A Spring-Themed Pocket Letter

I think this was one of my very favorite pocket letters to create. I wanted to make a spring-themed letter with lots of pinks and blues and florals. I made it as a birthday present (way more fun than a card, if I do say so myself!) and I absolutely LOVE how it turned out! What do you think?

I kept the top row minimal so all the focus would be on this adorable SPRING banner.

In case you’re curious, the supplies came from –
Dollar Tree – paper clips, baker’s twine, polka dot washi, mini clothes pin, silver alpha stickers
Target – scrapbook paper, craft paper alpha stickers, gold stickers
Cocoa Daisy – floral washi, stickers
Oui Fresh – green alpha stickers, banner die-cut
and goodies from pocket letters I receive – striped page flags

And those are pretty much my mainstays for ALL my pocket letter/paper crafting supplies.

Most of those places are super affordable, especially because I keep an eye out for sales. But I also try to find ways to incorporate free elements, too! The circles above were cut out of paint chip samples and “Take Note” was stamped on a piece of cardboard packaging.

Here’s a peek at  what I included in the back! If you’re stuck for ideas about goodies to include with your outgoing pocket letters, consider —
die-cuts
icon stickers
sticky notes
page flags
stickers
tea
journal cards
tags
folder tabs
sequins
washi samples
gift cards

And most importantly — don’t forget the actual letter! 

I also threw in a couple of note cards, another journal card, a magnet, fun paper clip, stencil, a couple book plates, and a bookmark I made with some leftover materials.

All ready to get tucked in an envelope! Bon Voyage, my little lovely! Time to brighten someone’s day. xoxo

What pocket letter theme should I tackle next? Leave your ideas below and I’ll be sure to post about any that I end up making! Wanna swap??? Let’s set it up! 

P.S. Looking for more PL inspiration? Check out A Pocket Letter How-To and How To Make a Pocket Letter with Cocoa Daisy!

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Review: Kitty Genovese by Kevin Cook

Kitty Genovese: The Murder, The Bystanders, The Crime That Changed America
by Kevin Cook

The story of the murder of Kitty Genovese is well-known by many. However, more urban legend than police blotter, the details of the story shift and change with each telling. Facts becoming murkier and then new research rising to the surface to make the waters of truth clear again.

Even folks for whom Kitty’s name was simply an answer on a Psych 101 exam can recount the basics of her demise: in the 60’s, a murderer stabbed a young woman in her 20’s over and over again as she walked home from a late night bar-shift. 38 bystanders watched from the windows of their Queens-New York apartments and did nothing to help her.

While Kevin Cook isn’t the first writer or scholar to sort through the details of Kitty’s case and posit that much of what we think we know, the story that exists within our public memory, is mostly contrived; Cook’s uncovering is so comprehensive that for me it completely changed what this murder meant in the context of life, and crime, in America.

Before reading this book I knew about the Kitty Genovese murder and the Bystander Effect. I didn’t expect it to unfold in the suspenseful manner I love when reading true-crime books. But Cook surprised me and managed to do just that. He peels back layer after layer of the crime we think we know, the assumptions we made about the urban human condition, and reveals new details at just the right moment.

The detail most often treated as fact in Genovese’s case is that 38 spectators were present while she died. Not acting, simply assuming that someone else would intervene. In fact, 38 came from the number of police interviews conducted at the scene of the crime. Not actual witnesses. Only a few folks heard Kitty’s screams and even less laid eyes on her in her final 20 minutes. The first-hand accounts of these few are revealed slowly within the book–the final encounter so heartbreaking and uplifting in equal measure. (It makes the whole book worth it so I won’t ruin it by revealing any details here.)

A few days after the tragic incident occurred, Winston Moseley confessed to the crime. But Moseley and Genovese aren’t the only key players Cook explores. Metro Editor of The New York Times, A.M. Rosenthal had a big part to play. After a meeting with the NYC police commissioner, Rosenthal took the 38 witness story and ran with it. And other media outlets around the world followed suit. Suddenly the crime became a viral sensation, inspiring a host of psychological and sociological studies. However, the most meaningful implication to all the publicity, in my opinion? The arrival of a 911 call system. Something that didn’t exist the night Kitty cried out for help.

Whether he knew the story would or not, Rosenthal struck a chord with Americans who were scared. Scared about the changing landscape of urban living, scared by new politics and ideas and neighbors so close who looked so different, scared because the assassination of their president was still so fresh in their minds. But he got his facts wrong. And, as a result, we all did too.

This book showed me that Kitty’s story isn’t about indifference or inaction on the part of bystanders. Quite the opposite. This true-crime tale is about our vulnerability towards stories that speak to our own preconceived notions. What each reader of Cook’s book does with this new information, is up to them.

Who should read this book – Anyone interested in true-crime, sociology, urban psychology, or how news media outlets and public consciousness interact.

Add to your list if you loved – Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery by Robert Kolker (which I talked about HERE.)

Other books by Kevin Cook – Electric October, Driven, and Titanic Thompson.

Two-Week Minimalist Meal Plan

Have a poke around Pinterest or a scroll through YouTube and you’ll soon find that there are a million and a half ways to meal plan.

Today, I’d like to talk about just one of them. This rather minimalist approach to meal planning involves selecting “default meals” for each dinner of the week. That way, when the 5 o’clock, “I’m too tired to think about what’s for dinner rolls around,” you’re already sorted. And because rotating through JUST seven dinners can feel a bit limiting for some, I thought it might be fun to explore the possibilities of a TWO-WEEK minimalist meal plan.

A few breakfast, snack, and lunch options for each week. 14 dinners. Sounds easy enough right? There are plenty of opportunities for substitutions and mild modifications to keep things interesting. And the best part? If you’re out for the night and won’t be preparing dinner — just skip that night’s dinner. You can pick it back up the next time the day rolls around.

Here’s what I came up with…

Week One –

Breakfast

At home (think-weekends): Greek yogurt bowls with banana, berries, and granola

On the run (think-week days): Green smoothies or toast with nut butter and fruit

 

Lunch

At home: Black bean quesadillas with avocado and fruit

Packed: Salad in a jar with whole wheat crackers

 

Snacks

Ants on a log, veggies with hummus, and “energy” date balls

 

Dinner

Monday: Chili and cornbread

Tuesday: Deconstructed cabbage rolls and steamed broccoli

Wednesday: Roast chicken (or rotisserie) and root veggies

Thursday: Pasta and salad

Friday: Tacos (or taco bowl) and corn (or corn chips with guac)

Saturday: Soup and garlic bread and salad

Sunday: Breakfast for dinner

 

Dessert

Daily treat: a couple squares from a bar of dark chocolate

Special treat: Banana “nice” cream

 

Week Two-

Breakfast

At home: Pancakes

On the run: Egg cups with fruit or apple cinnamon steel cut oats

 

Lunch

At home: Chicken salad over greens with fruit

Packed: Leftovers

 

Snacks

Fruit, roasted chickpeas, air-popped popcorn

 

Dinner

Monday: Thai food

Tuesday: Hummus tuna melt and steamed broccoli

Wednesday: Buffalo chicken nuggets and sweet potato tots

Thursday: Steak and roasted potatoes

Friday: Black bean burgers and fries and kale salad

Saturday: Homemade pizza

Sunday: Shop the pantry/fridge and throw something together!

 

Dessert

Daily treat: a couple squares from a bar of dark chocolate

Special treat: chocolate chip cookies

The above is an example of a Two-Week Minimalist Meal Plan that would work for me and my family. To create your own, think about the types of dinners you turn to time and time again. Which do you enjoy cooking? Which ones taste delicious at the end of a busy day? Happy meal planning!

Do any of you meal plan? Would you consider this minimalist approach?

mid-week round-up

What are you up to this week? I’m missing Louisiana already (we had an awesome time there last week!) and am still reeling over the book I finished on the plane ride home. Have you read it? Many of you mentioned on this post that you’d like to see me tackle more book posts on Finding Delight and I’m happy to oblige. I have a few reviews in the works and also an idea for an Introvert’s Book Club (would you like to hear more about that??). But while we’re on the subject, I’m happy to announce that the winner of the Spring Fling Giveaway is Katja of Katnapped.com. I’ll be in touch! Thanks to everyone for participating and keep an eye out for more giveaways round these parts. Ok, now that’s squared away, on to the links…

7 actions you can take to prevent gun violence.

Searching for memory of the Gulag’s in Putin’s Russia.

A brief history of presidential sex scandals.

Everyone knows clothes can be powerful communication tools, but can they help change the world?

What do you think of this color for spring?

How to make knotted hair ties. (Super cute & simple DIY!)

Has anyone followed The Artist’s Way program or read the book?

China cracks down on funeral strippers.

Pastel pink, bunny prints, and backpacks – OH MY! #EasterLewks

Faced with complaints of filth and blight, L.A. cracks down on overnight RV parking.

Elizabeth Catte on J.D. Vance, colonial logic, and the end of coal in the region that outsiders love to imagine but can’t seem to understand.

THE NOBLEST ART IS THAT OF MAKING OTHERS HAPPY.”

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — My Three Favorite Make-Ahead Breakfast Recipes and Books to Read if You’re in Search of a History Lesson.

Nine Activities to Break Up the Day When Working from Home

After I’ve worked from home for a few hours, I tend to get fed up with my surroundings, and need a change of scenery. You too? There are definitely benefits of having a place in your home that allows you to get shiz done. Whether you work for yourself, remotely, or hustle on the side. At the same time — when you wake up, punch the clock, and fall asleep ALL within a few steps of each other? It can get a little monotonous! So let’s talk about how to break up the day when you’re hard at work in your humble abode…

Stand Up Every Hour

To protect your lower back and improve circulation, stand up and stretch every hour. I use the Pomodoro app to set timers for work and when I need to peel myself out of my office chair. (I love a good power hour followed by a 15 minute break!) Oh, and if you’re feeling uninspired, use the time to get some fresh air (outside or open a window). The fresh oxygen is great for your body and brain! 

Coffee Break Around the Corner

Instead of having coffee at my desk, I like to take a walk to the ventanita up the street for a freshly brewed treat. Breaks like these give you something to look forward to when you are hitting a wall. Plus, motivating yourself with a coffee…or a healthy smoothie or a cupcake(!) or whatever treat might be close by is a great way to incentivize the big push you need to meet a looming deadline.

Check the News

Instead of checking the news on my computer or phone, getting a newspaper to flick through or flipping on the TV for a few minutes allows me stay tuned in to current events throughout the day. WITHOUT getting sucked into the inevitable internet rabbit holes.

Five Minute Yoga Routines

No matter how small your home office is, you can always find a spot to unroll a yoga mat! Look on YouTube for a few yoga stretching routines you can complete in five minutes or less. Bookmark your favorites so you can return to them whenever you need to stretch, restore your breathing, and energize. Your attention span will thank you!

Call Your Friend or Colleagues

For a complete break, return that phone call to your mom or give your friend a ring to hammer out weekend plans. Want to stay on task but still have an excuse to pace away from your desk? If you generally collaborate with your colleagues through email or Gchat, switch it up and call them instead. You can talk about the project you are working on, ask about the next steps, or simply clarify issues. 

Water the Flowers

One thing I really want to start getting more into is houseplants! And I’d like to keep up with their maintenance by choosing a set day and time to go around the house and tend to them. This would give me a short break, a reason to unchain myself from the desk/computer, and a sense of accomplishment. You can create your own schedule based on the watering and care needs of your plants. For example, Hawaiian flowers (my current obsession) need less water less often to stay healthy and bloom, while some houseplants need attention every day.  

Plan Your Office Redecoration

Feeling like your home office needs a reboot? Take some time to brainstorm how to improve your home office to suit your needs better. Think about the colors you want to use, the carpet, look for inspirational images and quotes, and think about ways of improving your lighting. You might even download an online app that allows you to design the perfect space online. Get ideas from blogs and magazines, and use your imagination. My current set-up is fine for now but I love daydreaming and planning for a future office overhaul! 

Complete a Mandala

While you might think that coloring is for kids, it is actually a super relaxing activity. You can print a mandala (for free!) and get your crayons or colored pencils out to complete and design it. Sometimes when my work is feeling more monotonous than creative (think: spreadsheets and analytics), I like to bust out the art supplies for a little bit to break up the monotony. 

Watch Funny Videos

For some fun and energizing entertainment, save your favorite YouTube videos for when you need a pick-me-up. Get a collection saved on your desktop or bookmark bar, so you can access them when you need them.  A bit of laughter goes a long way. It will help you release stress  so you can carry on with your daily work more focused and motivated. I’m starting a new playlist for this very purpose! So far I’m feeling this one and this one.
LEAVE ME LINKS TO YOUR FAVORITE FUNNY VIDEOS IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! 

Thanks so much for reading, friends! Happy working (and breaking!!) ❤

Spring into Style with a Fashion Refresh!

Spring is in the air, the sun is peeking out from behind the clouds and the warmth we’ve been waiting for is barreling in. Brighter and longer days means our moods are lifted. But it also means we might be considering a fashion refresh. Winter has a way of lulling us into a fashion monotony. Jeans, sweaters, boots. Rinse and repeat. Hair in a top knot or shoved in a toboggan. Black, black, maybe some brown or navy…and MORE BLACK. Sound familiar? But now Spring has SPRUNG. So what can you do to SPRING into STYLE?

Think about a capsule wardrobe

One of the first things to consider is a popular topic here on this blog — the capsule wardrobe. Capsule wardrobes simplify your wardrobe and can accommodate all aspects of your style. It may seem counter-intuitive, but by simplifying your choices, you actually become MORE adventurous in what you wear. Because of the limited options you start to combine different pieces to create new outfits and looks. Rather than repeat the same refrain over and over again.

HOW TO CREATE A WORK CAPSULE WARDROBE FOR SPRING

Add some color to your wardrobe

Another thing you can consider? Adding color! If color is normally something you shy away from you can still inject some of the trend into your wardrobe choices by choosing to get colorful with shoes or accessories. This is really on trend for Spring anyway.  So, you can get creative with your outfit additions without pushing yourself too much out of your comfort zone.

THE ROY G. BIV OF SPRING SHOES

What about the jewelry?

Jewelry is another way to really transform an outfit. For example, one statement necklace will completely change the look of a plain t-shirt. Websites like animalkingdomjewelry.com are a great place to look for some inspiration. Their animal-themed pieces are a great way to add a touch of whimsy to any outfit. But there are lots of other options out there! You could even make your own piece of jewelry! Great conversation starter. 

DIY: CHALKBOARD NECKLACE

Add some protection

One thing to remember at this time of year is to dress your skin. Not literally in clothes but with SPF protection! You are more likely to have a little bit more skin on show at this time of year, and there is nothing wrong with that, but that also means you need to add some sunscreen to keep your skin protected from harmful UV rays. Plus this will help you avoid burning and strange red tan lines — a fashion choice I’m unfortunately all too familiar with. (But not this year! I promise!!!) 

MY TOP 10 SKIN CARE STAPLES

Give your feet some love

At this time of year, you are bound to start ditching the boots and socks in favor of your favorite flats and sandals. However, are your feet ready for the exposure? The truth is, we may have neglected our feet a little during the winter months and they could need a little pampering to get ready for sandal season. Book yourself in for a pedicure (or perform one at home!). Buffing the hard skin and giving your nails a fresh coat of polish can make you feel fabulous and certainly ready to rock the sandals.

8 NECESSITIES FOR LONG HIKING TRIPS — including foot care!

Change your hairstyle

If you’re like me, you love long hair in the winter. But as soon as the weather starts to warm up you find yourself itching to chop it all off. Or you’re on the other end of the spectrum with shorter hair and want to invest in extensions for the summer season ahead. A quick look at Pinterest.com should highlight some hairstyle options you might want to consider. You might even want to try out a color change. Be daring! After all, it’s a whole new season.

IRRESISTIBLE ME HAIR EXTENSION REVIEW 

Try something different

Finally, why not use the season change as a prime time to try something different. Maybe you want to do something different with your makeup… Try out a technique like contouring or a smokey eye. There are plenty of YouTube tutorial videos out there. Admittedly, lots with more day-to-day looks than the ones in the post below, haha!

CREATING COSTUME MAKEUP MASTERPIECES!

Do you guys have any other fashion refresh tips to share? 

Focus Your Mind For Improved Concentration

*This post may contain affiliate links.*

Do you find your attention span is faltering? Don’t worry; you’re not alone. In fact, some studies show that our minds have taken quite a hit thanks to the plugged-in, tech-focused society of today. We are so reliant on technology that we start to forget to tap into the hard-drive in our head. We lose focus, forever seeking out new stimuli on our screens.

Do you want to improve your focus and get your concentration back up to scratch? If this is something you want to work on, here are some great tips to help improve your memory and make mental tasks a whole let easier to handle…

Treat Your Mind Like A Muscle

When your workout is focused on a particular muscle, what do you do? You select a movement or lift a weight a certain number of reps, right? You use repetition. This is the same approach you can use with your mind–repetition. By repeating the same activity you will stimulate your synapses. Over time, you’ll act out these simulations quicker and more efficiently. So, for instance, if you want to try and improve your focus by carrying out sudoku puzzles, you need to do at least one a day. When you are quite capable of the easy ones, you can start doing ones that are medium-difficulty. Then move up to two a day, and so on.

You Need To Feed It Well

Your brain is part of your body, so it relies on the food that you eat on a daily basis. You are what you eat, and that means that your brain is what you eat as well! So, you need to make sure that your diet includes food your brain needs to function well. There are certain foods packed full of nutrients that can help your brain thrive and flourish. Blueberries, salmon, and avocados contain the vitamins and minerals that help to focus your brain and improve its function. You might also want to take daily supplements that can help as well. KetoMCT c8 oil helps focus the mind, and you can mix it right into your morning coffee. A daily supplement of omega 3 fatty acids, especially if you aren’t a fan of fish, can also give your brain a boost.

Work On It Gradually

You can’t start to work on your focus and expect things to click into place straight away. Remember that you need to treat your brain like a muscle, and the development of muscles can be slow and months may pass before things take effect. So, don’t get frustrated if you don’t notice any results after a couple of weeks. Remain proactive with your brain training. You should start to slowly feel an improvement in your focus, mental ability, and concentration after a couple of months. Keep working on it, and you will be able to improve your mind even further!

Try Out Mindfulness

If you find it quite difficult to manage negative emotions and feelings, you might find that these get in the way of focus and concentration. In these instances – try practicing mindfulness. This is a method of meditation that helps to put you back in control of your thoughts and feelings. As you continue to practice this thought technique, you will also discover that it can help improve your concentration. There are lots of apps  aimed at beginners, such as Headspace. All you need to do is pop your headphones in, turn on the app, close your eyes, and then follow the spoken instructions.

Keep It Interested

If your mind ever gets bored, you will find it can be very difficult to concentrate and focus on the tasks at hand. So, one of the easiest ways to give your mind’s focus a little boost is to do something interesting. It needs to be a compelling activity that interests you and will keep you engaged. If you enjoy reading, you might want to start reading more. If you are more artistic, than you could try writing stories or getting outside with a camera to capture some gorgeous photos

Focus On Physical Health

You should also remember to consider your physical health. A healthy body will help to keep your mind healthy. Have you ever noticed that when you’re feeling unfit or not as healthy as you’d like to be, you lack focus? So, if you think it’s time to get back to the gym or to start running longer distances, why not get started sooner rather than later? That way, you will find that you can get your mind back in shape, too! 

I want to hear from you! Do you have a specific way you keep your brain healthy? If you do – let’s hear it! Tell us in the comments so we can try it, too! 

mid-week round-up

Hello from Louisiana! Chet and I are spending the next few days in his hometown. We were happy to escape Miami for a few days (Spring Break is pretty lit for those traveling in but not so much for those who always reside there, if ya catch my drift!) Today, we’ve already eaten here and seen some art by an acclaimed animator. But I wanted to pop on and say “Hi!” and post a few links for your Wednesday. Hope y’all are having a great week, now get to clickin’…

The last conversation you’ll need to have about eating right.

This French Instagram profile is not what you think it is.

15 things every woman should own.

The tuberculosis hospital that treated America’s Vaudeville stars.

A whole lotta Whole 30 meal inspiration.

OOGA BOO

My cat needs this 2-story home.

These pineapple coconut muffins look delicious (and so tropical!).

70 movies you have to watch by the time you’re 30.

Who was she? A DNA test only opened new mysteries.

Back when Pizza Hut was an experience.

5 tips for a budget-friendly bathroom revamp.

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — 30 Boredom Buster When You’re Ballin’ on a Budget and Testing the Amazing, Multi-Purpose Powers of Witch Hazel.

How to Beat the Monday Blues

Friday: a day for jubilation, relief, and anticipation for the weekend. For those of us who work all week, Friday can’t come soon enough!

Monday: a day to ask yourself one important question: where did the weekend go? For those of us who work all week, Monday comes around again far too quickly. Bah!

Yes, it’s those Monday morning blues! Studies show, above all other days, Mondays can bring about feelings of depression, stress, and anxiety issues. Just the mere thought of a Monday can ruin our weekends… how can we relax when we know it’s coming? Well, fret not as I’m here to help. Coincidentally writing this on a Monday (so obvi I’m writing from a place of experience, lol), here are some tips to help you get over those dreadful blues:

  1. Make the most of your weekends. We often bemoan the fact we haven’t had time to do everything we wanted, but chances are this is your own fault. Even though weekends are supposed to be about relaxation and enjoyment, that doesn’t mean planning goes out the window! A little forethought goes a long way. Stop spending the day in your pajamas – unless that’s your ultimate weekend goal – and plan out what you’d like to do during the two days you have off from work. Start checking things off the list! (Related: How to prioritize your passions.) Then, when Monday does finally roll around (far too soon!), you will at least have some satisfaction that you made the most of your limited time off!
  2. Make Monday fun. Okay, so you have to go to work! That sucks (even if you love your job–they call it work for a reason!), but Monday can be fun too. Plan to do something enjoyable every Monday, whether that’s a fancy lunch with your colleagues, a game night after work with your friends, or some other activity that will improve your mood when you get home in the evening. Even penciling in your favorite recipe on your meal plan or packing a treat in your lunchbox, small additions to your day, could have you looking forward to Mondays. Pretty soon, Monday will be the best day of the week – unlike those Terrible Tuesdays, Weary Wednesdays, and Turgid Thursdays! (We’ll have to tackle those in another post, lol.) 
  3. Get your sleep. Partying hard on a Friday or Saturday night is fine, but that shouldn’t be the case on a Sunday. You need your z’s to think and feel better when Monday morning finally arrives. You will feel better about the day after a good night’s sleep, and you will wake up refreshed, vibrant, and raring to go! And your clients and co-workers will thank you. No one likes a Grumpy Gus on Monday mornings…we’re all in this together!
  4. Streamline your morning. There is so much to do on a Monday morning – doing your hair, sorting out your makeup, choosing an outfit, and so on and so on. Such a drag! Still, you can take the muddle out of your morning with a few stress-free tips, giving you a fighting chance after the alarm clock has rung it’s miserable chimes.
  5. Improve your workspace. If your workspace gets you down, work out why it might be holding back your productivity and joy. If it’s feeling dull and lifeless, fill it up with personal items and colorful flowers. If you’re trapped in a place with little ventilation, grab yourself some green plants or an air purifier — read about the benefits suggested by Adam Kemp Fitness, they’re pretty convincing! If there is work piled up on your desk on a Monday morning, leaving your brain feeling cluttered, make a point to clear through work on Fridays (or at least give your desk a proper tidying before you leave for the weekend!). Your space won’t seem so miserable when you return.

Do you suffer from the Monday blues? How do you tackle saying goodbye to the weekend? Let us know in the comments below!

P.S. Bonus tip — Meal Planning for Beginners in 7 Easy Steps

Party Planning: Everything You’ll Need for a Wine Tasting Evening

*This post may contain affiliate links.*

When you’re a wine nerd, there’s one type of party that tops the rest: a wine tasting evening! Rather than heading out to an overpriced bar or vineyard hosting a tasting, you can recreate the experience for half the cost— without losing any of the fun.

If you like the idea of inviting a few friends over for a wine tasting evening, keep reading for everything you need to ensure the experience is as good as it can possibly be…

Go wild with wine varieties.

If you’re going to have a wine tasting evening, then you obviously need wines to taste, and variety is very much the spice of life. Opt for wines that you wouldn’t usually drink; you never know, you might just find a new favorite! A range of price points is also a good idea, though only spend more on wines you already know that you like. Experiment with cheaper options and then indulge your favorites as you progress through the price range. Once you’ve got your bottle collection, you can create the order you’ll taste them in using this helpful guideline:

Sparkling –> Dry Whites –> Heavier/Older Whites –> Rosés –>
Younger Light Reds –> Bold Reds –> Sweet Dessert Wines

Consider offering non-wine options, too!

A “wine tasting evening” doesn’t have to be just a wine tasting evening, especially if you want to include people who aren’t huge wine fans. If your knowledge of alcoholic beverages is lacking, then spend a little time browsing Alcohol Professor until you have ideas for additional options. If it’s within your budget, it’s nice to opt for a few unusual bottles. (Something your guests haven’t tried before.) Cointreau and other interesting liqueurs can help round the evening out nicely.

You should provide food.

Although the drinks will be the star of the show, you will need to provide some form of food. This is especially true if you and your guests intend to swallow, rather than spit, the beverages you’re going to sample. Carbs are a best bet for helping to absorb alcohol, while a sorbet is the perfect palate cleanser between glasses.

Teach your guests how to spit! 

Spitting is not the most delightful of topics, but it’s one that we need to touch on so strap in! Spittoons are standard at conventional wine tasting evenings, and you’ll want to think about introducing the same practice for your evening. If you don’t, there’s not a huge amount to distinguish the evening as a wine tasting — rather than a wine drinking — evening. Working at a wine shop means I’m always trying new wines! But because I’m usually “on the clock” for these tastings, spitting is a must. At first I was sort of embarrassed about this specific wine-custom but I’ve gotten used to it. If your guests have never spat wine before, then it’s worth considering playing this video before the party starts:

Think about how everyone will get home

Even with spitting implemented, it’s still best to encourage your guests to treat the evening as one where alcohol has been imbibed. When you issue your invitations, ensure your guests have plans to get home safely. Lyft is your friend, y’all!

Are you a wine nerd? Would you consider throwing a wine tasting evening (or have you already)? Any wine topics you’d like me to cover in a future post?