House Beautiful

Bachelor Nick, Week 1: Parting the Red Sea (of dresses)


Whaaaatt’s up Bachelor people?!?  Sorry bout hibernating during Jojo’s season and falling off the Bach blogging map… truth be told (gulp), I don’t always watch the show anymore and scarcely have time to blog about it when I do, but I DO miss spitballing with you guys for sport (!), so I’ll do my best this season to tune in on Mondays and then sling some funnies around on Tuesday mornings.  Sound good? (Link to previous posts HERE)

First of all… let’s talk about Nick.  Since I’m all about redemption and seventeenth chances and all, I’m gonna pull for the kid this year.  He has grown on me.  Two years ago (circa Andi’s season), the mere sight of those freshly-chewed-on-rocks toofs creeping out from under that cocky smirk + his toddler antics ALMOST made me chuck a Tory Burch ballet flat through the TV.  Instead, I’d take out my aggression on the blog by giving him doppelgängers like these:


Sorry bud.  However, I think he does seem to have grown up and shed a few immature, unsavory layers, and what SEEMS to remain is a more raw, genuine version of the guy.  Perhaps that’s what happens when you’re humbled by heartbreak and humiliation on national television 3x in a row – you get stripped down to what’s closer to your core.  Whatever the case, I’m on board.  Now.. before we tee off with candid observations from last night’s premiere, I gotta bust Nick’s fruit basket for a quick sec, just for fun:

1. We get it dude.  You’ve been workin out – and kudos to you, cuz the bod looks SOLID.  I know for a fact that a few of my girlfriends are stewing in their soiled drawers over his new washboards. But a word to the wise: a hot bod still NEVER MAKES IT OK TO WEAR CAP SLEEVE TEES FROM GAP KIDS. Like, ever.


2. One thing that hasn’t changed over the years: he still blasts the left side of his weave every morning with his blowdryer.  It looks like a helicopter lands there about 2x/day.  I can’t figure it out.


3. “The funny thing about Nick is that he comes across as this GIANT tool bag” = one of the funnier things Sean Lowe has ever said. He’s also kind of hilarious on insta if you follow him.  


4. I spy 2 pairs of loins aflame over at Table 12 in the background.  


Also, I forgot about Farmer Panty Dropper’s funny dolphin laugh.  What’s he doing these days besides plowing soybeans & corn & prob every chick in Iowa – anybody know?  


5. Rachel is my MVP of the night.  Kudos to ABC for casting a contestant over the age of 12 this season.  And a smart, confident (yet most importantly, humble) one at that.  


Also, props on the wingbacks GF.  She’s got good taste. 


On a superficial note, I’m SORT OF dying to part her hair anywhere besides right down the middle. But I also wanna be besties with her, and that’s the sort of solid besties do ya.


6. Vanessa -the Francophile / Special Needs Teacher is also a solid chick.  I can see her going the distance.


6.5. The Nail lady aka Vanessa Minillo is a stunner.  And doesn’t *seem* like she’ll turn out to be a crazy slut bag, but people, the season is young and ya never can tell.  


7. The (air quotes, pronounced in slow-mo) “nur-sing stu-dent” aka the girl who I’m pretty sure just dressed up as a nurse for Halloween should ask her homegirl Vanessa Manillo to hook her up with a mani.  


And a set of new extensions.  Signed, I’ll be driving the bus to hockeysticks aka h*ll if anyone needs me. But for real, she’s straight off the Funny Farm.

8. I spy a villain.


Slash, who over the age of 7 still has a “Nanny” at their beck & call to bring them Scooby snacks??


I would describe myself as a very serious business woman” = I spit out my coffee this morning when she said that.  Daddy letting you update your FB status from his leather office chair does not a CEO make. Also, I don’t know any woman who allegedly runs a multi-million dollar company yet still lives at home.  But don’t listen to me – listen to Fortune magazine – who noted that they couldn’t even figure out what it was she actually does, except that she did seem to be an aspiring model.


9. If Corinne is a CEO, then I’m next in line to be Queen and Jersey Girl is a Dolphin.  I don’t remember everything from my ‘Boycott Tuna / Save the Dolphins” stint as an aspiring marine biologist in the 4th grade, but I CAN promise you that dolphins don’t have gills.  That said – bahfhdahhaha – how could you not love her?  What a loon.


I about died when she started swimming in the pool and making dolphin calls for him.


Also, this. She and I should probably be friends.


10. I also thought the ‘Runner-Up’ reference / entrance was cute.  She’s adorable, and doesn’t seem like a whack job.


11. The back of Melania Trump’s dress was gorgeous.


12. HOW DOES HE NOT REMEMBER SOMEONE WHO’S GARAGE HE PARKED HIS CAR IN??  I would’ve turned around and been like, imma get back in this limo cyyyyyaaaaaaa and flown the bird out the window.


Maybe it was outta context; who knows.  I can’t tell if it just took him a stitch to remember her, or if someone (e.g. a producer) tipped him off.  In any case: a) She’s a cute girl – I’ll be interested to see how that pans out //  b) I felt like she was trying to air out her top set of chompers, cuz I scarcely saw a lip covering those bad boys – even when she was talking, and that takes talent… Ace Ventura caliber talent.


c) Can’t figure out why he has a chip on his shoulder about her not tracking him down and calling him after they took a spin in the sheets at Jade & Tanner’s wedding?  “Jade had my number – you could’ve asked for it” = uhhh, door swings both ways, Count Chocula.  Ever heard of the chase?  

13. Introducing the Cruise Ship Singers on Ice collection – available at your local David’s Bridal. 

THE BACHELOR - Episode 2101 - What do a dolphin-loving woman, a successful businesswoman who runs her parents multi-million -dollar flooring empire;, a bachelorette, who is hiding a big secret about her past involving Nick, and a no-nonsense Southern belle, who has Nick in her cross-hairs for a big country wedding, all have in common? They all have their sights set on making the Bachelor, Nick Viall, their future husband when the much-anticipated 21th edition of ABC's hit romance reality series, "The Bachelor," premieres, MONDAY, JANUARY 2 (8:00-10:01 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network. (Rick Rowell/ABC via Getty Images) RAVEN, NICK VIALL

14. The chick who was like, “OMG I’m not gonna get picked and it’s because I wore red and ALL THE OTHER GIRLS WORE RED so I blended in” is right up there with the “he didn’t love me because I didn’t have as good a body as so-and-so” kind of crazy talk that makes me want to ram my head through a wall.  Please see #18 below.


15. What’s with all the waterworks on night 1??  Suck it up, campers!  There’s no crying in baseball and there’s DEF no reason to cry on night 1 because he’s not talking to you when you have been hiding under the dining room table too scared to talk to him.  Slash, maybe the poor girls are just emotional and hangry, cuz did you see the rose ceremony was at daylight??  I guarantee ABC supplied them with a fountain of champagne and 3 carrot sticks to split between all 30 of ’em for dinner.

16. The dolphin shark is an ever-so-slight Jade Roper doppelgänger.


17. Dear Bachelor Set Decorators: Ikat is over. Has been for ages. Let’s move on.


18. Last and (I thought) the most poignant moment of the show was Lauren’s exit.  Because although she was understandably bummed, instead of following in the footsteps of so many cast-offs before her and pulling an: “OHMYGODWHYAMINOTGOODENOUGH, NO ONE LOVES ME AND I’M GOING TO LET NOT BEING GIVEN A ROSE SLAUGHTER MY SELF-ESTEEM FOR LIFE,” she was like, ‘…you know what, he seems super genuine, but I just think I haven’t met the right one… I can tell you this – I know my worth and need to start finding guys who recognize that – I’m a great gf and someday I’ll be a great wife.”  Amen.  It was the smartest couple of sentences I’ve ever heard anyone on the show utter.


That’s all I got!


Steph's Scanned Signature

Favorite Wines Under $25

Fave Vino Under $25 | Covet Living

Listen yo, I’m no sommelier… when all else fails and I’m in a hurry, sometimes I pick a bottle out at the grocery store based on pretty the label is (whoops)… in the same manner that whenever I’ve had to pick fantasy teams, I’ll pick the gaggle of dudes with the best weaves, etc.  That said, I know enough about what I like & what I don’t about wine: don’t like whites that are too sweet (Riesling might as well be a Shirley Temple, IMO), prefer a California Sauvignon Blanc over a New Zealand one b/c I love citrus-y vs. grassy… love big jammy reds that aren’t too battery-acid tannic or too earthy (yack). Don’t need anything that costs an ovary per glass, either. I’d almost always rather drink red – except for the fact that it turns my teeth purple, and except in the summertime when it’s hotter than hades.  You get my jam – anyhow…  This year, I’ve taken stock of the wines I’ve run across that were REALLY great – and relatively reasonable.  SO, here are my faves under $25 (most around $15)… because I’m sure we all need to restock before NYE.  And because I’m sure THIS reality is probably setting in for just about everyone right about now:



La Atalaya del Camino 2013 ($17)… I buy it locally (in LA) at Lincoln Fine Wines.  Superb.  Tasting notes: “Suggestive aromas of juicy black fruit and red fruit, alongside creamy notions of spices, vanilla, toffee and moka over a fresh, balsamic background.”


Piatelli Vineyards Premium Reserve Malbec, $14.  Kudos to Mountain Spirits on Elk for always hand-picking and stocking $15 bottles of wine that taste like $100 bottles of wine.  One of my all-time faves.  Tasting notes: “Decadent aromas of meat, blueberry and mineral. Slate too. Full-bodied, tight and chewy with a lovely texture and freshness. Just a hint of toasted oak and walnuts.”


True Myth Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, $18 at Trader Joe’s.  I’ve been loving Paso wines this year; this one might be my fave from there.  Grabbed this a few nights ago for dinner at my Mom’s.  Plus look how pretty the bottle is?  Slap a taper candle in that bad boy when you’re done and light er up.  Tasting notes: “…abundance of blue and black fruit to sweeten, the chalky tannins and earth “soil” play up the savory and mineral tones of this rustic red… serious big oak-caramel and black cherry coming in from the mid-palate to finish… straightforward feel in its red currants, licorice and spice.”


Daou Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, $23.  Daou never disappoints.  Fun fact: Nick – my cabinet guy I design custom cabs for (kitchens & baths & built-ins) did all the custom cabinetry for their winery this year. #baller.  Tasting notes: “Rich deep dark berry color with creamy mocha-espresso flavors is the first impression of this wine. The tannins are well integrated with the fruit and create a long finish that keeps going. It’s full bodied with a saturated finish while accompanied by bright acidity and infused by black current and cooked blueberry fruit.”


Chateau Thomas-Laurent Bordeaux 2014, $12.  I think a good Bordeaux is hard to find… and it’s not always the first varietal I reach for, but this is a find.  Another Mountain Spirits score.  Tasting notes: “…initial scent reveals fresh fruits and whiffs of earth, flavors follow with the same notes, adding plums and herbs.”


Pali Bluffs Russian River Pinot Noir 2014, $23.  I ordered this for the table when my mom was in San Diego last Spring, and it was $75 at George’s at the Cove (most overpriced place ever with the best view of the water at sunset).  Don’t tell them I said this, but it was worth every penny there, so it’s like highway robbery at $23.  Tasting notes: “…oak present from the start, adding to the plushness of the tannin and taste of vanilla and spice. Plum jam gives way to juicier cherry and berry, with an underlying yeastiness that presents like baked bread.”


Santa Barbara Valley Syrah Santa Ynez Valley 2012, $20.  Tasting notes: “…flavors of white pepper and lavender, with a jammier full fruit character.”



Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc Viognier 2014, $12.  I buy mine at Trader Joe’s.  Light & on the sweeter, peachier (but not too sweet) side.  Tasting notes: “…from crisp white peach, honeyed pear and sweet mango, to touches of fresh jasmine blossom and white chai tea.”


Pedroncelli Sauvignon Blanc 2015, $12.  TWELVE DOLLAH BILLS and this stuff is DUL-LICIOUS.  Hands-down my favorite white; everyone I have poured it for raves about it.  Tasting notes: “refreshing with rich, lingering layers of citrus, honeydew melon and pineapple.”


Burgans Albarino 2014, $13.  Hate to be a one-trick pony but kudos again to the sommelier at Mountain Spirits.  Found this one this summer and it went down REAL EASY.  Pedronelli is still my fave, but this is a goodie.  Really tough to find though – I also snap it up from Lincoln Wines in LA.  Tasting notes: “Powerful scents of pineapple, mango and white flowers, with a chalky overtone. Supple and round in the mouth, offering juicy tropical fruit avors and a bracing note of lemon zest.”


La Crema Chardonnay 2014, $20.  This one goes out to my girl KP, who has a mini-fridge in her sweet Malibu beach studio, and fills up 3/4 of it with bottles of this. Tasting notes: “…opens with layered aromas of fresh Meyer lemon, shortbread and ripe pear. On the palate are flavors of baked, locally grown, Gravenstein apple framed by hints of sweet spice and white peach.”


Bottoms up & Merry Christmas!!!


Steph's Scanned Signature