The hustle and bustle of starting the school year is enough to make you go fetal sometimes. And after a long summer of entertaining the kids everyday, I decided I needed a good old-fashioned girl’s night. With wine. And comfy clothes.
Summer water. That is an affectionate nickname for rose and I really do love a glass on a hot summer afternoon. But wine and I really don’t mix well. We’ve learned how to make our relationship work, though. Thank goodness. That would have been a tough break up. Who would I have turned to? Moonshine?
So I like wine. And I’ve decided to start sharing some faves on Wine Wednesdays. It won’t be every Wednesday. Honestly, I don’t drink THAT much wine. So I’m going to share when I have something to share. I started a wine club with some gals from my neighborhood. You know, like a book club but without the pesky reading. Bleck. Who has time for that?! I thought it would also be a fun way to try different wines and expand my palette. I know I love a Sauvignon Blanc. I know that I don’t love Chardonnay. But what else do I fancy? I’m going to find out! Instead of just heading to the store and choosing a random bottle off the shelf, I decided to check out a wine club called Club W. After spending only a few seconds on their site I knew it was the perfect place for me to buy wine. First off, the labels are super cute. In the past I found what was behind the cute labels was not so great wine. What I love about Club W is that they post videos, by drinking professionals (not an industry term), about the wines. They share tasting notes and flavor profiles. So not only are the videos a great way to figure out if you might like the wine, you are also learning more about how to taste wines too. I’m halfway through my first box so far and have loved everything so far. My second box has been delivered and I’ve already have some wines in my “box” for my August shipment. I need to get drinking!! Club W was super easy to sign up for. Most of the bottles are $13-$14. The app is super easy to use and is the quickest way to skip a month if you decided that you are stocked up on wine for the time being. If you scan the bar code of the bottle you are drinking with the app, it will take you right to the video so you can hear their tasting notes and taste along with them! That is so cool!
They also send a tasting card with each bottle which also includes a recipe that would pair well with it. Their customer service is FANTASTIC! They are super knowledgable and can suggest options if something you are looking for is sold out. And my wines arrive super fast. I’m a BIG fan! To get started, I decided to stick with what I know I like, a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. This one called, Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy, was cute and delicious. I’m sure there are wine snobs totally rolling their eyes at me right now but it just makes sense that wines should be cuter. Duh.
This was not sweet, but really fruity. It had a lot of minerality like most Savvy’s do (Club W’s tasting card mentioned that local Kiwi’s call Sauvignon Blanc “Savvy” and I’m totally stealing that!) While I generally drink my wine in the evening, this would be perfect for day drinking. It was nice and crisp and delicious. And SO cute!
I will not be sharing only wines from Club W but I will share a lot of them because that is where most of my wine is coming from. And Trader Joe’s and sometimes Bev Mo. And my price points will remain under $20 since I don’t think that good wine has to cost a lot of money. Really, wine just has to taste good to you. Even if it’s White Zinfandel, mom. No judgement.
Use my Club W referral and Grab a bottle on the house!!!
*This post contains affiliate links. Read more about my editorial policies here.
There is nothing better than travel during the summer. This year I am SO excited to share a place with my kids that my family vacationed every year growing up. Which is also where my dad vacationed as a boy! It is going to be so special. And I CAN’T wait! I’m sure we will also end up in Palm Springs (a few times) and who knows where else! Today I’m sharing some of my summer travel essentials. Be warned. I am not a light packer. You may be able to do without these things, but I know what I need to have a good time. I hate forgetting things at home. And I like to be prepared for just about every possible scenario. I never leave home without a good sun hat. This one, from Goorin Bros. (similar style) (remember it from Mexico) is awesome because it packs really well. I have to wear a hat in the pool or on a boat or anywhere where there is too much sun. And it’s cute. I also have to bring along a good portable speaker. On a girl’s trip, it is essential for getting ready and setting the tone for the evening. And with my family, music and instantly change moods (thank you, Uptown Funk!!) I never leave home without one.
I always have a tote bag with me on a trip. I pack it full of magazines, snacks, water, whatever I think I’ll need depending on the days activity. It’s perfect for a car trip and then the contents change from day to day. It has to be larger than a purse, like this one from RVCA, but smaller than an overnight bag. And I like it to be a darker color so that it doesn’t show the inevitable dirt.
When I am away from my kids, I really like to have pictures of them handy for when I miss them. I just made this Yoshirt custom phone case and it is awesome. Since you always have your phone with you, you can see your kids adorable faces the entire time you are away. And of course I am going to leave it on my phone all the time. I also recently found my favorite perfume in a travel size and it has changed everything. Years ago I had it in a travel size and then it leaked on a trip and I stopped taking any kind of perfume with me. But I realized that it helps me feel put together for dinner out. I found a site that has some harder to find travel sized perfumes and ordered my signature scent. I have taken it with me on my last few trips and it’s made me really happy. I can’t believe I traveled for so long without any perfume!
You guys, I’m totally not a wine-o. I promise. But you know how expensive a glass of wine can be at a resort. I’m in love with this XO,G pinot grigio. The packaging is darling, they are super easy to pack and you can just have a glass at a time. You don’t need a wine opener, or a glass. These are perfect for the hotel room as you are relaxing in the evening or to take with you on a tropical excursion (where allowed, of course – drink responsibly…) And you can bring home whatever you don’t drink, which you totally can’t do with a bottle. And of course you need a darling swimsuit like this one from Amuse Society. I’m in love with this adorable pattern.
I’ve recently fell in love with garment bags. This lightweight Cinda B bag in Noir is perfect for quick trips. I wouldn’t check this on a plane for a weekend away, it is fantastic. I love that I can store my clothes, keeping them from getting as wrinkled as they might be in my suitcase, and look chic doing it. There is something kind of fancy about a garment bag, isn’t there? And a small hard shell suitcase with wheels keeps everything super easy.
If you know my history with skin cancer, then you know that I can’t really worship the sun any more. This Coolibar travel umbrella is a must for me when I travel. It easily fits in a tote bag so I can take it with me and I know I am protected no matter where I end up. It’s light and has a vent so that air can move through it making it perfect for a breezy day. It is hard to tell from this picture but the exterior is sort of a metallic silver so it is pretty neutral to match whatever you may be wearing. It feels really sturdy, for being made for travel, so this will last for tons of trips.
And you always need a good pair of comfy pants on vacation. What I love about this pair from Coolibar is that it provides sun protection as well. These can be used to work out in, or just lounge. Did you know the tops of the knees are a really common place to get skin cancer? Think of sitting outside in the sun all day at an 8 hour baseball game. Having some protective pants is key. These would be perfect for time on a boat but are just as perfect for wine time. See there I go with the wine again.
What are your travel essentials?
*This post may contain affiliate links. Read more about my editorial policies here. Some items have been supplied by the brands noted above (where noted “c/o”). As always, all opinions are mine and are truthful and based on my personal experience.
Some years I feel like decorating with untraditional colors. But right now, I’m totally into the classic red and green. Although I am not planning on having any holiday parties this year, I’m sure something will pop up more last-minute. With just a little greenery and hints of gold, I’m going to be ready for any guests that turn up. This post was created to celebrate Beaujolais Nouveau. Have you ever had it?
Aside from having good food for your holiday guests, it’s always good to have some delicious beverages as well. And I always love when there is something a little extra exciting that you can share with your guests that they may not have experienced before. If you don’t know, every year, under French law, at 12:01 on the third Thursday in November, Beaujolais Nouveau wine is released. The first time I heard about this was almost 15 years ago. I wasn’t even a wine drinker back then. But when I heard that you couldn’t get the wine until that third Thursday, which often coincides with Thanksgiving, I knew I had to track down a bottle. It seemed so extraordinary. I called around to ask who would carry it and headed out, to pick up a bottle for our Thanksgiving meal. The fruity, easy-to-drink wine’s light fermentation means that both red and white wine lovers should enjoy it. Which makes it just right for holiday celebrations. And you drink it slightly chilled (just 15 minutes in the fridge prior to drinking), which makes it a little more unusual for a red wine. It was exciting to get to try something that had just been released! Most of your guests will probably not know about this celebratory wine. So you can be the first to share it with them and be part of that memory.
Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau is all about experiencing life’s simple pleasures and nature’s seasonal gifts. I decided to pair festive, berry-like branches with calla lillies and pine branches to create easy flower arrangements. They were easy to put together but really helped the table to feel more holiday festive. Something I am trying to be better about is keeping fresh flowers around. By mixing flowers bought at the market and plants from around your yard, you can create really easy centerpieces for unexpected or last-minute guests.
My place settings include just a colorful napkin and an extra piece of greenery to add a special touch. I added candles to the table to create a glow and the table came together really fast. There is no need to get stressed out during the holidays. Now is not the time to go all out and impress everyone with your mad hosting skills. To me, now is the time to really enjoy, and be present, with your friends and family. Who cares if your silverware (stainless steel) doesn’t match the gold hues of the other accents of your table (I was totally bothered at first, I’ll be honest)? Or that your table-cloth may have a few wrinkles. If your guests feel loved in your home, you’ve done your job.
Of course having plenty of wine doesn’t hurt either. One of my favorite things to do when putting together a last-minute spread is to set out candy. For this table, I pulled out a great glass and brass display box and filled it with candies that played up the reds in the table. People love candy. And even if you don’t have time to pull together a fantastic appetizer spread, your guests will have something to munch on.
I recently reorganized my garage and now can find all my favorite serving pieces easily. I suggest you take a moment and pull your favorite pieces together so you can easily grab them when you need to. I keep things super causal for my family and our nightly meals. But come Christmas morning, my table looks GOOD. A footed bowl can make even store-bought crackers instantly feel more special (special crackers, you say? Yes, crackers can feel special.)
Georges Duboeuf is the #1 seller of Beaujolais Nouveau and since this year’s harvest has just been released, I think this is the perfect time to invite friends over to try this delicious wine. Don’t you?
*Thank your for supporting the brands that let me be creative, drink a little wine and celebrate with my friends.