Seven for Saturday

Seven for Saturday

Welcome to this week’s Seven for Saturday!

I missed last week’s Seven for Saturday due to lack of time. As you will read below, Bill and I went out of town for a few days midweek, then spent most of Friday and all of Saturday away from the house. I make this weekly post a priority as it’s often my favorite one to write, but sometimes it’s just not possible to put it together on time.

This weekend we are staying close to home. I have lots of little things to catch up on and am way past due for a trip to the grocery store. For many, like my husband, it’s a 3-day holiday weekend in honor of Presidents’ Day and we do have some fun travel plans but not until Monday.

Here are a handful of things on my radar lately:

1 ~ St. Helena Getaway

Last week, Bill and I spent three days and two nights in St. Helena, a charming town in the heart of Napa Valley, checking out The Little Book of Big Experiences. I will be giving you the full lowdown about this fabulous book of offers and the town of St. Helena in a couple blog posts soon but if you’d like to find out more about now, visit their website.

This was our first getaway of the year and the first time I got to use my Christmas gift from Bill. He surprised me with a Louis Vuitton Keepall Bandouliere 55. I can’t believe he splurged on such a luxury item! I love it and I love how roomy it is. I can really fit a lot of things inside. This is a piece of luggage I will keep and use the rest of my life!

2 ~ Hummingbird Central

We have more hummingbirds this year than we ever have. I think it might be because some neighbors, who used to keep lots of feeders in their backyard, moved last fall and their house is currently vacant. Their yard used to be hummingbird central but now I think our yard is and I love it! Yesterday at dusk, I counted 8 hummingbirds battling over our feeders.

We filled our large feeder up last Sunday and it’s already drained. They are a hungry bunch!

I ordered another smaller feeder to hang just outside my kitchen window. It’s got some pretty copper hardware and I like the delicate shape. I hope the hummingbirds will start feeding on it so I can really stalk them. Do you have hummingbirds in your yard right now?

3 ~ Valentine’s Day

Did you celebrate Valentine’s Day? This year Bill and I went out to dinner at our town’s newest restaurants, Salt & Stone. We enjoyed a dozen oysters on the half shell then I had lobster tail and filet mignon for my entrée. The lobster tail was melt-in-my-mouth perfection!

Bill gave me three dozen roses in beautiful colors and some sugar-free chocolate candy. I always love getting flowers, on any day and I am pretty sure the candy will be gone by March.

I treated Bill to a big stack of homemade chocolate chip cookies which he loved. How can I tell? Because they are all gone! 🍪

4 ~ A Saturday Drive

Last  Saturday we made plans to be at the finish line of a half marathon our friend was running. The race took place in Marin County’s Headlands area, across the bay from San Francisco. It was a perfectly gorgeous day with sunshine, blue skies and calm waters.

After we visited with our friend at the finish line for a bit, we headed back home.  But instead of taking the freeway home, we decided to take our time and drive up the coast on Highway 1. What a relaxing and scenic drive. I wish I would have taken more photos but it was nice to just enjoy the scenery and live in the moment for a change.

I can’t remember the last time we went for a drive just for the sake of exploring. I miss doing that. Do you enjoy taking leisurely drives?

5 ~ Visit to Hamel Family Wines

Last week, we visited nearby Hamel Family Wines in Glen Ellen for the first time. We were invited to attend a tasting put together by a longtime friend of ours who is also a firefighter like my husband.

What a stunning property Hamel Family Wines is! I have passed by the entrance hundreds of times and have always been curious about this Sonoma Valley winery.

It’s a family-owned and operated winery with several vineyards in the area. We tasted in the Estate House which has an expansive patio overlooking vineyards and hills. We were hosted in a gorgeous room called The Library which had huge sliding doors that opened up to the patio. We experienced our tasting indoors while taking in the views outside.

Our tasting consisted of several estate wines along with a delectable charcuterie plate that included freshly made ricotta cheese. It was truly the best ricotta I’ve ever tasted. It was seasoned with salt their in-house chef harvested from Bodega Bay and dried himself. Have you ever heard of such a thing? I was so impressed!

I love the modern architecture and elegance at Hamel and their wines are stellar. I fell in love with one of their Zinfandels and the rosé, which was sadly sold out, was phenomenal. If you’re looking for an elegant and memorable wine tasting in a gorgeous setting, I would recommend visiting Hamel Family Wines during your next visit to Sonoma Valley.

6 ~  Currently Reading

I mentioned in a previous Seven for Saturday that I was reading The Woman in the Window. I love that book and sailed through it pretty quickly. Once I was finished, I packed it up to send to my mother, a voracious reader.

Soon after, I was looking for my next read. I bought this novel back in early November after seeing it in mentioned in someone’s Instagram post. At that time, I was still reeling from the fires and had the concentration of a gnat so I put it aside. Now I feel more focused and enjoy reading regularly again.

I am only about 6 chapters into Manhattan Beach. I don’t want to give too much away but I will say that it’s an historical novel set in World War II era New York. It’s about a young woman who becomes the first female diver to repair ships for the U.S. Navy. So far, I am intrigued and find it readable and the main character likable.

Have you read this novel?

What, if anything, are you currently reading?

7 ~ Email Subscription Fixed!

Ugh, I feel like such a dolt! For many, many months – okay, years – I thought my blog posts were going out via MailChimp, the subscription service I use that’s supposed to send an email of my latest post to your inbox if you subscribe.

I was receiving emails of my posts in my own mailbox so there was no reason for me to think it wasn’t connected. Except that every now and then, a friend or reader would tell me they weren’t getting my posts via email. I would make sure their addresses were in my database, then figured my email must be in their spam folder.

This week, after receiving yet another inquiry about the lack of emails, I focused on my MailChimp account to see if everything was working okay. I  discovered my blog feed was not connected to my email service. But what was I getting if not an email from MailChimp?

Suddenly I realized what I thought was my MailChimp automated send out was really my RSS Google feed, a totally separate thing. That was a real DUH moment for me. I am both relieved to have found out what was going on – or not going on – and embarrassed that it took me so long to sort things out. The problem is now fixed and emails are being sent out to those of you who signed up. Thank you for your patience!

Technical problems like this make me feel so inept yet when I am able to figure things out on my own, I feel like a tech genius. It’s so weird! Do you experience the same?

Disclosure: Affiliate links have been used in this post. Clicking on them may result in my earning small commissions but has no impact on the prices of the products.  


  1. Rosemary
    February 17, 2018 / 12:41 pm

    Hi Adrienne! thought I’d comment in a slightly different way! : 7 things I love about this post!
    1. Your Louis Vuitton bag … beautiful, such a classic … and as you said, you’ll use it forever!
    2. That Bill chose it and kept it as a surprise!
    3. The hummingbirds … just so delicate yet a total force of nature when they hover.
    4. The drive along highway 1 … iconic!!
    5 The great picture of you and Bill
    6. Hamel family vineyards … added to my never ending places to visit list … really hoping we get back to Sonoma one day soon!
    7. All your pictures … they capture the moment so well and I’m so grateful that you share them!!
    Oops I need an 8 … your great Valentines gifts to each other!! Just love the cookies and the roses.
    Not, necessarily in order of preference!
    Have a great weekend … hope the sun keeps shining!
    Raining in the village as we arrived tonight but guess that means it’s snowing on the mountains…. wishing hard for lots of snow but sunshine as well!!!
    Rosemary xxx

    • Adrienne Shubin
      February 17, 2018 / 1:14 pm

      Oh, Rosemary! What a fun comment – I love that you picked 7 (then 8) things you love about it. So kind!
      I was surprised that Bill splurged on the duffle bag for Christmas. He knows I will use it though and I really don’t have a nice sturdy overnight bag that zips. I have a tote that works well as an overnighter but it’s open so it tends to be clumsy.
      Yes, you must put Hamel on your list next time you come this way. It’s so beautiful and you have try that ricotta with salt from Bodega. Part of me wants to head to the coast and get some sea water to dry out my own salt. Wouldn’t that be something?
      I am so excited for you that you’re headed back to the most gorgeous place on earth (IMO). I am very much looking forward to seeing your snowy photos.
      Have a wonderful weekend and visit! xo, A

  2. Debra
    February 17, 2018 / 3:17 pm

    Hi Adrienne,
    I was so happy to see your email and that you figured it out. I thought maybe I wasn’t getting your emails because of my settings, but could never figure out how to fix it. I love seeing all your beautiful photos and hearing about your adventures! I also love to see how you style your clothing. I am a tall lady like you (5’9”) and sometimes find it challenging. My hair is long too and I feel like it balances out my tall frame. I am an avid reader and currently reading The Girl on the Train.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      February 17, 2018 / 3:55 pm

      Hi Debra,

      So sorry for the confusion. I can’t believe that whole thing went on for so long!
      Being tall – and a woman – definitely has its challenges for sure. I want to find a couple nice dresses for my step kids’ weddings this spring – yes, two of Bill’s three kids are getting married this year! I always have problems with dresses fitting me in the waist as I am long-waisted. And of course the arms and leg length are also things to think about. I am starting the search now and hope to at least have one within the next 2 or 3 weeks.
      I think I would look strange with short hair so I plan on keeping it long, a couple inches past my shoulders, forever. I
      I read The Girl on the Train a year or so ago and loved it! I liked it much more than the movie. Did you happen to see the film?
      Happy weekend and thanks for stopping by! Adrienne

  3. February 17, 2018 / 4:09 pm

    I loved so much about this post and did link through via email so I’m happy to hear you are back on track with mailchimp!

    • Adrienne Shubin
      February 17, 2018 / 4:12 pm

      Thank you for stopping by, Suzanne. I feel like such a dunce for not catching this ages ago – it really does pay to read the fine print. If I had just taken the time to read the bottom of that phantom email…oh well, better very late than never!
      Hope you are well and enjoy the long weekend! xo

  4. Gail
    February 17, 2018 / 5:28 pm

    Such a lovely surprise to receive your post by email – I too have tried to subscribe and couldn’t figure out why it never worked. I enjoy your blog very much, especially because I live in Sonoma County and love all the local references and tips. Thank you!

    • Adrienne Shubin
      February 17, 2018 / 8:23 pm

      Hi Gail,
      So lovely to “meet” another local. Don’t you love living here?
      Thank you for reading and for leaving a comment. I love hearing from people.
      Have a great weekend and stay warm. I hear we’re going to have a cold spell for a few days. Our temps have been all over the place this month, haven’t they?

      • Gail
        February 20, 2018 / 12:29 pm

        Yes, I do love living here! So fortunate to call Sonoma County home, and really enjoying the cold weather, along with the mustard blossoms. Happy spring!

  5. February 18, 2018 / 11:22 am

    Such a fun post – all 7 things. I love your new overnighter – such a great gift. I had to get rid of our bird feeders because they brought squirrels and it was non stop dog barking. I’m going to get some hummingbird feeders instead – they’re so magical.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      February 18, 2018 / 1:34 pm

      I love my overnighter too – excited to get to use it again tomorrow for another hotel stay.
      We used to have bird feeders with seed but our issue was the birds would knock the seeds out of the feeder and our dogs would eat it. I am pretty sure that much seed is not good for their digestive system so we got rid of the feeders.
      I am really excited to tell you that I have seen 3 hummingbirds come to the feeder in the kitchen window since yesterday! I try to get a photo but they are so fast and don’t linger on the feeder. I’ll keep trying though!

  6. February 18, 2018 / 12:06 pm

    Wow! Bill spoiled you!
    I love those bird feed things. We have one tree in the middle of our garden, that we look out on from our reception room, and in the winter we hang that tree full with all sort of playful birdfeed things. They’re are so many birds in it all the time, it is such a pretty sight! Have a great week!

    • Adrienne Shubin
      February 18, 2018 / 1:39 pm

      Hi Nancy,

      Yes, he did spoil me! He is always full of surprises.
      Isn’t it fun to watch the birds? I spied some woodpeckers this morning up in a tree – they have made a nest in the limb by pecking the wood. I can see the mama – or the daddy, or both – going in and out. I would love to be able to see the baby birds but it’s about 30 feet up!
      I hope you have a great week too. Thank you so much for stopping by! Adrienne

  7. Deanna Bagwell
    February 19, 2018 / 10:43 am

    “Technical problems like this make me feel so inept yet when I am able to figure things out on my own, I feel like a tech genius. It’s so weird! Do you experience the same?”


    • Adrienne Shubin
      February 19, 2018 / 10:50 am

      Even the tiniest things that I figure out on my own – stuff I am sure the majority of people could figure out – make me feel so with it! Glad I am not alone!

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