Today is National Drink Wine Day so of course, I had to come through with a list of my favorite wines! Now I’ll always be a Chardonnay girl, but over the past couple of years or so, I’ve been dibbling and dabbling in the reds, and while I’m still learning about the different types, flavors, and notes, I have learned that I prefer sweet reds over anything else!

Today I’m sharing 5 of my favorite red wines that range from dry to sweet! Even better is they’re all under $25!!

Rosa Imperiale [Semi-Sweet] – $8.99

Il Duca Rosa Imperiale

Someone bought this to my game night back in November and it stayed in the refrigerator for months. I was out of my Stella and it was between this or nothing, so I gave this a try and OMG! This red wine is listed as a semi-sweet but it gives me a sparkling sweet tease. It’s so delicious.

Chateau Bois Chantant Bordeax Superieur

Chateau Bois Chantant Bordeaux Superieur

I stumbled upon this at Total Wine and got it because it was on sale and it’s definitely one of my favorites. If you’re a fan of red wines with flavors of berries and plums, then this is one to check out!

Macchia Petite Sirah Dubious

Macchia Petite Sirah Dubious

This one is for you full-body lovers! Not gonna lie, this one is definitely an acquired taste, but once you open up to it, you’re going to fall in love. It’s also not as sweet as the other options, but it pairs very well with seafood, which makes it worth it in my book!

LLano Estacado Sweet Red

Llano Estacado Sweet Red

My homegirl Tika put me on this wine and I am absolutely obsessed!!! Llano is easily one of the smoothest reds I’ve ever had, and when they say sweet, that’s exactly what they mean! When I’m feeling fancy, I like to mix a little Hennessy with it for an unbelievably lit experience! Henny or not, this wine will have you feeling good with its 14% alcohol content.

Samuel Robert Winery Pinot Noir

Samuel Robert Winery Pinot Noir Vintner's Reserve Willamette, 2018

If you like unofficial dessert wines, then this is the wine for you! I find Pinot’s to be on the sweeter side anyway, but this one is super sweet to the point, it’ll easily satisfy your sweet tooth! It is full-bodied with notes of plum and cinnamon if that’s your thing!

Hope you enjoyed this list, but even more so, I hope you enjoy National Drink Wine Day and make sure to drink a glass for me too!!

50Shadesofraee-singleonvday

Oh Valentine’s Day. The day all coupled folk look forward to and single people hate!! I can’t remember the last time I had a real Valentine’s Date. Scratch that. Actually I can. It’s been a good six years since I’ve had a real Valentine’s Date with real plans on Valentine’s and for the past 5 or 6 years or so, I’ve been thugging solo-dolo, so believe me when I say, I know being alone on V-Day sucks. It’s complete trash.

If you’re anything like me, you love the idea of love and you’re a true romantic at heart, which means Valentine’s Day can really fuck with you. It’s a day where all the girls are showing their gifts off, people are getting engaged, having good sex, and here you are… single and alone.

Again, trash!

But where we go wrong sisters, is putting our value in this one day! If we’re keeping it real, love should be celebrated all year, so this one day really shouldn’t affect us the way it does… but hey, we’re emotional beings so it does! And oftentimes, when I talk to my other single friends about their Valentine’s Day plans, they hit me with “Oh, girl, nobody wants me!‘ or “I’ll be alone…. per usual!” And I get it because that definitely used to be me too! Self-deprecating and highly negative until I learned better.

Not having a V-day date doesn’t make you or us any less worthy or valuable than having one. I get the sentiment of wanting someone to buy you things and show appreciation, but it’s totally okay if you do those things for yourself too! Last Valentine’s Day, I spent it at the bar alone, getting drunk and NOT on my dime either. I had a blast just being alone and celebrating the love I had for me. And in that, I wasn’t bothered by the dozens of couples around me.

So yeah, being alone on Valentine’s Day can suck. But it can also be beautiful and great if you make it! And on a final note, don’t be the bitter b*tch who hates and complains about Valentine’s Day because nobody wants to hear that either!!

Ok girl, now that we’ve gotten the empowerment ish out the way, here are a few things you can do this Valentine’s Day to celebrate love:

1.) Galentine’s Day Wine Down: Celebrate your love of friendship with your girls and make sure everyone brings a bottle of wine!

2.) Dinner and a Movie: Stay in or go out but get your favorite food and watch your favorite movie.

3.) Anti-Valentine’s Day Party: There are cute ways to do this without seeming like the bitter girl. Host a party with all of your single friends, get some cute decor, good food, and fun games to get everyone’s mind off of being single.

4.) Spa Day – Hair done! Nails done! Everything did!

5.) Cater to Yourself: Get a professional chef to come in and cook you a bomb and indulgent meal!

If you’re still stuck, then check out this list which is full of more ideas to celebrate Valentine’s Day the single way!

Have a Happy and fulfilling Valentine’s Day ya’ll!

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So I’ve discovered that I love creating drinks! I’ve become quite the pro at just throwing stuff together, wishing for the best, and it actually turning out pretty good!

Luckily for me, Christmas break gave me the time to play around with my bar and I created a few recipes that I figured I’d share with you all!

These recipes are super easy and take less than 5 minutes to make!

1.) Jack Frost Margarita

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces of Grand Marnier [or orange-flavored liqueur alternative]
  • 1 1/2 – 2 ounces of Tequila
  • 2 ounces of white-cranberry juice [I’ve also tried this with white-cran strawberry and it’s equally delicious if you want a little flavor]
  • 1 1/2 ounces of fresh lime juice
  • 1 ounce of simple syrup [store bought or home made]
  • Garnish: [if desired]
    • Lime, Cranberries [sugared or fresh], mint

Directions:

1.) Rim each of your glasses with a lime wedge and dip in salt mixture. Fill each glass halfway with ice.

2.) In a cocktail shaker, combine all liquid ingredients together. Shake for roughly 30-60 seconds and pour over ice. Garnish each glass with your garnishes if desired.

2.) Apple Cider Mimosa

This is for all my brunch lovers who want to change up the bottomless menu!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of Apple Cider
  • 1/4 cup of Champagne [or if you’re like me, pour in half a cup of champagne!]
  • Cinnamon sugar for the rim
  • 1 cut-up Gala or Fuji apple

Directions:

1.) Dip each of your glasses in agave or coconut oil and dip it in the cinnamon sugar to rim the glass.

2.) Pour the apple cider into each glass.

3.) Top with champagne.

4.) Add the apple garnish and enjoy!

Crown Apple – Vanilla Martini

Usually, when I try to find something good to drink, I just put random things together and end up making magic like this drink here. It is so good and reminds me of the perfect Christmas dessert!

Recipe:

  • 1 ounce of Crown Royal Whiskey – Apple
  • 1 ounce of Crown Royal Whiskey – Vanilla
  • 1 ounce of cinnamon schnapps
  • 2 ounces of cran-apple juice

Directions:

1.) Add all ingredients to a shaker with crushed ice.

2.) Shake very well.

3.) Strain drink into the glass and garnish with apple or cinnamon stick.

Hope you enjoy these cocktails and if you try them, let me know!

Xoxo,

Raee

50-shades-of-raee-v-day-content

I know the year is just beginning, but the biggest day of love is around the corner which means it’s time to start working and dishing out that Valentine’s Day content.

In the past, I’ve struggled with creating V-Day content, but after last year, I think I got the hang of it and now I want to help you! The important thing to remember is the earlier you get your content out, the bigger chance you have at increasing traffic to your site or social media, which is the goal!

The beautiful thing about creating Holiday specific content is that you can cater it specifically to the services you offer and your niche. To give you a little help with what type of content to create, I’ve split up this list in different niches.

Beauty Bloggers/Content Creators:

  • Valentine’s Day make up look
  • 5 easy Valentine’s Day eye looks
  • Valentine’s Day nail inspo
  • Top Lip combos for Valentine’s Day look
  • Best red lipsticks to wear on Valentine’s Day
  • Best pink/rose gold beauty gifts
  • Best perfumes to wear on Valentines Day
  • Top Sexy Scents for Valentine’s Day
  • Top soft & feminine scents for Valentine’s Day
  • Valentine’s Day hair tutorial

Lifestyle Bloggers/Content Creators:

  • List of things if you’re spending Valentine’s Day alone
  • 53 cheap date ideas for you and your boo
  • Galentine’s Day ideas
  • 10 best Valentine’s Day quotes to get you in the spirit of love
  • GRWM: Valentine’s Day outfit
  • List of fun Valentine’s Day movies.
  • Gift Guides:
    • Valentines Day gift guide 2020
    • 10 Valentine’s Day gift ideas for your bestie
    • Valentine’s Day shopping for Him
    • Unique Valentine’s Day gifts
    • ultimate gift guide if you’re trying to save money

Food/Drink Bloggers:

  • 14 Valentine’s Day dinner ideas
  • 6 Valentine’s Day desserts
  • Recipe Ideas: Valentine’s Day chocolate dipped-strawberries
  • The perfect white wines for a romantic evening
  • The perfect red wines for a romantic evening
  • Valentine’s Day-themed drinks
  • 3 Valentine’s Day drinks with Vodka/Rum/Tequila

Finance Bloggers/Content Creators:

  • 30 free date ideas
  • 8 Ways to save money this Valentine’s Day
  • 5 of the best places to eat a cheap Valentine’s Day dinner
  • 10 Valentine’s Day stay-at-home activities

Hopefully, this list sparks some ideas for content! If you have ideas that I haven’t listed, feel free to drop them in the comments!!

Happy Creating!

I’ve always been a New Years Resolution kind of gal. Every year, on New Year’s Eve, I write a list of things that I want to accomplish for the year, pray over it, and never look at the list again! So naturally, my manifestation process is effective, right? Lol.

Well with the year coming to a close, I decided to look at my vision board to check off everything I had accomplished for the year and boy was I distraught. Out of all the images that were visual placeholders for my goals – I had only accomplished one thing. ONE THING!! I took a step back to think about what the hell I had been doing all year to only accomplish one goal, and the answer was evident – I wasn’t focused.

Staying focused on your goals is seemingly hard especially if you’re like me and suffer from imposter syndrome and are constantly doubting yourself. Because self-doubt is constantly in your mental rotation, it’s hard to push through with what you need to do to accomplish your goals! So what do you do moving forward? You restrategize!

I sat down and came up with a new strategy for accomplishing my goals in 2020, and I wanted to share them with you!

Step 1: What Were Your Goals

You set these goals back in January or February and you might not remember the purpose and intention behind your goals. Write the goal down again and jot a few words or phrases that resonate with you on what the goal means to you and why you set it.

Step 2: What did you do to accomplish these goals?

This is the big one here because it forces you to be completely honest with yourself about the work you’ve put in to make your goals and dreams a reality. Write down every single thing you did this year to either work towards or accomplish your goals. Visually seeing the list will help you realize what worked for you and what didn’t work for you and give you some ideas on how to move forward in the future.

Step 3: What didn’t you do to accomplish these goals?

Your goals weren’t accomplished for a reason! Similar to the previous step, writing down what you didn’t do to accomplish these goals is equally important.

Step 4: How are you going to do better?

Once you have your lists compiled, write another list detailing a plan of action of what you will do to achieve your goals in the new year. How many times a week will you spend on your goal? How much money will you invest in your goal? Is networking required for your goal? How will you do it and where? These types of questions are important in refreshing and redirecting your goals.

To help bring it in perspective, here’s how the above steps look in action:

Goal: My goal for 50 Shades of Raee this year was to land at least 2 ads, 1 sponsorship, and hit 1000 followers on IG.

Did I accomplish that goal?  No.

What did I do to work towards/accomplish this goal?

At the start of the year, I was very active on the blog and on IG. I was very consistent with my posts and did a lot of research to prepare myself for reaching out to brands.

What did I not do to work towards/accomplish this goal?

In August, I completely stopped blogging and being active on social media due to work constraints. I wasn’t able to find a happy balance between work, personal, and blogging, so I gave blogging up – again. Since relaunching my blog in 2017, I have done this every year. I also was not consistent on social media to grow my follower count.

What will I do to work towards/accomplish this goal next year?

I will create a plan/schedule in order to help me balance work life and blogging. I will also remain consistent on IG by posting quality images and tips at least 3 times a week. For the blog, I will post twice a week as well. I will also create a list of brands to reach out and will pitch at least once a week.

This is a realistic example of one of my goals that I’ve actually already started working towards! Remember you don’t have to wait until the new year to work on or set goals! And if you still need a push of motivation, check out the words of encouragement Yara Shahidi’s mother poured into me about going after your dreams!

I hope these tips work for you! I will keep y’all updated throughout the year of course so we can see how well my advice works for me this year too!

If you enjoyed this post and don’t want to miss another one, make your way to my home page and subscribe to join the family! Keep up with me on social media too and be the first to know what’s going on here at 50 Shades of Raee!

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