50GBP/Day London Challenge

Rooftop bar in Melbourne, Australia

With some news landing on my lap the eve before taking off to London, I have to be on a budget during this trip. If you are following my blog, one, thank you. Two, you know that I like to eat. And I typically eat really well. Traveling on a budget is not my style. I have my Kelty backpack packed to save myself from paying the checked luggage fee for this 7-day trip. If I can do that, I can do anything. Except dine at fancy restaurants in London. I am trying to hold back my tears.

I have challenged myself to spend only 50 GBP per day on food and beverages during this stay. I will be in town beginning August 1st thru August 7th looking for specials, cheap bites and the bonus of it being DELICIOUS! I will also be in London on a #MeatlessMonday. I foresee a salad in my future. Photos will be posted on social media. Please follow along and send any recommendations on affordable places to grab a bite at.

#WEREHUNGRYTOO
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Email at bappletree @ gmail

Wish me luck! Hope I don’t starve!

The Boathouse at Disney Springs, Walt Disney World

Full disclosure – if I make new friends that host me or offer to buy me a drink, it does not count towards the daily spend.

OBB Weekly – 7-16-19

Flight at Sons of Liberty Alehouse (SOLA)- San Leandro, CA

This weekly post was to get blog posts up and summarize changes over the week. They can be planned changes or they can spring up at any moment. This past week has been full of these modifications and all for the better. Another week has passed and I appreciate all the unknowns it has brought.

TRAVEL

Stopped mid-step as I was walking out of the room, “I’m what?” I was planning travel for a coworker and was told I should attend as well. They went back and forth whether or not I would go over the last two weeks. Now it’s confirmed. Majority of those going will be gone for 10 days to Lawrenceburg, Indiana and Englewood, Ohio with us staying across the river from Lawrenceburg in Kentucky. There are three states I haven’t been in! This is definitely an opportunity I am okay with. I look forward to exploring what I can and we might even go to Lexington, Kentucky. Can you say whiskey?!?! Stay tuned on social media for updates.

Whiskey cocktail at ME Cab0 – Cabo San Lucas, Mexico – June 2019

EVENT PLANNING

This past week, Stella & Dot held its annual sales conference called Hoopla. I have been to two of these conferences, one in San Francisco and the other in Las Vegas. Announced via social media, a new incentive for a 6-day trip to Lake Como, Italy for two is available! I have yet to earn one of these trips. I would love to! With that said, I am looking for trunk show hostesses to earn free jewelry. This trunk show can be in person or via online. All you need to start earning rewards is to have at least $300 in sales and four unique orders. Adding Stylists to my team doing this as well will also help me get to Lake Como. The best time to sign up is now!

Please sign up HERE.

Please shop at Kim’s 3-Day Trunk Show Fundraiser where a percentage of net sales goes her fundraising goal.

FOOD

It’s been an interesting journey in trying to save money and stop spending as much as I normally do on food. I love to eat! Lately, it has been eating salads for lunch, meal prepping chicken and having cereal and other cheap processed or frozen foods just to save money. The cost of going out to lunch or dinner could be at least $20. With going grocery shopping, I can eat a meal for a quarter of the cost. This week, that changed.

I was able to enjoy pork adobo sliders and popcorn and cocktails from The Treasury SF, French cuisine at the new One65 restaurant at Union Square San Francisco and a sweetheart of a cutie brought me sweets. Did I mention cocktails too from Bar 587? It’s been a nice change.

Duck breast from One65

MOTIVATION

With traveling, I have to keep with my gym efforts. I am no where near my 2019 body fat percentage goal and I need to make some progress. In addition to being a 24 Hour Fitness member, I am now a Planet Fitness member as well. For $22/month, I have access to all their gyms nationwide, extra amenities like massage chairs and tanning (not needed for this Filipina) and bringing a guest for free. While in Ohio and Indiana these next couple of weeks, there wasn’t a 24 Hour Fitness located within a reasonable distance. If there was, I would have extended my current membership instead of just one location. Work out clothes are packed and I have recruited a coworker to go with me while we’re out and about. It does cost me more but I couldn’t just run all week long. It would be really bad on my knees, although I still need to train for my RunDisney half marathon in Paris in a couple of months. I hope this motivates you to keep moving while on your travels.

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OBB Weekly – 7-2-19

The lobby at the Palazzo Hotel – Las Vegas, Nevada

This will have to be a quick one because this One Busy Bee is, well, busy. I have Vegas this weekend, fun events scheduled there, eating at one famous chef’s restaurant and am motivated to take a break and enjoy myself. Working seven days a week and trying to build a business on top of that has taken a toll a bit. And yet, I’m here for another OBB Weekly. Enjoy!

TRAVEL

In preparation of my week-long trip to London next month, I had to spend some money. Wanting to save on luggage fees and attempt to be a minimalist, I made my first Kelty backpack purchase. After research online and visiting Outdoor World Sporting Goods while I was in Santa Cruz to touch and feel the product, I purchased the Kelty 44. It had several compartments, way to collapse it and condense your possessions. I am looking forward to testing it out in this weekend’s quick trip to Las Vegas, even though Southwest Airlines is awesome with their two free bags policy. I successfully traveled very light on a recent trip to Seattle, Washington. I know it can be done.

Enjoyed these vouchers thanks to Southwest on my way to Walt Disney World – January 2019

Are you a light traveler?
What are your tips?

EVENT PLANNING

Remember Sisqo? He sang on The Thong Song and is the lead singer of the band Dru Hill. Well, we will be attending a pool party in Las Vegas as the Flamingo Pool where he will be making an appearance. Dru Hill is also touring. I had no idea. The bathing suit will be packed and we’ll have a good time this holiday weekend. Another stop at Tao Beach during the day will also take place. DJ Justin Incredible will spinning. Vegas always has something going on.

Which is your favorite pool in Las Vegas?
Which has the best pool parties?

FOOD

On this trip to Vegas, we only have time for one dinner reservation, and it will be at Giada’s for brunch. Giada De Laurantiis is a celebrity chef with nine award-winning cookbooks, TV shows, traveler and even children’s book author. Not only do I love Italy and italian food, I love visiting restaurants by famous chefs. Not only is she beautifully stunning at 48, (may I please look amazing as her when I’m that age!), she seems like a great person. She gives back to the community by highlighting a product in her store and donates a portion to its sales for the month to a particular non-profit. This month, a set of measuring spoons benefits Save Place for Youth. Shop HERE. Stay tuned here and on WereHungryToo on Instagram for photos.

So many talented chefs – Hawai’i Food & Wine Festival – Maui, October 2018

Which celebrity chef do you most admire?
Do you make purchases based on it benefiting a non-profit?

MOTIVATION

Sadly, my hits have dropped and I feel June has been crazy busy. I haven’t been promoting my posts as much but moreso creating content and using the photos and videos I have on my phone. I need to get those numbers back up. Since February, it has been a roller coaster in terms of statistics. A good month, then a not-so-good month. With 20 new posts in June, I definitely had something to talk about. Apparently I didn’t do that enough. It is now July and I need to step it up.

Thank you to those that have visited and continue to support me. I like seeing the numbers and appreciate it!

Are you a Blogger?
What are your struggles?

OBB Weekly – 6-25-19

Summer is here! In the east bay of the San Francisco Bay Area, it’s already warm before you leave for your commute to work. Posts of families going on vacation, summer weddings, bar-b-ques and cocktails by the pool and efforts to get that summer body are aplenty. What does summer mean to you? Do you have traditions you do around this time of year? What do you look forward to?

TRAVEL

This summer, my clients have visited Phuket, Thailand, the Maldives, Walt Disney World, and even Indiana for work. I was just in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, will be heading to Las Vegas, Nevada, London and possibly a cross country road trip to Maryland. It’s warm and my credit cards with travel benefits are ready.

Happy client is headed to Walt Disney World
Get these bands when you stay on property at Walt Disney World.
Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World
Casa Dorada, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

What vacation plans do you have?
Which credit cards do you have to help you travel?

EVENT PLANNING

It has been one year since Susie and Frankie got married at Stable Cafe in San Francisco, California. I am wishing my friend, Bride and Groom and their adorable daughter, Sophia, another amazing year together.

Have the gown but still need assistance with your wedding? LIKE my page here.

Flares Bridal, Walnut Creek, California

#WEREHUNGRYTOO

My condo complex doesn’t allow barbecue sets to be on our balconies so I don’t have a lot of experience grilling and will be without again this summer. The most memorable dining experience in regards to BBQ is International Smoke in San Francisco. It has been some time since I have been and will need to go back. I also have to try my friend’s BBQ. He does catering now. Follow my friend, Nelly! For now, I enjoy the grilled chicken on top of my salad at The Dormy House at TPC Stonebrae in Hayward.

Follow him on Instagram

MOTIVATION

How many scales have you gone thru? I am in complete denial of what my scale showed me on Sunday’s weigh-in. There was absolutely no way I gained more than I did in two weeks on my Princess Cruise to New Zealand and weigh more than I think I ever have. There is just no way. I just don’t look it or feel it. I’m giving my scale a pass and will revisit the issue next Sunday before a 10K race on Mare Island.

Ok, if that weight gain is legit, it should be a motivator and clearly I’m still at it. I’ll prove you wrong, Scale! As a matter of fact, I’m on the bike right now at the gym as I write this and will log another six miles walking around the restaurant for my second job. Because I’m One Busy Bee.

Follow on Instagram and view my stories of some gym sessions or doing what I can to work out at home on busy days. It counts.

I did 6.2 miles that day.

Until next week! Thanks for reading!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Before tuning into the Mother of Dragons’ fire gracing my Samsung television tonight, I spent the day with my best friend and my niece and nephew. I cooked lunch for her and the kids and went out for some ice cream after watching a few movies at the house. Christy works for the community and has these two kids. As I just purchased a car, I couldn’t spoil her as I normally do. She named me “The Best Boyfriend Ever.” When you treat someone the way their boyfriend should, it’s just fitting. Plus, she deserves it. She works really hard.

I made roasted chicken with a brown sugar bourbon seasoning, sauteed tomatoes and spinach and added the potato au gratin I made on Friday. Arya wanted to help cook too! She helped me make the Kraft Alphabet Mac n Cheese. What fun.

Teaching her how to measure water and doing math at the same time.
We should have our own YouTube channel. I’ll need a full make-up crew please!
Unable to reach the second shelf, even in Minnie Mouse heels.

Christy liked her meal and Arya and Nate enjoyed the M&C. What more could you ask for?

Chef Arya
Gamer and Tostitos-eatin’ Nate

After the adults caught up on each others’ lives while the kids watched a few animated films and built forts in the living room, we needed dessert. Thanks to Yelp, we went to Milk & Cookie Bar at the Castro Valley Public Market. It’s nice to see cool spots like this open up in the East Bay. And it’s cheaper than Cold Stone.

Had to send this to my roommate, Kim. She’s a S’mores freak!
All different!
Black Unicorn (cake batter) ice cream in a glazed donut, rainbow sprinkles and my favorite cereal, Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
Mint ice cream and jelly beans
Milkshakes so thick you can’t use a straw

It’s always good to spend time with my Little Loves and this girl. Happy Mother’s Day to all the hard-working mothers out there, to those that have to play both mother and father and to those fathers taking care of their baby’s momma.

Good times at the water park in Fremont, California. The dessert did not help to get bikini ready.

Keep Going

I am again drafting this blog post from the stationary bike at the gym. I am getting warmed up for chest day and ideally 45 minutes on another cardio machine. This One Busy Bee woke up this morning seeing some progress in the mirror. My blemishes on my face is another thing. I am clearly not perfect or claim to be, but it is ok to recognize when results appear due to your hard work.

Post-workout photos I share with my fellow gym-goer to show we put the work in. They should too.

Approaching 40 and Mexico, Las Vegas and Hawaii in the near future, I felt there was a need to step it up. Things don’t tighten as quickly as they used to. Let’s see, what have I been doing differently? Well, maybe not differently. More like reminding myself and sometimes we need that.

DIET

Oh man, yes, I did enjoy those delicious fries at Quattro at the Four Season Palo Alto this week but I also had their roasted chicken, have had salads and green tea. A Vitality Bowl is also delicious and customizable. I usually have my Shredz supplements but I haven’t been taking them. I also bought a set of Elemis supplements while on the Golden Princess cruise ship but I haven’t even begun. I need to continue to eat better and make healthy choices. Buying a new car will also help you from going out and spending money on drinks with friends and coworkers, so I guess that helps too.

WORKOUTS

Yes, I have signed up for another half marathon. So much for saying, “Nope, never doing that again. That hurt.” This time will be at Disneyland Paris on my 39th birthday in September. I am doing more cardio to keep control of those heart problems and attempt to burn more calories than I take in. I still love to hit those weights and you burn more calories at a resting heart rate when your body fat is low and are muscular.

I am also starting to pick up more Wag walks (Use code Bernadette9307 for a free walk) that the weather is better. I get paid to walk people’s dogs, get some steps in and there are studies that a dog in your life has health benefits. I sure to do miss my Bevo.


PRIORITIZE

I am trying to keep my usual schedule of going to the gym or for a run in the morning before work. It helps me get the day started. However, those days I have to be at work early, I have made it to the gym after work. It’s funny to check into the gym via Yelp and Foursquare in less than 12 hours. But it had to get done.

Foursquare

MAKE IT FUN

We already did our half marathon at Walt Disney World. Nelly and I will be doing another run in June at Mare Island. I hear there’s a beer waiting for you at the finish line. If that’s not motivation…

My first half marathon at Walt Disney World.

Fitness is better with friends. Though my running friends know that I don’t really talk when I have a running goal in mind, it is fun to train together some way. Whether it’s a hike, yoga or walking the streets of new cities.

Trail waking in Santa Cruz, California – March 2019

Hiking in New Zealand – March 2019

Wandering around Hobbiton, New Zealand – March 2019

Yoga at Wild Canyon Adventures with my Cugina in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
November 2018

Thanks for reading! I hope this post encourages you to keep going with whatever fitness goals you may have. Fitness is a lifestyle and it will have its ups and downs. Just roll with it…on a foam roller. Kill two birds with one stone.

Friend me on my fitness apps:

‘Bappletree’

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Brunch on Cinco de Mayo

Brunch tacos, churro waffles, $5 mimosas are what you will find at Rocket Taco in the Capital Hill neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. Don’t forget to add the Pineapple Express made with jalepeno-infused mezcal, pineapple and lemon juice.

Far away from the Mexican border to celebrate the end of the French-Mexican battle, we made the most of the day closer to the Canadian border thanks to Alaska Airlines’ 24-hour sale in April. A couple of girlfriends spontaneously booked a quick 40-hour stay in Christian Gray’s backyard. From Hotel Max, which is near the La Scala Condo building seen in 50 Shades of Gray movies, we walked two miles to explore the city and take advantage of Rocket Taco’s Cinco de Mayo offerings. The closest thing I have had to a Mexican brunch are huevos rancheros. Rocket Taco did have that dish on the menu but I was feelin’ tacos.

The corner restaurant has booths, bar seating with a full bar, TVs playing Disney’s Coco and papel picados with rockets on them. Order at the counter and a friendly food runner will deliver your food and cocktails.

The freshly made tortillas were nice and soft. Get the Poblanos and Cream for $10. Three tortillas will be topped with fluffy scrambled eggs, carmelized onions, poblano strips and crema. Delicious. Add their green medium salsa and your tummy will be doing the salsa.

The Chorizo Potato sounds self explanatory but also had eggs, this time with cheese. But wait for it…

The churro waffles were the best thing at the table. Some places have their churros too hard and some are perfect like in Barcelona, Spain. These waffles were perfectly cooked with the perfect amount of sugar and cinnamon. It didn’t need the whipped cream or the chocolate. It was perfect as is.

Climb the hill up to Rocket Dog like we did and you would have earned those tacos, mimosas AND a churro waffle. You won’t regret it.

Follow my foodie adventures on Instagram and Twitter.

Rocket Taco
602 19th Street
Seattle, Washington

Roommate Anniversary in Wine Country

Oh, Man, what a year. From our first trial trip to Los Angeles County with Bevo, my late Boston Terrier to down under in Melbourne, Australia and 15-days straight of each other on the Golden Princess, my roommate and I remain among the living. We haven’t killed each other yet. We actually have had a lot of laughs and she’s made many appearances on this blog, in case you haven’t noticed. On her first official day home, I walked into the house and Snap’d as I entered the door. “This is Kim! Everyone’s going to know Kim.” She waves to the camera. I’m glad she’s not camera shy. We celebrated many laughs by having more laughs in wine country that is the Napa Valley.

As a Blogger and in the food and wine, media and travel industry, I typically get the industry discount of complimentary tastings. Kim has grown accustomed to that. I have spoiled her and now she could never go wine tasting with anyone else. As I have goal of hitting as many California wineries as possible, I warned her that I was going to plan our Roommate Anniversary with visiting wineries where appointments are necessary and we may not get a discount. She OK’d the itinerary. On the schedule was Hyde, Saintsbury and Etude. All are wineries located in the Carneros region and was mentioned in my Napa Valley Wine Expert Certification course. All were wineries I have never been to.

It was a long weekend in terms of activity. A sexy male friend came over and made me dinner Friday night and we stayed up until 4 AM. Don’t you love it when a man feeds you? This foodie does! A slight hangover remained throughout Kim’s Susan G. Koman Bowl-a-Thon fundraiser in Fremont and a bit thru a Nobody’s Perfekt fundraiser at Cleophus Quealy Brewery in San Leandro. A nap afterwards turned out to be bed time to get ready for more drinking the next day.

Homemade carpaccio by J
Team Frame Supporters – guess who came up with the name?
#AdoptDontShop

We hit the road at 9 AM because it gets busy heading up to Napa thru American Canyon. Our first appointment was at 11 AM at Hyde. We arrived, drove thru the open gates to the property and the doors were locked. We waited in the car until it was closer to 11 AM. Maybe they don’t open the doors unless they have appointments. We tried the doors again when it was time. Still locked. We went back to the car to stay warm. I checked my email and realized I never send in my credit card to create the reservation. Doh! I can plan the heck out of a wedding or launch products anywhere in the country or plan a detailed travel itinerary, but when it comes to my personal life, I don’t put in the same effort. Are you the same? Oh well. Hyde will not be added to my winery log this time.

Back in the car, I thought I would wing it and run into a winery we can visit. Most we came across needed reservations. We passed Saintsbury and kept going. That was going to be stop number two. I have been to Bouchaine and ended back up at what was Liana Estates, then L.E. and now Calmere Estate Winery. I love this place. I have been there twice before. Once on a rainy birthday visit with my good friend, Nikki, and the other time via a tour I sold with my #Instafriend. Both, good times.

We walked up the barrel with a host and they asked if we had reservations. Again, reminded that I failed in making reservations! They squeezed us in with an appointment in two minutes. Technically, the space requires them and apparently it depends on the region. Oh, Carneros, why do you make it so difficult? We were given freedom to sit where we wished. I picked the love seat on the patio closest to the view and in the sun a bit. It was a bit breezy and the sun kissed our skin.

We enjoyed our time, chatted, talked things out that were on my mind, etc. Our host and I geeked over wine, beer, whisky, food and the whole industry. He ran restaurants and was burnt out. Pouring wine at a winery was a nice change of pace but like me, he also missed the rush. He asked if I would ever want to open a restaurant again. My answer remains the same, “Only if it was in Hawaii.” Of course, travel talk came about and I gave him my card.

We were having such a good time that I had to call our next winery to let them know we were going to be on our way shortly. Thankfully, they understoood. We said our goodbyes but not before we took three bottles with us. We went over to Saintsbury.

It was another outdoor tasting area under large trees and near low fences protecting gardens surrounding the circular tables equipped with menus and bread sticks. If you have the group size to sit at the 6-top closest to the vines under an orange umbrella, you’d be in luck. Friendly service, beautiful grounds and of course, non-stop conversation. We left without bottles and headed off to the next stop, Etude.

Etude was very close by and the wind started to pick up. There is plenty of parking and you get to the main entrance of the tasting room walking along the lawn and thru the outdoor patio. Inside, the counter is to your left and many high top tables for three or four are scattered around under high ceilings. The brightness of the room is not as nice as the natural light that we were enjoying but it was clean and modern. A private tasting room is also available in the back. By this time, we were feeling pretty good and getting silly. Michael, our pourer, was handling it all very well.

Getting hungry, we decided to make reservations at Charlie Palmer’s Steak downtown Napa. Parking was easy to find and the restaurant was pretty quiet for a Sunday night. Was it because everyone is having Game of Thrones viewing parties for the premiere? Warriors playoffs? I had a salad, an 8-ounce filet mignon and the potato gratin. My appetite has not recovered from the liquor-filled weekend. I didn’t put my steak away like I know I could. Kim even at more than I did!

Then we headed home. I relaxed to the premiere of the last season of Game of Thrones and called it a night. Kim and I are next headed off to Seattle and Las Vegas. Stay tuned for that.

Let me help you plan your wine country itinerary, along with hotels, possibly the Wine Train experience and more.

OBB Weekly – 4/2/19

Moeraki Boulders, New Zealand

The OBB Weekly has returned! I spent majority of March disconnected aboard the Golden Princess in the South Pacific. WiFi was iffy in Melbourne, Australia and at ports in New Zealand. I welcomed the new experience of not needing to check my phone and being interested in what’s happening on social media and being in the moment. With it being a new month and new season, what is presently happening?

TRAVEL

Well, the current US President wants his wall. There goes the avocados! AZ Central, a part of USA Today Network, says it should close the border on trade and travel too. This opinion piece says they should so we Americans can see what a day is like without Mexicans. Tavo from Cabo, running a trivia session on the cruise ship recently asked what is the biggest export out of Mexico. He joked that it wasn’t people. I guessed avocados. It was automobiles. Shocked and recalling the name brand of vehicles I saw on the road in Cabo, I don’t recall seeing them in America. But it’s true. The other thing is that Americans travel to Mexico. “Billions worth in tourism” apparently. I was one of them. I have been to Cabo San Lucas twice and am going again in June. Right, Mr. Trump? Will I be let back into the country if I go?

Tavo fr Cabo, Princess Cruises

My plan on going back to Cabo San Lucas is to take advantage of a week long stay my good friend, Nikki, and I earned via a timeshare presentation. We signed up at the Walnut Creek Art & Wine Festival and met up in Napa last summer for this presentation. For nearly three hours of our time, we said no to their offering and walked away with a voucher. During this time in Cabo, she and I are going for business. She start ACT Language Schools and I will be her Travel Agent. Our plan is to put together tours where you can learn a language while being immersed into the culture. With my previous experience in Cabo and the dates lined up, we are headed down for research, yoga and meetings to plan our offerings. Stay tuned for that!

SF Segway Tour with ACT Language Schools

Planning on going to Mexico soon?
Tell me a good story of a Mexican in your life.

CONCIERGE

Part of plan for Cabo and possibly tours to other Spanish-speaking locations is to have you gain authentic and positive impacting it’s workers and the community. Concierges and Travel Agents can aid in that. I booked my honeymoon couple to visit an elephant sanctuary in Phuket, Thailand. It was the ONLY thing they wanted to do that was scheduled on their honeymoon so I had to deliver. And what a beautiful thing to experience. They have been saved from performing and abuse in these sanctuaries. And Dumbo just happens to be the #1 movie right now. Other places where you can see elephants would be the Melbourne Zoo where they have successfully bred four Asian elephants in hopes to fight extinction. Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom has African elephants and partners and supports conservation organizations. I was able to see both. Thailand, someday.

Melbourne Zoo, Australia
Elephant at the Melbourne Zoo trying to break up that wood block
Elephants at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom

If there was an endangered animal you would save in particular, which would it be?
Would you stop using a product or a service if a high level executive of the company was photographed for shooting an endangered species?

EVENT PLANNING

“Royce.” I had no idea that Prince Royce and Emeraude Toubia of the show Shadowhunters were even dating! Now they’re married post a ‘ultra private ceremony in the heart of Mexico. Funny how Mexico keeps coming up. They must be important to us Americans. I love his music and would love to see him live. And I only started watching Shadowhunters because I know a gal that is also on the show. Congratulations, to Mr. & Mrs. Royce! I was excited when my Bride last year was thinking of getting married in Oaxaca, but San Francisco worked out well too.

Name your favorite Prince Royce song.
What is your favorite thing about the character, Isabelle, on Shadowhunters?

FOOD

Chef Traci des Jardines’ passion is moving her to Mexican food. “Jardiniere, a Pioneer in High End Dining and Design, Will Close” – The New York Times, March 25, 2019. Jardiniere has been open in San Francisco for 21 years ago in Hayes Valley. It has become a destination for theater guests before a performance. My first experience was just that. We sat at the bar before seeing my first opera, The Barber of Seville, and had dessert after we dined at Absinthe. Women History Month has ended but if you can dine at this popular, woman-owned restaurant before they close their doors on April 27th, please do.

Have you dined at Jardiniere?
Do you have any favorite female chefs?

MOTIVATION

Another woman that has made history is our former First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama. I have completed “Where’d You Go, Bernadette?” book while on the cruise ship. At the Melbourne Airport, I decided to add the weight of my Michael Kors bag and purchase Becoming and The Honey Factory, Inside the Ingenious World of Bees by Jurgen Tautz and Diedrich Steen. I was never really a reader. Even in 2016, I made a goal to read more, starting with the stack of magazines that were stacked high on my nightstand. Now three years later, I am revisiting that goal. For Lent, I was going to do something good for myself for 40 days. I was going to read for at least 30 minutes a day. I will put the phone down, not think about work or what I needed to do and get lost in a book for a few minutes. It would give my brain a change of pace and be able to escape. I can honestly say I have not read every day since the beginning of Lent, but I have made up my time. You need to keep yourself accountable and have that integrity. I am actually excited to read these books and have decided to read The Alchemist next. My inspirational friend, Nikki, who will be joining me in Cabo is currently reading that in her Book Club class for her business. It sounds like it would be right up my alley and my desire to travel. LIKE her Facebook page and tune into #SpanishSaturday to hear parts of the book in Spanish. I can honestly say that I can understand what she’s saying during these videos. It’s great practice if you are interested in learning a new language.

Currently reading
ACT Language Schools at Ferrari Carano Winery in Sonoma County, California during the Winter Wineland event by Wine Road.

What books do you recommend?
Do you have a favorite author?

Hellyer 10K

There’s a race taking place basically almost every weekend. If you haven’t challenged yourself recently, try something like running a full or half marathon. This was my first run farther than a couple of miles since my first half marathon at Walt Disney World in January. I got the ‘running fever’ as my friend and fellow events professional, Nelly, calls it. I was happy to have him on this run and recruit multi-half marathon runner, my Cugina, Angela.

I think I picked this particular race because it was Alice in Wonderful and Disney related. I am a Disney Certified Travel Agent. Nelly quickly joined me. Three days before the event, Angela, signed up. She thought about doing the 10K with us but went big and signed up for a half marathon. She did well for not doing one in three years, barely running to train and with new http://www.brooksrunning.comBrooks. She says she’s impulsive. But here, she was successful, even though it hurt.

I also did not train for this run. I have continued going to the gym as usual but according to my RunKeeper profile, I only ran 2.3 miles one week after the half marathon. I just haven’t had the time with traveling and the weather. It is nice to say that I can just wake up, get out of bed and run 6.2 miles. I think it’s safe to say that I’m a runner. Who would’ve thought?

The race took place on March 31st off of the Hellyer exit in San Jose, California. Nelly was already there from Sacramento when I was on the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge heading to pick up Angela. We made it down to the race parking lot, resisted using the port-a-potties in the early morning cold. We walked around a bit but returned back to the car to stay warm. Nelly joined Angela and I and we caught up a bit and talked about our run and training experiences until it was time to send Angela off.

Fifteen minutes later, it was our turn. I stretched in the mean time, got my ‘Kick 13.1 Miles Ass’ playlist ready and wished Nelly good luck and see him at the finish line. I’m not one to run side-by-side with someone and I certainly don’t want to hold a conversation. I turn on my music, am in my head and try to maintain my energy, breathing and try to avoid injury. Nelly knows I can’t keep up with him so we said our ‘See you laters.’

Thank goodness the course was relatively flat. I also appreciated the shade on the trail as the morning chill burned off. It was definitely not a crazy busy half marathon in Florida. I was able to take over people and be taken over by several without there being a lot of traffic. Some people would stop immediately after putting their hand up to warn the runners behind them that they were stopping. Most of the time, it was not enough notice. I didn’t feel it was needed this time around, even with the narrow paved trail for the two-way traffic. The hills, highway and stream were nice things to run along and see in the distance. Running into Nelly was also nice surprise. He eventually left me behind but our average mile time was too far off. I’m grateful for the photos he took of me crossing the finish line. I captured Angela finishing.

Approaching the finish line, your bib will alert the announcer that you’re coming in. They will say your name and where you’re from. I thought that was pretty cool. Snacks like bananas, bagels, brownies and even It’s It ice crease sandwiches were available. I finished in one hour and 10 minutes with an average mile of 11:23, ranking 12th in my age class. I usually run a 10.5 mile but as the miles increase, my time decreases. Towards the end of the half marathon in January, I was approaching a 12-minute mile. It was exhausting and took a lot out of me. I eventually broke down when I met up with Sandra. I can’t believe I just did that. I am not sure I will do another half marathon but 10Ks will probably be my thing.

It was great to have friends with me on this experience and I am looking forward the next one in May. Nelly and I have already agreed to to the three Giants races in 2020, but it depends on the dates. I am thinking of having my Little Loves do a 5K with me. If you’re a runner, which one should I do next? I want to travel for my runs. I was thinking about going to Disneyland Paris and do one for my birthday in September, but I might be going to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico again. Decisions, decisions.

#brazenhellyer
#bebrazen