First of all, in this blog posting are the instructions for how you could win a $75.00 gift certificate from True Fabrications, a wine sales Website with great gift items… Maybe you’d enjoy having your own decanter, wine glasses, glass racks, etc. One lucky person at the end of this week will be winning this $75.00 give away.

[Left to right: Lyla Diaz, Jennifer Heutz]

Secondly, I’m a business woman, whose life revolves around making a living. I know a lot about mixing business and pleasure; otherwise, I couldn’t tell you that I held Tina Turner in the palm of my hand years ago. (She is one of the most amazingly warm women, of all the rockers that I met.) This happened because Jose was WBLM’s program director. With each touring artist, he (and I) were given back stage passes to meet the bands. It didn’t take more than a couple of trips backstage before it occurred to me that I could  be capturing these magical moments, given to only a privileged few. My images could then be submitted to trade magazines, and my pleasure was quickly turned into a business opportunity of the best kind.

I have no problem allowing promotions on my wine blog, because I have no conflict of interest clauses signed. My blog is my world… If I love a product that enhances my life, let’s rock ~ pure and simple. What’s on my blog, though, has to align with my principles, as I’ve developed some strong ones over the years. I prefer quality… life’s short.

My emails are constant. I live on Email, and love it. Good ‘ole mental gymnastics. A lot of deleting, sorting, storing, questions, and action items. My blog’s now hit that point where others are seeing the advertising opportunities. I can tell you right now, if it doesn’t relate to wine and food businesses, it’s not going to happen. For now, I’m pretty focused on wanting this to be a wine blog with lots of food and wine opportunities.

So, the opportunity… In the 70s, some of my closest friends (who remain that way to this day) were the Claude and Diane Heutz family in Maine. We each raised three children, and it was all done in a seamlessly integrated way. All of our children played together; in the winter we traveled to the Sunday River Ski resort together. In the summer, they visited family that had summer property on the same lake where we lived year round. The Heutz grandmother cared for all of our kids, mine also being treated as her own. We were all in Girls Scouts together. Now, Jen, Diane’s youngest daughter, who moved to California to be closer to my daughter Lyla after we moved, is preparing to be married. Lyla is one of her maids of honor (Jen has two maids of honor).

As Lyla was preparing Jen’s bridal shower, we talked about what she would be doing, including having some interactive games that would be fun for everyone. Both girls are very tasteful. Lyla was thinking out loud about the things she’s like to have as gift prizes.

Meanwhile, that morning I had a query from Cyrus Shepard of True Fabrications. Whenever this happens, I go to the Website to see the quality of the products, before I’d even consider such a request, of course.

I immediately liked the Web portal. Having it be so wine centric, it was a perfect fit. As I navigated around, I saw great items that Lyla could use to enhance this wine country bridal shower. Selecting items for the shower could be Lyla’s assignment, while Cyrus and I would work out all the other details. I told him about the upcoming party, and told him that my blog is my journal.

This wine country shower would provide great models for when and how his products could be used. Remember… I also know Jen, and felt pretty sure that she’d be fine with allowing me to photograph her – again for the millionth time – on this special day with her closest friends. I spent her childhood photographing her, why stop now? My pictures of her shower were also going to be part of my gift to her… As always.

It was a wonderful day, and the gift items from True Fabrications were great fun. Lyla, as thoughtful as she is, even veered off the beaten path a bit. She also chose some bath and body items for Jen’s future mother-in-law, Doris, who was hosting the bridal shower in her home. Doris put them right into the bathroom, for everyone to share.

I got to also photograph Doris’s beautiful garden. (I think I love photographing flowers more than I enjoy breathing.)

So… how you win your own $75 shopping… for yourself or some other bride and groom this month of June…

Just leave a comment in any comment box throughout this week. On this coming Saturday, June 12, I’ll pull a name from my Prize Hat, and announce the winner on Saturday. I’ll then directly connect you with Cyrus Shepard, and off you go to create your own special moments. Good luck!