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Bottles to Give Thanks For

Bottles to Give Thanks For

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Pairing for a patchwork feast of flavors and textures is no easy feat, so we asked some of the nation's top sommeliers to help us select the perfect wines for Turkey Day. Each came back with a solid safe bet (both tasty and versatile) and a wild card (expressing some of the finer nuances and creativity of pairing). You're sure to have the right bottle for the occasion with any of these 10.

Eating healthy should still be delicious.

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Laura WilliamsonSafe Bet: 2013 Eyrie Pinot Gris, $16Go for opulent whites showcasing transparent qualities unhindered by oak or heavy complexities, such as the iconic Eyrie Vineyards pinot gris.

Wild Card: 2012 Matthiasson Ribolla Gialla, $50This is a superb discovery for guests. Luscious texture and a racy kumquat and rangpur lime backbone balance the exotic and decadent wine.

Alpana SinghSafe Bet: 2014 Alsace Hugel Gentil, $12Featuring delightful qualities of each of its components, this blend is an ideal complement to the cornucopia of flavor at the Thanksgiving table.

Wild Card: 2013 Biale Royal Punishers Petite Sirah, $40Many advocate a red with light tannins for turkey, but I find bolder, rich reds like this fruit-driven sirah work just as well, if not better.

Marika Vida-ArnoldSafe Bet: 2012 Vietti Tre Vigne Barbera d'Asti, $15

Many red selections for Thanksgiving are pinot noir or Beaujolais, but I'd go for an Italian barbera. High acid and low tannin make it so food-friendly.

Wild Card: 2013 Hatzidakis Assyrtiko de Mylos, $18Go Greek! Given the contrasts of this meal, a high-acid wine is in order. But there needs to be neutrality to make it work with most traditional dishes.

Yoon HaSafe Bet: 2014 Domaine de la Solitude Côtes du Rhône Rosé, $15This grenache-driven rosé is the ultimate shapeshifter; it can expand and contract based on what's on the tip of your fork.

Wild Card: 2012 Meyer-Fonné Grand Cru Kaefferkopf Pinot Gris, $35This powerful white has the authority to match savory turkey and stuffing and the playfulness to engage the rest of the sides.

Matt BradfordSafe Bet: 2013 M. Lapierre Raisins Gaulois, $15

This is a perfect holiday wine, as it cuts through heavy dishes, similar to the way a fresh cranberry dressing accentuates the meal with brightness.

Wild Card: 2008 Elvio Cogno Bordini Barbaresco, $43This is a beautiful, dry, and berry-laden wine based on the nebbiolo grape. If you're going with smoked turkey, this is the bottle you want.

Keep Reading:

The Best Beer Bottles for Every Type of Homebrewer

Whether you are just starting to brew beer at home, or have a few batches of homebrew under your belt, it's smart to assess/reassess your bottling options. Choose the right bottle and you'll increase your enjoyment. If you love the snap of a bottle cap popping off, you're more of a glass long-neck type. If you're still getting a hold of homebrewing and want to eliminate room for oxidation or broken glass, you'll want our Oxygen Barrier PET bottles.

Message in a Bottle

Graduation season sparked this idea to put a handmade twist on monetary gifts for the young adults that we know and love. While it’s fulfilling to give a gift recipients can really use, it’s also fun to watch their faces while they unveil a surprise. Why not send a message in a bottle to add the mystery of what could possibly be in there? You don’t have to actually drop it in the ocean just hand deliver or mail it in a small box.

1 corked bottle, size and shape of your choice — Vial shown is 4 1/2” x 3/4.” (Note: a cylindrical form makes it easier to get the message out of the bottle)
1 piece 8 1/2” x 11” lightweight paper, color of your choice
1 decorative pen, such as a gel pen
1 piece of string or jewelry type cord, small enough to thread through the eye of your needle
a small amount of glitter confetti (or other filler of your choice)

1 hand sewing needle
x-acto blade or other paper cutter

Optional: wax and a metal embossing tool, or a peel and stick material to adhere the cork and make a customized label for the bottle

When selecting your vessel, choose a tube-like vial or other glass bottle with a cork top. Cork will allow you to thread a string through it to hold and retrieve your message. If you are using this vessel for a money gift, make sure that the fillable portion of your bottle is at least 3 inches tall to accommodate the width of a dollar bill. You can find corked bottles in many shapes and sizes at a craft store, or online at

For your message, use a paper cutter to cut a piece of lightweight paper longer than (and at least the width of) your paper money, to keep it hidden when rolled up in the paper. Suggested size is 2 5/8” x 7.” Write a message with a contrasting gel pen. Set it aside.

Santa Teresa

The award-winning, old-school sipping rum is launching a limited edition bottle. To craft this iteration of the high-end sipping rum, the Venezuelan rum brand worked with a team of 25 out-of-work bartenders, including Meaghan Dorman of New Yorkes’ Raines Law, Liana Oster from Dante, and Erin Koral from Bar Goto, to create a limited-edition label. Each bartender is given the chance to add their creative flair to the bottle before handing it off to another bartender of their choice. A portion of the proceeds is going towards the USBG National Charity Foundation.

Expect an elegant, aged sipping rum, made with a blend of rums aged up to 35 years in bourbon oak barrels. On the nose, ripe plum and cypress, with a palate of nuts, leather, and honey.

20+ Uses for Prescription Pill Bottles

Prescription pill bottles are perfectly compact containers for your purse or travel bag. You can also use them to organize tiny objects in your home. Depending on the medication they come in various sizes, giving them multiple uses.

Safety Tip: Be sure to clean the bottle well, especially if a narcotic medication was in the bottle previously. After cleaning with soap and water, a rinse of bleach followed by multiple rinses of clean water should do the trick. If you’d like to decorate your pill bottles, here’s a fun decoupage idea for making them look prettier.


Pump your favorite lotion into a pill bottle rather than purchasing a travel-size version. This is also great for shampoo and conditioner. Most prescription pill bottles are waterproof when closed properly. However, if you’re concerned about leaks, place the bottle into a zipper snack size plastic bag. This is great for keeping in your car as well.


Think of things like toothpicks, straight pins, needles, and thumbtacks. Easily organize your kitchen junk drawer, desk space or sewing room. Prevent pokes by keeping sharp items corralled in a pill bottle with a lid.


Roll up your bills to hide or stash away for a rainy day.. and bonus – it’s waterproof! Putting your cash into a pill bottle is a great alternative to carrying around a bulky wallet or your purse. This is especially helpful when you are out for a walk or just don’t feel like lugging your purse to the store for a quick trip. The pill bottle will fit nicely in your back pocket or in your fanny pack.


Keep your Q-Tips and cotton balls clean and dry and free of gunk by storing them in a pill bottle. If you travel, this bottle fits nicely into your cosmetic bag but the cotton will not pick up any loose powder or residue from the bag.


Choose a few different button sizes and colors, fill a pill bottle and add them to your sewing drawer. You never know when you’ll pop a button and need a replacement. These bottles are also ideal for holding beads, especially if you are in the middle of a jewelry project.


I always tuck away safety pins in my purse for those “you-never-know” moments. Place a few different sizes into the bottle and keep in your glove box or purse.


I don’t know about you, but I find bobby pins everywhere! They show up in my bathroom drawer, on the floor and in my car. Seems like whenever I need one they are nowhere to be found. Keep a stash of bobby pins in an empty pill bottle and you’ll always know where to find one. A prescription pill bottle is also the perfect little holder for miscellaneous hair bands.

Image credit: My Crafty Zoo


An office desk, homework station or just the kitchen table where the kids work on projects can be tidier by organizer small office supplies. Paper clips in one bottle, thumbtacks in another, and small binder clips in yet another. There are all sorts of tiny items that you can contain with old pill bottles including pencil eraser tops, rubber bands and staples. [image from My Crafty Zoo]


When traveling, no one wants to deal with a tangled pile of necklaces. Pill bottles are totally convenient for holding rings and bracelets, too. If you carry a lot of jewelry when you travel, designate different bottles for different types, such as earrings in one and necklaces in another.



While these empty bottles are perfect for storing things like needles and safety pins, they are also ideal for putting together a mini sewing kit. Insert a couple different sized needles and safety pins, a couple of buttons, a needle threader and several other items to create your kit. (check here for some ideas on what to put inside)

You’ll probably want to use one of the larger prescription pill bottles when putting together a first aid kit to carry in your purse or backpack. This is ideal if you like to go hiking or exploring as its lightweight and easy to transport. Write out a simple list of the contents and tape it the bottle. (check here for some ideas on what to put inside)


Visiting the beach is always fun, but limiting the amount of seashells and other treasures that kids can bring home can be tough! Hand each of them an empty bottle and tell them they can only bring home what will fit inside. Watch as they carefully and eagerly choose which treasures are lucky enough to make the journey home. Want to make a project? Be sure to check out these seashell craft ideas!

Keep your matches dry during your next camping trip. Be sure to tear off the striking surface from the matchbox to tuck into the bottle, or attach it to the outside like this person did! Because these bottles are waterproof, this is great for those canoe and kayak trips as well.


You can protect your earbuds and charging cords and prevent tangling by folding them into an old pill bottle. Wrapping your earbuds with a twist tie is added insurance that they won’t become a tangled mess.


Hiding a spare key to your home or car can be tricky. You certainly don’t want a stranger walking up and checking under your mat so they can walk right in the door! Hide it so that it’s far less conspicuous by making it look like it’s part of the landscape. Here’s how to make your own hide-a-key.


Slime, homemade floam, play dough, homemade clay – all of these squishy concoctions kids love to play with can be contained in empty pill bottles. Perfect for keeping that stuff out of your carpet!


A pill bottle makes a great holder for loose change. There are some bottles that fit a quarter perfectly, making them ideal for laundry money. My wallet gets heavy when adding change to the small zipper compartment. Place your loose change into the empty prescription pill bottle while you are out and about. When you get home, dump the contents into a vacation fund jar to save for another day.


Kids often have laser vision when it comes to small treats. Empty mints or candy into a clean pill bottle to disguise them from little hands.


The house is not the only place you will find small objects. The garage can be a minefield of sharp objects and small pieces that need containing. Nails, screws, nuts, bolts and even batteries are just a few of the items that fit well in your empty pill bottles.


Use your empty, clean prescription pill bottles to make these Pill Bottle Cookies for Christmas!


For anyone growing your own garden, storing seeds in these little bottles is a great idea! Store in a dark, dry place until spring. (Thanks for the idea Sylvia!)

Remember to always dispose of expired or unused pills in a safe, recommended manner before hoarding that bottle. Do you have more ideas for using empty medicine bottles? We’d love to hear, please share in the comments!

Happy Bulksgiving! Give Thanks For These 5 Side-Dish Recipes

Sure, you use that bird to bulk, but what about the side dishes? This Thanksgiving, make the most of your entire meal with these muscle-building recipes.

It's hard to imagine today's Thanksgiving is what the Pilgrims had in mind when they decided to give thanks. For them, it was likely a sigh of relief that they hadn't starved to death over the preceding year.

For us, Thanksgiving is a chance to indulge in caloric excess while watching football from a sofa. If you're already going to overeat, why not put those excess calories to work? Harness the holidays, build some size, and give thanks for the anabolic powers of food!

While turkey, ham, and even chicken are already chock-full of muscle-building protein, their health benefits are often overshadowed by the many butter-heavy and cream-based side dishes that sidetrack us from our holiday goals. No one understands this better than me!

So, here are five easy side dishes you can use to stay fit while getting full. Load up on the turkey and complement your gains with these recipes.

Hearty Protein Cornbread

Warm, homemade cornbread&mdashflakey, buttery, and oh so easy to load up on! This year, try this recipe and pass the cornbread basket around the table a couple of times without guilt. It satisfies your muscles and your appetite!

Ezekiel Bread Stuffing

Nothing rounds out a nice Thanksgiving feast like stuffing. There are several ways to make it the best thing about this dish is that it can be personalized. Put your own spin on things to keep guests guessing at the ingredients and hankering for your recipe.

Here is an easy way to make it your own using Ezekiel bread! It's packed with nuts and seeds to increase protein and add extra flavor and texture. If you don't have Ezekiel bread on hand, try whole-grain or seeded bread.

Grilled Asparagus with Panko, Parmesan, and Almonds

Your Thanksgiving plate needs at least one green vegetable, so why not make it a power food like asparagus? Chances are a heaping serving of asparagus is already a part of your weekly diet, so why break a good thing? This is a traditional, grilled version that your guests are sure to love. It's quick and easy so you can make it right before you serve your feast.

Honeyed Pecan Sweet Potato Casserole

Being from Texas, nothing makes me look forward to Thanksgiving more than sweet potato casserole! Sweet potatoes are one of my staples throughout a normal week, but I never tire of them. Sweet potatoes are a great complex carb source and provide fuel for workouts.

Stuffed Baked Apples with Vanilla Greek Yogurt

If you're like me, cakes and pies are your downfall. Just one bite of cake unleashes the beast, and you're unlikely to recover from his sweet attack. This year, resist the urge to go Cookie Monster in front of your guests without depriving yourself of an amazing dessert. Try this easy recipe for stuffed baked apples! It's an easy-to-make treat that looks like it took tons of prep. Plus, it's guaranteed to be delicious.

Calming Bottles and Sensory Bottles

For a younger child, these glitter jars make a great sensory toy. Kids get enthralled watching the glitter swirl around. If your kids are a little older, the bottles can be used in conjunction with a time out or cooling off period. The child simply shakes the bottle up and watches all of the glitter fall to the bottom. This takes approximately 2 ½ minutes to occur.


  • 16 oz water bottle with water or you can use these sensory bottles (we bought ours in a 3 pack at the dollar store - each bottle is 3oz)
  • Glue gun


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What To Do With Used Baby Bottles?

by Media Mom November 26, 2012 7 Comments Baby/Infant, Family Life, Organization Tips, Toddler

I think we are finally done with baby bottles… forever! I have to admit I am more excited about this than I ever was about the prospect of being done with diapers (probably at least another year or two away for us). But here’s the thing: I have an enormous number of used baby bottles. Between my son and daughter, honest to goodness, I think it’s possible we have more than 50 used baby bottles.

So, what do we do with them? The newer ones my son used are really in rough shape. They are all cloudy and scratched up, and I would find it hard to give to a friend or relative. And does anyone really want to use someone else’s used bottle nipples? If I wouldn’t give them to someone close to me, it also doesn’t seem right to give them away to those in need. I’d rather buy news ones to donate. I went online for ideas about what to do, and it took a while, but after a lot of searching, I got a few small suggestions.

Used Baby Bottles: Ways to Use Them

  • They may be recyclable. Check the number on the bottom and throw them in the curbside collection box.
  • Use them as traveling snack containers.
  • Turn them into art supply containers or for rinsing out paintbrushes.
  • Donate them to a local animal shelter, hospital or zoo. I think they’re probably less picky about the condition.
  • Give them to the kids to use with dolls.
  • Use them as measuring cups for liquids.

I am really hoping ours are recyclable (turns out you can call the manufacturer to find out), because I know I can’t re-use them all – and getting rid of them is what I’m so excited about. I really need to reclaim the counter and cabinet space they are taking up. But if you have any ideas about what to do with used baby bottles, share them here. What have you done with your old baby bottles?

Editor’s Note: If you enjoyed this post, you might also like Media Mom’s sweet ode to her son’s infant teacher.


  • Family Room blog: Introducing Babies to Solid Foods : Ask questions, share perspectives and get advice from fellow parents and educators
  • Read more posts about babies from the Family Room bloggers

1. Mint Strawberry Infused Water

This works very well for a party or something to put into your gym / office bottle. Simply add a few mint leaves to some pre-filtered water and then slice a few berries. Leave to infuse for a couple of minutes and then enjoy.

Pro tip: Tear up the mint leaves before adding them to the pre-filtered water.

This will help them release even more juices and add to the flavor.

2. Apple Cinnamon Infused Water

As the name suggests, slice some apples into your infuser bottle and add some cinnamon.

You can make this even more interesting by adding pears or plums to the mix.

Did you know that cinnamon helps with digestion? This makes it an excellent hydration option after meals.

3. Blackberry Mint / Lemon Infused Water

Do this one if you’re able to let your fruit infuser bottle sit for at least 2 hours or overnight if you’re not in a hurry. Add the mint by tearing them up so that you can infuse more of its juices. If you don’t have any mints then you can slice in a lemon.

You can crush the blackberry if you have an infuser bottle that doesn’t let fruit particles get into the water so you don’t get bits in it.

This gives you a drink that is full of antioxidants thanks to flavonoids, which are the things that give blackberries their color. Drinking this on a regular basis is an excellent way to support your immune system.

4. Orange Citrus Blueberry Infused Water

This might seem like an odd combination but together they make a phenomenal flavor pairing.

This infusion is full of antioxidants and vitamin C.

As always crush the blueberries and slice the oranges into small pieces so that they can infuse and you get the maximum flavor possible.


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