Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Loved this one:
One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.
He said, "My son, the battle is between two 'wolves' inside us all. One is evil; it is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego. The other is good; it is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith." The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf wins?"
The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."
I have felt tremendous anger in response to the cruelty that has blindsided me. I felt it in receiving the news, in the act of its confirmation or lack of full disclosure and truth, in the lack of remorse, and disappointment in allowing myself to be a victim. But thru my readings, I have found that being mad gets me no where. I have taken something too personally and I have no control over what someone else does or why. Holding onto my anger, hurt and pain and refusing to forgive just takes away moments of being happy. Being happy is a choice. I have a choice to feed being angry and resentful, or being happy.
I want to feed the good wolf and be happy. And I am on my way.
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
We reached our first bridge and it was wide and covered with tourists and locals probably a tad bit irritated of so many of us being in their way. We stood at the summit, above the Grand Canal and we wanted a picture. Check! Ron wanted a picture of him clicking his heels down the stairs. Check! and Click!
We continued on and found ourselves a map. It was getting dark and it had started to rain. We didn't want to go down dark alleys so we stuck to a busy road. People were prepared with their rain boots but still had cones with gelato in their hand. We were walking a long time and didn't want to go too far or stay out too late. We stopped and thought we might be lost so we whipped out the map and tried to figure we were at. We couldn't pinpoint our location exactly but I saw a lot of people heading up these wide set of steps and it was pretty well lit. So, I thought we were close to the Rialto Bridge so we walked towards the steps to see what it was. If it wasn't anything major, we'll turn around and take the route we came back. Climbing the steps we passed many shops and there was a woman with a tripod taking photos angling down the steps. At the top, we turned to the right to see over the edge onto the water and yup, there was more water. I turned around and saw the back of the shops were painted black and there was graffiti all over them. There, we realized we were on the Rialto Bridge.
... To be continued...
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
We found our room on the 9th floor and a balcony was really not necessary. The inside stateroom is quite comfortable and large, you will not feel claustrophobic. There were two comfy, twin beds, robes hanging in the closet, a flat screen tv, an equipped bathroom, and full fridge. Our luggage was not going to arrive for awhile so we freshened up as much as we can and grabbed something to eat at the cafe.
The food was in abundance and soo good. We have cocktails with every meal and so much to choose from, from a carving station, salad, sandwich station, and of course dessert! The lemon cod was the best..of that meal. The dining room was open seating and we chatted with an older Asian couple that sat next to a window that was wet and clearly showed how dreary Venice was. But, we decided to go out and experience the city anyways. We had to take advantage of this opportunity. Wouldn't you?
I'm so glad we did. We could have taken a taxi but we were going to wing it in this foreign land. Our goal was to get to a tall yellow building. A fence and possibly super long, roundabout way there was preventing us from a straight shot. So we walked around towards a shuttle on rails stop that was nearby. It only cost us a 1 EUR, unfortunately we only had to go one stop. We couldn't make that 1 EUR stretch. Fellow cruise patrons and seasoned travelers helped us get to the The Grand Canal.
We walked along the water and couldn't believe how beautiful all the surroundings were: old churches, cute restaurants with outdoor seating, shops, a lot of gelato spots which seemed like every 3 shops, you'd find one. We had to have some. I had a vanilla one with berries on a cone, and Ron had caffe and tiramisu. Both were so delicious. I didn't waste a drop. There are even vending machines for your sexual pleasure holding condoms, lube, and more. Kudos to Italy for encouraging safe sex by having these products easily accessible. And of course the many water boats docked or smoothly running up and down the Canal. It was an amazing feeling just being there. I couldn't believe it and I couldn't help but smile.
Sunday, November 4, 2012
"It's a ship, Daddy!" (Titanic movie reference).
Taking a bus to our boat and passing the local little communities and massive bodies of water was amazing to see. I couldn't believe I was in a place I have been wanting to go in at least 10 years. I couldn't wait to explore. But first we had to board the ship. It feels like forever since I've showered. All the oiliness was covered by my Stella & Dot cap that now has to be washed. We get to the terminal and are greeted by a Celebrity employee. She hands us paperwork and tells us to take a seat and wait for our level to be called.
Ron and I continued our Scrabble game and Ron enjoyed the cute, thin, young employees dressed all in black and with an accent. After awhile, I noticed that other people that arrived before us were not asked to sit down. So I asked when we were able to check-in. She says now but that we can wait until it slows down. Dude! We've been waiting an hour to hear our level called. I bypassed her and got a second opinion. We checked in. Thanks, Chick, for wasting our time.
We were about to get on the ship and the guy from Montreal noticed my carry-on bag with my Los Lonely boys badge and said they were in Montreal a bit ago. I love that I can jog memories of their performance.
And then we board our home for the the next 13 days.
Saturday, November 3, 2012
Last night, Spencer stopped by the house to say Bon voyage. Roomie met him and of course was well-liked. Man of the Earth, as I call him for his many experiences traveling all over the world, is great. We spoke of my itinerary, a few memories of his travels and had many laughs as usual. He recommended a travel guide by Lonely Planet but we weren't able to stop by a Barnes & Noble before heading to Kingfish for dinner and drinks.
Bevo sat on my lap while Spencer's visit before he became interested with his bone. I knew I was going to miss him so much. He sleeps with me every night and wakes me up with kisses. I said my goodbyes to my Puppy Love. This was the longest time I was going to be away from him in 4 years. He usually travels with us often. But I know he's in good hands with Roomie.
Roomie drove me out to Kingfish and we had dinner and drinks. I had the Skirt Steak as usual. It is always cooked to perfection and my mouth just watered typing that. Roomie had cheese plate and grilled prawns. Very good. Ron convinced her to stay for an additional drink and made her an approved Old Fashioned an entertained her with his bar tricks and bewildering energy. Fuji and his friend Nico came too. I haven't seen him since the wedding over 6 months ago. It was goo to see him. And my former tenant, Tanya, stopped by with a friend. Good conversations, good consumptions and wonderful company. It was a warm Bon voyage.
Ron and his roommate, Greg, continued to drink back at the house. I was exhausted and turned in but the house was filled with music and Greg cooking of Spam and rice. A Caucasian, motorcycle-riding man just loves Filipino food. Right on.
Sweet Jenny picked us up at 5:45 am in her stylish Mercedes. Who needs a town car?!?! After a night of drinking herself, it amazed me at how chipper she was but it was definitely welcomed. I learn and experience new things all the time about my friends.
After a walk from the wrong terminal, we found the Delta counter and Christy arrived. She gave us the VIP treatment at going thru the security check point and it was well worth it. It's always good to see her and see her do well in her job. She left us at Perry's Restaurant (gotta love my Perry friends) and had mimosa, Irish Coffees for Ron and a two-egg breakfast. We look at the clock and have 20 minutes til the plane leaves. Oops! Scarfed down the rest of my breakfast and my mimosa, and we made it to the plane successfully.
On the plane I watched some episodes of Season 4 of Sons of Anarchy, slept, played Scrabble with Ron and read some of The Hunger Games. There's a flight map on the screen in front of you so you know exactly where you are, how much longer on the flight, etc. I also knew when we flew over Brentwood but didn't find my house, but was able to pinpoint my sister's house from the air. Pretty cool. And I could see the water of Lake Erie below us, and the gorgeous skyline of New York City as we descended. There was a it of turbulence but I breathed deeply thru it.
Walking to our next gate, I found it really cool that the terminals had circular areas just as seen in Pan Am, the tv show. I have never stopped at JFK. And now we're here at Runway Bar for more drinks and food. Ron's excited for the Duty Free store we passed by to get cigarettes and possibly cologne.
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
I was bowling with my league during Game 4 that was taking place in Detroit. We finished our third game and some stayed to watch history being made. 'Gramps', I believe the owner or family member of the owner of the bowling alley came out with the broom in celebration.
In regards to a celebration, I can't say I'm proud of some Giants fans that took to the streets and vandalized, mugged and trashed the home of the Champions. Similar acts happened in 2010 and it's quite an embarrassment to the city. Where's the pride? What do you think the punishment should be for such unnecessary and destructive acts?
The parade happens tomorrow in Dan Francisco. I will not be in attendance but I'm sure great photos will be posted.
Again, congratulations to the Bay area and the San Francisco Giants!
Friday, October 26, 2012
Saturday, December 1, 2012 - 10 am - 3 pm.
4449 Shannondale Dr., Antioch, California
I will be there with Stella & Dot. Along with Pampered chef, Thirty-One Gifts, Stampin Up, Mary Kay, Kacies Knitted Creations, and Wine Sisters. Stay tuned for more info.
Sunday, December 2, 2012 - 12 pm - 6 pm.
11 Cindy Place, Brentwood California
Celena Miller is ArtC is having an open house showcasing her artwork by assignment. View samples and order a customized painting of your favorite liquor bottles for your home bar or restaurant, a great wedding present or for a family member of your mixed horoscope signs, or handmade hair pieces for a wedding or other special occasion. There will also be a special door prize.
I will be there Stella & Dot.
Saturday, December 8, 2012 - 9 am - 3pm.
Freedom High School Holiday Boutique, 1050 Neroly Road, Oakley, California
Come by and shop. Visit each vendor and enter to win a raffle prize from each! Collect more raffle prize entries - for every item you purchase, you'll get an extra raffle ticket from me.
My raffle prize: TBD
Vendors you'll see:
Stella & Dot
Glass Creek Studio
Delta Blue Baubles Bling
AC Doll Clothes
You me Oakley
Holiday Gift Baskets
Art By Prudence
Darlene Smith Jews
H20 at Home
Soap N Stuff
Glitter bling& Every
Debbie Music Box
Nonna Cakes & Bakes
HIC 4 U
Just Sew Sew
3 French Hens
The Blind Stitch
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Series is 3-0 Giants. GOOO Giants!
Loved the three homers by Panda in Game 1.
Monday, October 15, 2012
“I have seen Sift on Cupcake Wars, I follow them on Twitter and receive e-newsletters from them. But I haven’t had a chance to experience their deliciousness til this past weekend when a friend and I were sitting at the end of Oktoberfest and I inquired about the local flavor’s best dessert. She asked if I liked cupcakes. YES! Have you heard of Sift? YES! I’m not a beer drinker and I ate all of my snausage so we headed over there. And it was such a short drive away from downtown. I was super excited. It was busy and I’m glad there’s not a line out the door.
The place was well lit, had many of their items on display for your drooling pleasure and friendly gals behind the counter to assist you. They had 24 flavors listed, macaroons, cookies, and a milk shake where you could take two cupcakes, throw them in a blender, add milk and ice and drink your cupcake. They also had coffee, milk, juice and water available.
I had to try the Stud Muffin (brown sugar, caramel and bacon), the Cookies & Cream (Oreo fan here!). I bought my roommate the Stud Muffin as she has the house smelling of bacon often and the Ooh La La of red velvet.
My friend got her favorite, the Pink Champagne made with raspberries and you can absolutely taste the champagne in the frosting. Just thinking about this all makes my mouth water. The Stud Muffin takes the cake for sure. It was almost like taking a shot of maple syrup. At first, was it too sweet? Hmmm. No, going in for another bite, and another and another til you’re bummed that you should’ve gotten another one for yourself. And then you get a little surprise of bacon! Then you’re completely hooked. The Cookies & Cream was pretty standard but still oh so delicious. Even at $3 a pop! Definitely get yourself a small carton of milk. You’re going to need it. And, it does a body good.
Sift is totally worth the drive up to the North Bay. But I just noticed that there’s one in San Francisco. Closer, but worth the drive to have a good friend’s company as well.
They cater! Good to know for this Event Planner.”
Stud Muffin & Cookies & Cream, Stud Muffin & Ooh La La
I have had Kara's Cupcakes ($3/wedding cupcake, $2/per mini, $40 per 6" cake.) I heard a lot about Sprinkles but have never had any. And I have seen a bright pink food truck called Sweet Treat Stop at the Toys 'R Us in Emeryville, California and follow them on Twitter, but I have not had their cupcakes. I was in gym-mode/Mission: Wedding Dress at the time so I had to resist. There is so much to explore and indulge in!
What are your thoughts on these businesses?
How far have you gone for sweets?
Follow me on Instagram (@bappletree)
Monday, October 8, 2012
Not a customer or former hostess of mine but want to attend the event? Do #10 or #11 below.
On top of the event, I will be conducting a raffle for many prizes that is open to the general public - More prizes to be announced. (Vendors - Contact me to be part of this giveaway.) See below on how to earn entries.
The Calliah Necklace - Valued at $158.00
Rain Services - Two (2) gift certificates, each for 1 Free Hour of Professional Organizing for home/office/business in Contra Costa, Alameda or SF Counties. Gift certificates expire February 28, 2013. - Total Value - $130.00 ($65.00 each)
A $50.00 Mary Kay Gift Card with Abby Davis, Independent Beauty Consultant Mary Kay Skin Care & Cosmetics - mobile/text (925) 324-8707
SPECIAL OFFER: Receive 20% off your entire order placed by October 27, 2012 at midnight (PST) when you mention 'Stella & Dot'
Diva on a Dollar Gift Card - Valued at $25.00
3850 Balfour Road #N, Brentwood, CA 94513
Diva on a Dollar consignment shop just took Silver in the Consignment Store category for Best of Brentwood! Congratulations!
GET RAFFLE ENTRIES!
1) Show up at the event! – Get 5 entries
2) Bring a friend that hasn’t RSVP’d. – Get 2 entries per friend.
3) RSVP to the event by via email (email@example.com) or phone (925.895.7136) – Get 2 entries
4) LIKE my Facebook page at facebook.com/StellaDotBernadette – Get 3 entries If you already LIKE my Facebook page, post a comment on my wall to earn 2 entries each time.
5) SHARE my Facebook posts – Get 3 entries per SHARE
6) Follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/bappletree and Tweet “Follow my Stella & Dot Stylist @bappletree” – Get 2 entries
7) ReTweet my Stella & Dot related Twitter posts – Get 2 entries each time
8) Follow my Blog at http://bernadettemanzano.blogspot.com - Get 3 entries
9) Comment on my Stella & Dot related Blog posts – Get 1 entry
10) Book and host a Trunk Show with me by November 1st – Get 11 entries!
11) Book a Trunk Show by October 27th to be held between November 21st – December 31st – Get 5 entries. Get an outside order by October 27th – Get 2 entries per order.
12) Place an online order of $75 or more by October 27, 2012 – Get 2 entries
Good luck and a humongous 'Thank You' to all of my supporters.
Thursday, October 4, 2012
Jessica Herrin, CEO & Founder of Stella & Dot as seen in Inc. Magazine
I just tuned into a Prospective Stylist Conference Call lead by the one and only, Jessica Herrin. Even as a Stylist of a year and a half, I am constantly finding out new information and feeling re-energized when I tune in. That is one of the great things about being a Stella & Dot Stylist: the constant availability of training and being lead by a leader that is present, approachable and motivating. I would like to be better at that for my team of 8 other Stylists.
I joined in a bit late for the call, but Jessica went into the available specials, available training, and answered questions from current and potential Stylists all across the country.
Besides the new, gorgeous Holiday Collection that was unveiled on October 1st, a few new pieces including jewelry, a scarf and wristlets that will benefit the Noreen Fraser Foundation with 100% of proceeds benefitting women cancers, not just breast cancer. We also have the Stella & Dot Foundation Bracelets and Charms that benefit non-profits such as Accion, Girls, Inc., and BuildOn. In November 2012, qualifying Stella & Dot Stylist will be selected to go to the Bronx in New York to makeover a school. All thanks to the sales of the Foundation Bracelets. Yes, it is a trip to win, but we also don’t mind getting dirty or hard work. Not only will you be Styling Your Life as a Stylist, you’ll also be part of a company that has good intentions and gives back.
Jessica answered the question of what makes a successful Stylist. She states that you do not have to be incredibly fashionable, knowing the latest runway looks or have a subscription to every fashion magazine out there, you just need to be friendly, love and be enthusiastic about what you do and basically share information. Seventy percent of Stylists have other jobs. I personally have 6 other job titles. Stylists are mothers, single mothers, doctors, nurses, teachers, to name a few professions. You do not need to have a sales or marketing background. Stella & Dot offers many flexible ways to learn and grow your business. There are DVDs, training guides, online videos, training conference calls with playback features if you cannot participate during the live session, in person meetings, boot camp sessions, our annual sales conference called HOOPLA, Facebook groups to learn and bounce ideas off of other Stylists, and local Directors and Sponsors that are available to meet with you one-on-one or chat over the phone. Does your current employer help you grow?
Jessica answered the question of whether or not Stella &Dot will be expanding past jewelry and accessories. When I first started in May of 2011, Stella & Dot was only in the United States and Canada. Today, they are in the United Kingdom and Germany, WITH sights set on growing! Also, when I first started, Stella & Dot solely provided jewelry. They launched into handbags, iPad and iPhone cases, candles, and now scarves and wallets. Yes, Jessica says the line would like to expand past jewelry and accessories but it will be carefully and thoughtfully be selected and launched at the right time. Stella & Dot is still pretty small and it has so much potential for growth. Only .5% of women in North America have been styled by a Stella & Dot.
I can go on and on as to why I love being a Stella & Dot Stylist but in a nutshell, it has given another avenue for me to remain independent, to be able to help other women to also be independent and put smiles on their faces, to be just a touch more stylish, and I just love the compliments I get. I am more than happy to chat or meet with you about this great opportunity. Please feel free to email me with any questions or to set up a meeting.
$450 in FREE Jewelry
Good luck and I look forward to hearing from you! Please follow this blog, or “LIKE” my Facebook page at facebook.com/StellaDotBernadette
Through October 31st, 2012, sign up at
Good luck and I look forward to hearing from you! Please follow this blog, or “LIKE” my Facebook page at facebook.com/StellaDotBernadette
Thursday, September 27, 2012
What a bummer. This event is cancelled.
Come out and network with like-minded businessmen and women, in costume, for a night of fun, music, food, booze, candy and win some prizes. I will be one of the costume judges. There are 5 categories:
Least Amount of Effort
We strongly encourage you to bring your partners (wives, husbands, bf/gf, etc), let them in on the fun, give them a chance to truly see it is what you do with a lot of your time! Introduce them to some of your networking buddies!
Spread the word!
Friday, August 10, 2012
Saturday, July 14, 2012
Why do I walk? I don't know anyone infected with HIV or AIDS. I would like them to REMAIN that way. Please SHARE this post if you think that's a good reason.
2010 AWSF w/ Elphaba & Glinda of SF Wicked
See you tomorrow morning!!!
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Me, Christine & Christy visiting her in September of 2010 in Seattle, WA
Hello Family and Friends,
I am participating in a 65 mile bike ride through Woodinville, WA (Washington's wine country) to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. I am part of a team that consists of other doctors in my office, patients and friends. This bike ride is going to be the longest ride I have ever done, so far!
I am asking you to help make a difference by simply making a donation of $10, $25, $50 or whatever you can afford for the Aptalis CF Cycle For Life on Sunday, July 29, 2012. If you are interested, please make a check payable to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, or if you would like to use a credit card, just go to my home page at http://www.cff.org/LWC/ChristineZapata and click on the donate button. Every penny counts, so please do not feel like you have to make a great contribution, or any at all. If I got 40 people to donate even just $5, I would reach my goal of $200. Thank you in advance for being part of this very important cause. Together, we can add tomorrows every day to the lives of those with CF.
Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening genetic disease that affects approximately 30,000 children and adults in the United States. A defective gene causes the body to produce abnormally thick, sticky mucus. The abnormal mucus leads to chronic and life-threatening lung infections and impairs digestion. Currently there is no cure, and the median age of survival for a person with cystic fibrosis is 36.5 years.
The CF Foundation has consistently been recognized as one of the top voluntary health organizations in the country at efficiently using its money raised to invest in research and medical programs. By investing in the CF Foundation you are helping to fund the landmark research that will, one day, make a tremendous difference in the lives of those with the disease. With your help, we can give the children and adults with CF the quality of life and the future they deserve.
Trying to make CF stand for “Cure Found,”
DONATE HERE: http://www.cff.org/LWC/ChristineZapata
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
This is FREE FAMILY EVENT is for everyone! Family friendly vendors will showcase items, for moms-to-be, new moms, kids, women, men, and children! Face painting and other activities! Free swag bags to first 50 visitors and a chance to win FREE RAFFLE PRIZES!!
220 Oak Street
Brentwood, CA 94513
I will be there as one of the vendors. I am an Independent Stylist with Stella & Dot. In your swag bag will be a coupon for various amounts off your total order! You can use the coupon the day of thru June 30, 2012. ALSO, book a trunk show at this event that will be held by June 30, 2012 and I'll bring enough wine for 12 of your guests.
Monday, April 30, 2012
by Rick Lemyre
Apr 28, 2012
Close friends and complete strangers gather at a memorial at Walnut Boulevard and Balfour Road in Brentwood where a 15-year old girl died early Saturday while helping transport a stabbing victim to the hospital. Photo by Art Michel
Authorities have identified a 15-year-old girl killed in a traffic accident early Saturday as Ashley Malone of Oakley. Malone died when the pickup truck she was riding in crashed on the way to the hospital while transporting a victim of a stabbing that might be gang-related, according to police.
Brentwood Police Lt. Tom Hansen said a call came in at about 12:15 a.m. Saturday reporting a fight in the vicinity of Balfour Road and Garin Parkway in which three people had been stabbed. Two of the victims transported themselves to local hospitals, while three female friends attempted to drive the third victim to the hospital in a pickup truck. While westbound on Balfour at Walnut Avenue, the truck ran a red light at Balfour Road and was broadsided by another vehicle, flipping the truck and trapping Malone underneath.
Firefighters extricated the victim from the wreckage, but she died of her injuries on the way to the hospital, according to police Chief Mark Evenson.
Police are looking for three Hispanic males in their late teens or early 20s who might be responsible for the stabbings, which were done with broken bottles. The three left the scene before police arrived.
“There’s a possibility that it was gang-related,” said Evenson. “There were some individuals (at the scene) claiming to be gang members.” About a dozen people were at the scene when police arrived, he said.
A 16-year-old Oakley girl visiting a roadside memorial at the crash scene Saturday evening said she was a close friend of Malone, and attended Prospects High School in Antioch with her. She and her friend had been at the “street party” when the stabbings occurred, but she was unacquainted with the people involved in the stabbing. She described her friend as a caring individual always willing to help someone in need, as she was doing when she died.
The occupants of the other car, a mother and her daughter, sustained significant but not life-threatening injuries and were airlifted to a hospital, Evenson said.
The three male stabbing victims were all treated and released at area hospitals. A total of seven people were transported to local hospitals in the wake of the traffic accident. The names and conditions of the other victims have not yet been released.
The investigation of the accident and stabbings is ongoing. Those with information regarding either incident should call 925-634-6911.
Correspondent Art Michel contributed to this report.
You know, I haven't had a chance to blog about my nuptials on April 19th, but this article needed to be re-posted. Another human life has been wasted that is suspected to be gang-related.
It was a long day for me but it was my neighbor's husband's birthday and she was making a special soup and there was cake! Tres Leches cake was good from Safeway, believe it or not. And her soup was delicious, as all of her food is. My husband, mother and father-in-law and I stopped by, hung out, drank wine, got to know more of their family better, as well as other neighbors. After it turned into a mini-trunk show and my husband and father-in-law went back to the house to sleep as midnight approached, I also said my good-byes. I climbed into bed and I heard cars driving on the main road at incredibly high speeds and it was soon followed by a helicopter above. I thought I moved out of Hayward! A helicopter's presence is quite rare in my neighborhood. Soon after, I heard my mother-in-law come into the house so I'm glad she wasn't involved.
These kind of occurrences can happen anywhere and at anytime. I am so happy to have moved to my new town of Brentwood and wouldn't think to blame the city for something like this. The city didn't put on this 'street party'. You do have to ask yourself "Why were these teens out so late?" "Did their parents know where they were or who they were hanging out with?" "Was this gang related?" "What can we do to prevent gangs?" People will say better parenting will prevent these occurrences. I agree. But as a non-parent, and especially not one of a teenager full of hormones and the urging desire to be accepted, I can't adequately comment. All I know is how I was as a teenager and I was no picnic. I also know that parents can't be there ALL the time. But I believe an open line of communication and trust is key.
May Ashley Malone rest in peace and her family, friends and our community always remember her and learn from this tragedy.
Monday, March 26, 2012
Please join us at the newest consignment shop in Brentwood, Diva on a Dollar (3850 Balfour Rd., Suite N, Brentwood), for a wine tasting event with raffle prizes to raise funds for my 10th Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk.
11:00 am – 4:00 pm
I walk in honor of my aunt, Virginia Saguing, and in memory of my cousin, Natalie Nobida, and a wonderful woman, Maureen Withrow.
I have a $3,900 fundraising goal. If I reach that goal, this non-runner and loather of cardio will commit to my first Team in Training event and raise the same amount in 2014 (post 1st baby) in honor of my loving grandfather, Victor Manzano, who has been living with leukemia for years and now has Stage 3 cancer.
I want to put a end to cancer! Read more at http://bernadettemanzano.blogspot.com/2012/02/making-strides-2012-towards-team-in.html
Wine tasting is $10 per person and you will get to taste at least 6 different wines, if not more, and also receive a BONUS raffle ticket for great prizes. (See below!) Tasters will receive an entry form where they can guess the kind of wine, year, region of origin, price and winery name. They will receive a point for each correct answer. The three entries with the highest points will get 5 additional entries to the raffle.
While wine tasting, we invite guests to browse the new store for some fashionable and affordable finds, and visit with:
Danielle Stolman of Not So Still Life Photography
and myself, Bernadette, an Independent Stylist with Stella & Dot.
$1,200+ worth in RAFFLE PRIZES include -
Not So Still Life Photography – (2) two family portrait sessions with a linen book and photos on DVD. ($250.00 value per session!)
Selected WINNERS: Laura D. & Sonny C.
Two (2) tickets for San Francisco Giants v. the Nationals for August 14, 2012 at 7:15 PM. Club Level. Plus a parking pass. (A $140.00 value) - Thanks to Jennifer N. for the raffle prize donation!
Selected WINNER: Laura D.
Two (2) Tickets for San Francisco Giants v. the Los Angeles Dodgers for June 25, 2012 at 7:15 PM at AT&T Park. Bleachers B144, Row 22, Seat 15 & 16 (A $46.00 value)
Selected WINNER: Toni S.
Four (4) adult tickets for the California Academy of Sciences in
Selected WINNER: Sonny C.
Massage by Lori Yap-Chiongco
60-minute massage. The certificate expires November 6, 2012 – (An $80.00 value)
Selected WINNER: Wanda Z.
Rain Services – De-Cluttering & Decorating. Two (2) hours worth FREE with a 4 hour minimum for hire, free consult included in basic Professional Organizing Package. Certificate must be used between June 15th and September 15th, 2012. San Francisco and Bay Areas only. Winning certificate may also be used towards a gift certificate. (A $110.00 value)
Selected WINNER: Rowena V.
Selected WINNER: Pearl S.
Mary Kay with Christina Vela – Mint Bliss Energizing Lotion for feet and legs with soft plush socks! (A $15.00 value)
Selected WINNER: Pearl S.
doTerra Essential Oils with Lia Valenzuela - A mini dōTERRA Family Physicians Kit with a essential oils quick-reference book. (A $30.00 value)
Selected WINNER: Martha L.
A Pampered Chef basket with a reusable help whip cancer bag, Citrus Peeler, Weekly Dinners, Mix N Chop, Margarita Drink Mix & Bar (A $44.00 value)
Selected WINNER: Danielle S.
A 17 oz. Gold Canyon Candle - Caffe Velluto (A $25.98 value)
Selected WINNER: Martha L.
An EdoPeno.com Shirt – Blogger for Bay Area Lifestyle & Culture – (A $15.00 value)
Selected WINNER: Martha L.
Boresha Coffee with Tamara Porter – A basket of tasty, fat-burning B-SKINNY coffee, Tea and Raspberry instant latte. - (A $50.00 value)
Selected WINNER: Jill C.
Charming Creations - TBA
Selected WINNER: Wanda Z.
Still accepting additional prizes! Contact Me to make a donation.
HOW TO PURCHASE RAFFLE TICKETS!
Via in person: At the event on May 6th! Please stop by and purchase your raffle tickets! I will accept Cash, checks payable to The American Cancer Society or Visa, MC, AMEX or Discover via Square w/a 50cent convenience fee.
Via online: If you are interested in purchasing raffle tickets, please go to http://main.acsevents.org/goto/Bernadette2012 and make a tax-deductible donation. One ticket is $3, or get 2 for $5. So if a $20 donation was made, they will get a total of 8 tickets. Upon completion of the donation, I will email you a confirmation of your donation, how many raffle tickets have been entered in your name, and for other contact information as to how you would like to be contacted if you win.
Via mail: Please contact me directly at bappletree @ gmail.com for delivery address.
OTHER WAYS TO DONATE!
Book a portrait session (with linen book and photos on DVD) with Not So Still Photography for $250.00 and say “Bernadette ref’d you” and Danielle will donate $50.00 to the cause.
Love Thirty-One Gifts? Shop my online party at HERE and 20% of your order will go towards my fundraising goal. Party closes on April 21st.
Like to scrapbook? Shop at mycmsite.com/cathysteed and enter "BernadetteMSABC” in the notes section at the time of check out for 15% of your order goes towards my cause.
Shop http://www.marykay.com/cmvela and name “BernadetteMSABC” in the comments section & 20% of your purchase will towards my fundraising efforts!
Schedule a 60-minute or 90-minute session with Lori Yap-Chiongco, now thru May 6th and 25% will go towards my fundraising goal. Contact Lori at firstname.lastname@example.org or 925.813.1397 and tell her I referred you!
Love jewelry? Purchase the Vitality Necklace ($59) or Tribute Bracelet ($36) at www.stelladot.com/Bernadette and my entire commission will to my fundraising goal. I have already sold 5 Tribute Bracelets and 0 Vitality Necklaces.
THANK YOU! I know this is a lot of information but if wine, shopping, socializing, and raffle prizes do not interest you, I beg you to FIGHT cancer by eating healthy, being active, getting mammograms and doing self exams regularly, get educated and encourage others to do the same. Walkers for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer cannot help you if you don’t help yourself. For more information, go to http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR?sid=99049&type=fr_informational&pg=informational&fr_id=36298
Have a little girl that likes to play dress up? I have especially made pink Breast Cancer bows by Sweetpea & Lovebug for $5.00 each. http://www.sweetpeaandlovebug.etsy.com
Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Fundraiser - July 30, 2011
We Miss You, Cousin Natalie
Rest in Peace - Maureen Withrow
Friday, March 23, 2012
As a company we have created over 12,000 jobs across the globe, raised over $500,000 to date for our Stella & Dot Foundation and are nearing $100 million dollars in Stylist commission payout. Given that this honor is typically reserved for publicly-held companies, we are extremely excited and privileged to be a part of this opportunity."
I am so pleased to be a part of Stella & Dot and being part of the solution, not the problem. I have a team of 4 Stylists under me and I love training them, being there for them and watching them Style Their Life! Congratulations to all Stylists out there!
In other exciting news besides our March specials, the STEP Program is back for students entering college and or graduating this summer. I would love to have a college student on my Team to become a Stylist for $199, get $350 in free jewelry, an opportunity to earn $3200 in free jewelry and possibly a $5000 scholarship for Top in Sales and Top in Team Sales. I think this is a great program to be in if you are thinking about being a business major, interested in fashion or have yet to decide on the right path for you. There are weekly training calls with prizes, a supportive STEP Facebook Group and your very own Sponsor Mentor! I would so honored if yo were to sign up with me. If you sign up now, your Jump Start period of your first 100 days to book 4-6 trunk shows and earn free jewelry will re-start on May 15th. Take advantage of Easter and Mother's Day coming up soon. It's a great time to start. For more information, please go to www.stelladotintern.com. My Stylist ID is 123532. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.
Also in April, we will be supporting Autism Speaks. With every sale of the Shine and Sole Bracelets (both $39), 20% of the proceeds will go to this great cause.
Loving Stella & Dot! How about you?
Monday, March 19, 2012
How funny that Juanita is also from Brentwood. I arrived at a private party where I was to assist and bartend at in San Francisco. Juanita and her team were cooking away and it smelled fantastic. They made this watermelon and strawberry juice that was amazing! It was a big hit at the party and if you add some vodka or Malibu Rum, it’d add a little something special to it. The party hosts had plenty of wine left over because people just loved this juice!
I had a pupusa for the first time. My sister has cravings for it but I have never had it. Theirs were so good, made from scratch and gave you an option of just cheese, or with cheese and beans with it. It is then topped with a cabbage salad and given the option for mild or hot. The guests were loving the hot sauce so I HAD to try it, and it was something amazing. After she left, lingering guests were inquiring after the hot sauce and if she had left some behind. She unfortunately took her ‘secret sauce’ with her. They also made quesadillas, had guacamole, sour cream, salad, rice and steamed veggies. It was all so very good and it seemed to be reasonably priced. I look forward to working with her again some day.
(855) 437 - TACO
Serving South & East Bay Area, San Francisco, San Jose, Marin County & Sacramento Area
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Courtesy of Peta
An officer was called to assist a cat that was hit by a car. Instead of taking it to a nearby vet hospital, he decides to club it to death. Given the article does not state that he has a veterinary background as well as in public service, but was it his call? He didn't give the cat a chance. Had the officer been hit by a car, he would have been rushed to a hospital. This is just crazy. I would have picked up the cat as gently as possible and rushed it to a nearby hospital. If this was my Bevo, I would rather not have the 'help' of this Officer and take care of my baby myself!
This reminds me of a summer day in Pacheco, CA in 2001 I believe. I was leaving my condo for some reason or another. In between upper units, there is an awning and a sky light. I found on my doormat a little bird, slightly breathing. I believe it was struggling to go towards the light and exhausted itself. I am so glad I didn't step on it! I gently picked it up, placed it in a Tupperware container I had sitting on the counter (without the lid of course) and tried to figure out what to do with it. I researched online for a bird rescue and came across The Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek, CA. I called for instructions at first so I didn't waste any time going down there when they were just going to send me to another place. But they told me to bring the bird down. So I did and left the little guy in good hands. I didn't follow up with them but I'm sure they took good care of him.
*Photo from Lindsay Wildlife Museum website
Two different people, two different reactions. It's so sad that a trained professional that society needs to believe would "save and protect" would do something like that to an injured animal.
What is your take on law enforcement officials? In your experience, do they go above the call of duty? Or do you feel they do just the bare minimum?
Have you saved an animal?
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
If you or know someone that is looking to fulfill any of the above goals but cannot make it tonight, please check out this video on Frequently Asked Questions in regards to becoming a Stella & Dot Stylist. Please contact me if you have any questions. I would be more than happy to chat over the phone, email, Gchat or meet in person.
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Blair Anthony Robertson is The Sacramento Bee's restaurant critic and posts Hot Italian will open a second location in Emeryville. I came across the article thanks to a friend and Emeryville-resident's blog post, Urban Outfitters, Hot Italian Pizzeria coming to E’ville. Hot Italian pizzeria is coming to The Public Market in Emeryville, California this Spring and has attracted 300 applicants to their Sacramento location, as Mr. Robertson states.
I could only imagine how many people applied for the Emeryville location. I first looked at these postings because our law office is always looking for new, great local food for lunch. I have already printed out the menu and cannot wait to try it. Will there be a grand opening? Those are always fun events to attend and market.
Besides looking forward to a new restaurant in town, I was amazed at how many applicants they had. I know folks without a job. These folks have a mortgage, children to support and a housewife that may need to back into the work force and bring some sort of income in. Then there are women that found a wealthy man and are taking full advantage of relying on their income to be that housewife they've always wanted to be. Not me! And no normal person is safe. I'm talking to the wealthy men with leeches for wives. Google's Chairman, Eric Schmidt's divorce will cause him to part with $1.5 BILLION in personal fortune! Be wary!
How are you staying afloat in these tough economic times? Hopefully not surfing DateAMillionaire.com. Are you trying to find as much work as possible and saving the additional income?
For those turning every minute into an opportunity, I commend you. For those that are sitting around, sulking, I can't waste my pity on you. A few of these 6 job titles I previously mentioned are a Stella & Dot Independent Stylist, an Event Planner and Coordinator, Certified Bartender, Notary Public and Dog Walker. I have many ways to make additional income and I could add more to the list, but I need to make time to market what I can do already. These titles enable me to work as little or as much as I want, flexibility, I have the ability to say 'NO' which is quite empowering and because hours are not mandatory, I can have fun with it.
Are you a good networker?
Do your friends go to you for referrals?
A young lady came to The Catwalk is Yours event this past weekend and she is an aspiring Event Planner. She was with her friend and I was more than happy to speak with her about how to get started, what I did to get started and that I'm happy to see that she was doing exactly what I do every so often: go to bridal shows, gather information, meet fellow wedding vendors and network. She's off to a great start and I hope she does call me to chit chat about it. There is plenty of business to go around, I think. If Event Planning isn't your thing, but jewelry is, I would of course be available to anyone interested in joining my Stella & Dot team. I could always add other certified bartenders and servers to my list of possible staff members for private events. And as a Notary Public, if someone calls me but I am unavailable, I am more than happy to refer them to another reliable Notary Public. Refer me, I would love to return the favor.
Good luck out there, Folks! If you have a job, do your best to keep it. It's horrible out there! The grass isn't always greener on the other side.
Monday, February 27, 2012
I am soooo there! A special training sales conference just for Stella & Dot Stylists. I can't wait to be there this July with my team and in the audience for the fashion show unveiling the new 2012 Fall Line. Not only is it cool to be part of that fun experience, we get some great training sessions by Team Leaders and Directors from all over the country, Canada and the UK.
I had to miss last year's event because my fiance just lost his job and with not knowing where we were going to be, I had to cancel my ticket. But I followed the #SDHOOPLA conversations on Twitter and I very much wished I could have been there. The fashion show online with pauses due to an internet connection is just not the same. This year, I will be going and cannot wait to do with my team members and take over San Francisco in STYLE!
How do you get there? Join my team as a Stylist for $199 and get $350 in free jewelry plus a business in a box where you start earning commission immediately. Sign up by this Wednesday, February 29, 2012 and you'll get the Nahla Pendant worth $69 as part of your sign up package. Early registration for Hoopla is $199 for 3 days of fun and training to help grow your business.
Please contact me if you're interested or if you'd like to start off as a hostess and book a trunk show. I look forward to hearing from you and possibly carpooling to HOOPLA!
Now.. what to wear???
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
FIGHT Breast Cancer!
If you have been following my blog for awhile, you would know that Breast Cancer is something that has personally affected my family and friends. My Auntie Gi is currently in remission. My cousin, Natalie N., was taken from us in 2010 and a friend's mother, Maureen W., passed last year. I wanted to get a head start on fundraising for Team Lagade for the June 16th event in Walnut Creek. Your tax-deductible donation would be greatly appreciated. Your funds will go towards the cost of mammograms for early detection, prevention programs, treatment and support services and to create awareness on how to minimize your chances of diagnosis. Besides eating the so-called magic fruit that fends off carcinogens, I suggest doing all you can to make a life style change and live healthy.
I have a personal fundraising goal of:
With every Tribute Bracelet ($36) and Vitality Necklace ($59) I sell thru my Stella & Dot website or your trunk show, now through June 16th, I will donate my entire commission on these pieces to my fundraising goal for this year's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.
# Tribute Bracelet Sold
$9 commission x 5 = $45
# Vitality Necklaces Sold
$14.75 commission x 0 = $0
Why $3,900??? I can honestly admit that I have never reached my $1,000 fundraising goal for any of my AIDS Walks or other Making Strides walks that I have participated in the last 10 consecutive years. If I reach this goal, I will commit to participating in the 2014 Team in Training event in honor of my grandfather, Victor Manzano, who has leukemia and now Stage 3 cancer. I am not a runner and fundraising an amount 4 TIMES of a goal I have never been able to raise would be quite an accomplishment - and it would be a definite sign that if I can do it once, I can do it again. My grandfather is a fighter and a lover of life and his family. I have chosen 2014 as the year that I would do Team in Training because it would be post-baby.
Your support and encouragement is greatly appreciated. Please sponsor me!
Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Fundraiser - July 30, 2011
We Miss You, Cousin Natalie
Rest in Peace - Maureen Withrow
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Every Bride will have her day when all eyes are on her. So much preparation has been done to have everything on this one day absolutely perfect. For one day, The Catwalk Boutique in Downtown Brentwood (306 Oak Street) invites the Bride-To-Be and her bridal party to meet local, professional wedding vendors, take advantage of their special offers and possibly win some wonderful raffle prizes.
Please stop by on Saturday, February 25th from 10 am to 3 pm. We look forward to seeing you there!
VENDORS TO SEE:
Myself, an Independent Stylist with Stella & Dot
Add some style to your wedding, bridal brunch or bachelorette party with celebrity-adored jewelry. Dress and gift your hardworking bridesmaids with some gorgeous to delicate pieces they can wear again, and day-to-night.
OFFER: Book a trunk show to earn free jewelry and additional pieces at half off and I will bring the champagne and cupcakes.
PRIZE: Soiree Studs (Valued at $24)
Tammy Larsen of Almost There Travel
Get some great ideas and make unforgettable memories on your destination wedding or exotic honeymoon!
OFFER: A complimentary( 50.00 value) Honeymoon Registry once they book their honeymoon with us and a complimentary gift once they arrive at their destination.
PRIZE: A beach bag filled with travel goodies(luggage tags, luggage handles, photo frame, wine and more!)
Christina Vela, an Independent Beauty Consultant for Mary Kay
Schedule a girls day of pampering to experience the extensive make-up and skincare line to get that natural and clean glow for your wedding day. Planning your wedding could be stressful and can effect your skin. However keeping your skin in check with wonderful products will keep breakouts at bay. Speak more with Christina on what she recommends.
OFFER: With any purchase of $50 of more, get a FREE gift. Anyone that books a glamour or facial class with me that day gets a $100 shopping spree if they have 5 or more guests at their class.
PRIZE: Love Lash Mascara and our award-wining make-up remover valued at $25
Sonia Bennett-Nava of Body by Vi
Are you part of OPERATION: WEDDING DRESS? All brides want to make some kind of change before their wedding day. Weight loss is usually #1. However if you need more energy to balance the wedding details, work, family, etc., Body by Vi has a product for that as well, all while being all natural and good for you. Try their tasty and healthy shakes and energy drinks at our event and meet Sonia. She's amazing.
OFFER: 5-Day Taster Pack with any order of transformation kits
PRIZE: 2 5-day starter packs
Paul Martell of Martell Music Entertainment
While you're too busy posing for photos, greeting your guests, and have absolutely no time to savor the slow-cooked meal you carefully picked out during your tasting, Martell Music Entertainment will be sure to keep your guests entertained, up-beat and having a good time. Stop by to chat with Paul about your wedding reception vision. He can do more than just play music.
PRIZE: A bottle of champagne
OFFER: 1-hour of music FREE when a bride books a 5-hour wedding package
Also, Paul will have a separate drawing for a FREE hour of music ($200 VALUE) and the winner will be notified by phone/email.
Justina Downs of Intertwine Hair Designs
A published and very talented hair stylist. She her work on the runways, in fashion mags and of course going down church aisles. Justina can take a traditional hairstyle and add a creative twist that will make you feel unique and camera-ready. Schedule a trial session with her and a reliable colleague of hers, a make-up artist.
OFFER: Discount for booking a trial with her and a make-up artist.
PRIZE: Hair Styling Pack
Not So Still Life Photography is a wedding, portrait and boudoir photographer based out of Santa Clara.
Capture the moments of your special day.
OFFER: A linen book of the enagement session for brides booked, or a linen book of poses with boudior sessions booked within 30 days of the event.
PRIZE: Two (2) gift certificates for the Bride's choice of an Outdoor Bridal Session OR a Tasteful Boudior Session. Both valued at $250!
The Catwalk Boutique - Our host and venue for the event is a consignment shop with designer gowns, jackets, tops, shoes and purses at unbelievable prices. If you eBay, save yourself the shipping and stop by to see the wonderful selection. Why pay full price?
We hope to see you there! I am also an Event Planner and Coordinator, and Certified Bartender. I am taking new events in May 2012. Please click on Event Services at the top of this blog for more information.
I hope to add additional raffle prizes! Come by for your chance to win*!
* Entrants do not need to be present to win. A completed entry form and valid contact information is required.
Monday, January 30, 2012
My blog has been up since May of 2009 and I am proud to say that this month, January 2012, has reached the highest month in hits. Thank you to all that visit often and have posts or alerts sent directly to your email. I appreciate those that have visited by accident, randomly or just came to check out a photo. The current most popular post is about Love Games 2 & Bad Girls Club Season 6. Should I write more regarding the entertainment industry?
As a thank you, if you leave a comment on this post on or by January 31, 2012, I will provide you FREE standard shipping on the below Mister Valentine promo that expires 12 AM, February 7th, 2012.
Thanks again and keep coming back now, ya hear!
Advertising opportunities are available.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Gentlemen! Do not leave your lady's Valentine's Day gift to the last minute. Shop Stella & Dot's new 2012 Spring Line and SALE items for that special someone in your life.
For your girlfriend, fiance or spouse, consider a personalized charm necklace with your initial, a heart, and her initial on one of our many bases. For instance, it will read "M <3 B". For Mom, a sweet, delicate necklace designed by Maya Brenner or the holiday favorite, our gold plated Chantilly Lace Cuff. The matching earrings are only $49. For the little girl in your life, check out the Allie Ribbon and Pearl necklace and bracelet that is discontinuing and is on SALE!
Do you think your lady would rather have something from Tiffany's or a fine leather purse? Our Signature Link Collection (see video below) is simple, classic, classified as fine jewelry and affordable. Our leather handbags are manufactured in the same factories as Coach, Kate Spade & Prada. The Lafayette Crossbody handbag is now 40% off! Say it with me: 'affordable.' Stella & Dot is adored by celebrities such as Debra Messing, Tyra Banks, Britney Spears, Kelly Ripa, the one and only Oprah, Kim Kardashian and her sister, Kourtney Kardashian. Our products have appeared in InStyle, Redbook, Ladies Home Journal, Vogue and countless times on Good Morning America and even Gossip Girl. Your lady will be impressed with your taste in fashion and what's hot.
Shop and place your order by 12 AM on Tuesday, February 7th, 2012 at www.stelladot.com/Bernadette and enter "Mister" "Valentine" as your hostess and you'll be entered to win* the jewelry rewards and additional pieces at 50% off! Hostesses typically earn $250 in free jewelry/product rewards plus 4 pieces at half off.
Invite your friends to shop as well. The higher the sales for this trunk show, the higher the rewards that you could win! If the trunk show does not earn 4 unique orders with a total in sales of $300 or more, the winning prize will at least be a pair of our popular Soiree Stud Earrings (valued at $24).
Below are videos of other recommended gifts! Happy Shopping!
LADIES and lovers of jewelry - create a wish list at my site, forward it to your loved one, and make sure he enters "Mister" "Valentine" as his hostess to win you more jewels!
*One entry per person. Multiple orders by one person will only receive a total of one entry. Free jewelry and half off items are subject to taxes and shipping costs. Winner is responsible for these costs. Winner will be selected at 9 AM on Tuesday, February 7, 2012. This timetable ensures the winner enough time to redeem their winnings that day and have items arrive in time for Valentine's Day, February 14, 2012. Delivery is usually 5-7 days.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
My family is going through some medical issues at the moment. It's been quite a year already.
My sweet, wonderful grandfather (aka Lolo, Filipino term for grandfather) already has leukemia. He has gone through chemo and was in the hospital late last year with pneumonia because his doctor failed to keep him up-to-date on his vaccination. I received a voicemail from my grandmother on Thursday saying that my grandfather was in the hospital since Monday. They didn't want to worry the family so we weren't notified sooner. Come to find out that he has cancer and a surgery to remove the mass is a possibility based on the capabilities of his 86-year-old heart and how he'd like to move forward. Eventually he chose to move forward with the surgery and later doctor's confirmed that's it's the only choice he had.
I went to visit him as soon as I could. I was happy to see that my sister, father and uncle were already there, alongside my grandmother. It's definitely a crazy feeling to first lay your eyes on someone you love confined in a hospital without their own clothes, sharing a room with a stranger and in a strange place. When I walked into the room, his back was to me as he was sitting in a chair. My father and uncle were standing close to him. My father was explaining what his options were in half English, half Tagalog. I have always appreciated the slow, consoling way that my father would explain sensitive topics. I could hear the concern in Lolo's soft voice and my eyes couldn't help but water. But I had to make sure that they didn't fall. I didn't want Lolo to turn around and see me upset. Lolo has such an a great sense of humor that I couldn't let him see me upset or concerned, so I put on a huge smile when he finally turned around and happily said my childhood nickname.
Later, that same day, Lolo was sitting there quietly as we talked amongst ourselves. Brent, my nephew, came up and Lolo asks "Where's Brent?! I want to see Brent." He puts his hands to his face and sobs a little. My sister figures out a way to fulfill our Lolo's wish and they arrive two hours later. Ah, the love of a grandfather for his first great-grandchild.
Two and a half weeks later, days of fasting and the surgery has been done, pain is gone, I am happy to say that he is now home. I am happy to hear it was a successful surgery and although he had to spend his 87th birthday in the hospital, I hope we have quite a few birthdays to celerbate with him.
Then my uncle is in the hospital with an unknown diagnosis (to me, anyway) and then a lung collapsed Tuesday evening. His wife, my aunt, was in the same hospital and had surgery yesterday. Together, they have four children and four grandchildren. May they both and their families get through this with shining colors.
I personally had to go to the emergency room days after my birthday luncheon in September. I went to my PCP's office and by the time I got there, the pain in my stomach was so incredible that where my eyes watered and I had to concentrate on breathing just to get through periods of sharp pain. At my pain level, I was told they can't do anything for me and I should go to the emergency room. Thank goodness it was just a block away and I could drive myself. I was assigned a room probably 30 minutes after checking in and was there for a total for 4-5 hours. Many tests and procedures were done and three different kind of medication. The pain ceased and I was released.
Two and a half months later, I receive the damage for my shy-of-a-workday stay in the ER.
Pardon my French, but Holy Sh*t! Yes, thank goodness I have a job and medical insurance. The remaining due is still $1,500. I believe that equated to the price tag of my car! With the expenses of the upcoming wedding and honeymoon. I really wish I didn't have to pay this. I can't even imagine what the costs are for each of my family's hospital stays equate to or how they're going to pay for it! A coworker's brother was in the hospital for five (5) days and it cost $700,000. If I am responsible for 15% of the total cost, their bill for this $700K service must be $105,000. (Depending on insurance coverage, of course.) It's an absurd amount of money! But really, how much money would you pay to save the life of someone you love?
What are you doing to protect yourself?
What are you doing to maintain your health?
How would you pay these medical bills?
If you pass, how will your family pay for your medical bills? Outstanding loans? Funeral services?
These are important questions and I am personally at the point of my life that I need to quit procrastinating and seriously find a solution to these questions, all the while maintain being relatively healthy. (Join me at MyFitnessPal.com to keep me in check! Username: bappletree)
Last year, we thought about getting Life Insurance. When we were about to sign the paperwork, DB was laid off so we put a hold on it to minimize our monthly expenses. Now, we are looking at it again as the wedding date approaches and a friend of mine, Julia Perry, has recently become a New York Life Agent. (Please tell her I sent you!) You really need to be prepared for the unexpected and should you pass, the loss felt by your family is stressful and painful as it is. Ensuring/minimizing your financial burden on your family would be appreciated, I'm sure.
It is not too late to make a New Year's resolution. I'd suggest:
1) Do something active every day. A walk around the block on your lunch break. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Hit the gym. Yoga. Crunches in front of the television. Jog with your dog. EAT BETTER!
2) Give Julia Perry a call. New York Life has great options that fit your budget. Some coverage is better than none at all.
Trying to do either of these things is better than not making an effort at all. Give it a whirl! I am. Will you?