Friday, January 19, 2018

De Tierra Vineyards of Monterey County

One of the things I love most about living in California is that there are opportunities everywhere to go wine tasting.  All up and down the coast, as well as inland, there are vineyards hiding around every corner, offering different flavors and grapes from various conditions and terrains.  No two taste the same and they change every year.  I love that!  I love that a wine type I might not have enjoyed a few years ago can become a favorite as we both change and age.  For instance, I was not a lover of Pinot Noir in the past.  I can't explain why, but everywhere I went, I couldn't find one I liked.  But something shifted -- possibly my taste in wine, and probably some changes in the world.  Whatever the reason, over the last two years I have enjoyed tasting (and buying) Pinot Noir on a regular basis.  

This last year I have especially enjoyed the tasting rooms located in Carmel-by-the-Sea, and one of my favorites to visit is De Tierra Vineyards, located at the corner of Mission and 5th Avenue.  You can't miss the welcoming entryway into their beautifully decorated tasting room.

To quote their website...

"De Tierra creates delicious, award-winning, and sustainably harvested wines to share from the unique terroir of Monterey County. De Tierra, as our name suggests, focuses on providing the best representation ‘of the land’. Great wines begin in the vineyard, and it is our goal to translate the defining flavors of place into great wine!"

My dear cousin and I share November birthdays (and I won't say who is a year older), so every year we make it a point to enjoy a day together celebrating.  No kids, no distractions -- just the two of us enjoying a day as ourselves.  These last several years have all been spent in Carmel, and most specifically, we've gone tasting at De Tierra Vineyards tasting room at some point each time.  They offer not only delicious wines, but a menu for various charcuterie platters that you can enjoy along the way.

The wine varietals at De Tierra are significant.  Their reds include Pinot Noir, Merlot, Syrah, Sangiovese, Cabernet Franc, Rhone and Bordeaux style blends, and Zinfandel.  Being a lover of reds, I may have purchased a few bottles of their 2015 Monterey Pinot Noir, which is a favorite.  

Their whites include a Chardonnay, Riesling and Rosé.  They have both red and white wine club options, as well as various club opportunities that include vineyard vacations at one of their rental houses.  Just visit their website to see all of the beautiful options they have.

Throughout the year, De Tierra is wonderful about hosting events, such as movie and trivia nights, Intro to Winemaking classes, and especially various wine club parties.  Check out their calendar of events online to see what might interest you.  I myself have been there when a small group set up a surprise engagement celebration for friends, and it couldn't have been more lovely.

I'll leave you with this -- a picture of my cousin and I, enjoying our wine at the Carmel De Tierra tasting room, which should make you want nothing more than to stop by and chat with any of their amazing staff, who truly know everything about their wines.  I'm always impressed and I always look forward to coming back, again and again.

My visits were not hosted and all opinions are my own.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Monte Verde Inn of Carmel-by-the-Sea

Recently my daughter and I needed a little refresher -- specifically, some time away from the real world before school started back up.  When the need for these trips pop up, we very often look at one another and say, "Carmel!"

For this particular occasion, we decided to try somewhere new that we'd never stayed, and so we landed at the Monte Verde Inn, a Carmel Boutique Inn located on Monte Verde Street, between Ocean and 7th Avenues.  Nestled into the street on both sides, they offer parking for their guests, which isn't always guaranteed in Carmel.  Their entrance is spacious and inviting, with a friendly staff and lobby.

(This picture courtesy of the Monte Verde Inn website)

Once we were all checked in, we made our way to our room.  It was on the 2nd floor across the street from the lobby, and was absolutely darling!  The decor was warm, with all the right amenities to ensure you had everything you needed for a comfortable stay, and I was especially surprised to find a snifter of signature sherry with adorable sherry glasses.  Since I was there with my 13 year old daughter, we didn't partake, but we both enjoyed the chocolates that were included.

Once we were done exploring the room, we took off for town to enjoy some of the fun that Carmel-by-the-Sea has to offer.  The nearby 5th Avenue Deli is always a great place for a specialty sandwich, which we both chose to take with us down to Carmel Beach.  The weather was beautiful, with the sun shining and the waves crashing.  Our only hilarious mistake was in leaving our leftovers unattended under our jackets when we went for a walk.  By the time we returned, a few seagulls had gotten involved and had their way with things.  We laughed, cleaned up our mess and went about the business of enjoying Carmel to its fullest.

The next morning, knowing that Monte Verde Inn would deliver breakfast, we lounged in our cozy bed until it arrived.  When it did we were so delighted to find a basket that was dropped right outside of our door.  Everything we ate was fresh and delicious, including yogurt, hard boiled eggs, bagels with cream cheese and even orange juice served in mason jars.  We loved it!  We ate up every single bite before heading out for a cool morning walk.

Monte Verde Inn offers even more than what we experienced.  They have everything from standard deluxe rooms to ocean view condos with full kitchens and living rooms.  Whatever your needs, they can accommodate it.  There is also a concierge page on their website to help you find just the right Central Coast adventure you're looking for, which in person I'm sure they can help you arrange.  They are even a pet friendly hotel, welcoming canine guests for an additional fee.

I know we'll be back to Monte Verde Inn, and we look forward to it.  Until then, if you have the opportunity, definitely stay there and enjoy a relaxing vacation in Carmel.

My stay was not hosted and all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

She is Noble -- Enter to Win Contest!

What does it mean to be a noble woman?

It's living fearlessly and loving recklessly!

She is Noble is inspired by the life of Christina Noble, an Irish woman who traveled to Vietnam after experiencing an unforgettable dream.  As a result of her journey, she rescued millions of abused and homeless children.  Her story is told in the new movie NOBLE, coming to theaters Spring 2015.  The She is Noble campaign is designed to honor and celebrate inspirational women who change the world around them.

Who is that woman in your world?  In your neighborhood or school or church?  Whoever she is, we want you to have the opportunity to tell her story.

Find the time and nominate a noble woman at  Include a brief description, your name and email.  Done!  A team of storytellers -- from writers to videographers -- will take it from there, ready to take your nomination and tell her story.

But that's not all!  

Not ONLY could you win a trip to Ireland for you and $10,000 for her work, but if any of MY readers gets their submission published on the She is Noble website, they will receive a $25 Amazon gift card!  (To be disbursed in early May.)

When you enter, use my unique referral code of sleeplessmornings (all one word) so that you can tie your submission back to me and hopefully win the gift card too!  It's that simple!

I look forward to reading everyone's published submissions.  My hope is that it will inspire people, including myself, to go forth and do more wherever we can.  I don't think there's a higher calling than that!

To check out the movie website, go to

The contest will close at 11:59PM EST on Monday, April 27th. The winners will be notified on or about April 28, 2015, via email, phone or mail.

Good luck!!

I will receive the same $25 gift card for all referred published submissions on  All opinions are my own.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Holman Ranch - Carmel Valley, CA

Last year I had the privilege of visiting Holman Ranch in Carmel Valley.  From their tasting room to their incredible ranch, The Mom Jen and I had a wonderful time.  I posted the review on my personal blog, Sleepless Mornings, and you can read all about it here.

Disney's Maleficent

Unexpectedly, I fell in love with Disney's Maleficent back in May 2014.

I might have even possibly requested it for Christmas.

Until then, I enjoy looking back at my review of the movie, which you can read at The Mom Reviews here.


Omni San Diego - The perfect Honeymoon location!

I was lucky enough to marry a wonderful man this last summer, which was followed by a fantastic honeymoon down in Southern California.  Thanks to the Omni San Diego we ended that week with a perfect night, which we'll never forget.

You can read about it here!

Omni San Diego on The Mom Reviews.

Hofsas House

Our family thoroughly enjoyed a getaway to Carmel-by-the-Sea last month.  Read my review here at the fabulous The Mom Reviews blog.

Hofsas House Review