Weekends With Wine

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Nine Necessary Tips for Being the Perfect Weekend Host

If these tips don’t make you a great host, then we suggest springing for a hotel for your guest. No one will blame you, and people love surprise stays at hotels. You can try a discount code for Premier Inn so that it doesn’t break the bank for you either.

In “Poor Richard’s Almanack,” Ben Franklin warned that two things stink after three days: fish and house guests. With some advance preparation, you can avoid the stress and enjoy the visit. As a weekend host, your goal is to create a comfortable, welcoming environment that allows your guests to function autonomously while still feeling like part of the family. Start with a checklist:

1. Make sure the guest room is properly outfitted.

It doesn’t have to be the Ritz, but make sure the essentials are all there. Obviously, clean sheets and towels, cozy blankets, but also window shades (not everyone likes to wake up to the rising sun), a bedside lamp, a wastebasket and a place for your guest’s stuff. If you can swing it, add some mini-toiletries. They’re easy to score at a drugstore in the travel section and add a luxury touch. How about a power strip for charging all those traveling electronics?

2. Ask in advance about food allergies and preferences.

It’s nice to know if your guests want milk for coffee, lemon for tea, or gluten-free toast in the morning. And more importantly, nobody wants to have to bust out the epi pen because you forgot cousin Betty was allergic to the pine nuts you so carefully ground into your signature pesto sauce. This is also a good time to find out exactly how long your guests are going to stay and what time they’re going to arrive.

3. Inform your guests in advance of any special events or activities you have planned so they can pack the right clothes.

They may want a sweater for the lakeside fireworks, a swimsuit for the pool, or sneakers for backyard football. Don’t plan for an evening at the opera if you haven’t told your guests to bring black tie attire!

4. Plan for parking.

If your guests are arriving by car, you most certainly don’t want them driving around trying to find a parking space. If you have a garage or a driveway for your car, why not scout out a parking spot for yourself earlier in the day and reserve your space for your guest? They’ll feel special and love you for thinking of it.

5. Leave the light on.

Even if you’re picking up your guests, leave some lights on so there’s a warm welcome. If you’re home awaiting their arrival, perhaps you could light some candles or, in winter, stoke up the fire. Let them feel they can come in and drop down somewhere to relax.

6. Greet them with a beverage and some snacks.

After even a short travel time, most people are grateful for a bit of refreshment. Make sure to have some wine, cold beer, sodas and water on hand. Those coming from another time zone might want to perk up with coffee or tea. Depending on arrival time, offer up some cheese and crackers, veggies and hummus, or even sandwiches, especially to someone who’s coming off a long plane ride with only peanuts for sustenance.

7. Help them get their baggage to the room and the give them a tour of the spaces they’ll be using.

Point out the light switches, extra blankets and pillows and any quirky bits like jiggling the toilet handle. Consider squeaky board, night kitty attacks, and that strange sound that comes when the water heater starts up.

8. Encourage your guests to make themselves at home.

Show them where to find snacks, drinks, and the supplies to make coffee and tea. It’s not as if you are giving them the combination to your safe. Unless, of course, you’ve posted on the fridge so you don’t forget it. 

9. Lastly, let your guests know if you have plans for entertainment or exploration and ask what time they’d like to start their day.

Just because you get up at the crack of dawn doesn’t mean that they want to, and vice versa. 

Being a host with the most is simply a matter of considering how you would like to be treated if you were a guest in someone’s home. Whether your digs are small and your guest is going to sleep in a glorified broom closet or you have a big house with a plethora of spare rooms, do your best to warm the proverbial hearth to welcome your visitors. When they’re gone, the only odor you’ll be left with is the sweet smell of being a successful host.

Wine & MP3 Players: 5 Ways To Create a Luxury Bath

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5 Ways to Create a Luxurious Bathing Experience for All Your Senses

When it comes to self-care, a hot bath can be one of the most decadent and luxurious experiences of your day. It’s a perfect time to shut off from the noise of the outside world, unplug from your devices, and just enjoy the relaxation of a perfect self-care routine. How do you promote the most luxurious bathing experience?

Relax: No Need to Rush

Before you start your bath, make sure you have everything you need nearby. Soft fluffy towels, a robe waiting for you, slippers for when you get out – you want to make sure that you won’t have to dash to another room to fetch anything. Place yourself in an easy, calm state of mind by making sure you’re calm, prepared, and in the present moment.

1. Sounds: Soothing Music

If you have a speaker that you can set on a safe, dry surface away from the bathtub, you can use this time of day to indulge in your most beloved and relaxing music. You can check out our pick for the best mp3 player if you want to put on headphones and have a truly immersive auditory experience. You might want to set your cell phone on vibrate so that you’re not jarred from your calm, ambient state by the noisy jangle of a phone call.

2. Scents: Aromatherapy & Candles

There’s nothing like adding a little aromatherapy to the bathroom while you soak. Essential oils like lavender have been shown to promote deeper relaxation by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system (1). Easily bask in the benefits of essential oils through using a diffuser, which will gently spray a humidifying mist of droplets into the air while you relax. If you’re more traditional, a scented candle will create the same luxurious effect.


3. Sensations: Bath salts

For an extremely therapeutic experience, you can add extra components to your bathtub. For example, Himalayan bath salts can help draw toxins out of the skin and make for an even more luxurious time in the bath (2). If you choose a scented product or a bubble bath, just make sure that whatever you’re choosing has a gentle, calming scent that won’t irritate your skin.

4. Sights: Soft Light? A book?

Depending on what sort of mood you’re looking for, this one’s up to you. Want to relax your eyes after a long day of screens and strain? Dim the lights and let yourself settle into soft light. Or maybe a bath is the perfect time to catch up on your favorite author’s latest book? As long as you don’t mind some possible dampness, bringing some reading into the bath can create a calm atmosphere for relaxation.

5. Taste: A Glass of Pinot

Or whatever your favorite wine happens to be.

When it comes to bathing, we truly believe that a bath can be a refreshing and luxurious experience. To increase the ambient atmosphere, play around with your favorite scents, sights, and sensations during your bath.

1. elephantjournal.com/2017/04/the-surprising-healing-benefits-of-a-detoxifying-himalayan-pink-salt-water-bath/

Onehope Wines: A New Twist On Charitable Wines

Want Your Wine Dollars Going to Charity? Read the Fine Print:

A screenshot of Onehopewine.com’s home-page.

Onehope Wines is a relatively new wine company. However they have already donated over 1.4 million to charitable causes.

What sets Onehope Wines apart from other charitable wineries is that they will donate to different charities based on which wine you purchase.

Here’s how it works: different wine collections will donate to different charities. Each of these collections have an unique cause, and the amount of money donated to said cause also varies from collection to collection.

Confused yet?

There are two ways of looking at this. For one, it’s an unique charity model that gives the consumer more power to support the causes that they want to support. You aren’t stuck giving money to one charity over and over. With this way of looking at it, the informed consumer gets to really choose where his goodwill goes.

The other way of looking at it is this: it paralyzes the consumer with too much choice. Imagine going into a wine store and you see all the Onehope Wines on the shelf. Which do you choose? Not only do you have to decide which one tastes best, you also have to decide which cause to support. What if the best tasting wine donates to a cause you disagree with?

I imagine that Onehope Wines would say that the types of consumers that seek out charitable wines are usually well-informed and already know what they want to support before they even visit their website.

I hope that’s true. But it is definitely a brave and unique model for a wine company.

Have a wine you’d like us to feature? Send us a message in our contact form.