As life takes many twists and turns and I like to wear many hats, I have opened myself up to new adventures. I was an art major in college. After college, I became a Real Estate Broker. In 1998 I had the desire to go back to my art roots and draw my dogs, Salukis. My animal art evolved into a small cottage business. In 2010 my friend, a fellow writer told me I know so much about dogs that I should write about them. That same year I started a pet column, West LA Pets for Examiner.com. Writing about dogs includes discovering pet-friendly hotels and places to travel with pets.
Being I have done extensive traveling and collected wines since the 1980s, it was only natural that I spread my wings by writing about wineries that are dog-friendly or where dogs play a significant role in the winery itself. Less than six months after beginning my pet column, I expanded and started a food, wine, art, and travel column. By 2013, I found I needed a separate column to concentrate on the wines and wine tastings I now review.
It was during my first trip to Solvang as a writer that the doors opened for me. On that trip, by chance, I met the head of tourism for Solvang, CA, and one of the directors of the Santa Rita Hills Winegrowers Alliance. As I am a little networker, opportunities quickly came my way. I established a list of PR contacts and was invited to events and media tours. The list continues to grow.
Since the closure of Examiner.com, you can either find all articles on my blog or the following outlets I write for such as Big Blend Magazine, Dogster, FWT Magazine, Food Wine Travel Magazine, Great Escape Publishing, Rovology, Travel World International, and Wander with Wonder. I have been on several radio shows including Big Blend Magazine and SoCal Restaurant Show.
My art background plays a significant role in my writing as I utilize the palette both visually and verbally in many of my articles. As a person with food allergies, while writing restaurant reviews, I like to explore and find those chefs that think outside the box and are willing to make accommodations for those with dietary restrictions.
My writing epitomizes “write what I know,” and I share my experiences and joy with my topics in a passionate, candid, caring, and entertaining way. Like my art where I am looking beyond the eyes to find an animal’s inner soul and spirit, I am looking for the story that lies behind the restaurant, chef, winery, winemaker, artist, or animal.
Since wine is central to my writing, she saw a much-needed niche and founded the 50-member LA Wine Writers.
In 2014 I earned my WSET Level 2 Award in Wines and Spirits. In 2015 I won a Maxwell Award from the Dog Writers Association of America for an article about a winery dog. Also in 2015, I received the NASA American Wine Specialist Certification. In 2016 I was awarded the NASA Spanish Wine Specialist Certification. I won the Kari Winters Cat Rescue and Rehabilitation Award from the Cat Writers Association in 2017 for my story, The Gift: A Cat Rescue Story. In 2021 I won a Bronze Award in the 29th NATJA Awards Competition in the Illustrated Story Category for my article on the Southern Willamette Valley.
I have also won awards for my photography. In 2021 I received 1st place in the winery category and an Honorable mention in the bottles and glasses category from the IFWTWA Photo Contest.
Currently, I am a Director and the Membership Chair of IFWTWA. In addition, I co-host IFWTWA webinars, which showcases wine regions, travel destinations, professional development, and other topics.
I am a member of the following associations: