Tips for Planning a Wine Tour For Your Next Special Event

<b>Tips for Planning a Wine Tour For Your Next Special Event </b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – If you’re looking for a unique way to mark an occasion, spend time with friends and family or even host a work event, consider a wine tour. Most wineries are open year round and cater to groups of all sizes. Consider the following to help you plan:

* Choose a theme: Many wineries have theme weekends throughout the year that celebrate changing seasons, holidays, local happenings and new vintages. Start with an invitation and then plan everything from food to music around your theme.

* Location, location, location: Make it convenient and choose your tour destination based on the number of wineries and hotels in one area. The Finger Lakes Region in New York is home to more than 200 wineries spread along five organized wine trails that make touring easy.

Travel resources such as www.tourcayuga.com can help visitors map out their route, learn more about a specific trail or find things to see and do along the way — even point you to wineries off the beaten path. Other growing wine regions such as Napa and Sonoma Valley, Calif., and the Niagara region found between Western New York State and Southern Ontario offer more than 50 wineries for visitors to choose from.

* Leave it to the professionals: If you don’t know the area, schedule a guided tour. Many Inns and bed and breakfasts, for example, provide overnight packages that include private, luxury wine excursions (as well as picnic lunches and other “wine themed” surprises). Check out Aurora Inn’s “Wine Country Getaway” package at www.aurora-inn.com or 10 Fitch’s “Spoiled Girl’s Getaway Package” at www.10fitch.com.

* Get in on the action: Don’t just taste the wine, be part of the process. Call the wineries you plan to visit in advance to see how you can roll up your sleeves and get involved in everything from the picking to the stomping. For example, Heart & Hands Wine Company on the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail in Union Springs, New York, offers an annual “Crush Camp.” Work alongside the winemaking team by picking fruit, sorting and pressing grapes, performing lab analysis and even the cleaning!

* Make it a lasting memory: Take a photo of your group, and turn it into a unique wine label for your favorite wine bottles, or hand them out as inexpensive souvenirs. Photo coasters are another fun, affordable way to remember your tour. Host a tasting event at your own home, and ask friends to share their favorites.

Wine touring can be a fun, unique and inexpensive way to spend a day with friends, loved ones or a large group. Don’t wait until the last minute to book your tour or overnight reservations, particularly in the peak months of June through October. Try to plan midweek to avoid big crowds. Saturday is the busiest day at most wineries.

Economy Sends Stress Levels Sky-High

<b>Economy Sends Stress Levels Sky-High </b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – As the job market becomes increasingly competitive, on-the-job stress levels reach all-time highs. In fact, work-related stress plagues 80 percent of American workers.

Bullying, unsupportive colleagues and managers, interruptions, pressure and lack of direction can all contribute to workplace stress. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, early warning signs of too much stress at work include headaches, sleep disturbances, difficulty concentrating, short temper, upset stomach, job dissatisfaction and low morale.

Some severely stressed workers leave their jobs or their fields to find more balance in their life. But as the tough economy makes finding jobs more difficult, many Americans feel reluctant to jeopardize steady incomes. At the same time, workers are reluctant to reveal their stress on the job, lest they find themselves unemployed.

Here are three tips for Americans looking to find ways to manage their job-related stress levels:

1) Change your venue. Location, location, location is everything when it comes to reducing stress in your office. From the color of your walls, to the position of your desk, your mood will increase as your space gets more tranquil. Also, plants breathe life into stagnate work environments.

2) Increase your Pro Bono work. The average American works over 40 hours a week and gets less than seven hours of sleep on the weekdays. Weekends are a good time to change your routine. If you can’t relax on the weekend, don’t power through it. Instead, put your energy into helping a charity or giving back to your community. By doing this, you will alleviate stress and find fulfillment in another area besides your career.

3) Balance the scales. If you start your day with a cigarette, a double-shot coffee and a dose of your child’s ADD medicine, you need to balance that with some calming foods and supplements as well. Some natural, whole-food based supplements can relieve stress and anxiety without causing drowsiness. For example, one product, Relaxity, contains gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and adaptogenic herbs that produce a relaxed state without inspiring yawns.

Double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical studies prove that GABA, used in Relaxity, can diminish stress, worry and anxiety, and that it might also allow for better focus and concentration.

Relaxity is available nationwide in healthfood stores, like Whole Foods, Wild Oats and online. For a free online stress test, visit www.relaxity.net.