Archive for the ‘Party’ Category

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.
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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.
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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:
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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 🙂

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Sweet Cheese Puffs

December 7, 2008

When I first saw the name of the recipe, I kind of turned up my nose. Sweet cheese? I thought of the cheddar spread that comes in a tub. Plus sugar. But then I read it, and of course, it’s cream cheese, which is very delicious in sweet applications. And the description sounded dreamy- “like cheesecake wrapped in rich flaky pastry.” Ok, I’m sold! You should be too. It’s not the fastest recipe, but it’s not hard at all.

I thought I might have overworked the pastry, which is made with butter and sour cream, but it was beautifully flaky and tender. Oh, and delicious! If I can make these, so can you.

I made these again this weekend for a Christmas party. I set them on the table and they were attacked. I took off my coat and got a drink, and then I got a marriage proposal. They’re that good. Sorry Sandy, I didn’t mean to steal your wife.

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You start by cutting chilled butter into flour and salt. Sour cream is added and you eventually work the mixture into a dough, and divide it into three equal pieces. Plan this step ahead, because it will need to chill. I find it easiest to make this dough one day ahead of time and let it sit in the fridge overnight.

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Then comes the filling. I was super excited to use my new zester for the first time. It worked so nicely I could have zested lemons all day. Some lemon zest and vanilla go into a food processor with cream cheese, sugar, and an egg.
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The result smells (and tastes) so good that part of you might want to eat it straight out of the bowl. But trust me! It gets even better.
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The pastry squares are rolled out very thinly and then trimmed into mini squares.
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You’re almost there! The filling is scooped in and folded into a “beggars purse” type of shape.
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Opposite corners are brought together and just lightly pinched to stay shut. These will partially blossom open in the oven, and it will be fantastic to look at and eat.
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After another short chill, they go into the oven and your kitchen will start to smell incredible. After 20-30 minutes, and they take on a lovely golden color, you can remove them and try to wait until they cool to pop one in your mouth. Good luck.

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Pastry Ingredients:
2 cups (280 grams) unsifted all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
8 oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1/2 cup (5 ounces) sour cream (I used full fat)

1. Put the flour and salt into a large bowl, stir to combine. Scatter the butter slices over the flour and cut in with a pastry blender until the mixture consists of particles that vary in size from small peas to bread crumbs.

2. Stir in the sour cream with a fork. The pastry will seem very dry because sour cream is thick and doesn’t disperse easily. Keep stirring until combined, then use your hands to manipulate the dough into a ball.

3. Divide the pastry dough into three equal pieces. Shape each into a 5-inch square, about 5/8 inch thick. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until cold and firm, at least 4 hours.

Cream Cheese Filling
Ingredients:
8 ounces cream cheese
1 large egg
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

This filling is pretty easy. Process all the filling ingredients in a food processor until smooth. You may have to scrape down the sides once or twice.

Assembly:
1. Remove one pastry square from refrigerator. Set aside for 10 minutes before rolling it. On a floured surface, roll the pastry into a rectangle less than 1/8 inch thick. With a ruler and pastry wheel (I used a tape measure and pizza cutter) trim the ragged edges; then measure and cut the pastry into 3 inch squares.

2. Lay the pastry squares across the top of ungreased 12-cup miniature muffin pans, centering each square over one cup. Spoon 1 heaping teaspoon of filling on each square; then bring opposite corners to the center, and press lightly to seal. This process will also ease the pastry into each cup. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Roll and shape the remaining pastry squares in the same fashion.

3. Adjust rack to lower third of oven; preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

4. Bake two to three pans at a time for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until pastries are light brown. Remove pan from oven to a wire rack for about 10 minutes. Remove pastries from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

DECORATION: Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving at room temperature.

If not serving the same day baked, stack undecorated pastries in an airtight sturdy plastic container and freeze up to 2 weeks. To serve, reheat to freshen in a 325 degree F oven for about 7 to 12 minutes, or until warm. Cool slightly, then sprinkle with the powdered sugar.

From Sweet Miniatures by Flo Braker

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Halloween and Baking

October 29, 2008

Okay, here we go. Some pictures. These are from the last two weeks or so. I still have things to talk about from even further back, but that will have to wait again!

I have been baking like a madwoman. Why? Because this baby has been in my kitchen for the last two weeks:

My mom’s Kitchen Aid mixer. Sure, I can bake things without a mixer, but this puppy makes the impossible possible. Including creaming butter and sugar, because I do not have Popeye muscles. This is probably to me what pictures of sexy sportcars are to men:

So I have been baking up a storm. Since I borrowed the mixer, here is a list of what I have made, along with pictures, if I remembered to take them, and some comments.

For Bosses Day, I made Apple Pie Cupcakes (again) for my work and Peanut Butter Nutella Brownies for David’s work. They were all a big hit.

Then I attempted to make Slime Filled Cupcakes for Sandy’s Halloween Party. I had never made a lime curd, or even a lemon curd before, so I was really wandering into uncharted territory. At first, things seemed fine.

But as it cooled, it turned into this lumpy green jello stuff. And it tasted TERRIBLE. It was like lime x1000. It was just sick. So at the last minute, I had to switch my game plan. I had already made the cupcakes and the green buttercream frosting from that recipe, but I wanted it to be a little more special. So I filled them with chocolate buttercream frosting from this recipe. They were still a big hit. The cupcake batter was pretty easy and tasty. They were pretty light and fluffy. I would definitely use that batter again.

I made these Margarita Cupcakes for a party I had during the week. I know someone took pictures of them, so I’ll have to share later. Yeah, it uses a box mix, but it also uses real tequila. They were not your typical cupcake, but they were tasty.

I had a whole bunch of leftover chocolate and vanilla frosting, so I thought I’d try out another cupcake recipe to use it up. Later that week I made Vanilla Brown Butter Cupcakes. OMFG SO GOOD!! This might be my favorite recipe yet! The cakes were very dense and rich. And… they don’t even use the mixer! So I can still make cupcakes when I finally have to give it back. Surprisingly, they were totally amazing with the chocolate frosting. I had never browned butter before, and must have had beginners luck, because it was almost perfect. SO GOOD!

I made these Apple Hand Pies(or as I like to say, pocket pies) over the weekend. We had some friends over to carve pumpkins and eat them. These things are AWESOME. The dough was a lot of work, and I know I can do better, but it was worth it. The final result was so tender and flaky and warm and just.. MMMM!! It’s not a great way to use up my apples though, as I only used three for the recipe.

Also on Sunday I made Oatmeal Jumbos. They did not turn out very jumbo. I needed to use up some chocolate chips and some mini peanut butter cups. The cookies were good, but I think the batter got too warm, I over mixed it, or my baking soda is bad. Or all three. They were very flat. But they were still tasty. It made a HUGE amount of cookies. David and I both took a bunch to work, and they didn’t last long.

Monday night I made good old Chocolate Chip cookies. I’m pretty sure my baking soda has given out on me, because these again weren’t as thick as I had expected. They were still plenty chewy and delicious. Are they the best chocolate chip cookies ever? Quite possibly. I just bought more baking soda, so I will be trying these out again soon.

Also on Monday night I made up the dough for Shortbread Cameo cookies from my Sweet Miniatures book. The dough is in my fridge, just waiting to be cooked up.

 

Sandy’s  Halloween Party was super fun. I left a little early to finish up the night at a friend’s bachelorette party after I didn’t win the costume contest!! That’s okay, I was close. Being an election year, there were a number of political costumes. I went as Sarah Palin and David went as Joe the Plumber.

The “redneck” was wearing a wifebeater that said “GOD IZ REPUBLICAN” and the “clown” had a sticker that said “Votin’ for McPainin’.” Ohh, funny people.

There was also a hockey mom.

And Peanut Butter Jelly Time. And a Ceiling Fan.

And even the USA.

His costume was interactive. He has a real tattoo of Wisconsin on his back. So he brought markers and we all got to finish the US across his body. Hilarious.

The rest of my party pictures can be found HERE. And Cristina, apparently I stopped caring about taking pictures after I started mixing rum with my punch. So I missed a lot of action and a lot of people and a lot of costumes. 😛

Finally, check this out. It’s hilarious!!

Money Thoughts

October 14, 2008

I just had two little cavities filled yesterday. And I’ll have to have TWO more appointments for cavities. It was my first time getting a filling, and I’m not looking forward to having it done two more times. I’m getting so sick and tired of having my mouth messed with. I know it has to be done so it doesn’t turn into something worse, but ENOUGH already!! I’ve always had problems with my teeth. I had braces for a long time and had teeth pulled to make room for adult teeth when I was little. Now it involves wisdom teeth and cavities. Fun stuff. Expensive stuff.

David’s birthday is “coming up.” I use quotation marks because my birthday is before his! But as much fun as I like to have for my birthday, I will be happy with a nice dinner and lots of cake. HIS birthday is the big thing. It’s his golden birthday! And we want to do something cool. He’ll be 27 on March 27th. If you’re big on numbers and numerology, that’s turning 27 on 03/27/09. Neato!

So we’ve been discussing what to do. First we were considering a week in Disney World, but are thinking it’s too expensive. So now we’re thinking about a long weekend in Chicago. Rent is coming to Chicago the first weekend of April, and that is when we want to go! We’d go on a Thursday and stay until Sunday. We’d go to a couple of museums and possibly go to a taping of this radio show David loves, Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.

Between hotels and transport and sights and food (trying to keep it cheap but splurging on one nice meal) it could cost about $950, not including spending money. That is a lot of money. Wow. About half of what Disney could cost, sure, but it’s only for three nights!

Plus we want to do something in Milwaukee on his birthday night. We’re thinking Potawatomi Casino. We could do a reasonable dinner for just the two of us, and then meet up with a bunch of friends for some gambling fun. It would be awesome to go with more than the $50 we have brought in the past. Maybe $100 each? We also have enough time to learn how to play more than slots. I’d love to spend a long time at the gaming tables, maybe playing craps and blackjack.

I feel like I always get special stuff and good presents and that David just takes such great care of me. He deserves an awesome time like this. Like a lot of guys, he’s not big on the birthday stuff, but he is excited about this. And he should be! It’s an exciting birthday and an excuse for a birthday celebration like he has never dreamed of.

He should be getting a decent tax refund, and I am due to get a nice bonus in March (if this economy messes with that, there are not words for how pissed I will be). I have about $500 in a CD that matures in February. So none of this will really have to go on a credit card, which is nice. I just have a mental block about spending all that money in one go, especially when I know it should go towards my credit card debt.

Okay, so here are numbers… we’re optimistically guessing David’s refund to be around $1,000. My bonus should be around $1,200. So if we take his refund and my $500 CD, I could put my whole bonus as a credit card payment, and we could have a $1,500 birthday bonanza. I guess that’s not the end of the world. As long as I don’t daydream about ALL that money ($2,700[!!!!]) going towards my credit cards. But it wouldn’t anyway, because that refund is HIS refund. If he’s putting it all in for birthday fun, the least I can do is contribute the $500.

Okay, I think I just needed to type that all out. It’s still a little scary, but I think it’ll be worth it, right? It means my credit cards won’t be paid off immediately, and maybe that “dream” wedding will be pushed back (though lately, again, I’m considering the whole eloping/destination thing) but I have to find that balance between living in the moment and planning for the future. And I think we could do a lot worse than this.

Am I being stupid with my money? Feel free to tell me if you think so. It’s hard to take a step back from a personal situation like this.

Weekends

September 8, 2008

Best thing this weekend: My sister was in town! That’s always fun times. This is picture is from her 21st birthday, but appropriately expresses our glee.

Worst thing this weekend: Having to depart from drinking with my family early to pick David up from the east side after he locked his keys in the car at midnight. Oh, and have I mentioned he sprained his ankle last week and is/was on crutches? Yeah, ’cause he did.

Craziest thing this weekend: Helping my mom with my youngest sister’s 13th birthday party. Thankfully only about 12 of the 19 kids invited were able to make it. But it was still 4 hours of complete insanity.

Second best thing this weekend: Spending alone time with David on Sunday evening. We started watching Heroes on Netflix. We watched one episode and are already hooked! David also finished reading Ender’s Game to me. What an awesome and crazy book! I’m really liking curling up in bed and having a book read to me. It’s so much fun! It’s a good way to wind down at the end of the day. We’re going to read something a little lighter and fluffier next, but we might make our way back to the Ender series in a couple months. We also decided to read scary stories in October. Specifically, Edgar Allen Poe stories. I CAN’T WAIT!! I LOVE POE!! LOVE!!!

Exciting thing about next weekend: I will be driving up to Eau Claire with my youngest sister to hang with Samantha all weekend. We might go “floating” down the river if it’s warm. Otherwise we’ll drive to the Mall of America and spend Saturday shopping. We’ll leave kind of early on Sunday because…

Music thing next weekend: The Iraq Moratorium is presenting a benefit concert at The Coffee House(on 19th and Wisconsin) featuring my own David Kaye! He will be joined by his “band,” Chuck (aka The Electric Moustache), and local singer-songwriter Brett Kemnitz. It’s technically free, but donations will help keep this grassroots organization going. I’m really excited to hear some of David’s great songs.

Drunkest thing a couple weekends ago: David and I went to the Milwaukee Wine Festival. It was hot and drunk. We each got 10 tasting samples, but David only had like, 4 of his. So I had 16. Wait no, I had 15 and gave the last ticket to a cute couple. My order of 5 of my favorite wines will be coming in this week to my local Sendiks. YUMMY!!!

David, having TONS OF FUN playing the musical bench outside of Discovery World.

FUN, can’t you tell?

He was SO not amused

But I was!

Pretty!!

Afterwards we went out for sushi with Sandy, Jeff, and Jac.

It’s weird getting drunk in the middle of the afternoon. I think I started getting a hangover after dinner. Everything was blurry.

We all enjoyed this signage FAIL next to Japanica

Ahhh, good times.

Catch Up

September 5, 2008

This will be a long one. But there will be pictures! This is what happens when I have to catch up on some pictures and stories from a couple weeks ago…

The story behind my cousin Nikole is a long one. She’s a few months younger than me, and we’ve grown up together. When we were young, her family moved up north, but we were always close. After graduating high school, I helped her move to Milwaukee and we were BFFs all over again. But she’s one of those people that I need limited doses of. She’s… exciting. We’ll say that. She met a guy at Summerfest who lived in Phoenix. After a couple visits and months of talking, she decided to move there. It was a good fit, and she always wanted to live somewhere warm. Well, things didn’t work out and she moved home. They missed each other, and long story short, she lives back out there and they now have a 9 month old child.
 
We’ve seen each other a couple times since then, and it’s always been crazy. I love her, no doubts about that, but she’s exhausting sometimes!

Her younger sister is getting married next fall, and she wanted to get all the bridesmaids together to do a little planning and dress shopping. We picked a weekend and Nikole (to our delight) planned to fly in from Arizona. And by herself! Not that I don’t love her little boy, or her boyfriend, but after 9 months of baby, she needed some free time!!
 
She was supposed to get in on Thursday night, at 11:55. Fortunately my dad offered to pick her up and have her stay at his place that night, because her flight was delayed and she didn’t get in until 2 am! I met them at Hector’s for dinner after work, and had a fun night. I went out with some friends at Trocadero and then met up with David, Nikole, my dad, my dad’s brother, and some of their friends at Euro Bar. From there, we went to La Cage. It was a good time, though going out with my dad is always an interesting event. The nice thing is he pays for everything and knows how to have a good time, the bad thing is he’s my DAD!

When he FINALLY got out of the cage, Nikole and I went up and danced for a while. There were two hot, half-naked, sweaty dudes making out with each other right next to us. It was weird and awesome at the same time. Nikole almost got picked up by a pretty, though very butch woman, who smelled really nice.

I love La Cage because they play good music, and (almost) everyone is nice, friendly, and is just there to dance and have a good time! There was one downfall this time. A very creepy dude kept following our group around. There were these two girls in our group (somehow friends of a friend of my dad…) who were drop dead gorgeous. I’m talking, model beautiful. They probably were models. I think they were Russian. Oh, and to top it off, they were SO nice and friendly, even though I just met them that night!! Needless to say, eyes were on them wherever we went.

So anyway, this creepy dude kept trying to rub up on them. In a nasty way. As one girl put it, “That guy just rubbed his little boner on me.” But in a Russian accent. David, the perfect gentleman, got our dancing circle turned around so that the boys were between creepy dude and all the girls. (Also, when I confessed to Nikole that I was maybe feeling a little drunkenly whiny about David having spent all evening with these maybe-models, she told me that he barely looked at them and talked to her all night. Nice! 🙂 Hell, even I could barely stop looking at them!)

When creepy dude tried to dance with one of the model girls again, she said no thanks, and we moved to a different part of the dance floor. He eventually made his way over there! After a while of sitting on the sidelines, staring at the model girls, trying to dance, and getting rejected, he moved onto Nikole. He came up behind her and tried to dance with her. She turned around and yelled in his face, “NO!!!!! Can’t you take a hint?! NOOO!!!!”

He left us alone after that. It was fantastic.

I’ve never had an experience like that at La Cage. Why would a straight dude come there to try to pick up chicks?? Any chick who is there is either gay, or just looking to have fun with friends and DANCE (or both)!! Not find a dude to go home with. DUMB.

The next morning we got up to drive to Madison to do some dress shopping at David’s Bridal. This took pretty much ALL DAY. It was fun, and I was excited because Samantha (my sister)

was coming down from Eau Claire for it too. The bridesmaids are me, Nikole, Samantha, and two friends of Katie’s. Only one friend showed up, and Katie was half an hour late, despite the fact that she lives the closest!

She spent somewhere around two hours trying on dresses. We all enjoyed it, but we were just itching to try on our own dresses! There were two finalists, but this is the one that really made Katie happy. It will be in “Cornflower Blue.” I think it’ll be great.

The rest of us decided it was time to get in on the dress action. By this point, we pretty much had the store to ourselves. We all grabbed armfulls of dresses. Katie wanted floor length, and blue, but we were free to choose our own styles. Somehow, we all looked best in the same style, so we’re all going with the same dress anyway!

So, admittedly, part of why I was excited about trying on dresses was my weight loss. I went bridal gown shopping at DB several months ago, and was disappointed by how things fit me. I was excited to get into a smaller size and hopefully be happier with the way I looked. It happened! This dress is a 14! It didn’t zip up ALL the way in the back, but it fit in the waist! When we order in January, I’ll confidently order a 14, but by September, I’m hoping to have it altered down to at least a 12!

We tried on several other styles. This one made us feel like pageant girls. It didn’t quite jive with everyone, but Nikole liked the black and white version. The colors I’m wearing are Katie’s colors. Our dresses will be the color of the light blue inset.
 (PS- This was a 14 that DID zip up!)

The rest of the evening was spent driving around the little BFE towns up there and visiting family. We stopped by our grandparents’ house and her parents’ house. It was a treat to see everyone, since I usually see these people only a couple times a year. However, by the time we left to head back to Milwaukee, it was around 11:00! We were in Westfield, which is about 2.5-3 hours from Milwaukee if you drive the speed limit. Nikole wanted to get to MKE and still have time to party, so I floored it. We parked downtown at around 1 AM. Good lord. I dislike driving in the country, especially in the dark, especially while speeding.

So after HOURS in the car, I’m one big ball of stress, but we meet up with my dad at Euro Bar. But Nikole doesn’t like their music. But it’s already nearing 2AM! I wanted to just go home, but we finally leave in search of a “better” place. I certainly wasn’t going to pay cover to dance in a place for a matter of minutes, but we wandered Milwaukee St to see if anywhere “cooler” was still open. Everything was closing. She finally had to accept that we were just going to go home. After that crazy day, it was hard for me to believe that she wasn’t leaving until TUESDAY.

Sunday was nice. We had brunch with my dad, sister, uncle and other cousin. It was kind of funny that all this family happened to be in town on the same weekend. The best part is Leila and Sophia wanted to order a Bloody Mary like the grown ups. So they got a Virgin Mary. It was NOT what they thought it was (maybe they were picturing Mimosas?) and didn’t drink any of it. Growing up too fast FAIL!

Monday morning I dropped Nikole off at her grandparents’ house before I went to work. After work I picked her up and we went to visit our aunt, uncle, and cousins in Stallis. The plan was to stay there for an hour, max, after which we would pick up Kopps for us, and David, and head back to my place. Well, she wanted to hang out with a friend, but he lives in Oconomowoc. She asked if I could drive her out there. (?!?!) It was after 6 already, so NO, I was not doing that. It would be easier for him to pick her up from Stallis, but he was doing something and she could not get ahold of him. WTF?

After lots of back and forth and not knowing what was going on, she finally just told me to go and leave here there and she’d make him come get her. It was about 7:30 when I left. I was PISSED. The whole point of going to Kopps was for her, but I had promised David that I’d get dinner. And now I wanted Kopps anyway! So I drove out to pick it up. It was dark by the time I got home. SUCK.

After eating and watching the Olympics, we decided to get to bed early. As we were getting ready we hear the front door. Nikole comes up with this friend of hers!! If she had asked if he could come over, I would’ve said yes, but it was a big surprise to have a random dude show up with her. Whatever. He wasn’t going to stay for long and it gave me the perfect excuse to get to bed early.

Tuesday morning. The end was in sight! I dropped her off at my mom’s house before I went to work so my mom could take her to the airport in the mid afternoon.

I get a voice mail from her around 2:00, telling me to call her. I assumed she forgot something, so I gave her a call. Oh, she forgot something all right. Her return flight wasn’t on Tuesday. It was on WEDNESDAY.

Oh dear lord. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I think I did a little of both. Sure enough, after work, she called asking if I wanted to do something that night. I had my final Pole 2 class, and wasn’t about to skip it. I apologized, and told her she was on her own. After the class, I called her to find out how she was going to get to the airport. Being the nice, patient, understanding soul that I am, I took an hour of my precious, dwindling vacation time to have a two hour lunch to get her to the airport.

And with that, the whirlwind was over. I love her, but the crazy drama never fails to surface with her. And maybe that’s part of why I love her. Who else, with a job, a baby, and a boyfriend in another state, would not know the exact time and date of her return flight?! But she’s my family, she’s my friend, and I’ll miss her until we see each other again.

Pictures

August 7, 2008

 Some pictures from the last couple weeks…

What is it about alcohol that brings out maturity?

Also, alcohol makes me suck at darts. This is the game where you have to get to zero. Guess which player I was!!!

A couple weeks ago, I saw my own FAIL:

Have I mentioned “Clue” yet? I am playing Miss Scarlett when the Warped Cast  shadow cast’s Clue in a couple of months. I’m still new to this, so I’m a little honored to play such a big part.

Miss Scarlet is on the far left of this picture. Her dress hurts my brain when I try to think about making it.

Knee length, low cut, off the shoulder, and TIGHT. Fun…

I found and purchased this pattern. It’s not perfect, and it’s not easy, but I barely sew WITH a pattern. No way was I freestyling this. I think this will serve as a decent base that I can work with. The girl who does Scarlet in the Chicago cast has a PERFECT costume. I would swear to God she stole it from Leslie Ann Warren herself. I don’t think there’s any way mine will be as good, but I will try. It’ll be fun. I just need to start working on it. Like, two weeks ago.

I will not have the 14 inch waist Ms. Warren seems to have in the movie, but I’m looking better. I pulled some old dresses out of my closet and was completely blown away by the fact that they fit. Like, fit better even than when I bought them! Mostly, this red dress. I’ve only worn this once, to a work Christmas party. Two hours into it, I started to get sick. I came down with the worst flu ever. Two days before Christmas. It was awful. But the dress looked great, even though I had to stuff myself into it.

But now… I slipped it on, without even wearing Spanx! The amazing details about this dress… It was bought at Bloomingdales at the Mall of America a few years ago. My mom opened a credit card (to buy Spanx) and we shopped around the whole store. I wanted to look at fancy dresses, and then I saw this dress. ON SALE. I tried it on, and it fit, almost perfectly. With my mom’s credit card discount, the clearance price, and the lack of sales tax at the MOA, it was about $60. From around $400!! That makes it that much better! And now, it fits again. I just need to find a place to wear it. That’s difficult, because it’s pretty fancy and a little scandalous in the neckline. I cut my head off this picture because I was making a funny face.

Speaking of modeling new clothes, I made David do a fashion shoot with me in our new jeans. Thanks to the constant shoot mode on my camera, we made like fashion models and showed off our hot new looks. Kind of.

Playing it cool:

Heroin chic?

Ass-tastic:

Yeah, we’re goofy.

Tonight has been a totally chill night at home. We both needed that. I’m freaked out of my damn mind with this tooth stuff. So I ate a McD’s double cheeseburger and two cookies and a cupcake for dinner. Oh, and a handful of Life cereal. Yeah, soooo not sticking to the diet this week. I’m such an emotional eater sometimes. We watched a whole bunch of episodes of 30 Rock on Netflix’s instant view thing. Then I watched a rerun of Project Runway from last night. Wow, some of those outfits were so hilarious! Good night, huh? It may be lame, but it was the best I could hope for right now.

I need a massage. Or about 40 hours of sleep.

Cake Attack!

June 12, 2008

Whew, I made it through. I know you were really concerned.

I pass Le Cakery in Elm Grove on my way to and from the gym. It was hard to drive by, especially as I gazed lovingly at the windows as I passed. And then visited their website as soon as I got back to my desk. I guess I love to be miserable.

OHMYGOD my coworker just came over with a piece of cake. Apparently someone brought in cake. Marble cake. Another favorite. It’s here, in my area. The world is against me today.

I don’t know why I’m spazzing out today. I have no desire to actually work. I’m distracted. I blame it on the totally fun night I had last night. With internet people. Bloggers. At The Wicked Hop. I had a yummy chicken cutlet covered in artichokes and mushrooms. And I did not eat the potatoes. But I did drink alcohol. Cherry vodka and diet coke might rival the Limon and diet coke for me now. Yum!

We were there for over three hours. And there was lots of laughter and sharing stories. I was worried it might be awkward, and although most, if not all, of us were a little nervous, one would never have guessed that it was our first time meeting each other. It sure is interesting and fun to put a face and voice and real life experience with the words you’ve been following.

I don’t have the patience to link to everyone’s blog right now. But I think I remember everyone’s name… going around this picture… Julia, Erin, Julia, Sierra, Kelly, Andrea, (me), Harmony, and Katherine. I had met three of them before, so this really wasn’t too hard.

So HELLO new friends!

Birthday Party!

June 6, 2008

My little sister turns 21 this weekend!

We’re having a nice little celebration starting at midnight on Saturday. It’s only two and a half hours until bar time, so she’ll do the crazy Water Street stuff with all her friends another night. It’ll just be close friends and family tomorrow night. We’ll start at Elsa’s and work our way to the cool places on Milwaukee St. I’m so excited!!

On Sunday, after our hangover sleep, me and all my sisters will go to Chicago to pick up my dad from his Iran trip. We’re hoping he’ll take us to dinner in Chicago, maybe Reza’s, but after a vacation in Iran, will he really want more Persian food? Who am I kidding, you can never have enough Persian food.

I hope to have plenty of crazy pictures to post of tomorrow night, especially as David is playing the role of Designated Driver, and I will be boozing it up. In the meantime, HAPPY BIRTHDAY SAMANTHA!!!!

Dude

May 2, 2008

Whoa dude. I leave for Arizona on Sunday. That’s two days from now. Less, technically, since I fly out at 7:30 AM.

I have to figure out what to pack! It looks like it’s going to be in the 90s! Then again, I did survive Thailand earlier this year, so I’m sure I can survive the desert. The problem I’m having is everything I hear about Phoenix is superficial. My cousin said she felt fat when she moved there. And she’s like a size 8! I hear people are blond, thin, and LA-like. This is SO not me! Especially since my hair is now a dark brown. But hey, I’ve always been different, so I think I can handle this. It’s not like I need dudes at the bar to look at me. I will have my own dude waiting for me at home. 🙂

My cousin seems to have a bunch of fun stuff planned for me. I fly in (Midwest Express!) early Sunday morning. She and some of her friends want to take me to the zoo once I’m settled in. Sounds like fun! Monday she has to work, so I will take that day to lounge by the gorgeous pools and read a book. Monday is Cinco de Mayo!! I’m sure there have to be some big parties going on in Phoenix, so we’ll probably go out and celebrate with tequila.

Tuesday she wants to take me shopping in Scottsdale at the Fashion Square Mall. I am incredibly excited about this! They’re getting a Barney’s! Not until 2009, though. Holy crap. Visit that website. Check out their map. Scrolling over the stores gives me chills as the names pop up. Max Mara, Juicy Couture, Burberry, Michael Kors, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Jimmy Choo… Oh my goodness. All in one place! It’s like all the 5th and Madison Avenue stores, all in a mall!! I don’t think my cousin knows what she’s in for when she releases me on this place.

Wednesday I don’t leave until the evening, so we’ll probably hang out by the pools or wander around downtown. Or do whatever we feel like doing. The only thing that sucks is our plane doesn’t get back to Milwaukee until 11:30 PM! And I’m going to work at 8 the next morning. Sigh. At least I can sleep on the plane.

Speaking of the plane… the anxiety is starting to set in now. After spending about 40 hours on a plane to and from Thailand, I did NOT want to get on a plane for at least a year. And here I am, two and a half months later. At least it’s Midwest Express and at least I’ll be sitting next to my dad. I feel that panicked “Will I make it home safely” feeling in my stomach, though. I hate that.

Okay, I’ll just shove this in at the bottom of my post here… I spent THREE hours at Neroli last night getting my hair cut, dyed, and highlighted. It’s not a huge change on the cut, and I’m a little disappointed. It has more layers and it feels lighter and has more movement and body, but it’s not a different style. That was my choice, but I think this tells me that NEXT time, I will ask for something a little more drastic.

I loooove the color. It’s very natural, but different enough that my coworkers noticed right away. I wanted a deep, rich brown, and my stylist talked me into some soft brown highlights so it wouldn’t be harsh around my face. I just think the color is beautiful. Pictures don’t capture it too well, but here’s what I could do: