Wednesday, February 10, 2016

#WineWednesday - Australia

As an employee of DW, we will reimburse for the cost of a certified course and the exam if you pass. I originally signed up for the Italian Wine Specialist course and attempted to study the 72 DOCGs prior to the four-day course and exam. I was too busy with the opening of the restaurant that I pushed the class back two months. I then became the Events Director and cancelled the $500 class all together. Not only that, but I memorized five DOCGs and ended up forgetting them. I just couldn't focus or commit.

During that time, I made copies of wine regions and started to memorize them along with key cities. I remember having these maps under me on my yoga mat as I did planks or stretched. It would help me take my mind off how much I would shake in the stretch or counting down the seconds until rest time. One of those maps was of Australia.

Today, I briefly went to a free event at an old party spot of mine, 111 Minna Gallery, featuring many Australian wines. 

My Wine Director was supposed to go with me but she was feeling under the weather. I went solo. The last time I was at 111 Minna was for an event one of our investors was hosting before DW opened and I don't recall the graffiti across the way.

It reminds me of a visitor I had in town from Ottawa saying, "Your graffiti is better than ours." I believe him. 

Normally I'm fine going solo to events but I just walked a bit in these Cole Haans for two days in a row and I don't think I wanted to stand and mingle much. I also was unprepared and didn't bring a pen to take notes on the nice booklet they were handing out that listed all of the wines that were available to taste. I wasn't going to remember much if I tasted half of what they had available without taking any notes. It was quite a selection.

It was a pretty good turnout. The space has been transformed from it being a club on Wednesday nights during my advertising days in my early 20s. What wonderful memories here.

The first one I had was the Pilar Box Red 2012 from South Australia. I recall it being jammy and tasty. I then tried the McWilliam's Cool Climate Shiraz 2013 from New South Wales. I really enjoyed the jamminess of the last wine that I didn't think too much of this one. The price of these two were around $15 a bottle. That's pretty cheap.

I snacked on some cheese and charcuterie. I was overhearing some of the conversations being had and the attendees were much more knowledgeable than I was to even begin a discussion. "I wish my Tara was here!" I thought. My Brewer went to an after party for an event with many sommeliers and he did not enjoy how arrogant some of the people were. In his world, the beer world, everyone is friendly, no matter what level of beer knowledge you might have. It could have been the shoes, it could have been being insecure in the lack of my wine knowledge but I wasn't planning on staying much longer. 

I then decided to go to one last table and head back into the office. I wasn't going to learn too much here without enough hands to hold a pen, the booklet and a glass of wine. I had the De Bortoli Estate Pinot Noir 2014 from Victoria, which was nice but not as nice that one bottle of Navarro Pinot Noir Kristian and I had at Chez Panisse.

Then I finished the event off with the No Le One Botrytis Semillon 2011 from New South Wales. The gal behind the table asked I knew it was a dessert wine. Uhm, no, I did not know that. Maybe I was sensitive and felt out of my element, but should I have known that? Regardless, it was sweet, of a bronze color and tasty. With that, I was done with this event. I have never left an event like this without a single business card. Networking fail. I need to work on that. 


Sunday, February 7, 2016

#250KChallenge - Week 4

We are a third of the way through this challenge. This week, I had two rest days, have been waking up earlier so I can get 45 minutes of cardio in, I have lifted heavier, walked a whole lot because of visiting Super Bowl City, worked out two hours on Saturday and have been working thru the soreness.

I haven't been keeping track of how much water I have been drinking or tracking what I've been eating. I do need to take that seriously and I have noticed that I do give into alcohol and sweets when I am stressed out.  It has kind of been an emotional week. I didn't take a day off from work, I'm tired, I can see the exhaustion in my face and I'm realizing I need to shift some of my focus to my personal life. I have had troubling discussions consisting of negative statements that I continue to replay in my head. They're effecting my mood and my energy. I do use the gym as my way to decompress and although using pain and stress as fuel to go harder in the gym, I need to stop covering up the issue and make changes. I already love going to the gym and my life overall, but there are  goals I need to make time for and shift my priorities a little. So we shall see how life changes in the next few months. But let's stay in the present for now:

Monday - rest day. Sunday was hiking 8 miles and working at night. I needed to rest. 

Tuesday - cardio and back day. I had to buy a second pair of gloves. I couldn't find my other pair so I bought ones for $17 at my gym, 24 Hour Fitness. It's always good to have a back up.

I did 15 minutes of warm up on the stationary bike and hit the lat pull down machine for 130 reps, bent over flies, seated rows, standing rows and single arms rows.

I also got to start my MuscleTech chocolate protein powder and it was delicious. I might not go back to vanilla ever! My shake was just with milk and frozen raspberries. So good! I got some love back from MuscleTech via Twitter so thank you! I won this cannister thru one of the challenges from I don't mind it at all! Who doesn't like free?!?

I also got some love from CaliMuscle! They reTweeted and mentioned this blog to follow me on this fitness journey. Shoutout to @calimuscle ! It's great to see a local company pay attention and give props to their customers via social media. I do this for DW and I love hearing that our FB, IG and Twitter accounts are doing well, they're active, that guests get an immediate response, even while they're dining with us! So kudos to CaliMuscle. I promise I'm going to shopping soon. I love new gym clothes. 

One of our hostesses turned barback is a Gold Rush Cheerleader. She was hanging out with me Tuesday night. She is definitely in much better shape than me but I like this picture of us. Go Niners! 

Wednesday - my roommate offered to make me one his shakes in the morning. Hell yes!!! It's made with MuscleMilk and a whole lot of fruit and milk. Delish! And my pre-workout stack of Shredz supplements also went down the hatch.

It was lower back and bis day. The back has so many muscles in it and I need to focus on upper and lower back on separate days because I get burnt out. I up'd my deadlift weights from 70 last week to 75.

Then more booty work on the floor. I joked around with my fellow single lady friends and people that know me the best that perhaps I should use this pic as my online dating profile pic. What do you think? By the way, there is no dating update. That's a challenge in itself.

I get to work and it turns into a bad day. It happens. And so does Hibiki 12-year. This tasty dirty water helped me cope come 4 pm at a neighboring restaurant. Sorry, Goals, I needed this that day.

Then I had an event that evening and I haven't seen this girl is ages! She has lost 45 pounds and does yoga moves I haven't even attempted. Looks like we've known each other for 10 years!

Thursday - shoulders. I was so sore from the last two days. I had to send this picture to Albert. He always makes fun of me for my shoulders. And my best friend, Christy, worked for a police department and she looked at my Week 1 posting while at her desk and her colleague, a male, asked who that was in one of the pics. "That's Bernadette?!?" Christy keeps joking around with me that she wouldn't be able hang with me at the gym. Oh please. That girl is on some crazy training session. She'd kick my ass.

Here's Bevo photo bombing and happy about it. 

And my MuscleTech delicious shake and taking in my view in Hayward.

Then I headed off to work and I recruited Annie, our hostess turned Server, to go with me to Super Bowl City to distribute some DW coupons. There was a lot of walking involved but also a Goose IPA at the Levi's bar.

Friday - unintentional rest day. I had a really vivid, bad dream and I just wanted to lay in bed longer. Maybe to sulk a bit. I don't sleep well and usually don't remember my dreams if I do dream as it's difficult for me the relax. My FitBit tells me I am restless more than a dozen times at night. Because I'm so wound up, yoga is also challenging for me to give in to. Also, though some people may not believe in this but when I have these sort of vivid dreams and it's about something that has been troubling me, it's usually telling me something true. 

For instance, I was traveling in Europe and had these vivid dreams that the husband I was going to counseling with was doing something bad. I had two vivid dreams! When I got home, two girlfriends of mine confirmed it was true, I confronted him about it, he didn't deny it, I took more stuff from the house and served his ass papers.

This dream involved getting some kind of explanation I have been waiting for for a long time. Obviously, I wasn't too pleased with the discussion and for some reason it involved Germany. Perhaps that detail will be explained eventually.  So yeah, I slept in. I head out to walk the Beeves and my roommate left me a surprise before he headed down to Santa Barbara.

Yum! Thanks, Will. Friday morning wasn't a total bust.

Like the Hibiki, Sunshine and I weren't feeling great about the work situation and I gave into her constant request for donuts. So I bought the staff a dozen. And Chinese food. Let's be real here.

Then Courtney and I headed to Super Bowl City to meet Ann so she can film us handing out coupons. Check out her videos at Lucre's Wine World on Facebook.  We are not camera shy whatsoever. 

Saturday - I was so exhausted I slept thru two alarms. I had to go pick up Courntey from Bart so we can go to Femme Fotcamp's bootcamp. And then we used our Groupon's to go to Boxing for Health's in Oakland for a cardio boxing class and it was great!!! Loved it. And for $29 we got 10 classes. Score! Sweated a lot and had a lot of fun.

Courtney and I were starving and went to a Greek restaurant on Grand Avenue. We needed protein. Everything was delicious. We then went to Emeryville to go to Sports Authority. Court wanted boxing gloves and wraps and we both wanted ankle bands.

I parked at Sports Authority and told her about ShopKick, which my friend, Megan turned me onto. You get points for walking into stores, scanning product codes and making purchases. Earn gift cards and products like an iPad or even a scooter. They used to have a cruise around the world but I'm ShopKicking for Hyatt gift cards. Court decided to sign up and we got quite a few steps walking a total of four more blocks and within the stores to find the products we needed. I logged about 26,000 steps. She kept saying it was 'so much fun!' It was! Sign up HERE!

Sunday - I woke up so sore and it hurt so good. It was Super Bowl Sunday and I already knew I was going to make terrible diet decisions and drink. Little did I know that there were going to be MANY bad decisions made that evening. I didn't get home until almost 3 am. But first, I made it to the gym.

I went with CCC - Chest, Core & Cardio. One thing to mention was that I up'd my side bends to 35 lbs. The heaviest dumbbell I have at home is 30, thx to my Cousin Nolan leaving them behind at my grandparents house. I hit my 45 mins of cardio and could have lifted more but my body was tired. And I was looking forward to hanging out and having a day off.

Sunday Funday indeed.

Week 5, coming right up!

Not a Puppy Anymore

The Puppy Bowl is happening at The Ferry Building in San Francisco in Super Bowl City. Annie and I tried to catch some of the action on Thursday afternoon while we were our marketing DW, but the four-legged players were being escorted off the field for sanitation purposes. Sooo cute!

I am so thankful to my almost 6.5-year-old baby, my Boston Terrier, Bevo. He is definitely too old to dominate on that Puppy Bowl field, but I still love him! You can't win them all! Besides working non-stop, he is my only constant. The one I see every day, the one I sleep with every night and the one that loves me unconditionally. I am his human. And he is my Bevo.

I thought I would give my goofy pup some blog lovin. He's so cute, maybe he'll get me more unique visitors, perhaps some advertisers and finally pull his weight around this joint!

Due to working so much, he has a lot of time in his crate while I am at work. On days I work 15 hours, I take him to his doggie daycare in Emeryville, CA. He deserves it. Being older, he's now a little exhausted for at least 24 hours. Sounds like me after a night of libations.

And her is more Bevo!

He loves pineapple. 

So sleepy.

"Nope. MY yoga mat."

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Super Bowl City Bound!

I headed down to Super Bowl City this afternoon, and the next few days until all the coupons are gone, in a white Dirty Water cap to hand out coupons good for the entire month of February 2016. Follow me on Twitter or Snapchat to find my exact location and get yours! 'bappletree' See you there!

Puppy Bowl!!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

20 Minutes

Sometimes you just need to free write.
Sometimes I need to reevaluate things.
Sometimes people surprise you.

My father says, expect nothing and you will never be disappointed. He also said that he's the only person I could rely on. I have a very short list of people I can trust to never lie or intentionally hurt me. I do expect those people to never disappoint me in that regard. They should know and believe that they will always have my unconditional love if they always have my best interest in mind.

Today, it feels like that list got a little shorter. Some people may get a second, third or even fourth chance with me but once that trust is gone, it is almost impossible to get it back. Multiple occurrences of questionable moves and statements have been made that lead me to make some alterations. 

But the kicker...

I was willing to invest more in this relationship because I could provide something the other party is incapable of doing and hoped we could start fresh, on the right foot and earn some time to make things right. It would be beneficial for all parties involved. However, in an instance, my existence was irrelevant and I was dismissed.

With that, I have decided to redirect my efforts and focus elsewhere. I can't fix a problem when the same problem continues to reoccur. I attempted to be part of the solution but it was denied. I tried. I failed. I will make the most of this, learn from it and keep moving on.

And have some whisky.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

#250KChallenge - Week 3

The week seems like such a blur. Weigh in Monday made no sense. The numbers don't add up. As much as I love lifting over cardio and you burn more calories throughout the day with more muscle mass, I told myself I need to do more cardio. I do need to track what I'm eating and drink more water but I haven't done either. That's a goal for Week 4.

As of Saturday, this challenge has also become a Las Vegas girls' trip prep for March. It'll be 8 ladies and it is much needed. I have been itching to travel. Although I have been to Vegas numerous times, this will do. Plus, it's Tara's first time! She's been going thru some things. She needs this.

But I need to drop some weight and meet some goals! I can definitely see some changes and over time they'll get better but my impatient self is looking for more yesterday.

Monday - From my 20 minutes post, work has been pretty busy that I haven't been able to step away for 20 minutes a day and read my book, Whisk(e)y Distilled. As I was unhappy with weigh in earlier that morning, I took my book and planted myself on the bike for 50 mins. Woohhh was my booty sweaty.

Tuesday - Back day! I have been obsessed with my back. I have seen pictures and I do not like what I see. I do lat pull downs, tons of rows, flys and did 100 close grip pull downs that Dylan has gotten me to do in the past. It felt good and I can see some changes. I just need to stick with it. 

The girls and I still do pic exchanges via text or Snapchat (@bappletree). Here is where my back is now with my Isopure shake. I chose to do the black and white filter so I can see where the shadows are. A lot to work on but it's been awhile since I've done a pic like this. My body is oddly shaped with one side more curved than the other. I want to even that out. Need to burn some fat! Thank you to Tatiana, the one of many fitness challenges partner of mine, for saying my back looks 'fierce.' It will be!!!

My shake is made up of Isopure creamy vanilla zero carb protein powder, Organics frozen raspberries and milk. It's my treat afterwards.

Tuesday, I went downtown for a meeting and had my first glance of some Super Bowl 50 building size ads. I got some steps in for the current work week challenges between FitBit users and got excited for events leading up to the Big Game on February 7th with the Panthers and Broncos. I love this city.

Tuesday night was followed by delicious wine to be tasted at DW, Macallen scotch whisky tasting and food at The Cooking School in San Francisco for the Golden Gate Restaurant Association 2016 kickoff cocktail reception. I brought my good friend, Stan, and he's a party animal with endless energy. After some whisky, I was all for his idea of bar hopping on Polk Street. But after the GGRA event, we went to Whitechapel nearby. What a great spot! I, who am trying not to drink, had one cocktail here over business talk. At the end, I was yawning and I had to say no repeatedly to his pleads to go to the Tahitian room at The Fairmont like we did a year ago or so. I was exhausted. Sorry, Stan! 

Wednesday - I got to the gym in the morning but had to take a phone call about financials. Grrrrr. When you have a lot riding on your business, you get your ass on the bike, figure things out, check your email and market and promote all the events DW has coming up. I want to throw in some weights in there but didnt have the time to work it in. But I did get my daily squats in.

I didn't have an events that evening except for the Belching Beaver tap takeover event so I wore yellow like their logo, and jeans. Sunshine had the same idea and we were twinsies for the day. It was a rough day and I had to have a taste of beer while Sunshine had some Bourbon and that delicious peanut brittle that was made with Glenmorangie Milsean right here in Oakland. We're so silly.

Then Charles and other boys from iFly surprised me and stopped by. I tried some of our new wines and had a sip of Charles' beer, Me So Honey. They thought all of my staff was beautiful, but not a bad lookin' group of men to hang out with for a little bit that night. Good people.

Thursday - CCC - Cardio, Chest & Core.
I jumped on that motor cross machine thingy. It's like the elliptical but without use of the arms. I did chest presses, flyers and abs. 

Don't you hate it when people sit on a machine playing around with their phone? Move!!!

Then abs at home in my CaliMuscle shirt. 

Friday - Another 15 hour day. I was doing fine until a finance company that I hate with the passion made Sunshine and I spend a total of 7 hours correcting their mistake. I was beyond irritated so I indulged in a Cleophus Quealy Blackberry beer and our Lemon Tart that I was happy that Sunshine didn't enjoy. More for me! 

I didn't leave there until 1 am and had plans to go to boot camp with Femme Fitcamp and Christina at 8 am the next morning. But Tara kept bringing me stuff to taste. We had a white wine that was light but had a mineral/stone fruit taste and it is priced at $50 per glass. Then she brought in some sparkling that she got for free. I also had a glass of that. See my Wine Log soon!

Saturday - I did make it to Femme Fitcamp's class at 8 am. Courtney and Ji-Young made it! Yay! I was up at 6 am and ready to go. It was a mostly cardio day but I ended up hurting my right shoulder. We were raising a 12-lb medicine ball over our head and slamming it on the ground. My shoulder didn't like the way I did one move and it was painful but I finished the cycle. It's now uncomfortable to use my stickshift. I'm sure it'll pass. But here's our group pic. I apologize for that ugly face! But hello sweaty ladies! 

We rewarded ourselves with breakfast at Ole's on Park Street in Alameda. Courtney and I were excited when our fruit bowl was pretty large! Yum!!

Sunday - 10 am meet up time to climb Montara Mountain in Pacifica, CA. (See my hiking blog posts.) My roommate made me a MuscleMilk shake and I had my Shredz BCAAs. Double fisting. Oh yeah.

Joining me was Courntey, Tara and John. It was an 8-Mille hike and took up about 3.5 hours. It felt great. I haven't hiked with any of them and it was a good time.

Love this pano trick that John told us about. For some reason Courtney is missing from the first portion.

At the summit, unfortunately, you don't get to stand on the top like you do at Mission Peak in Fremont, CA. So this is when I cracked open my Bounce protein bar but shaped in a circle. I found it at The Market and the rep was a cutie offering free samples to taste. Sold. Having attractive people marketing your products definitely help. ��

And we're done. That's a good lookin' group after an 8-mile hike, right?

Then we went to The Devil's Slide and had some beer....onion rings and a burger. We worked for it though.

At almost 19,000 steps, Courtney and in adventures off to explore Super Bowl City near the Ferry Building. It was cold and windy and honestly, not that exciting. 

So we explored who were offering an SF Restaurant Week dinner menu. We wanted to get out of the cold. And ended up at Chaya, not ordering the special menu but a $150 bottle of wine from Domaine Serene in the Willamette Valley. It was 50% off. We'll take it. So half cheat day continued with these ladies. It was worth it.

And so another week closes and weigh in might suck tomorrow. I'm exhausted so I might just have a rest day. We'll see if that actually happens.

Thanks for reading!