Sunday, December 8, 2013

Happy Hostess & Photography

Happy Sunday! Check out former hostess, Christina V., wearing the Sutton Necklace she earned for free with her hostess credits.  She's rockin' it. Her photo submission has also entered her to win a $25 gift card, only for those that Like my Facebook page. Go check it out and add a comment. Enter by December 31, 2013.

Photo taken by in Livermore. 

Here is Christina V. also wearing the Lucia Necklace that is now sold out! The matching Lucia Bracelet is available and on sale. Grab yours before it's gone for good. Also, I have many samples on sale on my Facebook page or email me for the inventory list.

I have considered blogging some of my Outfit of the Days. I know some fashion blogs are really popular that do that. What do you think of my style? Should I do that? I sometimes post outfits on my Instagram account at 'bappletree'. Feel free to take a peek and I'll consider posting Outfit of the Day here. I would appreciate any feedback.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Giving Tuesday

There was Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and now the second annual Giving Tuesday. Last month, I donated to the World Food Program USA to help get the Philippines food after the typhoon that killed thousands of people. Today, I helped out the Berkeley Humane Society by placing an order thru their Amazon Wish List for their Dog Program.

“Our Amazon Wish List is filled with supplies that we need to save the lives of homeless cats and dogs in our community. While in our care, our feline and canine friends need attention, love, and enrichment, and of course food and supplies.  The better our supplies, the more complete and wholesome care we can provide the animals. The better their care while at Berkeley Humane, the more adoptable they are. The more adoptable they are, the quicker they find homes. The quicker they find homes, the more lives we can save.”

Bevo, my Boston Terrier, was purchased thru a breeder in the Central Valley in 2008. I was overruled to even consider looking at shelters. The other party only wanted a full-bred animal. My Bevo is now five-years-old and as healthy as can be, per his vet who asked me if I was willing to give him away. Absolutely not! Though Bevo does not have the typical facial markings of a Boston with his half a blue eye, he’s nothing but perfect to me. And you can find your new, perfect, furry, family member at your local shelter.

Halloween 2013
My comforter. He always knows what to do when I'm sad.
I have a loved one that has worked in placing dogs in homes for years and two neighbors in my complex that regularly fosters dogs. If you need assistance in choosing your next family member, I am sure they would gladly assist you. Just let me know.

Have you participated in Giving Tuesday?
How so?

Monday, December 2, 2013

Cyber Monday!

Our Cyber Monday deal! Spend $50 today and get the iKat jewelry roll in Espresso for $5.95 (reg $39). Keep the roll for yourself or as a gift!  

Also, your $50 purchase will earn you $25 Dot Dollars. Spend $100 and get $50 worth of Dot Dollars! You can apply the $25 Dot Dollars to every $50 you spend between January 3rd and 10th of 2014.  On January 3rd, you will receive your promo codes.

Happy shopping?

Sunday, December 1, 2013

My First Opera

2013 has been a year of a lot of 'firsts.' I have traveled to many different places, had my first Valentine's Day as a single woman, participated in my first race with obstacle courses, have been to more than one 49ers games and Sharks games, first time taking a motorcycle outside the parking lot and going 75 mph from Oakley to Tracy, drove a 4-wheeler, and now my first opera.

I received a Groupon notice for tickets to see The Barber of Seville for half off. I have never been to an opera and remember the advertising agency I was working for, Y&R, had the San Francisco Opera account. Some employees usually get free tickets or discounts but I was never that lucky. I asked Megan, my aspiring actress friend, if she wanted to go and she enthusiastically said yes. I also didn't have to ask her if she wanted to dress up. It was an excuse to have a girls' night and get dressed up.

I decided to wear a white BCBG dress that I haven't worn since my 29th (?) birthday to see Wicked. And it fit just fine, maybe even better. I paired it with my gray snakeskin strappy heels from White House Black Market, one of my favorite stores. I couldn't find my gray snakeskin Stella & Dot wristlet that I love so I had to borrow Megan's Jessica McClintock silver clutch. Megan wore a dark blue  and black satin dress, a faux fur jacket, black flowered stockings and black low boots. She borrowered the discontinuing Gigi Studs in black and gold.

We made reservations at Absinthe but all that was left was one for 7pm. The show started at 8pm. We decided to go early and maybe squeeze in for an earlier seating. Before that, I had to take Bevo to Happy Hound because I didn't want to go all the way home to take him out just to head out to the city. I just had to make sure I picked him up before midnight. The production was a 3-hour and ten minutes event. Stay tuned for the evening dash details.

Absinthe was great. We were able to be seated inmediately but in the bar area, which was fine because it was just far enough away from the door. We wanted to just sit and be able to enjoy our meal without being rushed. We started off with wine. I was craving a glass of Pinot Noir but with wearing all white, I didn't want to risk it. I went with a reisling, while Megan returned her first glass and was happy with her second choice. She never sends back a glass of wine but she wanted to fully enjoy her meal. I totally understand. 

We decided to split an appetizer and the chicken liver was calling her name. I was fine with that. It was a first for me and my God, it was tasty. It came with sliced toast and darkened quince, a fruit I have never had before. More firsts! I went with the ahi tuna and Megan went with the duck. Both of our entrees were delicious and it was seasoned even better with humorous conversation. We definitely were below the average age of the patrons in the establishment and thankfully we weren't treated differently. Our money was good there. We finished it off with a chocolate dessert that was so rich I gave up majority of my half to Megan.

We had just enough time to grab a drink at Jardiniere. It is right across the street from the War Memorial Opera House and I have always wanted to eat there. There wasn't anywhere to sit except the low handicap spots at the bar. Ha, why not! The bartender was very nice and gave us the drink and dessert menu. Megan was stuffed so she decided not to get anything. I went with the Honey Parfait, it came in an expected form, and the recommended Moscato. Both were tasty under the starlit ceiling, and I convinced Megan to try it. I knew she had room. 

Then it was show time. We finally had a chance to get a photo of the both of us where the lighting wasn't prepped for a romantic dinner.

We had to climb four flights of stairs. The cheapest tickets were for $17 but I went with a bit more expensive tickets as I am kind of blind. But we still had to climb those flights. The seats are narrow and there's not much room to cross your legs comfortably. But the show was great. The incredible talent of these singers were mind blowing. They sang in Italian but there were English subtitles above the stage. Thank goodness because my Italian is not so good. The use of the stage was not as impressive as other productions I have seen such as Miss Saigon or even Wicked. Nonetheless, it was entertaining. We enjoyed ourselves, as always. I would like to see Phantom of the Opera someday. There's a Cirque show in San Francisco now. I'm not sure if I'll be able to see that but I would love to!


It was 11:08 pm when the show ended. Will I be able to make it to Happy Hound to pick up my pup in time? With Warrior Dash under my belt, jogging in heels from the opera house to Civic Center Bart, trying not to twist my ankle down the escalator and around a standing person in my way to catch a train that was just about to close its doors, was a piece of cake. I made it to my Beeves with 15 minutes to spare.

Here's to new and exciting adventures!

Pistachio & Broccoli Pesto-Crusted Salmon

Taken from Shape Magazine's January/February 2013 issue from Sodium Girl's Limitless Low-Sodium Cookbook by Jessica Goldmab Foung.

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes

3/4 cup shelled unsalted pistachios 
1 garlic clove
2/3 cup broccoli florets, stems trimmed
1 cup fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon pine nuts
4 3- to 4-ounce salmon fillets (can be subbed with chicken breasts)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2. Place pistachios in a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Add garlic, broccoli, basil, olive oil, pine nuts, and 1 teaspoon water to food processor and pulse until consistency is a thick and chunky purée. Add more water if necessary. 

3.  Put salmon fillets on prepared baking sheet, skin-side down. Use a spatula to evenly distribute the pesto over the fillets and top each with a quarter of the crushed pistachios. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until salmon is just pink.

4. Remove baking sheet from oven and place each piece of salmon on its own plate. Serve immediately with the pasta or grain of your choice, if desired.

This is a tasty dish and changes things up for me in the kitchen as I make a lot of chicken dishes. It is Roommate approved and will be tried with chicken tonight as I made too much toppings. And I'm OK with that.