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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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Happy Humpday!

Wow, am I the only that feels like this week is absolutely dragging? I'm so glad it's Wednesday but a part of me thinks - it's still Wednesday?! It's always hard to get through a full week when you didn't have to the prior one :)

Anyway, I wanted to share a couple things just for fun:

Image source: Pinterest
This of course comes from the quote "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.". Hopefully this doesn't offend anyone but I thought it was preeetty funny :)  

My best friend Mandy had taken a photo of this coaster and shared it with me. We both share the same love for The Economist and awesome coasters from bars. To my surprise, a few days later, I got some snail mail from her and look what I found inside! LOVE. Not only is this coaster mind-blowingly genius (we're huge nerds), I just love that she thought to mail it to me. Miss you Mandy! 

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Monday, March 31, 2014

Discovered: Club W

Hi, friends! I hope you all had a great weekend. I've worked two Sundays in a row but it's a small sacrifice for what's ahead of me this week: Wednesday (John Legend concert), Thursday (Disneyland!), Sunday (Brunch with Seattle friends!).

Image source:

So today, I wanted to share a subscription service that I am beyond excited about! Thanks to one of my friends Instagram-ing her bottle of wine and appropriately hashtagging (it's important, people!) where she got it from, I was lead to Club W.

Club W is a guilt-free, cancel-anytime, love it-or-return it place to try wine. The best part - well actually, parts,  is that it's shipped right to your door and the price is so reasonable. 3 bottles of wine per month for $39 (+$6 shipping <-- that's pretty cheap!) and you can always skip a month if you're financially in a bind or their selections aren't appealing. When you sign up, you answer 6 simple questions regarding your flavor preferences and boom, they give you 3 suggestions according to your 'Palate Profile'.

What I  about Club W:
♥ No commitment
♥ Video introduction and fact sheets for each wine
♥ Prefer reds? No problem, adjust your box preference to make it all reds...or all whites or 2:1 - whatever!
♥ Reasonable prices (You really can't beat $13 per bottle)
♥ Large selection (They aren't just California wines, the selection is very diverse!)
♥ App - the iPhone app is great and extremely functional. You almost don't need to visit their site.
♥ Skip a month - I always have wine start to pile up if I don't drink them timely so it's great to know I can skip!

Alright so really, isn't this an amazing deal? I selected 2 reds and 1 wine for my first shipment and I can hardly wait. They have the top sommelier/wine industry team as curators so it must be amazing. If you couldn't tell, I'm floored. It made my day. And I sure hope it does for one of you too!

This would make an amazing gift for anyone (..over the age of 21 :) ) including yourself! It's such a great way to try wine without being overwhelmed with the endless amount of varieties at a store.

If you click through this link, you'll get 1 free bottle in addition to the 3 you select! Or, use promo code 2936583 for your free bottle! 

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*This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. Promotional code provided through ClubW account. Please drink responsibly. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wine List: Toccata Dolcetto 2011

Hi, friends! I'm so excited to be posting my first bottle on my Wine List! Work, being sick and traveling had stalled my wine consumption this past week but I finally had some time to pop open a bottle last night. Please bear with me as I make little changes to my Wine List posts - it's going to very much be a progress until I think it's perfect. I had so much fun trying to take a good picture, writing in my new fabulous wine journal and pretending like I was a Sommelier. Read my disclaimer if you must but remember I am indeed not a Sommelier; I am studying it, I enjoy it leisurely and all opinions are my own.

Meet Dolcetto!

Fact Sheet:
Name: Dolcetto
Producer: Toccata / Lucas & Lewellen
Vintage: 2011
Appellation: Santa Barbara County, California
Price: $19.00
Where to buy: Online
Occasion: Casual

The first thing you notice when you pop open the bottle is the deep, bitter fragrance. Once it's in the glass and swirled, there's aromas of black current, dried bing cherries (ha, so specific!). The color isn't as red as I expected; an earthy, brown-ish red (see below). Definitely a light bodied, low sugar content table wine for dinner. Mild tannin. I personally think it's dry, but my liking towards red wines are of higher sugar content. Since their vines are from Northern Italy the varietal may be uncommon to most but I would say this is closest to a Pinot Noir.

Enjoy With: 
Pasta, chicken, lamb and dark chocolate.

Definitely a great wine with broader appeal. It's very well-rounded, approachable, perfect for the cute Italian dinners (after all, it is from Italy!) with chicken pasta and some garlic bread. Oh and would pair amazingly with some Tiramisu! I'm leaving it open in the kitchen overnight, which will make it soften up a little bit more, give it a fruity finish and develop that cherry flavor I smell. Considering it's fairly difficult (in my opinion) to find good wines in Southern California, Toccata/Lucas & Lewellen really does a great job.

Wine Girl Rating (for mid-priced reds): 7/10

Such a pretty color! Nail polish, please? 

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Monday, March 17, 2014

My Blog Revamped!

So as you can tell, my blog has been completely revamped! Goodbye, Deena Diaries!

The reason for this change is actually a number of things: 

1. I couldn't handle the pink anymore. Or the blog title. I've changed and outgrown the diary/pink phase and needed my blog to reflect that. 

2. I needed a 'category' other than just a 'lifestyle' blog. 

3. I want to take the blogging world a little more seriously other than just a place to talk about my weekend. 

So. I thought long and hard about it for months before I contacted Aubrey with my vision. 

The last few years, I entered the wine world and have been indulging in it quite a bit since moving to California. While it helps that Adam is knowledgable and shares the same passion for wine, I decided to take it a step further. I want to be the person people go to for wine advice. Not only that but my new long term goal is to become a certified SommeliĆ©r. I've accumulated quite the textbooks, flashcards, audio books and wine magazine subscriptions for my studies. 

I definitely want to keep this blog lifestyle-esque, but I'm also going to be concentrating on making it wine and travel based. So many of my blogger friends are fashion and beauty based and I love that! I share that passion but I'm not fashion forward enough to execute a successful blog. Wine is my thing. 

I'm really hoping to excel in the blog world this way with my somewhat unique content. I know wine and/or travel isn't for everyone but I feel like anyone that is interested will love it :)  I'm very excited!

Any wine I introduce will be up on the Wine List tab. Yay! Cheers! 

Thank you to Aubrey and my best friend Mandy for helping me make this blog possible! 

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Monday, March 10, 2014

Motivational Monday!

I've been feeling a little off about a ton of things lately. While I'm not a huge believer in astrology, maybe this Mercury Retrograde thing is real? I actually have no idea; just have been feeling odd in basically every aspect of my life.

First of all, I haven't been as unhealthy as I have been in the past but I certainly haven't been good about working out or passing up on the junk food we get in the hotel. I also haven't been that motivated about starting my Master's program after the excitement of being accepted. Even with work, I know I need to get out there and do more but I'm so exhausted from the several dramas of February. There's definitely something going on in my personal life too which I won't share here but gosh - what's going on with me?!

So naturally (obvi), I go onto Pinterest before bed looking for some motivation. Apart from food and travel, I think my quote board is the largest. I'm such a sucker for good words to live by!

Don't you just love what I found? Is this from the Wolf of Wallstreet?

It's such a great quote because it's so freaking true. Whether it's a long or short term goal, I think we all do this, no?

Hoping this motivates me a little to shake off all this 'oddness' happening within me.

Happy Monday, everyone! Have a great week!

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Travel Tuesday : 2014 Schedule

Hi friends & family! I know I've been M.I.A for quite a bit. Work has been absolutely insane this past month and it's finally dwindling down. It's a great problem for someone that works at a hotel but it's also very exhausting. Not to mention my coordinator is on vacation!

Speaking of vacation, a ton of travel will start up again for me and I'm so excited to share my travel schedule. My friends and family always ask me where I'll be traveling this year and I finally have a solid list. Here goes!

February - Napa, CA

March - Seattle, WA

April - Disneyland (that's local, I suppose but it's still exciting!)  &  Las Vegas, NV

May - Washington, D.C 

June - Detroit, MI  &  Portland, OR

July - Boston, MA  &  New York City, NY 

August - Seattle, WA

September - Napa, CA

November - Maui, HI

 I am beyond excited. A few of them are weddings that I'm attending so that makes it extra special, spending time with my closest friends that I haven't seen in so long! I'm thinking I really need to invest in a nice camera - I'm so content with my iphone camera for the most part and I never think about it.....but I think I need to start doing some research!

In other news, I was thinking about buying a pygmy hedgehog. Guess what? It's illegal in the State of California to have one as a pet. WHAT? #mindblown #inasupersadway :(

In happy news though, my blog is in transition to something amazing. My blogger designer, Aubrey Kinch is in the process of creating something beautiful for my soon-to-be new blog. I can't wait. If you don't already know who she is, check her out - she's amazing. Happily went back to her for a redesign and always will!

Have a great rest of the week everyone! Happy travels!

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