Tag: Without

Wine Lovers: Can You Make It Through This Post Without Spending $50?

Wine is one of those rare things that has the power to make pretty much every situation better. Having a bad day? Pour yourself a glass. Having a good day? Pour yourself a glass. Most wine drinkers appear to fall into one of two camps: the fair-weather fans and the fanatics. If you’re a part of the latter group (guilty!), we’ve rounded up a list of 19 products you need in your life:

JK This Is Totally Wine Mug 1. JK, This Is Totally Wine Mug

Not all vices are created equal. Exhibit A: It’s not exactly socially acceptable to walk around the office with a glass of pinot. But no one bats an eye when you’re on your third cup of coffee. Keep your coworkers on their toes by sporting this mug. “It’s 10 a.m., there can’t really be wine in there,” your coworkers say with a laugh. Wanna bet?

($ 14.95; zazzle.com)

SipCaddy 2. SipCaddy Bath and Shower Cup Holder

A short list of things we were introduced to in college: all-nighters, ultimate frisbee, and shower beers. Since we’re adults now, it’s time to class up that last one. Introducing shower wine. Fill up your glass, place it comfortably in the SipCaddy, and take sips in-between sudsing. If you really want to indulge, use the cupholder while taking a bath. After all, vino will always do more to relax you than bubble bath. 

($ 13.95; amazon.com)

I Solemnly Swear I Am Up to No Good 3. I Solemnly Swear I Am Up to No Good Wine Glass

Butterbeer is great, but nothing is as magical as a glass of wine. It’s enough to cast a spell on you. OK, enough bad wizarding puns—even without them, these wine glasses are a Harry Potter fan’s dream come true. 

($ 13.99; integritybottles.com)

Wine Condoms 4. Wine Condoms 

For those *rare* times when you don’t finish a bottle in one sitting, you need to figure out how you’re going to keep the leftover wine from spoiling or spilling. We’ve had so-so luck with wine stoppers, so we like the look of wine condoms. The tight seal means you can lay a bottle on its side in your fridge and not worry about any of it dripping onto the shelf. Plus, just like regular condoms, you can keep one in your pocket at all times so you’re ready when the moment strikes. 

($ 13.97, set of 6; amazon.com)

BellaVita Portovino 5. BellaVita Portovino

OK, at first we thought this Franzia with handles was a hilarious (and slightly pricey) gag gift. But there are lots of situations where stealthily carrying around wine would be a major plus. Sitting through a boring movie? Visiting those relatives who look down on drinking before noon? All fair game. 

($ 74.95; bellavitabags.com

Oenophilia Neoprene Stemstrap 6. Oenophilia Neoprene Stemstrap

Don’t let the fancy name fool you: This is a glorified wine necklace. The lanyard and rubber lining hold your glass snugly in place so you can use your hands for other things—like eating, gesturing wildly, or filling up another glass of wine. 

($ 7.99; amazon.com)

Hakuna Moscato T-Shirt 7. Hakuna Moscato Tank 

Some people wear their hearts on their sleeve. We wear ours on a graphic t-shirt. Different strokes for different folks, right? Wine and Disney films are our two true loves—and they also happen to be our Friday night plans. 

($ 21.99; lookhuman.com)

Yes Way Rose Beanie 8. Yes Way Rosé Beanie 

Sommeliers will tell you rosé is a summer beverage—and probably scoff at the fact that you consider drinking pink at all. But who are they to tell you how to live your life? Celebrate rosé all winter long—when sunshine and balmy temps are a distant memory—with this adorable and super-warm beanie.

($ 40; yeswayrose.com)

Wine Wipes 9. Wine Wipes 

Few things hit the spot like a full-bodied red wine after a long day. (Look at us trying to sound like we don’t walk into the liquor store and say, “Your cheapest bottle, please.”) The not-so-fun part of drinking red wine? It stains your teeth. Unless, of course, you have Wine Wipes. They’re mini stain removers that come in a compact mirror so you can make sure your pearly whites are, well, pearly white wherever you are. 

($ 7.62, pack of 15 wipes; amazon.com)

Tony Moly Red Wine Mask 10. Tony Moly Red Wine Mask

If you’re using a sheet mask and you don’t have a wine in hand, are you doing it right? Actually, it doesn’t matter. This Tony Moly mask, infused with red wine extract, takes boozy self-care to a whole new level. The manufacturer claims that wine extract “reduces the appearance of enlarged pores while tightening and purifying skin.” We’re not so sure we buy that, but it left us feeling (and smelling) good. 

($ 3.75; ulta.com)

Igloo Daytripper Insulated Backpack 11. Igloo Daytripper Insulated Backpack

Picnics seem so romantic, but the only one we’ve been on turned into a disaster. We opened our tote bag and found the wine had crushed the crackers and dented the cheese. Oh, and of course, we forgot a corkscrew. Tears followed. We’d actually consider picnicking again with the Igloo Daytripper Insulated Backpack. It has separate pouches for drinks and food (plus plenty of padding to stop the bottles from clinking) and comes equipped with knives, a cheese board, and a bottle opener. What more could you ask for?

($ 79.99; amazon.com)

Wine Bottle Lights 12. Wine Bottle Lights

We’re going to take a wild guess and say you’ve got a bunch of empty wine bottles lying around (no judgment). You’re keeping ’em for all those DIY projects (wine bottle candles, wine bottle vases, etc.) you’ll probably never do. So maybe save time and opt for the do-it-mostly-yourself route. This strand of battery-powered lights is designed specifically for wine bottles and tells the world, “Yes, I like to drink and watch HGTV.”

($ 8.99, set of 3; amazon.com)

Winosaur Tote 13. Winosaur Tote

Scientists can’t vouch for the accuracy of this illustration. For starters, it’s not clear that grapes existed during the Triassic period. Plus, could a T. rex—with its small hands—really hold a wine glass? (These are the questions that keep us up at night.) But the Winosaur Tote is also irresistibly cute, so go ahead and snag one. Wine not, right? 

($ 18; society6.com)

Primavera Wine Opener 14. Primavera Electric Wine Opener 

Confession time: We usually buy bottles with a screw top because we somehow made it to adulthood without learning how to properly use a corkscrew. It’s not that we can’t use one. It’s just that, like, half the time, we break the cork. But then we learned about electric wine openers exist to do all the hard work for you. This one from Primavera is a savior—no more cold sweat when someone asks, “Hey, can you open this bottle?”

($ 16.99; amazon.com)

Legless Pirate Corkscrew 15. Legless Pirate Corkscrew 

For those of you who have mastered the art of using a corkscrew, check out this pirate-themed one. The design is hilarious—the pirate has a bandana, beard, eye patch, earring, and a parrot on his shoulder—and it’s functional. Well, at least that’s what our friends who can use a corkscrew tell us. Oh, and once you get the cork out, it looks like the pirate has a peg leg. The designers behind the Legless Pirate Corkscrew are geniuses. 

($ 15; amazon.com)

Vacu Vin Rapid Ice Wine Cooler 16. Vacu Vin Rapid Ice Wine Cooler 

We love a crisp sauvignon blanc or a dry pinot grigio on a hot day. But it’s only refreshing (and drinkable) if the white wine is chilled. Seems easy enough, but we’re terrible at planning ahead. Since ice cubes dilute wine and ruin the whole experience, we’ve become fans of the Vacu Vin. It’s a specially designed ice pack that chills bottles in five minutes. We keep one in the freezer at all times in case of emergency. 

($ 9.56; amazon.com)

The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert 17. The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert

Supposedly half the sensory experience of drinking wine comes down to smell. But what are we supposed to be smelling? Fruity and woody notes? What does that even mean?! We were lost before we got our hands on this incredible scratch-and-sniff book. Author Richard Betts is a master sommelier, but not the pinkies-up kind. He explains the basics in a way everyone can understand.  

($ 8.68; amazon.com)

Lockey USA Combo-Cork Bottle Lock 18. Lockey USA Combo-Cork Bottle Lock

Some wine is for sharing, but most isn’t. For all those bottles that fall into the latter category, you need this lock. It’s basically a bottle stopper with combination lock on top so you can keep your precious vino away from moochers. 

($ 19.88; amazon.com)

Meow Wine Glasses 19. Meow Stemless Wine Glass 

Not sick of puns yet? See if you feel that way after reading this: A glass of Malbec is the purr-fect end to a long day. And two glasses? That gets us feeling frisky. We’re paw-sitive all the cat lovers in your life will be fans of these stemless beauties. Makes you want to drink, doesn’t it?

($ 16, set of 2; urbanoutfitters.com)

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A Few Tricks for Kicking Insomnia (Without Medication)

A portrait of the author, Lisa Marie Basile A portrait of the author, Lisa Marie Basile

People say “I’ve got insomnia” the same way they say “I’m depressed.” They don’t mean the literal, actual, clinical condition. They mean, “I’m not sleeping as well as I usually do,” or “I’ve been kind of down lately.” But as I’ve recently discovered, true insomnia is like true depression. This year, I got to the point where my days were starting at 2 p.m. and ending at 6 a.m.; my body felt feverish and disconnected; swirling lights took over my periphery… and I knew it was getting serious. I wasn’t just sluggish or tired; I was disinterested and constantly fatigued. Any semblance of circadian rhythm was gone.

Have you ever had one of those incredibly turbulent years, where every month seems to bring about disaster after disaster? I know that basically everyone hated 2016 with a passion, but aside from all the major world issues and deaths, the year felt simultaneously unstable and monotonous—plagued with repetitive vulnerabilities and new problems. On a personal level, my job’s department shut down. Suddenly, I was unemployed and grasping for stability—change and I are not friends—and I developed my first bout of true insomnia.

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So I saw a doctor, who noted that the reasons for my insomnia were glaringly obvious. They were pretty textbook: I had no real daily schedule, I was battling anxiety over major life changes, I wasn’t very active, and the days were getting shorter as fall approached.

When I think back about my habits at the time, I see myself moping all day, working, and staying up all night. I even became a little addicted to the idea of staying awake through the night: Maybe I’d get more done? Maybe I’d wake up early tomorrow anyway? When I thought this way, sleep never occurred to me, despite knowing how I was wreaking havoc on my body. So it was me against myself—fighting sleep while simultaneously fighting for a desperately needed change.

There is no perfect cure for insomnia, since everyone experiences it differently. We all have our own triggers, and we all respond to potential solutions differently. Let’s just say that I’m picky, which means I really had to get creative about fixing the issue. Among the ideas my doctor and I discussed were yoga and sleeping pills. Now yoga makes me want to gouge my eyes out (I’m not knocking yoga—this is a me problem), and I personally tend to veer from the pharmaceutical route. So I considered my alternatives: working out, melatonin, and meditation.


Melatonin seems to be a great choice for plenty of people—and some science really seems to back that up. A friend of mine swears by its ability to knock her out immediately. Not so for me. After a month of use, I noticed even a half dose made me groggy the next day and caused the kind of dreams I can’t write about here.


I downloaded the Headspace app, which promises that its 10-minutes-a-day meditations could “help people stress less, exercise more, and even sleep better.” Yes, please. I’d force myself into bed around 9 or 10 p.m. to meditate, which due to my off-kilter schedule, felt more like afternoon tea time than any normal person’s bedtime. I was able to decompress enough to focus on the meditation, to breathe slowly, showing my body that the bed wasn’t an enemy. My body fell into a soft place, and even when my mind raced, I pushed through. I kept coming back to the core thought: my breath. It was simple, conceptually. Just be mindful. Just keep being mindful.

So I meditated one or two more times per day. I focused on releasing all that stress, anxiety, and self-doubt that had built up in the months of self-neglect. I confess I’m no expert, but I sensed a change, a release, like a grid was shifting beneath me. It don’t know if the meditation had changed my brain chemistry, per se, as science suggests it might, but I was definitely giving myself the chance to heal.

Working Out

I also started working out at night, not too close to “bedtime,” but late enough to tire me out. I hadn’t really stuck to a workout routine in a while, but I gave it my all: I went for an hour a few times per week at night, and really pushed myself. I wanted my body to feel tired, like it had done something. I wanted it to feel alive, to remind myself that I was an engine of blood and muscle—not a listless bag of bones. I actually cried because it felt so good to treat myself with kindness. Gray Line Break

These simple acts began to change things. Complacency had kept me in a spiral of sleeplessness, and laziness had made it all the worse. But by trying—and failing—and trying again, I found the right solution for me. I took actual care of my body, said no to the problem, and gave myself the time I needed to move through it.

Last month, my body slowly started to reverse itself, and due to utter exhaustion and my efforts, I’d begun falling asleep at a regular grown-up hour: 11 p.m. Getting my sleep back was, frankly, a magical experience. Looking back, my fling with insomnia feels like a manic nightmare—a physical representation of my fears and stresses.

“It was me against myself—fighting sleep while fighting for a desperately needed change.”

I’m still dealing with many of the same issues I had before, but I have a few new tools to combat them now. I still struggle with waking up early, and I still am tempted to stay up well past a reasonable bedtime, but I was never going to magically become a morning person overnight, although that’s certainly next on my list of things to try.

If I can go from making to-do lists at 3 a.m. to getting to bed before midnight, I can be the person who wakes up at 7 a.m. to—hey, let’s be audacious here—work out or clean house or, should miracles exist, write.

Lisa Marie Basile is the founding editor-in-chief of Luna Luna Magazine and moderator of its digital community. Her work has appeared in The Establishment, Bustle, Bust, Hello Giggles, Marie Claire, Good Housekeeping, and The Huffington Post, among other sites. She is also the author of three poetry collections and holds an MFA from The New School. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

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