Tuesday, April 28, 2015

So Much Talent

What an honor it was to work with Dylan Douglas Photography again in January. See our 2014 photo shoot HERE. This time I introduced him to Hair Stylist, Jasmin Rouse. I met Jasmin while at a mutual friend's wedding in Kauai in October. We immediately became friends. Her husband was the Best Man and I went stag so we had some time to get to know each other.  She is a mother of two, also lives in the East Bay and is quite the beauty. You can't miss her. It makes sense that she would have the talent to make people look and feel beautiful.

While house and dog sitting for friends over Thankgiving weekend in Brentwood, Ca, I thought Jasmin and I could catch up. We met up at my favorite spot in the area for sushi, Shirasoni, and had drinks, sushi and teppenyaki. I used to do a Stella & Dot jewelry display on Thursday nights there so it was good to see some staff I used to see on a weekly basis. Plus, I am always willing to help folks that have helped me. 

Jasmin and I got to know each other a little better and continued our evening discussing her ambitions and dreams at BJ's at The Streets of Brentwood. She works at Changes Salon & Day Spa in Walnut Creek and has a love for color and is in the process of obtaining additional training. I personally haven't colored my hair since I was in high school and have never invested the money in a professional dye job as I would be terrible at maintaining it. I said I would love to be a hair model for her but let's start with a cut first.  Plus, I would love to introduce her to my friend, Dylan. I loved the photos that Dylan took of me the year before. I am sure I would love what Jasmin had in store for me. I was just trying to grow out my hair but was open to her cutting it however she wanted to.

I introduced Dylan and Jasmin via email and thought we could all do a shoot together. We figured out a date and I stepped into Changes for the first time. I am FB friends with a girl from high school and this is her spot. This was a new experience for me and though Jasmin said they just renovated, I didn't have anything to compare it to.  I sat in her chair and thoroughly enjoyed getting my hair washed. Then it was time to let her do her magic. 

A cut was long overdue. It felt great. But I wasn't done yet.  We traveled out to Livermore, CA where Dylan has a studio set up and I had some wine while Jasmin put my hair in her Kevin Murphy rollers and did my makeup. She knew what she was doing. She had everything she needed. I'm not as 'girly' so I don't put too much time into my makeup because I never took the time to play or watch tutorials like many lovers of all things beauty do. I did go to a pin-up hair and make-up class by Pachuca Cosmetics with my ex-Bride client turned friend, Kristin (find her at Valdeezie_Glam on Instagram). And still use the gel jet liner to this day. I haven't come across a product I like more for my eyes but then again, I haven't looked very hard.

During the shoot, Jasmin had really great ideas, continued to touch up my make up, move my hair in certain ways, and even suggested modeling poses. I have to say my fierce and inner and deeply hidden Beyoncé didn't want to come out. Dylan asked me to hold certain poses, angle my body in different ways and used different lighting and hair blown effects. I think the below photos turned out pretty well.

If you agree, please consider making an appointment with Jasmin at Changes in Walnut Creek, CA, and booking Dylan Douglas Photography. They are both good at what they do.

Can you tell which Stella & Dot necklace I am wearing?

Dress by Hot Miami Styles

And here are some other photos of how I have done my hair after the shoot. The second one is all natural with absolutely no product in it and it was washed the night before. I just realized these are very sporty shots. GO GIANTS! GO NINERS! See other ways I have styled my hair post Jasmin's hair cut HERE.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

They Love Stella & Dot Too!

I wear Stella & Dot pieces every single day! I love seeing my customers, friends and family enjoying their pieces as well. I enjoy seeing how they wear it, with what other pieces (even non-Stella Dot items) and their full ensemble and where they wear it to! Check out some examples below. If you're a customer of mine, feel free to send me your pics! I would love to see them.

Remember, you can earn free jewelry and accessories by hosting a trunk show or even an online trunk show. Contact me to schedule yours. But feel free to shop my page 24 hours a day.

Actress & Model, Megan Zerga, (an former Stella & Dot Stylist) wearing the sold out and discontinued Campari Necklace. Photo by Maurice Ramirez.

Angela & Tiffany both trying on the Serenity Necklace (Originally $198) at an impromptu trunk show in Oceanside, CA. These ladies love their S&D. Keep scrolling down.

My lovely Mary Kay rep, Christina Vela, and someone I have known since grade school. I often remind her that I thought she was prettiest girl in school. I am glad we reconnected after all these years. This is the photo that comes up on my phone when she calls. I love it. Christina is wearing the Pegasus Necklace ($198). It is also available in silver.

Her name is Christina too, with a very similar last name as my Mary Kay rep above. Here she is wearing the discontinued and sold out Avalon Necklace ($39). This is the picture that comes up on my phone for her.

My best friend, Christy, wearing the Malta Necklace ($118) and holding my beautiful niece, Arya. She has two babies and I understand that they love tugging on your jewelry. So it's nice for Christy to be able to try on some pieces. You ladies deserve it!

This hardworking nurse, Angela, is rocking the discontinuing Allegra Necklace (Reg. $89, Sale $66.75)

My Maid of Honor and long-time friend definitely loves her S&D. Here she is with the Serenity Stone Drop ($49) earrings in green. It's a very popular item and the color is flattering on every skin tone. Stacy Keibler has been seen wearing them.

Tiffany rocks the best selling Bardot Spiral Bracelet ($49) that is also available in gold.

Birthday girl wearing her versatile Sutton Necklace ($128) that is also available in other colors. Beer in hand at the Sonoma Chicken Coop in Campbell, CA.

Yes, Christina again, hard at work wearing one of her newest pieces, the versatile and best selling Zoe Lariat ($98).

S&D is perfect for any GIRLS WEEKEND!
Angela is wearing the beautiful but discontinuing Oasis Bib Necklace in Las Vegas, NV. It is on sale for 50% off for $99!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Wine Log - 2015 Q2

This is a continuation of my wine log on a quarterly basis (2014 & 2015 Q1). Transitioning from Office Manager of a law firm to Operating Partner of DWSF is in full effect and expanding of my knowledge of all things Food & Beverage is necessary. I am in the middle of a 30-Day Fitness Challenge using Shredz supplements and am prepping for Bodybuilding.com's #StillInIt 6-week challenge beginning on April 20th. Drinking won't benefit me in these challenges so I expect this log will not be extensive, but when I do drink, it will help me remember what I have tasted.

The Naked Grape - Pinot Grigio
Per my Influenster review: "Found this bottle at Target and it was on sale for $5.49. I have had alright bottles of wine for under $10 (think 2 buck Chuck aka Charles Shaw) so I was willing to give this a shot. I am going for the Italian Wine Specialist certification but feel I should get as much knowledge and taste as many wines as possible, even if they're not Italian. This has no vintage on it. It's not a twist top like many new wines nowadays and I feel it has a playful, youthful logo/label. Does this mean the wine is young? Chilled in my fridge, the wine had a bit of a bite at first but as it sat in my glass over dinner with a grilled chicken salad, it lost that edge. It was pleasing. I wouldn't be opposed to trying their other varietals."
Opened while trying to catch up on Gotham and making dinner
"Bare it All"
Via my Instagram (@bappletree). Bubbles!

Sunce Winery & Vineyard - 2011 Syrah
*Gold Critics Challenge Winner 2013*
This was first tasted in early November 2014 when a friend, Mike, was visiting from Ottawa, Canada. While waiting for my business partners to arrive in Sebastopol, CA, we went ahead and got a jump start on wine tasting. We stopped at Sunce not knowing an event was taking place that day with many other wineries in the area. Without a ticket, the greeter allowed us in anyways and there were soooo many to taste! They were quite generous. I was also feeling a bit under the weather and our thoughtful pourer gave me tea bags from her purse. How kind. Mike discovered he liked NorCal's Syrah. This was his first purchase of wine in Sonoma County. And one Sunday evening in April with my ex-roomie, studying wine after a healthy dinner, we enjoyed it. It had a deep, garnet appearance, fruity and not too tannic.

Pulling out this wine also reminded me that I recalled the name when my best friend, Christy, and I were checking out locations to hold her father's memorial service in late January. In Fremont, CA, the woman showing us a spot near a park and cute townhomes was wearing a gray Sunce hoodie. "Hey, I've been there!" That was a fun day with bocce ball, tasting appetizers and many wines straight from the barrel. Not bad of an experience for Mike's first winery in California, right?

Stella Rosa - Stella Rosso
KeChaunte actually brought this over to my house for the Pacquiao fight in early May but it wasn't opened. She invited me out to her new pad in town for Memorial Day and thought it was best to bring it back for her to try it. I have seen billboard ads in town but haven't tried it, from what I remember. It was bubbly, light and sweet. KeChaunte was happy with it and 'found a red wine I can drink.' Oh, I need to take her wine tasting.

On the same evening Christy and I received a complimentary taste of the Rosso by Porto Vita, we went with this glass of wine. I decided to go with the baked tilapia and veggies which ended up being a big mound of broccoli. I was not going to complain. I love little trees.  I have had many glasses of Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling before so I knew I liked it. A bottle was going to cost $29, when on my ShopKick journey to Wal-Mart later that evening, I found a bottle of this stuff for under $8! We paid $7 for a glass. Oh, the mark ups in restaurants.

Mark West - Pinot Noir
I failed in noting the vintage but it was definitely the best tasting of the wine selected by other folks in the birthday party group while at our second stop at Joya in Palo Alto, CA. There was an unimpressive rose, a very sweet Chardonnay and a decent cab selected by the birthday boy.

Sven & Ole Zinfandel - 2013

Menage a Trois - Red Blend 2013
It was #WineWednesday and it was a long day. With the day not even coming to close after almost 12 hours of work, I thought a glass of wine was earned. I thought about trying to mix being social with this glass of wine but two friends were still at work, my 'Sobrino,' a former Clerk of mine, had a sore throat, and 'LD' didn't even bother to reply. What a booger. :) So, I remembered my Roommate's friend left a bottle of wine at the bar. He got home and I asked if I could have some. It smelled a little funny as it's been over a week since it was opened, but I took a sip anyways. It'll do. So I had half a glass while I filled out medical insurance paperwork for DWSF. I haven't had anything to drink since Friday. It doesn't help me stay focused when I have so much to do. But it was good. I do remember having this brand at an officer's retirement party in Campbell, CA with my girlfriend, Mela, a very long time ago. See how brands trigger memories?

Sincera - 2012 Pinot Noir
At my nephew's 1st birthday in Marina, CA, my cousin pours me a glass..and a half...of this wine that had a very pretty color, light body and on the fruity side. My Cousin Marilyn says, "There's more!" And watch out for Cousin Jenny stealing yours to double fist. She likes it.

Wine & family go hand-in-hand

Watch out for this girl.

Boheme - I was able to crash a private tasting of the following wines. While multi-tasking, I jotted down a few notes.
Taylor Ridge Vineyard Chardonnay - 2012 - Smelled better than the English Hill's Chard below.
English Hilł Vineyard Chardonnay - 2012 - Tasted better than the Taylor Ridge.
Taylor Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir - 2012
English Hilł Vineyard Pinot Noir - 2012 - I thought this tasted a bit bitter.
Stiller Vineyard Pinot Noir - 2012 - Hands down the winner IMO of the wines tasted. The color was deeper than the English Hill's with hints of blackberry.
Occidental Hills Syrah - 2012 - Tannic and chocolatey.

Porta Vita - Rossa
We normally go to Texas Roadhouse, but when Christy and my little loves are on this side of the Bay, we need to switch it up every so often. So we went to Olive Garden and our server offered us a taste of their signature wines, Porta Vita. Christy and I looked at each other and we both knew that we don't turn down complimentary wine. It was the Rosso and was a bit sweet. We went with a different glass of wine to go with our meal. Check out another blogger's experience with OG's wines HERE. Sign up for OG's newsletter and get a complimentary appetizer.

Rock Wall
Monte Rosso Zinfindel - 2013
Jack's Petite Syrah - 2013
More to Come!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Rockin' My S&D Everyday

It has been almost five years since I signed up to be a Stella & Dot Stylist. It has been fun and I have met many wonderful people and women thru marketing the pieces and doing trunk shows. I have had supportive friends and family and had eight women on my team at one point. Nowadays, I haven't had the time to invest in this business but I love the flexibility of it. My site is up 24-hours a day and I am a walking billboard with all the pieces I wear every single day. I either post pics on my Facebook page or via my Instagram (user: bappletree).

The new Summer Collection just launched and I made a few purchases. I have tons of samples still and have tried to sell them thru friends and family, the few trunk shows I do do and via my Facebook page. But I wanted new pieces to add to my very large collection, especially with my new adventure happening at DWSF in San Francisco. I alerted my cousin of my recent shopping spree and she said I need to 'model' them. Oh, the selfies. Sick of them yet? Well, it seems to be the best way to show how I wear these gorgeous and fun pieces and what I pair them with and where I wear them to. I can't say I go to anyone's blog for their OOTD (Outfit of the Day) posts and I wouldn't expect you to come to mine to see what I'm wearing that day. I have a simple kind of style but I like to be bold with my jewelry and my shoes. I wear A LOT of black so when shopping, I try to make it a point to stay away from that appealing color and add more vibrant colors to my wardrobe. But funny how one of my favorite stores is White House Black Market. I can't stay away. They have a lot of my money and I get nice discounts. I actually have to thank the S&D sponsor I was under for turning me onto WHBM. Her name is Natalie and she posted this one black dress with white polka dots and  a big floppy hat.  It was adorable. So I guess posting what you're wearing does indeed influence people. I am just making the disclaimer that I do not think I'm 'Miss Fashionable' or that people should dress like me. I am just sharing the jewelry and yes, sometimes what I'm wearing makes me feel pretty and I want to share. Do you mind?

Here are some pics I've posted in the past. The jewelry is all Stella & Dot and may or may not be available today. But if you love the piece, make me an offer. I might be willing to part with it.

Can't remember the name of the hoops but they are discontinued and I lost them. So sad.
Discontinued Maya Brenner heart necklace
Discontinued layering necklace

Yelp Oktoberfest with my friend, Yelp Ambassador, Joanna S. Wearing the versatile Sanibel Pendant ($69) in silver with a Forever 21 dress, Old Navy jacket and Steve Madden shoes.

A Patron cocktail event at Terra SF with my business partner and beer mistress. Wearing the Callie Necklace ($98) and WHBM dress.

My Birthday Party 2014 - The discontinued Renegade Cluster Necklace and Earrings in gold.

My everyday kind of look - Norah Pendant Necklace ($98), Cleopatra Studs ($24) and Arrison Bracelet ($34) that you can wear two ways. Forever 21 top.

Memorial Service
All three ladies wearing S&D - Can't remember the name of the other two, (BAD Stylist!) but I'm wearing the gorgeous Helena Necklace ($128) over a WHBM dress.

A birthday outing to Lagunitas in Petaluma, CA
Discontinued Bamboleo ($228), Angela is wearing the discontinued Fiona (sale $82.60)
I'm wearing a cheap top from Bloom and Prada sunglasses

Easter 2015
Interlock Cross Necklace ($59) - By Maya Brenner, available in gold and silver.
I wear my late grandfather's wedding ring everyday.
Dress by J. Crew

The Alexandria Necklace (Reg. $80, Sample sale $45) is retired, paired with the versatile Orbit Hoop Earrings ($39) in silver, on top of a cheap black tank top was worn to a Three Days Concert at The Fillmore in San Francisco, CA. BareMinerals 'Witty' lip gloss.

Dressing up a University of Texas shirt with one of the three strands on the new Zuni Necklace ($98). Wear this strand long or short. Go TEXAS!

Just another day at the office, wearing the Eva Ear Jackets ($49). Paired with a White House Black Market lace cami and black sweater from Express, with no care kind of hair. So tan from Mexico!

LOVING the Birdie Necklace ($118). This is the second time I wore it in one week and got compliments on it. I was Marina, CA bound for my nephew's first birthday party. Paired with a cami from Express, a sweater from Abercrombie & Fitch, my Prada sunglasses and lip glass from Neutrogena. Posted pic on SnapChat first. Are you on there? Add me! @bappletree

Definitely my favorite piece to wear, the Birdie Necklace ($118) paired with the studs from the Eva Jackets ($49). I paired this with Estee Lauder lipstick and a button-up by Express.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

My First Beer Log

To accompany my ongoing wine logs (2014 & 2015 Q1), a beer log is now needed. I have a new love for beer since my spontaneous trip to Boston with Christina last October. We toured the Samuel Adams brewery and met some great Canadians. From then, I have a greater appreciation and thirst for beer. I am sure this makes my business partner, Kristian, happy. He makes beer, grows his own hops and is no doubt a beer lover. When we first met in 2006, I didn’t really like wine or beer. Nine years later, I am finally on board with learning and drinking more beer. 

Kristian used to work at a popular spot in Downtown San Francisco. I asked if his establishment had room for one of my Legal Clerks to hold his birthday there. He definitely hooked it up and I have always been a big supporter of him so of course I wanted to bring him some business. That evening, Kristian brought me a bottle of beer to taste. He knows my taste and with a hesitant look on my face, he said, “Damnit, Dankle, just try it.” Yes, he has a unique and funny name for me. Everyone asks, “What’s a Dankle?” I’m a Dankle. Anyways…he was right. That beer was delicious. I cannot remember the name of it for the life of me but of course, it was an expensive bottle. Figures.

To avoid future forgetfulness of deliciousness (another Kristian word), here is my first Beer Log. Since beginning this fitness journey, I am trying not to drink alcohol as much. Keyword: trying. Enjoy!

And you might as well follow me on Yelp, because I'm an 8-time Yelp Elite (lol). My second Review of the Day goes to Alameda's tastiness that is Faction Brewing. Y-U-M. Actually, my first one was for Alameda's Burgermeister. Hmm, is that a sign that I should move to the Island(s)? Hawaii would be more like it. Someday.


Superior Rubia - March 2015
This was in our fridge in our rental in Playa Del Carmen. Had it while watching Coming to America en espanol.

Akumal - Porter - March 2015
Had a few of these at the Wah Wah Restaurant and Bar in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. Tasty. This bar served their beer incredibly cold. Loved that.

Corona - March 2015
Everyone's heard and probably had a Corona. It's not my beer of choice but for $7 pesos and a shot of Mezcal in Carmen Del Playa, why the hell not?

Angry Boy Brown Ale - Baird Brewing Company
Had this while in Sebastopol, CA.

Drake's Brewing Company - 1500 Pale Ale
Met Christina for Game 1 of the Warriors/Cavs NBA Finals at Bijou in Hayward. I walked in and the bar was lined of only men. I was able convince a couple of them to scooch over so we could get our normal spot at the bar in front of Dave. One smelled like he was hiding something, or he accidentally dropped the whole bottle of cologne on himself. I already had a headache! Boy, did I need a beer. Dave always takes good care of us. Christina was close by but I went ahead and ordered a beer since he asked if I wanted anything. "Well, since you asked." I went with the $4 Drakes that was on happy hour til 7 pm. Drakes is in San Leandro, which is the next city over. I haven't been there. I should probably take care of that soon. The beer was hoppier than I expected. Weird, Christina ordered the same thing and hers was more like a wit beer but Dave said he definitely poured the right one, saying that beer batches can be slightly different. This was kind of a drastic difference but we continued to drink them. 

Full Sail Brewing Company - 26th Anniversary Cascade Pilsner
This was my second beer during Game 1 of the Warriors/Cavs NBA Finals with Christina at Bijou. I wasn't in love with the Drakes 1500 so I went with something with less bit and on the lighter side. I liked it. 

Back in September 2014, Christina and I sat in the same general area of Bijou and spontaneously booked flights to Boston. She had just gotten out of a relationship and my divorce was final. We needed to go have some fun. And fun was definitely had! I have yet to write about that trip. This happy hour, we did not book our spontaneous trip that we said we'd do every year but I think we have our hearts set on NOLA! Especially now that Southwest flies there. Stay tuned!

Mission Brewery - Hef, San Diego, CA
Had to allow myself one beer during SF Beer Week.


Faction Brewing - Alameda, CA

I usually get the Defcon II and recently tried ther Nykx too. Tasty! You can see the beautiful skyline of San Francisco on a gorgeous day. I highly recommend checking it out.
But it can be breezy and definitely bring your sunglasses. With my buddy, Alameda native, B-Irish.

Also tried their Imperial Stout that was served at Hog's Apothecary in Oakland, CA.

Tried something different than the Defcon II on a late May evening. I tried the Bad Touch IPA. 

It had more of a bite than this cutie pie. Kudos to Faction for being Puppy friendly.

Firestone Walker Brewing Company - Had their blonde ale at the Santa Cruz American Music Festival in Aptos, CA on Memorial Day weekend. I preferred this over the Kona Lager I started to drink that day. They did good job of marketing themselves with even the security wearing their caps. I have never heard of this brewery in Paso Robles, CA so I thought I'd give it a try.

Fort Point Kolsch - at The Tipsy Pig in San Francisco, CA

Friar Starter by Coronado Brewing Company in San Francisco, CA.
It's is a 4.8% Belgium Blonde I had a glass of at Fat Angel, also in San Francisco, CA. Met two gents at the bar and we started talking about beer and ended up splitting the 'small' kale salad with chicken and they gave me a taste of their San Franciscan beer which had a mango and passion fruit flavor.

Lagunitas Brewing Company - Petaluma, CA

Linden Street Brewery - Burning Oak Black Lager
The day was long and though tasty, the beer made me tired and my new memories of a tasty Burgermeister burger on National Burger Day was a disappointment. The meal definitely did not compliment the beer. I have been to the Oakland brewery back in October and it was quite a hidden gem. I'll have to go back. Hold the burger.

Moonlight Brewing - Death & Taxes
Tried this at Lanesplitter's in Berkeley, CA with coworkers. It's a dark but light lager. 5%. Pretty good.
Exhausted but gave in to having a beer. Oh, Snapchat (@bappletree). Sent this to Megan.

Pine Street Brewery - Stout
I really enjoy stout and porters. It didn't go very well with the kale and chicken salad I had at Green Chili Kitchen in San Francisco, CA but I still enjoyed it.
Schubros Brewery - San Ramon, CA
Little Devil - Hoppy Belgian Style Pale Ale
Tasted at Hog's Apothacary in Oakland, Ca

Russian River Brewing Company - Pliny the Elder
Had this for the first time at The Bistro in Hayward, CA with good friends and live music with a female lead and female drummer. Pretty cool. Had to Snapchat (@bappletree) that I was a Pliny virgin no more.

Saint Archer, Coffee Cream Porter
A business partner and I needed a beer so we went to the nearby Beer Hall. Nice spot. I was going to get the New Hop on the Block, an IPA, or something like because I have been a NKOTB fan since I was a little girl. It was by Altamont Beer Works but went with this instead because I like porters and stouts. I made the right decision but still want to try Altamont! This was also my first check in on the Untappd app. You should know my username by now.

A rep came by and had so many goodies for us to try. She has also written a book on beer and has quite the style. I enjoyed the now unavailable Mosaic Session but really fell in love with the Double Stout! I like what I like! It was super chocolately. I don't even like chocolate this much, just in my beer.

Half Moon Bay Brewery - Half Moon Bay, CA - January 2015
After a hike, we wanted beer. Beer is what we got.

Lagunitas Brewing Company - IPA
Again, after a hike around Angel Island, I had a little bit of Christina's beer.

Negra Modelo - from Mexico. Tasted it at Green Chili Kitchen in San Francisco, CA. I preferred my Pine Street Stout.