It’s hot over here at Women On Fire

Chances are you may be roasting in this heat wave! If you’re melting, as we are here on Martha’s Vineyard, I hope you have a tall, cool drink in your hand.

I just stuck glasses of lemonade in the freezer for an hour or so to make them all frosty and slushy. Have you ever tried that?  It’s refreshing relief on days like this!

We had a busy weekend here on our little island, and I was so thrilled to see a number of you at our Friday Night on the Deck party, co-hosted by Woman on Fire Ellen Wingard.

The evening featured our friend, the dynamic, inspiring author Andrew Carroll and his new book Here is Where: Discovering America’s Great Forgotten History. Read a fascinating interview with him in today’s New York Times.

One of Women on Fire’s most important aspirations as a community is to cheer on each other when we hit a milestone, move closer to a dream, or reach a goal.

*This Week’s Pinspiration*

Pin to pass the love

[pinit]There are Two Ways of Spreading Light- Women On FIre

Today’s SPARK! is dedicated to celebrating your recent news, achievements, joys and successes in following your dreams. Let the cheering begin!


At Calvin Klein, Holly Getty is moving on up! (Photo by Rob Berkley)

Women on Fire Book co-author and fashion industry executive Holly Getty of New York City has been promoted at Calvin Klein to Vice President of Fabric.

Holly has worked in the industry for 19 years, nine at Calvin Klein.  In her role, she frequently travels to Europe and Asia to select fine fabrics for the fashion-forward Calvin Klein platinum line.

Many of you have worked privately with Holly, Women on Fire’s resident personal style consultant. She works magic in helping you to organize your closet, find your perfect style, and so much more.

Congratulations on your much-deserved news, Holly! You can send your best wishes to her at holly@hollygetty.com


Jaclyn Reilly performing at the Waltz Astoria in Queens, New York

Musician and singer-songwriter Jackie Reilly is appearing before audiences at venues near her home in Queens. She recently regaled us with her extraordinary talent at a Women on Fire tea in New York City.  Check out her youtube channel.  Or connect with her on her Facebook fan page.

Jan Allen of Columbus, Ohio will be speaking at The Transition Network’s “Celebration of Age — Wine and Chocolate” event in Gahanna from 6-8PM Wednesday, July 17. Her talk will be  “Claiming the Peaks: Embracing the Extraordinary After 50.”

She’ll be sharing inspiration on how to live the 3rd/3rd of your life. Register for your ticket here.


Jan Johnsen with one of her pool and landscape designs

Jan Johnsen of Hudson, New York, who owns Johnsen Landscapes & Pools, has signed a book contract with St. Lynn’s Press to write a garden book about design secrets to create serene outdoor spaces.

The book also will feature Jan’s original photography. I invite you to check out her latest feature in the Westchester Journal News.  Way to go, Jan!


Terri Cole’s beautiful meditation CD

Terri Cole of New York City, founder of Live Fearless and Free, and a licensed psychotherapist and transformational coach is hosting a webinar Monday, July 8 at 9PM Eastern/6PM Pacific.

The webinar topic is “How To Get It All Done (Without Undoing Myself in the Process).” Sounds fantastic, right!? I’m signed up and looking forward to soaking up the wisdom of this brilliant Woman on Fire member. It’s free!  Register here to attend.

 


Laurie Forster is at Caroline’s, one of New York City’s most popular comedy clubs

She started out at a software saleswoman and then became the celebrated wine educator known as The Wine Coach.  Today Laurie Forster of Easton, Maryland has parlayed her career into comedy!

The StandUp Sommelier will be performing Something to Wine About, her one-woman comedy show and wine tasting at 7PM July 24 at Caroline’s on Broadway in New York City.

Laurie is giving Women on Fire a special access code: SIPPING

You will receive a free copy of her book The Sipping Point when you purchase a ticket to her show. What a fun night to share with many other amazing Women on Fire who are attending! Purchase tickets here.

Kelley Black of New York City is graciously offering to give any Woman on Fire free entry to one of her Naam yoga women’s classes as a first-time guest. These special classes are held every Wednesday from 6:30-7:45 at 141 W. 72nd Street, 2nd floor.

Naam is a practice that combines mediaton and yoga and Kelley is a very skilled and experienced teacher. If you live in NYC or will be traveling there, please email Kelley for more information and to claim a spot in her class. kelley@balancingexec.com

Kacy Cook of Columbus, Women on Fire’s book editor (including the newest Women on Fire book coming in late summer!) is an author in her own right.  Her delightful, award-winning, young adult novel NUTS (amazon link) is featured on Amazon’s summer reading contest.  NUTS is a story about a young girl who rescues an abandoned baby squirrel. Congratulations, Kacy!

Julie Quackenbush of Dublin, Ohio graduated from the Hudson Institute of Coaching on June 5. She completed an 8-month program and is now a certified transition coach with Next Chapter Transition Coaching. We are excited for you, Julie!

Beth Bryce of Saginaw, Michigan, and a co-author in the upcoming Women On Fire Book co-author, was recently featured in Forbes.com on the power of breaking through career inertia. We recently told you about Beth’s new job  with Northwood University. The article follows her path to leave her successful, 20-year career in financial management to pursue more fulfilling work. It’s an inspiring journey and I hope you’ll read all about it here!

Congratulations all!

I know you are working on your dreams, too, and I hope you have enjoyed hearing what your Women on Fire sisters are doing with theirs and sharing with the world!

Each month when I hear these stories, I feel motivated to stay on track with my own goals and dreams.  So thank you, everyone.

I’ll see you back here next week with healthy recipes from our recent Women on Fire cleanse with holistic health coach Amy Marzluff.  I think you’re gonna like!

I’m so happy you’re here and hope you stay cool this week.

Cheering you on with lots of love

[plinker]

Links That Light Us Up

Welcome to our new feature “Links That Light Us Up.”

At Women on Fire, we are so fortunate to hear about or experience the latest in — practically everything!  From new recipes, restaurants and products to blogs, articles and books.  If it has a link, and we love it and think you would, too, we’ll be sharing here.

Let us know what you think and please feel free to send us any links that “light up” your life. :)

So, here we go …let’s start with something yummy!

Best Dessert — We’re ready to ditch the traditional campfire and say YES to S’mores any day (maybe every day). This S’mores Sundae was created by our own Woman On Fire member Phoebe Lapine.  Phoebe is a cookbook author and writes one of our all-time favorite blogs — Feed Me Phoebe.

Feed Me Phoebe's Smore's SUNDAES[pinit]

Best Desk Accessory — These Paris-themed pencils from Amanda Catherine Designs have us inspired to break out our stationery and communicate the old-fashioned way. Can anyone say Women On Fire Paris 2014?? (We are going…so stay tuned for a link on that in the future!) In the meantime, scribble away, mon amies.

Paris Pencils via Amanda Catherine Designs[pinit]

Best Summer Movie Guide – Congratulations to a Women on Fire favorite — author Judy Blume for her first movie release, based on one of her beloved books, Tiger Eyes. It’s terrific family entertainment! Head to the theater or rent it on iTunes. For all your summer movie watching, here’s a great guide to the blockbusters of Summer 2013.

Tiger Eyes Movie from Judy Blume[pinit]

Best New Travel App — What screams Summer louder than the idea of a ROAD TRIP!? Roadtrippers allows you to plan a road trip from start to finish, including best route, projected gas cost, restaurants, points of interest, scenic viewpoints, accommodations, etc. They also have hundreds of pre-planned routes for every part of the country. We’re sold! And we didn’t even have to be: it’s free!

Roadtrippers.com- best free roadtrip app[pinit]

Best Smoothie – This Tropical Pineapple, Mango & Orange Smoothie from Iowa Girl Eats looked so good, we ran to the store as fast as we could for the ingredients. How could we say no that gorgeous color!? (And, it was as heavenly tasting as it looks!)

Tropical Pineapple Mango Smoothie via Iowa Girl Eats[pinit]

Best Spot to Sit — How about a little virtual vacation? Check out these 30 places you’d rather be sitting right now. Jaw-dropping would be an understatement.

30 spots we would rather be sitting right now via Buzzfeed[pinit]

Best Puppy Picture — We just want to squeeeeze this little fur ball.

frenchie pup[pinit]

Best Print — Don’t these wine prints just make you happy?! Perfectly charming in any kitchen, they also would make an amazing gift. We think our resident wine expert Laurie Forster, The Wine Coach, would certainly approve!

Anatomy of Wine Prints[pinit]

Best ‘You Go, Girl’ Documentary — If you haven’t yet heard of MAKERS, be prepared to drop everything to watch these mesmerizing videos of illuminating women. These stories of trailblazing women will inspire you on your own journey. Here’s an example:

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Let us know what you liked. Until next time, we hope these links light you up!

xox

Women On Fire

 

 

 

What our women are “on fire” about!

Ahhhh…

Everyone is gone and I’m sitting in the quiet for a few minutes …and letting the fun of the weekend settle over me.


After Thanksgiving,  conversation continued with our family of close friends enjoying breakfast and each other’s company on Martha’s Vineyard. Clockwise from top: Ellen Wingard, Patricia Seeman, Lisa Arundale, Shannon McCaffery, Holly Getty, Robert Joerger, Rob Berkley and me! (Photo by Edward Beck)

I hope your holiday weekend was filled with love and connection. Mine sure was and I am deeply grateful for the “family” I am surrounded by even though none were my biological relatives.

I hope you, too, have in your life a circle of loved ones you can really count on and feel supported and uplifted by.

This week’s SPARK! is our monthly review of what our fabulous Women on Fire are up to. This is the place to share how you’re doing with your dreams; what is new in your life; or just an update for how things are going.

Congratulations to each one of you! It is thrilling to hear your news and to know how diligently you worked to get where you are:


Sarah Elizabeth with her mothers Connie Greer and Sue Dohner after their debut in BIO-HAZARD: A Relative Comedy in New York City.  (Photo by Holly Getty)

Sarah Elizabeth Greer of New York City launched her long-awaited, much anticipated play on Theater Row in New York City with a single performance and within days won the BEST COMEDY Award at the United Solo Festival!

Sarah writes:
“My goal was to write and perform a comedy about the hazard of being found by my biological mother, and call it BIO-HAZARD: A Relative Comedy — and then invite both of my mothers to join me onstage to help me perform it.

“So, I created a Kickstarter Campaign and with the generous help of our one and only dear Debbie and other incredible Women on Fire like the brilliant and hilarious Kacy Cook, who just happens to be one of the funniest women on the planet (and who also took a stab at editing one of the early incarnations of the play) — as well as the generosity of the extraordinarily talented Janina Sebesky and Regina Weichert, I raised $18,000 and entered my script into the International United Solo Festival, which is the largest solo festival in the world.

“There were several Women on Fire in the audience, all of whom I share such a deep connection.  My dear friend Linda Yellin (whose incredible sense of funny inspires me weekly) with her husband Randy Arthur, beautiful Holly Getty, Janina and Regina were all there to cheer us on!

“Five days later, I was informed that my play had won BEST COMEDY of the festival!”

Actress and best-selling author Christina Haag of New York City is starring in the film Half Brother, which begins shooting in December.

She is the author the beautifully written, New York Times’ best-selling book, Come To The Edge, a deeply touching memoir of her romantic relationship with the late John F. Kennedy, Jr.

You may have met Christina at a Women on Fire tea in New York. Or you may  recognize her from some of her guest starring roles on shows such as ER, Law and Order, Boston Public, Heroes, Providence, among others, and starring roles on the stage and in independent features.


Jordan Edelheit jumping for joy at her success of her TWO big dreams!

Jordan Edelheit of Columbus, Ohio attended the Women on Fire Day in Columbus last year along with 25 other Ohio State University students and a tea last Spring led by Jan Allen and was inspired to launch two dreams!

Jordan writes:
“There were two parts to my Women on Fire dream. One was my desire to work within the prison system and to help share the often untold stories of the incarcerated.

“The second was a road trip that I was planning on embarking on over the summer. The two following videos represent summaries of these very different dreams coming true!

“Here is the 90-second promo video of the TEDxMarionCorrectional event, an amazing compilation of footage from a single day’s event at the prison that was more powerful than almost anything else that I have attended.

“I was recently given the opportunity to talk about my project that I created this summer at TEDxYouth@Columbus. It turned out to be an experience that took place in seven weeks and in 8344 miles to seek out over 140 change-makers. Here is the link to my TEDx talk and my dreams coming true.”

Laurie Forster of Easton, Maryland will bring her comedy act to The City Winery in New York City on January 9, 2013.

And, you are invited!  Seats are limited and advance purchase is suggested. You also can view her videos here.

An original Woman on Fire and co-author of the Women on Fire book, Laurie is best known as The Wine Coach®. She said in a recent Women on Fire members’  interview that wine may be the vehicle but helping people to have fun in life is her real mission!

 

Beth Kloesener of Saginaw, Michigan will partner with Northwood University to provide career services for their adult degree and MBA students at campuses based in Michigan, Texas and Florida.

Laura Tiberi of Delaware, Ohio listened to her intuition about coming to the Women on Fire Retreat in Chicago and it was a good thing she stayed home!  Her grandson Parker Matthew was born on Oct. 28.

We missed you, Laura, but were glad you didn’t miss Parker’s birth! Congratulations to you and your family.

Dr. Robyn Silverman of Mount Freedom, New Jersey has been invited by Parenting Magazine to be a member of their 2013 “Dream Team” Expert Editorial Advisory Board.

An author, speaker, coach and educator, Dr. Robyn will be called upon by the magazine to share her expertise about parenting, child development, body image and character education.

She frequently discusses these issues as a guest expert on NBC’s Today Show.

  

Just in time for holiday gift-giving to the little ones in your family, Rosi Amador of Cambridge, Massachusetts and her family have narrated and composed music for two new bilingual children’s audiobooks.

Congratulations, everyone.  It is inspiring to see the dreams of women in our community coming true!

Wishing you a great week ahead and I hope you make progress on something important to you in your life this week.

I’m about to dive into a 21-day cleanse to end the year in even better shape than I began it.  I start it tomorrow with the talented, holistic health coach Amy Marzluff.

Wish me luck and feel free to comment on the Women on Fire success stories above or your own experience with a cleanse by commenting here!

405 Steps

I’m in Washington, DC where I am visiting my dear and ailing mother-in-law MOTUS.

(Rob and I decided that a distinguished mother who lives near the White House, home to POTUS and FLOTUS, deserves an elevated status. So, we named her MOTUS and she loves it!)

MOTUS is now surrounded with the love and comfort and care of Capital Caring, an amazing team of Hospice professionals.

She and I both seem to feel happiest and most at peace when we sit quietly and simply hold hands.

Sometimes we’re silent and tears fall.  And, sometimes we reminisce about any number of things — her marvelous lamb stew, her “snazzy” red Saab, the students she loved teaching at Vassar, how at home she always felt during her many visits to Morocco.

Sad as it is for Rob and me to realize her days on earth are closing in, (which is true for all of us!) it is such an honor to walk these last steps with her.

And, what I want to share with you today is an awareness I had in the midst of my busy, go-go-go life and caring for a dying parent.

As you know, my 2012 theme is daily self-care.

(Total side-track here, but I just have to tell you this.  I love hearing your annual themes.  The most recent ones that came to my attention are Jenifer Madson’s  “Live, Love and Serve Like There’s No Tomorrow” and Laurie Forster’s “Go Where The Magic Happens.”  Great ones, Jen and Laurie! I would love to hear yours too,  just pop it into the comments section on the Debbie Phillips Blog)

Anyway, it’s been much more of a struggle to fit in at least 30 minutes of care for myself a day than I’d ever imagined.  And, with all that is going on, there is no better theme for me this year than self-care.

As part of holding myself accountable, I note in my journal every day what I do for self-care.  Now that I’m paying attention, I shudder to think how many days in the past I’ve not been mindful of  reducing my stress.

But that is changing this year as I focus on improving what is so vitally important to us all — time and care for ourselves!

“Stress has become the ‘bad boy’ of modern culture,” according to Maryanna Klatt, Ph.D.  an Associate Professor in the College of Medicine at Ohio State University.

“We need our stress response in order to respond to threats that are bad,” she says. “The problem is when that response is activated all the time.”

Yup.  I got it, Dr. Klatt.

So, I’ve found a de-stressor that not only helps me to create mindfulness, but has inspired me in other ways, too.

Close to our home in Naples, Florida is a boardwalk with a beam in the center that is probably 8 to 10 inches off the ground.   As part of my self-care, I often take a 40-60 minute walk and the boardwalk is part of the route.

Imagine a young gymnast (then add 40 years to her!) taking to the balance beam!


Just like life, in the 405 steps it takes to walk this balance beam, there always seems to be upsets, surprises, disappointments and occasionally … a triumph.

Sometimes a cart of golfers comes along and their distraction knocks me off the beam. Once a man blew me a kiss and made me smile. Some of the boards are narrow, slippery with moss, or rough.

And,  sometimes something magical happens…

The other day I waited to hop on the beam until I saw no one else coming or going on the boardwalk.

I had never walked the 405 steps without falling off at least twice.

I was determined this time and concentrated with all my might to stay on the beam.  More than once, I almost lost my footing.

But on this day, one foot in front of the other, I made all 405 steps!!

At step 405, I jumped off the beam and did the happy dance with Adele. (Well, Adele on my iPod!)

Through my earbuds, I was stunned to hear clapping and cheering.  I looked back to see four white-haired women, none younger than 80, doing their own happy dance and celebrating my accomplishment.

They shouted their praise: “you go, girl” … “great balance!” … “we were behind you all the way!!”

We were behind you all the way.

And, that’s what I think of all of us.

We are behind each other all the way.

So, you go, girl.  Have a great week and if you’ve set a theme for yourself this year, go live it likes there’s no tomorrow!

 

What do you love, love, love?

Before I take one more breath, you know what I love, love, love?

YOU!

I love you for coming here week after week, sharing your heart, your struggles, your experience, your talent, your dreams.

Women on Fire is a community filled with such warmth, connection and caring that if we were to have our own official holiday it would be Valentine’s Day!


Celebrating love with cupcakes sent from newlyweds Maritza Parra and Jeff Herring!

I love when you tell me about living your heart’s highest calling; working toward and achieving your dreams; or being lifted up by one another.

Here’s a peek inside my world of Women on Fire this past week. I want to share with you some of the love:

Maritza Parra and Jeff Herring got married.  (And sent cupcakes to celebrate!)

* Mary Ellen Jones is joyfully and successfully engaged in orchestrating a  transformative Women’s Event (and a Women on Fire Tea!) in Alpena, Michigan. (I’ll be the keynote speaker at the main event and I cannot wait to meet all of you who are attending.)

* Andrea Dowding and Jerry Browning, along with Jan Allen, connected another group of fabulous, inspiring women to each other at a Women on Fire Tea in Columbus, Ohio.

* Janette Barber is being talked about on Facebook and Sirius/XM to host her own radio show when her boss Rosie O’Donnell leaves in June for Oprah’s network OWN. Please click on the Facebook link to lend support!

* Janina Serden Sebesky’s beloved musical CHICK SOUP has nearly sold out a 1,000-plus-seat venue in North Port, Florida.

* Sitting in a Parisian restaurant, Holly Getty wrote of the deep gratification she feels when she helps Women on Fire to create their authentic style.

* Women on Fire Book Co-Author Laurie Forster’s first shipment of wine from her exclusive Wine Coach Club arrived on our doorstep!  A dream-come-true for our former software sales executive who followed her passion and has become sought-after speaker and celebrated wine educator.

*  Author and coach Margie Warrell, of McLean, Virginia, completed a treatment of her proposed, inspiring television show about freeing people from their deepest fears.

* Dawn Greenfield, owner of YogaBorn in Manchester, Connecticut, is achieving her dream to reach families of Traumatic Brain Injury to share the profound benefits that yoga can have on TBI survivors.

Anne Thurston of Boyne City, Michigan published E-males, a book about her “lively search for love,” and she’s looking for someone to help her with distribution. She also reports she’s having fun writing a newspaper column.  And, she concluded her email to me with this:

“I succeeded in finding a second love. A wonderful man who like me cannot believe what has happened to our lives. We feel 16.”

He is 85.  She’s about to turn 88.

See what I mean about how I love, love, love Women on Fire?

And, finally…

Before you go, I know there are so many more of you “on fire” and in love with aspects of your life, too.  Please pop down to the comments section and let us know what it is you love, love, love!


Women on Fire Marketing Director Jamie Eslinger and I reminding you of the power of love and connection we share as you reach for your dreams and support each other’s!

Happy Valentine’s Day with lots of love ~

Debbie

A Life-Changing Question

In a second, I’m going to ask you one simple question that might make a huge difference to help you get what you want in your life.  But first…

Welcome, all you wonderful women who are here for the first time.  Many of you were referred by friends; or you found us online through my ABCNews.com articles; or you listened to the inspiring teleseminar with Women on Fire book co-authors M.E. Jones and Laurie Forster sharing their successful strategies to find love and work they are passionate about.

We are so happy to have you join our circle of incredible, dynamic women making a difference in the world!  I hope to meet you at the upcoming Women on Fire Retreat in Chicago April 23-24.  This week is the last chance to register.

The question I have for you is deceptively simple. Yet, in answering it, depending on where things stand for you, it has enormous impact on your life, your health, your future.

ARE YOU HAPPY?

Take your time to think about that.  Feel free to use the grid below to consider your overall happiness, because it’s likely you’re happier in one area than another.

Rate yourself from 1-5 with 1 = very unhappy; 2 = unhappy; 3 = neutral; 4 = happy; 5 = very happy.  When complete, total up your numbers.  A total score of 40 is the highest.

No matter where you fall on the scale in each category, is it worthwhile for you to be happier?  Are happier people more successful?  Can you learn to be happy?  Yes! Research seems to indicate happy people do better in life.

Landmark studies also show happy people are healthier and more resistant to illness.

For more on the importance of happiness and how it can enhance your success, I highly recommend any of the books, questionnaires and research of Martin Seligman, the “father” of Positive Psychology as well as Gretchen Rubin’s new best-selling book The Happiness Project.

So, are you happy?  How happy?  Let’s say you gave yourself a 2 on “meaningful work.”  What is one, small step you might take next to move in the direction of a 3?  Go through your grid and consider what it would take for you to upgrade your happiness quotient at least one point in each category.

As Women on Fire, we have important work to do in the world sharing our gifts, strengths and talents.  Part of our self-care is to be as healthy and happy as possible so we have the energy to make the difference we so deeply desire.

Let me know your thoughts and feelings about your happiness.  I want to support you!

(Thanks to Woman on Fire Diane Torrisi who provided the “happy” red velvet cupcake above that made me oh-so-very HAPPY!)

Something to “wine” about!

New York, NY – An invitation I couldn’t resist!
Who:   Laurie Forster, The Wine Coach
What:   Wine tasting!
When:  A steamy summer evening in NYC
Where: Astor Wines 399 Lafayette Street, NYC (in their gorgeous new facility!)

If Laurie Forster is involved, you’re assured of three things:
1)    Wine will flow
2)    You’ll learn something (or many) things you didn’t know about enjoying wine
3)    You’ll have fun!

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Laurie Forster, The Wine Coach, superbly demystifies wine one glass at a time!

Laurie is a Vision Day alumni and Women on Fire book co-author.  With great love and pride, I’ve watched her transform her passion and knowledge of wine and food into becoming nationally known as The Wine Coach® and author of The Sipping Point.

(She used to be in software sales.  You can read about her inspiring journey from software to sommelier in Women on Fire: 20 Inspiring Women Share Their Life Secrets (and Save You Years of Struggle!)

Back in the uber elegant, wine-tasting kitchen at Astor, Laurie chose a selection of summer wines for us to taste.  Even though I can’t even pronounce most of their names, Laurie takes the mystery out of wine so you can just enjoy!

I also had my good friend and Woman on Fire member Melissa McClain there to share in the fun with!

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Melissa McClain swirling her wine while listening to The Wine Coach!

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Both Women on Fire, Melissa McClain and Laurie Forster met in person for the first time

Weeks of no bread or cheese (Rob and I have been following Dr. Mark Hyman’s no-wheat, no-dairy eating plan since early June), I sipped wine and savored every morsel of bread and cheese☺

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Here are Laurie’s 7 summer picks from white to blush to full-bodied and sparkling red:

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Tastings of the featured 7 wines -- prior to empty glasses!

Gruner Veltliner “Wogenrain” Soellner ’08 – Austrian white wine nicknamed “Groovy” and known for its “pucker” factor has green apple, citrus, white pepper flavor; good pairing for asparagus and artichokes (two veggies that are apparently tough to pair with wine…who knew? See what I mean about having The Wine Coach® for a guide??)

Burgans Albarino ’08 – Spanish white wine, crisp and peachy; very yummy!

Susana Balbo Torrontes “Crios” ’08 – white from Argentina made by famous female wine-grower; Laurie pointed out this full-of-apricot flavor wine has a “big personality.”

Puzelat “KO” Rose ’08 – French wine; light pink in color, cherry, berry, earthy flavor; good with salads and seafood.

Glatzer Zweigelt “Riedencuvee” ’06 – Austrian red; good to pair with spicy, Mexican, Spanish food.

Juan Gil ’06 – Spanish red with hints of chocolate, coffee, vanilla; good with burgers, steak and chicken.

Brachetto d’Acqui “Rebecca” ’07 – A sparkling red dessert wine; if  you nibble a little  chocolate with it, you’ll swear you’re in Heaven!  (But we had no chocolate, so I just ate the rest of the bread basket…works with that, too!)

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So fun to experiment with different taste combinations of wine and cheese

Best news of all?  Each wine was fantastic and no bottle cost more than $18.99.

If you don’t know her, I hope you get a chance to meet The Wine Coach® or visit her website where you can register for her free wine tips.

Cheers to you for a happy and spirit-filled summer from Melissa, Laurie and me!

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Three Women on Fire toasting The Wine Coach after a very fun and successful evening!

I am not a foodie. But I am tonight.

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Laurie Forster, The Wine Coach, and a co-author in the Women on Fire book and me in Washington, DC.

You found me in Washington, DC.

I am here to launch the first-ever (in DC) Women on Fire Tea Party tomorrow at the Willard Hotel, right around the corner from a certain big white Where I am camped out (or rather luxuriating) is a few blocks away — at the French-inspired Sofitel.  Rob and I always stay here when in DC.  If I were to marry a hotel, it would be The Sofitel!  I have never been let down; it has always been for the better; and all visits here have resulted in living happily ever after (for the most part!).  I’m also richer than poorer because The Sofitel is often reasonably priced as it was this visit ($225 per day)  for impeccable accommodations.

I say I’m not a foodie, because, well, food actually kind of  bores me.  But not so if the food has anything to do with France!

So far today, there’s been coffee, a chocolate croissant, homemade granola, a mini-yogurt smoothie and caesar salad.  I’ve always wondered why food in France, the exact food we have here, tastes so much better there? Being at the Sofitel is like stepping into France!

Chicken and Mushroom Crepes

Take my dinner tonight, for instance.  Oh, how I wish you could have a bite of this.

It is a chicken and mushroom crepe with a glass of Trimbach Riesling, which I knew would be a perfect pairing.  (Thanks to Woman on Fire Laurie Forster, the Wine Coach, who has me trained!)

For one brief shining moment here in Washington, DC, I am a foodie caught up in the possibility that I could be one of those French women who savors every single delicious morsel of her meals— and never gains an ounce!