Wednesday, November 30, 2011


On the hour, this clock chimes and releases 4 small truffles for a lucky passerby.

A peek into the dessert case.


Making crepes.

S'mores crepe.

One of my most favorite things to do while at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas is to stop by Payard Patisserie and get a crepe.  The Payard chocolate is very intense and rich - added to the light and creamy crepe - it is divine.  I have yet to have the joy of getting a truffle from the clock, everytime I am there when it is getting close to chiming, throngs of people rush to be the one standing by the delicate velvet door.  This place is worth the trip alone and I can let the photos do the rest of the talking for this post. 

I'm back!

The ever popular 'Eiffel Tower' - One of my faves.

Scene from the strip

Downtown - Fremont St.

Old Elvis giving life advice to young Elvis.  Imagine what that would be?

We survived our trip - me barely.  I came back with a raging head/chest cold and am under the weather.  I fought it off for the better part of the trip but alas I have succumb.  We arrived back home around 12 AM this morning.  I somehow managed to drag myself into the office, but it took a Venti Peppermint Mocha to get me there.  (Have I mentioned what cute stuff Starbucks has for the holidays? - I would imagine there will be a blog post coming for that soon.)  I attempted to blog from my trusty smart phone but blogger wouldn't let me post any photos or really do much, so I opted to just wait to get back and lay out some massive blog posts!

We stayed the first part of our trip at Caesars palace.  Cracked up plenty of times with the phone bank/pager friendly jokes.  They comped us a beautiful suite and it was a pretty great start to the trip.

Bedroom at Caesars.

The second half of the trip we were at the Encore, which is amazing.  Only our second time there and we just could have stayed there forever.  The linens and bedding are so soft and luxurious.  The staff is always polite and friendly.  It is just a beautiful location.  I will be posting an additional post about the Encore soon.

Living area in the Encore room.

We ate highly caloric meals with two stops at In-N-Out burger. 
 Had a delicious meal at Marilyn's Cafe - an off strip, local favorite.  Dinner started with heaps of yeasty rolls, followed by chicken that had been rubbed with tons of herbs and slow cooked.  K had been telling me we should go here forever, but based on the location I was apprehensive.  Lesson learned, don't always judge a restaurant by its exterior or location, and when in doubt, always double check your boyfriends recommendation on yelp.  Had amazing late night dessert at the Peppermill - another local hot spot.  I am pretty sure I brought at least 5lbs back with me from Vegas.  But at least it is winter and I can hide it under a bulky sweater!
  We love Vegas and will be back soon.

In-N-Out Burgers.  Animal style for me.

Marilyn's Cafe - I couldn't for the life of me get a good picture of this food.  It was simple, well prepared, and oh-so delicious.  Sometimes simplicity results in the tastiest food.  Oh...and I forgot to snap the photo prior to taking at least 3 caveman bites of the dinner.  Sorry :)

Strawberry Shortcake at the Peppermill

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Las Vegas

Viva Las Vegas.

We are packed and headed out of town - Las Vegas bound!  Vacation is upon me and I may be off the radar for a couple of days.  After much debate, I have decided that I am not taking my laptop with me on vacation.  However, I will try to blog from my phone and see if I can get some LV related posts up.  K will be playing in some tournaments.  I have a spa day booked.  There is some fine dining (In-N-Out burger included), shopping, and relaxing to be had.  Wish me luck, and if I hit it big I will send for you! ;)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Midnight Madness

  While the Black Friday 40" TV at Target for $200 was tempting, it is not really my gig.  I also would have loved to get my nieces and nephews some fun toys at deep discounts but was deterred.  We drove by Toys R Us at about 7 pm and there was already a very long line of people wrapping around the building, people standing in the pouring rain, still with 5 hours to go.  Not my scene.

I decided to go to Black Friday at the Mall.  Not a surprise to most of you.  I had an awesome co-pilot come with me and we headed out about 30 minutes before the stores open.  We pre-planned the stores we wanted to hit.  Sephora, Gap, Express, Body Shop, Lush, H&M, Macy's, and the list goes on. 

In a last minute decision we opted to make our first stop Sephora.  We stood in line with about 100 other people, we were about 15 back.  I peeked in the doors and scoped out the item we wanted (that bare minerals set I listed on my first Black Friday post).  I told SB to head for the top left and when the doors opened, that is what we did.  We forced our way into the crowd, both grabbed two, and headed for the register.  By the time we walked out the table of goodies (see below) was entirely empty.  There were people everywhere.  Now that is some midnight madness.

Sephora before the doors opened. 

This was the table of the deals.  The bare minerals is back row, upper left.  In a matter of 3 minutes this table was totally decimated.

 My Sephora haul.  2 Bare Minerals sets, $10 ea.  One for me and one for my sister.

We headed over to the Gap to look at the $19 sweaters.  There was a VERY limited selection out and nowhere to be found was the striped sweater from my earlier post.  Sorry sister - I tried to get you one!  I walked out of the Gap empty handed.

Grabbed a great deal at the Body Shop - 3 Body Butters for $27.  I already have satsuma and mango at home.  Had to stock up on my other favorites.

My Express haul - sweater for $30.

Below is the sweater shown in the catalog.

Express was packed full of people, no one was paying attention to the line, people meandering around like it was the middle of a normal shopping day.  I grabbed this sweater without trying it on.  (I had to make haste!)  And while it is super cute to look at, after trying it on at home I am not totally sold on whether or not it is a keeper.  It is pretty bulky around areas of my body that definitely don't need any extra bulk.

 I was disappointed in Lush who promised 500 instant gifts - there was nothing of the sort and the store was dead.  Victoria's Secret was really muggy, smelled like feet, and filled with teenage girls standing around texting.  Bath and Body Works had a mile long line that went on for days, and I am not sure for what.  The 'specials' for the 2 for $20 candles and buy 3 signature items get 3 free have been going on all season.  There is no 'VIP' bag worth that kind of torture. 

All in all we had a great time.  There was some hilarious people watching.  I am pretty sure I got some cardio exercise ducking and weaving through the crowd and I even shared some of my coupons with unsuspecting fellow shoppers.  That makes for some good shopping karma!  We didn't make it to some of the stores on the list, but we made it out of the mall in less than an hour.  Plenty of time for me to get home, get this blog posted, and get to sleep so I can get packed tomorrow and head out on vacation. 

 Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and those of you good consumers that headed out to shop, I hope you came away with some major scores.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Black Friday continues...

Came across this adorable tote on sale at Nordstroms for $96.90
Unique little find.

While Nordstroms doesn't have a traditional 'Black Friday' doorbuster or scratch off cards, they have marked down a lot of items.  Best part, they are already available online (read: no one standing so close to you in line that they are sweating on you because they are smashed into a crowd of 1000 people for the midnight sale).  You aren't going to find the cheapest deals and steals over at Nordies but you will find durable items that will last you through the season. 

Here are some sale items that are worth taking a look at.

Juicy Couture Hipster Necklace $48.90

This would be a cute little piece to snatch up in preparation for upcoming holiday parties and new years.  Very versatile.

Lush oversize boxy tee $12.90
Quite a few patterns and colors.

Necessary Objects Contrast Lapel Cropped Blazer $30.90
It also comes in red and gray.  All super cute colors. 
Cute double ute!

Steve Madden 'Kennyya' Platform Wedge $64.90
Not practical for winter - but save this for next spring and rock them!  Imagine these with a gypsy maxi skirt.  I really, really need these.


Other newsworthy sales...


Body Shop

3 body butters for $30 - GET OUTTA TOWN!

Old Navy

$15 Adult Jeans - $5 fleece for baby - $5 T shirts - $25 wool blend pea coats - $15 sweaters - $3 Socks - $2 Gloves

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Here is my first attempt at making a wreath.

I used my trusty glue gun, a $5 wreath from Michael's, two packs of small ornaments, a sprig of sugared berries, and an old 'Happy Holidays' ornament from last year. 

Do a trial run and place the decorations around the wreath. This way you get an idea of where you want to put things, prior to gluing.  Try to space things out evenly and don't repeat exact patterns/colors.  Make each little cluster is a little different.  Use hot glue to set the decorations once you have it perfect.

Oh, and don't get hot glue on your finger and touch your eyebrow.  Just a word to the wise.



Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Black Friday

It's here!  Black Friday! I'm SHOUTING!

  I still haven't made up my mind if I am going to hit the midnight sales.  We are leaving for vacation Friday afternoon and I just can't commit to less sleep in order to join the hoardes at midnight.  Last year I went thinking that at midnight there would be less riff-raff.  But how I was WRONG.  The mall was packed full of people, it was muggy, there were people in pajamas lugging around their children in pajamas, and literally NO parking.  Not only were the stores packed, people were rude and lines were long.  Have I sold you yet!? ;)  

The great things about Black Friday - I got some smokin' deals and there were products/items only available that night.  So, for those of you that are brave, here is my take on some of the deals you can look forward to on Black Friday... and the days leading up to it. 

Also, don't forget to bring your coupons.  Those reciepts with surveys for discounts, the ones you get in the mail, these Black Friday sales are the time to put those into effect.

Here are my picks for the sales and cute items to check out!

40% EVERYTHING 11.23 - 11.26
(Hit the clearance rack for deep discounts)

I just picked up this sweater for around $30 last weekend.

This little beauty is only $10!  Would make a great gift..but don't forget to get one for yourself!

Sephora is having a variety of items reduced down to $10. 

World Market/ Cost Plus

Veuve Clicquot is on sale for $39.99


Scratch Offs for the first 100 people in line - up to $300 off!  Plus, there are $5 options around the store. 

VIP Bag ($103 value) $20 with a $40 purchase.
3-wick candles 2/$20, wallflower refill packs $5. 

If you have any surveys you have filled out where you get $10 off your next $30 purchase - this is the time to use them!

40% off entire store from 12am to 12 pm. 30% off entire store from 12pm to 10pm

If you have any of those $30 off $70 purchases or more - bring those bad boys in to greatly boost your savings.

Women’s sweaters and denim $19 until noon. The entire store is up to 60% off

500 instant prizes including 10 grand prizes of an all-expense paid trip to the LUSH factory in Vancouver, BC!

LUSH is launching 12 fabulous new products on Black Friday.  That makes me super excited. 

This bad boy is $190 - I am a dreamer! 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Dinner Foul

Tonight I was planning to make an old standby recipe of chicken, broccoli, mushrooms, and cheese tortellini in cream sauce.  I was also planning to post it on the blog.  But fate had other plans for me, and I made it home without the package of boneless, skinless chicken breast and mushrooms*.  So, instead of a steaming bowl of comfort food for dinner, K and I sat together at the kitchen counter and ate peppermint ice cream straight out of the carton.  We ate, laughed, fought over the good bits of candies, and shared a sweet moment.  As fate would have it, I had way more fun tonight over dinner than if I had cooked.

As Thanksgiving falls upon us, I for one, need to be more thankful for the sweet blessings I have in my life.  Remembering to savor the little things by slowing down and enjoying the moment. 

Also,I am thankful for that limited edition peppermint ice cream.  You are too delicious not to be offered all year round!!

* I consider myself lucky that I have never had items go missing from the grocery store but learned tonight that if the cashier doesn't get your items into the bag, all you have to do is call the store and the next time you go in you get a credit for those items.  Pretty easy and good customer service Fred Meyers!

Monday, November 21, 2011

'Korean Style'

I have been searching the keywords 'Korean Style' on eBay for years, to fill the void of my longing to return to Korea for another shopping whirlwind.  From the short time I spent in Korea, I came away with the memory of the fashionable girls, gracious people, kimchee, and the shopping....the amazing shopping.  There were endless amounts of boutiques, malls, and stalls lining the streets, all offering a huge variety of fashionable items.  I shopped morning to night, in a haze, and never saw it all. 

And until I can return to the streets of Seoul...I turn to eBay to search for a glimpse of the streets of Korea.  In my searches, the items that come up are often on trend, or  living on the edge of trend, and much different than those in the stores here in the states. I find that my purchases get a lot of compliments and a 'where did you get that?'.  I wear them knowing that the likelihood I will see someone else dressed like me is slim, and that makes me smile.

I recommend you head to eBay and do your own 'Korean Style' search and you can thank me later!

I just purchased the above sweatshirt on eBay and can't wait until it arrives on my doorstep.  I love how it is over sized, has a large hood, with double zipper, and fleece lining. It looks so warm and cozy.  The reviews for this item were all really good, so I took the plunge.  Now I wait 17-25 days for it to ship from Asia. 

Here are some other items that piqued my interest.

Wooden heel booties.