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Monthly Archives: October 2015

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Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling Review

Sometimes when you finally make it home from the day, all you want to do is sit down and relax with a great glass of wine.

Chateau reislingSince creating “Words, Wine and Women”, I have shared several things about myself but none of my favorite wine choices. I know. I think that is strange also so let’s rectify that today. I’m no sommelier or wine expert but here is one of my favorite go-to “everyday” wines. I recently caught the movie, “Somm” on Netflix. It is the story of four sommeliers attempting to pass the Prestigious Master Sommelier Exam (highly recommend it). Let’s see if I learned anything.

As I open a bottle of Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling (click for tasting notes) from Washington’s Columbia Valley and sniff, thoughts of my home state of Georgia flood my mind as hints of peach and sweet lime hit my nose. Sips of the wine compliment the smell as the taste of other fruit – apple, pear, melon and even hints of floral start to make an appearance. What might sound strange but I guarantee you is really tasty is the subtle mineral taste that lingers after a sip. (Believe me, it is great.) And like Lay’s Potato Chips, you can’t have just one sip.

The Chateau Ste. Michelle website (https://www.ste-michelle.com/) states that the wine pairs well with fish, chicken, cheeses as even Mediterranean dishes. I say it goes great with everything because it is less than $10 per bottle (YES SIR!!!). I grabbed a bottle (okay, several) at Trader Joe’s for $6.99.

So give it a try. I would love to know what you think!


From the desk of Tara Johnson

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Leading for Change Hosted by Beth Gonzales

Beth Gonzales with Mayor Nutter and Lisa Nutter

Beth Gonzales with Mayor Nutter and Lisa Nutter

The Leading for Change Fellowship presents:
Leading with Hope and Conviction, Leading on Empty:
The Power of a Leader’s Support Networks

October 21, 2015, 6pm-9pm
Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA

Our host, Beth Gonzales, put on an event that brought emerging Philadelphia leaders together to talk about leadership on October 21, 2015 at Drexel University. Guest speakers were Philadelphia Mayor, Michael Nutter and CEO of Philadelphia Academies, Lisa Nutter.

Beth is the Director, Public Service Leadership Development at Drexel University. Find out more about Leading for Change Fellowship Program in Philadelphia, PA.

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When You Become a Parent, You Become a Leader

Tick tock. Tick tock. Goes the clock.

They say timing is everything. From seizing opportunities, winning the lottery, and falling in love to business success, landing your ideal job, and becoming a parent. Whatever it is… there seems to be such a thing as timing.

They also say time management is critical to being successful.

I’ve always thought of myself as a good time manager. In the sense of delegating my time to “get things done” (not being on time—I still struggle with that). Yet, and still since becoming a mother, timing and my time management skills have been tested and I’m determined to find ways to make life a little easier. For my daughter’s sake. For my sake.

As a leadership development professional, I’ve met with many CEOs and discussed the importance of making time to think, assess and develop a strategy for their organizations. Over and over again I’ve witnessed that successful organizations typically have leaders who spend significant periods of diligent, focused time “thinking.” This is essential so an organization stays aligned with its mission, doesn’t lose focus or spend time putting out fires rather than seizing opportunities, fulfilling strategic aspirations, understanding why they do things the way they do and knowing what they do great.

As a single mother of a 4 year old, settling into a new job, new city, and new home, I admit that I haven’t found my rhythm yet. I often feel overwhelmed, scared and tired. Overwhelmed with all of the things I know Zoe needs to know to survive in this world; scared that I won’t be able to raise her to be the awesome person she is and show her the world, while simultaneously trying to pursue my creative/entrepreneurial projects, career, relationships and life goals. Tired, from the constant juggling, constant hustling.

Laundry. Cleaning. Grocery Shopping. Hair. Daycare. Gym. Church. “Zoe and me” time. “me” time. Family time. Bills. Work. Show. Writing. Sleep. More bills. The list goes on and on.

I’ve come to realize that I can’t just rely on my time management skills to raise my daughter and “hope” we maximize life’s experiences. Why? Because when you become a parent, you become a leader.

While management and leadership share commonalities, their functions differ.

Managing is about efficiency. Leading is about effectiveness. Managing is about how. Leading is about what and why.

Looking at parenthood through a leadership paradigm and applying leadership principles to parenthood suddenly makes sense to me. I don’t want my parenting experience to be status quo. Meaning, I don’t want to just “go through the motions,” “get by,” “hope,” “fly by the seat of my pants” and “pray it all works out.” I want more! I want to be the best mom I can be! I want to make the most out of time!

You see, just like nature, music, jumping double-dutch, or great sex, there is a rhythm to timing; and getting your timing right is important!

Tick tock. Tick tock. Goes the clock.

As Zoe transitioned from a newborn to an infant, I simply adapted and enjoyed her growth and development. But now, as she transitions from a toddler to a preschooler, and becomes more aware of the world and her place in it, I am finding myself recalibrating (often) and finding it critical to be more intentional, more strategic with my time.

So, I’ve decided that I’m going to become a successful CEO of parenthood!
Beth Gonzales-Host Words, Wine and Women
Over the next several weeks, I’m going to focus on the leadership concept of “thinking.” I am going to block time out of my schedule to think. Think about what kind of parent I want to be, think about my strategy of how to be the best parent I can be, how I want to spend my time with my daughter, how and what I want to teach her, how I want to develop her morale compass, confidence, talents and abilities….the list goes on and on. Doing this, I believe, will make my parenting experience better, more fulfilling and more focused. And ultimately, I think this will help me find my rhythm as a parent, and make me feel comfortable with that timing as Zoe grows.

Remember, successful organizations usually have leaders who spend significant periods of diligent, focused time thinking…so I’m going to do just that–take time to think, assess and strategize about what I want and need from my parenthood experience…which is the first step towards helping me become a leader who recognizes good timing and makes the most of the circumstances time presents me as a parent.

Tick tock. Tick tock. Goes the clock.

Parents, have you taken time out to think?

Until next time, Beth Gonzales

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Official Selection-International Online Web Fest 2015

Words, Wine and Women have been given the Laurel for official selection in the International Online Web Fest of 2015!
The categories that Words, Wine and Women are entitled to participate in are:

  • Best WebSeries
  • Best Directing;
  • Best Screenplay;
  • Best Leading Male Role;
  • Best Leading Female Role;
  • Best Cinematography;
  • Best Editing;
  • Best Special and Visual Effects;
  • Best Original Soundtrack;
  • Best Sound Design;
  • Best Art Directing;

As more details emerge with the #IOWF2015, we will continue to update you on this exciting news!

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Feminism: Defining or Dividing

“I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat, or a prostitute.”
Rebecca West, Young Rebecca: Writings, 1911-1917

You might laugh when you read Rebecca West’s quote but I understand exactly what she means. A quick Google search of “I’m not a feminist” will garner thousands of results of women going back and forth surrounding the use of this word.

Recently, Meryl Streep, Shailene Woodley, and Marion Cotillard, all announced that they are not feminists and the backlash from those statements was significant.

In a recent HuffPost article, the author attempts to define the word, “feminist” for everyone and even says, “if you believe in basic gender equality, SURPRISE, you’re probably a feminist!”

What I suggest, what I am proposing, what I am urging is that the use of the word really doesn’t matter. Does it really matter if I use the word, “feminist” as long as I love my larger than size zero body, work my a** off in a male-dominated industry of entertainment to prove everyday that I deserve every penny that a man will earn without even asking and produce a web series about female empowerment and women having a voice and using that voice?

I think not.

Where there is no unity, there is no progress. And my momma always told me, “Actions speak louder than words”.

I think we have to be careful that this “word” (that is suppose to unify us and give us strength) doesn’t completely tear us apart. I so often feel we are in a battle of the “feminists” vs. the “non-feminists”; and, if we are spending our time fighting internally and attempting to define each other with one word, then who is fighting the real fight?

And if we lose that fight, “men” don’t win. Future generations of women to come will lose. Now I ask you — is an 8-letter word really worth all of that?

From the Desk of Tara Johnson

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