Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Vegas Part II

If you missed part one of our Vegas weekend, check out this post.

Saturday morning we woke up and immediately looked up the news to find out what was happening at The Bellagio the night before. Crazy stuff! We had breakfast and coffee at a bakery in our hotel then got our tickets for the "Eiffel Tower" experience (I found a 2 for 1 coupon in a brochure, score!). I had no idea until this trip that you could even go up in the Eiffel Tower there and it was well worth it. I would absolutely do it again...next time I want to try it at night. The guides were all so helpful and AJ and I peppered them with all sorts of questions about Vegas. The history fascinates me (I think a movie about early Vegas starring Leo DiCaprio needs to be made!) and I am so interested by the security, hotel management, and insider tips. Nerd alert! The views from above were amazing.

After that we headed down the other side of the strip toward Treasure Island and The Venetian. The Forum Shops in Caesars were a must see for me so we headed that direction. Did we buy anything? No. Was it so fun to window shop? Yes. (AJ might feel differently!).

Only in Vegas is this completely normal to see 

It was around this time we heard people talking about a casino on lock down. That kind of stuff just really freaks me out. We looked up the news reports and a gunman had shot 2 people and barricaded himself on a bus on the strip near our hotel. They had evacuated The Cosmopolitan Casino and the police and SWAT team were negotiating with the guy to surrender. The bus was empty (we found out later), but the police were not certain so they were being very cautious. (Shout out to police in Vegas, you rock. More on that later...). I was SO thankful we weren't near our hotel when all this went down and especially glad we weren't in the casino that was locked down. How freaky would that be?!? We continued to check updates all afternoon and around 3:00 the man surrendered and we breathed sighs of relief. It was scary!

In the late afternoon we decided to eat a "lunner" type situation. We had burgers at Las Vegas Burger Company in The Mirage. A cheddar turkey burger with bacon and avocado was just the energy I needed to keep our journey going. We walked to The Venetian next and had some serious luck on the Sex and The City slot. We must have played off of $40 for over an hour! We walked some more, got some iced Starbucks pick me ups, and went in some more shops.

We made it back to our hotel and took hour power naps. We got ready for the concert and made our way to Planet Hollywood for BRITNEY! I was cracking up getting ready thinking of that scene from Teen Mom where Janelle says she can't go to turn herself in to go to jail because she has a Kesha concert to go to and she got feathers in her hair. Makes me laugh every time. I did not, however, have feathers in my hair.
The concert was basically......AMAZING! I loved every second of it and was blown away by the dancing, the lights, the set etc. We're not even going to pretend Britney sings at all (in fact AJ was joking the only time they let her mic be on was when she said, "How ya feeling, Vegas???" and then thanked a man she whipped and stripped for on stage saying, "Thanks for coming up and performing with me. You were a blessing."). A blessing, guys. You can't take the Kentwood, Louisiana outta that girl. Britney brings the energy in a big way and she literally never stops for a solid 90 minutes. I kept thinking watching her....SHE'S SOMEONE'S MOM. Girl has still got it.

During "Toxic" it was like this jungle theme and she went flying off that tree! 

The walls were also screens so it was a really cool immersive experience 

riding on a guitar. You know, AS YOU DO 

"Everytime" is one of my all time fave Britney songs. She came in as an angel and all this glittery confetti came out over the audience. Definitely one of the best parts. 

Will.I.Am. on the screen during "Scream and Shout" 

After the show we were planning on eating and gambling at Plant Hollywood but it was SO crazy after the show that we headed back down the strip and had a late snack  (mac and cheese and spinach dip, oh yeah!) at a place called Hexx bar. While we were there we saw a girl completely blacked out drunk. The paramedics came in and a bunch of police officers too. Her friends were all super drunk too and there was quite a commotion. The police were organized and efficient and calm. It was like a well-oiled machine. They told us later alcohol poisoning happens more times to count. Yikes. They took the girl away in an ambulance. So much drama, Vegas! We walked back through our hotel in some shops and made a stop at the casino (At this point it was around 2am, only in Vegas can you keep shopping and playing at that hour!). We fell into bed and were up at 8 the next day to hit the road.
inside of Paris hotel....some pals and I spent NYE 2011 at Club Chateau.
Sunday morning right before we left 

We had such a fun time and thanks so much for reading about our trip! It's times like these I am so glad I have the blog as a record of our life together to look back on our memories.

Have a great rest of your week!

Savor Your Sparkle,

Monday, March 27, 2017

Vegas Part I

Hey everyone,
  AJ and I are back from our weekend in Vegas and I decided to break it into 2 posts to save you some major scrolling. We took lots of pictures! This was one of my favorite trips we have ever taken. I think there are a few reasons for that: 1) It is "that time" of the year in school where the days and weeks get long.....not quite fresh from the new year energy, but not yet the pep in the step post spring break thing, just the "blah" time and we both needed a getaway. 2) It was a surprise, planned and organized by AJ and that makes it all the more special to me. 3.) We didn't have much of an agenda, we just did what we wanted when we wanted and it all worked out well. 4.) I got to see Britney for my first (and definitely not last!) Vegas show!

view from our room 

We left Friday morning pretty early and I downloaded the Hamilton soundtrack that morning for some car tunes. We both really liked it. AJ and I were both history majors and we both also like some music with good beats  so it was a win win.

We arrived in Vegas around 3:00 and immediately changed from our car clothes (gym clothes basically) into clothes that were cooler (it was warm!). I bought this pair of red holey jeans when I was in Phoenix and they are so not like my style but for some reason they just called to me there. If there's ever an occasion for red holey jeans, I think Vegas is it, don't you? The Paris hotel is my absolute fave. We walked around and explored the place and I do love a good gift shop. AJ and I have this thing that crowns and pearls remind us of Hadley and sure enough, our sweet girl was on our mind a lot this trip and we found crowns EVERYWHERE! It was really special.

one of the many crowns 

We hit the strip to start walking in the direction of New York, New York, Excalibur and the Luxor. We of course hit up some machines (some of my faves: Ted, Britney Spears, Ellen, Sex and the City) and I'm happy to report we came home with our entire gambling budget in tact after 2 fun fulled days. Friday we weren't doing too well, but Saturday we had lots of good hits and luck was on our side! I played my first table games on this trip and they were super fun.

Pete Rose was in one of the malls there signing some things. Me? I couldn't care less but AJ thought it was cool 

The next few hours: gambling, some frozen drinks from Fat Tuesday's  (my fave: frozen peach bellini), and lots of walking and shop browsing. Around dinner time we made our way to the buffet at Mandalay Bay and it. was. delicious.
These pork buns we had there are my new obsession. 

By this point we were pretty far from our hotel and my feet were hurting bad. I popped into a Flip Flop shop and bought a new cute pair and put them on right then and there!

We made it back to The Paris, ate an ammmmazing bananas foster crepe and headed up to bed.

Bellagio Fontains

AJ woke me up around 1 am (I think) and was like, "You've gotta see this!!" and apparently there were like 50 police cars outside our hotel and ambulances and SWAT team people. We wouldn't know until the morning what had happened but apparently armed robbers tried to rob the Rolex store in the Bellagio in animal masks and the casino was on lockdown as it was reported to be an active shooter situation.  Ummm creeepy! I just rolled over and went back to sleep (I sleep like a rock), but AJ stayed awake for a while to watch all the action! Vegas is never dull! Stay tuned for part II soon!

Savor Your Sparkle,

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Loving Lemon!

I have been lemon obsessed these days.I think it's my high hopes for spring/summer weather and just loving the fresh flavor and versatility! 

I have made two lemon recipes this month that I have really liked.

The first one is this Creamy Lemon Shrimp Pasta. This was probably one of my fave recipes I've made this year. It was creamy yet light and so refreshing and tasty. 

I made these Lemon Blossoms from Paula Deen last weekend and they were delicious. Disclaimer: I tried making them in a mini muffin tin and it turned into a MESS. I greased the cups but they got all stuck and my kitchen was a crumbly lemony mess (truth). SO....I decided to bake in a regular muffin pan with muffin papers and that made a difference (They still stuck to the paper quite a bit....this recipe might need some tweaking). These tasted like Starbucks lemon loaf! 

I found some other recipes that I thought my be good for my lemon loving self:

-I wrote a post last spring with a recipe I love for lemon pasta that I adore. 

-These Lemon Raspberry Muffins sound amazing and with the exception of the berries, you probably have most of the ingredients at home! 
-Lemon Parmesan Broccoli on the grill?! Sign me up! I can't wait to make this next time we grill.

-Crockpot Lemon Chicken this looks easy, yummy, and you could pair it with lemon linguine and the broccoli recipe above and have a whole lemon feast. I'm adding this recipe to my meal plans. 

-Pink Lemonade Cake would make the perfect summer dessert. Light, refreshing, and pretty! 

This Lemon Rosemary Hummus looks so delicious! Give me a pile of carrots and some Stacy's Pita chips! I think I might invest in some tahini this spring so I can make all. the. hummus. 
There's nothing quite like a refreshing summer cocktail. Add berries and lemons and you have a winner! I can't wait to make this White wine lemon strawberry spritzer

I'll leave you with this lemon quote from This Is Us because I'm obsessed with it.