Friday, February 29, 2008

10 Things I've Surprisingly Never Done

Being as old as I am, and living in the Bay Area for as long as I have.... Here are ten things that I've surprisingly never done. In no particular order:

1. Played Scrabble
2. Watched Gone with the Wind
3. Been to Vegas
4. Watched the movie Office Space
5. Been to Mexico
6. Eaten Cottage Cheese (It just looks too weird)
7. Gone to Yosemite
8. Been to a hockey game
9. Seen the Nutcracker (Or any ballet for that matter)
10. Owned an ipod (But I love my iPhone)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Wow! More then 12 people read my blog!

Those of you who blog know how it is. You live your life, add a post and wonder how many people will actually read it.

If you're a hugely successful blog like CrazyAppleRumors.com you know a LOT of people read you based on the number of comments you receive. Me? I get a few comments a month, usually from the same 6 people who email me instead of posting them here and sometimes they tell me when they see me that they liked a post. So because I don't receive a lot of comments I had no idea how many people were reading my blog.

Then last month, January 12th to be exact, I installed Statcounter and promptly forgot I did. I was checking out the Google Analytics on The Flirty Guide when I noticed that TFG had over 100 visitors who came to the site by clicking over from the blog! Huh? 100 visitors = at least 100 readers right??? 100 PEOPLE HAD READ MY BLOG??? I was floored. Then I remembered the statcounter. I logged on and I swear you could have knocked me over with a feather. It showed my humble little blog had had 2407 page loads, and 1912 people had visited it!

According to the stats 87 were return visitors and 1825 were new to the blog.

*Gasp gasp thud*

Are you serious? Here I thought like 12 people were reading my blog on a day to day basis. And my mom is not one of them. She never knows what's going on in my life. I always ask her "Did you read my blog?" She just giggles and says "Oooooo no but I should shouldn't I?" LOL.

Sure some of those hits are probably me maintaining my blog, and at least one is a friend who told me she's read the iphone post more then once because it makes her laugh. But seriously I'm blown away that so many people even know my blog exists!

Now if I can just get some of you to start leaving comments... Instead of emailing them to me. LOL. If it makes any difference, you don't even have to register to leave a comment and you can be anonymous, your initials, a stage name, or the name you wish your parents had named you as your identity. (The latter is another thing I can post about someday as I once tested out a new name at Jamba Juice. It didn't go so well because by the time they called out my order I forgot that I'd given them a fake name.)

Even if you don't leave a comment. Thanks for reading my blog! I'm so excited I could eat a Moon Pie. Or not. Yeah, probably not would be best.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Most Evil Gift of All

Leave it to my friend of the Dumba** wineglass fame to send me a truly evil gift. We were chatting online with some other friends a few weeks ago and someone mentioned Moon Pies. I posted that I love moon pies, especially the banana and vanilla ones but I don't eat them anymore because for a short period of time a few years back I had a serious Moon Pie substance abuse problem.

It all began in Monterey, which is a good hour and a half from where I live. I was there for a jewelry show that evening. I arrived early and went to get a bottle of water when I spotted some Moon Pies at a corner market. Childhood memories flooded back as I hadn't eaten one, or even seen them in a couple of decades! I bought one lonely little banana Moon Pie which soon spiraled into me becoming a Moon Pie addict, popping into seedy liquor stores and gas stations back in San Jose as they were the only places I could find locally that sold them. I had a glass cookie jar that I kept stocked with them and more in a cabinet.. And during the worst part of my habit I would eat several a day. I just couldn't get enough of them.

Finally after several weeks my housemate staged an intervention. Well that might be exaggerating a little bit. My high school teacher, friends, family and neighbors weren't there. Basically he told me I better knock it off because it's really unhealthy to eat like 4 to 6 Moon Pies a day for several weeks in a row. LOL. The thing is I normally eat very healthy food so for me to become dependent on a sugar filled treat to get me through the day was unheard of to my roomie.

With his encouragement I did give them up and had not even been tempted since. Especially because I had never before the incident and never since gone into liquor stores. Nor do I go into gas stations anymore. I just pay at the pump. *Sigh* now I have 12 of them sitting in the other room. I seriously don't know what to do with them.

She suggested using them as a prize in The Flirty Guide Treasure Hunt.... But I want people to enter the contest and I fear if they know a dozen moon pies are one of the prizes, especially after I let my dog sniff all over them, nobody would enter that month. LOL.

I'll probably eat them. I'll wait until I have a really bad day then eat all 12 in one sitting. Then it won't become like a habit eating one a day. I'll just get it over with real quick. Like when you pull a Band Aid off really fast.

Think that'll work?

And yes, that is my dog Kitai, the Cutest Dog Ever.com helping me to open up the package and check things out. I bet if he ate one he'd get hooked too.

And just so you know. If anyone else sends me any Moon Pies? I am donating them to the Second Harvest Food Bank where a few weeks ago I volunteered for a food sort for the first time. It was a very strenuous work out! If I had the time I'd volunteer every day. It would be like a gym work out but would serve my community better then me just doing sit ups at home. If you ever have the opportunity through a group to volunteer or just do it on your own you should try it. It felt great to be doing something to help my local community.

Michelle Walker's Travel Photography Show

I just got back a bit ago from traveling up to Oakland, California for the travel photography show of Michelle Walker. I know Michelle through the wedding industry and often see her at many of the industry events I attend.

When she invited me to her first, solo, travel exhibition at Luka's Taproom & Lounge on Broadway and Grand in downtown Oakland, I was immediately intrigued and very much looked forward to attending.

After chatting with Michelle a bit this evening I learned she travels once a year and spends a month photographing the people, unique cultures, wildlife and geography of each country she visits. Tonight her pieces were from her trips to India, Africa, Peru and Cuba.

I was instantly drawn to one photograph in particular. Titled "Aarti" and taken in Varanasi India, it depicts a young boy stooping over to light small lamps on a staircase to prepare for the Aarti festival. Even though it doesn't appear to be in a church, and even though there are no religious icons in the photo, it struck me as being very sacred. I did order a small 8x12 print of it then came home and Googled "Aarti" to learn what the festival is symbolic of. Turns out my instincts were spot on.

Since the show was tonight, same night as the Oscars, Michelle planned ahead and had a huge projection screen set up with the Oscars running with captions for those who wanted to watch the Oscars. On a side note the only Oscar nominated movie I saw last year was Ratatouille, which I loved.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

A Blogtastrophe of Gargantuan Proportion!

Ugh. You know how it is... You love your computer until something goes wrong with it? Well same thing applies to blogs. I love my blog and often tell people how great Blogger is, and how they should take up blogging too.

The picture above is what my blog would look like using the default template. To make it look blue and pink and cute all over takes a lot of work. Well this was not a failing on the part of Blogger. Nope, this was human error all the way. What began as a modification to my blog turned into a full blown "Blogtastrophe" the likes of which I had never encountered before.

I've been wanting to add a menu bar to the top of my blog, just like the one on The Flirty Guide so visitors could more easily click over to visit the TFG website. My super sweet hubby went ahead and implemented the menu for me last night. But it was wider than the layout of my blog. The obvious solution was to widen the width of the layout right? Wrong! Oh my gosh!

What happened next was a domino effect of poor choices compounded by utter cornfusion. LOL. Instead of watching Law and Order last night? We had a mini-drama courtesy of Murphy's Law. Dare I say it was a Murphy's Law marathon that lasted well into the evening.

Mistake #1: I did not back up my template before launching into the "minor" revision. Total rookie move. Always back up.

Mistake #2: Naively believing that by reading tutorials online I could demystify the Blogger widgets and make the needed adjustments to my blog. Now I know I am simply a mere mortal who shouldn't expect to be able to learn everything I need to know by typing questions into Google. Though I will say this approach works 95% of the time.

In the end I simply scrapped my entire template and reinstalled it, then had to rebuild it all over again. If you're a brilliant coder you can probably rebuild a template blindfolded with one arm tied behind your back and you eat widgets for breakfast. But I am not a brilliant coder. I am a simple "can do" kind of gal who usually skips breakfast and just kinda jumps in head first to learn new things. My blogging degree was awarded to me by the University of Sink or Swim aka USS as we grads like to call it.

After a bit more time I had my blog not only restored but slightly improved, minus the afore mentioned menu bar. For now I've added the "home" page image with link to the top righthand side bar. Maybe I'll tackle the entire horizontal menu project again someday. But not today.

So Fun, So Flirty! TFG Postcards

Check out the new postcards I'm having made for the Promises and Pearls and Créme de la Créme bridal showcases coming up next month! I'll have 5 styles of postcards for both brides, their friends who aren't engaged and even one for the grooms! If you're not attending the shows and really want one, just email me your address and I'll pop a few in the mail to you. I'll be picking them up from the printers next week. Oh and if you and your friends come to the showcases be sure to drop by my booth to say hello! I'll be running a very fun and flirty contest at both events and as "The Flirty Bride" am donating one of my comb tiaras as a door prize raffle item at the Promises and Pearls showcase.

Friday, February 22, 2008

My Surprise Sushi Night!

What's a girl to do when she loves Japanese food but her new hubby doesn't? Well we have found the perfect solution to our dilemma. I hate to force people to do things they don't enjoy, but at the same time I don't want to deprive myself of something I love... So my very sweet and brilliant hubby came up with a great idea...

Last week he asked me to keep Thursday evening open but wouldn't tell me why, just that it would be fun. So last night he hands me a piece of paper with an address written on it and told me to be there at a designated time. I recognized the street as the one my favorite sushi restaurant is located on. That was when I realized what the night held in store for me.

You see, we discussed this idea a few months back. He offered to organize a once a month dinner so that I wouldn't ever ask him to go to a sushi bar with me ever again. I told him that I would need two friends and no more since when you sit at a bar you can't talk to the people on the far end. So he contacted two of my girlfriends and arranged for them to meet me at the restaurant. The surprise is that until I arrive at the restaurant, I don't know who I'm having dinner with. LOL!

We had a blast! It was so much fun. One of them I had even called the other day because we hadn't talked in several weeks. Little did I know I'd be having dinner with her a couple of nights later.

As many of you know I am a bit of a workaholic, so this once a month fun night out is probably a really good idea for my overall peace of mind.

And just for the record, I do not eat raw fish. Well not usually. I did partake in some raw ahi at a recent industry event because it had been prepared by Componere Fine Catering in SF. Though I'm not a fan of the raw? I'd so been dying to sample their food that I went ahead and walked on the wild side. I didn't regret it. It was awesome! EVERYTHING they make is a little bite of heaven.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I Love my iPhone but...

LOL I just entered this blog post in a funny new contest sponsored by Amanda at "Shamelessly Sassy" one of my favorite blogs to read just for fun. The theme of the contest? "Embarrass Yourself for $100." I think I might have a shot. Actually I think this is the kind of contest you really don't want to win. Because it means you're kind of an idiot. Heh heh heh... So here goes...

I thought an iPhone would make my life perfect. Well maybe not perfect but it would make me happy and would be really cool to have. Little did I know there is a dark side to the phone that nobody talks about.

A few weeks ago I was sleeping when my super cool iPhone rang. Then it buzzed there was a message. I did not know how to use my iPhone because I had just got it for Christmas so in a sleepy haze I hit the button thinking I was listening to voicemail. Nope I called the person back. So turns out it was my landlord calling to see how my move out was coming along, like what day did I think I'd be out. Here's what happened next. It was classic:

Him: Hello

Me: nothing (remember I think it's voice mail)

Him: Hello

Me: nothing

Him: Hello Stacie

Me: nothing

Him Hello... Hello.... Stacie

Me: (To my hubby) It's some weird guy saying my name over and over on my voice mail.

Him: Hello Stacie

Me: (To my hubby) OMG this is so weird! This is the strangest message! I wonder who it is.

Him: Hello Stacie I can hear you're there.

Me: (To my hubby) Oh my gosh now he's saying he can hear I'm there in the message but thinks I wasn't saying anything back! Why would someone think I was there and not speaking?

Him: Stacie It's Neal!

Me: (To my hubby) OMG It's my crazy landlord leaving me a weird message! (Just for the record: My landlord was a very nice guy and very sane. He never showed any signs of being crazy. Ever. That was just my interpretation of the weird message that seemed crazy...)

Him: Hello... Stacie.... Can you hear me? I can hear you!

Me: (to my hubby) OMG how long is this message?

Him: Staaaaaaaaaacie!

Me: (At this point I'm convinced that my landlord has lost his mind.)

Him: Stacie, it's me Neal, you called me back.

Me: (to myself) Huh?

Him: This is not a message.

Me: Neal? What? Wait! It's you? I thought you were a message on my voice mail.

Him: I know you did. Did you dye your hair blond?

Thank goodness he thought it was hilarious and said no apology was necessary. Ooooh boy! What a doosie that one was. LOL. But hey, life's too short and if you can't laugh at yourself you're going to miss out on a lot of fun times. Well, at least I would.

Kira and Ken - How Barbies Date

LOL so here is the latest Flirty Idea I posted on The Flirty Guide the other day. It's a video my sweetie and I made to show at our wedding reception recreating the awkward courtship we endured which led to our dating. CLICK HERE to read more and to watch our funny video. Some might call it a romantic comedy though at the time it felt more like a docu-drama. I hadn't dated for 3 years when my hubby began asking me to "coffee." I'd been way too busy running my flirty little empire so it took quite a bit of effort on his part to wear me down and convince me to go out with him. LOL It only took one date and I knew he was the real deal :o)

Monday, February 18, 2008

Shame On Them!

This really goes without saying but I'll say it anyway.

When you are a guest at a wedding? Do not steal anything that belongs to the bride and groom. Can you believe I even have to say that? But I do. It would seem that where there's a will there's a way and more often then not things are taken not from a room where everything was put safely away, but in plain view of everyone! The bride, the groom, the guests and staff. On a personal level past experience has taught me that not all guests are to be trusted. Sad but true. One came clean after the fact and even offered to return the item in question. I will say that was a nice gesture but it was months later and quite frankly just felt too late. And of course there is always the chance of a wedding crasher sneaking in to see what opportunities present themselves.

So far at weddings the following items I've made have gone missing:

• A custom, hand beaded bouquet holder for the bride's bouquet

• 2 strands of origami cranes from a set that was 8 feet high

• 3 custom cake toppers

• 1 cake topper sample

How sad is that? I don't know what goes through people's heads when they decide to take keepsakes from a wedding. I seriously can't even imagine how they justify doing it. There is a possibility that 2 of the 3 cake toppers may have accidently been thrown away after the cake was cut but one was for sure taken by a guest (I even did a little story about it on my Flirty Bride website: The Cake Topper Caper), as was the sample taken at an event I was attending when I delivered it to a coordinator I was working with. And those are just the ones I know about. Who knows what else has gone missing. Surprisingly to me all three cake toppers were re-ordered so that the bride and groom would have their keepsake. Me? I've learned to take good close up photos of all of the cake toppers I make so that if they do go missing? I can recreate them perfectly. I even use an enlarged photo, scaled exactly to size as a pattern when recreating the missing toppers.

This was the second topper to go missing:

When it came time for my own wedding I was more then a little nervous that something could be taken. Especially one of the three iPod Video Nanos we used as cake decorations so that we could run slide shows on our cake! Not to mention the beaded shrimp cake topper and decorations I had made. But we had a very happy ending with nothing going missing by the end of the night. Thank goodness! It would have been awful if something had gone missing. But thankfully my friends all helped out keeping an eye on things for me. One even offered to sit next to the cake with my stun gun and pepper spray just in case... LOL

The main lesson here is to make sure that anything that is important to you? Make sure you place them in an area with lots of people around, and arrange ahead for someone to take those items, whether it's your bouquet, cake topper, or origami cranes and as soon as you're done using them? Lock them away somewhere safe and sound.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Embracing Diversity the Flirty Way

You know that old saying? "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder?" Well it's so true and more often then not those around us find more beauty in us then we see in ourselves. It's kind of sad really, how so many of us end up with warped body images by believing all of the hype around us whether it be from our peers, the media, or our families.

Well all I can say is I love diversity! It's what makes the world interesting! When it comes to people, petite through plus, of every ethnicity, age and gender, with handicaps and without, with different hobbies and interests... You're all flirty people in this flirty world!

How does "Flirty" translate? To me it means someone who knows how to embrace the concept of expressing her or himself in a truly carefree and positive manner. Someone unafraid to flirt with all of the wonderful and endless possibilities that life has to offer. Being flirty isn't about attracting the opposite sex. It's not an age or income level. It's a state of mind. It's about being daring and having fun as YOU define who you are.

I will continue developing new flirty girls and guys until eventually everyone will see themselves represented somewhere on The Flirty Guide.

Here on TFG I feel it's important for everyone to be represented and embraced for exactly who they are in the moment, not who they might want to be someday. That song by Christina Aguilera? Beautiful. Love it! We can all gain or lose weight, change our hair color, get a nip or a tuck, dress up or down but no matter what we do? The essence of who we are at our core, our personality, character and heart? Are always the same. The only thing that really changes is our perception of how we view ourselves.

So the next time you look in the mirror? Try to see who you are, not just what you look like, then smile because if you're here reading my blog, chances are you are one fabulous and flirty individual!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

TFG's First Bridal Showcases!

The City: Promises and Pearls a Bridal Soiree

Wednesday March 5, 2008
San Francisco Design Center Galleria
7:00 to 9:00 pm
Please RSVP to attend by

This is one fabulous soiree! I was honored to attend last years event as a guest, this year I'll be a paritcipant launching The Flirty Guide at it's first showcase ever! Brides and grooms looking to meet some of the Bay Areas best and brightest event professionals should definitely plan on attending.

South Bay: Créme de la Créme a Bridal Rendezvous

Sunday March 16, 2008
The Toll House, Los Gatos California
1:00 to 4:00 pm
Please RSVP to attend by
 Clicking Here

This is a new show created by Wedding Consultant Nicole D'Ambra. I'm sure it will be a great experience for the brides and grooms who attend. I'm very much looking forward to participating and introducing The Flirty Guide to the world!

I've been working hard on designing our flirty give away items. I'll post about them here on the blog once they're done.

Betelnut, San Francisco

4/28/13 EDITED TO ADD: Betelnut is back! After closing and reopening as Hutong the owners decided to go back to being Betelnut. YAY!

2/24/13 EDITED TO ADD: Betelnut restaurant has closed. It will reopen as Hutong restaurant in March 2013.

Have you ever been to Betelnut? The restaurant is no secret. It's not tucked away down a little alley in an undiscovered part of San Francisco. It's smack dab in the middle of the trendy Cow Hollow Union Street shopping district (Not to be confused with Union Square), and has been there for years.

(Served HOT! Note the steam rising off the right side of the plate.)

So I'm always surprised when I meet anyone, especially people who live in San Francisco, who have yet to discover this asian fusion gem. I've known about the restaurant for years, and for years my favorite dish on the menu is the szechuan green beans. The humble green bean has never tasted so good. They're a side dish that I order, with a bowl of steamed rice, as my entree each time I dine there.

It's easier to get a table at lunch. For dinner the wait can be looooooooooong not that it's not worth the wait because it is. I'm just usually too hungry to wait too long when it comes to dinner time. A girls gotta eat.

On this lunch visit we also sampled the Chili Crusted Calamari appetizer with fried red (sweet) and green (HOT) chili peppers. SO GOOD! You have to go try them. I can't wait to go again.

A Masque Ball

A Gala Masque Ball... Mwa? Attending a Mardi Gras masque ball on Fat Tuesday? Well let me begin by saying though I dress up my dog? I do not dress up in costumes myself. So at first I was thinking I would attend but not wear a mask. Then I heard there would be a mask making station at the event. Wow, this was serious stuff. Not wanting to be a total party pooper I decided to take the bull by the horns and go get a mask.

I made a trip to Natasha's Attic in San Jose and found a cute butterfly mask that fit my face perfectly. Luckily the mask that fit best was only $12. Woo Hoo! This is what it looked like before I adorned it with feathers. How to decorate it? I got on Google and looked up instructions on how to make a Mardi Gras mask. Using only wire cutters to trim the feathers and white glue I spent an evening carefully laying the feathers down row by row until I had transformed my red and teal butterfly mask into a crazy sea-foam green owl mask. LOL

Armando and I at the ball. As luck would have it we stayed too late like Cinderella and sadly my car was locked into the parking garage overnight. Turns out the garage closed at 10:00 pm and we didn't leave until after 11:00. LOL. We called a cab and went back to his place, I was planning to spend the night there anyways due to more appointments in the city the next day, so in the end our little faux pax cost me $32 instead of $10 to park. All in all it was funny and warranted being added to the list of hilarious misadventures we often share.

The Gala at the newly redecorated Julia Morgan Ballroom in downtown SF. If you ever have the chance to attend an event there? GO! It's a gorgeous venue with impeccable service. If you ever have a chance to go to a Masque Ball? GO! I'll be posting instructions on how to make a feather mask on The Flirty Guide as soon as I have some free time. First I have to go back and buy another butterfly mask so I can add step by step photos of how to DIY.

This was a really great surprise! To entertain us we were treated to our own Dancing with the Stars spectacular showcase! 4 event professionals had been working with Cynthia Glinka and her professional dancers to wow all of us with rehearsed routines that were totally awe inspiring. Imagine seeing your friends take to the floor and out of no where dance like pros.

Duncan Reyes raising the bar.

Dessert.... Oh my gosh that was an amazing dessert! The chocolate cake was chocolatey, creamy, dreamy and on the bottom crunchy! If I could eat one every day I would. The ice cream was caramel and had a sweet and strangely salty taste in a wonderfully delicious way.

The salad by La Bocca Fina was so yummy! I Love Brie! And here was a slice that made my mouth water. To be honest I don't even remember what the other ingredients were, I just remember that the combination was so delicious I want to have it again. Someday I'll do a blog on all of the cool ways one can eat brie.

The rest of the food was awesome! With caterers like Componere, Global Gourmet, Paula Laduc, and Taste how could it not be?  The chestnut soup by Componere was absolutely delicious. Though to be honest I really need at least a pint or quart to give a true review of just how wonderful it was. Even a gallon, I swear I could drink a gallon it was so good!

With Michelle of MB Designs

Maria Chang and Armando Sarabia

The new chandeliers at the Julia Morgan Ballroom

Saturday, February 2, 2008

A First Dance Without a Bride & Groom?

New in the Flirty Ideas is the story about how we pulled a switch-a-roo on our wedding guests when it came time for the first dance. I am not a dancer, nor is my hubby... Click Here to read about our genius strategy. It was pretty clever if I do say so myself!