Someday, Someday, Maybe, I’ll Visit San Francisco

Two months ago I moved into my sweet little condo and a couple weeks later I had friends over to celebrate. I am a HUGE fan of the band, Train, and one of my friends brought me a bottle of wine from their winery, Save Me San Francisco Wine Co. It happened to be one of my favorite types of wine, Sauvignon Blanc – Bulletproof Picasso Sauvignon Blanc, to be exact (named after their most recent album). I was ecstatic, so naturally I had to find a fun book to drink with my new wine!

As an avid fan of Gilmore Girls, I have been following the updates on the new season (coming to Netflix later this year) with the utmost fervor.  So when searching through my extensive “To Read” list to find a title to pair with my new wine, I instantly gravitated to Someday, Someday, Maybe by none other than Lauren Graham (aka Lorelai Gilmore)!

Both my book and wine choice incorporated my tastes in music and TV.  I love when that happens.  It promised to be a perfect combination.  And it was.

After struggling to finish a memoir that I had lost interest in (more on that in a later post), I decided to abandon the book and craved a fiction piece (and subsequent wine) that was light and would catch my attention immediately. Someday, Someday, Maybe was that book. And Bulletproof Picasso was that wine. Both did exactly what I wanted them to.  The combination got me out of my book funk and re-launched my love of reading with blazing intensity.

I say this often in my posts, but I enjoy characters that are relatable and could be someone you meet on the street.  But what I LOVE more, are relatable characters with wit, eccentricities, and big hearts. Lauren Graham’s main character, Franny, has all of those qualities and more. The book follows Franny, a struggling, young actress trying to keep it together and get ahead in her career.  Taking place in NYC, Graham focuses on following your dreams and allowing yourself to hope for “someday”.

It’s January 1995, and Franny Banks has just six months left of the three-year deadline she set for herself when she came to New York, dreaming of Broadway and doing “important” work. But all she has to show for her efforts so far is a part in an ad for ugly Christmas sweaters, and a gig waiting tables at a comedy club. Her roommates―her best friend Jane, and Dan, an aspiring sci-fi writer―are supportive, yet Franny knows a two-person fan club doesn’t exactly count as success. Everyone tells her she needs a backup plan, and though she can almost picture moving back home and settling down with her perfectly nice ex-boyfriend, she’s not ready to give up on her goal of having a career like her idols Diane Keaton and Meryl Streep. Not just yet. But while she dreams of filling their shoes, in the meantime, she’d happily settle for a speaking part in almost anything—and finding a hair product combination that works.

Everything is riding on the upcoming showcase for her acting class, where she’ll finally have a chance to perform for people who could actually hire her. And she can’t let herself be distracted by James Franklin, a notorious flirt and the most successful actor in her class, even though he’s suddenly started paying attention. Meanwhile, her bank account is rapidly dwindling, her father wants her to come home, and her agent doesn’t return her calls. But for some reason, she keeps believing that she just might get what she came for.

Someday, Someday, Maybe is a story about hopes and dreams, being young in a city, and wanting something deeply, madly, desperately. It’s about finding love, finding yourself, and perhaps most difficult of all in New York City, finding an acting job.

-Penguin Random House

As for the wine, if you love a crisp, dry white.  This is definitely a bottle you need to pick up.  I am a huge fan of wine that is fermented in stainless steel barrels, versus Oak.  I love a good crisp, tart, dry wine. And Bulletproof Picasso has all three of my favorite wine characteristics.

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Both the wine and the book are fun, light, and refreshing.  Graham’s writing is charming, eloquent, and funny.  It’s perfectly matched with Bulletproof Picasso. If you are looking for a great book to read outside on a warm spring day while sipping a delightfully chilled glass of white wine, definitely check out Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham and Bulletproof Picasso Sauvignon Blanc from Save Me San Francisco Wine Co!

 

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Life, Lemons, and Italy

I have been extremely negligent with my blog posting.  I could come up with a million excuses as to why I haven’t posted.  But my readers (and I) deserve the truth. The truth is that the last couple of months have been hard and I haven’t felt like myself.

Writing words and posting them online for people to openly reject is a difficult concept to grasp at times. Mix that with anxiety and depression, as well as feeling like nothing I do or write or say is ever enough, and your doubts will start to control you. Sometimes I don’t feel like I’m good enough. Sometimes I feel like I have failed as a writer, before I’ve even begun. Fear paralyzes you into losing sight of your dreams and not realizing your true potential.

Honestly, I’ve had enough of letting fear and anxiety control my life.

Why am I telling you all this? Because I’m not ashamed of suffering from anxiety and depression. It needs to be talked about and I will talk about it until I’m blue in the face because the silent power it has over me has been weighing me down for years. And I am tired of it. I am tired of letting fear and self-doubt control my every move, my every decision. My ah-ha moment came to me this weekend. I’ve spent so much time feeling alone, but the truth is, I am not.

As my 29th birthday approaches, I may not be where I thought I’d be at this age. But through all the ups and downs, the bad dates and failed relationships, the battles with depression and anxiety, my family and friends have been there through it all. I may be single, but I’m not alone. There are amazing people in my life that I’ve been truly blessed with every second of every day. They’ve made me realize that I am loved and cared for. For that I am forever grateful and blessed. I’m not going to lie; the last year especially has been hard, but it’s a journey and it’s a moment along the path I’m taking. For the first time in a long time, I feel this fresh, new beginning that’s longing to start. And after a while in the dark, I’m ready to embrace it. Everything I’ve gone through has made me a better person. I’m stronger, smarter, and more loving because of it. I am me. And I will never apologize for that. I finally love who I am and I’m blessed with so many people who care about and love me for me. That’s what’s most important. I can finally see that clearly and honestly, I’ve never felt happier or more hopeful.

So after my revelation, I picked up my pen again and resumed work on my second novel and I picked up my Kindle again and resumed reading. The book I chose couldn’t have been more perfect for the struggles I’ve been having. That’s the thing about books; they show up when you need them most.

The book I read, and literally just finished last night, was Italian for Beginners by Kristin Harmel. I’ve read two other books by Kristin Harmel (blog posts pending) that I have adored and shook me to my very core. I still think about the stories and how they’ve affected my life. Books affect me. I think that’s magical.

Aside from my strong desire to visit Italy, Italian for Beginners appealed to me in so many ways. The main character, Cat Connolly, is 34 and single. She is incapable of maintaining a healthy and loving relationship (hey, I know someone like that!). She seems to be in a rut when the reader meets her, however Cat doesn’t really see it yet. She reminisces about the summer she spent in Rome while in college and recalls how much she loved it and felt at peace there. At the suggestion of her father, sister, and work BFF, she plans to travel to Rome alone for one month. Through a series of unfortunate events, she ends up befriending a native Roman, Karina. Karina helps her see that she has been living so cautiously that she has never truly lived. Cat begins to follow her passion for photography, reconnects with estranged family, and meets amazing people who change her perception on what it truly means to live. By the end of the book, she has done a complete transformation into a woman who is confident, passionate, and loves herself for who she is.

I was able to relate to Cat on many levels. This relation was confirmed through a family member’s advice during my recent struggles, “You need to get out of your comfort zone and take a chance”. It’s true; I do. So did Cat. As she followed her passion for photography, I thought about my pen and how long my journals, notebooks, and computer screen have sat empty because I was too afraid. But I’m not afraid anymore.

Lately I’ve been super into lemons, which seems appropriate, since life has indeed handed me my fair share of lemons. But this time, I drank wine instead of lemonade, a delicious Sauvignon Blanc called Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy. It was the perfect pair to Italian for Beginners (even though the wine is made in New Zealand and not Italy). I made sure it was chilled prior to drinking it which made all the difference. It’s an excellent summer wine that I ordered through my Club W wine club. I will definitely be ordering a few more bottles this summer.

Cat and I both learned that life will always hand you lemons. But lemons aren’t always a bad thing. It’s what you do with those lemons that count. Personally, I like mine in wine form.

My Favorite Wine and Enjoying First Frost

I recently had the opportunity to travel to the Cayman Islands for work.  It was my first time in the Caribbean! I was working at the Cayman Cookout event, a food and wine festival that attracts some of the best chefs and wine makers in the world.  Enjoying the Caribbean during winter AND sampling some food and wine, all while staying at The Ritz?! I am one lucky girl. Aside from the memories of sandy beaches and sunshine, along with meeting famous chef Jose Andres, I left the Caymans with a favorite wine from Justin Winery.

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It was the best Sauvignon Blanc I’ve ever had.  Since I’ve been back in the states, no Sauv Blanc has even come to close to my love of this Justin wine.  Luckily I was able to find it on wine.com and ordered a bunch of bottles! It’s even available at a decent price! I’ve also found it at Gary’s Wine and Marketplace.  Can’t wait to pick up a couple of bottles this week! It’s even on sale!

Clearly I couldn’t just pair ANY book with my beloved Justin Sauvignon Blanc, so I chose the latest release from my favorite author, Sarah Addison Allen, First Frost.

Those who are familiar with Addison Allen’s work will recognize some beloved characters from one of her other novels, Garden Spells.

The Waverley sisters are back and faced with new challenges. With the impending first frost, the sisters are restless. Claire’s candy has become so successful that her magical garden cannot keep up with the popularity and demand of her magical candy.  She begins to fear that her magical ability isn’t really magic at all. Sydney’s daughter Bay falls in love for the first time and Sydney yearns to have another baby. As they prepare for the first frost celebration, tensions are high when a stranger enters Bascom with a very un-Waverley desire.

The Waverley sisters are probably two of my favorite characters in fiction. Reading stories that focus on their sisterly bond and their family dynamic is comfortable. I feel like I’m reading about two friends and that I’ve come to know their family and their idiosyncrasies. I really hope that this is not the last time Sarah Addison Allen writes about the Waverleys!

I would love to be invited to Claire and Sydney’s first frost party. I’d be sure to bring a bottle of Justin Wine with me!