One Week Since Prince Left Us

One week ago, I came home from my part-time morning job in an office in a great mood. The sun was shining and the weather was finally warm enough for me to sit in my outdoor office and work on some other things. I had some captioning to finish and then launched into social media work. As soon as I logged on to Facebook, I saw a post from my manager that Prince had died.

Whaaaaaa?

“Holy $h!t” was my response and then I clicked, thinking it couldn’t possibly be true. More and more posts kept scrolling past, each one confirming something I couldn’t wrap my head around.

How could Prince be dead? At 57 (which didn’t seem like his possible age), he should still be raring to go. He never seemed like a druggie nor an excessive partier. I mean, I was devastated when Scott Weiland died a few months ago and wallowed for several days, but I wasn’t totally surprised. He had been a mess for years. But Prince?

2016 is going to go down as the infamous year where too many celebrities met an untimely passing. Too many beloved parts of my past have been leaving. Perhaps it is some kind of Armageddon that we didn’t know about? Weiland, Bowie, Rickman all shook me. But Prince rocked me to my core.

In a way, that makes sense as he rocked me to my core when I was a young girl. I was only 7 when Purple Rain, the movie, was released. Technically, I was too young to watch the movie. But my cousin, who is three years older, brought it over for us to watch one day. I was immediately transfixed, and didn’t fully appreciate why until last week.

Prince bared his soul to us in that movie. If I remember correctly, it was somewhat based on his life, or at least that was the impression that I had. He had some struggles finding himself and his music, getting lost along the way, as many musicians do. This was the first time that I saw someone who had mixed race parents, though that was lost on me at the time. He had to deal with abuse and protecting his mother. Then there was all of the politics involved with being a musician back then, landing your gig and finding your voice and making an impact on the fans. How do you stay true to your own craft while embracing the talents of others around you? That anguish of being so deep in love and wanting the other person to also be successful in his or her own ventures.

And then the music. With Prince, it was always the music. I couldn’t possibly fathom at the time the greatness that I saw on the screen before me. I just knew that I felt something in every single song that he sang. I couldn’t comprehend the power between his lyrics and the masterful musician behind the captivating music. I just knew that I loved all of the songs, but Purple Rain got to me every time. Yes, part of my young mind was probably entranced by the fact that Prince loved the color purple and wrote a song about purple rain. I was, and still am, totally attracted to the color purple. I am penning this post while wearing purple pajamas and sitting in my bed of purple bedding. I even had a purple car through the majority of adulthood. But there was so much more than that.

Take a look at this clip from the movie.

Watching it as an adult and really paying attention, there is so much more going on here. I knew that this was the point in the movie where he made amends for his missteps. He is apologizing to Appollonia and to Wendy and Lisa, his bandmates. This is the performance that redeems him in the eyes of the promoters and fans. That much I was able to figure out, even at a young age. But now I notice the emotion. That man wasn’t acting at that point. He is exuding raw, heartfelt emotion and love for those in his life, and is seeking repentance for his mistakes. When he sings, you can feel the power of his penance and cry inwardly for him. Or, maybe you are crying outwardly. I know I can’t watch it now without getting teary, though for me that is nothing particularly new.

Looking back now, this was perhaps the song that taught me that even pop music could have feeling. This was likely one of those moments that helped to shape who I am today, though I wouldn’t have realized it at the time. This song is often stuck in my head for one reason or another. In fact, I was just singing it to myself within a few days of Prince passing away. Once I got the news, it started to play in a loop in my head and just won’t stop. When I finally hear it on the radio or online, I get super emotional all over again.

Lately I have been seeing posts on social media complaining about people focusing more on the loss of Prince and other celebrities, instead of focusing on “real heroes” like those who gave their lives fighting for this country. Here are my thoughts on that.

Yes, we need to mourn those who give their lives to protect our rights. Yes, the media circus has been kind of crazy. I mean, I heard a ton of Prince-related conversation on NPR this week, which I was not expecting. But the thing is, celebrities like Prince are significantly more personal to us than a soldier, unless that soldier is a personal acquaintance. It sounds shallow, but it is reality. Music is the soundtrack of our lives. Songs will elicit memories, sometimes good and sometimes bad. Those memories are a part of our core being. So when one of those celebrities dies, we feel like a part of ourselves has died. You don’t have the active and live reminders of things that you cherish about yourself. It hurts.

This is not to say that I do not feel sad when soldiers die. This does not mean that I am not concerned about the flooding in Houston, which was another complaint that I saw floating around. The difference is I do not know those soldiers who have died. I may have a few acquaintances and friends who live in Houston, but I am not the one who is living there. But I do have numerous personal connections to Prince and his music.

Watching Purple Rain was one of the ways that I could pretend to be cool around my cousin, to whom I looked up because she was older, and therefore, cooler. My childhood best friend sent me a message on Facebook reminding me that the first time she had ever seen the movie was over at my house. It was one of our bonding moments and something that we alluded to for years. When Prince released Diamonds and Pearls, one of my friends was lucky enough to get her hands on the tape and dubbed a copy for me. I was over the moon when she gave it to me. When 1999 rolled around, you can bet your arse we were dancing to that all night long. (I would post a few pics from that night, but some of my college friends may not be too happy with that.)

Prince’s voice was unique, his musical stylings unable to be truly replicated. His face became as familiar to me as a personal friend or a member of my family would be. While watching videos that fateful night after I heard he had died, it was reminiscent of looking at photos of my father or grandmother, who both died five years ago. It’s that familiar face that you have memorized but want to memorize even more because you know you won’t see it anew ever again.

A week later, it still hurts. There is still a hole left inside of me and millions of his fans. We have bonded over our love and memories for a man who was the most talented musician of our lifetimes. I was never fortunate enough to see him perform live, though it was always a goal of mine some day. Instead, I will just revel in the videos that have been left behind and will still try to make sense out of all of this while reminiscing my childhood and jamming to some amazing music.

Strawberry and Peach Moscato Mimosas

I think we have already established that I love mimosas. I am always eager to try out something new in that category. I am also kind of cheap, especially right now when money is a little tight. A couple of weeks ago, my friends asked me to housesit and petsit for them while they took the kids away on Spring Break. When Sunday rolled around, I was craving my mimosas, but wasn’t in my neighborhood for my usual brunch stop. I decided to treat myself while I was there and discovered the joys of moscato mimosas.

I was inspired to make mimosas because they had left me a brand new jug of orange juice. Plus, it has become a Sunday tradition. I went about my business, picking up a few groceries for the week and then stopped in at one of the liquor stores.

While I was perusing the wine and champagne selections, I noticed my old standby, Andre champagnes. Yes, it is a cheaper sparkling wine. I flashed back to my college days, because we thought we were oh so fancy drinking it. Plus, at around $5 a bottle, how can you go wrong? It fits in my current budget! And, I figured, even if it didn’t have the greatest taste in the world, it doesn’t matter, because it is getting mixed into orange juice. I’m not drinking it straight.

Somewhere along the line, since my college days, Andre has come up with a couple of flavored options. I saw they had a peach moscato sparkling wine and a strawberry moscato sparkling wine. If you know anything about moscatos, those are very sweet. Drier wines usually appeal to my palate more, but something sweet could work with the orange juice. I got one bottle of each and went back to the house.

strawberry peach moscato ingredients

Strawberry Moscato Mimosas

Sampling started with the strawberry sparkling wine. It definitely had that strong, sweet strawberry flavor. When I mixed it into the orange juice and took a sip, it was fantastic. Great flavor, not overly sweet, just the right amount of fizz. And how easy with just two ingredients?

Strawberry Moscato Mimosa

Now, I am not a fancy person, either. I am not going to go all out with the garnishes, etc., like so many others do, especially not when it is just me. However, if I wanted to dress this up when presenting it to friends at some kind of a get-together, I would definitely consider impaling whole strawberries on the side of the glass. I also think this combination would be really good with a mix of pureed strawberries mixed in with the juice. That is on my list to try sometime in the future, as well.

Strawberry and Peach Moscato Mimosas

As the end of the bottle of strawberry moscato approached, I decided to sample a mix of the strawberry and the peach moscato mimosas. It made such a pretty orange color and again was fantastic in the orange juice. The blend of strawberry and peach made me feel so summery, despite the cold weather and snow outside. This one would also probably taste really good with some strawberry and/or peach puree and would look good with a strawberry garnish.

strawberry peach moscato mimosa

Peach Moscato Mimosas

After consuming the mixture, I sampled the peach sparkling wine. Just like the label said, there were definite hints of watermelon in it. It really tasted just like summer. So, I can definitely say that I will be getting these two flavors of Andre again as the weather gets warmer.

When I made the peach moscato mimosa, it was, again, a light, summery feeling that made me happy. I promise it wasn’t just that contented bubbly champagne feeling.

peach moscato mimosa

Moral of the story? Moscato mimosas are a lovely way to pass a Sunday afternoon. They are not too sweet. They remind you of a warm summer day. They would also be good if you added in some puree. I would even be tempted to try some other add-ins, like Chambord or even tequila, like I saw in my round-ups. I think there may even be a couple of other flavors of sparkling wine to try. Trust that I will do so and then will report back.

Want more mimosas? Check out these round-ups I did:

20 Variations on Orange Juice Mimosas

20 Grapefruit Mimosas

Cranberry Mimosa Cocktails

Interested in other kinds of cocktails? Follow my Drinks Pinterest board for even more inspiration. Let me know what you try and what you like!

10 Purple Rain Cocktails – RIP Prince

 

purple rain cocktails

2016 has seriously sucked when it comes to losing cornerstones of my childhood. I took a break from working to hop onto Facebook and was greeted with the news that Prince had suddenly passed away. Seriously? I was just singing along to his songs in the car the other day and had a hankering to watch Purple Rain (affiliate link) for the millionth time. Now I am sad, but also felt the need to look up some Prince cocktails, in case anyone feels the need to raise a special glass to this musical legend. So, I started with the most obvious choice, Purple Rain cocktails. A quick glance on Wikipedia showed only two verisons, but when I kept digging, I found even more.

Purple Rain Cocktails

Kelsey’s Restaurant has one that looks like it could be quite dangerous, as it is described as tasting just like grape Kool-Aid. (And how appropriate would that be, to be acting like you were drinking the Kool-Aid that you were likely drinking when you first heard his music?) Vodka, raspberry liqueur, blue caracao, and then a bit of lime cordial and cranberry juice to top it off. Plus, the color is simply amazing and stunning.

The one on DrinksMixer uses a gin base, sour mix, soda water, and then enough blue caracao to make it that gorgeous purple color.

Sourz hides the alcohol identity under their brand names in this recipe, but Sourz Cherry is a cherry-flavored sour liqueur and Bols Blue is blue caracao. Take one shot of each of these and top it off with lemonade for a sweet and sour purple delight.

This one on MyBestCocktails is probably my favorite, and the easiest one for me to make. It uses half vodka and half blue caracao, topped with a bit of grenadine to help make the purple color, and then is topped off with lemon-lime soda.

The 30 Purple Rain cocktail recipe from Complete Cocktails also looks right up my alley. It starts with grape vodka, then adds a bit of cranberry juice and sour mix with a splash of club soda. Garnish with a lime slice. Yum.

Cocktail Times uses a pomegranate-infused sake with some pineapple juice and Chambord in what they call the Purple Rain Martini. That one will pack a punch, for sure!

This video on About’s Cocktail site will show you how to layer vodka, wild berry martini mix, and cherry juice for a beautiful purple glow of yumminess.

Wayne at Free Recipe Hub has another fun and easy one that adds flavor in the form of peach schnapps with the blue caracao and vodka. Top it off with grenadine and lemonade. This would be perfect for the warmer weather.

And then there is this version that I found over at iDrink that is very similar to a Long Island Iced Tea. This knock-you-on-your-arse beverage just may be the way to numb the pain of Prince’s passing. You need gin, rum, tequila, vodka, and Chambord. Midnight Mixologist uses Triple Sec instead of gin and then tops it off with sour mix.

3 Yummy Tummies made one out of blueberry vodka, blue caracao, and fruit juices for a Blueberry Purple Rain Martini that was a hit even with her husband. She throws in some blueberries for a little antioxidants. Hey, that makes this one healthy, right?

If you want to let your kids participate in the mourning as you imbibe in Purple Rain cocktails and dance around the house, you can make them this mocktail from Rasoi Menu that mixes grape juice, lemon juice, strawberry crush, and Coke with a bit of vanilla ice cream. This one actually makes me reminisce about the concoctions that my elementary school best friend and I used to come up with while listening to albums such as the Purple Rain soundtrack (affiliate link).

In a way, I guess you can take any kind of purple drink or grape-flavored drink, and dedicate it to the man, even if it isn’t really Purple Rain cocktails. Whatever you want to consume, raise a glass to the man and his legacy and let me know your favorite memories (and drinks) in the comments.

Want more fun adult beverages? Follow my Drinks board on Pinterest! You can also check out the Cocktails category right here on the site, for even more cocktail ideas and round-ups.

Mother’s Day Grand Prize #Giveaway Ends 5/8

Mothers work hard for their families. Too often, they can be under-appreciated. Therefore, we have a variety of great products available to you at a discount price, to help you celebrate the mothers in your life. You can also enter to win some of these prizes in the giveaway. Below you will find links to the products, as well as reviews by Michigan Savings and More. Read up on these fantastic items and then enter the giveaway. Thanks for stopping by, and good luck!

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Mother's Day

Welcome to the Mother’s Day Grand Prize Giveaway!

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This giveaway is in no way endorsed, affiliated, or associated with Facebook, Twitter or any other Social Media Networking Site. You are not eligible if you have won a prize from any of the sponsors in the last 12 months. This Giveaway is valid in the United States only and Entrants must be 18+ years of age to enter. This giveaway event will end at 11:59 PM (EST) 5/8/16. The winners will have 48 hours to email their information back to las93063 at gmail dot com or a new winner will be drawn, you may want to put this email address as safe as it could go to spam. The sponsors are each responsible for shipping of the above prizes. No blog associated with this contests are responsible for prize fulfillment. If you would like to be a sponsor in a giveaway like this please email Laura Smith at las930 (at)gmail (dot) com.

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#ReleaseDay Enchanted: The Fairy Revels Collection with #Giveaway

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This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase through my link I may earn a small commission to help support this blog.

 

Enchanted: The Fairy Revels Collection

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I thought losing my mother would be the greatest shock of my life, but the real surprise came after her death. Dad said she suffered a stroke after she dug up one of the ancient graves in our backyard, which happens to be the town cemetery. Creepy, I know. Creepier still, there was no corpse inside the old coffin, only fresh rose petals.

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