Wednesday, July 26, 2017

My First Influenster Box

I qualified?! I received a box of beauty goods with a retail value of over $250 from Influenster. My job is to use the products, write reviews and share them via social media.

Here is what I received!

My favorite product I received was the Aquis hair towel. My hair goes down to my butt and though on the smaller side, it wraps majority of my hair.  My Instafriend said she has had one or two for years and loves it. I use it every time I shower.

The next product I love is the Brow Food eye brown combo of powder and a pencil. The powder works so much better than a pencil because it's on eyebrow hairs, not entirely on your skin. It darkens your brows up. I enjoy it.

The next favorite is the Julep 'Boost Your Radiance' oil. Sometimes my skin gets pretty oily depending on where I am so putting oil on my face seemed like I was definitely going to get some pimples. I did but but a few weeks in, it hasn't happened again. There is no scent to it and it is easily dispensed

The other item I use every day is the Dermalogica eye cream. I have four jobs so I am very tired. I need an eye cream that lightens dark circles and helps smooth developing lines. It was a good size product and with a device to ensure I get all of the product out of the tube. Take note, toothpaste companies.

I was also given bottles of Ouidad shampoo and conditioner for curly hair. I do not have curly hair but used it to see if it moisturized my hair and left it feeling clean and soft. Not so much. I'm going to give it to one on my staff.

The last product was a powder and a brush by Sigma that I haven't used because I don't wear that sort of stuff. I'll also be giving this to one on my staff.

How did I get an Influenster box? I signed up on the website, filled out a profile, reviewed some items and answered a survey for their latest box. I was happy to have received it! I've been a user for over a year. After a few completed surveys saying I don't qualify, I gave up. I don't even remember requesting this particular box but I'm glad it came! Try it out!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Friday SOMA Adventures - July 2017

We love Hooch. My Instafriend and I used it twice this week. Hooch is an app where you pay $9.99 a month and redeem free cocktails once per day at participating bars and restaurants. DW uses it and I signed up. I signed up Instafriend and I earned a free month. If you use my code '94aeef', your first month is $1. If you're in San Francisco, this app will pay for itself in one visit. Most cocktails are in the $12 -$14 range, so happy Hooch-ing and saving money. Don't forget to tip your bartender!

When Instafriend and I go out, we try to go to different places to try new spots and use our Hooch free drink! We wished Hazel was a participating restaurant. We love that place. This time, we decided on trying Elixir in the Mission at 16th and Guerrero.  I walked towards her house from DW and 'picked her up,' if you will. It was such a warm day and walking after about a block, I joked to see if she would rather take an Uber. She considered it because it was so warm. Or, we could go to Wish between 11th and 12th on Folsom. We opted for Wish.

On our way to Wish, we stopped off at a boxing gym and inquired about classes. We took a look at the schedule and the one that would fit my schedule and would be more interesting to me would be the boxing class on a Thursday at 5:30 PM. The first class would be $15, normally $25 per day, and depending on your package, the cost could be $130 per month. That sounded pretty steep for me with doing more yoga and just increasing my 24 Hour Fitness membership to more than one location. Then David gave us class passes for our first class being free. We took the card and headed towards Wish.

Another detour had us inside City Lights, a showroom for, y'know, lights. They had a lot of interesting and cool fixtures but as big as their showroom was and as many CSRs that were present, no one said hello or goodbye to us the entire time we were there. It takes two seconds to say hello.

We got to Wish and it looked closed. We were 9 minutes early so we went across the way and went to The Willows. I have been there once before and remembered they had two bars. See thru the glass wall to where they stock their back up liquor. Turn left and you'll see tables and chairs, a pool table, a TV, pinball machines, their bar and a DJ area.


We went with two cocktails, the pork belly donuts and the carne asada fries. My cocktail was a beautiful purple color, made with whiskey and hibiscu sand heavy on the foam. Instafriend's Impeachment cocktail was lacking ginger beer. The pork belly donuts were obviously friend but sadly, disappointing. The dough was not cooked thru. Majority was left behind. The carne asada fries were a hit. Good choice, Instafriend!

Next stop was what should have been our first stop: Wish. I jokingly said hi to City Lights as we walked by again as I was positive they wouldn't say hello either way. Wish was now open for almost an hour and a few guests were already at the bar. We grabbed a seat along the wall and went to the bar to order our Hooch drink. The blonde gal behind the bar didn't know what we meant. The woman wearing the Bond Bar shirt knew. Bond Bar was another participating Hooch bar. Our orders were placed and we picked them up. The Honey Comb cocktail was made with Four Roses bourbon, lemon & bitters. It wasn't mind-blowing but hey, we tried! Girl chat continued, left our tip and went our separate ways.


This was the adventures with Instafriend and I Hooching it up! Stay tuned for future posts.

Monday, July 3, 2017

#AshtangaYogaChallenge - July 2017

I remember first trying yoga when I was still in college when a few of my coworkers and I would gym hop by using their free trial days. I remember going to a gym and didn't like how the older man was touching the people in class. Before he got to me, I got up and left.

I have also tried hot yoga with my cousin. I drove out to Sacramento after a night of partying. I got up early and I wasn't supposed to eat before this class but I had to pull off and pick up food - McDonald's of all things. I was also a bit hungover but I didn't want to flake on my cousin. I did what I could in the class. I was incredibly uncomfortable and hot and not in the mindset that this class was supposed to be beneficial to me.

Then recently in Kauai, I tried a booty yoga class with my cousin who has been attending for awhile. It was really fun and I had a good workout. It was a bit more hip and a faster paced. I like boxing, lifting weights and that was more my style.

As of late, I have been feeling like my age is catching up with me because I'm going a million miles a minute, now working four jobs and I am unable to relax during my last two massage sessions. I absolutely cannot turn off my brain because I want or need to do this, that and that.

At a recent luncheon to introduce my travel companions to Paris this September, Lisa and Mercedes, Lisa mentioned a yoga challenge she's participating in. Mercedes was in! I was hesitant and didn't commit at first. Then during my latest massage, I again couldn't relax and decided as I was lying there that I was going to sign up and commit.

The 30-day yoga challenge is to sign up with and post a photo of the pose everyday or post something related to the challenge and use the appropriate hashtag and tag the correct accounts. I signed up as soon as I got home, paid the $14.99 and started watching videos to learn about the company and the non-profit it supports.

So here are my posts!

Day 1

Day 2
Snapchat - 'bappletree'

Day 3
Leggings by Lularoe

Day 4
Happy July 4th!

Leggings by Lularoe - Stars by Snapchat 'bappletree'

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

 Day 8

Wine Tasting July 2017 - Sebastopol, CA

July is here and we kicked it off well with a trip to wine country. The event was booked a week before with Dianne, a Rodan & Fields, rep that was at the Summer Soire event at my home last weekend, stating she's never been. I researched tasting rooms that do not require an appointment and we ended up with a group of 8.

Dianne didn't end up making it after all but we had fun. She totally missed out on Ektimo Vineyards, Fog Crest Vineyards and Macphail at the Barlowe, plus beer and BBQ at the Crooked Goat Brewery.

The drive was easy up from Hayward to Sebastopol. We sang country songs and my International trip is booked for May 2018 to Jamaica, the Cayman Islands and Cozumel, Mexico! With Cour Court's timeshare, she had these special offers to travel. A seven day cruise is booked and I highly recommend paying for the open bar! For my 2012 cruise, it only cost us $700 on Celebrity. Completely worth it!

We arrived at our first stop, Ektimo Vineyards, after a bumpy road off the main road. We were the last group to arrive but quickly introduced my friends that were already there. And we got to it with flights and great hospitality provided by Ken. Angela and her mom, Dolores, are chardonnay drinkers, Kim likes white, Court, the rest of the group and I typically prefer red wines. Everyone bought a bottle so it was a good visit! I went with a Petite Syrah bottle. The last time I went wine tasting in Sebastopol was probably 2014 or 2015 and I did buy a Petite Syrah bottle then as well. We went to Sunce and Dutton Goldfield and Ironhorse on that trip.

Our next stop was at Fog Crest Vineyards. It has a beautiful entrance, a long driveway up to the tasting room that we saw had a patio as we made the turn and gasped. Park on the gravel slope and walk thru the garden and you'll see a banner saying the Winemaker's statement saying the rose is the best he's ever made. 

We walked in and started off at the counter with 7 tastings. We said we wanted to sit on the patio and the nice gents set up a table for us and positioned the umbrellas appropriately. They poured us this self-promoted rose first and that there were notes of strawberries and peaches. "OMG" was my response. We all fell in love with this rose. It was amazing.

We continued with the tasting with two cheese plates and Oliver was attentive and helpful. We had their estate Pinot Noir and two Chardonnays. My good friend, Nikki, came out as well after some family time. It was great to have her. She has two more days at a job she's not happy with so it's nice to be able to celebrate with her on a change needed in her life.

Court Court immediately wanted to join the wine club. I don't join wine clubs as I have so much wine easily accessible to me thru DW. But this rose! So damn good. Court signed up and I got a total of three bottles thru her for 20% off - one Pinot Noir, one Chardonnay and of course that delicious Rose!

Angela and her mom headed out, saying she's a lightweight. But we did want to schedule a bar crawl in Hawyard. I'll plan that. We said our goodbyes but not before a photo.

With Court Court signing up for the wine list, we were treated to several double and triple tastes of anything we wanted. I reconfirmed that I wanted those three bottles. They were pretty amazing. We went inside to get our bottles and they were nice enough to pour us some from a limited release of 50 cases. Yum!

I passed on more wine onto Court Court and said I had to drive. Then they gave me an organic Capri Sun juice pack. What service!

We were getting hungry and had to go. Another cheese plate wasn't going to hold us over. So we made our way to the Barlowe but first stopped at MacPhail with another cheese plate. This was my second time here and we sat outside though it was a bit breezy. This is where I got a nice tan. Unfortunately, we weren't that thrilled with the wines. Fog Crest was hard to beat! No one bought any bottles but friendly service from Cameron.

We then made our way for some beer at the Crooked Goat Brewing Company.  Our group sat outside on the patio with picnic tables with umbrellas. Owners brought their dogs, we had beer flights and almost everything on the food menu. The winning beer for me was the Vanilla Bean Stout and the pulled pork sliders were great. The Caesar salad had a light dressing, the corn bread and butter was good however the much anticipated mac and cheese was a bit of a disappointment for the table. But we had a great time and made new memories.

Until next time, Sebastopol. I'm sure Court Court and I will be back to pick up her shipment and to wine taste some more. There are so many places!

Check out my California winery log HERE! Start yours and share the link with me in the comments below!