Saturday Dinner: Lumpia

Can’t make it to a Filipino restaurant? I hear you. I’m sorry if you don’t have one in your area. Three days of being sick, my roommate and I cancelled our holiday party at the house. Wine was pulled to be served, beer was donated by a dear friend, the house was decorated and lumpia was planned to be served. Ingredients sat in my fridge waiting to be used. Feeling a bit better to be productive, music played on my iPhone and preparations begun.

I recruited my roommate, Kim, to help me roll. She says she hasn’t done so in several years but she did a good job.

I fried them up, had a bottle of chili sauce for her and a vinegar mixture for me: vinegar, soy sauce, garlic salt and pepper.

The lumpia wasn’t as tasty as I have made in before. Some pieces can be eaten by itself and not requiring dips or sauces. This was lacking. The pork was missing the seasoning the recipe called, perhaps that was it. Nonetheless, I will try again.

Related posts:
More Than OK Poke + Lumpia
Goldilocks – Daly City, California

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+43% in 2019

I am happy to have increased my annual travel sales by 43% over my first full year in business! This year, I have booked a honeymoon in Phuket and the Maldives, a Royal Caribbean International cruise in the Caribbean, an elopement to Maui, a first European trip for a 40th birthday to Nice, Barcelona and in between, a girls’ trip to Napa, beachfront properties in Santa Cruz and more! Thank you to my amazing clients and friends for their support and referrals. You have played a part in helping me reach some of my personal goals, gain more independence, and allowed me to see more of this beautiful world. Thank you.

New goals have been set for 2020 and I hope to explore more regions to inspire you!

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So Blonde, So Similar

Where’s Pinky going?

A busty blonde was heading backstage to see my Los Lonely Boys at the June 2008 outdoor concert on the river in Guerneville, California. Who knew this same blonde would become such a dear friend? Of the 49 LLB concerts I have been to since we have encountered each other, we have grown close. She called my late dog, Bevo, her ‘boyfriend.’ Her tween daughter and I shared a concert seat. We have been to a 49er game together, wine tasting in Sonoma and have been trusted with each others furbabies.

Los Lonely Boys concert – Mountain Winery, Saratoga, California
Stella & Dot jewelry
Uptown Theater – Napa, California

Posting a photo of what I will be wearing for my best friend’s holiday party in San Francisco, I get a text from my favorite blonde.

Girl!! I need a Christmas party outfit. Anything you have that would be borrowable?

A sleepover was scheduled and many outfits were tried on. She took with her two Hot Miami Styles dresses and one I wore for my birthday out wine tasting last year. She also took my favorite Jessica Simpson pumps and great Nine West shoes. To be frank, she looked better in that dress than I ever did. It is amazing she that we are the same height, size and shoe size. Doesn’t she look amazing?

Hot Miami Styles dress and BCBG shoes and Stella & Dot clutch and jewelry.

Opening up my closet helped me find articles I haven’t worn in quite some time! I even wore shoes I wore a New Year’s Eve party in San Francisco out to dinner at Buon Appetito. They hurt and will most likely go up on Poshmark soon. There, we were able to catch up as its been a few months since I have seen her. Because it isn’t important, I didn’t realize that we had over a ten year in age difference. We discovered that we met when she was my age. Isn’t that amazing? I love how we have managed to be friends throughout the years. To many more, Teresa!

My closet exploded!

Related posts:
Los Lonely Boys Back in San Francisco

Fitness Fun

This One Busy Bee being in between full-time jobs leaves some time to focus on some fitness goals. I am usually at my local 24 Hour Fitness with my headphones on and perhaps a magazine for some Me time. It is a lot more fun with someone this past weekend.

My roommate does not have a gym membership. On the rare weekend days that we are home at the same time, I am able to convince her to join me at the small gym space we have in the condo complex. She has the greatest gym face. It is part pleading “no more,” part a reluctant OK. I wasn’t able to capture her ‘gym face’ this time around but the fact that she and I are both sore, we definitely did some work.

Music is playing from my “Kick 13.1 Miles’ Ass” playlist I used for my first half marathon or the Jennifer Lopez station on Amazon Music. When Kim would sing along, that would tell me she could add more weight. She stopped singing. She’s a good sport.

She would stay for an hour and I would stay in the gym for a bit longer. Today’s Sunday weigh-in was fine. Some progress was made but I have a lot to go to reach my 2020 goal in terms of body fat.

When the land is dry and hiking trails are not so muddy, I am hoping to get back to exploring on foot. Stay tuned for more posts on hikes.

Related posts:
Let’s Hike – January 2017
Let’s Hike – Lake Chabot
Let’s Hike – Briones and Bonehead

Disposal Disposal

This year has been filled with home improvement tasks. Thankfully I have been home to fix them immediately. This One Busy Bee would rather be on a beach in Maui or enjoying a bottle of wine in Italy than getting really dirty. As a homeowner, you have to attempt to attempt to fix it yourself in order to save money. I have replaced pipes and fixed my washer. The garbage disposal has been giving me some issues. I was able to fix it with the hex key and cleared jams. This time, the same issue was happening but I nearly stripped the hex key.

I attempted to clean out the disposal as much as I could. I cleared the blades of debris and made sure they moved easily. I took a butter knife and cleaned ‘gunk’ out from the perimeter. It was definitely gross.

I eventually gave up. It was time to dispose of the the disposal. I headed off to Home Depot to purchase another disposal. A hundred dollars later and forty-five minutes of install, clean-up and disposal, we were back in business.

SnapChat – Bappletree

I hope I don’t have to do another home improvement project anytime soon. But I did it!

Joe Nichols Live!

The San Francisco Bay Area is full of music venues. In the East Bay, we have The Concord Pavillion where I have seen B. B. King and of course the Los Lonely Boys. We have the Fox Theater in Oakland where I have seen my favorite female artist, Christina Aguilera. Just two minutes south of Hayward, where I reside, there is The Saddle Rack in Fremont. There, this country music-loving One Busy Bee saw Joe Nichols.

Thanks to my roommate for the invitation to see this good looking country singer. Refreshing my memory with his songs via Amazon Prime Music while I replaced my garbage disposal, I realized I didn’t know that many of his songs! Nonetheless, music in general is great and has health benefits.

The doors were scheduled to open at 7 PM. We headed south thirty minutes and found parking immediately. We waited in line to go thru security and to get a close seat. We found seats three tables back. Kim, my roommate, said this is the first time she has been to a concert there that had tables at all on the dance floor. Waiting for the opening act, I ordered food at the snack bar. With a Yelp check-in, you can get a free appetizer from a select menu they provide you at the menu. I went with the Super Nachos for $9 and the Parmesan tator tots, plus an Angry Orchard cider for me and a Blue Moon for Kim.

The Canadian opening act performed and it was time for Joe Nichols. He looked like country’s Heath Ledger with his long hair. He played my favorite, Size Matters. Plus Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off and here’s I’ll Wait For You.

It is always a silly night with Kim. Our selfie with Joe near the stage didn’t work out but that face!

I unfortunately missed out the Meet & Greet. Joe was offering M&G sessions to anyone that purchased any of his merchandise. Next time!

Related posts:
The Saddle Rack – Fremont, California

Companies Sharing My Content – Dec. 2019

I am always thankful for the support I have been given. It takes little effort to like, reTweet or comment on a post and it helps small businesses like mine get some attention. On Instagram, I am getting noticed by some popular brands via my Instagram Stories. I am impressed by these companies paying attention to the users, customers and bloggers that share their product with their own following.


24 Hour Fitness
This has been my gym for many years now and I have 454 check-ins here on Yelp. Today, they re-share this. It’s a good thing to do. A new year is approaching and people need to select a gym to help them reach their new years’ resolution. I have already outlined my 2020 Goals.

Hoku Hawaii Tours
Reading a Hawai’i Magazine on a cardio machine at the gym, I came across an advertisement for Hoku Hawaii Tours. As a Travel Agent focusing on Hawai’i, I would need to be familiar with all the tour operators. I learned that ‘hoku’ means star. I hope to one day be able to personally speak on the quality of this company.

Starbread Bakery
With multiple locations in California, the additcting Seniorita Bread bakery re-shared the storefront photo I shared. I also sent it to my roommate via SnapChat (bappletree) who was in Houston for business asking her not to get jealous. She has brought me a box in the past. I have to thank my former Legal Assistant, Eileen, and now schoolteacher, for exposing me to this delicious treat.

Ledson Winery
Ledson is a winery I often send my clients and previous hotel guests to when they visit Sonoma County for wine tasting. My dear friend, Teresa, introduced me to Ledson during a fun wine tasting outing. As a gift, she brought me a tin of chocolate covered caramels. How thoughtful.

AAA Via Magazine
Reading another publication at the gym, this time it was a AAA Via Magazine and an article on Palm Springs, California. I love architecture and the article mentioned tours to some modern homes. One property has a natural rock divides a window of two rooms. How unique. Too bad I didn’t see the mention in time to see if they commented on my post.


Rock Wall Wine Company
Reporting from their Urban Paradise event recently, I got a fire reaction to my live video.

Cool Whip
Making a pie needs this easily ready topping. Thanks for the “100”


Argonaut Hotel
You have to love it when a company has some personality!

Betsey Johnson
This #BetseyBabe wore Betsey Johnson blue heels for her 2012 wedding and again for the last time at the recent holiday party in San Francisco. I also gifted my niece a puppy backpack and I got myself a matching wallet here on the Time Flies post. Thanks for the love!

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Current Instagram followers
bappletree – 1,207
werehungrytoo – 777
onebusybeeeent – 376

"That's My Guy"

12/18/18 – My tired Puppy Love.
Always to my right.

My world got a lot more lonelier one year ago today.

Bevo came to me in a dream two nights ago, the same night he last slept next to me two days before he passed last year. There were a couple of times when he went quite a few seconds without breathing that night. I would say his name when I panicked and he breathed. In my dream, I felt his weight of 26 pounds as I carried him as I used to and I could feel his stare. The night before he passed was the most difficult. I didn’t want to leave him at that hospital in Campbell, alone. I am surprised I left the parking lot.

I immediately ordered the MRI the next morning and didn’t wait for them to call me with the results. I went to the hospital. Christy met me just in time when they showed me how massive his brain tumor was on the screen. I was devastated. Thank you for being there for me, Christy.

All I wanted was my Bevo with me. They let me take him home and he wasn’t looking good. I tried to make him comfortable. He couldn’t even walk in a straight line or stand for very long. He laid down just under the countertop in the living room/dining room. I grabbed a pillow and laid next to him. He turned onto his right sight, stretched and probably had a seizure. His breathing was faint and his eyes were lifeless. I put my ear to his body and can still hear a faint, sporadic pump. I’m sure I told him I loved him. And then he was gone. We were maybe home for 45 minutes. My Bevo Love waited to come home to pass and didn’t allow me to make the hard decision to put him down.

I can’t believe it’s been a year. His bed, his toys and his treat bucket are all where he left them. I don’t have the heart to move them or get rid of it. I’m not ready. The Bevo bed in Kim’s room also hasn’t moved.

Today had to be the day that I did something in Bevo’s memory. I pondered over ideas. A contender was just four, small paw prints under my left collarbone – one paw print for each letter of his name and close to my heart. I never thought I’d get a portrait tattoo but his face, that mug! It always made me smile. He was so expressive. I had to get it on the inside, just above my right ankle because he always slept between my legs and that leg bent always made an enclosed space for him. How he didn’t suffocate under the covers, idk. Plus, he was always on my right side – his bed is to the right of my bed, he’d ride shot gun in the Civic and always be to my right on the floor as I worked from home.

Vance at Simms Ink in Hayward, California.

Oh, how I miss my Bevo. He was what I loved since first sight, my reason for coming home, the constant that would never tire of my attention, love, affection, spoiling and even silliness. He comforted me when I was sad, and boy, did he know! He was always happy to see me, missed me when I was gone greeting me with aggressive, sloppy kisses and had the energy to keep up on hikes, road trips, travels and allll the wineries. He was THE best dog. Now, he’ll always be a big part of my story and people will ask about this dog’s silly face. “That’s my guy, my Bevo.”

New Year’s Eve 2008 – Davis, California
Christmas 2012 – Hayward, California
He loved selfies. Not really. – Hayward, California
Kisses right back at you.

Bevo Manzano
10/14/08 – 12/18/18

Vance on Instagram
Simms Ink, Hayward in Instagram

Rock Wall's Urban Paradise Event – 12/15/19

Rock Wall Wine Company is considered an urban winery located on Alameda island in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area. Operated by Winemaker, Shauna Rosenblum, this young lady has done well with herself. As the daughter of Kent Rosenblum, a man who helped put California Zinfandel on the map, Shauna’s senses developed naturally and now shares her own creations throughout the nation. Rock Wall took us to the islands at the Urban Paradise event.

When you drive thru the tunnel or over a bridge to get to Alameda island, you’re not quite there yet. Reach the old naval base and you can imagine the activity the area had back in the day. Hangers are now Faction Brewing Company, St. George Spirits, a gym and of course Rock Wall Wine Company. The beautiful skyline of the concrete jungle that is San Francisco shifts your vehicle to auto-pilot passed the main entrance to the tasting room and as far as you can get to the edge of the lot. Yes, this will be your view from the main tasting room. I have spent many days here with friends enjoying Shauna’s wines outside on the deck or playing bocce ball.

Back to this particular event, the VIP hour-long preview for media, members and investors was held in a smaller tasting room in the hanger. The room displayed photos of Kurt Rosenblum, a bar lined with the many wine offerings, a cheese and charcuterie platter, tables and chairs, a lounge area near the fireplace and a Christmas tree. There, Chelsea, the Director of PR, greeted my guest and I.

Wristbands were applied and an invitation to try the new releases was appreciated. The staff wore all black and warm smiles. We started with the blanc de blanc sparkling. It was the perfect wine to start the event with. The aromatics were sweet and tastes of stonefruit.

Moving onto the Fiano, a white, Italian grape I cannot recall enjoying in some time. Chelsea, someone who enjoys to cook, says she would pair this with a fatty fish. The Nebbiolo, another Italian grape native to the Piedmont area, was another varietal I do not see too often on restaurant wine menus. I thought it was light with a tart finish, a perfect holiday party wine. Chelsea says it was low-alcohol, subtle and she would pair it with pasta or pizza.

Though the VIP time was for an hour, the 45 minutes I had to enjoy was definitely not long enough to try the Romancer, Cab Franc and several Zins that were on the counter. Oh, the joys of wine tasting and talking about the experience and where each wine takes you. You lose track of time. After a brief stay in the lounge area, we made our way to the main event.

Instagram Story time

Down the hall and through double doors, you walk into a large, chilled room with wine barrels stocked high and lined along the perimeter. Glasses with Rock Wall logos are up for grabs, tables of wine and catered offerings by Elisa’s Catering, Sonoma Creamery and more were also available. Music by Ukulenny filled the room and colorful room centerpieces and string decorations hung from the ceiling.

The cheese spread was quite impressive. Elisa’s Catering stole the show with their delicious crab cakes, fried chicken and waffles, meatballs and ahi poke cones.

Be sure to follow Rock Wall on social media and sign up for their newsletter to attend one of these events in the future. You won’t regret it!

Related articles:
Learn the Story Behind Alamada’s Urban Winemaking Spot, Rock Wall Wine Company – KGO 7, 5/11/19
Shauna Rosenblum Puts Fun into Wine at Rock Wall – Berkeleyside Nosh, 5/4/19

Contact me to attend and report on your next event. Rock Wall also has done private events here as weddings. Contact me to be your Wedding Planner/Event Planner.

Holiday Party in San Francisco

San Francisco is a top destination. Top your stay with a view of the Golden Gate Bridge from your room at the Argonaut Hotel after a holiday party at Fisherman’s Wharf and you wonder if it could get any better than that.

I have had the honor of being my best friend’s date for her company holiday party the last three years. This year, it took place at event space at Williams Sonoma near Ghiradelli Square. The room was pretty plain, not something you would expect from a company that sells housewares and home furnishings. But it was fun with a bar, large dance floor, photo booth but only two restrooms. If the party wasn’t at night, the view of the aquatic park would be nice for daytime events.

Can I just live here, pleeeeaaaassseeee?” -my tweet this morning.

The hotel we stayed at was definitely the highlight of the stay. I was a Concierge at The Argonaut Hotel for a year and I do miss it. I interviewed at the location with a third-party and I was hoping to have my ‘home’ concierge desk at The Argonaut. I got my wish. I made friends with the staff and it was so great to see many of them again. The decor is gorgeous with a blue nautical theme, exposed wooden beams and original brick. It was the cannery back in the day. My concierge desk was always right by the big, beautiful silver Christmas tree. I loved it.

The rooms are spacious and the beds are comfortable. If you can get a room with a view, do it! I would be happy to help. I can also assist you with activities to do in the city and I always loved booking dinner reservations.

Until next year’s holiday party…

Related posts:
A Texan Elopement in San Francisco
Filled on Fillmore
Twists at the Wharf