Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Travel Tuesday: Redondo Beach, California

Hi friends & family!

I'm going to skip the "I can't believe I haven't written in so long" so, <insert whining here>.

This past week, I've been lucky enough to have stayed 3 nights in Redondo Beach, here in Southern California. It's about 30 minutes west of Los Angeles and it was my first time there. I was thrilled when my company decided to have a conference there! Living in L.A can get kind of lame when it comes to conferences and summits because they tend to 'bring' the events to L.A - and of course, since I live in L.A, I don't get to pack up and fly. I guess it's a form of a #humbebrag?

Anyway, since Redondo Beach happens to be quite far from my home and can be a traffic nightmare, I got the OK to to stay at the hotel where they held the conference. I. Was. Stoked. 3 whole days to spend in Redondo Beach - yay!

I had such a blast at the conference, too. My two bosses attended as well but we weren't seated together and I ended up meeting a ton of new people. I continuously feel blessed that I've been given this opportunity because every single person there was older and more experienced than I am in this position. I learned so much from them and excited about the new connections I've made.

I ended up not having that much time to explore the city but I was just happy to be by the beach. Who knew this city girl's heart gets tugged by the beach? I loved it. I never hang out on my hotel patio but I spent hours there this past week just absorbing the beach fragrance and view (our hotel was right by the beach).

I'm halfway through the busy work schedule. I'm mid-convention again that started Sunday until tomorrow and then I'm off to D.C the following Monday for a whole week. That will temporarily end my conference season - phew!

View from my patio

Evening stroll <3

Soooo pretty

View from my patio during sunset. Too gorgeous. 

We all got personalized snacks - how creative, right? Made my day! 
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Monday, July 7, 2014

Let's Go Wine Tasting!

Let's Go Wine Tasting

Friends ask me all the time what they should wear and/or bring with them to wine tastings and thought I would do a little introduction to this fun activity!

Above, I made a basic set of what I like to wear and bring with me.

Attire: Being comfortable is a must. I know a lot of people think of wine tasting as this outing where you need to make a fashion statement but please, not to the point where you're uncomfortable. During the summer, I love wearing dresses. Always, always bring a shawl or a cardigan with you. Most wine countries tend to get cool in the evening. 
Shoes: Flats! I roll my eyes at people wearing heels (#sorrynotsorry). I prefer sandals or flats depending on the weather. If you must accentuate your legs, go with wedges. You're almost always standing and consuming alcohol. You don't want to be in pain. 
Accessories: No bracelets. If you go wine tasting as much as I do, you realize bangles and bracelets become a nuisance. Cross-body bags are a must; Rebecca Minkoff's Mini Mac is my favorite - the goal is to be hands-free. Sunglasses and a hat. Some wineries will give you tours of their facility and vineyard; protect your eyes and pretty head! 
Misc: Lip balm because your lips get dry (especially from dark reds), water because you need to stay hydrated, mints & toothbrush for after your day of wine tasting and a notepad and pen (I'm old school like that) to take notes from all your favorite wines.

I'll get a post going soon on wine tasting tips & tricks, do's & don'ts soon!

Hope everyone had a fabulous and safe 4th weekend!

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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Travel Tuesday: Portland, Oregon

Hi friends! As I virtually dust off my blog, I'm declaring myself as the worst blogger ever. I don't think I even qualify as a 'blogger' anymore. Yes, just like everyone else, my excuse is that I've been too busy - I really have! My new job is keeping me in my car 150 bleeping miles a day and on top of that, it's one of the most challenging jobs I've ever had!

Anyway, this past weekend was the long awaited wedding of my best friend Maya. Adam & I flew up on Thursday evening, attended the rehearsal dinner at Andina (one of the best restaurants in town!) and I even got to visit my last job to see my old bosses and have lunch with one of my former front desk agents - seriously, best day ever! Saturday was the wedding day at the Portland Yacht Club and it shockingly didn't rain! There, I also got to see all of my former airline friends, all who I just adore and miss like crazy. It was such a cute wedding and my toast was successful (thank you, Mandy!).

Sunday was a lot more relaxing. One of my best friends Kristy, Adam & I had brunch downtown and had coffee at Stumptown (my fav!). I got some tax-free shopping done at Nordstrom too!

Such a fabulous weekend. I LOVE Portland and I miss it so. Congratulations to the happy couple and thank you to all my friends that made it such a special weekend for me! xoxo

At Andina <3

Can I live here?


Such a pretty Portland day!

The beautiful couple. 

Our other bestie <3 Loved the hashtag!!!

BFFs!!!!

The Airline table (aka the best table!)

Token couple selfie. 

Pretty & delicious Beaverton Bakery cake. 

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Wine Wednesday: Updates

Image source: Pinterest

Happy #WineWednesday!

I love how I launched this "wine blog" and have only posted maybe 1 or 2 wine related entries. What a major fail. Not only have I abandoned this blog but I've abandoned wine this past month. I know, ri-diculous.

Work: Leaving your job unplanned and starting a new one that you feel may be a little over your head is outright stressful. I should of tried to sneak in a week off between jobs! Waaahh. I also need to mention that my commute is now at least 1.5 hours (on average) and that sucks. There is NOT enough caffeine in this world to get you up at 5am for that drive.

Wine: I discovered 12 Signs Wine the other day and I'm itching to try them. I'm the epitome of a Scorpio and I'm hoping it tastes perfectly Scorpio.

Random: I have an amazing support group. My family, Adam, friends and Brooke - even my new colleagues. In the midst of this stressful transition, it's special to be able to feel supported and welcome. Poor Adam has to listen to me bitch about the commute almost on a daily basis, Brooke gets to hear from me almost every day and my other friends probably think I'm dead - I really do feel horrible, friends. I'm sorry! I'll be back on the grid here soon - I can only hope!

TV: I can't believe the Mindy Project is over. It makes my heart sad. What a great finale, though! I love that show a little too much.

Weekend: I'm going to go watch the Book of Mormon for the second time this Saturday! It's been over a year since I watched it the first time; I'm so excited to see it again. I've watched and been in many musicals and it's hands down in my top 3...maybe even #1.

Music:
Lay Me Down - Acoustic Version - Sam Smith
Not a Bad Thing - Justin Timberlake
Helicopter - Martin Garrix

Blog: 2 Wine List posts coming up (finally, jeez). Also planning some fun guest-blogging by my former colleague Bethany from the It Girl World - can't wait!

Pour yourself a glass of wine tonight, you're half way done! Have a great day! xo

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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Thirsty Thursdays: Wine Party Essentials

Wine Party Essentials


Hi, friends!  

Adam & I are thinking about hosting a wine & cheese tasting party at our house and donating the entry fee to a good cause. I've always wanted to throw a wine party and went back to Polyvore to collect some thoughts and items for what would be essential for a successful tasting!

I looked back on all the tastings I've had whether at friend's homes or at wineries and thought about what they provided there. Obviously the utmost important wine bottles are not in this set but I figured it was kind of obvious!

I am especially loving the bird wine glass markers. You can find a huge variety of wine glass markers out there; most of them are little rings that hang on the bottom of the glass stem but I loved that these little birdies hang out on the rim! It's not exactly fitting for champagne flutes perhaps... 

It's pretty self explanatory but I love the pourers that wineries use for tastings. Each place always has a different pourer and I've purchased some for this occasion - can't wait to finally use them!

So the one thing that seems out of place is the Stila lip balm. I learned from a very wise sommelier that she always wears a red-based lip balm whenever she is on a tasting of red wines. The key is that it's a balm, not a gloss or a stick because having lip stick or gloss stains on your glass = uncool. The red wine will stain your lips a little bit, so it's smart to just have a red lip look all together so you look more put together. Tada!

I love cork displays. We just have a large clear jar right now that we throw our corks in but I think it's time to buy something even bigger and cuter. Pinterest has such great ideas - if only I had the time to actually make this happen! Soon!

Last but not least, you can't have a great tasting party without wine glasses! My favorite brand is Riedel. Even if you aren't a wino, you may have heard the name. It's the King of all wine glasses (in my world, anyway!) and I wish I could have them all!! We already have a small collection started and they're our beautiful babies! You very rarely see them on sale but Williams Sonoma will have them discounted at times.

Have you had been to or hosted any Wine Parties before? 


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Monday, April 28, 2014

Monday Musings...

...good.

...necessary.

...but mostly horrifying.

Last week I gave my notice at my current hotel for a promotion at a new property. I'm going to be in downtown L.A at a hotel twice the size and managing a team three times the size as a Director. While it sounds immensely exciting, I'm actually terrified.As wild as my current hotel has been in the beginning, it became my little nest. I spent more time here than I spent at home.

I developed a lot of relationships here but my biggest accomplishment was helping my assistant grow into someone that could take my place. She started off as a front desk agent, then to a front desk lead, to a front desk supervisor, to my sales coordinator and effective May, the sales manager. I've watched and nurtured her through the whole process and I couldn't be more proud of her. I know first hand that a large part of your career efforts is dependent on having a great mentor. I've been lucky enough to have had a few amazing mentors that held my hand and guided me through my career and have always wanted to do that for someone else.When I surprised her with the news, we were both in tears! I'm going to miss her so much!

Back to my 'change'. I'm so nervous, I've had a hard time getting any sleep lately. I haven't felt challenged in a while now and this new job will be a constant challenge. Not only do I have to prove to myself I'm capable, but to my superior that recommended me highly for this position. I hold an oddly high bar for myself especially when it comes to education and profession; whenever I feel like reaching that bar is questioned, I ball up.

I'm balling up.

I keep telling people that this 'came too soon' and/or that I wasn't 'ready for change yet'. But then my Dad asked me, 'Ok so what date would have been good for you?'. Oh Dad, always so wise.

If you wait for perfect conditions, you'll never get anything done.

I'm ready. 

Bring it on, life. Bring it on. 

"A ship is safe at shore but that's not what it's made for."  - Albert Einstein

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Monday Musings: My Grad School Bag

Grad School Essentials

Grad School Essentials by dkanai featuring Kate Spade

Happy Monday, friends! I hope everyone had a great weekend. I actually had no plans this weekend for once, so it was absolutely amazing just taking the time to clean, decorate, spruce up the house and most importantly, READ. I love reading books but it's always one of those things that you end up putting off when life gets busy. I started reading "Things a Little Bird Told Me: Confessions of a Creative Mind" by Biz Stone (Co-Founder of Twitter) this weekend. I'm about 5 chapters into this short book and it's ridiculous how inspirational it is! I highly recommend it! 

Some of you may know I recently started my Master's program through Cornell University. I graduated college in 2007 so it's definitely been a while since I've been a student. The first thing I told my parents when I got accepted into this program was "I can't wait to study at Starbucks!" - which in retrospect, I see how ridiculous that sounds :) In my defense, that was my favorite thing to do in college with my friends. We would walk down to Starbucks, grab a table and study for hours.

So, I put my essentials into a set on Polyvore (above). I contemplated labeling this "School Essentials" but honestly, I could not afford a lot of the things in this set when I was an undergrad. The only thing missing are some comfortable yoga pants!

On a separate note, one of my dear friends sent me this bottle of wine as a surprise to celebrate my new wine blog! It's from the Middle Sister collection: Glamour Girl. The note said, "A wine blog? Just as glamorous as you are!". So nice!
Image source: Middle Sister Wines 
It's chilling in my fridge right now and I can't wait to try it. The Middle Sister wines are so accessible, it'll be fun to review it so everyone can visit their local stores to grab it.

I'm headed to Vegas on Thursday for my best friend's Bachelorette Party! I can't wait!

Have a great week everyone! XO
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