Books to read. Coffee to drink. Stories to write.

🍸 Friday Happy Hour, January 31, 2020

Well, we made it to Friday, peeps, so welcome to my first A GOOD LIFE IN CRAZY TIMES Friday Happy Hour! Whoo-hoo! 

In honor of happy hour, I will tell you a brief story about my introduction to the most delicious and potentially the most habit-forming cocktail. In the spring of 2018, I worked for an academic publishing company and was invited to work the company’s booth at the annual American Educational Research Association (AERA) conference in New York City. Up until this time, I labored under the impression that education researchers, PhDs, university professors, etc. spent all their time discoursing on deep areas of critical pedagogy, scouring the dusty shelves of famous libraries before settling into supple, leather chairs in positions akin to Rodin’s famous statue “The Thinker” and commencing to philosophize and theorize in intellectual papers about the Important Educational Topics of our time. 


Well, not totally wrong. Academics do these things, of course. Their brains operate on a level I can only just peek into, hanging onto the window ledge of academia for dear life, praying my puny, little cognitive powers don’t give out lest I fall into the abyss of ignorance and Twitter feeds about Wellness Barbie (more on that in a minute). However, and I cannot stress this too much, these folks also like to PARTY. 

So, one night after the conference let out, the publisher invited his fiance, two of his star authors, and me to dinner in Hell’s Kitchen. The restaurant was a crowded Italian place with amazing food and excellent wait staff. (I can’t remember the name. In a minute you’ll know why). We sat down at the end of a long, crowded table and dove into scintillating conversation and shared plates. We also toasted the imminent success of the new book. Several bottles of wine later, desert was mentioned. 

It was at this point I learned about espresso martinis. 

Oh. My. God. These delicious concoctions combine the two beverages I love most in this world: vodka and coffee. The authors and I proceeded to drink two each, and then we made (wove) our way home. Okay, it wasn’t quite that dramatic, but I’m glad I had someone to walk with me because I didn’t know New York at all . On my own  I may have ended up in, I don’t know, Brooklyn? Meaning I would have had to cross a bridge, I think. Or else end up in the East River. Or maybe it would have been Jersey and the Hudson? Shrug. I have no idea. 

Anyway, feeling relaxed and jazzed at the same time (vodka AND espresso, remember), I fell into a satisfied sleep and woke up fine the next morning, ready to face another conference day. It was marvelous. When I arrived home after a brief trip to Florida to visit Dear Daughter, I vowed to find an espresso martini recipe. I found one, tweaked it. And voila! Happy, happy hour. 

I’m drinking less these days, for many reasons, including health and wellness. However, scrolling through old photos last night, I ran across the pics of my made-in-Maine espresso martini and not only will I shake some up tonight (just a quick dash to the local Bev-Mo), I will share the recipe with you, my dear readers. You’re welcome. 

Shelley’s Espresso Martini 

½ oz. Kalua

½ oz. Bailey’s Irish Creme

1 ½ Oz. your favorite Vodka

1 oz. Espresso

Put everything into a martini shaker with ice, shake well, and pour into chilled martini glasses. Garnish with a few coffee beans if you want. I make my espresso on the stove with one of those clever little Italian pressurizers. And though I used Cold River Vodka two years ago, my go-to vodka is Absolut. I know some people swear by Grey Goose, but I just like my Absolut. We aren’t bougie ‘round here. 


Speaking of health and wellness, I promised you some gossip about our favorite fashion doll. Here’s the scoop. Barbie’s now into self-care! I love this. I’ve always adored Barbie, or more specifically, Barbie fashions. When I was young, I attempted to create my own Barbie clothes out of fabric scraps left over from my mother’s sewing projects. Later, I received Fashion Plates for Christmas, oh joy! If you don’t know what Fashion Plates are, it is basically a fashion illustration kit. I just looked online and you can buy vintage on Etsy plus current versions at craft stores. Who knew? 

Anyway, Barbie’s taken some flack over the years for presenting an unreal female body image, not to mention white privilege and workaholism tendencies, so it comes as a pleasant surprise to see her in baby blue, cloud-covered yoga pants, a matching rainbow-cloud tee shirt, a moon necklace, and legs bendy enough for the lotus position. Read about it on THE CUT  and to see a photo. 

Since I’m all about wellness and mindfulness these days, I’m really loving this whole concept. Peace & Love, Babs. 


I’m not sure what I have on the agenda tonight (other than the martinis), but it probably involves Netflix and/or Amazon Prime. I’m currently re-watching Entourage and Sex In The City plus still in the first season of Schitt’s Creek, which is so lighthearted and funny and clever. The situation set-up is, okay, a bit of a stretch, but you’ll adore the flawed characters and family dynamics.

I recently completed my fourth or fifth time watching the entire Gilmore Girls. I just adore the snappy dialogue, family dynamics, small-town charm . . . and Logan Huntzberger. I’m a Team Logan girl, I admit it. I probably should have rooted for Jesse, since he was a writer and all, but those bad boys don’t really do it for me in the long run. In fact, someday, when I have some extra time, I may try my hand at Gilmore Girls fan fiction. 

Anyway, that’s it for today. Share your Friday plans, fave shows, swoon-worthy cocktails. I’d love to hear from you, and I do reply back. 

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Cheers, peeps! Happy Friday! 





This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Reminded me of a time when we created our own famous …what we call, Maine Cosmopolitan, a true oxymoron I’d say, since Mainers are usually homebodies!
    1 1/2 oz of Blueberry Vodka, or Blueberry Moonshine (whichever is readily available), the rest is just fresh lemonade. Serve these babies up in martini glasses hand painted with the bluest of blueberries, and bold green leaves. Complete this summertime favorite with 7 or 8 frozen Maine blueberries (if there is such a thing, if not just pretend), they are a delightful treat that is thawed by the time your reach the bottom of the drink. Also, if you don’t have any fine hand painted martini glasses, red solo cups work just fine! Just double the recipe and you don’t have to get up from the campfire as much.

    1. Wendy, that blueberry martini sounds delish! Plus I love your comment about the solo cups. Too funny:)

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