Amanda Knox’s To-Do List

To-do ListI’m a news junkie — there I said it. Big news happens and immediately my heart starts pumping and I get that “news feeling.” Once a newsy — always a newsy. Years in a control room will do this to you. This is exactly what happened to me when the Amanda Knox verdict was read.  She was set free and cleared of murder charges. Whoa — no matter what your feeling on the case — it’s shocking.

Immediately I put myself in Amanda’s shoes — if I were being released from prison after four years…what would I want to do?  What did I miss? Who should I visit? How do you take all that in?  So I made a list of to-dos that Amanda Knox should consider:

1. Get an iPad: I tell everyone I know that it’s the thing that you don’t need but that you have to have! She should immediately download Angry Birds.

2. Get Twitter & Facebook accounts: Twitter was just a baby when Amanda Knox was first imprisoned and perhaps she had a Facebook page as a co-ed…but things have drastically changed in four years.

3. Catch up on Movies, TV & Music: Avatar, Betty White’s comeback, Michael Scott’s exit, Oprah’s farewell season, Modern Family, Mad Men, Anything on Food Network, Lady Gaga, Amy Winehouse.

4. Eat Foods You Can’t Get in Prison: Green tea, dark chocolate, Pop Chips (so delish,) Pinot Grigio (I had to.)

5. Update Wardrobe: Buy skinny jeans immediately. Read more

A Gratitude List

Have you ever started to feel sorry for yourself and gotten in a real funk? That happened to me this week and it’s so unlike me. I’m not an unhappy person! I’m usually very upbeat and spunky. I put other people in a good mood. So when I found myself slipping into a foul mood I stopped myself immediately. What’s my problem? I have so much to be grateful for!

1. My job: Just today I had a wonderful shoot at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx with the Medicine Hunter, Chris Kilham. Chris travels all over the world looking for medicinal plants and medicines. I joked with him today that being in the Garden with him was the closest I’d get to going to the Amazon with him. I’ve worked with Chris for nearly 3 years and have featured him here as a fellow list maker. Read more

A List of Spa Vacations

The wedding we went to this weekend was gorgeous.  The night before the nuptials a wicked storm rolled through New Paltz and cut out power to the entire town, including our hotel and the restaurant for the rehearsal dinner. What an adventure!  Luckily we got power back in time for dinner and the wedding the next day.

The ceremony and reception was at Mohonk Mountain House, which is absolutely breathtaking.  I highly recommend taking a trip to see it or stay there if you can. It’s very expensive but I think it would be a great experience. Read more

Gary Vaynerchuk’s Wine Collecting List

I’ve said it before — I only drink water, tea and wine. I still haven’t thrown my wine tasting party but I plan on doing it in the fall when all the summer craziness dies down. Jay and I belong to a wine club, which helps us out when we want to try something new.

Speaking of wine — I’ve had Gary Vaynerchuck guest post before — he’s a wacky wine guru and social media ninja.  If you want to know anything about either of those topics — Gary is your man. I have to confess that Pinot Grigio is still my go-to wine. I know, I know — Gary is going to yell at me again. But what can I say — I’m a creature of habit!

I’ve never thought about collecting wine as a hobby simply because I drink it too quickly to collect it. But it sounds cool enough. Here’s Gary’s list for collecting vintage wines.

  • Wine collecting is one of the most profitable ways to invest. If you buy at the right time, there’s some serious return if you hold on to some of the most highly collectible wines out there.
  • If you’re keeping wine for the long term, it’s absolutely imperative to keep the wines in a cellar environment (55 degrees Fahrenheit and 75% humidity). When you’re reselling wine, the location where it was stored makes or breaks the value.
  • What makes a wine collectible? Pedigree of winery/vineyards, score, and vintage.
  • If you’re cellaring for yourself instead of pure investment, know what you like! It’s the most crucial point to enjoying wine, just like food. Don’t be ashamed if you like sweeter wines or only like whites. There are a ton of great and age worthy wines in other categories than reds.
  • It’s always a good idea to include ‘cellar defenders’, that is nice wines that can be drunk on the shorter term and will also save some of the most prized bottles in your collection if you have guests over. No need to open up that bottle of ’82 Lafite when you can have a drink now Bordeaux!

Gary Vaynerchuk is the New York Times bestselling author of “Thank You Economy” and “Crush It.” He’s also the founder of DailyGrape.com where he tastes several wines a day and tells you exactly what he thinks! He also recently launched a DailyGrape app.

 

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Tips for Hosting a Wine and Cheese Tasting

Wine is one of my favorite beverages along with tea and water. Pinot Grigio is hands down my “go to” wine although wine guru Gary Vaynerchuk told me to get over myself and try new varietals. I’m trying Gary!

I’ve attended a few wine tasting parties thrown by my friend Danielle one of which was a brief intro to shiraz, it was a great night with some great wine. It’s always been a blast although I’m not sure we really learned much about wine even though we did fill out rating cards. I’d like to host my own this time so I turned to wine expert Wendy Crispell, who has designed and hosted many corporate and private events for NY celebrities, top business leaders and industry clients.

Hosting a Wine & Cheese Tasting

by Wendy Crispell

As a wine and cheese professional I believe wine is something that should be accessible to everyone. Many people are intimidated by the vast selection, unknown varietals, labeling jargon and differences in price vs. quality. I’ve noticed that most will stick with an old standby rather than taking the chance on trying something new or different. Hosting your own tasting is a great way to try new wines, explore unknown regions and just have great fun with friends! Read more