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So much about life and our experiences are a direct reflection of our choices. This month we take notice of our lifestyle “Champagne Taste on a Beer Budget.”


As my husband would say, “anyone can buy a good bottle of wine for $50.” But today there are so many wonderful wines for under $50 and quite frankly for under $25. And I am not talking about “two buck Chuck!” But along with price, it is the choice we have to buy a better wine, but perhaps don’t drink so often, so we can enjoy the finer taste or style of the wine. As always, LESS IS MORE.


FUSE LIFE STYLED — Weaving Style into our daily living with great Food & Recipe Ideas, Home Decor Pointers, Travel Tips and contemporary suggestions for Health & Wellness.


The FUSE Woman, Full & Complete,

Gail Gabriel

Lifestyle Editor


My Favorite Wineries in Paso


Cypher Winery

Niner Winery

Law Winery (appointment required)



Wild Horse

Bella Luna


Most places wave the tasting fee if you buy wine and the average tasting fees are considerably less than those in Napa Valley.

Chamgagne/Wine Tasting on a Beer Budget


While the Napa Valley champagne/wine tasting experience seems to have escalated in price over the years, we do have other choices which offer some fun adventures. In California alone, there are several wine areas worthy of your exploring, i.e. in northern California try the Lake County area and in southern California try the Paso Robles area.


From the Bay Area it is about a 3.5 hour drive to the Paso Robles area (or as the locals call it, Paso). With the rains that 2016 have brought us, it is a beautiful drive down Highway 101 watching the green hills and lovely colorful wildflowers.


I highly recommend stopping in King City (yes King City) for lunch at a newer restaurant called the Cork and Plough. The menu is varied and the food is wonderful, utilizing local ingredients and featuring local wines. If you don’t have dessert at the restaurant, you can walk on the same side of the street and a few doors down discover a wonderful Mexican mom and pop ice cream shop, La Michoacana, with unique flavors in both their homemade ice cream and fruit bars. ​

My Favorite Dining in Paso


Pier 46 Fish Market and Restaurant   (Vineyard Drive near Trader Joes)

the Range in Santa Margarita

(south of Atascadero)

Buona Tavola (old style Italian in Paso) Bistro Laurent

La Cosecha

(both in Paso)

A side trip to Morro Bay is definitely worth while. The drive via Highway 46 is beautiful, especially if the skies are blue; but if not, it is still worth going. The main drag (Embarcadero) offers many shopping opportunities, art galleries and my favorite “Lifestyle” shop, The Garden Gallery. It has wonderful ideas and items for both your home and garden, as well as gift items for family and friends. My purchase of three artificial tomatoes, which were $8 each, make a nice feature on our bookcase and double as a centerpiece for the dining table.


There are many restaurants in Morro Bay as well, both on the water and not. Dorn’s (on Market Street) is a wonderful place with great clam chowder and a view out to Morro Rock.



Towards the end of the 19th century, champagne was associated with prestige, luxury and a symbol of status and class. Since its invention, beer is the most popular alcoholic beverage, representing a more affordable and common lifestyle.


The phrase 'Champagne Taste on a Beer Budget' combines the two, meaning luxury on limited income.


It was first recorded in a news item by Howard Fielding and Frederick R. Barton, 'The Victim of his Clothes.' Published in the July edition of The Globe-Republican in 1890: "School mastering I found, did not pay for a man who had acquired champagne taste on a beer budget..."


The subject of money is a big topic for a lot of people.  Thoughts of  “Will I ever get out of debt?” and “Will I ever be able to retire?” stream through our minds.


As we ponder, worry, or even stress about money we spend all of our emotional resources focusing on what we don't have. Therefore, we have less energy to solve problems, or feel that we have any control over our lives. 


Getting your financial mindset in order is not just about paying off debt. For many women it is about  the amount of stress that poor money mindset brings into their lives. Here are five mindsets, you may be holding on to, that are holding you back from your financial freedom.


1. “Someone else will/should take care of this for me.” 


Stop waiting for Prince Charming, your parents, your employer, your husband/wife or your friends to come bail you out. Your financial future is your responsibility.


When you place your financial responsiblity on someone else, you are just delaying your financial well-being; and the longer you sit and wait for that magical person to start taking care of your finances, the further and further behind you are going to get.  


When is the BEST time to take responsibility for your finances?….Right now!


2. “I’m not good with money.”


Join the club. There are many who were released out into the world with little to no knowledge of how to handle money, budget, or plan for their financial futures. You probably were not good at walking when you took your first steps.That's why we encourage you to have patience, find great teachers, and practice, practice, practice!

3. “Money is greedy or non-spiritual.” 


The only way to make money is by giving value. It doesn’t matter if you are the CEO of your own company or a widget maker in a factory. You are giving value (products/services) to this world in exchange for value (money). The more value you give, the more value you receive.


There is nothing more spiritual than cultivating your unique gifts and talents and adding value to this world.


4. “I’m not ______ enough.”


I’m not smart enough. I’m not educated enough. I’m not old/young enough.  Fill in the blank with your own word of choice. 


The truth is, no matter what excuse you want to place in the blank, we can probably find someone who has overcome that obstacle to achieve financial success.  

Just remember that no one will value you more than you value yourself.  There is no budget big enough to help you become successful if you don’t believe you are worthy of success. The inner voice that says, "I'm not enough" is only going to keep you in a life of mediocrity.


5. "Fear of Money."


Making decisions based on fear of loss or failure never leads toward prosperity. In fact, usually fear-based decision-making will steal your happiness or joy of success.


There is a different mindset between those who make financial decisions to 'move away from fear' vs those who make financial decisions to 'move towards prosperity.'


Fear-based decisions will always keep you on a "Beer Budget" when Champagne awaits you!

5 Ways To
Have Good
About MONEY!
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