Travel Diary: Napa River Inn

Travel Diary: Napa River Inn

Napa Valley. Those two words make wine people very happy. Vineyards, trellis, food, grapes, hills, and don’t forget the wine. Downtown Napa is going through a revival and it is great to witness. The Napa River Inn located at the historic Napa Mill is a quaint and intimate hotel with is in walking distance of shops, restaurants, and the famous Oxbow Public Market.

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Let’s Make Way for Rosé Weather

Let’s Make Way for Rosé Weather

Rosé. The word can add joy to your lips or make you roll your eyes. It’s almost the time of year where rosé will be everywhere. Here’s looking at you spring and summer. I know you are there. It certainly is spring in Louisiana right now.I enjoy a good rose, crisp, and has depth. It has to pair well with lighter summer foods, but doesn’t need to be so weak and lacking that it tastes like pink-colored water. I am not a rosé just to drink rosé drinker. If there is no structure or complexity you can keep it. Yeah, I’m a wine snob like that and I can admit it.

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pixi + Caroline Hirons

pixi + Caroline Hirons

pixi + Caroline Hirons Double Cleanse. If you are a skincare junkie and not following Caroline Hirons on Instagram, do you beauty self a favor and go follow her now. She is so funny, smart, and has that lovely British accent that has me swooning over all the skincare products she writes about. I follow very few beauty blogs these days since I’m not an exclusive beauty blogger anymore, but I love everything she writes about. Although, I’m not going crazy like I used to I am still a beauty girl at art. 

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February Reading List

February Reading List

I decided to showcase this month's reading list at the first of the month instead of the end. I realized I needed to put my book reading on a schedule this month. This may not work moving forward, but I will let you know. If you use the library to check out e-books you know the dilemma. You put your name on the hold list and then all of a sudden all your books come in at the same time which means you can’t turn the wi-fi on your Kindle because you still haven’t finished the other 3 you downloaded. 

So here is what I plan on reading for February. I’m sure I will throw a few extra in the mix. 

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Wine Wednesday: Valdivieso Wines from Chile

Wine Wednesday: Valdivieso Wines from Chile

Chile, one of the great wine regions of the new world produces beautiful and delicious wines. My team was recently invited to meet with Valdivieso winemaker Brett Jackson and to learn more about their wines. Jai gives a beautiful story on the wines. Enjoy. 

"Walking into Iron Gate takes your breath away as wrought iron, dark wood, and soft lighting greets diners as they arrive. Yet on this particular day, a select group met with Valdivieso winemaker Brett Jackson.

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Beauty Duty: Bite Beauty Matte Lip Crayon in Fraise

Beauty Duty: Bite Beauty Matte Lip Crayon in Fraise

The one thing about Instagram I love is finding all the beauty girls. I fell hard for Sarah James of Whoorl years ago. My friend Erika put me on to her. She was then living in California, but now in Oklahoma City so in my mind she’s so close to Texas which makes her a Southern girl to me. Over the past few years, Whoorl has been focusing on greening her beauty routine. She posted a quick video on Instagram regarding her love of Bite Beauty and their Matte Lip Crayons.

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Wine Review: Troon Vineyard

Wine Review: Troon Vineyard

I get asked one question a lot. Do you enjoy all the wines you taste? The truth is no. Yes, there are bad wines. But, the wines I tend to buy to cellar and drink have been good. I like to think there are some I could drink for the rest of my life. The ones that if I had all the money in the world I would cellar as many as I possibly could. In order to taste better, you have to taste a lot. There are wines I come back to over and over again. It’s like I can’t get enough. Troon Wines are wines I often recommend and if you can get your hands on their Malbec you will be shocked it’s made in Oregon and not Argentina. 

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Beauty Friday: Bergdorf Goodman Spring Beauty

Bergdorf Goodman Beauty

It's time that stores are thinking about spring beauty and it's definitely on my radar. I have been using the fall and the spring to really get exactly what I need in terms of major beauty purchases. Bergdorf Goodman's Be Beautiful Gift is here. This is the perfect time for me to replenish my Memo African Leather scent and grab a refill of my AERIN Rose Lip Balm

Beauty Friday: IT Cosmetics Superhero Palette

Beauty Friday: IT Superhero Palette

Beauty Friday: IT Superhero Palette

Welcome, Michele y'all. Michele and I became fast friends a few years ago and when I decided I needed a beauty intern, so I could focus on other lifestyle writing I went to her first. Michele and I will be bringing the beauty every Friday. She's a beauty girl like moi and is a great person to have on the team. 

What’s there to say; this palette is a dream. All the colors you need to do any makeup look from day to night. The colors are pigmented, very blendable, and a good eyeshadow base. The bases are the three eye foundation shades at the top of the palette.  They create a flawless canvas, and make applying the eyeshadows a dream and blending easy. 

There is some fall out when applying so, pressing or tapping eyeshadows are recommended. This is now my every day and night time palette.

Michele 

 

Travel Radar: Paris Cocktail Week

Paris Cocktail Week

Who knew Paris had a cocktail week? Paris Cocktail Week starts Saturday and I am so excited. Although I am not able to attend, I am so glad to not be in D.C. during the joke of a weekend. The City of Lights is known for many things and I’m excited to see what bartenders and mixologists come up with for the week. This is definitely on my radar for 2018. My favorite wine bar in Paris, Lavinia, is participating and I can’t wait to stalk their Instagram to see what they create for the occasion.

Wines of Tunisia

Wines of Tunisia

I'm talking Tunisia for this #WineWednesday. Most people can’t find it on a map or why it should be of interest to the wine world, but it should. Tunisia is located in North Africa and is bordered by Libya, Algeria, and the Mediterranean Sea. This climate along with the sea air allows for this smallest country in North Africa to produce some exceptional wines. I had the opportunity to taste a few of Tunisian wines at the Tunisian Ambassador’s Residence and my mind was eager to understand the wine and my palette eager to taste.

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Savannah: Where to Eat, What to Do, and Where to Slumber

Savannah: Where to Eat, What to Do, and Where to Slumber

Savannah doesn’t always get its do. It’s a city that deserves repeat visits to discover the city, the culture, the food, and yourself. The city goes beyond quaint and charming. Yes, it is both of those, but it’s also hip and at times eclectic. Like many cities, the fun happiest in downtown and on my next visit I plan to explore the outskirts to see what that area has going on as well. 

My home base was The Marshall House considered one of the best historic homes in the U.S. It’s part of the historic homes of Savannah and due to the location is a perfect place to stay and explore historic Savannah. The city is known for their historic bed and breakfasts homes and with the influx of new hotels from Andaz and Kimpton, the city is definitely changing.

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Beauty Duty: The Best Hand Cream You Will Ever Use

Order these before they sell out. They always sell out.

Order these before they sell out. They always sell out.

It’s been a long time since I wrote about a beauty product that I want you to have, but I can’t keep it to myself. It’s not new, but it’s the best hand cream you will ever use. I mean, it’s good. It’s really, really good. Like supa dupe fly good and you may want to play a Missy Elliott song while using it. I discovered it last year and it’s the only hand cream I have used this year. I keep one in my car, one in my bag, and one in my travel suitcase. I’m addicted. 

Clarins Hand and Nail Treatment Cream is everything. I wash my hands a lot and this cream is (1) not greasy, (2) moisturizing, (3) heals minor cuts and scrapes, and (4) softens your hands. I don’t buy the large size. I buy the 3-pack from Nordstrom every winter and stock up for the year. In Europe last year Clarins released the hand cream in various scents and now it’s available stateside and I didn’t have to pay an exorbitant amount on Ebay. I guarantee once you smell the fig scent you will be like me and begging Clarins to make it a staple. I sometimes put it on my hands and inhale just to smell the soft scent. It’s not overpowering, but trust me it works if you are on a plane and your seatmate smells like an ashtray.  

To Savannah: A Love Letter

Savannah, Georgia

I didn’t plan to fall in love with Savannah. I had always wanted to visit, but it was somewhere over there, on a travel list far away. It was on the list, but it wasn’t high on the list. Foolish girl. Savannah, I love you.

I arrived in Savannah on a direct flight from Baltimore on Allegiant Air. I don’t normally travel on budget airlines, but the Allegiant flight surprised me. The staff was great, plane clean, and for someone who hates to fly - a decent flight. Savannah is only an hour and a half flight from me and now there is no reason I can’t visit more often. When I visited, Savannah was recovering from a hurricane and although there was debris in many of the streets and squares the city was up and running. Their resilience and pride were evident in every shop, restaurant, and cafe I visited. 

Savannah, like most southern states, has a past steeped in racism, but they own it. The history is evident everywhere in Savanna, but instead of acting like it never happened they honor it. I was honored to discover Savannah’s history (one of my favorite subjects) and thankful that I was able to see it in person. I’m looking for more books on the true history of Savannah, so if you know of any please leave in the comments.

The way I like to visit a city is through food and culture and preferably on foot. Savannah is a walking city. The squares are to be explored on foot to stop, maybe take a seat, and take it all in. It’s easy to get around and I suggest not renting a car unless you plan to visit Tybee Island. I took a walking architectural tour of historic Savannah and I would do this tour again. I plan on visiting Savannah again this year and I can’t wait to explore it more. Savannah is home to the Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD), a premier art school in the U.S. The school has a museum that is definitely worth visiting. I loved exploring Savannah's streets, talking to the small shop owners, and eating the great food. 

I'm sure you are thinking; Julia where did you stay and what did you eat? Stay tuned. 

Savannah, I'll see you soon. 

This post is brought to you in collaboration with Savannah Tourism and Allegiant Air. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that allow me to create new and special content like this for JuliaConey.com.

Wine Talk: Diversity in Wine with Bin Notes

Kathryn Hall Wine Tasting

Last year I was interviewed by the wine writer L. M. Archer of Bin Notes about diversity in wine and it was a really interesting interview. I realized I never posted it. As a newbie in the field, it has been great. I can’t wait to show you a project I’m working on with a few dynamic people in the field for 2017. The full interview can be found here. Have a read and let me know what you think in the comments below.  

r/T™: Any obstacles or challenges you’ve encountered?
Yes. Many people don’t take me seriously because I am still working on my first certification. The apprehension dissipates once we start talking wine and they realize I actually know what I’m talking about. The wine world can be very elitist, sexist, and racist. Yes, I said it.

Photo: Jai Williams Photography

Grateful for the New Year Despite the Pain

Sunset in Louisiana

Here we are. A new year. A time to start again according to the calendar. I usually start my new year on my birthday. But, my birthday last month was not how I intended to start my own "new year." My brother Justin passed away on that day. Now, my birthday will never be the same. I had already planned to spend a month in Louisiana to assist my aunt with her knee replacement so being here for my mom and my family was actually a blessing. 

At Justin's service, I spoke that he always lived life on his own terms. He truly did not care what anyone thought about him. It's a lesson to all of us to live on our terms even if it doesn't agree with what seems "normal." In honor of him, I am going to do just that. To lose two brothers in two years is hard. It's the absolute worst. It sucks. In both their honor I'm going to enjoy every single day. I'm going to work harder and smarter. Write more. I'm going to laugh more. I'm going to show love more. I'm going to continue to travel, and I'm going to make sure I take care of myself. 

I know to take care of myself I need to make sure that the hereditary heart disease in my family does not come to my front door. Normally when I come to Louisiana, I lose my food loving mind. I eat all the things I can't eat in D.C. The South really does have the best food. I decided before coming to Louisiana that I wouldn't do that on this trip. I would not eat boudin, fried shrimp, and Blue Bell ice cream every day. I would eat them, but in moderation. The lifestyle of a wine, food, and travel writer means you eat everything. I decided I would workout 6 days a week and get my system and body back on track. It's been two weeks and I'm proud of myself. 

I wish you new year blessings full of love, laughter, travel, peace, sweaty workouts, food, and good wine. As Tim McGraw sings "live like you are dying."

Shopbop's Go BIG Sale!

Shopbop has long been one of my favorite shopping sites. I have spent the past year working on minimalism in all areas of my life. I've found a few of my favorite clothing and home items on Shopbop.

Shopbop has their GO BIG SALE happening now and I suggest you head over and grab a few items. I love a good handbag and had been lurking over this one from Zac Posen for a few weeks. I love it. I am slowly transitioning the majority of my sweaters to cashmere. It's warm, can be layered, and lasts. These booties will transition well into spring and I love a statement pair of gloves. 

The sale ends Monday, November 28. Happy shopping!

Shopping For Fall // Shopbop Main Event Sale

Shopbop MAINEVENT Sale

Shopbop MAINEVENT Sale

https://www.shopbop.com/I'm home sick, but that hasn't stopped me from taking advantage of the latest Shopbop MAINEVENT sale. I only need a few items for fall. I'm still working on my minimalist style and Shopbop sale actually helps. I picked up two sweatercoats, leggings for style and working out, and super cute booties. I definitely think you should get involved. The sale ends Friday.

NFL Monday Night Football + Naked Winery

NFL Monday Night Football + Naked Winery Outdoor Vino

NFL Monday Night Football + Naked Winery Outdoor Vino

The last post felt very good to write. I have some more stories about my wine adventures in California coming soon. Today is Monday and since that means football, I want to mention my partnership with Naked Winery. I will be sipping some of their fun-named and delicious wines while watching NFL Monday Night Football every other week. It's like a bucket list dream come true. I get to paint my nails, drink wine, and watch football? Thank you, God, for this life.

Let's talk about wine.

I met the lovely folks at Naked Winery at the Wine Bloggers Conference. When I pitched them my idea of wine and Monday Night Football they were stoked and introduced me to their Outdoor Vino.

NFL Monday Night Football - September 12, 2016. Two games. Hallelujah!

  • Steelers v. Redskins
  • Rams v. 49ers

Naked Winery's Wanderlust White Outdoor Vino

The Wine. This wine is made specifically for what it says - outdoors. The Wanderlust White is bright and floral. I get melon and a flower component when I breathe it in. I put my entire nose in the glass, but it easily works with a tailgating solo cup, if that is your kind of thing. The packaging is made for the outdoors. It is not glass, but a plastic bottle that and twist-off time so you don't have to worry about a corkscrew or glass shattering. If you want to be fancy, and really who doesn't, I love using the heavy plastic wine glasses you find at this time of year. This is a great wine for the last few weeks of summer parties. 

Food Pairings. I'm a big fan of simple and clean salads in the summer for parties and this would work great with a watermelon feta or my favorite arugula and shaved parmesan. 

Vintage. 2015

The Price. $18.00.

   This post is brought to you in collaboration with Naked Winery. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that allow me to create new and special content like this for JuliaConey.com. 
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Julia Coney

Julia Coney is a lifestyle writer with a focus on beauty, travel, and wellness. She is also the creator of The Paris Beauty Tour, a yearly tour to the city of lights to beauty shop, feast, and enjoy embrace her inner Francophile.