Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Vegas: On the Strip

Las Vegas is just a big piece of eye candy. During the day, it is just big buildings but at night it really comes to life. Sadly, I don't have too many pictures (or none at all) of The Strip when it is really dark out but dusk provided me some great shots.

I had a great time walking around, sipping on a drink and taking pictures throughout the weekend.

The fountains at Caesar's Palace

Inside of The Bellagio. All decorated for Chinese New Year. Very beautiful!

Eiffel Tower

Bellagio. Waiting for the fountain show. I love how when the music starts and the water shoots up, nearly everyone on the strip (either side of the street) just stops and watches. 

Playing with my camera.

While editing my photos, I lost quite a few of them and I'm bummed. Note to self: Always drag into another folder before editing. I was editing straight from the card so I have no original copies. DUMB MICHELLE.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Vegas: A Pictorial of Emotions

Friday morning: YAY I'm in VEGAS!

Friday night: WOOHOO! What an awesome night out dancing and partying!

Saturday morning: OMG I feel like death

Saturday afternoon: WOOHOO! My friend just got married. I'm ready to PARTY!

Saturday night: Awesome reception and after party. I love VEGAS!

Sunday morning: Too much partying.

Sunday night: In my room. Belly full from dinner. Watching the Oscars. Packed and ready to go. Peace out Vegas!

Monday morning: OMG Why didn't I take Monday off? I have to go straight from the airport to work. WTF.

Additional Pictures to come later....

Sunday, February 26, 2012

On Saturday in Las Vegas, I....

Went to bed at 2:00 am and woke up at 7:30 am.

Ate breakfast then walked almost 2 miles to CVS wearing leggings as pants because who cares.

Tried to catch some more Zzzz's but failed.

Slowly got ready for the wedding.

Watched my best friend get married, officiated by Elvis. It was pretty awesome.

Checked in via Facebook to the Paris and for the second time in two data, received a coupon for a buy one get one free drink at any bar in the hotel.

Saw the same retired couple in the Paris bar that I saw the day before and had a nice conversation with them. The man gave me two free drink coupons. Score.

Attended the wedding I reception and had a blast. The bartender said something hilarious, I was able to give a short speech to my friend and I took lots of pictures to remember the night.

Went back to Carnaval Court by Harrah's and danced and laughed for a couple of hours before totally pooping out.

Stood on The Strip and nearly cried when talking to the newly minted Wifee about how happy I am for her. I couldn't even get the words out because I knew I would break into a fit of tears. That might be blamed on the multiple drinks I had though.

It is currently 12:31 am Sunday. I am tired, my feet hurt and the slice of pizza I just ate will assure me that I don't sleep well tonight but the day was amazing. I walked back to the hotel tonight with a goofy grin on my face feeling good about life

And this. This was funny to me..

Friday, February 24, 2012

Flashback Friday

Me and my very fashionable grandma (we called her Nanny).

I was almost 2 years old here. Look at the death grip I have on that box of crackers. At this tender age, I still had a fine appreciation for eating food directly out of the box. At least I am a lady and have my legs crossed, at the ankle. Even if I am wearing socks with sandals. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

While YOU were sleeping

It was 1:00 am. The wind had yet to kick in so I was sleeping soundly.

Until I heard the doorbell ring. At 1:00 in the morning. Cue frozen Michelle in bed knowing that a meth head serial killer was moments away from murdering me.

Before I could just ignore it (yeah right) there was a violent knock knock knock at the door. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.

I woke my husband up and I was scared. Wouldn't you be? Another ring of the doorbell, another aggressive knock at the door.

And then light shining into our house. Aliens? Methed out serial killer?

My husband went downstairs as I begged him not to just answer the door without questioning who was there. He didn't listen. I stood in the loft armed with my cell phone to call the police, my entire body was shaking and my heart was pounding so fast. I was expecting to hear the worst sounds from my husband. And then....

He went outside. I opened the blinds in the loft. I saw a police car. I heard my husband speak.

Police: "your trunk is open. There have been a string of break ins so I wasn't sure if that was what happened here."

Husband: "No she was out at her car earlier tonight."

I moved girl scout cookies from my car to his and somehow forgot to close my trunk.

So thank you policeman for scaring the ever living CRAP out of me in the middle of the night. But also thank you for patrolling the neighborhood. And I know you thought perhaps a theft took place but....

You could have just closed the trunk. :)

P.S. This is my 1,000th post. WOW!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Personal Shoppers

On Monday morning, I met my friends Sierra and Natalie at Forever 21 and experienced something totally new.

First new thing: Shopping at Forever 21. When I was in college, my friend Lisa would go to Forever 21 and I would go to Gap to find something on the clearance rack because curvy chubs like myself can't shop at F21.

Second new thing: Taking the guidance of others. Sierra and Natalie shop like a boss. They were in a zone. Much like Stacy and Clinton on What Not to Wear, they walked through the store picking items out for me while I served the role of walking clothing rack.

When we had gathered a rather impressive haul of dresses, shirts, belts and jewelry, we walked back to the dressing rooms and started the show. They organized each item with cardigans and necklaces and belts and handed them to me one by one. I tried on each outfit, stepped out of the room and they evaluated the look.

Two hours after starting I walked out with 3 dresses, 5 shirts, 2 cardigans, a blazer type thing, 7 necklaces, 2 sets of bangles, 1 set of beaded bracelets, 1 pair of earrings and 2 belts. It was both exhausting and exhilarating.

Here are pictures from my at home fashion show. My cat was the only audience and she wasn't interested so I was mostly just having fun mixing and matching my new clothes.

Striped dress from Gap
Leggings from Old Navy
Belt from H&M
Necklace: F21
I think I am going to wear this with boots on the plane to Vegas on Friday since it will be a little chilly when I arrive at 9:30 AM

Cardigan, necklace, dress: F21
Leggings: Old Navy
Books: Jillian Riding boots by Annie

 Dress, belt, necklace: F21
Cami: H&M
Shoes: Target, 4 years ago. One is practically broken.

 Close up of the adorable necklace!

Shirt and necklace: F21
Cami: H&M
Jeans: Levis from Kohls

 Upper Left: All F21
Bottom Left: F21
Right: Shirt, necklace and bangles: F21

All from Forever 21

 All Forever 21
I think my face/head looks weird with earrings. I'm undecided.

 Same as first picture: Gap dress

What I am wearing today:
Cardigan, shirt, necklace and bracelets: Forever 21
Jeans: Levis from Kohls
Shoes: Payless

Whew. I also went to H&M on Sunday with my mom and got a couple of shirts and a sweater and a new pair of sunglasses from Kohl's on Saturday. I'm so happy to have new clothes in my closet and I'm feeling very put together today which is a change from my usual sloppiness. Most of the Forever 21 clothes are from their Plus Size line so thank you for getting with the times and adding clothes for us curvy chubs!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Vegas Hair

I did a very Un-Michelle thing this weekend. I got pink streaks in my hair. I went pretty low key but after a good response from family and friends, I'm thinking I might get some more noticeable streaks next time I go in for a color.

Just a few days until Las Vegas! My hair is ready to party!!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

:Head desk:

With all of the problems going on in our country right now, WHY are the powers that be spending some much damn time fighting about BIRTH CONTROL?????????? 

And can the MEN running for President please stop talking about it. Just shut up. This election cycle seems to be all about social issues when social issues are the LAST thing our leaders should be focused on. 

Unemployment is a huge problem.

Gas prices are going up again.

Soldiers are still dying.

Government is stepping into our lives by thinking they know what is best for us 

Access to birth control is the LAST thing on the list of problems we face as a nation. Important? Sure. As important as getting our economy back on top and getting people off unemployment? NO NO NO.

I swear. I might leave "President of the United States" blank on my ballot this year. I can't get behind ANY of these dudes.

P.S. Now that I know how to put GIF's in my blog posts....its on!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Viva Las Vegas!

Can I go now? No? Okay. I'll wait.

Next Friday, I'll be flying off to Las Vegas for 3.5 days to watch my best friend get married. We have known each other since we were 12 years old and her happiness can not be contained which makes me over the moon. And I'm THRILLED that she is getting married in one of my favorite places to visit. 

Yes, Las Vegas is one of my favorite places. I straight up love it. I last went in 2007 for my former college roommate/bestie Lisa's bachelorette party and 5 years is much too long between visits. (WAIT-I stopped by The Strip for an hour after visiting Lisa in Arizona and flying in and out of Vegas in December 2009). I think from 2001-2007, I went once almost every year. The flight it short, the rooms can be cheap and there is just so much to do. 

I'm taking this trip solo since husband has to work but that is totally fine. I get in early Friday morning so I'll have lots of time to drop some coins, do some shopping and wander around soaking up the filth and fun of Sin City before the wedding festivities on Saturday. On Sunday, Lisa is planning on driving up from Arizona so we can spend some time together since I haven't seen her in two years.  Again, too damn long.

Recap: Three day weekend coming up. Three day work week next week. 3.5 days in Vegas. Fly back home Monday morning at 10:30 and work that day from 11:30-8:00. That should be a super fun day.

Are you taking any fun trips soon? Taken any fun trips so far this year? 

We are going on vacation this summer but I'll wait a few more months to share the location. 
Hint: "I'll either surf or ski."

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

That's Life

I've done some blog reading lately that leaves me a bit baffled. Baffled and reflective on my life.

I work with high school kids and one of them once asked me how long I'd been with my (now husband) boyfriend. When I told her 3 years, she asked how many time we'd broken up. She was shocked when I said "none."

I've always been proud of the series of decisions I've made in my life. I know I'm only 32.5 years old but I've been doing my thing for sometime now and feel proud and happy about the way my life has turned out and I don't think that just happens. I think it is due to a long series of choices.

I first must give credit to my parents for being loving, supporting and engaged in my life. It was never a question that I would go to college because that's just what happened after high school. Less than a week before I was done with my last finale at Long Beach State, I decided to move back home. I missed my family, missed my cat and in my brief search of jobs in Southern California, I learned that knowing Spanish was quite important and that was a skill I didn't have.

Everything choice and decision leads somewhere. So I lived with my mom, got my first post college job which led me to meet my husband which led me to want bigger and better (and move out of my mom's house after 4 years). I moved an hour away when I got a new job and Chris soon followed with a new job of his own. We lived together (in sin!), got engaged, got married and bought a house.

My current job gives me a chance to build new skills everyday. I have been here for 6 years and I can really see how much I have grown as a person and as a professional. (I'm wearing blue socks and Puma athletic flats and jeans to work today by the way. I shouldn't call myself a professional.)

I have never touched a drug. I went through my drinking phase in college. I shake my head at some of the choices I made as a co-ed. But I am respectful, trustworthy and loyal and because of that, my parents helped me out a lot along the way. People may say I was spoiled and that's okay. My life has been pretty damn good and my parents didnt' want to see me struggle to stay on my feet. Why would anyone want that as a parent? I don't see it as spoiled, I see it as wanting your child to reach their potential and realizing that 21 year olds need some support along the way.

But ultimately, I think it was my choices that have led me to where I am today. I chose a good man to marry. We make decisions together. We communicate and know where we stand. Life is about choices. Nothing else. You can blame the world and shake your fist at the sky and say WHY ME!?!?! but at the end of the day, think about the choices you have made each and every step along the way that have led you to where you are.

And when you see where you are, you make more choices. Choices that you can be proud of or choices that might cause you to cringe later in life. I chose being proud.

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Civil Wars

Thank you, Grammy Awards, for introducing me yet again to another great band. The Civil Wars.

Real music. Real singing. Simple yet beautiful.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Story of Us: Mushy stuff

1. How long have you and your significant other been together?
Our first date was on July 31, 2004. This summer we will celebrate 8 years together. 

 2. How did you meet? {What’s your “love” story?}
 I worked with his best friend, J.B. We got to know each other after JB transferred into my office from another site. Upon talking, he said that I should meet his friend Chris, that we would get along well. I wasn't too keen on the idea because you know, meeting a guy really was going to cut in on the time I spent watching Trading Spaces with my mom on Friday nights. Huge blow to my social life. 

But I went out on a limb (after months of thinking about it) and passed along my phone number....and a picture (upon Chris' request). You don't even know how long it took me to find the "perfect" picture that some random guy I didn't even know was going to look at and judge me on. I must have picked out a good one because he called me on a Tuesday night and again on Thursday and we planned our date for Saturday. Sunday afternoon I left for 17 days to go to Italy with my dad. The night I got back, I was dying to talk to him but didn't want to seem so jumpy about it. Much to my surprise, I received a text from him asking to call him because he needed an excuse to get off the phone with an ex girlfriend.

Yeah, that was a lie. He needed an excuse to talk to me. :Sigh: I love him. 

3. If married, how long have you been married?
We have been married for just over 3.5 years. We got married on June 7, 2008. 6.7.08. :)

4. If you are married, where did you get married? Big or small wedding?
We got married at the Lake Natoma Inn in Folsom, CA. We had about 115 people at our wedding and it was the perfect size. I was just thinking about our wedding day and playing it out in my head made me get a little weepy. It was such a perfect day. I can feel the butterflies in my stomach, hear the wind rustling through the trees and picture the look on Chris' face as I walked down the aisle to him.

I have a "no large pictures of ourselves in our house" policy but I might break it to hang this up somewhere. I love this picture. Happiness abounds.

5. Do you have any nick-names that you call one another? Do share!
Sometimes I call him by his full name (Christopher). He calls me by my complete name including my maiden name. I tell him that if he isn't going to call me by my "new" name, I'll change it back. My niece once called him "Uncle Chrissy" so sometimes I bug him by saying that. Our actual nicknames, while nothing scandalous, I'd rather keep to myself. :)

6. Name 3 things you love most about your honey.
First, his sense of humor. He is the funniest person I know. I know everyone says that about their spouse but seriously....my husband is THE JAM. He can make ANYTHING into a humorous situation which is equal parts awesome and annoying. Watch an episode of Project Runway with his once and you will see what I mean. Awesome and annoying. Second, I love that he is close to his family. He has a great relationship with his parents, his younger brother and younger sister. I love how close knit they are and how I've been able to fit into the family so well. Third, his relationship with my family. He jokes around with my sister, he gets along really well with my parents and he scoops up and plays with my nieces as soon as we are in their presence. It warms my heart that he fits in with my family so well and that is a testament to his great and easy going personality. He is #1.

7. Tell us how he proposed?
This could be a long story but I'll keep it short. He told me we were going to have dinner with his parents at a steakhouse in our hometown, which is 40 minutes away from where we lived. My mom called me the morning of the dinner and asked if I could swing by her house to help her fix part of her fence that had fallen down. Random, but whatever. It was President's Day so traffic was a BITCH and it was taking forever to drive to dinner. I was getting impatient, thinking we would be late (I hate being late). I told him that I was going to call my mom and tell her we couldn't stop by, that we would come over after dinner. Chris was driving and he said it was no big deal, that it wouldn't take that long and not to worry about it. This, of course, put me in a bad mood. Perfect! 

He parked in the driveway and I jumped out of the car and practically ran to the front door. I swung it open and called out for my mom. To the right of the front door is the dining room and then the living room, open concept type set up so you can see through the dining room to the living room. I looked over and saw my mom, my dad, Chris' mom, dad, sister and brother. HUH???? "What's going on?" Everyone just had these dorky looks on their faces and didn't say anything to me. I walked towards them, still asking what was happening. That's when I felt Chris touch my arm and I realized what was happening. (Ugh, I'm going to start to cry as I type this.) He walked me back over to the front door and proposed in that spot because it was the first place we met, the first place he laid eyes on me and the first place he said he knew he loved me. 

This was on a Monday. The Monday before, he got to work and thought "Why haven't I proposed yet?" So he purchased a ring online, called my parents, met with them on Thursday and hatched the plan. He told me the lead up after the proposal while we went to dinner with our family. We drove home that night, picked our wedding date (no kidding. We really did) and went to Coldstone to celebrate. The next day I went to Border's and got a wedding planning binder and a magazine. Bridezilla was created!!!! (Sorry, that wasn't the short version)

 Peek a boo!

8. Is he a flowers and teddy bear kind of guy for v-day, or strawberries, champagne, and rose petals?
He is an electronics guy. He did get me a necklace and earrings for V-day one year. Is it bad that I can't remember other gifts? There have been 7 V-days! I can't recall all of them!

9. Are you a sunset dinner on the beach kind of girl, or pop a movie in and relax on the couch?
Movie and couch. I love the beach but sand...you know, it gets everywhere! I'd much rather be in comfy pj's and watching a movie at home.

10. Tell us one thing you’d like to do with your significant other one day. If you could do anything? Go anywhere?
I want to go to Europe together. Italy or London. Mostly Italy. First he needs to get over the whole walking miles and miles for weeks straight thing but he will move on eventually.

 1. Tell us what you plan on doing on this Valentine’s Day.
Not much. Here's the thing: Valentine's Day bothers me. I don't like the expectation that men have to go all out, spend major cash to make their significant other happy. Some, SOME, women get all pissy if their man doesn't do what Becky's man did and that is DUMB. Cliche alert: I don't need a day to overspend on food and gifts to say I love you. I usually use the two small heart shaped cake pans we have and make cakes but since V-day falls on a Tuesday and we will both get home after 6:00, we won't do anything. And I also don't like "celebrating" "holidays" on another day. That is weird to me.

12. Are you asking for anything this Valentine’s day?
A sink free of dishes, an empty dishwasher and a piece of chocolate cake. I'm so old.

13. Give us one piece of advice of keeping a relationship strong and full of love.
Don't sweat the small stuff. Like when your husband uses the wrong phone number at Safeway and I lose out on a .10 cent gas discount. Or when there is an open packet of Fun Dip and I pick it up and spill it on the side table. Take a moment to assess the situation, decide if it will matter in 5 minutes/hours/days/months/years and then move on. Most things aren't worth getting upset over. Cooler heads prevail. And laugh. Laugh a lot. Laugh a lot every single day no matter the pain, hurt or sadness you are going through. Just laugh.

 1.4. Show us a picture of what love means to you.

Just us in the madness of Times Square. 

Being on a beach in Kona, Hawaii. LOVE!