bridging the gap

A few months ago, Catherine McCormick of CatherineGraceO asked me to be a part of a nationwide campaign to “bridge the gap” between millennial and midlife bloggers across the country. The aim was to break boundaries between age groups and bond over our similarities–which hint, there are lots!

I was fortunate enough to speak with Cynthia Lawson. And man she’s a beautiful soul! Incredibly positive, a loving mother and a handbag designer, she is a self-taught creative. Although it wasn’t until she brought her daughter to a modeling audition that she got the bug. Casting asked Cynthia to audition too, and thus began her modeling career. Being on sets helped shape her style which translated to growth her other career in pharmaceutical sales. Her regular offices noticed a shift in Cynthia; she was chic, confident and beaming! In her words:

Along the way I noticed how my job industry was obsessed with youth culture
and appearances. Not to mention if you were outdated or looked old you became invisible. My
mission over the last fifteen years has been to overcome this stereotype. Armed with fashion
magazines and the E network, I consistently noticed that woman like me were not represented.
It wasn't until 2009, that I discovered a hidden world of fashion blogs written by stylish women
of all ages. These soon became the fuel that I needed to bring out my true self. I started from
the top down and updated my look with a sleek new hairstyle. Girls a good hair style can
immediately update your look and take years away. I looked for the right style of clothing that
complimented my body type, and tried to become adventurous with my color palette. As I
looked at myself in the mirror I realized, I look younger now than I did fifteen years ago. The
style formula I created and continue to add to, has been the guiding light in my life and really
gave me a purpose.

Through her career shift, things began to blossom and she realized that people respond to how you dress. She’s not lying. As humans, we take stock of how people present themselves- are they laid-back, confident, polished etc. and in turn we make adjustments to how we introduce ourselves to said new face.

Through her time modeling, she came into her own and started to “dress for success”. I’m out here in LA doing the same thing! Playing into that game so to speak. Sure would I love to roll out of bed and arrive to an audition? Yes. But does an athlete just walk on the field without warming up? Appearance is the entree to acceptance Cynthia told me. I couldn’t agree more. You could have the best audition out there, but if there’s no effort for appearance there will be chatter. Dress for the role people! Go into that room and own it. Casting wants you to be the answer to their problem!

This conversation reinforced my belief that at the end of the day, regardless of the age gap and career choices, we all share a lot more in common with one another than differences. Both of us want to uplift and empower those around us while realizing that we first need to keep our mental game strong. By leading with openness (and a kick ass outfit to reflect that) we can encourage those around us to do the same.
So, I’m daring you again to chat with a stranger, acquaintance or colleague who is at least 20 years older than you- hopefully you’ll find that bridging the gap isn’t such a hard thing to do.
Cheers!

wine wednesday: street corn and chicken tacos

Who doesn’t love a good taco?? And tacobout a good wine pairing with a yummy chilled Grüner Veltliner. Corny I know.

…ok I’ll stop. BUT if you want a crowd pleasing, easy for parties set up, do a taco bar and grab a few bottles of GV. Corn is in season at the farmers market and cheap AF. Plus if you find the right ears, you won’t have to deal with adding those corn on the cob thingy’s–you know what I’m talking about right? That you stick on either end?? Corn skewers? Cob holders? Those things you forget are in your drawer until after you’ve eaten your cob? You get the point.

So it’s a date: chicken tacos, tomatillo salsa, guac, street corn and GV.

street corn

CORN/TACO TIPS

  1. IT’S ABOUT THE SLOW BURN: think about the corn like you’re trying to perfectly toast your marshmallow. You want to be turning the corn often, and if there’s a top rack, keep the corn up there once it’s about 80% done.
  2. SIMPLE SEASONING: Chef just used salt, pepper and dried oregano on the chicken breast. Add some chili powder if you want additional spice.
  3. HOMEMADE SALSA: it’s easier than you think! Char some tomatillos up, and combine with chopped white onions, jalapeños,  heirloom tomatoes, salt and pepper.
  4. SAME GOES FOR GUAC: add chopped onions, lime, cilantro and toms and s&p to season.
  5. SIMPLIFY STREET CORN: just head up butter and chili powder. Coat the corn with spicy butter and toss with grated parmesan cheese.
  6. BRING FLOSS: or toothpicks. Because no one likes stringy corn in their teeth.

LET’S A TACOABOUT WINE PAIRING

Grüner was an obvious choice for me because it’s usually a zesty, crisp glass of vino. Usually it has notes of lime, but goes down differently than a marg. And when choosing a Grüner aim to find an Austrian one. They’ll be nice and dry and less filling than a beer–perfect for a hot ass day. Oh, and don’t be scared of twist tops. Hello one less thing to worry about. And some of them might have a little bit of bubbly, who doesn’t like that?

Enjoy your Wednesday.

Cheers!

 

where to find rosé

Almost like an add on to the last rosé post, because the wine is made from all different grape varietals, it can come from anywhere wine is produced. Yes Provence is reigning Queen, but there are many different wine regions that are producing something in that vein but with their own twist. Dare I say a new place will take over Provence’s rule??

What I’m aiming at, is other rosés deserve recognition. You don’t have to go Provence or bust- there are plenty of other dry, mineral forward, crisp, hint of fruit (strawberry, raspberry, white peach, etc.), delicious choices out there!

yes way rosé

And I have two in mind that you should try:

La Spinetta Casanova Rosé

the palest of pinks, this one is a true crowdpleaser from one of Italy’s best and renowned winemakers!

Arnot-Roberts Rosé

super dry and perfect for the beach, this California rosé stands up to the best of the South of France!

 

CHEERS!!!

 

wine wednesday: burgundy

Before a certain anchor man tried to claim his spot as the top “Burgundy”, wine from this landlocked part of France claimed the highest of ratings. And while Mr. Burgundy can almost do no wrong, the whites and reds produced from this region are top-notch, world class, silky-smooth, and would n e v e r say “f you” to its hometown. In short, wine from Burgundy is kind of a big deal. And if you have never seen Anchorman, do yourself the favor. My joke attempts will make a lot more sense.

Anyyyyyway, back to the vino. Burgundy, also known as Bourgogne, is a narrow wine region known for some of the top wines in world. It is the birth place of the Pinot Noir grapes and home to some kick-ass Chardonnays.

the region

Like I said in the video, location is everything! The terroir (pronounced “tear-wah”) aka how a region’s terrain, soils, climate and winemaking practices affect the wine’s taste, plays a huge role for Burgundy wines.

map c/o the BVIB
map c/o the BVIB

There are five regions to note:

  1. CHABLIS
  2. CÔTES DE NUITS
  3. CÔTES DE BEAUNE
  4. CÔTE CHALONNAISE
  5. MÂCONNAIS

Believe it or not, the soil and temperatures vary enough that each of these regions produces wine that is uniquely theirs. More on buying tips per region below!

the grapes

burgundy-wine-grapes-chardonnay-pinot-noir
image c/o wine folly

WHITE BURGUNDY: 100% Chardonnay and mostly produced “unoaked” therefore giving a more crisp and clean taste for the drinker as opposed to the butter-bomb Chardonnays produced state-side.

RED BURGUNDY: 100% Pinot Noir and a difficult little grape to grow. Loves the climate and soil this region provides. As a result, Pinot’s are more earthy and floral.

CRÉMENT DE BOURGOGNE: A sparkling wine from the region that can be produced with both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes.

buying tips

When looking at a bottle of Burgundy, look for the specific region it’s from. My notes below will help you pick the bottle that suits your tastebuds.

From North to South:

  1. Chablis: amazing, high acid, bright Chardonnays. Mostly unoaked, but at the top Grand Cru level ($$$$$), some see aging in oak barrels.
  2. Côtes du Nuits: rustic, mushroom-y, earthy, tart berry, and spicy Pinot Noirs.
  3. Côtes de Beaune: richer, pear/apple, white flower Chardonnays. Some do see oak!
  4. Côtes Chalonnaise: plum, clove, dark berry, earthy Pinot Noirs that are usually less expensive, more of a “value” bottle. Also lots of lovely Créments come from this region!
  5. Mâconnais: stone fruit, citrus, zesty Chardonnay from this region, look for Pouilly-Fuisseé for the most value.

burgundy Wine picks

2014 Benjamin Leroux Chablis: well balanced, great mix of citrus and saline, nice and zesty. Not your mama’s Chardonnay! Around $15-$20.

2012 David Duband Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes de Nuits Louis Auguste: yes it’s a mouthful to say, but this is a rich and silky pinot. Dark cherry, touch of acid and around $30 which is a good value given the producer and vineyard location!

I’m Natalie Pelletier signing off from Burgundy! Let me know if you have any favorites from this region.

 

wine wednesday: côtes du rhône, france

As Fall weather starts to creep in everywhere else in the US besides LA, medium bodied reds are always a crowd pleaser. Most wines from the Côtes du Rhône region are red blend containing the varietals Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre. Usually the highest acclaimed CDR’s have the largest portion of the blend being Grenache; however, since up to 22 varietals are allowed in the blend, taste a bunch to figure out your own preference!

buying tips

cotes-du-rhone-labels
image c/o Wine Folly

It’s all about reading the label! There’s even a “Level 4” version of CDR wines called “Cru” and those are the most expensive, like Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Long story short, the more specific the label the more expensive the bottle.

cÔtes du Rhône pick

$: 2014 Caves du Fournalet Côtes du Rhône: medium-light body, notes of strawberry and raspberry light tannins, great with food and under $10 from Trader Joes.

$$: 2014 Domaine La Manarine Côtes du Rhône: tart cherry and a spicy finish, this is a fab under $20 pick that is a great step up palatte wise from the Caves du Fournalet.

Cheers!