Napa Wine Train Class (Photo Mary Vincent)
By @MaryVincent GratitudeGourmetThe Napa Valley Wine Train has just launched a new wine appreciation class that explores food, wine and Napa winery history. The course is entitled "Eat, See, Learn" and is hosted by well-known Napa local, Richard Miami, who is a Wine Educator at Robert Mondavi Winery. During the class in the 1952 Vista Dome Train Car's second level, you will experience cuisine from Executive Chef, Kelly Macdonald while Richard discusses Robert Mondavi wines and Napa Valley History. I experienced this special class in June with vegetarian food (vegan available) and Robert Mondavi wine pairings, and I've shared my pairings, pictures and four videos with you below. More information on the wine tasting classes are here.Mumm Napa Brut Prestige Napa Valley was served prior to Lunch.1. Hors d'Oeuvre - Flourless Yam Ravioli paired with 2009 Unoaked Chardonnay Napa Valley2. First Course - Red and Green Apple Endive Salad with Hazelnuts and Mustard Vinaigrette paired with 2009 PNX Pinot Noir Carneros3. Entree - Chefs Vegetarian Trio with Grilled Zucchini, Sweet Pea Raviolis and Yam Stuffed with Gypsy Peppers paired with 2008 Oakville Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 4. Dessert - Grand Marnier Cheesecake paired with coffee.
Wanderlust, a Yoga, Music, and Nature Festival will take place in Squaw Valley, CA July 28-31.
It's a one-of-a-kind festival bringing together yoga and wellness teachers and top musical acts and DJs to beautiful Lake Tahoe Valley. Days will consist of early morning meditations, hikes, fresh healthy food, and evening musical performances.
Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, Founder of Compassionate Cooks, has been a great inspiration of mine for a few years now. Check out her new video talking about her newest book, The 30-Day Vegan Challenge: The Ultimate Guide to Eating Cleaner, Getting Leaner, and Living Compassionately, releasing on August 23rd!
The Santa Clara County Master Gardener Program just sent out their latest tip on Swarming Bees - Check it out!
"Tip: Bee swarms are common this time of year.
Bees that swarm at this time of year are usually full of honey and docile, especially when it gets cooler in the late afternoon. It usually means that their hive has gotten overcrowded so the queen leaves taking part of the bees with her. They might collect on a branch and hang there for a few days and then leave. Leave them alone and they won't bother you. Many bee keepers would love to catch the swarm. Call our Hotline (408) 282-3105 and we'll find someone who will give them a new home."
According to a study by Stanford climate scientist Noah Diffenbaugh, by 2040 the amount of land suitable for cultivating premium wine grapes in high-value areas of northern California could shrink by 50 percent because of global warming. See the video below for more information, and the Stanford article is here.
By @MaryVincent GratitudeGourmet Nicholas Walker heads the outdoor division of Kathy Ireland's Jardin J du J brand which launched at the 2001 San Francisco Flower and Garden Show and was awarded the Gold Medal for Design Excellence. His mission is to bring the outdoors in through garden inspirations, and the Jardin J du J Brand products include Rugs, Furniture, Top of Bed, Accessories, Lighting, Wall Art, Jewelry, Skincare, Cut Flowers and Candles.I interviewed Nicholas Walker at LA's Dwell on Design 2011 and two videos are below. In the first video, Nicholas describes the the Jardin J du J mission, launch and great success at the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show.In the second video, he shares both 'old world' and high technology sustainable practices he used in building his own California home. Per Nicholas, "Function has to be honored before Form." He discusses the scarcity of water, nine-year drought, Sun, and semi-arid LA climate. Because alot of air conditioning is used which costs alot of money, he insisted he must have a white, metal roof and used Keynar paint (used on the NASA space shuttle), which reflects 72% of the Sun's UV rays. Per Nicholas, that is a huge savings on your cooling bill. He also has 22 PV Solar Panels and 2 Hydrothermal Panels and discusses the efficient Sun absorption on the black panels.Nicholas also discussed Venturi principals of moving air in a home without using electricity. He also has 12 inch thick concrete walls and as a result, the bottom floor never needs heat or air because its in the dirt and geothermal principles permit a 72 degree temperature year round without using any energy.Nicholas says he's been lobbying for legal Greywater Systems for 15 years in the landscape industry. He says that if you take an epsom salt bath (epsom salts are magnesium sulfate, and it is the best thing for plants), instead of having it go into the sewer, use the water for fertilizer. As of August 2010 in Article 1881 he can now legally do it -> Laundry to your Garden. He is an advocate of using ancient traditions such as working with gravity instead of using pumps. Thank you Nicholas for sharing your valuable insight, design strategies, and best practices with us!
By @MaryVincent GratitudeGourmet
Kathy Ireland is the CEO & Chief Designer of Kathy Ireland Worldwide, a $1.9 Billion a Year Lifestyle Design firm, dedicated to “finding solutions for families, especially busy Moms.”
Her brand's initial product was socks made from recycled pop bottles. Today, her brand has expanded into jewelry, weddings, skin care, windows, flooring, candles, and furniture, and is ranked number 28 out of the top 125 Global Licensing Companies where she beats out Coca-Cola, Martha Stewart and Ford.
I had the opportunity to interview Kathy Ireland at the LA Dwell on Design Conference June 25, 2011 and discuss her Sustainable Business Principles and Best Practices. The Video and additional interview details are below. If you're looking to learn more about great sustainable business best practices, watch this video and see Kathy's Leadership in Action.
After the video, we discussed more business details.
Per Kathy, there are 50,000 retail partners. She says, "If we have a bride and she wants a modern sleek design including jewelry, home, baby, we're able to provide that. Each of the manufacturing partners works with us on seamless cohesion."
Kathy Ireland mentioned the importance of Twitter in business. Her Enterprise also helps their retail partners with technology and helps them get the message out in addition to working with furniture banks in the furniture industry to collect used furniture and provide it to needy families.
I asked Kathy if she could share some of her new projects. Per Kathy, "Weddings have been exciting - 2 Hawaii locations - Los Angeles - Palm Springs - bring her (the bride) all the elements - from gown to jewelry to gifts and accessories - tying it with home furnishings."
Kathy Ireland also provided some background on her Company's Employee Work Practices. "It's helpful to offer the team flex schedules, i.e. working from home (She currently has 37 employees). We don’t have big glam flashy office space - it’s pretty frugal - we have to be a good steward with our business and build more jobs along the way."
Mary Vincent, Mariel Hemingway
I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Mariel Hemingway at the Dwell on Design LA Conference June 25, 2011. Mariel's recent books include: “Finding My Balance” and “Healthy Living from the Inside Out” and cookbook “Mariel’s Kitchen: Simple Ingredients for a Delicious and Satisfying Life”
.Mariel's Movie Career includes her first role with her sister Margaux in the film Lipstick (1976) and was nominated as "Best Newcomer" for the Golden Globes Award that year. Her most famous role was in Woody Allen's Manhattan (1979). Only sixteen during filming, she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Her Grandfather was Ernest Hemingway (July 21, 1899 – July 2, 1961) and as an American author and journalist influenced 20th-century fiction and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. Just prior to my interview with Mariel, she shared some great perspectives on a Green Living Panel. Therefore, I'm sharing those with you below along with my Video Interviews. Dwell Question: Why is Green the way to go? Mariel Hemingway: "I grew up in Idaho, and it’s a natural and beautiful place. It’s how you live your life. How would you live it any other way? Of course, it’s not something you should think about doing - it’s the way it should be. The choices you make in your home are the choices you make for your body. 70% of the population is within 10 miles of a Farmers Market - A Green Lifestyle is your Life! When you get toxicity out of your home, you think clearly - your children do better in school. There is a relationship with ADHD.Q: How do you source products for your home?Mariel Hemingway: As a Cambria brand spokesperson, the Product is not traveling around the world to get to you. I think about.. do I need to pull up my floor or can I use it longer? I think for me being a celebrity, it gives me the opportunity to share. It doesn’t take great planning - you have to be clever and conscious.When you go into a well designed high quality house, you feel differently in it. The Willing Way (her latest work which will be launched this month) will share tips on how to build a healthy responsible life. The information is out there but it can be overwhelming. It will give people options to make people be as healthy and vital as they want to be.When you start thinking about the Environment as your Environment, you’re an Environmentalist. Try to remove EMFs. Work together as a Community. Let's say that I have an organic garden, and I ask what you are growing...maybe we can swap. If you want to change the way you eat, change your breakfast. All of a sudden during lunchtime, you think you feel better. How we learn is by repetition and doing things over and over. You have to start small and create the pattern - when you create a new pattern, you create a new life. Being happy, being healthy is our choice - it’s your birthright.Make your life an adventure - make your life fun. We need to think of our lives in that way.My two Interview Videos with Mariel Hemingway at Dwell on Design 2011 are below, and when we completed our discussion, I said to her, "Thank you for making the world a better place." Enjoy and please share with your friends.