Thursday, June 23, 2016

First Check-In at Yelp HQ in SF

Are we friends on Yelp? Do you write reviews? Are you doing the 100 reviews challenge this year? Do you check-in?

I checked into the Yelp headquarters for the first time this week. I was a Yelp Elite for seven years but am no longer one as I'm not a business owner. It is definitely much different being on the other side.

I am responsible with responding to all of our reviews, marketing and advertising on the site. I visited the HQ for an introduction to Yelp Reservations, formerly SeatMe. I realized that an old colleague and now fellow Event Planner was there after I checked in on Facebook. I hear, "Bern?!?" The pretty lady in a yellow dress had a few managers with her from a restaurant along The Embarcadero. 

The presentation was interesting and the marketing panel of other industry professionals was informative. The event was mostly full but it was pretty long. If I ever went back to school, not sure I'd be able to sit still that long.

Their office is located on New Montgomery in San Francisco and has this beautiful lobby that felt more New York than SF. It took me back in time. The elevator doors on the inside had a red Yelp wrap. Was this elevator solely designated for Yelp? Were all six elevators branded like this?

The presentation room had multiple retracting projector screens and TVs.

A meal by Straw was provided. I couldn't really eat any of it as it wasn't very healthy. I didn't eat the bread that came with Sliders, I took a small spoonful of their macaroni salad and their doughnut mini burger on a toothpick and a bottle water.

My colleagues and I discussed the Yelp Reservations option and dined at the long communal tables under lights with ropes from the ceiling. I met with my new advertising rep while I was there and discussed some options and ways to improve clicks. I made some changes as soon as I got back to the office. I also opened up my goodie bag.

Inside was a pot with a packet of basil seeds. The woman with the blackest thumb ever knew that wasn't going to be put to use. Mints were needed in the office and the Chapstick was given to Cristen.

How do you make your reservations? Via phone, OpenTable, Yelp Reservations, Velocity?

Do you check-in?
I love checking into places and get the bragging rights that I'm Queen of Carson City, Nevada (it happened), or show off that I'm hitting the gym, why aren't you? But Swarm has recently kicked off chances to win by checking in certain places over a week. I use mPlaces to check in and get coins for gift cards. I have already earned $40 in gift cards to Target. It's like free pet food! And I also still Shopkick. I'm not checking in but more like walking in to get Hyatt gift cards.

#BernsFashionChallenge - Week 3

Week 3 of #BernsFashionChallenge is complete! This challenge is to benefit The Princess Project in San Francisco, California that promotes self-confidence and individual beauty. They also provide teens with prom dresses and accessories that cannot otherwise purchase them. 

Let's think back to high school and how important that dress was. It was the closest thing we had to being invited to a ball. What if you didn't have any money to buy a beautiful dress? What would you  wear if that boy you had a crush on finally asked you to prom or homecoming? Every girl deserves to feel beautiful at least every once in awhile. Like Marilyn Monroe said, give a girl the right pair of shoes and she can conquer the world. I think The Princess Project allows this to happen for some Bay Area girls. Kudos to this local non-profit. Donate your gently used dresses today! Follow me on Instagram and I will donate a dollar for every new follower I have at the end of the month. That just a few days left!

This week in fashion for me included wearing nothing new. No shopping for me. But check it out! If you'd like your item featured, let's collaborate. Email me!

New Instagram Followers:  43
Go follow me! It's for a good cause! 'bappletree'
Total Likes from the below posts: 246

Gym time in my tank, Under Armour leggings, Brooks shoes that you can't see and my FitBit.

Gym time again in my CaliMuscle tank, unknown leggings and my Brooks. Dress is from a store at the Southland Mall in Hayward, California. Sweater is from Express and shoes by Cole Haan, wallet by Stella & Dot. That day I did drink. We had Mount Gay on-site at Dirty Water and I made my own Old Fashioned with their rum. It was tasty. Then my kitchen made me try a fried brains meatball. Yes. And I had to get the taste out of my mouth so I asked for some our Bourbon and Bacon homemade ice cream. Worth the unusual taste? Oh, yes! See that smile? Get that ice cream on top of our Stonefruit Cobbler dessert.

I didn't know I was going to wear stripes two days in a row, or that Cristen was also going to wear stripes. So a picture was needed. The shirt is also by Jeaja from Oakland, California, jewelry from Stella & Dot, jeans by White House Black Market and flip flops on National Flip Flop Day by Reef that I purchased on my first day in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico last year.

Then it was a spontaneous day with two of my favorite boys, Dylan and Marshall aka 'Best Friend,' in Capitola, California after a day at the gym. Gym gear was CaliMuscle, leggings by Victoria's Secret and Brooks. Hat is from Vegas, bikini by Bebe that I have had for years and dress from Forever 21 when I was in Glendale, California for a Los Lonely Boys concert.

Sunday was Father's Day and recovering day from a night of too much Bulliet Bourbon. Sadly, the Warriors lost the NBA Finals. Great season though, Boys. Maxidress was purchased in Kauai.

Monday was a day for my favorite color and kitties apparently. I didn't have any meetings or events so it was a very casual day for me. Shirt by Express, jeans by White House Black Market, shoes by Puma and jewerly by Stella & Dot.

Absolutely love this too by Jeaja of Oakland, California paired with a flirty skit I don't know where I got from and Cole Haan heels. It sways when I walk and it's so much fun. I also love the jewelry by Stella & Dot. These items are actually available and rather new on my site. I haven't purchased much lately. I am waiting for their new collection that will be released in the next few months at Hoopla.

Fitness-wise, the hard work is paying off. I can see some shadows in these pictures I want to define more but have a lot to work on in the mid-section before my photoshoot on the 18th of July. Countdown is on! Goals are in place.

I haven't had a drink since Saturday. Well, I did have a sip of Michter's yesterday but that doesn't count, right? I have been craving dessert and Taco Bell! What are your cravings?

Until next week. I will have a few more pics that go thru the end of month. Have a great week!

Week 1
Week 2

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

She's Gone Country

"You saw Reba?"

At the time, I couldn't remember the last time someone told me they went to a country concert. This cute 20-year-old was eventually going to be an ex-boyfriend but I do have to thank him for exposing me to country music. He was a Marine with a dream of flying. As much as I wanted it to work out, the military life wasn't for me. But damn, are men in uniform so sexy to me.

We ended up dating after flirting with him that he didn't stock my tables with a variety of jams and he took me to an 18 and up country spot in Davis, California. I can't remember the song that was playing but at some point the cowboys were supposed to lift up the girls. That was different from the bump and grinding men do at the club to try to 'get to know you.'

He recommended Kenny Chesney to me and he was right. I became a fan. His songs were set in the islands with songs like "All I Want for Christmas is a Real Good Tan," "On the Coast of Somewhere Beautiful" and " Boston." "You and Me" became our song.

I ended up having to break things off with him because I just couldn't follow him around the globe and waiting on a man. Perhaps it was young love but I have never felt as loved and adored than by him. Perhaps I have, but it was my choice to leave so maybe that made me think it wasn't enough at the time. But all things are as they should be. He is married with two kids and he fulfilled his dream of flying. I couldn't be more happy for him. Sometimes I think of him when I see a jet leave its mark across the blue sky and I'm glad I didn't keep him grounded.

Since then, I have seen Kenny Chesney, Big & Rich, Sara Evans, Dustin Lynch, Little Big Town, Luke Bryan and many more live. See full Concert Log for a listing. But the most recent concert was Country Summer in Santa Rosa, California with Old Dominion, Frankie Ballard, Josh Turner and Billy Currington. It was a great day full of cowboys for us ladies.

Country Summer is a three-day concert and the other headliners included The Band Perry and Lady Antebellum. I was bummed but I had to work so I basically lost out on $400. I bought two tickets for the pit for all three days. I ended up going with Courtney to Sunday's show and it was well worth it. Hot, but how could it not be with that line up?

I met her in Concord not thinking that is completely out of the way. I didn't realize that until that morning and I wasn't going to ask her to change her route. I was coming from Hayward and was just so excited to have the day off. We ended up being Katniss twinsies in terms of the side braid and printed summer dresses.

We stopped in Vallejo to get a Jamba Juice for me and to introduce her to Seniorita Bread. Soooo damn good. It's in the same old shopping center that my mom's friend had a video store and we used to help retrieve the cassettes to rent from behind. It was also where I often compare chocolate croissants to the balangerie (sp? bakery there that we used to get as a kid. Tasty!

Then we were on our way. Doors opened at noon and we were determined to get front row. Parking was $15 and we got our spot right in front. It was damn hot. We got whiskey and unfortunately they will only give a max of two shots per person. So when either of us held our spot in the pit to make a drink run, we only single shots. So sad. But after awhile the shots weren't helping in the heat, nor was the food. I just wanted to cool down and a big plastic cup of lemonade only meant having to go to the restroom. Oddly enough, I only went once the entire time we were there. We explored the grounds and took a pic from the back and then at front row! There's no place like front row. Concert snob here!

Then the performances started and Old Dominion was unknown to me until then. 'Snapback' was their song and I couldn't recall it once Court played it for me earlier that day. But they flew in from Texas that morning and didn't have any of their equipment. I thought it was odd that they were using scratched up, teenage garage band like instruments but they were having a great time up there and interacting with the fans. The stage jutted out into the pit so you had an opportunity to reach up and touch them if you weren't 5'1" like Court and I. Sadly, I can't remember any of their songs by name but I did get a guitar pick. That was only when the crew was cleaning off the stage and flicked it in my direction. I wasn't even paying attention.

So glad I got this action shot. 

Next up was Frankie Ballard. I had no idea who he was but a cute, blonde with 60's hair and a leather jacket and scarf came out and hell yeah, I know his name now. We were dying in the sun and we couldn't stand him wearing the leather jacket. "How are you wearing that right now?!" yelled a fan near me. I guess when you're that cool... nevermind.

Frankie had jazz fingers angled at his long-time buddy and guitarist as he did his solos. Then a song he played a song he said he was thinking of California Girls when he wrote it. 'Sunshine & Whiskey' came on. I did love that song. I just didn't know who sang it.

Oh, Josh Turner. Another artist that reminded me of my Marine cowboy ex-boyfriend. "Your Man" came out when we were dating and it was Josh's first number one hit. His voice is so deep and sexy and he kept his sunglasses on the entire performance, I couldn't see where he was looking. You could see where Frankie was looking and you'd think he made eye contact with you. It helps when you're in the front row. But Josh was great. He didn't move a whole lot but it was great to see him live.

I love being front row.
I have been to many concerts and I realized at this concert that country artists sound exactly as they sound on the radio and on their albums. There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of electronic magic happening in the studio to make them sound good. They already do. I do love Josh's deep voice but there's something about Billy Currington's voice that I just fell in love with.

Did I already say how much I love being front row?
To hear Billy live and sound exactly as he does in my car was great. He has this voice that has a touch of the South, a bit playful and so sweet that you just want to hear his voice on the other end of the line. My favorite songs of his are "Must Be Doing Something Right" and "Good Direction." "Let Me Down Easy" is quickly climbing up my charts. Check out this video below where it looks like he's singing and smiling at me, but there was a little girl that was placed in front of me and he was singing to her. But Billy or his social media rep liked my post and tweets. I felt so special. I loved how he was performing barefoot and that he sang "Shut Up and Dance with Me." That was so much fun. I am definitely a bigger fan and would love to see him perform again. The concert ended and the sun was still up. We were high on cloud 9 all the way to the car. What a fun day.



So yes, Bern's gone country. It's all I really listen to now.

Related Articles:
Kill the Lights

Monday, June 20, 2016


A shout-out to Terabit in Ottawa, Canada for being my 1500th Twitter follower. It's a small achievement of mine and I wanted to recognize it and show my appreciation. Now our connection is forever in the blogosphere. Thank you, Good luck to you!

Ottawa actually reminded me of what Albert called 'Maple Syrup.' He was my traveling partner to Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. An interesting time for sure.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

#BernsFashionChallenge - Week 2

Week 2 in an attempt to fundraise for The Princess Project is complete! #BernsFashionChallenge is posting your outfit of the day every day to Instagram and promoting self-confidence and individual beauty, just like the non-profit does. I will donate one dollar for every new follower I get on Instagram at the end of the month of June. 

Follow me - 'bappletree'

I invite you to even post one outfit of the day with my hashtag #BernsFashionChallenge - it takes two minutes and it helps spread awareness. I have a friend in Australia that commends me for doing this challenger and encourages me to keep going! I will!! Awareness has crossed the Pacific Ocean to down under.

You also should follow Danielle S.! She has posted everyday and looks fabulous even when she's cooking at home. Check her out. I think we'll have to schedule a girls' day in so I can play in her closet.

Notice I am not always in recognizable brand name gear. You don't need to have Armani or well-known brands. The beauty of this is to also get new, small designers and businesses some exposure. Everyone needs to start somewhere, right? Small businesses need a chance. They're just trying to make a living and support their family. Though not a fashion brand, think of small businesses like my sister's machine shop in Pittsburg, California, On-Point Machining, and read about her small business. 

Have some gear you want me to post in this challenge? Let's collaborate! Email me.

Also, be sure to come by DW in San Francisco, California for our next #WomenWednesday event on July 6th. Rania Theodosi of Craft & Clothes will be there. She was an inspiration for this challenge. We will be donating one dollar for every Karl Stauss craft beer and cute clothes pic that is posted that evening to The Princess Project. Come get some delicious beer for a good cause!

Now for the recap:

Total Followers: 683
This week's likes: 161

Blazer by Hot Miami Styles, White House Black Market jeans, Coach belt, heels by Jessica Simpson, CaliMuscle tank and Brooks running shoes. 

SFPD sweatshirt, back dress from unknown spot, heels by Jessica Simpson and jewelry by Stella & Dot.

Lipstick by Mac.

Nutrishop tank, Brooks running shoes, Mossimo tank, Abercrombie & Fitch sweats, slippers by Jessica Simpson.

Champion tank, Under Armour leggings, Brooks running shoes, 49ers jacket, jewelry by Stella & Dot, tank and jeans by White House Black Market, DW cap from VistaPrint, Tory Burch belt and Michael Kors flats.

Dress by White House Black Market, jewelry by Stella & Dot, heels by Nine West.

Black tank by Champion, jewelry and bag by Stella & Dot, shirt of Monkey Shoulder scotch whisky and shoes by Michael Kors.

Join in on the challenge!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

LLB 2016 - Napa & Saratoga. +RIP Christina Grimmie

Work has been crazy busy and I was prepping myself for my Event Manager's departure. We had non-stop events and I didn't take a day off for 19 days. The Los Lonely Boys concert in Napa, California at the Uptown Theatre was the perfect reason to take a day off. It also fell on a Friday.

I met up with my friend, Maria, and her boyfriend, Gabriel, at one of many wine bars we visited that day. It was great to be social, get out of town and be in Napa. As soon as I saw the vines on the highway, I felt like I could breathe. I'm way too far to turnaround if there's an emergency at work so I was going to make the best of my much needed day off.

I indulged in wine, cheese and crackers, mac and cheese, a salad, cornbread and chocolate in our little Downtown Napa tour. When you need a snack, consider checking out Napkins and check in on Yelp. You get complimentary guacamole or cornbread. You know which one I went with.

Besides wine, my Los Lonely Boys make me happy. After drinking wine all afternoon, being full and 19 days straight of work, my energy level was low. Normally we have friends that join us and we take over a few seats in the front. I was in the third row near Henry, while Maria and Gabriel were on Jojo's side. I didn't know anyone around me and honestly, I wasn't my bubbly self and chit chatting with everyone and handing out swag. But when the Boys came on stage and started playing, I just stared up and had a simple smile on my face. It made me miss my Onda by the Bay friends and how things used to be. We all used to go grab dinner before a show, we would find out who wants to go to shows and buy tickets so we can sit together, and we'd coordinate traveling together. I miss that.

The Boys definitely know most of us but I miss the good ol' days. I don't hang out by the bus after the concert at a chance to get a hug. I feel lucky as it is with the time I have been able to spend with them. I guess I'm offering up other fans to go and say hello.

However, maybe I shouldn't. The news this morning about 22-year-old Christina Grimmie made me sad (CNN news article.) She was a YouTube sensation and finished third on The Voice. It wasn't even a season that I watched because Christina Aguilera wasn't on it, but my roommate popped his head in my room one night saying I needed to see this girl do Elvis' 'Can't Help Falling in Love.' He knows I love The King. And it is AMAZING. Last night, she was shot and killed by a fan after a concert in Orlando, Florida. Her next concert was going to be right here in San Francisco on the 15th at a venue called Chapel. My good friend and OndaRoadMate, Tasina, have become great friends because of the Boys. We are big fans and friends of the Boys that we cared deeply when Henry had his fall, when JoJo had to take time to heal his throat and when their mother recently passed away. The Boys have had years of entertaining fans all over the world and we are lucky that a senseless act like what Christina Grimmie has fallen a victim to has not happened to them. Christina was just sharing her talent and making a difference in this world, making people smile and fundraising for the organizations she supported. The Boys do the same thing. I wouldn't have seen them 69 times if what they did didn't make me happy and bring so much joy to my life. I pray that the Boys are kept safe. My heart goes out to the family and friends of Christina Grimmie. Here is THE BEST remake of the Elvis song.

RIP Christina Grimmie

The poster
The Boys seemed like they were having a good time up there. No new songs and I haven't heard of any rumors of a new album. Regardless, it never gets old.

I was lucky enough to get parking right outside the theater. After the concert, I saw people standing by my car taking photos. I have LNLYBYS as my license plate. I jokingly told them that it would cost them $5 per picture. As I was leaving, a guy came to my window saying that he loved it. Me too!

Met this couple from Lodi while at Napkins. He got a drumtick!
The next time I saw the Boys was on Memorial Day Weekend in Saratoga, California at the Mountain Winery. Once again, I had the day off, but I was still tired from a long week where 6-days a normal work week. I have seen them plenty of times at this venue and it is a pretty penny. Not as expensive at Wente Vineyards in Livermore, California but when you add $20 parking and wine to it, it adds up. I can't say I enjoy their food very much so I normally eat beforehand.

Again, the Boys were having a great time up there and sounded great. The seats were super filled and they didn't play nearly as long as they were the opening act for War. I saw that their father was at the venue. It was funny to see a security guard ask him to head back to his seat or something, then the explanation of who he was made the security guard laugh and back off. After the Boys' set, I said hello to their father, Enrique. I asked him if he remembered me and he said 'of course.' He was very funny and it was nice to be able to say hello to him.

Until the next time, Boys. Be safe.

See my full LLB concert log HERE.

Event Planning - Glide Fundraiser $3.4M

Click photo for news article by SF Gate.
Congratulations to Glide in surpassing last year's fundraising amount of $2.3M in the 17th Annual eBay Power Lunch with Warren Buffett! The bidding for a lunch at Smith & Wollensky in New York with seven guests was auctioned beginning June 5, 2016 thru June 10th. The unveiling of the winning amount and party with hosted wine and passed appetizers was held at Dirty Water in San Francisco on Friday, June 10, 2016. Watch live footage of the event with live performances below:

Other news articles:
Anonymous Bidder Bidder Pays $3.46 million for Warren Buffett Lunch - Reuters
Warren Buffett Lunch Auction Won by Mystery Bidder for $3,456,789 - New York Times
Private Buffet Lunch Goes to Highest Bidder for Over $3.4M -

DW was so honored to be part of such a wonderful event. Continue reading for a behind-the-scenes look at putting an event like this together from the venue and Event Planner / Events Director.

My former Events Manager took the initial lead on this project. I participated in the initial walk-thru and loved hearing the feedback during the tour of the venue. Our clients wanted a new venue and we are about to turn ONE! New - CHECK!

My Events Manager left DW and I took over the event to finalize details, timeline and the most challenging of all: some tech. I can troubleshoot a Xerox machine, I have set up phone systems for an office and I can clearly manage a blog. I am now a bit more knowledgeable on internet speeds and what it takes to run a live stream for an event like this. A few months back, we have participated in a live streaming training from the makers of Glenmorangie in Scotland, with other cities such as Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Chicago, Illinois also participating. The feed wasn't as smooth due to our capabilities but it got done. This event required much more than what we initially had. After two days and eight hours of tech assistance, we got it done.

A special shout out to Tech Collective and our neighbors at Runway, and a superb Office Manager.

The set-up required the use of our entire facility, plus our patio space and the lobby of the building. A sound room was created, stationed cameras on elevated platforms were positioned, additional plasma televisions were in use, including the showing of the Warriors game for the NBA Finals, a table selling t-shirts, a step and repeat for photos and we had a full band, 20+ choir members and an elevated platform used as a stage.

The event began at 5:30 PM but I had to be on-site for move-in at 8 AM. As I commute, I arrived at 7 AM. It was going to be a 16-hour day.

Though the event to the public began at 5:30 PM, I had line-up with service staff explaining the days's events, timeline, layout, assigned responsibilities, the menu, etc at 2:00 PM. My client was nice enough to listen in and express his gratitude for being there and making the event a success. I was very proud of the entire staff in executing a wonderful event.

By the end of the night, I had happy clients and guests, relieved vendors and staff mentioning to me that the event was easy. That is my job to ensure this is the outcome every single time. The bonus for me was that DW and our efforts played a part on a historic evening that raised $3.4 MILLION for San Francisco's homeless, poor and vulnerable residents. This amount is tied as the highest bid from 2012.

Reserved seating for the VIPs
Our lobby using our lounge furniture. 

Live performances were done

Glide and Warrior fans

Please consider booking your event with me at DW in San Francisco. Email me! I would be more than happy to assist. Please support the following businesses and organizations.

Server, Courtney, Bar Manager Wes, and I, Partner and Events Director