Self-care,  Wine

No Wine-ing

It must have been late July or early August when I came across a tweet that piqued my interest.  The Happy Mentality Blog had created a 30-day Mental Health Challenge that felt like the perfect way to recharge and re-energize myself in the midst of trying to balance a full-time job and a burgeoning blog.  There was one recommended option for the #MHChallenge that gave me pause.

No alcohol.

I was two weeks away from vacation, so…challenge delayed.  But still accepted.  I wanted to enjoy some (read – a LOT) of wine during my time off.

I was super into the idea of the Challenge…gung-ho even (I don’t think I have ever actually written the term “gung-ho” before but let’s just go with it, shall we?)  Ri (of Happy Mentality) had a calendar listing out all of the things she was going to do over the course of her 30 days.  She had written down a mix of activities to soothe her mind, body, and spirit as you can see below.

MHChallenge Calendar

You know what I have done?

Well…not a LOT.  I never got around to putting together a calendar.  It just didn’t seem quite right to copy the lovely Ri completely.  I’ve written a couple of passages in my journal.  And from a physical standpoint, I’ve gone a couple of bike rides and a couple of walks.  I DID kick-off my thirty days with my first ever juice cleanse which I want to do again (didn’t see that one coming!)

Pressed Juicery

“I Survived the Juice Cleansing of 2018”  Please send me a t-shirt.


I have been wine-free for eighteen days as I type this post out.  For someone that has “Chardonnay” as part of their blog name…that’s a pretty big deal.  Okay…you might not think it is too hard, but let me submit some evidence, readers/counselors.

I like wine.  I like wine a lot.

A few friends and colleagues have given me the RCA-dog look when I mention that I am not drinking for thirty days.  You know the look.  It’s the one where someone’s head turns on its axis, the mouth hangs slightly agape, and eyes bulge.  I guess I could have used the word “incredulous” but where is the fun in that?

I’ve heard “why would you do that?” and “why not go alcohol-free in February?  IT ONLY HAS TWENTY-EIGHT DAYS!!!”

My answers?  “The timing felt right to me NOW.” and “My birthday is in February, so that’s the WORST month to do this.  Especially now that my age keeps creeping closer and closer to the AARP line.”

And yes…I know I am missing the latter part of the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival until September 22nd.  Not that I am counting the days or anything…

Food and Wine Festival 3.jpg
I think the Festival was sad that I did not have the wine.  Look at those sad sack clouds.

Being wine-free has been pretty stupendous (Grammarly is tired of the word “great”).  My sleep is some of the best I have had in a really long time.  My wallet is grateful (wine is EXPENSIVE).   And I’ve enjoyed a few mocktails along the way.

Virgin Margarita 3
A cool, spicy cucumber and jalapeno virgin margarita from Rix Sports Bar and Grill at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.  No tequila?  No problem.
You know what pairs well with a non-alcoholic marg?  Watchos.  When nachos and waffle fries collide…you better Watcho yourself.

And while I am home, most nights I play “mixologist.”  Watermelon juice with seltzer and lime is super yum.  Replace the watermelon with cranberry juice, and you’ve got a tart, little libation.

Mocktail 2.jpg
I lit a candle for my orange, peach, and mango infused seltzer.  I warbled a little Frank Sinatra for good measure.

My thirty days is nearly over.  Although I didn’t do the #MHChallenge true justice, I’m pleased with how I feel and what I have accomplished.  I’ll find a point early next year to focus my energies on thirty days to improve my mental and physical self in the true spirit of the challenge.  In the meantime…no Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc for this kid.

Food and Wine Festival.jpg
Hey, Epcot Food and Wine Festival!!!  I am coming for a smaller version of those wine glasses on the 22nd.  Your Italian cheese seminar with wine pairing is going to be DIVINE.

Have you ever participated in a 30-day challenge of any kind before?  I’ve tried the squats and sit-up challenges and always, always throw in the proverbial towel.  I am going to consider this challenge a success, but I’m looking forward to doing the full Mental Health Challenge in 2019.  Who’s with me?

Work Hard.  Play Hard.  Drink Chard…on the 22nd!!



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