Archive for the ‘Shopping’ 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.
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 🙂

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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!!

Woes

October 3, 2008

I watched the VP debate with my dental bills spread out before me. I always want to help others, but in times like these, I really need to help myself. I had great respect for Joe Biden when he admitted that assistance to foreign countries could not be as great until we solved our problems at home. This is also why I really respect the Obama/Biden ticket for wanting to end the war quickly and carefully.

I also believe that I will have more money in my pocket under the Obama/Biden tax plan. Is it fair that big companies and people making over $250,000 get taxed a little bit more? No, I honestly can’t say that’s FAIR, but I’ll be perfectly honest… It’s really difficult to have sympathy for those people while I sink deeper into debt and the dream of ever owning a home slips farther away.

I don’t want their money. Rather, I want the money in my pocket that Obama is promising me. I want the regulations on Wall St and I don’t want my employer to pay taxes on my health benefits.

This is really not supposed to be about politics. It’s supposed to be about the money pit I’m in.

I am trying to think about EVERY SINGLE PENNY that I spend now. Last month was a disaster. I drove up to Eau Claire to visit my sister and we drove to the Mall of America. I gave myself about $100 to shop with. I spent $120 on myself. Not bad. Except then I also found Christmas gifts for people and spent another $60. I try not to give myself too hard of a time about that, because if it’s Christmas and if I didn’t spend it now, I’d just spend it later. Oh, and don’t forget about the $60 tank of gas I had to use.

The next weekend we went camping and had a tent disaster in which we had to BUY A NEW TENT. “Only” $30, but still. That Sunday was the Packer game that I went to. $200 for two tickets. It was a great deal, and I had to go. The value of the experience was worth much more than $200, but still… I had to empty out my accounts and David and I lived off my credit card for the next week. And again, with the tank of gas.

These are all things that I would have had money for throughout the year, but the fact that it all happened in two weeks was pretty tough. Still, I feel like I start fresh with each new paycheck, and so far I’ve done pretty well and payed off the extra stuff I put on my credit card.

I got the final crown put on my molar on Monday. So far, so good. My dentist wasn’t worried about it not “working,” and so I’m feeling pretty good about it. Until I added up all the bills. Between the root canal and the crown, the amount I’m responsible for is $760. That is a lot. I mean, A LOT A LOT A LOT. And I have dental implants to look forward to in about 5 years or so.

My dad might be able to help me out, but right now I owe him about $300 for my car and cell phone (David and I just went on his family plan to save money.) So to be fair, it’s a wash. I have already paid about $400 on that dental bill, $200 from my savings and $200 on my credit card.

So now I have another $360 to deal with. It will have to go on my credit card, because my savings is empty. I had been hoping and dreaming about paying off my credit cards by next summer, but now it doesn’t look like that will happen. It is so frustrating, because I just want this debt GONE.

A couple months ago I was feeling good about paying it off and saving for a wedding sometime soon and taking a nice trip for David’s golden birthday. Now I don’t know where I am anymore and it’s frustrating and a little heartbreaking.

I’m trying to take it one day at a time. Do I need that cup of coffee? Why would we pick up dinner when we have a box of Mac & Cheese at home? I guess that’s all I can do right now, and hopefully I’ll be halfway out of this hole again sometime soon.

Whew. <end pity party>

Weekend Hangover

September 22, 2008

My weekend was a blast. Camping, Packer game, friends, fun, wilderness. Every last moment was filled to the brim with awesomeness. While fantastic, this has thrust me into Monday, completely unready. The past couple weekends have been the same. And next weekend does not look any more relaxing. (Though it will be FUN!)

I have to finish my costume for Clue tonight. Hopefully all the caffeine I’m ingesting will power me through just enough sewing to finish, and then will allow me to crash at the earliest possible moment. I wouldn’t be surprised if I were in bed before 9:00.

Something that has helped me get through this long day of work was winning this contest from the Solestruck blog! And therefore, winning these shoes:

 
HURRAY!!! I never thought I’d actually win. But I thought the shoes were cute, and so I commented to say so. And now, they will be mine! All mine!! <insert evil laugh here>

The only bad thing is that the brand is called Pastry. And now I want a pastry.

Road Trip!

September 12, 2008

Today, after work, I’m picking up my little sister and we’re road tripping to Eau Claire to visit my sister Samantha. While I’m not looking forward to the four hour drive, I am looking forward to hanging out with my sisters all weekend!

I’m not sure yet what we’ll do on Saturday. We’ll either go “floating” on the Chippewa River, which apparently is simply floating down the river in an inner tube. If it’s not too cold, that would be really fun. If it is too chilly, we’ll probably go to the Mall of America, as Minneapolis is only a short drive away. That would be so much fun! I’m trying to pass the interminable hours at work by browsing the mall directory. I don’t have that much money to spend, but shopping with my sisters is something I haven’t done in ages. Plus, they have Bloomingdales, which I love.

I’ll never forget my first experience with Bloomingdale’s. My dad took me to New York after my junior year of high school, I think in August of 2002. He was going on a business trip, and I got to go with. I was SO thrilled. He gave me his cell phone, and a map, and set me loose on the city. What an adventure! He had meetings the whole first day, and I was on my own. I saw Jane Curtin in a matinee of Noises Off and bought us tickets to see Phantom of the Opera that night. I stepped foot in my first Sephora, and marvelled in the gloriousness of Times Square.

The next day, we went to Bloomingdales, where I spent 5 hours on ONE of the 9 floors. I tried on so many beautiful clothes, with labels that I had only read about in magazines. My dad was floored by the prices, but I somehow convinced him to buy me a beautiful Anna Sui blouse that ran well over $100. It was incredible. It threw me into a full blown love affair with the Big Apple. Maybe it’s silly to have those kinds of memories tied up in a department store, but I can’t help it. Everytime I think of Bloomingdales, those memories with my dad are not far behind.

I’ll have to find pictures of that trip and talk about all the fun I’ve had in NYC over the years. The shoes, the shopping, the shows… Oh, and can I mention that on that trip I saw Molly Ringwald and John Stamos perform in Cabaret, one of my most favorite musicals? ‘Cause I did. And I saw John Stamos’ butt (he was the Emcee). Yes, it was fantastic (the show and the butt).

Is it 5:00 yet?!

Retail Therapy

September 10, 2008

I was a mess by the time I left work yesterday. I was tired and cranky and stressed out. David and I stopped by Target after work to pick up a birthday present for my little sister, who turns 13 TODAY!!! David was nice enough to be patient while I looked through clothing (and found NOTHING worth trying on) and shoes. Oh, shoes.

It’s been a while since I’ve bought Target shoes, because the quality is really not there. Sometimes they look nice, but they’re either uncomfortable or unflattering once they’re on your feet. I have big feet, and when a shoe can make it look small and dainty, I will pull out my credit card on the spot. There were several shoes I tried on that made my feet look like elephant hooves. UGH.

I’ve been digging the menswear trend that’s been around for a while, especially in shoes. I never thought I’d find something worthy at Target. But I did! I walked around in these shoes for a while. I’m not 100% sure I’ll keep them, because they’re not the most comfortable, but for now, I own them. And buying shoes is the best cure to a bad day. Oh, and when you add shoe-buying to a hot Caramel Macchiato and an evening on the couch watching Heroes while cuddled up with your fiance… well then you have a mood-enhancing combination strong enough to make you face the next day.

So, they’re not really all that practical, but I can’t help but like them. They were only $30, and that might be worth it to keep them. Plus, they’d be perfect for a potential Halloween costume.

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.

Gym-Shoes

August 28, 2008

I’ve been lax about my daily workouts in the past couple weeks. Until Monday, I hadn’t worked out in two plus weeks! Bad, especially with the kind of food I had been eating.

I haven’t quite made it back to total Phase One foods yet, but I’m doing pretty well this week. I have had indulgences, but they’ve been small, and not overboard. My home scale is still hovering at 180 as of yesterday.

I also weigh myself at the YMCA, when I go at lunch. I try not to pay too much attention to the number, but I do notice when the number goes up and down. The lowest I’ve seen that scale is at about 183. When I stepped on it on Monday, it said 187. Today, it says 184. Hurray! I’m going to go again tomorrow, which will make this week five-for-five. I need it, since I will be having pasta tonight.

In my defense, it will be Dreamfields Pasta (low carb) and it will be loaded with yummy, healthy veggies that we bought at a farmer’s market over the weekend. David and I are having our friend Lisa over to watch the final night of the Democratic National Convention. Yes, we are dorks.

So my search for affordable shoes for Clue turned into a search for pretty, nearly unattainable shoes. Feel free to ignore me as I pine…

First I came across these Cole Haan beauties:

I like the shape and the color. I think these could be dressed up or down as much as I wanted. To me, that says useful and efficient and worth the $165!

The fact that Prada is even still selling this shoe makes me slightly desperate to buy it RIGHT NOW. I like the pump style more, but that is gone.

It’s pretty plain from the front, but I think that flower heel is just so pretty and interesting. I have a strange draw to shoes as art…

Like this one. There are many shoes I’d buy, with my millions of dollars when I win the lottery, before these, but I still think they’re cool. I’d wear them with long, dark blue jeans.

How about orange shoes? Orange is not a color I wear very often. But I would wear these babies all the time.


Jeans, skirts, dresses, you name it. There is not much in my closet that I wouldn’t wear with these. I think they’d be fun with THE BLUE DRESS too, though not so much my navy blue party dresses, because that’s just too close for comfort with the Chicago Bears’ colors. I would learn how to walk in 5 inch heels for these!

Some outfit inspirations:

I Want!

August 28, 2008

I was browsing Zappos for teal shoes (for Clue) and came across these. Beautiful. I’d like them better in purple, and red would be super sexy. But I’ll take them in pale green. If they had my size I’d buy them. Oh, and if I had $620.

How cool is that bow?!

 

Drool.