’m not a Pinterest mom. I love OTHER Pinterest moms, but party planning is not my gift. I’m content with throwing a party at a park with a pizza, bounce house, and decorations that don’t match. I just want my kids to have fun.

            I’m not a PTA mom. I love OTHER PTA moms, but committee stuff is not my gift. Yes, I can do it and get it done, but it’s not my calling. I love attending events and don’t have to be on the planning committee. I’d rather let other moms have the proverbial floor. I’m content being an Indian and not the Chief.

            I’m not a Sally Homemaker mom. I love OTHER Sally Homemaker moms, but keeping house is not my gift. I marvel over the way some moms make cleaning, homemaking, and raising children look effortless. I aspire to be that way and ask them for advice, but that’s just not how God wired me.

            I’m not the patient Math Tutor mom. I love OTHER Math Tutor moms, but if I want my kids to love me, I have to let someone else help them with their homework. Otherwise, it ends with tears, frustration, and eye rolls. Because fractions and long division.

            I am not the mom who is going to put her kids in ten activities. I love and respect those moms. I’m not shaming them. Some kids enjoy being super active. Some kids need to burn off energy. Some moms like driving their kids everywhere and don’t mind getting home late.

            But those are not my kids and that is not me. I’m not going to let Mom Guilt blind me to what my kids and I really need, which is time to rest before bedtime.

            Just because being a Pinterest mom, PTA mom, Sally Homemaker mom, Math Tutor mom, or Activity mom aren’t my gifts doesn’t mean I don’t have them. There are plenty of other things to bring to the table and I’ll own what I know I am: a chauffeur, therapist, cook, knock-knock joke teller, laundry lady, hairdresser, stylist, snack-maker, sideline-cheerer, bedtime storyteller, board game-player, movie watcher, and teacher.

            I’m okay with all those things. I don’t need to be a Pinterest mom. I just care about doing my best.


              Party Prep for the Super Bowl with Febreze

              Prepare for your parties with Febreze | The Champagne Supernova
              Add Febreze AIR to your Super Bowl party list.

              Super bowl parties are the best. That’s why 45 million Americans annually host a party on the day of the big game.

              The sporting event. The rivalries. Simply having a reason to get together with friends on a Sunday night.

              However, nobody said being a host is easy, and planning a Super Bowl party isn’t nearly as fun as the party itself. From making a grocery list, sending out invitations, and making sure there’s enough prime seating in front of the big screen, a host’s job is never done.


                Finding a Nanny, or “Internet Dating for Parents and Caregivers” Part 1 of 4: Writing Your Personal Ads

                How to find a nanny | The Champagne Supernova

                My kids have been in daycare since they were a couple months old. I never had the luxury of having a nanny for them, so I jumped at the opportunity for a guest post from my friend, Shylie Bannon, when she offered to write one.

                This is the first installment in a four part series about finding a nanny. I’m so grateful for Shylie and her insight, as well as her friendship.

                Here goes:

                When I grew up, both of my parents worked outside of the home. My mother had her own OB/GYN practice which often required her to keep “odd” hours (babies love to be born on the weekends and in the middle of the night), and so I grew up raised by my parents, with the help of some very loving, reliable caregivers. We developed close relationships with these caregivers, and to this day, we exchange holiday cards, birthday cards, and even invited them to our wedding. When I became pregnant, it seemed like a no-brainer to me that I would choose the same kind of arrangement for my son.

                I thought to myself, “This will be easy! How hard can it be to find the right, qualified caregiver for my three-month-old?”

                Famous. Last. Words.

                Finding a nanny is a very weird combination of interviewing prospective employees and going on blind internet dates.

                You have to come across as appealing to the prospective nannies, but you also have to ensure that the prospective nannies understand your “non-negotiables.” You have to figure out if you and your candidate have the right “chemistry.” You are interviewing someone who is going to spend more time in your home during waking hours than you do. Unlike internet dating, the consequences of a bad nanny matchup are more than just a potential “ghosting” and funny story to later relate at cocktail parties. You may end up in the lurch without childcare at a moment’s notice.

                When you decide you are going to search for a nanny for your kid(s), the very first step you should take is to sit down with your partner and make a list of job duties, requirements, and character traits you are looking for in a nanny. You should consider:

                How much can you afford to spend on care? Apart from paying a nanny her wages, being an employer comes with so many hidden costs. Nannies are considered “household employees” and should be paid as W-2 employees. Employers are responsible for paying employer contributions to social security taxes, Medicare taxes, and both Federal and State unemployment taxes. Are you willing to offer paid vacation? If your nanny is transporting your child, are you going to compensate her for gas/wear and tear on her vehicle?

                Hours you need care: Be realistic about this and if you are using your nanny to care for your child while you are at work, build in a bit of a cushion for unanticipated last minute tasks, late-running meetings, or bad traffic. Likewise, don’t expect your nanny to show up and you to run out the door in the morning. You should expect to have an overlap of approximately 10-15 minutes each morning and evening with your caregiver to “debrief” and exchange important information. Your caregiver must be available for these talks, and it’s best for neither party to feel harried or rushed. Keep in mind that nannies are entitled to overtime pay for all hours worked over 40. Those extra hours can add up quickly.

                Location: Is it non-negotiable for you to have the nanny provide care in your home, or are you willing to drop your child off at the nanny’s home? If you are comfortable having your child watched in another location, make sure you consider what materials/equipment you will be expected to supply, and the condition of the equipment the nanny has in her home. You should also consider safety hazards and who else might be in the home while your child is being watched. Is the nanny willing to let you do a complete walkthrough of her home with little to no advanced notice?

                Household tasks you want your caregiver to complete: Some families expect caregivers to perform household chores for the entire family, others expect their caregivers to perform tasks related only to the child in their charge. Considering what role you expect your caregiver to take will affect the type of candidate you are looking for, as well as how much you may have to pay.

                Tasks associated with caregiving: For an infant or toddler, your caregiver must be comfortable handling all tasks for a completely dependent little person. If you are looking for a nanny for an elementary or middle school aged child, will you expect the caregiver to provide homework assistance? Supervise other children during play dates? Transport to after-school lessons?

                -Other specifics you should contemplate:

                Are you comfortable with a smoker or someone who lives with a smoker?

                Are you comfortable letting the caregiver bring their own child with them to work? For that matter, are you open to a caregiver who has children of her own, and if so, do you have preferences regarding the age of the caregiver’s children?

                How much experience do you expect your caregiver to have, and are you looking for a specific type of prior experience? Daycare, teacher, in-home provider?

                Is the caregiver fluent in a language in which you are fluent? Is the caregiver comfortable communicating with others in English?

                Does the caregiver’s age matter to you? Some people prefer a mature, grandmotherly type, and others are looking for a younger, more contemporary caregiver. The physical tasks associated with your job may play a role in determining whether you have an age preference. Keep in mind that with infants and young children, caregivers will be sitting and/or laying on the floor with your child and carrying them often.

                Do you require a caregiver to have her own transportation? (Even if you do not expect the caregiver to transport your child, this may be important to ensure reliability.)

                If you have pets, ensure potential applicants are aware of what type of pet you have so if they are afraid of animals or allergic to animals, you don’t waste anyone’s time.

                After making this list, you should categorize these preferences as “Non-Negotiables,” “Preferred,” and “Desired/Fantasy” items. As we interviewed candidates, we quickly found that a number of our preferences shifted amongst these categories. We knew how much money we could afford to pay, and that was a non-negotiable for us. In order to get a qualified candidate with whom we felt comfortable, we ended up having to reduce the number of hours of care. Fortunately, our employers were willing to work with us on alternative office schedules—for example, my husband is in his office at 7 AM so he can leave earlier in the day, and I go to work a little later than I previously did, but stay later. We initially were flexible about hiring a caregiver who had her own young child (whom she did not bring to work), but after a bad experience, decided that it was “non-negotiable” that our nanny have no children younger than school-age children so that there would be no concerns she would be exclusively focused on our son when she was on the job.

                When creating your job posting, make sure you include some information about yourself and your family. After all, you have to make sure that your family is a good fit for your nanny as well. I tried to convey a sense of who we were and what was important to us as a family in our ad (our love for the Florida Gators featured front and center). Make sure you put all of your non-negotiables in the job listing, other than your rate of pay. This will save you a lot of time and energy making your way through an interview with someone who seems like the perfect candidate until you find out that she is, in fact, incredibly allergic to cats when you have two fluffy feline members of the household (this actually happened to me). I recommend putting a few of your “preferred” traits in the posting as well, but ultimately, I found that a number of applicants would just parrot my listing back to me when describing themselves because they knew that was what I wanted to hear.

                Once you’ve figured out what you’re looking for, and how to advertise it, you next have to navigate the interview process—aka, the Courtship. Will you swipe left or right?

                Shylie Bannon is a graduate of the University of Florida and lives her son and husband in Jacksonville, where she is employed as an attorney. 

                  Tropical Smoothie Cafe: Your Holiday Beverage Destination

                  Holiday Smoothies from Tropical Smoothie | The Champagne Supernova

                  This blog post is sponsored. All opinions are my own. 

                  Does anyone else feel like the holidays just snuck up on them this year?

                  I feel like we were just soaking up the sun at the beach and- bam!- we are now breaking out Elf on the Shelf and writing wish lists for Santa.

                  I have to affirmatively do certain things to get myself mentally prepared for the hustle and bustle of the holidays.

                  Things that put me in the mood for the holidays:

                  • Listening to Mariah Carey’s “Merry Christmas” album;
                  • Forcing my family to watch back-to-back episodes of Home Alone and The Christmas Story;
                  • Burning cinnamon-flavored candles in the house;
                  • Baking gingerbread cookies; and
                  • Taking walks around the neighborhood to look at the lights.

                  I’ve recently added another thing to the list:


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