Wine Wednesdays

Wine Wednesdays

Wines from New Zealand

The Country Producing Amazing Wines for all of us to Enjoy

New Zealand is fairly new to Wine Production, however, its popularity is getting bigger by the day. There are four main wine-making regions in the country and they are mostly located on the Eastern Coastlines of the North and South islands. By time, they now have distinguished sub-regions as well, to name a few; Nelson, Aukland, Waikato, Waitaki Valley, Gisborne and more. 

The temperate climates of New Zealand allow a wide variety of wine to be produced from Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Syrah, Pino Noir and several amazing Blends. The largest vineyards are no longer than 80 miles, with long sunshine hours and cool nights from the sea breeze. You hear a lot of people ask for New Zealand wines when it comes to White, and their Syrah and Blends are some of the best ones that I have tasted.

Production, because of demand, has increased, and thanks to worldwide shipping and buying, you are able to find several New Zealand wines in stores, wines shops and restaurants. The sustainable Winegrowing program in New Zealand is there to ensure constant improvement and adherance to certain guidelines issued by the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV). It ensures that it meets its measures and helping its businesses thrive. Think of certain European countries like France and Italy where they have the DOC and their own regulations for wine in different regions and standards they need to follow and meet. 

In 2002, New Zealand’s Felton Road 1997 Pino Noir was declared one of the top 3 wines during a bling wine tasting. Their Syrah and Chardonnay, follow in their uniqueness and great taste. A brand that is extremely well known around the world is Kim Crawford wines, especially the white ones, as Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blac are extreely popular and exquisite due to the versatility of their grapes. Their top quality Chardonnay can npw be found in every region.

 I urge you to go and try some New Zealand wines and assure you, that you won’t be disappointed! I raise a glass to you. Cheers!

Managing Mondays

Managing Mondays

There’s no I in Team

.….But there is I in Individual

I have always believed that when you have a tight and united team, whether it is a small team or a large team, the end product, whether a service or a product, is better. As Managers we always tell our employees to work together, to work as a team, to respect each other, compliment each other, work well together, help each other and so much more. It is also true that when a team really cares for each other, the work is done better. 


As a prime example, and one that I have done and witnessed in my teams, is that when 1 employee, 1 team member doesn’t know the answer to the guest’s or customer’s question, when they ask one of their team members, they give them the answer, or they help them assist the guest. Same when an employee has made a mistake, or given the wrong information for some reason, or was having a very bad day. I have seen it many times, were the guest comes back upset that he or she was givent the wrong information, and the other team mate doesn’t make the other one look bad in order to look good themselves. They apologize and let them know that it was a one off and that they are great at their job, and then assist.


 Now, if this employee would have told the guest “Yes I know, he is not good at his job, I’m sorry you had him to help you, but I can surely help you and I will let the manager know that he didn’t help you, or give you the wrong information”, that looks really bad on the team and the management. A team that works together, surely works better for the advantage of the guests or customers.

However, the managers sometimes still make the mistake that they see every team member as the same person. In order for the team to work well together and be successful, it needs different personalities, efforts, expertese, levels and different fortés. You cannot have everyone great at knowing how the system works, or everyone great at talking with the guests, or everyone good at the phone. You need a little bit of everything. Your employees characters and personalities matter a lot. It colors the team and they are all different. 

You might have a person that is always so happy and someone that sometimes needs a little push to regain the smile when shouted at from a guest. You will have someone that is always challenging you and questioning you as a manager and another one that wants to be in your work time all the time. You will have the one that always unites the team and plans nights out, and another one that doesn’t hang out too much. I’m sure you get the point by now. Everyone is an individual that contributes to the team’s success. So when you approach an employee to correct them in something, to praise them, to give them disciplinary action, to promote them , to ask for help, you need to know your employees well enough to know how to approach them. 

Don’t generalize and assume that everyone reacts and acts the same way! See the Individual in each employee and make sure they become a team!

Boosting Tuesdays

Eurosport- A Lifestyle

The Succesful Company that is much more than just a Sports Store

Having been open since 1992, anyone that has lived, is living, or visited Malta will know about the name Eurosport. It was dubbed for having the best sportwear, sports shoes and equipment on the island. Now, it is much more than that. Entering one of their complexes and the largest one, In Birkirkara, I was greated by a staff member and even the security guard said hello. Eurosport has evolved so much more than simply a sports store. It has active and lounge wear, kid friendly equipment, so many brands, and most of all, very comfortable clothes. Not just sports clothes. You have to go and see for yourselves. I guarantee you will spend more than an hour marvelling at the things the Birkirkara store has to show and offer you. There are several more stores around the island, that are smaller, however, with a lot of variety, and most importantly, with friendly and helpful staff. 

I wanted to see a couple of comfortable shoes for my morning strolls, and when I want to go walk round places to explore. My feet are quite bad. I have all sorts of things happening to them that makes most shoes uncomfortable or even hurt me within minutes. As I went to see the skechers brand and tried 2 of them, my oh my was I delighted. They were so light and so comfortable, it was amazing. There were so many choices and so many colors, I hadn’t contemplated and took so long to decide! Next, I wanted an everyday shoes were I could also wear it to go out to events and be able to be comfortable but also look cool. Superga also deivered. This is an amazing brand that I hadn’t encountered before. So colorful, beautiful and most of all stylish.

As I was choosing and as I was trying on the different pairs of shoes, I had an opportunity to talk in depth with two of the staff members that were so happy to help me. Eurosport have expanded to so many stores and sponsor so many athletes, dancers, lifestyle persons, bloggers, events, social media personalities and TV personalities. I was also thrilled that Eurosport wanted to collaborate with me, and I have never had such a relaxed and comfortable photoshoot! (If your feet are happy, your body is happy too.)

Looking at the variety they had for a comfortable sweatshirt and a pair of leggings, I immediately found my style. It’s amazing how they have brands that contain style, sleakness, functionality, comfort and so much more.  Eurosport wants you to #bethechange and change your lifestyle into a healthier one with better food and better fitness activity, and brings you everything to help you do this. It only starts once, and you will be attached to having a better you and taking care of yourself. Everyone has a different lifestyle, work, relationship, ambition and determination, but there surely is something for everyone at Eurosport! 

See you there!

Managing Mondays

Managing Mondays

Working with Guests and Customers- An Introduction

How to Deal with an extremely Irate Guest

If your work consists mostly of dealing and talking with guests and customers, then you have for sure at some point come across someone very upset, rude, or both. Most of the time it is because they are not happy with a service or product. After years of this experience, I will tell you now, that 98% of the time they are right to be upset and angry. But not directly at you (unless you really have done someting personal to the guests that affects them personally). And most of the time, they are genuine. It took me a few years to really have this embeded in me, until I had figured it out, mainly because of experience and different training sessions. And during that time, I would say, I pissed off a few guests with becoming angry because they were angry, didn’t beleive them, or made the situation worse. It didn’t happen a lot,  but I am not afraid to say it happened a few times in those few years. For me, now, that is unacceptable.

Today we will look at some of the many steps that the manager and the employee need to have run through theit thoughts whenever they are faced with a really upset guest or customer. We will go much more in depth in the blog sessions to come, but I wanted to briefly highlight a few of them today. Remember, how you respond can make the difference between a customer or guest that feels satisfied with the resolution and one who vows to never patronize your business again.

Steps:

The 1st step you need to take is to remain calm and poised. If this doesn’t happen or you loose it very fast, what follows is in vain. Believe me when I say this. It happened to me. As soon as you loose your cool, you are done. The next steps are very hard to achieve. If a guest is yelling, being loud, or otherwiese rude, nothing can be gained by responding in a similar manner. The customer’s tirade might make you ffel like yelling yourself, but don’t. Control yourself. Remember, it is not personal. They just need to let someone know and that someone is you, in your position. 

The 2nd step is to use your best lisening skills  and let them know you are truly listening. The first thign an angry customer or guest wants to do is vent, and to do so, you are there to listen. Listening patiently can diffuse a situation as long as they feel acknowledged. Body language is also very important. Miantain eye contact and a strong straight posture. This shows how closely you are paying attention to their problem. Take notes and don’t talk, let them talk. After they finish, repeat and summarize what they have said and ask if the information you gathered is correct. Be patient and aknowledge the guest’s right to be angry. 

The next big step, even though I have already mentioned it, is to NOT TAKE IT PERSONALLY. Listen to their emotions without any of your emotions. It’s a very fine line and this is sometimes quite hard for many customer service agents to do and to realize, but if you work on it continuously, by time this becomes very easy for you. It’s a very fine line and this is sometimes quite hard for many customer service agents to do and to realize, but if you work on it continuously, by time this becomes very easy for you.

After these 4 steps, it is time for you to action.  There are a few more steps you need to take. Now that they have vented, you listened, you need to assist them, apologize and mean what you say and what you do.
Next Monday we will cover the next few steps, like sympathizing, empathizing, apologizing,  speaking softly, voicing your solution to the customer, owning it and taking responsibility. Stat tunes for thr continuation next week! Have a great and productive week.

Boosting Tuesdays

Boosting Tuesdays

A Nice Cup of Coffee at Jacob’s Brew- Pay it Forward

A great time with Jacob and his family, two and a half months after its successful opening

On a short visit to my home country, Malta, I wanted to visit Jacob and his Pay It Forward Coffee Shop. It was a beautiful October Day in Marsaskala. It is hard to imagine something happening to you or a dear person close to you, out of the blues. The strength that one needs from their loved ones is tremedous, and that was exactly what Jacob’s parents did. After months and months battling in hospital, his family started the road to recovery and ensuring that Jacob keeps on living his life as normal as possible. Fast Forward to a really successful support group, started by his mom Sarah, called Survivors Malta, and an also successful Coffee shop, sipping a hot Cappucino and talking to Jacob was really nice. He’s a really cool dude by the way 🙂

The coffee shop is located in a prime location in Marsaskala, Malta, overlooking the sea, has complimentary wifi and is also dog friendly. Talking with him and with Sarah, his mom, she showed how much love and care she possesses for Jacob, the coffee shop and other families that might be passing through a similar thing. When you buy your coffee, your receipt is stamped and you have a chance to give that stamped receipt to families that are facing certain traumas. They will in turn get a pot of tea or coffe complimentary, however, the most important thing about it is that they can connect with Jacob and his parents, and they will help them find other families that have survived what they were or still going through and give them the needed support.

If you have done something, as small or big as it is, to help someone in need, you know the satisfaction you feel when you help them or even the achievement of making them happy or to forget for a little while. This is exactly what paying it forward means. The more good you do, the more good that goes around. If you don’t have anything particularly happening in your life, it doesn’t mean that others don’t have something happening to them, or that it doesn’t happen to you at some point. Helping and remaining positive, spreads the same thing, and the feeling in Jacob’s brew is 100% positive.

They are open all week between 8am and 6pm, serving coffees, teas, cakes, positive vibes, smiles, and from the morning until 4pm, even sandwiches and so much more. Jacob is an inspiring person, extremely friendly and has a cool sense of humor. He is positive and caring. I was lucky enough to meet his mom and dad also, who help him tremendously in all of his journeys, especially this one. Sometimes, we need other people to help us make it through and in certain times, to bond together even more. True pillars for this young Jacob to succeed and inspire others. It was very nice meeting you, and I will surely come again when I am on the island next!

Go on, go have a coffee, and Pay it Forward! Visit Jacob’s Brew, and connect families facing certain traumas to the group Survivors Malta.

Fit Fridays

Fit Fridays

Vegan, Gluten and Lactose Free Sweet Bites

Healthy Balls

Everyday, more and more people opt to try to be healthier and thanks to all the Social Media and all the knowledge available, everyone can do a little better, or else try. The most important thing is to collect different recipes and know what kind of ingredients are good for what. Whether you want to try more of a gluten free diet or vegetarian/vegan, you will find countless of information and recipes on several social media groups and Pinterest.

Today I decided to make one of my favourite gluten free and vegan, healthy sweet recipe. I call them Healthy Balls! 🙂

It is very simple to make and here are the ingredients needed to make them:

  • Almonds- 1 cup
  • Dates- 1 1/2 cups
  • Coconut Flour- 1 cup
  • Dessicated coconut (optional) – 2 spoons
  • Honey- 2 teaspoons
  • Coconut oil- 2 spoons
  • Peanut Butter (or any other nut butter- Optional) – 1 spoon
  • Chia seeds- 1 tea spoon
  • Hemp seed Protein Powder (optional)- any flavor you like – 1 small scoop

    Firstly, put the almonds, dates, coconut flour and chia seeds in a blender. After you blend, add the protein powder, dessicated coconut, coconut oil, honey and peanut butter if you are using it. Blend again. Refrigirate for about 30-45 minutes and then scoop with a spoon and mould into balls. They are immediately ready to enjoy!

    Why are they so good for you? 

    Coconut is high in natural saturated fats which increase the healthy cholesterol (DHL) in your body as well as help convert the (bad) cholesterol – LDL into good cholesterol. It also promotes heart health and lowers the risk of heart disease. Coconut flour is high in fiber and is free from wheat and other grains. It is also very low in sugar. Almonds have the same benefits as coconut and they also contain unique and protective phystosterol antioxidants. It is also high in protein.  Dates can reduce blood pressure, promote respiratory and digestive health and are a good scource of iron too. Chia seeds contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids and are high in calcium and antioxidants. Honey can prevent cancer and heart disease. It also contains flavanoids and antioxidants.

    This is a very quick thing to make, no baking neccesary and great to munch on when you want something healthy but don’t want to sacrifice many calories and sugar. This is a really healthy gluten and lactose free, vegan receipe that is already enjoyed by many.

    Try it out! Bon apetite!