Pomegranate Basil Sangria

Pomegranate Basil SangriaI should really probably call this Pomegranate “Basils” Sangria, because I used four different kinds of basil in this recipe. And it is so delicious!

I want to remind everyone that the Pennington giveaway is still going on. You can win a $50 American Express gift card! You can still enter; simply leave a comment on this post or my previous cocktail post with your favorite gardening tip. I will announce the winner on Friday, October 11.

This sangria really lives up to its name, which comes from a Spanish word that means, “bleeding.” None of this white wine sangria, here, people. It’s like oxblood, which we all know is one of the on trend colors this fall.

Just like last week’s cocktail, I went out to the garden and picked several varieties of basil to make this drink. Basil is fantastic to grow; it’s easy and there are so many readily available kinds, you can have a whole garden of different flavors.

Besides the traditional Genovese basil, I’m also growing these:

basilsFor reals, that first one is called “Holy Basil.” It’s actually used in Ayurvedic medicine and has a minty, clovey taste. Thai basil is more common and has a slight licorice flavor. Variegated basil is also called Perpetuo basil since it doesn’t flower, and it also has a slightly spicy overtone.

You can use whatever basil or basils you want for this recipe. I say the more the merrier, but if you want to go traditional sweet basil, go for it!

Pomegranate Basil Sangria


  • 40 basil leaves, of one or more types
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 c. water
  • 1 pomegranate (or 1 – 2 cups pomegranate seeds)
  • 1 bottle red wine

First, pick your basil and remove the leaves from the stems. I used about 40 leaves, 10 of each variety.

basils readyIn a small saucepan, mix the sugar with the water.

sangria3Add the herbs. As you drop them in the saucepan, crush them a bit to begin to release their aromatic oils.

sangria4Set the pot over medium low heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Make sure all the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, strain, and let the syrup cool.

sangria5While the basil syrup is simmering, cut your pomegranate in half and remove the seeds. Do you know the super duper easy way to remove them? Over a bowl, simply turn the half pomegranate cut-side down in your hand, and pound the outside with a wooden spoon.


Out come all the seeds and only a few stray pieces of flesh. It’s amazing! Although a little splattery.

sangria7Once you’ve got your pomegranate ready, you can begin to assemble the sangria. First, add the pomegranate seeds and juice, then about 1/2 c. of the basil syrup (more or less to taste). Finally, pour in the bottle of red wine. I used a nice Malbec which worked perfectly.

sangria9Mix it all up and let it steep for at least 30 minutes.

sangria10You can chill it while you are letting it steep, and even serve over ice. Garnish with some basil leaves.

sangria11Delicious, right? Perfect to drink while wearing your new shoes and nail polish.




Neon 80s Ribbon Barrettes



I was in JoAnn Fabric the other day and I happened to see that the Offray 1/8″ satin ribbon—the very ribbon I use for the 80s ribbon barrettes—now comes in neon! I bought every color they had.


And then I set to making some barrettes. My favorite, by far, is the one that’s neon pink and pale pink. I like the contrast and I think it gives what might be a normal pink barrette a nice pop. I tried several different combos; all neon, using the bright orange and green, then neon yellow with white, and of course, the pinks.


Which is your favorite?

If you’d like to make some of your own, see my tutorial here.

I tried desperately to find a link to these ribbons online, but I couldn’t find them anywhere. I got mine at JoAnn Fabrics, so if you have one of those in your area, you could pop in to see if they’re in stock. I don’t know if Michaels or other fabric stores will have them around, but let us know if you look for them and find them!



I’m so happy to be working with Pennington Vertical Gardens for this sponsored post! (Of course, all info and opinions here are my own!)

cucumber tarragon gin & tonic

First, I’m sure you all want to know about the giveaway. Pennington has graciously offered you all a chance to win a $50 American Express gift card. AH KNOW! All you need to do to enter is leave a comment below with your favorite gardening tip. What’s your favorite thing to grow in the garden? Have a favorite recipe you make with something you grew on your own? Let us know in the comments, and you’ll be entered to win $50. For free! I’ll announce the winners next week. (You can get a second entry if you like me on Facebook!)

Pennington makes modular vertical gardening systems that are completely customizable so that you can fit them into your space.


Awesome, right? Obviously, they are vertical, so you can grow upwards instead of outwards. Which means that no matter how much space you have, you can install a garden. I’m excited to try the system that Pennington has provided for me, and you’ll get more deets on that next week!

One thing I love growing in my garden is herbs. They are so easy, and beautiful, and useful. You’ve seen my single herb basil garden before, and this year I planted an ecclectic bunch of herbs. Truthfully, the reason I wanted so many different herbs was for cocktails. But I swear, I’m not a lush.

Now that the garden is growing like mad, it’s time to cash in, so to speak, on the herbal bounty. I’m starting off with a refreshing, delicious cocktail: Cucumber Tarragon Gin & Tonic.

Now, even if you don’t like Gin & Tonic, I suggest to you that you’ll like this cocktail. It’s great for everyone because it’s not too sweet and not too bitter. And refreshing? Gah, you will not believe it.

First, you have to get yourself some tarragon, and hopefully you’ll be able to step out your door and pick some fresh. Nothing like an herb that was actually still growing 90 seconds before you consume it.


Snip off two or three sprigs.

Here’s what you’ll need for your cocktail:

gin & tonic ingredients

  • 2 – 3 sprigs of fresh tarragon
  • 2 thick slices of cucumber
  • gin
  • tonic (diet tonic is fine)
  • ice
  • a cocktail shaker
  • a wooden spoon or muddler

First, put your sprigs of tarragon into your cocktail shaker. I always pull the leaves off and leave the stems out.


Next, add two thick slices of cucumber. If you want a slightly stronger cucumber taste, you can cut these slices into quarters.


Using the end of a wooden spoon, or a muddler if you own one, smash up the cucumber and the tarragon. “Smash” is the technical term, but some people like to say “muddle.” Those people are too cool for school.


You’ll notice that, if you’ve used the slices intact, you’re really only getting the center of the cucumber mushed up. Which is fine. If you cut your cucumber up, you’ll be able to smash the rind as well, and you’ll get more of a cucumber taste. Dealer’s choice!


Now, fill your shaker with ice. To the top. No skimping! Then, add your gin. You want to fill the shaker about 1/3 full.


Now add your tonic. Fill the shaker up, which will end up being 2/3 of the shaker in tonic.


Put the lid on and shake it like a Polaroid picture.


Pour through the strainer into a glass full of ice. You will still get some tarragon bits (depending on how wild you went with the smashing), so if you want a completely clear drink, you can pour through a strainer to eliminate those herb bits. I kind of like them floating in there.


Garnish with tarragon and a slice of cucumber!


And enjoy! Check in next week when I’ll have another herbal cocktail to share with you.

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Pennington Vertical Gardens, but the entirety of the content of my post is my own.

Disclosure Statement

Pennington Vertical Gardens partnered with bloggers such as me to help educate us all about their Pennington Vertical Gardening System products. As part of this program, I received compensation. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about the use of the products. Pennington Vertical Gardens believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Pennington Vertical Garden’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations. A winner will be chosen by random and gift card fulfillment will be handled by a third party.



DIY Grommet ShoesEver find a pair of shoes like, so cheap, but they kind of just need a little something else but you have to get them because they are just so cheap? That’s what happened with me and these pewter Calvin Klein shoes. I found them and they were really inexpensive, and I thought, “Meh, they are a great color, kinda boring, but for $15 how can I not buy them?”

So I did, and then I decided I wanted to spice them up. And for some reason, grommets were my answer. But I kind of love the way they turned out, and it was really quite simple. So if you have an old or a new pair that you want to embellish, here’s how to do it!

grommetsuppliesYou will need:

  1. hole punch (you may remember that I love my Martha Stewart one)
  2. a rubber ball (you really only need this if you have a screw hole punch like mine)
  3. grommets in the size or sizes you want
  4. a grommet tool, preferable a squeeze tool like this Crop-A-Dile
  5. shoes, obvy

To start, figure out where you want to place your grommets.  Then, holding the grommet in place, trace the interior circle of the grommet onto your shoes with a regular pen. (Don’t use a permanent marker in case you change your mind!)




Once you’ve got your placement on the shoe, it’s time to punch a hole. If you are using a screw punch, which you normally need to use on a self-healing mat, you’ll need something to punch on. I used a small rubber ball, since it fit nicely in the tip of the shoe and provided a cushiony surface for the punch. (The benefit to using a screw punch is that you can punch wherever you want; you don’t need to fit the jaws of a squeeze punch over the edge of the shoe.)


My hole punch wasn’t quite big enough for the grommets I chose, so I had to punch a few times around to make the hole big enough.




Insert your grommet with the top going into the shoe, and the bottom on the underside.

grommet6Then, use your grommet tool to crimp the grommet in place. I like to use a squeezing tool because it doesn’t require that you hammer part of the grommet, which can be difficult when you are working inside a shoe.




Complete the same process for any other grommets you want to attach, and then do the other shoe!


It’s really simple but also looks unique, and it looks harder than it really is. So you can impress your friends with your mad DIY skillz.