Now That's What I Call Sparkling Wine

Thursday, June 27, 2013

They say that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but when it comes to wine that’s almost totally how I judge it!

Last month when we were in New Jersey, I stocked up on a few wines for future Winey Women meetings. One that caught my eye for obvious reasons was Sequin Rose!  

This brand encourages people to “Add a little sparkle to your day,” with three varieties – Moscato, Pinot Grigio and Rose.

I really enjoyed the Rose. It was sweet, with a little sparkle. As the website says, “it’s the life of the party - light on its feet, yet dreamy and fresh.” It has “flavors of lush strawberry, exotic lychee and lively citrus.”

If you can locate this at your liquor store, it would make a great hostess gift or wine for a bachelorette party.

I feel like this brand is just about to take off. If you like the Sequin Facebook page, you will see that the brand is sampling at a lot of events, so keep an eye out for it and try and some for yourself!  
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Follow Shot of Mom on Pinterest!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Reader Erin writes:

Tell Sue to keep pinning good things!

Reader Erin isn’t the only one that said they love what Shot of Mom Pins. Therefore, I wanted to let you all in on Sue’s Pinterest boards! You can follow her here.

Shot of Mom’s boards range from food, crafts, drink recipes, holidays and more! She pins on a frequent basis and has a following of more than 111 people! 

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Summer Wine Sipper

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Last week I was chatting with my local liquor store guy because I was looking for a light wine for summer drinking. I wanted something that was almost like sparkling, but not sparkling.

In his best Pittsburgh accent, the liquor dude recommended a Vinho Verde (aka VeeeNo V-AIR-dayh in Pittsburgh-ese).

Liquor dude was right! He led me to the Broadbent Vinho Verde which was priced under $10. According to the website, this wine is made in Portugal and has won some nice media accolades like Food & Wine’s Top Ten Best Summer Wines and a top pick by Bon Appetit.

The alcohol percent is 9 and its recommended food pairing is fish, shellfish and poultry. For those that took Spanish a decade ago, you may remember that “verde” translates to “green” and you may notice that the wine has a hint of lime color.   

If you tend to like Pinot Grigo or sparkling wine, this is totally up your alley if you are looking to try something new this summer! 
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Five Shots for Friday

Friday, June 14, 2013


Aughhh! It’s totally summer…and a Friday! What are your plans for dad’s day? Some grillin’ and chillin’ is on my agenda. Here are some lovely links to lead you into the weekend.

·         My homegirl Aly from Studio Bash posted photos from another amazing wedding this week. While I love looking at any wedding the Bashs shoot, I loved this wedding gift idea mentioned in the post. Someone surprised the couple by having an artist paint a picture of them at the alter during the wedding. What an awesome gift! (Oh and if you need a wedding photographer in Pittsburgh, Studio Bash is the best!)

·         Speaking of weddings, how cute is this idea from the bachelorette party of Emma from A Beautiful Mess. Six bridesmaids or friends toasted Emma with a different cocktail that was named after a memory they shared with the bride-to-be! Oh and while you visit the site, be sure to check the mini-alcohol piƱata. I’ve always wanted to do that!

·         What’s the next best thing to an actual wheel of cheese? Well a digital wheel that decodes your cheese type!

·         LOVE this backyard DIY – Giant Scrabble!

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A Shandy is Just Dandy

Thursday, June 13, 2013

According to CNBC, 2013 is “the summer of shandy.” As in shandy beer – the combination of lemonade and beer.

The CNBC story states that the shandy’s origin is dates back to 1922 in Bavaria when a man named Franz Xavier Kugler gave the lemonade beer combo to some cyclists.

Shandys can also be a combination of beer with ginger ale or cider. If the combination contains beer and cider, it’s called a snakebite.

If you are looking to taste a shandy, here are some options:

·         Leinenkugel (my favorite shandy!)

·         Shock Top

·         Dundee

·         Time Traveler

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Etsy Item of the Week: League of Letters

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

My Etsy Item of the Week comes from the shop League of Letters. Here you can find…well, letters! If you are looking for some room or door flair with your monogram, this is the shop for you!

League of Letters will send you the wooden letters and you can customize then with paint or gems or even leave them plain. A cute gift for a bride-to-be or new addition to a family! 
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Shot of Brandi* Summer Reading List

Monday, June 10, 2013

One of my favorite things about summer is the new book releases. There is nothing better than sitting outside or on the beach reading a good book!

Here are some of the books that I’m reading or looking forward to reading this summer!

Reading List:

·         Revenge Wears Prada: I love anything Lauren Weisberger and was I’m rather excited about this sequel to Devil Wears Prada. According to Amazon, this book follows Andy as she and her former co-assistant Emily as they work at a bridal magazine that they created together.

·         A Fierce Radiance: This book by Lauren Belfer was selected for my next sorority alumnae book club. This book is apparently a combination of romance and history set during the early days of World War II.


·         Entwined with You: Yes, I got sucked into another soft core p*rn series. This book is by Sylvia Day and part of the Crossfire series. When you start reading this you are like “Is this just 50 Shades with better writing?” But then you realize there’s a better plot. And for some reason I like the characters better. Maybe I like it more because it is based in NY? My only gripe is that the 3rd book just came out and there will be a 4th…we just don’t know when yet!

·         Gone Girl: The Chi O Alum Book Club just discussed this one that I read last year. It’s an interesting read about a couple where the wife goes missing. The chapters are from the POV of the husband and then the wife and so on throughout the whole book. If you like Nancy Grace and the cases that she covers, this book is for you.

What’s on your reading list? What else should I add? 
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Etsy Item of the Week: 99 Barrels of Wine...

Thursday, June 06, 2013

I’m going to start a new feature here – the Etsy Item of the Week. Today’s has a Thirsty Thursday Theme.  

It’s not a hidden secret that I love Etsy. The daily newsletters are just filled with gems that I’m always bookmarking for future gifting opportunities. Given that there are some items that I love, but I’ll never gift, I’ve decided to feature them here!

Well today’s items – one of these just may end up on well my Christmas list. Aunt Molly’s Barrel’s has an assortment of wine barrel gifts.

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Show Off Shower: Ideas for a Display Bridal Shower

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

A few weeks ago I attended my FSIL bridal shower.  For those of you not down with the lingo, FSIL = future sister-in-law.

What’s the one part of ever shower that you despise? Watching the bride open gifts? Ding Ding Ding Ding!

My FSIL shower was a Display Shower. So rather than having the guests watch the future bride open the gifts, all of the gifts were out on display.

I’m was super excited to see how the gifts were be displayed, so I wanted to share some ideas with you in case you are invited to one of these showers in the future!  


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Shot of Brandi Graduation Advice

Ten years ago this year I graduated college. Now that university graduations have wrapped and high school ceremonies approach, I thought I would list a few things I wish someone would have told me when I graduated. A Shot of Brandi commencement speech if you will ; )

1.      If you want to get a job in your major, it’s easier when you stay in your major-related field. Before I landed my first full-time PR job, I had FOUR internships. One during college, one during college summer breaks, one for a YEAR after college and then I accepted ANOTHER position at the PR agency that ended up hiring me full time. No, it wasn’t easy to make $1,000 a month or $10 an hour, but I found a way to make it work.

If you accept a job right out of college working at say a payroll company, chances are when you want to make a change, you will need to stay in the payroll field or start back up from the bottom at your desired company to get to your current salary. And after two years at the payroll company, you are 25 and want to go into say advertising. You are now competing with recent grads that will likely have several internships under their belt.

Get creative and make sacrifices to let you stay in your field. If you have to keep taking internships, find something else to help pay the bills (i.e. retail at night).

2.      You need to do internships. And that’s internship with an S meaning more than one. I was talking to someone the other day about a college student that is about to be a senior and is looking for a summer internship. The person said “Well, they’ve only had one internship.” Some would consider one internship after your junior year a good thing, but the more you have the merrier - or more impressive it looks on your resume! Oh and not only do internships give you experience in your field, they can also lead to husbands. That’s how I met mine!

3.      You can’t compare yourself to others. Especially if you’ve picked a non-traditional profession. Finding your first full-time job isn’t always as difficult as it was for me. I chose to work in PR and there are many paths for PR professionals – that’s what makes the search rather difficult! But say you have a friend that majored in accounting. There are clear jobs out there looking for accounting professionals. So for some of your friends, the job search may be easier. Once you actually land that job, people are going to move up the ladder quicker than you, people are going to get married before you and people are going to buy a big house before you. You can’t compare yourself to others. Learn to find balance – a way to be happy with your current position and situation, but still stay hungry to achieve your goals.

4.      Walt Disney was right – it really is a small world. Be nice to people. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve crossed paths with people in which we have mutual friends. Or even how many times a friend has called and said “What do you know about XX…they applied for a job here and you two are Facebook friends.” Don’t burn bridges and remember the golden rule – treat others like you want to be treated.

A few other random things I wish I would have known 10 years ago:

·         The job that you accept after college won’t likely be the same job you have 10 years later. While I was at one PR agency for 8 of the last 10 years, I still had five different jobs in the last 10 years in three different cities.

·         You are going to send out A LOT of resumes. After college while I was working at Virginia Tech, I applied for 111 jobs. I still have the list and I show college students. I stopped counting the number of jobs that I applied for in the last 10 years. I can’t believe how many times I’ve been rejected!

·         If someone says: “Send me your resume…” Send them your resume! And be prompt! They may forget your conversation!

·         Learn about what a 401K is in college. A personal finance class can help too! Real world jobs have a lot of paperwork!

·         When someone (a parent’s friend, aunt, uncle, etc.) talks to you about a job opportunity, don’t automatically say no. Entertain their offer. Sit on it for a few days and then politely decline if it doesn’t interest you. If you are quick to say no (and you don’t currently have a job), you can come across negative or unmotivated.

·         Finally, when you pick a place to work – pick wisely. Pick a place that is a good company, but also select a place based on the people that you will work with. You spend A LOT of time at work, so you may as well like the people that you are working with. All of my jobs have allowed me to make friendships that will last a lifetime.
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