wine wednesday: valentine’s style

ROMEO + JULIET

BEY + J

ELEVEN + MIKE

NOAH + ALLIE

ROSE + JACK

SUE + DALE (my parents)

HARRY + SALLY

RACHEL + ROSS

CORY + TOPANGA

MITCHELL + CAMERON

COACH + TAMI

CLAIRE + JAMIE

PEANUT BUTTER + JELLY

WINE + ALL (ok most*) OCCASIONS

#couplegoals

It’s that time of year…when all of the CVS, Walgreens and corner stores are filled with red tinsel, metallic pink ribbons and huge bags of heart shaped candy (I like the crispy Palmer hearts FYI). But don’t fret those who are single or romantically engaged…

Yes there’s chocolates, love and lingerie but WINE- that’s the real gift that keeps on giving…handwritten cards too! Don’t forget those. Everyone’s (ok me!) a sucker for a good note.

Anywhoooo…whether you’re “celebrating” with a new lover, old flame, girlfriends, the guys or random strangers, WINE is the answer my loves. It’s a libation as old as time and has tested mannnny waters.

So grab a couple bottles and get happy! No need for tears this Tuesday (unless they’re caused from trying said delicious wine)

a classy sparkling rosé

Simply a must! My favorite right now is Contratto for England Rosé Pas Dosé.  It has delicate bubbles, a hint of sweetness you want from a rosé but finishes really clean and light.

 a giant bottle of bubbly

Not only does this bottle share my surname, but the PRICE!!! You guys it’s under $30 for a 1.5LTR of bubbly. A MAGNUM. Needless to say, I bought the bottle with no specific occasion to celebrate, but it’s vvvvvv appropriate for Valentines: everyone gets some if you’re with a group AND a power move for a power couple.

Any wine by Scribe

These guys know what they’re doing!!! I mean heck if you’re in Sonoma, take your date there and you can thank me later. Order a bottle of their Pinot Noir and you’ll be a god among your friends/lover.

la spinetta rosé

If sparkling rosé isn’t your thing- or even if you don’t think you’re a rosé drinker, I dare you to try this one. C’mon, don’t be shy! This Italian rosé drinks like a zesty mineral-y white with a kiss of strawberry. Think if a sexy one-piece clad Italian woman stepped out of the ocean and gave you a kiss…that’s this wine!

image c/o Faubourg Wines

2014 frog’s leap zinfandel

Zin’s get a bad rep these days, but this wine was one of the best surprises I tasted last year. It really wow’d me and undoubtedly will do the same for you. It’s elegant while still able to please those who like big Cabs- there’s a slight tartness from raspberry but it’s balanced out by the floral nose and notes of pepper on the palate.

frog’s leap winery in the fall…also a stellar date spot in Napa

enjoy your wine!!! be a true lover, and let me know your other Valentine’s Day go-tos. xoxo NP

*inappropriate scenarios:

-your little cousin’s first piano recital (drink AFTER because then you won’t laugh while she plays chopsticks)

-before a final interview (don’t be tempted before…it’ll taste so much better once you’re finished!)

-mile 1 of a marathon (no, just no)

holiday small talk

Things I love about the holidays:

  1. The food
  2. The booze
  3. The decorations
  4. The gifting
  5. The days where your fuzzy socks/pjs stay on all day
  6. The carols
  7. The friends and family I don’t see often enough

Things I dislike about the holidays:

  1. Catching up with certain friends/friends of friends/family and navigating how to present my life as a creative freelancers who acts, makes wine videos and writes a blog. It can be toughhhhhhhh.

As someone without the “normal” 9 to 5 who can highlight a promotion or change of departments etc. as success (although, luckily, there are lots of creative freelancers emerging at the moment) it can be seemingly difficult to explain what I do or even how I’ve grown. So what do you do??

Me: Grabs a glass of wine, throws on a smile and makes a b-line for awkward convos first so I can settle back with close family for the rest of the night.

Me to Me: Takes a bottle of wine, fat plate of apps and sits by the fire. Tells it my all secrets and avoids people at all costs.

Sooooo you don’t have to do either extreme- take to the “difficult” ones first, or hide. But here are a few things I’ve found helpful:

create your elevator pitch

I know I know, but it makes it a hell of a lot easier if you make a little semi-rehearsed speech. Bonus points for embellishing, everyone does it. And hey, you put it out in the world it might just come right back to you!

enjoy the little things

So you didn’t get a huge holiday bonus like your sister who works in finance, but you know what you did do as a creative?? Probably saw more of the world, reflected, became a better you. Savor that. Please and thank you. Everyday I try to express the gratitude I have- it’ll make it easier to chat with Aunt Lucy and Uncle Pete from Nebraska…wine helps with that too.

lean on your friends

If you’re lucky, some of these holiday parties will include your best friends. If so, buddy up and the build each other up while in conversation. You bet your ass I will brag about my best friends, and they’ll do the same. This tactic works best in front of your relative//family friend who thinks you need a Plan B. You don’t. You just need a fabulous support system. Said nay-sayer is not one of them, but brush that off.

smile

Personally it’s hard for me not to, especially after a couple glass, but for those with resting bitch face try it. I’m not trying to get all puppies and rainbows over here, but I shit you not, throw on a smile and hopefully it’ll access a more positive mindset. If you go in the party with a frown and shit attitude it’s hard to have an amazing time despite all the cocktails you’ll thrown back. But–if you slap on a smile, take a deep breath and try to find the fun in sharing your projects/success/set backs/hopes with the world, you just get the best gift of all: a surprising amount of love, support and kind words you never knew your family and friends had to share. YOU just have to open yourself up to the opportunity.

And on that note, I’m stepping off the apple box and dropping the mic. Enjoy all the festivities this season!! Sending my love your way and many thanks for reading and supporting my career.

Merry Merry!!

xoxo Natalie

 

 

shop small, give big!

Gift giving is one of my favorite things. In a sense, I do it selfishly because I love love love seeing my friend’s expression when they open their gift. If you’re like me, you’ve done some shopping-but still need to fill out the rest of your holiday presents. My guide below features gifts from some of my dear friends, all of whom are running their own companies. I am not only so proud of them, but they have fantastic products. I hope this makes your shopping a little easier, and more unique: shop small, give big!

allie logan boutique

Miss Allie Logan is not only a dear friend, but my future roommate and I cannot wait to host dinners with all her goods. She has created a curated home goods boutique that will take your entertaining to the next level. I love all of the etched glassware–hello bar cart up grade! And all of the handpainted Gorky dishes can make for an easy art display if not being used.

promouse the code SANTASLIST at checkout for free shipping. act fast! the offer only applies to the first 10 customers.

box fox

This is a one stop shopping destination! The talented ladies behind Box Fox have made it soooo easy to create a custom gift box for anyone in your life- they have men’s products too! Think of it as an amped up Birchbox with notecards, candles, even spiced honey for the foodies in your life.

promo: use the code FREESHIP11 for free shipping on your first BOXFOX

cabi clothing

So I’m definitely biased because my mom sells this clothing line- but I kid you not, some of my favorite go-to pieces are cabi. What’s even more exciting, is this year you can shop with them online. Although if you do want to book a show in your home, invite over your ladies etc. my mom, Sue, will be happy to set that up!

promo: not sure how you want to dress for the various holiday parties coming up? or maybe you need some wardrobe staples- set up a free call with Sue by contacting her at suepelletier@comcast.net

#Hashtats

Started by Melinda of the Curated Cool, her temporary tattoos kick ass. Not only can they be applied on your skin, but I love how you can customize your phone case, laptop, flask etc. More tattoo designs will be up on her shop shortly, but feel free to email shop@curatedcool.com for more information

promo: buy 3 sets, get $3 off, buy 5 sets get $5 off, buy 10 sets, get $10 off. no promo code necessary!

Photos by Michelle Mishina Photography @mishinaphoto

my baby olive juice

I met Jody of My Baby Olive Juice last year when I took her intro to calligraphy class. While I’m by no means a pro- she is!! Her mugs will make your mornings brighter.

promo: use the code Natalie10 at checkout for 10% off your order! Expires Christmas Eve. 

the ripped bodice

Bea and Leah of The Ripped Bodice in Culver City have certainly decked out their store in holiday style. Their romance novel book store is one of a kind. Before this year, I had never read one–now I’m hooked! Pop in and don’t be scared to ask for help. They are super friendly and knowledgable. Great for secret santa gifts too!

brick and mortar location: 3806 Main St, Culver City, CA 90232

saor perfume

When Patty, founder of Saor, first introduced me to her scent I kept lifting my wrist back up to my nose to smell it. It’s such a yummy fragrance. It’s easy to travel with AND it’s oil based which makes the scent last all day. I also love her ode to Gaelic, SAOR means free.

skatie swim

I am in love with these suits. Plus, Skatie created lots of designs to fit all body types. They are all hand made in LA and made from designers overstock of fabric. So not only are they chic, but eco-friendly!

promo: take 15% off your first order with the code MerryChristmas

trussedFun’d

When I first looked at trussedfun’d’s collection I wanted everything- and for all my friend’s birthdays to be approaching so I could give them a piece too. Designs are handmade in LA with love.

promo: take 10% off your order plus free shipping with code FRECKLELOVE offer expires 12/19. email trussedfund@gmail.com or visit their instagram for full selection of jewelry!