Sunday, April 30, 2017

#StillInIt - Week 1

I lost TWO pounds in one week! That's pretty good when I'm trying to lose 10 in total. My body fat percentage, BMI and body measurements decreased but my muscle mass has increased. I have been dedicated to working out every day, hitting my 10,000 steps, eating better and limiting myself to one drink per week. I am ready to take on Week 2. But this is what it took.

Sunday
I took my measurements in the morning before I hit the gym and met up with friends to check out wedding venues and wine taste in Sonoma County. I am scoping out venues for my cousin's June 2018 wedding and gaining my knowledge of local venues. I indulged in cheese and charcuterie, wine, pasta and dessert. I had plans to wake up by 4:30 or 4:45 AM the next day so I can start the challenge and my day off right. I was glad to be home by 8 PM so I could meal prep steak, brown rice and stuffed mushrooms and in bed at a reasonable hour.



Monday
I used to wake up early to hit the gym so I know I could do it. I turned on two alarms on my phone and placed it in my bathroom to charge at that outlet so I would be forced to get up to turn off the piano alarm. It worked. I was at the gym by 5:30 PM.

I love BodyRock HIIT videos and I think it goes well with my goals of losing fat and getting some cardio in between lifting weights, which I love. I did jumping jacks in between sets, plate twists for abs and deadlifts, sumo squats and good mornings for legs. I only had 24 minutes of cardio but I got some in.

I lifted a total of 4,800 pounds.

My roommate who used to be a Personal Trainer and has been going to the gym even earlier than I have been going told me that I should make sure I snack, especially if I'm using up all my energy with an early work out. So I picked up some goodies from 24 Hour Fitness. They were having a special for 5 for $9.95. I picked these bad boys up. The guy at the front counter said he really liked The Complete Cookie so that's why I picked up more of those than the OhYeah! bars. I do want a cookie sometimes. I can't lie. 

Snapchat - 'bappletree' - Earphone by Apple. Gym - 24 Hour Fitness. Shoes by Brooks.


Tuesday
Same schedule but did 450 crunches, and worked on chest with two different kinds of chest presses and butterflies. Cardio for only 14 minutes. I believe I was running late.

I lifted a total of 4,950 pounds.

It also just happened to be WorldPenguinDay, one of my favorite animals. I looked down at my wrist and I was wearing my Alex & Ani penguin bracelet I was gifted for assisting in planning a friend's bridal shower at DW, my FitBit of course and my Shredz barbell bracelet. 


That night was also my first attempt at being social during this challenge. I went to Tacolicious for the first time in the Mission and met up with fellow blogger, Mitzi. We were chatting about doing an event together and I was so pleased to have met her during our Women Wednesday events at DW. I had the Marina Salad with a jalepeno vinaigrette and the asparagus per her recommendation, with a watermelon fresca. Everything was delicious! I think I did pretty well in eating rather healthy. I love sour cream and I love drinking. No mezcal flights for me this time! Seven weeks to go!


Wednesday
Same schedule and worked on arms with barbell curls, hammer curls, concentration curls and abs with plate twists, seated leg tucks and reverse crunches. I opted for the bike for cardio for 15 minutes.

I lifted a total of 1,890 pounds.

The top was new and given to me by my new friend, Lisa. So much boobage, especially after chest day.

Snapchat - 'bappletree' - Earphone by Apple. Gym - 24 Hour Fitness. Shoes by Brooks. Blender Bottle.

Thursday & Friday
I went to the gym but am not sure what I worked on as I didn't have a chance to log the sessions onto the Bodyspace app. I was a bit tired on Friday. I have the photo to prove it. But the arms look good. Thanks to the lighting.

Snapchat - 'bappletree'  - Blender Bottle - Zip up by Puma.
Snapchat - 'bappletree' - Earphone by Apple. Gym - 24 Hour Fitness. Shoes by Brooks.

I did have a drink at the opening of Hazel Southern Bar and Restaurant though.


Saturday
I now have my weekends free so I was happy to have a 2-hour sesh at the gym. I was able to sleep in and like everyone else, I prefer it to be more on the empty side. Some people have no gym etiquette. Like the guy decided to leave his stuff by the pull down machine. Thinking he was somewhere and in the middle of the set, I used the machine next to it. He came back, asked I needed it, tried to say we could switch off and I had to tell him twice that I'll wait til he's done. Then he plays his music on a little speaker for everyone to hear. Yo, Dude, this isn't your garage. I am not interested in your ghetto fabulous music. It's interfering with my country. :) By the way, your form is terrible. OK, I'm not ranting.

I worked on back with plenty of rows, lat pull downs which I am obsessed with tightening up, butterflies, then abs and an hour on the cardio machine.

I lifted a total of 4,500 pounds.

That evening, I meal prepped and made parmesan lemon pepper and garlic zucchini, cabbage and sausage. It was tasty.  Thanks, Pinterest.

Snapchat - 'bappletree' - Car - Honda.


Sunday
I got up later than I should have today and was going to take my Lola to church afterwards. I was pressed for time and didn't spend as much time as I wanted to there. I took my measurements that morning and felt good. I made progress! I also tried the Lenny & Larry's The Complete Cookie Birthday Cake cookie. It tasted a whole lot better than the other cake one. 

I did mountain climbers in between sets and air bikes in between sets, clean and presses, single leg deadlifts with shoulder presses, jumping jacks with an elevated platform in between and 47 minutes of cardio.

I lifted a total of 1,800 pounds.


Snapchat - 'bappletree' - Earphone by Apple. Gym - 24 Hour Fitness.

I used to have a goal of lifting a total 1 million pounds and then I would reward myself with something pretty. Well, I prematurely already did that in October when I was in Milan. I bought two designer purses. So, I really need to reach that 1 million mark before October. I think I can do it.

So here's to Week 2! If you're participating in the challenge, let's connect! I am 'bappletree' Good luck!

Looking for advertisers and collaborations who want to partner with me on this journey. You'll get mentioned on posts like these. See details HERE. Hope to hear from you!
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This is #25 of 30 daily blog posts to hit 10,000 hits in one month. I did the same challenge in April 2016. Thank you for visiting and please check back tomorrow and share anything you like!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Hazel Southern Bar & Restaurant - San Francisco, CA

"Cash me outside" when I don't have to be at work to run an event. It was my first day of me letting go and I didn't give it a second thought as soon as I was outside, in the sun, heading over to meet my #Instafriend, Julia, at a new bar, Hazel. Upon arrival, I was greeted with a familiar face that I have known for over 10 years, Yabari. He was working the door and has been my favorite security crew since. He gave me a big hug, a kiss on top of my head and like the gentleman that he is, he opened the door.

In the dim room, I was greeted by a good-looking male, introduced myself like he should have been expecting me and apparently he was. Julia must've mentioned she was waiting for me and that I told her to meet me there.

To the left were pool tables, a floor to ceiling head shot of a woman with an afro plus tables and seating. To my right, there were booths with communal tables jutting out and televisions everywhere. Sixteen to be exact. I found my #Instafriend at the bar. She had already made friends with a liquor rep that was two seats down from her and they were trying each other's cocktails.

I sat in my bar stool with a backing which is nice. Placed my bag on the hook underneath the bar. The under bar was wood and there were boomboxes and speakers carved out it. Loved that detail. Music from L.L. Cool J, Mariah Carey and Jodeci were playin' and it had us singing and swaying in our seat.

Julia ordered a sazarac. I was on this first week of the 8-week #Stillinit Fitness Challenge and haven't had a drop of liquor in five days. That's pretty impressive. Come to find out that Julia was the first customer on their first day opening to the public. So we were the first ladies. In celebration of how cool that is, how cool our new local bar, seeing her, making changes and receiving some exciting news earlier that day, I was going to allow myself my one drink that day. I had no plans of being overly social over the weekend so yeah, I deserved it.


I looked over the menu and they have a lot of whiskies. Oh, how I miss you. I did go with the Watermelon Smash. Hey, it had fruit and whiskey. I'm ok with that. We started with two salads, the kale caesar salad and the cucumber salad with onions and tomatoes and a sour cream like dressing. The lady next to us had plates and plate coming out. She was dining by herself and she had a notebook in front of her with a pen. I asked her if she was a food critic. She said she lived nearby and has been waiting for this place to open. She had the chicken and waffles and Julia and I agreed we were having that. The waffle was a sweet potato waffle. Awesome!






My drink was great. So great that Julia ordered one from Brian, our friendly Bartender. I went with a water next. See! Only one drink for me. That's control. However, when the chicken and waffles came out, I planned on peeling the fried goodness off and just eating the chicken. The piece of chicken I picked up was too flat it wouldn't be anything if I peeled it off. And the waffles already had butter and the bourbon maple syrup already on it. Brian, part devil, brought us an extra side of both. I confess. I dipped. And like Freak Nasty would say, "when I dip, you dip, we dip."


Julia and I were having a good time like we always do. We decided this was one of our new favorite spots and that she was going to suggest that she have date #2 there. Get it, Girl.

Well done, son of Hazel, whom the restaurant is named after.  Sounds like a perfect Mother's Day gift.

I can't name any names but I hear they will also be doing brunch soon.

We will be back.



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This is #24 of 30 daily blog posts to hit 10,000 hits in one month. I did the same challenge in April 2016. Thank you for visiting and please check back tomorrow and share anything you like!

Catastrophe - Season 3

I have to thank my friend, Megan, for recommending this show to me. I was in the middle of watching The Man in the High Castle when she came up from LA to visit late last year. She's an actress so I took her advice. She also turned me onto Orange is the New Black, but I'm saving myself the $7.99 a month and sticking to Amazon Prime. I haven't watched since that lady got hit by the van at the end of one season. Shhh!

I never really check in on Facebook when I am watching a show. However, when I felt like I had done a second ab workout after within the first 10 minutes of the first episode, I was hooked and had to thank her publicly for bringing joy to my day while I got ready for work.


The story is about a couple that had a one night stand and end up getting pregnant and how they deal with it. Shocker, right? Practice safe sex, People! The writing is straight out of conversations that I do have with my best friend, my family and hopefully my significant other. It's raw, blunt and hilarious. I don't think I've laughed as often during a show. Well done, Amazon. Also, is that the Eternity Necklace by Stella & Dot in episode 3? I think it is!


This particular season was just released this week. I received a notification on my phone while I was at work and gasped. Yes! I have already finished The Man in the High Castle, The Collection, watched a few of Mozart in the Jungle but lost interest, Sneaky Pete which I loved and will be available for a second season, and was in the middle of The American Playboy (Article by Rolling Stone). I was looking forward to getting that stomach ache in a good way again. However, though some really funny parts, it takes a sad turn. Be prepared.

In addition, it was the last season with the late Carrie Fisher. You all loved her at Princess Leia of Star Wars.









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This is #23 of 30 daily blog posts to hit 10,000 hits in one month. I did the same challenge in April 2016. Thank you for visiting and please check back tomorrow and share anything you like!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Back At It!

I have been a Stella & Dot Stylist since 2011. I have definitely taken a step back since opening an ambitious new business in San Francisco but I am now back! I have goals to reach and I could take advantage of the #UltimateSideHustle as they call it. That's the beauty of this business. You can make it fit into your schedule. It's flexible and the jewelry really do sell themselves. I constantly get compliments. I respond with "It's Stella & Dot. Can I give you my card?" Easy peasy.

My upline and coach, Sandy, posted that 81% of her entire team of Stylists under her are Virtual Stylists. In the world of blogs and Instagram, just sharing the style via social media is so easy. Make some extra money by sharing what you're wearing today with which pieces or with images and promotional items that Stella & Dot provide and link it to your personal web page like MINE.

Thru April 30th, purchase one of these bracelets to benefit the Hollyrod Foundation.
I am back at it and have a goal to make at least one sale per week. It's been awhile so I'm starting slow. I also do not currently have a lot of the current products so I need to get rid of a lot of jewelry! And yes, that means SALE! Check out my album on Facebook of samples for sale or make me an offer on any jewelry you see me wearing on my blog. I have over 100 blog posts in relation to Stella & Dot. I'm sure you'll find something you like. Email me what you like!

Let's do an online trunk show! Invite your friends and family from all over the world to your online trunk show. When they spend $50 or more, they are offered to take advantage of pieces part of the month's trunk show exclusives for 50% off. Start earning jewelry rewards when your show has at least four orders totaling $300 or more in net sales. I have 34 pieces of what is currently available if you would like to do a trunk show. I would be happy to!


Interested in signing up as a Stylist for as low as $199? Let me help you! Let's do this together!


Happy shopping!
Happy entrepreneur building!





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This is #22 of 30 daily blog posts to hit 10,000 hits in one month. I did the same challenge in April 2016. Thank you for visiting and please check back tomorrow and share anything you like!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Beer Was the Reason

Remember that day in Maui at one of my father's favorite places to go for Happy Hour? The spot was called the Kaanapali Grille & Tap Room. As a regular there, my father introduced me to one of the managers there. After declaring that I am also in the restaurant industry, the conversation went along the lines of this:

"I'll be going to Oahu to help open a brewery there." - Gary.

"No way! I'm opening a brewery as well!" - Me.

"You should come out. I'll be there over Labor Day weekend and it's my birthday." - Gary.

"OK!" - Me.


When we left the restaurant, I was thinking there's no way my business partner would be OK with me leaving again for Hawaii the following week. He freaks out, "Oh, everyone is taking vacation except me." Boo hoo. Can you hear the fiddle play the saddest song? BUT, what if I asked him for both us, both beer lovers, to go to check it out. The thought of both Operating Partners leaving the business at the same time was a bit scary, but he said OK. After a double take and asking "Are you sure?" once or twice, I didn't give him a chance to change his mind. I booked our flights immediately and even got one of us to fly half off with as one of my Hawaiian Airlines credit card holder perks.

Beer was the reason why I finally got to explore the island of Oahu. Isn't it amazing how some opportunities present themselves? Also, do not be afraid to ask. The worst they can say is 'no.' Though not drinking at the moment, I look forward to the doors that beer will open up for me.

Stay tuned for posts on Oahu from the Top of Waikiki, The Mighty Mo and Pearl Harbor and exploring by myself and meeting new friends including a man with fresh stigmata-like wounds on the tops of his feet. Oh, I love traveling and the people I meet.






Related articles - Maui 2016 - Day 2

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This is #21 of 30 daily blog posts to hit 10,000 hits in one month. I did the same challenge in April 2016. Thank you for visiting and please check back tomorrow and share anything you like!

Monday, April 24, 2017

#FTW

I won $5 from the Monopoly game thru Safeway! It came in one game piece too. Are they all like that? There are 800,000 $5.00 prizes. I'll take it. Along with Monopoly, I have redeemed other Instant Winner game pieces for extra game pieces but have also gotten Pop-Tarts, Open Nature Greek yogurt, Signature branded whole kernel corn, an avocado and french bread from their bakery. Free food? Yes, please!



I also attended a seminar at the Yelp office in San Francisco where they were raffling off a food photo shoot for restaurants. I didn't win the shoot but I did win a swag bag with pint glasses. A lady's name was drawn before me. She was able to choose from the swag bags with coffee mugs or pint glasses. I joked with Rachel that she was crazy and that I still had a chance! And I won!


I continue to enter contests. While listening to the radio, they mention keywords you text to a certain number to win $1,000. I could definitely put that money to good use. Today I searched Maui condos on Zillow for fun. One day.

What is the biggest prize you have won?

Related blog posts - Chances Are... 2017
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This is #20 of 30 daily blog posts to hit 10,000 hits in one month. I did the same challenge in April 2016. Thank you for visiting and please check back tomorrow and share anything you like!

Happy Clients

In this day and age of three-year-olds asking their parents for their iPhones when they're bored and movies available via Amazon Prime, Netflix or Hulu within weeks of it being pulled from movie theaters, I get pretty excited when I receive personal snail mail. I enjoy sending post cards at random to friends and family and I love receiving them in return. My male roommate gets more personal mail than I do! I may be just a little jelly.

Though not snail mail, a card was hand-delivered by a client, thanking me for making her sister-in-law's bridal shower a wonderful event. I checked on the table every so often and they were very happy. My client was sweet, friendly and so appreciative. The card put me in a good mood.





 

Do you send personal snail mail?
How do you show your appreciation?



See more raves on my work as an Event Planner HERE.
See my endorsements and recommendations via LinkedIn.
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This is #19 of 30 daily blog posts to hit 10,000 hits in one month. I did the same challenge in April 2016. Thank you for visiting and please check back tomorrow and share anything you like!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Still In It 2017


#Stillinit17 starts tomorrow and I have declared the below goals.

1) Lose 10 pounds
2) Have ONE alcoholic beverage per week.
3) Eat healthier - no carbs after 5 PM, track what I eat and drink more water
4) Reach 10,000 Fitbit steps
5) Hit the gym HAAAARD


What are your goals for the next 8 weeks?

2015's Still In It 8-week challenge showed little improvement. This year, I am ten pounds heavier, therefore the weight goal. The #250KChallenge was a failure as well. I have had some major changes occur in the last few weeks. I would like to believe they were for a reason and it has lead me to where I am today. Tomorrow, I will continue to adjust to those changes and make the effort to turn them around that benefits me. A little sweat and hard work has never frightened me away.

I will raise tomorrow's morning protein shake to those also on this fitness journey, to my supporters and friends and to those haters that want to see me fail. Thank you for the motivation.






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This is #18 of 30 daily blog posts to hit 10,000 hits in one month. I did the same challenge in April 2016. Thank you for visiting and please check back tomorrow and share anything you like!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Earth Day 2017

We only have one earth just as we only have one body. Let's take care of them, shall we?


Tomorrow, April 22nd, is Earth Day. What are you doing to decrease your carbon footprint? For one day, try to take it a step further and do more than you would any normal day.

I recycle, reuse what I can, don't buy bottled water unless I don't have my Camelbak and I will now be taking BART more. Every little bit helps. Here are some tips.







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This is #17 of 30 daily blog posts to hit 10,000 hits in one month. I did the same challenge in April 2016. Thank you for visiting and please check back tomorrow and share anything you like!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

From Condo to Cabin

There's no doubt that my Boston Terrier is spoiled. He is insured, gets pineapple and cheese every now and then and gets to travel with me as often as I can. If we're driving, he's most likely coming with me. Before he got big, he has been to Pennsylvania and New Jersey via a plane. He's been to Los Angeles, Yosemite, Bodega Bay, Fallbrook and Lake Tahoe. However, this One Busy Bee works a lot, is very social and is often on her phone and her laptop blogging like so. I am giving him a belly rub with my foot as we speak. Bevo is often in the bathroom boarded up by a baby gate and/or in my room with me. It's nice for him to have some space to run around in every so often. He used to have a yard but let's not get into that! (I AM SINGLE!)



On this past quick trip to Boulder Creek, CA to have an overnighter with my best friend and my niece and nephew, the Beeves came with. It was nice to get him out of the condo, let him poop in nature and roam free. He loved the attention the kids were giving him, playing with the other dogs that Christy's friend brought over and just having room. He deserves it. He's a good dog. Here he is enjoying the cabin, getting too hot and sort of playing hide and seek by staying under the truck and exploring.









Do you take your dog every where you go?
What is the farthest place he/she has been to with you?



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This is #16 of 30 daily blog posts to hit 10,000 hits in one month. I did the same challenge in April 2016. Thank you for visiting and please check back tomorrow and share anything you like!

Happy Birthday, Court Court!

We have done quite a bit together in the year and a half that we have known each other. #BernNCourt adventures continue.

She asked me, 'What are we doing for my birthday?"

"When's your birthday?"

"April 11th."

"I'm, I mean guess we're going to see Black Swan."

"OK!"

And just like that, plans were made. It was a similar, quick conversation when I asked her if she wanted to go to Italy or France.

I fell in love with the ballet when Cristen and I decided to go see The Nutcracker. I know people that make it an annual tradition. I have never seen it. Up on the balcony with our $40 tickets, I was captivated. The next week, I bought a 3-pack of tickets for the upcoming season AND even donated a pretty amount. Worth it? Perhaps as we were got to seat orchestra level this time. I was so excited.

But it was Court's birthday. I met her in the lobby of the Twitter building and we walked towards Cafe Delle Stelle on Hayes, as I blew bubbles wherever we went. The bubble tubes were part of our recent Women Wednesday event at DW.

We were sat and looked over the menu. We ordered a bottle of the rose prosecco and appetizers. I had the muscles with gorgonzola with a white wine sauce and flatbreads. Court had a salad. I asked our server if the kitchen could possibly make me a carbonara. I have been craving an amazing carbonara since Italy. He said they couldn't do it and I went with the hand made, hand stuffed Tuscan kale and ricotta ravioli, tossed with a creamy lemon zest. Court went with the rigatoni with sea bass, mushrooms, sweet peas and creamy marsala. We enjoyed the prosecco, I really enjoyed the mussels but I wasn't too thrilled with everything else. We actually had majority of our entrees boxed up and left atop a garbage can on the street for a homeless person.






Dessert did come out for Court and it was tiramisu with a candle. If I knew how to say Happy Birthday in Italian...



We then sought out a bar. Not an uncommon thing for us to do. We popped our head into Absinthe to see if there were any spots at the bar. Negative. We stopped into Arlequin, a wine shop attached to a deli and they served cheese and charcuterie. Nope, no available seats either.  We then stopped at The Hayes Street Grill and found a seat the bar. I offered it up to Court and the sweet lady that was also headed to the ballet was on her way out. We ordered dessert wine and dessert. Unfortunately, they were out of the strawberries and zabaglione so we went with the creme brulee. She enjoyed it.





We texted Mercedes as she was going to go to the ballet too with a coworker. We followed her to the opera house and found her in line for drinks. We were going to meet up after this amazing show.

Swan Lake was gorgeous. I have seen The Nutcracker and Frankenstein. I loved the tutus, the solos by the prima ballerina and the music. Court said she hasn't been to ballet since she was a kid. She loved it as well.




We met back up with Mercedes and her coworker and discovered it was raining outside. Where to next? We needed late night snacks and drinks and decided not to go to DW. So we went to Mr. Tipples to end the night after a fun walk in the rain using our ballet programs as shelter from the rain. We ordered almost everything on the menu and called it a night. Court had to catch Bart back to the deep East Bay.




27. So young.

See the other adventures of #BernNCourt HERE.







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This is #15 of 30 daily blog posts to hit 10,000 hits in one month. I did the same challenge in April 2016. Thank you for visiting and please check back tomorrow and share anything you like!