wine Wednesday: my life as a wine consultant

happy Wine Wednesday! hope you’re swirling and sipping something delicious this evening! filed under things i’ve been doing instead of writing, is a little story i’m finally ready to share here about me coming out of my comfort zone and trying something totally new . . . and what i’ve learned. pop open a bottle and indulge me.

back in February, i went up to Virginia for a bachelorette weekend winery trip. two days with some of my best girlfriends, two great wineries, some amazing wines and food, and a lot of good stories and laughs ensued. on the drive back to Richmond from Charlottesville, one of them mentioned that she’d been to a really fun wine tasting at another friend’s house recently. she said it was like one of the jewelry parties everyone does now, where there was a wine consultant who brought the wine. they did the tasting and then enjoyed the leftovers while everyone placed orders. she said the wine was really good and well priced, and she bought a few bottles. and she finished with you’d be great at that. i was intrigued.

i was on the cusp of taking a new job, expecting it was going to be another unsatisfying way to pass the time until i could figure out how to escape 9-to-5 life all together. but had been interested in doing one of these home selling businesses for a while. i have friends who do Stella & Dot, Chloe & Isabel, Rodan & Fields . . . i wondered was having an & in your brand name a prerequisite for this type of company . . . but every time i thought about venturing into one of these businesses, all i could think was how much jewelry does anyone really need? or how much overpriced face cream does anyone really need? i’m a drugstore girl who pretty much wears one of the same 3 pairs of earrings every single day. i just couldn’t see how it could ever be profitable. but wine. oh yes, wine. everyone always wants to try new wine and speaking from experience, it’s definitely something you pretty much are always needing to buy. this one seemed like a winner.

so long story short, i got in touch with WineShop at Home pretty much the minute i got back to Atlanta and started my journey as an independent wine consultant. what that means is that i conduct wine tastings in people’s homes, tell their guests a bit about the wines from a cheatsheet i’m given and create a fun informative atmosphere for a unique girls’ night, guys’ night or date night. people love the shit out of it. and the wine is really good. so i always sell some of it at the end. everyone has a great time and i make bank. what’s not to love?

well, that’s the thing. after only 4 months, i think i’m kind of over it. here’s what i’ve learned:

i like the parts i thought i’d like.

it is totally fun to actually do the tastings. i’m not great at ad-libbing about the different wines yet and pretty much go by the notes i’m given, but i do okay. and i’m having fun with social posts and making graphics for emails and certificates and such. i was pretty sure going in that i would love doing those things. and getting even a small commission check every month certainly doesn’t suck.

i hate the parts i thought i’d hate.

mainly the whole selling thing. and constantly self-promoting and pestering to get the next tasting set up. and those are some pretty damn important parts of being successful in this business.

i have some super-supportive friends.

seriously, i’ve had so many people show interest, host and purchase without much effort on my part, just because they knew i was doing this and wanted to help my small business succeed. pretty awesome.

i don’t love people that much.

honestly. i’m kind of a a high-functioning introvert. don’t get me wrong, anyone who knows me knows i have my moments of being the social butterfly, but it is draining for me to be “on” with people i don’t know . . . especially as a means to an end other than just having a good time. people can also be a pain in the ass. i have enough terrible clients in my day job. i don’t have time or energy for people who won’t commit or don’t know what they want (or want to be difficult). and please. if i have to chase you down for your credit card info, i just can’t.

i’m a homebody at heart.

when it comes down to it, i don’t want to spend as many weekend hours away from my family as it would take to really run with this, book the tastings and build a team. i’ve typically only done 2 tastings a month. i should be doing triple that at least to start building a business with this. and i’ve started getting stressed out about people wanting to schedule in late August and September, when all i want to do is watch football, simmer soup, bake apple cake and continue my push to spend more time writing. and i always try to listen to my gut.

rose.001so that last revelation is really the big one. the WSAH team is so supportive and provides so many tips, tricks and trainings to help you become successful — my current hesitations have absolutely nothing to do with any of that! this is a really easy and fun business to succeed at if you can commit to putting in the time and effort. i’m just not sure it’s where i want to put my energy right now. i’m not set on quitting just yet, but for now, i will settle for thinking it over . . . over a glass of our amazing Grand Cadeau Rosé Sparklingcheers, y’all!

 

Friday favorites: back in the saddle edition

cowgirl_on_white_horsei know it’s been a long time since i’ve shown my face around here. (thanks to everyone who’s hung around!) still a bit sorting through reasons why (maybe a post for later), but long story short, not writing these little posts is not helping me answer any of the questions i have been having about what i’m doing and why — here and in a couple other aspects of life. so i’m jumping back in. that’s the plan at least! and since i’m in, you know i gotta post my favorites from the week! this weekend, i’m looking forward to Spy returning home from a week in Germany. with everything going on in Europe right now, i just want him to get home safely! also, pool time, Secret Life of Pets (mandatory viewing!) and a wine tasting on Sunday afternoon. hope y’all have some fun/relaxing stuff planned, too! let’s go . . . Continue reading

Friday Favorites: slacksplaining my absence

hate blog posts that begin with an apology for having been gone for so long, for not writing, for ignoring readers in favor of real life pursuits. so i’m not going to be that blogger. suffice to say there has been a lot going on in my world recently and now that the dust has settled a bit, i thought it would be fun to catch y’all up on 5 of my favorite things that have kept me so incredibly busy the past month or so. settle in. this one might be long. thanks for sticking around and happy Friday, everyone!

1. shopping
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y’all can have your shoes and jewelry. i’m a sucker for a handbag. and after i missed out on an amazing 75% off black Kate Spade tote at their holiday surprise sale because i was trying to be responsible and not splurge on myself (what was i thinking?), i vowed never to let an obsession of the moment get away again. i am utterly in love with this delicious creation. the Grand Street Colorblock Gabriel is the perfect size for normal pocketbook stuff like a wallet and make-up, plus roomy enough to tote around a small laptop and my notebook — making it the perfect size to stash everything needed for, say, a plane ride. originally $478, i snagged it for about $160 including tax after having the internal debate again for only about 3 hours this time. amazing bag. amazing deal. and no, you may not have one because, just like the bag i went gaga over at Christmas, this one is sold out!

2. sipping wine


so, that i have been sipping wine is clearly nothing new. but what’s different this time is that i got to do it a couple weekends ago with some of my best girlfriends during a fun-filled day of winery touring in Virginia to celebrate the upcoming wedding of one of them. we hit Pippin Hill for lunch and bubbles, then a white and a red at Dave Matthews’ Blenheim. we followed up dinner in Charlottesville, accompanied by (probably too much) bourbon, with a good old-fashioned gab and grub session (over more cocktails, obvs) in our jammies in the living room of the adorable 1750s farmhouse (complete with cows, chickens, goats and maple syrup taps on the trees) that we had rented for the weekend. i cannot think of a more perfect address for a bachelorette weekend than Dick Woods Road. (i’ll just leave that right there.) so many laughs and so much love, beautiful views and delicious tastes . . . it was a fantastic weekend full of all my favorite stuff. can’t wait to go back up for the wedding next weekend!

3. sneaking around playing Tooth Fairy


OMG IT FINALLY HAPPENED!! after moping around for months because all her school friends were losing their teeth, Miss Girl finally had a little wiggle. then a big wiggle. then at 7:00 last Saturday morning (because you know it couldn’t happen at the crack of dawn on a school day when we’re up anyway), she raced into our room, jumped on the bed and announced that her tooth had finally come out. and she carried the evidence in her hand. well. i’d been thinking about it since that first wiggle and casually browsing Pinterest for cute ideas on how the Tooth Fairy would deliver her goods, but of course never actually downloaded any of the gazillion printables i’d looked at. bedtime Saturday night was go time for me and of course, at that point, i couldn’t find anything i thought was exactly right. so i whipped something up on Canva. and i think it turned out pretty cute, if i do say so myself! after my covert operation was done, Spy deftly slipped my handiwork under her pillow. the next morning, we were met with another exuberant early wake up. though, i think she was a little disappointed that her haul was only $1. but, as we like to say around our house: you git whatchya git and you don’t pitch a fit. 

4. snuggling by the fire
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this one’s a lame. i know. but y’all. do you know how many hours can be consumed just trying to get and stay warm? i am a summer girl, 1000%. and all this cold, dark weather lately has had me ready to curl up in pajamas and a blanket, binge eat and binge watch until things thaw out. so i’ve traded in my flip flops for fuzzy socks and have kind of done just that on a lot of recent nights and weekends, which is honestly just so unlike the usual me who is always busy doing something. my state of mind and my waistline can’t take much more of it. coooooome on, spring!

5. snagging a new job
I feel the start of something new!

(image: quotesgram.com)

today is my last day in my current job. for a variety of reasons it’s probably not appropriate to go into here, i just wasn’t that into it anymore. seriously nothing terrible, but it’s like when you’ve been dating someone for a year or so and it just doesn’t really seem like it’s going anywhere. there’s still things you love about them, but you find yourself fantasizing about being in a different situation. then some hot young thing winks at you from across the room and you know it’s over. that hot young thing approached me and we flirted for several weeks before deciding to make things official. i start my new gig on Monday and i’ve got all kinds of mixed emotions about making the move. but overall, i feel like the change will be a good one that will have a positive effect on some other areas of life. more on this later, probably, but for now i’m looking forward to a new week and a new chapter!

 

5 on Friday: a(nother) Writing 101 mashup

turtlerace(photo: thrillist.com)

um. didn’t Writing 101 end like 6 weeks ago? you’re asking. i know, right? but here i am. still. did i ever tell y’all that i didn’t graduate college on time? yeah, somehow at the finish line, i still needed one more class and ended up hanging around Winter Park for the summer taking an Ann Tyler class to fulfill my very last couple credits and officially get my degree. so this feeling is super familiar.

that said, creative combinations seem to be my secret weapon here, so i’m doing it again! i didn’t have anything pulled together for Friday list of 5 when i remembered that Day 11 asked

What do you do when you’re not writing? How do you reset and return to this dashboard, refreshed? What do you need in your day-to-day life to maintain balance?

since my last post was a week and a half ago, this really resonated today. what have i been doing? why haven’t i been writing? that second question is probably a bit more complicated than “life got busy,” which is what i like to tell myself. i’ve been questioning again what i’m doing here. i’ve also been exploring a book idea and much of my focus has been on whether that idea is viable, how to make this space more fun for me — and for you — and kind of generally doing a gut check about my writing and what i want to do with it. deep, y’all. and i’m not ready to write about it yet. ha. Continue reading

wine Wednesday: beef bourguignon

as usual, i did this all totally wrong. or, i mean, as wrong as you can go with a delicious California red.

a tinge of fall weather seemed to beg for something hearty to put in our bellies. i had some beef tips of some nature in the fridge. i had a bottle of red wine. obviously, the answer was beef bourguignon. what could go wrong?

i remember my mom making this dish when i was a kid. we didn’t have a slow cooker, but i loved smelling this rich stew simmer for hours in the same contraption she also used to make her amazing fried chicken. swear to god, this is the exact one. avocado green and all. (apparently, it fetches $24.50 on Etsy these days!)

chickenfryer

so anyway, with such delish memories, of course i went straight to my Joy of Cooking book for guidance from the recipe she used. for some ridiculous reason, this recipe isn’t on their site. thank goodness, Georgia at The Comfort of Cooking tested and posted it, so i don’t have to do all that typing myself. i love you guys, but it is a weeknight. in my version, i just kind of took all the ingredients and threw them in the slow cooker all day, with a couple tablespoons of sifted flour added on top of the meat to thicken the sauce. i mean, y’all knew there had to be something. and then there’s always the question of whether to serve it over potatoes, noodles or rice. i personally like rice, but Spy wanted the noodles. anyway, go check it out. in the meantime, i’m gonna tell you what went wrong and talk about the wine. ’cause it’s kind of the same thing.

this Wonderful Wine Co. Red Blend is amazing. really. amazing. really big and juicy. it’s all cherries with a little bit of spice. as much as “jammy” is overused to describe reds lately, this really, truly is. i enjoyed it immensely before dinner. and with dinner. and after dinner. why wasn’t there another bottle??

the problem was, it was not the right wine to put in the dinner. it had too much flavor and sweetness for the recipe. something much lighter would have given better taste and not been so overpowering. i had no idea what i was doing when i pulled it off the wine rack in a school morning haze. next time, i’ll look it up instead of just judging a wine by its label. live, learn and eat the leftovers anyway, right? at least i discovered a new wine i really love and rediscovered a great old recipe (that i need to do right next time!). happy hump day, y’all!

Friday favorites: procrastination edition

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so today’s Writing 101 challenge asked us to write a post about one of 5 Tweets. this one obviously spoke to me. it’s been a weird, long short week. and i definitely believe procrastination is essential to creativity. here are a few ways i have procrastinated this week. and i totally feel more creative for it! happy weekend, y’all 🙂

1. the perfect jeans
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yeah, i literally (okay, not literally) have 100 pairs of jeans in my closet (18?). but every fall, i’m like omg what jeans am i gonna wear?? it’s kind of dumb, but you have to have jeans for flats, jeans for heels, skinny jeans, not skinny jeans, dark wash, medium wash . . . it’s exhausting. my time-consuming, work-blowing-off quest this week has turned up these J.Crew Factory straight-leg jeans. if they fit i have found heaven. if not, i’ve got a Boden go-to that has rocked my world all summer in white.

2. do i need shoes to go with those?
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no, do i? yeeeeeeeessssss. really? lots of time spent thinking about whether to order the shoes, too. decided to confirm the denim first. and look in my closet to see what i actually have before buying more stuff. who is this responsible me? i don’t even recognize you, girl!
procrastination hours logged: 1?

3. margaritas. duh.
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a girls’ lunch at Bone Garden was way overdue. what? hours of procrastination that directly resulted in at least 1,000% increase in creativity. period.

4. Apple shit
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okay, so if you work in this weird space between advertising and technology that i do, you are pretty much a total asshole if you weren’t live-streaming the Apple shitshow announcements this week. who can get anything done with that on the  72-inchers? do i need a phone the size of my head, an iPad the size of my TV and a subscription that ensures i’m never a nanosecond behind? hells no. but i prolly will. and i also could totally get behind the Hermès wrap-around watch. but that’s just between us girls.

5. September 11 Rainbow
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this is the first September 11 that i haven’t thought about the weight of the day, that it hasn’t meant something to me. that i haven’t been afraid to get on a plane. that i haven’t spent a moment (until now)  reflecting on how that day changed the lives of everyone who lived through it — and weirdly, how little it means to most millennials, who were i guess, only like 18?. this morning, when i got in the car, MSNBC was on the Sirius. they were talking about a potential terrorist attack. i wondered what the fuck now? and then realized they were replaying tape from that Tuesday morning. i immediately switched to BPM. i can’t do it again. i just can’t. but i was really psyched yesterday to have seen this beautiful image and story. and spent several minutes blowing off whatever it was i should have been doing to stop, watch and reflect.

Friday favorites: into the woods!

in just a few hours, we’ll be heading to Tugaloo State Park with 4 other families for the weekend. 9 adults, 10 kids (omg, how did we get outnumbered??), 4 yurts and 2 pontoon boats for 2 nights of unlimited fun. we are so excited! the other 4 families are all neighbors or former neighbors. all the kids go to school together (or would if A&G hadn’t picked up and moved to South Carolina. boo.) and i just think they are going to have such an amazing time together, i can’t wait to watch! the adults are all some of my absolute favorite people to hang out with, so i know we all will have a good time, too. this is how memories get made, y’all! anyway,  i’ve got about a million things still to pack and do before it’s time to pick up Miss Girl and hit the road, but thought it would be fun to write a quick glamping-themed favorites post in honor of the coming adventure. i’ll give y’all a full update when we return! have a great weekend, everyone!

koozies for boozies!
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obviously, there will be beer. so obviously, there had to be koozies! really random, but i’m loving Discount Mugs to print these (and the ones i made for our Tybee trip). they do runs as small as 25, which you know is unusual if you’ve ever tried to get any of these things printed. so far, i always get mine double-sided. they have a decent online design tool or you can upload your own art (i’ve only done mine with their tool). this time their designer didn’t match what i’d done, but it was a quick turn-around to get it adjusted and i think they look great. definitely recommend them for this kind of thing!

mood lighting
masonjar-candle
so, as i was raiding my pantry at 11:00 last night to find random snacks Miss Girl won’t eat or other stuff we can unload on our friends (not really/really), i found the perfect solution for the 1,000 pack of Ikea votives i’d put in the packing pile: jelly jars! remember that time i made all that peach jam? and then apple? yeah, so i had a dozen jars just sitting on the shelf gathering dust because none of that has happened in forever. they’ll be perfect holders to give a little light and sparkle to our campsite! (image: homedit.com)

grub on the go
TheGirlWhoAteEverythingWalkingTacosi won’t lie. the idea of planning and buying everything for a meal for 20 people that can be stored in a cooler and cooked outside was totally overwhelming to me. thank goodness, in the end, we took the more sane approach of jointly coming up with some really basic meals (burgers and burgers . . . maybe a hotdog) and sent 2 people to Costo to buy everything. in the meantime, though, L had done some searching for good meal ideas and other stuff (love her Pinterest board for it!). this idea for walking tacos is completely fun. didn’t make the cut, but maybe some random Saturday we can make these and eat them in the park. (image: The Girl Who Ate Everything)

speaking of Pinterest . . .
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i mean. i should have guessed, but never really thought about it before. yes, y’all. there is a ton of shit on Pinterest about glamping! probably a good idea i didn’t discover this until like 6 hours ago or i would have made myself crazy finding beautiful, delicious, amazing things to do, make, eat and wear that would never. ever. happen.

lake sunsets
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being on the water is one of my favorite things in life and i’m so excited that we’ve got 2 of these to look forward to this weekend at Lake Hartwell! (image: Southern Lake Living)

wine Wednesday: Good Morning Sunshine!

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it’s been a while. i have been dealing with a lot of uncertainty, uncomfortable-in-my-own-skin-ness and overscheduling on both the work and home fronts, seemingly all summer. i’m holding a post on all that until it is perfect, you know because i have time for perfection (gaaahhh), so stay tuned and sorry for the blackout. the good news is that my horoscope says this summer funk ends Saturday when Saturn turns direct. thank god. . . . in the meantime, a lot of wine has been drunk around here to survive the unbearable chaos. (duh.)

notably, recently, there was this shiny ClubW addition. so of course, i should share! they usually send me more reds than whites for some weird, not-on-my-profile reason. (NTS: adjust that shit). but this was a fun, fun treat that broke up the NakedWines “hey, let’s drink some rosé!” pattern I’ve fallen into. (hello, Franc Dusak, you super-delishy, you.)

well, Good Morning Sunshine, indeed! you are everything i expected you would be! a lovely Verdelho that was phenom with a Carolina Barbeque Pork (on crackers) munchee. not sure that I’ve ever actually had a Verdelho before, but it was right up my alley: similar to a Chardonnay, but without the oak that i typically like with those. it is slightly sweet, a bit citrusy, full bodied and tasty. (i’m beginning to wonder if there’s a wine i don’t like?)

check out the official tasting video below and definitely give this one a try. cheers! and 2 days ’til the weekend, y’all!

wine Wednesday: Southern Slush

so, this is vacation drinking, y’all. Spy took the kids down to a cute little craft market at Tybee Lighthouse the other day and brought me back this: Southern Slush from Savannah Signature Sweets. yep. it’s exactly what it sounds like. a frozen wine cocktail. no shame. last year’s random, fruity indulge was old-school berry-flavored wine coolers. it’s Wednesday. i’m beered out at this point, and i was up for an island-flavored cocktail!

i slaved over a giant pitcher yesterday morning measuring out my boxed wine (Bota Chardonnay) and a few cups of water, then mixing in the powdered mix. next up, set it and forget it, as they say! that baby went in the freezer for probably about twice as long as it needed to (overnight is recommended) because we got a little sidetracked last night and today with our busy beach schedule. it was frozen solid this afternoon.

at any rate, after my one work call for the week — and just exactly in time for happy hour — we pulled it out, scraped and stirred and pretty quickly got it back to a pourable state. it is so pink and pretty and sweet. one was delicious. i need a Miller Lite chaser before i have another, but what a fun, local addition to our evening juice time!

cheers, y’all!

munch out on your lunch out: beach edition

Fish Taco & Sweet Potato Fries

even though we just bought like $1,000,000 worth of groceries for the week, when the kids said “let’s eat lunch out!” we couldn’t say no to a stroll up the beach to one of our favorite spots on Tybee Island. North Beach Bar & Grill is the quintessential beach bar, but with really good food. i love the Caribbean feel of the brightly painted exterior and decor. you can definitely lose an afternoon on the patio or cozied up at the outdoor bar. inside, the large windows are always open and fans pull the beach breeze through the restaurant. with the exception of a salty bartender one time a couple years ago, the staff has always been amazingly friendly and attentive. definitely a fun and family friendly atmosphere for a vacation lunch!

we started with some yummy homemade flour tortilla chips with salsa. Spy also got the asparagus and crab, which was basically a pile of lump crabmeat on a bed of asparagus, mushrooms and tomatoes. yum. a round of burgers and grilled cheese for the kids kept them happy (and tasting Miss Girl’s burger, i was a little jealous i didn’t order one for myself). an amazing lobster roll was one of the many lunch specials. i went with a solid standby, the fish taco, which was the perfect combination of something fried, but still light. their sweet potato fries are truly spectacular — tossed in sugar and then drizzled with a balsamic reduction that is the perfect combination of sweet and tangy. we also couldn’t resist having just one (really!) Cruzan Confusion, a combination of 8 rums with orange and cranberry juice. that could have turned bad really quickly.

bellies full, we made our way back down the beach to our tent for an afternoon of jumping waves and digging our own tidal pools . . . and planning what to do with all those groceries.