Wine

36 Things About Me On My Birthday

This weekend I turned 36 years old. These 36 things about me will help you get to know me and my wine-loving self a little better!

If you asked me at any point in my life if I’m doing what I thought I’d be doing at 36, the answer would be no. Aside from being a mom, I never really had a fully developed idea of work/self/identify at this age. Which is why I now consider myself incredibly fortunate to have found something I’m passionate about (wine) and meshed it with one of my life long hobbies (writing) and am actually able to make a living – WHILE being a mom. This is my dream, and I’m living it. 

ANYWAY! Just for fun, I’m sharing 36 things about me.  If you have any other questions, leave a comment! Here we go.

1. WHERE WERE YOU BORN?

Surrey, B.C. We lived in Delta until after my time at BCIT. I moved to Kelowna to work for the summer in 2004 then headed to small town Alberta for a year-long adventure working in Radio and TV. I made my way back to the Lower Mainland, which I called home, until this year’s relocation to Calgary. 

2. HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN INTO WINE?

It took awhile for me to find wine. Or for wine to find me. During the summer of 2004, I worked part time at a Kelowna radio station. To make ends meet, I had a second job at a winery. After that summer, I continued my focus in radio for several years until deciding that wine seemed pretty cool and that I wanted to pursue it full time in 2011. 

3. WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP?

I remember in Kindergarten wanting to be a ballerina (as my daughter currently does right now as well!) Later in high school, I was interested in being a lawyer although not seriously enough to attend law school. Piano was always a big part of my childhood, producing music or pursuing classical piano in University were options I considered as well. 

4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE COLOR?

Purple. Any shade. From lilac toe nail polish to burgundy hued sweaters. Purple is always good. 

5. WHAT WAS YOUR CHILDHOOD LIKE?

I had a wonderful childhood. I’m the youngest of three and the only girl, so some might say I was favoured from time to time. We had a busy home, my brothers and I were always involved in activities like piano, soccer, guides/scouts or skating. Home was always safe and happy, we were very lucky. 

6. HOW DID YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND MEET?

We started out as a workplace romance when we both worked at a radio station in Vancouver. It was very hush hush.

7. DOES YOUR HUSBAND LIKE WINE?

He’s definitely gotten into it a bit more as I’ve become more serious about it. He thinks it’s fun to do tastings and learn about it, but he’s not super passionate about it like me. 

8. DO YOU WANT TO HAVE MORE KIDS?

Nope. We’re so grateful for and very happy with the 2 children we have! 

9. WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT YOUR JOB?

There are so many amazing things about what I do. But I honestly get the biggest smile from you, my readers! I wrote an article not long ago for WestCoast Families about being a mom who works in wine. And the sentiment resonated with so many of you. I LOVED hearing your perspective and was so grateful to those that reached out to me afterwards. 

10. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE FOOD?

Italian food or anything Mediterranean – that’s where it’s at for me. 

11. LEAST FAVORITE FOOD?

I’m not a picky eater at all, but I find the texture of spinach to be pretty terrible. I won’t eat it unless it’s in a dip or blended in a smoothie.

12. ARE YOU ALLERGIC TO ANYTHING?

Yes, wheat. I’m not celiac (thank goodness) but my intolerance to wheat gluten is high. I was told that the adult body resets itself every 7 or 8 years and that I may outgrow the allergy but haven’t wanted to find out. I feel better off not eating wheat, so why change now?

13. WHAT IS YOUR DREAM VACATION?

My husband and I both love to travel and made it a priority before having children. As a wine-o, my bucket list for trips differs from my husbands. But truly, we’d both be happy getting on a plane and going anywhere. Top choices for me would be Rioja, Mendoza or South Africa. As a family, I’d love to do parts of the UK again when the kids are older. 

14. HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO EUROPE?

Yes, a few times. Once by myself, I signed up to travel Italy via a tour company. A couple years later, the hubs (before he was the hubs) and I went on a Mediterranean cruise. We squeezed in a couple other cities (Paris and Copenhagen as well as some in the UK) since then. We’re actually booked to go to Amsterdam this Fall, our first return to Europe in 5 years! 

15. IF YOU HAD A WORK/KID FREE DAY, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

Nap. Sleep. Rest. Lay on the floor. I’m tired. I might fit in a trip to the spa or I’d also be equally as happy sitting on the couch watching 90’s teen movies. 

16. IF YOU’RE GOING TO THE ZOO, WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING TO SEE?

I love seeing the lions. I’ve taken the kids to the Calgary Zoo a handful of times already and each time we visit the lions, they’re sunbathing with their bellies in the air. 

17. ARE YOU AN INTROVERT OR EXTROVERT?

100% introvert. But I really need friends and outside interaction otherwise I go a bit stir crazy. 

18. WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB IN WINE?

Remember my answer from question #2? That little part time job at a winery was pouring wine at the tasting bar of Quail’s Gate in West Kelowna. At the time, the tasting room was still inside the property’s Allison House, it was so cool walking into a piece of heritage every day and chatting to people who were visiting from all over the world. I honestly knew very little about wine at the time (I managed to fake my way through it), but it was such a fun job with amazingly passionate coworkers. I really loved it. 

19. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT HAVING A BLOG OR BEING A BLOGGER?

I love that it forces me to be creative and continue to learn. I’m not intuitively creative, I could easily spend hours formatting a boring excel sheet. But brainstorming article ideas and ways of making material interesting and relatable is what allows me to connect. 

20. WHY DID YOU MOVE TO CALGARY?

My husband’s job moved us here. 

21. DO YOU PLAN TO LIVE IN CALGARY FOREVER?

Never say never. But a big part of why we moved is because of the outrageous cost of living in Vancouver. In Calgary, we can give our children a lot more experiences than in BC. 

22. WHAT’S YOUR FIRST MEMORABLE WINE EXPERIENCE?

Touring the underground cellars of Pol Roger Champagne. In 2013 while in Paris, my husband and I took the train out to Epernay and were fortunate to have a private tour of the cellars and do a full portfolio tasting. It. Was. Out. Of. This. World.

23. HOW DO I MANAGE MY TIME?

Some days I would answer this question with ‘poorly’, and other days I’d say I’m doing ok. I’m most efficient when I’m in a routine so ask me again in a couple of months when the kids are in preschool and I have more than 30 minutes to focus.

24.  WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO COOK AT HOME?

I like to cook but I miss being able to explore new recipes without fear whether my children will eat it. For now, our most successful and consistent meal that the entire family will eat is tacos. 

25. WHAT IS YOUR GUILTY (SUGARY) PLEASURE?

Pretzels dipped in cream cheese icing. It’s the perfect mix of salty and sweet. 

26. HOW DID YOU DECIDE TO START A BLOG?

From the moment we found out we were having twins, I knew I needed a form of work that wasn’t a traditional 9-5. We simply couldn’t afford daycare for 2 children at the same time. I actually started the website with intent of having it be a full time wine tasting company. The blogs and articles were just a form of filler to draw people in. I soon realized that doing the tastings wasn’t as fulfilling as writing. So the focus changed and I started to freelance as well. I still offer services such as consulting and cellar management and will travel outside Calgary for the right project. 

27. WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE AS A FIRST TIME MOM?

My biggest challenge was that I had twins. We were grateful for a lot of help from family but I also had to let go of a lot of control during that time which was difficult for me. 

28. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO WITH YOUR KIDS?

Z and I really enjoying baking together. Painting has also become something that isn’t just a tornado of mess. S is in his own world a lot of the time, so sometimes I’ll invite myself in and ask him to tell me a story. He LOVES telling stories and I love seeing his mind work through creating one. 

29. HOW DO YOU HAVE ENERGY WITH TWIN TODDLERS AND BEING A WAHM?

There’s often not a choice. We can’t stay at home and have a lazy day or else the kids will turn on each other. We NEED to get out of the house and that’s often my motivator. Recently I’ve been waking up early to work out before the kids wake up and that’s helped me feel like I’m accomplishing something for myself. I try to get a little bit of work in during the afternoon during the kids’ quiet time but I often don’t have a lot of time to commit to work until after they go to bed. I have no choice but to maintain my concentration until then.

30. IF YOU COULD LIVE ANYWHERE, WHERE WOULD YOU LIVE? 

That depends on which universe we’re pretending to be in. With our children, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere not in close proximity to family. So Vancouver, Calgary or the Okanagan. Without children and with unlimited budget, I’d live in New York in a heartbeat. I’ve been head over heels with that city for years and would love a chance to have an extended stay. I’ve been lucky enough to go 3 times already and am feeling the tug for another visit soon.

31. WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?

The obvious answer is my children. They are two of the most amazing three and a half year olds I’ve met and we receive a lot of compliments about their good behavior. We obviously have our toddler moments, but overall they are the best and I’m so proud of who they are becoming. 

32. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE BOOK?

Truthfully, I have very little time to read for myself. Especially lately as I’ve been trying to increase my wine research and time spent learning. But I have a soft spot for celebrity biographies. I loved Steve Martin’s book, he’s a comic genius. I also really enjoyed Martin Short’s book, he spoke so lovingly about his late wife and really showed a side of himself that’s not often seen in public. 

33. WILL YOU EVER DO YOUR WSET DIPLOMA?

One day, possibly. I did Level 3 earlier in 2018 and it pretty much levelled me. I did the condensed version in one month and was a stay at home mom to 2.5 year old twins at the time. Soooooo, a 2-year diploma program isn’t in the cards until they’re a bit older and it makes more financial sense. I’ve thought about doing the ISG Spanish Wine Scholar program but am really not committing to anything right now. 

34. WHAT DO YOU DO TO STAY HAPPY? DO YOU EVER FEEL LONELY?

Having this (my website) has become a big part of my happiness. Having something I created from scratch is huge. Yes I feel lonely sometimes and yes it’s difficult. Yes I wonder if it’s all worth it. But right now it’s giving me great purpose and laying the groundwork for what will come tomorrow. 

35. WHAT’S YOUR GO-TO WINE?

I honestly don’t really have one. If I’m in a wine shop, I’ll usually always go for something new that I haven’t tried before. If I’m picking off a wine list, I’ll go for something old-world, likely a red from Spain or Portugal.

36. WHAT ARE YOUR WINE GOALS?

While the kids are young, I’m happy to do what I’m doing and continue to write for my website or for others. As they get older and travel becomes more realistic, I want to judge competitions and visit estates and wineries and continue to learn and write as much as possible about the world of wine. 

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I hope you enjoyed reading through those 36 things about me! And if you have any additional questions, leave a comment!

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