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!

 

file that under beastly!

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that was me just over 24 hours ago. surrounded by the most horrific display of laziness i have witnessed in quite some time and trying not to lose my mind while undoing 2 years worth of utter slack.

Thursday night, we came home to find our mailbox stuffed with a nearly $900 bill for a doctor’s appointment that happened over a year ago. what is the deal with doctors and billing, right? not the first time it has taken months and months to get a bill for something — it always shows up just when you think your insurance must have covered everything and you put it out of your mind. how on earth do doctors run a business that way?

anyway, the whole thing totally set Spy off. obvs, no one is happy about having to pay the bill, but the fact that we aren’t organized enough to find any other paperwork about the appointment or a prior bill or anything tapped into one of deepest sources of self loathing. try as he may, he is just not very organized. he’s the guy constantly looking for his keys, wallet and reading glasses. and it drives him crazy. especially when nearly a thousand bucks is at stake.

i’m the organized one in the family. generally, with not too much effort, i can put my hands on pretty much any piece of paper or email we might need to dredge up long after it’s been forgotten. that silver bin in front of me in the picture above is where i throw bills after i’ve paid them, correspondence i’ll get around to filing one day and pretty much everything else i know i should save, but don’t want to make a decision about what to do with it in the moment. i typically give it a good sorting through every 6 months or so. but apparently, at this point, i hadn’t touched it for over 2 years. ugh.

so yesterday, i set about the monumental task of getting things organized. Continue reading

drivetime discussions: Miss Girl meets Queen Bey

mkay. so that thing i was writing about Melania last night? yeah, i’m completely done talking about that for right now. let’s talk about Beyoncé!

see the uncanny resemblance in the photos above? yeah, me neither. so you can imagine my utter surprise and amusement driving home from camp last night when this happened.

MG: (singing some mash-up of Run the World (Girls) and Formation)

me: what’s that?

MG: our song for our Friday performance.

me: Formation? you’re singing Formation? (obvs, a little mortified, my mind raced to whether i was gonna need to have a stern discussion with the Y.) you got hot sauce in your bag, girl?

MG: huh?

me: nevermind. so you know Beyoncé sings that.

MG: Beyoncé? who’s that?

me: (did we not just go through this during BET Awards?) really? i know you know who she is! look. (over the course of a few stoplights managed to pull up a Google image search on my phone and throw my arm in the backseat so she could see what turned up on my screen.)

MG: oh yeah. you know, that’s probably what i’m going to look like when i grow up. except with different eyes.

me: (eyes?? or EVERYTHING?? let’s see what she really meant . . .) different eyes? like how?

MG: well, you know. she has brown eyes and i have blue eyes. so that’s the only difference.

and with all the focus on tension caused by skin color lately, and all the divisiveness and highlighting of differences between people, i was once again completely amazed at, amused by and proud of my little girl who just honestly doesn’t see any difference between her and anyone else, no matter what color skin they have. so she identifies more with Beyoncé than blonde-haired, blue-eyed Dakota Fanning, whom she’s been told she favors? whatevs. i can tell you this for sure though, her white-girl dance moves got a long way to go.

how long does it take you to write a post?

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just curious! i have been working on something about the Melania Speechgate for what seems like all day, but truthfully has been just a couple hours now (post Miss Girl bedtime) of actually writing and researching links and such to back up what i’m writing. was hoping to post tonight, but at 1:00, it is hours past bedtime! look for it tomorrow . . .

in the meantime, one of the reasons i’ve been gone so long is that i’ve wanted to up my writing game a bit, which means a change in the mostly off-the-cuff, put-it-together-in-an-hour type of writing/image creation i typically do here and actually work on some more thoughtful/longer pieces. just not accustomed to how long retraining my creative muscles that way actually seems to take. but it’s all good.

so . . . there will still be some of both kinds of posts moving forward! that’s the plan, at least, but interested in hearing from anyone who’s still around about their typical process/time to write a post.

love to hear from you!! happy Hump Day tomorrow! (today?) ugh . . . goodnight!

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

if it clucks like a chicken . . .

Fried Chciken

no joke, this just happened: a colleague i’ve never met was organizing a meeting at a client’s office and was asked by someone on our side what we were doing for lunch, since the meeting would run from 11:00-3:00. his response: “They are in the middle of the inner city, it looks like Popeyes Chicken 🙂” oh yes, he did. obviously, i was appalled.

like so many others, i have been struggling so hard over the past week or so with the violence, racism and ignorance at the forefront of seemingly every news cycle. last week i was supposed to be enjoying our annual family vacation and celebrating the epic greatness of America. i spent much of that time glued to my phone following Facebook and Washington Post to see what people were saying about the shootings in Baton Rouge, Minneapolis and Dallas, and wondering what the fuck is happening to our country? Continue reading

Friday favorites: Hawaiian happiness

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just wow. what an amazing week it’s been! i can’t believe today is our last full day here. there is so much to tell. and i completely intended to do some in-depth posts while i was here, but guess what: i have been too busy actually enjoying my vacation to write about it! i still hope to do some longer posts (like the ones from France) when i get home, but wanted to post a few quick hits here and share some of my favorite moments from the week so far. enjoy and happy Friday, everyone!

1. Pearl Harbor
SONY DSC this spot was on the list of places i knew i wanted to see, but i really had no idea how moving it would be and how patriotic it would make me feel. the exhibits do a fantastic job setting up what was going on in the world leading up to the attack — a lot of which i seem to have tuned out in my high school history classes. well worth the few hours we spent soaking it all in.[/caption]

2. North Shore
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after our Pearl Harbor visit, we took advantage of a napping girl and headed north to Oahu’s famed North Shore. we parked and got out at Lanaikea Beach. Miss Girl’s pants immediately came off and she went crazy running along the rocks and in the surf. she seemed so completely at home, i couldn’t help but have some major flash forward moments to her as the quintessential badass surfer girl . . . and start wondering what if she went to school out here.

3. getting lei’d
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it took 3 full days in Hawaii, but i finally got lei’d! Miss Girl was not happy about any of it. in her defense, it did kind of itch. they were so beautiful, though!

4. rainbows
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yes! double rainbow! what does it mean??? no idea, but we have seen multiple rainbows every single day since we’ve been in Maui — a complete relief, considering that it was basically pouring down rain at the airport when we arrived on Wednesday. we were afraid we wouldn’t even see the sun, much less beautiful sights like this. luckily the weather in Ka’anapali doesn’t seem to have anything to do with what’s going on 45 minutes away in Kahului. once again . . . #westsideisthebestside

5. ahi poke
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omg, y’all. i’m pretty sure i’ve had some version of this before, but this fish salad (pronounced po-kay) is like all i want to eat here. the ahi is amazing and every version is a little different. kind of like how in the south, everyone’s got a chicken salad recipe and no two are the same. the one pictured above is from Koa’s Seaside Grill in Lahaina on Maui. we stopped in to grab a bite (and a fruity cocktail) at an odd hour and were pleasantly surprised by a killer happy hour menu. i won’t even begin to guess what was in this, except some kind of seaweed and some chili peppers, but it was amazing. perfect with the homemade tortilla chips and rice crisps. definitely need to experiment with some recipes when i get home!

Friday favorites: Hawaii Five-OMG!

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thanks to the magic of scheduled posting, when this little slice of life hits the interwebs, i will be on a plane to Hawaii! it’s not a secret i’ve been keeping from you guys intentionally, it has just been an insane couple of months, during which i’ve quit one job, started another, lost a beloved doggie, launched my Wine Shop At Home business, bachelorette-fêted and married off a dear friend, met Biz Markie and started running again. whew!

not only is this a much needed vacation over Miss Girl’s spring break, it’s a really big deal: Spy is turning 50! back last autumn when we started talking about how to celebrate his half-century, my idea was to throw him a big Hawaii Five-0 themed luau. not one to enjoy being the center of attention, he countered “Let’s just go to Hawaii, instead.” i think my response was something like “Okay, Moneybags.” but the next thing i knew, it was booked. and he is beyond excited. and so am i. (that glass above was part of a pre-trip Christmas gift i gave us to keep the excitement going.) Continue reading

bye-bye, you big bear.

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wanted to thank everyone who was so sweet and thoughtful about Clara when i posted that she was ill a few weeks ago, and give you the update that she didn’t make it. the antibiotics did nothing for the mass in her leg, so it has been painkillers and waiting the last couple of weeks. i’m unbelievable grateful that we had that extra time with her. unfortunately on Monday, while i was in Austin for SXSW, she became immobile and Spy had to take her in. i was glad that i’d made sure to give her a great big hug before i left on Friday, but so sad for that to have been the very last one.

Monday marked the end of an era, as Clara was the last family member we brought with us from Richmond to Atlanta. whisked away from the mean streets of Church Hill (where Spy found her under a bush in the park near our home) to an idyllic long weekend at our river house that quickly turned into a new life with her forever family, we often said Clara was the luckiest dog in the world. the truth is, we were the lucky ones to have had her in our lives for the past 15 years. we’ll miss our big bear terribly, but are glad she is reunited with her buddies Maury and Parker in that big doggy (and kitty) park in the great beyond.

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ironically, there isn’t a photo that could possibly capture the beautiful, the mundane, the tragic of this evening. but i wanted to somehow capture the sort of like 16,000 conflicting emotions and experiences that happen around here on any given evening, but particularly tonight. thanks for indulging me in a pretty non-typical-for me post.

i’m in the midst of coming down from a lot of angst and uncertainty about leaving an old job to working my first 2 days (at home!) at a new job, where there also is uncertainty simply because it is a new and different situation from where i thought i would be 6 months ago — but also a lot of excitement about what i can help build.

at about 4:00 today, i realized i was still in my pajamas. i had promised myself i was not under any circumstances going to be that person. i did not go for a run (not my fault. did you see the storm map for the Southeast today??). and my dishwasher was still full of clean dishes washed overnight. i felt a minor pang of incompetence for not having this work at home shit completely nailed after 2 days. then i eye-rolled myself.

as i rallied to step away from the computer and my work to get dressed, i let the dogs out and realized our 14-year-old Clara was limping and can’t put any weight on one of her hind legs. i’ve spent the rest of the evening — in between getting pain meds from our dog sitter, checking what time the vet opens tomorrow and helping Spy carry her up and down the stairs —  worrying that when she does see the vet tomorrow, it will be the last time we see her. that’s how Maury went a few years ago at 16. she quite suddenly lost use of her back legs and the vet suggested it would be a hard road ahead. so far, the painkiller has helped some. we have spent lots of time holding hands (always her favorite) and looking longingly at each other. i’ll call at 8:00 tomorrow morning to see when i can bring her in, and until that time, hope for the best.

in the meantime, i’m also literally trying to cook a proper dinner for me and Spy, who have fallen into a bad pattern of eating at different times and places in the house. the ravenous Miss Girl demanded a hot dog the minute she walked into the house, so her dinner was long since done. in between pulsing cauliflower rice, i’m having a conversation that goes something like this:

“PUT YOUR PANTS ON!”

“but Mommy, my booty’s too hot. and besides, Lily has my pants.”

“WHY DOES LILY HAVE YOUR PANTS? GET YOUR PANTS FROM HER!”

“we’re playing tug-o-war with them!”

Lily runs a couple laps around the house with pants in her mouth.

“DO NOT PLAY TUG-O-WAR WITH YOUR PANTS! go get those pants from that dog!”

ridiculous laughter.

“i’m serious! get some pants — any pants! — on that hot booty and get those pants from that dog!”

ridiculous laughter.

“ONE . . . TWO . . .”

“okay, okay, Mommy. i got the pants. but now i need to take off my shirt.”

facepalm.

ridiculous, ear-to-ear grin.

also, at some point during all of this, i got a call from the Bernie Sanders campaign asking if i plan to vote in the upcoming primary and for whom. the girl was floored when i said i plan to vote and they had my support. like i was literally the first person on her (i assume Atlanta Metro) list who had given her a positive reaction. she didn’t know how to respond to me. was really glad i could make that girl’s day, because making those calls has to be a thankless job!

at bath/bedtime, when Spy took Clara up the stairs for the evening, i remembered that somehow, although i was home all day today, Lily peed on the bed. ON THE BED, y’all. duvet was in the laundry, but taking 1,000 years to dry. so while Miss Girl’s bath was running, i was psyched to find a clean set of sheets. not psyched to make our bed. let’s just say that since the Brazilians started, the pain in the ass that is re-sheeting a California king has not often been in my repertoire. sigh.

at the end of the night, with my sweet family all upstairs — one in what feels like a makeshift bed with a spare Queen comforter on top (we’ll be fighting over that in a couple hours); one maybe sleeping in her well-worn spot on my side of the bed for the last time; one dreaming pantsless dreams of world domination; and one completely oblivious to all of it as long as she can snuggle with someone — i just had to try to explain the beautiful, amazing, circle of life chaos of it all. because it constantly amazes me how all these things can co-exist in my life and in my brain in these amazing moments in time and (usually) nothing actually explodes, except sometimes (almost) my heart.

tomorrow’s Hump Day, y’all. notice that amazing moment that’ll get you through the rest of the week!