Lakeridge Winery Tour & Tasting

I am a huge wine fan. Back in college, my roomies and friends used to do wine nights, where we would go to the store, buy cookie dough and other treats, and a cheap $5 bottle of wine (or two) for us to share that night. We would just sit around the living room and either watch a movie or just talk about life, classes, boys, the future, you get the idea. Since then, I’ve enjoyed a good glass of wine. Whether it’s unwinding with friends or a desperately needed one after a long day of work, I enjoy a glass of wine in moderation.

My tour of Lakeridge Winery in Clermont, FL reminded me of that. It’s not a far drive for me, so it was an inexpensive way to spend a Saturday afternoon. I had heard about it from a co-worker, and figured it would be fun to get a tour and do a tasting. Now, I did a little bit of research and heard good things, the winery had good ratings, and it was close enough that it would be an inexpensive, but yet different thing to do.

We had to wait about 10 minutes after we got there for the tour to begin. It started out with a nice little video about how the winery got started, and how wine could even be made in Florida (I knew of Napa Valley as wine country, not Florida). From there, we then got to see where the wine is stored, and then where the grapes are grown. It was absolutely beautiful, beautiful land, beautiful view, and a really neat process.IMG_0699

After that came the best part. The wine tasting. Now, I have never done a wine tasting before, so it was something completely new for me. We tried about 10 wines, starting with dry and ending with sweet. Overall, I think there was only one wine that I didn’t enjoy, all the others were really good or fairly decent. We had a great group doing the tour with us, we all had a good laugh, and had a good time. I left there with 6 bottles of wine to take home, and yeah I know, seems like a lot, but trust me, I wasn’t even their best customer from our group.

Just like those memories of those wine nights, I now have a wonderful memory of a great day spending time at a local winery. I’ve lived in this area my whole life, and had never heard of this place. In fact, until I looked it up, I wasn’t even sure we could grow grapes for wine in this state. So, yes, it was a touristy day trip, but it was fun, I got to try delicious wine, and I got to see a local gem that I otherwise wouldn’t have ever known about. So if you’re near that area, go give them a try.


10 Tips to Help You De-Stress

Hey guys. So I am a stressed person. Unfortunately, it’s in my genes, as a Type A personality, who likes to be in control, stress is more common that I’d like it to be. While I’m trying to work on that, I’ve also accepted that I do get stressed, we all do, and I need to find a way to help manage it, in addition to working on stressing less. I’ve included 10 tips to help you de-stress, because I don’t care if you’re a college student struggling to make ends meet or you’re a hot-shot millionaire, we all need to take care of ourselves, both physically and mentally.

  1. Make sure that you have eaten today. It’s amazing how cranky, bummed out, and stressed out we can get when we are hangry. I personally am not always the nicest person when I’m starving, so if I’m feeling upset about anything, I try to take a minute and think if I’ve eaten. Now, if you haven’t, don’t just go out and grab a burger, that’s not the best thing for you. Go for something filling, yet still healthy. You’ll feel better, especially as your blood sugar levels stabilize.
  2. Drink enough water. I know, we say it a million times, and yet that’s where most of us slack off. I am terrible about drinking enough water, I always am too busy or just completely forgetful. But dehydration can cause fatigue, headaches, and more, so it’s really important to ensure that you’re getting enough H2O to support yourself.
  3. Exercise! Even if you absolutely hate being on a treadmill, find an exercise you like to do and do it. As Elle Woods once famously said, “Exercise gives you endorphins. And endorphins make you happy…” There is so much truth to that statement! Whether you are anxious about a big presentation coming up or have had a life altering thing happen, a little exercise can help clear your head, let you see the big picture, and make you feel better.
  4. Get enough sleep. I know, we live in a world that is constantly on the go, and we all joke that we can sleep when we’re dead. Well, hate to break it to you, but lack of sleep is not so great for your mental and physical health. It can cause a lot of issues, especially if you are running on very little sleep over a long period of time. I’m a Type A personality, so I know how hard it can be to not constantly be working on something or towards something. But sometimes, you just need a little cat nap.IMG_1857 (2)
  5. Listen to some music. We all need “me” time, and sometimes listening to music is just the ticket. Whether you’re into rock or screamo or love ballads, if it works for you, then listen to it. It can make you feel better, especially if you unplug from everything else.
  6. Try a coloring book. We all used to color as kids, but then we became adults, and that ended. Well, luckily for us, someone had the genius idea of adult coloring books. I personally love them, they force me to slow down, and relax, and I have spent a few evenings with my coloring book, some colored pencils, and a glass of wine, and I must say, that has helped me to get rejuvenated and refreshed for what life has to throw my way next.
  7. Take a bubble bath. Turn on some music, light some candles, grab a good book and a neck pillow, and prepare for relaxation. You get to spend some time alone, away from the world, in a relaxing setting that you have turned your bathroom into. Heck, add some cucumber over your eyes, and you can forget you’re even still at your house, and imagine you’re at a 5 star resort. Your stress will melt away
  8. Get a massage. Even better than the bubble bath, a whole hour of someone getting rid of all the horrible knots and kinks that you have, while listening to serene music, and smelling wonderful from the oil. Yes please, sign me up for that.
  9. Read a book. I personally am such a huge fan of reading. I love being able to escape into someone else’s world, even if just for a little bit. Make a cup of tea, find a cozy reading chair, and get lost. Whether you’re reading something new or re-reading an old favorite, jump in with the characters, and let reality slip away for a bit. It’ll still be waiting for you when you get back.
  10. Find some quiet time. No matter if you prefer to go hiking or would rather sit in a yoga class, it’s important that we all have a bit of quiet time to escape the hustle and bustle of the world, and relax. Take some time to ourselves, where we aren’t fielding questions or focusing our energy on the housework or our next tasks. IMG_4368 (1)

Of course, stress is a monster some of us have to fight every day. Hopefully some of these tips help you, but I’m always open to new tips. Share if you have a tried and true de-stressor! I’d love to hear about it.

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