• The Best Self Defense Lesson I Learned From My Mother

    The things our parents or guardians teach us as kids can have deep rooted, lasting impacts into adulthood and throughout our lives. In the moment we may not even realize how important these lessons are or how they will play a role in our lives, and it often isn’t until much later in life that we appreciate their value. Sometimes these lessons come in the form of little tips and tricks, like how to keep your cookies from spreading too much when they bake, or how to use duct tape to fix literally anything. But sometimes these lessons are truly…

  • Why I’m Taking a Social Media Sabbatical

    Y’all may have noticed that I have not been active on social media lately. Why the heck not, you ask? I’m taking a social media sabbatical. Read on to find out what in the world I mean by that and why I’m doing it. A sabbatical is typically thought of as a paid leave from work to give a person a chance to step back from their day to day work duties and lean into the life side of the work/life balance equation. Many people use such a time to focus on personal development and/or embark on grandiose adventures around…

  • Ask Monica

    Hi friends! I hope you all are doing well in these crazy times we are living in. Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, I have been searching for ways to stay connected with family, friends, and followers. I had grand plans of doing YouTube/IGTV videos, chatting it up on IG stories, FaceTiming with loved ones, and so much more. Unfortunately, I have been having some vocal cord issues, so I’ve had to shift my strategy a bit to do more writing instead of talking. Last week I put up a Q&A on my Instagram story but rather than answering questions via stories,…

  • 6 SHOT Show Survival Tips

    Every time I sit down to write a SHOT Show recap, I find myself stuck. It SHOT Show writer’s block a thing? I think it’s a thing. I don’t know how I can possibly sum up such an eventful week. A week of complete sensory overload. A week of meeting amazing people. A week of good times with friends. A week of walking the show floor, networking receptions, parties, and so much more. The times that I was able to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), I found myself writing about how I managed to get through the…

  • Does Rain Affect Your Situational Awareness?

    I live in the Portland, Oregon area. It rains a lot here. Shocking, I know. From September to May, many Oregonians don’t leave the house without a rain jacket. Even on a sunny day, which are few and far between, it’s not unusual for clouds to roll in out of the blue. We must be prepared for rain at any moment. In true Oregonian fashion, we don’t stay inside just because it’s raining – we get out there and go on with our lives regardless of the weather. Notice I said rain jacket, not umbrella. Oregonians are notoriously anti-umbrella. If you’re…

  • Alcohol + Firearms

    When I tell people my IG/blog is called Pinot+Pistols, a common response is, “That sounds safe [insert sarcasm here]”. I usually enjoy the two separately, but there are times when you’ll see images like the one pictured here, or you’ll see my concealed carry outfit of the day when I’m going to a wine event, or something of that nature. And I often get questions or comments about alcohol + firearms. As we all know, firearms and alcohol don’t always mix well. But don’t worry, I take my safety and the safety of others around me very seriously, and I am not in…

  • Holidays Suck

    They say it’s the most wonderful time of the year, but for many of us the holidays suck. Don’t get me wrong, I love Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Years. I love the decorations and the food and the music and the traditions. But this time of year is the absolute hardest for me. And it isn’t because of the increase of social commitments. Or the crazy holiday shoppers. Or the family feuds. Or the ten pounds I’ll probably gain between now and the end of the year. It’s because my mom isn’t here. I’m writing this on what would…

  • How I Got Into Guns

    The question I get most on my Instagram page is, “How did you get into guns?”, so I figured this would be a good place to start for my first blog post! But before I can tell you how I got into guns, I first have to give you a brief history of Monica BG (Before Guns). Before Guns I was born and raised in San Jose, California. In case you didn’t know, San Jose is smack in the middle of ultra-liberal Silicon Valley, which was probably a big reason as to why I didn’t grow up with guns in…