Tuesday, September 30, 2014


Legally, that is. I have been single since June of 2012, just six weeks after my wedding. It’s a long story, if you don’t already know it. I legally filed for divorce on December 12, 2012. Yes, 12/12/12, when most couples think it’s good luck to get married when the numbers of the dates are all the same. The process should have been quick and painless but I wasn’t that lucky. The earliest you can get officially divorced is six months after filing your petition. I had already planned to celebrate on the beaches of Kauai, Hawaii with my beautiful nephew, Sol, and my family members. However, June 12th came and went with no resolution but I did do something fun and amazing….keep reading. I honestly just wanted to dust my hands clean of everything, accept I made a terrible mistake, learn from the disaster and walk away the bigger person. I was not searching for an apology, an explanation, revenge or to make a profit. Just let me walk away! But delay after delay for such a simple request to my generous offer and the audacity of requests prolonged the separation I wished for.
I couldn’t wait anymore and it’s not just me being impatient. I wanted to move on with my life and this stigma was holding me back. “Oh, by the way, I’m married.” The look of shock on TMM’s face was unforgettable. “This is something you should have told me about!” I honestly didn’t know where things were going with him so I didn’t feel it was necessary to disclose it, especially assuming that it was going to be insignificant in two months (June 12th). Eight months later, it’s still not final and I just wanted to be single. Legally. I was beyond frustrated with wasting additional time. Approaching a year since I filed for divorce, I finally requested to get the marriage bifurcated to get my status back and all lingering issues that were causing the delay to be dealt with later. Getting this signed was also no walk in the park.

Five months later, we finally agree to the terms to list the marital residence and it is listed on the market. Six months later, we finally signed a judgment to settle things, but the judge needs to finalize it. I was told that the Contra Costa County Family Court was taking two to three months to finalize judgments. It was now two years since I left the house in the middle of the night with my dog, my laptop and the bare necessities.

This period of my life has been a challenge but I have definitely overcome. 2013 was amazing, besides the fact that I lost my dear Lolo. That broke my heart. But I am so blessed to have so much love in my life. I am so grateful for the loving people in my life that genuinely care about me, have my best interest in mind and know the insanely crazy busy, opinionated, independent, workaholic, feisty me but still love me anyways.

Last year was full of incredible adventures with wonderful people. I survived my first Valentine’s Day as a single woman after 10 years, hiked to Alamere Falls and Lolo Vista by myself in Kauai, traveled to Miami for a Bachelorette Party with 11 fun, beautiful women, nailed the June wedding in Carmel Valley, had the absolute best trip to Vegas for business and pleasure, went to multiple Los Lonely Boys concerts as usual, my sweet and favorite Mormon got married and asked me to be a Bridesmaid, my beautiful niece, Arya, was born, Filipinos took over Nashville for Cousin Chu Chu’s wedding where we gained a darling cousin and partied at the honky tonks downtown, finally went to Graceland and paid respects to one of the most gorgeous men of all time, survived driving in the most ridiculous and scariest storms from Memphis to Nashville, had an amazing birthday at the Niners v. Colts game, learned how to ride a sports bike and bought my very own Honda CBR 600, I survived my first 11-day cleanse and my first Warrior Dash and became Partner of a company, Dirty Water. Oh, the memories! Tuesdays became the new Thursdays to go out drinking. My boss asked me how I could go out on Tuesday night. Answer, “I’m single!” My dad recently told me that he definitely worries about me always being out and about, but also confessed that he’s glad I am living life to the fullest. Indeed I am because tomorrow isn’t guaranteed, People. I’m One Busy Bee. That will never change. If the time comes to try this marriage thing again and fulfill a dream I have of being a mommy, of course I will rearrange my priorities. But for now, life goes on. And if that just isn’t in the cards, I’m a damn good Auntie, and I think I’ll be OK with that.

2014 has been good but challenging. I said goodbye to a friend (again!) that was always such a dark cloud. But I got closer to a good friend that very same day and it’s been great. I started doing a hike a once a month and so far have done Mt. Tam (bucket list – CHECK!), Pt. Lobos in Carmel, around the Lafayette Reservoir, and The Dish in Palo Alto and tackled nice inclines in Big Sur. I went snowboarding for Cugino’s birthday. I hurt my tailbone again but I still got out there and did alright the whole day. I also got back out there and had some first dates. Oh, the dating stories. TMM is gone. But shockingly one person actually had morals, a conscious, isn’t afraid of being honest and doesn’t just disappear off the face of the planet. It was refreshing. Everything else with that package was a bonus. But the statement still holds true: I’m Single.

The passing of my Auntie Annie was a loss for our family, but in the two trips to Southern California, the Lagade family has just grown stronger. Cugino and I got matching shrimp tattoos while we down there. We were called The Shrimps when we were little because we were small. Not anymore! When we went on our cruise in Europe in November 2012, it was #ShrimpsOnABoat. I also got a tattoo on my back of a bee with a crown: One Busy (Queen) Bee. And yes, I was working on Dirty Water while at the tattoo shop while my cousin Jenny got her trampstamp.

I went to more Los Lonely Boys concerts, more Yelp Elite events, and traveled to Seattle and Vancouver, Canada to fulfill my once a year international trip, as inspired by my lovely Nikki B. I discovered that Colorado’s elevation kicked this tough girl’s ass and damnit, I can check off sky diving off my bucket list. I want to do it again! The experience was so amazing. I went to Maui to spend time with my dad for his 60th birthday, and to Kauai to see Shanti, Sol and Pablo in August, and two event planning events went well. My girlfriend, Christina, and I booked a spontaneous trip to Boston for 36 hours this coming weekend and two days later, I am headed back to Kauai for a friend's wedding and to meet my new baby nephew. My 2015 international trip is looking like Milan. I want to go back to Italy so bad.

With that said, I can FINALLY show you just how happy I am to be MISS Bernadette Manzano again. I was never going to drop my last name, BTW.  Brides have trash the dress photo sessions after their wedding. Well, this Wedding Planner had a trash the dress session to celebrate my divorce! Unfortunately, these photos were taken prematurely but they still celebrate being in a much more beautiful place in life. Brian Finch of Love Bliss Imaging and Mia Moriguchi, my hair and make-up artist, were up for the task. The shots were taken at sunrise at Moloaa Beach. I had to get up at 3:30 AM, get my hair and make-up done and Brian picked me up to drive to the beach. Everything in these photos are exactly what I wore on my wedding day and I couldn’t wait to get in the water that was surprisingly warm at 6 AM. I wish I could say that I can close the book on that part of my life but one thing remains lingering, which also should be finalized soon too. Being married is not one of them, PRAISE JESUS!

Party? Oh yes,…

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Our First Investors Meeting

The Operating Team of Dirty Water had a wonderful time with our investors on the rooftop of Anchor Steam Brewery. It was such a pleasure to meet each one of these amazing, smart, humble and fun individuals.

We first gathered in the tasting room on the second floor. We were poured our choice of Anchor Steam beers and then led upstairs by the very generous and knowledgeable Jen Chen to the top floor. Pass the construction and stacks of barley, we found ourselves in a private room with a full bar and our wonderful and meticulous mixologist, Zachary Taylor, with access to a deck where your eyes are automatically drawn to the beautiful skyline of downtown San Francisco and the Bay Bridge.

Introductions of our Operating Team were made by Kristian and an update of the many tasks we are working on as a group to open were explained. Questions were asked and answers were received. Zachary explained the two cocktails he especially created for our investors that evening. And Jen explained distinguishing traits of Anchor Steam spirit offerings of many exclusive and hard to find liquors for them to taste. It was definitely a treat.

A few of my favorite quotes from the evening:

"Of all the investments we have made, Dirty Water is the one we're most excited about."

 "I am glad the other investment opportunity fell thru because it opened the door to this one." 

"We believe in YOU, Kristian." 

And a little charm, "Bernadette, when I read your name, I didn't expect THIS!" Oh, so sweet.

We kept going after the event and headed to Connecticut Yankee where more drinks and laughs were had and Fernet shots were consumed. We were briefly joined by our Beermistress, Vicki Tisdale, and the below photo is her enjoying the scent of the hops Kristian grew on his balcony right here in San Francisco. Our night ended at Trivia Night at Bar Basic to support Vicki as the host.

A wonderful evening. A beautiful start to many beautiful relationships.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Fight Breast Cancer

Shop for a cause! Fight breast cancer! All net proceeds of these bracelets go to benefit the Noreen Fraser Foundation, now thru October 31st. Get yours for $39 at http://www.stelladot.com/Bernadette I bought mine!

Breast cancer has effected my family and loved ones. In loving memory of my beautiful cousin Natalie Nobida, a wonderful and strong woman, Maureen Withrow, and thankfully my sweet Auntie Gi is in remission. 

Thanks for reading.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Warrior Dash 2014! Sponsor Me!

WARRIOR DASH!!!! Is in 33 days. Sponsor me or join my sister and I in 3.2 miles of running in the heat and the hills of eSparto! and going thru 12 obstacles including that mud pit. I'm super late in fundraising but I need $300 in tax-deductible donations to get that private shower again. Help a Dirty (Water) girl out.


Thanks for reading!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Delta Blues Festival & On-Point Machining

Come on out to the Delta Blues Festival tomorrow in Downtown Antioch tomorrow from noon to 7:30 PM. My sister and brother-in-law, owners of On-Point Machining, are sponsors. Please come by and check out their booth, pick up pens, stickers and check out some samples they have worked on. Enjoy some live music. See you there!

Follow us both on Instagram - @onpointmachining & @bappletree

Friday, August 29, 2014

Wedding Gowns Starting at $49 & Going to Charity?!

What a wonderful event. I had to re-post and share. As someone who has lost friends and family to cancer and understand that the wedding dress I considered getting was $5,000 but settled on one for less than $1,000, this would make someone's special day incredibly amazing and while supporting a fantastic cause. Kudos to East Bay Bridal.

Women Helping Women Make A Difference...
"A Match Made in Heaven in the midst of Wedding Gowns"
Weddings are a special time in women's lives and so is the wedding gown. However for many, the purchase of a wedding gown can be costly and exorbitant. Fortunately, there is now a solution that also helps women cancer patients throughout the East Bay! 
Norcal Media's East Bay Bridal is a publication that has become the "GO TO" guide for brides-to-be and this year they are proud to partner with the Women's Cancer Resource Center (wcrc.org), an organization which provides free cancer services to women throughout the East Bay. This Charity Wedding Gown Sale/Bridal Fair will offer brides-to-be the opportunity to purchase from hundreds of wedding gowns starting at $49, while at the same time helping the Cancer Center. 100% of the proceeds from the Gown Sale will be donated back to the Women's Cancer Center. 
If you've already said your 'I dos' and are wondering what to do with your dress... consider donating it to this worthwhile event.  By donating your dress, your donation will ensure: appropriate care and cancer treatment, emergency financial assistance, cancer support groups, and in-home services.  
If you are interested in attending the Gown Sale/Bridal Fair, the event is being held at the Pleasanton Doubletree (formerly the Pleasanton Hilton at the Club) on Sunday, October 12th from 11-4pm. Tickets are only $15 in advance or $20 at the door. 

If you are interested in donating a wedding gown and making a difference in a cancer patient's life, contact Cathy Lonsdale at 510-886-1317 or visit: 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

'I Hate Running' No More

I never enjoyed running laps around the fields or on the track in high school. I remember being told once that I had a slight case of asthma when I was a kid. I convinced myself that was the reason as to why I am a slow runner. Excuses, excuses. When I ran, I would get a cramp right under my rib cage on my right side and the only thing that would ease the pain would be to apply pressure and rest. Completing a mile under a certain time wasn’t a goal of mine and I had an incredible metabolism. I didn’t need to lose weight.

Fast forward almost 20 years and just over a week since beginning to jog on a regular basis, I am at 2 miles and under 12 minutes per mile. The metabolism I once gloated about is gone but a competitive side of me is very well present. I can see how running can be addicting. I am constantly pushing myself to go farther and be faster. Without even trying to run on a regular basis, I said I hated running. I would get sharp pains in my knees, my feet and my shins. I haven’t felt those pains in days.

This new running passion began after a recent trip to Santa Cruz with my best friend, Christy, and her family. She had signed up for the SF Giants 10K with our girlfriend, Christina, but Christina forgot that she had another obligation that day or weekend. Christy was already committed but dropped down to do a 5K. Christy has always wanted to become a cop and she is in the process. She wasn’t thrilled with her fit test results and wanted to improve. With working full time and with two young kids, it’s hard to make time for herself and go for a run or fast-paced walk. So I said I would wake up early on Sunday morning and run with her from my girlfriend’s house where we were staying to the beach, which wasn’t too far. But getting out there, being physical and with a friend’s encouragement, you can’t say no. Christy doesn’t ever want to displease or disappoint anyone. We agreed to do this before we left for Santa Cruz and she knows I typically work out at least 5 days a week and I was going to make her stick with it. And we did. We were a bit behind schedule with the babies and all, but her boyfriend, Cesar, was supportive and we got out there.

The beach was less than a mile away and the sun came out just in time to make the jog just a little bit more challenging. We stuck with it. We stopped at the one stop light and stretched and kept moving. We jogged at the perfect pace together. We reached the corner of the beach, stopped, caught our breath and made our way back. I honestly was surprised that I didn’t stop. I didn’t want to tell her that because I know she’d say that we could stop if I wanted to. I didn’t want to. I tried to push myself more as we got closer to the house. Home stretch! I lengthened my strides and unclenched my fists to allow air to hit my sweaty palms and cool me down just a tad. We stopped at the beginning of the street of my girlfriend’s house. I challenged Christy to a race to sprint to her minivan at the house. She rolled her eyes and I said ‘C’mon!” I told her to count it off. I jokingly tried to get in position like I was a track star. 3, 2, 1, GO! And I was completely out of gas. She was way ahead of me before I took five strides. All I felt were the beads of sweat coming down my forehead and the side of my face and I just laughed to myself. Loser. She won even after she let off the gas.

That was 1.4 miles and for a few minutes, I was still sweating like crazy in the house. Cesar was laughing at me. I was not a runner. The next day, my entire body felt sore. It may partially be because I was carrying my niece and nephew anytime they wanted around The Boardwalk but I like to think it was because of the run. And I love that soreness.

My girlfriend, Megan, told me that she’s starting to run as well as she’s been working with a personal trainer. She uses the app, RunKeeper, so I downloaded it as well. It does a great job of tracking your time, distance and progress. It will track your hikes, walks, cycling, etc. I walk Bevo 2-3 times a day so I definitely add that to my steps taken in a day, however he does stop to smell the roses and almost everything else so my times aren’t that great. It could also track your heart rate but you need a special device for that.

I am enjoying pushing myself to keep going, to not even allow myself think “I can’t” for a moment and reach my goal. Next goal is 2.5 miles. At 3 miles, I plan rewarding myself with some new work out gear.

Are you a runner/jogger?

When did you start?

What is the most rewarding thing about running to you?

Update 7/14/14
haven't ran since Thursday morning. Apparently I have a case of runner's knee already. There's a pain below both knee caps. I jogged alongside my nephew this weekend at Roaring Camp in Felton, CA and felt some discomfort and even feel it walking today. It's very disappointing that this is happening because I really enjoyed jogging and taking advantage of this great weather. I guess I should rest and get some appropriate shoes. I was waiting to reach 3 miles to get a new pair of running shoes but I might have to spend some money today. Time to go shopping!
Article: Beating Runner's Knee