Product Review: Michelob ULTRA Light Cider

by Nicole on June 4, 2012

As the temperatures rise my taste buds begin to crave adult beverages that are refreshing, and while I long to sip on something cold, it’s not that simple. (Is anything ever that simple??)  Here’s my problem: I don’t care for white wine (red wine 4 life) and I never “acquired” that taste for beer those frat boys promised. When it comes to mixed drinks, I can only enjoy a select few without memories of college parties flooding my brain and activating my gag reflex. My taste buds clearly hate me since they want to sip something cool and yet, hate everything alcoholic except red wine. I began to accept that I’d always be the weirdo ordering a glass of wine at the casual, outdoor bar until I discovered hard cider. Hard cider is more casual than a glass of cabernet, it comes in a bottle, and is a cool beverage that is lovely on hot days, but there are few brands on the shelf and it’s rare to see hard cider on the menu in bars/restaurants. But it seems like times may be changing! Just as the temperatures and humidity in Charlotte began to rise, I heard about Michelob ULTRA Light Cider, a brand new product, and was excited for the opportunity to do a taste test.


Testing something like wine, beer, or cider is always more fun in groups so I checked the calendar for upcoming social events. Ironically, the only thing I had planned this weekend was a get-together with three very pregnant friends. Remember how I said tastings are more fun with a group? Turns out that tastings are a blast when you are the only person in the group who can do more than have a sniff. Just kidding—I did drink one Michelob ULTRA Light Cider, but decided to really test ‘er out with someone else who could consume alcohol. However, I will say that the pregnant ladies enjoyed the crisp and fruity aroma of the Light Cider and look forward to the tasting part in a few weeks. We will have to schedule a do-over!


The next afternoon, my husband (Isaac) and I spent hours cleaning out our junk/guest/soon-to-be media room before rewarding ourselves with taste test, take-two. Right off we both enjoyed how the Michelob ULTRA Light Cider tasted—it has a very crisp, refreshing flavor that is lighter than most hard ciders with the perfect amount of sweet. Michelob ULTRA Light Cider is made from handpicked apples which I can distinctly taste, and the slight malty beer flavor creates a perfect balance. We were also very pleased to see that the Light Cider is lower in calories than most hard ciders and is gluten-free. Handpicked fruit, low in calories, and gluten-free?!? This stuff is practically healthy! Winking smile


Honestly, I am glad I had the chance to review Michelob ULTRA Light Cider; it is delicious. And as an Anheuser-Busch product I’m sure it will be available in bars and restaurants soon, but for the time being, I can grab a six-pack from the store and have a go-to summertime drink for cookouts and beach trips, just like everyone else!


If you’re interested in reading other reviews, check out  the Michelob ULTRA Light Cider page on

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Eat and Play in Boone, NC

by Nicole on May 11, 2012

In my last post I gushed about the adorable mountain cottage my husband and I escaped to last weekend. Now, as promised, I will share some of the highlights from the rest of our vacation. When we managed to rip ourselves away from the comfort of our cottage, it was usually in pursuit of food.

This is the photo a happy and hungry vegetarian.


I was pleasantly surprised to find several restaurants in Boone and Blowing Rock that offered multiple vegetarian options. For dinner the first night we wanted to check out downtown Boone and decided on Hob Nob Farm Café. It was very exciting walking amongst the college kids, out and about on their last day of class. (Reminded me how much fun it was to be that age.) And as much as I wanted to snap a photo of King Street, I already felt out of place dressed in overpriced jeans, pink shoes, and a shirt from Loft; pulling out a DSLR would have been too much.

Isaac and I quickly found our restaurant, ordered drinks, and waited for the food to arrive. For our appetizer we had Plantains served with a yogurt/mango dipping sauce. What can I say about plantains—so ugly, yet so incredibly delicious. I could have eaten three more platefuls.


Our apps didn’t stick around for long and we were excited when our dinners arrived. Isaac had one of the specials which was a quesadilla with roasted red pepper hummus, squash, cheese, and a host of other goodies. It was a little too garlicky for our stomachs, but the flavor was outstanding. I decided to splurge on Ravioli Medici: cheese raviolis tossed in a pine nut basil pesto cream sauce, portabellas, squash, peas, tomatoes, feta, and walnuts. It’s been a long time since I ordered something so rich at a restaurant and I assure you, it was worth every bite!


For breakfast the following two days we enjoyed the complimentary continental breakfast and Yonahlossee Inn which was beside our cottage. On Saturday, we lounged around for a while after eating and then I tested out the fitness center. I love having a workout room all to myself.


I returned to find Isaac neck-deep in the jacuzzi tub (I have a photo, but I’ll be kind) which was exactly what my tired body needed after an HIIT workout. Finally the stormy morning subsided, our fingers were shriveled like prunes, and our bellies began to growl. We decided to head into downtown Blowing Rock to browse the shops and find lunch.

The streets of downtown were crawling with tourists and we enjoyed looking through the unusual shops while soaking up the sun. Gotta get that vitamin D!


My favorite shop: the Life is Good store.


The most unusual: an art gallery with cat and dog clocks. I think this photo can speak for itself.


We had hoped to try out Storie Street Grille, but they had some sort of kitchen fire and had to shut down for the entire day. Sadface. Instead we went to Mellow Mushroom. Even though we have one in Charlotte, we were hungry and knew MM would have yummy veggie options. It did and we departed with fat bellies.

After a huge lunch we were looking forward to a hike. Not wanting to drive too far, we chose the Boone Fort Trail which was less than 10 minutes from our cottage. photo-(38)

I knew nothing about the trail except that it was near water and described as “moderately strenuous.” It turned out to be the most perfect 5-mile hike with a mix of flats and hills. The trail ran right beside a stream so there were lots of rocks and the air was pleasantly cool.


Hiking for over 2 hours is enough to erase all evidence of a large lunch which was one of the goals considering we had plans to try out Black Cat Burrito in downtown Boone.

To be honest, I was thrilled to have vegetarian options (i.e. tofu, tempeh, etc…), but the food was a little bland and lackluster. But that didn’t stop me from polishing off my burrito.

Our final day of vacation we requested a late check out and simply relaxed. I read Fifty Shades of Grey and Isaac played World of Warcraft. We had leftovers for lunch and headed towards our final destination: Tanger Outlets. We spent too much money in the first place, J. Crew Factory store, putting an abrupt end to our shopping excursion.

Isaac and I were very sad as we began our descent back to Charlotte, but were pleased to have found such a lovely vacation spot only a few hours away. I’m already looking forward to the next trip!


Weekend in Boone, NC: Stay

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You know that feeling when you are really, really looking forward to something and when it actually happens the reality cannot meet what was imagined? Considering I have been counting down the days until my mini-vacation to the mountains, I was slightly concerned that the reality would not measure up to my expectations. Fortunately, my […]

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May 4, 2012

Several weeks ago I decided it was high time Isaac and I had a mini-vacation. I booked a weekend stay in an adorable cabin in Blowing Rock, NC. All week long I’ve been checking the weather and cannot wait to escape the blistering Charlotte heat for three days of cool mountain weather. Isaac and I […]

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Shades of Grey

May 1, 2012

Have you heard of the Fifty Shades trilogy? My friend, Angie, was the first to mention it to me. I called her one evening as she was leaving a bookstore after having no luck finding the scandalous series. She admitted to feeling a little embarrassed to be in hot pursuit of erotic books. I laughed […]

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Baby Boyle

April 29, 2012

What a day! When my alarm went off this morning I was utterly confused, trying to figure out the day and reason my alarm was waking me up. Then I remembered—Caitlin’s baby shower! I quickly got dressed, loaded up my car with the party supplies, and drove to Fabo Café to meet Jen. Miraculously, we […]

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Baby Shower Preview

April 28, 2012

As I said in my last post, I’d love to temporarily freeze time, but I’m sure my very pregnant friend feels differently. So, I’m left with two choices—I can either dread the impending changes or opt to embrace them. And this weekend I choose to embrace change, especially since a party is involved! Jen and […]

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This Time Last Year

April 26, 2012

This time last year I was newly engaged. I had recently been in an auto accident which totaled my car and screwed up my neck. My job as I knew it was in the early stages of deterioration. I lived alone in a tiny, one bedroom apartment sans central air or cable TV. One of […]

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