Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Found My Engagement Photos Photographer!

That didn't take very long at all. I did touch base with UrLoved Photography but our schedules weren't working out. As stated in my recap of the Valdez wedding, they are excellent to work with, produce great photos and are quite reliable. However at this time, our schedules didn't work out. They were pretty booked! Get on it, Folks, and book your session with them.

So what I did was post an ad on Craigslist for a TFCD (Trade For CD) of images: My time in exchange for a CD of photos, or back then, for prints (TFP). This is how I started modeling back in my early 20s for fun. I didn't start modeling because I thought I was hot stuff or had a unique look. I did it for fun and if something came out of it, great! But it was for the experience and I'm not shy in front of the camera at all. So why the hell not? I did get my photos on the cover of two books, a CD cover for a band, did fashion shows, was an extra in a few music videos (including Michael Jackson's 'Cry' video - Downtown San Francisco, but you can't see me) and independent films.

ANYWAYS, I posted my ad stating what I was looking for. There are new and experienced photographers out there just looking for experience, wanting to try a new genre of photography, or just to update their portfolio, or people that were just like me that did it as a hobby. And of course, like everyone and their mother, someone has an opinion and I received a nasty email from a so-called photographer that didn't want to leave their name, or showcase their talented work to me, saying I am insulting them (photographers) by wanting work for free. I wonder how many photographers posting TFP but requiring nudity get these sort of emails. Little that these people know, that I am a gracious person and they're work will be greatly rewarded and appreciated.

I received quite a few responses to my ad and found a great photographer that I can't wait to unveil his work to you all.

Don't let opinionated people get you down. Never be afraid to ask for what you want. You never know who's willing to give it to you.

Have you had a Craigslist nightmare?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My Most Engaging Post Yet

Christmas is just days away. A storm in the Bay Area has passed. Two holiday parties were a success. But these past 18 hours have been a whirlwind for sure.

Yesterday evening, after dinner, in our home office discussing the home we are in process of purchasing, holding a gray box from The Shane Company, my boyfriend (wearing a black long sleeved shirt and his Adidas pants with white paint stains from painting the condo earlier this year, and I in jeans, my Toby Keith blue tank top from his Las Vegas “I Love This Bar” restaurant, my blue SFSU zipper up sweatshirt, and my brown childhood blanket draped over my lap) got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.


I hugged him tight and kissed him repeatedly. He was shaking and said “I can’t believe you said ‘yes.” I couldn’t stop smiling and crying and saying “I love you.” And I couldn’t help but laugh when I called him my fiancĂ© for the first time. Wow, we’re really engaged!

Since we were in the process of negotiating buying our first home together, it was inevitable that our engagement was going to happen sooner or later. As stated in my blog posting about our anniversary trip to Yosemite, DB alerted me that he wasn’t going to propose this time, but assured me that he has a ring. He said he has had it for awhile but has decided that he wanted to get me something different. I was disappointed at first but then I thought it was really smart of him to let me know before we were on our way. But if that wolf attacked us in the middle of that open field, I sure wish he would’ve at least proposed. But the wolf kept his distance… Upon our return from Yosemite, Christy confirmed he indeed had a ring. She said he told her a long, long, LONG time ago that he had a ring for me. That was news to me. When we went to the East Coast to visit his family and went to New York City and tried engagement rings in the Diamond District and Tiffany’s on 5th Avenue, I may have put too much pressure on him as to what I wanted. None the less, my FIANCE did a spectacular job. The Cut, Carat and setting is exactly what I wanted. The Color and Clarity is fit for a queen. It is GORGEOUS! Don’t you agree?

My first call was to Christy. That girl works crazy hours and is so busy but she has been my rock for when I hit bottom and a friend I would do anything for. She didn’t answer and I didn’t leave a message but I texted her a photo of the ring and told her I loved her for being my rock (now showing off mine) and that I wanted her to be the first one to know.

My next call was to my sister. My first question to her was “How much do you like DB?” She loves him. Her husband, Dan, and DB get along so well. And just this past weekend while babysitting Brent, Brent definitely made it clear to DB that he loved him.

Then it was time to just rest and hang out with my new, beautiful, fiancĂ©. We ended up watching Pawn Stars and that Pickers show. I didn’t get done what I needed to that night but who cares?

One of the first things that DB mentioned the next morning (today) was his shock at why I haven’t changed my Facebook status or Twittered the big news. I can hear him saying “Mommy’s Twittering again!” I wanted to call people personally and tell them and not blast it over social networks. I did, and now I’m blogging about it. I didn’t want to forget such a wonderful moment in our lives.

One person I had to call was one of my long-time friends, Tara. We met in middle school and we’ve remained close through the years. I remember I was traveling doing radio remotes along the West Coast and was in Salt Lake City. I missed her call twice in one day. We may be close but we don’t talk every week, or maybe not even month. But when I missed her call twice in one day, I knew something was up. I was in my suite, sitting on the bed, at The Little America Hotel and thought, ‘Man, I gotta call this girl back! Something must be up.’ And she told me about the romantic proposal Kenny planned for her. And she asked me to be a bridesmaid. Uh, yeah! No question about it. So today I called her twice. She was working and left her a voicemail asking if she was in Utah and that she had to call me. She texted me back. And I texted her the photo I sent Christy. I got a call back.

On my way home today, I’ll be giving a call into my future parents-in-law to say how happy I am to be a part of their family. I LOVE his parents. I decided not to call on my way into work this morning because I knew I was going to cry.

Among this fantastic news, we ALSO received MORE fantastic news that the bank agreed to our counter offer and the house we’ve been wanting to purchase is OURS!!!! DB would occasionally post sweet things on FB that he has the car, the dog, and the girl and that life was good. I couldn’t possibly agree more right now. I have absolutely EVERYTHING right now and couldn’t be happier. I look forward to building our home together, growing old together, raising our kids (and dogs) together, and being the best wife to my loving husband. I love you, Baby.

For those of you inquiring about a wedding date or other info, that has yet to be determined. I foresee this Wedding Planner’s wedding to be small, simple and intimate… possibly beachy. *wink* *wink* Start racking up those air miles! (Maybe.) Our priority is getting our future home together in order, getting our Hayward condo ready to be rented out, etc…

Stay tuned for wedding and house warming party details.

Thanks for reading,
A Bride-to-Be

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Spanish, Summer, Church Wedding - CANCELED

I was hired to work a July 2011 wedding in the Santa Clara/San Jose area last month. This was a referral from a fellow WIN colleague I met in our San Mateo training office. We met in the middle at a Starbucks after a discussion over the phone. I obtained as much information I could in terms of their needs and expectations.

The wedding ceremony was to be held in a cathedral and for a full Catholic mass in Spanish. This would be my first ceremony in another language. The cathedral they had their eyes on was the beautiful Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph’s in San Jose, California. It could be challenging as the Event Planner to get detailed information from some churches. Some will not even release their availability or ballpark ‘donation’ or cost. They usually like to speak directly with the bride or groom. Though it may be deceitful, you may need to pose as either party to get more information. The Basilica was not difficult to deal with and I would have to say they were the most helpful and pleasant when gathering initial information.
The couple’s date was not confirmed and many churches and venues have very few options available for weekends in the summer. Therefore, first step was to find a ceremony location. Once options were laid out, I had to kick the ball back to the couple to make appointments to speak and meet with the priests. I provided them with a complete status sheet that included their tentative timeline for tasks and day of events, a list of all the churches I have reviewed and made contact with, and indicated specifics and next steps.

A church and date was selected. While they gathered and filed the necessary paperwork for the church and enrolled in marriage and family planning courses that need to be completed before they marry, I began working on putting a list together of possible venue locations and recommended vendors. (Are you on it? :) ) A vision or look and feel was not decided upon yet in terms of the reception but I kept plugging away.

But sadly, the wedding has been canceled. I am reassured by the groom that they were not unhappy with my services:

I greatly appreciate all your hard work and dedication to make sure our
needs were met. Your professionalism and timeliness were outstanding. We
will definitely call you again when we need an expert in your field. In the
same manner, we will gladly refer you to anyone who might be in need of your

It was definitely a great experience and I hope to work with them in the future. I wish them nothing but the joy in whatever they decide.

Have you had or worked on a wedding that was canceled? Please share your thoughts on how it effected you as part of the bridal party, family, friend or vendor.

Starting off the New Year…

To go hand in hand with my “Merry Mass Appeal Giveaway”, I will be attending this workshop with friends and colleagues to kick off 2011. Please let me know if you’re interested in joining us!

I personally know these four presenters and have the utmost respect for them. I am looking forward to enjoying this event and learning how to live a healthier life.

Since Thanksgiving, I can honestly say that I have not been to the gym regularly, nor eating well. I KNOW I’m not alone. How about you?

12 Drinks of Xmas = 16 Hours

I received a referral from a repeat client and great couple regarding a friend of theirs wanting to throw a holiday party the following weekend. In a week’s time and 10 hours of prep time in two days, a successful ’12 Drinks of Xmas’ holiday party came about in a one bedroom, Marina District apartment in San Francisco, with a very small kitchen space for me to prepare,store and heat items.

I would estimate about 60 people were in attendance. There were 12 different stations for different drinks, paired up with hot or cold food such as Samosas, Popcorn Chicken, Shrimp Salad, Chips and Salsa, Fruit Salad, Cream Puffs and my favorite, vanilla Belgium waffles pieces drizzled with chocolate and sprinkled with powdered sugar.

The hallway was decked out in red, the bedroom in silver and blue with Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer playing silently on the small television, the dining room had wine with a cheese, meat and cracker platter. The living room ceiling was wrapped like a present and a photo op station with silly Christmas hats and a photo printer to print and post the photo on a wall.

People were having a great time and they really liked the host’s idea of the ’12 Drinks of Xmas’ idea. I can honestly say that wasn’t my idea. I worked 11.5 hours the day of the party, constantly on my feet. I failed to bring my Shoes for Crews non-slip shoes but the Skechers sufficed. I received quite a bit of thank yous and “You’re doing a great job” remarks. Those are nice to hear when you’re constantly moving. I wish I could have stood around for more than 20 seconds to receive more praise. ;)

I received a nice text from the host the day after:
”Thanks so much for last night. Really appreciate it all.”

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Merry 'MASS APPEAL' Giveaway!


If you missed the Black Friday code for a big discount on some great wellness products, here’s your chance to enter to WIN a product to begin using just in time to fulfill that New Year’s Resolution. will be giving away a month’s worth of MASS APPEAL (a $71.95 value.) Mass Appeal is our muscle-boosting product for men AND women. Just because there’s a ripped guy on the box, don’t think that only men use it.
Read below for specifics as seen on

Answer this question in a comment:

What is your New Year’s Resolution and how do you plan on achieving it?

Receive an additional entry by following me on Twitter (@bappletree). Unfollows before this giveaway ends on December 25, 2010 will disqualify the entry earned for the initial follow.

Receive TWO additional entries by ReTweeting promo tweets about this giveaway.

After you’ve entered as instructed above, you’re on Twitter and you follow my favorite BAD GIRL by the time the giveaway ends on Christmas Day, December 25, 2010, you could be one of five winners to receive an authentic, autographed photo of her. Now who could she be???

GOOD LUCK! Please contact me if you have any questions.

Wishing you Physical, Mental & Financial Wellness this holiday season and into 2011,

Giveaway entries are accepted until 11:59 PM Saturday, December 25, 2010. A winner will be drawn at random by a third party December 26, 2010. The winner and five BONUS winners will be posted here, notified via email and publicly announced on Twitter. Entrants’ personal information will not be sold or provided to any third party.

Utilizing natural muscle-boosting, Mass Appeal is specifically formulated to enhance athletic performance without side effect. Creatine, the primary ingredient in Mass Appeal, functions as a storage molecule for high-energy phosphate bonds. These high-energy bonds provide greater energy during exercise requiring short periods of intense activity, such as weight lifting, sprinting, and jumping. Creatine causes a “cell volumizing” effect within the muscle by forcing additional water into the muscle cells. This promotes an increase in protein synthesis within the muscle which facilitates growth while slowing down the destructive breakdown of muscle cells that occurs during normal exercise. Mass Appeal also contains the branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) L-leucine, L-valine and L-isoleucine, which also increase protein synthesis and are oxidized inside muscle cells leading to a protein-sparing effect which indirectly increases anabolism by reducing the muscle’s need to burn its own proteins during strenuous exercise. Other key ingredients used to protect against muscle catabolism include alpha-ketoglutaric acid and L-glutamine. Inosine, an important compound within Mass Appeal, is known for its role in helping make ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the body’s main form of usable energy. Additionally, it may augment oxygen utilization within red blood cells and increase flow of these cells into muscle tissue. Through supplementation, the normal catabolic breakdown of muscle can be minimized and the muscle tissue preserved. This product is gluten free.

Mass Appeal may:
• Enhance athletic performance
• Augment muscle size and strength
• Reduce normal catabolic muscle breakdown
• Reduce fatigue and post-exercise recovery time

Mass Appeal has been listed in the Physicians’ Desk Reference® (PDR®) for Nonprescription Drugs and Dietary Supplements, the authoritative reference for health care professionals for decades.

Serious athletes are delighted to learn that WIN Worldwide BV participates in the Netherlands Security System Food Supplements Top Sport [NZVT] system with the following products: ProXtreme™, Mass Appeal™, Sure2Endure™ and Phyto-Vite®. This system controls only on a batch basis; for additional information see

English Labeled Product
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, mitigate or prevent any specific disease or class of diseases.