Friday Wine Down: Archery Summit Pinot Noir

Welcome to the Friday Wine Down! What a week it’s been – doesn’t a glass of wine sound perfect right about now? Here at GiftTree, we’re collectors, sippers and enthusiasts, and when we find a very special bottle, we just can’t keep ourselves from sharing! From Chardonnay on a casual night out to a rare Oregon Pinot Noir for special occasions, every week we’ll feature a fantastic wine available in our gifts. Onward!   This Week’s Friday Wine Down: Archery Summit Dundee Hills Pinot Noir   About This Wine One of Oregon’s most renowned Pinot producers, Archery Summit is the only Oregon winery with with natural subterranean caves. Modeled after Burgundy’s underground caverns, Archery Summit’s incredible Pinot Noir is aged in the volcanic rock cellar underneath the estate. Never rising above 59 degrees F, this is an optimal condition for storing exceptional wine that is aging in mature barrels. See it for yourself! So if you ever get the chance to visit Archery Summit’s winery, be sure to take a tour! Tasting Notes This seductive Willamette Valley wine leads with vibrant floral notes of lilac and violet. Touches of cherry, raspberry and cocoa powder join the floral components. Following, secondary notes of black licorice, berry bramble and rosemary complement the leading fruit flavors. With flavors so persistent and saturating, the palate is enveloped. Lingering, the wine smoothes out through a refined, balanced finish. Blend 100% Pinot Noir Serving, Pairing & Gifting This is a perfect medium bodied Pinot Noir for pairing with delicious meals. A few of our favorite dishes are coq au vin, pork tenderloin with a cranberry glaze...

Write Newsletters Your Employees Will Read

Let’s face it, we are all guilty of not reading our company’s newsletters. Whether it is too long, not interesting, old news or not worth your busy time, there are many examples of how easy it is to hit ‘DELETE’ when that newsletter hits your inbox. So how do you write a standout newsletter that will grab your fellow coworker’s attention?   Whether you are looking to be creative, funny, entertaining, or short and to the point with some lightheartedness, here are some of our favorite tips on writing the perfect newsletter.     Write Newsletters Your Employees Will Read   Provide content worth reading – This might seem like a no brainer but seriously, make it interesting. Make sure to provide tips, advice, or industry news that subscribers will be interested in. Perhaps even provide an incentive within the newsletter such as a raffle or give-away. Create a catchy headline/subject – Your newsletter literally needs to scream “READ ME FIRST”. Establish trust – Consistency is key but feel free to add variety. Always make sure that your employees can trust what you say and feel that your headlines/subjects are cohesive with the content. Write for your audience – Although this may be a company-wide newsletter, always make sure to break it down for everyone, avoid acronyms and abbreviations when possible. Keep it short and simple – Allow your employees to get the important information they need. Keep them regular – Between once a week and once a month is usually considered about right. Add visuals to enhance your content – Did you know the average employee only spends...

Get Organized for the School Year

It’s about that time – much to their own dismay, the summer is ending, and the kids are getting ready to go back to school. Will it be a busy year for your family? Homework assignments, projects, study groups and after school activities can get pretty chaotic, pretty fast, especially if you have middle or high-schoolers in your home. Never fear! Fortunately, there are simple ways to keep the agendas on track. Here are a few easy tips to help you get organized for the school year (and stay that way). Five Great Tips for School Organization 📆 Get a Calendar Going. It’s easy to forget important dates. When is that science project due? When is Billy’s first soccer game, or Suzy’s dentist appointment? Whether it’s a family planner or a giant dry-erase board by the front door, write it down. You will be glad you did! 🎒 Clean Out that Backpack – Every Single Day. Often times, kids just stuff their… stuff… into their backpacks and never think about it again. If you take 5 minutes in the evening to clean out their backpack with them, you may just jog their memory about homework that’s due, or a permission slip you need to sign. 🥗 Make Sure Meals Are Planned In Advance! From breakfast to dinner, including packed lunch and the after-school snack, make sure there’s a plan. Serve meals and snacks with nutritious food that powers them up for the day! A meal plan will help you feel a lot more prepared for the day, as well, and it’ll make grocery store trips much more efficient! 📓 Block Out...

De-Stress The Office

What does your company do when it’s up against a deadline? Teams are running around like mad, there’s a definite time crunch and in the air, the stress-levels could be cut with a knife. If you’re in a leadership role, you know those bottle-neck times all too well. Did you know that 80% of employees said the overall condition of their office affected how they perceive their employers?  There are many small changes that you can make to the atmosphere, behaviors and habits that will help de-stress the office. Here are some of our favorite tips. The Best Ways to De-Stress the Office   🌿 Bring in Plants Greenery in the office adds much-needed oxygen and humidity to dry air. Some people believe that they even help build creativity and solution-finding, too! Indoor plants that don’t need a lot of attention, like Peace Lilies, are a great idea.   🖥️ Properly Position Chairs, Desks, Keyboards and Monitors Check in with your team’s setup during crunch time. Bad posture and strained eyes can contribute to a lot of negative effects including stiffness and pain, which definitely cause crankiness. We actually found this (very nerdy) ergonomic calculator to be really handy!   🍎 Encourage Healthy Snacking Fresh fruit, mixed nuts and protein-rich snacks (such as beef jerky or hard-boiled eggs) are great for keeping your brain focused and your stomach full. Chips, candy, sugary sodas, while delish at the time, won’t keep you full, and studies have shown that they contribute to heightened stress levels and poor focus.   🏃‍♀️ Get Moving Exercise is a proven stress-reducer, and sometimes people are looking...

Beat The Heat: No Cook Meal Plans

It’s HOT. All over the United States, temperatures have been soaring. It’s been sticky. It’s been uncomfortable. And the last thing you want to do is stand over a hot stove or turn on the oven. Of course, you could always order a pizza or stop by KFC on the way home from work, but these days, health and nutrition are more of a priority than they’ve ever been. We got you! Here are three days’ worth of healthy no cook meal plans with recipes included. No Cook Meal # 1 Main Dish: Best Ever Shrimp Ceviche from My Latina Table  Nothing beats the heat like ceviche. The citrus, the spice… my mouth is watering just writing about this! The amazing thing about this dish? It really is no cook – even the shrimp! Soak the shrimp in lemon or lime juice for at least an hour – it turns pink and is ready to eat. If you’re worried about this packing too much spice for the little ones, this Shrimp & Avocado Salad from Natasha’s Kitchen is a great alternative. Side: Creamy Cilantro Avocado Dip from Rachel Ray Serve it with fresh tortilla chips (Juanita’s are the best if you can get them in your area!) or make it a healthier option with sliced cucumber, red pepper strips or carrot sticks. Dessert: Frozen Mango & Yogurt Pops This creamy dessert is guaranteed to put the chill on the hottest day. Creamy yogurt meets tangy mango to create such a soothing combination – your whole family will love it.   No Cook Meal # 2 Main Dish: Tarragon Chicken...

Friday Wine Down: Emmolo Sauvignon Blanc

Welcome to the Friday Wine Down! What a week it’s been – doesn’t a glass of wine sound perfect right about now? Here at GiftTree, we’re collectors, sippers and enthusiasts, and when we find a very special bottle, we just can’t keep ourselves from sharing! From Chardonnay on a casual night out to a rare Pinot Noir for special occasions, every week we’ll feature a fantastic wine available in our gifts. Onward!   This Week’s Friday Wine Down: Bridlemile Dundee Hills Pinot Noir About This Wine The daughter of noted Napa Valley winemaker Chuck Wagner (Caymus Vineyards), Jenny Wagner had a vision of creating her own wine using family vineyards. Inspired by the idea that less is more, Emmolo Sauvignon Blanc is more minerality-driven than fruit-driven. The grapes come from two family vineyards, harvested at just the right moment to achieve a balance of firm acidity and low alcohol. Jenny named her wines after her mother Cheryl Emmolo, who also comes from a long line of Napa Valley farmers. Tasting Notes With a lighter body, Emmolo Sauvignon Blanc’s aromas are fresh and clean, evoking the scent of a first rain, with a hint of honeysuckle and underlying notes of tangerine and wet stone. The wine enters the palate with a crisp yet soft quality, flowing into flavors of flower blossom and ending with a flinty and mouthwatering finish of fresh peach. Serving, Pairing & Gifting Emmolo Sauvignon Blanc’s light body and present minerality makes it an ideal companion to dishes that complement its refreshing crispness. Try it with crab cakes, baked or grilled chicken in a fresh herb sauce. Pasta...

Cute Ways to Celebrate National Friendship Day

Next Monday, August 5th is National Friendship Day! Kind of a cute idea, right? It’s a chance for us to stop and take a second to appreciate our wonderful friends who have been there through thick and thin. Our Favorite Quotes About Friendship Let us be grateful to the friends who make us happy – they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. – Marcel Proust A loyal friend laughs at your jokes when they’re not so good, and sympathizes with your problems when they’re not so bad. – Arnold Glasgow Friendship is born at the moment when one person says to another, “What? You too? I thought I was the only one.” – CS Lewis There’s not a word yet for old friends who’ve just met. – Jim Henson 5 Cute (and Simple) Ways to Celebrate Friendship Day One A handwritten letter is such a special surprise to receive! Write a heartfelt note to your friend, telling them how much you appreciate their friendship. Don’t know how to put it into words? Here are some writing prompts: Tell the story of how they were there for you during a hard time. Reminisce about the first day you met! Make an anagram out of their name, with an adjective for each letter (ie, L is for Loyal, T is for trustworthy). Two Surprise them at work and take them to lunch or out to a coffee date! If they’re too busy to leave the office, you can bring them coffee or lunch with a little note of appreciation and a wish for a great day. Three Who doesn’t LOVE...

The Home Chef’s Gift Guide

She’s a master in the kitchen, he’s a genius with a mixing bowl… isn’t it great to have awesome cooks in our lives? When there’s a good chef in the house, we get to reap all the benefits. That’s why special occasions are a great opportunity to say “thanks for the delicious meals you’ve created!” Here are some great gift ideas for the home chef, from GiftTree and beyond.   The Home Chef’s Gift Guide Olive Wood Mortar & Pestle, GiftTree.   Olive Wood Serving Board, WildlyDelicious.     Himalayan Salt Block & Mark Bitterman Cookbook, TheMeadow.     Petit Maison Brie / Bruleé Torch, Petit Maison.     Eight Vial Sourced Salt Set, Jacobsen Salt Co.     Home Chef’s Fresh Herb Crate, GiftTree.     Professional Oak Handled Cheese Knife Set, Boska Holland.     Cotton Cook’s Apron, Blackberry Farm.     Comment Below What do you think makes a great gift for a...

How to Throw the Best Office Baby Shower

It starts with a co-worker letting you know that she’s expecting, or a colleague telling the team about his wife’s pregnancy. What should we do? The word starts to get around about throwing an office baby shower, but how exactly is that done? Here is a step-by-step guide to throwing an office baby shower that will be remembered and enjoyed by everyone. Your Guide to Office Baby Showers: Q & A   Is it ok to throw a shower at all? First thing’s first – before jumping in, make sure that you’ve cleared it with both the expecting person and your HR department. If the expecting mom or dad would feel uncomfortable with a shower being thrown for them, respect their wishes. And at some companies, HR may way to take the lead on all celebrations, so make sure you’re good there, too. And even though surprises are fun, it’s probably wisest not to risk it unless you’re absolutely sure they would love it.   Who should be in charge, and who should be enlisted to help? If you’re their closest work-friend, manager or direct report, congratulations – you’re the one who should be in charge. If you need assistance in putting the shower together, ask their department co-workers or those you know are friendly with the expectant person to help. Most importantly, it is best to keep the guest of honor involved in the whole process, so that they feel good about all of it.   When should an office baby shower take place? Most people would prefer for an office party to be short and sweet, not taking...

Give A Home Spa Day

It’s HOT. We’re getting into what they call the “Dog Days of Summer”. When the temperature soars like this, if you’re anything like me, you get to feeling kind of… sticky and just not fresh. So what is the best way to feel refreshed? A home spa day of course! Home spa days are perfect to hit the reset button and feel your best. If you know someone who deserves a pick-me-up, spa days also make the PERFECT gift! So invite over a friend who needs a little pampering and indulge! Here is my step-by-step process to a home spa day.   🧖‍♀️  Home Spa Day  🧖‍♀️ Step One: Set the Mood What helps you feel relaxed? Maybe it’s some relaxing music! Spotify has lots of chill playlists, from acoustic folk to chilled-out lounge beats. I also like to use essential oils in my diffuser for some calming aromatherapy. My personal favorite is lavender, but eucalyptus is also a popular calming oil. Step Two: Hydrate Since you’ll be heating your skin up, stay hydrated and cool down with infused water and lots of ice. Slices of citrus, strawberries, cucumbers, blueberries, basil and mint are good additions to ice water. Some people like to use Infuser Pitchers, but really, dropping the produce into any large glass or mason jar will do, too. And if you feel inclined, a little glass of Champagne never hurt anyone, either! 😉     Step Three: Get Steamy It’s time to open up those pores. Draw a hot bath with plenty of bathing salts, oils and maybe even a bath bomb or bubbles! Have a nice long soak...

Our Favorite White Wine for Summer

Welcome to the Friday Wine Down! What a week it’s been – doesn’t a glass of wine sound perfect right about now? Here at GiftTree, we’re collectors, sippers and enthusiasts. And when we find a very special bottle, we just can’t keep ourselves from sharing! From white wine on a casual night out to a rare Pinot Noir for special occasions, every week we’ll feature a fantastic wine available in our gifts. Onward!   This Week’s Friday Wine Down: Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc + Viognier About This Wine Napa Valley’s Pine Ridge Vineyards was “just experimenting” when they blended two varietals together, creating the easy-to-love masterpiece (and this Author’s favorite white), Chenin Blanc + Viognier. Tasting Notes Crisp, bright, and vivacious, CB+V is an aromatic white blend boasting a bouquet of honeysuckle and orange blossoms along with tropical fruit aromas, green apple, lemon, and grapefruit. The entry is bright and fresh, exhibiting flavors of fresh lemon curd and Granny Smith apples. While this is a juicy wine, it has an incredible mid-palate weight with acidity carrying the flavors to the lengthy finish. Serving, Pairing & Gifting This medium-bodied blend should be served chilled. It makes a great companion for a variety of dishes, from light salads to seafood. Most notably, we recommend foods with a hint of spiciness, like Thai curry or Asian-inspired dishes, because the wine’s subtle sweetness provides balance. Want to order Pine Ridge, or give it as a gift? Great! It’s in California White Wine Trio and also our Fine Wine Tote.     Comment Below Have you had a chance to try the Pine Ridge CB+V? What...

Elevate Your Gift Giving with Towers

It seems that the “unboxing” is all the rage these days. We have to admit, it is so fun watching someone open up a box to the surprises inside. That’s part of the reason we love gift towers! When a gift basket feels a bit too buttoned-up, many gift-givers opt for our gift towers. Most of them are five (yes – FIVE!) boxes tall, and super fun to unpack one by one. Here at GiftTree, our collection of gift towers is awesome.  Here are just a few of our customer-favorites – see for yourself!   Five Fan Favorite Gift Towers The Winchester Savory Tower  Definitively savory, crunchy, chewy and sweet, this collection of cheese, crackers, snacks and candies is a celebration of tastes and textures in a tower of six gift boxes designed exclusively by GiftTree. A special occasion will be made all the better when they enjoy opening one box of delicious fare after another.   Good Times Candy Tower Which candies do you remember loving as a child? From Pop Rocks to Big League Chew, Fun Dip to Bottle Caps, it’s all here in a tower of five colorful boxes, ready to surprise and transport them back to the good old days at the roller rink.   The Sweet Life Sweets and treats abound in this beautiful gift tower that’s ready to uplift any special occasion. Tied up with a gold satin ribbon, your recipient will absolutely love opening each and every box to see what gourmet delight awaits them inside.   The Bear Hug Tower Welcome the new baby and congratulate the new parents! Four adorable...

The Iconic (& Woman-Owned) Champagne Veuve Clicquot

Welcome to the Friday Wine Down! What a week it’s been – doesn’t a glass of wine sound perfect right about now? Here at GiftTree, we’re collectors, sippers and enthusiasts, and when we find a very special bottle, we just can’t keep ourselves from sharing! From Chardonnay on a casual night out to a rare Pinot Noir for special occasions, every week we’ll feature a fantastic wine available in our gifts. Onward!   This Week’s Friday Wine Down: Veuve Clicquot Brut Champagne   About This Wine Clicquot’s signature non-vintage Brut is loved all over the world for its crisp, full flavors, consistent quality, and celebratory yellow label.  But did you know that this iconic and loved French Champagnes, came to its fame by one very business-saavvy lady of great taste? Read all about the fascinating story of Madame Clicquot here. Tasting Notes Medium straw, yellow color; complex aromas of ripe apple and light cream, excellent depth and persistence; layered on the palate; dry, medium acidity, well balanced; bright and beautiful ripe fruit and cream in the flavors; medium finish, lasting impression in the aftertaste. Blend Predominantly Pinot Noir, with Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. Serving, Pairing & Gifting A toasty Champagne like Veuve Clicquot has all the perfect depth and smokiness for fish and shellfish, such as raw oysters, poached prawns or Petrale sole in a sauce full of fresh herbs. At a mid-level price point, Veuve Clicquot makes a wonderful gift for so many occasions!     Comment Below Have you had a chance to try Veuve Clicquot Brut Champagne? What did you think? What’s your favorite...

Friday Wine Down: Bridlemile Pinot Noir

Welcome to the Friday Wine Down! What a week it’s been – doesn’t a glass of wine sound perfect right about now? Here at GiftTree, we’re collectors, sippers and enthusiasts, and when we find a very special bottle, we just can’t keep ourselves from sharing! From Chardonnay on a casual night out to a rare Pinot Noir for special occasions, every week we’ll feature a fantastic wine available in our gifts. Onward!   This Week’s Friday Wine Down: Bridlemile Dundee Hills Pinot Noir   About This Wine Fed by cool winds from the Columbia Gorge, Dundee Hills AVA is the perfect climate for this cuvee, produced in collaboration with renowned Oregon Pinot Noir maker Archery Summit. Expansive and expressive, this Willamette Valley Pinot Noir shows a completeness – a stylish comfort in its own skin. Tasting Notes Aged in new French oak, this premium Pinot opens with wood violet and cocoa aromas, uncovering flavors of black cherry and spice. Blend 100% Pinot Noir Serving, Pairing & Gifting Framed by chewy tannins and lingering impressively, this Pinot Noir pairs exceptionally well with grilled vegetables, herb roasted pork tenderloin, blackened chicken or oven baked salmon filets. Bridlemile should be decanted for at least 30 minutes before tasting, and cellaring will reward the collector. Give Bridlemile Dundee Hills Pinot Noir as a gift, in a number of gorgeous presentations! (Our favorite is the Burl Wood box).       Comment Below Have you had a chance to try the Bridlemile? What did you think? What’s your favorite Pinot...

Pack the Perfect Picnic Basket

It’s SUMMER! The sun is out, the breeze is perfect and since we’re not in the dog days of summer quite yet, it’s not too hot or buggy yet. Therefore: it is picnic season! Picnics are so awesome – what a great way to relax and enjoy nature! But a fun picnic can go south quickly, when it’s discovered that some key equipment or ingredients were missed. To help avoid that, we’ve come up with the Picnic Basket Checklist! It’s a great way to learn how to pack the perfect picnic basket. The Ultimate Picnic Basket Checklist ⬜ Lightweight Basket, Tote, or Cooler Make sure it is easy to carry, waterproof and durable. ⬜ Blanket to Spread Out You’ll need it if there are no picnic tables at your destination. A table cloth will work, too! ⬜ Low-Seated Beach Chairs Not needed – only if you prefer, but we love having a backrest! ⬜ A Trash Bag or Two Makes cleanup SO much easier! ⬜ Paper Towels Double duty – cleaning up and mealtime napkin use. ⬜ Moist Towellettes / Baby Wipes If there are kids, sauces or both in the picture, you’ll need these. ⬜ Plates Lightweight and eco-friendly are the way to go! If you must get disposable, try compostable bamboo! ⬜ Utensils Depending on what you’re having, you may need serving ware, too. The link above might be perfect! ⬜ Cutting Knife, Small Cutting Board You can pre-chop everything if you’d like, but you may want it for cheese and salami. ⬜ Corkscrew or Bottle Opener If your picnic destination allows alcohol, these are essential! ⬜ Shatterproof Glasses...

12 Ways to Become a Better Leader

Do you manage a team of employees? Being in a position of authority, management or leadership comes with a lot of responsibility. You are ultimately accountable for the performance, efficiency, success and morale of your team. It is easy to be “in charge”, but it takes a lot to be a good leader. So here are 12 ways that you can be a better leader in your position – starting today.   12 Ways to Become a Better Leader   1. Listen More, Speak Less First and foremost, your team wants to know that their ideas and opinions are heard and valued. The more you listen, the more you will find that your team listens when you speak.   2. Know Potential When You See It In a leadership role, it’s fairly safe to assume that you’re also in the hiring position. Therefore, pay attention to your employees’ potential. Don’t just scan the resume looking for a needed set of skills. Build a team that can grow, encourage growth, and you’ll see so much more engagement.   3. Be Liberal with Positive Feedback, Frugal with Criticism In this great article, the author writes, “It sounds corny, and maybe you can overdo this one, but I honestly believe many employees in young companies need constant encouragement. We live in complex, competitive times and people are inundated with too many tasks and not enough time. Technology and business life can be overwhelming, so it’s important to point out any “wins” no matter how small. And, if you do have to criticize, think seriously about the impact first.”   4. Avoid Gossip...

Friday Wine Down: Martin Craig Luminist Chardonnay

Welcome to the Friday Wine Down! What a week it’s been – doesn’t a glass of wine sound perfect right about now? Here at GiftTree, we’re collectors, sippers and enthusiasts, and when we find a very special bottle, we just can’t keep ourselves from sharing! From Chardonnay on a casual night out to a rare Cabernet for special occasions, every week we’ll feature a fantastic wine available in our gifts. Onward!   This Week’s Friday Wine Down: Martin Craig Luminist Chardonnay About This Wine With a brightness that can only be claimed by Sonoma County’s sun-soaked Russian River Valley, Luminist Chardonnay is a limited-release boutique wine. It’s made in collaboration renowned winemaker Glenn Hugo. Sonoma County’s prestigious regions for growing Chardonnay offer a distinct profile, and the Russian River Valley brings elegance and richness. Tasting Notes Aged in new French oak barrels, this is a vibrant Russian River Chardonnay. Boasts radiant aromas of orange blossom and lemon zest. Balanced by apricot and peach notes, with a light oak finish. Light-bodied and food-friendly, Luminist shows a focused, brilliant acidity on the finish. Blend 100% Chardonnay Suggestions for Serving & Pairing The refreshing acidity in Luminist pairs perfectly with poached salmon topped with lemon aioli, tiger prawns sautéed in garlic butter, a warm vegetable risotto terrine, or bay scallops in a tarragon cream sauce.   Try Martin Craig’s Luminist Chardonnay in a few of our favorite gift baskets – The Monterey – where it’s paired with three more companion wines and a whole lot of gourmet pairings.   Comment Below Have you had a chance to try the Luminist? What did you think? What’s...

Dining Al Fresco: Tip, Tricks & Recipes

Ahh, summer. Nothing beats dinner on the patio on a balmy summer evening. But there are a few things you need to know! Here are some helpful hints, tips, hacks and even a couple meal plans to make your backyard dinner extra special. TIP #1 Take It Easy Dining outside is all about letting the atmosphere set the tone for the evening, so keep your recipes simple (and you’ll be able to relax and enjoy yourself more, too). Dining al fresco usually means that there’s lots of fresh produce in season. Therefore, showcase it by preparing it simply. Grilled corn on the cob with butter, crisp asparagus with sea salt, and a colorful, flavorful caprese salad come to mind. TIP #2 Make It Sustainable Yes, it is a little more work, but glass plates, cloth napkins and heavier glasses are much better for the environment than one-use picnic supplies. Plus, everyone hates how those cheap paper plates go limp immediately after dishing up. This tip is actually a two-for-one deal – since you’re not using paper plates, paper napkins and disposable cups, congrats! You’ve wind-proofed your outdoor meal, too! TIP #3 Light It Up If you plan to eat outdoors during the evening, some nice lighting will be needed. There are lots of ways to set the mood – candles, lanterns and string lights come to mind. Get creative! Check out Pinterest boards for patio lighting and have fun. If you can keep the scent of the candle or torches away from the table, citronella does double duty of repelling mosquitoes and adding light. Which brings us to our next...
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