Monday, September 30, 2013

It's Time to Support Breast Cancer Awareness

October is upon us and it is Breast Cancer Awareness month. This is a very important month to my family and I because we continue to honor our sweet, smart, beautiful cousin, Natalie Nobida, who was taken from this world too soon. We miss you, Coz. Our beautiful aunt, Virginia S., is thankfully in remission. And I also would like to honor Maureen Withrow, a strong woman, a single mother and quite the spitfire. Your son has grown up to be a loving husband and father and basketball coach. Congratulations.

I have done the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk every year since 2000. This year, I will be doing the walk in Stockton, CA.  Please join me if you can. Sponsor me! http://main.acsevents.org/goto/Bernadette 

It is so important to first off, live healthy lives. There are so many studies that link just about anything to cancer such as talking on your cell phone, leaving the dry cleaners plastic on your clothes for too long or even enjoying a day at the beach. The least you can do to protect yourself is to take care of yourself. That is the only thing you can control. No one else is going to do it for you. Eat healthy, stay active, don't smoke, get educated, get tested and just make good decisions. I lost my beloved grandfather this past February. He had leukemia, a cancer of the blood, for 30 years. And a humorous CHP Officer, Sam, wasn't as lucky with the same kind of cancer and was taken within weeks.

CANCER SUCKS!

It is all around us and it needs to stop affecting good people that we love and cherish. If I take a couple hours out of my Sunday to walk to gain awareness and raise money to fund prevention and educational programs or to help the needy get treatments, I will. And I have been doing this walk before I even personally knew anyone that was effected. Please spread the word.

I am so happy to be a Stella & Dot Lead Stylist because this wonderful company has created and selected a few of our beautiful pieces to help fundraise for the the Noreen Fraser Foundation. One hundred percent (100%) of the net proceeds for the sale of each of the below items in the month of October will go to NFF. Last year, Stella & Dot Stylists raised over $180,000 for breast cancer! I think we'll beat that this year with your help.


I have a personal goal of selling 10 pieces. If I reach my goal, I will personally donate $100 to the fight against breast cancer! Shop now at http://www.stelladot.com/Bernadette

Total NFF Pieces Sold: 0

Not interested in jewelry but would like to donate, contact me to send me a check made payable to Making Strides.

I appreciate you taking the time to read this post. If you cannot donate your time or spare a dollar or two, please just take care of yourself and positively influence those around you. Also see the list below of companies and offers doing their part.


Cousins immediately after Natalie's funeral - Vallejo, CA
If you have a loved one you'd like to mention here that has been affected by breast cancer, please comment below with their name. Encourage them to keep the faith and let's continue to remember those we've lost.

Below are a list of other ways you can fight breast cancer this month:

Backbone Wear - Giving $3 of every sale to Breast Cancer Awareness. find them on Instagram at @backbonewear or 510.755.3428 or backbonewear@gmail.com

bareMinerals - For every Moxie lip gloss that is sold, it will fund The Keep a Breast Foundation.

Coach - 20% of selected pink products will go to Breast Cancer Research.

Gold Canyon - 10% of each Breast Cancer Tribute Candle sold goes to Breast Cancer Research Fund. Shop with my friend, Olivia. She'll take good care of you.

Mary Kay - Christina Vela is donating 30% of her profits to the Mary Kay Foundation that gives to cancer research. ALSO, she is doing another Susan G. Koman 3-Day Walk in Seattle. That's 60 miles! Go to the site and look up her name to donate! Way to go, Christina!

Panera - At participating Easy Bay locations, get the Pink Ribbon bagel and they'll donate $.10 for each one sold.

Hungry Howie's
- Every purchase of a pizza, they'll make a donation to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

National Notary Association - Notaries who purchase a breast cancer notary journal, $5 will go to the Linda Bazar Breast Cancer Research Fund

Ticketmaster - $.10 for every resale ticket sold on NFL Ticket Exchange thru October 31, 2013 will go to the American Cancer Society.


The Walking Company - Has exclusive Pink Ribbon Collection benefiting 100s of organizations. I personally have the Abeo 3660 that is now on sale.

More to come...

Pre-Order Los Lonely Boys' Revelation


Get ready to pre-order your copy of the Los Lonely Boys' new album, Revelation, in mid-October! The expected release date is January 21, 2014. Stay tuned here, their website or on Twitter.

Onda By the Bay, the San Francisco Bay and Northern California chapter of their street team, La Onda are looking for more dedicated fans to join our group. We create and pass out swag at concerts, promote the Boys and their music, build long-lasting friendships and do many activities together. If you would like to get 'lonely' with us, read more about my adventures here on my blog or feel free to email me.


UPDATE - Their show at The Independent on February 4, 2014 goes on sale tomorrow, 10/3 at 10 am. Go to their site and enter the keyword "revelation" to get pre-sale tickets.

PRESS:
Los Lonely Boys Take on 2014 - Pollstar 11/12/13

Saturday, September 28, 2013

On the Road to Being a Warrior

My sister is currently awaiting training to begin in Missouri as a soldier with the National Guard. I have my Warrior Dash event on October 26, 2013 with my team and family, We R Pamily. I did that 11-day Isagenix cleanse to prep my body to get back to eating healthy and to the gym routine after my super fun-filled birthday last weekend, AND all the traveling I've been doing since April. The birthday week in itself needs its own post because it was one of the best birthday weeks I've had.

After the cleanse I lost 8 lbs and have been able to keep majority of the weight loss off. My appetite has completely changed and my taste buds are not enjoying certain foods as much as they used to. Sarah says, "I'd hate to say I told you so but..."  She's my Isagenix sponsor and sweet friend of mine. I trusted her and tried out these products. Now I do shake days when I can. The cleanse has really saved me money too. As part of the Panera loyalty program , I got a free pasty. They used to have this cornbread muffie but it's not available anymore so I went with a chocolate chip muffie. It was definitely not appealing to my taste buds and I was shocked because I love sweets.
I ended up leaving it my office 'free to eat' basket in the kitchen. And it was enjoyed some unknown coworker. I also recently had a salad from Chipotle. It is sooo good that I normally can eat a whole one. But I was only able to eat half of it. I definitely loved this cleanse and may do it again but probably not right now.

I am back at the gym and gained the Duchess title via Yelp. I wonder if I can get any percs with that.

I am also trying to jog and build my stamina for this event with my puppy and definitely eating better. I'm a MyFitnessPal user and they are giving away Striiv pedometers. You have to enter to win by posting a pic of you and a friend being healthy. I definitely have a few workout and healthy friends that I can do this with and that's really refreshing. We do hikes, I know they go the gym and take care of themselves. Here is Tanya and I about to work out this past weekend at 7am. I definitely Tweeted it to be entered to win.

Giveaways definitely are legit. I have won DVDs, CDs, concert tickets and even a trip to the Grammys in 2001 or 2002. It was pretty awesome but be aware that you will be paying for taxes on it as it's basically income.

So onward to Warrior Dash and kicking major 'puwit'. My sister wishes she was here to do it with us so it is even more motivation for me to do well for her. Wish me luck and sponsor me at http://www.stjudewarriors.org/Bernadette 

Have you participated in a Warrior Dash event?
What was your toughest obstacle?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Day 11 - Isagenix 9-Day Cleanse

I'm done!!! Oh, I cannot wait to eat today. Oh, the possibilities! I am ecstatic.

Yesterday wasn't nearly as hard as Sunday with being around food. I was so busy at work with an 11-hour day that I didn't have an appetite. When my stomach growled, I had an Isagenix wafer. I stopped on my way home to the gym just to use their scale and I lost 8 pounds! Average weight loss is 7 pounds. With barely working out, perhaps I lost some muscle mass because I only went once during this cleanse and felt like I have lost some strength. But I'll get it back. 

When I got home, I took my measurements and after photos. Inches lost were mostly in my midsection and my after photos could be better in my opinion but that means I have more work to do and stick with a routine, which I still need to figure out. But the cleanse was definitely a success!

Are you ready to do this cleanse?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Day 9 & 10 - Isagenix 9-Day Cleanse

Just a reminder, this cleanse has two per-cleanse days so its's actually 11 days.  Today is my second to last day so I'm very excited to see how I feel and look as of Tuesday morning.

Yesterday was pretty good. It was my last shake day on this cleanse and will be anxiously awaiting the arrival of more shake packets next week. They're that good. I spent most of the day at home attempting to be productive, but I did make it to the gym finally. I haven't had that much energy lately so I kind of have to work back up to my usual cardio level. I also got to do some weightlifting which I prefer so that felt good. I feel I definitely have lost some strength. I have to get back in the routine. I was able to weigh myself and I lost 4 pounds. I'll take it.

I headed to the peninsula to get my brows done at Ziba, pick up food for Christy and the family and visit with Arya and Nate. They wanted Burgermeister and I love their double pepper aioli and burgers that my Yelp review of the Alameda location was selected as a Review of the Day. 

I looked on MyFitnessPal app as to what I could eat that was under 600 calories and there wasn't much. So I got them $40 worth of burgers and chicken tenders and yummy sweet potato fries. I ended up at Panda Express getting all veggies with my two sides of Orange Chicken and Beef and Broccoli. I usually have solid food for lunch but switched up my shake day routine so I can dinner with the family. It was good to have a meal with other people. I did have some of Nate's sweet potato fries tho. Bad!

I got to hold Arya for a couple hours straight. She just slept right on me and it was so precious. 
I love moments like that. I remember when my nephew Brent was that small and he'd radiate so much heat. My sister used to say that he still smelled of my perfume hours after I left. I played with Nate while carrying Arya for a little bit.  He's into dinosaurs right now and was growling like one so I growled back. He'd say, "Tia," while he was getting changed and growl at me. I growled back, put up claws and attack him. Sometimes I'd attack his daddy and he got a kick out of that.  This continued and I chased him around the house. Dinosaurs are so awesome.

I tried to help Christy get the family ready and pick out clothes for their photo shoot on Monday in Castro Valley.  She'll be borrowing the Serenity Necklace and Drop Earrings with a black top.  It'd be nice for the rest of the family to be in black. I told her I'd go shopping and see what I can find for the gang and leave it at my door. It's nice to be thought of as their stylist.

It was past eight o'clock and we were all getting tired and I had to give Christy her beautiful daughter back. It was nice to spend so much time with them. She was so thankful that I was there. There's nothing I wouldn't do for her, or for my niece or nephew.

Today was a cleanse day.  I had to get up just before 6 am to start my cleanse day with water, taking out the pup and getting ready to pick up my Lola for church. No choir for my Lola that day so she sat us at the very front where she and Lolo used to sit everyday. When Father Donnie spoke of my Lolo, he mentioned that he remembered always seeing them in the front pew.  It made me miss Lolo. As usual after church, we went to the cemetery. 

On our way back to Lola's house she spoke of how she wishes and prays that I find a man worthy enough to marry and have children with.  Me too, Lola. Me too. She said she would really like to have another great grandchild before she passes. And how my Papa really would like me to have children.  She said if I can't find a good man, then I should adopt! Good grief. Is that my faith? When I first met Arya at hospital, Leilani said it was my and Christina's turn! I replied that I'm not even in a relationship. "You don't have to be in a relationship to have a baby." No you don't, but "I do!" Babies were a topic again at my luncheon with the family at Lucille's BBQ in Concord. Our generation is due for twins and none of the cousins have had them yet. I have always hoped it was going to be me. But I'd be happy with one beautiful, healthy child of my own. I will be 33 in a week. I would be lying if I wasn't worried if it was going to happen for me. Is it in the cards?

After dropping off Lola, I went shopping for Christy. I went to six different stores and they didn't have any black dresses for a newborn or a nice black button up for Nate.  Kinda crazy. Isn't black standard? Maybe for me but I guess not for children.  I was shocked that I couldn't find anything! People always mistake my favorite color is black because I used to wear it so much. I joked that my kids would end up being naked because there is no black clothes anywhere!

Today's luncheon was to send my sis off for another 7-week long training with the National Guard. She'll be in Missouri this time but she'll have more freedom and her phone so I guess I won't be writing her letters everyday like when she was at boot camp last year. Lunch was really tough because I love BBQ, especially after our trip to Nashville. It was seven of us and I didn't order anything. There was ribs, collard greens, veggies, salad, burger with mushrooms, sweet potato fries, Mac and cheese, corn dogs, tri tip, banana pudding, a peach cobbler and a watermelon margarita to drool over. Ohmygoodness, it was so hard. I did taste some of the sauces they had on the table and probably a spoonful worth of my nephew's Mac and Cheese. And I don't know if it was because I wanted food or if it was truly the best Mac and cheese I've ever had. I waited until their food was brought out before I popped a wafer in my mouth. It was really tough to do this but I wanted to spend time with my family.


Now I'm home and am really tired. I had planned on being productive but I think my allergies are irritating me and I just wanted to lay down. I did and fell asleep during the rain delay and woke up just in time.  It's now the 4th quarter and the Niners are down by 16 against the Seahawks. 

Tomorrow is the last day of this cleanse. Work will be busy so I will definitely have distractions from my hunger but I seriously cannot wait to eat breakfast on Tuesday morning. Home stretch. I can do this.


Two Niners Tix for Sale - 9/22/2013

Niner fans!! I have two tix for sale for the Niners game on 9/22 with my bday group of 9. $126/ea. UB 53, Row 7 Let me know ASAP. Will post on stubhub tomorrow. Get 'em now.

Email me at bappletree@gmail.com if you want them!


I don't know who that guy is.
UPDATE 9/19/13 - Tickets are sold! GO NINERS!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Day 8 - Isagenix 9-Day Cleanse

It was a shake day. I do look forward to the shakes. Water and the shakes definitely keep me full until about 12:30 and then I start to think about food. Today, the office went to Wally's in Emeryville. I so wanted a gyro. They're soo good. I did have both of my snacks today, had a chimichanga for lunch to save money and walked quite a few dogs. I started with a new old lady but she got around alright. She's super tiny so it wasn't that much of a walk for me. I had to turn down two pups because I just can't fit it into my schedule. But good thing I can refer them to someone else.
My newest client
I started thinking last night about how I was going to maintain how I feel and what I've lost with this cleanse. I posted on a Facebook group that Sarah had me join and had some great feedback. Like I said, the shakes really do keep my body satisfied so I ordered another pack of the shakes with a goal in mind to keep my eating in check and get back to the gym. I like the schedule that's on my calendar telling me when I should eat and drink and how much. I should incorporate a system post-cleanse come Tuesday. Guess I better throw that on my growing To Do list.

I again didn't make it to the gym today. Work has been draining that I just want to go home. But when I get there, I just want to be productive there too. It's a vicious cycle. I have way too much stuff that I need to get rid of. I have listed furniture on Craigslist, items on eBay and Poshmark, and tried to draw more attention to its availability via Facebook, this blog and Twitter.
Anyone looking for a veil? Find it on Poshmark.
I just feel that if I paid for it, I might as well get something back for it. I was considering going shopping for something new just because but it completely defeats the purpose of me trying to minimize what I have because in honestly, I don't need it. I know someone that just loves to shop, and he's a male. If that makes you happy, so be it.  I am trying to be financially responsible because I have a goal to own another piece of property relatively soon. However, the market and rates are going up that I'm not sure that will be attainable. Like this cleanse, I'll have set my goal and stay committed to it. I'm on my way.
I have a thing for staircases. Part of my Dream Home board on Pinterest.
Day 9 tomorrow. My last shake day.

Dirty Water Bar - Coming Soon!

The Press Club, April 2013

I am so proud of my very good friend, Kristian. I met him while working at City Beach in Fremont, CA when I was a bartender back in 2006 and he became my boss. He and I started the UFC PPV showings there, built this unbreakable relationship, have since parted ways professionally but we have always supported each other in everything the other sought out to do. I am so glad he is finally going to have his own spot because every restaurant he has touched exponentially improved.  I cannot wait to walk through the doors of Dirty Water and be one of its best customers, regulars and supporters. Congratulations on the below article on Eater.com that is brought to you by Rose Garrett.
Kristian Cosentino knows his stuff, and the former Press Club GM and self-described beverage geek is looking to flex his knowledge with an ambitious new project. After plotting a new space for years, Cosentino is in the process of establishing Dirty Water, a drinking mecca on Market Street that will showcase Cosentino's passion for the best of everything, from wine and beer to hard-to-get spirits.
The planned space will occupy 8,600 square feet on Market between Van Ness and 11th. Although the buildout has yet to begin, Cosentino says his plan is to install a 150-foot bar and create three distinct lounge spaces, as well as putting in communal tables and smaller six-tops. A streamlined food menu will be on offer, but the focus will be on drinking: each dish will have drink-pairing suggestions, to better show off the impressive beverage list. <<<Read more>>>
· Dirty Water Bar [Facebook]

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Day 6 & 7 - Isagenix 9-Day Cleanse

Shake Days! They really aren't bad. I really look forward to them. I do crave food and the taste of certain things but I can have a taste of it (400-600 calories worth) as long as it's not overkill. I am actually not really eating my snacks unless I really need them. I asked Sarah if it was weird and she said no and to save them if needed. On Wednesdays near City Hall in Emeryville they have Off the Grid. And lately they've always had Hapa SF there. They have this amazing Topsilog Burrito for $8. My mouth just watered. I thought the trucks were there until 3 pm but I guess 2:30 pm is when they shut down. My coworker, Fiona, the Frenchie and I took a stroll down there but we were too late. I had no shame, the truck was still there and I knocked on their door to see if they could make us something. I was denied but hey, if you don't ask, the worst you can get is a no, right? So I ended up getting the tofu salad at Can't Fail Cafe. It's pretty good but today, like most places when it's past the lunch rush, it's not as good as it could be. It's usually one of my favorite salads in the area. And yes, restaurants can mess up a salad.

Work has been insane so it has definitely helped keeping my mind off certain things like being hungry. I stopped off at Panda Express across the street from the hospital before visiting Christy and Arya and picked up the mommy some food. The day before they forgot to bring her dinner. Oh, how I wanted just a taste of some Orange Chicken. But nope, I'm not even allowing myself to cheat even a little bit. All or nothing, Baby!

I eventually got home and made a shake. I couldn't wait. I was hungry for it. There was a big rig accident on the San Mateo Bridge and going eastbound on the Bay Bridge even after 8 PM is ridiculous. But I ended up getting on traffic anyways. I had to snack on some almonds.

Today was about the same. Very busy at work. With not having to study for the DMV exams I can concentrate on other things but I ended up working a longer than usual day because I could. I just can't seem to get ahead at work and we're doing a lot of trial prep. It's so busy.

I had a Subway $5 foot long for lunch. It's basically just a salad on a roll. Lots and lots of veggies. After tonight's shake, I realized that I only have four more shakes left to take. I have two more shake days and two more cleanse days and I'm done. Pretty amazing that it really wasn't that hard. Though, I'm not completely done, I thought for sure I'd be Ms. Cranky Pants.

Speaking of pants, I snuck in a measurement last night before I went to bed because my pants were loose and I lost half an inch around my waist. And today's pants felt loose too. I really need to look into what I need to do to maintain it. I need to plan my meals, work out days, cleanse days and days I can have mostly what I want within reason.

This Isagenix program has definitely saved me money. I think the most I've paid for in the past week is gas and I bought a shirt for the Niners game. I'm pretty social and that usually means socially eating or drinking while out and about. Just before I started, I went out to Palo Alto to dinner with my P-I-C and spent $45 on dinner. This entire program cost me $130 as a member. Not bad. That's basically 11 days worth of food in exchange for the cost of three dinners out in Palo Alto. But I feel better about my body and that I am so close to succeeding and being able to stay focused. This is much more meaningful than an overpriced meal across the bridge.

Until tomorrow...

Do you think you can do this program?
How much per day do you spend on food?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Day 5 - Isagenix 9-Day Cleanse

Ah, Monday. It always feels good when you’re not breaking a sweat putting on a pair of jeans that fit JUST fine a few days ago. Yesterday was great. I slipped on some jeans that were much more comfortable than they had recently been. Could it be? I lost some weight? In the mirror, I could definitely see a difference. It’s really exciting. But I also wonder how I am going to maintain it and if I’m only half way thru with this cleanse, am I going to be rail thin by the end? I gotta hit the gym then. I really haven’t had any time in last few days.

I was so pleased to have a shake that morning that I lasted until almost 1:30 pm without lunch. I ate my 6 almonds around 12:30. It was odd just how excited I was to eat solid food after two whole days that I kinda wanted to splurge. I searched PF Chang’s website for a meal that was 600 calories or below and I selected the Shrimp in Lobster Sauce with brown rice. It also came with Hot & Sour Soup at 70 calories but I didn't eat it yesterday. The bowl was more than enough! It kind of gave me a headache afterwards and I opted out of having my afternoon almonds. I also didn't have my shake until 10 PM. I wasn't even hungry for it.

My previous post mentioned that I am an auntie to a beautiful new baby girl, Arya Alexis. Read more about Arya here. After a crazy day at work, I took my first trip over the new Eastern span of the Bay Bridge to meet my new Princess. The ride into the city was super smooth, though the ride for commuters leaving the city was a complete disaster. Traffic was backed up to the Fell Street exit. I was not looking forward to being in that on the way home. After I left the hospital at 8:45 PM, it was still backed up. I took the San Mateo Bridge home instead. I got home, made my shake and studied for my motorcycle permit test the following morning.

When you add a class license onto your existing Class C license, you have to take a test for that too. So I had to study both booklets. I was so exhausted that I crashed just before midnight but set my alarm to wake up at 5 am to study some more. I took the motorcycle safety class back in 2011 with my ex. I was the only female in the class and dropped the motorcycle three times but passed the class! I was the last one to complete the exam and when I successfully did the figure eight which was a challenge for me, all the guys cheered me on. Awesome! I had a form that let’s you waive the skills test at the DMV and gives you discount on your motorcycle insurance but I waited too long so I have to take the written and skills test. I actually attempted these tests two weeks ago, barely reading both handbooks thinking it’s just common sense, right? Nope. I failed the motorcycle test three times in one trip. What? I don’t fail. But then again, I didn't really take this seriously so rightfully so, I failed.  I immediately set up another appointment to retake it and committed to studying and passing it.  And today, I passed both on the first try! Take that!


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Day 4 - Isagenix 9-Day Cleanse

Yesterday as a second Cleanse day in a row wasn't bad at all. I didn't have a piece of solid food. Work was extremely busy so it kept me occupied. The wafers really do wonders in suppressing my appetite for an hour or so and the Cleanse for Life has a berry taste so it's a fruity tea really. My friend on Sunday night said it smelled like Kool-Aid to him.

Sarah checked up on me as a good sponsor does. We talked about how I am thinking about food and my second set of measurements I had to take. I said I noticed that my will power is stronger than I thought it would be. I thought I would definitely cave in and sneak an extra almond or a delicious morsel of something solid but I didn't. I just think that eating something so small and not being entirely committed to the program will be a waste. I am definitely committed. I made these amazing Cookies & Cream Cookies last week to help fundraise for my Warrior Dash next month and had a bag of them in my drawer with intentions of giving them to my friend and his company down the street from my work. 

I didn't have a chance to do that so I gave them them to my newest Clerk that really enjoyed the ones I had for my office. I thought, ooh, maybe I can just have a bite. Nope. I gave him all of them. His smile was a sign I did a good thing. I'm committed damnit!

So, to Day 5. A shake day! So excited to eat solid food!

My New, Beautiful Niece, Arya Alexis

Let me introduce to you my new, beautiful niece, Arya Alexis. Born this morning, Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at 2:55 am, 7lbs. 4 oz. in San Francisco, CA. Auntie B cannot wait to meet you!


I arrived at the hospital before 6:30 pm to find Arya in the arms of her Aunt Leilani, a close friend of Christy, and her grandparents nearby.  Leilani has two children so she's much more experienced with newborns. I didn't ask to hold Arya immediately. I thought I should wait for my turn, not knowing how long she has held her already. I made my hellos, congratulated Christy on giving life to another beautiful baby and just watched Arya. I listened to Christy's labor story which was much different from her experience with her first born. I am so proud of her. I couldn't imagine what she was going thru but women do it every day, even more than once so it can be done. My grandmother had twelve! But Christy did an amazing job. Arya is perfect.


Eventually Leilani gave Arya to Christy to check something out and Christy asked if I wanted to hold her. I was sitting on the side of the bed and of course I wanted to hold her! I was at the hospital the same day after Nate was born and I couldn't miss meeting Arya within hours of her entering this world. I didn't even get to do this with my nephew, Brent.  So this is incredibly special to me. Christy is one of my best friends. She's my rock. I love her and her babies as if we were blood relatives. I was about to hold my new niece for the first time.

Christy gently handed Arya to me and she was so incredibly tiny. I positioned her in my arms and I was incredibly overwhelmed with emotion and started to cry. She was just so beautiful, innocent, little and already loved so much, and I had the honor to call her my niece. It was just so amazing to have this moment because I will never have it with her again and I had to embrace it and let my emotions take over me. And I didn't care how I looked, who I was crying in front of or that it was even captured. It's a moment I'll never forget.



I keep saying that I want a boy if I were to have only one child of my own, but girls are climbing the charts. I really think it's because of my niece, Eliana. I just fell in love with her immediately. I met her in Pennsylvania at just one or two months old and then not again until she was almost three as she was one of two flower girls for my wedding. But in between I definitely wanted to be an active roll in her life as much as I could with being on the other side of the country. I'm the one that knows her birthday, her middle name and the first one she asked for when she woke up from her nap in the car while on the way to my house. "Where's Bernadette?" We completely bonded and I loved how smart, funny and talkative she was. She sang my favorite song from my childhood movie, Annie, and again as I got my hair done for my wedding. At the reception, she and I stole the dance floor as I picked her up, danced with her and sang along to her one of my favorite, Los Lonely Boys' "Smile." I'll never forget that. "And now you're here, You're right on time....I see every shade of love in your eyes." I haven't seen her since but try to keep in touch. She is always in my thoughts and I have pictures of her all around my house.


Then there's Emma. Her mother and I have known each other since middle school. We don't see each other as much as we'd like or even talk on the phone as often but it's always great to never have that awkward moment when you see each other again. We just pick right back up as if we just hung out the day before. Emma is quite the character. She reminds me so much of Tara, her mother. Beautiful with gorgeous blue eyes and contagious smile. And she just loves me! Even though I'm not around that much. The picture below is one of my favorites. It is from earlier this year and it was pretty warm but she came back from the park and hugged me and didn't let go. She almost fell asleep like that. Her parents say she doesn't warm up that fast to anybody. It's because Auntie B is awesome. I'm just sayin'.


Eventually, it was just Christy, Arya and I in the hospital room and I tried to help her out with whatever she needed. I obviously wasn't stingy with the baby but Christy did want to take a shower so I had some alone time with Arya. Christy turned on the television but I didn't want to do anything but look at how precious she was. I sang La Contestacion by the Los Lonely Boys to her. It's my all-time favorite song and I still haven't heard it live in front of an audience. I've had a special performance of it so I guess I can't complain. I just loved holding her, looking at her, loving her. I did have to go home to my other baby: my four-legged one but told Christy I would try to come by the following day. 



I did end up making it to the hospital the following day, Wednesday, 9/11. I'm really surprised she didn't have that many visitors. I was the second one for the day and it was 6:30 pm again. So I got some quality time with the two of them. I got to babysit again while it was shower time and I sang to her again, rocked her, talked to her. I didn't want to put her down. I'm glad I came by the hospital again and was there for the both of them. I know she would do it for me. Until this weekend...


Happiness is being an auntie.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Day 3 - Isagenix 9-Day Cleanse

I got up at 6 am yesterday to do my first cleanse. I decided to turn it into a tea. I warmed up water in a tea cup in the microwave for 30 seconds, added two scoops of Cleanse for Life, stirred and drank. It didn't taste so bad. I can handle that better than chugging two big glasses of water. It has some flavor to it. Then I went back to bed and wrote the end of the previous post, then fell back asleep.

My girlfriend and her friend were going to pick me up for the Niners/Packers game at 9:45 am. Kick off was at 1:25 pm. I packed my snack wafers and added my scoops to my water bottle to stay on schedule. We stopped off at a market in San Mateo and the first thing I see? Doughnuts. Mmmmmmm. I felt like Homer Simpson. We went to the deli. Christy got a football sized vegetarian sandwich and Karla got some rotisserie chicken. Me? A bottle of water. Today was going to be tough. I love food.

Then we were on the way to find parking. The lot I parked in last time was $50 and full. The next one $40 and full. On the other side of the freeway, passed the garbage dump which could make someone gag was $25. At least we got a good walk in-store for us to the stadium. Karla knew someone that was tailgating. My girl, Jenny, was already there and we didn't have time to make two stops. We found the group, 49ers Webzone, and they're a great group. Really friendly. The food smelled amazing. Everyone was barbecuing, drinking, having a blast. I was still having a good time but oh how I would have loved a hot dog or burger or chips or a cocktail. We were offered beer. The girls partook, I couldn't. I explained why. I didn't want them to think I was rude.

A new rule that I had no idea about was that large totes and purses couldn't be brought in unless it was clear. That's just not cute. Check out the details here. Steve was really nice to give us the heads up and keep our purses in the car. Nathan, Karla's friend, offered too. Everyone was really friendly and accepted us newbies to their tent. We even were invited to be in their group photo. And us girls were called over to take a pic with a guy for his birthday and it was his first Niners game. I was next to the birthday boy and the photographer said, "Dude, you can't be standing like that." He was kind of shy so I grabbed his arm and put it around my shoulders. I don't even know his name. I loved that a 30" television was in the back of a Suburban playing the Raiders/Colts game and there was large speaker with someone's iPhone hooked up to it playing a Niners playlist. I gotta have that. Great fun.

Then it was time to head in. Good thing we didn't miss kick off because it was crazy getting into the stadium. I lead my group because I walk thru crowds like I drive. I squeeze in where I can, walk fast and am always looking out for hazards like a swinging elbow, a person carrying two drinks and I don't mind squaring my shoulders and standing my ground when pushed. I may be little but I can hold my own and don't back down. And we found our way to our seats. Ooooh, boy, was it hot. I don't think I have ever been that hot in San Francisco. We hiked up our pant legs, I used the envelope and my ticket as a fan (totally felt Filipino in that regard) and I didn't drink too much water because I hate getting up to use the restroom during a football game. What can I say, I love my Niners. So I basically baked out there and I got a nice little tan. Again. As if I wasn't already dark enough from Miami, Hawaii, Vegas and Nashville! I was trying to find a Niners tank top but went with this Touch by Alyssa Milano top instead and now I have a t-shirt tan.




This was Karla and Christy's first Niners game. I seem to de-virginate a lot of virgins in a lot of things. I just love new experiences and making memories with good people. These are definitely good people.

Christy was nice enough to hold my plastic baggy of Isagenix snacks. Occasionally I would have one. It helped with not eating anything at all yesterday but the tummy did grumble a few times. 

We had a great time at the game. Love the fans, the people around us and it was a good game. A great way to kick off the season. The older Asian gentleman to my right has been a solo season ticket holder since 1989. A 49er Faithful, no doubt.

With a W, it was time to get our bags and head on home. On our way there, there was a cutie in a convertible, silver M3 that was sitting in line with no one in his car. I was leading the girls and was like, "Man, you have three open seats and no one came with you?"
"I couldn't find anyone to go to the game with me." Cue violin solo.
"Aww, poor guy."
We stopped passed his car to find where our friends were again. Christy agreed he was a cutie. So while we were trying to say farewell to the 49ers Webzone, I thought, if that guy's car is still there, I'll go talk to him. I went off by myself to check, it was and so my ballsy self walked up to the guy again to see if he was single. Fail on his part. Joking. I'm no home wrecker like some horrible women I know of. And again, life goes on. It reminded me of when I was in Miami in April. We were at a pool party and one of the girls pointed out a guy that was totally her type. I told her to go talk to him. She wouldn't do it. So I dragged her floating device to where he was. I saw that he had a similar religious cloth necklace that my grandfather always wore so I talked him about it. And introduced myself and my girlfriend, and eventually when they were lost in discussion, I saw my way out of it and went to get another drink. It really is amazing how the most beautiful girls do not have the guts that I do. I truly don't think I'm hot whatsoever. HELLO! I'm doing this cleanse! But honestly, if a guy isn't interested in me if I approach him then it's no skin off my back. Trust me, I'm not going to cry about it. I just hope he's not a jerk about it and takes it as a compliment instead. It's just funny to hear the girls say, "Bernadette, if I'm single again, we're going out!"

That night, a friend came over and we got all caught up on each other's lives. He and his living situation and his beautiful daughter, me and all my craziness. He made sure he ate beforehand because I told him that I wasn't eating that day. Of course he gave me a hard time and said I should just go get some In-n-Out or some pizza. Drool. He finished off a bottle of champagne I had while I tried so hard to stay awake during The Hobbit, and again, I couldn't partake. The movie was over and I had to go to bed. I was out like a light.

Then Day 4 - another Cleanse Day.

I'm doing good so far, don't you think? 
How do you think you would do in the situations I have been in?

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Day 2 - Pre-Isagenix 9-Day Cleanse

6:30 am
Good morning. I am on 4 hours of sleep and will be headed to the Martinez Marina for the Support4Recovery Walk where I will be having a Stella & Dot sample sale. I am exhausted and am nervous about how many times I will have to use the restroom from drinking all this water. I can't really leave my table unattended and have asked friends if they can help out but they declined. Maybe I'll meet a nice vendor next to me and will keep an eye out for me on my table. But we will see!

Two glasses of water, 1 shake and an Accelerator is down the hatch. To avoid too many potty breaks I am going to drink water throughout this 6-hour event but not as much and make up for it when it's all done with. Hope that helps and hope the results will still be awesome. 

Martinez bound just before sunrise.


12:51 pm
It is in the 90s here and I am at this event for two more hours. This event had a great turnout. I have made some sales, handed out a lot of marketing materials, met a young potential Stylist who thought I was 20 (God, bless her,) and one other potential Stylist that is a mother of four young children and is going thru a separation (Boy, can I relate!), and have new additions to my mailing list. So far, so good!


I had my 6 almonds at 10 am but held out on drinking much water so I wouldn't have to use the restroom and it's been working out. Lunch was delivered to my booth at noon. It was Kinder's ball tip, a small serving of beans, potato salad and a bread roll. I ate the meat, salad and the roll. It probably totaled over the 600 calorie limit for lunch but I checked up on the estimated calorie count for the meal on MyFitnessPal and it wasn't too bad. 

I am definitely hitting a wall now since I didn't get much sleep last night. After this, I have to go back to my office and pick up the Packers v. Niners tickets for tomorrow (woohoo! Boss gave them to me last minute,) then I have a meeting with a potential bride in Hayward. Tonight, I don't plan on doing a darn thing. Ugh, no that's not true. I have a couple personal things to take care of but they're important. 

Next snack in two hours and 40 minutes.

9/8/2013
2:14 am
Great event yesterday in the heat. I hope to do it next year as well. Stay tuned for info on future events. 

I made it to my office building, got the tickets for the first Niners game, had to do a little troubleshooting for the Boss Man since he was there, stopped off at Sports Authority for a new Niners shirt, and headed to my meeting. Sipping on water and no chugging. Major water intake happened later that night. I was early for my meeting so I played on my phone. I have a love/hate relationship with the internet. It's amazing how it can provide so much information as to when someone is online or where they are. God knows I'm no stranger to check-ins and Tweeting about my whereabouts. But discovering something hurtful again just before my friend and potential bride arrived turned my stomach inside out. Now was not the time to let my emotions take over me. I have business to attend to.
It was good to see my friend and meet her sister who will be getting married next year. We chit chatted a bit but discovered that I was going to be out of town for another wedding that weekend. As much as I would love to work on this wedding, I know I wouldn't be able to give my Bride the attention she needs if I came back to the Bay Area just in the nick of time for the wedding. Regardless, I gave them insight on what a Coordinator is expected to do, how I work, what to look for and things to consider. The Bride would definitely be a bride that I would want to work with. That's the beauty of being an independent contractor and working for yourself:  you can pick and choose what jobs to work. She was very organized, creative, easy to talk to and seemed to be receptive of my sometimes blunt honesty. I offered to help out with referring the wonderful wedding vendors I have worked with and provide a draft timeline. I do pride myself on nailing down the timeline to the minute and with all parties, vendors and staff involved. It was a good meeting and I felt I was helpful. They both expressed how disappointed they were that I was unavailable. It feels good to be wanted. 

We split ways and I had to release some bottled up emotions that I have been fighting to express to another person. When I do talk about this situation with my closest friends that genuinely care, I downplay just how much it's effecting me inside. I declare I hear and vividly see the signs as if I am an outsider to their problems but yet I can't entirely do what I know is good for me. "I know, I know" is a common response when someone is trying to help. And sometimes all someone wants when they are hurting is to be heard. I am a really strong person because I have dealt with so much pain at the hands of other people and yet I'm still here. They didn't break me. I got back up. And it just made me stronger. Maybe not wiser the first or second time around because I have hope that people can and have the desire to change for the better, but I know my limits. And when I'm done, I am done...for the most part. Battle scars can fade or sometimes they're re-opened by that ounce of hope I have a tenacious grip on. But I have to let go for now. What is meant to be will be.

Then there are these rare moments when I break down. It's inevitable that the bottle had to burst at some point. I could make a joke that it was because I was hungry and thirsty but I wasn't. So I find myself sitting in the parking lot, on the phone with my P-I-C, letting it all out. Just a few minutes into it, I realize how I'm feeling: weak. And I cannot stand that. I hate feeling that way with a passion. So then I let myself have til the end of the night to feel sad, angry, upset or disappointed, then go to sleep and wake up to a new way of thinking and an action plan to begin. Life goes on.

Posted for me by my P-I-C.

I get home, do some productive things, turn on the Texas v BYU game, plop myself down on the floor in front of my new TV and play with my pup while chugging my shake and catching up on my water intake for the day. Emotions were definitely expressed during this game. Dear God, Texas! What is going on!?! I'm screaming at the television and just like when I watch boxing, Bevo thinks I'm yelling at him and his ears go back and he heavily leans up against me or puts his paw on me. With 8 minutes left in this upset of a game, I'm done with my water and head to get ready for bed as the clock winds down at BYU. Texas lost.

I crawled into bed, said goodbye and quickly fell asleep just past 9pm. What a tiring day.

"Tomorrow is another day." - Scarlett O'Hara of Gone With the Wind. My favorite heroine.

Today, I have my first cleanse day and am kind of nervous. No booze, hot dogs or garlic fries at the first Niners game of the season. Oh boy. Wish me luck!

Notice the nails? Go Niners!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Day 1 - Pre-Isagenix 9-Day Cleanse

8:30 AM
Woke up before 6 AM and had my two glasses of water before taking the dog out. Showered and then made my shake. A packet of the Creamy Vanilla powder and water. I don't have a shaker bottle and first tried to mix in a glass, thinking it wouldn't be so thick. That didn't work so I transferred it to the blender and added a few pieces of frozen mango. It was definitely thicker than my usual protein shake that I use with Muscle Milk. At first the taste wasn't too pleasant but I just chugged it down. No need to taste it. Just get it down and done. And finished it off with one Accelerator.

So far it's not so bad. I had a dream last night that I was well into my first day of my cleanse and it was easy-peasy. Then I woke up.  It's fine so far. It just sucks when you have to use the restroom while on your commute into work and traffic slows down. Not fun.

I usually have green tea in the morning since coffee makes me jittery. For awhile, I cannot so it'll just be hot water for now.

9/7 6:17 am
During the day yesterday was fine.  Keeping busy has always been key for me. It keeps my mind off what may be worrying me at the moment. So work is definitely crazy busy. I was drinking sooo much water and had a potty break way too often. When I was speaking to Sarah last night, she said you'll notice just how much you think about food. While I was getting ready for work, I wanted sushi. I love sushi but at 6:30 in the morning? 

I tried to opt out of my optional snacks (6 whole almonds!) but I was hungry so I set aside my little snack and tried to not eat them rapidly. I had a pre-packed salad from Safeway that was under 300 calories. I'm allowed 400-600 calories for my meal in between shakes so I could have eaten more but probably not by much so I didn't risk going over my calorie count.

By the time I left work at 6 pm, I noticed that I definitely wasn't hungry. I had my last snack at 3 pm and didn't have my dinner shake util 7ish after I took a longer than usual walk with Bevo, my Boston Terrier. I had plans for my girlfriend to come over and we were going to go to a party in town. That would be interesting. When she arrived she pulled out a bottle of Cupcake champagne and asked to chill it so we can crack it open later. I reminded her that I wasn't drinking. Sad for me but I have to stay committed to this.

We got to the party and was offered champagne or another cocktail. Just water for me, please. On the counter there was a fruit platter, chips, and veggies. An empty platter was eventually filled with breaded, spicy chicken tenders alongside some Ranch dressing. *drool* I love spicy food. Ah hell, I love food in general. It was touch to sip on my water, sit on a bar stool next to all this food and not be able to partake. We explained that I was doing this cleanse and couldn't have anything they offered. I hope the hostess didn't think I was just being rude. I felt tired and had to be up at 4:45 am today. I started to feel unlike myself because I love talking to and meeting new people so by the time 11 pm came around, I was incredibly exhausted and just wanted to go home. Really nice people. If I was my normal self, I'd probably be a bit more social. 

So onto Day 2.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Sweet, a Top Tweet

Majority of this past holiday weekend was a GIRLS weekend. And of course, my girlfriends are always modeling Stella & Dot jewelry whenever we go out. I wouldn't have it any other way. Ahh, the benefits of being a Stylist and friends with a Stylist, eh? Friday night, my newest partner-in-crime and I went back to the scene of the crime, Kingfish, in San Mateo to blow off some steam and see my Cugino. He is a bartender there and I always give him free reigns to make whatever concoction for me. And it's always good. Of course I have no problem talking to strangers and ended up getting free beignets from the couple to my left and a stash of fries from the guys behind us. They offered! Free is good. Why I didn't Tweet about that, I don't know.

Wearing the Palamino Necklace ($138) & Pegasus ($198)

The next night we went to Texas Roadhouse where my P-I-C used to work for five years. We sat at the bar and her friend, the bartender, Michelle, was a beauty. She reminded me of a girl I used to work with at City Beach but less rough around the edges. One of the old managers was there and he recognized me from a time I came here with my ex-Roomie last year and we all just chatted it up. He bought us a round, got caught up and my girlfriend made it known she wants to come back and work there. I tweeted the below Yelp check in and it apparently made it as a Top Tweet. Thanks for letting me know, Sarah!

I'm surprised that my tweet about the hotness of a guy reading a National Geographic at the bar wasn't a Top Tweet. C'mon, that was hilarious! At least Christine favorited it.

Aww, Twitter. What would I do if I had to withhold my nonsense from the Twitterverse? I guess I'd have a lot less Facebook friends.

Are you on Twitter?
If so, post your username here and I'll follow you.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Isagenix 9-Day Cleanse - Starts Soon!

"Most of the shadows of this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine." - Abraham Maslow, 1908-1979

I have signed up as an Associate with Isagenix to get a discount on doing my first 9-day cleanse. My girlfriend, Sarah and her fiancĂ©, Paul, are also Isagenix Associates in Las Vegas and have done the cleanse and had great results. I really haven’t done much research on other systems but I trust Sarah and Paul so I thought I’d give it a shot. With all the traveling I have been doing since April, I have been going to the gym, staying active but could do a better job at eating clean and healthy. However, I am getting older and feel the work I have been doing is not enough. Now that I am mostly through with traveling for this year I want to kick start a routine with a cleanse and achieve my fitness goals sooner rather than later. I know this will be tough for me as I have never done anything like this and I love to eat. As my girlfriend would say as we’re sitting at the bar of Texas Roadhouse in Union City, “She loves meat.” That, I do.

A fave picture from August 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee. It's a fave because I wish I looked like this consistently. Some pics are not-so-cute and my existing clothes could definitely fit better.


My 9-Day Isagenix system should be waiting at my doorstep tonight and I will begin the cleanse tomorrow morning. It will consist of shakes, lite snacks, one kind of pill and allowing you a 400-600 caloric, healthy meal on your shake days. They ask you to take measurements of your body and Before photos. You  may exercise and they say the first Cleanse day, not a Shake day, will be the hardest. Let’s see how I am this Friday for my first Cleanse day.

Stay tuned here or on Twitter for info on my personal experience with the system.  For more information on Isagenix and the products, please visit my website.

Wish me luck!


Have you tried any of the Isagenix products?
If so, what do you think?
Have you tried a cleanse before?
If so, what were your results?


7:30 PM - Well, the package didn't arrive and I confused it with another UPS delivery I am receiving. I was super excited to get it. Now I have to wait til it actually arrives! No tracking number or anything was provided. I put my whole routine on my calendar as well so now I have to change that. Ugh. I'm so impatient.

9/5/13 
My package arrived! I am starting my cleanse tomorrow morning and am so excited. I have updated my calendar with alerts to keep me on track, as well as reminders to prep for the next day and I have touched base with my 'sponsor'. I took my 'before' photos and I can't be more disgusted. Ugh. Those will NOT be posted. My measurements were taken as well and I am definitely lacking symmetry. I am supposed to take my measurements again on the 3rd day which will be my cleanse day, probably the hardest day of the cleanse. We'll see how it goes. Sarah has added me to a private group and the support and motivation from others will be helpful. Wish me luck!


Monday, September 2, 2013

Support4Recovery Walk - Martinez, CA 9/7/13


The 9th Annual Recovery Walk and Celebration will be taking place at the Martinez Marina on Saturday, September 7th from 9 AM - 3 PM.  Support4Recovery, Inc. is a non-profit organization made up of individuals and families in recovery from alcohol and other drugs. Please come down and support those who were brave enough to recognize they had a problem, to dicide to do something about it, to stay on track and to choose not to continue to hurt themselves or the people that love them. Encourage those to join you to see just how many people have overcome their struggles. They can too!

Get free lunch and wristbands for the first 500 registered guests. There will be music, guest speakers, food, a kids' corner and vendor booths.

Martinez Waterfront Park
Ferry St. & Joe Di Maggio Drive
Martinez, CA 94553

Please stop by my Stella & Dot table to see and try on some pieces from the Fall 2013 collection. I also have many samples on sale for 50% off! Get them while you can!

For every sale of the Valor Necklace ($49) or the Valor Studs ($24) at the event, I will donate my entire commission to Support4Recovery, Inc.  Mention you saw this Blog post and I will give you free shipping.

I hope to see you there!