Wine Tasting & New Mom Fails

Recently, I was very excited to attend the Whole Foods Venice for the Fantastique French Wine Tasting and Gildras Coudrais Art Show at Whole Foods in Venice, CA. The proceeds from the event went to the Whole Planet Foundation. I thought it would be the perfect date night for my husband and I since it happened to fall on our anniversary weekend. I’m sure that most of the people attending went primarily for the wine and the art was a bonus, but for us it was the reverse. We were more interested in the art and the wine was a bonus. πŸ™‚ I have been to many art exhibits, but this would be my first time wine tasting.

I had a major new mom fail…I had heard all of these stories from friends about how they bring their babies with them when they go wine tasting and just assumed that we didn’t need to leave our baby with my parents or the babysitter. I should have asked ahead of time but I didn’t. Also, somehow in my mind I figured that since it was inside a grocery store, it wasn’t a “real” bar. You know what they say about what happens when you assume things! I also blame the voice of my Italian grandmother lingering in my mind saying, “It’s not alcohol, it’s wine!” When my husband and our baby tried to come in, they were politely informed that they could not stay since the baby was under 21 years old. πŸ™‚ So they wandered around the store, shopped, and relaxed and played games in the car while I enjoyed the event. I felt awful for my husband but surprisingly he didn’t seem to mind. He said it was no different than if he had just gone about our normal routine when I need some time to work…usually E and him go shopping and then have play time when I need to catch up on photo editing or other work. Normally, they would be sitting in our son’s bedroom, and not in our car in the rain, but they seemed to have fun anyway.

So, I was left to enjoy the event on my own, which felt so odd since it has been so long since I attended an event without my husband. I apologize for all of E’s fans…there are no photos of my little guy in this post. πŸ™‚ I also originally hoped to get some photos of myself with the artist, but there is no way that I ever let anyone other than my husband use my camera. Next time we will definitely utilize a babysitter!

After I saw the display in our local Whole Foods with all of the labels designed by artist Gildas Courdrais (original post here), I was very excited to see his art on display at the event. I have been to many art gallery events over the years, and usually the artists featured are not the most gracious people you will ever meet. I have also seen art displays where I wonder what in the world the artist did to get their work featured since it was pretty underwhelming. The opposite was the case with Gildas Coudrais. He was pleasant, charming and gracious…truly a pleasure to meet. His work was impressive and I could definitely understand why he was asked to design the collection of labels!

I personally loved the sketch of the rabbit on the bottle of Malbec. It reminds me a lot of a whimsical version of the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, so obviously I was drawn to it. πŸ™‚ I was excited to see that the art series featured at the event focused on the rabbit. At first glance, I thought that the series had a print of the rabbit that was altered for each piece. Upon closer inspection, I realized that each one was individually drawn. The precision and consistency between the pieces was very impressive. I also loved how Gildas overlayed the ears up onto the matting in each piece, showing that each one is hand drawn. The pieces were all mixed media, and had witty plays on various quotes. If I wasn’t currently saving up for a bunch of large expensive prints of my own photos, I would have definitely considered purchasing one of the pieces!

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When I was in my early 20’s, I had the impression that I did not like beer since my primary experience with beer had been whatever was served up for free from a keg at fraternity parties in college. Then one day some friends of mine convinced me to go beer tasting at a brewery, and I realized that I just don’t like bad quality beer. Since I am new to learning about wine, I have had some not so great experiences with some of the lower priced grocery store options that I have tried. My husband and I were pretty convinced that we are just microbrew beer fans and wine was not for us. However, this whole tasting experience completely changed our opinion.

At the event, I tried each of the different varieties, and I enjoyed all of them, even the sauvignon blanc, which was surprising since previously white wine was at the bottom of my list of drinks that I enjoy. My favorites were the malbec and the cabernet syrah. At just $9.99, all of the wines are an incredible value, and definitelyΒ way better than any of the other wines I have ever tried.

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There were a surprising number of people crammed into the tiny bar area that night, despite the massive rain storm here in Southern California!
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Bottles signed by the artist, and the very talented Gildas Coudrais.
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Some of the amazing food that night…I would pretty much die for some creme brulee…darn egg allergy.aliciainwonderlandblog_wine_tasting

*Disclaimer: this is a sponsored post for Whole Foods Venice (but everything I wrote is completely honest…definitely go to your local Whole Foods and pick up a bottle!).

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Join Us for Wine Tasting and Art!

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Who wants to join us for an evening of wine tasting and art?! Whole Foods in Venice, CA is hosting a charity event this Saturday, March 1st benefiting their Whole Planet Foundation. There will be wine tasting, petit fours and work by the artist Gildas Coudrais, who designed the labels on the bottles in the photo above. I love the label with the rabbit in particular. To me, it feels like it could be on a postcard that you see in a sleek Hollywood nightclub, or part of a new cover for a modern version of Alice in Wonderland. I am really looking forward to seeing more of Gildas’ work featured at the event.

I am just going to be completely honest and admit that I am not a wine expert. My husband and I are in general more of beer snobs than wine snobs (we went all the way to Germany for Octoberfest but have never gone wine tasting at a vineyard…and there are lots of them just a couple of hours drive from us). However, since I had to cut wheat out of my diet for our baby, we have gotten more interested in learning about wine. I went with a friend to Whole Foods last night (she definitely knows more about wine than I do), and we looked through the various options. Right away, we noticed the section with the bottles grouped together that all had Gildas’ designs. They definitely stand out from the rest.

My husband and I tasted both wines shown above and liked them both! They are a great value at $9.99, and tasted like they would have been a much more expensive option. We are really looking forward to tomorrow night’s event! Be sure to RSVP to venice.events@wholefoods.com if you are interested in attending. You can find more info at:
https://www.facebook.com/events/269677509864980/273846822781382
https://www.facebook.com/wfmvenice
https://twitter.com/WFMlosangeles

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*This is a sponsored post.

Valentine’s Day at the Queen Mary with Ehrmann Mixim Launch Party

Last week for Valentine’s Day, we had the honor of attending the Ehrmann Mixim Greek Yogurt launch party on the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA. The Queen Mary was transformed into the Love Boat for the event, all lit up in pink. After growing up in the Long Beach area, I have been to the Queen Mary many times in my life and I have never seen her look so beautiful as she looked all dressed up in pink!

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We started off the night in style on the pink carpet! So fun. πŸ™‚
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Then we were brought up to the VIP lounge, where the tastings were held.

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If you read my blog regularly, you know that I have had to unfortunately cut dairy out of my diet temporarily while I am breastfeeding our baby since he was having an allergic reaction to cow’s milk proteins, even via my milk. We are hoping that this will only be temporary! So, until I can have dairy again, my husband was more than happy to be my taste tester. πŸ™‚

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I actually remember that when we were on our vacation in Germany a few years ago, Ehrmann yogurts were part of our picnic lunches that we were packing up on most days (Ehrmann is a family owned company from Germany). It is so exciting to see them launch here in the U.S. My husband absolutely LOVED the Mixim yogurt! He said it was smooth and creamy, and not tart like some other Greek yogurts he has tried. We loved that there are two options for the toppings, each in their own individual compartments in the adorable heart shaped containers. I am allergic to artificial food dyes, so I was really happy that there are no dyes in any of the toppings! Before our son was born, I used to get so frustrated with constantly checking for artificial dyes in yogurt ingredients. Thanks for keeping things natural and healthy, Ehrmann!

For any fellow photographers who may be reading this…don’t freak out that something is wrong with the white balance of my photos. πŸ™‚ The VIP lounge was all lit up with these pink lights, making it fun and festive.

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Later in the evening, Ehrmann made a donation to the Children’s Heart Foundation, $1 for every photo that was uploaded to social media with the hashtag #miximlove. I loved that they picked a great charity to help with this event!

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My silly guys had fun playing around with the Mixim staff with the lit up heart balloons! πŸ™‚
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And then, the cutest thing happened! Recently, I did a birthday photoshoot for this adorable little baby girl, who is the daughter of my good friend. My baby boy E came along for the photoshoot and fell madly in love with the little girl that day, as you can see below (more at www.apluscphotography.com). πŸ™‚

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My friend saw my posts that we would be attending and told me that they were going to come to the party as well. When I saw how many people were at the party, I thought there was no way that E was going to find his new little girlfriend for his first Valentine’s date. As luck would have it, as soon as we went down on the main deck for the Guinness World Record event, we ran into our friends! E was pretty excited that he got to spend Valentine’s Day with his new girlfriend. πŸ™‚

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E was not too thrilled that she kept trying to steal his hat. He had to explain to her that they aren’t married yet so the whole “what’s mine is yours” thing doesn’t quite apply yet. πŸ˜‰

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All of the couples at the event participated in a new Guinness World Record, of the most couples simultaneously feeding each other. πŸ™‚ It was such a fun thing to participate in!

After the tasting, a Journey cover band, DSB, played. The music was great and some amazing fireworks followed the concert.

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E was in awe of the heart shaped fireworks. πŸ™‚

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The party was so much fun! Definitely the best Valentine’s Day I have ever had. I was so happy that I got to go to such a fun event with my two handsome dates. The fireworks show even finished with my favorite song by Heart. πŸ™‚

After the party was over, we decided to walk around the ship a bit. E is quite a night owl like his parents. The boys had fun playing some video games.

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Then they goofed around a bit inside a giant bell on the ship. πŸ™‚

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Definitely a night to remember!
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Thanks so much for having us, Ehrmann! I can’t wait to be able to eat dairy again! Ehrmann Mixim’s six flavor combos can be found now in California, Arizona and Nevada in retailers such as Albertsons, Bashas and Safeway. For more information on Mixim, visit the Ehrmann website: http://www.ehrmann-usa.com/. You can also find them at the following links!
β€’ Ehrmann MIXIM Love Boat Event Page: http://bit.ly/1f8bgQC
β€’ Twitter: https://twitter.com/EhrmannUSA
β€’ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EhrmannUSA
β€’ Pinterest:Β  http://www.pinterest.com/ehrmannusa/
β€’ Instagram: http://instagram.com/ehrmannusa/
β€’ Valentine’s Day Sweepstakes:Β  http://tinyurl.com/psq3b87

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*This is a sponsored post.

Join Us On the Love Boat for Valentine’s Day!

For all of my Wonderland readers who are in Southern California, you have got to register to get tickets for an amazing free event tomorrow night on the Queen Mary in LongΒ  Beach! The party is being thrown by Ehrmann, to celebrate the U.S. debut of their MIXIM Greek Yogurt, which looks absolutely delicious! The cherry & dark chocolate mix on their Facebook page (here) looks SO good. πŸ™‚ You can register to get your tickets by clicking here.

You should also enter to win their Year of Love contest here…a night out every month for a year plus a monthly delivery of yogurt! Sounds amazing…especially for new parents, a date night every month sounds like a dream! πŸ™‚
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Once you’ve registered to attend, tweet me and let me know…if you find us on the boat, you may get your photo featured in my follow up blog post! I will even send you a download link for your high res image. πŸ™‚ You can find me on Twitter @apluscphotos.

In the meantime, I am trying to pick my outfit for tomorrow night, and could use some opinions! Which outfit below should I wear tomorrow night? The pretty sparkly new Anthropologie sweater that I was really excited to find recently with some faux-leather pants, my favorite leather jacket with my super soft black velvet pants (another Anthro find), or this cute dress with another favorite Anthropologie sweater? I will probably wear my pink Manolos with whichever option I end up choosing since they are my favorite (and a super sentimental gift from my husband). Which outfit is your favorite?

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As you can guess, my studio is still set up from the Valentine’s Day mini sessions that I held recently. πŸ™‚ There are some really cute babies and young children coming to my photography blog (here) tomorrow in case you are interested!