3 Easy and Cheap Toy Storage Solutions

Before you start throwing away all of your kids’ toys because there is just not enough room in the house for your wine supply and their play things, crack open a bottle and check out these storage tips!

  1. Get Some Big Ass Baskets
    Pick a style that fits the mood for whatever room you’ll add them to. It’s safe to add one or 2 to each room in the house in case your kids are like mine and don’t care if they have two designated play areas, they want to play wherever the hell they want.

    We have 2 in the living room that we use for blankets and pillows, but also if I want to quickly make the living room not look like crap, I throw toys in there and clean it out at the end of the week. It’s also easy clean up for the kids. Just have them put their toys in the baskets when they’re done and later that day or several days later, you can put the toys where they belong.

    Click Here to get the ones I have at home!
  2. Get Storage Cubes
    This one is a no-brainer, but you can make it more fun for the kids by getting colorful drawers. You can put them in empty shelf cubes, line them on top of a counter or even line them at the edge under the bed for hideaway storage.

    Here are the ones I just got recently!
  3. Get Fillable Bean Bag Chairs
    This idea was always so cute to me, and we finally grabbed some of our own. We got a blue one for our son and a pink one for our daughter. They of course open them up and take all the stuffed animals out, but they also know how to throw them right back in and jump on the bean bags afterwards!

    You can fill them with anything soft, so stuffed animals, towels, old clothes they grew out of last week, get creative!

    Click Here to check out the ones I got!

And that’s it, folks! Good luck and Godspeed.

Atomic Habits

Yall know I love reading, and I’ve been able to pick up a few great books lately. One of them is called Atomic Habits by James Clear.

I haven’t finished the whole book, but damn, the parts that I have read are really good. He gives every day, useful examples that you can relate to as well as some bigger, more amazing acheivements.

One of the first principles he teaches is the fact that we should just aim to be 1% better each day. That’s a powerful statement, because we always try to just hit that goal by any means necessary. We over work ourselves, we plan impossible steps to get there, we create so many barriers for ourselves.

He breaks down the difference between systems and goals. Goals are the ultimate thing you want to achieve, and systems are how you do it.

A lot of us have a goal of losing weight, but we have to create systems to get us there; even if it’s a very small change every day that isn’t even necessarily working out or eating better. For example, you could clean your kitchen so you’re more inclined to cook instead of eat out. You could wear your running shoes around the house if you’re more likely to move more with them on. You can set a glass of water on your night stand each night so you drink it in the morning. There are many small things we can implement each day to help us, and then all those things combine and work together to help us in the end.

I’ve been applying it to my workout goals and ‘operation clean home’ goals. The Home Edit plays a key part in that, too! I’ll do a separate post about that 😉

In the meantime, definitely check out his book, I highly recommend it!

Prejudice in the Wine Influencer World

I’ve been approached by several brands in the past couple of months who are interested in me doing some promo for them. I’ve seen a lot of people on IG do do promo for companies and thought it would be a nice gig to get into.

And so far I’ve LOVED every brand I’ve worked with. That’s because if I choose to work for a brand, that’s because I believe in their product and their standards are A-okay with me.

Everything was going fine until recently, I saw one brand who approached me and then kind of fell off. They instead had been investing time and product in a ‘winefluencer’. Now, I won’t go as far to say that they were being racists altogether, but there was definitely a different vibe on her page and she was White. They may have assumed that her followers were more likely to make purchases or liked the ‘aesthetic’ of her page more,

Fuck the aesthetics, you should want real people backing your product for the right reasons.

We’ll see if I decide to work with them …

Time for a new rack!

So we were lucky enough to be gifted an awesome, huge wine fridge from my sister (thanks sis) a few years ago.

Well, more like a lot of years ago. Let’s say give or take 6 years?

Anyway, we’ve had it a while no doubt, and haven’t ever really gotten the full use out of it. It’s really nice, you can store up to like 160 bottles in it. But we never have that many bottles on hand.

We are wine drinkers, not collectors!

That’s unfair; I know some of you drink a copious amount of wine but also have a mean stock pile. I’m just saying, we never really get around to saving up bottles. Although, I am hoping that’s about to change.

We’ve kind of reimagined the way we drink wine and are starting to build a little stash. I think we can finally have a good little collection to be proud of. This, of course, is dependent on a good little wine rack to hold them all!

I’ve been playing around with the idea of moving the big wine fridge into the garage and putting a more ‘dainty’ rack in the house. I saw a video yesterday about a DIY rack made from an Ikea shelf!

sidenote: I’m still pissed with Ikea for the moving trauma we had; none of our furniture got delivered and had to get a refund A MONTH later.

I think I’ll swallow my pride and try it out though, it looked badass.

So here’s to the future of a new more manageable and cute wine rack for us!

Did your own DIY rack? Let me see pics!

2021: The Year of Doing

I spent a lot of time planning out what I was going to do last year. From the minute I woke up to the moment I was falling asleep; constantly thinking about what next steps to take. It was absolutely exhausting, and I didn’t even realize it until it was too late.

Besides being exhausting, heck, it was counterproductive. I would get decision fatigue within like 3 hours into the day, still having an entire day of real decisions that needed to be made. But when you spend hours figuring out your next move, how to make that move, and every little detail about it, you lose sight of the big picture and never make something happen at all.

Don’t get me wrong, I had plenty of successes last year. I just also know that I spent a lot of time writing and drawing out stuff that never evolved into anything.

This year, it’s not a ‘new year’s resolution’ or anything, but I am going to be more intentional with the things I do. I won’t create a new OneNote tab for every idea and only focus energy on things that can actually be manifested in the now. That’s why the word of the year is “DOING”.

I also want to focus more on my writing again. I used to write every day, and it was a great outlet for me; I just didn’t know it.

Be on the lookout for plenty of simple wine reviews. Well, my edition of a wine review, haha. And most importantly, lots of ways to shop and get discounts will be shared here! Thanks for being a winosaur 🍷🐱‍🐉

Let’s Talk About Anxiety. & Wine.

About 7 or 8 months after I had my daughter, I had my first panic attack. I had anxiety attacks before, but nothing was like what I felt that day.

I thought I was actually going to die. At one point, I asked God, “really, this is how you’re going to take me?”

There are a lot of emotions and physical sensations that happen during an episode of panic. You feel out of control with your body and like nothing you do can stop the waves of unrelenting terror unleashing itself on you. I had never experienced anything like that in my life. And unfortunately, it wouldn’t be the last time.

Since then, I’ve had countless episodes. In public. In private. You name it. But I have mainly kept my anxiety issues to myself, my doctor, and my husband. My family knows I have them, but don’t really understand the extent of the toll they take on me mentally and physically. It is such a physically taxing thing to go through an episode; I mean I am just so exhausted afterwards. And moody. Yeah, mood swings are a thing.

There was a point a few years ago that I had to take medication every single day to keep me from having an anxiety attack. And I had Xanax prescribed to bring me down from my panic attacks. Yes, there is a difference between the two different episodes. Panic attacks are waaaay more aggressive and feel life threatening. I’ve been in the hospital countless times from them.

I’m not of fan of going in and out of hospitals nor was I a fan of being on that daily medication. The side effects are awful, and I had to try like 5 different kinds before I found the one that ‘worked’ for me. All that meant was the benefits outweighed the side effects of that particular drug.

I did yoga, meditation, and other natural things after I one day decided to just stop taking the meds. And I was just fine. I finally felt so much relief.

And I found wine to help.

There are plenty of studies that show alcohol makes anxiety worse. I get that. But when I’ve had a very long day and just want to unwind, one glass of red does the trick. And I can literally feel the stress ooze away. It gives me the similar feeling of relief when I had to take a Xanax during an attack. Except this time it never gets to the boiling point.

I’ve had some episodes here and there of course. Even recently started having them more frequently since I was sick and allergies flared up. They can trigger them. But I feel more equipped knowing I can sip just one glass of red before bed every once in a while to help diffuse things.

I’m also reading a book called the DARE Response which is truly amazing information about just living with and accepting your anxious feelings to actually heal. The past 2 weeks were rough, I’ll admit, but I’m feeling a lot more confident and able thanks to my vino and newfound book.

So good luck to you and your mental health journeys. And don’t forget to relax with a glass of red every once in a while. It’s good for you 😉

People Have Lost Their Damn Minds

Like for real.

I naturally buy a little extra stuff from the store each time we do our shopping just so I don’t have to worry about running out of it. When you have 2 kids and a husband, many things slip your mind. And you don’t want to be stuck without trash bags or napkins that one night you have your friends over!

People have been absolutely hoarding stuff over COVID-19, and it’s kind of embarrassing. Like, I’m embarrassed for them.

The other thing that kills me is that everyone [well, not everyone, but a lot of people] kind of judged me for buying the year of Walmart grocery delivery.

But look who’s laughing now!!!!

I mean, I’m not laughing but, now I seem smart whereas before I was being lazy. Hah, ok…

It’s just been such a crazy time for everyone. Each day I keep wondering if my kids’ daycare will close, if my job will shut down, if anyone I know has gotten sick. I got sick with an upper respiratory infection, sinus infection, and out of control allergies that triggered my asthma and anxiety. I’m talking I got 4 shots in the ass at the Urgent Care to bring down to a somewhat normal level.

I’m not going to lie, I was terrified of going in there and hear them tell me I had gotten the virus. I had all the signs except fever!

Crazy thing is that there are a lot of sickness and allergy symptoms that mimic COVID-19. That’s probably what makes it more terrifying; the fact that any little cold or cough is a symptom.

I’m just praying and hoping that we can get our shit together as a society lol I know I laugh but it’s nervous laughter! Even if most people don’t get sick with it, it’s the aftermath and current destruction we’re doing to ourselves with the panic.

The people not the disease is what worries me.

Hope you’re all safe and symptom free. Enjoy the quarantine time, don’t fight it. Spend the time with your family and pets that you’ve probably neglected 😉

Beauty in Chaos.

We had one of our typical Target runs yesterday, and I was so proud of myself. I had a list of things I was going to order but decided to go in the store and buy them myself. Well, since I had that shopping cart, I got the same things (five or take some substitutes) that I essentially was going to order.

Beauty in Chaos. Fitting with Tolkien’s quite.

So as we’re headed to the self check out line, I’m feeling proud that I walked away early and didn’t add another zero to the end of our total. My husband starts ringing us up and I see wine right there by the register.

I’m a wine lover of course and love trying new things. But I’m also an IMPULSE BUYER.

I grab the bottle and hand it to my husband to scan, who didn’t ask me any questions at all by the way, and proceeded to pay.

As we walk out the store, I’m thinking, “man I did so good today! Except when I bought that bottle!”

Little victories, people. I was so close. At least I didn’t do it until we were at the register leaving versus buying that entire dollar section as soon as we walked through the door.

Good luck on your own small victories today.

My Favorite Wine Is Low In Stock.

Dear Pendeloque (the wine I love),

Thank you so much for being the BEST DAMN WINE EVER. I’m oh so sad you’re low in stock but will forever remember our first kiss…

I had finally taken the time to try you as an add-on to my current order. I first fell in love with your label, so chic. The fact that you travelled all the way here from France just enticed me even more.

You arrived, perfectly packaged, with other friends in tow.

But I had my eye on you.

On the rack you went, nice and snug for your short first stay. By the time I was ready to prepare dinner, into the freezer you went. My husband and I were so excited to meet you, we pretty much made it an event itself.

The time came to pop your cork. You know we’re impatient, so we let you take a nice drip trip through the magic decanter for a quick quality boost. The sound of you wooshing through that teardrop-shaped weapon was music to my ears. From the bottle, through the decanter, and finally landing in my glass; what a brilliant red you are! Your color was so dense yet vibrant in the air.

Tilting my glass to check out the legs on you was a guilty pleasure. That full body of yours had me giddy with excitement. I knew you were going to pack a punch of flavor (and alcohol…)

Then the sniff, oh, the sniff. My nose tingled with integrated aromas of fruity berries and black pepper. After a quick swirl, your aromas cycled through the bowl of my glass like fabric softener on the rinse cycle; smacking me in the face.

My husband and I couldn’t take it anymore and finally put our glasses to our lips to take a sip…

OHHHHH geez, if someone would have told us you were so smooth, we wouldn’t have been so brave to dabble with you. So smooth that we couldn’t just have one glass. We were babies waking up for our 2am feeding; you had no chance.

From the silk like milk texture to the beautifully blended qualities of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, I knew you were my new fave. Supple, balanced and lively, dominated by “sourball candy” flavors without being sweet… Well-balanced medium tannins and structural acidity, you’re perfect!

We’ve probably already enjoyed between 7-10 bottles of your beautifully fermented gapes. Needless to say, I am currently in the process of ordering a few more bottles of you to properly say goodbye.

I hope everyone gets the chance to taste your beauty, Pendeloque.

Ashley the Winosaur