Archive for the ‘Excitement’ Category

Getting Nervous

June 17, 2010

I have a lot of baking to do in the next week and a half!

Monday is Iron Cupcake, so Sunday afternoon and evening will be spent baking and decorating 12 dozen mini cupcakes!

Tuesday evening I will be baking a few cupcakes to take to my friend when I go to visit her new baby on Wednesday.

Saturday I am baking 10 dozen (full size) cupcakes for the wedding of two friends. This will be started on Thursday evening. I’m nervous about this because, even though the flavors are going to be simple, I have no idea about the logistics of baking 10 dozen cupcakes! I feel like it won’t be that hard, but a couple of weeks ago I baked 5 dozen, and it took me well over 8 hours to do all the baking and decorating.

The decorating on those 5 dozen, however, was a little more complicated. But cute! Check these out:

Fortunately I just have to make these 10 dozen look pretty. Swirly frosting, maybe some sugar pearls, but nothing as intense as marzipan ladybugs!

Then, of course, after the cupcakes are done I have to find the energy to party at the wedding! I hope I can do that, because it is sure to be a fun tonight.

I’m nervous because this is a lot of baking! I was hoping to spend most of the week prepping. Cleaning my kitchen, getting all my supplies purchased and in order and ready to go. Now I’ll have to do that a little quicker than planned. I will post pictures when it’s all done. And maybe of the tornado that sweeps through my kitchen.

In other news, David and I are trying to plan our wedding. BUT we’re so confused by all the options! Right now we’re not even sure WHERE we want to get married- locally, or in Las Vegas.

Las Vegas sounds like FUN, and it would combine a honeymoon into one trip. We’d get married on a Friday night, and then spend the weekend in a nice suite. It wouldn’t be eloping, because we would still be inviting a lot of people to join us. But of course, some people won’t, because it is expensive.

That means the biggest pro of the in-town option is that all our family and friends could be there. We’d have a party back in town if we got married in Vegas, but it wouldn’t be the same. Sure, my parents and a few friends would join us in Vegas, but what about people like my grandparents? Vegas hold no particular appeal to them and the airfare would put a huge burden on them. So they wouldn’t be there. Can I handle that? I’m not sure. What about aunts and uncles that have watched me grow up? Will I just ditch them? What about friends who would LOVE to come, but really can’t afford it with their student loans and their rent payments? Is it fair to ask them to come, knowing that it will set them back, or they won’t be able to?

Just because Vegas is fun?

Baking 10 dozen cupcakes is going to be much easier than planning this wedding.

Advertisements

Vegas Finale

May 27, 2009

Time for my final bout of Vegas reminiscing.

By Thursday morning we were understanding why people say 2 or 3 days in Vegas is all you need. We were exhausted and probably overstimulated. We slept late and eventually found the motivation to get out on the strip and see what we hadn’t seen. We had a long day in front of us. We weren’t planning on sleeping until getting on the plane to leave at 6:30am!

We caught the Deuce bus down to the southern end of the strip. We got off at Excalibur and decided to start our wandering there. But first we needed food. We ate at the Excalibur buffet, which was cheap, but also pretty awful. They did, however, have corn dogs, which made up for the rest of the barely edible food.

The Excalibur decor is so 70s “Knightly” that it’s kind of awesome. Once we were done eating, we didn’t really stick around. But I did get a picture with my favorite spongy cartoon character. Nevermind where his eyes are…
spongebob

We walked on to the Luxor, which was also kind of 70s. Although, when we walked into the giant open pyramid, we were kind of blown away. We wandered around in there for a little while, appreciating the scenery. I love all things Egyptian, even the fake stuff, so I thought it was pretty cool.

We trekked on to Mandalay Bay, which was fabulously luxe. We gambled a bit here, but weren’t very lucky. David wanted to check out the Shark Reef, so we set out to find it. When you go looking for something like that, you realize how huge these places are. It felt like we were walking forever. We walked past the wedding chapel (OOOH!!) and business offices and convention halls and finally got there. We had decided that if it was $15 or less, we’d go explore. I think it was $17.95. But after walking all that way, we decided that was okay!

I’m glad we did. It was pretty cool! There were lots of aquatic animals, like fish and sharks, and even sea turtles! The sharks were awesome, and I really enjoyed the Komodo dragon and the jellyfish. Watching the jellyfish was like having a meditation session. It was a relaxing diversion from the craziness of the strip.
mandalay bay

By this time we were feeling exhausted and decided we should go back to the hotel to rest before our long night. We decided to check out two more places on that side of the strip. First was the MGM Grand, to see the lions. They were not that interesting. The set up is kind of cool, but they just laid there on top of the walkway. We guessed it had to be heated to keep them up there.

We did stop in the M&M store, and were underwhelmed. We skipped the rest of the shops and hotels and tried to avoid the “porn slappers” on our way to the Paris. Those who have been to Vegas probably know what I mean by that term. The (probably illegal immigrant) men and women who stand on the edge of the sidewalk and offer you escort trading cards, for lack of a better term. They are thick cards and they slap one down on the pile in their hand and it makes this incredibly loud slapping noise. I actually found it pretty amusing. They aren’t too bad. If you don’t reach for a card, it’s not like they hound you to take one. The best was a row of about 20 of them right before an intersection. Standing on the corner was a street preacher, talking about how God will save us and to turn away from sin. Um, dude? Wrong town…

The second best thing was this family. Walking down a very crowded sidewalk that was already narrowed by construction barriers. We could NOT get around them for the longest time. It was incredibly irritating, so rather than going into a crazed rage, we made fun of them, right behind their backs,  wondered why someone would take so many small children to Vegas, and imagined potential embarrassing conversations related to all the adult visuals. Please note the escort-card strewn ground and the downward-tilted heads of the little boys.
family
Yes, she is pushing a doublewide stroller. Errrgggghhhhhh.

I’ve never been to Paris, but it is high on my list of places I must go before I die. I imagine it is quite different than this casino, but it was pretty cool! It had a lot of the sky-painted-ceiling going on and occasionally you could catch wisps of French music floating through the air. We did not pay to go up the Eiffel Tower, but looking at it from outside was pretty impressive.
eiffel tower

We played slots here too, and did pretty well. Then we lost it all on the big nickel Wheel of Fortune slot game right by the entrance. We thought “ooh, it’s by the entrance, we should win a lot to entice people to come in.” That seemed to be true for everyone else playing, but we burned through about $40 in just a few minutes. Le sigh.

After that, we caught the bus back to our hotel to give our aching feet a rest. I think David took a nap and I took a long, warm shower. It felt great and left me refreshed enough to get dressed and face our long last night.

We got dressed up and went right to the Bellagio to pick up our tickets for “O.” Our show was at 10, and it was already around 8:00, so we didn’t have a ton of time to wander too far. Fortunately, the Bellagio is so amazingly gorgeous. Just walking in stunned us, especially David, who is a huge fan of Dale Chihuly, the creator of this foyer ceiling:
chihuly

I neeeeeded to see the fountains, but we also needed to eat. Throwing caution to the wind and ignoring our budget, we got in line to eat at the Bellagio Buffet. The line was long, and after waiting for many minutes, we started to get anxious. Would we have time to eat? Would we miss the fountains before our show? We almost left the line. I know we wouldn’t have known what we missed out on, but the idea of not eating that meal is so sad!

Seriously, eat at the Bellagio Buffet. I have never seen so much amazing food in one place. We stuffed ourselves silly. I tried anything and everything that looked good. I ate sushi and pesto mashed potatoes and roasted lamb and sea bass and veal and tiny individual ramekins of mac & cheese and the list goes on. And that doesn’t include dessert. I almost fainted when I looked at the dessert counter. Hundreds of tiny, perfect, delicate pastries, cakes, pies and chocolate creations looked back at me. I couldn’t help but sample a healthy portion of those, too! I was so full that it hurt, but it was so worth it. Let me just say this. We finished eating around 9pm on Thursday night. I didn’t eat again until Saturday afternoon. I didn’t feel the need.

Afterwards, we rolled ourselves out to watch the fountains. This is when it really hit me that we’d be leaving this place. The fountains were magical. I cried. I could have stood there for hours, just watching and thinking about this crazy city, in the middle of the desert. It’s like the modern Brigadoon. Things happen here that are totally surreal, and you won’t really be able to explain to people back home! Or maybe you just don’t want to explain…
bellagio fountains

The view of the strip was gorgeous, especially the Paris.
paris at night

We eventually made our way back inside, full of anticipation for our BIG BUDGET show. So in reality, we got “obstructed view” seats for less than $100 a piece. Do this. We were a couple feet away from seats that cost $50 more than ours, and it really was not obstructed at all. There was a railing that might have gotten in the way, sort of. It didn’t matter in the slightest.

Here’s a random picture I snuck before the show started. This is a weird chandelier thing on the ceiling. I knew it would be used in the show. I was right.
O

WOW. O. What an amazing show. It’s weird and gay and French Canadian, but it was SO AWESOME!!! I couldn’t even speak afterwards. The stage was incredible (it turns into a POOL!!!) and the performers were mind blowing. I haven’t seen any other Cirque shows, but I can’t really imagine anything better than this. I would even see it again in a heartbeat. It was breathtaking. I can’t even fathom the work that went into this. And how do you even come up with that kind of stuff?! Wow.

So it felt like the night was over when we left, but it was only around midnight. We had over 4 hours before we had to be at the airport! I wanted to be “daring” and play some quarter slots at Bellagio. I finally found some and even found this cascading slot that we liked a lot. I think it was called “All That Glitters.” I put $20 in and was blown away by how fast it almost disappeared. But it didn’t and I ended up tripling my money! That was exciting, though it just made me want to play MORE! Thankfully I had level-minded David with me, and he got me out of there.

We walked through New York NY, though we didn’t get to do the roller coaster (next time!). The streets were really cool! We played some slots, continuing with our average luck. I wish we could have gotten back to the Venetian, but we went again to visit the Encore and Wynn. The Encore is just as opulent as the Bellagio, but it still feels slightly less cool, maybe because it’s so new. We played a bunch of slots here, wandering between the two, and looking for luck.

I really wanted to try out Roulette, so we decided to leave and head over to Slots-a-Fun, our last stop before heading to the hotel to pack up. I just wasn’t brave enough to get into a table game! I know dealers are nice and if I was confused about something, they’d help me out, but I just didn’t want to seem like a total novice. So I chickened out and played Star Wars penny slots. David and I got on machines next to each other, and mine was hot! I turned $5 or $10 into $30! I wanted to play a different game, so I hit cash out. Apparently S-a-F hasn’t caught onto the “high tech” ticket approach to cashing out (which I love, by the way) so instead I got $30 worth of nickels pouring out of my machine. It was kind of obnoxious, but it was also kind of cool! There aren’t many places you can get that anymore!

We played a little more and finally decided to head back to our hotel. We packed up and caught a cab to the airport at about 4:30am. We were exhausted, but something about the air in Vegas after midnight had kept us going.

We had a moment of awesome hope in the airport when our flight had been overbooked. We volunteered to change our flight if they could get us a direct flight to Milwaukee. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen. The travel home was fairly miserable. I don’t remember much about it at all, except that I puked on the plane. I hate that. And the flight attendant made me feel totally bad and embarrassed about it.

We got home around 3pm Friday, Milwaukee time, and pretty much went right to bed and slept until around 11 on Saturday. We even slept through our midnight show!! We felt bad about that part, but the sleep was awesome.

So Vegas is an amazing city. I don’t feel the need to rush back, but I would love to visit again. It would be great to spend another couple days there and have some time to relax and see things that we missed. I know, however, that I can’t go back without having some serious cash to spend. Sure it’s fun to look at and do the free stuff, but I am drawn to the expensive excitement and glamour! David and I had a great time, and it was a totally awesome way to celebrate his golden birthday.

Say What?

May 8, 2009

Who just paid off her first MAJOR credit card? Oh, that would be me!

This baby was hovering around $2,000 just a year ago. WOW does that feel good.

Of course I had to have proof.
credit card

Clicking that “Statement balance” radio button felt pretty damn good!

Now onto the next one…

Alive!

April 13, 2009

Has it really been almost a month since I left for Las Vegas? It seems like just yesterday I was enjoying myself in the city of sin.

We left work a couple hours early on Monday and headed straight to the airport. I used to not care much about layovers on flights, but it’s starting to NOT be worth it. Fortunately our layover in Houston was quick. It was agonizing to be traveling all day when we were so excited to be in Las Vegas already!

We were staying at my aunt’s timeshare, and she had been there for a few days already with another aunt. They were leaving as we arrived and they met us in the airport with hilarious fanfare.
arrival

We got directions to the hotel, and with that we were off into the Vegas night. We took a cab to our hotel (which was at the far end of the strip, near the Riviera and Circus Circus) and made it there around 11:30. We were tired, but wanted to go out and explore a little bit. We got changed and wandered over to the Riviera and then Slots-A-Fun. We lost about $11, and ate a giant hotdog before deciding to head back for some sleep. As we were standing outside Slots-A-Fun, we saw the greatest thing. A hooker getting arrested. Now, I agreed with the S-A-F cocktail waitress who said “Let the poor girl make her living” but it was quite the welcome to Vegas. That’s nothing I’ve ever seen in Milwaukee!

It’s also weird that prostitution is not legal in Vegas. For a city that essentially sells sex along every street, they won’t let you actually consumate that deal? Legally, anyway.

Anyway, we got up kind of early on Tuesday and went to the Circus Circus buffet at about 10:45. We timed it out, because I like breakfast, and David likes lunch, and they switch to lunch food at 11. The food was pretty good and cost less than$25 for the two of us.
breakfast
MMmmmmmm breakfast.

It was St. Patricks Day, and they had cream puffs with green filling! It was cool. We ate a lot, as we weren’t planning on eating until dinner. That’s the way to do it!

Our hotel was not on the strip, but it was close. Here’s our hotel, as seen from the strip. It’s the middle-height blue building in the middle of the picture. Royal Resort. It was very clean and comfortable and the staff was very nice.
hotel

We started at our end of the strip, and walked east (I think?), checking out hotels as we passed.

We also wandered the malls, as I was very curious to see shops that I don’t have access to. Fashion Show Mall had the most peculiar design, and made me think of the size and design of the malls in Bangkok. HUGE.
fashion-show-mall
Outdoor escalators?! AWESOME!!

We gambled a bit in Treasure Island and I tried to take pictures of everything. But I was too busy having FUN! We played penny slots most of the time and I occasionally remembered to take cheesy tourist pictures like this:
us

We crossed the street and checked out the Venetian, which was just so beautiful! We put in a few bucks and won back some money on this awesome Star Wars slot machine:
star-wars-slot

We were wandering around the main casino floor, and I wanted to find the Canal Shoppes, so we started going up on an escalator. We were chatting, and I looked forward, and saw the shopping area, which took my breath away.
venitian

We probably spent half an hour wandering in this little courtyard, taking pictures and watching the gondolas. We realized that we had to get going if we wanted to get back to our hotel in time to change for our show that night- Penn & Teller live at the Rio!

First I was able to fondle the shoes at Barney’s, though I’m kicking myself for not trying any on. Why do those shoes and sales people intimidate me so? The window display was so cool- a shoe made out of clothes hangers!
barneys

We caught the end of the living fountain show on our way out. Another thing to check out on our next trip! The 30 seconds we saw was pretty cool.
living-statue

We wandered through the Palazzo, Wynn and Encore on our way back to the hotel. I liked these places too! Very swanky. And we won some more money! I think at this point we were only down about $10. The penny slots were nice to us. We’d lose $10, then win $20, then lose $20, then win $30. That made this day even more fun!

I was loving the feeling of being in Vegas. We had saved up money, and sticking cash in slot machines wasn’t stressing me out. We had no responsibilities and were enjoying our time with each other SO MUCH!

As if it could get any better, we were seeing Penn & Teller that night. We changed and walked to Harrah’s to catch a shuttle to the Rio. We got there early (thanks to a super nice bus driver who decreed David as the last person in line allowed on that bus, but let me sit on his lap) and we wandered. We picked up our tickets, lost a few bucks at slots, ate at an overpriced and undertasty Chinese restaurant, and showed up at 7:00 for P&T’s 8:00 show.  (Bonus: While waiting to get into the theater, David got a call from the director of “Noises Off” back in Milwaukee. Someone had to drop out, and he was now IN!! Vegas is lucky!)

There’s a jazz duo (“secret:” Penn is the bass player) and some fun activities before the show. The jazz was great, but I couldn’t wait for the show to start. It was incredible! David loves Penn & Teller and he was not disappointed. I was constantly amused at how they would show us how a trick is done, and then somehow do it differently and blow us away! I was totally amazed. We had great seats and they put on a great show. What a night!

Oh, and there’s no way I’d forget to mention that they hang out in the lobby after their shows. They sign autographs and pose for pictures. They were super nice. David was in heaven.
penn
I had to get in on the action too.
teller

We were exhausted from our long, exciting day, and had planned to go to the “old downtown,” but we couldn’t. We went back to our hotel and SLEPT. In fact, we didn’t wake up until after 11 on Wednesday.

I’ll recap the rest of our trip in the next entry. I feel like this is way too long already 🙂

Sin City

March 10, 2009

In one week, I will be IN Las Vegas! I am so excited!! We have two shows booked, Penn & Teller and Cirque du Soleil’s “O.” We have reservations at Nobu. We’ll wander the strip, do some gambling, and drink all day. We’ll visit the old downtown and maybe see a burlesque show.

We’ll also be enjoying this weather:
weather-mil

Instead of this weather:
weather-las

Originally we thought we’d spend a weekend in Chicago. And I felt a twinge of jealousy when Sandy & Jeff told us they’re going to New York City around the same time. But looking at all these forcasts, I have no doubts that we made the best choice!

Vegas Baby!

January 5, 2009

OMG!

I haven’t written in so long!

And I don’t have time now!

But I have to share this!

We’re going to Las Vegas for David’s birthday!

I bought plane tickets yesterday!

AHHHH EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!!

las-vegas

So I Say It’s My Birthday

December 11, 2008

Because it is.

I’ve been so busy that I’ve hardly found time to get excited about it. Normally I’m bouncing off the walls because all I can think is, OMG BIRTHDAY!!!!

December came on so fast, and it made me realize that now November is over and I missed the birthdays of one of my BFFs and my cousin’s baby. Sigh, I suck.

I think I keep forgetting it’s my birthday. So I’m going to keep reminding myself. Because of all the days in the year, I should feel special and happy today. But dragging myself out of bed and into work at 7am is not ideal. Fortunately I get to leave at 11 and go to lunch at an as-of-yet undisclosed location with my dad. It’ll be somewhere downtown, so it’s got to be good. Then he’s taking me shopping at that East Towne Women’s Resale shop in the Third Ward. I love that place. They have such awesome stuff. Usually their best stuff is pretty small, but if I can’t find some beautiful clothes, I know I can find some kind of cool, vintage-y accessory. And if not, my dad says I just get the cash. 😉

I made cupcakes last night to take to rehearsal tonight. Vanilla brown butter. YUM. I was in a rush, and my eggs may have curdled a bit. I tried one, and it still tastes good, but I was pissed. I just wanted to bake one yummy thing, and I didn’t even have time. I’m going to whip up a chocolate buttercream at my mom’s house this afternoon. Hopefully after today I won’t have to rely on her mixer anymore!

I did get a pair of silicone presents from David this morning. Haha, I just wanted to say it like that. I got a Sil-Pin silicone rolling pin and a Sil-Pat baking mat! The rolling pin is pink! I’m super grateful for the Sil-Pat, because there are a couple recipes that I’m looking at that specifically call for it’s use. And while I could probably get away with some combination of parchment paper and tin foil, this will be so much easier. Do you have any idea how much parchment paper I’ve gone through in the past couple months? It’s a little obscene.

So, I’m 24. It’s going to take me awhile to get used to saying that, because it was just a couple months ago that I couldn’t remember if I was 22 or 23. I know 24 is still pretty young, but I am of course plagued with how far along I “should be” in life. I mean, I could be about 1/3 done with my life right now! Okay, that’s just scary and might make me puke or cry.

I’ve been PMS-y all week which has put me into an awful emotional state. I’ve cried a lot, over nothing at all. And yet I feel like I need to cry some more! I can’t wait to have those birth control hormones coursing through me once again. </end random rant>

So as much as today sucks for having to work, even 4 hours, I am full of anticipation for tonight and this weekend. My mom is making me dinner and cake (CAKE!!!!!!!!!!!) and tomorrow I get to dress up for my work Christmas party, and then meet friends for martinis. And on Saturday David and I will FINALLY get our Christmas tree and do some decorating. And I get to have dinner at Cubanitas and drink all the mojitos I want.

I’m glad I wrote this. Now I’m feeling all happy happy joy joy. YAY BIRTHDAYS!

PS. A happy birthday shout-out to my favorite people to share a birthday with me, Jeff and Greg. Is it a little strange that David, and his sister Sandy, are both with people who were born on December 11th? As if this time of year wasn’t crazy enough. Also, I’m sorry to all who have to come up with birthday and Christmas gifts in such rapid succession.

It’s Me Again

November 12, 2008

Am I too talkative lately? It’s probably because work is insane right now and I’m training on new stuff, and in my few spare moments, I just bubble over with thoughts.

Right now, it’s about how my dad is awesome.

When I had to buy a “new” car last year, he helped me out with a loan. My bank’s loan wouldn’t cover the cost of the car, and combined with my own money, I was still down about $1,000. So he covered the rest of it. I’ve been SLOWLY paying him back via “his bank” of no interest. $50 a month, which was really nice and easy for me to handle. Things were fine until my major dental bills of late. Suddenly I realized I hadn’t paid him in three months and was quite broke in all my accounts. He had talked about helping me with the bills for my root canal and crown, and so finally I confessed that I was struggling and didn’t know what to do.

He said don’t worry about the car. We “argued” about it for a few minutes, but he wasn’t having any of my protests. He told me to forget about the money I owed him and to use that to pay off my dental bills. Amazing.

Today I got an e-mail from him, asking about plans around my birthday. Nothing has really been talked about yet, and I told him so. He told me to keep my birthday afternoon open. He says that if the stock market goes up, he will have some extra money and wants to take me shopping. WHHEEEEEE!

That would be so much fun! I could really use a couple high quality pieces, like a good sweater and a great going-out shirt. And I have no work pants that fit me well right now.

And if that’s not motivation to drop another size by my birthday, then I don’t know what is. Guess who’s going to be going to the gym ever day at lunch from now on!!

Hello Winter

November 11, 2008

Even though temperatures were in the 70s less than a week ago, I think I am ready for winter. Winter was always my favorite season. Now that I’m an adult (Ha, kind of…) it has lost a bit of its luster. But only a tiny bit! Snow is not as magical because I have to shovel it and drive in it, but it’s still pretty fantastic. Lets just say that I’m not dreading the first white ground covering.

Good bye Halloween, perhaps my second most favorite holiday.
IMG_2950

I don’t remember if I bragged about these yet, but these are Vampire Cupcakes. Perfect for Halloween. Or, sigh, your crazy “Twilight” movie watching parties.
IMG_2908

I’m not going to talk about my favorite holiday yet, because I don’t do that stuff until the day after Thanksgiving. But this year, I’m actually kind of starting early because I am going to bake tons of cookies for gifts. And eating. And that stuff has to be done in advance, especially since I will be in a show this December!

My other favorite holiday is, of course, my birthday. Which is EXACTLY ONE MONTH FROM TODAY!!!!! Wow. Kind of scary. The number is… well, young, I know. But I will officially be in my mid-twenties. And that freaks the crap out of me! Not because I’m “old” but because I feel like I should be more grown up by this age, and be more accomplished, and blah blah blah.

I’m less concerned now with presents than I was a month ago, because now my number one wish is to go on a ski trip with some friends to Indianhead Mountainin mid January. AND I am planning on getting my season rental this week! It is really more than I should spend, but I’m giving up an awesome and expensive birthday dinner for it. Maybe we’ll go out for apps and drinks at Cubanitas instead…

I just thought I’d post this on here. My wishlist is almost exclusively baking stuff, which is kind of funny. But I neeeeeeeed it!
My Amazon.com Wish List

So YES, bring it on winter!!

What Happens When They Call Wisconsin

November 4, 2008

When Wisconsin goes Blue, we bring out Champagne.

img_2957

When they call Ohio for Obama, we open it.

Here’s to being a happy, giddy drunk tonight…

img_2958